Power of Hope: BROKEN WIDE–Review and get a FREE book!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a fantastic new YA dystopian novel from Susan Kaye Quinn. BROKEN WIDE is the sixth book in her MindJack series and the last book in the ZEPH trilogy. You can start the whole series with OPEN MINDS, which is free and fantastic, but you absolutely must read LOCKED TIGHT and CRACKED OPEN before jumping into BROKEN WIDE.

About the book:
All he wanted was peace; all he had was hope.
Zeph had spent half his life hiding what he was—keeping his mindjack powers away from dangerous men and running away from everyone he loved to keep them safe. Now that his life is finally coming together—his mom and sister are safe; the girl he loves in his arms—the world is falling apart. The mindreader backlash against jackers is growing daily. Jacker-bigot politicians are stoking fear and gaining power. And jackers on the Fronter’s Purity list are winding up dead on the streets outside Jackertown.

Even the Jacker Freedom Alliance is tearing itself apart.

All Zeph wants is a chance to build a life with Tessa—but even she is losing faith. If there’s no peace between jackers and readers, what future could they have? Then a protest goes terribly wrong, the president starts talk of a Jackertown siege, and a MINDWARE CEO races to develop a dangerous mind-blasting technology. It seems foolish to even hope for peace, but one thing becomes very clear—the only way to put the world back together is to bring down the powerful people breaking it apart.

The conclusion to the bestselling Mindjack: Zeph series, where daring to hope for peace could be the most radical—and dangerous—move of all.

My Review:
This is the sixth book in the MindJack series where humans have evolved the ability to broadcast their thoughts–but the new wrinkle is mindreaders who can hijack your brain. These “mindjackers” are a super powerful minority, being hunted for experimentation and extermination. And Zeph, a “locksmith” mindjacker who can lock and unlock the toughest minds, will do whatever it takes to keep himself and his family safe.

In LOCKED TIGHT, book four, Zeph allied himself with some horrifying persons in the government and private enterprise–people who truly want to hunt down and kill “jackers”–in order to find his missing sister and parents. He’s also infiltrated the jacker population, attempting to get close to the young, powerful and charismatic jacker senator. Hiding his jacker nature from readers has made Zeph a loner, by necessity, and his plan to rescue his family and go back on the run is upset by the new connections he’s made. What if there could be a balance between the jackers and the readers? Could he then find sanctuary instead of isolation?

In CRACKED OPEN, book five, Zeph went undercover as a mole to discover what he could about the anti-jacker technology being mass-produced by MindWare Tech. Working as a bodyguard to the company CEO’s daughter, Zeph gets a front row seat to the danger–especially because his protectee is in love with a jacker, and determined to overthrow her corrupt father. Meanwhile, Dr. Wright, directer of the government’s super-secret jacking lab, is coercing Zeph to take part in a scheme that will tip the balance of power further into anti-jacker territory. Working with the Jacker Freedom Alliance as a mole helps Zeph keep many jackers safe, but it’s a tenuous time and it seems as if all hope might be soon lost.

But, as we all know, hope is a force that wins hearts, minds and battles. Hope is the foundation of BROKEN WIDE.

Fundamentally, the MindJack series is about discrimination, and surviving intact after the powerful have sought to crush you. It’s a timely allegory to the current political climate where discrimination by the government (of any marginalized community) is lauded by people who have fear or prejudice ruling their emotions. For readers, it’s a chilling journey into discovering what the experience might be for a marginalized population. The government has ideologically decided that jackers are Public Enemy Number One, and need to be studied and eradicated. And yet, throughout, it’s a humanizing story. One of hope and desperation, and succeeding against all odds against your most feared, armed, bully.

BROKEN WIDE is the final book in Zeph’s trilogy, and it’s a terrifying ride. He’s desperate to save the people he loves, but soon realizes the plan to eradicate all jackers will lead to more broken families and dead teens–murdered by the purity-minded Readers First Front and sanctioned by the government. Terrified families are listing their jacker members in chat rooms based on the paranoia the government keeps propagating. Despite the danger, Zeph heads back into the chilling Tiller mansion, masquerading as a reader while helping Juliette Tiller find as much evidence as she can on her father–while also gaining intel on the planned attack on JackerTown, and the technology Tiller’s company has built. They need to find weaknesses that jackers can exploit.

Dr. Wright, an unwilling associate of Tiller, agrees to not out Zeph as a jacker, if Zeph will use his jack ability to make mind-blasted super jackers Wright calls “Obedient” for an army that she alone can control. It’s a sick bargain, but it’s the only way to stay alive in the Tiller home. Not that they can stay for long. Tiller’s plans for Zeph and Juliette are straight out of a nightmare, and their need to remain intact soon overcomes the need for intel. And, they leave not a moment too soon. Jackertown, a safe zone for jackers buried within the metro area of what was once Chicago, is under siege. If they are lucky, Zeph might save a few of them with his mindlocking gift.

This isn’t the end of the road, however. No. Zeph’s determined to turn the anti-jacker hysteria with a hefty dose of truth. His surreal experiences take him to the highest levels of power, and he looks true evil in the face. Even as he promises to build more Obedient for the government, he knows he’s going to honor his vow to restore jackers to equal standing–fellow humans with what can be new and helpful gifts. Connecting with the Jacker Freedom Alliance and the mindreading Free Thinkers helps Zeph get the truth out at exactly the right time. Not that anything goes to plan. Still, Zeph’s never thought of himself as a hero–he only acts like one every day, and all the time. Even as he’s making the difficult decisions, it’s all in the hope that he’ll get just far enough to make good on his vow, and protect whichever vulnerable people he can, in whatever way possible. That he finally gets a happy ending is only the sweetest part of the whole series so far.

Interested? You can find BROKEN WIDE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo and GooglePlay.

Get yourself a FREE book!
The MindJack universe began with OPEN MINDS, the story of Kira Moore, a sixteen year-old jacker learning about herself and prejudice she’s been born into. Kira is a strong MC, and her steadfast commitment to doing the right thing, even if it’s hard, gives readers a protagonist worthy of respect. It’s a super-fast read that tackles real societal problems with grace and confidence. I read this book in a day. Mostly because I couldn’t stop until I knew Kira was safe.

The great thing? OPEN MINDS is a FREE on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, GooglePlay and Kobo. OPEN MINDS is the first in a trilogy, but has a satisfactory ending that resolves completely while leaving room for the companion books to develop.

