Triple the Love: ALPHA HEAT–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new dystopian-Omegaverse M/M romance from Leta Blake. I’m doing a mini-theme week for the next few days all about trios of love. Yep, menage-y fun. ALPHA HEAT is the second book in the Slow Heat series. It’s set in a post-female world where males of three genders have a highly-ordered society. I loved SLOW HEAT, the first book in the series and plan to share a review for that soon.

In the meantime, drop down to catch my review and enter the book giveaway!
About the book
A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.

My Review:
This book, set in a post-female “omegaverse” world is filled with males of three genders: alpha, beta and omega. Alphas are the most dominant, and have the most rights and privileges in society. They are the only gender allowed to officially mate omegas, who are genetically-altered males that have a uterus. Thus, alphas breed with omegas, and the omegas give birth to alphas, betas or omegas. Betas are relegated to service jobs in society. Omegas become the property/responsibility of their alpha husbands–and they go through heat every several months or so. Heat is a painful experience for an omega, and the clawing need to reproduce is only assuaged by knotting coitus with an alpha. And, while betas and omegas can receive an alpha, it’s forbidden by law and religion for an alpha to be “unmanned,” or mated, like an omega.

Okay, so Xan Heelies was a secondary character in the first book. He’s an alpha, though small, and the only alpha son of a wealthy bonded pair. He’s known his whole life he’s wanted to be an omega–and he’d convinced his childhood best friend, Jason, another alpha, to breed him as an omega when they were in university together. This was before Jason found his Erosgape (pronounced Er-os-gah-pay) or heartmate. It’s a visceral connection that occurs between some lucky alpha and omega pairs. Xan knows he won’t find and Erosgape for himself–not as he’s “unmanned.” Xan is practically shunned by his controlling Father–who keeps Xan from his compassionate pater, the omega who birthed him. Xan still has deep feelings for Jason, and resents Jason’s Erosgape partner, Vale. However, when Jason and Vale have important news to relate, Xan is there, and again runs into Urho, a widowed alpha and one of Vale’s closest friends.

Urho is older, a veteran of the Great Wars, and still mourns the loss of his Erosgape love, Riki, after nearly twenty years. Riki died in childbirth, a fate many omegas experience. Since then, Urho has worked as a medic to all, but omegas in particular, helping wed and unwed omegas with challenging heats and deliveries. Xan finds Urho to be very appealing, but he knows the stoic alpha would never service him like an omega.

In fact, Xan has a contracted omega, one he is bound to, but doesn’t have amorous love for–and Caleb his partner prefers this. Caleb is another societal anomaly; though physically stunning, Caleb is aromantic and asexual; he only wants an alpha to help him through his heats, and prefers only good company and compassion all the rest of the time. Caleb wants Xan to have a discreet lover who can fulfill his needs, but Xan only finds a brute alpha who physically abuses Xan (while mating him) for being unmanned.

Xan, unfortunately, meets Urho one night after being abused by his tormentor/lover, and Urho’s confused by the situation, and his reaction to Xan. Urho had always found Xan intriguing, but he’s unsettled by the unexpected arousal. There’s a lot of complication surrounding Xan’s situation: if he’s reported to be unmanned, he’ll be jailed, or worse. He’d lose his money and his family standing would suffer. Due to the whisperings around their town, Xan’s Father has decided Xan and Caleb should move to another town near the coast to oversee the opening of a new branch of their company. Xan knows it’s further banishment, but he can’t refuse. Caleb;s not happy to move, but getting away from their town means less of a chance that Xan’s risky behavior will be discovered. The hell of it is, well, Urho was just beginning to come around on the idea of servicing Xan, a deal that Caleb was brokering to help Xan escape his abuser…and Xan was sure he could find happiness with Urho, and Caleb, at his side.

This is lush world, with intricate boundaries and deeply connected characters. The constraints of society are real, and the consequences are potentially dire. But Xan can’t help who he is, any more than Caleb can. They have a strong love, even if it’s not romantic. Urho isn’t sure how he’ll fit in, but Caleb’s blessing is sure, and Xan is such a willing lover. They have other complications too, like Jason and Vale needing Urho’s medical assistance, and a deadly flu epidemic wreaking havoc. Xan and Caleb’s new home in a remote village soon becomes a refuge for their friends, even as it harbors an interloper with designs on Caleb. I don’t want to reveal too many spoilers, but the climax is intense. There are urgent medical issues occurring at a time when it seems no help is available. Xan, who has long thought himself useless, becomes a hero to many and recognizes his true worth, and his true loves: Caleb and Urho. It’s not a typical menage, as Caleb has very little sexual intimacy with either Xan or Urho, but he’s important in ways none of them had predicted.

This story, with all it’s rules and complications, has an ending that is unequivocally happy. There are babies and commitments and the bad guys get their just desserts. And, I think we have hope of more books to look forward to in this series. Xan’s elder beta brother needs love, as does his cad of a cousin. I love how all the characters in this book felt like real people, and how palpable their love, or their grief, felt. I’ve read omegaverse and mpreg stories before, but this is the first series where I’ve really craved the next book. For a post-female world, this felt strangely accessible. It was beautiful watching Xan outgrow his self-loathing, and embody the strong alpha his lovers knew him to be.

