Release Day Blitz: Resurrection (Redemption Harbor #1) by Katie Reus

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(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Source: InkSlinger PR

Today we have the release day blitz of Resurrection by Katie Reus! We’re so excited to share this fantastic new release with you—check out the festivities and grab your copy today!!

About Resurrection:

From USA Today bestselling author Katie Reus comes the ALL NEW Redemption Harbor series where sparks fly and so do bullets…

She faked her own death…

Skye Arévalo left the CIA and faked her death to protect Colt Stuart, the only man she ever loved. Months later, a brutal kidnapping draws her to quietly infiltrate a dangerous cartel. Just when she thinks she’s home free, things go horribly wrong and she escapes with bloodthirsty enemies on her heels…only to find herself face to face with a bewildered and angry Colt.

He’ll cross every line to save her…

When Colt, a former Marine, finds out the woman he loved betrayed him, he’s shocked and hurt, but it doesn’t stop him from breaking every law on the books to keep her alive. Unfortunately, it might not be enough to stop a powerful enemy who will do anything to see the world burn and Skye dead.

 

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Exclusive Excerpt:

Colt banged his fist against the door, fear and the smallest bit of hope punching through him. “Answer the fucking door,” he snarled. “Open, or I kick it in.”

“Maybe you should take it down a notch.” Next to him, Brooks shoved an agitated hand through his hair, his Stetson held loosely at his side.

“And maybe you should be freaking out more.” One of their best friends had been holed up in his home for weeks, refusing to talk to anyone, to see anyone. Colt didn’t know exactly what his friend was going through, but he’d lost a lot of damn friends in the sandbox and the only woman he’d ever loved had died too. Something he couldn’t think about right now. He couldn’t focus on his own pain when he could help his friend, when he had a damn purpose.

Mercer had recently lost his wife, and the man wasn’t handling it. The guy had been in love with Mary Grace since he was fifteen. They’d been each other’s world. And two months ago she’d been killed in Mexico, a victim of cartel violence. Allegedly.

Colt hadn’t been in love with Skye since he was a kid, but eight months with her sure felt like a lifetime. Hell, when she died it felt like he’d lost part of himself. The only part that mattered. He had to force himself out of bed every day, to shove back the emptiness. So on one level, he understood how Mercer felt. He shoved that thought right back inside where it belonged and ignored it. He couldn’t fix his own problem, but he could help out Mercer.

Panic swelled through Colt as the seconds ticked by without any response from inside—until he heard cursing on the other side of the door. Good. If his friend was cursing, he was alive. A solid minute later the lock snicked loudly as it twisted open.

Colt grabbed the handle and shoved it open, pushing past his best friend in case he tried to slam the door closed in his face.

Mercer, wearing boxers and nothing else, had grown a full black beard and his dark eyes were glassy. “What the hell are you doing here this early?”

“First, it’s two o’clock in the afternoon. Second…” Colt hauled off and punched him right in the nose. He needed to wake Mercer the hell up. Violence was pretty much the only way to do that now.

“Ah, hell,” Brooks muttered as Mercer flew back and fell on his ass with a grunt.

He held a hand to his nose, looking more alert than he had in two months as he glared up at Colt and Brooks. “What the hell, man?” His voice was muffled as he tried to stop the bleeding.

“I believe this is called an intervention,” Colt said, stepping into the foyer, cringing at the stench. “God, it smells like old pizza and cow crap in here. Mary Grace would kick your ass if she saw you living like this.”

“Don’t say her name!” Mercer shoved to his feet, letting his hand drop. Blood dripped down his face as he snarled at Colt. His teeth were toothpaste commercial white against his dark brown skin. Right now he looked like a rabid wolf baring his teeth at them.

“I’ll say her name if I want.” Yeah, he knew he was being harsh, but this was what Mercer needed. He needed to feel something, to wake the hell up. And making Mercer angry was the only way Colt knew how. Because the guy sure wasn’t going to talk about his fucking feelings. He needed to get out of this rabbit hole he’d let himself fall into. “We all lost her. Every single one of us.”

