Captivated by THE SECRET CASEBOOK OF SIMON FEXIMAL–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing another fantastic historical M/M romance from KJ Charles, this time with a heaping helping of the paranormal. THE SECRET CASEBOOK OF SIMON FEXIMAL is a gorgeously told Victorian story about Robert Caldwell, a journalist, who contracts occultist Simon Fleximal to rid his crumbling ancestral home of the ghost of one of his outre ancestors. It starts out fast and hard, and it ends so dang tender! I couldn’t quit reading it. I adore how KJ writes her stalwart British men. They are so strong and proper, yet so vulnerable.

The Secret Casebook of Simon FeximalAbout the book:
A story too secret, too terrifying—and too shockingly intimate—for Victorian eyes.

A note to the Editor
Dear Henry,
I have been Simon Feximal’s companion, assistant and chronicler for twenty years now, and during that time my Casebooks of Feximal the Ghost-Hunter have spread the reputation of this most accomplished of ghost-hunters far and wide.

You have asked me often for the tale of our first meeting, and how my association with Feximal came about. I have always declined, because it is a story too private to be truthfully recounted, and a memory too precious to be falsified. But none knows better than I that stories must be told.

So here is it, Henry, a full and accurate account of how I met Simon Feximal, which I shall leave with my solicitor to pass to you after my death.

I dare say it may not be quite what you expect.

Robert Caldwell
September 1914

My Review:
This book is written as a series of tell-all vignettes confessing the TRUE nature of the partnership between renown occultist Simon Feximal and his journalist-cum-paranormalist Robert Caldwell. The setting is 1890s London and men are not allowed, legally, to have sexual relations with each other. (But boy-howdy, do they!)

They meet because Robert has a ghost inhabiting his ancestral home. He calls out Simon, who has the ability to communicate with spirits, by means of writings that etch across his skin, when he is in the presence of a ghost. It is horrifying and fascinating to Robert, and the manner of expulsion of his ancestral ghost is sexy-sexy. This was actually so fascinating to read. It could have gone campy, but it never did.

Each chapter is a case; all of them have some heat between Simon and Robert, mostly as a way for Simon to disgorge the coldness that saps him while communing with spirits. I honestly could not get enough of this couple. There could have been a hundred chapters and I’d have continued turning the pages. There are little threads woven in the stories which connect one to the next, but each is unique and interesting while building on the developing love story between these two men.

I won’t say this is tender, because it isn’t. There is tenderness at times, but often it’s harsh and necessary couplings. The desperation they both experience, amid life-and-death encounters kept me captivated. There is incredible tenderness in their small gestures–the ones which need to be hidden to protect them both. Political machinations, revenge plots, destruction, self-sacrifice–it’s all in here. The journal-style of the writing allows an intimate look into Robert’s side of the story and he’s just a dream of an MC. He so adores Simon that it’s impossible not to love Simon through Robert’s POV.

I adored the historical setting, and the old-style British grammar and spellings. I felt like I was there, as gorgeously and clearly as the settings were described. Nothing like a good ghost story–and this book is chock full of good ones.

Interested? You can find THE SECRET CASEBOOK OF SIMON FEXIMAL on Goodreads, Samhain Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or contact her here. She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

A Series HARD TO LET GO–Review & Giveaway

HTLG RWB banner
Hi there! I’m so excited to share in the Release Week Blitz for Laura Kaye’s HARD TO LET GO! This is the fourth book in the Hard Ink series published by Avon Romance and wraps up the plot arcs…completely. I read HARD TO COME BY and HARD TO BE GOOD and really enjoyed those, so I jumped to get the last book!

This contemporary military romance links the taciturn Beckett Murda with his team leader’s sister—the beautiful and intelligent Kat Rixey. I really enjoyed their love story. Two people who’ve seen a lot of pain and personal loss finally find happiness. *swoon*

Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway for one of 2 $25 gift cards.

Hard to Let Go - cover
About HARD TO LET GO:
Beckett Murda hates to dwell on the past. But his investigation into the ambush that killed half his Special Forces team and ended his Army career gives him little choice. Just when his team learns how powerful their enemies are, hard-ass Beckett encounters his biggest complication yet—a seductive, feisty Katherine Rixey.

