Monday, March 19, 2018

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: UNDER THE BOARDWALK by Felice Stevens, narrated by Nick J. Russo

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Narrated By: Nick J. Russo
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Photo: Eric McKinney @ Cover'd By 6:12
Length: 3hrs 56 minutes


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 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.

Carra's Review

One of the main reasons I like this author’s books is the characters.  I know I can count on them to carry the story, and make me feel invested in their lives and relationships.  This does happen again here in Under the Boardwalk, with both Alexi and Cam quickly getting under my skin as I read.

The fact that they’ve both noticed each other from afar—and not just in the present time frame—comes across as sweet with a bit of longing, and when the first move is finally made it was one of those *happy sigh* moments.  The fact that this is novella length though means that things progress pretty quickly between them.  They each have issues to deal with…Alexi not having come out to his family, and Cam with his voice issues…so for me I think a longer story would have given more time to fully explore these while allowing for more relationship development.

Story length aside, there’s still plenty to get readers sweating with Cam and Alexi’s hot intimate scenes.  And there’s enough drama provided by their individual issues to cause a good amount of angst.  The different backgrounds from which Cam and Alexi come from also give the story some great contrast.

For a good, relatively quick read with a nice dose of heat to add to the sweet, Under the Boardwalk will definitely fit the bill.  For me, it’s falling somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 star rating, mostly because I felt like it could use a bit more length to really give Cam and Alexi’s relationship time to grow more.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

The narration: As I often find it does when the narration is really good, Nick J. Russo’s narration of Under the Boardwalk has me more solidly sliding this title into a 4 star rating.  He voices the characters quite well, accents and all, particularly when it came to Alexi in the more emotional and more passionate scenes.  Nick’s narration made me appreciate this story more, making repeated listens at a future date highly likely since I truly enjoyed the way he brought Cam and Alexi to life.

About Felice

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.


March 12 - Mainely Stories
March 14 - My Fiction Nook

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by Reily Garrett

Saturday, March 17, 2018

Review & Exclusive Excerpt: PROMISES Part 4 by A.E. Via (The Bounty Hunters)

Author A.E. Via
Promises Part 4
Series: Bounty Hunters Series 
Book Four
Edited by: Sue Laybourn
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer
Page Count: 315
Release Date: March 9, 2018


Men found him attractive, interesting even. He was like a fascinating experiment gone wrong that men liked to investigate. He’d get a date - or two, if he was lucky - but it wasn’t long before Brian’s darkness showed, and the men were running from him.

Brian King was honorably discharged from the United States Navy five years ago. He’d left with the highest honors a man can receive in his country, but he’d paid the ultimate price to earn them. He was considered one of the best; an Intelligence Officer in a Joint Special Operations Delta team that’d been a twelve-man wrecking crew. They’d thought they were invincible… until they weren’t. Brian was the only member that survived the ambush. He survived ten months of pain, of torture, only to emerge on the other side a warrior. A POW survivor. He’d returned home with all his limbs, his right mind, and with his only brother Ford, at his side. But, one thing had been lost, maybe for good… his voice. 

Now, being a bounty hunter is Brian’s only means to satisfy his need to calculate, track, and capture. His only outlet to the stress caused by his silence. He was good at what he did. But, all work and no play for a forty-four year old man was taking its toll. Brian wasn’t a faulty experiment. He missed companionship, he missed communicating. So, when he met Sway Hamilton – in the most unconventional means – he’d been surprised at his special way of understanding Brian’s every look… and touch. 

Sway grew up in the rough part of ATL, trailing behind his twin brother Stanton and his best friend, Dana. He and his brother had a bond only twins could understand. So when Stanton’s life was taken during their sophomore year in college, Sway didn’t think he’d ever recover. He finally finished school, got his masters in nursing, worked hard, and focused on taking care of his mother. However, Sway knew there was more to life than heartache, and caring for others. There had to be. But he didn’t know what any of those things were until he met a dark hunter that blew his mind… and the intense man had never uttered a single word. 

