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BLOG TOUR & GUEST POST ~ Sam’s Story by Dylan Joseph

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Book Blurb:

When Dylan agreed to take a trip with his mom to a South Carolina campground, he wasn’t expecting much—until he met Sam, the lifeguard at the indoor pool. From that moment on, Dylan and Sam are thrust into a roller coaster of self-discovery. For them, even life’s most ordinary moments—brushing one’s teeth, playing a game of basketball, watching the sky—become precious. Sam’s Story is a poetic and heart melting read.

Release video:

 

 

Guest Post:

Hello readers! My name is Dylan Joseph and I am a 26-year-old gay author. I just published my first book: “Sam’s Story.” The book shows the struggle of growing up gay but it is much more than that. Aren’t you tired of hearing the sad stories about being gay? Sam’s Story is the possibility of love for the gay community. The kind of love the helps you better understand yourself. The kind of love that is not based around sex. The kind of love that we all want in our 20s.

My Coming Out:  It was the spring of 2006 and one of my close friends Lark asked me to go to the high school senior prom. I immediately said “Yes!” It wasn’t until later that day I realized she wanted to go to prom with me. I am gay. It was at this point I realized it was time for me to come out. A few days later I found myself standing in the basement as my mom was practicing piano. “I’m gay.” I said quite bluntly. It was a shock for her certainly but she was absolutely loving and supportive. In fact, all of my family and friends were supportive as the word spread. Within a year of coming out I met my first boyfriend, Krystian. For four years we enjoyed a deeply loving relationship full of beautiful memories and lots of laughs. This is what is like to be a gay youth in the 21st century. Surprised? We are so used to hearing the story about the gay teen that was rejected by his family or even worse— he committed suicide. This is an unfortunate truth and we have the best organizations working on it. One of my favorites is The Trevor Project where I am donating 10% of my book profits. There is a new story emerging that needs to be told. Focusing our efforts on telling a new story of the healthy gay man will create a context for the next generation of gay youth to live into.

Social Constructs:  Why will telling a new story help? A social construct is something that is generally agreed upon. Human beings agree on things through language thus a social construct is created by language. The story that is being told (using language) can impact reality by becoming a social construct. When we look back to Ancient Greece a great example is provided. In Athens, homosexuality was a normal and an integral part of how their society functioned. A male Athenian citizen would take on a younger man, the former being the erastís and the latter being the eranamus. The erastís would be responsible for the eranamus’ formal education including being a scholar, gymnast, artist and warrior. He would also teach the young man to be a lover. This was not a scene out of the bathes but a way of forging a bond so he could be role model. This may not be the ideal way to express homosexuality but this shows that throughout time the social constructs around homosexuality have changed. How do they change? They change by story telling, by language and by agreement.

Looking on the Bright Side:  Currently, the social construct around homosexuality has a few different aspects. Some of the major tones are ideas like: not acceptable, acceptable, a struggle, teasing, bullying, and suicide. It is different depending on where you are living in the country. Generally, it is something like a shell or wall over the gay populations head. Something to break through and something that constantly puts up resistance. We have demonstrated in the streets and in the courts. We have started to break that wall down. We are at a point where we must begin to also tell the positive story of being gay. This is what will make that wall (social construct) disappear for future generations. It may not be gone by time we are gone but we must think bigger then our lifetime. We must be bigger then our own lives and live to strive for the whole of humanity to thrive. So when you talk to the youth and when you share yourself as a gay man support them in their struggle. But really, really stress the marvelous life and joy it is to be a gay man. They will take that and run with it. This goes for our world as well. In the west, we are very lucky and many gay men around the world do not have the opportunity we have. It makes it even more important for us to tell this story.

Sam’s Story:  Sam’s Story is my way of telling my story. Sharing my life, my love and my struggle. It shows not only love on a surface level, but love that is deep and transformative. I believe when you meet a soul mate they help you grow into a better version of yourself. They help you transform old attitudes and past experiences that no longer benefit you. They also bring this love out of you that you have never seen before, a love you can cherish and share. If you are interested in supporting this movement towards a more positive gay future get your copy of Sam’s Story. It could be for yourself or a loved one. Pass on the love and tell the good story.

