Wednesday, September 30, 2020
Friday, September 11, 2020
New Release-Review & Excerpt: TALOS: BLOODLINES OF FATE (Book One) by A.G. Carothers - Includes Giveaway!
The Age of Man has passed, and a new age is upon the Earth. An age of magic and technology ruled by the supernatural beings that once hid amongst humanity has begun.
Talos - Vampyr King, Supernatural Council Member, and Despiser of Humans. Fate has a surprise up their sleeve for him.
Bayne - Raised by the human resistance, Would-be Assassin, and Despiser of Supernatural Beings. He's ready to sacrifice himself to kill his enemy.
Bayne is thrust into a world he thinks he knows but quickly discovers his whole life has been built on lies. Talos, perfectly happy ruling his corner of the world, is faced with an unexpected and unwelcome change that comes with the mate chosen by Fate. Together they must discover how to live and, in the end, love one another. But will Fate have more in store for them than just learning to love the species they hate?
Bloodlines of Fate is a new urban fantasy series set in a world destroyed by humans and resurrected by supernatural beings. Fate has many plans for the vampires, fae, unicorns, therianthropes, and humans of this new world. While their mates may be fated, learning to love isn't that easy.
This book contains depictions of gladiatorial combat, snarky fem twinks who will cut you, kings in stilettos, and awkward heats with a pinch of daddy kink.
Talos strode calmly into his office. His skin tingled with pins and needles all over. Odin and Majid were on his heels, and Majid closed the door behind him. Talos leaned on his teak desk as his discovery crashed into him. Claws extended from his fingertips and dug into the dense wood, marring its polished surface.
"Why of all days would this happen today?" Talos asked Fate.
"Brother, what is it?" Odin closed in and put a reassuring hand on Talos' back, but it made his skin crawl. He shrugged Odin off and turned back around.
"It's him." Talos still couldn't believe it. He wanted to race to his bedroom to confirm it, but he had to wait.
Majid cocked his head and narrowed his eyes. "What do you mean, it's him?"
Talos looked up at Odin and realization dawned on Odin's face. "Oh, him him?" Talos could only nod. His throat constricted.
"I knew I had to come to you, Brother. And it seems this is why. I was there when our father found his beloved, your pa."
Talos sat on the edge of the desk, crossed his arms, and massaged his temples with one hand. Majid stepped closer, started to put his hand on Talos, then took his hand back with an apologetic smile.
"Congratulations on finding your mate, my old friend."
Talos raised his head with a weary smile. "Thank you, and that was a magnificent display in there. I'll never tire of seeing you get horny." Talos chuckled softly. "Although my new mate called you a horse. Apparently, he's never heard of a black unicorn."
Majid snorted. "He's lucky I can't read his thoughts like you can," he scowled.
Odin's deep booming laugh caused Majid to snort again. Odin cleared his throat nervously, trying to cut off his laughter.
"Your idea to let one of the other resistance members through with him was good. It gave me an idea as to what kind of man my mate is. He was scared but he held his ground. His stubbornness to see his mission through shored him up. It's going to be interesting to see how he reacts to spending an eternity with us leeches."
Majid smirked. "You know how much I like a good impaling."
"I got something you can impale." Odin shook his butt at Majid and Talos snorted out a laugh.
Majid ignored Odin's interruption. "Your mate jumped a little, but you're right. He held steady even when I slowly killed that weakling." He scoffed in disgust. "Like anyone that weak would have made it through the selection process. It's a wonder they survived the games. They were lucky to have been killed by me."
"It is quite an honor. I think it's been a full month since you've impaled someone in the throne room." Talos rubbed his forehead. His skin continued to tingle. "I won't be able to bond with him until his blood is clean."
"Gideon is having the hemodialysis machine brought to your chambers along with a bed he can be properly restrained on. The doctors estimate it'll only take two rounds for his blood to be cleaner than when he was born," Majid reassured Talos.
"He will fight. I have no doubt. And we will most likely have to sedate him," Talos added.
"The sooner you get it done, the better, brother. Your body will not allow you to wait too long."
"It's almost dawn now." Talos looked at the clock on his wall. "Go to bed. Majid will stay up with me to watch over my mate."