A tough, stubborn prosecutor, Kat visits her brothers’ Hard Ink Tattoo shop following a bad break-up—and finds herself staring down the barrel of a stranger’s gun. Beckett is hard-bodied and sexy as hell, but he’s also the most infuriating man ever. Worse, Kat’s brothers are at war with the criminals her office is investigating. When Kat joins the fight, she lands straight in Beckett’s sights . . . and in his arms. Not to mention their enemies’ crosshairs.

Now Beckett and Kat must set aside their differences to work together, because the only thing sweeter than justice is finding love and never letting go.

How about a little taste?

Beckett was a wrung-out mess. He’d just spent the past hour talking to Emilie, and it was maybe more than he’d talked at one time in his whole life. He couldn’t exactly say he felt good, and maybe not even better, but he could say that he was a little proud of himself for facing his past. Didn’t matter that dealing with that shit was as comfortable as swallowing crushed glass, because choking it down was the only way he’d have a chance at a future.

At least, a future that he really, truly wanted.

One where he wasn’t alone. One where he wasn’t angry. One where he wasn’t wasting the time he might have left on this earth—time his seven fallen teammates no longer had.

Jogging down the stairs from the third-floor apartment, Beckett headed to the gym. No matter how trashed he felt, he had one more conversation that absolutely had to happen tonight.

With Nick. About Kat.

Beckett had seen the all-knowing looks on Marz’s and Jeremy’s faces when he and Kat joined the all-hands’ meeting earlier in the evening. If he didn’t go to Nick soon, the guy was going to learn about them some other way. And then the hell was going to be even worse to pay. And Beckett didn’t want that to happen. Not just because he didn’t want the hassle. But because he owed it to Nick—as his friend and his brother—to come clean.

Didn’t mean that his gut wasn’t all twisted up about whether Nick would think him good enough for his baby sister, though.

He reached the gym door, took a deep breath, and punched in the pass code. Man up, Murda. Right.

Inside, things were hopping, despite the fact that it was pushing eleven o’clock. Some Ravens were lifting weights. Others were shooting the shit around the table. And two guys were tossing a ball back and forth, driving Eileen crazy by bouncing it over her head. Easy was pounding out a fast pace on the treadmill. And, in the back corner, Nick, Marz, and Shane were poring over something on Marz’s desk.

Beckett had faced down terrorists who wanted nothing more than to take his life with their very hands, and he’d probably never been as nervous as he was right now. For fuck’s sake.

He moved into the room. About midway across he spied Cy peeking out from behind a weight machine. “You and me are gonna have a talk soon, too,” he said, pointing at the cat. A one-eyed blink was his only answer.

And then he was standing on the far side of Marz’s desk next to Shane, peering down at what the three men were examining.

Marz gave him a smile and tapped his finger against the pages. “Just going over all these instances when Merritt noted Kaine as having changed orders regarding counternarcotics missions.”

“Marz was right,” Nick said, looking up at him. “Some of these gave me a bad feeling in my gut at the time, because they seemed out of character for Merritt. He was never a last minute kinda guy. Every damn time he’s marked those changes as having been ordered by Kaine.”

Beckett nodded. And then his mouth acted without his brain’s permission. “I’d like to date your sister.”

My Review:
This is the final book in the Hard Ink series and should be read in order.

Becket Murda is one of five survivors of an ambush of his SF squadron a year ago. Since then he’s been guilt-ridden, and less-than-honorably discharged, drifting between security gigs. Three weeks ago he was called into action by his former squad leader, Nick Rixey, to help them track down the missing children of their dead former commander, Merritt, and help solve a serious mystery regarding their ambush, missing heroin, and $12 million in Merritt’s bank accounts. This is the backdrop of the series. Each of the other men in his squad found a special person to love during this timeframe, all with sexy books detailing their romances, and this book is Beckett’s ungrateful backslide into love…. ;)

Beckett has a lot of issues with self-esteem, basically because his mother drank herself to death, and his murderously-abusive father beat him regularly as a child. He stands as an outsider, never believing that he is worthy of love. Yet, Kat Rixey, the Justice Dept attorney and younger sister of his friend and comrade Nick, won’t put up with his crap. She challenges him regularly, and he relishes the connection, even as he doesn’t believe himself worthy.