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Buy link:

Amazon – ebook

Amazon – Paperback

Author Bio:

11933390_10153577171330987_4882139375842354518_nDylan Joseph is a warrior, a healer, and a poet. He has a passion for the Chinese martial arts and meditation. His writing reflects the satisfaction he receives from discovering what it means to be human. He writes to entertain, to create worlds that inspire, worlds that provoke thought, and worlds that force his readers to live in another’s shoes. His goal is to create works that inspire people to live their lives to the fullest and fulfill all their dreams. Dylan is a 26-year-old gay man that grew up on Long Island, New York. He loves most people and certainly the opportunity to live life on planet Earth. Memento Mori. Tempus Fugit. Carpe Diem!

Social Links:

www.dylanjosephm.com
www.facebook.com/dylanjosephm
www.goodreads.com/dylanjosephm
www.Instagram.com/dylanjosephm

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True Blue (Out of the Blue #3) by RJ Jones

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True Blue is the third book in the Out of the Blue series by RJ Jones. If you loved Cam and Jake in Out of the Blue, then fell in love with Kris and Gray in Black & Bluhe, make sure you don’t miss this one. It’s already a best seller at All Romance.

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The Blurb:

When being true to yourself means denial is no longer an option.

On the heels of a tragedy, Brandon White shaved his hair, adorned his body with tattoos, and concentrated on his attraction to the opposite sex. Fifteen years later, Brandon is a protective son and a loyal and respected member of the San Francisco Fire Department, bedding anything in a skirt that promises not to stick around afterward.

When his past and present collide in his dreams—including his best friend and fellow fireman, Mason—Brandon knows things are never going to be the same again. He starts to recall that fateful day years before, and the long-forgotten feelings that preceded it. The most important thing he remembers—he’s not as straight as he’d thought.

With help, Brandon learns to accept who he was always meant to be. But when tragedy strikes again, Brandon must reconcile his past and present and deal with his grief if he is to ever be true, not only to himself, but to Mason as well.

**This can be read as a standalone, however it is best enjoyed after reading the first two stories as side characters play a major role.**

Buy Links:

Amazon  All Romance  Smashwords  iTunes

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Don’t forget to check out Out of the Blue and Black & Bluhe if you haven’t already.

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★★★★★ Red Dirt Heart #2 by N.r. Walker ★★★★★

 

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Red Dirt Heart 2

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N.r. Walker

The blurb

 

Up until Travis arrived on his doorstep, Charlie had lived a very solitary life. He had surrounded himself with isolation; a couple million acres of red dirt, scorching sun and loneliness.

Six months on, winter has settled over the desert, and Charlie has the life he never dreamed possible. But living and working together, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, for six months straight starts to take its toll.

Charlie is a stubborn, stubborn man, who tends to have more conversations in his head than what comes out his mouth, whereas Travis has no problem saying what’s on his mind. And even as they both struggle to communicate, struggle to make sense of need versus want, Charlie can see that he’s pushing Travis away – yet seems helpless to stop it.

When it all boils down to whether Travis should stay or go, maybe the decision won’t be theirs to make.

 

Our thoughts

 

5 ‘Dirty Red’ Stars

Some of you may know that I’m a total N.r. Walker fangirl. I have been for quite some now and quite frankly she can’t write fast enough to feed my addiction. I even read a short sci-fi AND an age gap romance just because she wrote it. (I hate age gaps – and sci-fi, but let’s not go there.) Imagine that! That age gap story was the Thomas Elkin Series and they turned out to be my favourite Walker books. But lets face it. I’m a Walker Stalker so I love them all.

This one though?  Red Dirt Heart 2? Has the potential to knock Old Thomas Elkin of his pedestal. Why? Let me explain:

Red Dirt Heart 2 was a trip! An absolutely lovely trip filled with laughs and tears, (Yes I cried – I couldn’t help it) – and don’t forget the baby animals. But there were so many funny moments as well. Charlie – well, he’s such a stubborn bastard and I’m glad that the book was told in his 1st POV. He says so many things to himself that if it wasn’t his POV we wouldn’t know what the hell was going on. Not much comes out of his mouth. Travis on the other hand – OMG, I love Travis. He’s funny and quirky and doesn’t give in when Charlie’s being a shit (which was often.) And always says whats on his mind. You don’t need to guess with Travis.

