Safe and Sound by Caitlin Ricci: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Twenty-one-year-old Mason has to get out of his mother’s house, where her boyfriend subjects him to unwanted advances—and won’t take no for an answer. Since she didn’t believe Mason when he told her about his uncle’s sexual abuse, Mason knows he’s on his own, and it’s up to him to raise the money he needs. He thinks he’s in luck when he takes a modeling job.

Oliver is a photographer, and getting guys and sex has always been easy for him. His current open relationship is no exception: more friendship and fun than anything. But when Oliver meets Mason, he can see the younger man is fragile and desperately in need of help. Before anything can develop between them, Mason needs to free himself of his terrible living situation and start on the road to healing. Oliver wants to stand beside him as he does. What surprises him is the discovery that he might need Mason as much as Mason needs him.

Title: Safe and Sound
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 84

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Mason seemed so young to me. Not like 21, but more like 17-18. He was so innocent and the way his mom and her boyfriend treated him…made me think of him more as a kid, in the beginning. Working for his friend Eli at a horse sanctuary was his get away from the advances from the weird boyfriend of his mom, helped; though I suspect Eli is from another story, but I didn’t know this was a spin off, so I didn’t know much about him. My heart hurt for Mason though, there was a reason he was the way he was and it wasn’t just the mom’s boyfriend… he was just another one…

Oliver…I didn’t get the best first impression from him. He seemed kinda skeevy and I didn’t like the relationship he and his boyfriend had or what they wanted from Mason. It didn’t seem like the thing Mason would be into from the very beginning and I almost stopped reading. Not that I’m against ménage’s or poly relationships, I guess I just hoped for more for Mason. He seemed so unsure of himself and other people, and for good reason; but, I didn’t like the thought of anyone taking advantage of him or using him for something, because he wanted and deserved more than that. I liked the way Oliver was there for him and wanted to keep him safe, but when it came to Mason, but even breaking up with the boyfriend so he could try something with Mason, wasn’t Oliver’s idea. It was the boyfriends…I just thought Mason deserved more. Then, it just ended…

Not really a HEA, more like a HFN beginning.

3 pieces of eye candy for me.


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Featured Book Giveaway – 3 Winners!!!

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**A new giveaway for our readers!

We will be giving away 3 books from the ones featured on the blog recently. So, enter the giveaway. First entry, tell us which book you are obsessed with (which one you want). Then the other options are additional entries for you. Closes at 11:59PM EST Sunday.**

 

This Week’s Featured Books

 

becoming rafeBecoming Rafe by Thianna Durston

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Nephi Rafe Norton goes to Falcon Pointe University to find himself. Away from his conservative family, he hopes to discover if his attraction to men is the real deal. Encouraged to be someone a little different, he starts using his middle name. “Rafe” quickly makes friends, some of whom use a paddle to dispense caring discipline, and he lives it up—until midterms hit, and he realizes he’s flunking statistics class.

When Scotland native Éigneachán Jackson Levlin offers to help, Rafe is eager to accept—not only because Levlin is a psychologist, but also because he’s out and proud and hot as hell.

As their relationship heats up, Rafe decides to spend one last Christmas with his family before he tells them. When his little sister outs him to his siblings, they turn out to be fully supportive, and he takes heart—until he introduces Levlin to his father, who brutally dismisses both of them. Now Rafe must come to peace with his father’s rejection or risk losing Levlin—and all that he has become at Falcon Pointe—forever.

 

rockinthealternative_exlarge_PNG-180x288Rockin’ the Alternative by Morticia Knight

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

The chance of a lifetime and the touch of a rock god are offered to music journalist Bryan Gallagher on the same day. Embracing one is easy, but resisting the other is harder than he’d anticipated—especially since Bryan has never been with a man.

It could be his dream assignment. Aubrey King, the legendary god of alternative rock music, has requested to meet with journalist and writer Bryan about penning the star’s memoir. Aubrey and his dark, angsty songs are the reason Bryan was inspired to become a leading rock journalist. His obsession for his career has alienated the women in his life, but Bryan doesn’t care. What really matters to him is the music.

Aubrey King has been out of the music scene for almost ten years—ever since his alternative rock band, Falling in Stereo, broke up. Questions about his sexual preferences have always surrounded him, and now that he’s ready to make a solo comeback, he wants to tell his story, his way. He’s followed journalist Bryan Gallagher’s career for a while and believes that Bryan’s obvious passion for music mirrors his own. He loves his writing style, but is also enraptured by the boyishly handsome writer.

