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Guest interview and Review ~ Isobel Starling

A warm welcome to Isobel Starling.

Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The Tawny Man” Trilogy by Robin Hobb, specifically book 3 “Fools Fate”.  Hobb’s fantasy story covers 6 books about a bastard prince and his best friend who is the Kings Fool. Fool is an androgynous, mischievous, and completely compelling character and I fell madly in love with him.

The relationship that develops between Fitz and Fool tore my heart to shreds and in the final book the author just put the remnants of my shattered heart through the mincer!  Why do we torture ourselves so with books?  The story just blew me away and it was one of those books that affected me so deeply that I still tear up thinking about what happened.  Suffice to say, my own writing journey began with that book as I was compelled to write Fitz and Fool Fanfic, and after that my own original stories flowed out.

 

The priority activity if you were invisible for a day…

OOOH this would be a bad, bad thing.  It would probably involve male changing rooms at the swimming pool or gymnasium.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

There are several and I can’t pick one, sorry!  Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid, Galaxy Quest, The Princess Bride, Austin Powers, Bram Stokers Dracula

 

The poem that touches your soul…

“As Sweet” by Wendy Cope

It’s all because were so alike

Twin souls we two

We smile at the expression, yes

And know it’s true

I told the shrink

He gave our love a different name

He can call it what he likes, it’s still the same

I long to see you, hear your voice

My narcissistic object choice.

 

The figure from history you would most like to buy a pie and a pint…

 I don’t know if he qualifies as a figure from history but I would choose SirTerry Pratchett.  He was a genius, and I’m sure he would have been the most delightful company for a pie and a pint – as long as the pie was not made by his character ‘Cut me own throat’ Dibbler, as they were made with mystery meat… probably rat!

 

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

 Stop picking, you’ll make it worse.

 

The philosophy that underpins your life…

Please see above!  :-p

 

As You Wish (Shatterproof Bond #1) is now available as an audiobook narrated by Gary Furlong 

 

1 wedding, 2 best men, one hell of a love story!

Declan Ramsay was to be best man at his brother’s wedding in Scotland, sharing best man duties with the bride’s gay kid brother Sam.  The best men wouldn’t meet for the first time until a few days before the wedding, so communicated by email for more than a year.

But on meeting Sam Aiken, Declan is surprised to see he isn’t a kid at all, but a striking, athletic blond man with a wicked sense of humor.  Declan is alarmed by the ferocious attraction he feels for Sam. And as the attraction is reciprocated, the events at Dunloch Castle change everything Declan has ever believed about himself.

But is Sam Aiken all he appears to be?

 

Audible.com  |  Audible UK

I enjoyed reading this story and the subsequent two books last year. I was a little bemused with the direction this story went at the time, but I think knowing where the story, series, and characters were heading helped me appreciate the audiobook more. In fact, I listened and followed along with the ebook at the same time and was pleased that the story had received a subsequent edit at some point. Some of  the vocabulary and other phrases had been modified, removed or improved. Not that there were many times overall, but enough to make an impression.   

Sam and Declan are fun and steamy together, enjoying some light bondage once they start making out. The story is a sweet GFY, almost insta-love, but not quite because they’d already experienced a year long internet communication, so sort of knew each other. I was surprised they didn’t refer to these conversations more often.  I liked Declan’s character. He’s bowled over by his attraction to Sam and the possibility of coming out as bi/GFY—he doesn’t even know himself—is all new to him and he copes with this new relationship admirably.

The route the story takes these characters was totally unexpected. Although there are a few clues along the way, the events and the revelations about Sam and his father in the last few chapters seemed rather obscure. For me, Sam’s character didn’t quite match up to his ‘career’.

I like Isobel’s writing and her engaging storytelling style. It’s easy to read and her descriptive phrases certainly paint a picture in my mind.  I do have one major issue though and that’s with the frequent head-hopping that occurs because it pulls me out of the story. I had to go back and work out whose point of view the scene is being viewed from. It often occurs with Sam and Declan, but also with a few of the other characters. It’s especially confusing when it happens within the same paragraph.

Gary Furlong was a new narrator for me. It often takes me a time to adjust to a new voice, but his performance was commendable. I particularly enjoyed the intimate scenes. He made a clear distinction between Sam’s posh English accent and Declan’s Scottish brogue and he portrayed the other characters well, even the various female ones.

Born in Germany, Isobel Starling spent most of her twenty-year professional career making art in Ireland.  She relocated to the UK and, faced with the dreaded artist’s creative block, Isobel started to write and found she loved writing more than making art.

