Life Out of Tune BAD BOY’S BARD–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M contemporary paranormal romance from EJ Russell. BAD BOY’S BARD is the final book in the Fae Out of Water trilogy, and connects the last true bard of the Seelie court with his long-lost love. Each book follows the love story of one of the three Kendrick brothers, high-ranking Fae of the Seelie court. It all started with CUTIE AND THE BEAST and THE DRUID NEXT DOOR

About the book:
As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship.

My Review:
Gareth Kendrick is the last true bard of the Seelie. His voice has the power to command people to fall in love, heal, or commit themselves to their doom. He’s always been wary of his power, and scared of the voices of the dead that haunt him ever since his tutelage by the ghost of Gwyddion, the most recently deceased bard before Gareth.

Gareth loved only one man in his long-spanning life: Niall. Niall was a human, or so Gareth thought and they met “by chance” nearly two hundred years ago in the human realm where Gareth chose to live the bulk of his life. For Gareth, Niall was all and everything, and he dispaired greatly when he saw an Unseelie escort Niall through the realms to Faerie. HE was sure Niall was lost to him forever.

The true was much different. Niall was a half-Fae Unseelie prince sent to kill Gareth, but he fell in love with the man instead. His brother learned of the situation and escorted Niall back to their father as a favor, so Niall could plead his love and ask a boon to be released from his oath. Their father refused and sent Niall into one of the hells of their realm, Govannon’s forge, to toil for the past two hundred years in retribution for his treachery. Niall endured the punishment because it ensured that Gareth would not be murdered by another of his father’s minions.

Fast-forward: Faerie is dying and a powerful Mage is planning to rescue it with a remaking spell, but it requires all of the Fae to be present. This includes Niall, whose brother–now the King of the Unseelie–has rescued from Govannon’s forge. And, when Niall sees Gareth he knows he can’t tell the truth. Gareth, instead of performing his part in the new magic, steals Niall away from the ceremony, sure that a “human” could not withstand the magic of the rite.

Unfortunately, when they flee Faerie they upset the balance and the spell to fix Faerie goes awry. Oh, and it’s not cool when Gareth learns his ‘dead Human’ lover is really a living Unseelie Prince. It’s hard going for a bit, but a reconciliation is brokered by David and Bryce, the non-Seelie mates of Gareth’s brothers. By connecting with those men, Gareth sees the folly of condemning interspecies mating, and Niall is able to win his heart back. Oh, and save all the realms from the power-mad Mage who had a whole different plan in mind. Expect high stakes, mad love and healed hearts by the end. There’s a wee bit of sexytimes, but it’s more emotion than motion.

This is the end of the trilogy, which I think is best read in order, but there’s a window to new adventures left open, where Niall and Mal can hit the road to find lost Fae in the human realm. I’d tag along for that…

Interested? You can find BAD BOY’S BARD on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

There’s a three-tour wide giveaway of a $50 GC to Riptide Publishing, and you just need to head on over to my friends at Boy Meets Boys Reviews and comment on their post in order to be entered!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
E.J. Russell writes romance in a rainbow of flavors — from M/F stories grounded in absurd contemporary reality to M/M tales splashed with the supernatural — but you can be sure that while the couple makes their way to HEA, they’ll never stray too far into the dark.

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

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Near the Climax–DRAGON BURN-Review and Excerpt

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly published dragon-shifter romance from Donna Grant. DRAGON BURN is a novella in her Dark Kings series, (Book 11.5!) and really best enjoyed when read in order. I’ve liked SMOKE AND FIRE, FIRESTORM, and BLAZE, so I’m eager to reach the “climax” of this sexy series.

About the book:
Marked by passion
A promise made eons ago sends Sebastian to Italy on the hunt to find an enemy. His quarry proves difficult to locate, but there is someone who can point him in the right direction – a woman as frigid as the north. Using every seductive skill he’s acquired over his immortal life, his seduction begins. Until he discovers that the passion he stirs within her makes him burn for more…

Gianna Santini has one love in her life – work. A disastrous failed marriage was evidence enough to realize she was better off on her own. That is until a handsome Scot strolled into her life and literally swept her off her feet. She is unprepared for the blazing passion between them or the truth he exposes. But as her world begins to unravel, she realizes the only one she can depend on is the very one destroying everything – a Dragon King.

