Wedding Favors Virtual Book Tour

WeddingFavors_TourBannerAuthor Bio: Anne Tenino
Catalyzed by her discovery of LGBTQ romance, Anne Tenino left the lucrative fields of art history, non-profit fundraising, and domestic engineering to follow her dream of become a starving romance author. For good or ill, her snarky, silly, quasi-British sense of humor came along for the ride.
Anne applies her particular blend of romance, comedy and gay protagonists to contemporary, scifi and paranormal tales. Her works have won awards, she’s been featured in RT Book Reviews, and has achieved bestseller status on Amazon’s gay romance list.
Born and raised in Oregon, Anne lives in Portland with her husband and two kids, who have all taken a sacred oath to never read her books. She can usually be found at her computer, procrastinating.
Connect with Anne:


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Blog • Twitter • Facebook • Goodreads

Wedding Favors
WeddingFavors_400x600Lucas Wilder’s best friend is a traitor. First, Audrey moved back to their hick-infested hometown, Bluewater Bay, and now she’s marrying a local. His own brother, in fact. And as her man of honor, Lucas gets coerced into returning for an extended stay. Although, between his unfaithful ex-boyfriend and his artist’s block, going home isn’t the worst thing that could happen. Even if the best man is Gabriel Savage, Lucas’s first crush, first hookup, and first heartbreak.
The only reason Gabe hasn’t been waiting for Lucas to return to Bluewater Bay is because he never thought it’d happen. Not that it matters now that Lucas is back—Gabe’s still a logger who’s never been anywhere (Canada doesn’t count), and Lucas is now a famous sculptor who’s been everywhere twice. Plus, there’s that shared past.
When Audrey asks Lucas to make her wedding favors, the only place to set up a kiln is at Gabe’s tree farm. Soon, they pick up where they left off twelve years before, then blow past it, discovering why neither of them forgot the other. Now they have to choose how much of their history they’ll repeat, and what future they’ll make together.

Giveaway
Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a draw for a $15 Riptide gift card. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 18th. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to add your email so we can contact you if you win!

By creativedeeds

Homefront (Homefront #1) by Jessica Scott

HomefrontHe’s always loved her…

First Sergeant Gale Sorren waited a war and half a lifetime for a chance to get stationed near the ex-wife who left him years ago. When he finally musters the courage to see her, the life he imagined she was living was nothing close to the reality.

She’s never stopped loving him…

Melanie never stopped worrying about Gale each time he headed off to war. But he’s never been there when she needed him and she’s had fifteen years to steel her heart against him.

But when Gale moves to Fort Hood, he finally has a chance to make things right with Melanie and the daughter she raised without him.

Can Mel trust her heart to a man who has always let her down?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ve been a fan of Jessica Scott’s military romance stories since reading Because of You, the first book in her Coming Home series. I’ve read all but one or two books in that series, but Homefront has a lot of familiar faces gracing the pages, which made me enjoy the first book in her new Homefront series even more.

There was so much to like about Homefront, I’m not exactly sure where to start. Gale and Melanie were both young when they started their family. It was really hard to get upset with the actions of either one of them because they both spent a lot of time beating themselves up about everything they had done wrong. It’s not easy being the soldier leaving his loved ones behind or being the family that’s left behind. No one relates those emotions better than this author. Gale and Melanie’s story was as heartbreaking as it was beautiful.

There were a lot of other things going on in Homefront besides Gale trying to put his family back together or make up for time lost. Things going on with his career and fellow officers slowly bled into his personal life in unexpected ways. The way he handled those situations made me fall in love with him.

As with everything else, there’s no black and white. No easy answers to complicated situations and no turning back the hands of time. I have a feeling that readers are going to experience a lot of this in the rest of the books in this series. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for everyone else.

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Fighting Destiny (The Fae Chronicles #1) by Amelia Hutchins

FightingDestinyHave you ever heard of the old Celtic legends of the Fae – beautiful, magical, and deadly creatures that have a love of messing with humans just for kicks and giggles?