Kat Rixey is a tenacious woman who is just extricating herself from a sticky relationship with a stalkery colleague. She had no idea what she was stepping into when she fled to her brothers’ compound, a now bombed warehouse that holds Jeremy’s tattoo studio and Nick’s colleagues and more than a few collateral strays. Learning that Nick’s mission is centered around a security company now under Justice Dept investigation leads Kat to make some ethically-questionable, but morally-sound, decisions.

In the midst of the unravelling of the larger “restore our honor” plot arc, Kat and Beckett find their tinderbox chemistry provides some smoking sexytimes, and brings out new vulnerabilities. They are a sweet couple who face some incredibly high challenges. As with all the previous books in the series, expect high octane situations, shoot outs, injuries, double-crosses and, finally, a resolution for these injured heroes that will have readers more than satisfied. The HEA is excellent, for all our Hard ink pals, even when it looks to be bleak. Beckett proves time and again why he is a survivor, and, enjoyably, finds something and someone to live for.

Hard Ink Series Trailer:

Link: https://youtu.be/qM45fjLJXXk

 

HTLG Reviews Tease

Praise for HARD TO LET GO:
“Kaye wraps up her bestselling series with this action-packed story, highlighting her talent for alpha military heroes, hot romance, and an ensemble cast of characters who are unique and engaging. A super sexy, high-octane romantic suspense novel that concludes the popular Hard Ink series in a completely satisfying way.” ~Kirkus Reviews

“TOP PICK! Kaye brings her Hard Ink series to a spectacular conclusion that successfully wraps up the overarching mystery and brings closure to her compelling characters. Kaye really nails it with this awesome book and series!” ~RT Book Reviews

“HARD TO LET GO will blow you away! Anyone who has been following Laura Kaye’s fantastic Hard Ink series will expect something great for the last book in the series, and to say HARD TO LET GO does not disappoint would be the understatement of the year! Ms. Kaye writes sex scenes like it’s nobody’s business, and the blistering chemistry between Kat and Becket will leave you panting and begging for more! If you expected world-class action in HARD TO LET GO, think again and multiply that by ten! HARD TO LET GO has to be the most explosive conclusion to a series ever! Do not miss it at any cost!” ~Fresh Fiction

Interested? You can find HARD TO LET GO on Goodreads, Amazon, B&N, iBooks, and Kobo.

And don’t miss the other Hard Ink books, now available:

Hard as It gets

HARD AS IT GETS

Hard as You Can

HARD AS YOU CAN

Hard To Hold On To

HARD TO HOLD ON TO

Hard To Come By Cover

HARD TO COME BY

Hard to Be Good - Cover

HARD TO BE GOOD

Praise for the Hard Ink Series:
“TOP PICK! If you’re looking for danger, gritty action, and sizzling passion, then Kaye has just the book and the series for you.” ~RT Book Reviews Magazine

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on the Rafflecopter link for your chance to win on of two $25 gift cards to Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Author PhotoAbout Laura Kaye:
Laura is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

You can catch up with Laura online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Newsletter SignUp.

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Building a LIFE, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review of a new contemporary M/M romance from Kaje Harper. LIFE, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED is a sequel that can be read as a standalone. It relates the mundane acts of a newly out gay couple as the traverse the hate-infested waters–and everyday occurrences of life–in a way that is anything but mundane. I really liked it.

imageAbout the book:
Finding love in the ashes was easy. Building a life together? Don’t make Fate laugh.

After spending the first part of his life chasing pretty girls, love has finally come to Ryan in the form of John, a tall, lanky, red-headed landscape architect with wide shoulders and a five-o’clock shadow.

