Living Life ACCORDING TO HOYLE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m featuring a review of a newly revamped, re-released historical M/M romance from best-selling author Abigail Roux. ACCORDING TO HOYLE is an interesting, well-paced, adventure following the travels and travails of two pairs of lovers in 1880’s western US. There is a complicated plot, and few romantic interludes in the closing chapters. It felt an awful-lot like Maverick–only gay.

According To HoyleAbout the book:
By the close of 1882, the inhabitants of the American West had earned their reputation as untamed and dangerous. The line between heroes and villains is narrow and indistinct. The concept that a man may only kill if backed into a corner is antiquated. Lives are worth less than horses. Treasures are worth killing for. And the law is written in the blood of those who came before. The only men staving off total chaos are the few who take the letter of the law at its word and risk their lives to uphold it. But in the West, the rules aren’t always played according to Hoyle.

U.S. Marshals Eli Flynn and William Henry Washington are escorting two prisoners to New Orleans for trial when they discover there’s more to the infamous shootist Dusty Rose and the enigmatic man known only as Cage than merely being outlaws. When forces beyond the marshals’ control converge on the paddlewheeler they have hired to take them downriver, they must choose between two dangers: playing by the rules at any cost or trusting the very men they are meant to bring to justice.

My Review:
4.5 stars. It seems, in the West, everybody’s got a secret (or six) to hide. Gabriel “Dusty” Rose is a well-known English gunman living out his exile in the western states in company of any of many Native American tribes. He’s hunted out for use by the Secret Service for information about a Native artifact he may (or may not) have, but he doesn’t wish to cooperate and is subsequently jailed for trial–it seems folks are always attacking Gabriel, hoping to be faster on the draw than the legendary killer. Gabriel and two other inmates Cage and Hobson are picked up for transit by two US Marshals–Eli Flynn and “Wash” Washington.

Flynn and Wash are solid lawmen. They believe in trials and punishment, though Wash is clearly not convinced that the law is always ‘right’. These men have been friends for many years, even since the War Between the States, and enjoy each other’s company. Flynn has a deeper affection for Wash than he will acknowledge, however Gabriel–a consummate judge of character–clearly notices. Not that Gabriel cares–he prefers men and doesn’t hesitate to make this plain.

Interestingly, the BULK of the story is told from the POV of Cage, a mute prisoner who has deep secrets and is likely to be hanged for burning diseased Army blankets, and Flynn, who cannot fathom the open affection he witnesses between Gabriel and Cage.

The transport of the prisoners is delayed by weather, fighting, and difficult terrain. Just when it seems Cage and Gabriel will be separated, losing the one true connection either of them had mustered in some time, there’s a switch, and the foursome of Flynn, Wash, Gabriel and Cage end up going downriver on a paddle boat bent for trouble. When it is seized by river thieves, Flynn must depend upon Gabriel, an uncommon killer, to help him save Wash–and all the rest of the passengers. (But, mostly Wash)

They four men build a tight comaraderie over the course of this book–and the resolution is clearly meant to build into a new adventure. Flynn’s constant exposure to Gabriel’s insightful, if unwelcome, commentary causes Flynn to investigate his feelings about Wash, and leads to the best connection of his life. Cage has terrible secrets, which come to light in captivity, but it’s Gabriel’s affection that wins out.

The book reads a lot like a Maverick/Indiana Jones plot, lots of foreshadowing, governmental intrigue, and double-crosses, with a dash of romance here and there. I did very much enjoy the ride, and I’d likely go back for more. I had wished for more steam, and to better understand this Native artifact, but it seems that will be reserved for the next story.

Interested? You can find ACCORDING TO HOYLE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Riptide Books. I received a review copy on NetGalley.

About the author:
Abigail Roux was born and raised in North Carolina. A past volleyball star who specializes in sarcasm and painful historical accuracy, she currently spends her time coaching high school volleyball and investigating the mysteries of single motherhood. Any spare time is spent living and dying with every Atlanta Braves and Carolina Panthers game of the year. Abigail has a daughter, Little Roux, who is the light of her life, a boxer, four rescued cats who play an ongoing live-action variation of ‘Call of Duty’ throughout the house, a certifiable extended family down the road, and a cast of thousands in her head.