Charlie is not only in the closet when it comes to his farm, but he’s also a closet romantic. Whenever the opportunity arose for Charlie to do something to let Travis know he loves him, he does it.  Charlie may not say ‘I love you’ often, but his actions speak it so clearly. Even just the way Charlie gives in to Travis says so much. He may roll his eyes at some of the things Travis says and does but you can tell he secretly loves all his quirks.

From the look in his eyes, I knew what Travis wanted before he’d even said the words… “Charlie,” he started.

“Let me guesss,” I said. “You’ll die if I’m not inside you in the next five minutes.”

“The most excruciating of deaths,” he said, making me laugh.

The plot here surrounds Charlie and his fear that Travis will get tired of the red dirt, the isolation, the homesickness, and pack up and go home to Texas. Poor Charlie. I really felt for him. He thought he was happy being alone but now that he’s found Travis he’s realised that if Travis does leave it will kill him. Travis on the other hand has no intention of leaving. Ever. The red dirt is in his blood just as much as it is Charlie’s. But… and there’s a big BUT, the Australian immigration department says that Travis’s working visa is about to expire and he needs to leave the country in 28 days, or face deportation.

The return of some lovely side characters were a plus – I love Ma. Everyone needs a Ma.

You do need to read the first book, but seriously if you haven’t read it yet – or at least got it on your TBR – you are seriously missing out – and we can longer be friends.

Enjoy!

Robyn x

Follow N.r. Walker’s blog here

You can buy Red Dirt Heart 2 here:

All Romance 

Amazon

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T.E.D. by Jayson James – A book review and a book trailer

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 T.E.D.T.E.D. by Jayson James

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

TIM is being bullied. No one in high school wants to be known as a tattle-tale and to do so would only make things rougher for him. The repercussions would most likely make him an outcast, and without any friends.

ERIC is frustrated with life. His parents are overbearing and if they ever knew the person he really was, they would throw him out of their house. His friends are not much better, they only like him when he is who they expect him to be.

DELSIN is gay and ready to come out. Unfortunately, life at home is on the brink of falling apart with his parents constant fighting. Admitting the truth could bring his whole world crashing down around him.

Each of these three needs to decide whether the risks of being honest about who they are outweighs the importance of being true to themselves. This could mean ruining life as each of them knows it. Maybe it is better to remain miserable in order to play it safe. On the other hand, doing nothing doesn’t seem to working either.

So what did I think?

T.E.D. brings together three unique characters whose stories interweave as they face the challenges of growing up.

In some ways I was surprised by this story. For some reason I had expectations that the story would be very much focused on the experiences of dealing with being gay – I think this expectation came from the shelving of the book (on Amazon and GR) – but although the issue of coming out is very much part of this story, it is not its entirety.

The story encompasses general bullying and the total shits that kids can be towards one another. It deals with torment and pain and physical bullying. It deals with being bullied for who you are and being bullied for something that isn’t even true.

It deals with the impact of parental disputes and how this affects home life. It deals with homelessness, sexual aggression by other teens, first crushes and keeping up appearances. It raises the topic of suicide.

I actually found the book a little bit hard going, not a casual quick read. I think this was due to the nature of the topic and the sense of sadness and melancholy to the story. The language of the book captured the immaturity of the boys, particularly Tim’s story which was largely told by diary entry, an interesting first person perspective but with very much a childlike feel.

But there is hope and an ending that reminds us of the value of friendship and reminds us that Tim, Eric and Delsin are just boys at heart.

A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for my honest review.

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To find out more about Jayson James visit his website.

Buy T.E.D. from Amazon.