For the first time in his life, love feels easy. Hell, he even ran into a burning building for John and his son, and he’d do it again if he had to. But telling his father and brothers “I’m gay. I’ve met a man”? That’s a bumpy ride he’s not looking forward to.

For John, loving Ryan is as natural as breathing. Now if only the rest of his life would fall into place. Dealing with his teen son is complicated enough, but with his ex-wife causing trouble and his daughter wanting to move in, John’s house—and his relationship with Ryan—threaten to split at the seams.

Would one month without a new surprise knocking him upside the heart be asking too much? If the sound of Fate’s laughter is any indication, the answer must be yes…

Product Warnings: Contains two formerly straight guys learning to navigate the gay-guy waters, sometimes without a paddle. Plus six kinds of family ensuring nothing comes easy.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and I read it as a standalone. I think the reader loses nothing in doing so. I had a brief recap of the previous book in this one, and I’m kinda glad I skipped that book, on account of I get triggers over evil-scientist plots….but that’s MY issue.

John and Ryan are two men who have always had straight relationships but have recently embarked on a relationship with each other. They came to terms with their bisexuality in the first book, and are just trying to figure this “gay thing” out. This causes a lot of conflict within their families.

John is a divorced man with two teenaged children, Mark and Torey. He doesn’t have joint custody, but Mark had run to John in the previous book, and currently lives with John and Ryan, with his mother’s grudging permission. John’s ex, Cynthia, is not cool with the “gay thing”–she and her husband are blatantly homophobic. Cynthia lives in LA with Torey, and John tries to keep a decent relationship for his daughter’s sake.

Ryan’s family is mixed; one brother is totally okay with his orientation, his father and other brother are not. Well, dad’s kinda okay, and he gets better, but Brent is really hostile. I had to give props to his bride-to-be, Anne, who makes Brent adjust his attitude.

Ryan and John are stable, and love each other, but they have a lot of stress–Ryan is a medical student, recovering from burn injuries suffered as a fire fighter. He had recently saved Mark from a fire, and John, Ryan and Mark suffer nightmares over that ordeal. John is a parent, and has the associated parental worries, especially as Mark begins to close in emotionally, and Torey’s calls from LA are becoming more regular and more upsetting–she hates her stepfather, and Cynthia is sick with pregnancy issues (and perhaps depression).

The stress peaks when Torey and Cynthia turn up on their Wisconsin doorstep, essentially destitute. Ryan is afraid that John will reconnect with his pregnant ex, and all his heart will be broken–plus he will have come out and estranged himself for nothing. John is a stalwart and the best kind of man. He only cares for Cynthia in that she’s the mother of his kids and soon to deliver his kids’ half-sister. His love is really more of agape, than amore. I didn’t wonder much regarding Ryan’s angst. Both Mark and Torey really like Ryan, and want him to remain their dad’s partner–and perhaps more.

This book is big on reality. It deals with the mundane in an approachable way. Life is messy, and Ryan and John’s life is especially messy. At times I wondered if the stress would break them apart, but they consistently took steps to come closer; even if Ryan’s motives seem selfish. It’s funny, though. People say love is selfless, and it isn’t always. Motives can indeed be selfish, and still be the right thing to do. Ryan has a right to be suspicious of Cynthia’s motives. She is a crafty gal, and focused on finding a good provider for her infant–and John is a demonstrated good provider.

The end of this book is not the end of this story, I’m sure, but it does end with a solid resolution and a solid HEA. There are some nice sexytimes that, again, are realistic. First times and fun times and aborted missions…which only drew me into this relationship more. I think there were plenty of ways for this book to go wrong, to get melodramatic and absurd, but it never did. It stayed the course and captivated me.

Interested? You can find LIFE, SOME ASSEMBLY REQUIRED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Samhain Publishing and AllRomance.

About the Author:
I live in Minnesota, where the two seasons are Snow-removal and Road-repair, the mosquito is the state bird, and where sometimes in winter it can be breathtakingly beautiful. Of course, the deepfreeze chill contributes to the breath-taking, but Minnesota’s a kindly, quiet place and it’s home to me now. I’ve been writing for far longer than I care to admit (*whispers – forty years*), mostly for my own entertainment, and currently am focused on M/M romance (with added mystery, fantasy, history, SciFi…) I also have a few Young Adult stories released under the pen name Kira Harp.

