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

dreamer

synopsis

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

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

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

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

paula review

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

5 pieces of eye candy

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

What About Now by Grace R. Duncan: Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

WhatAboutNowFS

synopsis

Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.

After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.

With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.

Guest Post

Welcome to the What About Now book cruise (tour)! Thanks to Two Chicks Obsessed for welcoming me today. I hope you’ll follow the entire tour. Lots of chances to win a signed paperback copy of What About Now, $10 at Dreamspinner Press or an audiobook copy of Choices!

Each cruise (tour) stop will feature an excerpt from the story related to where the characters were for that day. Check the Rafflecopter at the end of the post to enter your answer to the question related to the excerpt for the chance to win a backlist ebook for each stop.

Today stop is the eighth on our cruise and sees our couple in Moorea, Polynesia. Let’s see what the boys got up to…

excerpt

Rafe looked up, realizing they’d goofed somehow and ended up on the deck on the outside of the ship. “Oops, wrong turn.” He spun on his heel and hurried back in before Braden could see where they were, but it was too late.

Rafe turned around again to see Braden standing frozen, facing the railing. Rafe knew what he was seeing: miles and miles of incredibly deep water. There were tiny islands in the distance, but they wouldn’t be enough to distract Braden. He wouldn’t even see them. All his brain would register was the water he feared.

Stepping closer to Braden, he touched a shoulder. Terror poured off Braden in waves. Tremors rolled through him, and his skin had turned ghostly under his tan. “Braden, baby,” Rafe said, tugging on him, but he wouldn’t move. “Braden?” Rafe shook Braden’s shoulder, but he didn’t react except to shake harder, his breath coming in panicked pants, eyes still fixed on the water. “Braden! Come on, turn around,” Rafe said, pulling a little harder on Braden’s arm.

When Braden still didn’t respond, Rafe considered whether to just pick him up. But then he wondered if something else might help. He figured it might cause less trouble than if he carried Braden back into the ship like a damsel in distress. That was almost guaranteed to piss Braden off—at himself—but by then, the damage would be done.

Instead, he dropped his voice and leaned in a little closer. “Boy, look at me!” He put every bit of the Dom in him into the words.

Braden’s head whipped around, and he immediately dropped his eyes to Rafe’s collar.

That was better, but his breathing was still too fast for Rafe’s liking. “Focus on me, boy. Only me. Who am I?”

“Sir,” Braden croaked.

Rafe ran his hands up and down Braden’s arms. “That’s it. Good, boy. Breathe with me,” he said, cupping Braden’s face with his palms. “Look up at me, boy, and breathe with me.”

Braden eyes snapped up to meet Rafe’s, and Rafe took a slow, deep breath, thrilled when Braden matched it. “Good, boy. Another.” It took several more before Braden’s muscles unlocked and he slumped into Rafe’s arms. “I’ve got you,” Rafe murmured, rubbing Braden’s back as Braden shook in his arms.

Another few moments passed, and finally Braden straightened. “I’m sorry, Sir,” he muttered, gaze somewhere around Rafe’s sternum.

That was interesting.He hadn’t expected Braden to stay in the sub mindset. Since their scene before Papeete, they’d talked about what they’d done, as well as Braden’s preferences, but they hadn’t played beyond him lightly dominating Braden in bed. Braden hadn’t called him “Sir” likely because he hadn’t used “boy” since that time at bingo. Rafe wasn’t sure how far to push with Braden, so he’d kept it light.

He wasn’t quite sure what to do with this. Did he keep up the D/s for a while until Braden changed things? Or did he try to get Braden out of it now?

He decided it would probably only make things harder on Braden if he made too big a deal out of it. Instead, he pulled Braden into his arms again and murmured in his ear. “I think I’d like to eat dinner in the suite tonight. Perhaps with you naked at my feet and eating from my hand.”

Braden’s breath stuttered, but he murmured, “Yes, Sir.” He hesitated briefly, eyes darting to Rafe’s face, then back down, and Rafe knew Braden was well aware of what he was saying. “Please, Sir.”

