Getting Trapped in THE DEEP END–A Review

facebookdeependHi there! I’m sharing a review for a new erotic romance from best-selling author Kristen Ashley. THE DEEP END is the first book in her Honey series and has all the hotness and all the sweetness and all the sexytimes.

deepend_highresAbout the book:
Enter a decadent sensual world where gorgeous alpha males are committed to fulfilling a woman’s every desire…
Olivier isn’t sure what he’s gotten himself into when he joins the Honey Club, only that a dark part of him hungers for the lifestyle offered by this exclusive club. Here, no boundary will be left untested…and one’s deepest fantasies will become an exquisite reality.

When Amélie invites Olivier to surrender, she gives the alpha submissive what he craves. Soon they both find themselves falling harder than they ever anticipated—but as their connection deepens, the truth about Olivier’s past could destroy everything…

Gripping and seductive, The Deep End is the first book in a sensational new series from bestselling author Kristen Ashley.

How about a little taste?

She turned back to him. “You seem to have a good deal of stamina.”

“Amelie…Mistress, I don’t think you’re getting’ that I seriously find you not hard on the eyes.”

She bent closer, as intended for this part of their session, some of her fair falling on his chest in another caress. She did this letting her amusement show, if not all of the emotion she felt at his compliment.

“I wonder, mon chou, if you think you can butter me up with compliments.”

“I don’t know. Maybe. Though not sure why I’d bother since I didn’t give you one and you just made me shoot a huge-ass load the like that have never come from my cock.”

“And he gives another compliment,” she said through a smile.

“You earn it, I’ll say it, he replied, his lips twitching. “That is, if I’m physically capable of speech.”

She was still smiling when she reached out a hand and delicately traced circles around his nipple.

His eyes darkened.

Her good humor increased.

“You’re of course aware I should do something about you being so audaciously cheeky.”

Another darkness crossed his face. “What?”

“I shouldn’t allow you to be cheeky with me.”

“Cheeky?”

“Impudent,” she explained.

The look fled. “You mean, in uppity, hot-chick speak, a wise-ass.”

Amelie couldn’t help it, she laughed softly.

“She’s got a pretty laugh, too, to go with that pretty accent,” he murmured and she saw his eyes on her lips.

I could get lost in this one, she thought. Lost and never found.

My Review:
Amelie is a well-respected Domme searching for an alpha submissive to play with. She’s intrigued by the newest “toy” at the Honey Club, a big, brooding man called Olivier. One look and she knows she must have him–at least for one night.

So she takes him, and gives him exactly what he’s been searching for: a worthy Mistress to submit to. This book is all about finding your way, even when it’s not what you expect. Olivier has long believed his desire to be a submissive renders him weak, and he’s struggled to build any lasting relationships as a result; he just can’t articulate his needs. He got some advice from a good friend who owns a kink club, and sought out Mistress Amelie, recognizing that her reputation was absolutely deserved. Still, Olivier cut corners in order to get his membership the the Honey, and that he has minimal experience in BDSM and kink put him at risk for abuse. Amelie isn’t that kind of Domme, but she does make assumptions that Olivier can’t quite handle.

These two get on like a house on fire, when they aren’t burning themselves to ashes. Amelie wants a partner, and Olivier wants a partner, but neither can see that they need to talk it out more, because their chemistry is so in sync. It took me a while to warm to Amelie, and it wasn’t because she’s hard. She’s just a super thinker. Like, she thinks and thinks and considers and mulls, and rambles. Being in her head didn’t connect for me, at first. Not until she started to think about other people besides her own self, her desires and her needs. She seemed one-dimensional, for about the first third of the book, but then she really put her focus on Olivier, and her friends, and I could see through her veneer and recognize she’s just a self-isolating character. That she’d been hurt badly, and struggled to open herself up to further vulnerability, until she began falling for Olivier.

Olivier is conflicted throughout most of the book. He thinks he needs to conform to a hetero-normative, masculine ideal. His emotional needs are also complicated by his fear of being “less than” due to having less money than his dear Amelie. I liked how his father really set him straight. I also liked how Olivier owned his mistakes, and his hot-temper, and made amends for how he goes off at times. Their language and thought patterns are so different, which made being in their headspaces very interesting.

As for sexytimes, whoa. There are lots and they are intense. Amelie is a creative Mistress, and she know how to ring Olivier’s bell. Over and over and over again. Olivier is a fun guy to observe, as he’s so open and in your face, and so absolutely grateful to Amelie for wringing him inside out and sideways. While I felt it started slow, I was turning the pages double-time by the end. There’s some background shenanigans that cause distress later–with a rogue Domme harming her “toys”. Because Amelie steps in she becomes a target. I liked how all this played out, and how it set up a few jumping off points for new books in this series. I expect new books will feature new couples, and I’d be eager to follow their stories, too. Amelie and Olivier cement a complete HEA, and their kinky ways are sure to please fans of erotic or BDSM romance.

Interested? You can find THE DEEP END on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo, IndieBound, and BAM.

kristen-ashley-headshotAbout the Author:
Kristen Ashley was born in Gary, Indiana, USA and nearly killed her mother and herself making it into the world, seeing as she had the umbilical cord wrapped around her neck (already attempting to accessorize and she hadn’t taken her first breath!). Her mother said they took Kristen away, put her Mom back in her room, her mother looked out the window, and Gary was on fire (Dr. King had been assassinated four days before). Kristen’s Mom remembered thinking it was the end of the world. Quite the dramatic beginning.

Nothing’s changed.

Kristen grew up in Brownsburg, Indiana and has lived in Denver, Colorado and the West Country of England. Thus, she’s blessed to have friends and family around the globe. Her family was (is) loopy (to say the least) but loopy is good when you want to write. They all lived together on a very small farm in a small farm town in the heartland. She grew up with Glenn Miller, The Everly Brothers, REO Speedwagon and Whitesnake (and the wardrobes that matched).

Needless to say, growing up in a house full of music, clothes and love was a good way to grow up.

And as she keeps growing, it keeps getting better. Catch up with Kristen on her website, Facebook, twitter, sign up for her newsletter, Goodreads, Pinterest, Instagram.

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Beyond Physical MASTERING HER SENSES–Review & Giveaway

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a brand new BDSM erotic romance from Laura Kaye. MASTERING HER SENSES is the second novel in her new Blasphemy series, which got a great start with the erotic novella HARD TO SERVE and the first novel, BOUND TO SUBMIT. I’m really enjoying this sexy series, and this was a great new couple to read!

Scroll down to catch my review and enter to win a signed three-book gift pack!
mastering-her-senses-coverAbout the book:
From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy.

He wants to dominate her senses—and her heart…
Quinton Ross has always been a thrill-seeker—so it’s no surprise that he’s drawn to extremes in the bedroom and at his BDSM club, Blasphemy, where he creates sense-depriving scenarios that blow submissives’ minds. Now if he could just find one who needs the rush as much as him…

When an accident leaves Cassia Locke with a paralyzing fear of the dark, she’ll try anything to get help. Ready to fight, she knows just who to ask for help—the hard-bodied, funny-as-hell Dom she’d always crushed on—and once stood up.