You can catch up with Abigail online on her website, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

A DIFFERENT KIND OF (sexy!) COSPLAY–My Review

Hi all! today I want to share my review of a super kinky/sexy novella recently released by Lucy Felthouse. I’ve shared reviews of some of her work before–Pack of Lies, Brit Boys: On Boys and Unconditional Surrender–but A DIFFERENT KIND OF COSPLAY is a fun M/F romp that I zipped through–and seriously considered “gifting” to my own hubby…. 😉

A Different Kind of CosplayAbout the book:

Zachary has a dilemma. His girlfriend, Reese, has a special birthday coming up soon and he has absolutely no clue what to get for her. It doesn’t help that Zach does not share or really understand Reese’s biggest hobby—comic books, superheroes and everything that goes with them. Zach raids Reese’s DVD collection for inspiration, and what he finds there gives him an idea…possibly the best one he’s ever had.

Sure, Reese has fantasized about her favorite superheroes. All those muscles and rakish smiles are to die for. She didn’t think Zach would ever really understand, though. But he proves her wrong in the best way possible.

My Review:
Zach’s girlfriend, Reece, is due to celebrate her 30th birthday and he doesn’t know what to do about it. See, Reece is a doctor, and her schedule is too tight and unpredictable to plan a weekend in Paris, as he would prefer. He wants to get her something totally memorable, and the idea sparks:  Reece loves comics, and she’s a goner for the Avengers. He visits her fave comic shop and that’s when he pieces together a plan–to make a sexy cosplay for his geeky, beautiful, brilliant girlfriend.

Zach orders costumes for Thor, Iron Man, Hawkeye and Captain America, and builds his own Bruce Banner, studying the comic lore for details of each, all in the effort to build an unforgettable seduction for Reece. The birthday surprise? Let’s just say Reece is one satisfied lady.

This is full-on erotica, and full-frontal cosplay. Such a fun, kinky, premise and delish steamy scenes. Reece is charmed by Zach’s gift, and they make some plans to advance this kink….

Loki anyone?

It’s a delicious, sexy erotic novella sure to appeal to folks who like role-play, cosplay, kinky vanilla, and The Avengers.

Interested? You can find A DIFFERENT KIND OF COSPLAY on Goodreads, Ellora’s Cave, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Lucy FelthouseAbout the Author:

Lucy Felthouse is a very busy woman! She writes erotica and erotic romance in a variety of subgenres and pairings, and has over 100 publications to her name, with many more in the pipeline. These include several editions of Best Bondage Erotica, Best Women’s Erotica 2013 and Best Erotic Romance 2014. Another string to her bow is editing, and she has edited and co-edited a number of anthologies, and also edits for a small publishing house.
She owns Erotica For All, and is book editor for Cliterati. Find out more at her website, join her on Facebook and Twitter, or even subscribe to her newsletter.
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

 

Love Was On The Menu DIRTY DINING–An Appetizer, and Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a super sexy M/M contemporary romance from EM Lynley. I’ve loved some of her other books (SPAGHETTI WESTERN and BOUND FOR TROUBLE) so I was anxious to get a sneak peek at DIRTY DINING. (WARNING!! This is ABSOLUTELY an ADULT BOOK. Excerpt below is…racy! You are warned.)

Dirty DiningAbout the book:
Jeremy Linden’s a PhD student researching an HIV vaccine. He’s always short of money, and when biotech startup PharmaTek reduces funding for his fellowship, he’s tempted to take a job at a men’s dining club as a serving boy. The uniforms are skimpy, and he’s expected to remove an item of clothing after each course. He can handle that, but he soon discovers there’s more on the menu here than fine cuisine. How far will he go to pay his tuition, and will money get in the way when he realizes he’s interested in more from one of his gentlemen?

Brice Martin is an attorney for a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. When he’s asked to take a client to the infamous Dinner Club, he finds himself unexpectedly turned on by the atmosphere and especially by his server, Remy. He senses there’s more to the sexy young man than meets the eye. The paradox fascinates him, and he can’t get enough of Remy.

Their relationship quickly extends beyond the club and sex. But the trust and affection they’ve worked to achieve may crumble when Jeremy discovers Brice’s VC firm is the one that pulled the plug on PharmaTek—and Jeremy’s research grant.

How about a taste?

Jeremy kept watching, wondering whether he’d want some stranger to fuck him. Of course he would. He’d gone home–or not home–with guys he’d hooked up with at clubs. You didn’t need dinner and a movie if the attraction was mutual. Mr. Green might be exactly his type. But fooling around for money? That changed everything, didn’t it?