The Shatterproof Bond series is an Amazon Gay Romance bestseller.  Isobel has just completed her eleventh book and signed French and German and Italian, translation and publishing rights deals for the whole Shatterproof Bond series.  The As You Wish translation “Comme Vous Voudrez” is a best seller on Amazon France.  It was released in German in March 2017, and as an audiobook in May 2017.

 

 

https://isobelstarling.wix.com/books

https://twitter.com/isobel_starling

https://www.goodreads.com/isobel_starling

https://www.amazon.com/Isobel-Starling/e/B00U1MKE5I

 

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Review ~ By The Numbers

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 37,400 words

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

 

Secrets and lies threaten Brandon and Daniel’s new love.

Brandon Hoselton is running scared, finding security in his obsession with patterns and numbers. With his family threatened, he feels he has nowhere left to go, and even considers ending his life to keep them safe. Until Sanctuary, in the shape of the enigmatic Daniel Karnes, gives him a reason to stay alive and offers the possibility of a future free from fear.

Former SEAL Daniel is new to Sanctuary, tasked with watching Brandon, a brilliant geek with way too many secrets. Falling in love with quirky Brandon is easy; now he just has to make sure secrets don’t end up with them both dying.

The only way of destroying Varga is to cut the crime boss’s money, and the two men become part of an intricate take-down involving millions of dollars. But Brandon has a secret he can never share with Daniel, and their new love is at stake.

When the villain has murder in mind, sometimes the only way to stay alive is to lie.

 

 

Brandon took down the drapes in his room as soon as he was able to. He could have asked his sisters, but they didn’t know just how badly looking at the geometric pattern in the fabric upset his equilibrium. They knew he was weird; most sisters thought their big brothers were weird. But he also had twitches and nervous tics about certain things, and they’d seen it all, even though his list of crazy was something he could manage now.

They didn’t need to know he’d spent three hours last night counting the squares on the drapes and being irritated to the point of stimming that they weren’t even and the stitching was wrong. And Jesus, stimming—having to move his fingers, loosen his muscles, anything to ground himself—he hadn’t done that in years.

And hell if he was going to ask Daniel into his room to help him, because Daniel was someone Brandon did not want in his space. Not taking down drapes, or talking to him, or even breathing near him. There was only so much of Daniel that Brandon could take, because when he was anywhere near him, he lost his ability to form coherent sentences. He didn’t have time to have these powerful feelings of lust that kept hitting him.

Like the time he and Daniel had met on the landing and Daniel had been in just a towel. They’d only been together a few days, but Daniel was funny, and sexy, and dangerous, and exactly everything Brandon should be avoiding in his life.

He had way too much to worry about, and a date written in his memory that he wouldn’t forget any time soon. The deal he had—to stay alive, to hide himself away, and then to present himself to Varga—was just about the only thing that filled his thoughts.

Varga thought that, on a given date, Brandon would join him in his huge mansion, pull together all the funds Varga had hidden in various places, and then join him in whatever country the US didn’t have an extradition treaty with.

Like hell he would. He was meeting with Varga, getting all his money, dispersing it to the right causes, and sending any intel he could get out to the authorities.

And then Varga would kill him for doing that.

Inevitable, really, and something he’d come to terms with. He’d blown his chance to do this when he’d worked for Varga, so he had to make up for it. He was doing the right thing.

He’d been biding his time in Hope, but had been unfortunate to be scooped up by Sanctuary. He just needed to work out a way to get away from them, and in particular Daniel, but he had about ten days to go yet until that magic date when Varga had decided he would be leaving the country.

For now, Sanctuary was safe for him and his sisters.

So yeah, choosing to avoid having Daniel in his room, with his probing questions and his distracting body, was an easy decision to make in among all that crap.

The only downside was that it meant he had to take the drapes down himself.

Trying to shoot himself hadn’t gone so well; instead of being dead and gone, he had a through shot and muscle damage which hurt like knives in his skin. He waited until day four, when the pain in his shoulder had lessened to the point where he could at least manage to get out of bed and to the window but he couldn’t handle looking at those drapes any longer.

Today he actually felt capable of dealing with drapes he didn’t need anyway. There were blinds at the windows, and behind the blinds each window was coated so you could see out but no one could see in. He pushed the offending fabric under the bed and clambered back to a standing position, wincing in pain as he banged his shoulder, and sat on the edge of his bed.

The drapes were still there—he could picture them under the bed—and exasperated, he lay back on the mattress and attempted to think of something else. Blue skies, blue mugs, blue eyes. Anything blue, because it was a color that calmed him.

He lasted about a minute.

Huffing, he rolled up carefully and reached under the bed, pulling out the drapes and screwing them into a ball. Opening his door, he threw them out onto the landing, not even checking if anyone was standing there.

