Cephalopod Coffeehouse Dec 2016- GRAIL- A Review

0ed81-coffeehouseHi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This month I’m sharing a review for the third book in the Le Fay series by Realm Lovejoy. GRAIL follows Morgan Le Fay, a fire-throwing soldier for a modern-day Camelot. This book really needs to be read after HENGE and SWORD for it to make sense.

grailAbout the book:
A hero has fallen, and darkness threatens a splintered Camelot. In the midst of turmoil, the last hope for the kingdom is Morgan le Fay. Morgan is both feared and revered . . . and currently in prison for treason.

In the wake of King Uther’s tragic death, the wicked Mordred is closing in on young King Arthur, and the boy king turns to Morgan for help. Freed from her imprisonment through his order, Morgan searches for a way to protect him. But she is still an outcast, and no one believes her suspicions about Mordred.

To save King Arthur, Morgan must reach the greatest Royal Relic in the world—the Grail—before Mordred does. It’s a journey that will challenge her in ways she’s never been challenged before. Traveling deep into a land of darkness, she will need to overcome the ghosts of her past to find her true power.

Can Morgan defeat Mordred and save King Arthur? And this time, can she defend Camelot without destroying herself?

My Review:
Morgan Le Fay is an eighteen year old girl who’d dreamed of being a member of Arthur’s Round, an elite fighting force that would counsel and protect Arthur Pendragon when he became king. This is a contemporary society where magic exists, and Camelot is real. Unfortunately, the Pendragon family is under attack by the Luminaries, an extremist group that wants magic to be out in the open, unconstrained by law. The Luminaries tried to kill Morgan and young Arthur in HENGE and again in SWORD. Morgan is, to her credit, a steadfast girl. She’s unorthodox, because she refuses to let Arthur come to harm–and believes that people close to him, namely Mordred, are aligned with the Luminaries.

Still, her behavior is erratic and dangerous, in the eyes of the court, and she’d been sentenced to death for treason for kidnapping Arthur before his enemies could. Without Morgan, Arthur would have been struck down before he even gained his magic. Of course, in forcing Arthur to find Excalibur, Morgan learned a very difficult truth about her heritage–and her relationship to Arthur.

She’s been imprisoned to keep that secret safe, and also, because no one can fully prove, or disprove, her involvement in Arthur’s father’s untimely death. Lancelot is on her side, however, and when Morgan is sentenced to a life of magicless servitude, he bargains for her release into the Grey Knights. It’s not fantastic, but it’s not scrubbing toilets either. But, Arthur needs Morgan more than ever, now that he’s fifteen and bearing the weight of the crown. He’s borderline suicidal, and Mordred’s machinations haven’t ceased. When Arthur goes missing, it’s up to Morgan–who’s blood is tied to Arthur’s–to head up the rescue mission, and perhaps save her dear friendship with a jaded Merlin.

Morgan was my kick-ass heroine of 2015, and she’s back this year with another rollicking adventure. She’s more subdued, however, feeling the full-weight of her crimes, and newly-discovered paternity. She’s devoted to Arthur, but her efforts to assist him only lead her into more trouble. Morgan, Lancelot and Merlin have a complicated relationship, with Merlin–who had been completely infatuated–spurning her, while flirty Lancelot is willing to stick his neck out to make her punishment lessened. Merlin comes off as a real whiny dude, making my esteem drop, while Lancelot’s a steady man, unafraid to be a hero. The adventure to find Arthur is perilous and pushes Morgan to her very limits. She never quits. I just love that about her. She may be down, but it’s always a temporary situation, because her shrewd intellect is always looking for the next opportunity to rise again. By the end, she’s not only saved the day, she’s saved herself. And that’s totally cool. She has romantic feelings for both Lancelot and Merlin, but this doesn’t become a love triangle scenario. There are too many hurt feelings to have any real romance. Plus, Morgan’s life is not her own for a great deal of the book. She does her best to mend rifts, and it seems she manages to do this quite well. I’m eager to get the next book in this series.

Interested? You can find GRAIL on Goodreads and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in! Be sure to check out the reviews of my fellow Coffeehouse bloggers. And, keep reading my friends!