A dinner gong sounded, and the other boys–as they liked to call themselves–put the finishing touches on their costumes and makeup and lined up to parade out in front of tonight’s gentlemen. Each boy had a colored snap-on armband that would match a ribbon on one gentleman’s label. Butterflies flittered in his gut and soon turned to huge bats flapping their wings when the door opened and he heard the mens’ voices, their laughter as the boys walked into the room. Rand had told Jeremy to go last, so he could see how the other boys greeted their gentlemen, and he stood in the doorway observing. Boys’ bodies blocked his view at first, and he was halfway into the room, glimpsing heavy set men with grey temples and jowls before he spotted the bright green ribbon on his client’s label.

Oh dear. Oh fucking fuck. he thought and moved around the perimeter of the room, feeling the breeze under his loincloth as his cock and balls swung free with each step. He felt the sheer fabric flutter around his dick and tried not to be self-conscious as he exposed himself to everyone around the room.

Mr. Green was fucking gorgeous.

My Review:
THIS BOOK WAS DELICIOUS!! Beginning to end, I adored the heck out of the absolutely sexy, filthy, fun kinky book.

Jeremy is a grad student working on his PhD at Cal in San Francisco. He’s
a good-looking 27 y/o gay man, and, struggling with his finances, he’s been recruited to work as a server at The Dinner Club–an establishment for titillating dining. The job is, essentially, to be scantily clad and deliver each of six courses to his assigned diner. As each course is passed, the diners get to remove an article of their server’s costume–until the servers are all nekkid.

Oh, and the diners can pay for the servers to “perform” for them. And, to spend a night with the server of their choice–if the servers should so choose. There’s lots and lots of tip money, and Jeremy’s scared but willing. It’s not as if he hasn’t had anonymous hook ups before. And his first diner, “Mr Green” is so handsome, and nearly as bashful as Jeremy.

Brice Martin is a patent attorney. He’s mid-thirties and newly returned to San Fran after he and his long-term BF split. One of the partners at the venture capital firm where Brice now works has sprung for a fun night out–at The Dinner Club. Brice isn’t really a fan of voyeurism, and even less a fan of paying for a man’s company, but he is in a bit of a bind what with his boss urging him on. He’s mesmerized by the nubile young man, “Remy,” who arrives with the starters–and thankful for his colorful pseudonym–Green with envy, actually.

Jeremy and Brice are far more tame at the table than their boisterous diners/servers, but plenty turned on, as well. Brice’s boss comps a “nightcap” (overnight stay) for Brice to further enjoy Jeremy, but they are equally tentative behind closed doors. Their caution underlies the uncertainty of their feelings–Jeremy doesn’t want to feel like a prostitute, and Brice wants a lover who desires him of his own will–not for cash. Still they relish each other a bit, and Brice realizes his attraction hasn’t waned. He wants more Remy.

On his next visit to The Dinner Club, this time with a wealthy closeted client, Brice chooses a different server, hoping that his attraction was simply a novelty. Watching Remy serve another man, however, is aggravating. And Jeremy’s a bit hurt that he wasn’t requested by the lovely Mr Green.

Thing is, there’s so much else going on–while Brice and Jeremy are learning to connect and bond with each other, Jeremy’s research is progressing–and, yet, suffering. He’s studying a novel approach to HIV vaccination and the results are SO promising, but his finances are drying up–a joint Biotech/academic partnership pays for his research but the biotech firm is losing its venture capital. Meanwhile, Brice’s firm is in a position to fully fund Jeremy’s research, but a miscommunication throws all that into jeopardy.

Brice and Jeremy may have a chance, if they can only learn to trust one another’s intentions. Jeremy doesn’t want to be “kept” and Brice doesn’t want to “share” him with The Dinner Club. Their feelings develop over a period of a few months–as they make an effort to meet outside of The Dinner Club illicitly.

It’s a fun, fun story with a tender plot and delicious smexytimes. For real. Fans of 80s romances will dig the movie references, and be thrilled by the the spectacular HEA.

Interested? You can find DIRTY DINING on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble.

EM LynleyAbout the Author:
EM Lynley writes gay erotic romance. She loves books where the hero gets the guy and the loving is 11 on a scale of 10. Her Precious Gems series is best described as “Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone”—only gayer. The Delectable series is Gay Romance with Taste.

