Small Town Quarrels: FIREBALL–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from Nazarea Andrews. FIREBALL is a smoking hot romance between small town folks who can’t avoid one another any longer… I really liked SECRET THINGS, so I was excited to try a new book from this author.

About the book:
He’s infuriating…
Dempsey Jones has been a nuisance my entire life, the straight-laced Boy Scout grown up to be a firefighter, of all things. He was the one helping kittens out of trees and old ladies cross the road while I was lighting cherry bombs with my best friend in abandoned buildings, and now that we’re all grown up—even if my Dad doesn’t agree—he’s still just as annoying.

She’s impossible…
Taite Ridley has been a constant my whole life, the curly haired mischievous daughter of the police chief, charming and devious and alluring. She was wild in ways I never dared to be and too big for our little town. But she’s here, a small town cop, and I can’t avoid her, even if I wanted to.

And I don’t want to.

It’s like mixing fire and gasoline and when these two collide, someone is gonna get burned…

My Review:
Dempsey Jones has had a thing for Taite Ridley ever since high schoo.Painfully shy, Dempsey hid his attraction behind sharp words and one-upmanship. It seems. But Dempsey’s been having some delicious hate sex of late with River City’s junior chief of police. He wants more, but how can he convince Taite he can be the man of her dreams?

Taite, having lost her mom young, is a daddy’s girl to the max. She grew up at the precinct, doted on my the cops and office staff, and has now come in to her own as an officer herself. Taite’s had a lust-hate relationship with Dempsey since high school, but she always thought her troublemaker persona turned him off. And, she’s never getting married. Not after seeing her dad suffer when her mom died. But, as the small town gears up for the big fundraising competition between the fire department and the police department, Taite might have more to lose than her pride. Yup, Dempsey’s careful planning might just win her heart.

This is a sweet and sexy love story that seemed to be enemies-turned-lovers, on the surface. Instead I think it was friends-turned-lovers because the hate posturing was more Taite’s drama than anythign else. Dempsey has been gone on Taite a long time now, and his only angle is how to turn his “drunken,” down-low hook-up into his sleep-in-my-bed-all-night girlfriend. There’s plenty of fun bits, too, like how the fire department tries a new tactic to raise money: a nude calendar. For Dempsey, tall, fit and sexy fire captain, well, he can’t avoid baring all–and it’s part and parcel of his plan to win Taite over too.

There’s plenty of waffling, however, and that was a little bit of a drag, for me. Taite does finally see the light, though, when Dempsey sees her through some dark moments. It’s cute and fun. I enjoyed it.

Interested? You can find FIREBALL on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

About the Author:
Nazarea Andrews (N to almost everyone) is an avid reader and tends to write the stories she wants to read. Which means she writes everything from zombies and dystopia to contemporary love stories. When not writing, she can most often be found driving her kids to practice and burning dinner while she reads, or binging watching TV shows on Netflix. N loves chocolate, wine, and coffee almost as much as she loves books, but not quite as much as she loves her kids. She lives in south Georgia with her husband, daughters, spoiled cat and overgrown dog. She is the author of World Without End series, Neverland Found, Edge of the Falls, and The University of Branton Series.

Stop by her twitter and tell her what fantastic book she should read next. You can also find her on her website, blog, Facebook, join her Street Team, or sign up for her newsletter.
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Way Back: VALOR ON THE MOVE–A Review

Hi there! I’m working my way back into “theme weeks” which are collections of books that (mostly) center on a given theme. This week many of the books I’ll share are ones that were published a year ago, or more, and have been languishing on my TBR pile too long. Today, I’m sharing a review for a contemporary M/M romance from author Keira Andrews. VALOR ON THE MOVE is an older-younger odd-couple story about the president’s son who falls hard for his new bodyguard. I sequel is releasing soon, and I couldn’t hold out any longer on this one! I have loved other novels by Ms. Andrew’s including KIDNAPPED BY THE PIRATE as well as more contemporary (A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA) and even paranormal (KICK AT THE DARKNESS) titles.

About the book:
He’d give his life to protect the president’s son. But he never expected to risk his heart.
Growing up gay in the White House hasn’t been easy for Rafael Castillo. Codenamed “Valor” by the Secret Service, Rafa feels anything but brave as he hides in the closet and tries to stay below the radar in his last year of college. His father’s presidency is almost over, and he just needs to stick to his carefully crafted plan. Once his family’s out of the spotlight, he can be honest with his conservative parents about his sexuality and his dream of being a chef.

It’s definitely not part of Rafa’s plan to get a new Secret Service agent who’s a walking wet dream, but he’s made it this long keeping his desires to himself. Besides, it’s not like Shane Kendrick would even look at him twice if it wasn’t his job.

