Group Review: Exposed by Bey Deckard

Novel (80,000 words)
Themes: age gap, daddy kink


With middle-age looming, Greg offsets his boring day job with what truly feeds his soul: photography. The camera is an extension of himself where he exposes his passion for the intersect of pleasure and pain. However, the lens also acts as a barrier, protecting his subjects from the shameful mistakes of his past, and Greg is left isolated and lonely.

Emyr stands on the cusp of fame, but adulation and abuse are both eroding his confidence, and one night, at the river’s edge, he seeks solace in the rain, hoping to hide his tears.
The photographer and the virgin rock star share an accidental connection on that dark, drizzly night. When Greg invites Emyr back to his hotel room, no strings attached, the young man should have bolted. Instead, an odd sense of trust allows him to follow Greg’s lead.

When the camera comes out, Emyr learns the stage isn’t the only place he loves to perform as Greg touches something inside him that rarely awakens. Faced with a beautiful, talented boy whose soul is as lonely as his own, will Greg be able to face his past and come to terms with it, or will he run from the connection he so desperately desires?



Chelsea - 5 Hearts

Amazing! Seriously! This is now in my top 5 favourite books ever! My fellow unicorns all completely agreed!


Daddy kink is my absolute favourite so I knew I'd love this from the very beginning. Obviously if you're not sure about daddy kink, tread lightly, read some quotes to see if it's for you, but if you do like daddy kink, boy oh boy are you in for a treat! The kink side of it did not disappoint at all! By far the best daddy kink book I've read!



“I want you to play with that beautiful dick. Get it hard for me, son. Look at me while you’re touching yourself . I want to see how much you want your daddy…”
“Yes, Daddy,” he whispered…

Now it's not always 'son’, it's kiddo and baby boy and good boy and pup and My God these pet names had me squirming with every word!


But what made this book go into my top 5 is the all round fantastic characters, lack of crappy non-essential drama and depth to the relationship between Greg and Emyr.

Greg has a serious past trauma haunting him and it was beautiful seeing Emyr so determined to help him, to have him. It takes a little while for Greg to give in and when he does he's cautious, scared of getting hurt, or hurting Emyr but Emyr never gives up. He's strength when Greg needs it. It was fantastic! All the side characters were rich and wonderful as well!

I could go on and on and on about this book, but I want you to read it and discover it for yourself, so I'll shut up now.

But do it.

Read it.

Now.


Sara - 5 Hearts

When I saw this book I jumped on it because hello, Daddy kink. From what I have read of the author I knew the story had a certain way to go (*ahem* depravity) and while I was prepared for that, I was not prepared for what I got in this at all. The author mentions that he may have written something more “romance-y than usual” and goodness was this ever romantic.

I love that yeah, this is daddy kink but not the norm we usually get or would think from the author. I won’t go into a whole bunch of details as to why, I have trouble trying to explain without spoiling and I really, truly feel that this book just needs to be read and have each moment presented so the reader gets the raw emotions. EMOTIONS people, there are so many in this I don’t know what to say and if you’ve ever read a review from me, you know that’s huge.

The chemistry between Greg and Emyr is instant and amazing. I was so into them as individuals and as a couple and all that comes with that. The sweet and sexy kink, the hurt/comfort, the Daddy/good boy and just everything. I truly have no idea what I am saying or how to properly review this because it was so much and I gorged hard core on this book.

This story, has so much more than a romance to it though it’s terribly romantic. All that happens, all that the author throws in with being exposed just about did me in. I am a sensitive reader and I was gasping and tearing up numerous times while reading. It’s a good thing I am a fair haired ginger and read this at my desk, right? Also makes sense for the permanent blush on my fair cheeks and neck while I read the sex and kink in this because holy hell, it’s hot AF! I can’t even with what I read because I would need something to bite down on to stifle the groans that may have possibly escaped while reading. It’s a damn good thing I also draw the line a dry humping desk furniture because, well you know. This was hot.

