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★★★ Better Than Friends by Lane Hayes ★★★

Mishyjo reviews the third book in Lane Hayes’ Better Than Series

  • Better Than Good (Better Than #1)
  • Better Than Chance (Better Than #2)
  • Better Than Friends (Better Than #3) – in this review.

 

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Better Than Friends

by

Lane Hayes

 

The blurb

 

When Curt Townsend, a successful young DC lawyer, attends his first gay wedding, he doesn’t expect anything more than a great evening out spent celebrating two lucky guys willing to commit to one another. He certainly doesn’t anticipate meeting someone like Jack Farinelli. Fourteen years Curt’s senior, Jack owns two businesses: a gay bar and a motorcycle shop. He’s gorgeous and self-assured, but Curt is positive they have nothing in common.

Jack is comfortable in his own skin. He’s attracted to Curt’s quick wit and easy manner but most of all, to their unexpected mutual love of baseball. As they forge a friendship based on their shared enthusiasm for the sport, they begin a journey which reveals how their differences might be the catalyst behind a growing attraction. Both men have experienced their share of pain, but they realize they need to set aside the past and learn to trust in a future if they are to have one together.

Our thoughts

 

Better than Friends is book 3 in Lane Hayes’s Better Than series.  Although I liked it well enough, it wasn’t quite a good as books 1 and 2 in my opinion.
I loved Jack.  Although the story was told from Curtis’s first person point of view, I felt that we got to know Jack really well.  There was a strong sense of who he was and how he had gotten there without a huge information dump.  His character here was nicely different than what I expected from the little bit we knew of him from book 2.  The real Jack and his prior relationship with Peter was far more complex and Jack was far more likable than the glimpse of him we got from Jay’s perspective in Better than Chance.
But I also felt a little misled about Jack through much of the book.  He owned a leather bar. Was he a leather daddy?  I kinda hoped so.  He was a biker and owned a bike repair shop as well. Was there gonna be an MC in the background?  That would have been fun too.  There were hints that he had a bit of a Dom thing going on.  Was a D/s type of relationship going to develop between the MCs?  That would have been awesome.  I suppose we were figuring Jack out as Curtis was, but in the end I was a bit let down about how these various assumptions played out.
Curtis I liked less.  I understood his insecurities.  To the extent there was a love triangle, it didn’t bother me although the fallout was predictable.  But there were moments that he was downright whiny.  Those moments were not only annoying but didn’t seem consistent with who Curtis was and I couldn’t see why Jack tolerated him at those times.
The romance itself was pretty good.  I liked the chemistry between the two and the way that Jack and Curtis played off of each other.   At times the relationship development felt somewhat similar to that in Better than Chance, however, and the two story lines are now a bit confused in my mind.
I think that writing books in a series can be a double edged sword for an author. Although there is already a built-in audience by the time book 3 rolls around, there are also expectations that have to be met, including the dueling expectations that the story be as strong as the prior entries and consistent in their feel while not so similar as to become predictable formulaic.
I am both hopeful for a book 4 in this series and optimistic that it will carry it’s own weight in this series and not ride on the coattails of the first 3.

Hope you enjoy – Mishyjo x

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★★★★ Enough by Matthew J Metzger ★★★★

 

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Enough

by

Matthew J Metzger

 

The blurb

 

Jesse can do the math: Ezra’s perfect, he isn’t, and this relationship is doomed. Until the accident forces Jesse to recalculate.

Jesse has never had a real boyfriend before. He’s a firefighter, and that’s all that anyone’s seen before—a quick and thrilling screw, and a story for the future. So when he lands Ezra Pryce, the most beautiful man in the whole of Brighton, Jesse can’t quite understand why Ezra is still here eight months down the line.

Not that he’s going to complain. Ezra’s sexy, sarcastic, and doesn’t treat Jesse like he’s stupid, but Jesse can do the math. Ezra is nothing short of perfection; and Jesse falls a very way short of it. Jesse isn’t going to be enough for someone like Ezra in the long run, and he is living—and loving—on borrowed time. When a disastrous weekend in Norwich introduces Jesse to the staunch disapproval of Ezra’s family and the six-pack of his ex-boyfriend in one fell swoop, Jesse’s fate is sealed. He cannot hope to live up to an ex who has every intention of getting Ezra back, and all the looks and charm to do it too. Jesse is not enough for Ezra and he’s never going to be.

 

Our thoughts

 

This was my first time reading this author and I have to say I am really glad I gave this book a try.  it was unique in that it started with an already established couple which I though was a nice change.  When the story starts Ezra and Jessie have been together 8 months.  Ezra is a school teacher and Jessie is a firefighter.  They have a stable relationship but are not yet living together.  Despite their stability both men are struggling with issues of their own.  Ezra has a mother and a sister who have not accepted his homosexuality and Jessie’s background still effects his self image and self worth.  As the story unfolds the two men are forced to deal with their issues and try to strengthen their relationship along the way.
What I really liked about this book was not a lot happened and yet I couldn’t put it down.  Don’t get me wrong, things happened, but no big, dramatic, angst filled events.  Just, for the most part, normal events.  The strength to me was that the author showed me two people working through every day life events and every day struggles and he still kept me up late turning the pages.
I loved both Ezra and Jessie’s characters and I thought they were really well done.  All of the side characters were also well done and I don’t think I’ve ever disliked a character as much as I did Ezra’s sister.  What a vile creature.  The romance felt real and while the sex scenes were minimal it worked for this story.  I found myself rooting for these two and their happily ever after.
Overall I though this was a really well done book.  The writing was strong, the characters drew me in and I enjoyed it from beginning to end.  I would recommend this book to others and I will definitely be checking out more of this author’s work.