Shane’s worked his way up through the Secret Service ranks, and while protecting the president’s shy, boring son isn’t his dream White House assignment, it’s an easy enough task since no one pays Rafa much attention. He discovers there’s a vibrant young man beneath the timid public shell, and while he knows Rafa has a crush on him, he assures himself it’s harmless. Shane’s never had room for romance in his life, and he’d certainly never cross that line with a protectee. Keeping Rafa safe at any cost is Shane’s mission.

But as Rafa gets under his skin, will they both put their hearts on the line?

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the first part of the Valor duology and features a May-December age difference, Jane Austen levels of pining, forbidden love against the odds, and of course a happy ending.

My Review:
Secret Service Agent Shane Kendrick has dedicated his life to the service. He’s been a model agent, and his hard work has finally paid off when he’s assigned as a primary bodyguard for Rafael “Rafa” Castillo, Codename “Valor”, the youngest son of President Castillo. Shane’s made the big time, alright, and he’s glad Valor is the shy retiring one of the family because his partner on the detail, Alan, is having a family crisis and with the election looming the service is stretched so thin that Shane’s sometime on his own with Rafa.

Rafa is a twenty-one year old closeted gay man. His best friend, Ashleigh, is also closeted and they serve as beards for each other in public. They both plan to come out in January, when they graduate college together and Rafa’s father’s done with his second term in the White House. It’s been uncomfortable growing up in the harsh spectacle that is his family, especially as he’s so much younger than his three older siblings. They moved on years ago, and Rafa has felt disconnected for a long time, especially since his father, a Republican to the core, supported measures to outlaw same-sex marriage. After that debacle, Rafa knew he’d keep his head down and has made some grand plans to move to Australia and study at the Cordon Bleu school in Sydney–where he could also learn to surf and live his life openly without being near his likely unsupportive family.

Naturally, growing up with buff, suited, strong bodyguards for the past 8 years has had an impact on Rafa. He’s definitely attracted to the “type” and not really wild about silly young college men. Meeting Agent Kendrick tilts Rafa’s axis something fierce, and he finds ways to show little glimmers of his personality by cooking unique treats for Shane that allow them some quiet time together. It skips to level 11 when Shane confides that he’s gay. Yep, Rafa knows he’s doing wrong, falling for his security, but he’s never stepped a toe out of line before, and Shane is a compassionate man. Their alone-ish time becomes fraught with mutual attraction that Shane is quick to shut down, despite his own feelings. Shane hasn’t sacrificed so much of his life to let poor judgment end this detail–or worse, take advantage of young, inexperienced Rafa.

Then their whole life goes belly up. Rafa has a severe falling out with his family, and runs. Shane and Alan keep watch over him, but terrorists follow, and it’s a life-and-death struggle to survive once the guns start firing. Finding temporary safety and shelter leads to finding physical solace and satisfaction, but the night isn’t over and they aren’t out of the woods yet. And, how did the terrorists find them on this pop-up adventure, anyway? Shane has some hard truths to face regarding his fellow members of the Secret Service, and he also can’t deny that the lines he and Rafa crossed require immediate action.

This story was rich and filled with fantastic research elements regarding procedures for security details, and White House operations. Without question I thought I was on a private tour of our president’s life–and that was awesome. The attraction between Shane and Rafa was handled tenderly, with a sexy bit of daddy-kink for Rafa that felt genuine. I really struggled, as did they, with the situation, knowing that it was going to go poorly–at least for a bit. The intrigue and scrutiny Shane was under, following the attack, was believable, and honest. Even the “bad guys” had heart, and real struggles that were understandable, if unforgivable. There’s not a lot of sexytimes here, because Shane’s an upstanding agent who won’t break his oaths lightly. Rafa’s a determined young man, however, and he finally gets his way–appropriately–in the end. Their adventure seems to end, but a new book is on the horizon and both are HEAs.

Interested? You can find VALOR ON THE MOVE on Goodreads and Amazon.

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

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

Cover Reveal for SNOW BALLS!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a cover for a new contemporary M/M romance from Tara Lain. Yep, a two-fer this week from that author! SNOWBALLS is the sixth book in her Balls to the Walls series which I have devoured. While they are all standalones, you can check out my reviews for VOLLEY BALLS, FIRE BALLS, BEACH BALLS, FAST BALLS, and HIGH BALLS, to see if any of these mancandy books tickle your fancy.

About the book:
JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

How about a little taste?

Carefully JJ placed the art objects into the scene. These dolls would bring in the money during Winter Fantasy because people could afford to give them as gifts. An original piece of art at a reasonable price. It was a great find for shoppers. He nestled a lovely red-and-green doll into a forest of tiny pines.

“That’s really pretty.”

“Oh.” JJ almost dropped the doll. He grabbed it firmly, placed it, breathed, and turned toward the husky voice. Showtime.

The cop raised the corners of his mouth slightly. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to startle you.”