The very first thing I noticed with this book was its cover. I love drawn covers, so that was the first thing that attracted me. Personally, I don’t think the story matches up to the cover except in terms of the characters—it definitely doesn’t reflect the tone of the story itself. The supernatural inhabitants of this world in the royal circle are beyond uninhibited, and their actions are explicitly described…that goes for fighting and physical intimacy. Very public, erotic, and graphic intimacy.
As for the main characters…I liked that Bayne was dedicated to the cause for which he was fighting. When it came to him accepting the actual reality of the situation and his link to Talos though, I thought he embraced everything too easily and quickly, especially given that he’d been taught otherwise his entire life—with the oppressed life he lived, both in upbringing and training to fight his change of heart was too fast. Talos, well he is what he is and he makes no apologies for it. He’s very matter-of-fact, but given his position and his nature he is exactly as he should be.
Given the shorter length of this story, it was hard for me to get a true feel for the dynamic between Talos and Bayne regardless of the fated mate aspect of their relationship. Everything felt more physical than anything else. With this being the first in the series, there was also a lot left open at the end of the book and it felt like this installment ended a bit abruptly given all the unknowns at the end.
The only other story I’ve read by this author was a short story in the Come, Play erotica anthology, and I really like it. Talos is a very different story than that, and the writing felt different to me as well, almost a little unpolished. But this is definitely an interesting start to the series, and readers for whom unrestrained, hedonistic scenes are a plus are sure to find Talos an intriguing read. For me, it’s 3 stars for Talos…and you can be very sure that this book is meant strictly for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content, and violence.
Monday, September 7, 2020
Friday, September 4, 2020
Sam never expected to move back to Cleveland.
Donovan never expected to be attracted to a man.
Well, sh*t happens.
After high school, Sam Shelby moved to New York. Eight years later, he returns to Cleveland and lands a job at the best ad firm in town. It would be the perfect gig, if his boss weren’t such an ass.
After his wife leaves, Donovan Cooper questions everything. The arrival of a young, arrogant, gifted graphic designer at Donovan’s firm is the last straw.
Tempers flare over office gossip, and following a nasty argument and scathing kiss, Donovan flails away from heterosexuality while Sam struggles to keep his “no relationship” rule intact.
Despite ugly socks, fiery fights, and their best intentions to not fall in love, these bullheaded coworkers can’t deny their chemistry. Donovan seeks happiness while Sam seeks success, but is there room for more?
Donovan sifted through a few hand-drawn logos on the desk and froze when he found a crudely drawn sketch of himself. Sam must have done it during a meeting at some point, capturing Donovan’s faux hawk, wide jaw, and severe expression.
Jesus, was this what other people saw when they looked at him? Did he really look so miserable?
“Make yourself at home?”
Donovan dropped the picture and stood straight at the sound of Sam’s voice.
He leaned against the doorframe, with one ankle crossed over the other.
“It’s really bullsh*t when people say that, you know?” Sam said. “Make yourself at home. No one actually wants their friends to take off their pants, drink all their beer, and binge The Great British Bake Off.” He paused. “What are you doing in my office?”
“I didn’t mean to snoop.”
The office door closed as he stepped inside. “Sure you did, or you wouldn’t be in here, so what’s up?”
Sam circled the desk, so Donovan circled the other way, although he noticed it was true what coworkers said: Sam did smell good—like clean laundry and cedar. “I think we started off on the wrong foot.”
Sam snort laughed and flipped through some files on his desk. “More like wrong continent, man.” When he found what he was looking for, he tapped the file’s corner against his palm. “I can handle guys like you, you know.”
Donovan shifted back on his heels. “Guys like me?”
“Hmm. Corporate assholes. All you see are dollar signs. You take no pleasure in your work. Advertising is money to you, not art, but without the artists, there wouldn’t be advertising, so…” He sucked his cheeks into his mouth, a momentary fish face.
Donovan wanted to tell him it wasn’t true. Donovan loved art.
He used to love art.
Sam continued, “I know I look like a six-foot-two Disney princess, but you’re not gonna rattle me.” To prove his point, Sam got right up in Donovan’s personal space until Donovan took a step back. Again, he was not used to dealing with someone his own height. “And I’m right about the Great Lakes ad campaign. If you’d pull your head out of your ass, maybe you’d notice.” He turned away abruptly.
“I’m sorry.” Ouch, that hurt coming out.
Sam’s rebuttal: “Prove it.”
He rested a hand on the desk and cocked his hip out—the very picture of young attitude. “Listen to me in meetings.”
