Unwanted (Elemental Assassin #14.5) by Jennifer Estep

UnwantedThe fallout from his disastrous “family reunion” in Bitter Bite has left Finn feeling hurt, angry, and depressed. He can barely stand to look at himself in the mirror, much less eat any of the delicious barbecue from Gin’s famed Pork Pit restaurant.
But when the funeral for a slain security guard at his bank turns into a showdown with some nasty underworld giants, Finn knows that he must act in order to protect an innocent family.
Finnegan Lane might be the most unwanted man in Ashland these days, but he’s determined to try to make amends for his past mistakes…

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh Finn… As I mentioned more than once, the thing that I love most about the Elemental Assassin series is the sense of family. At the core of that family is Gin and Finn. That family was put to the test in Bitter Bite and because of that I spent a lot of that book being really upset with Finn. Unfair, I know, especially since by the end of Bitter Bite Finn was totally broken… which is where readers found him at the beginning of Unwanted.

Seeing Finn as low as he was in Unwanted was hard. He was without his characteristic wit, charm and self confidence and worse, he felt he deserved every dirty look and cold shoulder thrown his way. When he finally saw the chance to make things up to at least one of the people he hurt, he jumped on it.

All of Finn’s “family’ were there to support him and prove to him that they loved him no matter what. Some things you just have to do on your own and Finn was determined to prove to others and to himself that he wasn’t the man that they thought he was. As novella’s in a series go, Unwanted wasn’t just a side story, it was almost necessary. Finn had been through so much in Bitter Bite that he (and readers) deserved to gain some closure from the ordeal. Unwanted did just that and leaves readers ready and waiting for the next installment in the Elemental Assassin series, Unraveled.

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Wet Heat by R.D. Hero

WetHeat_600x900Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.
After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.
Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1From the description, it should come as no surprise that Wet Heat was a fun read. What surprised me was that it was a really sweet read too.

This is the first book by R.D. Hero that I’ve read, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. What I got were smart, witty characters that kept me totally entertained. I also loved the unique take on werewolves that the author created in Wet Heat was intriguing.

I loved the characters (Lee’s nephew was one of my favorites), I loved the twists and I loved the story enough to seek out more of R.D. Hero’s books to add to my reading list.😉

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Tempting the Dragon by Karen Whiddon

TemptingTheDragonInvestigative reporter Rance Sleighter had promised to prove the mythical Lake Creature existed. But its protector had already given him a heap of trouble, as well as inspired one too many hot fantasies. If Rance was going to get some answers, he’d have to get on the gorgeous Jade Burnett’s good side…and keep her away from his bed! 
For generations, Jade’s shape-shifting pack had kept the Creature safe. Now Rance’s appearance had her rethinking all her vows. She’d seen him in her dreams, knew he was a shifter and that they possibly shared a life-changing bond. Yet could she find the courage to trust the dragon with the truth…and her own fragile heart?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1As much as I love, and usually pick up, Harlequin Nocturne books, they can be kind of hit or miss for me. Tempting the Dragon went back and forth on that spectrum through much of the book. *sigh* That doesn’t mean the I didn’t enjoy it for the most part though.

Karen Whiddon gave a unique perspective to dragons in the world she created for Tempting the Dragon. Both Jade and Rance had secrets to keep. I understood Rance’s urgency in his search, but I also understood Jade’s unwillingness to give away her secret. As a couple, they didn’t seem to be a very good match, but they kind of grew on me as the story progressed.

A couple of loose ends, timeline issues and some other tiny blips are responsible for a lower rating, but since I read this as an ARC, I don’t want to be too critical. All in all, Tempting the Dragon was a unique paranormal romance with a few unexpected twists, more than a little suspense and just enough heat to keep things interesting.

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What Remains Virtual Book Tour

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WhatRemains_600x900About What Remains

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.

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 under the pseudonym G.D. Leigh. For cover art info, please visit blackjazzpress.com.

