Strays by Garrett Leigh

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.

Strays: by Garrett Leigh
Series: Urban Soul #2
Release Date: March 27th, 2017
Pages: 249 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Work, sleep, work, repeat. Nero’s lonely life suits him just fine until his best friend, Cass, asks him to take on a new apprentice—a beautiful young man who’s never set foot in a professional kitchen. Despite his irritation and his lifelong ability to shut the world out, Nero is mesmerised by the vibrant stray, especially when he learns what drove him to seek sanctuary on Nero’s battered old couch.

Lenny Mitchell is living under a cloud of fear. Pursued by a stalker, he has nowhere left to run until Nero offers him a port in a storm—a job at the hottest restaurant in Shepherd’s Bush. Kitchen life proves heady and addictive, and it’s not long before he finds himself falling hard and fast for the man who has taken him in.

Fast-forward a month and a neither man can imagine life without the other, but one thing stands in their way: a lifetime of horrors Nero can’t bring himself to share with Lenny. Or can he? For the first time ever, happiness is there for the taking, and Nero must learn to embrace it before fate steps in and rips it away.

four-half-stars

 

 

Oh my goodness, this book was amazing!!!! I loved every single minute of it. Leigh packs a healthy punch of angst in her for those lovers, but it was non-angsty enough for me to enjoy it. I mean let’s be honest here who does flawed characters like Garrett Leigh? NOBODY! She is Reigning Queen and this book solidifies it. I thought I could pick it up to start reading to take my mind off things, but I ended up reading the entire book in one sitting. (NTS: go back and re-read Misfits)

Lenny & Nero were so good together. I can’t stop gushing about it. What is it about grumpy ass men? I’m so attached to them. At first grump glance, Nero was mine. He just wants to be in the shadows and maintain a kitchen, but he can’t. LOL. Well he can, but he realizes really late in life how amazing he is. He is the team of a-holes, but with his past its no wonder why. Realizing his sexuality and never acting on it is driving him part mad when in flounces Lenny. Pretty Lenny, who I adored and who adapted to this new situation. I really loved Lenny. He was going through a traumatic experience but was able to mold into something new for himself. The attraction to one another is pretty obvious. Its definitely a waiting game to see who is going to fold first. I didn’t care at this point. Feelings were being made, angst was being dropped, but when moves were made and action was had in this story. It was great seeing Cass, Tom & Jake from Misfits. Loved how they all fitted so well within this book.

Both guys have some sort of trauma that they are dealing with. Lenny’s is most recent, and Nero is in the past. How can he help Lenny, and still deal with his monsters in the dark? I like that Lenny kinda reinforced to Nero that the communicating is a 2 way street. If you want to know all of my flaws, and scares then give up yours. It was a lovely for me to have the emotions that I did have, but I think once again its why I like Leigh’s books. They are definitely realistic and very much you can know these characters off hand in one way or another.

Strays is a definite recommend for me. You can read it as a standalone, but why do that? If you are looking for great writing, and an equally amazing story then pick this book up. You will not be disappointed!

 

signature-fonts

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Darkness by Kate Sherwood

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.

Darkness: by Kate Sherwood
Series: Common Law #3
Release Date: March 6th, 2017
Pages: 189 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

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

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

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

 

four-stars

GRRRRRRR…… My frustration is so out of here with this series. I might have blue balls reading this series. You know what I hate more then no sex in my books, I hate FADE TO BLACK SEX. I’m not one to need the sex, the romance might suffice enough for me, but the motherf***** UST has been off the rails so far. Goodness, I made a promise to myself if it isn’t any on page sex in the next book then Sherwood and I are done. I can’t keep up with the frustration levels that she gives me.

Book three picks up right along with the events from the previous two books with the same shady characters, crimes, Alphabet agencies around, and Wade Granger. I can’t wait to dive into the last book, because I hope my thoughts about him are proved true. Jericho acted really green during certain scenes in this book. My frustration with him almost costing the case was small compared to my reaction to the fade to black action. I knew Will was innocent, there was no freaking way he did it.

