EMBERS Heating–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M release from Kate Sherwood. I really liked MARK OF CAIN and SACRATI, so I was eager to check out her newest Common Law series books. Last month I reviewed LONG SHADOWS, and was captivated by the complicated social politics of a rural Montana border town, which has become a smuggling epicenter for drugs and guns across the US-Canadian border. The situation brought veteran police detective Jericho Crewe home after a 15 year absence and put him in the crossfire between his childhood best friends, the FBI and the DEA. EMBERS, the second book in the series, came out last week and this really focuses on the emotional dilemmas Jericho faces as new Under Sheriff of Mosely.

embersAbout the book:
Small town—big problems. Jericho Crewe is back in Mosely, Montana, trying to deal with police corruption, interfering feds, his newly discovered family members, and, of course, Wade Granger.

He doesn’t really need a biker war on top of it all, but as the bodies start to pile up, it becomes pretty clear that’s what he’s got. Not only that, but Wade’s involved somehow, and as soon as Wade is a part of something, things that seemed clear become cloudy.

With the feds breathing down his neck, Jericho has to find his way through Wade’s maze of half truths and manipulations. It would all be so much easier if Jericho could think straight in the other man’s presence. So much easier if their passionate past could be forgotten, and if he could be sure he’s strong enough to resist the temptation of a passionate present.

My Review:
Det. Jericho Crewe’s had his life turned on its ear in the past few weeks. He learned his no-good criminal father was murdered when he was summoned back to Mosley, Montana after a 15 year absence. His previously unknown step-mother, Nikki, and two half-siblings are in danger–probably of their own making–due to the high likelihood that Nikki (and Jericho’s father) were running drugs over the border for Wade Granger. Wade is Jericho’s high school boyfriend, though that was all kept undercover way back when.

Doesn’t mean that Jericho’s forgotten the pull toward Wade in the intervening years. Wade’s a slick guy, though, and while he’s surely a criminal, no one can get anything to stick. In the last book Wade helped Jericho save his half-siblings from people who’d been sworn to serve and protect. The sheriff, Jericho’s other childhood bestie Kayla, asked Jericho to stick around, work for her to help root out the corruption and he agreed.

Since then, it’s been one fire after the next–and I mean that literally. Wade’s bar and the local biker gang’s hangout have both been hit by arsonists, and three Chicago-native drug runners have been found killed execution-style. The DEA is nervous to deal with Jericho, after learning about his familial and emotional ties to Wade Granger–but their also nervous to deal with Kayla because her father might be leaking information to the biker gang. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving drugs over the border, and Jericho’s being used by Wade to establish an alibi–not just for Wade by for Nikki. And the Bikers are ready to demonstrate their might in a show that could kill innocents. Jericho’s at the center, even if he doesn’t want to be. His decisions to forge links between the factions puts him in a precarious place, and leads to his ultimate discipline when one too many of his cowboy antics can’t be tolerated.

And Wade keeps coming around with all his sexy eyes and sexy moves and Jericho’s really a sucker for Wade. Expect some low level sexytimes for these two. But is Wade’s interest just another manipulation? The book’s really fast-paced, and the intrigue level is high. Being part of a series, I think you need to read it in order, and let the story build all it’s layers. I’m really anxious to read the third book, now, seeing that Jericho’s got a fight on his hands to clear his name, and establish whatever relationship he can with his family…and Wade.

Interested? You can find EMBERS on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing Barnes & Noble, Amazon, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

The first book in the series, LONG SHADOWS, is currently on sale for $2.99. Catch my review and all the purchase links here.

About the Author:
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

Catch up with Kat on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Choosing to Stay RIVETED–A Review

riveted-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand-new contemporary romance from Jay Crownover. RIVETED is the third book in the Saints of Denver series. Though I’ve read BUILT and CHARGED, this romance follows a new couple, and is fully enjoyable on its own.

riveted_finalAbout the book:
From the New York Times bestselling author of the Marked Men books comes the next installment in the Saints of Denver series.
Everyone else in Dixie Carmichael’s life has made falling in love look easy, and now she is ready for her own chance at some of that happily ever after. Which means she’s done pining for the moody, silent former soldier who works with her at the bar that’s become her home away from home. Nope. No more chasing the hot as heck thundercloud of a man and no more waiting for Mr. Right to find her; she’s going hunting for him…even if she knows her heart is stuck on its stupid infatuation with Dash Churchill.