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A White Coat Is My Closet by Jake Wells

A White Coat Is My ClosetA White Coat Is My Closet by Jake Wells

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Zack Sheldon doesn’t have time to be lonely. He’s in his last year as a pediatric resident, almost married to the job, and busy with the joys and sorrows that come with providing medical care to children. Professionally, he’s confident, accomplished, and respected. But personally he’s too insecure to approach a sexy man like Sergio Quartulli, or even to imagine that Sergio might be attracted to him.

Zack spots Sergio from across the gym, and then a chance meeting poolside somehow turns into a date. Before Zack knows it, they’ve become a couple, but Zack’s white coat is his closet at the hospital, and committing to a relationship with Sergio makes it difficult for Zack to continue hiding behind it. On the other hand, he grew up in a small town where being gay was shameful, and he works in an environment that can sometimes be homophobic, so it’s hard for him to open up about who he really is. Before Zack can make a choice on his own terms, circumstances force him to make a decision. He can continue to hide, or he can step out from behind his white coat and risk everything for love.

So what did I think?

It has romance and it is Zach’s love of Sergio that triggers it, but this is more a coming out story than a straight romance.

The focus is on what has made Zach the man he is and the life he has forged at the hospital. We see why Zach has remained in the closet and his struggles to live up to expectations, including his own.

I loved the easy love of Sergio and the totally nurturing personality of Zach. Including the detailed stories of patients like 5 year old Christopher really added interest to the story and also provides so much insight into Zach.

It is obvious the author has inside knowledge the medical world (his bio advises he has a successful career practising medicine) which really comes across in the realism within the story. There is detail of the life for staff inside the hospital but it also doesn’t shy away from providing details of illness and their treatments, but done in such a way that the reader is not left confused.

A nice blend of story, characters and dramatic moments.

❅❅❅❅❅❅❅

Buy A White Coat Is My Closet from Amazon.

Buy A White Coat Is My Closet from DSP.

 

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★★★★★ It Should Have Been You by Michael Murphy ★★★★★

It Should Have Been YouIt Should Have Been You by Michael Murphy

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

After a hit-and-run driver kills David McCleary, his mother, Frieda McCleary, tells her younger son, Patrick, “It should have been you.” While the McCleary family limps along for a while, it clearly died with David. In an effort to deal with her son’s death, Frieda joins a fundamentalist church while her family watches her become a stranger. When she discovers Patrick is gay, she is convinced he is the reason David was taken from her. Patrick’s father runs interference, but when he leaves town for work, she throws Patrick out onto the streets.

As a blond-haired, blue-eyed sixteen-year-old kid from the suburbs, Patrick has lived a sheltered life and doesn’t have a clue how to survive on his own. He’s struggling until he meets a local priest running a homeless shelter who introduces Patrick to Juan, a street-savvy Latino youth wise beyond his years, and they strike up an instant rapport.

It’s not pretty, but they’re making it together, until one night Juan goes off with a stranger to earn a few bucks… and doesn’t come back. Patrick is determined to find him, regardless the danger and cost.

So what did I think?

“Patrick felt as if someone had kicked him in the middle of his soul. He wanted to double over in pain, pain more intense than what he would have felt if someone wearing combat boots had just kicked him hard in the stomach.
How was it possible that just a few words could hurt so much? How? Simple. They were hateful words from one of the two people who were supposed to love him more than anyone else in the world.”

Patrick’s story was such compelling reading, a story that I read with a sense of disbelief. I mean, how could a mother turn her back on her child? I know it happens, I know there are many, many boys like Patrick, denied their homes and families, but this really brought it home. I just wanted to open my arms and my home to Patrick and give him a safe place to grieve and to live.

Patrick’s journey isn’t easy but his attitude was outstanding. He may have been homeless and without a place to lay safely, unable to bathe and no food to eat but he is resilient! I was quietly cheering as he stood up to the ridiculous authority figures at school, who said they were unable, but more like they were unwilling, to help. Who turns their back on a child!

Luckily for Patrick he does find people with kind hearts and souls who help him and his friend Juan. They experience the ultimate challenges life throws at them and resort to doing things no boys should have to do, but they are courageous and strong and together, find a happier path in life.

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To find out more about Michael Murphy and his books visit his website.

Buy It Should Have Been You from Amazon.

