Unexpected Love Surrounding THE BISHOP–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new contemporary romance from Skye Warren. THE BISHOP is a novella set in her Tanglewood world of broody alpha men who act for justice, not necessary the law.

About the book:
From New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Skye Warren comes the next installment in her Tanglewood series.

THE BISHOP is a story of redemption, a story of revenge. A story of romance finding roots in the darkest places.

A million dollar chess piece goes missing hours before the auction.

Anders Sorenson will do anything to get it back. His family name and fortune rests on finding two inches of medieval ivory. Instead he finds an injured woman with terrible secrets.

He isn’t letting her go until she helps him find the piece. But there’s more at stake in this strategic game of lust and danger. When she confesses everything, he might lose more than his future. He might lose his heart.

**Every 1001 Dark Nights novella is a standalone story. For new readers, it’s an introduction to an author’s world. And for fans, it’s a bonus book in the author’s series. We hope you’ll enjoy each one as much as we do.**

My Review:
Anders Sorenson is a doctor who works outside the law, and seeks the man who destroyed his mother. When Anders was just a child his mother, also a physician, would treat the poor and downtrodden of Tanglewood. She was a brilliant person until she was attacked one night, beaten, raped and left for dead. After that, she never spoke and was homebound, playing chess with a young Anders under hsi father’s watchful eye. The attacker had stolen a priceless medieval chess piece, a bishop, from his mother, and Anders’ father made him promise to keep its mate–the one his father had carried every day for the rest of his life. Anders had long suspected the attacker kept the bishop, as it never came up for auction, or even sale in the dark web.

Now that his father has died, Anders is planning to lure out his mother’s attacker by offering the matching bishop for auction. While surveying the buyers at the auction house, Anders meets a woman who inexplicably catches his attention. When the bishop is stolen, he searches for that strange woman, finding her near death in the alley outside her questionable motel. Anders saves her, stitching her up and caring for her over the days she needs to heal and regain consciousness. Natalie, as Anders learns, did steal the chess piece, but she didn’t give it to the man pulling her strings–suffering greatly as a result.

Natalie has been a burglar under the power of someone very close to her family for the better part of 15 years. Natalie wants out of the situation, but fears her mother will become a target if she refuses to do as told. For once, however, she has a person who cares for her just because she needs it. Anders’ rough edges seem to smoothe Natalie’s battered heart as much as his capable hands repair her battered body. Anders wants Natalie more than his revenge–but he’d like both.

This was an interesting entry in the Tanglewood series–though I haven’t read these books. It’s clear that there are a couple of books in the series, as there are two unlikely couples who aid Anders and Natalie in the cause of justice–even if they break the law doing it. I thought the romance developed a bit quickly, as we don’t have much of a sense of Anders or Natalie during the crisis of her recovery, and Anders’ history is a bit sketchy, especially regarding his off-the-books medical practice. Everyone seems to know what they need to know when they need to know it–which smacked a bit of coincidence, and I’m not a fan of convenient story lines. That said, if you’re a fan of the author, or this series, this novella will likely make your day.

Interested? You can find THE BISHOP on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of dangerous romance. Her books have sold over one million copies. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, sweet dogs, and evil cat.

You can catch up with her on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and BookBub or sign up for her newsletter.

Like Anders and Natalie, I met my hubs in a weird situation–both pretending we were legal drinkers at an illegal campus party when we were young college students. Did you ever meet a Significant Other at a place you shouldn’t have been? Let me know in the comments…
As always, thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Christmas in A TOWN CALLED NOELLE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary F/F Christmas romance from M. K. Hardy. A TOWN CALLED NOELLE is set in a Michigan small-town and features a driven baker dispelling a lifetime of disillusionment for a grieving woman.

About the book:
Just a few days before Christmas, high-flying city exec Brooke Hawkins is forced to return to her small home town due to the death of her mother, who she hasn’t spoken to since she left for college over a decade before. The town, Noelle, is as full of the Christmas spirit as its name suggests. Brooke is more of the “Bah, Humbug” persuasion. She has a funeral to attend, property to sell, and she wants to do it and leave—preferably before December 25th. Unfortunately, the weather and the pace of small-town life both conspire to keep her right where she is.

Small-town baker Holly Jackson gets a nasty shock when she receives the news, just days before Christmas, that her little shop is about to be sold from under her by her late landlady’s estranged daughter. In the years since her husband died in a tragic accident, she and her daughter Maya have been getting by, healing and rebuilding. Holly was beginning to really enjoy life again. She doesn’t plan to let some woman she hasn’t seen since high school come in and ruin everything.