Daniel. Of course it would be Daniel, who reacted like a ninja and had the drapes under submission in seconds.

Once they were dead, or at least overpowered with some sort of karate move, Brandon felt like he should apologize.

“My bad,” he said, and shut the door in Daniel’s face.

He expected the knock, but hadn’t quite decided what he was going to say to Daniel when he came in. Maybe if he ignored the request to enter and said nothing, then Daniel might go away.

Daniel knocked again, and this time instead of waiting for Brandon to say he could come in, he pushed his way in, looking irritable. He was shirtless, his hair wet—evidence of a recent shower—his sweats hanging low on his hips and every muscle deliciously tight and toned.

“What the hell, Brandon?” he asked, his dark eyes angry, his lips in a set line. He wasn’t holding the drapes, so Brandon counted that as a win.

“I didn’t want them up at my window,” Brandon explained, and eased himself down into the chair by his bed. He was most comfortable there; he could see out the window and it was easier to keep the pressure off his injury.

“So you decided to throw them in my face?” Daniel sounded less pissed and more confused about getting fabric in his face.

Brandon indicated the door. “To be fair, I didn’t know you were there.” Then he couldn’t resist, “And you heroically subdued them so fast, I knew you could handle the danger.”

 

 

This is the exciting conclusion to the Sanctuary series. I’ve only read books 8-10 to follow this part of the story arc, and have enjoyed each one and the different romance pairings. While confined in various safe houses Brandon and Daniel fall for each other. There’s some tingling UST as the two men resist this attraction at first. 

Daniel, a former SEAL, now a Sanctuary operative is tasked with protecting Brandon and his two sisters. Brandon exhibits autistic traits, shown through his thoughts and repetitive calming techniques. He’s gifted with regard to numbers and calculations, but there’s something he won’t share, not even with Daniel. He has a plan and has resigned himself to the fact that he might die as a result of his actions, but he’s prepared to do anything to protect his sisters from the evil reach of Varga. Brandon comes across as geeky at times, yet there’s a depth to his character that captures Daniel’s heart. He’s certainly an interesting and complex character. 

The suspense builds as the other Sanctuary operatives close in on Varga’s operation, but Brandon keeps his secret to himself.  There’s tension as the reader wonders whether his plan will work out or will he forfeit his life and the romance that has blossomed with Daniel.  Daniel is distracted by his feelings, but he’s a professional and will do his utmost to protect Brandon. There’s an action-packed climax to the story in the last few chapters, with plenty of suspense and excitement.

This is an enjoyable light read, not too complex, yet with enough depth to maintain your interest.

 

May 17 – Jim’s Reading RoomBooklove

May 19 – Sexy Erotic Xciting

May 24 – MM Good Book ReviewsMaking It Happen

May 26 – Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

May 29 – Lily G Blunt

June 2 – Xtreme Delusions

June 5 – SarandipityBFD Book Blog

June 7 – Padme’s LibraryBayou Book Junkie

Sanctuary Series

Guarding Morgan (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Only Easy Day (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Face Value (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Still Waters (Book #4) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Full Circle (Book #5) Amazon US | Amazon UK

The Journal of Sanctuary One (Book #6) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Worlds Collide (Book #7) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Accidental Hero (Book #8) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Ghost (Book #9) Amazon US | Amazon UK

 

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk

www.rjscott.co.uk/

www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts

www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott

twitter.com/Rjscott_author

www.librarything.com/author/scottrj

 

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Guest Interview and Review ~ Amy Aislin

A warm welcome to my guest author,

Amy Aislin.

 

Interview with Amy

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Sweets. They’re so delicious I can’t resist, even though I know I probably should.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

Hot Target by Suzanne Brockmann. It was the first time I ever read a book with a gay romance subplot. It’s what got me reading m/m romance until, one day, I finally allowed myself to start writing it.

 

The film you can watch time and time again…

Twister. Don’t ask me why; it’s not even my favourite movie (The Sounds of Music takes that award), but for some reason I love Twister and I can watch it over and over again.

 

The person who influenced you the most…

My mom. She is truly the strongest person I know.

 

The unlikely interest that engages your curiosity…

I don’t know if it’s unlikely, but I love astronomy. If I could do that kind of math and physics, I would’ve majored in it in university, but alas, it was not to be.

 

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

Fourth grade recess, when we had to stay inside because it was raining. I started writing an adventure tale about my classmates: we went on a treasure hunt! I can’t remember if we ever found the treasure…I can’t even remember if I finished writing that story. I think that was the first time I ever put a story to paper, and I’ve been writing ever since.