Buy It Should Have Been You from DSP.

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★★★★★ Double Full by Kindle Alexander ★★★★★

A little update from 13th Jan 2014….there is now a Book Trailer so I just had to add it. Make sure you check it out!

 

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Double Full (A Nice Guy Novel #1)Double Full by Kindle Alexander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Up and coming football hero, Colton Michaels, makes a Hail Mary pass one night in the college locker room that results in the hottest, sexiest five days of his young life. However, interference after the play has him hiding his past and burying his future in the bottom of a bottle. While Colt seems to have it all, looks can be deceiving, especially when you’re trapped so far in a closet that you can’t see your way out. When ten years of living his expected fast-lane lifestyle lands him engaged to his manipulative Russian supermodel girlfriend, he decides it’s time to call a new play.

Jace Montgomery single-handily built the largest all-star cheerleading gym in the world, driven by a need to forget a life-altering encounter with a handsome quarterback a decade ago. His reputation as an excellent coach, hard-nosed business man, and savvy entrepreneur earned him respect in the sometimes catty world of competitive cheerleading. When Jace learns of his ex-lover’s plans to marry, his heart executes a barrel roll and his carefully-placed resolve tumbles down without a mat to absorb the shock. Can his island escape help him to finally let go of the past and move his life forward?

So what did I think?

Desperate times call for desperate measures and I was desperate!

I had been eagerly waiting for this book, diarised the release date and everything. So when Amazon delayed the release I had to resort to reading a PDF version bought from ARe. I hate PDF on the Kindle – thank goodness for the iPAD!

But boy was it worth it! My comment after the prologue…..“Oh my, I’ve only read the couple of pages of the prologue and wow!”

I always knew I was going to love this book because I have really enjoyed everything I have read by Kindle Alexander and I wasn’t disappointed.

I loved the story of Colton, the fully in-the-closet football player and Jace, the gifted cheerleader. They have admired and lusted for one another from afar and finally come together for one hot and sizzling encounter that becomes a week together. But theirs is true love. Torn apart by tragic circumstance, they are never able to forget each other.

There is a wonderful blend of romance (Colt is surprisingly romantic and free with his emotions when he first opens up to Jace) and heartache. Colt has success in his sporting career but his personal life is tragic and Jace has not been able to move on despite achieving phenomenal success with his cheerleading business.

The story has heartbreak, drama, mystery and passion!

I was really pulled into the story so read it in one sitting (yes, it was a very late night, or should I say early morning!) but I just had to find out what happened at the end. The good news is that there is a happy ending. The bad news is there are still unresolved issues – or maybe that’s good news because it means we get another book. And maybe we will see more of Mitch’s story in Full Disclosure?

To find out more about Kindle Alexander and her books visit her website.

Buy Double Full from Amazon.

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Heart’s Truth by Tamsin Baker

Heart's TruthHeart’s Truth by Tamsin Baker

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Marcus is a 30-year-old successful architect. He wants someone to love and knows the right man will turn up when he least expects it. That moment arrives at his friend’s party. He sees Danny for only a moment, yet his interest is piqued. What could be more irresistible than a blue-eyed beauty who is completely untouched?

Danny knows he doesn’t find women attractive, but how is he going to find out if he’s gay? His sister’s party answers his prayers and the most gorgeous guy he has ever seen asks him out. But can their love survive when Marcus wants more than a closeted partner and Danny wants nothing more than to hide forever?

So what did I think?

This was a nice short story which reminded me of my (slightly rebellious) teenage years with references to Winnie Blues and schoolies!

Danny is young and slightly confused about his sexuality “Was he? Or wasn’t he?” but seeing Marcus as his sister’s party starts to help clarify things for him. “But if he was honest, he knew his confusion wasn’t the cause of his uneasiness. Yes, he was terrified of following a path that was completely new and uncertain. But at this very moment what really worried Danny was that if Marcus left, he would never see him again.”

It is really lovely to see how Danny and Marcus respond to each other with Marcus gently easing Danny into their relationship. Plus there is beautiful tenderness shown by Danny when Marcus gives himself to Danny…“We can learn together.”