About the Author:
Susan Kaye Quinn is a rocket scientist turned speculative fiction author who now uses her PhD to invent cool stuff in books. Her works range from young adult science fiction to adult future-noir, with side trips into steampunk and middle grade fantasy. Her bestselling novels and short stories have been optioned for Virtual Reality, translated into German, and featured in several anthologies.

She writes full-time from Chicago, inventing mind powers and dreaming of the Singularity. You can find out what she’s up to by subscribing to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!).

Catch up with Susan on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

LEANING INTO THE LOOK–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M romance from Lane Hayes. LEANING INTO THE LOOK is the fifth book in her Leaning In series, and follows the love story of Grant, the last of the Stanford besties, finding love with an outre personal assistant. I really liked LEANING INTO THE FALL, LEANING INTO ALWAYS and LEANING INTO A WISH, so I was eager to get back to these Bay-area romances.

Scroll down for an excerpt and to enter to win a $10 GC.
About the book:
Grant Kostas made a career based on his looks before joining his family’s real estate firm. He may not love his job but he’s better at sales than he thought. And when he’s poised to bring in the biggest account of the company’s history, even his father is impressed. Unfortunately, the extra attention highlights Grant’s personal life. His parents accept that he’s gay. They just wish he’d meet a nice Greek man.

Miles Harrison is a fabulous red head going through a rough patch. Between getting dumped by his long-term boyfriend and finding a new place to live in the city, he’s nearing his wits end. He’s not sure why he thought rooming with his boss’s friend was a good idea. Miles has had a crush on Grant for years. However, he knows attractive people aren’t always pretty on the inside. As the two men grapple with external problems, they form an unexpected bond of friendship and trust that feels like the real thing. The only way to know for certain is to let go of fear and lean into the look.

How about a little taste?

I stopped short when we reached the other side of the street and then backed him against the brick façade of a bank building and pressed my lips over his. It was a bold move and not one I’d ever tried on any man in public before. But I couldn’t help myself. It felt oddly freeing to share one of the bleaker parts of my past with him. I wanted to thank him somehow but that seemed awkward so I kissed him instead. I held his head and glided my tongue alongside his, loving the moment when he flung his arms over my shoulders and responded with fervor. When we broke for air, I rested my forehead on his and grinned.

“Your ass is pretty spectacular too, Mi.”

He chuckled good-naturedly. “Thanks.”

“No really. I think I’m love with it.” I lowered my hands down his back and squeezed his cheeks as I molded his pelvis to mine.

“That’s kind of romantic. But if you’re thinking about falling in love with me too…don’t.”

I backed up slightly to get a better look at him. “Okay. I won’t.”

“Pinky promise.” He held up his right hand and wiggled his fingers.

“What makes you think you’re so irresistible?” I asked, wrapping my pinky finger around his.

“I’m not and you’ll figure it out sooner or later. But I like you and I want you and…”

“And what you’re really saying is you don’t want to fall for me.” I kept my tone light, hoping a jocular vibe would steer us from turning this into an uncomfortable conversation.

“Maybe.”

“Look, Mi. I’m not—”

“No. Listen. Don’t make this into a big deal. It’s not. We’re going to have a grand adventure. Just me and you. We’ll do incredible things and have amazing conversations and lots of sex. And when it’s time to say good-bye, we won’t ruin it by pretending we were ever in love. What do you say?”

Nothing. I had nothing to say. All I could think was maybe he really was crazy because who said shit like that?

But when I looked past the lighthearted swagger I saw the cracks in his armor. He was scared and battered and raw on the inside. Kind of like me. And somehow I had a feeling it wasn’t an ex-lover that made him so cautious. I only knew he was right. We were a couple of oddballs who unexpectedly found ourselves inhabiting the same circle. Temporarily.

But love? I should have walked away. Or at the very least, laughed at his wild leap. Instead I cocked my head and squinted. “What kind of adventures?”

Miles grinned. A slow-moving, gorgeous upturn of the lips that morphed into something celestial. He literally took my breath away. I hoped the dizziness faded before I gave him a reason to think it was a good thing he’d issued a warning about getting too attached.

“All kinds! We’ll turn this town upside down being one hundred percent ridiculous.”

“Okay…” I gave a half laugh and pushed a stray lock of hair behind his ear. “What do you have in mind? Dancing, parties—

“No. More like Trivial Pursuit marathons, Netflix binge-watching fests in our Pjs, the compare and contrast game and—”

“The what?”

“Don’t worry. We’ll have fun. You’ll see,” he assured me earnestly as he laced our fingers together and pulled me away from the wall.

I glanced down at our joined hands and briefly thought about joking that he should be careful about giving me mixed signals. But I knew my limits. My comedic timing was crappy and the last thing I wanted was to push him away. I might not love Miles but I liked him. A lot. And holding his hand while we wandered through town under a sea of rainbow flags on a random Sunday felt special. The way new beginnings sometimes did.

My Review:
Gio “Grant” Kostas is the last of his pals to find love, and part of that is due to Grant’s nearly crippling shyness. His family is loud, Greek and overwhelming and Grant’s inability to deal well with conflict led to a childhood eating disorder and running away from home at age 17. He was too upset over the family’s response to his coming-out to stay. Since then, he’s grown a lot as a person. He attended Stanford where he was part of the group that included Eric and Nick, who formed EN Tech, and were MCs of previous books. His roomie was Josh, from LEANING INTO TOUCH,  who really helped Grant get past his shyness and later reconcile with his family. Grant, who did model in his younger years, now heads up the San Francisco office of Kostas Realty, and is poised to make a big contract with a huge new development. His parents are lovely, but bossy, and desperate for Grant to find a good Greek man to settle down with.  Unfortunately, the only person to catch Grant’s eye recently is Miles, Eric’s flamboyant (and a bit wacky) assistant.

Miles had been in a very long-term relationship which had recently ended in spectacular fashion. He learned his ex had a guy on the side, instead of his mind on the wedding plans, which led to some outbursts and one pool-side fight. Miles has a strong defensive manner, and it leads to outlandish behavior, like feigning a British accent with people who irritate him. Or, say, pretending Grant is his new beau when they encounter Tom, a mutual acquaintance of Miles’ ex, at a work function. Grant has been warned to “be nice” to Grant, because Eric’s sure that Miles is both still hurting over his break-up, and well, kind of pining over Grant. Miles isn’t Grant’s type, at all, but Grant admires Miles’ attitude and strength in the face of humiliation. They embark on a friendship, unexpectedly, and sexytimes are a part of that.