Welcome to my world.

What started out as a strange assignment, lead to one of the most gruesome murder mysteries of our times. My friends and I are set and determined to find out who is killing off Fae and Witches alike.

Couple of problems in the way – I hate the Fae and the Prince of the Dark Fae is bound and determined that I work for him. He’s a rude, overbearing egotistical ass with a compulsive need to possess, dominate and control me. Oh – did I mention that he is absolutely sex-on-a-stick gorgeous and he makes me feel things that I never ever wanted to feel for a Fae…every time he touches me or looks at me with those dangerous golden eyes he seems to pull me further in under his spell, despite my better judgment.

My friends and I can’t trust anyone and nothing is as it seems on the surface – not even me.

I feel the need to clarify a couple of things before I officially start this review. First, Fighting Destiny isn’t a light PNR read. (Honestly, what about that cover doesn’t scream ‘dark & dangerous?) If you’re familiar at all with books that center on the Fae, you know that they don’t play fair. They toy with emotions. They can’t lie, but they can twist things to their advantage in a heart beat. They’re dangerous, lovely creatures who can’t be trusted or, in most cases, resisted – but draw you in. If you understand all of that, you’re probably prepared for this book. If not, you should probably walk away now and find a nice, fluffy PNR with a HEA wrapped up in a neat little bow because you won’t find any of that within these pages. What you will find is a non-stop roller coaster ride of denial, heated romance, danger mystery, heartbreak and suspense. I personally loved every minute of it, but that’s just me.

Okay, now that I’ve gotten the preliminary rant out of the way…

It was hard to figure out what made Synthia tick in the beginning. The more I got to know her though, the more I liked her. That’s usually the way it is with me and damaged characters and Syn was definitely damaged. Through a pretty huge part of Fighting Destiny I didn’t know whether to love or hate Ryder. Honestly, I’m still not totally sure. There’s a lot more to him than is on the surface. Actually, that’s pretty much the theme of Fighting Destiny. Nothing is as it seems and if you think you have it figured out, just wait for it…

Beyond Syn and Ryder, there were a lot of other things going on in this story. It was one heck of a series introduction. The supporting characters carried a lot of weight in Fighting Destiny and there’s more to each of their stories too. I can’t wait to see what happens next… especially the way things ended. Speaking of which.. I picked up Fighting Destiny when it was free. Before I even finished the last page I purchased the second book in the Fae Chronicles series. From the description of Taunting Destiny I have no doubt that the rest of the series will soon be finding its way to my Kindle. I love it when a freebie helps me find another author/series/character to follow <3

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Holding Strong (Ultimate #2) by Lori Foster

HoldingStrongAn up-and-coming MMA fighter wants more than just one night from a woman fleeing her past in New York Times bestselling author Lori Foster’s irresistible new novel

Heavyweight fighter Denver Lewis plays real nice, but he doesn’t share. That’s why he’s been avoiding top-notch flirt Cherry Peyton. But a man can only resist those lush curves for so long. Their encounter surpasses all his fantasies, bringing out protective urges that Cherry’s about to need more than she knows…

Denver’s combination of pure muscle and unexpected tenderness has been driving Cherry wild. Yet no sooner does she get what she’s been craving than old troubles show up on her doorstep. And this time, Cherry can’t hide behind a carefree facade. Because the man by her side is one who’ll fight like hell to keep her safe…if only she’ll trust him enough to let him…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Holding Strong was a book full of misunderstandings and not just the ones between Cherry and Denver. That’s what I like about this series though. No, not the misunderstandings. Those drive me nuts. I want to put the characters in a room, shut the door and make them talk about how they really feel. That wouldn’t make for much of a book though, but it does say something about Lori Foster’s writing. She’s made me care about these characters, which is something that I sometimes both love and hate her for. ;) What I liked was that readers don’t just get Cherry and Denver’s story. We also get bits and pieces of the inner turmoil going on with everyone else.