Most days Colt couldn’t believe she was gone. They’d all grown up together, and in his case, he’d been friends with Mary Grace since they were five years old. She was like a sister to Colt. Hell, he was still holding on to the hope that she wasn’t actually gone. It was why he was about to get on a plane in two hours and see if the tip he’d received was right. But first he had to make sure one of his best friends didn’t do something stupid while he was gone.

“Mary Grace.”

“Ah, hell,” Brooks said again, clearly not going to intervene. Just muttering his standard curse.

“Fuck you,” Mercer snapped, taking a step toward Colt.

That was it. Get angry, he silently willed his childhood friend. Mercer needed anger to replace the grief. God, or at least mute it. Just for a week. That was all Colt needed. Because if Mary Grace was alive, he was bringing her home to his best friend. He just couldn’t give Mercer the hope she was alive. Because if he did and it turned out she wasn’t… It would destroy him. “Mary. Grace.”

Mercer rushed at him like a bull.

About Katie Reus:

Katie Reus is the New York Times, USA Today, and IndieReader bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Moon Shifter series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense. Her book Avenger’s Heat recently won the Georgia RWA Maggie Award for Excellence in the fantasy/paranormal category.

Connect with Katie:

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Enter Katie’s Giveaway:

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About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

By Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles

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.

By Quarry Lake CoverBy Quarry Lake by Josephine Myles 
Release Date: July 26, 2016
Words: 12,000 • Format: eARC
Published By: Josephine Myles
Purchase Links:
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Still waters run deep…

Tommy’s been away from his home in rural Somerset for three years. Long enough to sort out who he is, and to get over the feelings of confusion and shame that blighted his lifelong friendship with farmer’s boy Rob. He’s out and proud, now—and he’s coming home to claim back what he lost.

Rob’s the one who stayed behind, working on the farm with little time for a social life. With Tommy coming back into his world, he could have a lot to gain—and everything to lose.

He’s going to have to take a leap of faith. Straight into the ice cold waters of Quarry Lake.

This story was originally published in 2013 as part of the Summer Lovin’ anthology.

four-half-stars

By Quarry Lake is a tale of redemption and reinvention. It’s a tale about two childhood friends, Rob and Tommy, whose close friendship turns to more than either of them anticipated. Their time swimming in their secret spot allows them to play and experiment but when Rob kisses Tommy for the first time, his best friend’s reaction isn’t quite what he expected.

I loved that the story was told simply and to the point. Rob kisses Tommy and Tommy reacts badly. So badly that he hurts his friend physically and the emotionally as he moves from their small town to London and doesn’t return for three years. During those three years, Rob lives his life as it’s always been; working the farm with his dad and quietly living in the closet as he pines away for his best friend. The last thing Rob expects to see when he goes to the lake to cool off is that exact friend bobbing in the lake and teasing him to join him.

Goodness, but I am a sucker for second chance romances and this did not disappoint. I liked that Tommy was honest with Rob about what happened with the kiss, after and what he wants now. Told from the dual POV of the best friends, it was nice to briefly get inside each of their heads to know where they were at and I really liked that there was minimal angst or hate from family as Rob and Tommy decide to move forward with their relationship.

I was not ready for the story to end as I was so wrapped up in these two but the end was fitting for the length.

What a charming story of second chances this was. I adore Ms. Myles work and this short but sweet and sexy gem of a story reminded me of just how much I love it.

About Josephine Myles

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She writes for publishers but has also been known to edit anthologies and self-publish on occasion, although she prefers to leave the “boring bits” of the ebook creation process to someone else. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

A Covert Affair (Deadly Ops #5) by Katie Reus

A Covert Affair (Deadly Ops #5) by Katie ReusSeries: Deadly Ops #5
on 2016-03-01
Pages: 336
AmazonB&NNarrator: Sophie Eastlake
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
After being wounded in action, NSA agent Nathan Ortiz comes home to Miami, eager to return to duty. But he doesn't expect his newest mission to lead him straight to the one woman he loved, lost, and has never gotten over.   A beautiful, successful restaurateur, Amelia Rios enjoys giving back to her community, especially to struggling women. Then a woman she recently hired stops showing up for work, and, unfortunately, she isn’t the first to go missing.   Soon Amelia finds herself thrust into a shadowy, dark world, working side by side with Nathan, the only man she’s ever loved. They must confront old feelings as they battle a ruthless enemy preying on the poor and weak. The heat simmering between Nathan and Amelia could mean a second chance for them—but first they have to survive.
three-stars

This story is one of those you won’t remember that much after you read it because nothing really stands out. This is a book 5 in an established series by a really good writer yet it was wrought with cliché after cliché.