It’s a sweet story, actually, of two lonely souls who struggle to communicate effectively. As their friendship grows, Grant and Miles learn how to sneak past the barriers they’ve each put up to protect themselves from further hurt. Grant’s difficulty with conflict is woven throughout his relationships, but being with Miles helps him to fight his insecurities. Even if Grant can’t stand up for himself, he won’t let people make Miles feel insignificant. And, Miles is a fierce man, unwilling to let Grant make decisions that could hurt himself. When Miles needs a new apartment, Grant insists that Miles take his spare room.  Their budding friendship grows into a dependence that celebrates their mutual strengths.  Miles helps Grant relax from his stressful work-life, and Grant shows Miles how if feels to be valued as he is, quirks and all.

Naturally,  Grant’s invasive family is expecting Grant to find a Greek partner, and an enterprising acquaintance is trying to fill that role. Grant’s half-in the charade, because he’s been assured it’s necessary for the big deal he’s planning, but soon his feelings for Miles overtake his desire to win the contract. Their growing  bond is more than Miles or Grant had really wanted, but they do acknowledge it, and plan a path that makes sense for both of them–no matter what trouble it causes for family or business. I really liked how sweet Grant is, and how much he supports Miles, no matter the zaniness that Miles throws at him. Miles’ best-defence-is-a-good-offense strategy is isolating, but Grant’s patience allows him to get past Miles’ outre exterior to the sweet and vulnerable man he  falls hard for. Expect lots of sexytimes and second-guess moments on the path to love. And, some tender moments between Grant and Miles and Grant and his family–to help Grant solidify his love story and his future.

I really enjoyed it.

Interested? You can find LEANING INTO THE LOOK on Goodreads and Amazon.

****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:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

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

Surviving With OF HOPE AND ANGUISH–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! I know I’ve been spotty with the posts, of late. I’m more than halfway finished with my student teaching as I finish a Masters of Education to get my teaching license…so life is hectic. That said, I’ll post as often as I can, while writing lesson plans, curriculum and teaching full-time. Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for an historical M/M romance out now from Sylvia Violet. OF HOPE AND ANGUISH is the sequel to REVOLUTIONARY TEMPTATION imagines a clandestine romance between a Continental officer and the dandy who risks his life for his country and General Washington.

Don’t forget to drop down and enter the book giveaway below!
About the book:
1777 Philadelphia and enviorns…
Jack and Eli have been separated for months while Jack gathers intelligence in Philadelphia and Eli spies on British officers in New York. When Jack has to take on the role of spymaster and work behind-the-scenes, Eli offers to insinuate himself in Philadelphia’s loyalist circles, taking Jack’s place.

As Eli works to uncover traitorous negotiations between a high-ranking American officer and the British, he cozies up to British spymaster John Andre. Jack doesn’t like Eli putting himself at risk, nor does he like seeing him fawning over a beautiful, charming man.

As the chances of the American army surviving the winter decline, tensions mount between Jack and Eli, threatening to tear them apart. They will have to rely on their love and trust for one another to make it through these harrowing months.

My Review:
Major Jack West never thought his most important role in the Continental army would be as General Washington’s newest spymaster. He’s been out in Philadelphia nearly the whole winter, gathering intelligence that can be passed to his command at Valley Forge, but the winter is only more bitter without his love, fellow spy and book seller, Eli Ashfield. They had met in the summer when Jack recuperated an injury in New York through the acquaintance of Mrs. Constance Stephens–a presumed Loyalist but actual Revolutionary spy.

Constance and Eli have bided their time in New York, but the British army has moved on, and their ability to make useful inquests has dried up. Eli had been in the confidence of a new British spy, John Andre, and is eager to push on to Philadelphia where he could continue his surveillance…and meet up with Jack. Jack isn’t best pleased to see Eli and Constance out in Philadephia–he’d been grateful they were out of the line of fire–but he can’t resist their skills as spies, or Eli’s charms. Both men had known they might not make it past the war, and they make the most of their opportunities.

Naturally, Jack is frustrated to be the handler for Eli, and even more so when they both recognize that Andre has more than a passing interest in Eli. Expect jealousy to rage, and Jack to suffer greatly in silence. Tempers run hot and cold, and the game is very much stacked against both them. Adnre is wily, and unscrupulous. He’s brash and a formidable match against Eli, who is remaining monogamous to Jack–a first for the confirmed hedonist. Circumstances are not in Eli’s favor when Jack discovers what he thinks are traitorous communiques from Eli, and it looks as if Andre has succeeded in seducing Eli.

Expect it to get complicated, and the bonds of love to stretch to the breaking point. Jack knows Eli is his soul-mate, and will gladly sacrifice himself to keep Eli safe. Good thing they still have allies who are willing to go above and beyond the call of duty, and with honor. This one is a whirlwind, at times, with deception a constant. The love between Eli and Jack continues to grow, even as absence and the threat of death are nearly commonplace for them. I’m still loving these books, and look forward to more harrowing adventures.

Interested? You can find OF HOPE AND ANGUISH on Goodreads and Amazon.

Also, REVOLUTIONARY TEMPTATION is on sale for $.99. Pick it up on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Silvia Violet.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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

Catch up with Sylvia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or sign up for her Newsletter.
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GHOST WOLF To the Rescue–A Review & Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m back, and sharing a review for a new paranormal M/M romance from Hurri Cosmo. GHOST WOLF features a lone wolf finding more than a pack when he seeks his future. Scroll down for my review and to enter the $25 Amazon GC giveaway!

About the book:
Hi, my name is Trevor. I’m a wolf shifter.

I say that like I know what I’m talking about. I don’t. I was simply running off a ton of steam one day when I was around eleven and bam! Okay, not quite that easy or fast but it happened when I was young and stupid. I’m also gay. I say that like I know what I’m talking about with that too. I simply don’t.