A Rainbow Award winner and EPPIE finalist, EM has worked in high finance, high tech, and in the wine industry, though she’d rather be writing hot, romantic man-on-man action. She spent 10 years as an economist and financial analyst, including a year as a White House Staff Economist, but only because all the intern positions were filled. Tired of boring herself and others with dry business reports and articles, her creative muse is back and naughtier than ever. She has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Washington, D.C., but the San Francisco Bay Area is home for now.

She is the author of Sex, Lies & Wedding Bells, the Precious Gems series from Dreamspinner Press, and the Rewriting History series starring a sexy jewel thief, among others. Her books are available in print and e-book from Amazon & other book distributors.

You can find EM Lynley on Goodreads, her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Celebrating Bollywood! Interviews and Giveaway

Romance and Intrigue: Bollywood Style Giveaway
Something Bollywood Going On Here

Sonali Dev and Susan Kaye Quinn met in a most unusual place: Library Journal’s Top 10 E-Romance List for 2014. Sonali’s A Bollywood Affair and Susan’s Third Daughter both made the list with their Bollywood-themed romances – something that was so cool, it cried out to be celebrated!

Scroll down to win some great Bollywood-themed prizes!
Contemporary and Steampunk Bollywood Romance

A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev
Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in twenty years–not since she was promised to him at the age of four. Yet marriage has allowed Mili a freedom rarely given to girls in her village. Her grandmother has even allowed her to leave India and study in America for eight months, all to make her the perfect modern wife. Which is exactly what Mili longs to be–if her husband would just come and claim her.
Bollywood’s favorite director, Samir Rathod, has come to Michigan to secure a divorce for his older brother. Persuading a naive village girl to sign the papers should be easy for someone with Samir’s tabloid-famous charm. But Mili is neither a fool nor a gold-digger. Open-hearted yet complex, she’s trying to reconcile her independence with cherished traditions. And before he can stop himself, Samir is immersed in Mili’s life–cooking her dal and rotis, escorting her to her roommate’s elaborate Indian wedding, and wondering where his loyalties and happiness lie.
The Third Daughter of the Queen wants to her birthday to arrive so she’ll be free to marry for love, but rumors of a new flying weapon may force her to accept a barbarian prince’s proposal for a peace-brokering marriage. Desperate to marry the charming courtesan she loves, Aniri agrees to the prince’s proposal as a subterfuge in order to spy on him, find the weapon, and hopefully avoid both war and an arranged marriage to a man she does not love.

Third Daughter is the first book in the Dharian Affairs Trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter). This steampunk-goes-to-Bollywood (Bollypunk!) romance takes place in an east-indian-flavored alternate world filled with skyships, saber duels, and lots of royal intrigue. And, of course, kissing.

I have read and loved all the books in this series. Aniri is a fantastic character, and her fearless devotion to her family and friends leads her on a journey that risks much and saves her world from war. Eventually… Click the titles for my reviews on THIRD DAUGHTER, SECOND DAUGHTER, and FIRST DAUGHTER.

~*~
Romance and Intrigue: Bollywood Style

This short Q&A with Sonali and Susan talks about marrying for love and writing romance!

Q: Marrying for love is a modern, and in some ways Western, concept, but arranged marriages have a long and complicated history. How does your novel tackle the subject of arranged marriage?

Sue: Third Daughter is set in a fantasy world, but it’s a blend of cultures in the real one, including being an analog to India (both current day and some of the past). In the Dharian Affairs world, royal marriages have a history of being arranged for political purposes, but the general population of the countries marry for love. This leaves the titular Daughters with varying conflicts between marrying for duty and marrying for love ñ some embracing their arranged marriages, some fighting against it. The marriage dynamics of the three daughters in the trilogy (Third Daughter, Second Daughter, First Daughter) drive much of the story- along with political intrigue and skyships, of course!
Sonali: In India where I grew up arranged marriages are still very much a part of the fabric of the culture. Having said that, one of the most interesting and unique things about Indian society is how diverse it is within itself. While you still have communities and families who will give the marrying person absolutely no say in whom they marry there are those who don’t believe their parents and families have any say when it comes to whom they choose to marry or live with, and then there is the rest of the sizable population who falls somewhere between those two belief systems. In A Bollywood Affair, Mili is from a tiny village from a very orthodox family and it is perfectly natural that her family would arrange her marriage. She would expect that. It wouldn’t even strike a girl from her background that she could choose for herself. The age at which she was married isn’t usual, though, but there is a reason why her grandmother gets her married that young. As for her being in love with her husband, again, the conditioning to be devoted to your husband is so ingrained in the culture that it would be strange if someone like Mili didn’t love someone she believed was her husband. 
Q: Whether set in a fantasy world or the modern one, romance is romance! There are many romance tropes–star-crossed lovers, lovers thrown together by circumstance, enemies turned lovers–what kind(s) of romance tropes does your novel contain?

