Outside the Lines (Boundaries #3) by A.R. Barley

outsidethelinesFalling for the drag queen next door
Mitch Dalton can’t stop fantasizing about his sexy and confident drag queen neighbor. He wants to make a move, but he’s had a lot less experience with men and isn’t sure Chi-Chi would be interested in a guy who’s never gone all the way—let alone a widower and struggling single father. And when Mitch’s child care falls through, he needs Chi-Chi’s help more than he needs a boyfriend.
Chi-Chi Ramirez has his own struggles: getting his degree one class at a time, working too many jobs and performing at a nightclub to make his Broadway dreams come true. Mitch’s offer of a nanny position is too good to pass up, even if seeing Mitch every day and not being able to touch him is torture. But when even a simple handshake feels like pure sex, soon touching is all either of them can think about.
A one-night stand, a quick fling—that’s all Chi-Chi can give if he’s going to leave town for New York City. But once they finally get a taste of each other, what if Mitch wants more?

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’ll admit that the first line in this description definitely grabbed my attention. That’s the only excuse I have for picking up the third book in a series before reading the first two. (It’s the only one I’m using anyway because it sounds MUCH better than I once again wasn’t paying attention…) It is also proof that you don’t have to read the rest of the books in the series to enjoy Outside the Lines. Having said that, I also have to admit that reading this one made me want to go back and read the rest.

My heart broke for Mitch. He wasn’t entirely clueless, but he was most definitely overwhelmed. Being a loving, attentive dad doesn’t always include handling the every day stuff. Things that a mom does that not just a dad takes for granted. He was trying and failing. Worse, he had in laws waiting on the side lines for him to screw up enough for them to have the perfect excuse to take control. For Mitch, that wasn’t an option.

Then there was Chi-Chi. I adored him and so did the kids. He swooped in and brought order and stability that Mitch didn’t even realize was missing. At least not to the extent that it was. The connection between Mitch and Chi-Chi was strong, even before they officially met. Sounds crazy, but once you read the book you’ll understand, honest.

They’re journey to an inevitable HEA is full of bumps and a few twists and turns, but it was totally worth it in the end.😉

DragonFlyRating4

Ballator Saga Sale!

{SALE} Dissident, Book 1 in the Bellator Saga by Cecilia London #99Cents #Sale.png

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dissident-new-cover-final “I will always be with you…”

Rising Democratic star Caroline Gerard hasn’t had an easy year. After losing her husband, she is raising two small children alone while trying to navigate the tricky and sometimes shallow halls on Capitol Hill. A string of nasty speeches has her scrambling to apologize to any number of candidates, including newly elected Republican Jack McIntyre. Falling in love again is the last thing on her mind.

Jack McIntyre might have a reputation as a playboy, but he has his sights set solely on his new colleague. Can he break through Caroline’s grief and capture her heart?

Told mostly in flashback and set against a chilling fascist backdrop, Dissident is a rollercoaster ride of political intrigue, passionate contemporary romance, and undying love.

For readers 18+. Ends in a cliffhanger. The first part in a six book saga.

 

 

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BUSINESS CARD FRONTCecilia London is the pen name of a native Illinoisan currently living in San Antonio, Texas. She’s filled several roles over the course of her adult life – licensed attorney, wrangler of small children, and obsessed baseball fan, among others. An extroverted introvert with a serious social media addiction, she is the author of The Bellator Saga, an epic, genre-crossing romance series. You can catch all of her quirky updates on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, or at her website.

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By creativedeeds

Change of Address (Hartsbridge Island #1) by Jordan S. Brock

changeofaddress_600x900Air Force sergeant Michael Baldwin wanted nothing more than to escape his family’s political ambitions, but his dream of freedom was shattered by an enemy bullet to the head. Two years later, he and his service dog, Kaylee, resist his father’s demand to join him on the campaign trail—where a photogenic “wounded warrior” is always an asset—and instead return to the family’s summer home on Hartsbridge Island.
There Michael and his beautiful German shepherd capture the attention of Josh Goldberg, co-owner of the local bagel shop. Josh has a knack for business and a killer repertoire of his bubbe’s recipes. But lack of education undermines his confidence, and Josh’s father doesn’t share his ambition for the restaurant’s future.
Chicken soup and bacon might be the way to Michael’s heart, but he and Josh need time to learn about everything that comes after—lessons that Governor Baldwin and his relentless ambition will do anything to thwart. Letting someone in is a tall order for two men who can’t trust themselves, but if they have any hope of a future together, that’s exactly what they’ll need to do.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’m not sure what I expected, but Jordan S. Brock delivered so much more. I adored both Josh and Michael almost from the moment they were introduced. They were both as strong as they were admirable.