First of all, the whole trope of special ops going investigating a missing girls ring is so common. Second, the second chance love where the characters were separated over some lame reason is another overdone story-line. Third, the lovers from the opposite walks of life theme was just the icing on this predictable installment.

I have read Katie Reus in other series and find her work highly engaging and enjoying. This book fell below those standards for me. The actual writing was entertaining, the chemistry between the main character Nathan Ortiz and Amelia Rios felt authentic. I just had a hard time grasping is how such an agent of Nathan’s caliber never bothered looking Amelia up all this time. She is a business owner and has done well for herself but she never bothered checking on the man whom she claimed she never stopped loving. I always roll my eyes because it rings hollow.

I hope the next book brings more flavor to this genre.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook received in exchange for an honest review.

About Katie Reus

Katie Reus is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Red Stone Security series, the Darkness series and the Deadly Ops series. She fell in love with romance at a young age thanks to books she pilfered from her mom’s stash. Years later she loves reading romance almost as much as she loves writing it.

However, she didn’t always know she wanted to be a writer. After changing majors many times, she finally graduated summa cum laude with a degree in psychology. Not long after that she discovered a new love. Writing. She now spends her days writing dark paranormal romance and sexy romantic suspense.

Steadfast by Sarina Bowen

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.

SteadfastSteadfast by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North, Book Two
Release Date: July 12, 2016
Pages: 313 • Format: eARC
Published By: Rennie Road Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon B&NiBook • KoboGoogle

She’s the only one who ever loved him—and the only one he can never have.

Jude lost everything one spring day when he crashed his car into an apple tree on the side of the road. A man is dead, and there’s no way he can ever right that wrong. He’d steer clear of Colebury, Vermont forever if he could. But an ex-con in recovery for his drug addiction can’t find a job just anywhere.

For Sophie Haines, coming face to face with the man who broke her heart is gut-wrenching. Suddenly, he’s everywhere she turns. It’s hard not to stare at how much he’s changed. The bad boy who used to love her didn’t have big biceps and sun-kissed hair. And he’d never turn up volunteer in the church kitchen.

She knows it’s foolish to yearn for the man who returned all the heartsick letters she wrote him in prison. But the looks he sends her now speak volumes.

No one wants to see Sophie and Jude back together, least of all Sophie’s police chief father. But it’s a small town. And forbidden love is a law unto itself.

 

five-stars

 

It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. ~ Saint Augustine. 

Goodness. This was gorgeous.

I have a confession to make. I stopped reading hetero contemporary romance because 90% of the female leads got on my nerves for one reason or another. There was always something that kept me from connecting with them and I gave up, but kudos to Sarina Bowen for bringing me back to the genre. I connected so much with Sophie and got lost in who she was and how she loves Jude. Sophie is stunning in her unwavering love and loyalty to Jude. From their first meeting together as young teens in high school, she knew where she stood with him and she knew what being with him meant and she took it all. I absolutely loved her! I cried with her numerous times, fretted with her over choices and fell in love with her first love right along with her. The backstory of Jude and Sophie is a romance all by itself but seeing them fight their way to another level of love and togetherness was breathtaking and was a special treat to read. It really solidifies who they are as individuals and how they came to be this devoted couple. To exclude their past would have been a shame and I am so happy we get all the important parts of their history.

The title of this book, it’s so true for their love… it’s steadfast. It’s forever.

They are forever.