Denver has always been just a pit stop for Church on his way back to rural Mississippi. It was supposed to be simple, uneventful, but nothing could have prepared him for the bubbly, bouncy redhead with doe eyes and endless curves. Now he knows it’s time to get out of Denver, fast. For a man used to living in the shadows, the idea of spending his days in the sun is nothing short of terrifying.

When Dixie and Church find themselves caught up in a homecoming overshadowed with lies and danger, Dixie realizes that while falling in love is easy, loving takes a whole lot more work…especially when Mr. Right thinks he’s all wrong for you.

My Review:
Dixie Carmichael is a woman bent on finding the perfect man to stand beside her. She’s decided that man is Dashel Church, but Church isn’t having it. See, he’s a man on his own, destined to live without love. All the women he’s ever loved died young, and he won’t risk his heart. Recognizing a lost cause when she sees one, Dixie backs off from Church, and takes her future by the horns–getting her app-dating on. Expect disastrous results.

Church is a mixed-race man, who’s always had an inferiority complex. His young, unwed mother was disowned because her racist parents wouldn’t accept Dashel as a grandchild. Then, after his mother married another man, he wasn’t sure he would be accepted. While his stepfather was fantastic, Church’s mother died while he was a young teen–and he’s been emotionally adrift for a while. While he may desire Dixie, he doesn’t feel worthy of her generous nature, and goodwill. Plus, Church is a loner, and a roamer. He’s not been back to his small Mississippi town since he went to war more than ten years ago. Thing is, one of his dearest childhood caregivers is ill, and begging for him to return…with the woman he said he’d been dating in Colorado. This is a big, fat lie–Church hadn’t been dating anyone, he was too torn up by his military experiences to go home. He does have a definite attraction to Dixie, and he knows she’s the kind of friend who’ll do whatever she can to help him out; even drive two days on a motorcycle from Denver to Mississippi. It’s a little exploitative–Church knows she’s attracted, and he kind of appeals to that side to get her to agree.

Being together in close quarters gets Dixie where she wants to be, without the satisfaction of Church’s heart being engaged–at first. He’s definitely super protective, and Dixie’s a gal to admire for lots of men. It soon becomes clear that someone is targeting Church, to get him away from Dixie–and that leads to some serious conflict. We also have the “Church makes amends to his family” plotline which is tender and the sexytimes are satisfying. Expect a lot of brooding on Church’s part, and lots of sunshine from Dixie–that gal could make a gargoyle smirk, I think. Plus, a few of Church’s family getting caught in the crossfire of a lunatic, and huge changes for a woman who finally gets her heart’s desire. There’s an HEA ending for Church and Dixie.

As for the series, we get an inside look at Wheeler’s dilemma–which began unfolding in the previous book, CHARGED, and I’d expect that guy to find a new love pretty darn quick.

Interested? you can find RIVETED on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Google.

About the Author:
Jay Crownover is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Marked Men and The Point series. Like her characters, she is a big fan of tattoos. She loves music and wishes she could be a rock star, but since she has no aptitude for singing or instrument playing, she’ll settle for writing stories with interesting characters that make the reader feel something. She lives in Colorado with her three dogs.

Catch up with Jay on her website, blog, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads.

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Cover Re-Reveal for WANDERLUST

wanderlust_dpHi there! I’m helping get the word out on a re-branded contemporary romance from Daisy Prescott. WANDERLUST is a romantic comedy that spans three continents, but it’s previous title, Missionary Position, had some…difficulites, as the author explains.

wanderlust-amazonAbout the book:
“A captivating story about life, love, and an exciting and unintentional quest for self-discovery.”
Selah Elmore is a confident, curvy woman who knows exactly who she is and what she wants. Her less-than-stellar love life is another story. Hoping for a fresh start, she leaves her home and job in the Pacific Northwest to spend six months in West Africa.