Hope you enjoy – Alisa x

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Guest Post: Renae Kaye

We are very excited to welcome our friend, Renae Kaye to Two Men, talking about a topic very close to her heart!

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Give me some more of that humour!

Everyone has a sense of humour.  But there are a lot of different senses, and a lot of different humours.  As a woman, I don’t get fart jokes.  I just don’t.  Men seem to adore them.  I blink and change the subject, really quick.  Ejections of (often) smelly air from our bodies in loud, noisy ways do not tickle my funny bones.  Yeah.  Umm.

My mother tells me I share the same humour as my father – and I have to concede she is right.  Some of my precious memories are of sitting over breakfast, passing the comics back and forth with my father and laughing so hard I was snorting milk.  We would try to make Mum join in, but she never got it.  Her humour is different from ours.

Humour is often selective like that.  People describe humour with terms such as “dry wit” or “sarcastic comebacks”.  You can be jovial or straight-faced or even droll.  I’m not really quite sure what I am.  I just know that I find humour in all types of places.

The ability to tell a joke or a funny story is something that some people have – or conversely, don’t have.  My mother-in-law cannot tell a joke.  She.  Simply.  Cannot.  We shake our heads despairingly at her.  She’s one of these people who forgets what she’s saying halfway through, and has to stop and think about the joke while we all sit in horrified fascination at how badly she’s stuffing up the story.  When I first met her, I didn’t understand this.  Now, some of the most traumatic moments of my life occur after she speaks the words, “I heard this joke today…”

Sadly for me, my husband is exactly the same.  He often tells the punchline first, completely missing the impact of the joke.  I race to catch up, trying to work out what he’s trying to say.  There’s an awkward pause while I run through the joke in my head (in the correct order), then I laugh.  About twenty seconds too late.  Yeah.  Umm.

Me?  I love telling jokes.  I’m a bit of a performer and in my childhood I did some amateur theatre.  My first role was playing a girl who talked to herself.  Often.  Then I played Dracula’s crazy mother who had to be locked in the dungeon.  I rounded off my acting career by playing a teacher whose students gave her a nervous breakdown.  I guess you could infer that I play the crazy quite well.  Yeah.  Umm.

I think that my humour comes from desperation.  Sometimes, unless you laugh at yourself, you’ll go crazy from the depression.  And that’s never a good look.

So, do I use humour in my books?  Umm, yeah.  Sorry ‘bout that.  I don’t think I can turn it off, and do you know what?  That’s okay.  I’ve heard people say they can’t take any more angst.  Or any more sadness.  Or any more depressive, maniacal horror.  I’ve yet to hear someone say, “Oh, my gosh.  I don’t think I could take any more laughing.  I’ve read three comedic books in a row, and I’m just so sore from laughing, I’m going to burst.”

My second novel, The Blinding Light, was released on the 14th of July, and I am so proud of that puppy!  It has been well received and my heart is glowing from the love it is causing.  It even made the “Movers and Shakers” list on Amazon for its strong sales.  And I am so happy about that, and I love that people love it.  Because love and happiness is what we all need.

So if you would like a dose of happiness today, check out what I’m talking about.  You won’t regret it.

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❤ Project Fierce Chicago – A message from Sophie Bonaste ❤

Today we welcome Sophie Bonaste, another of the wonderful authors who contributed to the Project Fierce Chicago charity anthology.

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Hello Readers! My name is Sophie Bonaste and I am one of twenty writers in a very special anthology. The Project Fierce Anthology, published by Less Than Three Press, is a charity anthology for Project Fierce in Chicago. All of the proceeds with help this organization get off the ground and aid homeless LGBT all over the city.

I am very lucky to be part of this anthology. All of the stories in it are truly wonderful and touch on a vital issue. Today I want to share a little information about my story, A Mysterious Savior. The story follows Dylan, a young adult living on the street after being kicked out of his home for being bisexual. Life hasn’t been easy for Dylan and his thoughts have started to turn desperate as he struggles to figure out a way out, through any means necessary. But just when things are at their darkest, a mysterious man comes to Dylan’s aid. He doesn’t know what to make of this man and struggles to trust him. But Dylan’s last hope may reside with this mysterious savior.

When I was planning this story out, I loved the idea of Dylan being saved by a complete stranger. I think it’s important to remember that any one of us can be a savior at any time. We all know that life is hard and there are times when giving someone a few minutes of your time or paying for someone’s meal makes all the difference in the world. All we have to do is reach out.