My first professionally published book, Life Lessons, came out from MLR Press in May 2011. My husband finally convinced me that after all that time writing, I really should submit something, somewhere. I was thrilled when it was accepted. I have a weakness for closeted cops with honest hearts, and teachers who speak their minds, and I had fun writing the four novels and three freebie short stories in the series. I’ve been just delighted by the reception Mac and Tony have received.

My first free book became the first story that I actually released – I put it up a month before Life Lessons just for the fun of getting it out there. Lies and Consequences began as a reaction to the November 2010 election. It looked like the repeal of DADT might be derailed by the political shift and I put the insanity of that law into the book. Then as I was finishing the first draft in mid-December the repeal passed. Which was great, but prompted a rewrite to a lighter and more action/romance book. This was a solo effort and I learned a lot from writing and releasing it and from the reviews. Check Smashwords for that one and many of my other freebies.

I now have a decent backlist in ebooks and print, both free and professionally published. A complete list with links can be found on my Books page. This writing thing is addictive. So read, comment, tell me what you like and what you don’t, and help me make the upcoming books even better.

You can find me to chat on my author page here on Goodreads most easily – I hang out on Goodreads a lot because I moderate the Goodreads YA LGBT Books group there. I also post free short YA stories on that group, more than 50 of them so far.

You can also find me on my blog.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Sweet Love: CITY SLICKER AT THE HORNY GOAT RANCH–A Review for Joyfully Jay

Hi there! Just want to share my latest review from over on Joyfully Jay. CITY SLICKER AT THE HORNY GOAT RANCH by Daisy Harris is a sweet, funny new adult M/M romance between a strapping young goat rancher and the city slicker land developer who moves in next door.

City SlickerAbout the book:

Keith Kelley doesn’t normally take kindly to strangers, but his flashy new neighbor has long legs, lips made for kissing and might prove too much temptation for a boy hiding his sexuality in rural Idaho. Unfortunately, between working his mom’s goat ranch and land disputes with his wealthy father, Keith has enough problems. He doesn’t need the best sex of his life threatening to expose his precarious secrets.

Real estate developer Max Levin vows to turn the one-stoplight town of Pookataw Valley into a quaint vacation destination…and then leave before the dust clears. Given his next assignment starts in five months, Max shouldn’t start loving the quaint little town—the ranchland, the mountains, even the goats. If only Max could stop thinking about his sexy neighbor and the time they shared in the front seat of Keith’s truck. Because he especially shouldn’t fall in love with a guy who can’t openly love him back.

In a town the size of Pookataw Valley, nothing stays secret for long. If Keith wants to hold onto his birthright, he’ll have to fight for his land and his pride. Most of all, he’ll have to fight for Max before he slips through Keith’s fingers.

Warning: contains angry parents, horny ranchers and snarky city boys just asking to be hogtied.

This is a light read that still has lots of heart. Both characters are good guys who need a solid partner, but are afraid to commit for valid reasons. Keith’s parents are not likely to be amenable. His relationship with his dad is already strained due to his continued assistance at his mother’s farm. Keith is due land from the family trust, which he could forfeit if he father is opposed to his lifestyle, and his mom might just kick him out if she finds out. Max doesn’t have the same issues, his parents have long known his orientation and don’t care at all, but he’s constantly on the move, developing real estate for his company. How can he ask a guy to settle down with him, when he’ll have to move every five or six months?

Check out my full review over on Joyfully Jay Reviews.

Thanks for popping in,a dn keep reading my friends!

Happy Book Birthday to SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS!

SFA_BLITZ
Hi there! Today, I’m celebrating the release of SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS by Jennifer Probst. This is the 4th book in the Searching For series and it is published by Gallery Books. This book features the love story of Arilynn, yoga teacher, counselor and rescuer of dogs everywhere! Check out the teaser and giveaway below.