Rafe let the breath of relief out slowly. He’d talk to Braden about it later, but he didn’t need to let Braden know right then just how unsure he’d been. Braden needed strength. “Good. Let’s go, boy.” He stepped back, took Braden’s hand, and they moved toward the elevators. The slightest of tremors were still going through Braden, which Rafe tried to counter by squeezing the shaking hand gently. He kept an eye on Braden, but aside from the minor tremble, he seemed to be holding together okay.

When the elevator doors closed, Rafe turned to Braden. “What are your safewords, boy?”

“Strawberry and banana, Sir,” Braden replied, clearer than Rafe expected. He didn’t want to push Braden, who was obviously needing this now, but at the same time, he needed to make sure Braden knew he could stop it. He probably should have stopped it, himself, and talked to Braden, but he still wasn’t sure that was the best course of action. In all the times he’d helped Braden through his phobia, it had neither been this serious, nor involved D/s.

Rafe took another slow breath, pushing that aside for later. He wouldn’t harm Braden by doing this, and in the end, that was what mattered. “Very good, boy. When we get into the room, you’ll strip and put your clothes away. Then take two of the bed pillows and pile them on the floor by the table.”

“Yes, Sir.”

Thanks for reading! Remember to keep up with the whole cruise for a chance to win at each stop. And each entry will give you an opportunity to be entered to win one of the three big prizes!

denise review

I normally do not read books about second chance love. Not because I avoid them-although I will admit I have because quite often they are too angsty for me, but more because I always have a hard time figuring out why their love didn’t work out in the first place. What makes someone give up and just walk away?

But when I read the blurb on this it was very clear what caused the split (although finding out later there was more to it, of course), and I thought “Oh, a BDSM, which I love, and they are in a situation they can’t get out of” and I jumped on it. Boy, was I wrong…in a good way. 🙂

What you find as you go through the book is that what really caused their separation was lack of communication. They simply stopped talking to each other. We never really find out why Braden stopped talking, other than he had listened to his stupid friend Paul, but since they are men, often that in itself is enough to keep from communicating.

Braden, once he goes through counseling for the attempted rape, and finds that he is a Dom, he knows that he needs to not only get Braden back, but help him to realize that his is a sub. That in itself is an undertaking, since Braden really has no concept of what BDSM entails, other than the always thought of whips and chains.

Braden’s plan was actually fairly well thought out…start easy, friends, move to lovers, and then hope that since Braden is in love with him still that they will be able to find a way to move forward with what he felt would be necessary to both of them, a BDSM relationship. I enjoyed watching how he worked through each stage, realizing that things may not go as planned, and working through how to fix it from there.

Hella hot scenes, both without and with the BDSM. The author was able to realistically portray an entry into BDSM. Nothing is more frustrating than reading a BDSM book and finding that one of the two is new and the other just jumps in and “shows them what BDSM is”. No. Just no. Show people that they need to read on it, work through limits, have discussions, and consent before anything is done. (There is a scene where that somewhat crosses the line, but as they had had a previous relationship of unspoken domination, I didn’t find it uncomfortable.)

When all was said and done, I liked the flow in Rafe’s plan, and how he put it into place. I’d hoped to see a bit more progression in Braden’s communication, but since he had been stagnant in his life while they were not together, it isn’t surprising that he hadn’t. I would hope that after the defining incident towards the end that there would be help for him, just as Rafe was able to find help for himself.

After I was done, I went back and looked, because there were two characters who showed up on the cruise, helping Braden realize he needed to open his eyes, and with the relationship, I assumed it was from a previous book, and it was! So, I will be heading back and reading Beautiful Boy, and finding out how Mal and Kyle end up together. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

grace_nohateGrace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Find Grace here:

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Love In Retrogade by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review

lovesynopsis

Enthusiastic, play-it-safe Kelly Sutton is an American intern at the Photonic Royal Society in New London. He’s been working on Project Mars for over a year, a mission kept so secret by the society even Kelly doesn’t know exactly what it is. What Kelly does know is his contribution to the task will benefit mankind, and that’s enough for him.