In this scorching Dark Kings novella, New York Times bestselling author Donna Grant brings together a determined Dragon King used to getting what he wants and an Ice Queen who thaws for no one.

How about a little taste?

Sebastian was there.

She turned her head to look at him. He met her gaze, his clear eyes holding some kind of emotion she couldn’t quite name, but through it she saw the fires of desire as if he were lit from the inside with them.

It caused her stomach to flutter in excitement and her feet to stop working. She stumbled, which caused his arm to wrap around her waist as he drew to a stop and hauled her against him. They stared silently into each other’s eyes as the crowds parted and walked around them. The steady thumping of his heartbeat could be felt beneath her palms.

What was it about Sebastian that made her forget herself? She was a different person with him, one that not only enjoyed his touch—but craved it.

The problem was, she liked how she felt around him. She enjoyed how he made her feel, and how she wanted to feel. The desire, the need, the hunger. She reached for it, accepted it.

Embraced it.

She didn’t know how long they stood there lost in each other’s eyes. For a brief moment, she wondered if it was one-sided. Could Sebastian feel the same as her? Did she dare allow herself to follow wherever this road led, no matter how many doorways she walked through?

No matter what it might expose within herself?

No matter what longing it might reveal?

No matter if she found herself walking alone?

She was standing on the edge of a precipice while he stood on nothing but air, holding out his hand and urging her to jump. Never one to take such a chance, she found herself wanting to do just that.

Even if it meant that she could hit the ground so hard she might never get up again.

It was strange to even consider any of this. Yet here she was. There should be more fear, more concern. Perhaps it was the desire overshadowing those other emotions.

“Gianna,” he began.

Her cell phone vibrated in her purse, causing her to jump and shattering whatever had held them enthralled. She couldn’t help but wonder if destiny was trying to tell her something. It was the second time they’d been interrupted that day when she’d felt sure he was going to kiss her.

My Review:
Sebastian is a Dragon King who promised to help Ulrik no matter what centuries ago, and he regrets having to bind Ulrik’s magic to prevent the destruction of humanity centuries ago. He doesn’t believe that Ulrik is the menace behind the troubles facing the Dragon Kings of Dreagan. So, he’s off to Venice to investigate a lead in the search for Ulrik. It seems there’s a man who looks quite a lot like Ulrik operating there under the name of Oscar Cox, and Seb believes him to be Ulrik’s disgruntled uncle Mikkel in disguise. Seb positions himself to meet Cox’s beautiful American assistant, Gianna Santini, in order to gain access to her boss and discover his true identity.

Gianna is done with relationships. Divorced and bitter, she eschews meeting men and prefers to be solitary–filling her time with her work for “Oscar Cox,” a powerful British man to whom she’s an assistant. She loves Mr. Cox’s power and how quickly she’s risen within his company. Still, the man seated beside her for the past two nights at her favorite tavern is quite attractive. And, when she strikes up the nerve to chat with him, Seb’s brogue is tasty, too.

They begin a tentative acquaintance, and Gianna is intrigued by Seb’s sensuality and chivalry. Both are drawn to the other, and this is odd for many reasons; Gianna’s not interested in having alover after her disastrous marriage and Seb’s sworn to not take a human lover. Still, they have an easy-going day sharing breakfast and sightseeing. Gianna, wanting to experience more of the thrill of Seb, invites him to the masquerade ball she’s arranged–hosted by Oscar–and that’s when things get hinky.

Seb’s as attracted to Gianna as he’s ever been to any being. And, he’s conflicted about setting himself in her path, because she’s clearly in trouble. At the ball Seb’s suspicions are confirms, and Gianna’s boos recognizes that another Dragon King has been in contact with her. Expect capture, torture and potential casualties. Okay, definite casualties of you count Dark Fae henchmen in the body count. Seb’s connection to Gianna and Constatntine, King of the Dragon Kings, enables him to find out the truth behind Ulrik’s betrayal and Mikkel’s role in their millenia-old feud. Seb also meets the powerful Druid who’s been summoned to destroy both Ulrik and Constantine.