Brian finds pushing his fanboy nervousness aside is difficult when Aubrey finally stands before him. He’s amazed at how little Aubrey has changed—his intense gaze, his unique style and his still youthful looks epitomise the star he’s always been. But Aubrey’s vulnerability when he sings and shares the deeply personal lyrics of a new song triggers something in Bryan that he never knew was there. The need to give himself to Aubrey, to let the rock god do to him what he’s never before desired a man to do.

 

bad dogsBad Dogs and Drag Queens by Julie Lynn Hayes

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

Vinnie Delarosa and Ethan Thorne are partners—on and off the clock. Federal undercover detectives, they’re part of a covert task force designed to promote goodwill between the feds and local authorities. They lend an unobtrusive helping hand wherever it’s needed. No credit required.

Vinnie and Ethan work primarily in the Southeast region of the United States and live together in Richmond, Virginia. A mugger problem brings them to Roanoke, where Vinnie is thrown out as bait to catch the man who’s been snatching purses in a city park, but they end up with more than they bargained for. Why is Vinnie always the one who has to wear the dress? Ethan says it’s because Vinnie looks much prettier in a skirt. How can he argue with that?

Expecting to return to Richmond afterward, Vinnie and Ethan find themselves assigned a new case instead. They are to go undercover at The Stroll, one of the biggest gay nightclubs in Roanoke. Someone is terrorizing both the customers and the performers. Could they be dealing with a hate crime? Someone has to protect the drag queens of Roanoke, so it’s Vinnie and Ethan to the rescue!

The author is donating 10% of the royalties from this book to No Kid Hungry. Visit nokidhungry.org for more information about this organization.

 

test driveTest Drive by Riley Hart

–Amazon

synopsis

A double shot of devastating news turns Justin Evanson’s life upside down. When he learns his father has cancer, and he has siblings he never knew existed, he leaves everything behind and moves to Virginia to support his dad as he tries to make amends with his family—a family Justin’s not sure he has a place in. Things go from bad to worse when he discovers his recent hookup is his newfound sister’s brother-in-law.

Drew Sinclair never expected to see Justin after their night at the club or to discover their family connection. If anyone found out, it would give Drew’s brother another reason to hate him. But there’s something about Justin that draws him in, and it’s not only because they burn up the sheets together.

One meeting leads to another, and before Justin realizes it, Drew has become the only thing in his world he feels is his. And for the first time in his life, Drew knows what it means to be needed. Being there for Justin and supporting him when things spiral out of control feels right. But with so much happening so quickly, it’s hard to trust their feelings. Is this thing between them real? Or just a test drive before life forces them down two separate roads?

 

cover-203x300Resurrection by S. Davidson

–Amazon

 

synopsis

Two men with painful, complicated pasts who have shut themselves down from ever loving again. Complete opposites of one another, one raised in a strict military household, who grew up with the sole purpose of becoming a soldier and defending his country, only to have that cut short by an IED; and the other raised in the rodeo, small town and ranch life his safe haven; and their chance meeting.

How the two of them end up in some small town diner can only be credited to divine intervention. But are both men too damaged? They say God works in mysterious ways. Well, he certainly had his hands full when he chose these two for saving.

Is it too late?

 

StainedORIG-final-01Stained by Chris T. Kat

–Amazon

–ARe

 

synopsisBlair Clark has reached his breaking point. Forced to leave one job because of sexual harassment, he’s having difficulty finding another. Since no one believes what happened, Blair’s left with a stain on his employment record that he can’t get rid of. He’s had to move back home with his mother. As if that’s not bad enough, he realizes his crush, Travis, is simply using him. His romantic life looks as hopeless as his job search.

Jack Ross is sure he’ll never find anyone who’ll love him for who he is. All anyone sees is the port-wine stain on his left cheek—not the man behind it. Even his mother thinks he should get rid of it. But the procedure is difficult and painful.

When Blair applies for a secretarial position with Jack’s firm, both men learn that beauty is, indeed, in the eye of the beholder. It’ll take a lot of trust to chase away their insecurities, but if they take a chance on one another, love will find a way.

 

time to riseA Time to Rise by Tal Bauer

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

History says the Knights Templar were destroyed in 1307.
History is wrong.