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Now I don’t mean to be preachy or imply that we have to devote every waking moment to helping people we haven’t met. We all have lives and families that need attention too. But if we all spent a few minutes a day helping those in our community who needed it, then the world would be a much better place. So reach out! And if you are scrambling for ideas, one of the first things that you should do is to support Project Fierce and buy this anthology. Since all of the money goes directly to Project Fierce you can know that you have helped LGBT youth in Chicago start their lives the right way. All of the information is below.

I want to thank everyone for reading my post! I also want to send a special thank you to Nic Starr and everyone at Because Two Men Are Better Than One for helping to publicize this anthology. Because together, we can ensure that one day everyone will have a home to call their own.

Project Fierce Chicago

Nobody deserves to be without a home. In collaboration with several authors, Less Than Three Press offers up an anthology of stories about young people who find that home and family are not always where you expect to find them.

All proceeds from this charity anthology will be donated to Project Fierce Chicago.

Project Fierce Chicago’s mission is to reduce LGBTQ youth homelessness in Chicago by providing affirming, no-cost transitional housing and comprehensive support services to homeless LGBTQ young adults. PFC also aims to encourage community-building and civic engagement through cooperative living and youth leadership development.

LT3′s Project Fierce Chicago charity anthology includes 20 short stories from Aeris, Vicktor Alexander, Talya Andor, C.J. Anthony, Blaine D. Arden, Kayla Bain-Vrba, Sophie Bonaste, Kenzie Cade, Jana Denardo,Alessandra Ebulu, Dianne Hartsock, Leta Hutchins, Caitlin Ricci, Lor Rose, B. Snow, Rin Sparrow, Andrea Speed, Piper Vaughn, Layla M. Wier, and Xara X. Xanakas.

 

Biography:

Sophie Bonaste is a novelist who never set out to be a novelist. As a child, she wanted to a Broadway actress and spent her childhood in numerous productions. But when adulthood set in and reality took over, Sophie chose to give up the theatre for a steady paycheck and instead turned to writing as a creative outlet. She stumbled into the M/M genre through fanfiction and never looked back. Sophie is quite happy with her change in artistic expression and doesn’t plan to stop writing for a long time.

A self-proclaimed nerd, Sophie is an avid fan of all things Star Wars and Harry Potter. (Sophie is a member of the Slytherin house, for those who were wondering.) Sophie also spends many hours watching and re-watching nerdy television shows. When she is not obsessing over the latest and greatest in nerdy entertainment, Sophie can be found screaming at her television during American football games. (Go Pack Go!) Sophie currently lives in Pennsylvania, about twenty minutes from her childhood town of The Middle of Nowhere.

 

Buy the Project Fierce Anthology here!

or from Amazon.

Learn more about Project Fierce at www.projectfiercechicago.org

Sophie’s Website- sophiebonaste.blogspot.com

Sophie’s Email-sophiebonaste@gmail.com

Sophie on Twitter-https://twitter.com/SophieBonaste

Sophie on Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/sophie.bonaste

Sophie on Goodreads- http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7263780.Sophie_Bonaste?from_search=true

 

 

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Book Blast and Giveaway: Not Quite Broken by Diana DeRicci

 

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Not Quite Broken

by Diana DeRicci

Cover Artist:  Lex Valentine

Publisher: MLR Press

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The Blurb…

Can Dex survive a nightmare that won’t let go?

Dex’s life has gone into a tailspin. One night that ruined his entire world. He can’t sleep, he can’t eat. He’s lost his job, and is about to lose the last of his sanity. When the world crashes down around him, he’s ready to let the world win.

Dex has friends, though, who are determined to not let him self-combust.

One man will be there to guide him through his nightmare, to hold him to keep the demons at bay, and still let him be strong enough to find the strength to love after his darkest hour.

Excerpt 

Brian tempered his smile at Dex’s miffed tone. There was still a spark of the man he was before the night of his attack. He’d seen it in snatches for a few days when Dex was trying so hard to pretend that night hadn’t happened at all, especially when they were at Chad and Sonny’s. He knew with good insight Dex didn’t want either of them to worry. Then life started to return and invade and the nightmares began. Doctors, police, therapy. He couldn’t outrun them. The stress of it caused nightmares. He didn’t know if any of Dex’s other friends, who seemed to be sparse, were equipped to help him handle the aftermath.

That lack of family or friends in his life was partly why Brian had taken such a personal interest in Dex’s recovery.

He was being devious about it, taking Dex on these little errands, putting him in situations where he couldn’t evade. Brian wasn’t going to allow anyone to hurt him, least of all Dex himself, by hiding.

He opened the glass entryway door and Dex obediently followed.

“Hi, Samantha,” Brian called to the girl behind the counter. He got a wave and smile, though he didn’t slow down to talk.

“It’s loud in here,” Dex complained.

“It’s a gym, not the ballet.”

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 About the Author

Diana DeRicci is the sexy, flirty pen name of Diana Castilleja. A romance author at heart, DeRicci’s writing takes you into a saucier spectrum of sensuality and sexual adventure, where a happily-ever-after is still the key to any story. Diana lives in Central Texas with her husband, one son and a feisty little Chihuahua named Rascal. You can catch the latest news on all of Diana DeRicci’s writing and books on her website. Feel free to drop Diana an email. She’d love to hear from you.