I’m grown up now and living in the big city which has me too busy to much care about either one of those things. I get out and run my wolf when I can, trying like hell to stay out of the local pack’s territories. Belonging to a “family” just sounds like too much work, and honestly I don’t have time for such things. Besides, I was told when I was young the color of my wolf was all wrong. Too silver…or something. Metallic. I kinda thought it looked cool in the full moon. “Pack Alpha would kill ya soon as look at ya.” My grandpa used to say. Course he wasn’t my real grandpa. Just an old man who lived down the street, but he was a shifter too and I thought he knew it all. He probably knew diddly either, but a guy can’t be too careful. And romance? Way off the radar.

Only now someone has started killing wolves. Started leaving broken bodies lined up in a nice little row next to the high school in my home town and it’s got me to thinking. If a shifter is killed in his or her wolf state, do they stay that way? Were these dead wolves like me? The hell of it all is this: being a shifter isn’t common knowledge. It bothers me enough that now I want to find out more. See if there’s anything I can do. Kind of like a super hero.

Oh yeah. Probably forgot to tell you this too. I can turn invisible.

Yep, Ghost Wolf to the rescue

My Review:
Trevor is a young wolf shifter who learned on his powers on his own–with the help of a neighbor he called Grandpa. Grandpa was a shifter too, and held some knowledge and more secrets that he shared with Trevor through his will.

We start with him as a youngish boy–and follow him up to a new town as he works on his college plan. When there, he meets more shifters; some of whom find him very much attractive. One of these is Ryan Jarfang and another is Keith Karlack–both alphas of neighboring shifter clans. Ryan had been betrothed to a female shifter, but breaks that off when he senses Trevor is his Fated Mate. Trevor hasn’t owned up to Ryan about his special power, being able to disappear, that he’s able to use in moments of danger.

This is an interesting read, but I definitely struggled with it. Trevor had troubles assimilating in his new world, but he just keeps running from them. Ryan has to track him down again and again, as he rebels. Their rapid courtship sparks conflict between the packs. Trevor did get on my nerves, and I really felt like the book started too soon. We could have picked up with him being in college, not in middle school, and I probably would have liked the story more. It otherwise seemed to drag, and then jumped forward with coincidences that felt a bit disingenuous.

For the shifter story, there was some interesting pack dynamics, and the fated-ness of Trevor and Ryan coming together wasn’t the interesting part. The way they were able to call on higher powers–connecting the real with the super-paranormal in ways that I hadn’t read before. I liked that part. Unfortunately, it felt too long to get there. Expect some different dynamics and a side of mpreg, too.

Interested? You can find GHOST WOLF on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link to enter and win a $25 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Hurri Cosmo lives in Minnesota where she holds tight to the idea that there, where it’s cold a good part of the year, she won’t age as fast. Yep, she avoids the truth as much as she avoids mirrors. But one of the reasons she loves writing is reality doesn’t always offer up a “happily ever after” and being able to take control of that is a powerful lure. Being a happy ending junkie, writing just makes them easier to find. Oh, she doesn’t mind “real life” and she does try to at least keep it in mind when she writes her stories, but she truly loves creating a wonderful couple, knowing they will fall in love and have their HEA. Every – single – time. And, of course, that is exactly the reason she loves reading this genre, too. Give her a glass of red wine, some dark chocolate, and her computer, whether she is reading or writing, and she will entertain herself for hours. The fact she actually gets paid to do it is Snickers bars on the frosting on the cake.

Catch up to Hurri online on her website, blog, Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

Rebuilding in THE OFF SEASON–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary sports romance from Megan Green. THE OFF SEASON is a sweet romance between a wrongly-accused baseball star and his neighbor-in-need. It’s an unexpected romance for two people who’d closed themselves off to the idea of love. I liked it!

Scroll down to enter the $25 GC giveaway!
About the book:
He had it all…

The day Ian “Tag” Taggart’s world comes crashing down around him, he’s sitting in a fast food drive-thru, waiting for an order of fries. Golden boy of the MLB and shortstop for the Washington Rampage, Tag quickly finds himself losing grip on his superstar life with the use of two awful words: sexual assault.

The only problem? He’s innocent.

Tag’s willing to do anything to prove to the world he’d never commit the crime he’s been accused of. So when his agent suggests taking a break from the spotlight, he listens. The quiet town on Maple Lake is everything Seattle isn’t. And Lexi Barnes is everything he wasn’t expecting to find.

Running from a past she can never escape, Lexi wants nothing to do with her new neighbor. But fixing up an old house takes more work than anticipated, and the new guy in town happens to have quite the set of carpentry skills. She won’t let herself fall for him though. She has no room in her life for love.

If only someone would tell her heart that.

He’s funny and charming. She’s closed off and rude.

Together, they’re like fire and ice.

Prepare to get burned this Off-Season.

My Review:
Ian “Tag” Taggart is a shortstop for the Washington Rampage, a pro baseball team, who’s well-known as a ladies man, and all-around good guy. Until a one-night stand accuses him of rape. Six months later, his accuser drops her charges in exchange for a big payday. It’s the off season, and the Rampage had a rather poor season; some folks believe it was the spotlight of Ian’s accuser casting pall over the team. With months of downtime before spring training, Ian ships off to Maple Lake, to lay low in his best friend’s lake house.

Lexi Barnes hasn’t had a drink in 18 months. Not since that fateful night , anyway. She doens’t want to think about the damage she caused, or her old life in Chicago, but it’s still a noose around her neck. Rehabbing a rundown lake house is meant to fill her days and night, but soon, her athletic and sweet neighbor Ian is helping to hang the shutters and sharing meals. The more time they spend together, the more they connect, and though Ian comes clean about who is–and what he’d been accused of–Lexi’s still afraid to open up.

Thing about being in the spotlight, like Ian, is that reporters are always looking for the fresh dirt to write about. Just as Ian and Lexi are solidifying their love, a curveball comes along to disrupt the scene. I liked how they dealt with their issues, and how trusting Ian is, where Lexi is concerned. While there are some sexytimes here, it’s not the main thrust of the book. They connect emotionally first, and their physical moments are brief in terms of page time. I liked both Ian and Lexi as characters. Each had some tough stuff to get over, and they needed to find a reason to start caring for another person again. It’s sweet and a little sexy, with some nice romantic elements.

Interested? You can find THE OFF SEASON on Goodreads, and Amazon (US, UK, CA and AU).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Megan lives in Northern Utah with her handsome hubby, Adam. When not writing, chances are you’ll find her curled up with her Kindle. Besides reading and writing, she loves movies, animals, chocolate, and coffee. Lots and lots of coffee. She loves hearing from readers, so drop her a line!

