Thursday, October 12, 2017

Spotlight on Andrew Grey



https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/taming-the-beast-by-andrew-grey-8936-b
Good morning all, I'm so excited to have Andrew Grey on my blog today to share and excerpt from his new book, Taming the Beast which will release on Friday October 13th, tomorrow, yeah!

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I want to take a minute to thank Mary for having me.  She is a wonderful friend and her work helps inspire some of my own.  For me Taming the Beast is a special story.  I love the Beauty and the Beast movies and I have always loved the archetype. Opposites who see more in each other than anyone else.  

Dante desperately needs someone to see beneath his exterior and his self-imposed isolation, but he doesn't realize it.  Not until Beau, an ordinary looking man with an extraordinary heart, takes the time and the risk to try to see past the rumor and myth the town has concocted.  

I like to think that at some point in our lives we all need a Beau, someone to see us for who we are and to look further than our outer shell and even the walls we build for ourselves.

Andrew ~  

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And now the blurb:

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.

The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life helps him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.

But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

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Excerpt:

Dante sat at his desk, looking up from his work and right at the framed picture the kids had given him. Every time he took a break, there it was. When he’d told Roberts to find an appropriate place to hang it, he hadn’t really meant on his office wall right in front of him, where he saw it every time he looked up.

For the last two weeks, he’d seen it and even stopped to gaze at the children’s drawings of themselves, and damn it all if he didn’t think of Beau and his intense eyes every time. Beau wasn’t handsome, or even generally good-looking in a conventional way, but he had spirit and fire and was willing to let them show. Dante had done his best to bury himself in work and in the preparations for his upcoming trip to Europe. He’d originally planned to leave in a week, but orders and the work they’d need to do at the plant to fill them had delayed his trip. So instead of going to London first, he’d moved that stop to last and kept the rest of his itinerary intact.

Roberts knocked and then entered Dante’s office with a tray. He set a cup of coffee on the edge of the desk, along with a plate of cookies. They were the oddest-looking cookies he’d ever seen, more oblong than round and a little lumpy.

“Did Harriet make these?” If she had, he’d begin to wonder if she was starting to slip.

“No. These were sent to you from the children.” Roberts pointed to the drawing on the wall.

“Apparently you were nice to one of them at the dinner and he wanted to say thank-you. He and his friends baked some cookies for you, and Mr. Clarity had them sent over.” Roberts left the office, and Dante picked up a cookie and took a small bite. They were good, if a little dry, but nice with the coffee.

He looked up once again and saw the picture. “Roberts…,” Dante called, and his office door opened, Roberts entering once again. “Please call the Community Center and tell Mr. Clarity that I’d be willing to volunteer… say, on an afternoon or evening later this week, to help out.” Dante smiled because he knew that somehow Roberts had a hand in this. “In fact, we’re all going to volunteer, including Harriet.” Misery loved company, after all.

“Very good, sir. I’ll make the phone calls and schedule it.” Roberts turned and left the office.

Dante went back to work, strangely excited about seeing Beau again. He wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or one of the stupidest notions ever conceived. But it would make Yates happy. Yes, that was it. He was doing this to help improve his image in the community.

Dante told himself that over and over that afternoon in the hope that he’d eventually come to believe it, but he wasn’t sure it worked.

Find Andrew here:

Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey
Twitter @andrewgreybooks

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Audio Tuesday with Jessie Potts

Hello all, welcome to another Audio Tuesday, and Jessie Potts is here again from the HEA blog to talk about some of her most recent audio recommendations.

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As usual, there have been so many amazing audio books released lately that I can barely keep up! I’ve abused my wallet by being suckered into the ‘buy 3 credits for only…’ 0-0 but… worth it! Here are a few that I just finished.

Five Minutes Longer by Victoria Sue, narrated by Nick J. Russo
This is one is all parWhat anormal and steam. Nick J. Russo also has a fabulous voice that narrates some of my favorites (Again, Friendly Fire, Good Bones, Truth in the Dark… just to name a few!) His voice perfectly narrates Talon and Finn’s romance as they are drawn closer together. I enjoy this series and listening to it brought to life is a treat! 

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Five-Minutes-Longer-Audiobook/B075TJPTWH/ref=a_newreleas_c2_14_t


Soulless by Gail Carriger, narrated by Emily Gray
This is one of my favorite Steampunk series (Parasol Protectorate, isn’t it a cute name?) This book/series is packed full of witty dialogue, there’s paranormal creatures galore, funny situations and just too much to write. At first I felt like the narrator sounded a bit too old to play Alexia, but I became engaged with her after the first third. Good news the first three have been re-released on Audible.

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Soulless-Audiobook/B075RQ2SVX/ref=a_newreleas_c2_11_t

What the Cat Dragged In by BA Tortuga, narrated by Joe Formichella
I’m about 40% of the way into this audio book. I’ve always enjoyed BA’s writing and Just Like Cats and Dogs (book one) was a cute listen. There’s hippies, shifters, poachers, and true love J. Also one of the main characters is Brock and that’s my favorite name! It does take a while to warm up to the narrator, but come on shifters and love? I’m there.