Vampires haunt the sewers beneath Rome, revenants desecrate graveyards, ghouls devour helpless passersby, and incubi stalk dark alleys and seedy nightclubs in Italy’s capital. Deep in the Vatican, a brotherhood exists, sworn protectors of the earth, and they stand firm against monsters from the dark depths. Operating in secret and silence, they protect our world from the sinister, the etheric, and the evils that exist beyond the Veil.

But it’s a lonely life, and Alain Autenberg knows that more than most. His lover was ripped from him years ago, and he vowed never to get close to another soul again. Even when the loneliness presses down on him, and his empty heart cries out for something more.

Something more comes in Cristoph Hasse, a new soldier arriving in Rome to serve in the Pontifical Swiss Guard. Young, brash, and fitting in at right angles everywhere he goes, Cris struggles in the murky, deceptive labyrinth of the Vatican. Propelled forward by a past he can’t understand, Cris collides with Alain, and both men crash headfirst into the darkest secret of the Vatican…and of the world.

A Time to Rise contains adult content suitable for mature readers only.

 

reckless_ricciReckless by Caitlin Ricci

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

When his best friend, Lee, offered him his sub as part of a bet, Colton Prier never expected more than a clean condo from the boy. But Tate Nicholson is well-trained, eager , and he likes rope play as much as Colton enjoys tying him up. It should have ended after one night, but they begin meeting in secret, and Colton can’t stop thinking about Tate. It’s a betrayal of his friendship with Lee to fall in love with Tate, but Colton can’t help wanting the sub for himself.

He’s not alone in his feelings, either. Tate thought he was happy with Lee. Not completely fulfilled, but happy enough. But as he spends more time with Colton, he realizes Lee isn’t capable of giving him what he wants anyway. Lee demands his full submission, but Tate doesn’t want to be a lifestyle sub. Colton expects his obedience at times but gives him his freedom more often than not, which is more in line with what Tate wants.

When Tate really needs his Dom and Lee isn’t around to help him, he reaches the tipping point and needs to choose who he wants to give his submission to, and to accept the consequences of his choice when he does.

 

love cant conquerLove Can’t Conquer by Kim Fielding

–Amazon

–ARe

synopsis

Bullied as a child in small-town Kansas, Jeremy Cox ultimately escaped to Portland, Oregon. Now in his forties, he’s an urban park ranger who does his best to rescue runaways and other street people. His ex-boyfriend, Donny—lost to drinking and drugs six years earlier—appears on his doorstep and inadvertently drags Jeremy into danger. As if dealing with Donny’s issues doesn’t cause enough turmoil, Jeremy meets a fascinating but enigmatic man who carries more than his fair share of problems.

Qayin Hill has almost nothing but skeletons in his closet and demons in his head. A former addict who struggles with anxiety and depression, Qay doesn’t know which of his secrets to reveal to Jeremy—or how to react when Jeremy wants to save him from himself.

Despite the pasts that continue to haunt them, Jeremy and Qay find passion, friendship, and a tentative hope for the future. Now they need to decide whether love is truly a powerful thing or if, despite the old adage, love can’t conquer all.

 

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Reckless by Caitlin Ricci : Release Day Review

reckless_riccisynopsis

When his best friend, Lee, offered him his sub as part of a bet, Colton Prier never expected more than a clean condo from the boy. But Tate Nicholson is well-trained, eager , and he likes rope play as much as Colton enjoys tying him up. It should have ended after one night, but they begin meeting in secret, and Colton can’t stop thinking about Tate. It’s a betrayal of his friendship with Lee to fall in love with Tate, but Colton can’t help wanting the sub for himself.

He’s not alone in his feelings, either. Tate thought he was happy with Lee. Not completely fulfilled, but happy enough. But as he spends more time with Colton, he realizes Lee isn’t capable of giving him what he wants anyway. Lee demands his full submission, but Tate doesn’t want to be a lifestyle sub. Colton expects his obedience at times but gives him his freedom more often than not, which is more in line with what Tate wants.

When Tate really needs his Dom and Lee isn’t around to help him, he reaches the tipping point and needs to choose who he wants to give his submission to, and to accept the consequences of his choice when he does.

Title: Reckless
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Release Date: June 3, 2016
Category: Contemporary, BDSM
Pages: 200

deanna reviewA book about BDSM that was well written and not so overly crowded with sex scenes that the story was lost.

Colton wins Tate, his best friends sub for the weekend after a lucky bet. Colton is sure Tate will just be cooking and cleaning for him, he doesn’t have the time or want for a sub at the moment. Tate walks in and rocks his world, he may be young but he knows what he wants.