You can find Megan on her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email, or check out her Reader Group.

Bad Juju in WICKED CHARM–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a contemporary YA mystery/romance from Amber Hart. WICKED CHARM is an interesting read about two kids finding a connection, and the killer who might be trying to cut them loose.

Catch my review and enter the gift-blast giveaway down below.
About the book:
Nothing good comes from living in the Devil’s swamp.
Willow Bell thinks moving to the Okefenokee area isn’t half bad, but nothing prepares her for what awaits in the shadows of the bog.
Girls are showing up dead in the swamp. And she could be next.
Everyone warns Willow to stay away from Beau Cadwell―the bad boy at the top of their suspect list as the serial killer tormenting the small town.
But beneath his wicked, depthless eyes, there’s something else that draws Willow to him.
When yet another girl he knew dies, though, Willow questions whether she can trust her instincts…or if they’re leading to her own death.

How about a little taste?

Though Gran’s land is mostly wet, there’s solidness, too. My eyes trace the long path that cuts the property between Gran and Mr. Cadwell in half. I’m expecting to see nature—the kinds of birds Dad and Mom study, snakes, grass, and forever sky—the same things I’ve seen every morning since moving here with Dad and Mom to help Gran, who’s ailing but doesn’t like to admit it.

I get halfway down the path with my stare before my eyes snag on something. A serving spoon falls from my hand with a clatter into the sink.

“Who,” I whisper, “is that?”

Across the way stands a boy. He’s staring at me, wearing a twisted grin like he knows me. The wind ruffles his depths-of-the-ocean black hair. He’s wearing a dark shirt and dark jeans, and I cannot tear my eyes from his.

Gran hobbles over and looks out the window. “What is he doing so close to our side?”

“You know him?” I ask.

I can’t stop staring out the old weathered screen.

“Hell right, I do. Grandson of the evil next door. Trouble in living form. Someone oughta hand that boy a Bible. Change his life forever and ever, amen.”

Gran curses a lot. “Hell” is her favorite word.

“Hell, you’d better look away first,” Gran says. “B’fore he snares you for good.”

I wonder if she’s right. I want to look away first. Okay, that’s a lie. I don’t want to look away at all.

“Mother!” Dad’s voice enters the room a moment before he does. “Did I just hear you cursing around Willow again?”

I rip my eyes away—though it’s hard—to see Dad clad in shorts and a T-shirt, ready for another day of observation. He and Mom are ornithologists, scientists who study birds. Mom follows Dad into the kitchen and takes a seat at the table; her strawberry-blond hair is braided and slipped through the adjustable hole in her hat. Dad’s hair is like Gran’s and mine, his eyes, too. Mom’s eyes are blue, and I’m secretly glad mine are not. I enjoy being like Gran.

“It’s not good to curse around her; she’s only seventeen,” Dad continues.

In Florida, Dad and Mom studied birds so much that I hardly ever saw them. Here’s no different, but at least now I have Gran to keep me company.

“Doesn’t matter, and you know it,” Gran says. “A heart is a heart is a heart. A few words here and there won’t change that.”

My stare goes to the window again. The boy is gone.

“Quit looking for that boy, you hear?” Gran says, knowing.

“I’m not looking for him,” I reply. But I’m a lying liar.

“What boy?” Dad asks.

I join him and Mom at the table.

“No one,” my lying self answers.

“Stop thinking about him,” Gran says.

“I’m not!” I say, frustrated. But only because she knows me so well that I can’t hide myself from her.

Clearly Gran isn’t a fan. We drop it and eat our breakfast, Dad and Mom jabbering about some new species of bird they think they’ve discovered. Gran watching me like a hawk. And me wondering about the gorgeous black-souled, trouble-in-living-form grandson of the evil next door.

My Review:
Willow Bell has just come to like in the Okefenokee swamp with her aging grandmother and her parents–who are ornithologists and often gone on bird-watching excursions. Her grandma’s property has one close neighbor, Mr. Cadwell, who her Gran states is the Devil. He shares his home with his twin grandkids, Beau and Charlotte. Willow, Beau and Charlotte are all seniors in high school, and Willow notices Beau rather soon after her arrival. His fierce stare and attractiveness pull her in, though she gives good weight to her Gran’s warnings about Cadwells and how they will break a woman’s heart.

Beau has a big reputation as a heartbreaker, and it’s well-earned. Still, Willow isn’t too starry eyed. She may find Beau attractive, but she’s also a girl with a mission on her mind. She wants to explore her new surroundings and make new friends. Any interaction with Beau is long on exploring–outside of one’s own mind–and short on the physical. Beau is deeply private, and the rumors swill regarding his parents and their long absence–though that didn’t make much sense to me; its a small community. Nosy parkers abound. Still, he likes that Willow gives him the space to be real, and he confides in her some of his deepest secrets. Their bond is tested once the bodies of two girls turn up in the swamp. Two girls that Beau briefly dated. Is Beau involved? What about his friends, who seem a mite too jealous of Beau getting all the girls to swoon for him?

Willow is quick to defend Beau, but evidence points to someone close to him, and she’s not sure how to take it. Naturally, Beau defends his own, but the answer only comes to light when his family is threatened. It’s an interesting mystery/romance as Beau and Willow fight for their love against both Willow’s disapproving Gran, and the killer. I liked the action bits, and the context. The swamp is so well-described it’s almost another character in the book. These kids truly love their world, and are highly protective of the land and people who live there. That was interesting to experience, as a reader.

The end is a nice twist, with a killer that wasn’t the first suspect to mind. While Beau and Charlotte deal with their own personal tragedies, Willow’s there as a buffer, a friend, and more for Beau, just like she started.

Interested? You can find WICKED CHARM on Goodreads, Amazon (US, UK, CA, and AU) Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo and GooglePlay. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a gift bundle including a $10 Starbucks card, a signed copy of WICKED CHARM, and two ebooks.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Amber Hart resides on the Florida coastline with family and a plethora of animals she affectionately refers to as her urban farm. When unable to find a book, she can be found writing, daydreaming, or with her toes in the sand. She’s the author of Wicked Charm and the Before & After series for teen readers, and the Untamed series for adult readers. Visit her online at http://www.amberhartbooks.com

Catch up with Amber on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

Out Today! Dangerous Times for THE STATION–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today, I’m sharing a review for a new historical M/M romance from author Keira Andrews. THE STATION takes us back to England in the early 1800s when buggery was a crime punishable by death. Why, then, would a young gentleman incriminate himself to spare the life of his accused stable master? I have loved other period pieces by Ms. Andrew’s including KIDNAPPED BY THE PIRATE as well as more contemporary (A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA) and even paranormal (KICK AT THE DARKNESS) titles.