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/diana.castilleja.14

Author Page – https://www.facebook.com/groups/247519905431256/

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/dianacastilleja/

Twitter: @DianaCastilleja


Tour Dates: 7/18/14

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Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Cate Ashwood, MM Good Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Reviews and Ramblings, LeAnn’s Book Reviews, Smoocher’s Voice, Prism Book Alliance, Tara Lain, Love Bytes, Hearts on Fire, Fallen Angel Reviews, Wicked Wolves and Dreaming Dragons, It’s Raining Men, Because Two Men Are Better Than One

 

 

Giveaway

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Click here or the image to enter the Rafflecopter

Rafflecopter Prize: E-book of Not Quite Broken

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★★★★ Loving Luki Vasquez by Lou Sylvre ★★★★

 

Vasquez and James #1

More reviews from this series soon.

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Loving Luki Vasquez

by

Lou Sylvre

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

 The blurb

 

Reclusive weaver Sonny Bly James controls every color and shape in his tapestries, but he can’t control the pattern of his life—a random encounter with Luki Vasquez, ex-ATF agent and all-around badass, makes that perfectly clear. The mutual attraction is immediate, but love-shy Sonny has retreated from life, and Luki wears his visible and not-so-visible scars like armor. Neither can bare his soul with ease.

While they run from desire, they can’t hide from the evil that hunts them. After it becomes clear that a violent stalker has targeted Sonny, Luki’s protective instincts won’t let him run far, especially when Sonny’s family is targeted as well. Whether they can forgive or forget, Sonny and Luki will have to call a truce and work together to save Sonny’s nephew and fight an enemy intent on making sure loving Luki Vasquez is the last mistake Sonny will ever make.

 

Our thoughts

 

3.5-4 stars
Contemporary, suspense thriller

A clever little suspense thriller wrapped in an m/m romance.  This story, Loving Luki Vasquez, had some nice little plot twist and a nice little love story thrown in the mix.

Luki Vasquez is a private investigator/bodyguard with his own company.  Sonny James is a tapestry weaver living a sheltered life.  Not really two people you would put together but the chemistry worked.  They meet by chance and there is an instant connection but not insta-love (thank goodness).  They sort of dance around each other in the beginning until some young boys decide to vandalize a mutual friends home.  From there the two men are inseparable and are in a race to find the man taunting them.  Sonny has captured the attention of someone who has no problem with getting rid of “faggots” and at the same time his closest living relative, his nephew Delsyn, has gone missing.  Luki and Sonny realize later that Delsyn’s disappearance is no coincidence.   The clock is ticking for them to bring down a madman and save Delysn’s life.

Lou Sylvre takes us on a harrowing ride dealing with Luki’s past demons and Sonny’s familial responsibilities.  Along the way she shows us beauty is more than skin deep and that love can make things harder and easier at the same time.  Both men have never truly loved another and they way they deal with the ups and downs and insecurities, without the heavy angst, was a pleasure to read.  I really enjoyed both MCs they were not stereotyped by their professions.  The kind heart that Luki tries so hard to hide behind his icy persona and I get the feeling there is a lot more to Sonny than meets the eye…

It did take me a little while to get into the story, the beginning felt choppy and the POV’s changed from paragraph to paragraph at times, which was a little confusing.   But by the second have of the book I was on pins and needles reading wanting to know what would happen next do they find the madman in time, do they find Delsyn in time…  One of the things I loved was that even though Luki is supposed to be all badass he vomits when emotionally stressed and even though Sonny comes across very mild mannered he has a little badass in him as well.

I’m looking forward to the next story in the Vasquez & James series.

Bookjunkie xx

 

More reviews from this series soon.

  • Loving Luki Vasquez (book #1) – in this review
  • Delsyn’s Blues (book #2)
  • Finding Jackie (book #3)
  • Saving Sonny James (book #4)
  • Yes (book #5)
  • Because of Jade (book #6)

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BLOG TOUR, EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY – Secrets in the Air by Liz Borino

 

Wealthy family…
 
Childhood tragedy…
 
A love defying all odds…
 
Secrets in the Air
Flying is in Rhett O’Neil’s blood. And nothing makes this pilot fly higher than wrapping himself in his husband Kaden’s arms. He’s thrilled when his grandfather entrusts him with O’Neil Airways, the family’s charter airplane business. With a mix of humanitarian and corporate clients, Rhett plans a bright future where his success improves the world.
Elise, Rhett’s mother, begins offering advice to “help” her son through the transition into increased responsibility. As evidence surfaces that her words are escalating into devastating actions, the truth comes out about the death of Rhett’s sister Annabelle. Kaden has to race to protect his husband and himself from the consequences of the Secrets in the Air before it’s too late.

