Monday, December 11, 2017

Review & Giveaway: INSEPARABLE by Sloan Johnson (Port Java #1)



Buy Links: 


Length: 60,000 words approx


Blurb

Trevor and Gabe never knew life without the other. As only children, they grew up as close as brothers, but their love grew to something more. Something they couldn't talk about because their parents wouldn't understand.

Gabe is gay and unapologetic about his sexuality. He refuses to live his life in the shadows, but that doesn't mean he isn't harboring secrets.

Trevor is his parentsí miracle child and he doesnít want to hurt them. Coming out, admitting he's in love with Gabe, could ruin everything. 

Heading off to college was supposed to finally free them to be together, but nothing is as easy as it seems. Can they find a way to navigate this new world, living and loving openly?


Carra's Review

Best friends to lovers has always been one of my favorite tropes; here in Inseparable the author takes this in a new adult setting and gives it a little extra complication thanks to the dynamic between Gabe and Trevor’s families.  In addition, Gabe’s out status while Trevor is still in the closet means some extra angst on top of the tension already present each time the two head home to visit.

After so long not being able to spend intimate time together without having to play lookout, both Gabe and Trevor are happy to finally be getting away to college where they can be with each other without looking over their shoulders.  Since nothing ever goes as planned, there’s bumps along the way which in turn cause stress levels to rise, and both men worry over the other spreading his wings with things that don’t include them both.  The angst levels get pretty high as they both worry about losing each other.

One thing that’s very obvious between them is how much they love each other, and as a reader it was easy to see that neither would give up without doing everything they could to make sure they’d stay together—even if neither of them was sure themselves.  The angst and tension continues to rise throughout the story, spurred on by the normal growth of both Gabe and Trevor as they adapt to college life as well as the even more troublesome issue of how their families will react to the two of them being together.  It all builds up as they both come under more and more pressure until things hit a breaking point.

For the supporting characters, my curiosity is piqued for Seth, one of Gabe and Trevor’s roommates, and I’ll be waiting to see if we get to hear his story at some point.  I really liked Trevor’s dad and how supportive he was, as well as Gabe’s parents. I did find both of their mothers to be a bit overbearing, though Trevor’s mom was well over the top (and don’t even get me started on her reaction when she finds out about them).


Inseparable is a good new adult/college romance, and was between a 3.5 and 4-star read for me.  I’d have said a solid 4 stars if it wasn’t for the constant tension and angst which for me was just a tad grating after a while.  While the full-on sex scenes took place primarily off-page, there’s enough intimate action along with adult language to make this a book for readers 18+.  This is the first book in the author’s Port Java series, and I’m intrigued to get the stories of the supporting characters—especially Seth.


Author Bio

Sloan Johnson is a big city girl trapped in a country girlís life. While she longs for the hustle and bustle of New York City or Las Vegas, she hasn't yet figured out how to sit on the deck with her morning coffee, watching the deer and wild turkeys in the fields while surrounded by concrete and glass.

When she was three, her parents received their first call from the principal asking them to pick her up from school. Apparently, if you aren't enrolled, you can't attend classes, even in Kindergarten. The next week, she was in preschool and started plotting her first story soon after.

Later in life, her parents needed to do something to help their socially awkward, uncoordinated child come out of her shell and figured there was no better place than a bar on Wednesday nights. It's a good thing they did because this is where she found her love of reading and writing. Who needs socialization when you can sit alone in your bedroom with a good book?

Now, Sloan is a tattooed mom with a mohawk and two kids. She's been kicked out of the PTA in two school districts and is no longer asked to help with fundraisers because she's been known to lose herself with a good book and forget she has somewhere to be.




GIVEAWAY!