This is a sweet romance about Danny’s coming out with a happy, smiling ending.

Plus I got the book for only $0.99 so no complaints there!

3 Stars

To find out more about Tamsin Baker’s books visit her Goodreads Author Profile.

Buy  Heart’s Truth from Amazon.

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A Daring Ride by Andrew Grey

The Bullriders series:

A Daring Ride  (The Bullriders, #2)A Daring Ride by Andrew Grey

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

The Blurb…

Simon “Frizz” Frizzell sneaks away to the rodeo on weekends, and it’s not until after he wins a buckle that he tells his parents about his bull-riding. He knows they won’t approve of his choice of sport, but his parents own a Christian bookstore, and he couldn’t possibly tell them the whole truth: he’s gay. And so are some of his rodeo friends, like Dante and Ryan, and Jacky—a young man he wishes could have been more than a one-night stand. When Simon sets his sights on his dreams, he finds work with Dante and Ryan, and bumps into Jacky on the job.

Jacky Douglas is a rodeo fanatic, plain and simple. He loves the ride, and he loves the cowboys. He fell hard for Frizz when they met, and theirs was a one-night stand made in heaven. When they meet again, Jacky thinks it’s a stroke of luck. Frizz takes some convincing, but once he’s on board, they begin a relationship. The fledgling romance faces a challenge when news of it travels all the way to the one place Frizz doesn’t want it to go: his parents’ bookstore.

So what did I think?

This was a nice follow on story from A Wild Ride, introducing Simon (Frizz) and his relationship with Jacky, but also providing a glimpse into the life of Dante and Ryan.

The plot is fairly simple as Jacky, rodeo fan-boy, has a one-night stand with Frizz who has secretly entered the rodeo. Of course the one night becomes more as they meet up again when Frizz takes a job with Dante and Ryan. Together they face Simon’s coming out and acceptance of his own sexuality.

Frizz’s parents are not accepting of his desire to ride in the rodeo and it takes a lot of convincing for them to agree to him completing and moving away to train under Dante. As the owner’s of a large Christian bookstore they are even less accepting of his sexuality.

The story mixes rodeo action with the developing relationship between Frizz and Jacky. As a couple they are very sweet and supportive with lots of feelings being expressed. There’s lots of sex/’making love’ with quite a romantic and poetic quality to it.“They made love to the rhythm of the storm….”… “Nature seemed to be echoing their passion, and as Jacky reached his peak, thunder cracked and rolled, carrying their cries of passion towards the heavens.”

I liked the sweet and mushy stuff (I’m usually in the mood for this when I pick up an Andrew Grey) and I enjoyed the happy ending. I was a bit over Simon agonizing about his situation and was glad when Simon himself realised he needed to get on with this life. “I know everyone must be getting tired of me running on about this all the time.” Simon turned to Jacky. “Frankly, I’m tired of it too….” Thank goodness!

The only other feedback is in relation to the use of Simon/Frizz’s name. Frizz is Simon’s nickname and his rodeo persona. At the beginning of the story (chapters 1 and 2) he is referred to as Simon although the nickname Frizz is used sometimes in conversation. In chapter 3, Simon isn’t used at all and he is only referred to as Frizz in both narration and conversation. In chapter four, he’d gone back to being referred to as Simon, chapter five back to Frizz. I found it a bit confusing, even when he finally asked Jacky to call him “Simon”, not using his Frizz bull-rider name. Anyway, maybe it was just me but I found this to-and-froing quite noticeable.

All-in-all, this story was exactly as I expected and a pleasant way to spend an afternoon!

To find out more about Andrew Grey and his books visit his website.

Buy A Daring Ride from Amazon.

Buy A Daring Ride from Dreamspinner Press.

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The Texas Soul series by Sara York

The Texas Soul series:

This review is for the series and as such, does not contain a lot of detail about the plot because it would be way too spoilerish! If you want to know more about the specifics of each book, check out the blurbs.

