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!

Sifting Through the DARKNESS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently published M/M contemporary police romance from Kate Sherwood. DARKNESS is the third book in her Common Law series, and was a fab follow up to LONG SHADOWS and EMBERS. This small-town epic is tense and filled with intrigue between local law enforcement, federal agents, friends, neighbors and criminals.

About the book:
A murdered prostitute. An obvious suspect. Clear evidence. For once, Jericho Crewe has a straightforward crime to investigate, and Wade Granger isn’t involved.

It all seems so simple, but Jericho’s instincts won’t let him rest. As he investigates, he finds troubling suggestions that the murder is a part of something larger and more sinister. But working within the boundaries of the law may keep him from finding the truth. If Jericho doesn’t break the rules, an innocent man may rot in jail while a killer remains free to strike again.

Inevitably, it all comes back to Wade. Because who else knows as much about breaking rules? And who else knows Jericho the way Wade does—not wisely, but far, far too well?

My Review:
This is the third book in a series and best enjoyed when read in order.

Jericho Crewe is still working as Undersheriff in his small border hometown of Mosely, Montana. It’s only been a few months since his return and everything’s been mostly a mess. His father’s murder is still unsolved, though Jericho isn’t losing too much sleep over taht fact. He held no love for his abusive, criminal, estranged father. Learning he has two half-siblings has been a trip, and tangling with his shady step-mother and even shadier ex-boyfriend, Wade Granger, has been an exercise in minefield transit.

This time, however, Jericho’s unwilling to hide his relationship with Wade from those who matter–and he’s tired of worrying that the Feds who have a constant tap on Wade’s phone lines will out him. Besides, his boss knows all about Jericho and Wade’s complicated history.

The police work in this book doesn’t involve Wade or smuggling. A local prostitute has been murdered, and all the evidence–a whole lot of it in fact–seems to point toward a local brain-damaged man. Will Archer went to high school with Jericho and Wade. He was injured in a car wreck and has been largely non-verbal since. How this gentle man could be responsible for the violence at the crime scene Jericho can’t fathom. And, the investigation leads to an outsider to town, a man who seems particularly interested in the case, and peculiarly aware of the details not released.

I really liked how Jericho worked through the angles of this case, and how he kept looking for the truth, even though it was super hard to find. It was also an interesting look at small town justice, and how dedicated some law enforcement officers are to doing their job right–people beyond Jericho, btw. It always strikes me that Jericho has such a sense of right v. wrong, and yet is startlingly in love with Wade Granger, the (alleged) definition of a career criminal. This book really does draw their romance into the open, and causes issues for Jericho and his job–though he’s getting worn out as an undersheriff and is open to exploring his career opportunities yet again.

I’m anxious to pick up the fourth book in this series and see how Jericho reconciles his open love for Wade, and his life in Mosely.

Interested? You can find DARKNESS 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 Kat on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Coming Soon! THE COPPERSMITH FARMHOUSE Book Blast & Giveaway

coppersmith_banner_prereleaseHi there! I’m helping spread the word on a new contemporary romance coming out March 9th from Devney Perry. THE COPPERSMITH FARMHOUSE features a city-slicking gal meeting the hometown sheriff–as they tussle over possession of an old farmhouse.

Scroll down for an excerpt and enter to win one of THREE $100 Amazon GC, too!
coppersmith-coverAbout the book:
One old farmhouse brought them together. It could also tear them apart.
Gigi has just uprooted her whole world to start a new life. The unexpected gift of a farmhouse in small-town Montana is just what she and her daughter need to escape big-city loneliness. The last thing she needs is attitude from the town’s sheriff, the most perfectly attractive and ruggedly handsome man she’s ever laid eyes on—and a complete jerk.

Jess knows all about women like Gigi. Beautiful. Sexy. Scheming. She’s stolen his sanctuary, the farmhouse that should have been his. But along with a face full of freckles, she’s got a sharp wit and a backbone of steel—something he doesn’t discover until after making a complete fool of himself. If he can earn back her trust and win her heart, he might just find the home he’s always needed.

How about a little taste?

