Knowing One’s Heart: THE LOVE SONG OF SAWYER BELL–A Review

Hi there! Today, I’m sharing a review for a recently re-released F/F New Adult romance from Avon Gale. THE LOVE SONG OF SAWYER BELL is a coming out story for a young violin virtuoso who’s fallen for a quirky singer that inspired her years before.

About the book:
Indie rocker Victoria “Vix” Vincent knows a good thing when she hears it. The moment Sawyer Bell picks up her fiddle, magic happens. Beautiful and wildly talented, Sawyer is the perfect match for Vix’s band—and, just maybe, for Vix. The dynamic in any group is a delicate thing, but with Sawyer and Vix thrown together on tour, it’s not long before the line between bandmates and lovers gets a bit blurry.

The indie rock life is not what Sawyer ever saw for herself. She worked hard to get where she is—in her second year of Julliard, with a bright future in classical music. But instead of spending her summer working and rehearsing, she’s on tour with her secret high school crush. And even though it was only supposed to be temporary, Sawyer feels like she’s finally found a place she belongs.

This summer with Vix has been like a dream. But every tour must come to an end, and when Julliard comes calling, Sawyer will need to make a choice: continue on the path she’s chosen, or take a leap of faith and follow her heart.

(This is a re-release from a new publisher, but the story has not been changed from the original.)

My Review:
Sawyer Bell is a violin virtuoso finishing her third year at Julliard. Unfortunately, her dream-come-true of a scholarship to her school of choice has fallen into the “be careful what you wish for” category. The music is amazing, but the competition is fierce–cutthroat–and Sawyer’s plagued by doubts for her future, if she even enjoys playing her once-beloved violin any longer. All thirs year students were supposed to audition for summer chamber ensembles that tour the US and internationally, and Sawyer, well, let’s just say she didn’t get the job. Instead, she went home to Tennessee and auditioned for a temporary spot in an indie rock/Americana band touring the US in a van for the summer. Just don’t tell her uber-proud parents who think she made the European tour out of Julliard.

Victoria Vincent, called Vix by her pals, is the purple-haired, pixie-height, lead singer and head lyric/music writer for her band–also named Victoria Vincent. Their brand of music is good enough to get gigs at nearly all the dive bars from Chi-Town to Tallahassee and they ain’t never seen nothing like sweet and talented Sawyer Bell before. Well, Sawyer and Vix had a glancing meeting back in high school when Vix–a surly, smoking, class-cutting, counter-culture gal half-heartedly urged Sawyer to show up her band bullies and make her music dreams come true…which led to the Julliard audition.

Vix is bisexual and Sawyer thinks she in lesbian–not that she’s had any practice at it. She’s only had one lover, and he was a big disappointment. Vix is game to have a little fun on the road, but she doesn’t want to mess up the band’s chemistry. They have been sounding pretty good, even if their crowds aren’t large. Vix has a bunch of history with lovers on the road–and lovers in her band, and while she’s grown a bunch since then, she’s a bit unsure of taking on innocent Sawyer. And, when both these ladies feelings get engaged.

It’s a sweet and sassy summer fling for Vix and Sawyer, but when the summer ends, can they walk their separate ways? I liked both Vix and Sawyer. They are great main characters with complex issues and struggles to battle. Sawyer’s young, but she knows what she wants–and it’s not more frustration at school. She’s admired Vix from afar, and she’s developed more than a bit of friendship on top of attraction. There are tense times, and Vix gets some much-needed advice from trusted former lovers, to grasp onto Sawyer and hold on tight because they got something special. It’s a cool experience, riding along on their low-budget tour, seeing the musicians battle to capture the interest of lackluster crowds and the respect of one another.

This is the beginning of a series, so I’m wondering who’s next in the band to fall in love. Sawyer replaced the fiddle player who’d gotten suddenly married, so I’m eager to see if Kit or Jeff are the next to find love. In any case, it’s a really engaging New Adult rock romance, and I’d eagerly read on.