Could he try out his own deep voice? JJ cleared his throat and dropped his tone from the usual stratosphere. “Not a problem. I wasn’t paying attention.” Blue. The guy’s eyes were a deep blue. Up close, his face had a classic structure that looked like it had been wrecked a bit: a high-bridged nose with a slight crook, as if somebody broke it once or twice, creamy skin marred by a few orange-peel-like marks, a light scar from the upper part of his neck that curved over his jaw. Scary. Ummmm… and sexy.

The policeman took out a small notebook—just like in the movies. “I’d like to ask you a few questions about what you saw today.”

JJ took hold of the edges of the counter so he could keep his hands still. “Okay.” He tried again, an octave lower. “Sure. Shoot.”

The guy flipped a page of the notebook. JJ stared at him and the question burst out. “Uh, what’s your name?”

The guy looked embarrassed. “I’m so sorry. I should have identified myself. I just… uh, I’m Detective Star.” He flashed his badge.

“What Star?”

“Excuse me?”

“What’s your first name?”

“Oh. Ryan.”

JJ smiled. “Nice name. I’m JJ LaRousse.”

The detective looked a little confused, but he wrote it down. “One S or two?”

“Two. And the JJ stands for Jamison Jeremiah.”

“So, Mr. LaRousse—”

“JJ.”

“JJ. Can you tell me where you were this morning at nine forty-five?”

JJ’s eyes widened. “Do you think I did the robberies?” He held the counter really tight.

“Mr.—uh, JJ—I was told that you saw the thieves, and I’m just trying to determine te chain of events.”

JJ breathed out. Relax! “Yes, uh, I was right here in this booth.”

“Can you describe what you saw?”

“I saw Santa Claus and his elf walking past really fast.” He looked into the blue eyes. “I guess I should say I saw two men dressed as those characters.”

“Can you describe them?”

“The Santa guy was kind of tall. A little taller than you, but not as tall as me.”

Star wrote. “So, about six feet one or so?”

“Probably, yes. The other guy was little. That’s one reason why I didn’t think anything strange. The elf was really small—like, he fit the costume. I figured they were just rehearsing for the Winter Fantasy Santa’s Village.”

“How small.”

JJ held out his hand at the middle of his chest.

“About five foot four?”

“Yeah, or maybe smaller.”

“But it was definitely a man?”

JJ cocked his head. “Good question.”

Again, that gaze speared him. “Close your eyes and picture the two of them and see if you remember anything that would indicate if the person might have been female.”

JJ closed his eyes. Wow. The detective smelled good. Like citrus with some honey in it. A soft smell, not overpowering at all. Maybe he could just snuggle his head against Ryan’s neck and inhale deeply. “Ummm.”

I’m really looking forward to this one!

Interested? YOu can find more info about SNOW BALLS on Goodreads, and pre-order it on
Dreamspinner Press.

About the Author:
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.

She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at:

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Impetuous Love JAX–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from Cristin Harber. JAX is a standalone story that features some characters from her Titan, Delta and Only series, and sure to have lots of suspense and action. While I didn’t meet any of my fave characters from LOCKE AND KEY, I still enjoyed this unexpectedly tender spin-off story.

About the book:
Seven is an enigma. A motorcycle club princess. The daughter of a notorious gangster. The best friend of the deputy mayor. A coffee shop owner. The single mom of two young, adopted children. She’s colorful, in every way possible—from her attitude to her piercings and bright pink hair—and she’s a woman on a mission with the power to help broker a clean break between a powerful motorcycle club and a South American drug cartel. But not all players are ready for the game to change, including the ones she can’t see like the CIA.

Jax Michaelson has a bad attitude and a good shot. The former Navy SEAL has been on Titan’s problem list for running his mouth since the day he showed up for work, but he does a hell of a job, and they’d never let him go. Call him cocky, that’s fine, because then you’d have to admit he’s the best at anything and everything—except diplomacy.

When Titan is forced into the seedy drug world filled with cartel glitz and Harley-riding MCs, Seven and her family become an unexpected bargaining chip right after she and Jax find a way to stand each other—in bed.
Will friends become lovers? Or are they too far gone to be opposites that attract? Is Jax nothing but a bad boy who leaves her hoping for a military hero when the burden of living as Mayhem royalty backfires and her children disappear.

JAX is a standalone romantic suspense novel by New York Times bestselling author Cristin Harber. It features characters from the Titan, Delta, and Only series, but readers do not have to have read those books to enjoy this one. There’s a guaranteed happily ever after and no cliffhanger! Enjoy!

How about a little taste?