“Coffee’s getting cold, Georgia.” He leaned on the counter with his forearms.
Forearms that were tanned and sinuous. Forearms that I really wanted to touch, with veins I really wanted to trace as they snaked their way across the muscle.
Forearms I should not be thinking about.
I needed to focus. My mission? Get Jess away from my ER counter.
“Did you poison it, Sheriff?” I asked, grabbing my cup.
He chuckled but didn’t answer.
The sheriff probably wouldn’t poison me and more caffeine was a necessity, so I took a healthy pull.
Bliss.
“Thank you,” I muttered.
I had no desire to feel indebted to Jess but also didn’t want to be rude. I wasn’t a rude person, normally. Something about him brought it out in me.
“So why the coffee, Sheriff? And how did you know what I liked?” My curiosity was piqued.
He smirked and took a drink from his own cup. What he didn’t do was answer me.
“You do realize a smirk is not an answer.”
Still no response.
“Seriously, what’s going on?”
He sighed. For once, his beautiful eyes weren’t glaring at me. They were kind and gentle. He could melt me with those eyes.
Damn.
“I made some wrong assumptions about your relationship with Ben. Been an asshole this week. Sorry.”
Yep. Hell had frozen over. Why wasn’t it on the news?
In less than twenty-four hours, Jess had changed personalities. He’d been utterly mean to me last night, and now here he was being nice, buying me coffee and making apologies.
I appreciated his admission but I wasn’t going to let down my guard. One apology wasn’t enough to erase the way he’d treated me. To make me think he was as wonderful as everyone professed him to be.
“Would you mind expanding a bit on these assumptions? I’m interested to know what type of relationship you thought I had with an eighty-one-year-old man.”
His answer was a wide smile filled with perfect, straight white teeth.
Eff.
During our previous and rather unpleasant encounters, I hadn’t seen Jess smile. So far, I’d only gotten scowls, glares and smirks.
But damn if his smile wasn’t perfect.
Shivers erupted across my skin. My cheeks flushed and there was a throbbing sensation between my thighs. My core temperature skyrocketed a couple hundred degrees.
I was hot for the town sheriff. I was hot for a man who I absolutely did not like one bit.

Interested? You can pre-order THE COPPERSMITH FARMHOUSE on Amazon (US, UK and Can) Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

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Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of THREE $100 Amazon gift cards.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

devney-perry-pictureAbout the Author:
Devney lives in Montana with her husband and two children. After working in the technology industry for nearly a decade, she abandoned conference calls and project schedules to enjoy a slower pace at home with her kids. She loves reading and, after consuming hundreds of books, decided to share her own stories.

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

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EMBERS Heating–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M release from Kate Sherwood. I really liked MARK OF CAIN and SACRATI, so I was eager to check out her newest Common Law series books. Last month I reviewed LONG SHADOWS, and was captivated by the complicated social politics of a rural Montana border town, which has become a smuggling epicenter for drugs and guns across the US-Canadian border. The situation brought veteran police detective Jericho Crewe home after a 15 year absence and put him in the crossfire between his childhood best friends, the FBI and the DEA. EMBERS, the second book in the series, came out last week and this really focuses on the emotional dilemmas Jericho faces as new Under Sheriff of Mosely.

embersAbout the book:
Small town—big problems. Jericho Crewe is back in Mosely, Montana, trying to deal with police corruption, interfering feds, his newly discovered family members, and, of course, Wade Granger.

He doesn’t really need a biker war on top of it all, but as the bodies start to pile up, it becomes pretty clear that’s what he’s got. Not only that, but Wade’s involved somehow, and as soon as Wade is a part of something, things that seemed clear become cloudy.

With the feds breathing down his neck, Jericho has to find his way through Wade’s maze of half truths and manipulations. It would all be so much easier if Jericho could think straight in the other man’s presence. So much easier if their passionate past could be forgotten, and if he could be sure he’s strong enough to resist the temptation of a passionate present.

My Review:
Det. Jericho Crewe’s had his life turned on its ear in the past few weeks. He learned his no-good criminal father was murdered when he was summoned back to Mosley, Montana after a 15 year absence. His previously unknown step-mother, Nikki, and two half-siblings are in danger–probably of their own making–due to the high likelihood that Nikki (and Jericho’s father) were running drugs over the border for Wade Granger. Wade is Jericho’s high school boyfriend, though that was all kept undercover way back when.

Doesn’t mean that Jericho’s forgotten the pull toward Wade in the intervening years. Wade’s a slick guy, though, and while he’s surely a criminal, no one can get anything to stick. In the last book Wade helped Jericho save his half-siblings from people who’d been sworn to serve and protect. The sheriff, Jericho’s other childhood bestie Kayla, asked Jericho to stick around, work for her to help root out the corruption and he agreed.