December 1 - MJ's Book BlogBJ's Book Blog

December 4 - Mirrigold: Mutterings & Musings

December 6 - BooksLaidBareBoys

December 11 - A Book Lover's DreamJim's Reading RoomMaking It HappenWicked Faerie's Tales & ReviewsMy Book Filled Life

December 13 - Bayou Book JunkieBook Lovers 4EverAu Boudoir Ecarlate

December 15 - Valerie UllmerWe Three QueensSouthern Babes Book BlogReading Is Our SatisfactionDiverse ReaderIt Started With A BookMean Girls Luv BooksXtreme DelusionsWicked ReadsLelyana's Book Blog

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Audiobook Review & Giveaway: TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH by Addison Albright (Vows #3)



Buy Links: 


Length: 7hrs 45 mins
Narrator: David Gilmore

Vow's Series

'Til Death Do Us Part - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK

From This Day Forward - Amazon US | Amazon UK | Audible US | Audible UK


Blurb

Jilted by his fiancé two weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino's outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. After months of couch-surfing, Nash is fed up. He's sick and tired of his living conditions, worn out by the demands of his nursing job, and despairs of ever finding love again. In fact, he doesn't think he's capable of true love. Monogamy, commitment, companionship, and regular sex...that's all he wants, and the sooner, the better.

When Nash crosses paths with a like-minded man who's also in need of a live-in nurse for a beloved relative, Nash figures all his problems are solved. But matters are complicated by a freak accident and amnesia. When Nash's marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after his memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash's new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

Companion to Til Death Do Us Part


Carra's Review

After reading the first book in this series, I was instantly drawn to this author.  And after seeing how poor Nash's world was shattered around him in that book, I was so glad to see he'd have his own story here in To Love and To Cherish.  With what he went through, he really deserves his own very happy ending!  And while the way it happens here in this story is unconventional, in the end I had a huge smile on my face :-)  

Nash was so sweet in the first book of this series, so after the way that ended with him losing the man he loved to another-someone he could in no way fault for the situation-I really wanted to see him find love again.  What I wasn't expecting was how his attitude would change, and the decision he made as a result of that.  Emmitt seems to have the same mindset as Nash, and that thing I wasn't expecting?  A marriage of convenience?  That kind of threw me for a loop and at first I was unsure of what I would think of the story going this route.

I needn't have worried.  Why?  Because that freak accident and amnesia bit that you read about in the blurb?  It totally turned everything on its head.  The relationship between Nash and Emmitt that emerges afterward tugged at my heart and had my smile peeking out as I got to watch the two of them find *gasp* LOVE.  It was gradual and tender, and by the end of the story I was completely satisfied.

There's a really good cast of supporting characters in the story, and Oliver was a particular favorite of mine, especially with how he tempered Nash's best friend Harley's attitude toward Nash and Emmitt's arrangement and everything that happened after the accident.  Emmitt's grandfather was another bright spot for me with his unconditional love and acceptance of Emmitt.

To Love and To Cherish is another great addition to the Vows series, and was a 4.5-star read for me.  Fans of any kind of M/M romance will enjoy this story-you've got a lot of fun tropes thrown in here that all work together to result in a really good read.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and some light M/M sexual content.  And now I'm wondering if we might get to go back a little and see how Oliver and Harley got together, or if maybe there's another story in here with someone else from the hospital-and even if there isn't, I'm ready for any story this author is ready to write!


The narration: Okay, so my favorite perk of the narration was getting to hear Emmitt’s grandfather brought to life because that made his part pretty darn funny.  I may have gotten some odd looks from people when I was laughing out loud at some of his lines hearing them being narrated.  As for Nash and Emmitt?  The way they were voiced made it seem like there was a large age gap between them since Nash sounded quite young and Emmitt much older.  Other than that, this is another good narration that put a smile on my face as I listened and is getting 4 stars from me.


Author Bio

Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with two peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, French fries, "open window weather", cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.






GIVEAWAY!



December 11 - A One-Click Addict's Book BlogMillsy Loves BooksReading In Sarah's CornerBFD Book BlogMaking It Happen

December 13 - Archaeolibrarian - I Dig Good BooksDog-Eared Daydreams

December 15 - Gay Media Reviews

December 18 - United Indie Book BlogMM Good Book Reviews

December 22 - Bayou Book Junkie

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Saturday, December 9, 2017

Guest Post & Giveaway: JESUS KID by Kayleigh Sky - Uncooperative Characters — What's an Author to Do?