Sophie is the daughter of the police chief and dating the tattooed bad boy of the town is not looked highly upon by daddy dearest. But she doesn’t care. Jude is the only person in her life who gives a damn about her and shows it. He is the only person who truly listens to her and always has. But Jude is hiding a dark secret of addiction from Sophie and everyone close to him and one fateful ride with her brother, changes their lives forever.

When the accident happens and the family is told, Sophie is sad for the loss of her brother but she repeatedly asks about Jude. She needs to know that Jude is okay and when he is sentenced to prison for manslaughter, she writes him but all her letters are refused. It breaks her heart that Jude has rejected her and yet, he is never far from her mind or her heart for the three plus years he is gone.

Goodness. I knew when I met Jude in Bittersweet he was going to be an amazing character and seeing him this way just solidifies my intuition. I love Jude. He is this strong and amazing man who has made some terrible choices in his life and carries the weight of it and more on his shoulders. So much that he wants is wrapped up in his sobriety and in Sophie. It’s twisted, it’s turbulent and it’s terrific.

I have a soft spot for characters with addictions. There is something that tugs at me to see the struggle to stay sober and the redeeming of the wrongs that have been made. It’s not an easy thing, overcoming addiction and it’s not easy trying to understand someone with addition. The author did a beautiful job of showing how Jude fights it, how he feels from day to day and that he knows it would be so easy to slip and just give in but he wants more than the chase of a high. He wants a life and he can’t have that if he falls off the wagon.

Wow. The twists and turns this book takes really brings it to another level. I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t but it was good. It was hard to read and broke my heart but it was all worth it.

This was just a wonderful romance. I held my breath waiting for the first face to face meeting with Jude and Sophie and it was beyond my expectations. Everything about this book was beyond what I was expecting and while it seems like a simple second chance romance, it’s so much more. I loved that Sophie never gave up, that she dug into the accident to get the answers no one would give her. I loved that Jude finally found a home with the Shipley’s and how special Thursday’s became to him and to me. It wouldn’t be part of Jude’s story if we didn’t visit the Shipley farm (why do I find it poetic that Jude lost everything crashing into an apple tree and found his life again working on an apple farm?) and get that feeling of home and acceptance he craved. Oh and the bits with Zach… can I just say I am jonseing for his story! Yeah, Keepsake is going to be so good.

But back to Jude and Sophie. They owned me. This was so sweet and so freaking sexy and just so good that I am once again doing my rambling thing and if you know me, that means something.  I know I have said a lot already but I just loved the hell out of this book. It amazes me to write that and it shocks me that I am giving it five stars but it deserves it. Yeah, this book was so damn good and I can’t help but sigh at the whole of it and fall head over heels for both Jude and Sophie.

One last thing. When I read the “Dear Reviewer” note from the author at the beginning of this book I was floored. It was so heartfelt and emotional I had a feeling if the book made me feel one eighth of what the note did, I would fall head over heels in love with this story. Score one for a gingers institution.

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Release Blitz – Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

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Read the first chapter of Bittersweet, here!

And see what our Ginger thought of the book, here!

Interesting

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rippling

 


BittersweetBittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North, Book One
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Pages: 293 
Published By: Rennie Road Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon B&NiBook • KoboGoogle

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.


its here

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

Bittersweet by Sarina Bowen

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.

BittersweetBittersweet by Sarina Bowen
Series: True North, Book One
Release Date: June 14, 2016
Pages: 293 • Format: eARC
Published By: Rennie Road Books
Purchase Links:
Amazon B&NiBook • KoboGoogle

If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the orchard.

The last person Griffin Shipley expects to find stuck in a ditch on his Vermont country road is his ex-hookup. Five years ago they’d shared a couple of steamy nights together. But that was a lifetime ago.

At twenty-seven, Griff is now the accidental patriarch of his family farm. Even his enormous shoulders feel the strain of supporting his mother, three siblings and a dotty grandfather. He doesn’t have time for the sorority girl who’s shown up expecting to buy his harvest at half price.

Vermont was never in Audrey Kidder’s travel plans. Neither was Griff Shipley. But she needs a second chance with the restaurant conglomerate employing her. Okay—a fifth chance. And no self-righteous lumbersexual farmer will stand in her way.