Switching Plans ANALOG TO DIGITAL–Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new Christmas-themed M/M romance novella from Posy Roberts. ANALOG TO DIGITAL is a sweet tale of one man getting his heart’s desire right when he thinks he’s losing it all.

a-to-dAbout the book:
All Ethan wants for Christmas, and the rest of his life, is Toby.
For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

How about a little taste?

LOOKING UP from the doodle I’d started on a cocktail napkin, I ordered. “Surly Furious. Two, please.” It was the beer I’d begged my sister to ship to me from back home. I wanted to give my employees a taste of Minnesota, even if they relentlessly teased me about my accent and “unfathomable” work ethic. I didn’t end up owner of a top-rated design house by the time I was in my midtwenties by phoning it in, so I never let their jibes bother me much.

The server reached for glasses after cracking each large can with a pfft and pfft, but I waved him off. “We’ll drink ’em right from the can, thanks.”

“Certainly.”

I slipped a ten in his tip jar and turned to the center of the distinctive ballroom, where people were dancing. His thanks trailed after me as I made my way over to Toby, who looked ready to blend into the leather couch while the room buzzed around him.

I pressed the chilled beer into his warm palm. “Here. This is the one I told you about.”

He took a sip and looked at me with dark eyes before taking another few swallows. He smiled when he finally set the can down. “It’s good. Real good.”

“Told ya.” I leaned in and kissed the beer foam that clung to his mustache. His beard brushed my chin, and as much as I wanted to get lost in his kisses, I was there as the boss tonight and couldn’t really let go like I wanted.

“Look at you two! So in love.” Stella, my right-hand and necessary coconspirator in most projects, plopped herself in the chair next to me and sipped at a neon-pink drink garnished with at least three fruit kabobs. Her eclectic style, mostly latent punk rocker meets Vargas pinup girl, was in full bloom. She would’ve fit perfectly on the nose of an Air Force plane or at any dance club in the city.

I smiled at her as I leaned against Toby’s shoulder. The sparkle in her lined eyes made what she was about to ask obvious.

“When are you two going to finally tie the knot?”

“We’re not,” Toby said without a second’s hesitation.

I crossed my feet at the ankles to ward off any evil as I lied through my teeth. “It’s not something either of us has ever wanted. No need to be tied down to a person. God knows I’m tied down by enough strings to this business, which grows busier by the day.”

Stella studied me out of the corner of her eye, skeptical. I talked shop to shake her focus.

My Review:
Ethan and Toby have been together for several years, and Ethan’s feeling a little bitter that Toby refuses to get married. They live together, and Ethan wants Toby to be his forever man, but feels as if Toby will never make it official. This insecurity is fanned by Ethan’s sister’s impending vow renewal. She’d gotten married to her hubs while visiting Ethan and Toby just that summer, but now she’s planning a big reception on Christmas Eve back home in Minnesota. Ethan wants to skip it, but Toby buys them plane tickets.

Then, over the several days leading up to the reception and holiday, Toby’s off helping Ethan’s family get the arrangements set for the wedding. Meanwhile, Ethan’s left behind to complete his projects remotely. It’s a huge frustration for Ethan, who hardly takes time off from work, to have all this loose time with no one in the home. he feels as if Toby’s slipping away, and their relationship is fizzling out–and it’s only that much harder for him to be even close to cheerful for his sister, or Christmas, in general. He’s so overwrought that he’s about to book a flight home for himself, on Christmas Day.

There’s a happy, happy ending, though. Toby had grand plans for the days that extend from the holiday, and he sweeps Ethan completely off his feet. I really felt Ethan’s pain and isolation on the page, and I ached for him. He’s so in love with Toby, and no one likes to feel that they’re more invested than their partner. Ethan did come off as a bit petulant, but I could forgive it under the circumstances. The end is wholly beautiful, and Ethan’s joy is electric. A very sweet read.

Interested? You can find ANALOG TO DIGITAL on GoodreadsDreamspinner, Amazon (US or Amazon UKBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.