After accepting an offer from a stranger in an airport bar, Selah’s real adventure begins during a stopover in Amsterdam. Will the daring, mysterious Kai show her what love really is?

Sparks fly on three continents when perpetually single Selah discovers there’s more to love and life than she ever imagined.

Wanderlust is book three in the Modern Love Stories series. It’s a spin-off/standalone from Geoducks Are for Lovers.

#1 Top Rated Book in Humorous Women’s Fiction
Top 20 Humorous Women’s Fiction Best Seller
Romantic Comedy Best Seller

A Re-introduction from Daisy Prescott:

Hi lovely readers,

The first thing you’re probably asking is if this is a new book. It’s not. It’s the same book but with a new title and cover as Missionary Position.

Why the change?

While the Missionary Position title works for Selah’s love story (and makes us both giggle), it might give readers the wrong idea. Wanderlust is one of my favorite words and better captures the romance between Kai and Selah set on three continents. Because of the sexual implications of the title, MP keeps being put in the erotica dungeon despite being more of a rom com (again, giggles about this from both Selah and me).

Plus, Missionary Position is also the title of a Mother Teresa biography, and well, that’s kind of awkward.

After stewing about this for a few years, I decided to rebrand the book with a new look and title in hopes more people will discover this wonderful book. It’s still one of my favorites. Wanderlust is a love story between an older woman and a younger man set on the West African coast, full of humor and unexpected adventures.

Thanks for reading!

Interested? You can find WANDERLUST (previously titled Missionary Position) on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.  Re-launching on February 20th!

new daisy prescott full sizeAbout the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Daisy Prescott lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an indeterminate number of imaginary housegoats. When not writing about people falling in love, she can be found traveling, gardening, baking, and reading a good book. Her novels include the Modern Love Stories series, the Wingmen series, and several short stories. She’s also working on expanding the world of Bewitched this fall.

Catch up with Daisy on her website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, Amazon, or sign up for her Newsletter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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Flailing Through MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from . MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE is a fun and engaging look into the difference between our true lives and the lives we project via social media. I adored Kat’s journey from pretense into, well, perfection. This book came out a week ago, and is already a best-seller…

not-so-perfect-lifeAbout the book:
Katie Brenner has the perfect life: a flat in London, a glamorous job, and a super-cool Instagram feed.

Ok, so the real truth is that she rents a tiny room with no space for a wardrobe, has a hideous commute to a lowly admin job, and the life she shares on Instagram isn’t really hers.

But one day her dreams are bound to come true, aren’t they?

Until her not-so perfect life comes crashing down when her mega-successful boss Demeter gives her the sack. All Katie’s hopes are shattered. She has to move home to Somerset, where she helps her dad with his new glamping business.

Then Demeter and her family book in for a holiday, and Katie sees her chance. But should she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams? Or try to get her job back? Does Demeter – the woman with everything – have such an idyllic life herself? Maybe they have more in common than it seems.

And what’s wrong with not-so-perfect, anyway?

My Review:
Katie Brenner is a West Country gal trying to make her London dreams come true. And failing spectacularly. She’s finally got a paying job as a research associate at a branding (Advertising) agency, but she’s the lowest one on the books there. Her salary is so low she shares a flat with two other people, more than an hour’s commute away from work. She admires her friends’ Instagram accounts, and fabricates her own “fab life” with pictures she grabs on the go–because she could never afford that decadent coffee, or that divine dinner spot. Nope. But, she studies hard, making lists of all the places she’s check out just as soon as she launches her way up the ladder to success.

Her boss, Demeter, is a criminally scatterbrained woman with far too many fabulous aspects to be truly human. She’s always out to dinner, or at an award night, and her family is all shiny and perfect. And, if the office rumor mill can be trusted, Demeter’s got a long-standing “arrangement” with Alex, the younger partner in their firm–and the man Katie’d thought had a bit of an interest in herself. Katie, who calls herself “Cat” in her fab life, studies Demeter, aspiring to learn more and impress her one day soon. It’s not meant to be, however. Their branding firm is having some issues with clients and Katie’s let go soon after she designed the branding on her father’s newest get-rich-quick scheme: glamping on their country estate.