 

There’s still plenty of plotlines to weave together; this novella is a rather self-contained romance for Seb and Gianna, though it adds some critical pieces to the mix…if only Seb and Gianna could remember what those were. Dang Druids and their memory stealing charms. If my count is correct, partnering Seb with Gianna means that only Constantine and Ulrik are single Dragon Kings–and I expect they will find mates and settle scores in the final book, which I’d expect to come out in the coming months.

Interested? You can find DRAGON BURN on Goodreads and Amazon.

donna_grant_newAbout the Author:
New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Donna Grant has been praised for her “totally addictive” and “unique and sensual” stories. Her latest acclaimed series, Dark Kings, features a thrilling combination of dragons, Fae, and immortal Highlanders who are dark, dangerous, and irresistible. She lives with her two children and an assortment of animals in Texas.

Catch up with Donna on her website, Facebook, twitter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Tumblr, Audible, and Tantor.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Strange Bedfellows: THE DRUID NEXT DOOR–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M contemporary paranormal romance from EJ RUSSELL. THE DRUID NEXT DOOR is the sequel to CUTIE AND THE BEAST, and the second book in the Fae Out of Water series. Each book follows the love story of one of the three brothers, high-ranking Fae of the Seelie court. In this cal Lord Maldywn (or Mal) find love with his tree-hugger neighbor—who turns out to be a druid.

About the book:
Professor Bryce MacLeod has devoted his entire life to environmentalism. But how effective can he be in saving the planet when he can’t even get his surly neighbor to separate his recycling?

Former Queen’s Enforcer Mal Kendrick doesn’t think his life could get any worse: he’s been exiled from Faerie with a cursed and useless right hand. When he’s not dodging random fae assassins in the Outer World, he’s going toe-to-toe with his tree-hugging neighbor. And when he discovers that the tree-hugger is really a druid, he’s certain the gods have it in for him—after all, there’s always a catch with druids. Then he’s magically shackled to the man and expected to instruct him in Supernatural 101.

All right, now things couldn’t possibly get worse.

Until a mysterious stranger offers a drunken Mal the chance to gain back all he’s lost—for a price. After Mal accepts, he discovers the real catch: an ancient secret that will change his and Bryce’s life forever.

Ah, what the hells. Odds are they won’t survive the week anyway.

My Review:
Mal Kendrick was cursed while saving his brother’s life. He lopped off the hand of the Fae Seelie Queen’s consort–rotten though he was–and won’t gain the use of his own hand until he’s restored the Queen’s consort in full–not that she wants him back. So, he’s cut off from Faerie in the human realm, and feeling rather sorry for himself. Plus, he’s having the devil of a time fending off the lesser Unseelie Fae who seem to delight in tormenting him, the former Enforcer of the Queen, now that he’s got a bum right hand.

Bryce MacLeod has devoted hsi life to caring for the earth and building sustainable living spaces that allow development to accentuate nature, not obliterate it. Thus, he’s right torqued off when he sees his attractive but surly neighbor, Mal, tossing a bottle at the coyote taking refuge in the wetland that borders the gardens at the rear of the properties. What he doesn’t know is that the “coyote” was a glamour-sporting Unseelie polluting their land, and Mal’s about to open Bryce’s eyes in more ways than one. Turns out Bryce is an undiscovered druid, unknowingly raised in the arts by his grandmother, who passed several years before. When Mal’s brother-in-law David, from CUTIE AND THE BEAST, gets word of Bryce’s latent powers he enlists his dear friend, a Druid priestess, to help train Bryce.

And these life lessons are necessary because it seems the Unseelie and the Queen’s consort are now after the both of them. To hasten Bryce’s learning in all things supernatural, he and Mal are magically tethered to stay in close proximity. This makes things both awkward and sexy. For example, they gots to share a bed, because the distance from the sofa to the bed exceeds their tether length. When they do that, well, it hurts, bad. Awkward because Mal’s been recruited to aid another Fae in gaining his freedom from a different curse–and this dude, let’s call him Steve, claims to have he’ll have the power to undo Mal’s curse once his own curse is lifted. But, Mal’s sworn to secrecy over this opportunity, and he needs to connive and convince Bryce to walk into Faerie with him to complete Steve’s tasks.