Jericho has finally pieced information together surrounding his father’s death. He has come to the realization about his career and his feelings for Wade. Wade who bothers me with his smarmy face and kindness at times!! Ugh, I totally wanted to strangle both of them. I liked the case alot, it was interesting enough, but I do feel like it wasn’t answered in the how. I know who the killer was, but I wanted it laid out, and it kinda ended abruptly on that front.

Despite my rage and feelings, it was still a good story, and I enjoyed seeing these together. Hopefully by next book I’ve read enough smut to last me over while reading this. Another good installment of the Common Law Series. A definite recommend.

About Kate Sherwood

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

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

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

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

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

Wanted, A Gentleman by K.J. 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.

Wanted, A Gentleman: by K.J. Charles
Release Date: January 9, 2017
Pages: 155 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
RiptideKobo

By the good offices of Riptide Publishing
KJ Charles’s new Entertainment

WANTED, A GENTLEMAN
Or, Virtue Over-Rated

the grand romance of

Mr. Martin St. Vincent . . . a Merchant with a Mission, also a Problem
Mr. Theodore Swann . . . a humble Scribbler and Advertiser for Love

Act the First:

the offices of the Matrimonial Advertiser, London
where Lonely Hearts may seek one another for the cost of a shilling

Act the Second: a Pursuit to Gretna Green (or thereabouts)  featuring  a speedy Carriage
sundry rustic Inns  a private Bed-chamber  In the course of which are presented Romance, Revenge, and Redemption Deceptions, Discoveries, and Desires  the particulars of which are too numerous to impart

four-stars

So I enjoyed this but didn’t love it. Yeah, me didn’t love it. I haven’t read many KJ Charles books where I didn’t love them, but this was missing something. I don’t know if they adventure took up much of the story whereas the romance side got kinda pushed to the way side, and the ending was rushed. I am feeling a little cheated by the ending. It does not seem very KJ Charles-ish to me. I could be wrong and be super picky because I adore her writing and characters.

I really enjoyed the fact that Martin was based on a real person. I love that she did the background information on the actual person and equated it into a possible love story-ish. Martin is a free man in 1805 London. There he is treated with a certain dignity and respect seeing as he is an educated free man with his own businesses to attend to. He has a relationship with the family that purchased him, and freed him. He has all these internal feelings about it. Should he be friendly? Is it morally right? What does he stand to lose if he cuts off the relationship? Whatever you can feel, Martin is currently feeling it. When the family in questions asks for his help in saving their daughter. He agrees to it, only for extreme loyalty to the daughter. After all he’s known her since she was born, and never had a bad thing to say about her. Enter one Mr. Theodore Swann. The owner of newspaper advertisement for lonely hearts.

Theo is lonely as well, but it pays the bills. He’s also an undercover author who uses a pseudonym to write. His job is to print ads to the lonely heart people. When Martin storm his office, its like lightning struck. Okay, that could have been my interpretation. LOL. Theo is immediately attracted to Martin, but personality they seem to clash. I did like the adventure to the story, and figuring out the whodunit or if it’s true. It seemed shorter then other books, or maybe it was fast paced. I would have liked the romance side of the story to be prolonged, and I’m not happy at all at the ending. It was rushed, and I think we were cheated. I would have loved Martin & Theo to talk and get to know each other so more onscreen. I wanted to see them in a different atmosphere without the actual plot hanging over their heads.

All in all, this was a pretty good story! I enjoyed Martin & Theodore’s tale of the lonely hearts meeting. I think KJ did a good job with the time period, terminology and setting. I always love her authenticity of her stories. I look forward to more from her, and I can recommend this title. Charles usually flavor and style is definitely here.!

About K.J. Charles

KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group, or email her at kjcharleswriter {at] gmail {dot} com. She is represented by Deidre Knight at The Knight Agency, and published by Samhain and Loveswept.

Friendly Fire by Cari Z.

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.

cariFriendly Fire: by Cari Z.
Release Date: October 17, 2016
Pages: 252 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Elliot McKenzie is the king of reinvention. Five years after losing his job and his lover and almost going to prison, his self-help program, Charmed Life, is more successful than he’d ever dreamed. He thinks he’s put his sordid past firmly behind him, until he starts receiving cryptic threats . . . and realizes it might not be as over as he’d hoped.