It should be no secret by now that Cherry and Denver both had feelings for each other. Feelings that everyone knew about except for them. That’s usually how it works though and if that was the only obstacle keeping them apart it would have been an easy fix. Nothings ever that easy though. Sometimes family is more than blood – and sometimes that can be either good or bad. It went both ways in Holding Strong.

I really love this crew of fighters and their friends. I love the interactions between them and their families and friends. I especially love the little sneak peeks we get of previous characters from not just this series but previous series as well. Cannon and crew have an entire community backing them and the way that trouble seems to follow them, that’s a very good thing.

It looks like Vanity and Stack are next, which promises to be an interesting match. It also means that a couple other characters will be playing cat and mouse for a little while longer. I’m not sure which one I’m looking forward to more. ;)

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New Blood (Bloody Little Secrets #2) by Karly Kirkpatrick

NewBloodThere is a killer in Bartlett, Illinois and it isn’t Vicky Hernandez. New vampire Vicky and her friends are determined to figure out who is filling their senior year with dead bodies. Vicky suspects the killer is from close to home, but her discovery ends up sending them far from Bartlett.

I was honestly debating on whether or not to re-read Bloody Little Secrets before picking up New Blood. Since it’s been taunting me to read it since I downloaded it I decided I couldn’t wait any longer. Turns out I shouldn’t have worried. Karly Kirkpatrick did an amazing job of catching me up as I read. That doesn’t mean that I won’t ever re-read the first book in this series and it definitely doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t read the books in order. There wasn’t a lot of back story given, just enough to jog my memory and to know that New Blood takes up pretty much where Bloody Little Secrets ends.

Vicky and her friends thought they got rid of the danger stalking them and things would settle down enough for them to relax a little. Turns out getting rid of one source of danger was inviting another. They soon found out that the vampire hierarchy is far reaching.

I have to admit that the scenario set up in New Blood was a little crazy, but it still worked. I don’t want to give anything, so there’s not a lot I can tell you. Regardless of how crazy the circumstances, it still made me think ‘what if?’ I love when authors do that. I also still love Karly Kirkpatrick’s vampires. They’re not perfect. They’re monsters who are trying to survive without killing anyone in the process, which isn’t always easy. They’re teenagers who thankfully have a moral compass. They still do impetuous things and end up paying the consequences.

New Blood doesn’t end in a cliff hanger, but it’s obvious that there’s more to come. I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for this human/vampire mix before they end their senior year.

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Secrets & Lies (Oklahoma Brands #3) by Maggie Shayne

SecretsAndLiesWhen former Secret Service agent Alex Stone is asked to impersonate a foreign dignitary who wears a full beard and is rarely seen without his sunglasses, it’s not a problem. But getting someone to impersonate the man’s new bride, a beauty the world adores, is a little bit harder. Melusine Brand looks astoundingly like the pampered princess. She’s also a rough and tumble Oklahoma Tom boy with colorful language. Besides, she’ll never agree.

Only, she does. Alex has to tutor her to survive the glitzy world he’s used to. But when things take a turn and they’re on the run in the wilderness with killers on their heels, it’s Mel’s turn to school him. Depending on each other to stay alive, these two opposites find a love that’s stronger than either of them could have imagined…and hope they can live long enough to claim it.

I’ve been jumping around between both the Texas Brands and the Oklahoma Brands. So far that tactic hasn’t caused any conflict. Secrets and Lies came close though ;)

Secrets and Lies featured two of my favorite characters from both series… Mel and Wes. They could both probably be considered the black sheep of each of their immediate families to some extent. Wes definitely more than Mel, but she still stood out from the rest. Vidalia Brand had raised all her daughters to be strong and independent. Mel took that to the extreme. She considered herself the family’s protector. The strongest and sometimes even the meanest (if she or anyone she cared about was crossed.) No one messed with Mel and no man was brave (or dumb) enough to attempt to tame her. Until Alex, then he realized he respected the strong, independent, feisty Mel more than the tame version.