So, it’s complicated, as is the attraction between Bryce and Mal. Mal’s usually a dominant lover, but Bryce has Druid Voice which can compel most any person to do his bidding. Is their kinky-times the result of true desire, or compulsion? That was a real dilemma and one that both Mal and Bryce faced together and alone. They seem to burn the sheets up, but neither man wants to continue if it’s not a real connection. Though, Mal’s super charmed by Bryce’s Mr. Fix-it nature, and how he helps Mal gain the ability to defend himself, and protect them both, from the Unseelie invaders. Their adventures to gain Steve’s tokens are dangerous and revelatory; Bryce gains a lot of power and insight when he steps into Faerie. His mission to stave off the pollution in his world and the rot growing in Faerie seem to be linked through the Queen, and he’s afraid Mal’s chicanery on behalf of Steve will lead to destruction of both realms. Yet, he can’t not trust Mal. He’s developed a real rapport over the course of their adventures, and he wants to see Mal returned to his uncursed state, even if it means Mal walks away.

For me, this second book really brought a lot more of the supernatural and lore into the world-building. The first book was fun and quirky, but Faerie was a realm to avoid. This time we’re in Faerie at least half of the book, so we get to understand the politics of the space, and the inter-relatedness of the human and Faerie realms. I did see the path the ending would take rather early, and was gratified that it came together in the manner I was anticipating. Mal and Bryce have some real discussions that lead to a strong bond, and a mutually beneficial relationship in the end. This book has more sexytimes than the first, and they were pretty randy. O.O I’m a fan, and I needed a fan. Speaking of fans, the third book features the third Kendrick brother, a revered bard of Faerie who sings in a band in the Human realm. Looking forward to seeing that stalwart soul find a new mate.

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

****GIVEAWAY****

There’s a three-tour wide giveaway of a $50 GC to Riptide Publishing, and you just need to head on over to my friend Joyfully Jay and comment on her post in order to be entered!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
E.J. Russell writes romance in a rainbow of flavors — from M/F stories grounded in absurd contemporary reality to M/M tales splashed with the supernatural — but you can be sure that while the couple makes their way to HEA, they’ll never stray too far into the dark.

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

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Reality Shattered: CUTIE AND THE BEAST-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently published M/M paranormal romance from EJ RUSSELL. I’ve reviewed CLICKBAIT, a contemporary romance, from this author before, but I first read and reviewed her ghosthunting romances on Joyfully Jay, so I was eager to check out her new Fae out of Water series, beginning with CUTIE AND THE BEAST. It’s a snarky Beauty and the Beast meets Fae legends, and I really enjoyed it.

About the book:
Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

My Review:
David Evans is a nothing-special kind of guy who loves his dear aunt–the woman who raised him–and works as hard as he can to support her, especially as she is ill. Trouble is, though he’s a fantastic assistant and office keeper, he can’t seem to keep a position. He’s been doing off-site transcription, but it doesn’t pay all the bills, so he takes advantage of the one opportunity he’s given: temp work for Dr. Alun Kendrick. David heard Dr. Kendrick’s voice once, for a transcription, but it did seriously naughty things for David. He can’t wait to meet the man in person!

Alun Kendrick is a cursed Fae. Years ago his lover, a type of rare healing Fae, was murdered and he’s never forgiven himself. His punishment for not being there to save his beloved is a horrifying facial disfigurement that startles nearly everyone. Still, he works a a counselor to supernatural beings who find his grotesque appearance to be disarming enough to allow themselves to be vulnerable and accepting of treatment.

Alun isn’t prepared for his temp assistant to be human, and he’s outraged that the placement agency sent David, despite him being a sunny, beautiful, thoughtful young man and conscientious employee. Alun tries to find fault in David’s colorful adjustments to his office and solicitous treatment of his clients, but David’s seeming missteps actually result in inadvertent breakthroughs for several of the supers that come in for counseling. And, Alun’s not been tempted to find sexual pleasure since his last lover was killed, nearly two hundred years before. That David turns his crank to eleven? It cripples Alun.