Brian and Sway can feel the powerful connection between them. It was there from the start—but both of them have battled with loss and anguish for so long, neither understand that love can ease all of it. Do they have the courage to battle through it together? Sway has to learn to trust in love, and Brian has to believe that Sway will always understand him even if he never speaks again.

Sway held him tight around his neck, “I don’t need you to talk, Brian. I can hear you just fine,” Sway whispered softly, kissing his throat. 

This novel is a part of a series but can be read as a standalone. No cliffhangers.

Trigger Warning: This story contains acts of bond recovery agent violence. Mention of war zones and descriptions of war prisoners. This story DOES NOT contain overly-described acts of torture.


“I missed your arms around me,” Sway admitted, falling onto Brian’s chest. Sway leaned against him heavily as if he’d been waiting on this one particular moment all week. 
Brian had to show Sway he was feeling it too. He’d missed him as well. He bent and brushed his lips across Sway’s moist ones and slowly mouthed. ‘Hey, baby.’
“Mmmm,” Sway moaned against his mouth. “Hey.”
They didn’t say anything else for a moment, letting their tongues and touches do the talking.  Using their hands to quench the longing. If it wasn’t for Brian’s stomach growling loudly they probably would’ve moved their re-familiarizing to the bedroom. 
“Hungry?” Sway laughed in Brian’s mouth. 
Brian smiled and nodded, mouthing, ‘Always.’
“I am too.” Sway took over drying himself off when Brian regretfully released the towel. “I didn’t really get a chance to eat lunch, or take a break for that matter.” Sway followed Brian, talking continuously about his day. “The first trial patients came this week so all the nurses are tripping over themselves to do a good job and in turn making some thoughtless mistakes and overlooks. Hopefully next week, we’ll have worked the kinks out and—” 
Brian had been so caught up in the domestic vibe that he’d mindlessly removed his dark jeans and sweater, changing into a pair of plain Nike sweats and a taking out a white, wife-beater. He noticed Sway had stopped talking while he stood with his back to his tall dresser. Realization hit Brian like a hammer to the skull. He went to turn slowly, terrified of the look that he knew would be all over Sway’s face. What had he been thinking? He never removed his shirt in front of anyone—at least not from behind. 
“Brian,” Sway whispered reverently. 
Brian jumped at Sway’s close proximity. He wanted to move, deflect, something, but his legs were frozen in place. Warm, nimble fingers caressed his rigid shoulders before shakily moving towards the center of his tight blades.
“Relax, please. It’s okay.” Sway spoke in a voice that Brian wanted to desperately believe was reserved only for him. “Brian,” he whispered so softly.
He finally managed to bring his brain online. To convince himself that Sway was not mortified by what he saw. He was touching him, touching them. My scars. Up and down his back and the backs of his thighs. His dense black chest hair hid the ones in the front but not the ones on his back. Countless raised angry welts from the frayed whip that sometimes woke him. Jagged scarring from hurled stones while they had barked at him to confess America’s secrets.  Numerous healed over scratches from debris after being dragged across a cave floor for many grueling months, marred his skin like an ever-encompassing reminder of that time. Even now he still couldn’t believe he’d held out that long… even after Jenkins died.
Brian began to shake. He didn’t want Sway to see this yet. Goddammit. Every time they tried to have an evening, something heavy weighed on them. And, unfortunately it was always Brian bringing the weight. F*ck! If he didn’t stop dumping all this heavy sh*t so fast and so soon, he was going to lose this one. But, Sway, Sway was trying so hard and Brian was screwing it up. 
“Brian!” Sway’s voice was louder than before, but Brian was hardly hearing him, even when he started to yell it. “Brian! Oh God. Honey, look at me. Please look at me.”
Brian could feel his legs weakening. Grunting roughly, he wanted to stop it, heaven knows he did, but he knew he was going down. As his oxygen lessened, his head spun, and his ass hit the floor with a loud thud. He could hear Sway’s frantic pleas, but he couldn’t control his body. His breathing became more and more difficult as he thought of how he sabotaged everything good in his damn life. His mission, his career, his life… now this. Sway wasn’t supposed to see those ugly things, at least not yet.