Scroll down to read my review and enter to win a backlist book for Keira Andrews in the giveaway!
About the book:
Ever since Cambridge-bound Colin Lancaster spied on stable master Patrick Callahan mastering another man, he’s longed for Patrick to do the same to him. When Patrick is caught with his pants down and threatened with death for his crime, Colin speaks up in his defense and confesses his own sinful nature. They’re soon banished to the faraway prison colony of Australia.

Patrick never asked for Colin’s help, and now he’s stuck with the pampered fool. While it’s true that being transported to Australia is a far cry from the luxury Colin is accustomed to, he’s determined to make the best of it and prove himself. Although Patrick learned long ago that love is a fairy tale, he’s inexorably drawn to sweet, optimistic Colin.

From the miserable depths of a prison ship to the vast, untamed Australian outback, Colin and Patrick must rely on each other. Danger lurks everywhere, and when they unexpectedly get the chance to escape to a new life as cowboys, they’ll need each other more than ever.

This historical gay romance from Keira Andrews features an age difference, an eager virgin, hurt/comfort, and of course a happy ending.

How about a little taste?

Waiting only a moment after knocking, Colin’s mother, Elizabeth, entered his room. Colin glanced over from the window seat. He’d been watching Patrick in the meadow exercising the young colt born several days before. “Yes, Mother?”

Elizabeth was forty-two and quite beautiful, with a regal nose and posture and the same thick, chestnut brown hair as Colin. “You haven’t bathed yet? Guests will be arriving within the hour.”

“I was about to, if you’d leave me to my privacy.”

When he wasn’t studying or walking the grounds, Colin whiled away the hours sitting by his window reading novels of thrilling adventures in faraway lands. Sometimes Patrick would appear in the meadow, training the horses. Colin’s book would lie forgotten on his lap as he watched Patrick at work. He seemed as if he belonged in one of the fictional tales Colin devoured. Colin could easily imagine him with sword in hand.

“Of course, dear. I had Charles press your jacket. It’s hanging there.” She pointed across the room, where, sure enough, his formal wear waited. “Katherine was partial to that one, if I do recall.”

Colin couldn’t hold back a sigh. “Yes.”

“Darling, you gave up on Katherine far too easily. Tonight will be another chance for you to win her hand. You’re quite a catch, you know. Off to Cambridge soon. Katherine will want to ensnare you now.”

“Mother, Katherine Crawford has turned her favor elsewhere. She’s moved on.” So had he. Most definitely.

Elizabeth’s pretty face pinched into a frown. “It’s an honor that the Crawfords are attending this evening. You will be on your best behavior. I don’t know what exactly you did to ruin things with Katherine, but tonight you will do your utmost to undo it.”

“Yes, Mother.” He would attempt no such thing, but Colin had learned years before that arguing with his parents got him nowhere. Soon he’d be at Cambridge and he would be able to make his own decisions. Soon he’d have a new life.

Mollified, Elizabeth closed the door behind her. Flopping down on his bed, Colin thought of Katherine and cringed. It wasn’t until a most ill-fated outing with Katherine Crawford several months ago that Colin had admitted to himself that his interest in Patrick was far from intellectual.

Katherine was a beauty, all glossy blonde hair and moist, pink lips. For some reason Colin couldn’t fathom, she had shown an interest in him at a holiday gathering down the road. The courting had begun soon thereafter, with Colin escorting Katherine on various activities. Unlike William, who railed against the inconveniences of chaperones, Colin was grateful for the matrons’ presence.

He liked Katherine well enough. She was intelligent and kind and pleasing to look at. But Colin knew something was missing. Katherine didn’t set his blood on fire, and he rarely thought of her when she was absent.

The absences were as long as Colin could manage while still maintaining the guise of courting. He was a perfect gentleman at all times with Katherine, which he found a simple feat. William and his school chums all needled him in private and made winking suggestions of what was actually going on between him and Katherine, and Colin let them believe what they wanted.

The Lancasters and Crawfords had both been guests at a country estate for an Easter celebration. Colin’s sister, Rebecca, was delighted. On the ride over, she had chattered constantly about the beautiful Katherine and how she might one day be her sister-in-law. Colin loved his sister dearly but wished she’d find a new interest.

Colin had been fast asleep the first night at the country estate when Katherine crept into his room. Despite his protests about the impropriety, she’d insisted he dress and accompany her for a moonlight stroll. He hadn’t really a choice.

It went badly.

Despite Katherine’s obvious beauty and heaving bosom, Colin had remained utterly uninterested. He’d tried. Truly, he did. Under a large willow tree, Colin had kissed Katherine and caressed her soft skin under her skirt, her hand firm on his wrist, guiding him. He had been unable to get excited, and when she’d reached for him to find him flaccid, Katherine Crawford had had quite enough.

She’d stomped back to her room and avoided Colin for the remainder of the weekend. Colin could hardly meet anyone’s eyes. His family had obviously required an explanation, and he’d had none.

When they returned home after a torturous journey, Colin had jumped from the carriage, eager to be away from his inquiring parents and sister, who’d demanded to know how Colin had made such a mess of things. Colin had almost barreled straight into Patrick, who had come to take the horses. At the sight of him, his lean muscles, his maleness, Colin had been struck with the vivid memories of what he’d witnessed in the stable that day long ago. He had to bite his tongue to stop himself from begging Patrick to take him into some dark corner and have his way with him.

That was what he wanted. He would never want the Katherine Crawfords of the world. No matter how beautiful, how rich, how ideal for a wife. Colin wanted a man. Oh, God, did he want a man.

Can I be of assistance?” Patrick had affected a guileless expression, and Colin had realized he’d been staring dumbly.

Awkward and ready to crawl out of his own skin, Colin had mumbled something and hurried off. All the denials he’d repeated to himself had finally been silenced. He’d locked himself in his room, took himself in hand, and, muffling his face in a pillow as he thought of Patrick, attained the most satisfying release he’d experienced since that day at sixteen years old, hiding in the stable.