When Holly and Brooke cross paths, sparks fly—and not in a good way. Brooke is determined to sell up and get out of town—and outrun her bad memories in the process. Holly is determined to make her business work. When an unstoppable force meets an immovable object, can the spirit of Noelle change minds… and melt hearts?

My Review:
Brooke Hawkins believes that everyone in her hometown of Noelle will hate her–that’s what she’s been told by her estranged mother all her life, after all. Brooke left for college and hasn’t returned until her mother’s death–and the need to settle the estate. For Brooke, this means selling all her mother’s property and returning to her regularly-scheduled, if lonely, life.

Holly Jackson grew up with Brooke, and looked to her mother as a mentor. She admired Brooke somewhat in school, but they were never close. Holly’s a widow now, raising a young daughter and working hard to make her quirky bakery one of the must-stop places for tourists to Noelle. She’s not happy when her realtor calls to tell her that her lease is being broken–because Brooke is selling the property to a developer and Holly can’t even make a bid.

In such a small town, it’s inevitable that they will meet, and Holly let’s Brooke have it, confirming Brooke’s suspicions of being the odd-woman out. It seems her mother was highly respected by the community, and no one really knows how emotionally abusive she was to Brooke growing up. Brooke wants to sign all the paperwork and leave, but ice storms and a blizzard cut her quick escape off. Force to endure an extended stay in Noelle gives Holly the chance to apologize for her fiery temper–and maybe kindle a tiny spark of desire and connection that each woman needs.

This is a short read, with two rather interesting main characters. I liked them both, but I didn’t really get a good sense of their connection. Brooke was enchanted to be included in Holly’s plans–including the holiday festivities–once she could get over her ingrained shyness. There aren’t many tender moments on the page, which made it hard for me to really understand what changed for Holly, in terms of her attraction to Brooke. I get that she was emotionally connected to the decisions Brooke made that ultimately played in her favor, but Holly’s sudden interest in a physical relationship with Brooke–who could jet out as soon as the weather clears–didn’t have a firm grounding, to me. It’s a decent story, but my disbelief at the situation and the plot couldn’t stay suspended long enough to reach the happy ending.

Interested? You can find A TOWN CALLED NOELLE on Goodreads, NineStar Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
MK Hardy is the pen name for two geeky women living and writing together in Scotland. They’ve been writing partners for eleven years and life partners for nine. When they’re not typing frantically at one another they like to walk the dogs, cuddle the cats, drink cocktails and play boardgames.

Catch up with MK Hardy on their website, Facebook, and twitter.

Falling For the TOUGH GUY–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new M/M contemporary hockey romance from Rachel Reid. TOUGH GUY is the third book in her Game Changers series, but is a standalone romance.

About the book:
They have nothing in common—so why does Ryan feel most like himself whenever he’s with Fabian?

Pro hockey star Ryan Price may be an enforcer, but off the ice he struggles with anxiety. Recently traded to the Toronto Guardians, he’s determined to make a fresh start in the city’s dynamic LGBTQ Village. The last thing he expects to stumble upon in his new neighborhood is a blast from his past in the fabulous form of Fabian Salah.

Aspiring musician Fabian loathes hockey. But that doesn’t stop him from being attracted to a certain burly, ginger-bearded defenseman. He hasn’t forgotten the kiss they almost shared back in high school, and it’s clear the chemistry between them has only intensified.

Fabian is more than happy to be Ryan’s guide to the gay scene in Toronto. Between dance clubs and art exhibits—and the most amazing sex—Ryan’s starting to feel something he hasn’t experienced in a long time: joy. But playing the role of the heavy on the ice has taken its toll on his body and mind, and a future with Fabian may mean hanging up his skates for good.

My Review:
Veteran Ryan Price is a defenseman and enforcer for the Toronto Guardians hockey team. It’s not a role he relishes, but his bulk and size have pinned him into the situation, so he goes to battle on the ice, and throws more punches than shots on goal. He’s new to Toronto, having been recently traded after having a spectacular meltdown on the bench of his previous team during a game, though his anxiety struggles are being medically managed for the most part. Ryan is gay, and he’s never hidden it, but he’s also never broadcast it–not that he’s had many friends, or boyfriends, to speak about it. His social anxiety, size and reputation usually keep him isolated, even from his own teammates. Ryan’s self-esteem is pretty low, despite being a pro hockey player.