The wind assaulted Rhett O’Neil’s torso as he drove down Highway 495 on his motorcycle. He had every intention of heading straight home after landing his plane “Betsy,” but when he checked his phone, he found a message from his grandfather asking him to make a quick trip to the estate. What Pop wanted, he got. Rhett hoped they kept it short, because after a week away he would much prefer to make it home for dinner with his husband, who… Shit! I forgot to call Kaden. Before he could correct this grievous error, his phone rang through his Bluetooth helmet. He answered, “I love you.”
Kaden released a breath resonating with relief and exasperation. “Sure you do. I thought you’d be waiting for me after my shift. Isn’t that what we discussed forty-five minutes ago when you finished screwing around with Betsy?”
Rhett laughed. “Checking a faulty engine blade is far from screwing Betsy.”
“You made that unnecessarily dirty.” But Kaden laughed, too, so Rhett concluded it was very necessary.
When their laughs turned to chuckles, Rhett said, “I should have let you know Pop asked me to stop by for something quick. I’m not sure what, though.”
“Please don’t tell him about the engine blade, Rhett. I’d like to see you sometime before my next shift,” Kaden said. He worked as a nurse from seven a.m. to three p.m. at the drug rehab floor of the local hospital.
“Stop. We’re not going to talk all night. Believe me when I tell you, I’d rather be home without clothes on, eating the dinner you promised.”
Kaden quieted on the other end.
“You are making dinner, right?” Rhett clarified.
“Roast beef has been cooking in the crock pot all day. But, see, we’d have to eat it upstairs if you planned to be naked.” Kaden’s voice now held an element of concern.
“Why?” Rhett asked.
“I’ll tell you when you aren’t driving. Be careful on that death trap.”
Rhett never understood why his motorcycle was a death trap, but Betsy provided perfectly acceptable transportation. And then he heard a shriek in the background. “What is that?”
“Lassie,” he answered, concern turned to defeat.
“Doesn’t sound like a dog.”
“It’s a cat. We talked about this. We agreed a cat would be an acceptable pet for our lifestyle,” Kaden reminded him.
Flicking on the blinker, Rhett turned off the exit. He had said that, but he didn’t expect Kaden to go out and get a cat while he was away. “Why did you name it Lassie?”
“Her. And that was her name for the first six months of her life.”
“Fair enough. I’m here, and I won’t stay long. Then you can explain why we have to confine nudity to the bedroom like teenagers,” Rhett said as he leaned over and punched in the security code to open the gate to his grandfather’s estate.
“Tell him I’m making dinner. He’s very concerned about your nutritional intake.”
Rhett drove around the maze that led to the main house. “Yes, but he might invite himself over if I tell him what you’re making.”
“Not if you mention Lassie. I love you. Please call me before you sit on that bike.” Kaden hung up without leaving space for Rhett to protest.
He shook his head and removed his helmet as he dismounted the motorcycle. Rhett paused to stroke the sleek paint job on his red Kawasaki. He didn’t care what Kaden thought, Rhett relished the thrill of riding. Kaden had seen too many fatalities from motorcycle accidents during his ER rotation in nursing school to feel the same. So maybe he did understand, but the peace on the issue was hard-won. Rhett tucked his helmet into the compartment under the seat and strode up to the house. The door swung open and Rhett smiled at Martha, his grandfather’s long-time household manager. “Heard the muffler?” he asked, taking off his coat and handing it to her.
“Your grandfather did. He’s in his study. I left snacks in there for you two.”
Rhett kissed her cheek. “Thank you.” He made his way through the expansive rooms decorated with the best art money could buy. A modern painting stopped him in his tracks. The splash of color and uneven lines contrasted with everything else in house. Rhett dashed to the study, knocked once and opened the slightly ajar door. “Are you going insane, Pop?”
Donald Everett O’Neil sat up, raised his eyebrow and grinned. “Unfortunately, not yet.” He gestured Rhett into the study, which was covered by model planes and pictures of his grandfather posing with the greats of aviation. Rhett was included in quite a few of those, as well. Yet in every one, he stared admiringly at his grandfather, as opposed to the celebrity sharing the shot.
“Unfortunately?” Rhett asked.
“Yes, Everett, sanity can be so taxing in one’s old age. I believe dementia is a self-defense mechanism so we aren’t forced to watch history repeat itself again, while no one heeds our warning,” his grandfather said. “How’d the flight go?”
Rhett shrugged. “No real problems. I’m sure you checked the stats before asking, so you’re well aware.”
Don’s laugh turned to a cough, which he calmed with a few sips of water. “Don’t smoke.”
“You can stop, you know.”
“And you can get rid of the bike, but we all have our vices. I’m old. I deserve to keep mine until it kills me.” Don removed his reading glasses and sat back in his chair. “Which is sort of what I wanted to talk to you about.”
“Smoking?”
“No. Dying.”
Rhett’s jaw dropped and his forehead moistened. “You’re… What’s wrong?”
Don waved him off. “Nothing’s wrong. Not that I know of, anyway. I am sixty-four, and don’t intend to live forever. Actually, I would love to die before asshole politicians run this country further into the ground. But not yet.”
“Pop,” Rhett started, raising his hand, “can you please get to the point?” He loved his grandfather, but he could not handle a rant about the government today.
“When did you get so impatient?”
“I have dinner and a husband at home waiting for me,” he answered.
“Your marriage is good then? You take care of each other?”
Rhett blinked, trying to follow the train of thought. His grandfather, while always supportive, never pried into his love life. “Yes.”
Don nodded. “I knew you would when you first brought him home.” The man’s voice had faded out again as he met Rhett’s eyes. “Your family is the most important ingredient of a happy life. I’m ensuring you have that before we continue this conversation. So, one more time, do you and Kaden have a strong relationship?”
“Yes.”
“That’s what I thought.” Don slid a paper across the desk to Rhett. “What I’m discussing will not make your mother happy. You need to be prepared for that.”
“Yeah, well, she made her choices.” Like to move to California with her husband after they released the asshole from prison. Rhett, at fifteen, had refused to move with them, and Pop adopted him. One of the best days of Rhett’s life was when he took his grandfather’s last name, shedding the otherwise permanent tie to the man who donated his sperm to fertilize his mother’s egg.
Don sighed again. “I wish you’d make peace with her.”
“I have. Mom and I are fine as long as she doesn’t reference the donor. If I don’t have to hear about him, I can pretend she divorced him like she should have. Now, Pop, what isn’t going to make her happy?” Rhett tried to keep his exasperation at bay as he picked at the hummus and pita bread.
“I will get there.”
Thought you wanted to die before the politicians ruined the country? Rhett nodded instead of voicing his thoughts. He’d have to find a way to make the delay up to Kaden later.
“You’re doing a fantastic job with taking on a leadership role in the company. I can tell you love it.”
The corners of Rhett’s mouth lifted. “You knew I would. I’ve worked for you since I was twelve.”
“I knew you loved flying, but that isn’t the same as leading. You’ve gained respect by taking responsibility of all parts of the business,” Don continued.
“That’s how you make sure it’s done right,” Rhett repeated the words his grandfather had told him throughout his childhood.
Don nodded again, wearing a smile of his own. “Everett, there’s something that I haven’t shared with you yet. The company does more than provide flights to wealthy people. We also work with the FBI.”
Rhett snapped his gaze back to his grandfather’s. “You do what? Aren’t they the same people ruining your beloved country?”
“No, I refuse to do business with stupid people. The company assists the rescue division of the FBI, particularly human trafficking cases,” Don said.
“Human trafficking, like the sex trade?”
“Yes, to put it broadly, the FBI tracks cases of girls and young women who go missing. This unfortunately happens every day, but the government pays special attention when the missing girls are of a lower socio-economic class and when the disappearances occur in the same geographic area,” he explained. “They’ve currently zoomed in on several larger organizations. The missions are to apprehend the traffickers and rescue the girls.”
“Are you qualified to help with that?” Rhett asked.
“I’m qualified to fly a plane and keep my mouth shut. The FBI has grown to rely on me, but the truth is I’m not as young as I used to be. Is this something you would be willing to do occasionally?”
Though not sure exactly what he was agreeing to, Rhett nodded.
“Perfect. Now for the part that’ll make your mother unhappy. I’m retiring, and I would like to give you part of your inheritance early, which means in the next few weeks I’ll draw up the paperwork so you and I will share all the assets of the company, in addition to about twenty-five percent of the money I have set aside for you.”
“Thank you, but… why?” Rhett’s head spun at the thought. His grandfather had already provided him with a trust fund that he used to put himself through school and buy Betsy. He finally glanced down at the paper, which detailed the money he would receive and the legalities of the co-ownership.
“Because you’re responsible. I trust you and I’d like to keep the wealth, especially the business, in the family.” His grandfather handed him a signed check, then stood and embraced his grandson. “Be careful on the road.”
After thanking him again, Rhett sent a text to Kaden, ‘Sorry that took so long, but trust me, it was worth it.’