Alex may have been born and bred in a totally different world than Mel, but that didn’t mean he didn’t appreciate the woman she was, regardless of how well she hid it. There was definitely a humorous side to Secrets and Lies, but there was a heart warming one as well. This book had everything I’ve grown to love about all the Brands’ books. My only complaint is that I wish there had been a little bit more.

As I mentioned, Wes played a big role in Secrets and Lies and so did the rest of the Texas Brands. This is the first book that the Brand families reunite and it turns out that they have a lot more in common than just blood. There are ‘fences’ that need to be mended and a few more secrets that are begging to be revealed. Needless to say, there were a lot of unanswered questions at the end of this book. So many that I’m not sure which series I should jump to next. I’m tempted to go back to the Texas Brands and finish it up until it leads me back to the Oklahoma Brands but I’m not sure I can wait to see what happens next. *sigh*

DragonFlyRating4

 

The Best Man (Wilde’s #1) by L.A. Witt

BestManJon Beatty thought he’d found the best man for him until Craig walked out. To add insult to injury, Craig’s got a new lover—a woman—and wants Jon to be a different kind of best man…at his wedding.

Reasoning that the only way to get over one man is to get under another, Jon heads out to Wilde’s, the night club on Capitol Hill famous for its hot clientele and hotter bartenders. Jon just wants to get drunk and get laid, and bartender Liam Sable is more than willing to help with both.

Their one night stand turns into a rebound fling, but as Jon moves on with Liam, Craig starts having second thoughts about the break-up. His tiresome antics are the least of Jon and Liam’s worries, though. The least annoying, and the least dangerous…

This is the book that started it all… well, at least it’s the first book that introduced Wilde’s night club. Even though it’s not ‘officially’ attached to the Distance Between Us series, there’s definitely a connection. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t matter when you pick this one up though. Of course, I’m not the best judge since I read the 5th book in the series (No Place that Far) then I read the 1st book (The Distance Between Us) before I even picked up The Best Man. *sigh* No need to judge, I’m back on track now.

Jon was totally hooked on his ex… so much so that he spent months pining over him even though he was obviously committed to not just another lover, but a woman. He knew that he was being ridiculous in his head, but his heart still hadn’t let go. He finally got the hint when his ex asked him to be his best man in his wedding… and by the way… who does that? Craig proved over and over again he wasn’t worth the devotion Jon wasted on him. The final push for Jon was the wedding and the realization that he was living in the past which finally led him straight to Liam.

Jon and Liam were so great together. I loved the way Jon opened up to him and Liam’s attentiveness was just what Jon needed. Watching them try to convince themselves and each other that they weren’t looking for anything serious was laughable since they were obviously so good for each other.  Even so, I ended up getting really annoyed at Jon when things started to self destruct in The Best Man. Why? I could see what was going on with Liam and his ex way before Jon did. I’m not going to say much more on the off chance that other readers don’t pick up on it quite as fast as I did. I’ll blame it on the fact that Jon was gun shy, which he deserved to be, but still.

Regardless of the ups and downs, this still turned out to be a really sweet love story between Jon and Liam. Even if I hadn’t already read more than one book in the series, The Best Man would have made me want to find out more about this series. I can’t wait to learn more about the guys at Wildes and check in on Liam and Jon while I’m at it. ;)

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Night Shift: Dirty Things Happen in the Dark Anthology

NightShiftSummer in the Big Easy is hot. Inside Tulane Medical Center the temperature is on the rise.

A doctor nursing a broken heart. A wounded warrior with no interest in love. A single father finding the girl who got away. A combat nurse trying to adjust to civilian life. Two lost souls looking for love. A former detective looking for answers and an FBI agent who finds more than he bargains for.

Desire. Lust. Excess. New Orleans will never be the same.

Six never before released stories that will leave you breathless.

Dirty things happen in the dark.