Since then, it’s been one fire after the next–and I mean that literally. Wade’s bar and the local biker gang’s hangout have both been hit by arsonists, and three Chicago-native drug runners have been found killed execution-style. The DEA is nervous to deal with Jericho, after learning about his familial and emotional ties to Wade Granger–but their also nervous to deal with Kayla because her father might be leaking information to the biker gang. Meanwhile, someone keeps moving drugs over the border, and Jericho’s being used by Wade to establish an alibi–not just for Wade by for Nikki. And the Bikers are ready to demonstrate their might in a show that could kill innocents. Jericho’s at the center, even if he doesn’t want to be. His decisions to forge links between the factions puts him in a precarious place, and leads to his ultimate discipline when one too many of his cowboy antics can’t be tolerated.

And Wade keeps coming around with all his sexy eyes and sexy moves and Jericho’s really a sucker for Wade. Expect some low level sexytimes for these two. But is Wade’s interest just another manipulation? The book’s really fast-paced, and the intrigue level is high. Being part of a series, I think you need to read it in order, and let the story build all it’s layers. I’m really anxious to read the third book, now, seeing that Jericho’s got a fight on his hands to clear his name, and establish whatever relationship he can with his family…and Wade.

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

The first book in the series, LONG SHADOWS, is currently on sale for $2.99. Catch my review and all the purchase links here.

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 Kat on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Way More Than NOTHING SPECIAL V-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M police romance from AE Via. NOTHING SPECIAL V is the fifth book in her Nothing Special series and features the love story for Tech, and a new member of their Task Force. I highly recommend the whole series–but I think you especially should read NOTHING SPECIAL #1 before this one, because NSV includes the viewpoints of God and Day on the verge of, well, something pretty special.

About the book:

Atlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine, Edwin Steele -who’s been blacklisted from his Oakland department – to join the team.

God and Day weren’t recruiting. They have a lot on their plates, like the fact they’re supposed to be getting married soon. They don’t have the time or the patience to integrate a decorated war hero with a slight chip on his shoulder into their well-oiled machine.

A hothead that’s uncontrollable and terrible with authority… but wasn’t that their team motto?
Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman, Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away, it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.

Steele pointed to the driver, a behemoth of a man wielding those massive firearms like a true beast…like a soldier. “And him. Who the hell is he?”
“That’s your new boss. Lieutenant Cashel Godfrey… they call him… God.”

Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology specialist/computer genius, “Tech,” he’s willing to give it his all…
This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA. There are no multiple pairings in this novel.

How about a little taste?

Steele looked at Tech’s profile while he set out all the tiny pieces to make him an earpiece. His hands moved methodically over the delicate pieces, putting each item in its place. It was way outside of Steele’s scope of knowledge. The young man was a genius. As he looked around at all the sophisticated technology, he couldn’t help but marvel at the detective. This was something you’d see built by an engineer that worked for Bill Gates or something, making a six-figure salary, not in an Atlanta precinct, and he found himself wanting to know Tech’s story.

He looked sexy today in his fitted jeans and black, slim-fitted, ribbed turtleneck. The black, plastic framed glasses set off his entire “I’m a hot nerd” look, but the body didn’t quite match. He was fit and toned in a Peter Parker kind of way. Tech probably couldn’t get overly muscular, but it was clear he worked out. His biceps were probably the size of small apples when he flexed, and Steele hoped he’d get an opportunity to see them.

Tech finally moved to get to work, putting a piece of the gray putty on the end of the five-inch forceps. But as Tech’s hand got closer to the side of his face, Steele could see the slight tremor. Fuck. Steele slowly reached up and got a gentle grip of Tech’s narrow wrist, bringing his hand back down. He took his other hand and pushed back the long sleeve of Tech’s shirt, locating the spot on his wrist he could manipulate with a little pressure to help calm some of Tech’s anxiety over having to touch him – especially when they hadn’t approached the elephant in the room. He looked into Tech’s brown eyes behind those clear lenses while he rubbed his thumb in a small circle over the smooth skin. He lost himself in the movement; Tech’s skin was so pale and soft as he caressed him that he almost forgot why he was even touching him in the first place. Maybe because of their first interaction Steele felt an extremely strong pull towards Tech.

“Don’t be afraid of me, detective,” Steele whispered, watching closely as Tech’s long lashes fluttered over his intelligent eyes. “I’m sorry I hurt you. I truly am. I promise… I swear on my fallen brothers that I’ll never ever hurt you like that again. I wouldn’t’ve come back if I didn’t think I could control myself…especially around you. I’m ashamed of what I did.”

Tech’s breath came out in shallow gusts while he let Steele continue to touch him. “I’m sorry, too. I didn’t mean to offend you, either… or hurt you.”