Sue: My books are really a blend of romance and adventure, although the first book is a classic ‘lovers thrown together by circumstance’ as Aniri (the Third Daughter) goes undercover in accepting a marriage proposal from the barbarian prince in the north in order to spy on him and determine if his country truly has the rumored flying machine that would upend the political dynamics in both their countries.
Sonali: Although I didn’t set out to write it that way, several readers have pointed out that A Bollywood Affair is a Worldly Rake and an Ingenue Virgin trope. And now that I think about it, there’s truth to that. 
Q: Are you planning on writing more romances in this story-world? If so, tell us about it!

Sue: The Dharian Affairs trilogy is complete, but I’ve enjoyed writing in this east-Indian steampunk fantasy romance world so much, I’ve decided to do a follow-on trilogy from the point of view of a new character–a female tinker who has a grand invention that may change the world, but also is caught between the spy she might love and the spy she can’t resist. Those books likely won’t be written for a year or two, but I will cycle back to writing in this world in the future!
Sonali: The Bollywood Bride comes out next year and it’s the story of a Bollywood star who comes home to Chicago after ten years to escape a scandal in Mumbai and comes face to face with the man she betrayed for stardom. And then there are two more stories I’m working on in the same series. Which isn’t a series in terms of continuity or overlapping characters but because the stories are set in the same world and either the hero or the heroine work in Bollywood. 
~*~
WIN BOLLYWOOD PRIZES
Paperback of Third Daughter (The Dharian Affairs #1)
The Dharian Affairs Trilogy in Ebook
2 Paperback copies of A Bollywood Affair 
Handwoven Pashmina shawl from India
Sticker Henna Tattoos
Indian bangles (bracelets)
(all physical prizes are US ONLY; ebook is INTERNATIONAL)

***GIVEAWAY***

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

They Found Love OFF CAMPUS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary new adult M/M romance from fellow Chicagoan, Amy Jo Cousins. OFF CAMPUS is an “Odd Couple” for the college set, with d-lish loving, redemption, prejudice and good ol’ fun.

Off Campus (Bend or Break, #1)About the book:
Everyone’s got secrets. Some are just harder to hide.

With his father’s ponzi scheme assets frozen, Tom Worthington believes finishing college is impossible unless he can pay his own way. After months sleeping in his car and gypsy-cabbing for cash, he’s ready to do just that.

But his new, older-student housing comes with an unapologetically gay roommate. Tom doesn’t ask why Reese Anders has been separated from the rest of the student population. He’s just happy to be sleeping in a bed.

Reese isn’t about to share his brutal story with his gruff new roommate. You’ve seen one homophobic jock, you’ve seen ’em all. He plans to drag every twink on campus into his bed until Tom moves out. But soon it becomes clear Tom isn’t budging.

Tom isn’t going to let some late-night sex noise scare him off, especially when it’s turning him on. But he doesn’t want any drama either. He’ll keep his hands, if not his eyes, to himself. Boundaries have a way of blurring when you start sharing truths, though. And if Tom and Reese cross too many lines, they may need to find out just how far they can bend…before they break.

Warning: This book contains cranky roommates who vacillate between lashing out and licking, some male/male voyeurism, emotional baggage that neither guy wants to unpack, and the definitive proof that sound carries in college housing.

My Review:
Tom Worthington is homeless. Destitute. A college junior who earns his tuition money as a cab driver in Boston. Life hasn’t always been this way, however. He was rich, once. The only son of a successful investment manager. Tom’s mother died when he was young, and his relationship with his dad was always more of a mentoring, rather than nurturing, one. Well, until his father was convicted of running a Ponzi scheme and Tom’s silver spoon was yanked straight from his mouth. It took Tom a year to save up enough money for his college term, and he’s not giving that up for anyone.

Reese Anders is sophomore who survived abuse last term. He was promised a single room, and is livid that a “brutish jock”, Tom, has been assigned to share with him. Reese is out, a bit of a “twink” and planning to make Tom’s life miserable–parading a line of sex partners and nude man posters into their room.