Security expert Lennox West has been lost since a deadly skirmish in Afghanistan led to his forced retirement from the Army. His PTSD makes helping his ex raise their daughter a challenge. When his ex’s sister asks him to set her boss up with a security system, Lennox isn’t expecting anyone like Elliot McKenzie—a man who captures his attention and makes him feel relaxed for the first time since leaving the service.

But Elliott is dangerously stubborn. Even as the threats against him escalate, he refuses to involve the police, and Lennox fears that stubbornness could kill him. A battle of wills ensues that brings them closer to each other than either man expected. But if the threats turn real, they might not live long enough to get their future together.

three-half-stars

The only thing that saved me from DNF the book was my need to see the end through. I liked the first half of the story, the two bad people were obvious, or at least one of them was. I enjoyed the writing a lot. It pushed me through the end. At the end of the story, I don’t know if I like the relationship. They didn’t really bond for me. I guess I wanted more passion from the couple and that’s what I found that was seriously lacking! I liked Lennox a lot and kinda loved his name. (It went on my future’s children name list)! I like Elliot for the most part, but I hated his job. It bothered me more then the story. I felt like we were leading up to this amazing story line and it wasn’t apart of the story. I didn’t like his career from the get go, but it became the focal point of why these two guys were together and I don’t get a glimpse of what Elliot does to make it special. Another thing was the getting to see him and Vanessa together. That bothered me. I wanted that scene for myself since Elliot cared so much about letting things happen to him just so Vanessa career wouldn’t get hurt.

I can’t speak for other readers but I look for things I can relate to in novels. I like the realistic idea that Elliot screwed up in life so he is atoning for his mistakes by not being a burden to his sister. Yeah, he had some really crazy things happen to him, but he was so worried about messing up Vanessa’s life that we get word of mouth instead of the actual scene. I’m greedy, I guess I wanted to be able to relate to him in some sort of fashion. I wasn’t to thrilled about the outcome.

Lennox was the type of person that you need to warm up to. He kinda comes of stand offish, but I like to call that “gentlemanly stoic”. He seems like to be in a difficult head space in life. I don’t really know the time frame from him being out the military to present day now. He seemed to be atoning for mistakes he things he’s made, but that’s one thing we don’t get to see about Lennox. I feel like his story wasn’t finished. He didn’t get enough personal screen time to me, and I wanted him to come to terms with his own grievances. It’s a part in the book where he is telling Elliot about his reassurances and atoning for prior mistakes. I don’t know if that was a light bulb moment for Lennox, but it didn’t seem he got the closure to me.

All in all, this was an okay read. I enjoyed the writing way more then the execution of the story. I don’t think it gelled well after the 50% mark. I really would have liked one trope to have been the main focus. Instead, I feel like the mystery/suspense as in competition with the romance side of the story. I will definitely check out more from this author though.

About Cari Z.

Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She feels like Halloween should happen every month, which is why you get this picture of her, and hopes that you enjoy reading what she’s put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

Interborough, by Santino Hassell

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.

tinoInterborough: by Santino Hassell
Series: Five Boroughs, #4
Release Date: October 24, 2016
Pages: 249 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

The Raymond Rodriguez from a few years ago wouldn’t recognize the guy he is today. He’s left his slacker ways far behind him and is now juggling two jobs and school. But the balancing act doesn’t allow much time for the man he loves.

David is doing his best to be supportive, but problems at work and his own insecurity leave him frustrated—in more ways than the obvious—whenever he goes to bed before Raymond gets home. The heat and affection between them is still there, but they barely have the time or energy to enjoy it. And it doesn’t help that Raymond is still hiding David from his colleagues.

The stress mounts so high that a vacation in paradise is filled with turmoil instead of harmony, and culminates on their return to the five boroughs with broken promises and heartache. They have to figure out how to stop allowing their differences to overshadow their love. It’s the only way they’ll make it to forever.

four-half-stars


Don’t even look Raymond’s way. I got this.