Remembering now, Colin stroked himself quickly, careful not to muss himself too much before the party. He thought of Patrick, of his Gaelic lullaby and of his grunts as he’d penetrated the man in the stable years before. As he rubbed himself with one hand, legs spread, Colin caressed his lips with his fingertips, imagining what it would be like to be kissed—really kissed. He didn’t even know if men kissed each other, but he would like to try it.

Sometime later, Colin straightened his navy tie and vest under his dark jacket and peered into the full-length mirror in the corner of his bedroom. His large eyes were a deep brown that matched his hair, and his jaw was narrow. His nose was straight and unremarkable. Katherine had once told him that his smile turned her knees to jelly and his eyes were bottomless pools she could stare into for eternity.

Colin doubted it, somehow.

He decided he looked as presentable as he was able to and went to join the party. Naturally, the first person he saw was Katherine. Dressed to the nines in an ornate, yellow, bell-shaped gown and looking lovely, she was laughing gaily at something William had said. Her hand was placed just so on his arm, and Colin saw the flash of her eyes as she spotted him. She laughed again, even louder.

Colin felt like laughing himself. If she only knew. Before he could do anything, Rebecca towed him into the drawing room, her voice low and urgent, grip firm. “Honestly, I don’t know what William is thinking. You mustn’t pay them any mind, Colin. Are you very upset?” Her pretty face, very much like their mother’s, creased with worry.

Shaking his head, Colin kissed his dear sister’s cheek. “I won’t give it another thought. William is welcome to her. Perhaps Father will take some solace if the family is connected to the Crawfords in the end.”

Rebecca, fourteen and very dramatic, hugged him tightly. “Oh, Colin. You’re ever so brave.”

Biting back his mirth, Colin thanked her and pointed her toward her newly arriving friends from down the road. He made his rounds of the soiree, shaking hands and making polite conversation. Dinner was served, and Colin listened to a neighbor tell him about what a wonderful time he’d have at Cambridge. Colin hoped it would be true. The one thing dampening his excitement about finally getting away from home was that he’d also be leaving Patrick behind.

As he spooned his custard, Colin brooded. He knew it was deeply foolish, since the strange affection and desire he had for Patrick was certainly one-sided. He’d only been a child when they were friends. Even if by some miracle Patrick desired him now that he was grown, would Colin really have the nerve to lie with another man? His trousers tightened at the notion, and he was glad for the napkin across his lap.

After dinner, Colin endured the ladies’ singing and gentlemen’s card games. Unable to shake Patrick from his mind as the night wore on, he found himself walking to the stable, unable to stay away. He was almost there when a cry came up. A man burst out from the large wooden doors and fled across the meadow, barely visible in the darkness. In the lantern light from the stable, Patrick tumbled outside, followed by two men Colin recognized as shopkeepers in the next county. Brothers named Harris, he thought.

Colin realized he was running and skidded to a halt just as one of the brothers landed a vicious kick to Patrick’s ribs. “Stop!” Colin shoved the man aside. Blood already streamed from Patrick’s nose and mouth.

The man ignored Colin as if he were naught but a fly, and kicked Patrick again. “Unnatural piece of filth!”

Several other guests who heard the melee drew near. The other Harris brother called out to them. “We need the inspector. A crime’s been committed here.”

“What crime?” Colin demanded.

The man spit at the ground where Patrick lay beaten. “Buggery.”

The world tilted on its axis, and Colin’s stomach churned. He realized Patrick’s breeches were loose, and that the man he’d seen fleeing must have been…

Suddenly Colin’s father was there. In the lantern light, Colin could see the rage on his father’s face, and it chilled him. Edward was short and stout, yet an imposing presence. He issued a terse command to the Harris brothers to follow him and bring Patrick.

Patrick was dragged around the back of the manor house, a growing number of curious guests following. Several women were told to go back to the party, and the servants watched with wide eyes as the brothers hauled Patrick through the kitchen. Inside Edward’s study, a group of men gathered. Patrick was deposited on his knees in the middle of the room as Colin crowded inside with the others. They were soon joined by Colin’s mother.

“What’s going on?” she hissed to her husband. “There are whispers everywhere.”

Edward barely spared her a glance. “This is no place for a woman. An ungodly crime has been committed. Go see to the other guests and tell them everything is fine. We don’t want this getting out.”

“I’m not going anywhere. Tell me what’s happened!” Elizabeth’s cheeks flamed.

The man who’d kicked Patrick spoke. “My wife is feeling ill, so my brother and I went to the stable to ask for our carriage to be brought round.”

“Ill? Not from the food?” Elizabeth appeared horrified.

“For God’s sake, woman, forget the food!” A vein in Edward’s temple throbbed, and Colin feared his father might explode with rage.

“Where’s the other one?” Colin glanced behind him, surprised to hear William’s voice. Apparently the whispers were indeed spreading.

One of the Harris brothers answered. “Gone. I think it was the Nelsons’ carriage driver. Quick bastard, we couldn’t catch him. This one was still tangled up in his breeches. Caught him dead to rights.”

“No need to get the courts involved. Take him out back and hang him from his bollocks,” said one of the other guests.

There was a murmur of agreement, and Edward seemed to seriously be considering it. Colin’s panic increased exponentially as the tension simmered. Many of those present had long been into their cups, and a reckless air swirled through the room. He looked to Patrick, who knelt silently, blood dripping down his face, his hands now bound behind his back. Colin hadn’t seen who restrained him.

“Kill him,” agreed one of the Harrises. To Patrick, he said, “Wouldn’t you rather be put out of your misery now than rot in a jail cell knowing you’re going to the gallows? We’d be doing you a favor.”

The murmur of assent grew frighteningly loud. “Should have expected it from an Irishman,” someone shouted.

“Hang ’im! Save the courts some time and money.” The bookkeeper from the local village reached for Patrick, attempting to haul him to his feet as other men cried their agreement.

“No!” When all eyes turned to him, Colin realized he’d spoken aloud. “No. You can’t kill him.” He thought of that day six years before, when Patrick had raced after him and plucked him from the fleeing stallion. His heart hammered as it had that day.

Edward’s eyes narrowed. “Colin, the punishment for buggery is death. It’s what he deserves. This man—if you can call an animal a man—is a degenerate criminal.”

