Tag - Recent Reads

Recent Reads - Whippersnapper by Michael Rupured

RecentReads

Hello all! Welcome to another Recent Reads. This weekend I had the pleasure of reading a pre-release copy of Whippersnapper by Michael Rupured. This story was a real treat for me. Aside the fact this was my first May-December romance, it's also not your typical gay romance. We follow the heartwarming story of three very different, very fascinating characters as they enter each other's lives, drawn to each other as if by fate. Yet despite their differences, they share one thing in common--wanting to find love.

This isn't your typical boy-meets-boy, boy-beds-boy, boy-falls-in-love-with-boy story. We get three POVs: Tellumo's, Oliver's, and Peggy's. Peggy was such a fun character to read. I hadn't expected to love her as much as I did. She made me laugh, pulled at my heart strings, made me teary eyed, and I found myself rooting for her. Her growth as a character was wonderful. Oliver is certainly crotchety, but his rants had me snickering and laughing out loud. The call to the cable company? Oh, that was just perfect. I felt Oliver's pain on that one. I loved getting to know the real Oliver, and there was more than one heartbreaking moment. Tellumo is smart, sweet, and just what Oliver needs.

This book is about love in many forms. The love we find in family, friends, and romantic relationships, along with the bonds we form. How no matter our age, or our differences, love feeds the soul. It's a realistic story of heartache, warm moments, and life's funny little coincidences. I really enjoyed Whippersnapper, even if it did have me craving yeast rolls, cinnamon buns, and a host of other delectable treats.

<3 Happy Reading! rosedivider

Whippersnapper by Michael Rupured eBookWhippersnapper

Tellumo Magnamater is a fresh-out-of-college, first-year English teacher at Salt Lick County High School in Kentucky. He rides the bus to and from work, and every day he walks to the gym behind his small efficiency apartment to exercise. Perhaps because of being raised by two lesbians, Tellumo is attracted to older men. He sets his sights on fifty-something available bachelor Oliver Crumbly. But Tellumo isn’t the only resident interested in Oliver.

Peggy Tucker, a widow approaching her sixtieth birthday, is determined to marry again, and she thinks Oliver is her perfect match. Despite Tellumo and Peggy striking up a friendship at the gym, neither realizes they are interested in the same man. But the joke might be on both of them. Oliver, a retired history teacher, is the original crotchety old man who hates everything and everybody—especially young people.

Dreamspinner Press


Recent Reads - A Change of Heart by Mary Calmes

RecentReads

Hello all! Welcome to another Recent Reads. This week I started the Change of Heart series by Mary Calmes. Truth be told, I can count on one hand the number of shifter books I've read, which I know may sound strange considering how many shifter stories I currently have published. Now that I'm catching up on my reading, I'm very much looking forward to reading the various takes on shifters in gay romance, so of course I started with one of my faves, Mary Calmes. From the very first chapter I was sucked into this world. I adore how creative it is, and am absolutely fascinated by the connection to ancient Egyptian culture and mythology.

The world building behind the werepanthers is wonderful, and so solidly put together. I love when there's just the right balance between the paranormal world and the real world, adding a fantastic layer of believability, even  where paranormal is concerned. There's a certain level of possessiveness and need which fits perfectly with this world. Logan is a mystery at first, this large, imposing sensual man determined to have what is rightfully his. I love the way Jin flusters him, drives him crazy.

Jin's fearful of this new life he's suddenly thrust into, and understandably so. I love his strength, how he always tries to see the good in people even if they've wronged him. I also love his friendship with Cane. I love Cane. That one person who knows Jin so well and can tell him off like no one can. I was enthralled by Jon and Logan's relationship, watching it grow from what they were to who they would be together as semel and reah. The secondary characters are wonderful and the more I read, the more I want to know about this world and the werepanther culture.

There is never a dull moment, with plenty of action, drama, thrills, and sexy-times, resulting in book hangovers over several mornings. Upon finishing I've quickly moved onto the second book Trusted Bond which was just as fabulous, and now I'm on Honored Vow but more on the rest of the series another day. Absolutely love it!

<3 Happy Reading! rosedivider

Change of Heart by Mary CalmesChange of Heart: Book One

As a young gay man—and a werepanther—all Jin Rayne yearns for is a normal life. Having fled his past, he wants nothing more than to start over, but Jin’s old life doesn’t want to let him go. When his travels bring him to a new city, he crosses paths with the leader of the local were-tribe. Logan Church is a shock and an enigma, and Jin fears that Logan is both the mate he fears and the love of his life. Jin doesn't want to go back to the old ways, and mating would irrevocably tie him to them.