“What kind of name is Jax?”
“Probably the easiest thing my ma could think to shout when she heard she was having a boy. It stood out on a block of Dons and Johns.”
“Your neighborhood was filled with porta-potty kids?”
Her humor made him grin. “Guess so. But that was back in the day. Who cares? This place makes me realize I don’t know much about you.”
She sucked her cheeks in thought. “I don’t think you’re always a jerkface.”
“Good to know, princess. ” He gave her a lingering once-over. ” I don’t think you’re always… I’m coming up blank.” Or at the very least, he was having a hard time thinking of an appropriate comparison.
It was too dim to see her blush, but she ducked her chin as though she were. After a second that strung between them for miles, Seven regained her unaffected composure. “I slapped you. I think you can come up with at least one thing.”
The memory ran to his groin, and Jax rolled his bottom lip into his mouth, letting go with a slow breath. Her slap hadn’t been just a no. It had been a hell no with style. She’d rejected his proposition, but he wasn’t positive she was rejecting him.
“Sweetheart, I liked that.”
Tension crackled in the few feet between them. The hairs on his skin stood as he waited to see what she would do next, what she would say, and how he would volley it back.
“Don’t flirt with me right now,” she whispered. “I need a favor.” She eased back onto the desk as though she owned the place, crossing her legs.
“Isn’t that the best time to flirt?”
Seven rolled her eyes, but she smiled liked the devil sipping sweet tea.
“Careful, beautiful.”
A thick wave of magenta hair fell over her cheek, obscuring half her face. “Careful or what?”
Her pink fucking hair was ridiculous but artistic, not too serious. She was like splashes of colors sprinkled with surprises—tongue stud, eyebrow jewels, and a name like Seven.
Jax had no idea what to do about that. “You want to have that conversation right now?” He set the smoothie on the ground. “Because if you want to try again, I’ll dole out whatever consequences we agree to.”
Seven’s tiny, unexpected gasp made a shiver of anticipation roll through his muscles. Even if Jax hadn’t been trained to pick up on microchanges in human behavior, he would’ve noticed how her breaths quickened despite her best effort to disguise the natural reaction. Jax wanted to feel her pulse, needed to know how far she would let him push her, how much she would trust him.

My Review:
Jax Michaelson is a Titan agent attending the wedding of his colleague, Ryder, when he meets Seven again. Motorcycle princess of the Mayhem MC, Seven didn’t quit the club that destroyed her family life, even when her father–the former prez–when to prison for drug trafficking. In fact, knowing that the club is trying to get out of the drug game altogether spurs Seven to call on Jax for help. See, breaking loose from a Colombian cartel takes mediation a MC just doesn’t have, but Titan does.

Jax has been interesting in Seven, her sild hair, piercings and indomitable attitude, for a while. But this reconnection has taught him she’s more than her facade. She’s a business-owner, who’s caring for her ailing mother, and has adopted two kiddos after their mom OD’ed and their dad went to jail. She’s determined to make a good and solid life, and needing a man isn’t on her to-do list. Still, her assistance to Mayhem’s cause draws her into a tight circle with Jax, and the attraction flares. When in Bogota–and also Vegas–it’s a connection she doesn’t want to fight. Even when it irrevocably changes their situation. Especially the Vegas nights. Shenanigans ensue…

The vibe from the book is tension. Seven has a nervous tic for folding/refolding items in her environs when she’s nervous, so expect lots of folded table linens, sheets, blankets and origami. Also, expect Jax to be more than the surly ex-SEAL with a chip on his shoulder. We get a real deep look at a man who loved and lost young, and never thought he’d make himself vulnerable again. The situation with the MC-cartel is only further inflamed by Seven’s ex-husband, Johnny, and her own father–neither of whom want the drug trade to disappear. It’s about business fr one, and pleasure for the other. This leads to some harrowing times as Seven’s new family gets torn apart and Jax is her rock and rescuer. Jax, working with Titan to settle this situation for Mayhem, gets an unexpected opportunity to correct wrongs from his youth, and that closure means a lot.

For me, the story is a little busy, and it’s sometimes hard to remember who is who. Plus, these folks seem to have 27-hour days and 13-day weeks, because they have time for stuff I can’t even imagine, and I’m a workaholic insomniac. That said, if the time frame were at all realistic, I’d have loved the story. Seven’s a stand-up gal who protects her own, even at her own expense, and Jax is a man of principle who isn’t afraid to get dirty (or be dirty) for the people he treasures.

Interested? You can find JAX on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and Google Play.

About the Author:
Cristin Harber is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling romance author. She writes sexy, steamy romantic suspense and military romance. Readers voted her onto Amazon’s Top Picks for Debut Romance Authors in 2013, and her debut Titan series was both a #1 romantic suspense and #1 military romance bestseller.

You can catch up with Cristin on her website, Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Team Titan Facebook, or sign up for her newsletter.

Manning Up–TRUST WITH A CHASER, Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a new contemporary romance from Annabeth Albert. TRUST WITH A CHASER is a May/December romance that’s almost a Romeo-and-Julian read, too, if these guys were teens, that is. As it stands, Mason and Nash are two grown men on opposites sides of…a lot. I’ve loved the Portland Heat books, the musical romances (TREBLE MAKER, LOVE ME TENOR, and ALL NOTE LONG) her #gaymer romances (Status Update, Beta Test and Connection Error) and her SEALs stories (OFF BASE, AT ATTENTION, and ON POINT) but TRUST felt like a very different book, for me. And I relished every second of it.