Interested? You can find THE LOVE SONG OF SAWYER BELL on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

About the Author:
Avon Gale lives in a liberal Midwestern college town, where she spends her days getting heavily invested in everything from craft projects to video games. She likes road trips by car, rock concerts, thunderstorms, IPAs, Kentucky bourbon and tattoos. As a queer author, Avon is committed to providing happy endings for all and loves to tell stories that focus on found families, strong and open communication, and friendship. She loves writing about quirky people who might not be perfect, but always find a place where they belong. In her former life, Avon wrote fanfiction at her desk while ostensibly doing work in non-profit fundraising for public radio and women’s liberal arts education, and worked on her books in between haircuts and highlights as a stylist. Now she’s a full-time writer, delighted to be able to tell stories for a living.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Shifter Saturday with Tara Lain

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a double feature of M/M shifter novels from Tara Lain. Both books are part of the Harker Pack series and feature recurring characters, but can be read as stand-alones.

About the books:

The Pack or the Panther (Tales of the Harker Pack, #1)THE PACK OR THE PANTHER:

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

My Review:

Cole Harker is a pure blood werewolf, and alphanta (second in command) of the Harker pack in Connecticut. His pack’s territory is recently under attack from a NYC wolf, Nikel Eliazer. They want to control the whole of Connecticut, and the Harker pack is small and vulnerable to a hostile takeover.

The way Cole’s father arranges to strengthen his pack? A marriage alliance between Cole and the alpha daughter of the neighboring Marketo pack. Problem? Cole is an out gay male. For his whole life Cole has heard that there’s no such thing as a gay werewolf, but he begs to differ…he’s very much a werewolf, and just as much gay.

Turns out Annalise Marketo doesn’t want to marry Cole. Which is pretty crushing, actually. Cole was prepared to sacrifice his happiness for his pack, but Annalise?  Not so much. Luckily, Cole is comforted by Paris–Anna’s older half-brother who is, well, gay and a panther shifter. Paris is totally attracted to Cole (feeling = mutual) but Paris abhors pack-life. He doesn’t want to be tied down, much like the cat he is…

With the alliance in shambles, Cole endeavors to head off a war with Eliazar’s pack. When he discovers Eliazar has unholy designs on Paris, well, it’s a rumble. Especially when Paris goes missing!

Cole knows that he can’t keep Paris, but he is willing to spend whatever time he can with the alluring cat. Their connection is fast and fierce, though Paris refuses to commit. Cole? Jilted twice. Still, he recognizes Paris as his mate and will protect him to his dying breath. Super glad Paris got that memo before the final exhale.

Good action, a quickie connection that mellowed into a more mature love, and battles with foreign packs, homophobes and fear of public speaking abound. This is a super fast read with an interesting cast and delish sexytimes. I liked how Cole’s parents were sorry for forcing him into marriage–especially with a woman–and appreciated how open they became in the end. I liked Paris’s sassiness, but wished he’d been even a little compassionate to Cole earlier.

Interested? You can find THE PACK OR THE PANTHER on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press (<–Cheapest), Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Wolf in Gucci Loafers (Tales of the Harker Pack #2)WOLF IN GUCCI LOAFERS:

Socialite Lindsey Vanessen wants someone to love who will love him back — an impossibility for a gay, half-human, half-werewolf. Too aggressive for humans, too gay for wolves, and needing to protect the pack from human discovery, Lindsey tries to content himself with life as a successful businessman.

But when someone starts kidnapping members of wealthy families, Lindsey meets tough cop Seth Zakowsky—the hunky embodiment of everything Lindsey wants but can’t have.

Seth has never been attracted to flamboyant men. What would the guys in the department think of Lindsey? But intrigue turns to lust when he discovers Lindsey’s biting, snarling passion more than matches his dominant side. It might mean a chance at love for a cop in black leather and a wolf in Gucci loafers.

My Review:

I found I liked this book better than the first in the series. Lindsey is a sympathetic character–the socialite with a social conscience. He’s 24, wealthy and lonely. His family is very loving and he’s got close friends in the Harker pack–notably Cole Harker–but he wants a life partner. Wolves are very big on mates, and Lindsey is unapologetically flamboyant, which is just not acceptable to his fellow wolves.

He’d settle for a human, but, well, rules of the pack state that humans can never know of their existence, plus Lindsey always wishes he could be the rough, dominant animal he hungers to unleash in bed and humans are…fragile.

Lindsey’s secret isn’t only that he’s half-werewolf, he’s also a vigilante. Super Granny has been policing the streets saving victims of mugging and attempted rape. Now, there’s a kidnapping ring that’s been ransoming children from Lindsey’s country club and Lindsey isn’t willing to sit on the sidelines–not when Super Granny can save the governor’s daughter!

In the mix of this, Lindsey meets Officer Seth Zakowsky–a rough-and-tumble motorcycle-riding expert on kidnappers. Seth is gay, but not interested in a “queen”–well, not at first. Lindsey is thoroughly attracted and knows full-well that a butch man like Seth would never accept him, yet Lindsey’s throwing of attitude has the opposite effect. Seth sees him as brave and really admires Lindsey’s athleticism and kindness. Seth had been raised in lower class life, and Lindsey’s wealth is kinda off-putting, but the more time they spend the more Seth sees Lindsey’s altruism, and the more he wants that man, despite the neck-kerchiefs and purple Gucci loafers.

“Everything about you weirds me out.” Seth didn’t look up. Those bubbles must be mesmerizing. “Your fucking silk scarves and purple shoes. Your ‘darling’ this and ‘sweetheart’ that. I hate that shit.

Lindsey spoke softly. “It’s not necessary to elaborate.” He downed the champagne in his glass.

“But then you get on that fucking horse as all I see is that ass and those thighs and I wish I was fucking Trigger. You’re pretty as a damned girl, but you command people like the king of something.”

Lindsey’s heart hammered in his chest.

“You’re confusing.” The gold eyes lifted slowly. “But I must fucking love being confused because I think about you all the time. I get horny in the middle of the damned day when somebody says your name. ‘Lindsey Vanessen volunteered to pay the ransom.’ Sprong. ‘Lindsey Vanessen will be attending the governor’s meeting.’ Hard-on. Crap, I may be confused about who you are, but I don’t know me at all.”

He could barely get the words out. “So wh-what are you saying?”

“That if I had my way, I’d be having you for dinner, and they wouldn’t let us back in the country club.”

There’s some complications–not the least of which is Seth uncovering one of Lindsey’s two major secrets–and a rather big kerfuffle. Spoiler: two break-ups here, and both are settled by outside forces.

I loved Lindsey, and really enjoyed the pace and action of this book. Cole was a great friend, and the intervention on Lindsey’s behalf to create the HEA was Pretty-Woman-ish in impact. Plus, the stage is set for the homophobic issues that come up in the next book, WINTER’S WOLF.

Interested? You can find WOLF IN GUCCI LOAFERS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press (<–Cheapest), Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Tara LainAbout the author:

Tara Lain never met a beautiful boy she didn’t love – at least on paper. A writer of erotic romance, mostly ménage and male/male, Tara loves all her characters, but especially her handsome heroes. A lifelong writer of serious non-fiction, Tara had the first novel she ever wrote accepted for publication in 2011. She’s now on book 27 and counting.

After an exotic life of travel all over the world and work in television, education and advertising, Tara settled in Southern California with her soul-mate husband and opened her own small marketing business. She paints, collages, and started practicing yoga “way before it was fashionable”. Passionate about diversity, justice, inclusion and new ideas she says on her tombstone it will read, “Yes”.

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

Anywho, thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

More Than TEMPORARILY YOURS–Review and Giveaway!

TY_BlogTourBanner copyHi there and welcome to my stop on the TEMPORARILY YOURS blog tour organized by Inkslinger Tours. For more information on the tour click here. Today’s book is a steamy contemporary romance from best-selling author Diane Alberts.

This soldier’s the perfect hoax…if she doesn’t fall for him first.

Stats whiz Kayla Moriarity knows her way around numbers and algorithms. Men, on the other hand, are unsolvable equations. Now Kayla’s en route to her sister’s wedding—without the fictional boyfriend she invented for her family. Fortunately, her plane comes complete with complimentary cocktails and a ridiculously hot ex-marine in the seat beside her. And that’s all it takes for Kayla’s inhibitions to go sailing out the airlock…

Cooper Shillings has soft spot for people in trouble, but he certainly wasn’t expecting to land in it himself—and definitely not while getting naughty mid-air with a sexy southern belle. When he hears Kayla’s predicament, however, he offers his services as a stand-in boyfriend. After all, he’s heading overseas soon…and how could he refuse a little no-strings wickedness?

It’s the perfect plan. And all Kayla has to do is ensure her family falls for the ultimate bluff, without falling for it—and Cooper—in the process…

My Review:
I’ve read a bunch of veteran love stories this year–men suffering PTSD coping in bad ways, men adjusting to prosthetic limbs being afraid to commit–and so I wasn’t really sure what I’d get with this book.

I’m SO glad it was fantastic.

Sure, Cooper Shillings has a guilt complex that’s driving him back to the frontline–this time as private security not as a combatant–but he’s setting all his emotional baggage aside for the weekend. This stunning gal he met at the airport is worth a bit more time. Her quirky attitude and knock-out looks draw him in so close he springs for a first-class upgrade just to share a few more hours with her.

Kayla Moriarty is an independent gal. She doesn’t NEED a man, and she’s not willing to settle–but her parents hound her relentlessly to Find. The. Guy. Overwhelmed, she concocts an imaginary boyfriend just to appease them. Heading home for her younger sister’s wedding, Kayla knows she’s got some ‘splaining to do. However…the delicious man seated beside her is offering to be her temporary boyfriend. Hang out and answer all the countless questions Kayla herself would have to field is she shows up stag.

Did I mention they are practically combustible with each other?
Holy cow. Not even sure a C-class fire extinguisher could quell their heat.
The smexytimes are superb. And liberally applied, folks. Bam-chicka-wow-wow!

Of course, neither of them is looking for a commitment. Kayla’s flying back to Maine after the weekend, and Cooper’s leaving for the Middle East a day later. Yet, their fake relationship edges ever closer to the real deal. Getting wrapped up in Cooper is one step Kayla will take–if Cooper lets her.

Cue the dramatic breakup.

Then, cue the leading man stalking Vanna White to buy a freaking clue and realizing he’s not the colossal failure he’d built up in his own mind. And, boy does he face his own fears to win Kayla back.

This breezy book will fill a cold afternoon with hot lovin’ and warm fuzzies. HEA guaranteed.

Interested? You can pick up TEMPORARILY YOURS at Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. It’s currently on sale for $.99, so skedaddle!

DSC_8100_4x6About Diane Alberts:
Diane Alberts is a multi-published, bestselling contemporary romance author with Entangled Publishing. She also writes New York Times and USA Today bestselling new adult books under the name Jen McLaughlin. ON ONE CONDITION hit #18 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list, and TRY ME hit #76 on Amazon. CAPTIVATED BY YOU hit #31 on the Barnes and Noble bestseller list. Diane is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.

Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author.  Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, a cat, and a Senegal parrot. In the rare moments when she’s not writing, she can usually be found hunched over one knitting project or another. You can find her on her website, twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

Click the Rafflecopter link below to win
a beautiful TEMPORARILY YOURS necklace and a $20 Amazon Gift Card!
(This contest is international.)
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Good luck, and, as always—keep reading my friends!



I’ve had this talk with you folks before. About Kendall Grey and her erotica genius. STRINGS was a killer read.

And, the sequel BEATS released last week?

Lightning damn well struck twice.

It is not for the tame, nor timid–though it’s not nearly as down-n-dirty as STRINGS. Mostly because Jinx isn’t one-tenth the potty-mouth-sex-fiend that Letty was.

So, what happens?

If you’ve read STRINGS, you know Killer Buzz Float drummer Jinx Hardwick has it bad for bandmate Toombs Badcock (yes, the name is significant. Lord, the things men can do to embellish their, their…things!)

Problem? Toombs comes as a package deal with another member of the band, Rax Wrathbone. Yeah. Toombs is a sub to Rax’s Dom. Poor Jinx. But, Rax has an idea. A dastardly plan to let the rather-timid-Catholic-good-girl Jinx have a piece of Toombs–all she has to do is share him with Rax.

One night, two men, no inhibitions.

Jinx would never agree to such a plan, normally. But she knows her inability to write new songs is linked to her frustration over Toombs. The band is set to record it’s first demo for the record label but Jinx’s creative block is killing their chance. She won’t get paid if she can’t contribute, and her large family is counting on some money now that Mom lost her job. With her position in Killer Buzz Float on the line if she doesn’t get her beats down, Jinx opts for this one night. It’s hot and wet and Jinx nearly steals Rax’s lovely sub Toombs away. Nearly.

He and Rax have been together for a loooong time.

The heartbreak would have Jinx looking back through her rearview if only she had a place to go. Learning Jinx’s family is on the brink of bankruptcy Rax offers another exchange. Even more nasty than the first.

Jinx will do anything to help her family. Even trade her body out to Rax. Maybe.

Good thing, right? Nope. No upsides to this plan.