Problem is, Tom’s not so put off. Seems Tom is bisexual, and strangely attracted to the hands-off spitfire, Reese. Tom has had precious little contact with anyone for nearly 18-months, not since his dad was arrested, and later tried to commit suicide, so he’s basically on emotional sensory overload sharing living space with Reese.

Okay. There are lots of issues at play. Tom is too proud to admit he’s homeless. Reese assumes he has money, because many of their fellow students are pretty well off, and Tom does nothing to dismiss this notion. Tom works really hard, studying like crazy, knowing he must make the most of this time–he may not earn enough money to pay for next semester. Reese begins to confide in Tom why he’s so afraid of big guys, jocks, and Tom, in particular. It’s not as (completely) horrifying as I had anticipated, but violation is violation and I’m not going to downplay it. It, nonetheless, is a big part of Reese’s character, and an issue he and Tom must work through if they are to forge ahead with a relationship.

Of course, Tom doesn’t want to be a blip on the radar anywhere. He had troubles with tabloid articles in the past–some stories having been sold from “friends” when he actually broke down and confided in some of them–and is intensely private, now. So, being “out” with Reese is a Not Gonna Do It scenario. I was a bit dismayed by Tom’s rationalizations–as was Reese.

This story unfolds over the course of two semesters, and is completely told from Tom’s POV. Tom’s fear of scrutiny and Reese’s unwillingness to be silenced clash, a good bit. It was great to see Tom open up, be more of a real person than a shadow-student. He and Reese are unlikely partners, but they work. I appreciated Tom’s pain and embarrassment over his father’s criminal activity–and how determined he was to not take help that should go to “more deserving” kids. One’s whose parents weren’t thieves. His righteousness was admirable, in that regard. I wasn’t so taken with his reticence to accept his sexuality, but I think that goes along with the age. Tom’s 22, and Reese’s 20.

I got a real kick out of Tom’s buddy, Cash.

Tom ignored Cash’s staring back and forth between the two of them.
The struggle to wrap his brain around the sex thing was occupying most of Cash’s working brain cells.
“Just, why?” He needed to talk it out. Great. “Okay, cute dude, not my thing, but whatever floats your boat. And I guess it makes sense that a dude knows his way around a dick, so okay, I can see how that works. But your ass, man. Why you wanna go sticking something up there?”
“Does my sex life have to make sense to you? Because I am not having this conversation!” Tom’s words were muffled by the sweatshirt he dragged over his head, but he was pretty sure everyone on the hall heard that one.

The resolution is good. The story has real heart and some fun bits. It’s also very naughty, in parts, so….yay for me! Not for the kiddos, however.

Interested? You can find OFF CAMPUS on GoodreadsAmazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Google Play, iBooks, and on the Samhain website. I got a review copy of this book from NetGalley.

Amy Jo CousinsAbout the Author:

Amy Jo Cousins lives in Chicago, where she writes contemporary romance, tweets more than she ought, and sometimes runs way too far. She loves her boy and the Cubs, who taught her that being awesome doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with winning.

You can find Amy Jo online on her website, GoodreadsFacebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

They Were Linked DANGEROUSLY FOREVER–Review and Giveaway

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Hi all! Today I’m reviewing a sci-fi erotic romance newly released by best-selling author AM Griffin. DANGEROUSLY FOREVER is a whirlwind of human slavery, daring escapes and forever love–pretty much in that order.

Dangerously Forever (Loving Dangerously, #5)About the Book:
Being kidnapped by a deadly—and dead sexy—brothel slave wasn’t exactly what Kiehle Xochis signed up for. His instructions had been simple: Watch over the human female until his brother and his mate arrived to rescue her. Instead, the slave has decided to liberate herself. She’s proving to be more than Kiehle can handle—and he kind of likes it.

Allysan Miller has gone through hell since being taken from Earth during an invasion. She’s finally found a way to escape the latest, and worst, of the brothels she’s been sold to. Now if Ally plays her cards right, she could gain both freedom and love…if she can learn to trust the dangerous male she’s chosen as her hostage.

Inside Scoop: Ally suffers her share of abuse at the hands of a brothel owner’s guards. But don’t worry. The feisty female warrior gives as good as she gets.
A Romantica® SciFi erotic romance from Ellora’s Cave

How about an excerpt!