Quinton is shocked and a little leery to see Cassia, but he can’t pass up the chance to dominate the alluring little sub this time. Introducing her to sensory deprivation becomes his new favorite obsession, and watching her fight fear is its own thrill. But when doubt threatens to send her running again, Quinton must find a way to master her senses—and her heart.

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

My Review:
Cassia is a geologist who’d spent her career studying caves, up until two years ago. That’s when she was buried in a cave-in that killed two of her co-workers and from which she barely survived. Trapped in the dark for days, injured, and with no assurance she would be rescued, has left Cassia with an intense fear of the dark that’s caused her personal and professional lives to be tipped upside-down. She can no longer explore caves, and had to find a desk job that brought her back to Baltimore. Personally, she’d given up her interest in submission, because what Dom wants a sub that’s afraid to be blindfolded?

Still, Cassia’s a determined woman who wants to take charge of her life again–and she turns to Club Blasphemy, where she has once been a member, to make it happen. Good thing Master Quinton is there to help her when she stumbles!

Quinton barely recognized Cassia as the sub who stood him up a couple of years ago. They’d had fun, casually, but finding her in a full-out panic inside the “dark room” wasn’t how he’d anticipated reconnecting. Once he’s able to help her through the worst of it, Quinton demands the full story–Cassia hadn’t been playing safe if she wasn’t willing to having a darkness phobia. (I swear to goodness, I totally felt for Cassia in that moment. I’m that same stubborn-type of person who thinks “I can do ANYTHING I put my mind to–even if I have to force it,” much to my hubby’s chagrin!) While Cassia’s embarrassed and a bit humbled–she’s also encouraged by how kind and gentle Quinton is, and soothed by his attention. It’s a no-brainer for her to accept his offer at darkness desensitization. And that’s not only because she finds him totally sexy. The man knows sensory stimulation, as she remembers from her interactions with him before her cave-in experience.

What happens next? Lots and lots of sexytimes. I really thought the way Cassia’s phobia was handled was great. Quinton’s a “master” for many reasons, but holy smokes, he mostly turns Cassia inside-out under varying degrees of darkness. When they take their incendiary passion back to her place, she spends her first, second, and third nights sleeping without a night lamp since she’d survived the cave-in. I loved how these two grew together over more than just their shared kink. Their no-strings “therapeutic” sex-capades soon turn into dates and adventures that have nothing to do with sexy-dark-interludes, but deepen the connection between them. I think I would have liked a scene that showed Cassia dealing with the dark on her own–to see how she’d grown past some of her fears, I wasn’t sad with the happy ending. Not at all.

Interested? You can find MASTERING HER SENSES on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win signed copies of books 1-3 of the Blasphemy series.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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Meet the Masters of Blasphemy in Hard to Serve, Bound to Submit (novel #1), Mastering Her Senses (Novel #2 out: 2/21/17) and Eyes on You (novel #3 out: 7/11/17)

“A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I’m eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!”
~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

“Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can’t wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one.”
~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

Laura Kaye - author picAbout the Author:
Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Catch up with Laura on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her newsletter.

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Getting Past WATCHING AND WANTING–A Review

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Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review for the newest contemporary M/M romance in Jay Northcote’s Housemates series. I absolutely loved HELPING HAND, LIKE A LOVER and PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT (which made my 2016 faves list!) so I couldn’t wait to get my hands on WATCHING AND WANTING. This book features a love story for a confused and closeted bisexual man whose world expands watching the live cam shows his sexy new housemate makes for his living.

watchingandwantingAbout the book:
Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied…
Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.

How about a little taste?

Back in the living room, he threw himself into his armchair again. The TV was on, showing an old episode of Prison Break, but Shawn wasn’t paying attention to it. Sunk in a black hole of despondency, he gazed surreptitiously around the room at his housemates instead.

Jude, one of the new guys who’d moved in last month, sat in a corner of one of the sofas doing something on his phone, his dark curly head bending low and the glow of the screen lighting up his angular features. Shawn wondered what he was doing—probably hooking up on Grindr or something.

That twist of discomfort flared in his gut again. He knew he shouldn’t care. It was none of his business, but the idea that Jude might be planning some hook-up with some random guy lodged in his consciousness like a stone in a shoe. Maybe it was just because Shawn was single again and would have to get back to hooking up if he wanted any action. The idea of being back on Tinder wasn’t as appealing as it should be.

Shawn turned his attention to the other sickeningly happy couple in the room. Ewan wasn’t technically one of Shawn’s housemates. He lived next door, but he might as well have moved in for the amount of time he spent there with Dev. Ewan had his arm around Dev, and as Shawn watched, he turned his ginger head and murmured something in Dev’s ear. Dev turned to look at him and they exchanged a soft smile. Then Dev pressed a kiss to Ewan’s lips, which lingered long enough to make Shawn uncomfortable.

Irrational anger bubbled up, spilling out of his mouth before he could hold the words back. “For fuck’s sake. Can’t you save that for your room?”

Dev pulled away quickly, his cheeks flaming. “Sorry,” he muttered.

Ewan glared at Shawn. “What’s your problem?”

Shawn shrugged and glared back. “I just don’t need to see it, that’s all.”

“Well, the television’s over there, so stop fucking looking at us if you don’t like it. It was just a kiss. It’s not like we’re blowing each other on the sofa or anything. Jesus.”

“Ugh. And thank you for that mental image.” Shawn did a mock shudder.

“Whoa, Shawn. What the hell’s wrong with you tonight?”

Jez’s voice cut through Shawn’s drunken, angry haze, and he realised that all eyes in the room were on him. He caught Jude’s gaze, curious and assessing, and flushed at the unwanted attention.

“You should be used to it by now,” Jez continued. “You’ve lived with me and Mac long enough. And I’ve totally caught you groping Beth on the sofa before. You don’t get a free pass for living room shenanigans just because you’re the only straight couple in the house since Dani moved out.”

That was the spark that ignited Shawn’s anger past the point of no return. “Yeah? Well, maybe I’m just tired of being surrounded by all the gay in here. I never signed up for this when we moved in together.” He stood, sloshing beer out of his nearly full bottle and onto the carpet. “I don’t have to like it.”

“Feel free to find somewhere else to live, then.”

Even Jez, who was rarely moved to anger, sounded pissed now.

“Yeah. Maybe I will.” Shawn stormed to the door, careful not to ruin his exit by walking into the coffee table again. “Oh, and for your information? Me and Beth split up today, so we won’t be the token straight couple any more.”

He slammed the door behind him and stomped up the stairs to his room on the first floor. He slammed that door too, but it didn’t make him feel any better. After throwing himself down on the bed, he clutched his pillow and let harsh sobs of fury burst out of him until the red mist receded and shame and guilt crept in to fill the place where his anger had been.