BUT, this was again romantic and dealt with many social issues of not only coming out, being your true self under the rainbow, but also dabbles in the shit storm that we, or I, as an American am currently living through. I think the dirtiest word I read in this book starts with a T and ends with P but it’s so vile, I can’t bring myself to type it nor speak it out loud.

Anyway.

I think I will stop my ramble now. I am sure there will be much better worded reviews of this and ones that make sense but for me, this is it. I just fell so hard for this book in so many ways. I read to feel and this book made me feel… everything. It was such a wonderfully hopeful, erotic, kinky and terribly romantic book that I did nothing at work and just read because I couldn’t stop. I was lost in the world of Emyr and Greg and when the story ended, I wasn’t ready to say goodbye.

SheReadsALot - 4.5 Hearts

Seduction by photo shoot.


A sweet love story with a side of daddy kink. Not what I expected prior to going in...

"It's like I want to crush him up into a little ball and tuck him directly into my heart..."
...but it works.

Exposed is foremost a romance between two damaged souls who happen to meet by chance one rainy night in London, of all places. Emyr is a Welsh twenty year old rising rock star. His innocent looks and provocative lyrics have a following. Greg, forty two year old Canadian web designer and photographer, couldn't imagine his luck bucking into the crying man. Emyr's face begs to be captured on camera, Greg's camera. But even more so Greg notices someone who is cracking at the seams, he's been there, is still there. So he invites a stranger to his hotel room, just to talk. And Emyr accepts.

Thus begins their connection and their path to more.
"I am, you know," he said after a moment."Are what?""Yours. Completely.""Ha... When did I ask you that?""You didn't have to."
Greg is a dominant who is still reeling from his last sub and the aftermath of what he thought was a scene. It's been five years and his self imposed celibacy has never been tested as it is with Emyr. There's an innocence that is alluring. But once he sees how obedient Emyr is, well it just calls to him. From the moment these two men meet, their connection is palpable. I kept reading along, saying to myself, this couldn't really happen, could it? Meeting a rock star and tumbling into their world?



But it's Greg and Emyr's connection, their ease with one another, the way they exposed their inner workings to each other. (Not without hesitation from one of the men) That's what I bought. It's what sold me anytime I questioned an initial response.

Greg tries to back away from the celebrity. Emyr is too young, probably straight. The impromptu photo shoot/ session didn't break his celibacy. But Greg's subconscious and feelings won't be denied. The boy got under his skin.
You get sort of numb after a while when you cut off human contact, and you end up telling yourself all sorts of bullshit--like, that you don't actually need it, that it's not so bad going without--and then you carry on building a shell around yourself with these lies. But, what you don't realize is that shell is brittle and thin and made of denial, barely containing the visceral need growing in your guts like some formless, ravenous, single-minded creature.

Though the story is told from Greg's POV, we get a good sense of Emyr. He might be young and inexperienced, but he was mature in a lot aspects. He was persistent and willing to try new things. I loved that as the daddy kink was presented on the table, he researched! And discovered a part of himself he didn't knew existed. Greg is his first real relationship, and in a way, it's Greg's first real relationship too.
"Trust me, Daddy."Daddy. I smiled, and he gave me a coy grin in return."You're determined to wear me down.""I am that.""You're incorrigible.""That too."
I'm a fan of age gaps, damaged protagonists with internal baggage, heroes who aren't the best at communicating their emotions. Exposed definitely has that. The angst is more internal struggles than external. Greg and Emyr have to trust, communicate. And I think it was my most favorite thing about this novel, (besides the daddy kink, duh). It was that the two communicated, even when it hurt. It was equal footing where it counted.

Now let's get to the daddy kink shall we?



Daddy kink is fairly tamer on the BDSM scale. And this story is not necessarily a formalized, contract bound pairing. It read more natural. And if you're a reader who clutches their pearl at the mention of daddy kink, this is a romance first. The daddy kink if I had to rate it on a 1 to 5 of extremes, 5 being the most hardcore, it's a 1. There was role playing, a few spankings, D/s. Bonus for the bare backing, (semi)public sex, size difference and big guy bottoming scene. I like it when daddies get breached too. ;D

If you're going in expecting hardcore scenes, you might not enjoy this as much. The sex is melting hot (hello it's a Deckard), there are definitely re-read worthy chapters. What I enjoyed about it is that it wasn't overly long drawn out scenes. Every sexual encounter read organic and fit the main characters. I did slowly grow to love the main characters, separately and as a pair. I think they're perfect for each other.