Flustered at being mesmerized by him, yet again, she turned and focused her attention back on the post and practiced fighting combinations. Not giving in to the temptation to turn and watch him more.

From the corner of her eye, she saw him crouch low to stretch his thighs. The material of his pants stuck to every fine muscular line.

Even outlining his…

She gave her head a light shake. There’s no need to focus on that…that…monstrous thing.

She eyed the post and focused hard. Left, right, cross and duck. Left, right, cross and duck. As he finally walked over to her, she mentally repeated the words, trying to drown out the other voices in her head. The voices that whispered how delicious he looked…that begged her to let him crush her under his weight.

By the time he stood a foot away, the chant sounded more like, Left! Right! Cross! And duck! Left! Right! Cross! And duck!

He moved to her side and assumed a fighting stance, crouching low with his arms out, his smoldering lavender eyes trained on her. His face was framed by thick dark hair that hung a little past his shoulders. Good gracious, he was gorgeous.

She gave him a look of indifference. “We’re sparring?”

“Unless you think I might be too much for you to handle.”

He didn’t know what he was walking into. She’d spent the morning thinking of ways to knock him on his back—and not the way he was probably thinking of now.

She twisted her hair into a knot on the back of her head. He didn’t make a move to do anything with his. Hanging loose, it made him look primal…dangerous…sexy.

Shit.

She narrowed her gaze. He must think that every female around him should swoon like a schoolgirl. He really didn’t need to take off his shirt to advertise his perfect body and that stretching performance had been way over the top. Now his hair was blowing around his face as if he were some kind of alien Fabio.

She looked around. Where the hell is all this wind coming from? “Are you planning to tie back your hair?” she asked, trying her best to sound annoyed—not aroused.

“I had not planned to.” Smiling, he added, “Unless you find it too distracting.”

My Review:
Following Earth’s occupation, Ally becomes a human slave, separated from her dead husband and best friend Eva. She’s not very good at being a slave, however, and continues to get sold to increasingly brutal brothel owners because, well, she has a tendency to maim/kill clients or guards who mistreat her. At her sixth brothel she unwillingly befriends a young boy, Max, the personal pet of her owner. She’s already killed a few o his guards, but when Alharad notices her affinity for Max he’s finally got the right tool to bend Ally’s strong will: threatening Max.

Eva survived her purchase, and thrived. She’s married to the king of Drazlan and has been scouring the galaxy for Ally for years. When she finally finds her, Eva is on the verge of delivering a baby and cannot travel so she sends her brother-in-law, Kiehle, to secure Ally. Kiehle is a warrior, but he’s no match for the cunning of a momma bear. See, Alharad plans to put Max and his friend Yoshi to work as prostitutes, and Ally knows a prince has his own transport. She constructs a half-baked, but daring, plan to kidnap Kiehle and escape with her two child charges.

Best laid plans of desperate women aside, Kiehle is terrifyingly impressed by Ally’s ferocity and loyalty. He’s attracted to her warrior heart as much as to her physical attributes and allows her to “capture” him. There begins the chase scenes and the “Ally can’t trust nobody” interlude. There’s some steam and a whole lot of humor throughout. Ally is a kickass heroine who’s gonna save her kids, and herself, in that order. Kiehle is a great male lead–totally loving and sensitive, while also being huge and hot.

The reunion between Eva and Ally is tender and real. It’s such a romp of a book, with appropriately timed plot twists and great relationships–not just the romance, but also the friendships. Fun, sexy and funny–it’s a triple threat. Kinda like Ally.

Interested? You can find DANGEROUSLY FOREVER on Goodreads, Ellora’s Cave, Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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About the Author:

A. M. Griffin is a wife who rarely cooks, mother of three, dog owner (and sometimes dog owned), a daughter, sister, aunt and friend. She’s a hard worker whose two favorite outlets are reading and writing. She enjoys reading everything from mystery novels to historical romances and of course fantasy romance. She is a believer in the unbelievable, open to all possibilities from mermaids in our oceans and seas, angels in the skies and intelligent life forms in distant galaxies.

You can find Ms. Griffin on her website, Amazon, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook. Or sign up for her newsletter.

Just A Matter of WHEN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a newly released YA book that captivated me from the first page. Victoria Laurie’s WHEN centers on Maddie, an ordinary girl with an extraordinary gift–she can see the death dates of every person she meets.