SearchingforAlwaysAbout the book:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Jennifer Probst sparks a blissful mind-body connection as her “sexy, satisfying” (Kirkus Reviews) new series continues!

She’s an expert in helping others de-stress, but Arilyn Meadows is running on fumes. Along with her job counseling singles seeking soul mates at the Kinnections agency in Verily, New York, she’s a yoga teacher, animal shelter volunteer, anger management therapist, and helping hand to her beloved grandfather. No time to find Mr. Right—but after discovering her yogi boyfriend in a compromising asana, Arilyn would rather dog-sit for her honeymooning friend Kate than risk her heart on another downward dog. And when police officer Stone Petty—radiating masculinity and bad-boy attitude—is sent to her for mandatory lessons in cooling off when the job gets too hot, Arilyn vows to ignore his seductive glances and sexy grin. But there’s no halting their sizzling flirtation—a red-hot, high-speed chase that’s breaking all the limits.
SFA_Teaser2 copy
I really liked this one! Look for my review next week.

Interested? You can find SEARCHING FOR ALWAYS on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

 

****GIVEAWAY****

SFA_RescuePet
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win! Help pet rescue shelters by posting a picture of your rescued pet, or sharing your favorite shelter, and using the hashtag #SEARCHINGFORRESCUES. 4 shelters will get a $50 prize (winners choice) and 1 a grand prize winner will also get a prize pack from Jennifer Probst.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jennifer Probst
Jennifer Probst wrote her first book at twelve years old. She bound it in a folder, read it to her classmates, and hasn’t stopped writing since. She took a short hiatus to get married, get pregnant, buy a house, get pregnant again, pursue a master’s in English Literature, and rescue two shelter dogs. Now she is writing again.

She makes her home in Upstate New York with the whole crew. Her sons keep her active, stressed, joyous, and sad her house will never be truly clean.

She is the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of sexy and erotic contemporary romance. She was thrilled her book, The Marriage Bargain, was ranked #6 on Amazon’s Best Books for 2012. She loves hearing from readers.

You can catch up with Jennifer online on her website for updates on new releases and her street team. Also check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

InkSlinger PR Blogger Banner - New

Happy Book Birthday to LESSONS FOR IDLE TONGUES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a book just out! Hot from the ebook press is LESSONS FOR IDLE TONGUES, Charlie Cochrane’s 11th book in the Cambridge Fellows Mysteries series. It is historical fiction set in 1910 England and features a pair of amateur sleuths Profs Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith. I read and enjoyed LESSONS FOR SUSPICIOUS MINDS and jumped at the chance to read the next installment.

Lessons for Idle Tongues (Cambridge Fellows, #11)About the book:
Cambridge, 1910

Amateur detectives Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith seem to have nothing more taxing on their plate than locating a missing wooden cat and solving the dilemma of seating thirteen for dinner. But one of the guests brings a conundrum: a young woman has been found dead, and her boyfriend is convinced she was murdered. The trouble is, nobody else agrees.

Investigation reveals that several young people in the local area have died in strange circumstances, and rumours abound of poisonings at the hands of Lord Toothill, a local mysterious recluse. Toothill’s angry, gun-toting gamekeeper isn’t doing anything to quell suspicions, either.

But even with a gun to his head, Jonty can tell there’s more going on in this surprisingly treacherous village than meets the eye. And even Orlando’s vaunted logic is stymied by the baffling inconsistencies they uncover. Together, the Cambridge Fellows must pick their way through gossip and misdirection to discover the truth.

My Review:
This book is the 11th in a series of historical mysteries solved by amateur sleuths, Dr. Jonty Stewart and Dr. Orlando Coppersmith. While they all have recurring characters, each can be read as a standalone.

Jonty and Orlando are lovers, on the down-low because there are no openly gay men in 1910 London. They are professors at Cambridge and have excellent relations with Jonty’s parents–who know and accept their relationship. Often Jonty’s parents get involved in the solving of the mysteries, either by societal connections or interviewing witnesses/suspects. They have a minimal,role in this book, which centers on the mysterious death of a young woman.