There was so much love from me for Josh and Michael that it was absurdly easy to detest both Governor Baldwin and anyone associated with him. So much more than you get in the description, as if that wasn’t enough. The son that he practically disowned because of his choice to join the military is suddenly the perfect asset to his campaign.

Then there was Josh’s family. They were loud, supportive, accepting and loving. Everything that Michael’s family wasn’t. Still, something was missing in Josh’s life that he didn’t expect to find in someone like Michael. Watching them get to know each other and eventually grow to trust each other was one of many things I loved about this story.

Oh and as much as I loved Josh and Michael, I couldn’t pick a favorite between the two. That’s because neither one of them were my favorite character. No, that honor belongs solely to Kaylee, Michael’s canine companion.😉 I never considered a dog being a service companion for someone suffering from PTSD, but the more I experienced the connection between Michael and Kaylee, the more logical it became. She also suffered her own brand of discrimination, which made me lover her and Michael even more.

By the end of Change of Address, I was excited to discover that it was part of a series. Which pretty much guarantees that even though this was my first Jordan S. Brock book, it will most definitely be my last.

DragonFlyRating4

Bluewater Blues (Bluewater Bay #15) by G.B. Gordon

bluewaterblues_600x900Jack Daley left his music career behind—along with his domineering father—and is struggling to make a new life for himself and his autistic sister in Bluewater Bay. When a summer storm sweeps a handsome stranger into his general store, Jack is more than ready for a fling. No strings attached, because Jack can’t share the secrets he and his sister are hiding from. Unfortunately, his feelings refuse to stay casual.
Mark Keao is married to his job as a costume designer on Wolf’s Landing. He’s autistic, so he’s used to people not knowing how to interact with him, but that doesn’t mean he wants to be a hermit. Especially when he meets Jack Daley, who dances with brooms, shares his love of the blues, and gets him like no one else. But relationships have proven complicated in the past.
Just when Mark is ready to try anyway, Jack pulls back. But Mark isn’t giving up, and neither is Jack’s sister. And then there’s the music both men love, bringing them together time and again. It will take trust, though, to bring them together for good.
 

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1This is the second book in the Bluewater Bay series written by G.B. Gordon. The first was When to Hold Them, which I liked, but not nearly as much as Bluewater Blues.

At first glance it would seem that Mark and Jack were made for each other. Jack’s life revolved around his sister and it would take a special kind of person to not only understand, but accept and be comfortable with his situation. Given Mark had first hand knowledge of the challenges that Jack faced, the obvious obstacles didn’t exist. The fact that Jack couldn’t be totally honest with Mark made things complicated. Mark was determined to make things work regardless.

Bluewater Blues was a great addition to the Bluewater Bay series. My favorites in this series have been the books that touched on not only tough issues but gave insight into real life situations that not everyone is exposed to or comfortable with simply because they haven’t been exposed to them or don’t understand. Bluewater Blues was that kind of book for me. It was so much more than a romance and that’s one of the many reasons why they’re my favorites.

This was also another book in the series that you could read as a stand alone, but I still wouldn’t recommend it. A few characters are familiar from previous books. I may be a bit biased though since there aren’t many books in this series that I haven’t loved. Next up in the Bluewater Bay series is No Small Parts and since I’m so far behind in all my reviews, I’ve already read it. Stay tuned!