Social media:
Website: http://garrettleigh.com
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighbooks
Cover art enquiries: blackjazzdesign@gmail.com

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of What Remains, Garrett is giving away $25 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 9, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Old Blood (Experiment in Terror #5.5) & The Dex Files (Experiment in Terror #5.7) by Karina Halle

Old Blood

A haunting novella from the Experiment in Terror Series…
From her harrowing introduction in Darkhouse, the spectre known as “Creepy Clown Lady” has been a constant fixture in Perry Palomino’s life. But beyond the horrid makeup and piercing stare lies Pippa, a woman just like everyone else.
Well, not quite.
When Perry discovered Pippa’s message to her and Dex on the EVP recordings, she thought she heard the last of the old woman’s message. She was wrong. In the novella Old Blood, Pippa relays the tale of her troubled and tortured past, revealing how an aspiring actress and loving mother fell into madness and how an unfathomable betrayal led to her untimely death.
For Perry, the repercussions of her message are life-shattering.
Old Blood is #5.5 in the series and occurs between books #5 On Demon Wings and #6 Into the Hollow

Okay, so I really didn’t think I could dislike Perry’s mother any more than I did when I started this novella, but I was wrong. I also didn’t think that I’d miss the Crazy Clown Lady if Perry and Pippa managed to get rid of her, but I was wrong about that too. Don’t yell, because there’s not a whole lot more I can say about Pippa, Perry, her mother and Dex without giving something away.😉

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TheDexFiles

The Dex Files

The truth is out there…
The Dex-Files is a compilation novel that accompanies the Experiment in Terror Series and is not to be-read as a stand-alone. In the Dex-Files we find a variety of scenes and chapters from the enigmatic Dex Foray’s POV from books #1-6 in the series. Some of these scenes have been previously published, albeit from Perry’s POV, while other scenes are completely new.
In addition to it not being a stand-alone, the novel also contains some major spoilers and should be read only by those who have read all the published books in the series.
Book #1 – Darkhouse
*Lighthouse Meeting
*Pie Scene
*Jenn and Dex
Book #2 – Red Fox 
*Bar Scene – extended
*Playing Nurse
Book #3 – Dead Sky Morning
*Strippers
*Truth or Dare
*Tent Scene
Book #4 – Lying Season
*The Big Question
*The Xmas Party
Book #5 – On Demon Wings
*A Phone Call
Book #6 – Into the Hollow
*Bailout

Oh Dex… Dex, Dex, Dex… By the end of Lying Season, I wasn’t sure whether I was more frustrated with how Perry handled things or Dex. I wanted to hug them both as much as I wanted to knock some sense into them. After being in Dex’s head for just a little while in each book, I fell in love with the crazy guy. There was a lot revealed in these short little snippets, so take my advice and don’t skip them as you read through the series. And please, don’t read them before you’ve gotten to On Demon Wings. I did read it before I picked up Into the Hollow, but that was actually kind of helpful. What happens in Bailout kind of leads into Into the Hollow.

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Fangs & Lullabies (The Demons Age #1) by Kallysten

FangsAndLullabiesA child’s birth. His first teeth and first steps. School friends and bullies, recess, school plays and science projects. A girl, a crush and a broken heart. These childhood experiences are shared by countless little boys from different horizons.
And yet… Jacob is anything but average. For as long as he has been able to understand, a secret has shaped his life, kept even from his closest friends: his father, Andrew, is a vampire. And so is his other father, Nicholas.
In a strange era when demons are beginning to appear all over the world and threaten humans and vampires alike, the three of them form quite an extraordinary family. And yet, at the same time, they could hardly be more normal.
Two fathers raising a son neither of them ever thought he would have. A Sire and Childe resuming their relationship after years of estrangement. Through snapshots covering Jacob’s life from birth to adulthood, discover this unusual family, and how, in the end, all it takes is love.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Fangs & Lullabies is only the second book that I’ve read by Kallysten. The first was Baby Steps and I can honestly say that I loved them both.

This story began with heartbreak. In the world that Kallysten has created for her vampires, they can’t conceive a child. Jacob’s mother found a way through science and magic, but she didn’t survive his birth long enough to even hold her son. And yes, that’s where the story opens. Andrew is obviously devastated, but he’s determined to love and protect his son from that moment forward.

Nicholas comes back into Andrew’s life soon after Jacob’s birth. Together with Jacob they form a family like no other. I loved the snapshots from year to year as Jacob grows. For me they got even more interesting when Jacob’s POV came into play. The author did a great job of capturing Jacob’s personality even from a very young age, and anyone who has read any of my reviews knows how I love it when that happens.