 

The way you would spend your fantasy 24 hours, with no travel restrictions…

Oh wow, hmmm. There are so many options. I’m torn between two: renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and doing nothing but reading, or renting a lovely cottage in the mountains or on the beach and invite my family along for a get-together (BBQ, games, s’mores, you name it!).

 

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, my parents gave me a beautiful silver ring with a unicorn on it. A few years ago, when I started wearing rings again, I wore it to work. I took it off in the bathroom because the unicorn horn kept getting caught in my clothes when I was pulling up my pants (sorry for the visual!)…and I forgot it in the bathroom. It wasn’t there the next day; nobody brought it to lost and found. It was just gone. I’m still upset about it. I hate losing things with sentimental value.

 

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

Something that would get me a billion dollars.

Title: The Play of His Life

Author: Amy Aislin

Cover Art: Kris Jacen

Publisher: MLR Press

Length: Novella/143 pages

Release Date: 28th April, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Goodreads

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

 

 

Chapter 3

In the middle of their neighborhood, about halfway between their houses, was a small pond that froze over every winter. Riley was already there when Christian arrived at three o’clock on Christmas Eve, lugging his very, very old hockey gear and a tiny dog.

“Trevor!” The dog took off at Riley’s greeting, making a beeline for him. Already wearing his gear, Riley couldn’t crouch to greet the little shih tzu, so he bent at the waist and gave the dog a pat on the head.

Christian stopped at the edge of the pond and admired the way Riley’s jeans molded to his deliciously tight ass. Riley may not play in the pros anymore, but he still had an incredible goalie butt.

“I see you two know each other,” Christian said, mildly offended at the dog’s abandonment. Trevor clearly preferred Riley over Christian.

“Your mom brings him into the shop all the time.”

Christian grimaced. “You still see my mom?” Riley had mentioned something of the sort the other day, too.

“All the time. I see her more than I see you.”

Riley stiffened for a second as he seemed to realize what he’d said. Christian stood looking at him, unimpressed. Because really, who was it that ran out after they’d hooked up the last time, after his dad’s funeral?

Riley gave him a tight smile that said something like, Yeah, well, the phone works both ways, dude.

Impasse.

They’d have to talk about it sometime, but today wasn’t that day.

“You gonna stand there all day,” Riley joked, “or are we gonna play?”

The twinkle in his eyes told Christian that yes, Riley was aware of the double entendre he’d just uttered.

Oh, they were going to play, all right.

They didn’t bother with skates; the frozen pond was too bumpy for it to be safe. But Riley had brought his old hockey net, so at least they had a real goal.

Christian put on his gear — it was a bit of a tight fit, but it’d do — grabbed his hockey stick and a puck and moved to center ice.

“Trevor,” Christian said, and pointed with his stick. Trevor moved off the ice to nose at some dead plants poking through the snow against a fence.

“Think you’ll finally get one past me?” Riley asked, pulling on his mask. Christian would not call that smirk sexy.

“Finally? You must be forgetting all the previous times I scored on you.”

Now there he went with the double entendres.

“Ha! If by ‘all’ you mean ‘never.’ Bring it, Dufresne. Bet you can’t get one past me.”

“Bet? Okay.” Christian nodded once decisively. “If I get one past you I get to try a shot of Shimmer.”

Riley shrugged, all casual-like. “Fine.”

“And if I don’t get one past you?”

Christian could see Riley contemplating his answer, and even through the cage of Riley’s goalie mask Christian could tell Riley’s ocean eyes were on him, assessing. They swept Christian up and down. Christian could almost feel the heat in his gaze like a physical touch. He obviously had been wrong a few days ago…Riley was just as affected by him as he was by Riley. The heat shimmering between them, even from ten feet apart…. Like he could reach out and grab it. He was sure Riley was going to bet him a blowjob or something and his cock started to stiffen in his jeans.

“I want to know the reason you haven’t moved back here,” Riley said.

Instant boner-killer. No way was he telling Riley shit. Meant he’d have to work his ass off to get the puck past him. Riley hadn’t played pro in two years. He was probably out of practice, right?

Wrong. The fucker stopped all twenty-six shots — yes, Christian counted — with seeming ease.

 

 

This is a lovely, sweet story from a newly published author. You can check out some of Amy’s other writing on her website as there’s a couple of free reads there.

What I like most about this story is that it is a second chance romance. Riley and Christian had already gone through the friends to lovers transition, but had split six years previously because they couldn’t cope with a long distance relationship when they’d started different colleges. And that’s where this story starts. They’ve already got loads of history behind them and were clearly still in love with each other. Yes, there’s a lack of trust on Christian’s part because Riley had left him without a word to continue his hockey career when they’d hooked up again one night and he feared Riley would do the same to him again. And Riley was thinking Christian didn’t care for him because he had no intention of moving back to Ontario. God, if only these boys talked and said exactly how they felt and what they wanted life would have been so much easier for them. But then, us readers wouldn’t have gotten all the lovely angst and anticipation about what was going to happen when Christian returned home after the Christmas holidays. It was great they still got along so well and had fun together despite all their doubts and uncertainties. It was how it used to be between them. The scrapbook and necklaces were lovely touches to their story.