Listen up folks, when Sunset Park came out, I saw all the negative comments about the couple. I didn’t argue with anyone, everyone had a right to their own opinion. I’m okay with you not liking Rayvid together. Perfectly fine in my world. It takes alot of emotions for me to fall in love with a character. I literally will read their story a bajillion times throughout the year. My list is 5 guys. It’s never changed for the last 5 years maybe. It’s always Zsadist, Zane, Reyes, Vadim, and Cole. It’s been these 5 forever. When I read Sunset Park, Raymond literally crawled under my skin. He imprinted on my soul. That’s the only honest way to describe the feeling I get when I talk about Ray and read about him. I have to tip my hat to Santino Hassell. The man can write. It’s beautifully flawed. His story telling, his realism, and his emotions are so powerful that you can do nothing but show the man some damn respect. It’s only a handful of authors who can read series and all be high 4 and 5’s. It’s not easy and you might get bored with the same story just regurgitated. I’ve had this book for a while, and it took everything in me not to crack it open. I wanted it to be fresh for release day, and get to openly discuss with my peers all the growth we see in these characters.

It’s been almost 2 years since David and Ray got together. There’s been growth that we can see on page for both guys. I loved Ray’s transition to being “an adult”. He went from everyone providing for him to holding down two jobs and going to school. I loved seeing his passion about being his own man. David is still there, going through the motions with his career that left him feeling uncertain. I really like David. He’s someone who lives in his head, and I know plenty of people like that. David needs constant reassurance about their relationship. I actually felt David was right. He had plenty of reasons for why he felt the way he did. The biggest problem in their relationship was the lack of communication. It’s authentic. Sure having sex feels good for that moment of time, and afterwards but you problems come back big time. I feel like the stress of life got to these two.

Hassell wrote a book that everyone should be able to relate to. Hell I had these problems in the beginning of my relationship. Going to school and work, leaves your love life feeling destitute. I really enjoyed seeing all the different cast of characters. Loved seeing more of Ray’s friends, and even Michael and Nunzio. This was an appropriate representation of a relationship in the real world for me. Can I say it was perfect? No. I wanted to throttle both of them on numerous times, was I happy with the outcome? Yes!! Did I cry? Fuck yes. Was it another baby makers? Check back with me in 9 months for certain.

All in all, I truly loved this book. It’s possible my love for Raymond overlooks everything. I can see myself re-reading it that’s for damn sure. I had some good times with this crew, and how about that epilogue? Oh my goodness, I definitely cried. It was amazing. I highly recommend this series. I think you’ll find yourself enraptured by these characters from book 1 up until now.

About Santino Hassell

Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.

Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of queer fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

Rented Heart by Garret Leigh

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.

Title:Rented Heart by Author: Garrett Leigh
Release Date:Sept 12, 2016
Pages: 228 • Format: eARC
Published By:Riptide
Purchase Links:
Riptide

Ex-surfer-turned-businessman Liam Mallaney moved back to Holkham, Norfolk, to mourn the loss of his husband. Grief and loneliness keep him a solitary figure, and he likes it that way. There’s no room in his broken heart for anything else.

Rentboy Zac Payne left London and most of his demons behind, but he still only knows one way to make a living. When he spots Liam in a club one night, it seems he’s found his mark. But Liam proves nicer—and their connection far deeper—than he’d bargained for.

Their arrangement quickly becomes too complicated for Zac, who has other things on his mind: namely his BFF and wayward flatmate, Jamie. Zac owes Jamie the world, and even as Jamie’s drug addiction destroys all they have, Zac won’t leave him behind.

Besides, Liam knows nothing of Zac’s home life, too caught up in his own head to think much beyond the crazy heat he and Zac share. But when trouble comes to Zac’s door, putting his life in danger, Liam must set his grief and anger aside to pick up the pieces of Zac’s shattered heart and his own.

four-stars

 

This was a really good solid story from Garrett Leigh. I enjoyed it alot, and I thought it was the right amount of angst, love, redemption and acceptance.