They’re adversaries. They want entirely different things from life. Too bad their sexual chemistry is as hot as Audrey’s top secret enchilada sauce, and then some.

three-half-stars 

This was a lovely story. Being my first read from the author, I am interested to see what else she has in store on both sides of the romance genre.

I’ll make this short and sweet… Bittersweet is a romance that does its title justice but not in the way it may seem. I call this bittersweet because our hero and heroine find their true selves by the path of decisions that are bittersweet.

Let me explain.

Griffin was all set to be a football star while in college. It’s what he wanted but family circumstances make him leave that dream behind to go back home to run the family farm and make sure his mother and younger siblings are taken care of financially.

Audrey was known as the rich girl in college and she played the role well. But when her mother decides she doesn’t like the choices or grades Audrey is making, she cuts her off financially and Audrey is made to choose her next step in life and she chooses well with culinary school.

These two, they may not be where they thought they would be back when they met in college and has a super short but super sexy fling, but those choices, those decisions are what ultimately bring them back together.

This was a low angst but very sweet second chance romance. I loved the heck out of Griffin and how he tends to lose his mind when Audrey is around. He is this amazing and selfless man who has given up so much to take care of his family and he deserves nothing less than a woman who knows her mind and heart and can go toe to toe with Griffin. He also deserves a woman who loses her mind and well, clothing when Griffin is around too. Yeah, these two are a match made in heaven, on the farm, in showers, the side of bars and even in bed.

I learned a lot about apples and farms and cider from this and that isn’t a bad thing. My OCD loves to know things though, the whole numerous pages of pig slaughter I could have done without, but other than that I liked learning the operations of the Shipley farm and even the shady deals from the buttheads Audrey works for.

But the thing that sticks out the most from me aside from the sexy moments are the endearing ones. It was so sweet to see Audrey falling in love with not only Griffin but the farm and his family. Griffin’s moments of assurance at seeing a peaceful and happy Audrey in his family’s kitchen stole my heart but Griffin calling Audrey Princess and the reason behind it, just about killed me. Can the man be any more amazing and just plain attractive? Everything about him was attractive and there isn’t a single thing about him I disliked.

And you know what? I liked Audrey and to be honest, that’s is really rare for me. My inability to connect with female MC’s was one of the main reasons I stopped reading  hetero romance but with this, I really liked Audrey – who she was, how she chose to take life on at her own pace/wants and her falling for Griffin. Wow. I am kind of amazed as I write that but it’s true. Go Figure.

So this was a fun, light, sweet, sexy and witty story about what would you do if given a second chance with the one who got away. The one you had less than a handful of moments with but the one who never left your mind. Would you go for it, live in the moment or take all those bittersweet choices and turn them into the greatest romance and the sweetest HEA?

Oh and one last thing. Being a predominantly gay romance reader, I did at the very beginning want Griffin to get it on with his new hire Jude… don’t look at me that way, I did. But after being around Jude, I am totes interested in his story and love that it’s next. That boy has tales to tell, I just know it.

About Sarina Bowen

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

What About Now by Grace R. Duncan

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.

WhatAboutNowLGWhat About Now by Grace R. Duncan
Release Date: May 9, 2016
Pages: 284 • Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner Press • Amazon   Barnes & Noble   All Romance eBooks  • iTunes   kobo

Five years ago, everything went wrong. Braden Kirk and Rafe Jessen’s long-term relationship started unraveling. They stopped talking, fears mounted, then Braden walked in on Rafe and another man, completely misreading the situation. Without giving Rafe a chance to explain, Braden walks out. Out of their home, their relationship, and the game development company they started together in college.

After months of therapy to deal with the attempted rape Braden walked in on, Rafe begins to understand that his dominant tendencies in the bedroom aren’t a bad thing and that Braden’s submission is likely what scared his partner into silence. But Rafe isn’t ready to let go of the man he loves more than life itself. He arranges for himself and Braden to end up on the same charity cruise, knowing Braden won’t let his phobia—terror of vast, deep waters—rule him.