My one main grumble is what appears to be a couple of inconsistencies in the story that should have been picked up by the editing team. The main one being that Christian didn’t know he was entering Riley’s new bakery when he was sent by his mother to buy a loaf of bread. He wasn’t expecting to see Riley, nor did the possibility even cross his mind. Yet in chapter four we see that Christian had saved a newspaper cutting about the opening of the bakery and so was well aware of Riley’s new career and the location of the building. I hardly think this could have slipped his mind, nor did he comment on the fact at the time.

If you overlook these few issues, this enjoyable story is well written, with a distinct voice for each character. There are some touching moments and some great scenes between these guys.  Although originally published in April, I can see this becoming a popular Christmas/holiday read for many, and I look forward to more stories from Amy in the future.

 

MLR Press: https://goo.gl/9YvKYu
Amazon CA: https://goo.gl/uAELdC
Amazon US: https://goo.gl/6OyYTp
Kobo: https://goo.gl/TdTZkB
B&N: https://goo.gl/6phQfP
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/w1m7rP
iTunes: https://goo.gl/TChKPr

Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking.

Why I write m/m romance

I started writing traditional m/f (male/female) romance many years ago, but it never went anywhere. And by “never went anywhere” I mean I never wrote more than a few thousand words in any given story because I was bored out of my skull by own stories. Not exactly a good sign, amirite?

If you’ve read Suzanne Brockmann’s TroubleShooters series, you know all about Jules and Robin. I’ve been a fan of that series since the beginning. When Jules was introduced, I fell in love. And then there was Robin. And then there was Jules and Robin. And I thought this was the greatest freakin’ thing ever and I wanted more m/m (male/male) romance and I wanted it now. But I didn’t know where to find it. So I started Googling and lo and behold! Gay romance everywhere! And I do mean everywhere; it’s a huge niche market I hadn’t even been aware of, and I gobbled it up as if it was going to disappear when I wasn’t looking.

Less than two years ago I tried my hand at writing m/m romance and finally felt like I’d fallen into the genre I was supposed to write in. It’s what I’ve been writing ever since and will continue to write.

Within the m/m romance community, I’ve found a network of other m/m authors who not only support each other, but who also support LGBTQ rights and activism. Writing in this genre makes me feel at home, even more so than when I wrote traditional m/f romance.

I write because I love it. Because there are people in my head who need a voice. I write the stories I want to write the way I want to write them, in a way that speaks of the characters and their struggles, yet also speaks to me, too. I hope my stories speak to you as well.

 Website  |  Facebook author page  |  Pinterest  |  Tumblr

 

 

Review ~ Well-Tailored

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | iTunes | Barnes & Noble | KOBO


Cover Design:
 LC Chase

Length: 62,000 words



Thorne and Dash Series

Professional Distance (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Personal Entanglement (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK

Perfect Alignment (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK



Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone.

 

 

4*

I thoroughly enjoyed reading/listening to the first two books in the Thorne and Dash series. For some reason I missed book 3, but no worries, Well-Tailored gives a glimpse into what’s been happening with Thorne and Dash from Marc’s perspective. In fact, from the beginning we get a recap of Marc’s initial introduction to Darius when he went to the tailors with Dash. The story can be read as a standalone, but I would suggest reading the first two installments first to gain an insight into the characters and the situation Marc finds himself in.

I was always fond of Marc, so was happy to see him get his happy ever after here. Although to be honest it took me some time to see what Marc liked about Darius—apart from his hot body and sexual prowess! He comes across as arrogant and rude for much of the story, with a foul mouth that I didn’t particularly like or find amusing. Some of the banter between these guys is entertaining and it’s obvious Darius can see how talented Marc is. I liked the powerplay that occurs too. Despite claiming he never had sex with his employees he and Marc are at it like rabbits most night’s after work. They never talk about how they feel or what’s going on between them. They both want more than just sex but are frightened to voice this desire at first. Both men have issues with past boyfriends and Marc can’t seem to escape the fact that he used to be an escort. The sex scenes are sizzling and sometimes a little kinky, and in between we have Thorne and Dash’s wedding drama as well as the work Darius and Marc accomplish for the shop. Both Thorne and Marc are guilty of responding instantly to certain situations and that almost leads to disaster for both couples. It was only towards the end that I felt any real emotional connection developed between Marc and Darius when they started talking and spending time with each other outside of the shop. I was pleased that the story has an uplifting and happy ending after the almost inevitable miscommunication.

