On Point (Out of Uniform #3) by Annabeth Albert

Never fall for your best friend…
Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.
Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.
Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.
Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

These boys just about broke me. *sigh* Ben and Maddox have been the fun ‘non-couple’ for a while now. Their relationship was inevitable, but it wasn’t easy.

Maddox and Ben both did some soul searching while they were waiting for their rescue. Things started getting complicated once they got home. They were both dealing with the fact that they almost lost each other. Maddox was more than ready to give them a chance, but Ben was so afraid of losing Maddox that he was afraid to risk it.

I loved these guys, but I wasn’t kidding about them just about breaking me. It would have been really easy to get upset with Ben for his reluctance, but he was truly terrified. When Maddox stalled on re-enlisting, that terror was magnified. He tried to over compensate and be the ‘perfect boyfriend’ but that drove Maddox nuts. He just wanted Ben.

I also loved seeing the characters from the previous books in the Out of Uniform series. They loved and supported Ben and Maddox. They also knew that Maddox and Ben cared about each other and were more than room mates long before they did. So yeah, they almost broke me but it was totally worth it in a way. I walked away from this one feeling good about the future Ben and Maddox were finally ready to build with each other.

Spectacle (Menagerie #2) by Rachel Vincent

When their coup of Metzger’s Menagerie is discovered, Delilah and her fellow cryptids find their newly won freedom brutally stripped away as they are sold into The Savage Spectacle, a private collection of “exotic wildlife.” Specializing in ruthless cryptid cage matches, safari-style creature hunts and living party favors, the Spectacle’s owner, Willem Vandekamp, caters to the forbidden fetishes of the wealthy and powerful. At the Spectacle, any wish can be granted—for the right price.
But Vandekamp’s closely guarded client list isn’t the only secret being kept at the Spectacle. Beneath the beauty and brutality of life in the collection lie much darker truths, and no one is more determined than Delilah to strip the masks from the human monsters and drag all dark things into the light.

The second book in Rachel Vincent’s Menagerie series was just as intense and thought provoking as the first. In some ways, even more so. The members of Metzger’s Menagerie had a small respite from their captivity and that taste of freedom made what came next even harder to take.

The description only touches on the horrors that Delilah and her friends and other cryptids had to endure when purchased by the Savage Spectacle. Willem Vandekamp was the perfect villain and his sweet, spoiled wife was even worse. Just like Menagerie, there was a loud and clear message just below the surface. The creatures in Spectacle were much more humane than the humans that not only kept them captive, but used them in horrific ways. The captors also played on their weaknesses and it didn’t take long for Willem to figure out how to play the connection between Delilah and Gallagher to his advantage.

As hard as parts of Spectacle were to read, the intensity, imagery and action kept the pages turning. Delilah never stopped trying to find ways to escape. She refused to give up, even when her punishments came close to breaking her. Watching what her fellow captives were forced to endure was the only motivation she needed. That and her vow to destroy Willem and everything he stood for.

The ending of Spectacle didn’t seem as abrupt as the end of Menagerie, but it still left me wanting the next installment sooner rather than later. The fate of many characters were left hanging in the balance and then there’s the interesting twist…  Needless to say, the last book in the Menagerie trilogy is already on my TBR list 😉

Relationship Status (Ethan & Wyatt #3) by K.A. Mitchell

Life doesn’t come with a syllabus.
Ethan knows firsthand that long distance is hard on love. If Wyatt is spending his summer at an internship in Pittsburgh, that’s where Ethan will be. Even if it means inventing his own career goal just to find a reason to stay with his boyfriend. He didn’t expect they’d be living in a hot, crappy apartment, with work schedules that keep them apart more than together.
Wyatt’s past has taught him to keep his head down and focus on living through the day. Loving Ethan has him looking to the future for the first time; he’s just not in as big of a rush to get there. It’s hard to trust in happiness when life has been busy kicking you in the nuts.
Together they’re getting the hang of real life, when a new responsibility for Wyatt throws everything off balance. Ethan’s doing everything he can to prove he’s in this forever, while Wyatt is torn between a future with Ethan and a debt to the past. Too bad they didn’t cover this in college.

Relationship Status marks the end of Ethan & Wyatt‘s story. I’ve really liked getting to know these guys and their story did come to a satisfying end… do you sense a but? Well, there isn’t one, really. It’s just if I had to pick a favorite book in this series, it would be the first. Although Boyfriend Material and Relationship Status were great and I liked getting more of Ethan & Wyatt’s story, I just liked Getting Him Back better. 🙂

Ethan & Wyatt have come a long way since readers first met them in Boyfriend Material. They learned a lot about each other and more than that, about themselves. I loved watching them come full circle in Relationship Status – with each other and those that they loved.

Finishing this series reminded me that there are a couple of books in the Bad in Baltimore series that I need to read. There are also quite a few other books written by K.A. Mitchell that I should probably check out.