On this team, however, the back-up goalie Wyatt seems determined to make friends with Ryan. He sits with him on flights, helping him to manage his deep-seated fears, and invites him to a local kids club where Wyatt volunteers. This relationship is the first that Ryan cultivates in years. The second, is a reconnection to Fabian Saleh, a boy he lived with in his teens, since Fabian’s family regularly hosted junior hockey players. Fabian is out and fabulous, having a genderqueer sensibility. He keeps a day-job at the drug store nearest Ryan’s new condo in the heart of Toronto’s queer village. Fabian is a first-rate violinist, though, and Ryan has many memories of listening to Fabian play back in his childhood home. Fabian’s rabid hockey fan family has never been that supportive of Fabian, his music or his life. It turned Fabian away from hockey, but he never forgot Ryan, the shy boy who made more of an effort to see Fabian play back then than Fabian’s own parents did.

Ryan had a big regret of never kissing Fabian back when they were young, but he’s not going to make the same mistake again–even if he’s terrible in bed. His meds and his anxiety often make him unable to perform, but Fabian’s outre look has his libido perking up big time–and Fabian’s happy to go at Ryan’s pace–even if Ryan is a hockey player. Fabian’s friends adore Ryan, even wishing to scoop him up if Fabian doesn’t make a claim, and Ryan’s so happy to be accepted by Fabian’s posse–and hear the fantastic music he makes. For a couple of months it seems things are going really well for Ryan, but then Wyatt is traded and he loses that close friendship. Then, he hurts his back on the ice, and the recovery is…bad. Fabian is mad that Ryan won’t take time off from the season to heal, and Ryan’s frustrated that Fabian keeps harping at him. With all his pain meds on top of his anxiety meds it’s an untenable situation.

With a break looming, both Fabian and Ryan are searching their souls. Should they make up? Should Ryan quit hockey? What would help them find the right path to mutual happiness? There are some really touching moments of deep introspection here, while each man figures out how to live a true and happy life. Ryan gets a chance to connect with an old teammate who offers him a chance to explore his passion for hockey in a low pressure situation. Could this be the first step to Ryan taking care of himself–first and foremost? The resolution is tender and awesome, with Ryan and Fabian being the support one another needs–right when they need it. I loved how each man found his personal happiness, and that magnified their joined happiness. Each man is a little bit broken, and to see both healed and whole in each other and in the end was so cool. I loved how uninhibited Fabian is, and how he coaxes Ryan out of his shell by his sheer exuberance. Not only that, Ryan developing a support network for himself was so great to experience. I really liked both of these characters a lot, and I liked the little glimpse of Ilya Rozanov and Shane Hollander, from the second book in this series, that we get at the end.

Interested? You can find TOUGH GUY on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Rachel Reid is the pen name of Rachelle Goguen. She chose it because it is much easier to say, spell and remember than Rachelle Goguen!

Rachel writes cute, romantic smut, mostly about hockey players.
Rachelle co-hosts a comic book podcast called Living Between Wednesdays.

Rachel/Rachelle lives in Nova Scotia, Canada. She has always lived there, and it’s looking like she probably always will. She has two boring degrees and two interesting kids.

The first two books in her Game Changers m/m hockey romance series, Game Changer and Heated Rivalry, are both available now from Carina Press. Book three is coming soon!

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

Are you a hockey fan? I am honestly not, because all my winter sports effort goes into wrestling–which my kids do and my hubs coaches. Still, I’ve been reading hockey romance for years now, and have more book reviews coming in that sub-genre over the next month or so. Feel free to share some of your fave hockey romance titles in the comments.

In the meantime, thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Coming to Terms: JEREMIAH–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M contemporary interracial romance from new-to-me author Jayce Ellis. JEREMIAH is the first book in her High Rise series. This urban romance features a black, mid-30s, closeted paramedic falling hard for a wealthy, queer, white man who’s trying to get his rambling life on track.

About the book:
Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything…

To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks.

When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom.

My Review:
Jeremiah Stewart is in his mid-30s and an experienced paramedic working in the Washington D.C. area. He’s a black man who became the “man of the house” at the age of 6 when his father disappeared from their lives leaving his mother to raise the four kids, seemingly on her own. He is gay–out only to his best friend–and lives in a high rise condo. One hot June night he’s arriving home and finds a slender whit man with booty shorts, eyeliner, and lip gloss wrangling two drunk friends into the elevator of his building. The guy is cute, and clearly overwhelmed, so Jeremiah valiantly assists. He would like to get to know the cutie some more, but the stranger shuts him down almost immediately. Maybe he’s dating the dude who’s passed out drunk? JEremiah can’t tell, but he also can’t forget the man.