Unfortunately, there’s unrest in the Fae realm and David’s help is needed to assist Alun to return and set things to rights–and that brings on a whole new series of problems. David, unknown even to himself, is harboring a secret of his true self and this results in worsening of the conflict. Not to mention David becoming a target for the worst elements of the Fae.

There’s really a lot going on here, and I’m only scratching the surface plot lines. It’s a sweet and engaging story with a tender romance that is born from David’s ability to see Alun’s true heart beneath the layers of emotional armor and his gruff and misshapen exterior. There’s the tiniest bit of heat, and a slow burn to reach it, but that was fine. I really enjoyed the mismatch of characters, and how David makes himself indispensable to Alun, and his clients. David’s got such a lovely and cheerful way about him, and yet he’s not a pushover. He stands up for so many people, and rolls with the waves of supernatural lore that he finds himself swimming within. There’s lots of comedic elements, and the pace was fantastic. I never felt like I was getting bored, because I constantly wondered: what’s coming next? From helping vampires survive their blood aversion, to teaching young dragons to hoard, David’s patient and caring attitude wins over everyone, including Alun, in time. Fun fact: Alun’s one of three brothers, and it looks like the other two will have their own love-story books in this new series. I’m looking forward to reading on!

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

About the Author:
E.J. Russell writes romance in a rainbow of flavors — from M/F stories grounded in absurd contemporary reality to M/M tales splashed with the supernatural — but you can be sure that while the couple makes their way to HEA, they’ll never stray too far into the dark.

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

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

New Beginnings With THE SUMAGE SOLUTION–Review and Exclusive Excerpt!

Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review for a new paranormal M/M romance releasing tomorrow from Gail “G. L.” Carriger. THE SUMAGE SOLUTION, the first in a new San Andreas Shifters series, is a contemporary story which is very different from the previous books of hers that I’ve read, and I loved what she brought to the this genre. I got hooked on Gail’s YA steampunk books (Manners and Mutiny, WAISTCOATS AND WEAPONRY) and her Victorian adult romances (ROMANCING THE INVENTOR) among many others, but a M/M romance with mages and shifters and an analogue of the California DMV? I was thrilled!

Catch my exclusive excerpt and a short interview below, too.
About the book:
Can a gentle werewolf heal the heart of a smart-mouthed mage?
NYT bestseller Gail Carriger, writing as G. L. Carriger, presents an offbeat gay romance in which a sexy werewolf with a white knight complex meets a bad boy mage with an attitude problem. Sparks (and other things) fly.

Max fails everything – magic, relationships, life. So he works for DURPS (the DMV for supernatural creatures) as a sumage, cleaning up other mages’ messes. The job sucks and he’s in no mood to cope with redneck biker werewolves. Unfortunately, there’s something oddly appealing about the huge, muscled Beta visiting his office for processing.

Bryan AKA Biff (yeah, he knows) is gay but he’s not out. There’s a good chance Max might be reason enough to leave the closet, if he can only get the man to go on a date. Everyone knows werewolves hate mages, but Bryan is determined to prove everyone wrong, even the mage in question.

A delicious taste!

Set up: Our werewolf main character, Biff, is stuck in the DURPS waiting room (kind of like the supernatural version of the DMV) when trouble brews between two other shifters…

Biff didn’t think a bear shifter could change during daylight, not without his pelt, but they were anger-triggered. And this was an aggravating environment. He wondered if the guy was an Alpha.

So, Biff sat and waited patiently, tried not to sneeze, and kept his eye on the twitchy Norse god in front of him.

It got physical way faster than Biff thought it would. Frankly, he didn’t think DURPS was as prepared as it should have been either. For quintessence attack, yes, but not for a physical confrontation.

The berserker must have taken offense to something the barghest said or did, because the dog shifter suddenly had a fist in his face. Since both were confined to human skin by the sun, it quickly became a two-man punch-and-grapple match…in the waiting line of a government department. The Plugs at the doors had no idea what to do. They were trained for mage casts and shifting forms, not macho idiots.