“Then so am I!”

Silence gripped the room in an instant, as if everyone held their breath collectively. Elizabeth went pale. “Colin, you have no idea what you’re saying.” She pulled his arm, urging him toward the door. “I’m sorry, everyone; he’s had far too much brandy this evening. He isn’t himself.”

Colin yanked his arm away. “No, Mother. I know what I’m saying.” He swallowed, his throat dry and thick. “I am myself.” Perhaps for the first time.

A shocked William spoke up, his eyes wide. “Colin, this is madness!”

Edward simply stared, stunned into silence for the first time in Colin’s memory. Elizabeth pulled at him again, but Colin shook free. “If you will kill this man for his crime, then you’ll have to kill me too. Shall you take me outside and string me up?”

“What in God’s name are you doing?” Patrick spoke for the first time, and all eyes turned to where he knelt. He stared at Colin with dazed astonishment.

The sound of Patrick’s voice seemed to spur Edward out of his daze. Edward turned a murderous gaze on Patrick. “If you’ve laid a finger on my son, I swear—”

“I’d sooner bed a horse,” Patrick sneered.

“And probably has!” a voice called out.

Colin felt a ridiculous stab of pain at Patrick’s words.

Patrick went on. “Sir, your son is clearly not in his right mind.”

William’s father, John, a lawyer, spoke next. He was tall and distinguished, the opposite of his brother, Edward. He seemed to be the only calm person left in the room. “Colin, are you saying you’ve committed acts of buggery?”

“Yes.” Even if it wasn’t true, Colin couldn’t let them kill Patrick. At least not tonight, not if he could help it.

Elizabeth shrieked and collapsed into a chair. “Oh, my son. What have you done? It can’t be true!”

“I’m sorry, Mother. They’ll have to kill us both.”

“Don’t listen to him! For God’s sake!” Patrick tried to stand but was shoved back down by Edward, whose face flamed with rage.

John spoke up. “No one’s killing anyone.” He turned to the Harris brothers. “Did you witness the act?”

One of them laughed tersely. “Didn’t have to. They heard us coming, and the other one was off and running. But we saw and heard enough to know what was going on.”

John pondered this, and everyone waited. He seemed to have quietly taken control of the proceedings, for which Colin was grateful. He hoped Patrick wouldn’t be harmed any further for the moment.

“No concrete evidence. None in regards to Colin either,” John said after a lengthy pause.

“Because it’s not true!” Elizabeth cried.

John ignored her and turned to Edward. “I have some friends in the magistrate’s office who should be able to help. I’ll go speak to George Crawford and get him on our side. But too many people have heard Colin’s confession. Something must be done.”

Edward nodded grimly, not looking at Colin. He pointed to Patrick. “We’ll keep this one locked in the pantry for the night. Colin will be in his room with a guard placed outside. William, take him upstairs.”

The shock of his actions slowly settling in, Colin didn’t resist as William led him away. They opened the door to the study to find the hallway crowded with party guests. Katherine was among them, her delicate face transformed into a hard mask. “Fiend!” She dashed down the hall, weeping.

Accusing eyes glared from all sides, and William led Colin to the servants’ back stairway, sparing him the spectacle of being marched up the grand staircase. In his room, Colin tried to speak. “Will, I…”

William raised a hand. “Don’t.” He shook his head sadly, his expression deeply wounded. “I don’t understand. I’ve always thought of you as a dear friend. A brother. Now I feel I’ve never known you at all.” He turned his back, closing the door behind him. A moment later, Colin heard the key turn in the lock, and his life as he knew it was over.

My Review:
Colin is the only son of a wealthy gentleman, growing up in England in the early 1800s. He knows he’s different from the other boys his age, including his strapping cousin Will, who is allowed to go to school with the local lads, while Colin must be kept home for private lessons with his tutor. He hates formal education, and struggles to endure the challenges, but his father will make a Cambridge man of him, yet. Colin’s also aware he shares a shameful secret with the stable master, Patrick, because he witnessed Patrick buggering a man int eh stable years ago, and it’s the single most arousing image of his youth. He’d been friendly with Patrick at the time, helping with the horses care and riding for hours on his own horse, but it’s left him with a terrifying crush and a need for space so he doesn’t reveal his unnatural attraction.

As things go, Colin’s family hosts a grand party and Patrick is discovered in the act of coupling with a guest’s coachman. The guests clamor to hang Patrick on the spot, and Colin won’t let this injustice go unspoken. When he can’t dissuade his father, he jumps full stop into the melee confessing that he himself (well maybe not yet physically but in his heart!) is also guilty of the crime. This confession cools the mob mentality, even as Patrick denies Colin’s assertions. Still, the blood fever breaks and Colin finds himself and Patrick transported to Australia as part of a prison work gang. The voyage is long and awful, and many don’t survive. Patrick doesn’t want to be indebted to Colin for saving his life, only to sent to the wilds of Australia, but they reach a rapprochement, with Patrick offering Colin some physical attention, for all his troubles. They do survive the typhoid epidemic, and disembark to learn they’ve been selected for a work program that will take them deep into the heart of the continent–as work men for a woman who is setting up her cattle ranch. Her husband didn’t survive the journey, but the plans were laid, and she can’t turn back. Patrick and Colin were chosen because the guards knew they’d not trouble the widow for sex…

Along the two month cattle run, Colin and Patrick turn to each other for comfort, but Patrick won’t let himself fall in love again, even as Colin’s head over heels for his first and only love. The widow, and their guide, are meant to be jailers, but they aren’t and they aren’t upset by Colin and Patrick’s private affairs; they expected to be at first, but knowing them as men, and seeing they aren’t depraved goes a long way to building relationships.

I really enjoyed the adventure of this novel. It felt so authentic to the emotion and situation of the time. Colin is a boy of pure heart, who only wants to be loved honestly.Patrick is a jaded man who’s been hurt before, and doens’t expect to have more than a passing acquaintance and mutual satisfaction. He puts Colin off time and again, but really does love him. The secondary characters are interesting, and the different settings: provincial England, the wide Atlantic, the barren outback of Australia, are unique and engaging. Colin is a reliable narrator and his desire for love is right out on the page. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough by the end, as cattle rustlers move in to make new trouble. I’d read on if a sequel comes out, for sure.

Interested? You can find THE STATION on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Keira Andrews.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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