Having no other prospects, Katie returns home from London under the premise that she’s got a ‘sabbatical’ to help out her family. Really, she can’t admit she had a horrible life in London, because her father’s totally against her living there, and she doesn’t want to live int he country forever. She’s making applications and chatting to headhunters whenever she isn’t setting up the glamping yurts, or customizing the “totally organic experience” for each of their hoity-toity guests. It’s with immediate dismay that Demeter and fam arrive–because she’ll blow Katie’s cover to her dad.

Then again, when Demeter doesn’t recognize “Cat” in her ‘West Country Katie’ persona, Katie’s able to get some of her own back, torturing Demeter with “one-of-a-kind,” “exclusive,” “holistic” treatments. That is, until Katie grows a conscience, and learns that Demeter isn’t as nearly perfect as her Instagram feed would reflect.

I really dug this one. It’s a more mature, and less-slapstick, type of book than I’ve read from Ms. Kinsella before. The careful plotting and copious breadcrumbs led me right into the conundrum: how do we cope when life isn’t like we spin it? Social media facades, cyberbullying, corporate espionage were not what I expected to find in this one, but, wow! Was this a rich tapestry. Katie’s a great character, not too young, despite her naivete, at points. She’s fully relatable, as the plucky gal clawing her way out of a hard-scrabble life–only to have her dreams dashed. The amazing turns of situation, particularly regarding Demeter and the jobs at their branding firm, was carefully intimated, and led me along in the proper directions. Plus, I got yet another object lesson in the value of empathy, and being a stand-up person even when it’s really freaking hard. Facing down her father, with his absolute love for Katie and desperate want to have her stay home forever? Appropriately heart-crushing.

I loved Katie, and how she grew up and owned her life, and her mistakes. There’s a bit of cloak-and-dagger business as Katie tries to work herself back into the branding firm–on behalf of Demeter. I liked how there was so much uncertainty regarding Demeter’s mental state, and if she really was the horrible/insensitive boss she’d seemed at the beginning, or if this was the product of some illness. Or, worse. Alex’s role was definitely interesting, as he’s not-quite a hero. He’s a regular guy with work problems, too, which was rather enchanting. I love it when the characters are actual humans with everyday problems. The book is a bit long, but the read is easy and the pages turn themselves. I really hoped we’d see a bit of steam on the page, but alas, fade-to-black… *shrugs*  Fans of the author won’t be disappointed.

Interested? You can find MY NOT SO PERFECT LIFE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo. It’s surely on sale at local bookstores, big-box retailers and likely already on the shelf at your library. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Madeleine Wickham (born 12 December 1969) is a bestselling British author under her pseudonym, Sophie Kinsella. Educated at New College, Oxford, she worked as a financial journalist before turning to fiction. She is best known for writing a popular series of chick-lit novels. The Shopaholic novels series focuses on the misadventures of Becky Bloomwood, a financial journalist who cannot manage her own finances. The books follows her life from when her credit card debt first become overwhelming (“The Secret Dreamworld of a Shopaholic”) to the latest book on being married and having a child (“Shopaholic & Baby”). Throughout the entire series, her obsession with shopping and the complications that imparts on her life are central themes.

Find out more on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Out Today! MACK DADDY

mack-daddy-availableHi there! Just sharing the release day info on a new contemporary romance from USA and NYT bestseller Penelope Ward. MACK DADDY is out right now! It’s a standalone contemporary romance featuring a teacher and the parent of a student she falls for…again.

pwmackdaddybookcover5x8_bw_high-fixedAbout the book:
From New York Times bestselling author, Penelope Ward, comes a sexy, STANDALONE second-chance romance.

They called him Mack Daddy. No, seriously, his name was Mack. Short for Mackenzie. Thus, the nickname. Perfect, right? So was he: perfect. The perfect physical male specimen. At the private school where I taught, Mack Morrison was the only man around in a sea of women. Everyone wanted a piece of the hot single father of the sweet little boy. I was riddled with jealousy, because they didn’t know that—to me—he was much more. They didn’t know about our past.