DragonFlyRating4

Everyday History by Alice Archer

everydayhistoryHeadstrong Ruben Harper has yet to meet an obstacle he can’t convert to a speed bump. He’s used to getting what he wants from girls, but when he develops a fascination for a man, his wooing skills require an upgrade. After months of persuasion, he scores a dinner date with Henry Normand that morphs into an intense weekend. The unexpected depth of their connection scares Ruben into fleeing.
Shy, cautious Henry, Ruben’s former high school history teacher, suspects he needs a wake-up call, and Ruben appears to be his siren. But when Ruben bolts, Henry is left struggling to find closure. Inspired by his conversations with Ruben, Henry begins to write articles about the memories stored in everyday objects. The articles seduce Ruben with details from their weekend together and trigger feelings too strong to avoid. As Henry’s snowballing fame takes him out of town and further out of touch, Ruben stretches to close the gaps that separate them.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I’m not sure if I’m the average reviewer. I read a lot of books for review, but I can honestly say that I don’t read any books that I don’t want to read or wouldn’t consider purchasing. If I accept a book from an author for review because they approached me, it’s because there was something about that book that would have made me want to pick it up on my own. Probably about 98% of the books I read for review are books that I requested, either because I had followed the author, genre or even the series. In other words, I’m kind of picky about what I do and don’t read and review by request. I guess my point in this rambling intro is that this is the first book that I’ve read by Alice Archer. After reading the premise, I was intrigued enough to accept her request and I’m most definitely not sorry that I did.

Everyday History was unique in a lot of ways. I like that in a book. Ruben and Henry were definitely interested in each other. Almost to the point of distraction. Henry played by the rules though. He loved his job and respected the boundaries. It wasn’t easy though because Ruben was young and not so cautious. It was totally worth the wait.

Once the barriers were gone, the connection that they had was almost overwhelming. Yet, as much as Henry feels the strength and intensity of that connection, he knows that Ruben needs more life experience, so he lets him go. Only, not exactly.

Ruben kept his distance and so did Henry, but he found ways to reach out to Ruben from a distance. My heart broke right along with Ruben’s as Henry wrote about his memories.

As much as I wanted these two to be together from the beginning and as hard as their separation was on both of them, I’m glad that the romance wasn’t rushed. It ended up making their feelings for each other even stronger. There was a little bit of mystery involved in the length of their separation and even though I figured out who the culprit was long before the characters did, I still enjoyed the confrontation and climax.

And yes, you’ve probably already realized that even though this was my first Alice Archer book, it will most definitely not be my last.

DragonFlyRating4

Unbreakable: Heroes of Arcania #3 by Liz Long

unbreakableTrue heroes refuse to be broken. 
Nova started the fight against Fortune for simple revenge, but now it’s turned into something much bigger. Arcania’s criminals are at each other’s throats, putting the city right in the middle of a warzone. She’ll have to work with a few unlikely allies to end Fortune’s games once and for all. Nova thought she understood what it meant to be a superhero, but will she have to lose herself to truly defeat Fortune? 
Fortune has given Cole a choice, one with unbearable consequences. When Cole takes matters into his own hands to save his sister Penelope, he realizes too late he’s another pawn in Fortune’s games. Fortune will use Cole’s gift against his enemies…including Nova. Cole will have to become the hero he always wanted to be if he’s going to protect the love of his life. 
Nova and Cole could finally save Arcania from Fortune’s deadly games, but are they willing to sacrifice each other?

All good series must come to an end… or in this case trilogies. That doesn’t mean that I have to like it though. *sigh*

The Heroes of Arcania trilogy was intense, emotional, action packed and Unbreakable did in fact bring the trilogy to a satisfying conclusion, but I still wasn’t ready to say good-bye. That’s nothing new for me though. The two books that came before this one, Supernova and Fortune’s Favor, pretty much insured that I would become emotionally attached to not just Nova, but Henry, Cole and even Penelope. Now that I ‘know’ them, saying goodbye isn’t easy. *double sigh*

Unbreakable started pretty much where Fortune’s Favor left off. Penelope’s fate hangs in the balance and Cole has some pretty big decisions to make. The odds seemed impossible and Cole’s solution wasn’t the greatest, but he didn’t have many choices. Not if he wanted to keep everyone he cared about safe.