I requested this book off the author’s writing ability and this beautiful cover. I adore the story. Rented Heart is the story of two lonely guys who aren’t looking for love, but happen to fall in love. Liam is dealing with the death of his husband. He’s lonely and doing everything in his power to stay to himself. He’s grieving and decides to relieve himself of some stress and loneliness and meets Zac. Rentboy Zac who is just trying to survive another day and not think about the past of his old life in London.

Leigh’s writing is truly magical, and the one thing that I’ve noticed in this book that we don’t see in a lot of gay romance is Kindness. They were both nice to each other. It wasn’t the same ole be mean to the rent boy, or the rent boy doesn’t need saving. Liam didn’t try to save Zac not one iota. He wanted a friend, who happens to need help. I appreciated the generosity that Liam had, and I appreciate the way Zac was with them. It was almost timid like in manner, but them being nice was a breath of fresh air. I liked that Liam saw Zac, not as a whore but as a person.

“..there’s not much I wouldn’t pay for the privilege of spending a few hours with you.”

This quote damn near did me in. Liam might have been lonely, but he wasn’t bitter. He was focused now that he got a burst of freshness being around Zac. I don’t even think it was the sex. I think it was having someone around for him to be himself, and to be there for someone else. This story being told about rent boy redemption was uplifting and about self-worth. Liam kept reminding Zac that he wasn’t a whore. I think for Zac he was really worried if Liam’s feelings for him can be true or be because of him being lonely. This is why I’m super proud of the age-gap. I think Liam was mature enough to teach Zac certain things, and be a friend then try to change him. I am gushing over Liam that’s all. I damn near fell in love with him all over.

Zac also has his fair sure of issues. He is enabling his best friend. They’ve been in this lifestyle so long that boundaries get crossed and friendships get blurred. I wouldn’t change a thing between Zac and Jamie. They are who they are for a reason, and if all of this had to occur just for them to get an ounce of happiness then I’m game.

This is a must read for people. I liked it alot, and always seem to get a get read from this author. It was the right about of angst, and love for me. I even was able to not cry! I know, me who cried at everything she writes. I recommend this to everyone!

“Don’t rent your heart out for nothing when I reckon you’ve both been through enough to deserve a hell of a lot more.”

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Starting New by S.C. Wynne

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.

StartingNew_600x900Starting New by S.C. Wynne 
Release Date: August 8, 2016
Pages: 196• Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide

Life hasn’t been good to Francis Murphy. He’s survived twenty-one years of homelessness by hooking and taking handouts where he can find them. When the local shelter is vandalized, he’s forced to seek food at the Grace and Light Church, where he runs into the pastor’s son, Randy.

Randy Wright believes the best in others. He’s immediately drawn to Francis, even though Francis is hardened and wary. When Francis is attacked by one of his johns, Randy and his family take him in and offer him temporary work. Randy always thought he was straight, but something about Francis has him yearning for more than just friendship, and realizing he might be bisexual.

Francis is attracted to Randy too, and Randy and his parents say they’ve always believed in gay rights. But talk is cheap. What are the odds that these Christian parents will remain open-minded when it’s their own son in a relationship with another man?

two-stars

BORED

I literally felt like this the entire story. I honestly want to take away my rentboy redemption tag!!! He wasn’t even an authentic rentboy. Listen, I expect my rentboys to really bring the pain, and emotions when I read their stories. I’m sorry, Francis was no where believable for me to be as a rentboy. I didn’t like Randy. Maybe if he was older and not the same age as Francis I could have liked him, but every time he opened his mouth I literally wanted to gag. The religion aspect of the story was okay. It wasn’t pushing the religion onto Francis. I did like the acceptance of that, but it’s all I liked in the story.

The biggest problem was that the connection both guys had with each other seemed force or of convenience. It wasn’t a real thing. It didn’t feel real. Randy almost none existent feelings towards guys just poofed into existence once Francis started living with them. I’m all for exploring new things, but I’m not okay with Randy actions. Call it inexperience, or just being young but to insult someone constantly, then offer money to them for services rendered seems so counter-productive to me.