Interested? You can find ALPHA HEAT on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a copy of SLOW HEAT!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Authors:
Leta Blake is the author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Out Now! ALPHA HEAT–Release Deets and Book Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release week giveaway for a new dystopian-Omegaverse M/M romance from Leta Blake. ALPHA HEAT is the second book in her Slow Heat series that’s set in a post-female world where only males of three genders exist. I just finished both of these books, and will post reviews in the coming weeks, but let me say: wow! I loved them.

Drop down to enter the giveaway!
About the book
A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.
Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.

I seriously love this new series, and highly recommend both books. Watch for my reviews in the coming weeks.

Interested? You can find ALPHA HEAT on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a copy of SLOW HEAT!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Authors:
Leta Blake is the author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more on her website, Facebook and twitter.

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!

Shifter Wars and Love in DARING FATE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new post-apocalyptic M/M romance that features shifters of a whole new breed by Megan Erickson. DARING FATE is the first book in a series that is whoa, SMOKING hot, and totally awesome.

daringfate-fAbout the book:
We all have tragic backstories in today’s world…
I wake up chained to the wall of a dark cell aware of two things: I failed my sister, and I smell my enemy.

When I’m taken to meet Dare, the alpha of the Silver Tip pack, I’m sure I’m about to lose my throat. The last thing I expect is for the Alpha to recognize me as his fated mate. No way is he going to let me go now, and I still have to find a way to rescue my sister.

As I plot my escape to save her, I find that if I leave, Dare could be killed by power-hungry members of his pack. And now he’s more to me than my fated mate—my heart is involved. With time ticking by on my sister’s life, I have to make a choice I never thought I’d face—my sister’s life or my mate’s? That’s if I can survive the undead shifters intent on killing me first…

How about a little taste?

Dare’s eyes flashed. His fingernails were still curved into claws, his canines descended, and a dusting of fur still covered his shoulders. He looked wild and a little feral. “Shift.” His voice was garbled, and I backed up a step, dipping my head as I whined.

He took a heaving breath and the fur on his shoulders disappeared. His eyes closed and when they opened, they were nearly black. “Shift,” he ordered again.

My body obeyed.

Never in my life had anyone been able to command me to shift, but Dare could. His command was a swell of power that I couldn’t deny. My bones cracked as I shifted back to human form, then I collapsed onto my stomach and panted as I tested my limbs. My ribs weren’t even tender.

Fuck yeah, shifter power.

I rose to my feet, shaking out my arms as I lifted my head to meet Dare’s gaze.

His teeth were bared, eyes cycling between green and black like a two-toned tornado.

He moved so fast, I didn’t even see his arm, didn’t realize he was in motion until a hand wrapped around my neck and claws dug into my throat. He hauled me against him, and with my feet not touching the floor, the only thing I could do was clutch his shoulders and wrap my legs around his waist.

“Mine,” he growled against my lips.

Not gonna lie, I was fucking terrified. Dare was only half there, his Were pulsing inside his skin. I didn’t know his Were, and I hoped to hell Dare had enough power to stay human.

I shifted my hands to grip his face, my fingers digging into his scalp as I rutted against him. The mating instinct overtook all my other thoughts. So, despite my terror, I was hard as hell. “Yours,” I muttered back.

That seemed to appease the Were, because Dare’s eyes stopped flickering, finally resting on green.

His chest rumbled, and he pressed our lips together—hard, punishing, furious—before delving his tongue inside.

The kiss was possessive and all-consuming. While I’d fucked around plenty, I’d never been kissed in my life, so I didn’t know how to deal with it. My head was spinning, my body on fire, ass clenching in anticipation for being taken. I wanted it. God help me, but I wanted him to pin me down and fuck me until I broke.

I wanted to be owned.

So I kissed him back, pushing against his tongue with mine, gnashing his lips with my teeth, which only seemed to spur him on harder.

My Review:

This story is set in the future, long after the death of humanity. There are three types of people who still walk the Earth: shifter, Were and Nowere. Shifters can vary between human and wolf form, while Weres can be human, wolf or Were, a cross of the two (the mental image I got was of Lycans from Underworld). Weres are enormous, easily six and a half to seven feet tall. Weres and shifters had lived alongside humans, but an active virus outbreak killed most of the humans. When it got into the Were population, the Weres didn’t die, they became undead killing machines known as Nowere. Packs of Nowere roam the land killing whatever they come across. Shifters live in packs, as do Weres, though these populations rarely mix.

Ten years ago Reese’s family’s Whitethroat shifter pack was decimated by Nowere attack. His family fled to Xan’s Bluefoot pack to seek shelter. It wasn’t a good call. Ten years of servitude for Reese, while also defending his younger sister, Selene, and brother, Jude, from Xan’s brutality is at it’s end. His plan to get them out of the compound goes bad, however, and Reese is beaten almost dead and left out in the wild for Nowere to ravage. Jude’s desperation to save his brother is so great he turns to the nearby Silver Tip Were pack for sanctuary.