With a plan and twenty-eight days, Rafe is determined to get Braden back, make him see there’s nothing wrong with being submissive, and find a way to get Braden to stay with him when they get home to LA.

four-half-stars

This is my kind of book! Full of angst and second chance romance all while finding out who you really are.

Romances of established couples and second chances are among my top favorites. The thought that you can screw up something so bad and yet be able to reconnect again and have the possibility of being happy with the one who got away is something I simply adore and this story delivered for me.

This is the first read from me by the author and I fell instantly in love with the story and the ease of her writing. From the first page I was engaged with Braden and couldn’t wait until Rafe showed up and then he did and I couldn’t stop reading. Normally when I read, I often check the percentage to see how much longer the book is but with this, I just read and ignored everything else but the words on the page.

So, Braden is talked into going on a cruise by his mother and his boss to take a much needed vacation and to support Jacob’s Place with is an LGBT charity. When he gets on the ship and attends the first function, he learns he is to be part of an auction for a date and when the person who “won” him shows up, Braden is shocked. That person is his ex-partner, Rafe, who he hasn’t seen in five long years and from there, we begin to get their story.

We know from the blurb that something happened to keep Rafe and Braden apart for five years and while that seems extreme, matters of the heart can often be and when you need to walk away to save yourself, you do what you have to. Put this “something” brought on a lot of angst between the two men and me, being a self-proclaimed angst whore, could not get enough though I was dying to know what happened.

I won’t go into detail about the incident that caused the separation but for me, I can see why Braden did what he did and why it hurt so much to realize what had really happened. They say hindsight is a bitch and when you add regret to it, it can become crippling but having Rafe go through what he did and do the work to get through it that adds more than I could have hoped for. Was it screwed up what happened? Yes. Were either of the men at fault for it? No. There is a fine line we walk with the ones we love and love itself, it not always rational.

Rafe really grabbed my heart with how grew so much during the five years apart from Braden and once he realized what he wanted, he did everything he could to try and get it back. Not everyone would have the courage to try what he did, and honestly knowing that it could hurt more if Braden rejected him but he does it anyway because he found the one for him and that is worth fighting for.

Braden was beyond lovely and endearing from the start. Knowing how much he’s thrown himself in to work to not deal with what happened with Rafe was heartbreaking. I am sure it seems overkill to walk away like he did and I did like that he questioned if he knew what really happened before Rafe told him the details of that day. The relationship between Rafe and Braden was crumbling and the blame was on them both for not communicating.

I know there are readers who hate miscommunication in books but I am one who kinda digs it. I never thought I would until I was married for a few years and talked to other married couples and realized, it happens. Even the best communicators can get so lost in their own head that they forget to let the other person in on the solo conversation they have in their grey matter… but I digress.

Back to the book.

I loved that the story was told from dual POV’s and how we got glimpses into the men’s pasts with memories from them both as a couple and during their time apart. I think for a story like this, you need to know what each man is thinking and the details that led up to their current situation. Getting the bits of Rafe and Braden when they first met as college roommates to their first kiss owned my hopeless romantic heart. Knowing that they both haven’t lost the love they shared during their separation and how quickly they fell into old patterns, well that could be typical because it’s easy to fall back in to the comfort zone of what we know

But even though endearments and sentiments were exchanged early the men knew there were issues they had to deal with and they were big one but the biggest one was communication and I really enjoyed how it was played out.

Not everyone gets the chance to figure out who they are at a young age and even if you do, there are always new things to learn. For Rafe, that thing was learning that he is a Dominant, that he craves the dominance in bed and from a relationship. He goes about his journey so thoughtful in his research and they why of it all; he knows what he desires and he knows that Braden is the one for him but how does he bring this honestly in the relationship without losing Braden.

When the men finally talk about what was tearing them apart five years ago, it was enlightening. I liked that the author didn’t take it to the extremes and that Braden had been doing a lot of what Rafe wanted without putting a name to his submission and that Rafe was there to guide him through it. Sure, it may seem fast but once again, these two had been a couple previously and had done a few things, they just didn’t realize their roles had names and could have rules/boundaries etc.