You can find Posy on line on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.
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Cover Reveal for HIPSTER BROTHEL!

hipster-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a cover for a sexy new M/M romance coming soon from KA Merikan. HIPSTER BROTHEL looks like it’s gonna be really intriguing! Looking forward to sharing a review closer to the release date January 24th.
hipsterbrothel-f_600x900

About the book:
— The lumberjack of his dreams is now available for rent. —
Mr. B has always been a safe guy for Jo to crush on. He’s the cutest bearded lumber-god to salivate over. Add to that his friendly, outgoing personality, and Mr. B might just be the first guy Jo would be willing to kiss. Fortunately, Mr. B has been in a relationship for years, and Jo is no home-wrecker.

But when Mr. B breaks up with his partner and all of a sudden is single, available, and talks about his plans to be sexually adventurous, Jo isn’t so sure anymore if he has the guts to come out as bisexual.

After a sour breakup, Mr. B wants to show his ex that he’s independent, exciting, and can do very well without him. His best friend Jo is there to the rescue, and they come up with a great new business venture. One thing they lack to start their own line of artisanal boozy jams – money for the investment.

After a drunken brainstorming session, Mr. B finds a way to both gather the cash and show the middle finger to his ex. He will create a one of a kind Hipster Brothel – The Lumbersexual Experience – offering wood chopping lessons, pipe smoking, and a reclaimed wood bed where the magic would happen. It’s bound to be a success… if only Mr. B can go through with it, because the mixed signals from Jo are making him wonder if his best friend is as straight as he always seemed.
WARNING: Explicit content, strong language. A shameless amount of buzzwords. May cause second-hand embarrassment.

Interested? You can find out more about HIPSTER BROTHEL, coming out January 24th, on Goodreads.

About the Authors:
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Catch up with this duo on their website, Facebook, Twitter (run by Kat), Agnes Merikan’s Twitter, Goodreads or Pinterest.
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Double Trouble in the North Pole! Charlie Cochet’s Elves in Love

Hi there! Today I’m sharing two reviews for North Pole City novellas of M/M elf-love by Charlie Cochet. I started this series years ago, and fell for MENDING NOEL, THE HEART OF FROST and VIXEN’S VALOR–each holiday season when these books were released. For some reason I forgot to grab LOVING BLITZ last year, so I picked it up with this year’s DISARMING DONNER.

There books are an interconnected series and best enjoyed when read in order. All titles in this series are currently 30% off at Dreamspinner Press through Dec 30th.

loving-blitzAbout LOVING BLITZ:
From North Pole City to Winter Wonderland, preparations are underway after a royal announcement sweeps everyone into a frenzy of festivity. At the heart of the celebration are the city’s most beloved elf pilots, the Rein Dears. Once the Big Flight is behind them, the pilots prepare for the royal event. Assigned a special task of finding an Elska rose, Cupid and Blitzen are unaware of how their friendship is about to change forever.

Yet not all that glitters is gold. The sweet, angelic Cupid hides a dark secret, one that threatens to destroy his Rein Dear status, his friends, and the elf who’s captured his heart. It’s up to Blitzen to help Cupid see the light in the darkness and show him that together they can mend broken hearts.

My Review:
Christmas Elves Cupid and Blitzen have been best friends since they went to school to train to be Rein Dears, the elite flight squadron that delivers global Christmas cheer now that Santa’s too busy with his Mayor Kringle status. They are tender and loving to each other, but just friends. Though, a quick kiss at the Jingle Bells Ball sets each man examining if they could possibly become…more.

Blitzen doesn’t want to hurt his friendship with Cupid, but Cupid has even darker reasons for not pursuing his best pal: he’s not exactly a Christmas Elf. His mother was a winter faery, but his father? Dockalfar–the dark elves that instigated the Frost Wars centuries ago. Dockalfar aren’t welcome in North Pole City, and would never be accepted as a Rein Dear. Or, so Cupid believes. When his elder brother turns up to wreak mischief and mayhem and ruin Cupid’s happy existence. That Cupid and Blitzen are just beginning to explore the love burgeoning between them is mighty inconvenient.