I can’t say a lot more because I don’t want to risk giving anything away. Just know that it was intense, suspenseful and at times heartbreaking. (Yes there were tears…) And in case anyone is wondering, Liz Long is still on my 2016 Evil Author list. Oh, and it probably will surprise no one that I wouldn’t be opposed to a reappearance from any of these characters in the future. There is a connection between this series and Long’s Donovan’s Circus series, so anything’s possible, right?

DragonFlyRating5

Freckles Virtual Book Tour

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About Freckles

freckles_600x900Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help.
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot.
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles!
He can be the owner of a small dog.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/freckles

About Amy Lane

Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.

She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.

She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of Freckles, one lucky winner will receive Freckles in ebook and another ebook of their choice from Amy’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 19, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Diary of the Damned: A Sequel to the Haunting Season

diaryofthedamned“Allison said that, in time, he’d come for you. For what it’s worth, Evy, I believe her.” 
Evy Breen has worked hard to forget her past. She’s changed her appearance and moved from her hometown of Bowling Green, Kentucky, to Knoxville, Tennessee, where she does her best to fit in. 
Evy’s past catches up with her when she finds a package on her apartment doorstep. The package has no postmark, no return address. Inside is a note… and the diary of Evy’s missing best friend, Allison. 
The diary contains everything about their friendship, the bullying they endured, and Allison’s confinement at a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia. Except Allison wasn’t schizophrenic. Allison was suffering from demonic possession. 
According to the note, that same demon now has its sights set on Evy. The mysterious sender claims that, despite sliding into madness and depression, Allison inserted clues into her diary that might save Evy’s life. 
As Evy reads her friend’s diary, she discovers secrets that Allison kept from her—the incidents surrounding the gruesome death of a former classmate and the truth behind a government agency more interested in embracing a demon than in exorcising it. 
If Evy is to survive, she must return home. There, she must confront a life she prefers to forget and fight off an ancient and powerful demon set on revenge—if only she can decipher the clues her friend left behind.

Way back in 2011… wait, that can’t be right… only 5 1/2 years? So yeah, the time frame doesn’t really matter, what does matter is that in 2011 I was introduced to the writing of Michelle Muto by winning a little book titled, The Book of Lost Souls. I’m still waiting for Ivy and gang to make a reappearance, but until then, I’ve managed to read everything else this author has written. Which by the way, covers a fairly wide range. It all started with witches, warlocks, werewolves, vampires and more wrapped up in a sweet young adult read with a touch of evil and danger and a few surprises in between (The Book of Lost Souls). Heartbreak, tough issues including teen suicide that ends in a surprising ray of hope (Don’t Fear the Reaper). Then there were Gargoyles in Of Shadow and Stone. There was also an anthology thrown into the mix that ended in a tear jerker that I still haven’t quite forgiven the author for (Nature’s Fifth Season). Which leads us to the horror of The Haunting Season. If you’re reading this review and you haven’t read The Haunting Season, don’t read Diary of the Damned until you do. That sage warning is mostly because a lot of what happens in Diary of the Damned won’t make sense unless you’ve read The Haunting Season first. So, now that I’ve gotten all that out of the way…

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from Diary of the Damned. I mean, I knew it would be scary. That was a given. It is, after all, a sequel to one of the scariest books I’ve read in a while. (FYI- I like reading an occasional horror story, but it is most definitely NOT my go-to genre. In other words, I’m a wimp.) What I should have expected, but still took me totally off guard, was the emotion. There are parts of this book that broke my heart for both Evy and Allison. This book made me forget how much I really disliked Allison through much of The Haunting Season. (Again, you really have to read that book first to really get it. – Trust me.)

There were characters in this book that I wanted to hug and comfort, but there were just as many that I wanted to scream at in defense of the characters that I wanted to hug. Yeah, did I mention that there were emotions? Lots and lots of emotions. There were some crazy teenage bullies, but honestly, I wasn’t much more impressed with the adults that should have been there for these kids. As usual, the author slipped in some important life lessons within the scary pages. On a side note, there were a lot of characters in The Haunting Season that the author could have chosen to tell their story. Allison wasn’t the main character, but she was an integral one. Her story was important and I’m really glad that readers were treated to not only her diary but introducing them to someone who really cared about her.

In a nutshell, pick up The Haunting Season if you haven’t. If you have, Diary of the Damned should be next on your reading list. It’s not quite as scary as The Haunting Season, but I still only read it during the day.