Wow. I have rambled, haven’t I?

What About Now really is a story about second chances. It’s a romance about two men who don’t want to be without them man they love and though a misunderstanding led to drastic action and a long term separation, they have a chance at their love again. It’s a story about accepting your needs, communicating them with your partner and hoping the second time around, is even better than the first.

About Grace R. Duncan

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.

As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

Midnight Pursuit (Killer Instincts, #4) by Elle Kennedy

Midnight Pursuit (Killer Instincts, #4) by Elle KennedySeries: Killer Instincts, #4
on April 1st 2014
Pages: 358
AmazonNarrator: Allyson Ryan
(Website, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)
Her job is to stay hidden. Too bad he can't take his eyes off her.Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test.Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal - and it's gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can't deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them . . .
three-half-stars

Ethan Hayes is the young rookie on Jim’s team of operatives but he definitely holds his own in the book. Ethan goes to Belarus to rescue Juliet Mason, one of Noelle’s assassin, after she was shot. Juliet went after a terrorist who killed her brother and in the process uncovered a coup against the Belarus minister of defense.

There was a lot of action in this story but I found myself wondering about D, Noelle and Jim more than Ethan and Juliet. Still, it was nice to avoid sex traffickers but playful and consensual sex between the protagonists. This book had the least amount of character development but Juliet and Ethan are the least damaged couple we have read this far. I liked Ethan a lot more than I liked Juliet but as I listened Juliet grew on me. One thing all these characters have in common is a terrible childhood. They all used those anger as fuel to become expert operatives. T It made this story less emotional and focused more on the terrorist plot. I like how Jim’s mercenaries are working together and pairing off with Noelle’s assassins. There was great teammate work and a good foundation leading into Jim and Noelle’s showdown. I am expecting a lot of fireworks in the next book.

*Special Thanks to Tantor Audio for the audiobook given in exchange for an honest review.

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Pumpkin: A CinderMama Story by Ines Johnson

Pumpkin: A CinderMama Story by Ines JohnsonSeries: Cindermama #1
on March 10th 2015
Pages: 266
Amazon
Single mother Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares lost faith in fairytales after she fell for a toad. Now she believes she’s not cut from the storybook, heroine cloth and searches for Mr. Good Enough amongst the sidekicks and supporting men of the town.

Love at first sight isn’t a cliche for town royalty Armand “Manny” Charmayne. For generations the Charmaynes have spotted their soulmates by seeing a golden aura the first time they laid eyes on The One.

When Manny meets Pumpkin he sees…nothing, but sparks fly off the richter scale. The more he gets to know her the more he considers defying fate, if only he can convince her to take a chance on love again.
three-stars

Malika “Pumpkin” Tavares and her son Seth are dropping off Pumpkin’s s cousin pick up their welfare funds when they run into Armand “Manny” Charmayne, who has a voter’s registration table there. Immediately Pumpkin is mesmerized by Manny’s eyes but her head knows there is no way a guy like Manny could be with her. They come from different sides of the track and she learned the hard way that fairy tale romances are just fantasy.

After an exchange of social views, Manny invited Pumpkin to work on his mayoral campaign and thus began this Cinderella style fairy tale romance.

I liked this book but I didn’t love it. I will admit that the names in the beginning were jarring. LaRon, LaRico, LaTom etc. In the beginning, I thought this book was going to be super ghetto and I was cringing. But the message ended up not being about the hood but about finding happiness after getting kicked in the teeth! So it eventually blended in with the author’s message.
Pumpkin was a woman who got trained in school of the hard knock life and Pumpkin only depend on herself. She had a very myopic view of those who used social welfare programs like it only created dependence. She was a tad judgmental in that regard but her cousins were poor representatives of responsible citizen. Manny took me a while to like because he was just too perfect. But his optimistic personality turned out to be perfect for Pumpkin’s cynicism.