The story is well-written and, although it’s not my favourite in the series, it is still an enjoyable read. I would have liked additional details of both the main characters’ pasts and more time with them as partners.

 

May 1 – Urban Smoothie ReadM/M Book Addicts

May 3 – Making It HappenMM Good Book Reviews

May 5 – Book LoveSarandipity

May 8 – Diverse ReaderWicked Faerie’s Tales & ReviewsKeysmashV’s Reads

May 10 – Lily G BluntAu Boudoir EcarlateSexy Erotic XcitingBayou Book Junkie

 

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

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Review ~ Imagines (Imago #2)

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Imago (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover: Harper By Design





Imagines is the Latin plural for Imago, and the only thing better than one metamorphosis, is two.

Jack Brighton and Lawson Gale have been together for six months and are very much in love. Lawson’s work ensuring the survival of the Tillman Copper is demanding as ever, and Jack’s work with the regeneration of the bushfire-ravaged national park is just as hectic.

When Jack suggests they take a short trip, Lawson agrees. But then he is offered a two-week research position in tropical Queensland to help determine why the Ulysses butterfly is on the decline. Figuring they could combine work and pleasure, Jack and Lawson go on their first vacation together.

Working alongside renowned professor Piers Bonfils isn’t easy. But personal and professional differences aside, Lawson is offered a more permanent role in Queensland. Torn between his new life in Tasmania with Jack and a dying species of butterfly he feels compelled to save, Lawson has to decide where his fate lies.

But fate changes the rules. On a research expedition into the depths of the rainforest, suddenly it’s not only the butterflies’ existence that hangs in the balance

A butterfly’s life cycle never changes. From larvae to imago, their course is plotted by design. Jack and Lawson need to determine where they stand, if they live through it. Because the only thing more incredible than one imago is two.

 

I enjoyed Imago, but totally loved Imagines. Jack and Lawson are even more adorable in this story. They are several months into their relationship and deeply in love—just perfect for each other. A little bit of angst throws them a challenge. Could they really survive a long distance relationship as Jack claims? Thankfully they don’t get the chance to find out. Jack is there for Lawson when things don’t quite to plan on an expedition. I adored when Jack is beside himself with worry and barely keeping it together. And the ending and epilogue are just delightful. Superb writing and mastery of characters to engender warm and fuzzy emotions in the reader.

Looking forward to reading Red Dirt Heart Imago next. I wondered what the connection was when I read the deleted scene!



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N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldnít have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things, but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since.

Where to find N.R. Walker:
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Email:
nrwalker2103@gmail.com

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Separation ~ Blog Tour and Review

Title: Separation

Author: Louise Lyons

Release date: March 31, 2017

Length: 45,000 words

Cover design: Simon Searle

 

Matthew Langford is told on his twenty-first birthday that he has a twin. After the initial shock, he quickly realizes this is why he always felt part of him was missing. His search takes him 200 miles to Devon, UK, where he meets fraternal twin, Tremaine Wheal.

The pair discover many things in common, and quickly become as close as if they’d never been separated. But when they share a moment in a nightclub, each realizes there is more between them than having shared a womb. Panic sets in and they part. Once again their separation brings loneliness and pain.

Eventually, unable to stay away from each other, they tentatively move forward together as lovers. But secrets don’t stay secret for long, and discovery and questions threaten their happiness.

This is a taboo story featuring twins.

 

 

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Mum reached for my free hand and slid hers into it.

“We wanted to tell you before, but it was a condition of the adoption that we wait until now.” Dad rested his elbows on the counter and steepled his fingers together—what he always did when he had something serious to say. “I appreciate this won’t be easy for you.”

“Just tell me.” I leaned away from the bar and folded my arms. What the hell were they going to say? I had some unusual disease and was going to drop dead before my next birthday?

“You have a brother. A twin, actually.” Dad paused and waited for my reaction. My jaw dropped and the rushing sound in my ears drowned whatever Mum said. My heart hammered, each beat vibrating through my chest and stomach like a drum. My upper arms stung where I’d dug my nails into them, and I struggled to breathe. A twin? Twenty-one years and now they told me I had a twin? I couldn’t find the words to express what I felt at that moment. All my life something had been missing; a strange ache inside had told me part of me had been taken away, and I’d never been able to understand it. Now I did. The other part of me was living somewhere, maybe feeling the same sense of disconnect that I did. Perhaps at this precise moment he was being told he had a twin, too.

“Where is he?” I whispered.

“We don’t know.”