My Review:
Shawn is a young and adrift. He’s recently graduated from uni, but unable/ unmotivated to find a better job than his part-time work at a pharmacy. His girlfriend has just broken off their long-distance relationship and he’s pretty mad with the world. It makes him lash out at his housemates, who are all happily coupled men with loving partners. Jude is a newcomer on the scene, and doesn’t know what to make of Shawn’s outburst; he’s happy in the house with the two gay couples. Jude’s gay, too, but he’s not dating anyone. Instead, he runs a live cam show two or three nights a week for cash.

It’s not long before Shawn stumbles into Jude’s room during one of his cam shows–and gets a fantastic look at all of Jude’s sexy assets. And, well, that gets Shawn’s wheels turning. He logs on to Jude’s show, and is mortified to find that he’s totally aroused watching Jude winding himself up and down and up again before going off for his fans.

In fact, Shawn reaches out to Jude for some advice. Under the auspices of learning how to be a cam boy for cash, Shawn gets Jude to touch and kiss him–and confirm that yes, he’s more than bi-curious. Jude’s afraid to really fall for Shawn, despite their obvious chemistry. Working the cam with a “straight” partner is so well accepted by his fans that their tips pretty-much triple, but it’s not all cool. Jude feels frustrated that Shawn’s denying their interactions to his housemates–because he’s afraid to come out. And that sidetracks what’s building between them. Still, Shawn knows how to apologize, and they talk it out–especially when Shawn makes the choice to not hide his attraction any longer.

As with all the books in this series, the guys are good and fun and sexy. The love story is rich with excitement, and anxiety and lust, with healthy helpings of voyeurism and scorching sexytimes. Shawn makes an acceptable apology, complete with grand gesture–and Jude’s happy to accept his love. I really felt the bi-curious/bisexual aspect was handled well, and the cam shows…whoa! I’m totally gone for the Housemates series and just hope there’ll be more and more future stories.

Interested? You can find WATCHING AND WANTING on Goodreads and Amazon (US or UK).
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The whole housemates series is fantastic–and all can be enjoyed as standalones.
Helping Hand (Book #1) Amazon (US or UK)
Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon (US or UK)
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon (US or UK)

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

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

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

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

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

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

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TBR Thursday: NOTHING SPECIAL A Review

tbr-graphicHi there! I’m back again with a book off my TBR List/Mountain. Today I’m featuring a sexy M/M police romance that’s a hit bestseller from A. E. Via. NOTHING SPECIAL is the first book in a five (so far) book series that features two Atlanta vice detectives, partners on the force, and how they fall in love.

nothing-specialAbout the book:
Detective Cashel ‘Cash’ Godfrey is big, tattooed and angry so people typically keep their distance. He’s fresh out of the police academy, however, no one is looking to partner with the six foot four beast with a huge chip on his shoulder and an inability to trust. When Cash scans the orientation room he wasn’t expecting to find sexy hazel eyes locked onto him. Eyes of the handsome Detective Leonidis ‘Leo’ Day.

Leo is charming, witty, hilariously sarcastic and the only one that can make Cash smile. He’s proud, out and one bad-ass detective.

Together Cash and Leo become the most revered and successful narcotics detectives Atlanta’s ever seen. Able to communicate and understand each other, without even having to voice it, they quickly climb up the promotional ranks.

When Cash saves Leo’s life in a raid that turns deadly, Leo begins to see something in the big man that no one else does…something special. But Leo fears he’ll never break through the impenetrable wall that protects Cash’s heart.

Nothing Special takes the reader through various emotions throughout the richly fulfilling plot that’s full of erotic gay romance, heartache, passion, trials and tribulations, police action scenes, and an intriguing twist that comes to an amazing ending that’s impossible to see coming.

My Review:
Despite reading widely in the M/M genre, I do miss books. And, when I was given the opportunity to read the FIFTH book in this series, I knew I had to go back and read the others, first. So, I did.

I really liked this one, because I really liked the characters. They felt very real to me, even making decisions that I felt were poor–out of a misguided sense for love or honor.

Cashel Godfrey and Leonidis Day are detectives in the Atlanta PD, and they mostly work to hunt down drug lords. They’ve been partners for four years, and get along really, really well. Day is out and proud, and “God” doesn’t mind. He’s a closet bisexual and has developed intense feelings for Day, while Day harbors what he believes is an unrequited crush. They work side-by-side and often spend evenings together. God’s been hiding his really, horribly-dysfunctional family history from Day (and everyone) for years, and believes he’s unlovable as a result. When God gets leveled by the flu, Day’s his at-home nursemaid. And, Day contacts Genesis, God’s younger half-brother which ends up being a catastrophic mess, and leads to God and Day having a falling out.

I’m really not stating it all as strongly as it happens in the book, because that was some messed up crap, and I might have gotten a little vicarious-PTSD in the reading. What remained, however, was the heartache, and neither God nor Day could cope in that fractured state. God made his move, and Day was completely bowled over. And there was lots and lots of sex. And some cop stuff. And fixing the lives of fellow cops who had separately bordered on harassment-status, to that point. And more sex, and a huge drug bust that went every-which-way instead of simply sideways, and Day was nearly killed and protocol was completely absent, and I still liked the book, because God and Day are really fun to ride along with.

Also, things got kinky, and new “friends” arrive on the sexy scene, and that might make some readers mad, but I was all “if it feels good, boys” and they went for it, and I liked it all the more.

The book is a pleasure read, with some really harrowing moments that only reinforced how special both these guys are to each other. The resolution with God’s family seemed way too fast, but it happened near enough to the end that I could imagine a happy ending was necessary, and would be revisited in later books.

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

Thanks for popping in, and don’t forget to tell me if there are books I should add to my TBR mountain!

Not Easy Being THE YOUNG AND THE SUBMISSIVE–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a contemporary BDSM novel from the writing team of Shayla Black, Jenna Jacob, and Isabella LaPearl. THE YOUNG AND THE SUBMISSIVE is the sequel to ONE DOM TO LOVE. I’m catching up so I’m ready when the next book drops in September. TYatS had a whole lot more loving, but also a whole lot more fighting, as Raine, Liam and Hammer work themselves into a sexy menage.

The Young and the Submissive (The Doms of Her Life, #2)About the book:
Raine Kendall has everything a woman could want…almost. Sexy, tender Dom Liam O’Neill is her knight in shining armor, but Raine is constantly pinching herself. Is he too good to be true or is this growing connection one that could last a lifetime? She’s constantly torn by her abiding feelings for her commanding boss, Macen “Hammer” Hammerman, especially in the wake the mind-blowing night he cast aside the barriers between them and ravaged every inch of her body.

Hammer, Liam’s former best friend, can’t stop coveting Raine. But Liam is determined to hold and guide the woman he loves and see if she can be the submissive of his dreams. However, he’s finding that her trust is hard won and he needs a bloody crowbar to pry open her scarred soul. So he risks everything to win her once and for all. But once he’s put his daring plan in motion, will it cost Liam his heart if he loses Raine to Hammer for good?

My Review:
This is the second book in a contemporary BDSM menage romance and is best enjoyed when read in order.