Catch the excerpt from Chapter One below, and be sure to enter the $20 Amazon GC giveaway, too!
About the book:
One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…
Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

How about a yummy taste?

When Adam stepped inside the glorified closet I was using as an office, eyes all twitchy and hands wringing a bar towel, I knew I wasn’t going to like what came out of his mouth.

“Sheriff Sexy just walked in. He’s your problem.”

Fuck. I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath. “Please don’t call Police Chief Flint that. He might hear, and I’m pretty sure he’d find a citation for you. And I am not bailing your ass out.”

“You’re just worried that one of these days you’re going to slip up and call him that.” Adam grinned at me. This was an old argument—he’d been calling Flint that stupid nickname since we were in high school. The hard-nosed cop wasn’t one to cut teen drivers any slack—especially if they were in any way associated with the name “Hanks.” “Anyway, you know he freaks me out. I’ve got no idea what he wants—all our permits are in order, right?”

“Of course.” Standing, I grabbed the folder with the permitting paperwork. I prided myself in the organization I was bringing to the bar and grill that I co-owned with Adam and our friend, Logan. Flint wouldn’t find anything to complain about, not with me in charge. “I’ll go deal with him. You go back to the bar in case we get a rush.”

Adam snorted. Despite it being opening weekend, traffic had been embarrassingly light. We’d worked for weeks transforming the old tavern—a Rainbow Cove institution for decades—into the newly renamed Rainbow Tavern. The gay-friendly bar and grill was our vision for pulling our sleepy little coastal town into the twenty-first century. Logan had crafted a new menu of upscale bar food ready to go, and Adam had innovative drinks specials at the ready. All we needed were customers. And to not run afoul of Nash Flint on our first day of operation.

Flint was a Rainbow Cove institution himself—born and raised here, same as Adam and me, but unlike me, he’d never left, sliding into his father’s shoes as police chief and apparently fitting the role as easily as a pair of broken-in jeans. He’d been Officer Flint last time I’d seen him, almost ten years prior.

Guess I could have seen him had I come down for Freddy’s trial, something I still felt niggles of guilt over, and I told myself that was why my stomach fluttered on my way out to the tavern’s dining room. Unlike Adam, I’d never found Flint particularly…

Sexy. All my thoughts fled as I took in the man sitting in front of the plate-glass window. He dwarfed the small wooden chair, one of dozens that Adam and I had painted bright colors. Broad shoulders stretched the confines of his uniform shirt, biceps bulging under the short sleeves. His cut-glass jaw was firm as ever, as were those hard hazel eyes. But what had been frankly terrifying to my teenaged self made my twenty-seven-year-old libido sit up and take serious notice.

Flint blinked as I approached, head tilting to one side. I’d been getting a lot of that since I’d been back in town. “Mason…Hanks?”

“The one and only.” I stuck out my hand. “What can I do for you, Chief Flint?”

He returned my handshake with a sure grip, only a moment’s hesitation. I guessed he wasn’t all that used to shaking hands with a Hanks. Oh well. I was out to prove to the whole damn town that I wasn’t like my father and brothers, and if I had to start with Flint, so be it.

“Nice place you’ve got here.” His eyes swept around the renovated room—restored antique bar on the far wall where Adam wasn’t bothering to conceal his nosiness, dance floor beyond that, colorful tables and chairs in the front of the bar, only a handful occupied despite the dinner hour.

“Thanks. Our permits are all in order.” I held out my folder. “Liquor license is on top.”

He waved the folder off. “Not worried about that.”

No? Then why the heck was Flint in my establishment? “Good. We’re on the up-and-up. You won’t have trouble from us—”

“Glad to hear it,” he said levelly, eyes skeptical, reminding me that I was, after all, nothing more than a Hanks. “Cheeseburger?”

“Pardon?”

“That Ringer kid didn’t see fit to give me a menu, but I’m trusting you all offer something approximating a burger? Salad, no fries, and an iced tea.”

“You want to order?” I was still struggling to keep up with him.

“This is a food establishment, right?” He shook his head as if he hadn’t expected more from me, and that rankled.

“Of course.” I crossed the room in long strides, grabbed an order pad from the bar, ignoring Adam’s gaping. As soon as I returned to Flint’s table, I added, “Anything you want. On the house.”

“None of that.” He sighed like my very existence was tiring. “Got my meals from the old tavern for years. They kept a tab open for me.”

“We can do the same—”

“Let’s see if you can cook first,” he said, voice drier than yesterday’s toast. “I thought I’d come by, check the place out.”

“Appreciated,” I said and meant it. Business, any business, was good, but people in Rainbow Cove trusted Flint. If he gave us the seal of approval, more locals might give us a try, make us less dependent on the tourist trade that we were going after. Tourism took a while to build, and our grand plans of making Rainbow Cove an LGBTQ travel destination weren’t going to happen overnight. We needed every customer we could get, Flint included, even if he was the unlikeliest of allies.