This novella is mostly sweet with a bit of sad. Cupid doesn’t want to harm his brother, but he can’t let the man destroy North Pole City. Nor can he face being shunned by Blitzen. I liked how his double-life, as it were, gets smoothed out, and we get the introduction of two potential couples for future stories: Dasher and the King of Frost, and Cupid’s other brother, Calder, with Donner. There’s a couple steamy moments, and a lot of love sprinkled within this sweet novella package. I find the series enchanting–and Christmas magical.

Interested? You can find LOVING BLITZ on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

disarming-donnerAbout DISARMING DONNER:
As a beloved Rein Dear and Christmas elf for Mayor Kringle, Donner prides himself on his flawless reputation, good sense, and wise decisions. Donner never does anything until he’s thought it through properly. He’s certainly not one to get flustered, infuriated, or fall prey to romantic nonsense. At least not until the most unlikely of elves begins chipping away at Donner’s defenses.

Calder is a Dockalfar—a dark elf. He’s wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks. It’s easy for them to believe the worst and mistrust him before they’ve even spoken to him, but Calder is out to prove that he’s more than his Dockalfar blood, especially to a certain Rein Dear who has caught his eye. But it will take more than sweet words for Donner to admit what’s in his heart.

My Review:
Calder is a Dockalfar, a dark elf, hated and feared by the light elves of North Pole City, including Prince Jack Frost. He’s only been granted access to the city so he can train his younger brother, the beloved Rein Dear Cupid, to control his magic–so he doesn’t harm anyone. Calder is a solitary elf, never looking to engage in a fight, but he’s formidable and a near-giant in stature. All Calder has ever longed for is a man to share his life with; but Dockalfar males don’t couple, and no Christmas elf, Tin Soldier, or winter faery would have him.

Still, Calder is attracted to Donner, the prickliest of all Rein Dears. His violet eyes seem to call for him, and Calder can’t help volunteering his services as a stand-in escort to Donner in the preparations for Jack Frost and Rudy’s wedding. Also, he’s eager to assist when there’s trouble in the town–building new gingerbread houses for elves displaced by avalanche.

Donner’s mystified by Calder. He should be evil and mischievous, but isn’t. He’s kind and generous, and uses his magic for good whenever he can. It’s upsetting for Donner to have all his notions regarding Dockalfar up-ended, even if Calder is the one good one of the lot. And, there’s no question that Calder is good. And attractive. And so very tall and strong and…oh, sugar plums! Donner’s falling hard for Calder, despite his best intentions. I liked this one, and really wanted it to be longer. Enemies-to-lovers are always a fun read, and this is no exception. I loved how Calder and Cupid’s brother semi-redeemed himself, and how we’ve got one final romance to look forward to in next year’s story: Dasher wooing the ice-cold heart of the King of Frost back to life!

Interested? You can find DISARMING DONNER on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150About the Author:
Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Catch up with Charlie on her website, Facebook, Facebook Author Page, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram, or sign up for Charlie’s Newsletter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

The Future Holds NO SMALL PARTS-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recent release in the Bluewater Bay M/M romance series by Ally Blue. NO SMALL PARTS is a bittersweet, low conflict romance between a bisexual extra and a wanna-be-director production assistant. I really liked it. Like LONE WOLF, RAIN SHADOW and SELFIE in this series, the characters are directly part of the Wolf’s Landing cast or crew. For me it’s always fun to reconnect with that part of this fictional universe.

no-small-partsAbout the book:
Nat Horn is almost living the dream. His part as a werewolf extra on the hit show Wolf’s Landing has somehow turned into a regular role. Beautiful rising star Solari Praveen has taken an interest in him. He’s even making enough money to think about getting out of Bluewater Bay someday. Except his retired dad’s dependence on pain medications seems to be getting worse, and Nat’s the only one around to take care of him.

When Nat learns that Solari’s interest isn’t romantic, his disappointment is surprisingly short-lived, because in getting to know her, he also got to know her assistant, Rafael. And Rafael turns out to be the kind of friend—and potential boyfriend—Nat never dared to dream about.