Raine has spent six years in love with her dark knight, Macen “Master Hammer” Hammerman, ever since he took her in off the streets when she escaped her abusive father’s attempted rape. Hammer may run a BDSM dungeon, but he’d never force a partner–and he’s never wanted to abuse petite Raine. He’s loved her, but fears his own dark desire might be too much for her. Plus, she’s now connecting with his best friend and fellow Dom, Liam’O’Neill. Years ago Liam and Macen shared Macen’s wife, Juliet. It seemed a perfect arrangement, but wasn’t, and the men are gun-shy about sharing another sub.

Even if that’s what Raine needs.

This book is all about working in the kinks, and part of that is Liam and Hammer learning how to share. Their bickering is freaking Raine out, even before they decide to try a menage. Liam has collared Raine, but she can’t give her whole heart and submission to him, on account of having such a longing and respect for Macen. For my part, I was ready to kick Macen out of bed, empty chip bag or not. He’s a mental whirlwind, and devious. In the previous book he did the unthinkable, tried to claim Raine after she accepted Liam as her Master–and his treachery isn’t small, because he didn’t protect Raine when she was truly vulnerable.

Liam’s tender and loving, but he struggles with Raine’s silence. She may not lie, but she sure doesn’t tell the whole truth. His biggest gambit seems to all but fail, until some friends intervene. I really liked Beck, the dungeon’s resident sadist, and how he was the right kind of tough to get Raine back on track. These guys are a little bit silly, to me. They practice D/s but they aren’t hard 24/7 which was a relief. Liam and Hammer get on board with Beck’s plan to work together, and that’s the best part of the book–also the end, mostly. Expect a sated sub, two frazzled Doms and a smart aleck surgeon to save the day. While it’s the end of the book, it’s just the beginning of their new menage. I found this one to be both more sexy and more romantic than the first book.

Interested? You can find THE YOUNG AND THE SUBMISSIVE on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Authors:
Shayla Black is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than fifty novels. For over fifteen years, she’s written contemporary, erotic, paranormal, and historical romances via traditional, independent, foreign, and audio publishers. Her books have sold well over a million copies and been published in a dozen languages.

Raised an only child, Shayla occupied herself with lots of daydreaming, much to the chagrin of her teachers. In college, she found her love for reading and realized that she could have a career publishing the stories spinning in her imagination. Though she graduated with a degree in Marketing/Advertising and embarked on a stint in corporate America to pay the bills, her heart has always been with her characters. She’s thrilled that she’s been living her dream as a full-time author for the past seven years.

Shayla currently lives in North Texas with her wonderfully supportive husband, her teenage daughter, and a very spoiled cat. In her “free” time, she enjoys reality TV, reading, and listening to an eclectic blend of music.

You can find Shayla on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Bestselling author Jenna Jacob paints a canvas of passion, romance, and humor as her Alpha men and the feisty women who love them unravel their souls and heal their scars to find their happily-ever-after kind of love. Heart-tugging, captivating, and steamy, Jenna’s books will surely leave you breathless and craving more.

A mom of four grown children, Jenna and her Alpha-Hunk husband live in Kansas. Jenna loves books, Harleys, music, and camping. Jenna’s zany sense of humor and lack of filter exemplify her motto: Live. Laugh. Love.

Meet the wild and wicked family in her sultry series: The Doms of Genesis. Or become spellbound by the searing love connection between Raine, Hammer, and Liam in her continuing saga: The Doms of Her Life (co-written with the amazing Shayla Black and Isabella La Pearl). Journey with couples struggling to resolve their pasts to discover unbridled love and devotion in Jenna’s new contemporary series: Passionate Hearts.

Find Jenna online on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Find Isabella on Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Figuring It Out Without BURNING TRACKS–Review and Giveaway!

BannerTemplateHi there! Today I’m excited to share a review and giveaway for a contemporary lesbian love story from Lilah Suzanne. BURNING TRACKS is the second book in a series and probably best enjoyed after reading BROKEN RECORDS. This story centers on a young, married stylist, who’s not sure she’s ready for motherhood, and is tempted by a sexy client.

Catch a bonus interview, an excerpt, and enter the $25 GC and ebook giveaway, below.

Burning Tracks 900px FRONT (Tumblr)About the book:
In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.

How about a taste?

“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.

“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”

Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—” He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”

Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”

Grady sniffs and holds him tighter. “It’s okay. We’re okay. I’m sorry, too.”

Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.

Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”

“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”

None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.

But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”

“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”

He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.

“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”

“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”

Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.

Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”

Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.

Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”

There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.

“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.

Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”

Some thoughts on writing from Author Lilah Suzanne:

Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
Gwen thinks that Flora’s group of teacher friends is nice, but a little boring. And that’s okay, Flora has plenty of fun with book club and wine and cheese nights no matter what Gwen thinks, but sometimes Flora and her friends will go to a burlesque show. Sometimes Flora’s teacher friends will join in. Teachers aren’t always boring.

Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I do, often, but now I try to identify what’s blocking me instead of giving up and deciding the story just isn’t meant to be: Does the chapter need to go in a different direction? Do I need to let an idea sit for a while? Am I insecure about the story and letting that discourage me? Am I too worried about other’s expectations and letting that discourage me? There’s almost always a good reason for writer’s block that isn’t “I’m terrible and everything I do is terrible.” Almost always.

What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
Well, I happen to think this series would make an excellent movie. Or a television series.

Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
I do both. I outline but not in detail. I need to know where I’m going and what happens next, the basic story arcs, but otherwise I let the plot and characters flesh out as I go.

Always nice to get some insights on how authors approach their work!

My Review:
This is an interesting and complicated love story for a married couple that may be having some problems…and how it all gets back on “track.”

Gwen is a stylist living in Nashville with her wife, Flora. They’ve had some bumps in their road, but have been together for ten years. Newly settled in a nice house and neighborhood, Flora is ready for a baby. And Gwen isn’t, exactly. She wants Flora to be happy, and loves her wife, but she’s scared, and afraid to talk about it, in case it upsets Flora.

Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico and his partner country music singer Grady, are having trouble. Grady wants a big commitment, and Nico’s a little nervous. He style Grady, and Grady’s best friend, Clementine. If things go bad, then Nico and Gwen are in big financial trouble. Plus, the culture shock of staid Nashville compared to wild Hollywood is a difficult transition for both Gwen and Nico to make. As Nico and Grady struggle, Gwen has to step up her work hours, something that Flora understands, but doesn’t always accept. It’ll be way harder to be flexible once they have a child. For a woman who’s been a huge disappointment to her parents, Gwen is sure to also disappoint Flora, right?

And, it’s sure not easy for Gwen to keep her focus when gorgeous, driven, and talented Clementine seems to be making moves on her. They spend a lot of time together, as Nico steps away to clear his head, and Gwen takes on the responsibility of dressing both Grady and Clem for their events–and tracking down manic Grady to prevent him falling off the wagon. Meanwhile, Flora. The baby that may come. Their lives seemingly stalled.