All proceeds of this book will be donated to:
Pancreatic Cancer Action Network
Suicide Prevention – Keith Milano Memorial Fund
Nashville Predators Foundation

I love anthologies. They’re a great way to get a taste of authors I’ve never read or to get another short taste of authors I’m familiar with. Either way, there’s always a surprise hiding within the pages. I’ve only read one of the authors in the Night Shift anthology, but I found more than a couple new ones to follow. NOLA is the common thread in all of these stories, but so is the steamy romance that ignites between the characters. Some are looking for love, others are looking for distraction and some don’t even know what they’re looking for until they find it. Each story was unique and some I liked more than others. More than one of these stories reminded readers that #LoveisLove. If you’re lucky enough to find it, don’t question it. Just hang on tight and go with it. <3

OffDutyOff Duty by Sawyer Bennett
There was so much more to this story than ‘the one that got away’ but that’s where it starts. Sometimes first love is as hard to shake as it is to hold on to. Holly & Tim’s story was a beautiful one and left me with a warm heart and a huge smile. :D #LoveisLove

Rebound by Chelle Bliss
I wasn’t sure about this one at first. I really liked Sam and Fiona, but the prologue not only made me wonder which direction this story was headed, it definitely got my attention, both of which were obviously its purpose. Once the actual story started there were no more doubts. Sometimes love at first sight really does happen (especially when it’s the last thing you’re looking for ;) ).

WantingToForgetWanting to Forget by Toni Aleo
I’m pretty sure that the general consensus for readers is going to be that Jordie got what he deserved and Kacey is way better off without him. I may have to read their story when it’s released just to see how well Toni Aleo changes my opinion about him. Right now the odds aren’t very good, so she’s got her work cut out for her. ;)

ClosetConfessionsCloset Confessions by Kindle Alexander
Well, this is going to be a hard one to review… How about if I just tell you I loved Justin and Derek and leave it at that? LOL!
Okay, basically Justin is trying to adjust to civilian life after deciding not to re-enlist and Derek is willing to do whatever it takes to help his newest staff member feel welcome. ;) My only complaint is that I didn’t get to spend nearly enough time with these two.

Healing Touch by Brenda Rothert
Joss and Carson were another favorite couple of mine in this anthology. Not that I didn’t love them all, but some of them touched me a little bit more than others. These two both needed to get rid of the shadows in their past that kept them from trusting their feelings or hope for anyone else. They both deserved what they thought they would never have, which made their story even sweeter. ;)

Swimming in Shadows by Eden Butler
I liked the mystery that Swimming in Shadows centered on as well as the ‘voice’ of Neil. He was pretty broken… my favorite type of alpha male. ;) Since readers are left wanting to know if the mystery ever gets solved, it’s a good thing this is Eden Butler’s way of introducing her newest series. Hopefully Shadows and Lies will answer some of those burning questions.

Beyond being a collection of hot and steamy stories, don’t forget that all proceeds from Night Shift will be donated to the charities listed above. <3

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Omega (War of the Alphas #1) by S.M. Reine

OmegaTen years ago, Deirdre Tombs died. When she was reborn the next day, Deirdre had become a shapeshifter who can’t shift shapes. Nobody knows what animal she’s supposed to be. She’s definitely not a werewolf. The Alpha, Rylie Gresham, can’t force her to transform like other members of her pack.

Now Deirdre is considered an omega, the weakest shapeshifter in the pack–a vulnerable position when Everton Stark demands tribute from Rylie. He wants to be the dominant Alpha. The only Alpha. And he plans to make her pack submit whether they want to or not. Stark can make every shapeshifter obey him by force of will alone.

Every shapeshifter except Deirdre.

The shifter who can’t shift is the only hope for Rylie to win the war against Stark. It will take everything Deirdre has to survive undercover in his den. But can an omega’s will be stronger than that of a charismatic, deadly Alpha like Everton Stark?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Omega takes place 10 years after the end of the Ascension series. Honestly, I didn’t think about what happened to people outside of the main characters. I’m not surprised that S.M. Reine not only thought about it, but created a whole new series centered around it.