Both Tate and Colt know one weekend won’t be enough. After a few stolen nights Tate is forced to choose between Lee and Colt. Will Colt and Lee’s friendship survive? Can Colt live with the choice Tate makes either way?

I really enjoyed this story. For me, this is one of those “I’ll never be in a relationship like this but I so enjoy reading about it” subjects.

The sharp contrast between Lee and Colton was interesting, completely different while neither was painted in a negative light.

I loved that Tate knew enough about himself to know what he wanted and ask about what he didn’t understand. The care Colton took with his was so soft and tender compared to their hot passionate moments.

I loved that the story didn’t stop when Tate made his decision. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship progress.

4 pieces of eye candy

4-pieces-of-eye-candy2

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About Last Night by Caitlin Ricci: Release Day Review and Guest Post

AboutLastNightLG

synopsis

Before jumping into his first semester of college, Thomas Maloney decides to lose his virginity at a party to a stranger he’s sure he’ll never see again. Only the next day, he’s surprised to learn the same one-night stand will be sharing his dorm room. Thomas considers himself lucky, but his new roommate—not so much.

Closeted as they come, football jock Remington “Rem” Daniels is on track for a shot at the pros. Rem tries to play it cool and avoid falling for the confidently gay Thomas, which could hurt his chances. Dealing with their constant need to get in bed together wouldn’t be so hard if Rem didn’t have a girlfriend and Thomas didn’t have a conscience.

When she delivers news that will change Rem’s life forever, Thomas knows it’s time to move back home to Thornwood, Colorado. But neither the distance nor knowing Rem belongs to someone else helps Thomas get over him. Rem’s feelings haven’t changed either. When it comes down to love or football, Rem will have to make the hardest choice of his life and hope Thomas will still be waiting for him when he does.

Title: About Last Night
Series: Thornwood
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Release Date: April 4, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

deanna review

This is the story of Thomas, while off to college in a new city decides to lose his virginity at a party before college starts next week. The hottie he hooks up with ends up being Rem his roommate and closeted football star with a steady girlfriend. Even knowing it’s wrong, Thomas can’t get enough of Rem and they continue sleeping together. Rem and his girlfriend end up getting some pretty shocking news and as Thomas sees that Rem will never be in a position to “come out” for him he leaves college and returns home at the end of the semester.

As time passes Rem and Thomas both have growing up to do, but their feelings never fade and only the test of time will tell if they are meant to be.

I am in awe of this book, the character development is beautiful. Rem put Thomas through some pretty crappy stuff, but Thomas made it through without looking like a doormat and I feel like Rem learned and grew from those experiences as well. He never came off as an entitled jerk.

The story takes place over several years and you get to watch the characters grow and mature. Their lives change drastically but their love is a constant, tangible thing.

I think this book was very well written. The story moved along at a good pace. It was angsty at times but it wasn’t overdone.

Being the greedy person that I am, I would have loved an epilogue to show how they were doing a year or so down the road. I can see myself rereading this one again soon.

5 pieces of eye candy

5-pieces-eye-candy3

Heather's Review

About Last Night by Caitlin Ricci is the second book in the Thornwood series. I hadn’t read the first, but I can assure you, it’s not necessary to feel in the loop when you start this book.

At first glance, I will admit, it sounded like it had the potential to be one big cliche. Thomas, the small town virgin, decides he’s going to lose his virginity the moment he gets to Miami, where he’s going to college. Little did he know the masked man who gave it to would be his roommate.

Rem is a very conflicted young man. He knows he’s bi, but can’t be out because he has dreams of playing pro football. Okay, I can accept that, because I believe it’s likely still a very prevalent issue. Unfortunately, his girlfriend of five years also doesn’t know that he’s bi. Or that he’s been scratching the itch, so to speak.

Even with the cheating, I was sucked into this book. My heart ached for Thomas, having to watch the man that he loved with the girl who loved him. And yes, it’s clearly pointed out that while Rem likes Amanda, he’s not in love with her. It was uncomfortable to see Amanda and Thomas becoming friends, mostly because that meant he was keeping secrets from someone who at one point told him that he’s a great friend to her.

Everything changes when Amanda announces that she’s pregnant. And this is where it gets weird… for some unknown reason, Thomas’s mother thinks it’s the perfect solution for her and her husband to adopt the baby, even though she knows her son is in love with the baby daddy. Yeah, because that wouldn’t be awkward at all. So, the three of them fly out at Christmas and when Rem and Amanda go back to Florida, Thomas stays behind because it’s too painful.