Collin Galloway is 29 and a college grad working as a pool secretary in a law firm, a job arranged by his wealthy father–who is a longtime friend of one of the firm’s partners, Mr. Carter. Collin lives in his old childhood bedroom in his parent’s posh condo, which his father resents. He has strained relations with his parents, who had him late, after they’d already shipped his older sister off to boarding school. Collin was primarily raised by nannies and refused to go to boarding school when his last nanny quit. He feels like an outsider in his family, and has really close ties with a childhood friend, Lizzie, and Ryan–with whom he’d unknowingly shared an ex-boyfriend in college. He often crashes at Lizzie and Ryan’s apartment on the weekends to avoid being around his parents.

Collin is totally drawn to Jeremiah, but he lacks confidence due to what he feels are low circumstances–drifting through a job, sponging off his parents, and not being a full-adult despite his age. Jeremiah looks way too put-together to suffer a flight man like Collin, right?

A 4th of July incident reunites them–with slightly better results than the first meeting. And another run-in at a local cafe gets them to exchange numbers–Lizzie’s gratitude becomes an offer for Collin to re-work Jeremiah’s resume in search of a new job. In this effort, Collin’s nerves and insecurities disappear. The rapport strengthens and provides a nice segue into sexytimes. Both men have family issues, and isolation problems–there are fights and separations that neither has anticipated. They are different on the outside, but they mesh well. When Jeremiah gets some time off, he convinces Collin to play hooky from his new position as Mr. Collin’s temporary secretary. It is ultimate sexy bliss, until one of Jeremiah’s siblings gets clued in on his sexuality–and it ends up with a bail-out and a freak out–not necessarily in that order.

This is a sweet and sexy romance, with two very different men, who find full acceptance with one another. Jeremiah is awed by Collin’s resilience, and Collin is attracted to Jeremiah’s brawn and determination. Being in the closet isn’t easy, and Collin clings to the idea that Jeremiah will introduce him to his mother. The Stewart family needs to have some heart-to-hearts to clear up the mystery of what happened to their father, and how this affected the whole clan. There is a lot of emotion that needs to get sorted out, but the end is happy, with a lot of support throughout the ending. This is the first book in the series, and I would be eager to read on.

Interested? You can find JEREMIAH on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Jayce Ellis is an author and an attorney. You can connect with her on twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Discovering AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary Christmas romance from Jennifer Snow. AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS is set small-town Alaska and features a driven doctor making time for romance with her old bestie’s protective brother.

About the book:
In Alaska, it’s always a white Christmas—but the sparks flying between two reunited friends could turn it red-hot…

If there’s one gift Erika Sheraton does not want for Christmas, it’s a vacation. Ordered to take time off, the workaholic surgeon reluctantly trades in her scrubs for a ski suit and heads to Wild River, Alaska. Her friend Cassie owns a tour company that offers adventures to fit every visitor. But nothing compares to the adrenaline rush Erika feels on being reunited with Cassie’s brother, Reed Reynolds.

Gone is the buttoned-up girl Reed remembers. His sister’s best friend has blossomed into a strong, skilled, confident woman. She’s exactly what his search-and-rescue team needs—and everything he didn’t know he craved. The gulf between his life in Wild River and her big-city career is wide. But it’s no match for a desire powerful enough to melt two stubborn hearts…

My Review:
Dr. Erika Sheraton is a workaholic surgeon in metropolitan Anchorage, at the same hospital where her father is the surgical department chair. She has put in countless hours as a clinician in order to prove herself to her father, and work on a research project to test a new anti-rejection drug for organ recipients. Her own mother had died when Erika was a young girl–due to a failed kidney transplant. This life-long mission is interrupted when her father suspends her privileges at the hospital for a mandatory vacation–since she hasn’t had one in years.

At loose ends, Erika returns to her small hometown of Wild River, to reconnect with her childhood best friend, Cassie. It’s awkward, mostly because Erika has arrived with barely two weeks until Christmas and the few hotels in town are book up–and Erika’s now imposing on Cassie to sleep on her couch. Not one to stay still long, Erika’s soon finagling her way into Search and Rescue missions with Cassie’s brother Reed, who has surely grown up. As part of this team, Erika makes some medical situations way easier, earning the gratitude of her father’s old boss at the community hospital.