  • Texas Rough – (book #1)
  • Texas Hard – (book #2)
  • Texas Twist – (book #3)
  • Texas Branded – (book #4)
  • Texas Desire – (book #5)
  • Texas Legacy – (book #6)

Texas Rough (Texas Soul, #1) Texas Hard (Texas Soul, #2) Texas Twist (Texas Soul, #3) Texas Branded (Texas Soul, #4) Texas Legacy (Texas Soul #6)Texas Desire (Texas Soul, #5)

The Texas Soul series consists of six books which I pretty much read back to back.

The series starts with Texas Rough which focuses on one couple, Lane and Gresham, and is largely set on Gresh’s family ranch where Lane is the foreman. It also introduces another main character, Riley, who falls hard and fast for Lane. This first book is fast moving with lots of multiple story lines. There are themes of coming out and comfort/hurt with large amounts of drama and even larger amounts of sex!

The second book, Texas Hard,  focuses more on Riley as he deals with his feelings for Lane but meets and falls for Connor who is a Texas Ranger. This story brings in some elements of bondage as Riley takes a more dominant role in his relationship with Connor. Falling in love happens so quickly, as in the first book, that it is hard to believe that Riley really knows his own heart and it is amazing how open these men are in discussing their feelings! Once again, lots of drama, largely driven by insane amounts of jealousy as the story and relationships get complicated. I liked the story but did find the edition of the book I was reading had some annoying editing/spelling issues. There was also reference to speaking “Brazilian” in Brazil. I thought they spoke Portuguese.

Texas Twist sees things get even more complicated. We are introduced to a new romance as Connor’s Texas Ranger partner moves to the ranch to recover from the trauma of his abduction. He falls for Sterling, one of the ranch hands. Sterling finally acknowledges he may be gay as he has such as strong reaction to Erick. The believability is a bit lacking as his actions don’t seem those of a reluctantly gay man. He is pretty physical with Erick, demonstrative and once again discussing feelings. This new relationship is not the primary focus of the book. The Lane/Gresh/Riley/Connor relationship plays a really key role in this book.

The soap opera feel continues as Jung-Hwa “Jump” joins the story in Texas Branded.  Jump comes to the ranch in search of his father. He not only finds family but finds love with the local deputy. The love in the story is sweet and gushy with poetic language and once again this couple are very open with their emotions, articulating their feelings for each other. The relationship development also continues the theme of fast, fast, fast – love and proposals all happening really quickly. The relationships of all the previous couples continue to weave in and out of the book and things really ramp up with a cliffhanger ending! Luckily I didn’t have to wait and could launch into the next book straight away. If I’d read this book when it was first released and had to wait for the next book I would have been really annoyed as I don’t have the patience for this kind of thing!

Texas Desire is the fifth book in the series and the drama hit new heights. Lots of heartbreak and angst, hospitals and deathbeds, emotional declarations, rejection, pain and loss. The new couple, Kip and Jamie, play a role but largely take a backseat to the more emotional story line being played out between the original four characters.

And finally, Texas Legacy concludes the story. Once again, there is very much a soap opera feel to the story with the overlapping stories of each of the characters. There is lots of heartbreak but also happiness as new love is found and families started. It was nice to see the final conclusion and know what happens to each of the couples. The epilogue jumps ahead ten years and provides closure. My main issue with this final book was the resolution of the story line introduced in the prologue. The prologue deals with the previously unknown and unrelated Wild Bluff Ranch and then the character from the prologue turns up later in the book in a relatively stand alone fashion with a story line that is unresolved. I now understand from the author’s blog that this will be a spin off series but when I first ended the book the inclusion of the story line seemed a complete mystery to me.

So overall I actually enjoyed the series. It was pure escapism and really over the top at times. I have mentioned a soap opera feel but I think I must have been in the mood for reading something like this and I quite enjoyed the drama, the romance and the complications. Probably my main complaint (not that it is really a complaint as such) was that it was too full of sex. There seemed to be sex on every second page! The guys just seemed to alternate between sharing deep emotions and then doing each other.

I was also totally impressed with the price point, each book in the series only being $0.99 from Amazon.

3.5 stars for the series

To find out more about Sara York and her books visit her website.

Buy the Texas Soul Series from Amazon.