Uncooperative Characters—What’s an Author to Do?

There’s a certain romantic notion that characters can—and ideally should—take on a life of their own and propel an author’s story on a kind of rollercoaster ride. A different perspective is that story has a defined framework and characters need to do the work of acting out the arcs the author creates for them in service to that story. In this perspective, there’s nothing mystical about writing a book. I can’t say that mysticism plays any kind of part in the creative process. By the same token, I can’t say that it doesn’t. What I can say is that both my protagonists in Jesus Kid—Jack and Ori—flat out refused to cooperate with me. Ori wasn’t having anything to do with the ending of the story. Now, I couldn’t blame him; it did require a fairly frightening sacrifice, but the story wasn’t going to complete itself. Ori had to help. My problem with Jack was of a different kind. Jack just wouldn’t share anything with me. I knew why he did the things he did. I even knew what he thought about those things, but I didn’t know how he felt, and where those feelings were coming from.

Having Jack and Ori call a metaphorical strike was a problem because they were the center of the story. Nothing was going to happen without them. My solution with Ori was play off his natural decency. Though he put on a big show of being somebody who didn’t care about others, that was all it was—a show. He cared a lot. So I decided to write the last part of the book in snippets. And none of those snippets were about him; I didn’t add his part in until later when he was willing to do what he needed to do. I wrote short bits about the parts the other characters played in the story and the dangers they were confronting that only Ori could save them from. I knew he wouldn’t let them come to any harm. I have a scene in the book of him sitting on a porch by himself contemplating what’s to come and uncertain how he can fix things. That’s Ori resisting me, but as I wrote the other parts in the story and put the people he loved in danger, he realized what he had to do and agreed to make the sacrifice that brought the story to its end.

Jack, on the other hand, was emotionally stubborn. I was two drafts into the story, and he still didn’t want to share his feelings or motivations. And I knew I had to go under the surface with him because as much as he might have wanted to be a cardboard character, I couldn’t allow that. I knew there was passion in him. Conviction and honor and courage. And it was going to come out. With Jack, I tried a different tack. Maybe some of you know about free association—someone throws a word at you and you have to respond with another word right away. Supposedly, if you don’t have time to think about it, it’s your unconscious that’s answering. In other words, the response is more likely to be from a place of truth. So I did that with Jack. Obviously, we weren’t being verbal. I said a word and wrote down Jack’s response. Over and over. I had pages by the time I was done. And Jack went from cold and controlled to passionate and fiery. He’s still very controlled on the page, but underneath he simmers. I needed that from him. I needed a different kind of fire from Ori’s, and Jack gave it to me finally.

These are two things that never happened to me before. Writing a book is never the same and a writer’s characters are hopefully not the same either. Sometimes they manifest in stories in a way that does seem mystical, and maybe it is. They have energy and drive and fears and resistance. Ori and Jack made me work for their cooperation, and I’m glad they did. I wouldn’t have had it any other way.




Buy Links: 


Length: 114,000 words


Blurb

Thirty years ago, an asteroid stuck the Earth. Now killer plants hunt the last surviving humans.

Ori Scott is a young junkie running from his mother's prophecy that he'd one day save the world from the killer plants. Her preaching made him a laughingstock and now he hides in his drugs. But he can't hide the change in his veins. They are turning green, and the prophecy is dragging him into a dark struggle between invisible forces. Set up on bogus drug charges, Ori is taken to a secret facility where he becomes a test subject in experiments to discover an antidote to the alien plant's sting.

Jack Doll is a cop with a vendetta against the plants that killed his best friend. All he has in the world now is his old friend's lover, Rive. Together they form an unbreakable bond-or so he thought. Jack has never liked Rive's friend, Ori, but he believes in Ori's innocence and doesn't understand Rive's strange indifference to Ori's conviction. Struggling with his suspicions, Jack can't help digging into a mystery that draws him closer to Ori than ever before-and closer to somebody who has secrets to hide.

Alone and scared, Ori is grateful for Jack Doll's friendship, and his longtime crush soon blossoms into love. But Ori has no plans to accept his fate. He wants to escape, and he doesn't care if he takes the cure with him.