When Reese becomes conscious, he’s not only scared out of his mind–all the stories he’s heard of Weres are even more brutal than Xan’s pack–he’s dejected that Selene was left behind for Xan to take. Meeting the Were Alpha, Dare, is the most confusing experience of Reese’s life–because he recognizes instantly that Dare, all seven feet of bulging muscle of him, is his True Mate.

The sexytimes? O.M.G. Off the freaking charts. The first half of the book is pretty much a treatise on how to build a bond by never getting out of bed. And, yet, I was never tempted to skim. There’s a knock-out punch of emotion in there. Dare and Reese are compelled to each other, and their responses are dramatic. Their insecurity is interesting, and Reese is extra conflicted because he needs to escape Dare, somehow, so he can rescue Selene. Meanwhile, his, and Jude’s, welfare is dependent upon Dare’s good graces, and position as Alpha. There are dissenters, chief among them Dare’s cousin, and they aren’t impressed with their Alpha mating a wolf. Reese knows that showing any fear, or desire to leave, in front of the pack could lead to a power shift.

There are a number of complicating factors that are organic to this world, and I really dug the intricacies of the new society. While the whole first half is about Dare and Reese’s bonding, the second half is the hunt and rescue of Selene. It’s a wedge between the newly bonded mates, and quite harrowing. The world here is stark, and yet rich–within the Silver Tip pack walls, that is. These Weres are awesome, and their pack is a peaceful community, most of the time. The Nowere are horrifying, and the stakes are extreme. Just when I thought they were going to be okay? Bam! Another problem.COuldn’t turn the pages fast enough.

The stage is set for another story, but this one is wrapped up tight. Expect love, lust, lore, and luck to win the day. I can’t wait to dive back into this world.

Interested? You can find DARING FATE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Megan Erickson is a USA Today bestselling author of romance that sizzles. Her books have a touch of nerd, a dash of humor, and always have a happily ever after. A former journalist, she switched to fiction when she decided she likes writing her own endings better.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her very own nerdy husband and two kids. Although rather fun-sized, she’s been told she has a full-sized personality. When Megan isn’t writing, she’s either lounging with her two cats named after John Hughes characters or… thinking about writing.

For more, visit Megan on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Taking Chances MENDING THE RIFT–Review and Giveaway!

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Hi there! I’m eager to share this review for a dystopian future M/M romance from Chris T. Kat. MENDING THE RIFT is an mpreg (male pregnancy!) tale in a society where alliances are forged by marriage and breeders are a hot commodity.

MendingTheRift-Preview
About the book:
In a future where man’s ability to reproduce is severely compromised, humanity has adapted to survive. Breeders—male and female—have become precious commodities, and they are strictly guarded and subject to limitations.

Luca Walker is a breeder. Though he knows what’s expected of him, as the youngest son of the Northern Confederacy’s Vice President, he’s held out against the pressures of an arranged marriage because he longs to marry for love, not duty. But he’s been promised to Colonel Liam Smith and there’s little he can do about it, no matter that Luca is secretly in love with his bodyguard, Marcus Gray.

When Luca finds himself pregnant with Marcus’s baby, Smith is furious and vows to take what is his—by force, if necessary. Now Luca must fight for his life and the life of his unborn child… as well as the love of Marcus and the happily ever after he’s always dreamed of.

Who about a little taste?

Marcus rappelled off and stepped onto the ground with a crunch of his boots. Pointing at the opening with the askew ladder, he asked, “Don’t tell me you seriously considered climbing down this way.”

Luca shrugged. “I’d have preferred spontaneous levitation, but it didn’t happen.”

He yelped when Marcus put an arm around his torso and lifted him to his feet, as if he weighed nothing. “Hey!”

Marcus silenced him with a glare, and Luca gritted his teeth while Marcus thumped dust off his clothes. “Your father is livid.”

Luca swallowed. He’d expected worried, maybe a bit mad, but livid? His father never got furious at him. Not for long, anyway. Being the baby of the family had its perks. “Why?”

Why? Seriously, Luca, you have to ask why?” Marcus patted Luca’s behind more firmly than was strictly necessary.

Luca shifted, trying to get away from Marcus’s arm. When that didn’t help, he slapped Marcus’s hands away and stepped aside. He couldn’t think when he was so close to Marcus—when the man touched him, he sent shivers up and down his spine. He ignored the glower Marcus directed at him. “Yes, seriously. He knows I don’t want to marry Smith. I don’t want anything to do with all that shit. I want to decide what I’m going to do with my life.”

Marcus shook his head. “Smith is a good man. My brother Kyle worked for him. He said he always treated his people well. If you want I could try to get Kyle on the phone so you can talk to him. That is, if I can get a hold on him. Trust me, you’ll be in good hands.”

“You don’t get it! I don’t want to be in good hands!”

“No?” Marcus raised an eyebrow.

Luca huffed, a small smile forming on his lips. “Well, yes, of course I want to be in good hands. But I want someone to love me, and not just for my ability to become pregnant. I want… you.”