He’d chosen my school for his son on purpose, because Mack and I, we had unfinished business.

As my friend Lorelai so eloquently put it: “Unfinished business between two people who are clearly attracted to each other is like an eternal case of blue balls.” And I was suffering in pain from my case. I was still intensely attracted to Mack. I tried to resist him, immersing myself further into a relationship with another man just to protect my heart.

Not to mention, getting involved with a parent was strictly against school rules. But seeing Mack day in and day out was breaking me down.
And soon I might be breaking all the rules.

Told in alternating points of view, Mack Daddy is a full-length standalone novel.

How about a taste?

It was the evening of our monthly PTO meeting. On the agenda was to designate the volunteers for several fundraisers that would take place in the spring.

Setting up the refreshments and a coffee urn in the hallway outside of the classroom, I couldn’t wait to get this over with so that I could go home, get into my pajamas, and relax. It was always exhausting to have evening commitments when the workday ran so late to begin with.

A deep voice from behind startled me. “A keg would be much more fun, wouldn’t it?”

I turned around to find Mack standing there, holding a box of chocolate chip cookies from the supermarket.

“What are you doing here?”

He placed the cookies on the table. “This is the parent and teachers meeting, isn’t it?”

“Yes, but…” I hesitated, not even knowing what to say.

He finished my sentence. “But I’m not supposed to be included in that group?” Mack snapped his finger. “Oh, I’m sorry. I thought PTO stood for ‘pissing teacher off.’ My bad.”

“Well, if that were the case, you might be in the right place.”

“This is the right place for me tonight.”

“This meeting is for serious participants.”

“I’m serious about the teacher. Does that count?”

“No.”

“Actually, in all seriousness, I’d also like to help. It’s the least I can do after crashing your school year. I really would like to be as involved as I can in Jonah’s education. That’s the truth, okay? Getting to spend time with you is an added benefit.”

What could I say? He had just as much right to be here as anyone else.

“Just be aware that this isn’t the right place to be joking around or distracting the other attendees, for that matter.”

“I don’t plan on distracting anyone but you.”

“Yeah, well you have quite the fan base here. We have a very strict agenda to adhere to.”

He moved in closer and just stared me down for a bit. The contact caused my skin to prickle and my nipples to harden. “Don’t worry,” he said as he looked down, seeming to notice that my nipples were piercing through the fabric of my shirt. “Your points are well noted, Miss O’Hara.” He wriggled his brows. “I’ll see you inside.”

I hated that he knew he was having an effect on me. If my body had this kind of response now, what would have happened if he’d actually done more? Spontaneous impregnation? Some things just never change, and my reaction to this man was an example of that.

A long table sat in the middle of the spare classroom where we held the meeting. There wasn’t a single man in the room besides Mack. He was like the centerpiece.

I took my seat at the end of the table. “So, shall we get started?” Looking down at my list, I said, “First on the agenda is the book fair. We need to elect someone to be in charge of it and coordinate the volunteers.”

Mack raised his hand.

“Yes?” I asked.

“That sounds like it’s right down my alley. I’d like to volunteer to run the book fair.”

“What makes you want that task? It’s a lot of responsibility.”

He thought about it for a moment then said, “I write children’s books. I think I’d be a perfect fit.”

“That’s a good point,” one of the women said. “He might be the perfect fit.”

I’m sure you’re thinking he’d be the perfect fit, alright…in your vagina.

“Okay…but I hope you know that there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into organizing that particular event. It takes place over the course of an entire weekend. You have to place orders with the bookseller, do inventory, delegate tasks, and arrange for an onsite food vendor because many people just come for the food. Ultimately, the food is the bait.”

“I can bait people. I’m a master baiter.” He paused. “I mean…I can handle it. I’ll get a shitload of people to sign up.”

An attending nun gave him a dirty look for his use of foul language.

He cleared his throat, seeming to regret his choice of terminology. “I’ll get people to attend. Don’t worry.”

“I’ll put your name down as a possibility. We’ll take a vote at the end.”

“Thank you.”

Looking around the room, I asked, “Is there anyone else here who is interested in taking the reigns on the book fair?”

Not a single person budged.