I’d like to have seen some of Francis’s back story. I mean if hooking is just what he wanted to do, then i’m all for it. He seemed so lacksidical the entire time. Most rentboy stories, they are all emo and morose. Where as Francis treated it as another day on the job. Well okay then.

All in all, I was left feeling incomplete and bored by their story. I’m not sold on either character. This is didn’t gel with me, and hopefully one of Wynne’s books in the future can redeem this one.

About S.C. Wynne

“I never know what to say about myself,” S.C. Wynne says, “So writing an ‘About Me’ section is challenging. I love red wine and I’m obsessed with coffee. I haven’t won any awards for writing although I did win one for reading once. I’m not a world traveler…yet. The books I write are light and romantic with a healthy dollop of humor and just a dash of angst.”

The author goes on to say “I’m not curing cancer, but I do think reading stories that make us happy can’t help but improve our lives. I fall in love with every character I write and hopefully my readers will too.”

What Remains by Garrett Leigh

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.

WhatRemains_600x900What Remains by Garrett Leigh
Release Date: July 4, 2016
Pages: 283 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide

Web designer Jodi Peters is a solitary creature. Lunch twice a week with his ex-girlfriend-turned-BFF and the occasional messy venture to a dodgy gay bar is all the company he needs, right?

Then one night he stumbles across newly divorced firefighter Rupert O’Neil. Rupert is lost and lonely, but just about the sweetest bloke Jodi has ever known. Add in the heady current between them, and Jodi can’t help falling hard in love. He offers Rupert a home within the walls of his cosy Tottenham flat—a sanctuary to nurture their own brand of family—and for four blissful years, life is never sweeter.

Until a cruel twist of fate snatches it all away. A moment of distraction leaves Jodi fighting for a life he can’t remember and shatters Rupert’s heart. Jodi doesn’t know him—or want to. With little left of the man he adores, Rupert must cling to what remains of his shaky faith and pray that Jodi can learn to love him again.

three-half-stars

I was so expecting my reaction and emotions to be like this when I first read the blurb.

I had high hopes, I’m not going to lie. It wasn’t a bad story, but it seemed pedestrian. That might seem harsh, but I know others, and myself included puts Garrett Leigh’s work on a higher pedestal. She’s an amazing writer and story teller. The range of feelings and emotions that I feel when reading her stories always leave me stumped, happy, and wrung out. But I love it.

For me, amnesia is suck a finicky topic to talk about. I mean, I don’t want it to be like in the movies when they miraculously get their memories back, and because I lived first hand with someone who suffered an brain injury, I definitely get it. I love the initial meeting between Jodi & Rupert. I like the past and present dialogue that we are given. Leigh is able to show them from the beginning stance of their friendship. She showed us how these two guys needed each other. It was almost like the beginning was Jodi showing Rupert his sexuality.He was able to teach him with the respect of not knowing if Rupert was going to be invested in him. I like the push and pull that they both have with each other. Rupert was able to grown within himself. Jodi was charismatic, and self assured in himself. Falling in love with Rupert was unexpected, but welcomed.

Fast forward to the accident, and it’s total role reversal. Jodi is the one getting paid attention to. It’s not bad thing, let me say that. Rupert has grown so much into himself, and with that confidence of the love he has for Jodi it’s undeniable not to see the love that they have. Rupert had to put his partner before everything. It was a long process, that takes courage and love to do. That’s not my issue with the story itself. With all the right formula that was put into the story, I finished thinking what was wrong? It was lacking emotion. Not once did I feel a tear, anger, or the usual stuff I equate with Leigh’s writing. I hate to add onto it, but it was monotone. One noted, and not something I was responding. While both guys were good characters, and they have the connection together, I just never connected with them.

It wasn’t the Garrett Leigh I love, but it was okay.

 

About Garrett Leigh

Garrett Leigh is a British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Black Jazz Press. Her protagonists will always always be tortured, crippled, broken, and deeply flawed. Throw in a tale of enduring true love, some stubbly facial hair, and a bunch of tattoos, and you’ve got yourself a Garrett special.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible. That, and dreaming up new ways to torture her characters. Garrett believes in happy endings; she just likes to make her boys work for it.