Just want to say this one ended up being really emotional, without being angsty. Most of the story is told from Gwen’s POV in the present, but there are several chapters from Flora’s POV that detail periods of their lives together, in the past. How they met, fell in love, and filled one another’s lives. Instead of cutting the tension, these sweet recollections raise the stakes when we experience Gwen in the moment with both Flora and Clementine. No one wants to watch a love die, and that includes Gwen. She’s got a ton of insecurities, due to her non-relationships with her parents, and always feels that she’ll fall short at being a good wife and mother. Clem’s interest is tantalizing, and scary. It’s nothing like Flora’s patient and constant affection.

For people who hate cheaters in stories, I’ll go so far as to say: you won’t be riled. Gwen learns the real truth of her life, and makes it all work in a way that only settled, married people can. There’s a bit of heartbreak, but it’s not due to romantic difficulties. There’s a lot of sweet moments, and I was glad that Nico and Grady seemed to hash out their confusion. The end is totally HEA-swoony and give a sense of closure on the series, though I imagine we’ll see more books. And, that’s a good thing. Expect lots and lots of sexytimes for Gwen and Flora, and I liked that bunches. Even though lesbian fiction isn’t in my wheelhouse, I was fully able to connect with the characters and their passion.

Interested? You can find BURNING TRACKS on Goodreads, Interlude Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link below for your chance to win a $25 Interlude Press gift card or one of FIVE ebooks.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, and Broken Records, which was named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Magazine.

Find Lilah online on her website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

pride

FOOL ME ONCE into Sexy Times–Excerpt and Review

FOOL ME ONCE BOOK TOUR
Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from Katee Robert. FOOL ME ONCE is a fun and feisty romance between an agoraphobic gamer-girl and a rich-boy-turned-cowboy. I liked it!

fool me onceAbout the book:
Aubry Kaiser doesn’t like people—actually, that’s not right. She loathes people. With her crippling anxiety, there’s no way she can demo her favorite video game at a convention with five thousand other people. Maybe if she brings someone to act as a shield…

But the only person available is the sexy cowboy she can’t stand.

Quinn Baldwyn is in a mess of his own. He’s been dodging his wealthy family’s matchmaking attempts—and life advice—for years, but with his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs of a shield of his own.

He and Aubry can barely hold down a civil conversation, but in bed…fireworks. And the closer they get to Quinn’s sister’s wedding, the more he realizes that he might actually like Aubry.

Now it’s up to him to convince her she might actually like him, too.

How about a sexy taste?

She pinched the bridge of her nose. “If I say you’re right, am I ever going to live it down?”

He didn’t answer, and she opened her eyes. Their reflection was slightly distorted in the passenger window, but even she could see he had a seriously tense look on his face. She belatedly realized that they were pressed together, her back to his front, and that he was…

Oh my God. She couldn’t resist leaning back into him, just a little. Yep, that’s not a micro penis. A shiver worked its way through her, leaving goose bumps in its wake, and her nipples perked right up, showing through the thin fabric of her T-shirt. There was no way he didn’t feel her reaction, not with his arm creating a band across her ribs, his forearm against the underside of her breasts.

Even as she noticed, he started to release her, his hand sliding over her stomach, but he stopped when he hit her hip, his pinkie finger dipping below the waistband of her shorts, just a little. It wasn’t anywhere near anything vital, but that little intrusion made her moan all the same.

Fuck.” The word was barely audible, but she felt it in the way his body tensed behind her.

She shivered again, torn between telling him to back off and getting the top button of her jeans all undone for him. If she didn’t make a decision—and fast—he was going to back off again. It was written all over the tension she could feel emanating from his body.

Aubry started to reach for his hand, still undecided on whether she wanted to encourage or threaten him, but he moved, bending down to brace one hand on the truck in front of them, the other still on her hip. The move brought his mouth against her ear, and his harsh exhale made her shake.

She arched against him. She couldn’t help it. Her body took over, a primal part of her knowing he could give her all the pleasure she could handle, and was only too happy to extend an invitation by rubbing her ass against his hard length.

His grip on her hip tightened, but he didn’t try to stop her. “You’re playing a dangerous game.”

She knew. They had to stop for so many reasons, the least of which was that they were on the side of a freaking highway and it was only a matter of time before a car drove past.

But she didn’t want to stop.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, but can be enjoyed on its own.

Aubry Kaiser is a reclusive gamer woman, who’s had a hard life. She made the best of it by playing videogames, notably Deathmatch, and getting a degree in computer programming. As an adult, she struggles to connect with humans, and has one close friend, Jules. Aubry receives an exclusive invitation to play a beta-version of the newest Deathmatch, at the DeathCon conference. If only she didn’t have crippling social anxiety. Or a giant bodyguard who’d make sure she arrived safely and was approached by no one.

Quinn Baldwyn is a rich boy turned cowboy. His oil baron parents have long-eschewed his reluctance to join their blue blood world, and have attempted to make him thoroughly miserable. His little sister, Jenny, is due to be married in two weeks–and he doesn’t want to go because he knows his folks will harass him into conflict. If only he had a date specializing in salty repartee who’d keep the family claws at bay…

Okay, so Jules totally hooks prickly Aubry into taking placid Quinn to DeathCon and Quinn into taking Aubry to the wedding on an extended road trip. She doesn’t push them to make things physical. Nope. That all started on a lonely highway to San Diego with a car breakdown. It’s so steamy, you might need a towel to wipe off your e-reader screen. Aubry and Quinn aren’t soul mates, but they are attracted by their verbal sparring. Usually Aubry’s acid wit sends men on the run, but Quinn turns all her jabs into parleys. It’s rather fun and certainly entertaining.

I liked the slow reveal of their building feelings. As they spend more and more time buried within each other, both Quinn and Aubry recognize they have excellent chemistry–it’s not enough for them to risk Jules discovering their attraction once they return from their extended road trip, however…at first. Determined, Quinn–with some seriously sexy moves–is able to convince Aubry they should give it a try.  And, then his family pretty much spoils everything. For a time.

There’s an HEA here that’s really super cute. I don’t want to reveal much, because it’s so unique and I hate to spoil. Rest assured, Quinn and Aubry are on the exact same page with each other by the end, despite their initial differences. It’s a quick, fun read that really entertained.

Interested? You can find FOOL ME ONCE on Goodreads, Amazon (US and UK) Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

About the Author:
New York Times & USA TODAY Bestselling Author Katee Robert learned to tell stories at her grandpa’s knee. Her favorites then were the rather epic adventures of The Three Bears, but at age twelve she discovered romance novels and never looked back.

Though she dabbled in writing, life got in the way—as it often does—and she spent a few years traveling, living in both Philadelphia and Germany. In between traveling and raising her two wee ones, she had the crazy idea that she’d like to write a book and try to get published.

Her first novel was an epic fantasy that, God willing, will never see the light of day. From there, she dabbled in YA and horror, before finally finding speculative romance. Because, really, who wouldn’t want to write entire books about the smoking-hot relationships between two people?

She now spends her time—when not lost in Far Reach worlds—playing imaginary games with her wee ones, writing, ogling men, and planning for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

Catch up with Katee online on her website, Facebook, Twitter , Pinterest, Instagram , and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Moving On WITH OR WITHOUT YOU–Review and Giveaway!