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/What-the-Cat-Dragged-In-Audiobook/B075V7SR5L/ref=a_newreleas_c2_18_t


And that's it for this week, happy reading!

Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Books We Fell for in the Month of September ~ and a Giveaway

Cheers, fellow readers, and welcome to our September Book of the Month picks from your friends at The Novel Approach! We’ve got an outstanding list of titles we loved this month, and, as always, there’s a chance for one of you to win two e-copies from the list. Be sure to check out the Rafflecopter widget below for entry details.

So, without further delay, here are the books we loved!


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Cassie: Bonfires by Amy Lane ~ I LOVED this story. It felt so refreshing, beginning to end. Aaron and Larx are older than the typical romance characters, they’re established in their lives and families, they know who they are and what they want, and they’re experienced enough to know how to get it. And it was FANTASTIC to read about two men who are comfortable with themselves and their sexuality. Go add this one to your library now, if you haven’t already.

The struggles in this story all come from outside the growing relationship—another perk of older MCs. They’ve got problems, because LIFE, but they’re navigating them with considerable aplomb. Aaron’s and Larx’s lives are immediately enhanced by the other’s presence, and watching them begin to intertwine their lives is extremely satisfying.

Ky: Manic Pixie Dream Boy by K.A. Merikan ~ I liked all the tropes the authors used, even the split near the end that is so common in romances. Here it wasn’t annoying; it was like something Dusk and Abe needed to go through in order to grow stronger and have a future. They got something out of their time as just friends. It wasn’t there just so there could be some drama in the story. It served a purpose.
I can’t wait to see what comes next for this band, and I’m very excited to see Dusk and Abe make appearances in the next books as an established couple.
5 shiny pink stars!

Ben: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee ~ This is technically a historical fantasy, but I sort of waffled back and forth on whether I liked the fantastical elements. The magical box that’s supposed to be a cure-all was a glaringly obvious plot device, but it certainly got our teen trio on their way to adventure, so I suppose I can’t complain much.
I loved how the protagonist was bisexual, I loved how he was a silly goof, and I loved the historical setting. I had immense fun and gobbled the story up in less than a day. If I could go back in time to read it anew again I would in a heartbeat.
Cheers! 5 glorious stars!

Maryann: As Sure As The Sun by Elle Keaton ~ Elle Keaton really surprised me with this fourth installment of the Accidental Roots series. As Sure As The Sun takes a different turn from the previous books, as there aren’t any FBI cases to be concerned about, and I had no idea that the storyline would bring Seth and Sacha together. They have a sort of quiet but passionate connection, and it was interesting how both their childhoods had so much conflict and insecurity. I really liked Seth’s determination to do as much as he could to find Owen and TG, and Sacha supported his determination in his own way. I could not see either Seth or Sacha being any different than the way they were created.

If you follow this series, Adam and Noah make an appearance along with many of the characters from previous novels, which is always fun and interesting. Of course, there’s a sprinkle of new characters too. The Owen and TG plotline was developed from a true story about Elle Keaton’s, Great-Uncle Owen, and she provides details with a Dedication at the end.

Sammy: WILD by Adrienne Wilder ~ Honestly, I just do not know where to begin. This novel was amazing. Gutsy, raw, stunningly realistic and gripping—every single one of these epithets could be used again and again to describe Adrienne Wilder’s latest story, WILD. From the very first page to the end, this book rocketed into your imagination and took hold, never letting up, never giving you much more than a quick second to catch your breath before it dove right back into the relentlessly harsh reality that August and Keegan were living. Furthermore, when you realized that August was in this dire situation by a stroke of fate and pure bad luck, but Keegan chose to live on the edge of the wilderness with barely any hint of creature comforts and continually fighting for his life, it was just mind boggling. As the story unfolded, you began to dread what it was that haunted and hunted Keegan—both animal and human alike. To say that his past was horrific is to almost minimize his everyday struggle to survive the Alaskan frontier, which was brutal to say the least. But it was the love—the romance, the growing genuine attachment that August and Keegan had for one another, that was the real star of this novel and, in the end, it made every desperate, gut-wrenching moment worth it.

Sammy: The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic by F.T. Lukens ~ How have I not heard of author F.T. Lukens before this? I grant you that The Rules and Regulations for Mediating Myths & Magic is only the third published novel by this writer, but it’s just brilliant. Humorous, intelligent and able to produce simply wonderful characters that make a deep impression on both your heart and mind, F.T. Lukens brings to life some of the most undeniably zany creatures you can ever imagine. From the butter and chocolate loving pixie duo of Nia and Bran to the seductive werewolf, Elena, the otherworldly beings loom larger than life in this novel, and they make what would otherwise be a run-of-the-mill paranormal sparkle and shine.