One woman said, “No, but I’ll be happy to help Mack with whatever he needs.”

I’m sure you will.

Mack nodded then offered a smug smile. “Thank you.” He then took a bite of his cookie and winked at me.

Interested? You can find MACK DADDY on Goodreads, Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Penelope Ward is a New York Times, USA Today and #1 Wall Street Journal Bestselling author. She’s a fifteen-time New York Times bestseller of twelve novels.

Having grown up in Boston with five older brothers, she spent most of her twenties as a television news anchor, before switching to a more family-friendly career. She is the proud mother of a beautiful 12-year-old girl with autism and a 10-year-old boy. Penelope and her family reside in Rhode Island.

Connect with Penelope on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads and her Private Fan Group.

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New-To-Loving the DISTANT SWIMMER–A Review

distant-swimmer-reviewtourbannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M sports romance from Jacob Cheyenne. DISTANT SWIMMER is a New Adult coming out romance featuring a member of a small college swimming team and his improbable search for love. I enjoyed HANUKKAH GIFTS, so I thought I’d check out this book, too.

distant_swimmer_400x600About the book:
Shy and scholarly, long-distance swimmer Ryan Zwick thinks he’s the only gay member of the college swim team. He keeps his head down in the showers, and his head in the books the rest of the time.

But when a sporty new transfer student joins the team, Ryan feels a surge of hope. Sexually inexperienced and looking for love, fellow swimmer Blake Gossens is everything Ryan wants in a boyfriend. But what is Blake’s game, exactly? And just how straight is he?

Blake seems to be more interested in Ryan’s best friend, Marissa, leaving Ryan to go back to secretly checking out his teammates in the pool. But Ryan keeps getting mysterious messages in his dating app from a stranger who seems to know a lot about him. Could this messenger be Blake? Or someone else?

When bad weather hits unexpectedly, Ryan is forced to confront his real feelings toward Blake, while opening up to the stranger by his side, eventually giving in to his wildest fantasies — and his heart.

My Review:
Ryan Zwick is a college sophomore on the prestigious Chippewa College swim team along with thirteen other toned, fit men. Ryan’s gay, and out, but quiet about it. He’s sure some of his teammates guess his sexuality, but he’s not confirmed it for them. His bestie from childhood, Marissa, has known for years, though, ever since she tried to seduce him and he finally explained why he couldn’t love her that way. He’s only ever had one boyfriend–back in high school–and he dearly wants to find a serious lover.

New to the team is Blake Gossens–a transfer from Univ of Wisconsin. He’s paired with Ryan for new and difficult interval training that’s supposed to help these swimmers up their game. Marissa and Ryan are both attracted to Blake, and–though Blake claims to be ‘totally hetero’–Ryan is suddenly getting anonymous hook-up messages from someone on his campus who, it seems, is also on the swim team. Marissa has made it (painfully) clear to Blake that Ryan is gay, and she is available. Meanwhile, Erik, cute the foreign teammate from some Scandinavian country Ryan can’t remember, is a super helpful new friend, and Ryan’s interest and libido are piqued.

This book really embraced the drama of those confusing and manic college years. Ryan’s afraid to ogle his teammates too much, and Blake taunts him more than a little. At times, the dialogue and situations seemed juvenile, and I had to remind myself these characters are aged 18-22 and are a bit juvenile. I admit to not liking half of the people on the page. Marissa was selfish and rude for 75% of the book, and a terrible friend to Ryan. Blake made statements and moves that, in a different situation, could have easily been characterized as harassment–or assault. I was really glad for Erik being a decent guy, because sometimes even Ryan got on my nerves, particularly when he was reflecting (poorly) on his high school boyfriend.

It the end, we learn who Ryan’s admirer is, and they do strike a flame together. There are some conflicts between Marissa and Ryan and Blake that need ironing out–and it seems to happen in a satisfactory way for all involved. As a sports fan, and fanatic, some of the collegiate athletics logistics didn’t ring true, for me. But I have a different insight to the inner workings of college teams and dynamics, having married a, and now being mother to a, Division I athlete. The average reader wouldn’t likely notice issues that I immediately peg as not quite plausible. This is a pretty quick read, with a definite happy ending for Ryan, and some interesting sexytimes. I mostly enjoyed it.