DragonFlyRating5

Pansies (Spires Universe) by Alexis Hall

pansiesAlfie Bell is . . . fine. He’s got a six-figure salary, a penthouse in Canary Wharf, the car he swore he’d buy when he was eighteen, and a bunch of fancy London friends.
It’s rough, though, going back to South Shields now that they all know he’s a fully paid-up pansy. It’s the last place he’s expecting to pull. But Fen’s gorgeous, with his pink-tipped hair and hipster glasses, full of the sort of courage Alfie’s never had. It should be a one-night thing, but Alfie’s never met anyone like Fen before.
Except he has. At school, when Alfie was everything he was supposed to be, and Fen was the stubborn little gay boy who wouldn’t keep his head down. And now it’s a proper mess: Fen might have slept with Alfie, but he’ll probably never forgive him, and Fen’s got all this other stuff going on anyway, with his mam and her flower shop and the life he left down south.
Alfie just wants to make it right. But how can he, when all they’ve got in common is the nowhere town they both ran away from.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1I think I’ve only read two books by Alexis Hall, including Pansies. For Real was also part of the Spires Universe. I liked both stories, but if I had to choose one over the other, I think it would be Pansies and that’s mainly because of the characters. Granted, the reunion between Fen and Alfie was a little rocky. I totally understood Fen’s hesitance to give Alfie a chance, but the more I got to know the ‘real’ Alfie, the more he grew on me.

Speaking of these two characters that I fell in love with, Fen kinda broke my heart. I can’t tell you why, because that’s a big part of the build up in the story, but I can tell you that I honestly don’t know how someone deals with the circumstance he was put in and comes out totally okay. I respected Alfie for being there for him and doing what he could. Of course, I also got mad at both him and Fen for almost losing everything.

In case you were wondering, there were tears, but there was laughter too. There was at least one character that I had a hard time forgiving, even if their heart was in the right place. He’s almost forgiven though. As for the other characters, they were great. Both Fen and Alfie had friends who were witty and fun and made me laugh out loud more than once.

After reading Pansies, I’m thinking I need to take another look at some of Alexis Hall’s other books.

DragonFlyRating4

Cursed Bones (Grimwood #3) by Kelly Apple

cursedbonesOnce upon a time, Isobel Grimm had been the favored daughter of one of the oldest families in Grimwood. Prideful, arrogant, and vain, she found out the hard way that not all those she saw as beneath her are weak. Fleeing to her family manor hidden in the depths of the great forest seemed her only option when a powerful curse stole her looks and made her a monster in the eyes of most.
When an intruder invades her sanctuary, Isobel is forced to face some painful truths—she’s lived in solitude far longer than she realized and her problems are only the precursor for something far more deadly. For the trees in the forest are dying, stricken by a mysterious disease rotting them slowly from the inside.
In the manor hidden away from prying eyes, a pact has fallen and the entire forest is paying the price. As a Grimm, it’s Isobel’s duty to right this wrong and reverse the curse spreading across the land.
If she can’t, all of Grimwood may fall.

CreativeDeedsReadsDisclosure1Yikes! I can’t believe how long I’ve let this go without posting a review. That’s so not like me… well, actually, lately it is totally like me and I need to put a stop to it. Especially since Kelly Apple is one of my favorite authors when it comes to twisting fairy tales. In Cursed Bones, the third book in her Grimwood series, readers are treated to the author’s twisted version of Beauty and the Beast. As with the rest of her Grimwood tales, the Beast in this story is portrayed by the main female character, Isobel.  Which would make the Cade the Beauty… kinda… but I’m sure you get the picture.

Isobel can’t stand to see herself because she knows how grotesque she truly is, both inside and out. Cade never sees her that way. In fact, he’s intrigued.  Of course there’s a lot more to the story and Cursed Bones takes a bit longer to get the the smexiness that we all know and love from Kelly Apple, but the build up is totally worth it. Plus, not everything is exactly as it seems and there are a couple of twists thrown into the mix that make things even more interesting and not just for Cade and Isobel. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for the next Grimwood couple in Cursed Touch.😉

DragonFlyRating4