Biff stood up. Stretched languidly and extended his Beta power outward. Calm down. No contest here. No one’s after your territory, No one’s after your mate. Relax.

He wasn’t sure it would work. After all, he was a wolf, wrong species.

He moved in closer.

Biff was big, but nowhere near as big as the berserker. The bear shifter clocked in low for a bear, four hundred pounds and six foot seven or so. The barghest was about half that but way quicker. The two men were clinched together, almost wrestling, which would give the bear the advantage. It was a weirdly erotic, horribly violent embrace.

Biff reached up and grabbed each man by the scruff of his neck. It worked great on the pups in his old pack. Then he shook them gently, grip firm and slightly on the edge of pain.

“Be still,” he barked, and pushed at them with his Beta power. Settle.

Touch was good, touch helped. It usually did. Biff centered himself, grounded himself, shooting out calmness like a weapon. Blanketing them with it, as those little flowers had blanketed the parking lot when he arrived.

Some thoughts from Gail Carriger:

What brought you into this world/story?
This is one of those books that woke me first thing one morning and just HAD to be written. I was supposed to be taking a break between contracts, but Max’s voice in my head was so strong and demanding. Max is Biff’s love interest in The Sumage Solution, and he is kinda *like* that – demanding. I shouldn’t have been surprised.

If you could have any paranormal ability, what would it be?
Ooooo. Well I always wanted gills, so I’m going with mermaid. Plus the way I have merfolk set up in the San Andreas Shift universe the species is female dominated, lives in pods, mostly deals in subverting organized crime (off shore accounts, you see), and assists the coast guard. I’m down with all those kinds of shenanigans.

Stranded on a desert island–three books you’d need to maintain your sanity until rescue…
My first and forever answer is THE FORGOTTEN BEAST OF ELD by Patricia McKillip. My second choice (if I’m allowed to take a series) is the DAUGHTER OF THE EMPIRE trilogy by Raymond Feist & Janny Wurts. Finally, right now, I’m picking a new comfort read. I’ve really been into m/m romance (obviously, since I just wrote one) and I love sci-fi and culture clashes so I’d take CLAIMINGS, TAILS, AND OTHER ALIEN ARTIFACTS by Lyn Gala because it has all three of these things plus a little dose of BDSM if one bends in the kink direction. I feel like this is a good spread across all my different tastes and preferences as a reader, and would keep me occupied until rescue.

My Review:
Bryan, called Biff by his packmates, is a wolf shifter whose small pack of gay-spectrum wolves has relocated from the east coast to the San Fran Bay area. Biff is a beta wolf, and in this world it means he’s the patient one, the one who assists the alpha in negotiations and keeps the peace. His younger brother is his alpha and they pretty much fled the homophobia and heartache of their previous pack once his brother came out and took a merman as his mate. So, Biff knows his pack would accept him if he came out as gay–but he’s still a private kind of guy, and he doesn’t want to have the pack watching/gossiping about his every step.

Biff meets Max when he goes to the local DURPS office–imagine an agency like the DMV, only serving paranormals and ten times pettier–to register their pack and help get them permanent housing. Right now, there are seven werewolves and a merman taking refuge in the two bedroom apartment of the traveling drag queen friend of their beloved house ghost. (So, you can see there’s lots of shenanigans happening…) Max is a sumage, kind of the opposite of a mage in that he absorbs the magical resonance of actual magic wielders instead of turning his own tricks (ba-da-bum). It was the final disappointment to Max’s powerful and power-hungry mage father, long dead and little missed in the ensuing ten years. Max works at DURPS as another slam on his dear-old-dad, and makes no effort to tamp-down his gayness, either.