Faking It (Ringside Romance #2) by Christine d’Abo

Max Tremblay should be happy. His night club, Frantic, is one of the most popular gay clubs in Toronto, and his childhood refuge, Ringside Gym, is well on the way to reopening. But when he finds yet another drunk in the alley beside the bar, Max isn’t sure this is the life he truly wants.
Grady Barnes has it all. He’s rich, famous, and wants for nothing. Well, nothing but a good relationship with his father. When he discovers that his father is going to force him into an arranged marriage, Grady has had enough. He tracks down Max, the man who got him to safety after a night of overindulgence, and makes him a proposal: pretend to be his fiancé for two weeks and he’ll invest in Ringside Gym.
When the pair travel to Vancouver to attend a family wedding, the flames of their mutual attraction ignite, and they discover that the only difference between pretend and reality is how well they can fake it.

I’m really loving this series. I’ve also got to admit that I’ve been really curious about Max since he was introduced as Zack’s best friend and business partner in Working It, the first book in the Ringside Romance series.

The description sets things up well, but there’s so much more between Grady and Max. There’s especially a lot more to Grady than the spoiled brat he first appears to be. I went into Faking It already liking Max, but it didn’t take me long to really like Grady too. So much so that I almost got aggravated with Max near the end.

Grady wasn’t perfect. He felt like he was fighting a losing battle. His father’s expectations were the polar opposite of what Grady wanted. Ignoring his father didn’t work because he seemed to have eyes everywhere. Seeing first hand what Grady was up against convinced Max to go along with his crazy plan. Spending time with him not only made him realize Grady’s potential, but it brought them closer than either one of them expected.

Getting to spend time with Zack and Nolan from Working It was an added bonus. Like I said, I’m loving this series and Making It, the next book in the Ringside Romance, sounds like it’s going to be just as good as the rest. 😉

 

Broke Deep Virtual Book Tour

Broke Deep is the story that refused to sit down and take no for an answer, a tale that waited patiently in my works-in-progress folder for a setting and a context to do it justice. When the Porthkennack universe opportunity came along, Broke Deep bounced into my mind like the most insistent plot bunny, saying, “That’s my home! Write me there!”

Reader, I did.

About Broke Deep

Morgan Capell’s life is falling apart by small degrees—his father’s dead, his boyfriend dumped him, and his mother’s in the grip of dementia. His state of mind isn’t helped by his all-too-real recurring nightmare of the wreck of the Troilus, a two-hundred-year-old ship he’s been dreaming about since his teenage years.

The story of the Troilus is interwoven with the Capell family history. When amateur historian Dominic Watson inveigles himself into seeing the ship’s timbers which make up part of Morgan’s home, they form a tentative but prickly friendship that keeps threatening to spark into something more romantic.

Unexpectedly, Dominic discovers that one of the Troilus’s midshipman was rescued but subsequently might have been murdered, and persuades Morgan to help him establish the truth. But the more they dig, the more vivid Morgan’s nightmares become, until he’s convinced he’s showing the first signs of dementia. It takes as much patience as Dominic possesses—and a fortuitous discovery in a loft—to bring light out of the darkness.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/broke-deep

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

About Charlie Cochrane

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

 

Connect with Charlie:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Broke Deep, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag containing postcards, a notebook, a tea towel, candy and more, all from Charlie Cochrane! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 10, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Bout of Books 19 Grand Prize Winner!

It’s been about a month since Bout of Books 19 ended, so why am I still creating posts about the read-a-thon? The answer’s simple. I have a great time during Bout of Books, but my real fun starts after it’s over. That’s when I get to help the Grand Prize winner create a new look for their blog, social media or grab some bookmarks or business cards. The Grand Prize winner for Bout of Books 19 was

Rachelle J. from Fortified by Books

Since Rachelle decided she wanted bookmarks and she ended up liking the design we came up with so much, it turned into a whole makeover for her blog, twitter and Facebook! I love it when that happens 😉

Here’s a sneak peek at her brand new bookmarks:

 So, what do you think? If you get a chance, stop by some of the places that Rachelle J. hangs out and check out her new look and offer her your congrats.

Rachelle’s @ TwitterRachelle’s Fortified by Books BlogRachelle’s Facebook

The next Bout of Books is in August and it’s the 20th! Be sure to check it out and join in on all the fun and shenanigans. Who knows, you may even be the next Grand Prize Winner!

No Reservations (Wicked Pride #1) by Kelly Apple

Cami Patterson has the worst luck with men. Everyone in her pride knows it and they steer clear of her so they don’t end up with a broken bone or two or, even worse, dead. Needless to say, when her best friend sets her up on a blind date with a werewolf visiting from out of town, she doesn’t expect anything to come of it.
She certainly doesn’t expect a night of non-stop excitement including thwarting a robbery, getting chased by the police, and almost causing an international incident. Who has time to enjoy themselves with all that going on? Or of hooking up with her sex-on-a-stick date?
Cami just might have met her match in the wolf who laughs in the face of danger and doesn’t hesitate to jump in when there’s a damsel in distress. Who knew it would take a wolf to brave this cat’s run of bad relationships?