Distracted by his astonishing new life, new friends, and new possibilities, Nat lets his guard down, and suddenly his life goes careening out of control. Racked by guilt, he tries to push his new friends away, but the bonds he’s formed are already too strong. In fact, they’re strong enough to pull him forward, into the future he’s been longing for—but to get there, he’ll have to let go of the past.

My Review:
Nat Horn is a Bluewater Bay native who’s returned to town to help care for his disabled father. While there he got cast as an extra on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing as one of the wolf pack members. He’s barely making ends meet, between his acting and helping on his uncle’s fishing boat, but most of the resources are used to pay for his father’s pain medicine–to which his dad has become addicted. Nat feels lonely and guilty, by turns. He loves his father, but he doesn’t love the addict. Plus, he’s bitter that no one will help him care for his dad–not his uncle or his sister, who both wrote his dad off years ago.

Nat gets invited out by one of the stars on the show, Solari. Solari’s assistant, Rafael is frustrated by this, because Rafael finds Nat completely attractive–and Rafael knows that Solaris’ a lesbian in a closeted relationship with a woman who has been pressuring Solari to come out. Rafael thinks it’s wrong for Solari to string Nat along, and he says so–to both Nat and Solari. Nat’s a bit bummed because he had a solid crush on Solari, however, spending time with her actually cures that crush fast; they get along like brother and sister, having no spark. Meanwhile Nat and Rafael have sparks a-flying. As their personal lives get more entwined, Nat’s even more frustrated with his father, who’s always dismissed his bisexuality, and urged him to only date women.

Just as Nat’s professional life is going great–he’s offered some lines on the show that boosts his income enough to pay for caregivers–he’s facing more emotional challenges. His dad’s health is deteriorating, and hits a serious crisis point. Nat has felt alone for so long, but Rafael is there, and so is Solari and others of his WL “family.” I thought that was really special, and the sad bits are nicely softened by this outpouring of love for Nat. Rafael is a good partner, and he’s got big plans for Nat and himself, that include a side project for a movie and a shiny new future. If only Nat will let himself embrace all these good opportunities. There’s a bit of hard times there, but not too much. I felt Nat’s guilt was understandable, and the circumstances of his father’s decline were avoidable, but not really in Nat’s power. He was a good son, and a did his best to make sure his dad was safe. Sometimes it’s too late to help people–and that’s not a personal failing, as Nat had to learn the hard way.

There’s a little bit of sexytimes, and a sweet and tender friendship-turned-more in store. Expect sad times, too, and for Nat to waffle regarding his grief and his open future–though he doesn’t have to go it alone any longer.

Interested? You can find NO SMALL PARTS on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Ally Blue is acknowledged by the world at large (or at least by her heroes, who tend to suffer a lot) as the Popess of Gay Angst. She has a great big suggestively-shaped hat and rides in a bullet-proof Plexiglas bubble in Christmas parades. Her harem of manwhores does double duty as bodyguards and inspirational entertainment. Her favorite band is Radiohead, her favorite color is lime green and her favorite way to waste a perfectly good Saturday is to watch all three extended version LOTR movies in a row. Her ultimate dream is to one day ditch the evil day job and support the family on manlove alone. She is not a hippie or a brain surgeon, no matter what her kids’ friends say.

Catch up with Ally on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Hard Luck and HANUKKAH GIFTS–Review & Giveaway!

Hi there! On the first night of Hanukkah, I’m sharing a contemporary M/M holiday romance from Jacob Cheyenne. HANUKKAH GIFTS puts a “bad Jew” in the path of an Orthodox man questioning his life, and sexuality.

Check out the excerpt and get in on the $10 GC giveaway below!

hanukkah_gifts_400x600About the book:
Twenty-five year old TV producer Jared Greenfield loves his New York City life—his trendy neighborhood, high-profile job, and window-shopping for high fashion on Fifth Avenue—along with a whole city of available men. But even with all the fun of big city life, he feels a longing for something—or someone—more. Going through the motions takes him uptown on December night, where, on the first night of Hanukkah, he spots a handsome, sweaty, player on the basketball court of the Jewish Community Center.