Author Bio

Kayleigh Sky is a m/m erotic romance writer.

Kayleigh's stories are tales of struggle and pain, loss and despair. Love is won in the battle to rise out of the depths of darkness. Victory is in the sweet bliss of happily ever after.

Once upon a time Kayleigh hid out in a cold dark garage reading a book her parents forbid her to read. She was nine years old. The book? Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin, a story of love between two men-well, actually the story was a little more complicated than that, but hey, she was nine.

In the dark of the garage, a light, a passion, a sheer joy for love in all its manifestations awoke.

And love between two men-Hot!

Kayleigh's men are often broken, always brave, and always memorable.



GIVEAWAY!



December 8 - Queer Scifi
December 9 - Making It Happen
December 12 - The Novel Approach
December 14 - Love Bytes
December 18 - Sinfully MM Romance


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Spotlight: CHRISTMAS COLLECTION from Candid Designs-Includes Giveaways!

Christmas Collection from Candid Designs
Candid Designs Tour Graphic
Candid Designs wishes to be part of your Christmas celebration cheer this year with our timely, funny yet lovable shirts.
Choose from a variety of designs specifically crafted to lighten the mood this holiday season:
- Reveal a playful and naughty side within you,
- Profess your love for books throughout the holidays,
- Or simply have our loveable Miso kitty accompany you to parties and gatherings.
Whatever you decide, we wish you the jolliest of seasons!
Oh, our shirts make for perfect gifts too. Beat the crowd and get it online. Check them out today.

Available Designs

Christmas Themed Tees




Miso Cant Wait for Christmas

Naughty But Nice



Booked for Christmas




All I Want for Christmas is Books




Naughty But Worth It




Naughty But Worth It Long Sleeves




Naughty Nice Hot



Miso Kitty Tees




Miso Happy


Miso Thankful & Blessed

Tees for All Occasions




Happiest When Running

Giveaway

WIN A SHIRT OF YOUR CHOICE
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Giveaway # 1: FREE Shirt Giveaway

Join the rafflecopter contest below and win a FREE shirt of your choice, courtesy of Candid Designs. Everyone is welcome to join!
Contest runs from December 7 - 13, 2017.

Giveaway # 2: Bonus Giveaway

Purchase any shirt to qualify for the Rafflecopter contest below. The winner will receive a Gift Card equivalent to the value of the shirt.
Contest runs from December 1 - 31, 2017.

About Candid Designs

Express yourself. Tell the world what defines you.
Candid Designs offers apparels primarily to the online community, inspired by a belief that everyone has a privilege to speak their mind. Apparels that showcase candid quips and quotes that bring out the fun within the everyday people on the streets.
Candid Designs is open to ideas. If you have an original fun quote to suggest, feel free to email them for further collaborative discussions.

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New Release & Giveaway: THE MISTLETOE KISS by Ruby Moone



Buy Links: 


Length: 26,600 words
Publisher: JMS Books


Blurb

By 1816, widowed bookseller Lawrence Fenton has spent a lonely lifetime hiding who he is. He has convinced himself his feelings for his far too young, gorgeous, but troubled assistant Christy Shaw are nothing more than pride in his protégé and concern for his plight.

Christy's life involves walking fine lines: one between his mother and his abusive stepfather, one where he must keep his needs hidden, and hardest of all, one where he must keep his feelings for his serious employer to himself.

Lame since birth, Lawrence cannot imagine anyone wanting him, least of all Christy. But when Christy's life threatens to spiral out of control, Lawrence steps in. Then Christy's emotions spill over into a kiss under the mistletoe at Christmas. Will Lawrence be able to face the long-buried truth about himself and keep Christy by his side?




Author Bio

Ruby lives in Lancashire in the northwest of England. All through school she was told she would never get anywhere if she didn't stop daydreaming. Eventually it occurred to her to write down the daydreams, and voila! The beautiful men in her head came to life. Ruby writes historical and contemporary gay romance but has a definite weakness for handsome men in billowing white shirts, breeches, and cravats. Oh, and she loves tea. Lots of tea.