But Jin is the mate Logan needs at his side to help him lead his tribe, and he won't give Jin up so easily. It will take time and trust for Jin to discover the joy in belonging to Logan and how to love without restraint.

Dreamspinner Press


Recent Reads - Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford

RecentReads

Another auto-buy author for me is Rhys Ford. My absolute favorite series is the Cole McGinnis series, but really I love all of Rhys Ford's books. The Sinner's series is right up there with the rest of my faves so I finally caught up with Sloe Ride, the fourth Sinners book. It was so great to revisit Miki, the band, Kane, and the rest of the Morgans. Like coming home. I felt for Rafe. He'd made a lot of mistakes in his past, but he desperately wanted a second chance, even if at times he felt he didn't deserve it. Quinn, I just loved him. I wanted to curl around him and protect him from the world, even if he could do a perfectly good job of protecting himself.

I loved reading Quinn's point of view, what it was like to be a Morgan without a badge. I understood his frustrations with his family, especially his brothers. The scene in the bathroom with Miki and Quinn, ugh, it shattered my heart. And I loved how Rafe saw Quinn, really saw him the way no one else in Quinn's life ever had. They way he describes Quinn, his beauty, his way of looking at the world was beautiful. Overall, an incredibly enjoyable addition to the Sinners series.

<3 Happy reading!


Sloe Ride by Rhys Ford eBookSequel to Tequila Mockingbird Sinners Series: Book Four

It isn’t easy being a Morgan. Especially when dead bodies start piling up and there’s not a damned thing you can do about it.

Quinn Morgan never quite fit into the family mold. He dreamed of a life with books instead of badges and knowledge instead of law—and a life with Rafe Andrade, his older brothers’ bad boy friend and the man who broke his very young heart.

Rafe Andrade returned home to lick his wounds following his ejection from the band he helped form. A recovering drug addict, Rafe spends his time wallowing in guilt, until he finds himself faced with his original addiction, Quinn Morgan—the reason he fled the city in the first place.

When Rafe hears the Sinners are looking for a bassist, it’s a chance to redeem himself, but as a crazed murderer draws closer to Quinn, Rafe’s willing to sacrifice everything—including himself—to keep his quixotic Morgan safe and sound.

Dreamspinner Press  

Recent Reads - Marshals by Mary Calmes

RecentReads

Yes, I went on a Mary Calmes binge. Yes, I enjoyed every minute of it. After reading and loving the Matter of Time series, I went straight into the Marshals series. I really hope there are going to be more books in this series because they're just so good. I haven't read enough gay romance with Marshals so that was a delightful bonus. Ian Doyle made me swoon. The perfect combination of strong, and vulnerable. The sexual tension is amazing, but it was Ian's little gestures, the small intimate moments he initiated that had me giddy as a school girl. Moments like when he'd step up to Miro and put his head on Miro's shoulder. When he'd get in Miro's personal space, the questions he'd ask while poor Miro was oblivious.

There was action, suspense, romance, laugh out loud moments, and seriously hot sexy times. There were plenty of great characters in this book, those I loved and those I loved to hate. Miro was such a sweetheart. I felt for him, trying to keep his hotheaded partner out of trouble, but mostly the way he was crazy about Ian. I loved their partnership and their friendship almost as much as their romance. I couldn't get enough of these two.

<3 Happy reading!


All Kinds of Tied Down by Mary Calmes eBookMarshals: Book One

Deputy US Marshal Miro Jones has a reputation for being calm and collected under fire. These traits serve him well with his hotshot partner, Ian Doyle, the kind of guy who can start a fight in an empty room. In the past three years of their life-and-death job, they've gone from strangers to professional coworkers to devoted teammates and best friends. Miro’s cultivated blind faith in the man who has his back… faith and something more.

As a marshal and a soldier, Ian’s expected to lead. But the power and control that brings Ian success and fulfillment in the field isn't working anywhere else. Ian’s always resisted all kinds of tied down, but having no home—and no one to come home to—is slowly eating him up inside. Over time, Ian has grudgingly accepted that going anywhere without his partner simply doesn't work. Now Miro just has to convince him that getting tangled up in heartstrings isn't being tied down at all.