WoWY-BannerTemplateHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary YA M/M romance form Zane Riley. WITH OR WITHOUT YOU is the sequel to GO YOUR OWN WAY, and these books should probably be read in order for best enjoyment.

Be sure to drop down and check out the excerpt, author interview and get in on the $25 GC or book giveaway!

With or Without YouAbout the book:

In the much-anticipated sequel to Go Your Own Way, high school seniors Lennox McAvoy and Will Osborne pick up right where they left off—navigating the tumultuous waters of a new relationship and dealing with Will’s disapproving father.

When a violent incident forces Lennox to give up his independent ways, he must come to terms with his past just as Will is grappling with his future. As Will’s college plans become reality, will Lennox have the courage to go after the opportunities he doesn’t think he deserves?

How about a little taste?

The band room was empty when he pushed the door open, but the piano was set up like it was almost every afternoon these days. Only Mr. Robinette and a music stand littered with sheet music was absent.

“Hello?”

The silence struck Lennox as odd, but as he sat down he also realized how strange it was to announce himself. So much had changed since the first time he’d snuck in here to play on his own. Now he was auditioning for some college he still couldn’t fathom.

To make Will happy. And maybe a little bit for himself.

“Ah, I wondered if you were going to show up.”

Mr. Robinette was behind him, the door to his office now wide open. He’d taken off his tie and undone a few buttons on his shirt like he did most afternoons when they practiced.

“You just want to play it through a few times or mess around with something else?”

Lennox took a seat at the piano, but didn’t both opening his bag. He’d memorized the piece he was playing by Valentine’s Day and now, almost two weeks later, he could write it out measure for measure on blank sheet music. But playing it was becoming repetitive. For two hours, three times a week, almost nonstop with the same four pages and nothing else.

“I’d rather try something new. That piece is getting a little old.”

Mr. Robinette smiled and pulled a chair up beside him. “I had a nightmare the other night and it was the theme song while I ran around a haunted house Scooby Doo style.”

“You didn’t catch a ride in the Mystery Machine, did you? I’ve always wanted that van.”

“I’ve got a lunch box version of it. It doesn’t fit much though because it’s too narrow. Anyway, play what you want. I’ll be here until about four-thirty, so it’s all yours.”

As Mr. Robinette returned to his office, Lennox pulled what had become his music notebook out of his bag and opened it to the latest page. He’d taken to composing during class when he should have been taking notes, especially calculus where he had no reason to pay attention anyway.

The latest page was a tune he’d come up with while the other kids had been tapping their pencils and erasing answers. Every moment of his life carried a rhythm, a melody, and an emotion he could create with, and his notebook was becoming a testament to that. He played through everything he’d jotted down over the past few days, but after several rounds he kept coming back to one. It was a piano version he’d tried—and mostly failed—to create of one of the songs Will had played on a loop a few weeks ago.

“I’m getting ready to lock up!”

Mr. Robinette’s voice carried out of the office and into the band room. A few minutes and several jingles of Mr. Robinette’s keys later, the office door was shut and Lennox was closing the cover on the keys.

“That last piece you were playing, was it a cover?”

Lennox shrugged as they headed for the door.

“It was supposed to be. Didn’t sound much like the song.”

“Well, the others did. They were all really good, even the ones that weren’t covers.”

“Uh, thanks.”

Lennox watched him at the door to the parking lot for a moment. He’d been a great help over the last month—all year if Lennox was honest. Mr. Robinette had believed in him in his own way since school had begun, and thanks to him he had a decent shot at this audition.

“Thanks for… all of this. I actually feel like—just thanks.”

Mr. Robinette gave him a genuine smile and patted him on the shoulder.

“You’re very welcome. Let me know how it goes when you get back, okay? I’m rooting for you. Got all of my fingers and limbs crossed. You deserve the chance. Don’t doubt that or yourself.”

“I-I won’t.”

It was funny to have so many people believing in him after so long. Happiness was a strange feeling as well. Until he’d let Will into his life he couldn’t remember how to capture such a feeling in his chest and keep it there.

Thoughts from Author Zane Riley!

Hi! I’m Zane, and I’m a queer transgender writer from northern Virginia. Currently, I’m in the process of packing up to move to Washington state, so I’m pretty busy at the moment, but also very excited. I’ve been writing since I was a little kid, although I didn’t get truly serious about it until college when I switched my major to Creative Writing.

With or Without You is my second novel and a sequel to my first. It continues Will and Lennox’s story as they finish up their senior year of high school. As they begin to learn how to navigate their growing relationship, Will plans for his future in college while Lennox struggles to accept that his future is more than surviving until the next day. They each begin to forge their own paths only to realize that the futures they each want may lead them away from each other.

Tell us something no one else knows about your characters.
Will has never broken a bone. He sprained his ankle once in Little League, but that’s the worst injury he’s ever had. Considering how clumsy he is, it’s a miracle he hasn’t broken as many bones as Lennox.

Lennox, on the other hand, has broken close to a dozen bones. Most of those were fingers from when he was little and kept putting him fingers in places he shouldn’t. Like the line where the car door meets the body of the car. The others were broken ribs from his teenage years.

Have you ever had writer’s block? How did you overcome it?
I’ve had a few spats with writer’s block over the years. I know a lot of people keeping trying to force themselves to write through it and end up getting even more frustrated than before. Usually, once I recognize I have a block, I shut my documents, notebooks, etc. I don’t even consider writing. I go out and see friends or go outside for a walk when I’d normally be writing. Finding other activities, even a mindless video game, helps me decompress whatever’s blocking me. After a few days, I’ve usually found the root of the problem and can start writing again.

What book you’ve written would you like to see made into a movie?
With or Without You is only my second book, and it’s a sequel to the first, so my options are a bit limited, but I’d pick the second one. It has a stronger plot and a much more defined ending than my first novel. The movie would definitely have to be NC-17 though, ha ha. Can’t lose all the sexual moments in Will and Lennox’s story otherwise the whole narrative would change.

Do you work on an outline or plot or just let the story takes you where it wants to go?
I let the story take me wherever the characters want to go, especially with Will and Lennox. It’s a necessity with a character like Lennox. I’ve written other stories where I do a little bit to outline a basic structure, but a lot of the time, I spend enough time letting the story evolve in my head and then just write. In some ways, I guess I memorize the important pieces of what’s going to happen. It feels more natural for me to write from my own head than from a list on a sheet of paper.

My Review:
This is a book about two out gay teens in a small Virginia town. It’s the sequel to GO YOUR OWN WAY and I think I might have liked it better had I read the first book. It contains graphic scenes of homophobic violence as well as sex between two consenting 18 year old boys.

Lennox is a black, gay high school senior who has been quite literally abandoned by his family in rural Leon, Virginia. Lennox is a musical wunderkind, trained in music performance and composition by his musician mother, who took her own life when he was young. His father never recovered from that loss and drank himself to death, leaving Lennox and his younger, disabled sister, Lucy, in the care of their grandparents. When Lennox came out, his grandfather was very angry. Lennox was attacked by homophobes in his school, and he struck back hard; he was arrested and incarcerated in a juvenile facility where he was molested by older boys. He’s now on a monitored release program, with a leg monitor. His grandfather wants nothing to do with Lennox and arranged to leave him to serve out the rest of his time in Leon. Lennox lives in a ramshackle hotel that is more dangerous for having several other residents who are violent homophobes. Lennox has little regard for himself and is a brash kid, generally lashing out verbally at anyone who might attempt to get close.