Garrett also works as a freelance cover artist for various publishing houses and independent authors. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzdesign.com

Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt

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.

RopedIn_600x900Roped In by Marie Sexton and L.A. Witt
Release Date: June 20, 2016
Pages: 155 • Format: eARC
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide 

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.)

 

three-half-stars

So I enjoyed this one more then I expected. My only conniption is that it isn’t longer!!! I wish it was because I was enjoying the relationship between Graham and Kaz. Loved the age-gap between the two, even though it’s not specified to much. In my mind it’s a gradual thing. LOL. I hadn’t read the first edition of this book, and the cover is what drew me in. I like the idea of a roper and a protester getting together. These two had to navigate their real life and beliefs outside of sex. Sex was a keystone for both. They fit just right for each other, but outside the bedroom it was them being on two sides of the street.

Graham was dealing with his feelings of being gay. Admitting and acting on it. His only experience seems to come from his best friend/roping partner Jackson. Graham has basically been in love with him for the last ten years and when they do finally do something it scares him off and they’ve been in a awkward place ever since. Meeting Kaz was such a scary but invigorating experience for him. I really liked seeing them go head to head against each other. I like seeing both guys explain what they do and why it’s passionate for them. The D/s relationship was unexpected but I enjoyed it. I loved seeing the chemistry between the two. I know it was fast, but I definitely can see why they enjoyed each other. Graham can finally be free and be himself, and Kaz can be with someone. I enjoyed this alot, and wish it was a full length novel. Happy with what I got as well.

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies.

She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

About Marie Sexton

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.

Blog Tour – 24/7 by J.A. Rock

247_TourBanner (1)

Oh My Shelves is excited to be part of the blog tour for 24/7, the fourth book in The Subs Club series and the final installment with a spotlight from author, J.A. Rock.

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release, 24/7—Book 4 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card!


24-7_600x90024/7 by J.A. Rock
Series: The Subs Club, Book Four
Release Date: June 6, 2016
Pages: 324
Published By: Riptide Publishing
Purchase Link:
Riptide

We started the Subs Club to make the kink community safer for subs. Except now the others are so busy chasing their happy endings, it’s like they’ve forgotten what Bill did to Hal and the fact that he got away with it. They used to think I was betraying Hal’s memory by hooking up with the owners of the club where he died. Now they don’t seem to care about any of it anymore.

Maybe I am sometimes angry with GK and Kel for giving Bill a second chance, but they’ve been mentoring me for a year now, and whatever else they’ve done, they make me feel incredibly safe. So I want to try something: I want to offer them my complete submission, 24/7. To serve the people who forgave Bill. That’s the way I want to hurt.

Except I’m starting to care about them in a way I never meant to—and I think they feel the same way. But after Hal, I don’t know if I want to be in love again. Because what I really need, more than anything, is to see Bill brought to justice. Even if I have to do it myself. Even if it means losing GK and Kel.

—Gould


About the Subs Club series

After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

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Giveaway

 

J.A. Rock is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 11, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

Follow the tour!

June 6, 2016 La Crimson Femme
June 6, 2016 3 Chicks After Dark
June 6, 2016 Love Bytes Reviews
June 7, 2016 Prism Book Alliance
June 7, 2016 Booklover Sue
June 7, 2016 MM Good Book Reviews
June 7, 2016 Just Love Romance
June 8, 2016 The Novel Approach
June 8, 2016 Sinfully Gay Romance
June 8, 2016 TTC Books and More
June 8, 2016 Erotica for All
June 9, 2016 Oh My Shelves
June 9, 2016 Joyfully Jay
June 9, 2016 Alpha Book Club
June 9, 2016 Bayou Book Junkie
June 10, 2016 My Fiction Nook
June 10, 2016 Unquietly Me

See more at: http://riptidepublishing.com/events/tours/247-blog-tour-ja-rock#sthash.55FFvQyT.dpuf –

 

 

About J.A. Rock

J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.