The strength of this story lies in an established couple who are still very much in love. Rhett and Kaden have been married for two and a half years but together for thirteen years. They live for each other and very demonstrative with their affections. I love to see a book that shows a long-term couple who are still passionate.

Rhett is a pilot and works for his grandfather’s company. Pop (the grandfather) is also a star of this book– I loved his character and found his support of Rhett wonderful. Although he has money, Rhett’s life hasn’t always been a bed of roses, with a strange mom and a father he wants nothing to do with. This estrangement forms a large part of the story. Kaden is a nurse. He is a caring and supportive partner. He provides the family that Rhett has missed out on.

This is a story with romance but is largely a mystery. It has twists and turns, involving cross-country flights, the FBI, attempted murder, bribes, and family secrets. There’s enough action to keep you page turning to find out what’s going to happen next. Sometimes the scenes were a little brief and the transitions a little abrupt.  I found myself wanting to read a little more before moving on. For me, I also found the number of coincidences in the story a bit far-fetched. But parking reality for a moment, it was still an enjoyable story.

I was reading from an ARC which I think had some formatting issues, meaning the dialogue transition between characters was a little blurred and I had to stop to work out who was talking in some instances. But it wasn’t enough to detract too badly from the reading experience and I am sure will be corrected in the final version of the book.

This is a story for someone who likes a loving couple who are thrown into a situation that puts their lives at risk, where they have to race to solve a mystery and overcome obstacles in order to move on with their lives– sex, love, action, mystery and drama.