As the description states, this is a book of ‘snapshots’ that give readers a glimpse into a unique, yet normal family. They have their secrets and things aren’t perfect, but together Andrew and Nicholas managed to raise an amazing young man. There’s a lot more to their story and I can’t wait to get to know them better in the next installment, Demons & Lullabies.

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Roped In by Marie Sexton & L.A. Witt

RopedIn_600x900Graham 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.)

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1It’s always an added bonus when two authors that you follow collaborate. Even though this is a re-make of a previous title, I missed it the first time around. It’s not the first Sexton/Witt collaboration I’ve read and you’ll be happy to know that it won’t be the last.😉

I’ve said before that BDSM isn’t my go-to genre, but every once in a while, especially if it’s written by an author (or in this case authors) that I really like, I take a chance. Roped In is one of those books. If you’re like me and not really into anything hard core when it comes to the genre, or if you’re not sure, Roped In is fairly tame. That doesn’t mean that it’s not full of smexiness… far from it.

There’s no reason why a relationship between a rodeo cowboy and an animal rights activist could even be close to compatible. Somehow this writing duo made it work. I loved Kaz’s energy and his compassion. I also loved his ability to keep an open mind when Graham offered to show him that he may be wrong about his opinion on some things. There was a lot to love about Graham too. I loved his willingness to take the time to show Kaz that there were some things he should know before condemning every cowboy. I was also really happy that he gave Kaz a chance to show him a thing or two. ;) Basically, Roped In was a sweet, unexpected love story that ended a lot sooner than I was ready for.❤

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All the Wrong Places (Bluewater Bay #14) by Ann Gallagher

AllTheWrongPlaces_600x900Three cheating girlfriends in a row have given skateboarder Brennan Cross the same excuse: he wasn’t meeting their needs. Desperate and humiliated, he goes to the professionals at the local sex shop for advice.
Zafir Hamady, a sales clerk at Red Hot Bluewater, has an unusual theory: he doesn’t think Brennan is a bad lover. In fact, he doesn’t think Brennan is heterosexual. Or sexual at all, for that matter. He also can’t stop thinking about Brennan. But even if he’s right and Brennan really is asexual, that doesn’t mean Zafir has a chance. Brennan’s never dated a man, and Zafir’s never met anyone who’s game for a Muslim single father with a smart mouth and a GED.
Brennan’s always thought of himself as straight. But when sex is explicitly out of the mix, he finds himself drawn to Zafir for the qualities and interests they share. And Zafir can’t help enjoying Brennan’s company and the growing bond between Brennan and his son. They work well together, but with so many issues between them, doubts creep in, and Brennan’s struggle with his identity could push away the one person he didn’t know he could love.
 

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Oh, how I loved these two young men. I know I’ve said that before, but there was just something about Brennan and Zafir’s story that made me melt for them. *sigh*

All the Wrong Places began with Brennan mulling over the fact that he’d been dumped… again. He’s so desperate for an answer to why he isn’t doing ‘it’ right (according to the girls that have dumped him) that he finds himself in Bluewater Bay’s Red Hot Bluewater. The initial encounter between Zafir and Brennan immediately sold me on this one. I honestly don’t think that my first search for answers in Brennan’s situation would have been the local sex shop, but I loved the fact that it was Brennan’s.

There was so much to love about All the Wrong Places I don’t really know where to start. Obviously, I loved Brennan and Zafir. I also loved Zafir’s son, but I’m a sucker for a smart, witty kid who is an integral part of the story. The only thing better was Zafir’s devotion to his son (as overprotective as it was – which was kind of adorable) and Brennan’s budding relationship with him. I also loved Zafir and Brennan’s friends (with the exception of Brennan’s ex-girlfriend…)

Basically, All the Wrong Places was an excellent addition to the Bluewater Bay series in more ways than one. Given the fact that the series has several contributing authors, variety is expected. Sometimes there’s cohesiveness between the stories, which I really like. However, I don’t mind it when it’s missing because each author seems to add another layer to the ‘community’ which makes up Bluewater Bay. Some I’ve liked more than others, but each one adds another dimension. Some also offer readers who follow the series (like me) exposure to aspects of the LGBTQIA genre that they may not go looking for on their own.