Max and Biff have an immediate attraction, and it is this which tips Max into accepting Brian’s number, calls, and request for a date. It seems like everything is going fine, even if Bryan is confused why Max won’t reveal his body to him–at first, and sets off the first bit of conflict. What I loved about the book is Bryan’s steadfastness. Max is used to abuse and scorn, and he can’t believe that Bryan could possibly find him attractive–sumages have distinct body issues and Bryan’s careful love helps Max regain his absent self-confidence. Also, there are some unique and different challenges that present themselves as Bryan and Max begin to build a life together–not least of which is Bryan’s protective Alpha brother. There are mages out for artifacts in Max’s father’s home, and protecting those potential weapons brings forth Max’s true power–shocking everyone.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, because it’s fantastic and so very different, but I want to mention that it’s got the same fast-paced, witty movement as all the other books I’ve read by the author. I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. Bryan and Max have some emotional set-backs that they need to work through, but they do that very well, and the book ends with an HEA. There’s some yummy sexytimes, too!

Interested? You can find THE SUMAGE SOLUTION on Goodreads and pre-order it in advance of the 7/18 release on Amazon.

About the Author:
Gail Carriger writes comedies of manners mixed with paranormal romance (and the sexy San Andreas Shifter series as G.L. Carriger). Her steampunk books include the Parasol Protectorate, Custard Protocol, Supernatural Society, and Delightfully Deadly series for adults, and the Finishing School series for young adults. She is published in many languages and has over a dozen NYT bestsellers. She was once an archaeologist and is fond of shoes, octopuses, and tea.

You can find Gail online on her website, Facebook and twitter. Gail has a fun newsletter: the Monthly Chirrup, sign up here.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Out today! SEDUCED BY THE TIDE-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review for a new M/M paranormal romance from Sean Michael. SEDUCED BY THE TIDE is the second book in his Dragon Soul series, and I liked it even more than BRANDED BY FLAMES. All the books in this series feature one of the five centuries-old Beteferoce dragon shifter brothers finding love with his perfect mate.

About the book:
Deke has yet to meet a man who gives him a rush. Coast Guard rescue has kept the dragon shifter busy, but there’s no harder work than finding a mate. Then comes Bryan. Bearded and inked, the personal trainer turned mechanic smells of grease, sweat and red meat. How irresistibly human can you get? And when it comes to hot, slamming sex, they’re the perfect fit. Now all Deke has to do is to tell Bryan what he really is, and what he has planned for them.

Bryan has never met anyone like Deke, a consuming lover with a body so arousing it damn near hurts. And he knows how to use every inch of it. Yet he can’t shake the feeling that Deke is hiding something. Just not this—the stud he’s falling for is a centuries-old dragon who has marked him as a mate.

Bryan has to admit that something inside him is changing. For the first time ever, he’s satisfied, body and soul. If Deke really is telling the truth, this could be his destiny—if he’s ready to face it.

My Review:
Deke is the youngest of the dragon-shifter Beteferoce family and isn’t quite convinced his eldest brother, Jake, is telling the truth about finding his “mate,” Shae, but he’s willing to check out this arrangement and see for himself. Plus, Deke noticed that Shae’s neighbor and good friend, Bryan, is a fit specimen he’d like to get to know better. With Jake and Shae being obnoxiously in love, and thoroughly uncivilized in their sexy behavior, Deke is more-than-happy for Bryan’s offer of a spare bedroom in his home.

And let the sexytimes begin…

Bryan doesn’t usually fall into bed with a guy. He hasn’t actually had a partner in years; not since he and Shae didn’t work out. But, Deke is turning all his knobs in just the right way, much to Bryan’s dismay. How can he be so consumed by a man so quickly? And, won’t he be heart-broken when Deke returns to his Coast Guard duties hours away?

During Deke’s week-long visit he learns for certain that he and Bryan are true mates, just like Jake and Shae, but he’s due to report for duty so he vows not to begin the bonding process until he can work out an extended leave. This, by the way, is triggered by fluid-exchange so Deke is careful to stay covered up. Well, except for, oh man! Deke!!

Deke’s so sure of his love, he tries to tell Bryan who he really is, and it all goes sideways. He had no idea how Bryan’s previous history with the paranormal would skew this experience, but Deke holds faith that he’ll be able to win Bryan’s heart back, just as soon as he can get more time. The problem? The physical binding has already begun…

Bryan can’t understand what’s happening to him once Deke leaves. He’s lethargic and ill, and fevered, and unable to manage even the most basic tasks like doing the mechanic work he loves or feeding himself. Good thing Shae and Jake are looking in on him. While Deke manages his details for the Coast Guard, he craves Bryan, and fears what will happen if he shows up on Bryan’s doorstep. And, it’s even worse when he arrives.