Kelly’s world turns upside down when concerns over his mentor’s behavior lead Kelly to investigate and stumble upon a wicked truth. What is supposed to be a project to advance human life turns out to be an endeavor capable of mass destruction. The terrifying reality forces Kelly to choose between looking the other way to keep his job, as he’s always done, or risking his career and even his life to do the right thing by saving the man who’s captured his heart.

Title: Love in Retrograde
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: May 11, 2016
Category: Science Fiction
Pages: 73

denise reviewSo, how do I write a review without giving away a HUGE spoiler for this book, like who the second main character is? Well, quite simply, I will have to keep it short and sweet, just like Love in Retrograde.

This was a futuristic story, with a young scientist who falls in love…with another man. 🙂 They have adventures, and an HEA. So there you go. 🙂

In actuality, what happens is so crazy on par with what literally COULD happen in merely a few years. Charlie (as she always does) manages to create a world that is parallel to where we are now, but varied enough that you have to think “this could happen in the future”.  Good versus evil, one MC doing everything he can to save the life of another MC, and a lovely HEA for both characters.

These two men fall in love in their own time, although our fearless scientist needs to have it knocked into him that he had fallen in love, but with Charlie you know that although they may be stubborn, her men always manage to wake up and realize where love lies, even if it isn’t where you expect it.

And the integration of the old movies? If your heart didn’t soften at the MC’s love of them, you have a space where yours should be. My favorite part about anything with Charlie’s books is that there is always a defining cute, sweet or fun quality that you would not expect in a “serious” book that makes you want to hug these men. Once again she has done that.

Definitely a novella worth re-reading.

4 pieces of eye candy

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

Power Play by Avon Gale: Blog Tour, Character Interview and Giveaway

PowerPlayfs-200x300

 

synopsis

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending guilt-ridden years for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime to forget, but also a sleazy GM determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets the team, Misha revisits his darkest days, which might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

Author Name: Avon Gale

Book Name: Power Play

Series: Scoring Chances

Book: Three

This book can be read as a standalone

Release Date: May 9, 2016

Pages or Words: 240 pages

Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary, Fiction

Goodreads Link

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

[Read more…]

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

Learning to Love by Felice Stevens : Blog Tour, 5 star Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

 

Released May 2nd, 2016

synopsis

After ten years away from home, bad boy caterer Gideon Marks has a lot to prove. Getting the holiday catering job at his childhood synagogue is the first step in demonstrating to everyone he didn’t turn out to be the failure they predicted. What he doesn’t count on is Rabbi Jonah Fine, his high school nemesis and secret crush, stirring up old feelings Gideon thought long gone and secrets he’s buried deep for years.

An unexpectedly passionate encounter shocks Gideon, but he pushes Jonah away, convinced he isn’t good enough to be in a relationship and would never be accepted by Jonah’s father. But Jonah hangs tough—he won’t allow Gideon to hide or run away from life again. And when it comes to love, Gideon learns the most important lessons aren’t always taught in school.

 deanna review

I read a shorter version of this book as part of a holiday anthology and loved it, so I was really excited when Felice said she was going to expand on it. I don’t know how it’s possible but she managed to make this story even more beautiful.

Gideon, a dyslexic man who has fought for everything he has in life put himself thru culinary school and returns to New York with his business partner Rico to open “The Garden of Eat-In.” Gideon wants to prove to everyone from his past, including the perfect son of the Rabbi, Jonah that he has made something of himself. Gideon doesn’t count on the sparks flying when he sets eyes on Jonah again after all these years. To make matters worse, Jonah isn’t the arrogant spoiled boy he remembers from his past.

Jonah is determined that Gideon is going to give him a chance, but Gideon is used to keeping everyone at arms length. No one but his business partner knows of his disability and he plans to keep it that way. When Jonah pushes to get closer to Gideon, Gideon pulls away, often with cold, cutting remarks. Jonah quickly realizes that this is Gideon’s only defense against a cruel world he faced alone so he doesn’t give up.