Luca’s heart thundered in his rib cage. There, he’d said it. The ball was in Marcus’s court. Sure, it had only been one night, and Marcus’s reaction afterward hadn’t been promising, but maybe he’d just been scared? Maybe he feared to lose his job? Nonetheless, there was more going on between them, and they both knew it. That one night had just been the last logical step. Luca regretted nothing.

For a moment Marcus seemed startled, and there was a softness in his eyes that was solely reserved for Luca. The softness vanished too quickly for Luca’s liking.

Instead, Luca was greeted with Marcus’s usual, scrutinizing gaze. “You don’t want me, and you better never mention this again. It was a mistake. Now get it out of your head and be a good boy.”

My Review:

This is an interesting dystopian future M/M romantic suspense. Several hundred years in the future, after war ravaged Earth and what remained of civilization has adapted to lowered fertility, it seems that males begin to spontaneously develop internal female sex organs–what we would consider semihermaphroditic, as they have no external female genitalia.

Breeders, male and female alike, had been sheltered and kept from working and even being present in society when they are pregnant, but times are changing in the Northern Confereracy (which exists where Germany and Austria once did) where Luca is the youngest of ten children sired by his father and carried by his dad. All of Luca’s siblings are prolific breeders and Luca–at 22–is well past the usual age of marriage. He’s holding out for a love match and is enamored of his bodyguard, Marcus. Luca is headstrong and frustrated that he’s betrothed to Captain Liam Smith, a man he’s barely met. He runs on the eve of the wedding, only to be tracked down, again, by Marcus. In the kerfuffle, Luca learns he’s been made pregnant–against his will–and is only calmed by the knowledge that his baby is Marcus’ and not that of Capt. Smith.

While Luca, his family and Marcus, do their utmost to keep the pregnancy hidden until the 10th week so Marcus can claim Luca and petition for marriage, Capt Smith becomes enraged. No one expects the lengths he will go to to get Luca–and when this does happen, the terror and torture is bad, bad, bad. The Southern Union, under a tentative truce with the Northern Confederacy, wants to study Northern breeders, and Luca’s a perfect specimen. There’s a lot more going on than simple revenge.

Expect multiple attacks, kidnappings, delayed nuptials, a growing bond between daddy, belly, and daddy, and some yummy sexytimes. This is a book that does not spare the action, and Luca’s life is not the simple path one would imagine for the youngest son of a nation’s Vice President. Lots of political intrigue, and danger, are part of this plot. I will admit to getting a little exhausted by the constant high tension/high stakes. I really just wanted Luca and Marcus to disappear into a cave, or something, to avoid the threat of capture and cuddle.

I struggled with the dialogue, as I truly expect speech patterns and idiom to change in the span of 200 years, and it felt very much 21st Century American-English, when we were set in 23rd Century central Europe. There didn’t seem to be many advances in technology, either, besides the medical breakthroughs regarding Breeders. So, the worldbuilding, as a whole, was lacking, for me. I did like the subplot/subtext of breeder prejudice, and respected both Luca and his dad’s attempts to subvert the restrictions placed on Breeders so that they could be whole persons with occupations and aspirations, not just baby factories.

In total, it was an interesting story. I like Mpreg and this one was really about the pregnancy. We follow Luca throughout the 36 weeks of gestation, and beyond. All of that was fascinating, to me. I loved how dedicated Marcus and Luca were to each other. There are several loving relationships present in the book, which was good to read.

Interested? You can find MENDING THE RIFT on Goodreads, Dreamspinner (ebook, paperback), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and AllRomance.

 

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $15 Gift Card to Amazon!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Catch up to Chris online on her blog, Goodreads, Amazon and twitter
pride

Cover Reveal and Giveaway! MENDING THE RIFT

BannerTemplate(9)Hi there! I’m eager to share this sexy cover for a dystopian future M/M romance form Chris T. Kat. MENDING THE RIFT is an mpreg (male pregnancy!) tale in a society where alliances are forged by marriage and breeders are a hot commodity.

Without further ado…
MendingTheRift-Preview
About the book:
In a future where man’s ability to reproduce is severely compromised, humanity has adapted to survive. Breeders—male and female—have become precious commodities, and they are strictly guarded and subject to limitations.

Luca Walker is a breeder. Though he knows what’s expected of him as the youngest son of the Northern Confederacy’s Vice President, he’s held out against the pressures of an arranged marriage because he longs to marry for love, not duty. But he’s been promised to Colonel Liam Smith and there’s little he can do about it, no matter that Luca is secretly in love with his bodyguard, Marcus Gray.

When Luca finds himself pregnant with Marcus’s baby, Smith is furious and vows to take what is his—by force, if necessary. Now Luca must fight for his life and the life of his unborn child… as well as the love of Marcus and the happily ever after he’s always dreamed of.

Who about a little taste?

Marcus rappelled off and stepped onto the ground with a crunch of his boots. Pointing at the opening with the askew ladder, he asked, “Don’t tell me you seriously considered climbing down this way.”