Deirdre was an interesting character. At first I couldn’t sympathize with her, but that was a totally jaded POV on my part. I adore Rylie, faults and all. My love of S.M. Reine’s writing started with Rylie, so of course that’s where my sympathies lie. Deirdre had a totally different perspective. She knew what happened during that ten year gap on a very personal level. To her Rylie was everything her suffering for that decade represented. Her lack of trust toward Rylie and the pack was deep seated. Getting into her head for just a little while made me understand her POV, but it didn’t keep me from wanting to jump into the book and try to explain to Deirdre exactly how awesome Rylie really was and how much the Pack and everyone in it had been through.

This was Deirdre’s story though and the fact that I was so quick to defend Rylie proves what an awesome job S.M. Reine has done so far with this world. Deirdre’s story adds another layer to it and her story is proving to be no less intense than any of the other characters introduced so far.

Speaking of characters, this author has come up with some pretty evil ones. Everton Stark is now at the top of that list. It’s not just because he’s trying to take Rylie down, which is bad enough. It’s more because of the methods he’s using to do so. He’s ruthless, dangerous and worst of all, passionate in his cause.

Omega wasn’t anything like I imagined it would be, but I’ve learned to expect that from S.M. Reine. She pulls no punches when it comes to emotions and she pretty much pushed them to the limit in the first book in this series. (Yes, there were tears…big fat ugly ones) I can’t say a whole lot more because I’m afraid I’ll give something away. There’s a fine line between good and evil and this author walks a tight rope with that reality. No one is safe. No one is immune and not everything is exactly as it seems… ever.

DragonFlyRating5

Aurora by Amos Cassidy

Aurora FinalThree hundred years ago humanity almost eradicated itself…almost, but not quite. As is the persistence of human kind, we hung on; we survived, but the world as we knew it was changed forever. The exact details of what happened have been lost in time. All we know is that this is our world now and we have no choice but to live in it….

Oz and his sister True have been traveling for as long as they can remember. Ma feels that staying on the move is safe, that it prevents them getting lazy and complacent. It’s a better way to avoid bandits and raiders, a more effective way to stay alive. But the thing, the person that protects them is Oz – a lethal fighter who will go to any lengths to defend his family.

Oz makes money from cage fights while dreaming of a better life for them all – a home where they can be truly safe. True dreams of freedom, love and hope and just when she thinks she’s found it their world is turned upside down and they are forced to embark on a journey that rips them apart. For when True is taken by an unknown enemy Oz must enlist the help of a man from the shadows to save her.

I may have mentioned once or twice that Dystopian novels and I have a love/hate relationship. That doesn’t mean that I don’t like them. I wouldn’t keep picking them up if I didn’t. It’s more the fact that it takes me a while to get wrapped up in the unique worlds the authors have so painstakingly created. Once I’m there, I’m good. The only reason I’m bringing this up… again… is because I didn’t have that problem with Aurora. I’d love to tell you why, but I can’t. If I had to guess though I’d say it’s because of the rapid, intense intro and my instant love of both True and Oz.

There wasn’t much ‘down time’ in Aurora. The world that Amos Cassidy created in Aurora was beyond harsh… and then it got worse. I guess I should apologize for being vague, but there were some major twists and turns in Aurora and I don’t want to give anything away. The main thing that you need to know is that NOTHING is as it seems. There’s more than one reality at play in Aurora, the one that True and Oz grew up in and the one that was hidden from them. Once those two worlds collide things begin to get really interesting.

The POV in Aurora switched between True and Oz and a few other characters, which kept things interesting. It also gave readers a little bit more perspective than the characters had. There were times that this wasn’t the easiest book to read, but as the cliche goes, ‘there’s a moral to the story’ and with any luck, those who read it will get it.

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