“I know you didn’t.” Steele wanted to lean in closer, somehow get better acquainted in a different way, but he’d try to establish some trust between them first. He slid Tech’s sleeve up until it was bunched around his tight bicep. He stopped caressing the pressure point when he saw the dark purple bruise above Tech’s elbow. Oh no. He felt even shittier than last night. No words he’d thought of seemed good enough to speak, right now.

“I’m okay. Really. I’m stronger than you may think,” Tech said hoarsely, his eyes darting away. He looked upset, but for a different reason.

“I know you’re strong. I felt it. But I know the joint is swollen and aching in there.” Steele let Tech’s wrist go and reached for his backpack. “I brought something to help.”

Tech inched in a little closer and Steele took that as a good sign. Ignoring the delicious coolness of Tech’s cologne, he reached inside and took out the circular metal container. He didn’t take much with him as he moved from place to place but he did keep his array of natural remedies he’d acquired from doctors all over the world, from hypnotherapist to Ayurvedic physicians. The can of presoaked bandages was the best he’d ever encountered for aching muscles and joints. It was made of so many herbs and oils; he’d never be able to recite them all, but he knew of the primary ones.

He took off the tin lid and Tech’s neck jerked back at the potent smell that blasted their senses, even their eyes began to water. Tech put his hand up to his nose. “What the hell? Oh my god.”

Steele chuckled deeply, reaching out to cup Tech’s hand, pulling him back towards him until was standing between his legs. “I know. I know. It’s the Capsaicin. It’s an oil extracted from hot chile peppers. I think, mixed with the peppermint, it’s a bit overpowering, but all the properties together do wonders in reducing inflammation.”

“There’s no way I can walk around the office with these on. God’ll kick my ass out of here so fast.”

“No he won’t. Because after the bandages are on, I’m going to wrap it in plastic. It’ll contain the smell. Trust me.” He looked up at Tech’s eyes, realizing their close proximity. He’d done it on purpose, opening his legs a little wider. He wanted to show Tech he had a measure of gentility under all his strength.

Tech was quiet while Steele carefully wrapped both elbows. “It’s cold. Feels kind of good, despite the smell.” Tech’s smile was gorgeous and warm.

“It’s the Camphor cream. A lot of physicians say use hot temperatures for aches, some say cold. I’ve found cool works best, especially for acute pain.” Steele began wrapping the Saran wrap. “Out in the field, we’ll try just about anything to eliminate pain. Of course, we had our corpsmen; but taking narcotics was a last resort, we needed to stay sharp.”

Steele pulled down one sleeve and then the other. He closed up his canister and tucked it back inside his bag. He wiped his hand on a hand towel in his backpack and zipped it up. “So, what do you think?”

Steele knew the medicine well. Already knew it was working its way into the layers of Tech’s skin, giving him some much-needed relief. At least Steele was able to fix a little of the damage he’d done.

“Much better, actually. Wow, it’s like a miracle serum,” Tech said, bending his arm, testing the mobility.

“Keep them on overnight, if you can. It’ll really feel a lot better by tomorrow.”

“Okay,” Tech agreed, almost wistfully. He stood there rooted in place, just watching him for a moment and Steele saw his eyes drop to his mouth. Steele licked his lips.

Tech blinked, dropping his eyes down, moving back to the side, in front of his kit. “I better get this going. I’m sure your new partners will be ready for you soon.”

Steele tilted his head to the side when Tech reached for his earlobe again. He didn’t make a sound and he fought not to react, but the hot detective touching him on his spot was making it difficult. No words were spoken now, only silence and Steel’s shameless thoughts. He wanted to moan so badly when those agile fingers moved across the fleshly part of his ear, manipulating the soft substance to mold to his canal. Tech’s face was so close to his he could feel his exhale while he peered into the tunnel of his ear. His breath was a mix of coffee and something else sugary… like he’d had pancakes for breakfast. Steele turned inward, wanting to smell, wanting to taste.

“Hold still,” Tech whispered, close to him. “Won’t be long.”

Oh, damn.

That erotic voice. A mild tenor, lighter than bass but far from feminine. Absolutely perfect. Steele would love to hear it right here in Tech’s sanctuary. Standing in the midst of all he’d engineered with his brilliant mind. In the darkness, illuminated with only the flashing red and green signal indicators on Tech’s monitors, not the harsh florescent lighting over his head right now. Ahh. He’d hold that taut body close to him while he caressed the petite round globes of his ass. Would Tech fit to his body the same way he was curving that malleable paste to fit his ear?