Will is a well-liked out gay white boy who is a good student and star athlete. He’s never had a boyfriend, but Lennox has come to town and they are negotiating a relationship together.
***All of this occurred in the previous book.***

When this book opens it’s Thanksgiving, Will and Lennox are a sexually active couple and Will wants Lennox to leave his crappy motel to live in his house with his father and step-mother, Ben and Karen. They are cool with Will being gay, but Ben has problems with his son dating a black thug criminal, which is how he sees Lennox. Karen is a nurse, and Ben is rehabilitating from a heart attack. Despite Will’s desire to have Lennox move in, Lennox won’t–he can’t bear Ben’s scrutiny. That said, the homophobes attack, and Lennox has no choice but to accept Will’s help and Karen’s care.

Will is a bright kid with a bright future, and he wants to share that vision with Lennox. Despite Lennox’s penchant for self-loathing and self-sabotage, Will sees the best within him and encourages him gently, but steadily, to apply to music school. In Boston. It’s really far from Virginia, but won’t be too far from NYU, where Will is applying for college. Lennox is terrified to fall for Will and be abandoned again, but realistic about his inability to pay for any school, let alone music school. His grandfather’s paltry allowance barely kept him fed; it surely won’t cover tuition.

I think this book has some great moments of hubris and deep love. Ben recognizes his callous treatment of Lennox hurts his relationship with both Will and Karen. He tries to see the good in the foul-mouthed boy who makes no bones about all the sex he’s having with his son…which was something I found grating, as a reader. I surely wouldn’t want any partner of my children being so crass, and I get that it was a defense mechanism for Lennox–who learned to wear his sexuality as a protective suit–but it was too much for me. The constant baiting wore me out, especially as Lennox was quite literally co-habitating with Will in the basement. I found a lot of respect for Ben in growing past that to discover the tender side of Lennox. Lennox could learn a lot from the phrase: Gratitude is an Attitude…

There is no question that Will is gone for Lennox, and Lennox is slowly but surely able to reciprocate this affection. He has many challenges to overcome, and emotional intimacy is one of them. Another is a general absence of faith. He’s been abused so often, and abandoned by everyone who should have cared for him that he feels worthless, and unworthy of love. He’s blown away when Ben stands up for him against his grandfather’s venom. He’s mystified when kids want to be his friend. He’s flummoxed that a music school might accept him. All of this comes out as sarcasm, frustration and anger, because Lennox is prickly-by-nurture. I liked how Will’s constant affection and determination to ‘be there’ gave Lennox the strength to trust people, and himself.

Throughout the book, Will and Lennox build a stronger physical relationship. Will was a virgin when they had met, but that’s no longer the case. Expect plenty of how-to scenes, and many more deep-connecting moments. Will demands that Lennox look at him–see him–when they make love, because this IS love to him, and he needs Lennox to be engaged. It’s tender even when it’s tense. They have adventures in big cities, and giant dreams to chase. The book ends on a hopeful note, and with a promise to keep the story going.

For me, as a reader, I think this story jumped in too fast. I get that it’s a sequel, but I didn’t know any characters or any history, and too many giant things were happening in the first couple chapters that didn’t make any sense–having not read the first book. Others who have read that story will probably like the beginning, but it was a tough go, for me. Being a reader of many series, I always appreciate when there is a mingling of the history to properly orient me to what’s happening now, because it might be years between books–and I may have literally read hundreds of stories in the interim. Even with my excellent memory, I like a little backstory to get me into a book. So, that hindered my appreciation from the start. Lennox is a tough kid to like, by design. He’s belligerent and unconscionably rude. Even those closest to him are in his line of verbal fire, and it got to me. By the end, however, I could see him mellowing, and that’s a good sign that he’s growing up and out of his tantrum phase. It’s a testament to the strength of Will’s love that he never let Lennox rub him raw, and he never let Lennox give up on himself. Will is a great kid and his parents are solid support, for both boys. While I struggled to like Lennox, I swooned for Will. I’m hopeful that they each find a good path in the next book–which requires them to separate for college. There’s a lot of conflict inherent in that premise, and I expect that these guys will continue to be intimate with the phrase: the struggle is real.

Interested? You can find WITH OR WITHOUT YOU on GoodreadsInterlude PressAmazonBarnes & Noble, iTunesSmashwords, AllRomance, and Indiebound.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Interlude Press gift card or one of 5 e-copies of ‘With Or Without You’ by Zane Riley.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Meet the author:
Zane Riley is a transgender writer who wrote his first work of fan fiction in the fourth grade. He is a recent transplant to Vancouver, Washington where he spends his time watching long distance baseball games, hiking, and exploring the musical depths of the internet. His first novel, Go Your Own Way, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.

Catch up with Zane on Goodreads, Facebook, and twitter.

pride

Needing To Be ROPED IN–A Review

Hi there. Today I’m sharing a review for a sexy cowboy M/M romance novella from LA Witt and Marie Sexton. ROPED IN is an enemies-to-lovers story that pits a skittish closeted cowboy against an eager animal rights activist. Expect skilled roping, of the submissive kind….

Roped InAbout the book:
Graham and his roping partner, Jackson, have been friends since they were boys. They’ve ruled the rodeo scene for ten years running, but lately, Graham’s heart isn’t in the game. He’s tired of the bruises, the cowboy mentality, and the animal rights activists who picket every event. He’s also tired of being in love with Jackson, and nothing’s been the same between them since their disastrous drunken encounter the year before.

Then Graham has a run-in with one of the rodeo protesters, and everything changes. Kaz is young, idealistic, and sexy as hell. But he’s also a know-it-all, animal-loving vegan, bent on saving the world one cow at a time. They have next to nothing in common, but Graham can’t stop thinking about what might happen if they can stop butting heads long enough to give it a try. Unfortunately, no matter how attracted Graham is to other men, he always panics and runs when the clothes start to come off. But Kaz has an idea for getting Graham past his nerves and into bed.

All they need is a bit of rope.
(Note: This is a re-edited second edition of a previously published title.)

My Review:
I really enjoyed this enemies-to-lovers M/M romance.

Graham is a cowboy, or horseman, through and through. He owns his own horse ranch and training stable and competes in team roping rodeo events with his childhood best friend, Jackson. He’s long harbored a crush for Jackson, but he’s been surrounded by super-macho cowboys his whole life, and Jackson–despite one botched, drunken experience nearly a year ago–is staunchly hetero. Plus, there’s tons of homophobia in their circle. Graham is unwilling to come out, but–at 30 years of age–he’s tired of being alone. One major obstacle for him to overcome is his fear of intimacy. Methinks it’s some inbred self-loathing homophobia that keeps Graham from sealing the deal, but he’s never been able to have sex. He’s stricken by a panic attack anytime he gets close to a man–which is why his tryst with Jackson was aborted.