I liked this book better than the first, for a few reasons. There’s a lot more tension, the sexytimes don’t take over as much, and Bryan and Deke really have to build trust. I liked how Bryan was a man who’d had a dark past, and his growing love and trust for Bryan helped him to overcome old hurts. I think I was expecting to meet Bryan’s long-lost brother at some point, and I will admit a touch of dismay when that didn’t happen, but that’s only because I’m a greedy reader–it had no impact on this story. For me, I’m hooked on the Beteferoce brothers finding eternal love, and I hope we get some insight on the Fae tattoo artist who seems to be linking them.

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

About the Author:
Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and persuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Catch up with Sean on line on his website, blog, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Honing One’s INSIGHT–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M paranormal mystery/romance from Santino Hassell. INSIGHT is the first book in his The Community series and features an empathy on the hunt for clues to his estranged twin’s death. Was it murder, or a tragic accident? I’ve loved Hassell’s contemporary romances, SUNSET PARK, FIRST AND FIRST, and INTERBOROUGH, so I couldn’t wait to jump into this new series.

Bout the book:
Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.

My Review:
Nate Black is a 22 y/o empath trying to make it on his own in a Houston suburb. He’s got some family, but they’re all crazier than him, and he knows from crazy. Theo, his estranged twin, has more powerful empathic gifts and moved to NYC shortly after high school ended, but Nate’s hidden his empath abilities nearly his whole life, like their mother–who went crazy and killed herself–had instructed. Nate wants to fly under the radar, but he’s overcome by a vision of Theo being drowned, in a way that’s totally sketchy, and he knows his brother is dead. The only way to discover the truth behind it: head to NYC. Only Nate has barely a few hundred dollars to his name, and his big idea–to hitch his way from Texas–isn’t the smartest.

Trent is a graduate student living in LA and driving home the southern route so he can visit friends in Houston. This has him crossing paths with Nate twice. The second time, he offers Nate a ride. Along the several days ride, Trent and Nate develop a connection, which is far stronger than Nate has ever experienced. Though Trent has never had sexual relations with a man, he believes himself to be bisexual, and he wants some intimacy with Nate. Nate’s attracted to Trent, too, but he’s used to walling himself off from everyone to keep their emotions out of his head. So, both are reluctant to make the first move. Not that it doesn’t happen, because it does, but this isn’t a traditional romance. What happens in New Orleans, though, doesn’t stop when the trip ends.

Still, once they reach the bright lights of NYC, Nate goes his own way, promising to keep in touch with Trent. Nate knows he needs to touch base with Theo’s closest friends if he wants to learn the truth, and he doesn’t want to involve Trent in what might be dangerous. Plus, Trent doesn’t know about the empath community and Nate’s afraid Trent will balk if he thinks Nate is somehow using his gift to influence Trent into being gay-for-him. Connecting with Theo’s pals alerts The Community that Nate’s on the scene, however.

The Community is a hidden network of empaths and telepaths in the NYC area. Nate had no idea of the scope, what with his sheltered rural Texas life, but he’s appropriately wary of the cadre of folk who want his loyalty and service. The more Nate learns, the more sinister things seem, and he reaches out to Trent for some normalcy, and insight, because Trent is truly the only person he feels he can trust. I really liked the twists and turns of this one. Expect it to morph into a thriller near the end. More empaths have gone missing/dead than just Theo, and Nate’s put himself on a path that is far from safe by poking through the hornet’s nest of intrigue that is The Community. As a reader, it was hard to know from what corner the danger came, and that’s a testament to the fantastic writing here. The romance is not formulaic, and was all the more interesting due to the odd circumstances. Also, it was freaking unbelievably hot when Trent and Nate got it on. Nate’s empathic abilities grow, and he’s able to experience his and Trent’s lust, and turn that back on them–creating a chemistry that is downright combustible.

I’m so looking forward to the next book in the series!!

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

About the Author:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

You can find Santino online on his website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!