Well, that was fun… but that’s one thing I know I can always count on when I pick up a book written by Kelly Apple. Doesn’t matter whether the focus is on shifters, monsters, or even demons, the characters are going to be witty and they’re going to make me want to spend some time getting to know them. As a matter of fact, the only complaint that I can come up with for No Reservations is that I wanted more. 😉

I think it goes without saying that I loved Cami and Bran. Their connection was amazing and yeah… they were fun. I think I’m going to like this romp through Wicked Pride. Dangerous Curves is next and I can’t wait to see what the author has in store for Luna and Samuel. 😉

Risky Behavior (Bad Behavior #1) by L.A. Witt & Cari Z.

It’s day one of Darren Corliss’s career as a detective, and not only has he been assigned a notoriously difficult partner, but the guy might also be a pill-popping dirty cop. Internal Affairs needs proof, and Darren gets to be their eyes and ears whether he wants to or not.
Detective Andreas Ruffner doesn’t play by the rules, and he doesn’t play well with others. With bodies piling up and a list of suspects who are way above his pay grade, the last thing he needs is a wet-behind-the-ears kid for a partner. Or babysitter. Not even if that partner is easy on the eyes.
As Darren gains Andreas’s hard-won trust, they both realize there’s more than just mutual suspicion simmering beneath the surface. But their investigation is heating up as quickly as their relationship, and Darren has no choice but to go along with Andreas’s unorthodox—and borderline unethical—methods. As IA puts the squeeze on Darren to give up the man he’s falling for, he has to wonder—is Andreas the only cop left in this town who isn’t dirty?

I’ve read several books by Cari Z and even more by L.A. Witt. Whenever I see a book written by either one of them I’m intrigued. Having them join creative forces? Needless to say, I didn’t hesitate to pick up Risky Behavior.

I love well developed ‘broken’ characters and Andrea definitely fell into that category. He had everyone convinced that he it was safer to keep their distance and he worked hard at keeping it that way. He also had a secret that he worked even harder to keep hidden.

Even though Darren wasn’t necessarily broken, he still had his own secrets. He also had a sense of honor and loyalty that kept him from jumping to conclusions before he had the whole story. It didn’t take him long to figure out there was a lot more to Andrea than what was on the surface.

This book had everything I love in a new series. Plenty of heat between the good guys, suspense, action and characters that were easy to fall for. I can’t wait to see what this talented duo has in store for Andrea and Darren as the Bad Behavior series continues.

Olive Juice by T.J. Klune

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:
I want to see you.
He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.
David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.
Phillip offers redemption.

Not your typical T.J. Klune read… but that’s not a bad thing. Actually, after thinking about it a little more, there’s absolutely nothing typical about Olive Juice. That’s not a bad thing either.

I’ve been sitting on this review for a while for a couple of reasons. First, I needed time to wrap my head around this book. It was a fairly quick read, but it was by no means an easy one. Second, readers have been warned to not give away any spoilers – for good reason. That’s usually not an issue for me, but this one has me walking on egg shells and prepare yourself for one of my vaguest reviews. *sigh*

As the description states, the story starts with a text and a simple statement. “I want to see you.” Nothing about the rest of the book is simple though. It’s a lot of things. Painful, depressing, heart breaking and yet at times beautiful. My heart broke for both Phillip and David. Readers get glimpses of the past a little at a time, so things are revealed slowly. Which, oddly enough, kept the pages turning. I found myself needing to know where the pain was coming from.

After reading the description and knowing this author, I expected tears. As much as my heart broke for these characters, it didn’t affect me the way I thought it would. I’m not sure why and I know that it wasn’t the same for all readers. It was a powerful read regardless and it touched me in a way that not many books do. That is very typical of this author and one of the many reasons I love his work.

Deliciously Bitter Cover Reveal + Brand New Naked Brew Covers

I was so excited when I found out that one of my favorite supporting characters introduced in Deliciously Smooth was going to have their own book. If anyone deserved a HEA, it was most definitely this guy. I can’t wait to get my hands on Deliciously Bitter, but until then we get to drool over not just the cover from the last book in K.B. Jacobs’ Naked Brews series, but we get treated to brand new covers for ALL the books. Yay! Enjoy! Oh, and below is a closer look at the Deliciously Bitter cover along with the blurb. *sigh*

Can her love erase his scars?
Three years ago, my perfect life ended. I got trapped inside a burning Army MRAP and watched my friends die. I was the only one to survive, if you can call this survival. 
Now I’m the beast of nightmares. Horrific scars mean I don’t leave my house…ever. 
But my best friend made sure I continued to live when all I wanted was to give up. I owe him everything, and now he needs me for two weeks. 
Two weeks with strangers who I’ll never have to see again. I can do this. I can ignore the stares and revulsion.
But what I can’t ignore is the stunning beauty next door who sees past my scars. 
She’s Hollywood royalty. I’m a recluse, a hermit. Her life is glamour and paparazzi. My life is NOT. No matter how much I want her, I’m no good for her. 
Beauty and the beast was a romantic fairy tale, but this is real life and she deserves better…

Click Here to Purchase