Tall, dark, and Orthodox, the young and athletic Shai Goodhart strikes up an easy friendship with Jared, only to discover that Jared has very little appreciation for his own Jewish heritage and religion. Determined to enlighten this “Bad Jew”, Shai invites him over for a family Hanukkah celebration to remember. But Jared’s easy fascination ends when he discovers that Shai has a house full of tangled secrets that threatens their romance before it even begins. Both young men feel they can help one another, but over the eight days of Hanukkah, deeper emotions propel them closer and closer.

My Review:
Jared is an out gay 25 year old TV assistant producer on a children’s show in NYC. One night, while dropping show swag off at a daycare center, he stops and admires a tall, athletic basketball player in the community center that shares a building with the day care.

Shai is definitely an Orthodox Jew, and that’s at-first off-putting to Jared, because his own Judaism is so lacking. Jared was raised by a single mother, but it’s clear that Shai’s family is wealthy, and devout. They meet on the subway, and Shai’s so intrigued by Jared’s lack of conviction in their mutual faith he invites Jared to his family home to pass a night of Hanukkah. It’s sweet, and has the possibility for more, which attracts Jared.

It’s then that Shai feels the emotional safety to confess his closeted status to Jared–despite being all but betrothed to a beautiful woman his parents approve of. The whole arrangement is archaic to Jared, but he wants to be a good friend to Shai, and Jared continues to talk to Shai, reveal to him, bit by bit, his own world, his own feelings regarding the reality regarding living a lie in his faith and his personal life. Shai is afraid to come out, but he’s developing a solid affection for Jared, and his heart is torn for a man he might come to love, and his family who would never accept them as a couple.

This one is a bit bittersweet, actually. Jared and Shai find themselves in a crisis and it’s unclear if it will ever be resolved. The ending is not entirely happy–what with Shai’s family being horrible about Shai’s sexuality. This is a novella, and there’s not really any steam. Lots of emotional ups and downs, with Jared wanting more with Shai, and holding those feelings back so he doesn’t pressure him. Their brief contact is sweet, and Jared’s mom is a treasure. I liked Jared, because he was so conscientious regarding Jared’s choices, and yet he wasn’t a doormat, either. Still, I felt this moved a little too fast for me, at times, and the end definitely wrapped too quickly. That said, I love reading stories about Judaism and this one was decent, if a bit short.

Interested? You can find HANUKKAH GIFTS on Goodreads, JMS Books, Amazon (US and UK) and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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.

You can catch up with Jacob on his website, Twitter, or Facebook.

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CATCH AND RELEASE Book Spotlight, Excerpt & Giveaway

catch-and-release-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from BA Tortuga. CATCH AND RELEASE puts an attorney and an ex-con together and sounds like a fab odd couple read.

Catch the excerpt, author notes and get in on the book giveaway below!

catchandreleaseorig-final-01About the book:
Dakota Landry just got out of prison after twelve years. If anyone can understand how that feels, it’s his new friend, Sage, who is determined to help him get used to life on the outside—and believes Dakota didn’t commit the crime he was in for.

Jayden Wilson is a former prosecutor who agrees to look into the case at the request of Sage’s lover, Adam. He sets out to prove Dakota is just another “innocent” ex-con, but once they meet, Jayden is more and more convinced Dakota just didn’t do what everyone thinks he did.

Trouble follows Dakota, and nothing is easy as he struggles to figure out how to live, now that he has choices. And Jayden isn’t sure how Dakota, or any lover for that matter, fits into his life. Their path from friendship to romance is a slow one, but Dakota begins to believe he deserves a chance at life, and Jayden falls a little more for Dakota every day. Now they just need to tell each other how they feel.

How about a little taste?

“One wallet with six dollars and eighty-three cents. One pair of jeans, T-shirt, pair of boots. Belt with buckle. Sign here.” The paper bag was shoved over to him, and Dakota Landry scratched his signature on the paper, his hand shaking harder than he wanted to admit.

One wallet with six dollars and eighty-three cents.

One pair of Wranglers.

Twelve years, three months, and eight days.