Liz Borino transcribes the world inside her head onto the page, and shares it with the people who are stuck in the “real world” to makes their lives a little more interesting. Because in her world, heroes fall and stand up again with the help of their partners and friends. Liz’s world is littered with formidable obstacles, which her heroes overcome with a fire of courage and passion. The beauty of love between two men is celebrated. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
When not with her heroes, Liz enjoys exploring cities, old abandoned buildings, working toward social justice, and editing for other authors. Liz published eleven books since 2012.  

 
 

 

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Blog Tour with Giveaway: The Pack or the Panther on audiobook!

 

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The Pack or the Panther

☊☊ audiobook ☊☊

 Tara Lain

Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson

Narrator: Max Lehnen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

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The Blurb…

Cole Harker, son of an alpha werewolf, is bigger and more powerful than most wolves, tongue-tied in groups, and gay. For twenty-four years, he’s lived to please his family and pack—even letting them promise him in marriage to female werewolf Analiese to secure a pack alliance and help save them from a powerful gangster who wants their land. Then Cole meets Analiese’s half-brother, panther shifter Paris Marketo, and for the first time, Cole wants something for himself.

When Analiese runs off to marry a human, Cole finally has a chance with Paris, but the solitary cat rejects him, the pack, and everything it represents. Then Cole discovers the gangster wants Paris too and won’t rest until he has him. What started as a land dispute turns into World War Wolf! But the bigger fight is the battle between cats and dogs.

Excerpt:

Cole took hold of a branch a few feet from Paris. “Do you think the alliance will stand?” He shrugged. “Hard to say. I know everyone hopes so, so I hope so too.” Cole pulled his eyebrows together. “But you don’t really care.”

Paris looked up sharply. “Yes, I care. I care about my parents. They’ve been good to me and I owe them a lot. I’m a freak by wolf standards, and my father has never abjured me. I honestly believe he kept me separate for my well-being more than his own. He acknowledges me as his son even though I remind him of his greatest sorrow.”

“Your panther mother.” He nodded. “And Trixie isn’t a brave female. My existence is difficult for her, but she’s been nothing but good to me. She had to stand against the combined disapproval of a lot of other females for me. They didn’t know what I was, but they knew I was Merced’s first wife’s son. They weren’t kind. She was. I value her and want the best.”

Cole nodded. If there was one thing he understood, it was loyalty.

“And then there’s you.”

Cole glanced up. Look at that mischievous face. He’d switched from deeply serious to court jester in one second flat. “What about me?” He grinned.

The cat danced around his tree, unfastening buttons on his shirt with intricate skill. “You want the alliance and I want you. Isn’t that an Aristotelian principle? If A equals B and B equals C, then Paris wants Cole to have his alliance so Paris can have Cole’s big yummy cock in his ass. An ass, I might add, that’s been throbbing like a voodoo drum since I first looked in your silver eyes, wolfman.” He whipped off the shirt, leaving his upper body bare.

Wow. Even knowing what was coming, that sight was hard to believe. The cat’s skin glowed in the moonlight like so much alabaster formed into a work of art. If you liked bulky, you wouldn’t like Paris. But if the look of a black leopard stealing along a branch stilled your heart, this sight would do it for you down to the ground. Not really slim. More like lean, with muscles just where they should be, but as if they were made of silk rather than stone. Fluid.

Paris reached and grabbed a branch, then pulled himself up one-armed until he leaned over the wood on his belly. Flip. He circled and came up to sitting, his upper body glowing and long legs dangling. He spread his arms out for a second as if balancing on a tightrope. Then he reached in and started to unfasten his belt. Slowly, he slipped it from his trousers, then swung it over his head until it caught on an upper branch.

He pulled himself to standing and used one hand to slowly lower his fly. White showed in the gap. Oh my. Not white underwear.  White skin. Cole shuddered. He wasn’t used to this kind of sexy. Hell, who was? This cat was one of a kind.

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About the author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 21. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Author Links:

Website:              http://www.taralain.com

Blog:                      http://www.taralain.com/blog

Goodreads:        http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain

Twitter:               http://twitter.com/taralain

FB Page:                http://www.facebook.com/taralain

Newsletter:          Newsletter

Tour Dates: July 15th, 2014

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Tour Stops: Parker Williams, Havan Fellows, Because Two Men Are Better Than One, My Fiction Nook, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Prism Book Alliance, Amanda C. Stone, Romance the Night, Redz World, Emotion in Motion, Cate Ashwood, Rainbow Gold Reviews, Hearts on Fire, Velvet Panic, Kimber Vale, MM Good Book Reviews, Iyana Jenna, Night Owl Reviews, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kimi-Chan, Buffy’s Ramblings,  Michael Mandrake

 

 

Giveaway

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Enter the giveaway by clicking the image or the link here.

Rafflecopter Prize: One audio copy, 2 e-copies

Buy Links

E-copies: Available  Dreamspinner Press  AMAZON  ARe And other resellers

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Active Duty Anthology – Gay Military Erotic Romance

Active DutyActive Duty

Gay Military Erotic Romance

Edited by Neil Plakcy  

This is a collection of military themed gay romance.