Jonah and Gideon start spending more and more time together and quickly Gideon’s defenses start to crumble. After a date gone horribly wrong Gideon comes clean to Jonah about his disability, thinking that it would be the end of the relationship, but Jonah surprises him. Jonah has been waiting for Gideon for longer than he would dare admit and wasn’t about to let Gideon go for anything.

After a few mis-steps and a health scare with Jonah’s dad, Gideon has to admit to himself and Jonah how much he has come to mean to him. It will take Jonah’s persistence and undying love to convince Gideon that it’s real and that he’s in it for forever.

I love that even though Gideon felt he was weak and less than because of his disability, he never came across that way. He was a strong, confident business owner that wasn’t defined by his disability.

I loved that Jonah loved him with his whole heart regardless of the dyslexia. Seeing a young Gideon through Jonah’s eyes just showed how much and for how long he has loved Gideon.

This book made me feel so much. It’s definitely going on the permanent re-read list.

5 pieces of eye candy

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excerpt

“How did you know where to find me?”

“I didn’t. But when I went to your apartment and discovered you weren’t home, I thought to myself, ‘Where would a chef be early on Saturday morning?’”

Pleased he’d thought so carefully about me, I bit my lip to keep from smiling, then muttered with my head down, “Lucky guess on your part.”

“I’d like to think so,” said Jonah, his voice as soft as the breeze. My eyes met his, the hurt from our last conversation shimmering bright in their depths, causing a throb within me of a longing I’d never known existed. “Or maybe it was fate.”

He smiled then plucked the paper bag of rugelach out of my clutches, rummaged through it until he found an apricot one, and bit off half.

“Well, if you’re that hungry, I guess you can come home with me, and I’ll make you an omelet,” I grumbled but couldn’t stop the small grin tugging at my lips. “But I planned on browsing a bit more through the market first.”

“I’d like that.” Jonah walked beside me, and we meandered past the stands piled high with colorful peppers and squash. We strolled in silence, but every few steps I’d sneak a glance at him, expecting Jonah to speak. Instead he remained irritatingly, cheerfully silent.

I sampled some hot mulled cider and licked my lips. Spending so much time with Jonah gave me new insight. I’d always thought him superior and judgmental; perhaps I had been wrong in my assessment. He captivated me with the humor in his speech, warmth in his smile, and that unmistakable flare of desire in his eyes. Goddamn it, I wanted him.

I extended the paper cup. “Do you want a sip?” Its heady cinnamon scent remained one of my most favorite things about the fall season. To my shock, instead of answering me, he bent down and kissed me on my lips, lapping at their sticky sweetness. He stepped back, but I put a restraining hand on his wrist.

“What’s going on? Why are you really here?”

The honesty in Jonah’s face took my breath away.

“Do you really have to ask, after the last time?”

My body refused to listen to the war inside my head, kindling a deep need I couldn’t understand. I took a step forward, but unlike me, Jonah didn’t retreat. He stood firm, and I stood close enough to almost touch. Close enough to smell him.

“I’m not who you want; can’t you see that?”

“You don’t have any idea what I see when I look at you, Gideon.”

I wanted to yell back at him, No, you have no idea who I am, but I couldn’t bring myself to ruin the moment. I had no clue who Jonah thought I was, but I wanted to be that man if only to be able to have him always look at me like this. Like I was special. Like I was his. The sun beat hot upon my shoulders, and I held his gaze while contentment poured over me like a warm summer rain.

meet the author

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 character have to
work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes
love.

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 is bound to be a little angst along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

 

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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.

Power Play by Avon Gale: Release Day Review

PowerPlayfs-200x300

synopsis

A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time, behind the bench as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.

After spending years guilt ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.

Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

Title: Power Play
Series: A Scoring Chances Novel
Author: Avon Gale
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

Heather's Review

It’s no secret that I’m a huge Avon Gale fan. Like, to the point I’m kind of waiting for a restraining order to show up at my door because I’m an online stalker. Okay, so maybe not that bad, but I really love Avon Gale. Have I mentioned that? And it’s the Scoring Chances series that roped me in as a lifelong reader of her stories, so I couldn’t wait to get my greedy little hands on Power Play. 