Carra's Review

From the moment Brian and his brother Ford popped up in this series, I—along with plenty of other fans—wanted both of their stories.  In part 3, we not only got Ford’s story, but a naughty and tantalizing taste of the start of Brian’s…and from that moment I was chomping at the bit for Brian and Sway.  The wait for their story?  Torture…although so very worth it for the incredibly emotional book that details their journey.

Brian has lived through things in his military past that no person should ever have to, and they have left physical, mental, and emotional scars—one of which is his mutism.  His situation, from the flashbacks that are described, to how he deals with others, to how he heals…they are all handled carefully and written so the reader can understand, empathize, and sympathize.  For me, I became deeply invested in Brian’s healing process and the journey his character has gone through, and continues to go through.  He is far and away my favorite of this author’s characters, and the one I most wanted to see get a happily ever after.

Sway is completely suited to his career as a nurse.  He has an almost limitless capacity to nurture and care for others, which makes him an ideal match with Brian.  Sway has an uncanny ability to understand exactly what Brian means by his touches, facial expressions, and every other non-verbal cue Brian makes.  As Sway says, 

“I don’t need you to talk, Brian.  I can hear you just fine.”

And he can.  Sway and Brian are completely in tune with each other, creating a deep emotional bond between them.  That of course carries over into the physical, and their intimate scenes are passionate and sexy.

One of the great things about this book?  The supporting characters.  We get all of the guys from the previous Bounty Hunter books, plus cameos from the Nothing Special series (!!!), and if that wasn’t enough, there’s Tweetie.  Oh, how I loved Tweetie.  A bit inappropriate, and at times unintentionally getting things wrong—to my utter amusement.  She brings some great comic relief, while at the same time providing another mother figure for Sway.  But the most important character outside of Brian and Sway themselves is Ford.  While Brian and Sway might be the couple of interest in this story, and the primary focus for most readers, the part Ford plays and the familial bond between him and Brian are even more important, and play a huge role in this book (though you may not realize it until near the end).

Bottom line…this is a 5-star absolute must-read, and gets a Top Recommendation from me.  While you could conceivably read this as a standalone, my personal opinion is that you should at least read part 3 first to get the introduction to Brian and Sway—believe me, you want that intro ;-)  Promises Part 4 is strictly meant for readers 18+ due to adult language, sexual content, and some difficult subject matter that may be a trigger for some readers; be sure to read the full blurb before starting the book.  And then sit back and enjoy, because you’re going to fall in love with Brian and Sway!

Check out The Bounty Hunters


A.E. (Adrienne) Via has been a best-selling author in gay romance for five years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over twenty years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this beautiful genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple of great new up and coming MM authors. 
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her. Writing.
A.E.’s writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
Now that she’s gotten over her 10 books published hump, she’s kind of known now for her play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone and explore with different tropes, but she never pushes herself into a whole other genre. She's head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell. 
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! or Go to A.E. Via’s official website  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: DAUGHTER OF THE KING by Ashley York (The Derbfine Series #3)

A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. The uniting of two powerful clans.
Daughter of the King Tour Graphic
Award Winning Author Ashley York
Daughter of the King
Series: The Derbfine Series Book 3
Genre: Historical Romance
Publication Date: March 17, 2018
A mistaken identity. A gruesome murder. Was it self-defense? Or Regicide?
Trained as a warrior, Brighit of Clan Cruadhlaoch despises the trappings and demands of womanhood...
Selfish dreams need to be set aside for the good of the clan, but a shocking murder only causes more turmoil. Especially as she stands accused. With no one else to turn to, can Brighit find escape in the arms of her new husband or will he require she reveal her inner most secrets?
Darragh of Clan MacNaughton is expected to follow his father into kingship but has little desire for the coveted title...
His willful wife is another matter. He has great desire for her. Despite her denial, he sees her womanly virtues and it sets him afire to know her, both body and soul. Will she resist his overwhelming need to possess all of her?