What I loved about Pumpkin was how she related to her son as it was honest and pure. The supporting cast in this book added flavor but I felt the main characters could have been developed. The writing was flowed and it was a quick read. It just lacked emotional depth for me and so the story was a little flat. I do love happily ever after and this fairytale retelling had it. I also the little theme of love and magic thrown in as Manny’s family could see the aura of their true love. But fated loves take away from the leap of faith aspect since Manny was assured that this person was the one. I think I would have imagined Manny taking a blind leap of faith more. This book was okay for my first time reading this author. I will check out more from the author in the future.

*Special thanks to Patchwork Press – Cooperative via Netgalley for the reading copy, which was given in exchange for an honest review.

When Adam Fell (Foothills Pride #4) by Pat Henshaw

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.

WhenAdamFellLGWhen Adam Fell by Pat Henshaw
Series: Foothills Pride 
Release Date: February 24, 2016
Pages: 92• Format: eARC
Published By: Dreamspinner Press
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner • Amazon • ARe

A Foothills Pride Story

When his lover Jason’s drug addiction spiraled out of control, TV celebrity chef and cookbook author Adam de Leon walked away from him. Adam also abandoned his renowned restaurant in San Francisco to start a small bistro in the Sierra Foothills.

Five years later Adam is battling the conservative leaders of Stone Acres, California, to open a new restaurant in historic Old Town when Jason turns up on his doorstep—a recovered Jason, now going by the name David and claiming he’s overcome his addictions. What’s more, he begs Adam to take him back and says he’s ready for their happily ever after.

Adam has enough on his plate with problems plaguing the opening of his restaurant. And now he’s having a hard time deciding which to follow—his head or his heart.

three-half-stars 

I am a sucker for a second chance romance and when that second chance romance includes an MC who was an addict who is now clean and doing well for themselves? Well, my ginger butt can’t resist reading about them because I love redeemable people.

This is a short story told from the POV of Adam de Leon, celebrity chef and owner of a small bistro in the town of Foothills Pride. Adam is doing well for himself even though he quietly laments the love, lover and friend he lost in Jason five years ago. Walking away from a strung out Jason may have been the best thing he could have ever done but losing your love, losing your first love is always painful and carries baggage. When said love walks back into Adam’s life with proof of not only sobriety but success and redemption, things get interesting.

The letter Jason gives Adam was unexpected. I thought it would be one of the traditional make amend deals with the 12 step program but this so wasn’t. I like the twist of the list Jason gives Adam and how we learn the way the men met. Seeing them as young and in school, well that’s another thing I am a sucker for, the childhood friends to lover deal, I like seeing them as boys to how they are now and where they heck will they end up? I had to keep reading to find out.

At first it may seem odd that Jason comes back as David five years later but not when you really think about it. I can’t how many times in my younger years I wanted to just change my name and start over and for Jason, which is David’s middle name, he took the idea and ran with it. He didn’t change his name to Clover or something silly, just in my opinion, grew up and started using his first name and became the man he’d always wanted to be with David and left all the crap Jason did in the past.

So, David is back and has asked Adam for a job and Adam just so happens to have a position, among other things, needing to be filled and they begin to work together on the planning and opening of a new restaurant in Stone Ares which proves to have a few problems of its own.

Seeing David and Adam work together, to learn how to be with one another after being apart and yet having the history they do between them was bittersweet. I kept wanting them to give in and do more than just lie on a bed while mattress shopping, I wanted these to heal and be together again.

The cast of side characters in this Novella was enriching. I admit to not reading the previous books in the series and while I believe this can be read as a stand-alone, I am intrigued enough to know how everyone else and their story as well.

When Adam Fell is a lovely story about redemption and learning to love again.   It’s a story about forgiving the ones who hurt you and forgiving yourself for your part in the hurt. It’s a story about being strong enough to lean on someone for support and being there for that same someone, so neither of you fall.

About Pat Henshaw

Pat has lived on both coasts and in the middle of the United States. Pat’s been a book reviewer for too many years to count as well as an English composition instructor and theatrical costumer. Places visited include Canada, Mexico, Europe, Egypt, Nicaragua, and Thailand. Pat’s found that people everywhere are remarkably similar.