It's no surprise I enjoy this author's work and his back list varies in taste. This was the most romantic, most sweet I've ever read from him.

"You've nothing to worry about, silly--I'm yours... And you're mine, and I'll take care of that poor, neglected heart of yours just as well as I take care of that poor, neglected cock.""Well, it's not so neglected anymore," I said, making as if to mull it over what he had said. "You do take good care of it--that bodes well for my heart, I suppose."

I'm not surprised he wrote it, the tell tale signs of his writing are all there. Vivid settings, it's a road trip for a large chunk of Exposed, I felt like I was there with the pair and the cast of side characters at each location, an interesting cast of characters (Owain, Barrie, Rose and the nain dominatrix!) that you can't help to enjoy. His side characters have a tendency to enrich his stories without overtaking the shine from the main characters. There was a little suspense-ful twist, that wasn't over dramatic. It ended a little tamer than introduced.

Overall, a great read that I'm happy to add to my favorites of 2017 list.



This is sweet for this author, not necessarily your run of the mill schmoop. So if you're looking to finally delve into this author's work, Exposed is a great place to start. (His Actor's Circle series is also on the tamer side of the Deckard spectrum)

I don't know if the author will ever return to this couple. I think their HEA is pretty solid. But maybe a possible dabble into one of their scenes? I think I'm going to miss Daddy and his boy.

Who knew photo shoots could be so seductive?

Find on Goodreads!

A copy provided for an honest review. 

Blog Tour: A Tiger's Tale (Arrowtown #1) by Lisa Oliver


Shifter and mpreg fans... get ready! The A Tiger's Tale Tour is here today with an excerpt to whet your whistle.

Title: A Tiger's Tale
Series: Book 1 of The Arrowtown Series
Author: Lisa Oliver
Publisher: Lisa Oliver

Length: 200 pgs



Seth Carmichael never did anything wrong, but instead of working at the local library, he was running for his life. His herd was hunting him and with few resources, Seth's options were fading fast. Until, that is, he heard the rumble of a motorcycle. Peeking through the tree he was hiding in, he couldn't believe his eyes. Had salvation come in the form of a badass biker?

Ra (no last name and proud of it) was a tiger on a mission. He'd scented his mate and then the little rabbit ran away before his teeth could engage. Ra heard the gossip around Arrowtown; he knew his mate was a hunted man. But if the sweet man was on the run, he needed someone to look after him; Ra figured he was the right man for the job.

A meeting, a mating and yet another meeting. What should have been a straightforward relationship turned into so much more on their very first outing as a mated couple. Now Ra has to count on the strength of his mate and the help of his friends, if he and Seth are ever to have the HEA they'd planned for. And what was with all these Fae turning up out of the blue?

Warning: Contains a tiger who keeps putting his foot in it; a tiny lop-eared rabbit who is stronger than he looks and a bunch of friends who’ll hide a body, no questions asked.