“You still haven’t brought me a menu.” He shook his head. “But whatever you’ve got passing for a burger is fine. Nothing vegan though.”

“We’ve got local grass-fed beef, third-pound patty on a brioche bun with a pesto mayo and local gouda. Or—”

“I reckon that will do fine.” Flint always had a bit more country than coastal in his voice. Not Southern, but you could tell he was rural Oregon through and through, and I liked the slow, deep rumble of his words. What I didn’t like, however, was the implication in his tone that he wasn’t expecting much from us.

“Sure you don’t want fries? We have hand-cut sweet potato as an option with a chipotle dipping sauce. As far as salads, I’ve got side, Caesar, spring berry and pecan—”

“I’m on duty here. Kind of pressed for time. The burger and a side salad are fine. I don’t need anything fancy.”

Yeah, well, maybe I want to give it to you. I quashed that thought, same as I had the one about how hot he looked in his uniform. Wanting to impress Nash Flint wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

“I’ll put a rush on it.” I made a note on the order pad, not that it was really needed since Logan hardly had a packed house to worry about.

As I walked over to the window to put in Flint’s order, I noticed more than one table giving him curious glances. Hell, maybe I was wrong about any business being good business. Last thing I needed was Flint scaring away what few customers we had. Not that he was known as a gossip or anything like that, but he was awfully…old school. Traditional. The last kind of guy you’d expect to find at a gay bar, that was for sure, and even though we were attempting to attract a mixed clientele, he stood out.

My Review:
Mason Hanks is a 28 y/o out-gay man with a mission to help revive his hometown of Rainbow Cove. He and two friends have re-opened a tavern there (with a gay-friendly theme) to serve upscale nosh and drinks for tourists. The grand plan also involves investors who are considering renovating a derelict oceanside resort for gay-friendly guests. But first, Mason’s bar has to show some level of success.

Mason’s not sure if Police Chief Nash Flint becoming a regular customer is good thing, or not. Well, they could certainly use the business, but Mason, as the youngest child in the criminally-troubled Hanks family, certainly has mixed feelings about the close-proximity of law enforcement. And, he’s even more nervous about the startling attraction he’s feeling for the well put-together older man.

Not that Nash is feeling any less conflicted. Even though he arrested Mason’s eldest brother for criminal mischief–and knowing he’s had more than a dozen run-ins with Hanks trouble over the years–Nash can certainly appreciate what a bright spark Mason is. It’s not just the delicious food that brings him to Mason’s bar almost daily. Pushing forty, Nash has kept a tight rein on his sexuality for his entire life, knowing his family–his town–would hardly approve of a gay police chief. He’s always kept his liaisons on the super-down-low, but, maybe, if Mason were interested in him…couldn’t they (perhaps) have a little fun under cover(s)?

I’m not going to be coy about it: Mason is VERY interested. But, it’s difficult. Mason’s family has been at odds with the Flints since Nash’s father was police chief. Hanks’ have always been ne’er-do-wells but Mason’s broken that mold. He’s kind and compassionate, committed to bringing tourism and tourist money to this dying hamlet. Mason’s family issues include bringing his destitute father and brother restaurant left-overs, and assisting in the care of his seven year old niece, too, and he does this with an open heart–even though he’s frustrated with his brother’s lack of direction/parental skills. Nash sees all of this, and it only makes Mason that much more irresistible. Mason’s compassion–and cooking–lures Nash to secret “cooking lessons” at Mason’s home in which food is prepared but they mostly consume each other. This hidden romance is tenuous and tender, as each man recognizes the importance of their connection, and how troubling it would be for the world at-large to learn of it.

Still, Mason’s not happy being relegated to acquaintance in public, even though he knows his family would rail against the relationship. And Nash’s mother pretty-much thinks Nash ought to be celibate, or hide his sexuality forever, which has become a tiresome existence for Nash. I loved how they worked through this, though it comes with some rotten heartbreak-y moments. The white-hot attraction tempers into a smooth and tasty love before too long, which, when the lid pops, leads to some challenging moments and big decisions. I felt like this was handled in a realistic and admirable way, for both characters. The book is a careful back-and-forth, and having both Mason and Nash narrate the story helps us see how complex and complicated their worlds are, and how much they both risk and sacrifice to find love with one another. I really enjoyed this one, and look forward to new stories in Rainbow Cove. There are at least three of Mason’s dear friends who remain unattached, so I’m sure we’ll experience these guys finding love in the near future. I, for one, can’t wait!

Interested? You can find TRUST WITH A CHASER on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $20 GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Find Annabeth online on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.
IndiGo

Getting Past the FATAL THREAT–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new romantic suspense from bestselling author Marie Force. FATAL THREAT is the eleventh book in her Fatal series, and gives us a clear look into the lives of Lt. Sam Holland and her husband, Nick Cappuano–the newly appointed Veep of the U S of A.