Luca shrugged. “I’d have preferred spontaneous levitation, but it didn’t happen.”

He yelped when Marcus put an arm around his torso and lifted him to his feet, as if he weighed nothing. “Hey!”

Marcus silenced him with a glare, and Luca gritted his teeth while Marcus thumped dust off his clothes. “Your father is livid.”

Luca swallowed. He’d expected worried, maybe a bit mad, but livid? His father never got furious at him. Not for long, anyway. Being the baby of the family had its perks. “Why?”

Why? Seriously, Luca, you have to ask why?” Marcus patted Luca’s behind more firmly than was strictly necessary.

Luca shifted, trying to get away from Marcus’s arm. When that didn’t help, he slapped Marcus’s hands away and stepped aside. He couldn’t think when he was so close to Marcus—when the man touched him, he sent shivers up and down his spine. He ignored the glower Marcus directed at him. “Yes, seriously. He knows I don’t want to marry Smith. I don’t want anything to do with all that shit. I want to decide what I’m going to do with my life.”

Marcus shook his head. “Smith is a good man. My brother Kyle worked for him. He said he always treated his people well. If you want I could try to get Kyle on the phone so you can talk to him. That is, if I can get a hold on him. Trust me, you’ll be in good hands.”

“You don’t get it! I don’t want to be in good hands!”

“No?” Marcus raised an eyebrow.

Luca huffed, a small smile forming on his lips. “Well, yes, of course I want to be in good hands. But I want someone to love me, and not just for my ability to become pregnant. I want… you.”

Luca’s heart thundered in his rib cage. There, he’d said it. The ball was in Marcus’s court. Sure, it had only been one night, and Marcus’s reaction afterward hadn’t been promising, but maybe he’d just been scared? Maybe he feared to lose his job? Nonetheless, there was more going on between them, and they both knew it. That one night had just been the last logical step. Luca regretted nothing.

For a moment Marcus seemed startled, and there was a softness in his eyes that was solely reserved for Luca. The softness vanished too quickly for Luca’s liking.

Instead, Luca was greeted with Marcus’s usual, scrutinizing gaze. “You don’t want me, and you better never mention this again. It was a mistake. Now get it out of your head and be a good boy.”

Ooh! I’m so excited to read this one. Expect my review in the next few weeks!

In the meantime feel free to pre-order the book in advance of it’s release on Dreamspinner (ebook, paperback) or Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book, or audiobook from Chris T. Kat!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Chris T. Kat lives in the middle of Europe, where she shares a house with her husband of many years and their two children. She stumbled upon the M/M genre by luck and was swiftly drawn into it. She divides her time between work, her family—which includes chasing after escaping horses and lugging around huge instruments such as a harp—and writing. She enjoys a variety of genres, such as mystery/suspense, paranormal, and romance. If there’s any spare time, she happily reads for hours, listens to audiobooks or does cross stitch.

Catch up to Chris online on her blog, Goodreads, Amazon and twitter

Surviving in a BANE New World

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for Amelia Gormley’s BANE, out today. This is the next (and perhaps last) book in the Strain M/M romance, post-apocalyptic series. As you know I read and loved STRAIN and JUGGERNAUT, and those books must be read first in order to properly enjoy BANE.

Bane (Strain, #2)About the book:
The weapon that nearly destroyed humanity may be their only salvation.

Rhys Cooper’s unique immunity to all three strains of the virus that nearly annihilated humanity has brought him the unwanted attention of Clean Zone scientists. They’ve summoned him for testing—ostensibly in the hopes of finding a vaccine—but Rhys’s partner, Darius Murrell, has good reason not to trust any government. He and his comrades in Delta Company were unwitting test subjects for Project Juggernaut, the military experiment that gave them superhuman abilities and unleashed the pandemic. Doubting the government’s intentions, Delta Company refuses to let Rhys go alone.

Fear of infection has kept Zach Houtman and his lover Nico Fernández apart for a decade. They meet rarely, just long enough to coordinate their spying on the head of the government’s virus research division. Secretary Littlewood is a vicious predator, and they suspect he’s trying to acquire the strain of the virus that would make him superhuman. To stop him, they need the perfect bait: Rhys.

For Rhys, helping them might cost him his relationship with Darius—or his life. For Zach and Nico, even if their plan succeeds, they still face the ultimate question: can infected and uninfected people ever live together safely?

My review:
This is the third book in the STRAIN world and should absolutely be read after JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN. It picks up the story where both JUGGERNAUT and STRAIN left off, bringing their romantic pairs (Rhys and Darius from STRAIN and Zack and Nico from JUGGERNAUT) in direct contact to save what is left of the world.

This series of books is set approximately 100 years in the future after a military-developed supervirus decimated the population. People left on the planet? Estimates are in the ten thousands–the majority of them uninfected survivors living in small-to-large enclaves, the largest a settlement in Colorado Springs. The others are experimentally-treated soldiers, Jugs, who help comb the country to kill the lingering revenants–ravenous, Bane Gamma infected zombie-like persons.