Soldiers in Love

In this fierce collection, Neil Plakcy brings us heart-pounding stories of men who put their lives on the line for love and duty. The heat of battle only amps up the level of excitement for soldiers who know that any tryst might be their last. A breakup note sent to the front line opens doors to new love in Jay Starre’s “Letter from Home.” In Logan Zachary’s “Ready Reserve,” a summer fling between two buddies with benefits becomes something more. Dirk Strong’s “Marine Guard” follows an embassy officer sent to Italy for work who ends up enjoying a romantic Roman holiday. These heroic hunks fight for love and honor—and their hearts and hard muscles will have you begging for your next debriefing!

An excerpt…

Active Duty exclusive excerpt

From ‘Liberty’ by Dominic Santi

Two days later, we were at the clinic. The surrogacy donation rooms were homey—large, comfortable beds with lots of pillows, soft lighting and a state of the art sound system for the classical background music we’d chosen. All of which belied the medical precision of what we were doing. The surrogacy programs weren’t hit or miss anymore. By the time Eric and I were back on Earth again, the first of our children would be ready to be born.

“Looks like the two of you will be mixing some primo genes.” The smirking, dark-haired technician was the type of sculpted eye-candy clinics employed to stimulate those who needed a kick start beyond the stacks of porn and sex toys on the nightstand. Eric and I stripped naked under his watchful and obviously interested eyes. Once we’d cleaned up and disinfected, the tech showed us how to use the collection sheaths, rolling one of the thin, transparent polyskins over a dildo and securing the sealant into place.

“Be sure it’s tight,” he said, running his finger around the edge to be sure there were no leaks. “You need to capture as much as possible of your preseminal fluid as well as your ejaculate. And don’t be surprised when the lube inside turns white. It’s a nutrient preservative to keep your sperm healthy. It’ll feel cool at first, but it will warm to body temperature as soon as it starts reacting to your fluids.”

After a couple of practice runs with the dildo, he seemed convinced we knew how to use the sheaths properly. With one final, lecherous grin toward our crotches, he gathered up his clipboard. “Remember, DO NOT mix up your donations. I’ll be at the desk down the hall. Press the buzzer over the bed when you’re done.” He closed the door behind himself, and Eric and I were alone.

“I can’t believe we’re here,” Eric said, laughing as he pulled me to him in a tight bear hug. “Jeez, I love you. And I’m so fucking horny. Let’s make us some babies.”

I was so nervous my dick couldn’t decide if it wanted to get hard or shrivel up, so I stretched out on the bed and held my arms out to him. Though the clinic recommended we use dildos to stimulate our prostate glands, we were going to do things the old-fashioned way—by fucking each other. We’d decided I’d go first, because after a few days of deprivation, I can almost always get it up a second time, no matter how hard I shoot the first. Eric had the staying power to fuck me into shooting while holding back long enough for me to do the same for him. And we were going to do it face-to-face, so we could kiss and hug—and watch each other come.

My thoughts?

This collection of stories starts at the more ‘erotica’ end of the scale with the more romantic elements coming into the stories from the second third of the book, or at least it seemed that way to me. That’s not to say that there aren’t emotions and love involved in the other stories, they are just more sexually focused. And the stories I felt were more romantic had a good dose of sex in them too! :)

Knowing I was reading gay erotica, I expected the raw and gritty sex that is portrayed. Most of the stories don’t pull any punches. This is sex that is no holds barred, down and dirty. To be honest I don’t find a lot of the terms used to be my taste–I won’t go into it here as I am sure most of you are familiar with the type of language to which I refer– but the mix of coarse sex and caring was fascinating.

These stories cover men on the front-line, men deployed to fight for their country. There are men on leave, men in training. The stories range from sex for sex’s sake, insta-love, fun impromptu sex, menage, quick and dirty fucks to marriage proposals. Most of the stories are set in current time (at least I think they are) with a notable exception. Liberty (the story from the excerpt above) is set in a world where surrogacy seems the norm. I was amazed to see an erotic sex scene while collecting semen for artificial insemination–very different! My favourite stories were those that had a little more story such as Neil Plakcy’s own story “A Voice In The Dark” about two men coming together after being captured by the enemy and escaping.

This isn’t traditional m/m romance but that’s not what you expect when you read this type of anthology.  As the blurb says, “in this fierce collection, Neil Plakcy brings us heart-pounding stories of men who put their lives on the line for love and duty.” Expect to read of military men dealing with sex and love in many different situations, that provides a view of  the changes since Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed.

About the editor

Neil Plakcy is the author of nineteen novels and collections of short stories, as well as the editor of many anthologies for Cleis Press, including Hard Hats, Surfer Boys, Skater Boys, The Handsome Prince, Model Men, Sexy Sailors, and Beach Bums. He began his erotic writing career with a story for Honcho magazine called “The Cop Who Caught Me”, and he’s been writing about cops and sex ever since, most recently with seven novels in the Mahu mystery series. He lives in South Florida. Find him at his website www.mahubooks.com.

Buy Links

Cleis Press

 

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