WhenAbout the Book:

Maddie Fynn is a shy high school junior, cursed with an eerie intuitive ability: she sees a series of unique digits hovering above the foreheads of each person she encounters. Her earliest memories are marked by these numbers, but it takes her father’s premature death for Maddie and her family to realize that these mysterious digits are actually death dates, and just like birthdays, everyone has one.

Forced by her alcoholic mother to use her ability to make extra money, Maddie identifies the quickly approaching death date of one client’s young son, but because her ability only allows her to see the when and not the how, she’s unable to offer any more insight. When the boy goes missing on that exact date, law enforcement turns to Maddie.

Soon, Maddie is entangled in a homicide investigation, and more young people disappear and are later found murdered. A suspect for the investigation, a target for the murderer, and attracting the attentions of a mysterious young admirer who may be connected to it all, Maddie’s whole existence is about to be turned upside down. Can she right things before it’s too late?

My Review:

Maddie has a had a traumatic life. Seeing the death dates of every person she meets, or on any close-up picture she sees, is personally horrifying, but she’s also forced to rely on this macabre talent in order to support herself and her alcoholic mother. She’s only 16 and didn’t realize the significance of those funny numbers on people’s foreheads until her father’s number was up. That was ten years ago and she and her mother are now limping along in a bedroom community about 90 minutes from Manhattan.

When she informs a client that her son will die in the coming week, the client freaks out. Maddie attempts to call a second time, urged by her best friend “Stubby” Shroeder, to impress the seriousness of the situation–and is rebuffed, with hostility. That is, until the young boy goes missing. Only, Maddie knows he’s not just missing–he’s dead. The Feds are in on the case, and Maddie finds herself at the center of their investigation. Her Uncle Donny, a slick lawyer, does his best to cast suspicion away, cautioning Maddie against doing any further readings–but she inadvertently sees a local girl with a looming death date–and Stubby insists they try to help.

Their interference only lands both of them in huge trouble, and the Feds are mounting a case file that could put both Maddie and Stubby in jail for a good long time. Meanwhile, Maddie fights the system, trying to prove that her “gift” is what gives her insight, as small as it is. She’s got the added trouble of bullying at school, and her mother going on increasingly more dangerous benders. I honestly got chills reading about Maddie peeling her mom off one floor, or another, and putting her back to bed safely–when her mom managed to make it home.

Maddie’s world has become an even more frightening place as strange trucks chase her down dark streets and yet another child is kidnapped. The FBI is, at first, hostile, but Maddie fights to win their support against Uncle Donny’s wishes–he’s sure they’re going to set her up. Proving her gift is legit is nearly as hard as proving the Tooth Fairy exists, however.

Still, Maddie never gives up trying to demonstrate her (and Stubby’s) innocence. Not when her mom takes a turn for the worst. Not when Stubby’s the lead suspect. And not when it seems the FBI wants to name her as an accomplice to a serial murderer. It’s a taut, emotional drama that moves with grace. Several suspects exist, all of whom are equally likely, keeping the reader guessing until the closing scenes.

The adults are very real people, not simple characterizations. Maddie’s mom is pathetic and sympathetic. Uncle Donny is a champ, and keeps the Feds from steamrolling two awesome kids. Stubby is the kind of best friend I would dream my kids find–selfless, kind and cheerful to a fault.  Even the FBI agents who threaten Maddie at every turn aren’t as ruthless as they first seem. I expected the ending, but that’s like chocolate sprinkles on the thriller sundae. When, not if, WHEN is turned into a movie, I’m gonna get an extra large popcorn and enjoy it again.

Interested? You can find WHEN on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. And, no doubt, other vendors. Probably going to see this one everywhere. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

Victoria LaurieAbout the Author:

Victoria Laurie is the New York Times bestselling author of 26 books and counting. Victoria divides her time between her two adult mystery series, (The Psychic Eye Mysteries, and The Ghost Hunter Mysteries), and a Y/A thriller, When.

As a professional psychic, Victoria’s protagonists – psychic Abigail Cooper, and spiritual medium M. J. Holliday – tackle the tricky world of the paranormal while fighting bad guys and demons with plenty of plucky humor and determination. And using that keen understanding of the paranormal, Victoria also created the character of Maddie Fynn, a teenager with the unique intuitive ability to predict the exact date of someone’s death.

To showcase her writing range, Victoria has also penned a children’s epic adventure series, The Oracles of Delphi Keep.  Victoria loves to connect with her fans, and you can find her on Goodreads, her website, twitter and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!