Fans of Scandal and House of Cards will love the Fatal Series.” —New York Times bestselling author Cindy Gerard

Don’t miss the next chapter in the New York Times bestselling series from Marie Force! Read the electrifying romantic suspense novel that everyone is talking about!
About the book:
It’s just another day at the office for Washington Metro Police lieutenant Sam Holland when a body surfaces off the shores of the Anacostia River. But before Sam can sink her teeth into the new case, Secret Service agents seize her from the crime scene.

A threat has been made against her family, but nobody will tell her anything—including the whereabouts of her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano. This isn’t the first time the couple’s lives have been at risk, but when a bombshell from Sam’s past returns to haunt her, she can’t help but wonder if there’s a connection.

With a ruthless killer out for vengeance, and Nick struggling to maintain his reputation after secrets from his own past are revealed, Sam works to tie the threat to a murder that can’t possibly be a coincidence. And she has to get it done before her husband’s career is irrevocably damaged…

How about a little taste?

“Thank you, Brant,” Sam said to the agent in charge of Nick’s Secret Service detail.

“You’re welcome.” Brant paused before he added, “I know we’ve had this conversation before, Mrs. Cappuano, but I really recommend that you have a detail until we’re certain we’ve contained this threat.”

“I appreciate the recommendation, but I’ll be providing my own security through my team here. I’ll be accompanied by other armed officers everywhere I go. There’s no need to be redundant.”

“Redundant,” Nick muttered with a grunt that would’ve been laughter if the subject matter hadn’t been so grave. “Brant is suggesting added precaution, not redundancy.”

“It’s not necessary,” Sam said, digging in. The last fucking thing she needed was to be escorted around by federal agents. She may as well hang up her badge if that was going to be her reality.

“On that we disagree, my love,” Nick said. “But I’m not going to waste everyone’s time fighting a losing battle. Brant, we appreciate your thoroughness and ask you to keep us posted on the situation.”

“Will do, sir. I’ll wait for you outside.”

When they were alone, Sam looked up at Nick. “I know what you’re going to say, and—”

Nick kissed her hard. “I’ll see you at home later. Let me know if anything pops in the investigation.”

“That’s it? That’s all you’re going to say?”

“That’s it.”

“Hmm.”

“What does that mean?”

“You surprise me.”

He threw his head back and laughed. “Then my day is officially made. I’ve managed to surprise my shrewd, sexy wife.”

“I thought you were going to do the whole alpha-dog lift-your-leg thing and demand I have a detail.”

“Sorry to disappoint you on the leg lifting, babe, but we have a deal. Would I like you to have a detail? Abso-fucking-lutely. Do I understand why you won’t allow it? Yeah, I get it. Doesn’t mean I like it, but I get it.” He kissed her forehead and then her lips. “Now, we’ve both got stuff to do, so let’s get to it so we can get to the best part of the day.”

“Which is?”

His lips were a heartbeat away from hers when he said, “The part where you crawl into bed with me and rub your naked self all over me.”

My Review:
Lt. Sam Holland is a strong-willed, no-nonsense detective on the DC Metro police force, but even that won’t prevent her from being whisked away by the Secret Service when her entire family is threatened by an unknown entity. She’s beside herself, alongside her adopted son, her parents, her sisters and their families, her in-laws and one of her colleagues’ children–who happened to be at the home of one them–when the round-up was authorized. By her VP husband, Nick Cappuano.

Turns out, Nick was in Iran brokering a treaty when he got wind of a plot to kidnap and murder at least one of the kids in their extended family. And the evidence was credible enough to bivouac the entire Holland-Cappuano clan in a below-ground bunker for days on end. It’s also enough to make Sam lose her mind, and she very nearly does. Nightmares of her first marriage surface and a suspect is sought, but it only brings more heartache, problems and unsatisfactory leads.

In the meantime, Sam’s division is crumbling; the fall out from a recent death on the force is leaving more than one co-worker cold, and the tensions continue to run high as they track down the identity of a murdered woman whose mutilated body was recovered in a river.

This is the eleventh book in the series, and it’s a testament to the author that it can stand on it’s own, for the most part. I really enjoyed peeking into this series, and getting to know the loud, loving and boisterous characters that are clearly beloved by the fandom. Sam is a great lead, sharp-minded on the job and soft-hearted for her colleagues and family. The love she shares with Nick is yummy, and they don’t hesitate to reaffirm their vows whenever possible, though it didn’t heat up the pages, for me. It was just really awesome to experience the constant bond and stalwart affection they shared.

The resolution of the book threw me for a bit, because, wow! Talk about a high-profile culprit… O.O I was intrigued at how all this went down, and I loved watching the many facets of the criminal justice team play their roles. While Sam is a detective, she’s not always able to make the collar. I really enjoyed seeing how she interacted with the FBI and Secret Service personnel. It’s also interesting how convoluted all the relationships are in this melting pot of a family-and-friends. Expect to go on some wild chases and for Sam to experience some intense emotions and setbacks, all the while leading us back to the love and lives that Sam and Nick continually touch. I’m sure readers of the series will be satisfied.