While out at an event, Graham is so upset by the animal rights protesters that are (loudly) picketing the rodeo and spooking his horse, he lights into one of the protesters, Kaz. And, bam! He’s never been attracted to smallish, academic-type men, but something about Kaz strikes an unexpected spark. Kaz later takes Graham up on his offer to meet at a local bar to actually discuss the issues the protesters have with the rodeo. This meeting is enlightening.

Kaz is a grad student learning all about non-profit management. He’s sickened by the inhumane activity of sport rodeo–particularly calf-roping. He agrees to meet Graham and is surprised it’s not a set-up for his own bashing. He hadn’t expected Graham would find him attractive. Graham’s anxiety intrudes, however, and it’s Kaz who takes Graham in hand, er, in rope. Yep, it seems Kaz likes a bit of kink, and Graham thrives under bondage and submission.

This isn’t all sweaty sexytimes, but, there’s lots of those packed into this short novel/novella. No, Graham has some reckoning to make with Jackson–who, man, I can’t give it away, but DANG! It’s so bittersweet!!! I need there to be some resolution to that situation.

Naturally, while Graham and Kaz are of single purpose in the bedroom, they are still divided on the rodeo issue. And, when Graham recognizes Kaz’s unwillingness to budge, he doesn’t bother to tell him when his own feelings change. It looks like Graham might be a forever single, but Kaz reaches out in a moment of equine need–and a new partnership is forged. One in which both Graham and Kaz can equally participate. I really loved how Kaz had to trust Graham’s knowledge and experience regarding the ethical–if sometimes dubious-appearing–treatment of horses. It was a moment of acknowledgement that Graham had doubted ever arriving. (Disclaimer, I’m not necessarily sympathetic to the Animal Rights Movement, so I really identified with Graham in these scenes.)

I so liked how these guys filled a need in the other, and expect that they will make it, though I really would have liked a longer story so I could see how they did fare after their reunion.

Also, I need Jackson’s story. So, uh, let me know when it’s written, k? K.

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

About the Authors:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Marie Sexton lives in Colorado. She’s a fan of just about anything that involves muscular young men piling on top of each other. In particular, she loves the Denver Broncos and enjoys going to the games with her husband. Her imaginary friends often tag along. Marie has one daughter, two cats, and one dog, all of whom seem bent on destroying what remains of her sanity. She loves them anyway.

Visit Marie’s website, follow her on twitter, friend her on Facebook, or join her for Coffee and Porn in the Morning.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Learning To Be FIERCE & FABULOUS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M romance from Elizabeth Varlet. FIERCE AND FABULOUS is a sexy match between an androgynous male dancer and a seemingly straight construction worker.

Catch my review and enter the giveaway for a chance to win $25 below!

Fierce & Fabulous (Sassy Boyz, #1)About the book:
The first book in a scorching new male/male series by Elizabeth Varlet. Behind the Sassy Boyz’s seductive smiles and sinful dance moves are desires that will leave readers breathless.

Fitch Donovan never thought a lap dance could change his life, but from the moment the gorgeous dancer’s lips touch his, his world comes screeching to a halt. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t shake the desire that rocks him to his core. He’s longed for this passion all his life—he just never dreamed he’d find it with another man.

Sharing a soul-shaking kiss with a straight boy is the kind of drama Ansel Becke just doesn’t need. Spotlights aren’t made for two and Ansel prefers to keep things on a one-night-only basis. So when Fitch shows up asking for an encore, Ansel knows he should send his gorgeous ass packing.

Though Ansel tries to pretend that what’s between him and Fitch is far from fabulous, there’s something about the big, burly contractor that makes Ansel’s world sparkle in a way no amount of glitter ever could. And Fitch will do whatever it takes to convince Ansel that when the thing you need most in the world falls right into your lap, you’d be a fool to let it go.

My Review:
This is the first book in a series that features a five-man gay burlesque-type dance troupe, the Sassy Boyz.

Fitch is out at a gay club in Manhattan celebrating his beloved (lesbian) sister’s 21st birthday when he’s struck by the beautiful lead dancer in a risque set. Fighting an attraction to an androgynous male dancer was not part of his designated driver duties…but his sis buys him a lap dance with Ansel, and that’s a worldview-shaking event for Fitch. Big burly and macho, Fitch’s never even fantasized about being with a man before; nearing thirty he’s been disappointed in love-a bunch. Still, he can’t get Ansel out of his brain.

Ansel Becke was a homeless teen, brutally abused by his German mother for his cross-dressing activity as a child. Unable to tolerate the abuse he ran away, turning tricks to stay alive on the streets. In the past five years he’s had some better turns, meeting four other out-gay runaways at a shelter and building the Sassy Boyz together has given him and income and a purpose. Still, the past never quite goes away; Ansel self-medicates with booze and drugs. Meeting Fitch is too good to be true. How could a decent man, a straight man, have a serious interest in a former hooker and current hedonist, amiright? It’s not like Ansel even screws the same man twice… Still, Ansel is intrigued by Fitch’s interest and sincerity. For a short time he even cuts out the booze–just so he can fully enjoy all of his delicious experiences with his enchanting construction foreman.

It seems like everything is going great for Ansel, really, he even reunites with his younger brother who seeks him out while on a trip to NYC, but it’s really too good to be true–in Ansel’s head. The past never really leaves us, does it? And for Ansel, his history is especially painful. I really loved how Fitch sought the truth of Ansel’s backslide. And, how he wouldn’t let Ansel’s self-loathing destroy what they had built. I was also really stoked that Fitch came clean about his new lover–even if that lover was a man–to his conservative friends and family. He acknowledged his bisexuality without being on the hook, at all, in many ways. The reaction of his confidantes was mixed, but not horrible. My god. When Fitch took Ansel to “meet the ‘rents” I just completely fell into everlasting love with Fitch. He’s the Best Boyfriend Ever. #Certified

This book sets the scene for four more books, I expect, one for each of the dancers in Sassy Boyz. The femme vibe is strong with these young men, and it’s an interesting dynamic. I liked how they all had an interest in women’s fashion and they seemed to be very well-recieved within their gay community. There was some bashing, particularly when Ansel sought out straight men while in his female attire and make-up. There are several plot threads open for conflicts in future books, but this one ends with an HEA. Expect Ansel and Fitch to make it happen and make it werk.
Or twerk.
Probably both.
Looking forward to the next book in this series!!!

Interested? You can find FIERCE AND FABULOUS on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC or a copy of FIERCE & FABULOUS!

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:

Elizabeth Varlet is a nerd at heart and spends way too many hours binging on episodes of her favorite television shows. If you love Doctor Who, Supernatural, Stargate, Star Trek, Sherlock, or Firefly you are already her best friend.

She started writing stories in high school and hasn’t stopped. Now, her characters like to get frisky under the covers – or the stars, they’re not picky. She’s a thirty-something, newly married, world traveler who devours books like they were candy.

You can catch up to Elizabeth online on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!