I’m not sure what’s next for residents Bluewater Bay or the cast and crew of Wolf’s Landing,  but whatever it is, I’m there.😉

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SuperNova (Heroes of Arcania #1) by Liz Long

SuperNovaThe streets of Arcania are overrun with crime, deteriorating as a madman named Fortune makes himself at home. He shows no mercy, striking down anyone in his path – including Nova Benson’s little sister. Devastated, Nova vows to seek justice for her family, but aside from her freak strength and impenetrable skin, how is she supposed to stop a monster like Fortune?
Cole Warner wants to help people. Entrusted to keep his family’s secret, he’s also frustrated at having to hide his gift. He knows he could do more to help in the fight against Fortune. If he could convince his sister Penelope to join him, they might even have a chance at beating him. When Cole meets Nova, he realizes his whole world is about to change. And he’s going to welcome it with open arms.
Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan.
Then again, neither was becoming a superhero.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1You know that you’re in trouble when you are reduced to tears in a book before you even finish the first chapter. I mean, what kind of author attempts to emotionally break you before you even get to know the characters? An evil author, that’s who… kinda makes you wonder which side of the villain/hero fence Liz Long would fall if she was a citizen of Arcania, doesn’t it?

As you probably gathered, SuperNova started with a very intense ‘bang’ and it really never slowed down from there. Nova was one of those characters that you can’t help but like. She had a power that she couldn’t explain, parents who loved her and a little sister who treated her like a hero. Once tragedy struck, nothing was the same. Nova shut down and closed herself off from pretty much everyone, yet she had one good friend who didn’t give up on her. I loved Henry for the most part, but even he had his limits… and his weaknesses.

Then there was Cole. He and his sister Penelope shared their own secrets. They were a part of a world that Nova had no idea existed, even though she was a part of it.

There were some surprising twists, secrets revealed and some still kept close. There were also a few unanswered questions that I hope get answered sooner rather than later… which reminds me… did I mention the CLIFF HANGER?? The fate of more than one character is left hanging in the balance at the end of SuperNova. It’s a good thing that Fortune’s Favor is scheduled to release in July.

If you haven’t read any other books by Liz Long, SuperNova is a good place to start. While you’re waiting for the next book’s release you can check out her Donovan Circus series, which starts with Gifted. You can also learn more about the Heroes of Arcania on the trilogy’s website.

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By creativedeeds

Wet Heat Virtual Book Tour

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Hello! I’m R.D. Hero, the author of Wet Heat, a book about werewolf menopause, nefarious alphas, and party-boy omegas. I’d like to thank the blogs hosting this tour. Follow along to read more about the world and characters of Wet Heat!  

About Wet Heat

WetHeat_600x900Most omega werewolves want a mate and pups, but Lee Aung prefers an unconventional party-boy lifestyle. Yet at forty-two, he’s stopped going into heat, which means he’s expired goods—no longer a fertile, young omega that alpha wolves drool over. So Lee uses Wet Heat, a synthetic pheromone, to reel in the alpha hookups.

After losing his job at the bank, Lee can’t afford to keep up his Wet Heat habit. His solution: scam free samples by pretending to be a happily mated test subject at Wet Heat headquarters. There, Lee spends two years being interviewed by the reserved alpha scientist, Cain, who at thirty-two is unmated and—up until this point—content with that.

Cain never really felt his alpha instincts, nor took part in the usual alpha/beta/omega social dynamics. But after discovering that Lee has been lying about his unmated status for two years, Cain finally admits that for the first time, he wants to court an omega. Unfortunately, he’s picked the one omega who doesn’t want to be courted.

About R. D. Hero

R.D. Hero bombed out of art school. After that, she admitted writing might be the best course of action, and hopped to it. She likes writing about people who shouldn’t fall in love, which she’s been doing for about eight years. Starting with online serial fiction, R.D. developed her favorite tropes and dynamics, writing what she wanted to read.

Aside from that, she loves spicy food, boxer dogs, camping, and photography.

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Wet Heat, R. D. is giving away $15 in Riptide Publishing credit. Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 25, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!