Dreamspinner Press
Fit to Be Tied by Mary Calmes eBook Marshals: Book Two

Deputy US Marshals Miro Jones and Ian Doyle are now partners on and off the job: Miro’s calm professionalism provides an ideal balance to Ian’s passion and quick temper. In a job where one misstep can be the difference between life and death, trust means everything. But every relationship has growing pains, and sometimes Miro stews about where he stands with his fiery lover. Could the heartstrings that so recently tied them together be in danger of unraveling?

Those new bonds are constantly challenged by family intrusions, well-intentioned friends, their personal insecurities, and their dangerous careers—including a trial by fire when an old case of Miro’s comes back to haunt them. It might just be enough to make Ian rethink his decision to let himself be tied down, and Miro can only hope the links they’ve forged will be strong enough to hold.

Dreamspinner Press

 

Recent Reads - Dogwood Days by Poppy Dennison

RecentReads

First, let me just say how much I love this cover. The colors, the look, and especially the cover model. He's just an absolute perfect fit for Jefferson Lee. Now I'm a sucker for small town romances, not to mention stories with tasty food. The moment I finished reading I was in dire need of some homemade peach cobbler. I very quickly fell in love with Holly Creek and its inhabitants. Everyone had their own distinct voice and personality. I could see this playing out like a movie in my head. There's so much life in this little town. The residents are just a hoot, and Sheriff Zane, oh, *fans self* he's a tall drink of yum.  He's also strong, sweet, dependable, and an all around genuinely good guy. Jefferson Lee made me laugh. His banter with his uncle and his childhood friend Clover was so much fun. This a sweet, feelgood read with wonderful characters that I can't wait to see more of.

<3 Happy reading!


Dogwood Days by Poppy Dennison eBook

Small town heroes and big town hearts.

Jefferson Lee Davis is happy with his life in the city until his favorite uncle has a bad fall and he rushes to Holly Creek to make sure Uncle Sherman is okay. Jefferson Lee knows how to navigate small Southern town’s politics and the residents greet him with open arms. Everyone but the town’s sheriff, Zane Yarbrough, that is.

Dogwood Days, the town’s biggest festival is looming, so Jefferson has to step up and take over his uncle’s job as the town blogger, even if that puts him right in the sheriff’s path. Quirky neighbors, meddling family, and a sassy best friend all come together to make Jefferson Lee’s life in Holly Creek a full-time adventure. When he loses his job back in the city, Jefferson Lee has to start a new job search that will take him away from the town he’s learning to think of as home. Will this big city boy find sweet romance in the arms of a small town sheriff or will the allure of the city call him back?

 

Dreamspinner Press  

Recent Reads - The Matter of Time series by Mary Calmes

RecentReads

Some time ago, I sadly fell very behind on my reading, but a conversation with the lovely Poppy Dennison reminded me of how important it is for an author to read. There really was no excuse for me not to be getting any reading done, and "haven't had time" was just not good enough. I schedule most everything in my planner, from edits, to pet grooming appointments, to blot tours and everything in between, so why not schedule reading time? Over the last few weeks, I've gotten back into the swing of things and realize how much I missed it. I'd been meaning to read the Matter of Times series by Mary Calmes for a long time, and by book 2 I was kicking myself that I hadn't.

Halfway through book one, I knew I'd be reading the rest of the series. The more I read, the more I wanted. First let me say that the way I approach reading a book hasn't changed since I was a kid. I read because I love stories. Love getting lost in the world and the characters. I'm not looking for the next award winning book, I'm not looking out for plot holes or grammar errors--unless they're so great that I can't even read the thing. I'm not looking for how it could have been improved or how I would have done it different because when I pick up a book, I'm reading for the pure enjoyment of it. Lucky for me, I can still separate myself from the technical side of things. It's not my job to edit. I'm not saying this because any of the books I'll be chatting about have issues, but to let you know that it's not what I'm looking at when I read, and that's just me. Everyone approaches reading differently. The romance genre is one of my favorite genres, and Gay Romance is especially a love of mine. So for me, it's all about love.