GIVEAWAY!


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Friday, December 8, 2017

New Release: TO THE DUKE, WITH LOVE by Amelia Grey-Includes Giveaway!

NEW RELEASE !!
The next lush, romantic novel in the Regency romance series, The Rakes of St. James, from New York Times bestselling author Amelia Grey!
To the Duke, With Love Tour Graphic
TO THE DUKE, WITH LOVE
Amelia Grey
Series: The Rakes of St. James Book 2
Genre: Historical Romance
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: December 5, 2017

Once destined to marry a peer, Loretta is now forced to be a recluse---until she meets the Duke of Hawksthorn---He never walks away from a challenge.
There may be times when a gentleman is desperate to gain a lady's attention, but a gentleman would never resort to desperate measures to obtain it.
--A Proper Gentleman's Guide to Wooing the Perfect Lady
Sloane Knox, the Duke of Hawksthorn, is guardian for his sweet, younger sister. Due to his misguided past as one of the infamous Rakes of St. James, Hawk is hoping to avoid the Season by securing a match for her before it begins. He has the perfect gentleman in mind, but for one infuriating---and unexpectedly intoxicating---obstacle: The intended groom's own sister, Miss Loretta Quick.
Having narrowly avoided her own arranged marriage to an unacceptable nobleman, Loretta is determined that her dear brother---a gentle, good-natured soul---should marry for love. Matching wits with Hawk may be her greatest challenge yet...until she realizes it may also be her greatest pleasure. For the young duke's irresistible charm has not only begun to crumble her stubborn resolve, it has claimed her heart in true love as well...
"A master storyteller."
- Affaire de Coeur
To the Duke, With Love
"The latest sterling addition to Grey's the Rakes of St. James series is another irresistible combination of skillfully nuanced characters, graceful writing imbued with a deliciously dry sense of wit, and lushly sensual romance."
- Booklist
To the Duke, With Love Teaser
"Lively dialogue and stubborn protagonists make this story work.... Romance fans will enjoy Hawk and Loretta's low-key courtship."
- Publisher's Weekly

Other Books by Amelia Grey

Be sure to check Book One in the The Rakes of St. James series.
Last Night with the Duke
Last Night with the Duke (Book One)
Griffin, one of the Rakes of St. James, needs a chaperone for his sisters. Esmeralda is the one he wants. She arouses more than his curiosity. As a chaperone, Esmeralda considered herself too sensible to fall for a scoundrel, but that was before she met London's most notorious rakes.
Buy Link: Amazon.com
"Grey charms readers with the first in her Rakes of St. James series, a tale filled with romance, fun and enchantment. A quick, charming read from a shining voice of the genre."
- RT Book Reviews

Giveaway

WIN $25 GIFT CARD AND MORE
To the Duke, With Love Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$25 winner's choice of Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card
Winner's choice of any title from Amelia Grey's backlist
Hurry! Join now!
Contest runs from December 6 - 12, 2017.

About Amelia Grey

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty books, Amelia Grey read her first romance when she was thirteen. She's been a devoted reader of love stories ever since.
Amelia has been happily married to her high school sweetheart for over thirty-five years and she lives on the beautiful gulf coast of Northwest Florida.
She is a two-time winner of the prestigious Booksellers Best Award, and she has also won the Aspen Gold, and Golden Quill awards. Writing as Gloria Dale Skinner, she won the coveted Romantic Times Award for Love and Laughter and the Maggie Award. Amelia's books have been published in Europe, Indonesia, Turkey, Russia, and Japan. Several of her books have been featured in Doubleday and Rhapsody Book Clubs.Coming December 5, 2017 Amelia's second book in her new Rakes of St. James trilogy, To the Duke, With Love. If you missed the first one, it's still available at your local bookstore or e-retailer.
Watch for Amelia's third book, It's All About the Duke, coming May 29, 2018. You can email Amelia at AmeliaGrey@Comcast.net
Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmeliaGreybooks, or visit her website at http://www.AmeliaGrey.com.

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