Interested? You can find FATAL THREAT on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, Kobo, and Google Plus.

About the Author:
Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 50 contemporary romances, including the Gansett Island Series, which has sold nearly 3 million books, and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books, which has sold 1.5 million books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series and the erotic romance Quantum Series, written under the slightly modified name of M.S. Force. All together, her books have sold more than 5.5 million copies worldwide!

Her goals in life are simple—to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie’s mailing list for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and on Instagram. Check out her website or join one of Marie’s many reader groups.

Taking a Stand for HOME FIRES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for the final book in Kate Sherwood’s Common Law M/M police romance series. HOME FIRES is the capstone of a thrilling and beautifully written group of books that relate the conflicts inherent when a “prodigal son” returns to his hometown, and finds that things are really, really different. It’s a fab conclusion to LONG SHADOWS, EMBERS, and DARKNESS. This small-town epic is tense and filled with intrigue between local law enforcement, federal agents, friends, neighbors and criminals.

About the book:
Trouble comes to Mosely, Montana, from the outside world. When the residents of Mosely are left on their own, they can make things work. Sure, there’s always been a militia operating up in the hills, but they were small-scale—just survivalists doing their thing—until organizers came in from out of state. Now Jericho Crewe and the rest of the sheriff’s department are facing down a heavily armed band of fanatics, and the feds are busy elsewhere.

The odds are hopeless, but Jericho swore an oath to serve and protect the citizens of Mosely. He won’t walk away from that, even if Wade Granger’s begging him to run away somewhere and finally be together the way they always should have been.

But this time, it’s Jericho who refuses to leave Mosely, even if staying kills him.

My Review:
Under-Sheriff Jericho Crewe wants to quit his post and make a life with his high school love and local criminal kingpin, Wade Granger. He’s just about to do this until he learns the powder keg that is Mosely is about to blow sky-high.

Mosely, this small Montana town, situated a few miles of mountainous forest from the unprotected Canadian border, is a hot bed of criminal activity due to long-time smuggling operations. Wade is usually in the center of whatever is going down, but this time Wade wants out of Mosely just as bad as Jericho. Thing is, their local homesteading militia has recently been co-opted by folks from out of state, gunning–literally–for a showdown with the Federal agents policing the border.

They stage an ambush killing some agents, which is horrible, but that seems like it was merely a means to an end for these hardliners. No, they have an even bigger agenda, and it soon becomes starkly clear that Mosely is poised to become ground-zero for a militia-led war on the Federal government. It’s impossible to prevent with as small as a police force as exists in Mosely, or is it?

I really loved the tension throughout this book. Jericho is a great investigator, and his brand of no-bull morals is refreshing, even if it’s not always aligned with police procedure. Wade and Jericho have been a building issue for more than a month, with both of them acknowledging they have a deep connection, but not being able to openly embrace it while they exist on opposite sides of the law. Wade’s exasperation with Jericho’s determination to do what’s right, even when it means certain death, is endearing, and I was so engaged with these guys in the climax. Expect firefights, dastardly militia, small-town folks protecting their own, and a well-deserved change of scenery. The end of the story, most enjoyable, might could be the beginning of a new one. (Yay!) I know I’d follow Wade and Jericho into further entanglements, especially if I get to experience their growing love story up close and personal!

I highly recommend the whole series, and know that I enjoyed this one best because I read the books in order. As they are all out now, it’s easy to pick up the collection and binge-read away.

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

About the Author:
Kate Sherwood started writing about the same time she got back on a horse after almost twenty years away from riding. She’d like to think she was too young for it to be a midlife crisis, but apparently she was ready for some changes!

Kate grew up near Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and went to school in Montreal, then Vancouver. But for the last decade or so she’s been a country girl. Sure, she misses some of the conveniences of the city, but living close to nature makes up for those lacks. She’s living in Ontario’s “cottage country”–other people save up their time and come to spend their vacations in her neighborhood, but she gets to live there all year round!

Since her first book was published in 2010, she’s kept herself busy with novels, novellas, and short stories in almost all the sub-genres of m/m romance. Contemporary, suspense, scifi or fantasy–the settings are just the backdrop for her characters to answer the important questions. How much can they share, and what do they need to keep? Can they bring themselves to trust someone, after being disappointed so many times? Are they brave enough to take a chance on love?

Kate’s books balance drama with humor, angst with optimism. They feature strong, damaged men who fight themselves harder than they fight anyone else. And, wherever possible, there are animals: horses, dogs, cats ferrets, squirrels… sometimes it’s easier to bond with a non-human, and most of Kate’s men need all the help they can get.

After five years of writing, Kate is still learning, still stretching herself, and still enjoying what she does. She’s looking forward to sharing a lot more stories in the future.

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

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!