Available on
Amazon | iBooks | Barnes and Noble | Kobo


“That’s the problem with prevarication.”

“Prevarication? When did I ever lie to ye?”

“When ye fluttered yer lashes and begged me not to tell yer father.”

“It works for the other lasses, why not me? They get whatever they want. All the lads begging at their feet, telling them how beautiful they are—” She averted her gaze. “—and they’re not so very beautiful.”

Darragh managed to subdue his grin.

When she finally turned back, her expression had softened. “I do not normally prevaricate.”

He crossed his arms about his chest. “If ye say so.”

“I do say so. Ugh!” She blew an irritated breath. “I canna convince ye when ye won’t believe what I say.”

Brighit’s nose flared in irritation just before she shook her head in a most defeated way. The idea came to him in a flash, and Darragh smiled at his own thought before sharing it.

“A kiss. A kiss will convince me.” He half expected her to slap his face for even suggesting such a thing.

Only she didn’t. Her eyes widened, and she glanced at his lips before wetting her own. She was excited by the idea. Could it be she’d never been kissed before? He’d bet his favorite horse she had not, not with Sean as her father.

“Ye are willing then?” Her look told him she was not only willing but eager. With the slightest movement, he slipped his hands beneath the mantle to graze his open palms up her arms until they rested on her shoulders. Her lips glistened and the vein in her neck throbbed. With a low voice, he asked, “Would ye seal our agreement with a kiss?”

The sharpest tip of her head, barely a nod at all, but Darragh would not quibble. He slid a hand from beneath the heavy material to tunnel it under her thick, silky hair and cup her neck, the skin there still cool from her swim.

She leaned in, meeting him halfway. His mouth slanted across hers, a gentle caress, before he slipped his tongue between her parted lips. She gave as good as she got, deepening the kiss to where he was no longer certain who was doing the kissing. He was glad he hadn’t wagered his horse on her inexperience, though mayhap she was simply an extremely fast learner.

Without warning, she released him and backed out of his hold, wiping the back of her hand over her mouth. Her heaving chest matched his own.

He reached for her. “Brighit, I—”

She raised a hand, shaking her head, and put more distance between them. It was a long time before she spoke again. “We will wait the fortnight.”

About Ashley York

Award-winning author Ashley York writes historical romance full of passion and intrigue set in 11th and 12th century Ireland, Scotland, and England where life was wild and survival was never guaranteed.
Whether it's in the mysterious ring forts of …ire, the Scottish Highlands, or the battle fields of Hastings her characters fight hard and play hard. Good or evil, primary or secondary, they all evoke strong emotional responses.
Passionate about history and research, York may tweak some historical facts (like the location of the Baron's Rebellion), but the flavor of the time is undeniable. With heroes and heroines you'll want to read about again and again, her stories are fresh and unpredictable but still finish with a satisfying HEA.


Daughter of the King Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
1. $10 Amazon Gift Card
2. One set of The Derbfine Series (3 eBooks)
Contest runs from March 17 - 23, 2018.

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#99Cent Sale: FALLING FOR JORDAN by Liz Durano (A Different Kind of Love #2)-Includes Excerpt!

A Different Kind of Love, Book 2

by Liz Durano

Friday, March 16, 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: OFF-CAMPUS SETUP by Maria Vickers

Off-Campus Setup
Author: Maria Vickers
Genre: M/M College Romance
Release Date: March 7, 2018

Levi Cox left it all behind to go to school in California, but nothing could prepare him for what he discovers when he gets there. Between the university screwing up his living arrangements, the weird meddling old woman who runs the boarding house, and the fellow student who instantly catches his eye, life in Cali is more than he expected, and he isn’t sure he’s ready for any of it. College was supposed to be an adventure, but this might be more than Levi can handle. 