“What do you mean, you don’t know? How can you tell me I have a twin, but you don’t know where he is? Do you know anything? Why isn’t he with me?” Temper flared and I leaped off my stool. “What happened? Why aren’t we together?”

“All we know is that your birth mother died shortly after you were both born. Your father didn’t want to give you up, but he couldn’t cope with two babies. He tried for a while and it got too much. So, he gave you up for adoption.” Mum explained in a quiet, sad voice, and I reeled from the information.

“How could he do that? How could he separate us?” I backed away and gripped the edge of the sink, my legs shaking and threatening to pitch me onto the floor. “Who is he? Do you know? Are there records? Why are you only telling me this now?”

“Oh, sweetheart…” Mum rushed to my side and wrapped her arms around me, and it was only then I realized I was crying. Tears dripped from my face onto her blouse.

“How can I find him?” The words came out rough and strangled, and I cleared my throat.

“The adoption agency has records. They won’t tell us where he is, but they’ll register your interest in searching for him and if he contacts them, then—”

“If? If he contacts them?” I wrenched free of her arms and paced the room, wringing my hands. “What if he doesn’t even know I exist? He might never contact them!” The thought that I may go through the rest of my life never getting the chance to meet the brother I’d only just learned about, sucked the breath out of me. I stopped my pacing, my chest heaving with emotion.

Nothing much had affected my life before—nothing that made me really feel. Even when my boyfriend ditched me for someone else, I’d moved on in two days. I supposed I hadn’t really loved him. He’d been high maintenance and we had hardly anything in common. But what my parents had just told me was huge. What kind of father would separate twins, however difficult it was for him to cope?

“Mattie…” Mum moved toward me again. I stepped around her and grabbed the key to my new car.

“Do you even know his name?” I asked.

“No. I’m sorry. We don’t know any more than what we’ve told you.”

“How could this happen?” I left my protesting parents and strode out of the room. Shoving my feet into the first pair of shoes I found in the porch, I burst out of the house. I barely heard Dad shouting after me to be careful, and Mum adding that I probably shouldn’t drive while I was upset. Moments later the Volvo tore out of the drive, leaving deep tracks in the gravel.

 

5*

I always enjoy Louise’s stories and her writing style, and from the start of this taboo story she captured my attention. Both the plot and the interesting characters kept me turning the pages, eager to find out what would happen between these two guys.

As far as I know this is Louise’s first taboo story.  Kudos to her for tackling a sensitive topic, although I know ‘twincest’ stories are very popular with some readers. First and foremost this story is a romance. It is not full of gratuitous sex scenes nor written for shock value. It’s a story of two young men, who happen to have the same parents. They were separated soon after birth and lived apart with no knowledge of the other’s existence.  Matthew always felt something was missing from his life, so as soon as he is informed of the existence of a twin brother he searches him out. Louise builds up the tension very well here.

The twins meet up after their twenty-first birthdays and, from the start, they feel a pull of attraction. Like most people in such a situation they struggle with internal doubts and conflicts concerning the morality of forming a sexual relationship with their brother and they consider how this will impact on family and friends. There’s a time when they’re trying to resist this pull, but it makes them unhappy. Because they are not identical twins not many people would know they were related and that makes the decision to be together a little easier for them. Even so, they still have to deal with several people who ‘find out’ and are unaccepting of their relationship at first. I loved the conflict and angst here.

This is a tasteful taboo romance featuring several sweet along with some steamy scenes between the twins. I liked that the story is told from both Matthew and Tremaine’s point of view and that it is set in England. The ending of the story is uplifting and leaves you with a sense that no matter what, love truly is love.

If you haven’t read a taboo story before I’d definitely recommended this one. And if taboo stories are your thing, you’ll no doubt thoroughly enjoy Separation.

Win a signed paperback copy of Beyond The Scars and an eBook of your choice from the following:- Conflicted, Beautiful Thunder, Cervena, Finding Beck, Favorite Toy, On The Outside, Regeneration.

 

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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy.

Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late twenties. Posting stories based on some of her favourite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad dog called Casper, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races home afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and job, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

 

 

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Email: louiselyons013@gmail.com

 

 

Review ~ From Top to Bottom

Book Info

Author: Kevin Klehr

Release Date: March 20, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-945952-74-6

Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Category: Erotica

Genre: Contemporary

Theme: Menage

Word Count: 15100

Pages: 56

Sex Content: Explicit

Pairing: MMM

Orientation: Gay

Identity: Cisgender

Can a dedicated top really learn to bottom? Tony wants to find out but he’s scared another die-hard top will just plow through him, instead of taking it nice and slow on a newbie.