However books that really make me feel something, whose characters stick with me long after I've finished reading, who comfort me when I need to escape, those make it to my favorites list, and they're the ones I revisit time and time again. Like a favorite movie. Matter of Time is one of those series. I just adored it. I'd read Mary before and love every story, but I had some catching up to do. I read all eight books straight through, thrilled they were all there waiting for me to gobble up like a little greedy bunny. And boy did these books make me feel. I'm not a huge fan of  a lot of angst, so I tend not to look for books that try to crush my soul with pain. Real life can be tough enough, so I need my happily ever after, or at least know what I'm getting into. That's just me. With this series, I laughed, cried, and oh my God, I wanted to punch Sam in his dangly bits. Seriously, the man drove me nuts. One minute I wanted to cuddle him, the next I wanted to strangle him. I stayed up way past my bedtime reading these. But who needs sleep, right?

There were moments when I could feel Jory's pain deep in my chest because I'd been there. The heartache was excruciating. Yes, Jory is a trouble magnet, but that just made the whole thing more fun, and his character fascinating. I had moments where I gasped, burst out laughing, and on more than one occasion woke up poor Olly. I loved watching Jory and Sam grow, not just as a couple but individuals. The supporting characters were fantastic. On the surface it may seem like many of the characters are perfect, but beneath it all they're far from it. Each has their own flaws, their own heartaches, and secrets. Then in Parting Shot we got Duncan Stiel. I LOVE that man. I loved seeing things from Aaron's point of view, how different Duncan was to Jory. This was just such a good read. Duncan and Aaron are just smoking hot together.

Overall, this series had everything I wanted and loved. <3 Happy reading!


Vol. 1 (Books 1 and 2)

Jory Keyes leads a normal life as an architect’s assistant until he is witness to a brutal murder. Though initially saved by police Detective Sam Kage, Jory refuses protective custody—he has a life he loves that he won’t give up no matter who is after him. But Jory’s life is in real jeopardy, especially after he agrees to testify about what he saw.

While dealing with attempts on his life, well-meaning friends who want to see him happy, an overly protective boss, and a slowly unfolding mystery that is much more sinister than he could ever imagine, the young gay man finds himself getting involved with Sam, the conflicted and closeted detective. And though Jory may survive the danger, he may not survive a broken heart.

Dreamspinner Press
Vol. 2 (Books 3 and 4)

Three years ago, Jory Harcourt changed his name and shut the door on a past full of pain, only to emerge stronger on the other side. He has a new career, a great working partner, and a satisfying life—except for the hole in his chest left behind when police Detective Sam Kage walked out with his heart.

Now Sam's back and he knows what he wants... and what he wants is Jory. Jory, who doesn't know if he can survive another break up or losing Sam to his dangerous job, resists returning to the arms of the only man he has ever truly loved. But when a serial killer with a score to settle targets Jory, he will have to decide if love is worth the danger as he tries to solve the case and keep Sam safe.

Dreamspinner Press


Sequel to A Matter of Time Vol. 1 and 2 (Book 5)

Jory Harcourt doesn't have to go looking for trouble. Wherever he goes, it seems to find him—particularly when his partner, Sam Kage, is working undercover on a federal task force.

After the recession forces him to close his business, Jory goes to work as a matchmaker and event planner. From there, it's only a matter of time before his big mouth and up-front attitude make him the rope in a tug-of-war between a trust fund baby and a drug-smuggling criminal. Then, as if that situation weren't delicate enough, Jory's undercover lover shows up working for the smuggler.

Between the men who want him and the men who just want him dead, Chicago is getting a little crowded for Jory, so on the advice of his brother, his boyfriend, and the FBI task force, he heads for Hawaii... where a serious accident threatens his quality of life. Can Sam and Jory keep the faith and prove that their relationship really is bulletproof?

Dreamspinner Press


Just Jory - A Sam & Jory Ficlet (Book 5.5)


Sequel to Bulletproof (Book 6)

Jory Harcourt is finally living the dream. Being married to US Marshal Sam Kage has changed him—it’s settled the tumult of their past and changed Jory from a guy who bails at the first sign of trouble to a man who stays and weathers the storm. He and Sam have two kids, a house in the burbs, and a badass minivan. Jory’s days of being an epicenter for disaster are over. Domestic life is good.

Which means it's exactly the right time for a shakeup on the home front. Sam’s ex turns up in an unexpected place. A hit man climbs up their balcony at a family reunion. And maybe both of those things have something to do with a witness who disappeared a year ago. Marital bliss just got a kick in the pants, but Jory won’t let anyone take his family away from him. Before he knew what it felt like to have a home, he would have run. Not anymore. He knows he and Sam need to handle things together, because that’s the only way they’re going to make it.