Nathan Orion wants to have fun. That’s what he lives for and it's exactly what his college years are supposed to be about. He’s happy with living the single life and being carefree…that is until the new student at his grandmother’s boarding house crashes into his life. Now he’s been recruited to show the new guy around, and if Nathan has his way, it won't be just on-campus.

Will there be more, or is this only an illusion? Two men thrown together, not expecting anything, but possibly finding so much more than an off-campus setup.

“This book was very enjoyable!” - Under Covers Book Blog

“Such a fantastic book!” - Goodreads Review

“If you love M/M stories, you will love this one.” - Cranky - The Book Curmudgeon 



I remembered everything very clearly. The first time we met, our first kiss, the first time we were discovered in the same bed by a nosey grandmother with bright yellow hair, and then the fallout when I realized everything was nothing more than a wishful fantasy that was never supposed to come true. 

And now I as scanned this room to make sure nothing got left behind, I realized how much I’d changed and how far I’d come. My imaginary world exploded, leaving me shell shocked and pissed off. 

This wasn’t the first time I’d fallen prey to feelings, wasn’t the first time I’d been hurt, but it would be the last. 

I took a step out of the room and closed the door behind me. This part of my life was now over, and a new one had just begun. 



Life as I knew it had disappeared. Poof. Gone without a trace. And any other of those sayings people tended to overuse. 

It was my own fault really. I should have expected it, should have seen it coming, but I hadn’t. And now everything had changed. Good or bad. I didn’t know yet. Should I be thanking her or blaming her? Both maybe? 

As I closed the door on the small space I’d called my bedroom for the past few years, I realized for the first time I didn’t know what I was going to do or what would happen tomorrow…and oddly enough, that thrilled me.

Off-Campus Setup had an interesting premise, one that you know right up front is going to cause major conflict at some point.  Nathan’s grandmother is a total instigator, sticking her nose into everything and manipulating the whole situation as she pleases.  Sometimes that’s fun, and others it was a little annoying.

I loved Levi’s character.  He’s sweet and definitely not your stereotypical clueless cowboy from some hick town.  Nathan at first comes across as kind of a jerk who’s only going along with his grandmother for selfish reasons—reasons that we aren’t privy to until almost the end of the book.  His attitude changes quickly once he starts to fall for Levi—which you expect—though when he tries to back off to keep things strictly “a job” it makes him run hot and cold which I wasn’t a fan of, mostly because it is glaringly obvious that when the two of them are together that they’re meant for each other.  Nathan is also more than what he seems—a smart guy who is protective and wants to give back to others.

Mavis, Nathan’s grandmother, is a bit over the top.  She has her own hidden reasons for why she does what she does in the story to maneuver Levi and Nathan how she wanted, but just like Nathan’s reasons for going along with her plan we have no idea of why until the very end.

When Levi and Nathan are together and Nathan isn’t running cold, those are the parts I really enjoyed about the story.  When he would get that “job” attitude, or when Mavis would be manipulating things…that’s when my annoyance would rise up.  Once Nathan’s reasons for going along with things comes out it felt like much ado about something that there shouldn’t have been so much secrecy about.  And as for what was driving Mavis, that kind of seemed a bit contrived and—in line with her character—an over the top way to go about things.

Overall, Off-Campus Setup was a good story, I just could have done without so many crazy manipulations behind everything (mostly from Mavis).  Levi and Nathan are good together without needing all that extra interference beyond the first nudge to get them together.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

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Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled in 2010, she decided to use writing as her escape. She believes that life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

From a young age, she has always loved books and even dreamed of being an author when she was younger. Growing up in the Navy, she used to weave tales for her siblings and her friends about anything and everything. And when she wasn't creating her own stories, she had a book in her hand. They transported her to another world. She hopes that with her books, her readers have the same experience and that they can relate to her characters. 

Getting sick changed her life forever, but it also opened doors for her that she thought would always be out of reach.