Rhys is a survivor who is likely to be immune to all three strains of the Bane virus, and the scientists who remain in Colorado Springs want to test his blood and determine if a vaccine can be developed. Rhys’ partner, Darius, is a Jug who will not leave Rhys to the whims of the scientists. The Jugs are outcasts, and rather bitter about it, due to their lethal blood. He and several other jugs travel from the Seattle area to keep Rhys safe.

They encounter Zack in Colorado, as he is a health worker for the scientists–this meeting is scarring for Rhys who was the subject of abuse from Zack’s father and brother for nearly half his life. Over the course of testing, however, they build a rapport, and Zack confides in Rhys, Darius and the other Jugs about the disappearances in the compound, and how he knows that there are real scary things going down–likely due to the machinations of the sadistic Secretary Littlewood.

There are lots of political issues with the still developing society in Colorado, not least of which is a forced breeding program. Zack enlist Rhys’s cooperation to help discover the secret lab of Littlewood, and the chase–quite literally–is on.

If you were hoping Zack and Nico would work things out, they do, but it’s not pretty–for a long time. I just marveled at the deft plot twists and fantastic use of character in this book. I could honestly see and feel the scenes unfold. The love between Rhys and Darius is as harsh as their world, and it’s erotic and delicious, too. Expect extreme monogamy. Yay! Also, expect the Jugs to save the freaking day, yet again. I hate to say it, but this book is frighteningly on-point with contemporary issues (think: corporations buying up the natural park lands) and with the supramilitaristic response when faced with the viral outbreak.

Rhys was a child when the outbreak occurred, and his adult insight–as he travels past burned out hospitals and tenements where the infected were locked down and incinerated alive–is poignant. Darius’ constant love is engaging, Zack’s commitment to his purpose (to remain Bane Alpha-free) is as noble as it is frustrating. Nico has known for years that he could sexually transmit safety to Zack, but Zack feels called to remain unprotected. His faith has a surprising reward and gave me the ability to breathe again–after holding my breath so long in fear that Zack would become infected and turn revenant.

The series is phenomenal, and I cannot love it more.

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

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the Author:

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major ebook retailers, and be sure to check http://RiptidePublishing.com for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and her upcoming post-apocalyptic romance, Strain.

You can contact Amelia on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Death Has Momentum–A Review of JUGGERNAUT

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for JUGGERNAUT, by Amelia Gormley. This is the “prequel” book to STRAIN, a post-apocalyptic dystopian future story about survivors of a virus that killed billions. In Juggernaut we see the world before and immediately after the viral outbreak. If you have read STRAIN (published a year ago), there are no spoilers below. If you haven’t, well, I don’t think I give away more than the blurb will tell you….

Juggernaut (Strain, #0.5)About the book:
They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

My Review:
This story is set approximately 100 years into the future, when long military campaigns had decimated the recruitment of soldiers. In this brave new world, wealth is highly concentrated, and poverty is likewise concentrated–in corporate-owned slums. The ways out are not plentiful, but soldiers could get their families out, and people could take up prostitution, legally, if they worked for a corporate brothel. Education was only for the wealthy, because who else could afford to download their digital lessons?

Nico is a rentboy in a special place–his mother broke away from her corporate brothel and opened a boutique business in providing educated, charming companions to the upper echelon of society. He has all the advantages of his courtesan education, including the regular clientele of Gen McClosky. Nico steps in and accepts a job for McClosky to ‘entertain’ a high ranking advisor: Secretary Littlewood. The night goes according to Littlewood’s sadistic plan, leaving Nico wrecked–and especially so when he learns what his efforts enabled: green lighting Project Juggernaut, infection of several army battalions with the Bane Alpha virus to give them super strength, super agility, advanced stamina and healing power–but also turning their blood into a chemical weapon. When cut, any non-Alpha immune person would contract Bane Beta and become violently ill with a terrible flu. Only, something goes epically wrong. (PS, this is not a spoiler if you have read STRAIN)

Zack Houtmann is a former divinity student working on his father’s, Reverend Maurice Houtmann, political campaign, and he’s not happy about it. He struggles with the anti-homosexuality message being touted by his father and also the lack of compassion he sees displayed by his father and younger brother, Jacob. It’s not a small thing that Zack seemingly overhears plans of a terrorist hate-crime to coincide with his father’s campaign kick-off. As the virus is unleashed on American soil, Zack is forced to hole up with his increasingly paranoid and zealous father and Jacob.

Nico is saved from the virus by the guilty hand of Gen McClosky–who also sets Nico on his way once the worst of the outbreak has happened. Nico and Zack cross paths in America’s crossroads–Indiana, en route to the survivors’ camp in Colorado Springs. Getting there is quite the battle, but surviving quarantine and staying is even more dangerous.