“I was listening.”
“Nope.” He shook his head and ran a hand through his unkempt, unprofessional hair. “No, you were hearing. I need you to listen. There’s a difference. And I know I’m just some f*cking kid to you, but I ruled the New York City advertising scene. I know what I’m doing, Donovan, so let me do it.”
“Fine.” He’d had enough. He’d apologized, okay, so he’d done his Monica-enforced duty. He didn’t owe Sam anything else.
He didn’t run for the door, but he definitely moved with speed.
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Hailey Turner is big city girl who spoils her cats rotten and has a demanding day job that she loves, but not as much as she loves writing. She's been writing since she was a young child and enjoys reading almost as much as creating a new story.
Tuesday, September 1, 2020
The antique trade is not known for its life or death excitement and Landry Carran is happy that he has to contend only with furniture polish, woodworm and his irascible boss. He gets all the thrills he needs at his favorite BDSM club, Scorch.
Detective Gage Roskam is hunting stolen jewels taken from a Tokyo exhibition then shipped to Seattle. Mired in a deadly race involving the Yakuza, an enigmatic Englishman and too many indecipherable clues, he doesn’t have time to indulge in Dominant fantasies.
When their worlds collide, neither Landry nor Gage expects things to get quite as complicated—or dangerous—as they do. When Landry steps into the path of some powerful, ruthless people, it’s up to Gage to protect him. Along the way they might just discover what they both need.
Sometimes there were advantages to being vertically challenged. Landry, his ass sticking out from under a seventeenth-century folding card table, paused to contemplate other occasions when his five-feet-six-inch stature had been of benefit. Not when attempting to get served at his favorite leather bar, though getting squished between all those black-clad hunks was always bearable. He snorted. Not when reaching for his preferred brand of chips at the market, which were always on the top shelf. Put there, he was sure, by the snotty assistant manager as revenge for Landry turning down his offer of a quick blow job in the staff restroom. As if. Never at family meals when he got to sit between his older twin brothers like a blond munchkin between two extras from Vikings. He reversed, wiggling his back end to avoid a willow-patterned platter balancing on a brass coal scuttle. His knees ached and he’d banged his elbow on a cast-iron fireguard, but he had rescued the battered cannonball making an escape attempt beneath teetering piles of stock.
“Well, there’s a pretty sight.”
“Hey!” Landry went for indignant rather than flattered. He tried to get up too soon and banged his head on solid, woodworm-free oak. “F*ck me!” He finally made it to open air and scrambled to his feet, rubbing his already messy hair into further disarray.
“Is that a request?”
Landry looked up…and up…into a pair of twinkling pale-blue eyes. The customer, because that was who Landry guessed the newcomer must be, was drop-dead, my-ass-is-yours gorgeous and he was grinning. Well, smirking.
“Funny man. What can I help you with, sir?” Landry gritted his teeth and remembered that Mr. Lao, his boss, would swat him like a bug if he snarked at a potential patron. Though, on this occasion, it might be worth it to mess with the man.
“Another leading question.”
Landry rolled his eyes. Black hair, blue eyes and a stubbled, chiseled chin did not equate to a free pass. “The massage parlor is three doors down, just before St. Peter’s. You can get a full-body whatever then confess all in the space of an hour.” He made an ineffective attempt to brush dust from the knees of his ripped black jeans. Blue Eyes reached into his jacket and produced a wallet, which he opened to display a Seattle PD badge and ID card.
“Gage Roskam. Is your boss around?”
Landry was more turned on than intimidated by the badge. Cop plus handcuffs equaled sexy time. Every cop he’d ever met had had a ‘don’t f*ck with me’ attitude and a natural bent for control—just the type of man Landry liked to mess with. He batted his lashes. “And what makes you think I’m not the boss?”
“You’re not a sixty-eight-year-old Chinese guy by the name of Jian Lao?”
“Very observant, Officer. All that training paid off.” Landry put an extra bit of swing into his hips as he walked toward the cash desk at the rear of the shop.
“Putting your tax dollars to work, brat.”
“Hey! Aren’t you supposed to call me sir, what with you being a public servant and all?”
“In your dreams, and you should show more respect for law enforcement.”
“Gonna make me?”
“You’re lucky I’m on duty or I’d bend you over the nearest flat surface and give you the spanking you’re begging for.”