Misha and Max have a history on the ice, and it’s not a good one. I loved the way Avon portrayed the guilt Misha felt over ending Max’s career. There was a balance between what I think is realistic guilt a player would feel and the added angst ingrained in him from childhood. Without that balance, Misha could’ve easily been seen as over the top and a bit unlikeable.

While I hated the ulterior motives that brought them back together, I’m glad they were. Both of them needed to heal from what happened, and it was perfect that they were able to do so together. They not only had great chemistry together, but they worked well as a coaching team. Both had their own strengths and neither felt slighted when the other took the lead.

I was expecting this book to be heavy on the angst given the fact that Misha is Russian and harbors a lot of fears over being gay. I thought his past would come back to haunt him in a more dire manner than it did. I kept waiting for it, but it never came. While part of me wishes it did, I don’t know that something so dark would’ve fit with the rest of the series.

I’m hoping and praying we’ll get to see Isaac’s story next, because I really feel for that boy!

1-4.5 pieces of eye candy

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

What About Now by Grace R. Duncan: Release Day Review

WhatAboutNowFS-420x630synopsis

Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walked out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.

After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.

With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.

Title: What About Now
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Category: Contemporary, BDSM, Erotic Romance
Pages: 284

paula review
I though this was a well done second chance love story. Braden and Rafe were very realistically written. I really enjoyed the slow build-up of them getting back together. I thought Grace R Duncan did an amazing job creating characters that hit you in the feels. She did a wonderful job of getting you to root for these two guys to work it out. Some parts of the story were heartbreaking, while others made me hope. I really liked the way she wrote Branden and his anger without making it over the top. I felt for Rafe and what he was going through with what happened in his past and how he moved forward through it. This book is one I would read again.

4 pieces of eye candy

4-pieces-of-eye-candy2

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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.

Bombs and Guacamole by BA Tortuga: Release Day Review

b&guac

synopsis

ER doctor Dusty Lowry grew up in a conservative rural Texas family that has never quite forgiven him for staying in New Mexico after his stint in the Army. Paramedic Nate Miller, Dusty’s best friend since their early Army days, has a hippie momma, a tiny apartment, and is in lust with his buddy. When their other Army friend, Kyle, gets married, they start thinking about settling down. In fact, they both know what they want: each other. Too bad they’ve never shared that goofy little fact.

A trip to visit Dusty’s family in Texas changes everything, and Dusty and Nate aren’t sure where to go from there. Good thing they’re smart guys, and between a series of bombings that target first responders, their friend Kyle’s wife getting pregnant, and more than one bowl of guacamole, they begin to figure out how to have a relationship.

But as the bombings get closer to home, Nate and Dusty must navigate love and commitment before they lose their chance.

Title: Bombs and Guacamole
Author: BA Tortuga
Release Date: May 6, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 214

paula review

I thought BA Tortuga did an awesome job with this story. I really enjoyed the characters she created. Dusty and Nate were great characters. Dusty had such a hard time dealing with who he was and how his family might feel once they found out. I really liked how BA Tortuga got these two guys together. There was some awkwardness but not a whole big drama. Nate was fun to read. I loved his attitude and really loved his mom. I really want more of these two.

4-pieces-of-eye-candy1

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Heartbreakingly beautiful” – Amazon Customer Review

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

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

 

tco-also in series

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


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

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synopsis

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

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

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

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

Heather's Review

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

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

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

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

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

5 pieces of eye candy

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paula review

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

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

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

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

5 pieces of eye candy

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Guest Post

The religious themes of Safe in His Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt, Safe in His Heart

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

Excerpt, Safe in His Heart

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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meet the author

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

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

How to contact Renae:

Email:  renaekaye@iinet.net.au

Website:  www.renaekaye.weebly.com

FB:  www.facebook.com/renae.kaye.9

Twitter:  @renaekkaye

 

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