Her attraction to Reed is inconvenient–now that Erika has time off she has time to reflect on happier days in Wild River and lament all the things she routinely gave up for a career she’s not convinced she wants any longer. Not now that her father’s pulling power plays and possibly removing her from the drug study. Reed is the emotional rock she remembers, only taller, more muscled, and sexier. It isn’t long before these two are burning up the sheets and each other. But life in the arctic wild is dangerous and soon Erika’s surgical expertise is necessary for Reed’s survival.

I’ll be honest, there were a LOT of issues in this book that didn’t make sense to me–because they fell short of the realism I enjoy in my contemporary romances. In previous careers I ran medical studies and have decades of working experience within the American medical system. So, Erika’s experiences in the hospital felt like gross exaggerations which pulled me from the story. Likewise, her assertions of power on Search and Rescue seemed farfetched and unrealistic. The romance between Erika and Reed felt rushed, and the environmental challenges of an Alaskan winter seemed conveniently mild to allow for situations that would foster the romance. In the end, Erika needs to make a choice between her previously self-sacrificing career and some level of work-life balance in a new position. She makes the only realistic choice, though it seemed a bit of a false choice within the constraints of the story. To me the story was more melodramatic than I had anticipated, and I didn’t really connect with Erika as a character until well past the halfway point in the book. I’m on a huge Alaska reading cycle now, and this was not the best book I’ve recently come across.

Interested? You can find AN ALASKAN CHRISTMAS on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Jennifer Snow is an award-winning author living in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband and five year old son. She is a member of the Writers Guild of Alberta, the Romance Writers of America, the Canadian Author Association, and SheWrites.org. She is a contributing author to Mslexia Magazine, WestWord Magazine and RWR. She has also taught RWA Chapters courses online.

Her publishing credits include two holiday novellas, previously published by The Wild Rose Press, now re-released as self-published editions through Amazon. The Mistletoe Fever was an Amazon bestseller for two weeks in the category of Kindle Short Reads. Her six book small town, Brookhollow series is published through Harlequin Heartwarming and her MMA sports romance series Beyond the Cage is published through Berkley/NAL Intermix.

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

Finding Happiness With A BOYFRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary Christmas M/M romance from Jay Northcote. A BOYFRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS is a sweet story featuring a wealthy closeted virgin falling for a motorcycle-riding tattoo artist.

About the book:
Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

My Review:
Archie Arandale is the youngest son of very wealthy parents. He’s lived a very sheltered life, and only just moved out on his own now that he’s completed uni. He does work for his father’s investment firm, but he truly wants to open a non-profit to help LGBT youth. Archie envisions someday coming out, but first he should probably have some physical experience with a man.

Cal Turner is a tattoo artist who won a lottery a few years back. He’s big, burly and brash, but a compassionate and sexy man. He paid off his mum’s home and bought himself a place, then donated a bunch to charity and invested the rest. He’s been out since school, but he’s never had a real relationship even though he’s nearly thirty. His best mate convinces him to attend one of the seminar dinners hosted by his investment firm–and there he meets Archie. Archie is thin, blonde and adorably shy. It’s good fun to tease him a little, if only to watch him blush crimson, but when Archie truly responds to Cal’s teasing they make a connection neither anticipated.

One rushed encounter leads to and exchange of numbers, and a continued acquaintance. Cal’s stunned that Archie has so little experience, as wealthy and attractive as he is, but he realizes that Archie’s been so scared to ask for what he wants, leaving him isolated and lonely. Cal can empathize with loneliness, and he makes the effort to be a good partner to Archie, helping him explore his sexual needs safely, and build a rapport as well. They are so well suited, despite the class differences, because Archie’s a down-to-earth guy, not a posh git like Cal had anticipated. The only real problem is Archie being closeted–and he’s warming to the idea of sharing his truth after the Christmas holidays. Can Cal trust him to make that choice? Will Archie’s posh family accept the common man he’s falling for?

This is a sweet and sexy romance. I really loved the intimate moments and Archie’s exuberance to find an attentive partner. Their growing friendship is fun and flirty, with such potential. I loved how adventurous they were with one another, and I totally fell for both Archie and Cal, as they fell for one another. Archie’s family are more accepting than he would have guess–once he revealed all his secrets, including a mismatch in their politics. I really enjoyed the coming out scene, and Archie’s unexpected advocate was a breath of fresh air. This is a holiday story, but fully enjoyable at any time of year.

Interested? You can find A BOYFRIEND FOR CHRISTMAS on Goodreads and Amazon.