Dakota sighed and rolled his shoulders. The Unitarians had donated a gently worn pair of tennis shoes, a button-down from the Walmart, and a pair of new jeans, which hung on his scrawny ass like a bad costume. They were what he had, though. He’d lost seventy pounds since he was twenty, and he read way more bull rider than bulldogger these days.

The rest of the processing flew by, and he walked out of the gate half an hour later, blinking at the late-afternoon sun. He was gonna puke.

He had a suitcase of his shit from his cell and this paper sack and….

A white pickup pulled up, the window rolling down to expose this weathered face peering out from under a straw brim. “You Landry?”

“Yessir.” He braced himself, waiting for a barrel to appear from the window. God hated him, he had no doubt, and it would be just like the evil bastard to have one of the McCarthys come to shoot him as soon as he walked outside as a free man.

It wasn’t a pistol that appeared, though. It was a gnarled cowboy hand. “Sage. Sage Redding. You want a ride, man?”

A lump lodged in his throat. Sage. Okay, he knew this guy from letters and the occasional call. When he knew he was getting out, he’d been assigned… what? Sage was no counselor. He was a godsend, though. “I do, yeah.”

“Cool. Come on. Let’s get the fuck out of here.”

“Please.” He climbed up into the truck, breathing in the smell of horseshit and Old Spice and hay, and suddenly he was thirteen again and had a whole summer in front of him and all these dreams and….

“Hey.” The word was short and sharp, dragging his attention right to Sage’s face. “Stay here. Stay with me, man. You start thinking and the fucking world goes straight to shit.”

“I just….”

“We’ll go to the next town over, and we’ll grab some burgers and a Coke. You ain’t a vegetarian, are you?”

“I’m pretty fucking sure they put all of them in minimum security.”

Sage hooted, the sound natural as breathing. “I bet so.”

“Thanks. I didn’t expect….” He hadn’t known what to expect. He had the numbers for the Salvation Army and a halfway house, neither of which he intended to call.

“No sweat. I been there.”

“Yeah.”

Manslaughter, Sage had said, and the man never once claimed to be innocent. But he was out and living on a ranch, doing his parole and writing prisoners in this exchange deal. Dakota wasn’t sure what the fuck Sage got out of it, but it looked good to the parole board, and to his credit, Sage had written a letter to them.

Sorta like the murderers speaking for the rapists. Whoopdi-fucking-doo.

Some Christmas wishes from BA:

Hey y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of the sparkly.

So, I’m supposed to be all Super Happy Promo Girl, but it’s right before Christmas and I have the Holly Jolly Bug.

I know. I suck, but seriously! Dakota and Jayden make me stupid happy and Catch and Release? The best book I’ve ever written.

ornamentBut Y’ALL! I have fairy lights for brains right now. My nose is filled with anise and cinnamon and ginger and brandy. I have wrapping paper cuts and… dude, I just found one of my wife’s stocking stuffer gifts slowly cooking on the coffee warmer on my desk. At least I know what that smell is…

Not only that? They say it’s fixin’ to snow!

So, okay, still a Texan. Still think the idea of snow around Christmas is magical (so long as I don’t have to actually get out and about in it. That is a no go. The idea of driving in the snow makes me dizzy with fear. I love to look at snow from my front room with a cup of coffee spiked with Caramel Bailey’s Irish Cream and a roaring fire.

But we’re looking at a white Christmas, which makes my soul a little goofy.

I still have to go out and… well, really, I don’t. I’m going to take advantage of my local grocery’s new online ordering and just pick up the couple things we need. We’ll go Christmas light looking with Mother on Christmas eve, but beyond that?

dogsWe are totally set.

Spins

I know, not the most grown up of all blog posts, but Santa! Snow! Posole! My girl and my puppies and a fire in the fireplace!

Add to that a new book that honestly makes me proud as punch and I’m as tickled as a man with a feather up his butt.

Much love, y’all.

Interested? You can find CATCH & RELEASE on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a signed copy of CATCH AND RELEASE.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.

Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery ménages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.

You can find BA online on her blog, Facebook, twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.
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