Jules: Lord of the White Hell: Book One by Ginn Hale ~ This is shaping up to be the year where I finally read a bunch of books that have been on my list forever. I dunno how I sat on this particular book for so long, but thank goodness I finally got to it because Lord of the White Hell by Ginn Hale is an absolute feast. I couldn’t be more stoked to have had the opportunity to read and review this book. As with any of Hale’s stories, once you begin it, you find yourself immediately and completely immersed in the world she has created. I could picture the grounds of the Sagrada Academy, smell the pies that Kiram and Javier stole from the kitchen windowsill, hear the blows and grunts during the battles in the autumn tournament. Every scene is so rich, every character so real and memorable, the sensations and emotions just leap off the page.

Jules: Into This River I Drown by TJ Klune ~ It is going to be extremely difficult to put into words how amazed I was by this story. I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect going in. Based on the blurb, I knew that it was going to be on the darker side—darker than other books I’ve read by Klune—and that it had a paranormal aspect. I didn’t know that it was going to be romance, mystery, suspense, and paranormal all rolled into one. Or, that it would be so incredibly gorgeous. Into This River I Drown was everything I hoped it would be and then some. Which shouldn’t be surprising at all given that it’s a TJ Klune novel, and that it won the Lambda Literary Award for Best Gay Romance in 2014.

Lisa: Be My Best Man by Con Riley ~ Yet again, author Con Riley has penned a gorgeous love story in Be My Best Man, a May/December romance between a young Russian seeking asylum in England, and a man whose once bitten, twice shy outlook on relationships has left him soured on the very idea of being with anyone long-term.

Every single moment of watching Vanya and Jason grow closer is beautiful, and I love how their difference in age was the least of the obstacles in their getting together. So much of this is owed to Vanya, to his experiences and dreams, his seeing Jason’s heart and character rather than focusing on the way time has marked Jason’s features and grayed his hair. I also love that their relationship isn’t rushed in the least. For things to have moved too quickly would have been disingenuous to their entire relationship and the things Vanya is keeping from Jason. Not to mention the fact that I wouldn’t have had the wonderful opportunity to play witness to the way the title is the heart of the story.

Lisa: Rule Breaker by Lily Morton ~ It’s not such an easy feat to find a contemporary category romance novel that rises to the top of, and even transcends, the abundance of good gay romantic fiction out there. Rule Breaker does. It makes its own excellence seem effortless, owing to the author’s way with words, sense of humor, and instincts for drawing a character such as Gabe with just enough vulnerability to temper his multitude of sins. There is a warmth to this novel that contradicts Gabe’s coldness, a sweetness that overcomes the bitter wreckage of Dylan’s heart. When the inevitable happens, the devastation is awful. When Dylan and Gabe are given a second chance, the outcome is breathtaking.

There isn’t a single thing I didn’t love about this book and the way its story and characters are crafted. Fair warning, though: this is one of those marathon binge reads. Once you start, you may not want to stop until The End. And then you may want to start reading it all over again. Yeah, it’s that good.

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And that does it for this month. Until next time, happy reading!

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THE GIVEAWAY



a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Audio Tuesday with Jessie Potts

Hello all, welcome to another Audio Tuesday, and Jessie Potts is here again from the HEA blog to talk about some of her most recent audio recommendations.

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I have been in a mood lately, and when I get in my moods I tend to fall back on favorites in my library. Here are a few m/m romances that I constantly listen to. Enjoy!

Shattered Glass by Dani Alexander, narrated by Joseph Northton
This is one of my favorite books and audiobooks because I laugh all the time. This entire story is fantastic and you will 100% feel for the MC Austin. He constantly finds himself in these situations that he just can’t help but make worse… by being himself. In the end though it all works out. The only thing that really really really really really really REALLY bothers me is that I have been waiting FIVE years for book two. What makes it worse is that the author already put the second and third covers and descriptions up on Goodreads and I don’t know when the next one will be out! 

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Shattered-Glass-Audiobook/B00JG4BXAM/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1506396610&sr=1-1

Dogwood Days & Spring Fever by Poppy Dennison, narrated by Matt Armstrong
This was such a cute read and I’m so glad that the narrator fully embraced the craziness of Holly Creek. Jefferson (and ALL the crazy characters… I’m looking at you Holly Berries) is fantastic and watching him get reacquainted with the characters and town always brings a smile to my face. Add a hot sheriff hero, mix in some heat and steam… and BAM you get a sassy southern romance to brighten up your day! 

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Dogwood-Days-Spring-Fever-Audiobook/B01GP2F2BI

Little Wolf by R. Cooper, narrated by Robert Neiman
Ok so this entire series is my go to for when I need happiness, but Tim Dirus/Littlewolf holds a special place in my heart. He’s so mean and cranky, small and fierce.. I just love him! The sheriff (another hot sheriff!) is so alpha, yet so so so understanding and sweet. Their entire romance just leaves a goofy smile on my face. As I’ve listened to this series a million times… I can’t wait for Treasure for Treasure to come out on Audio! Come on!!!

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Little-Wolf-Audiobook/B01EZ21P3O

 Thank you all for reading, enjoy the recs!