About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

You can find Jay on his website, Twitter, Facebook Author Page, and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

signal boost

Picked Up By ANGELS SING–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review for a new M/M Christmas romance from Eli Easton. ANGELS SING is a contemporary romance that features a gay coach falling for the young gay father who owns the local bookstore. This is the second book in her Daddy Dearest series, right after FAMILY CAMP. I have loved all the Eli Easton books I’ve read, including MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. MIGGLES, her HOWL AT MOON books, SECOND HARVEST, FIVE DARES and ROBBY RIVERTON: MAIL ORDER BRIDE.

About the book:
Jamie Bailey has not had such a wonderful life. He gave up his dreams of Harvard at 18 to raise his sister’s unwanted baby, and later a prized job to help a sick friend. Now the father of six-year-old Mia, and assistant manager at Raven Books, Jamie’s dreams are dashed once again when Uncle Billy admits what dire straights the bookshop is in.

Stanton Potter, son of the most notorious businesswoman in Bedford Falls, loves his job teaching at the local elementary school. But he’s less than thrilled when he is forced to put together a Christmas pageant with first-graders, including Mia Bailey.

When Stanton meets Jamie, angels sing. Jamie’s gender-bending fashion sense, and sweet aura, have Stanton suffering through the worse crush he’s had since he was a teen. But can there be any hope for them when Jamie and Mia’s lives are about to be uprooted?

This Christmas, its Jamie’s turn to receive a little help from heaven.

My Review:
Jamie Bailey is a an out-gay 24 year old father to his adopted niece, Mia. He runs Raven Books, a bookstore in tiny Bedford Falls, Oregon, where he also lives in the upstairs apartment. Jamie went to college while caring for Mia, and had good prospects for jobs, but he stayed at Raven Books to care for its proprietor, Uncle Billy, who’d helped with Mia’s care for years now. Uncle Billy promised to sell the store to Jamie, but he’s been unwilling to turn over the reins completely.

Having been literally raised in Raven Books, Mia’s as big a part of the bookstore as her father, and she helps corral kids for the highly attended story times. She struggles to connect with kids her own age, however, and is really attached to her first-grade teacher–who is placed on emergency bed rest due to issues with a pregnancy. Jamie is nervous Mia won’t get along with the substitute teacher, Coach Stanton Potter.

Stanton is in his mid-30s and not-exactly out. His mother is a businesswoman, owning many properties in Bedford Falls–now that they sold the family hockey-stick manufacturing plant. Bedford Falls has slowly declined in prosperity over the last few decades, with the loss of good quality jobs and younger people migrating to nearby cities for employment. She’s got a plan for the refurbishment of main street Bedford Falls, but it involves shutting down Raven Books. Stanton loves living and teaching PE in Bedford Falls, but he’s not excited for the huge change being handed down from his principal: cover the first-grade class for his sick colleague and get the kids ready for the annual Christmas pageant. A day into the job, Stanton realizes he’s way out of his depth and head to Raven Books to find books on classroom management. Mia’s a skeptical observer of her new teacher, but she’s always willing to help–and getting Jamie involved seems to assist Stanton in emotional, professional and physical ways.

Jamie and Stanton have immediate chemistry–and neither has a lot of options for partners, but it’s professionally questionable for Stanton to have anything but friendship with a student’s parent. Still, Stanton is drawn to Jamie, and when Jamie has a great plan for the Christmas pageant, Stanton is more than willing to accept his help. Unfortunately, they both know whatever might develop between them has an expiration date. Raven Books is in trouble financially, due to increases in rent outstripping their sales. Without the store, Jamie will have to move–and this will likely happen by the end of December.

I really loved the sweet and tender love story that develops between Jamie and Stanton, who willingly comes out in his efforts to help Jamie save Raven Books. Stanton didn’t realize his mother was involved in pushing Raven into bankruptcy, but he makes heroic efforts to bring in enough business to keep Jamie in Bedford Falls. The Christmas pageant is a hit, and Mia’s happy to have some new and caring people in her life. She’s a precocious child, with observation and literacy skills that surpass the usual for a 6 year-old, but she’s not horrible, or bratty. I enjoyed her simplistic viewpoint, even as I knew the shenanigans of her class were exaggerated for effect–as were Stanton’s shortcomings. The end is happy, with a nice small-town neighbor-helping vibe that I enjoyed.

Interested? You can find ANGELS SING on Goodreads and Amazon.

If you’re interested in more of the Daddy Dearest series, you can find FAMILY CAMP on Goodreads and Amazon.

Eli EastonAbout the Author:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

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