This is a fantastic post-apocalyptic story with great characterization and incredibly well-crafted plot tie-ins to STRAIN. We meet the Jugs (infected soldiers) and witness the crippling issues of starting society over. Zack and Nico develop a love story, but it is one of mutual self-sacrifice. Expect more bitter than sweet in this book, and expect to immediately want to jump into STRAIN if you have not read it–or BANE, STRAIN’s sequel–if you have. The book has the typical zombie-like menace, marauding revenants who are just as deadly as the Jug’s toxic blood, but it is the uninfected humans who provide more terror. Their justifiable paranoia leads to inhumane action–it’s a cruel, cruel world for real.

I couldn’t stop reading this book. Just excellent.

Interested? You can find JUGGERNAUT on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the Author:

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major ebook retailers, and be sure to check http://RiptidePublishing.com for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and her upcoming post-apocalyptic romance, Strain.

You can contact Amelia on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Life After the Apocalypse–STRAIN, A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for STRAIN, the first book in the Strain series by Amelia C. Gormley. This is a fantastic sci-fi, dystopian M/M romance, though the romance is slow to build.

Strain (Strain, #1)About the book:

In a world with little hope and no rules, the only thing they have to lose is themselves.

Rhys Cooper is a dead man. Cut off from the world since childhood, he’s finally exposed to the lethal virus that wiped out most of the human race. Now his only hope for survival is infection by another strain that might confer immunity. But it’s sexually transmitted, and the degradation he feels at submitting to the entire squad of soldiers that rescued him eclipses any potential for pleasure—except with Darius, the squadron’s respected, capable leader.

Sergeant Darius Murrell has seen too much death and too little humanity. He’s spent a decade putting plague victims out of their misery and escorting survivors to a safe haven he can never enjoy. He’d rather help Rhys live than put him down, so when Rhys can’t reconcile himself to doing what’s necessary to survive, Darius is forced to save Rhys in spite of himself.

But with each passing day, it looks less and less likely that Rhys can be saved. Which means that soon Darius might have to put a bullet in the head of the one person in years who reminds him of what it means to be human.

My Review:
The story is set on Earth, more than a century from now. After more than 100years of constant aggression to settle interests in the world, the US military struggled to recruit new soldiers. So, it’s scientists created a virus with which to infect its soldiers to generate supersoldiers, and a poison pill to its enemies at the same time. The effect was devastating, leaving an airborne virus that caused Rot, degeneration of the skin and brain and yielding revenants: hungry, carnivorous uncontrollable humans who are for all intents and purposes zombies.

Rhys has lived in a sheltered community, an abandoned monastery in rural Oregon, for the past 7 years– since age 12. His mother died two years ago and the only remaining adults were Father Maurice and his son, Jacob. They despised Rhys–having suspected him of being a homosexual from his youth–and routinely beat and starved him. Jacob was given Rhys’s younger sister as a bride, in accordance with Father Maurice’s demands, and the book opens with Rhys positioned as bait for marauding revenants while the good Father, Jacob, Rhys’s sister and nephew all escape. Only, it doesn’t go down like that. Rhys fights back–still trying to distract the “revs” and is nearly overcome when the cavalry arrives. And, by cavalry, I mean the original infected supersoldiers.

The soldiers of Project Juggernaut are super in every way: strength, stamina, accuracy. They take down the revs, but not before Rhys’ sister, nephew and the Father are killed. Jacob, that miserable abusive gobshite survived because he ran, leaving his “wife,” toddler son, and father to be attacked.

The “Jugs” aren’t sure what to do with Rhys and Jacob. The are clearly at risk for Rot, but the medic officer argues that transmission of the original virus–via copious sexual intercourse with the Jugs–could help Rhys and Jacob develop immunity to the mutated strain causing Rot before they develop symptoms. It’s a super longshot, and the platoon commander, Darius, is reluctant. Previous Jug leaders had created mini-empires by capturing civilians and raping them into submission–creating new Jugs in the process, and Darius is loathe to taste that power. Rhys even volunteers to die, knowing that he’s likely infected, and this changes something for Darius. He’s intrigued by Rhys, who is so small and scrawny and fierce at the same time.

All of this happens in the first 50 pages, or so. It is fascinating! All those years of being punished (beaten and starved) by Father Maurice and Jacob for his “unnatural perversion,” and yet, given the choice of Rot or Jug life, Rhys remains hesitant while Jacob is only to happy to drop trow. Rhys’ scared out of his mind of developing Rot, and sure that Jacob will find some way to torment him if he shows any inclination of enjoyment of sex. As the platoon makes it’s way back to camp, Rhys and Jacob submit to the “treatment” and I don’t mean this in any porny way, at all. It is rough and brutal, and some non-consent is part of the bargain. It affects Darius, who becomes inordinately possessive of Rhys–against his own better judgement.

I absolutely loved this story. It was an intriguing look at ethics and morality in a post-apocalyptic world. And, I dug that the author flipped the script on man-on-man action–making it vital to Rhys and Jacob’s survival. Growing up in the HIV/AIDS era as I have, and being disgusted by the dismissal of it as a “gay plague” that too many smugly thought well-deserved, I could appreciate the irony and also the necessity of this device. I so wanted Rhys to come to terms with his issues–but it is truly all he can do to keep up with the fast-paced Jug patrol and also keep out of Jacob’s line of fire. Rhys doesn’t mind having a sexual partner–Darius, actually–but the treatment is to “inoculate” him with as many variants of the strain as possible, which means multiple partners daily.