Ra wanted to sing and roar and dance and shout to the heavens. He finally had his mate where he was meant to be. But as he didn’t want to scare his little darling now he’d got him, he restrained himself, watching with delight as Seth polished off two salads and nibbled on some bread. Seth was so dainty with his pale skin and his white hair. His eyes were such a washed out blue they were almost gray, yet Ra had seen them sparkle when his mate laughed. He wanted to see that every day.
“So, my little sweetness, I have to ask, and you don’t have to tell me if you don’t want to, but it’s just….”
“Is this about my running away when you grabbed me?” Seth met his eyes easily, a small smile creating dimples in his cheeks.
Ra nodded. Truth be told, he was easily distracted and now he’d seen them, his tiger wanted to lick those dimples.
“I knew you were my mate from the scent, of course,” Seth explained looking down at his hands. “I don’t know if you remember but you’d come into town with the other members of your gang, club, or whatever you call your group of friends.”
“We’re a club, not a gang; a group of lone shifters who simply like riding motorcycles. We’re not harmful.”
“Oh, I know,” Seth peeked up at him. “I’ve er…seen you around town. I’d always look for you when I heard the bikes.”
Ra beamed. It was a good sign his mate had been attracted to him before they even met. Then he frowned. “Why did you run then?”
“Have you seen your reflection lately?” Seth chuckled and Ra stopped frowning. “You’re huge and you stomp around town in your badass leathers, with chains hanging off your belt loops. You wore your skull bandana and your black fingerless leather gloves. Do you remember?”
Ra hadn’t given any thought to the way he was dressed. “My outfit bothered you?”
“No, you looked like my ultimate fantasy,” Seth’s head was bowed again. “But then you growled and roared and your teeth shifted and I don’t know. We were in the middle of town; your friends were laughing and I thought they were laughing at me and my body went into stress. When a tiger roars, a rabbit runs for the nearest hiding place.”
Ra frowned and he found himself rubbing Seth’s back softly. He could feel every knob of his mate’s spine. “I was really excited to meet you,” he offered even though he knew it was a lame-ass excuse. Thinking back, he probably did get a little overexcited.
“I know that now, and I was going to come to the clubhouse to see you…but….” Seth trailed off, his voice sad.
“What happened, sweetness,” Ra rocked Seth gently in his arms, trying to soothe his mate’s tension-filled body.


Amazon AU


 
Lisa Oliver had been writing non-fiction books for years when visions of half dressed, buff men started invading her dreams. Unable to resist the lure of her stories, Lisa decided to switch to fiction books, and now stories about her men clamor to get out from under her fingertips.

When Lisa is not writing, she is usually reading with a cup of tea always at hand. Her grown children and grandchildren sometimes try and pry her away from the computer and have found that the best way to do it, is to promise her chocolate. Lisa will do anything for chocolate. Lisa loves to hear from her readers and other writers. She welcomes you to follow her at the links below as well as reach out to her.

Smashwords




Review: The Start of Something New (Daniel and Ryan #2) by Tamryn Eradani

After a successful first scene together, Daniel and Ryan explore the possibility of continuing their relationship. Negotiating likes and dislikes in BDSM play is one thing, but can Daniel, who likes to keep his life ordered and free of mess, loosen up enough to let the relaxed and uninhibited Ryan deeper into his life?















I know what I like, and I don’t get down on myself for enjoying it.

This starts exactly where the first book left off. It’s the morning after and Daniel wakes in Ryan’s apartment and has a lot to think about. He goes about his morning as Ryan sleeps; his run, his shower ritual and begins to make breakfast. I so have a bond with Daniel on the control he has over his life, health, fitness and... what he puts in his body.

Anyway.

The men have breakfast and a chat about how they will continue this new relationship, how they will scene and its boundaries. It was refreshing to see it all done simply but matter of factly about what they like, what they will do and what is off limits. When Daniel suggests they play that morning, Ryan instructs Daniel go to the guest room, get comfortable and show Ryan what he likes.

“I don’t need to be stronger than you to have my way with you,” he says. “You’re eager enough that all I’ve got to do is ask.”

Goodness! This got hot and it got hot fast. That first scene, first thing in the morning with these two was all sorts of UNF and once again, I am with Daniel on a few things but we don’t need to go there.

I liked not only that the men discuss this new relationship and what it will be but that Daniel was all anxious about how working together would play out. It was so not what he was expecting and I adored that he made the first move at work with Ryan this time around. Desserts may have been involved, but no donuts this time.

The sex was ridiculously hot in this one and Ryan is so freaking toppy he made me squirm and okay pant a few times, I’ll admit it.  And yet, with all the hot sex there were true moments of emotion that sucked be in because I am a hopeless romantic and I really want Daniel to agree to those first questions Ryan asked him. Yeah, these two are just made for one another and I also want Ryan to give Daniel his fantasy. GAH! That would be so damn hot!