Interested? You can find DISTANT SWIMMER on Goodreads, JMS Books and Amazon (US or UK).

About the Author:
Jacob Cheyenne is an author of M/M Romantic Fiction. His characters and stories are often inspired by real historical events, figures and scenes from classical art, or from old black and white portraits he collects in antique stores. His debut novella “Hanukkah Gifts” focuses on the turmoil between two young Jewish men with very different ideas about how to reconcile their faith and sexuality.

When not writing, the author loves swimming, hearing live music, reading fat books on empty beaches, and drinking anything coconut-flavored. When not traveling, he lives and works in the bustling heart of New York City.

Catch up with Jacob on his website, twitter, and Facebook.
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Crossing the Lines: COME CLOSER–Review

comecloser_banner2Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary romance from Brenda Rothert. COME CLOSER is a story of a survivor who’s suffering PTSD and the doctor who reaches her–putting his own career on the line again.

come-closer_amazon1About the book:
Sometimes appearances deceive. Take me, for instance. I look like a respectable doctor with his shit together, but the rural Montana mental hospital I work at is actually a sanctuary from my demons. At just thirty-five years old, I’ve already failed on an epic scale. Treating patients at Hawthorne Hill is part of my atonement.

I’ve found peace when a new patient turns me inside out. Allison Cole is a beautiful, haunted survivor who fell into silence after witnessing a murder. But even without words, I’m drawn to her. The closer we get, the more I’m tempted to cross my professional boundaries and give in to my desire.

Soon I find myself in a desperate race to put the pieces of Allison’s silence together. Her life becomes inextricably entwined with mine as I fight to save the second chance I never thought I’d have. I’ll break whatever rules I have to in order to protect this woman who’s been to hell and back. For her, I’ll do harm.

My Review:
Daniel is the chief of staff at a private mental hospital in a remote location in Montana. It’s a nice place for people who have the funds. Allison arrives as a mute patient scarred by witnessing the brutal murder of her twin sister AVA, and hasn’t spoken in the month since that event.

As Allison tries to heal from the PTSD she’s confronted by the psychiatrist, Dr. Heaton, regarding the possibility of being complicit in Ava’s murder. Meanwhile, Ava’s been losing herself–and burying her grief–by getting lost in books. When no one can reach Allison, Daniel notices her reading habits and they begin communicating via book recommendations and notes. As the story goes on, we learn that Allison is the target of a search by Ava’s killer. She has details–besides being an eyewitness–that tie people well-known to Ava into several other murders, drug deals and big crimes. Daniel’s sure that Allison’s telling the truth, and he’s trying hard to protect her, but the threats are getting closer to their facility, and Daniel, a man who’s working his way back from losing his medical career already once–is putting everything on the line to keep Allison safe. And that’s not just because she’s his patient.

This is an intriguing romantic suspense novel that has really fantastic descriptions, and a pace that kept me turning the pages. The revelations about Ava and Allison’s history–and the ordeal that resulted in Ava’s murder–were well-written and felt authentic, not salacious or convenient. Daniel has a whole lot to lose if he’s caught up in another scandal–his medical license and visitation rights with his young son. The stakes are high for him, but Allison’s life is also in the balance, and it could be that employees of the mental hospital have motivations for keeping Allison sidelined. I also thought the discussions regarding Daniel’s career issues were well put-together and realistic.

I think readers will enjoy the twists, the slow-burn of romance and the mystery in this one. It’s not a typical romance, and that really caught my attention. I was rooting for Daniel and Allison to not only make a future together, but to survive the imminent danger, too.

Interested? You can find COME CLOSER on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Brenda Rothert is an Illinois native who was a print journalist for nine years. She made the jump from fact to fiction in 2013 and never looked back. From new adult to steamy contemporary romance, Brenda creates fresh characters in every story she tells. She’s a lover of Diet Coke, chocolate, lazy weekends and happily ever afters.

You can find Brenda on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Wattpad, Amazon, or sign up for her newsletter.
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