Steele could feel his heart beating faster the more his fantasy played out in his mind. He closed his eyes and pictured himself coming back from a dangerous bust and Tech taking him into this room, keeping the lights off and bringing his adrenaline down with his lustful voice and feather light touches.

“Doing real good,” Tech breathed quietly, still so damn close. “This is going to be a little warm now, so I can mold it easier.”

“‘K,” Steele responded throatily, without knowing what he’d just consented to. He felt the slick piece of putty slide back into his ear; it was nice and toasty, like it’d been dipped in warm honey. Still, Tech blew on his ear like it was too hot for him to take. Oh, he could take the heat. “Mmm.”

“You okay?” Tech paused.

Steele’s eyes popped open, the bright lighting jerking him to reality. Fuck, did I just moan? good. Fine.”

“Alright. We’re all done,” Tech said, putting the intricately curved piece of goo in a plastic dish and closing it. “This’ll harden, then I’ll put the casing with the mechanism over it and you’re good to go.” Tech looked back and forth before his eyes landed back on him. “I’m real glad we’re square. This team… we’re a family ya’know, a unit. Everyone is partnered up… in love. We don’t take risks with anyone’s lives. It’d be devastating.”

Tech was preparing to walk away and Steele wasn’t ready for him to. He stood and walked up behind the smaller man while he stood in front of a row of shelves and put his kit away. When Steele spoke, Tech jumped slightly but settled right back down. “And who are you in love with?”

“My job. I don’t have time for all that,” Tech answered. Steele had a feeling that even Tech didn’t believe that answer.

Steele’s chin was over Tech’s shoulder. He didn’t grab his narrow waist but he wanted to. “How warm does this job keep you at night, detective?” Steele didn’t wait for an answer; instead, he turned and took the weapons Tech had placed out for him and left his space. But he made a mental note to revisit that topic real soon.

As he made his way back across the office, he hoped that Ack would approve. It’d been a long time since any other man gave Steele’s body this kind of reaction.

My Review:
Edwin Steele is a decorated combat vet who’d served in the Oakland PD until his partner was gunned down; he’s sure it was related to Steele being “out.” He’s skittish to join another force–and suffers flashbacks and nightmares over the loss of comrades-in-arms, including the first man he ever fell for. The only reason Steele takes a chance with God and Day’s task force is the assurance that it’s a queer-friendly bunch. And, Steele’s mind is blown when he discovers that there’s several gay couples on the crew.

Detective Shawn Murphy–also called “Tech”–has never met a security system he didn’t want to hack. He’d served three years for doing just that in college. Now on the task force, hacks for the good guys–and he wants to spend time out on the streets, too. Though smaller than all the burly guys on the task force, he’s been training in MMA and close-quarter fighting for the past two years, waiting for his shot at a field operation. Eager to show off for their newest team member, Tech uncovers the classified closed-file of Steele’s final RECON mission–and that’s a big problem when it trips off Steele’s PTSD.

Not the stellar introduction.

Still, there’s a heat between them, and Steele sees what Tech hides, his desire to work in the field. Not only that, Tech’s there all the time, at all hours of the day, via his ingenious earpieces. It allows Steele to talk with Tech at times when he most needs someone, and results in some kinky interludes, too. I loved how Shawn was such a giving guy, and how he really tried to connect with Shawn. For all of Steele’s hang-ups, he’s a man who really wants a steady, loving partner, and he does what he can to make Shawn’s dreams come true.

This book is meant to wrap the series, but, honestly, it only made me hungry for more. We have a great insight to the whole team, because they all work and play together. God and Day tell large portions of the story in their own points-of-view. Don’t expect any multiple-pairings in this one; just some good old fashioned bachelor party hi jinks and a better look into the love lives of God’s little brother and his man, too. In fact, there’s an extended novella at the end that features Genesis and Curtis’s relationship. And, we have more couples on the horizon–though I think they will be spun off into a new series–plus, more. Yes, more. The plot moves like Spaceball I going at Ludicrous Speed. (Er, superfast, and a bit twisty for those who aren’t fans of the venerable Mel Brooks’ work.) The love story between Tech and Steele was a little rushed, as a result, but the introduction of several returning characters, and the culmination of so many plot threads made the ride very enjoyable.

I highly advise reading the books in order, though you could possibly read the first and fifth books as a mini-sequence.

Interested? You can find NOTHING SPECIAL V on Goodreads and Amazon.

Get the four book series here.

About the Author:
A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.

Visit her site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next. You can also check out her blog, Facebook, and Twitter.