Honestly, he’s torn between being pleased at how easily Ryan can bring him down and scared at how quickly he’s learned Daniel and his wants.

This story ends as abruptly as the first one did but we do get a sneaky peak at the third installment so I am good. I am hooked with Daniel and Ryan and cannot wait to see what, where and how they get to the next step in their relationship.



Find on Goodreads!

Group Review: There's This Guy by Rhys Ford

How do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued Art Deco building on the WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the artistic, sweet man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

Averaged



Sara - 5 Hearts

Last night I finished this book. I stayed up past by bedtime because I couldn't’ stop reading. I went to bed with the biggest smile on my face and less than 5 hours later was up, still energized and happy from the ending and ran longer and faster than my training told me to. Why am I telling you all of this, because this book... GAVE. ME. LIFE.

There’s this feeling I get with books when I connect with them and I connected immediately with Jake when we meet him. No, I haven’t been in that exact situation but I felt Jake at that moment. I felt his desperation and his will all at the same time. Those conflicting emotions live within me on a daily basis and their antagonism is relentless, yet such a powerful force. You have to forgive me with this review, it may get a bit personal but, I took this story personal.

I have to say that if you compare this Rhys Ford story to any of her previous works, you are doing yourself and her a grievous fault. This is totally a Rhys Ford book and yet the purity of emotions that go deep into the level of hurt/comfort is outstanding. There are no action packed sequences or supernatural things happening in this book, the only magic you get here is the epic romance between Jake and Dallas. This is profound and emotional Rhys Ford, turned up to 11.

Jake, man do I ever get you dude. I just want to hug you and wrap you in bubble wrap so no one can hurt you and I just want to stand behind you with my hands on your shoulders letting you know I’ve got you back in any and everything you. You sir are amazing, inside and out and so fucking strong, you really don’t even know it. I was with you my dear Jake as you went through the phases of dealing with your dad. I got you, even when I didn’t want to and boy, I didn’t want to plenty of times.

Jake Moore is a wonderful and broken man. A man so deep in the closet he wears his Levi’s until they are so thin and fit perfectly to his body, because he can’t find anything else inside the darkness. I know, I am talking in circles but it’s hard for me to review this without giving anything away. Jake is special and it totally takes someone just as special to see that all he needs is a friend and then maybe more.

I adored the holy hell out of Dallas Yates. I love that he is this big goofy guy who loves his life and his best friend Celeste. He has a good life, a good family that loves him and teases the hell out of him but one moment of seeing the guy across the street from the new building he is buying and Dallas is lost. You can see from the beginning how the hurt/comfort will work with these two but then you are tossed upside down because Ford makes this even more than the traditional hurt/comfort. Yeah, she goes deep down with the darker side of humanity with this story and you feel every atrocity committed against these characters and you want to rage at it.

<![endif]-->He wasn’t going to think about his father. He couldn’t. Ron Moore belonged in a box on a shelf Jake only took out when it rattled for attention, and the guilt of putting him back there every day was getting too heavy to carry.

I have to admit, this book hit me personally on a few levels. I know what it’s like to grow up abused by a parent, both physically and mentally only to have to turn around as an adult and take care of that parent due to dementia. It’s a pretty fucked up situation when you have someone continually insulting you, even if they think you are someone else while in front of them, and have to care for that person. For me, it’s my mother and while she wasn’t the best parent and the root of a lot of issues I have with myself, her mental health has become something that is now my responsibility and seeing Jake having to deal with his asshole father, hit home like a belt to the ass.

You know what? This book should be a huge trigger for me and yet it's not because of the way the author writes it. I am in love with this story and I should have had a knee jerk reaction to that first part with Jake but instead, it made me involved from the first page.  I am a reader who feels way too fucking much and this should’ve made me run away, but I couldn’t.  Romance like this needs to be read, respected and revered for being perceived outside the norm of the author.