Jonty and Orlando are asked by an acquaintance to investigate his friend’s love’s suspicious death. Lucy was meant to meet Mr. Joyce, for a clandestine stroll, as her family did not accept him as a suitor, but instead, she was found dead of a presumed brain hemorrhage. And, Mr. Joyce was made unwelcome at her funeral. He has other secrets, however, which include the suspicious circumstances of Lucy’s brother’s death–who was Joyce’s close acquaintance in school.

The more that Jonty and Orlando scratch at this issue, the more connections seem to be drawn to other mysterious deaths in the locale, with serious gossip being bandied regarding Lucy’s neighbor, the reclusive Lord Toothill. The level of scurrilous gossip seems to stymie the investigation, until they begin to realize, it is the gossip which is the biggest part of the case. As with previous cases, the answer always lay close to home.

I do enjoy these cozy-type mysteries. They are always well-written and have interesting insight, plus I adore the realistic historical settings and details. I wish there was a bit more loving on the page, but I am satisfied that Jonty and Orlando are loving, supportive partners who do the best they can within their societal constraint.

Interested? You can find LESSONS FOR IDLE TONGUES on Goodreads, Amazon, Riptide Books, AllRomance and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice – like managing a rugby team – she writes. Her favourite genre is gay fiction, predominantly historical romances/mysteries, but she’s making an increasing number of forays into the modern day. She’s even been known to write about gay werewolves – albeit highly respectable ones.

Her Cambridge Fellows series of Edwardian romantic mysteries were instrumental in seeing her named Speak Its Name Author of the Year 2009. She’s a member of both the Romantic Novelists’ Association and International Thriller Writers Inc.

Happily married, with a house full of daughters, Charlie tries to juggle writing with the rest of a busy life. She loves reading, theatre, good food and watching sport. Her ideal day would be a morning walking along a beach, an afternoon spent watching rugby and a church service in the evening.

You can catch up with Charlie on her website, Goodreads and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Caught in the Crossfire in TIME WAITS–A Review for Joyfully Jay

Hi there! Well, I’m feeling elated after yesterday’s big SCOTUS decision, and wanted to pass on my recent update via Joyfully Jay. This week, I shared my review for TIME WAITS, a fascinating near-future time-travel M/M romance recently released by a new author to me, CB Lewis, and Dreamspinner Press.

Time WaitsAbout the book:

Badly wounded and on the run from his WWII Hungarian brigade, Janos Nagy stumbles through a temporal gateway to the future. Suddenly stranded in Manchester, England, 2041, Janos wants answers about a crazy world he doesn’t recognize.

Dieter Schmidt, flamboyant historian/linguist for the Temporal Research Institution has those answers, but the TRI is a neutral entity, set up to verify historical events under a strict code of noninterference. That doesn’t stop Dieter from taking Janos under his protection. Trust doesn’t come easy to Janos, who came from a time when revealing his secrets could get him killed, but the two men slowly build a tentative friendship with a possibility for more. But Janos’s continued presence in the future and Dieter’s persistence raise questions about the limits of the noninterference policy.

Since the rules have been bent once, one agent sees no reason why he can’t push them further, and he travels back to 1914 to make a few changes of his own. Under Janos’s guidance, Dieter must leap back in time to stop the rogue agent from changing the past and risking everyone’s future—if he can survive history.

I really liked the idea of this book and felt like it was well-executed. The romance between Janos and Dieter is slow to build and develop. Each man experiences an attraction he feels is wrong—Janos due to ingrained homophobia and fear, Dieter because he feels like he’s taking advantage of a man trapped in time. Dieter and Janos were fantastic characters. They have a real chemistry that simmers. Dieter is required to retrieve his fellow time agent, and he’s intellectually prepared for a job that he is physically untrained to perform. He’s never BEEN on a mission, and his own mother was lost to a time incident, but Dieter is determined to do this right. It is heartbreaking for Janos to have to train him, both of them knowing that this time jump will likely separate them forever, even if Dieter is successful in his mission.

Check out my entire 4.25 star review on Joyfully Jay Reviews.
Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends.