Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford

SloeRideLGSloe Ride by Rhys Ford
Series: Sinner’s, Book Four
Release Date: September 4, 2015
Pages: 246 • Format: eBook
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

three-stars

Yeah, so that’s my annoyed face.

Just this once, and instance would have I liked the mystery aspect to be gone. I love Rhys. We all know it. I just felt like it needed to be repeated in case someone was doubting My Queen. With that being said; Why were alllll these extra folks in this story? Excuse the eff out of me, but can Quinn & Rafe get some time together. I mean, Damn. I am not happy. I’m not happy with the progression of the plot. Really??? Quinn out of all people. I didn’t find that funny or nice at all. What really is my issue is the “alluded” to story line. I don’t do well with it. You know why? Because I’m not in Rhys fabulous head so I don’t know the issues that we are referring to. I felt like because these are the only two in the series with a background that Quinn should have got prologue as well. It’s nice to see some of Rafe past indiscretions, but Quinn, and everyone else knew things I felt like the reader should have known as well.

No people of Zoolander, I can’t read minds so I’m right along with you with trying to figure out Quinn’s “problems”. Eventually I kinda figured it out and certain things were told. I still feel like the two main characters were cast B in their own story. And again, What the hell, Morgans? I know Quinn is the sensitive soul in the family, but cuddle him much? They didn’t give him space to breathe. I felt protective over him as well. Not one chance was he able to go to someone, instead they descended on him like a flock of birds!!!

**Sidenote** I love the magpie nick name, and the coffee store name!! Rhys is amazing,and her love for my two favorite historic romance mm authors is uber fantastic!!

I can put away all my disdain for the plot, the family, and the illusions, because at the end of the day Quinn & Rafe together were amazing. They fit perfectly. I’m telling you this as a straight contemporary with the mystery would have been freaking amazing.I can feel it. I just know it would be. I liked seeing Rafe get his redemption, and even when it was on the line his first thought was whatever Quinn needed he was first. Gah! They were adorable and that made me happy in the midst of this semi-ranty review. LOL. It wouldn’t be a Rhys book for me without the tears. That conversation Quinn had with his mother left me in tears. Looking forward to the next book. I liked this book, but felt like my guys were second in their own story.

Not cool.

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Tequila Mockingbird by Rhys Ford

TequilaMockingbirdLGTequila Mockingbird by Rhys Ford
Series: Sinner’s, Book Three
Release Date: June 27, 2014
Pages: 250 • Format: eBook
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

Lieutenant Connor Morgan of SFPD’s SWAT division wasn’t looking for love. Especially not in a man. His life plan didn’t include one Forest Ackerman, a brown-eyed, blond drummer who’s as sexy as he is trouble. His family depends on him to be like his father, a solid pillar of strength who’ll one day lead the Morgan clan.

No, Connor has everything worked out—a career in law enforcement, a nice house, and a family. Instead, he finds a murdered man while on a drug raid and loses his heart comforting the man’s adopted son. It wasn’t like he’d never thought about men — it’s just loving one doesn’t fit into his plans.

Forest Ackerman certainly doesn’t need to be lusting after a straight cop, even if Connor Morgan is everywhere he looks, especially after Frank’s death. He’s just talked himself out of lusting for the brawny cop when his coffee shop becomes a war zone and Connor Morgan steps in to save him.

Whoever killed his father seems intent on Forest joining him in the afterlife. As the killer moves closer to achieving his goal, Forest tangles with Connor Morgan and is left wondering what he’ll lose first—his life or his heart.

four-stars

Okay so with all the over the top drama happening in this book it still managed to be my favorite of the series so far. Gosh, I wanted to gush all over the place. I love Connor. I mean, I can’t wait for Quinn’s book because he’s calling to me, but in between time I loved Connor. I loved Connor and Donal. Donal resonates with me so much because he reminds me of my Father in Law. The quiet storm of a man, who’s peaceful and comforting when you need him. He doesn’t say much, but when he does it hits you square in the chest. I just enjoyed his talks with his children, and I’m in for tears in Quinn’s book because I expect so much.

“He haunts me, Da. Worse than a sunburn I cannot wait to heal but at the same time tightens my skin so I can’t not feel him. I see him, and I want to touch him, to hold him, because I don’t think he’s been held enough or been told someone cares about him. He’s had a shite hippie who took him in off the streets and who probably loved him but didn’t give him any kind of self.”

Okay now for this book. Jeez Forest!! He’s been through alot, and after all of that he can still laugh. Sure this was very insta-love. The entire series has been insta-love for me. I’m okay with it, not use to it in Rhys books but I’m fine with it. In fact, I love how Connor went to his dad. That conversation about him emulating the man he wanted to become did me in. I was a crying fool. I am happy to see good representation of fathers who love their sons beyond their sexuality. I think Rhys does a good job for her characters who lack their birth parents, by giving them the world’s best surrogate family members. Forest is every type of guy I like to read. He’s broken but willing to get himself back together. He got hurt bad, and no one has been able to love him like Connor as. I felt for Forest because his entire short life is more than what most people go through. I think he was waiting on Connor finding him and loving him that’s all.

I mean he started hooking at a young age with his mother, who was suppose to care for him. In turn her lack of love, led him to Frank. A hippie man who decided he had enough love for Forest. Sure the mystery was alot to deal with. I mean, we never caught a break. Just once I would have liked to see the two spend some time together on page without the destruction in their lives. It worked out sure for everyone, but this moved faster then I expected. I guess I can’t complain much because I read it in one sitting and never looked back. Please book god let Quinn’s story be emotionally painful for me, and let his family gather him up and love him.

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Sinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford

SinnersGinLGSinner’s Gin by Rhys Ford
Series: Sinner’s, Book One
Release Date: December 24th 2012
Pages: 260 • Format: eBook
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

There’s a dead man in Miki St. John’s vintage Pontiac GTO, and he has no idea how it got there.

After Miki survives the tragic accident that killed his best friend and the other members of their band, Sinner’s Gin, all he wants is to hide from the world in the refurbished warehouse he bought before their last tour. But when the man who sexually abused him as a boy is killed and his remains are dumped in Miki’s car, Miki fears Death isn’t done with him yet.

Kane Morgan, the SFPD inspector renting space in the art co-op next door, initially suspects Miki had a hand in the man’s murder, but Kane soon realizes Miki is as much a victim as the man splattered inside the GTO. As the murderer’s body count rises, the attraction between Miki and Kane heats up. Neither man knows if they can make a relationship work, but despite Miki’s emotional damage, Kane is determined to teach him how to love and be loved — provided, of course, Kane can catch the killer before Miki becomes the murderer’s final victim.

four-stars

I’ve had this book since 2013, and I finally read it in 2014. Originally I gave it 3.5 stars, and I don’t think I was invested in it all the way because of my love for Cole. I never wanted to give all my love to another character of hers because Cole is special to me. Well fast forward to 2016 and Rhys Ford has me email address BITCHES!!! HA!!! She asked me if I wanted an arc of Absinthe of Malice, and I was playing it cool like sure I’d love a copy. LOL. Internally I was fangirling big time!! I hadn’t read the series so I decided I was going to read the series up until the arc is due. I started reading, and then tearing up for Miki, and then really enjoying this much more then the first go around. I paid attention to more things, and I really like the pacing of the story. I loved the growth of the relationship between Miki and Kane. It was totally special to see Miki open up and trust Kane. He has a history with people doing him wrong, and outside of the band and Edie no one seemed to care about him. My goodness my tears and feelings were all over the place at certain times in this book. Goodness, I didn’t expect my emotions to be like this, but who am I kidding? It’s Rhys Ford.

“Oh Miki love, I more than need you. You’re my temptation. My sin. I’ve got no intentions of being anywhere but next to you. We Irish? We like bathing in our sin.”

Loved the mystery aspect of the story. That’s actually my favorite parts because they mysteries are always well written. This is definitely heavy on the past abuse and features some trigger warnings. Goodness the Morgans are an awesome clan, loved Kel and Casey as well. I liked that Kane didn’t fight his feelings for Miki and even if it was a tad insta love which is a first for me by Rhys I enjoyed it. I liked that Miki couldn’t do anything but accept Kane, his words, those baby blues and that clan. Special place in my heart for Donal for sure!! That ending though, I’m so looking forward to book two now. I need to know what happened.

I kiss him. That’s not something I even thought of before, and now I can’t imagine my life without it.

About Rhys Ford

Rhys Ford was born and raised in Hawai’i then wandered off to see the world. After chewing through a pile of books, a lot of odd food, and a stray boyfriend or two, Rhys eventually landed in San Diego, which is a very nice place but seriously needs more rain.

Rhys admits to sharing the house with cats of varying degrees of black fur and a ginger cairn terrorist. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird, a Toshiba laptop, and an overworked red coffee maker.

Book Blast: Imperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote

960x350

Excerpt:

Luckily there were still some parking spaces outside the church hall where Maggie’s choir met. John made sure they arrived a little early so Maggie wouldn’t have to walk too far. She was managing well on one crutch, but she still tired easily. After he parked, he got out and hurried around to help her out of the passenger door.

“Thanks, love,” she said, patting him on the arm. “I can manage now.”

A vicious gust of wind whipped a strand of hair into her face. It was dark, still sleeting, and probably slippery underfoot. There was no way John was going to leave until she was safely indoors. “I’ll just see you inside. Let me take your bag.”

Maggie let him have it without argument, and he popped it over his arm. He hovered close to Maggie as she made her way slowly to the double doors. He held one open for her and was hit by a blast of warm air. Then he accompanied her inside as she crutched along the corridor towards an open door. Yellow light flooded out, and the sound of a tenor voice singing “I Can See Clearly Now” raised the hairs on the back of John’s neck with its pure, clear beauty.

“I thought you said the emphasis was on fun rather than perfection?” he said quietly. “He’s got quite a voice.”RC

“That’ll be Rhys, our choir leader,” Maggie said with a smile. “Come and meet him, even if you’re not staying.”

Maggie paused when she reached the doorway and put a finger to her lips. They listened and waited for Rhys to finish singing. John peered over Maggie’s shoulder, hoping for a glimpse of the man the voice belonged to. Rhys, John presumed, was alone in the room. With his back to the door, he stood at a table pushed to the edge of the room, shuffling through some papers as he sang. All John could see of him was that he was small and slight, and quite young, based on the cut of his clothes. A hood covered his hair.

When he finished, Maggie started clapping.

Rhys wheeled around. “Oh my God! You made me jump.” He pushed his hood down and his face lit up as he beamed. “Maggie. How are you?”

John’s eyes widened as he took in Rhys’s front view as he approached Maggie and gave her a careful hug. His hair, which was shaved at the back and sides, was long on top and dyed peacock blue. His eyebrow was pierced, his arms were covered with tattoos, and the front of his T-shirt was emblazoned with a glittery equals sign in rainbow colours. All in all, he was at least twenty years younger than John had expected and completely unlike how John would have imagined a choir leader to look. In this dingy church hall in their small market town, Rhys looked like a bird of paradise that had accidentally ended up in a cage full of sparrows.


ImperfectHarmony_FINALImperfect Harmony by Jay Northcote
Release Date: 
April 15, 2016
Pages:
189 • Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Published By: 
Jaybird Press
Purchase Links:
AmazonAmazon UK Global 

Imperfect harmony can still be beautiful…

John Fletcher, a former musician, is stuck in limbo after losing his long-term partner two years ago. He’s shut himself off from everything that reminds him of what he’s lost. When his neighbour persuades him to join the local community choir, John rediscovers his love of music and finds a reason to start living again.

Rhys Callington, the talented and charismatic choir leader, captures John’s attention from the first moment they meet. He appears to be the polar opposite of John: young, vibrant, and full of life. But Rhys has darkness in his own past that is holding him back from following his dreams.

Despite the nineteen-year age gap, the two men grow close and a fragile relationship blossoms. Ghosts of the past and insecurities about the future threaten their newfound happiness. If they’re going to harmonise in life and love as they do in their music, they’ll need to start following the same score.


Tour Dates & Stops:

BadgeParker Williams, Divine Magazine, Happily Ever Chapter, BFD Book Blog, Bayou Book Junkie,

Oh My Shelves, Gay Book Reviews, Man2ManTastic, Andrew Q. Gordon, QUEERcentric Books,

The Hat Party, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Unquietly Me, Bookaholic Confessions,

Full Moon Dreaming, Molly Lolly, Alpha Book Club, My Fiction Nook, Dawn’s Reading Nook,

Velvet Panic, Attention Is Arbitrary, Open Skye Book Reviews, V’s Reads, Multitasking Mommas,

Louise Lyons, Kirsty Loves Books, MM Good Book Reviews, Foxylutely Book Reviews,

Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Inked Rainbow Reads, Outrageous Heroes,

Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow

Final

GIVEAWAY RULES:  Entries are allowed on each of the blog tour stops, but you can only win ONCE. If you win a backlist copy with Oh My Shelves, you cannot claim a winning prize at another blog.  Copies of Imperfect Harmony are NOT permitted for the giveaway. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Jay Northcote

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with his husband, two children, and two cats. He comes from a family of writers, but he always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

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

Jay writes contemporary gay romance about men who fall in love with other men, usually set in or near her home town of Bristol. He enjoys the challenge of bringing the men in his head to life through his words. Jay has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and he also publishes his own titles under the imprint Jaybird Press. Some of his books are now available as audiobooks.

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

Pop Life by Ryan Loveless

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

PopLifeLGPop Life by Ryan Loveless
Release Date: April 13, 2016
Pages: 200 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazonARe

2nd Edition

Andrew writes the songs everyone sings along with on the radio—tunes full of love, longing, and heartbreak. He has a knack for tapping into emotions, but when it comes to his own, the feelings aren’t so easy to manage. Sent to New York City to work on Irish singer Paeder Brogan’s first solo album, Andrew is caught in the middle of a boy band’s infighting and secret love affairs while battling the memories of his last trip to the Big Apple, which ended when English pop star Jamie Webster drunkenly kissed him.

Andrew’s heart leaps when he discovers he’s staying at the same hotel as Jamie, yet he doubts Jamie recalls him, even though Andrew wrote his biggest hit. Jamie remembers him, though, and he seems to think Andrew is the only person who can save him from his downward spiral. Even as his feelings for Jamie swell, Andrew faces the real threat that the maelstrom he’s walked into will pull him down alongside Jamie.

First Edition published by Silver Publishing, 2011.

four-stars 

This was my first Ryan Loveless and I am hooked on her writing.

Pop Life… this book was what I needed after coming off a funk where I thought my reading mojo was gone. It wasn’t gone, it was just waiting for a book to come alone and make me fall in love again.

Pop Life takes place in 1999 and I really enjoyed the past articles from fan magazines etc. that we got. They lent to the story with a sort of authenticity to keep bringing you back to the reality that these men, they all live in a world that really is held to a different standard because of celebrity status. Not that it’s right nor wrong, just different.

Told from the POV of one Andrew Bennett, we meet him as he is discussing the travel arrangements to New York with his writing partner Michael. Andrew and Michael are a successful song writing duo who are now at the beck and call of boy band, Icon’s member who is branching out and going solo. Paeder, the boy bander going solo has requested Andrew’s presence and Andrew just happens to be needed in New York for his cousins wedding, so off he goes.

When Andrew is picked up in New York by Russell and Keelin, the other boys in Icon they pass by numerous posters announcing a concert for Jamie Webster. From here we begin to get the small back story of Andrew and Jamie. How Andrew and Michael wrote a hit song for Jamie, how Andrew met Jamie backstage at the Grammy’s and how a drunken kiss changed everything for Andrew.

On the surface this book can seem pretty light but there are other issues lurking, some between the line,  that bring about angst teetering on depression. Andrew is dealing with the decline and end of his marriage and how he never put his wife, Kate first. He loved her from when they were very young and always wanted her but once they were married, his career took off and Kate, was often pushed to the background. She’d accused him more than once of loving his career and his partner Michael more than her and one night, she walked out.

Andrew is also dealing with his sexuality and how one kiss from Jamie can bring up memories of other boys from his past. Andrew never declares his sexuality through the book, nor do the others who are obviously bisexual with their actions and I really liked that. There was never an issue of having sex with a man or woman for Andrew, Paeder or Jamie, it’s just how they were. I think the fluid sexuality though the book was a major plus for me.

Anyway, back to the story.

So Andrew is in New York checking into his hotel and he is told he’s been assigned to private floor by someone. That someone shows up in the elevator with Andrew and surprise, surprise it’s Jamie. I adored these two from the get to. They were adorable with one another, how they flirted yet were so sincere and honest about where they stood. Jamie has a lot of issues he’s dealing with and Andrew is the one that he trusts, the one who makes him feel safe and well… the one, if only he’d let himself go completely.

I loved being in Andrews head and I loved the way he saw Jamie. Andrew is a good guy and although he wants Jamie, he tries to put up boundaries with him while trying to pull him in closer. The realtionship with Andrew and Jamie was not an easy one but I fell hard for it. I liked Jamie too. I liked the way he felt he knew Andrew through the songs he wrote for him and how they made him want to know Andrew better. I love music and I can tell you there are songs that move me, that as cheesy as it sounds touch my soul and I can’t imagine meeting the person or persons who wrote that. When songs are emotional, when they have that depth… yeah, that is something and I love the “gift” Jamie gives Andrew.

I don’t know if it was just the right time for me to read this but I couldn’t put it down. I have a soft spot for stories about addiction, regardless of the drug chosen and feel that the addicts and the ones who choose to love them, are a special breed. Does that makes sense? Oh well, to me it does.

There are a few side stories within this story that bring drama to the table. For me, I loved the wicked weave of lies and mistrust between Jeff, Jamie, Keelin, Russell, Diane and Paeder. I guessed one deal early on but the rest of it, I just let it play out on the page and hoped that someone in this group would get their crap together.

Goodness.

I’m rambling and the word count it getting higher so I’ll stop now.

Pop Life… *sigh* I really, really liked this story that was more than a romance between two men. It was a complex character study of celebrity in a way and a study of those who are committed to their jobs and to those they value. It’s a story of trusting the wrong people and keeping them around for convenience or habit and ultimately having both diminish your self-worth. It’s a story about failing, about forgiveness and the fortitude to put yourself out there and give it all another try.

About Ryan Loveless

Ryan Loveless is a farmer’s daughter. She has a BA in English from a private college in Illinois and a master’s degree in library and information science with an archival certificate from a university in New York. Raised in a conservative family, she was shocked and relieved when her coming out was largely uneventful. She has been writing since she could read and has always drifted toward M/M because she enjoys the relationship dynamics. It’s possible that her first story was about GI Joe. She wishes she still had that story.

Black Dust by Lynn Charles

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Black Dust 900px COVER (web Tumblr)Black Dust by Lynn Charles 
Release Date: April 7, 2016
Pages: 312 • Format: eARC
Published By: Interlude Press
Purchase Links:
InterludeAmazon ARe • Indiebound • Smashwords • Barnes & Noble iBooks • Book Depository

No matter how busy he keeps himself, successful Broadway musician Tobias Spence can’t outrun the memory of a tragic car crash from his past that claimed a friend’s life and permanently injured his former boyfriend, Emmett.

Even after losing Tobias, Emmett Henderson made peace with that awful night, living in his Indiana hometown where he has become a revered choral director. When his students are asked to perform in New York City, he decides to chance reconnecting with his former love, if for no other reason than to get a proper goodbye.

When Emmett and Tobias finally meet 15 years after parting ways, it is clear to both of them that their feelings for each other have not changed. As they explore their renewed relationship, the two men face old hurts and the new challenges of a long-distance romance. Will Tobias lose his second chance at love to the ghosts he can’t seem to put to rest?

three-half-stars

I was on the fence about asking for this book. I went back and forth about 5 times because I decided. I’d never read anything by this author but the cover kept calling for me. I’m glad it did, because I liked it. Do you ever get ragey mad when reading a book? I do all the time. I get so angry at the characters that I want to DNF a book. This book made it to my hulk rage stage. I was so angry at Tobias, and honestly I don’t know if I like him. Black Dust could have been a 5 star read for me. It lacked the emotional response to be that was needed with this second chance love trope. It was really good writing, and I enjoyed the story. But a select few emotional feelings wasn’t good enough to give it 5 stars. Certain areas of the book I could see where people would get emotional and connect with these characters. I felt like the emotional parts weren’t executed well. It’s like the cues were off for reader to book. I didn’t connect emotionally and for an emotional reader like myself it’s needed. Another thing that took away from the story was the music as a main character. I love that it’s the focal point for Emmett and Tobias. It’s where their love started and ends. It was so such a big component and for a person that isn’t musically knowledgeable it took away from the story.

“Without a hurt, the heart is hollow.”

Onto what I loved. Emmett. Emmett, and more Emmett. The man is such a good person. Gah!!! Everything about him worked for me. Here’s where second chance love stories work. Emmett who has forgiven Toby for everything including the accident and walking away was able to try. It was Emmett saying the past is the past, and I’m looking forward to the future. Everything about him as a character was what I love about reading. He is content with his life now, and yes wants Toby in it. I loved that he didn’t give up, even after Toby walked out again. I liked that he was brutal and relentless towards Toby. I love that he owned his despair in his life. He owned up to not being okay after the accident, not living his hopes and dreams. I love that he handled it. It’s not cute, easy, rainbows or sunshine. It was hard work, and he had people in his life to help him through it, but mainly he had himself. Toby has been running away from his self so long. I felt bad for him, to not have any roots down due to his grief was overshadowing everything. I’m writing this and realizing it was an emotional read for me because I was angry most of the time. I was angry at Toby for hurting Emmett, and hurting himself as well. I was angry at Tobias for walking away like that. I was angry for not giving Emmett more of himself, and mostly I was angry at him for not being able to forgive himself. I had to realize, that I can’t dictate a person’s grief. I have to realize that just because I felt like he needed to come to terms with it doesn’t mean that he needs to it. Things happen in people’s life when it’s meant to me. I enjoyed this author’s style of writing. I look forward to more from her.

About Lynn Charles

Lynn Charles earned her degree in music education and for many years performed and directed choral music. When she’s not writing, she can be found strolling through local farmers markets near her home in Central Ohio in search of ingredients for new recipes. Her novel Chef’s Table was published in 2014 by Interlude Press.

Simple Things by Kade Boehme

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Simple thingsSimple Things by Kade Boehme
Release Date: March 14, 2016
Pages: 108 • Format: eARC
Published By: Kade Boehme
Purchase Link:
Amazon 

Carter Darling’s life has been a whirlwind since his mother was elected to senate when he was a teen. From private school to joining the military, he tried to make his own path while making as few ripples as possible. But an injury forced him to figure out new goals for his life. After his parents are involved a sex scandal, he decides to go back home to Tennessee to get some distance and out of the madness.

He didn’t figure on Jeremy Beck returning at the same time.

Jeremy’s finally past the rich boy angst that made for some dramatic teenage years, but he hasn’t earned back much respect from his parents playing in an indie band. Now, his band’s on hiatus and Jeremy’s looking for space from his unhealthy non-relationship with a band-mate so returning home to figure out his next step seemed like the way to go.

Their initial reunion is awkward, Carter still hurt by their last meeting and Jeremy trying to convince himself Carter’s still just his sister’s closeted little friend. But when they open up to one another again and decide a staycation fling will be a nice distraction, they may get more than they bargain for.

For two guys who’ve had so much drama in their lives, it’s surprising to find that sometimes love is found in the simple things, simple times. Who knew?

four-half-stars

This was my first read from Kade Boehme and I was not disappointed. I was looking for a book that would give me the feelings I love when reading romance and Simple Things delivered.

Told from dual POV’s we meet Carter Darling as he is packing up and leaving his current living situation and life that has become way too public. Carter is the son of a senator and his parents have been engaging in activities that have put his family in the public eye which Carter finds contradictory to his life. You see, Carter isn’t out as the proud gay son of Senator Darling, nope, Carter is the good boy whose military career was cut short, got into boxing as a way to rehab an injury and now going to college and yet… Yet, his parents apparently couldn’t keep it in their pants and now there is damage control to be done and Carter… is… done. He wants to get away from it all and decides to take a semester off and go back home, back to where things could be simple.

Ahhh the simple life. Let’s say we will explore that quite a bit in this book and I love it.

I have a thing for unrequited love stories. Probably because I was the queen of them as a young girl and my first unrequited love in the 6th grade is now my husband of 15 years. So, yeah. I love the idea that you can get the one you used to crush on so hard and end up happy.

Now, Jeremy. Goodness dude you just about killed me. I mean, one of the first things you say when we meet you is calling Carter the endearment of, Red. As a ginger myself and a girl with that same nickname AND a sucker for endearments, you had me wrapped around your tattooed fingers in a snap. Yup, I dug you dude and then I got into your POV and, sigh.

I loved the back story of Jeremy and Carter and it was told so well. We learn that Carter wasn’t just the pesky friend to Jeremy’s younger sister Sarah but that he held a place in Jeremy’s heart, Jeremy himself wasn’t even fully aware of. Carter, oh my fellow ginger, your hero worship of Jeremy and your crush hit me in the gut. I have a love/hate relationship for how you held yourself, your sexuality and your relationships in check because of your parents but I can’t hate on it too much, it led you back to Jeremy and all the things you do.

Okay, I have to get this out because it was unexpected… the sex in this is hot. It’s hella hot and hella dirty and can someone give a girl a fan, a drink and maybe some more? Good lord. I love it when sex gets messy, gets dirty and not just the talk though the talk is dirty too. (I am totally singing Christina Aguilera right now…) This just felt, I don’t know raw and real and isn’t that how sex is supposed to be?

Anyway, let me get off that now. NOT like that, get your mind out of the gutter or just come down to the gutter and join me because thinking of certain dudes in their naked glory floating in a pool and what happens around the pool, just took me way down to the gutter of perpetual smut.

Back to the romance because the romance was so freaking sweet. I simply adored the relationship growth between Jeremy and Carter and how family dynamics plays into their romance. The men, they just gave me all the right feels at all the perfect times and I was in love.

Simple Things is not such a simple a story. There are layers to be pulled back with Jeremy and Carter with new subjects to deal with but as we see each one, they are dealt with respectfully and beautifully. This book, it was more than I expected and I now know that Kade Boehme is a wonderful story teller of romance, of relationships and of the human spirit. Oh and again, he writes some dirty AF sex.

 

About Kade Boehme

Kade Boehme is a southern boy without the charm, but all the sass. Currently residing in New York City, he lives off of ramen noodles and too much booze. He is the epitomy of dorkdom, only watching TV when Rachel Maddow or one of his sports teams is on. Most of his free time is spent dancing, arguing politics or with his nose in a book. He is also a hardcore Britney Spears fangirl and has an addiction to glitter.

It was after writing a short story about boys who loved each other for a less than reputable adult website that he found his true calling, and hopefully a bit more class. He hopes to write about all the romance that he personally finds himself allergic to but that others can fall in love with. He maintains that life is real and the stories should be, as well.

Night and Day by Rowan Speedwell

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

NightandDayLGNight and Day by Rowan Speedwell
Release Date: March 9, 2016
Pages: 52 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
DreamspinnerAmazon • ARe

2nd Edition

Nate Pederowski is about as far down as he can go when he’s tipped to a job as a singer in a speakeasy. Dishonorably discharged for being queer, broke and homeless during the Great Depression, Nate is embittered and lonely. The club’s handsome owner, Rick Bellevue, and his sister Corinna are wowed by Nate’s voice and offer him the job.

But the Starlight Lounge is much more than an ordinary supper club, and Rick and his sister much more than just the owners. It’s not ’til Nate gets caught up in a gangster’s plot that he discovers just what secrets they’re hiding. Nate’s life is going to change in ways he can scarcely imagine, let alone believe.

First Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010, in the Myths and Magic: Legends of Love anthology.

four-stars

Wow. This was not what I was expecting and that is a good thing. Though I should have paid attention to the above note on it being a second edition and where it was first published, I am glad I glossed over that and just enjoyed the story as it presented itself.

From the dedication of the book I felt emotion and a connection but once I got into the story, I kinda got sucked in and transported back to the 1930’s and the world of speakeasies, prohibition and the mob.

Told from the POV of Nathan “Nate” Pederowski, we meet him as he is auditioning for a gig as a singer for the Starlight Lounge.  Nathan is down on his luck; dirty, hungry and in need of the basics to stay alive when a friend and manager tells him about the job. When Nate walks in and nails his audition with singing a bittersweet song, he is thrust in to the post-Depression world of the lounge life and into the strange relationship of the brother and sister duo who own the club.

From the beginning you know this story is different. There is a feeling, an uneasy and yet unrelenting feeling that though something is not as it seems, you need to know what it is.

 

“How the hell did I end up here?”

“Because you belong here…”

 

This story has a dream like quality. Maybe it’s the way it’s told, second person present tense, or maybe it’s the unique quality of the characters, either way it’s engaging and different than what I expect.

I thoroughly liked, Nate. His backstory is heartbreaking and I was not prepared for the feelings I got with such a short story and yet there were there punching me in the chest. I liked Nate and how he liked Rick and I liked that Rick was a man who could set the sheet on fire… *nods* Oh … Rick and Coco, our brother/sister team are magical, for lack of a better word and while you begin to realize just what they actually are, the story takes a twisted turn and I felt Nate’s reaction.

Once you’re in the music, you can open your eyes, but you don’t see anything; you’re blind with love and passion. It’s as pure as a homecoming, as hot as sex; it’s everything you need and have lost and found again. You let the passion burn through you until there’s nothing left, and the notes of the song drain from you whatever has been keeping you on your feet …

On a personal note, the music for me in this book was lovely, it reminded me of listening to jazz, big band and crooners with my father. His musical taste is something that stuck with me from the young age he first shared it opening my eyes, to today as a woman in her late 30’s. The music, it made me miss my dad who passed away 17 years ago this February but it made me cherish the all too inadequate time I had with him.

About Rowan Speedwell

An unrepentant biblioholic, Rowan Speedwell spends half her time pretending to be a law librarian, half her time pretending to be a database manager, half her time pretending to be a fifteenth-century Aragonese noblewoman, half her time… wait a minute… hmm. Well, one thing she doesn’t pretend to be is good at math. She is good at pretending, though.

In her copious spare time (hah) she does needlework, calligraphy and illumination, and makes jewelry. She has a master’s degree in history from the University of Chicago, is a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, and lives in a Chicago suburb with the obligatory Writer’s Cat and way too many books.

Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

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Love Me Tenor by Annabeth Albert
Series: Perfect Harmony
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Pages: 266 • Format: eARC
Published By: Lyrical Press, Kensington
Purchase Links:
Kensington •  Amazon ARe B&N 

There’s no way he’ll shake this off…

Trevor Daniels is feeling aimless. A recent college grad, he’s not sure what to do with his useless degree, and his family all but abandoned him after he revealed the truth about himself. But a friend’s suggestion that he take his chances on a reality show aimed at finding the next big boy band strikes a chord with him—until the show’s producers convince him to act like he’s in a relationship with a guy who’s not at all his type. It isn’t exactly love at first sight for Jalen Smith either—but lust just might push them in an unexpected direction. If only their secrets weren’t even more twisted than their sheets, threatening to cost them the win—and each other…

five-stars

Annabeth Albert is quickly becoming a sure thing with me. I haven’t read a book by her I haven’t adored and Love Me Tenor will not be the exception. I loved this book. These boys made me hug my Nook to my chest and sigh numerous times. This was what I was looking for and I didn’t even know I was looking.

Having met Trevor in Treble Maker, we know a bit about who he is and the deal with his family. Well fast forward to Trevor about to graduate college and being weeks away from being homeless. He gets a call from Dawn about a new singing competition show that is different from what he had on Perfect Harmony. New Direction is all about the bands and a new kind of competition but there is a catch, the boy band Trevor is put on is all about the gay boys and sweet love. Say what now? Yeah, that’s what Trevor thought too but all he really heard was room/board and singing so he agrees. When we gets to Vancouver to begin shooting though, he gets caught checking out the hottie in the waiting room and surprise… the hottie is not only on Trevor’s boy band team but the hottie, aka Jalen, is to be Trevor’s pretend boyfriend.

You heard that right. Pretend boyfriends.  AHH YEAH!

So, the boys are not only told they have to be pretend boyfriends but they are told they are sharing a room since the other couple in their group, Carson/Carter, are sharing and I about died when they get their room. This book was so much damn fun I can’t control the smile that is on my face right now. It’s ridiculous and it’s almost as contagious as the virus that kept me from reading this sooner or faster than I wanted.

Trevor… that may be your angelic look on the cover but ooh boy, angelic you are not. You my dear boy have a deliciously dirty side to you and I loved it. I loved how strong you are even when you don’t see it and I love how deeply you love. How much you want and when you finally let yourself fly, in every way, it was stunning.

Jalen… what a surprise you were and I could not get enough of you. I adored your need to fix, help and take care of people. I loved that you were hooked on Trevor from the get go but attempted to make yourself hold back and I loved that you suck and holding back when it comes to Trevor.

You know what’s hard for me? When I love and click with a book so much, I can’t seem to get the words out to describe why I liked it so much. I will say that I loved the communication in this book. Holy Hell the communication was gorgeous; from song selections to sex to just everything, Jalen and Trevor talked and it was great. They are so young but have been through so much and they talk and they listen and it works so very very well for them.

The relationship was a joy to watch blossom and grow. Jalen and Trevor really complement one another in the best ways and while they hit a rough patch, that communication comes up again and they make it work.

Though you wouldn’t know it from the cover nor the blurb, I loved that this was an interracial romance that didn’t make a big deal about it even though it’s kinda a big deal. You know? In a time where folks are demanding diversity in their romance, this squeaks under the radar in a way that just says “Hey this is a book and both MC’s aren’t white and that’s just the way the story goes.” I loved that about the book and I loved how the boys talked about them being an interracial couple but when they talked… they were just them, no labels, simply Jalen and Trevor who were falling so deep in love even the Bee Gee’s would think it was sugary sweet.

Love Me Tenor kicked the idea of a sophomore slump to the curb and sent it on its merry way. This may just be better than the first with it’s maturity, sensuality, kink in the making, communication and just everything. Yeah, this was good and I am gonna go hug my Nook again and sigh over my highlights while I attempt to not become a stalker waiting for book three. I mean… we were made to think the boy was straight. *rubs hands* I need that book, like now!

 

About Annabeth Albert

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

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