This isn't instant anything. Everything you get, everything the MC’s get is fought for with blood, sweat, come and tears. Yes, Jake and Dallas have instant attraction to one another but anything else is so damn slow that I had blue balls.  I think when a book deals with issues like the one Ford throws at us, it can make people uncomfortable because it's not a book where you can forget what's on the page.  It's a deeper level of romance for me, one that goes above and beyond what we're used to. Rhys Ford doesn't shy away from making shit real and in your face to see how strong a connection can be that ultimately leads to an epic romance.


Take care of yourself. That’s number one. In all things.

The fact that Dallas takes his time with Jake, allows Jake to set the pace of where things go and when was beautiful. Dallas knows that until you love yourself, you can’t love anyone else and while he loves the bones off Jake, he wants that same thing back. But Dallas also knows that if love isn’t something Jake can give him, he’ll still be there as a friend because that is what Jake needs most. And Jake, he knows what he needs to do, to let go of his past and move on but knowing and doing are two very different animals indeed.

I have to make two points.

One: The way we meet Dallas’s BFF Celeste was awesome. I will just say I love that we meet her and know her before we even are aware what letter she claims under the rainbow, but I think that’s how it should be. She is who she is, and I love that moment where Jake tells her just that… it filled my heart with pure joy.

Two: Rhys Ford has the best descriptions of a scene, people and actions in this book that it has me waxing poetically to Jenni Lea about a damn bench! Seriously, this book is cinematic and so full of stunning imagery that it belongs on film somewhere.

Back to me attempting to review this. I guess it’s obvious that I loved the hell out of this book. I think each issue brought up was handled wonderfully, respectfully and never with kid gloves. You can bring things to a story and make them real without walking on egg shells over the subjects. I think this book needed to be more present and laid bare so that the reader feels the rawness of everything Jake and Dallas go through along with those they care about. Jake and Dallas have a truly romantic love story that is all about the hurt/comfort and there are so many poignant and pretty moments between them I was hugging my Nook so that I could hug them. That end was pure perfection and while I was beyond happy, I wasn’t ready to let go of them but I knew they had each other and would be okay.

So yup. This story is simply amazing and I honestly cannot recommend it enough.


Lori - 3.5 Hearts

A point I'd like to make before I start this review.

It's not you it's me. I Promise.

Rhys Ford is an enormously talented writer and I love many of her stories, this one though didn't make me fall in love with it. Don't get me wrong, it was an enjoyable read, but it didn't get me in the gut and hang on like a five heart read does for me. But that's just me. Like I said:


It's not you it's me. I Promise.

I have tried to define exactly why it isn't a five heart read for me, I did a super poor job of trying to explain to a Rhys Ford fangirl and the most I can come up with is the pacing of the romance. It felt to quick for me, I wanted a slower burn. I guess you can ask, why do some people like chocolate ice-cream and some like rum-raisin? I really think it is pretty much that. I wanted more... angst? complexity? a longer romance? I truly can't define exactly why this wasn't my cuppa PG Tipps. All I can say is:

It's not you it's me. I Promise.

There is nothing here that you wouldn't expect from this author; great characters, an interesting storyline, excellent writing, top-notch banter...
I just wanted rum-raisin ice-cream.

This review was brought to you by:
It's not you it's me. I Promise.

Which means you probably should check this book out.


Jenni Lea - All the fucking hearts!  Mine included

Look, it’s no secret that I love Rhys Ford’s books.  I know what I’m in for when I pick up one of her stories.  Most of my reviews sound the same and reiterate everything I love about her words. They usually have some form of the phrase “everything you would come to expect in a Rhys Ford book” in them.  Well, not this time.  I did not expect this.  I never would have dreamed she would deviate from her norm and delve into something other than her usual murder and mayhem.

And I was blown away.

Jake, oh my dear, sweet, messed up Jake.  I just want to wrap him up in a blanket and hold him and keep him safe from the world!  He’s had the shittiest life.  An abusive father, a mother who told him he was going to hell for being gay and his first attempt at a relationship ending in betrayal and pain have caused him to retreat so far into himself he can’t find his way out.  There’s no light at the end of the tunnel.  Hell, as far as Jake is concerned, there is no tunnel.


At some point in Jake Moore’s life, someone made him… less. 