And, yet, it all turns out exactly as we’d want.

I’m so glad to say that I loved this sequel. It lives up to the promise of STRINGS yet sets it’s own tone, own pace. Jinx is a fantastic POV character.  We feel the anguish she lives each day, watching her love find pleasure in others, or hearing how her family is so close to the financial brink and knowing she just can’t help. BEATS is more of a deep-tissue erotic massage than it’s big sister, STRINGS, but just as captivating.

You can find BEATS in the usual spots…

 photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg  photo 111AD205-AA04-4F9E-A0F4-C1264C4E9F30-1855-000001A1E8CEB6D7_zps9b730b94.jpg

If you pick it up, let me know your thoughts in the comments!


Inseparable banner

Hey there! Today I’m hosting my first Book Blitz for Inseparable by Missy Johnson
Release Date: 05/14/13

Summary from Goodreads: Can you imagine losing your twin?

Nineteen year old Lily is still struggling with the death of her identical twin, Abby, a year later when she moves away from home for college. Even in death though, their bond is still strong, with Abby visiting Lily in her dreams.

When a chance encounter with twenty-one year old Dane Hansen changes Lily’s life, Lily’s friends warn her off becoming involved with Dane. He’s bad news, according to the rumors, anyway.

Dane has experienced loss himself, he understands Lily, and the more time he spends with her, the harder he falls. There is something he hasn’t told her though, something almost nobody knows, and it’s something that might stop Lily from feeling the same way.

Abby holds the key to something that will change Lily and Dane’s life forever, but how do you get someone else to believe something you don’t quite understand yourself?

INSEPARABLE is available on Goodreads, Kindle, Nook, Book Depository, and Kobo–pretty much anywhere! How convenient 😉

inseparableLast I checked, Kindle and Nook editions were $.99, but if that price doesn’t entice, check out these excerpts:

Excerpt #1

The worst thing, apart from the obvious, was seeing my sister fade away before my eyes.

Looking at Abby was like looking into a mirror, identical in every way, from our long blonde tresses, right down to our emerald green eyes and our curvy silhouettes.

After her diagnosis, the weight dropped off her, her eyes lost their sparkle, and her hair slowly fell out leaving a shadow of who she once was. I’d look at Abby and I’d feel guilty.

Why wasn’t I sick? Why had Abby been given such a horrible sentence?

Why did she deserve to die and not me?

Every day following her death, I’d look in the mirror and see Abby. I’d see the Abby I knew before she got sick. The Abby that was full of life, stuck deep inside her sick exterior right up until the moment she died.

Excerpt #2:

“Don’t you make your bed?” I laughed, raising an eyebrow at him. He shook his head proudly.

“You know, research has shown there is actually less bacteria in an unmade bed when compared to a made one.” He said, brushing the creases out of the sheet.

“Is that your idea of foreplay?” I giggled, “Woo me with your bacteria talk, Dane. It really turns me on.” I said in my sexiest voice. He blushed, then pulled me into his arms, caressing my face.

“Are you making fun of me, Lily?” He asked, teasing me with promises of a kiss. My lips lurched forward, trying to catch his. He was too fast for me, pulling away, with a sly smile. Then leaning in again, and pulling away. “Still want to make fun of me?” He murmured, his eyes narrowed.

Really? He thought he was the one with the power here? He was about to learn a valuable lesson. I pulled out of his embrace, circling him around the room until I was up against the bed.

“You don’t want to kiss me, Dane?” I pouted, tilting my head to the side, my hands threatening to undo the second top button of my shirt. Eventually, it popped open, giving him an eyeful of breast.

He breathed in sharply. “You’re not playing fair, sexy.” He muttered, as he slowly walked closer to me. I let his arm slide around my waist, and eyed him with caution as he brought me flush against his body. I narrowed my eyes at him as he ran his finger down the middle of my chest, opening the third button. I shivered as he ripped the final buttons apart.

Looks like Missy Johnson can bring the heat!

About the Author:

Missy Johnson lives in a small town in Central Victoria with her husband, and her confused pets (a dog who think she’s a cat, a cat who thinks he’s a dog…you get the picture). When she’s not writing, she can usually be found looking for something to read.

Check her out on Goodreads, Twitter or Facebook if you’re an author-stalker, like me.


One signed copy of Inseparable and 5 e-book copies of Inseparable (INT) 

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