The story is simply brilliant in its treatment of bullying, the balance of power, life after bioholocaust, and the need to live a good life, as good as possible, in extreme situations. I was captivated from the beginning. There are a few tender moments, and many that aren’t so tender. That said, this is a romance, and you can expect an HEA for Rhys–but only after he is pulled so far through the plot-wringer that he’s *almost* superhuman.

Many thanks to the publisher, Riptide Books, who supplied a review copy.STRAIN has two companion novels coming in the next two months, JUGGERNAUT and BANE. I have read both of these, and they are incredible.

Interested? You can find STRAIN on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAbout the Author:

Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major ebook retailers, and be sure to check http://RiptidePublishing.com for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and her upcoming post-apocalyptic romance, Strain.

You can contact Amelia on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

 

 

They Were Brought to RACK & RUIN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review of Charlie Cochet’s RACK & RUIN, the third book in her THIRDS series. (Ha!) Anywho, I’m a devoted fan of this yummy M/M, paranormal, police, shifter series. You may recall I reviewed the first two books…HELL & HIGH WATER and BLOOD & THUNDER and found them thoroughly awesome. There’s police activity, and M/M lovin’ and shifting, and a whole lot of plot that is only helped by the romance and humorous antics of Dexter J Daley, human member of the Destructive Delta THIRDS team and main character of the books.

Rack & Ruin (THIRDS, #3)About the book:
New York City’s streets are more dangerous than ever with the leaderless Order of Adrasteia and the Ikelos Coalition, a newly immerged Therian group, at war. Innocent civilians are caught in the crossfire and although the THIRDS round up more and more members of the Order in the hopes of keeping the volatile group from reorganizing, the members of the Coalition continue to escape and wreak havoc in the name of vigilante justice.

Worse yet, someone inside the THIRDS has been feeding the Coalition information. It’s up to Destructive Delta to draw out the mole and put an end to the war before anyone else gets hurt. But to get the job done, the team will have to work through the aftereffects of the Therian Youth Center bombing. A skirmish with Coalition members leads Agent Dexter J. Daley to a shocking discovery and suddenly it becomes clear that the random violence isn’t so random. There’s more going on than Dex and Sloane originally believed, and their fiery partnership is put to the test. As the case takes an explosive turn, Dex and Sloane are in danger of losing more than their relationship.

My Review:
Here’s the thing: this book is gooooood. But the end made me FREAK the F@CK OUT.

Dex and Sloane are having a covert relationship. Which makes for lots of fun stealth hook-ups. About the relationships: Sloane and Ash are both Therian shifters who actually grew up together in the pre-THIRDS program. They suffered a lot, as the Powers That Be examined them, learned how the Therians worked, how they shifted, and taught them to control the beast within. It was terrifying, and Sloane is scared that Dex will leave him if he knows the truth about his history.

Thing is, Dex couldn’t care less. Well, that’s not entirely true. He cares about Sloane being happy. If Sloane’s past makes Sloane pensive, or angry, closed off, well then Dex cares. But details about Sloane’s mistakes as a scared child? Pfft. Nada worries.

Can I say I love Dex? I may be a human woman, and therefore thoroughly unattractive to this fictional gay man, but I swoon for him, nonetheless. He is just so fun, and flirty and intriguing. I guess that’s why everyone (excepting Ash) adores him. #GuiltyAsCharged

In this episode we also have Cael, Dex’s foster brother, revealing his deep affection for Ash–and Ash being a bigger total D-bag than usual. Which is saying a lot because Ash is a D-bag all the time.  Okay, I do love Ash, too, because I understand that he’s been broken, but it takes a good bit of love to consider that his turn-coatery is actually much more than it appears. And, his repulsion of Cael’s affection is for Cael’s own good. Mostly because loving Ash is more difficult and painful than hugging a Saguaro cactus.

The plain truth is, rogue Therians are executing humans who did a whole lot of Therian killing in the big skirmishes years ago, and it’s up to Dex, Sloane and Destructive Delta crew to ride point on the capture. This is made more complicated by the revelation that a mole exists within THIRDS and all the opportunities to apprehend the offenders result in chasing smoke on the wind.

This thoroughly realized action-adventure-shifter-police procedural-gay-romance is sure to satisfy the most genre-confused among us. And, I’m so eager for the next novel in the series I’m having trouble holding back the begging to Ms. Cochet. Good thing she throws out short THIRDS vignettes every Thursday on her blog. It’s like a weekly hit of my fave fictional drug, which softens the withdrawal symptoms just enough to manage.

Back to my post-book freak out… here’s how I felt when I ended the book:  SLOANE!!!!

Interested? You can find RACK & RUIN on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Dreamspinner Press. In fact it’s on sale at Dreamspinner (25% off) through today–as are all the books in the THIRDS series.

CCochet100Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Pinterest | THIRDS HQ | Newsletter
Email: charlie@charliecochet.com

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!