Jake doesn't seem depressed so much as lost.  The only thing he has in life is his metalworking.  His creations are an outlet for his rage and the lack of control he perceives he has in his own life. His life is full of ugliness and he doesn't see any way to have any beauty so he creates it, it's the only thing he has any control over.

It’s no surprise to me that he latches on to Dallas so quickly.  I mean, who wouldn’t want someone, in your darkest hour, when you feel like there is no hope left, to come along and hold your hand through it.  To show you that your world is not full of darkness and shadowy grays but instead there is color and light.  That you are worth something.

Dallas… well, Dallas is damn near perfect.  At least, he’s perfect for Jake.  Dallas is a fixer.  You know the kind, always have their hands in a project and seem to gravitate towards broken down or distressed things and have the inherent need to build them back up or repair them.  When he spies Jake across the street from his newest venture into property flipping he’s entranced.   As they slowly get to know each other over the course of several weeks, Dallas discovers that instead of wanting to ‘fix’ Jake he just wants to be by his side, offering his support and friendship while Jake learns how to repair himself.


There’s a beauty inside of Jake I want the world to see.

Damn, Rhys sure knows how to weave words into some beautiful prose.  Even the ugly words are beautiful.  If there's one thing she excels at, it's descriptors. I've always been able to fully picture a scene or a character she describes. Normally when I read the main characters are just some vague, faceless body that I don't even think about picturing. Either that or I end up picturing them as whoever is on the cover. But not with Rhys. I know exactly how Jake looks, how he moves and even what his facial expressions are.  Dallas describing men, and Jake in particular, is a thing of beauty. I can totally picture Jake in my head, right down to his smile.

This book grabbed hold of me, slapped me across the face and made me its bitch.  I did nothing else while reading it, well, except email Red back and forth.  I have 172 emails with Red about this book.  I have 68 notes and highlights I made while reading.  There is so much more I want to say about this book, I could write a thesis and still not touch on all the points that I want to make.  Having read every one of Rhys's books I feel I can say with certainty that this is her masterpiece.  Though this book won’t be for everyone I urge you to give it a try.  It just may be the best book you’ve read all year.

I know it was mine.

 


Find on Dreamspinner Press or Goodreads!

Don't miss the AMAZING There's This Guy blog tour stop here

Review: Insight (The Community, #1) by Santino Hassell

Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate.

Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.

Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.



At this point, I’m convinced that Santino Hassell can write any genre well. I don’t read a lot of contemporary paranormal, but ‘Insight’ hit many high notes. It’s worth noting that this book is a paranormal mystery first, and an MM romance second.

When readers are first introduced to Nate, he’s a pretty pitiful character. He’s stuck in a dead-end job, lives in a crappy apartment, and has to put up with homophobic bullies. He’s an empath - the psychic ability to sense others’ emotions - but his skills are pretty weak.

That last point results in his aunt, the Black family matriarch, treating him with contempt. Practically disowned and with no friends or a lover, Nate lives a lonely existence.

That is until Nate gets a vision of his twin brother’s death in New York City. Nate decides to investigate Theo’s death, and so hitchhikes with Trent, a grad student headed to NYC.

As the two drive across the country, they slowly become friends. Nate feels the attraction there, but he doesn’t want to ruin a good thing and lose his ride.

However, they can’t be in each other’s company for so long and not give in. An explosive kiss in New Orleans changes everything.

Once Nate and Trent reach New York, they’re immediately pulled into the city’s secret world of psychics. The Community, as the organized psychics call themselves, is a world of dirty politics and power struggles.

description

Nate knows his brother’s murder is connected to the Community, he just needs to figure out how.

I was thoroughly impressed by the paranormal mystery. At first, there are too many persons of interest to keep track of. Some psychics are outright hostile to Nate, while others seem to be too nice to trust.

You could probably begin connecting the dots around the 75% mark, but the twists and turns were genuinely entertaining. I was on the edge waiting to see what would happen next. As Nate digs deeper, he uncovers damning revelations about the Community, and his own family.