Dreamspinner Press
Ears, Eggs, and Bunnies - A Sam and Jory Easter Ficlet (Book 6.5)
A Matter of Time Story (Books 7)

Life has never been easy for Duncan Stiel. His childhood was the stuff of nightmares, and his day job as an undercover police officer forces him to hide his true self and occasionally lands him in the hospital. So when he finally meets the perfect man, it comes as no surprise that everything falls apart around him. What Duncan doesn’t expect is that the hardest hurdle to get over before he can make a life with Aaron Sutter is the one inside himself.

Everyone thinks Aaron has it all—looks, money, fame, and success beyond measure. Everyone, that is, except Aaron. At the end of the day, the cameras stop flashing, friends go back to their own lives, company business is handled, and Aaron is always alone. The moment he meets Duncan Stiel, Aaron knows he’ll do anything to hold onto the larger-than-life detective. But when he realizes money won’t buy him the ultimate happiness, Aaron needs to find the strength to give Duncan something much more important—his heart.

Dreamspinner Press
A Matter of Time Story (Book 8)

After years of domestic partnership, Jory Harcourt and Sam Kage are finally going to make it official in their home state of Illinois. It’s been a long and rocky road, and nothing—not disasters at work, not the weather, not a possible stalker, not even getting beat up and having to attend the ceremony looking like he just got mugged—will make Jory wait one more day to make an honest man of the love of his life.

Should be a piece of cake, right?

Dreamspinner Press

Book of the Week: Thick As Thieves by Tali Spencer

CCochetBooksI actually read this not too long ago and kept meaning to post about it, but things got a little crazy, as they do. I really don't know why I waited so long to read this fantastic book.

Often I get in the mood to read a specific genre of M/M Romance and a couple of months ago, I was needing something a little different--or a lot different, from what I was writing. I was really in the mood for Fantasy. As it happens, I think Dreamspinner was having a sale. Yeah, we all know how dangerous that is. So I picked up a few (quite a few) titles and several of them were Fantasy. Thick As Thieves was one of those titles.

Just from reading the blurb, you know right away it's not going to be your typical Fantasy. I don't think I've ever read a blurb that grabbed my attention the way this one did. BTW, I snagged myself one of Tali's unicorn horn soaps at GRL last year all innocent like, and now... well, let's just say I'll never look at it the same way again. This book was so much fun. Not just because of the unicorn horn. The world created for Thick As Thieves was spectacular and the writing sweeps you away to an amazing world of witches, wizards, and magic. You can bet I was up until the wee hours reading it. You know, one of those "just one more chapter" deals.

Madd and Vorgell are opposites in every way yet deliciously perfect for each other. I loved watching Vorgell's character develop and grow through the story. Both men start off caring very little about anyone but themselves and their personal goals, but they're soon thrown together on an adventure that threatens to destroy them. Every step they take reveals another layer of this magical world and the dangers the two face. Madd is a thief and young male witch, small and stubborn, with no care for a brute like Vorgell--other than to use him for the magic inside him, but as they continue on their journey, a bond forms between them, and it's sweet, humorous, and sexy. By the end, I was wishing for more of these two and their world. Absolutely loved it.

rosedivider ThickAsThievesLGThick As Thieves by Tali Spencer Genre: High Fantasy, M/M Romance Pages: 200 Publisher: Dreamspinner Press Cover Artist: Anne Cain ISBN: 978-1-62380-785-6 Blurb

After Vorgell the barbarian fucks himself with a unicorn horn, he ends up in a cell with Maddog, a pretty young thief. It’s lust at first sight for Vorgell—but honestly, he can’t help it. Unicorn horn is a potent aphrodisiac, and now he can’t stop thinking about sex. Luckily, Madd is one male witch who knows how to put Vorgell’s new magical body to good use when he tricks Vorgell into a kiss that helps them escape.

Vorgell may desire sex in general—and Madd in particular—but Madd has no intention of being screwed by a man twice his size. He has problems of his own, including an enchanted collar that causes him to desire his most hated enemy. He wants that collar off as soon as possible, but that requires stealing a basilisk egg from the castle they just escaped.

Drawn together by lust and magic, the two men join forces and soon find themselves up to their necks in witches, wizards, and trouble. Vorgell and Madd might just be perfect for each other, but first they have to survive long enough to find out.

WinnerMD

Available from from Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | All Romance eBooks

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Visit Tali Spencer at: http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com/

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