Enter Butch, a bear who’ll try anything, and Ford, a guy whose curiosity is tempting him to cheat on his boyfriend. Like Tony, both are dedicated tops wanting to try something new, and on this journey of physical self-discovery, all will find that being open means more than taking it doggie-style.

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From Top to Bottom
Author © 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

On my various profiles, I wrote:

Top curious about being a bottom, wants to meet likeminded tops.

I thought I was straightforward enough, yet so many timewasters were happy to give but not receive. One loser argued that I ought to get my head examined. He said that it didn’t matter if the other top wanted to bottom, just as long as I got what I wanted.

I stressed that this would be a shared experience. Two or more tops learning from each other, discussing the intricate pleasures we would discover as a group.

Then he said we’d end up writing folk songs about exploring our inner regions and singing around a campfire. I thought to myself, yeah, maybe that’s exactly the direction I wanted to take. Was I getting soft, or was I just growing up? Perhaps there already was a group for closet-bottoms I could join.

But the truth was I wanted like-minded tops simply because we’d go easier on each other. We wouldn’t just ram it up there like a vandal bashing down the door. We wouldn’t be power-bottoms. We would ease in gradually; the runway lit for a relaxed landing before the passengers would embark.

Only two other tops sounded like they were on my wavelength. A bear called Butch and a secretive guy named Ford. So I set the date. The second Tuesday in June was the only night Ford could make it, and I knew better than to ask why.

I dusted and vacuumed frantically, as if I was expecting Prince Charming to knock on my door, take me in his arms, and deflower me. I lit candles to set the mood, and rolled out an old sheet on the lounge room floor. I didn’t want to bonk in the bedroom. I wanted space for us to explore, like they did in three-way porn flicks.

My front door buzzer sounded. I let in my first visitor.

“You brought cake,” I said. I tried not to let the look of horror show on my face.

“For afterward,” Butch replied. “I baked it myself. Is there room in the fridge?”

Hadn’t this guy heard of the definition of “eternity”? The time between when you cum and they leave. Who ever heard of cake after sex?

“It’s red velvet,” he said. He crouched in front of my fridge, rearranging its contents. “Do you know the weird shit that goes in this cake? Vinegar. And cocoa and vanilla.”

“Do you always bake before sex?”

“For special occasions, yes.”

“I hardly know you.”

“But you’re about to know me a hell of a lot better.”

 

This is a relatively short story, but a lot is packed into those fifty-six pages. In a way, the story is a series of vignettes of sex scenes linked together by the three main characters.

Tony is the main POV character and he is heading towards thirty. He is a sex obsessed and dedicated top who has not considered settling down just yet. In fact he wants to broaden his horizons and experience what all the fuss his sex partners have made about being on the bottom. Tony decides to hook-up with some like-minded tops (Butch and Ford) so they all have a chance to feel what it’s like to be on the receiving end.

Be warned: this is not a love story as such, although Tony does seem to develop a crush on one of his new f-buddies. The story follows the three new friends as they meet up for menage sex or have group sex at orgies. The scenes are hot and sometimes amusing. I don’t think I’ve read so many different names for a penis in one story and some of the imagery for body parts and the similes used to describe gay sex are sometimes entertaining, frequently explicit, and often humorous. No condoms are used (or not referred to anyway) and there’s no focus on safe sex at any point. There’s also drug use in the form of amyl/poppers and pot.

This is erotica. It’s hot, fun stuff rather than a serious or angsty romance. Sex is the focus of the story, but there is a story in here. I found the ending rather abrupt as if it had been rushed. The story didn’t finish how I was anticipating, but it’s sort of open and happy, and fits with the characters.

The frank telephone conversations between Tony and his father where they share TMI about their sex lives had me in stitches. Such fun!

 

*I received a copy of this book in return for an honest review*

NineStar Press |  Amazon UK | Amazon US

Kevin lives with his long-term partner, Warren, in their humble apartment (affectionately named Sabrina), in Australia’s own ‘Emerald City,’ Sydney.

From an early age, Kevin had a passion for writing, jotting down stories and plays until it came time to confront puberty. After dealing with pimple creams and facial hair, Kevin didn’t pick up a pen again until he was in his thirties. His handwritten manuscript was being committed to paper when his work commitments changed, giving him no time to write. Concerned, his partner, Warren, secretly passed the notebook to a friend who in turn came back and demanded Kevin finish his story. It wasn’t long before Kevin’s active imagination was let loose again.

His first novel spawned a secondary character named Guy, an insecure gay angel, but many readers argue that he is the star of the Actors and Angels book series. Guy’s popularity surprised the author.

So with his fictional guardian angel guiding him, Kevin hopes to bring more whimsical tales of love, life and friendship to his readers.

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