The second half of the book is a lot of phone calls. It spans years, but didn’t feel choppy. You can tell Rem was never sold on giving the baby up for adoption and loves her with all his heart. He’s glad that Thomas is in his baby’s life if he’s not. It was uncomfortable, again, but it felt real and raw.

There’s a wedding, and eventually a divorce, and Rem see his dreams come true. He falters, upsetting Thomas, which makes him realize that he can’t let him walk away again. So, they are going to make it work. He drives up to see Thomas and meet Madeline, who’s now a five year old instead of the newborn she was the last time he saw her, and Thomas takes Madeline to a game. The whole time, she just thinks Rem is her brother’s friend.

Up to this point, I was honestly going to give the book five stars. Caitlin Ricci handled some uncomfortable topics very well and made me feel their pain. Seriously, I was bawling my eyes out through much of the book.

But then… that ending. It’s impossible for me to ignore how upset I was with the ending of the book. There were two major struggles for Rem: his career and the baby he gave up for adoption. When I read the words “The End” I knew I wasn’t going to get resolution on either point. Yes, he came out, but the reader is left with zero indication of how it was handled by the team or by the public. And yes, he mentioned possibly buying a condo in Thornwood to move closer to Thomas and get to be part of Madeline’s life a bit more, but we have no clue if that happened. We don’t know if Madeline ever learned the truth about him (which she may have, given the terms of the adoption) or if he and Thomas were a huge part of her life. Hell, we don’t know if he followed through on teaching his daughter how to throw a football. All of those issues could’ve been resolved through an epilogue giving us a glimpse into the future, but instead, they weren’t and it completely destroyed the feels I had going on before that.

3 pieces of eye candy

3 pieces of eye candy

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Guest Post

Hey. I’m Caitlin Ricci and I’m here to talk a bit about my new novel, About Last Night, and the tiny town of Thornwood where all of the characters in this series live.

Sometimes with a series, especially one that you don’t have to read in order, it’s hard to keep track of how everyone is connected. I’m hoping that this post helps clear some of that up.

Thornwood was first introduced in Weathering the Storm, which is a young adult novel with Harmony Ink Press. In that novel Robbie, and his brothers Daniel and Ben come to live with their Uncle Caleb after their mom dies. Dan, their dad, comes with them and for a while it works out for them. Caleb is dating one of Thornwood’s cops, Trent. Trent is the son of the Thornwood police chief.

I had so many editors ask me for Caleb and Trent’s story that the Thornwood series was born. They fall in love in One More Time, which is Thornwood book 1. Before Caleb and Trent got together, Trent had sex with Eli who works at the horse rescue where Caleb adopts a horse from in that book. Eli’s book is the third in the series, which comes out late 2017.

Weathering the Storm would come next in the reading order.

In Thornwood, there’s a diner called Rosie’s, which is really the only place to get anything to eat unless you want to go to the deli at the grocery store and get something there. Most people in town go to Rosie’s a few times a week at the very least. They have the best milkshakes.

Trent’s mom owned the diner and her best friend, Roxie, worked there. Because they both had names starting with R they decided that their children would have matching names too. Roxie calls Trent her son Thomas’s cousin. Roxie looks after Trent since his mom has passed away, but sometimes he can be frustrating. She’s convinced that Thomas is essentially a perfect little angel who can do no wrong most of the time. She was a great character to write.

Thomas lives with his mom, dad, and multiple children they’re fostering in a townhouse in the center of town. The grocery story is behind them and Rosie’s is just down the street. These are the only townhouses in Thornwood and Trent’s is just a few doors down.

The idea for Thornwood came from getting lost on my way from Denver to Black Hawk, which is our little version of Las Vegas. Only we have mountains and little creeks and old mining towns that are so tiny there are barely enough people in them to even consider them a town.

That’s the kind of place I wanted Thornwood to be. It started off as a mining town and most of the people have left. The ones who have stayed do so for the small town life. They don’t mind that I-70 often gets shut down in the winter, or that sometimes they can’t go very far because there’s a rockslide blocking the highway because they enjoy the community and the slower pace of life there where everyone knows each other and Roxie is the source of the town’s gossip.

Thank you for spending some time with me today. What would your ideal town be like?

Caitlin

meet the author

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

www.caitlinricci.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.