My only complaint is that it took a while for the plot to get going. It’s not until halfway that things actually start happening, and then there was enough repetitiveness for me to notice it. Even so, the paranormal mystery was very enjoyable.

Though the romance takes a back seat at times, it’s definitely not a weak one. The only person Nate knows he can truly trust is Trent. And when Nate begins pulling away because he doesn’t want to put Trent in danger, Trent doesn’t let him sweep away what they’re building.

description

The romance is sweet, and the two just got each other in a way others didn’t. Trent and Nate are clearly meant to be together.

Overall, ‘Insight’ is a great start to this paranormal series. I can’t wait to see what happens next!


Find on Goodreads!

Don't miss the final Insight blog tour stop here!

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Insight (The Community #1) by Santino Hassell


The Insight Tour is here today and Santino Hassell brought a playlist to get you in the mood. See our Insight review here! Be sure to enter to win a $20 Riptide credit too! See details on how to enter below.



INSIGHT Road Trip Playlist


When I first began planning INSIGHT, one of the first scenes that came to mind was the main character, Nate Black, trying to hitch a ride on the side of the road. Then a guy in a matte black Chevy Nova pulls over as rock music pours out the window.


Those details were really specific, but it was the music I focused on. One of the key parts of that scene is that Nate is scared, he’s running from family secrets he just discovered, he just lost his brother, and he feels alone in the world. He’s also an empath, so he can literally feel the negativity around him. He doesn’t know who to trust. Unsurprisingly, this has led to him being terrified of hitching a ride… but it’s the sound of a song he loves that makes him think: “Maybe this is a sign. Maybe this time it will be all right.”


Nate and Trent end up driving across the country together, and in the early hours of their drive it’s music that breaks the ice between them. They share a love of classic rock, grunge and alternative, and J-Rock. They go from being strangers to two men alone on the open road with nothing but each other and the music to keep them company. They forge a deep bond in those few days, and music is what started it so here’s their road trip playlist.


J-Rock!
The music that immediately brings Trent and Nate together is Japanese rock music. Let’s be real, you don’t expect to stumble upon another guy with a devoted love to J-Rock when you’re hitchhiking, but the first thing Nate hears from Trent’s car is a Dir en Grey song. Songs from Dir en Grey and X-Japan make appearances during their road trip.


Team Sleep – Ever
This song is very dreamy and melodic, and it’s about meeting someone who is different than anyone you’ve ever met. Someone who makes the world look new. I picture Nate listening to it as he sneaks glances at Trent as they drive.


Foo Fighters – Everlong
The connection between Nate and Trent is fast and strong. When they touch, Nate feels these amazing vibes that wash away the negativity and bleakness he’s used to. He can’t believe it’s real, or that someone like Trent is really attracted to him, and he’s afraid of their connection but he doesn’t want it to end. This song really speaks to his feelings about their relationship.




Blind Melon – No Rain
This song is so quirky and reminiscent of 90s grunge. It’s about not fitting in, and trying to lose yourself in a fantasy because your reality is less than stellar. Everything about it hits close to home for both Trent and Nate, but especially Nate. Neither of them quite fit in anywhere, but Nate has always felt like the odd man out. Part of his character development is finding himself and his place in this whole new world he stumbles upon once he gets to New York.


The Rolling Stones – Paint It, Black
This song is dark and about loss, but that’s why it’s special to Trent. He lost his mother very young, and he his love for classic rock came from her. When he goes on his summer road trips, he always plays liberal amounts of The Rolling Stones, Kansas, and Lynyrd Skynyrd.
You can listen to more on the full playlist.

YouTube Link

About Insight


Growing up the outcast in an infamous family of psychics, Nate Black never learned how to control his empath abilities. Then after five years without contact, his estranged twin turns up dead in New York City. The claim of suicide doesn’t ring true, especially when a mysterious vision tells Nate it was murder. Now his long-hated gift is his only tool to investigate. 


Hitching from his tiny Texas town, Nate is picked up by Trent, a gorgeous engineer who thrives on sarcasm and skepticism. The heat that sparks between them is instant and intense, and Nate ends up trusting Trent with his secrets—something he’s never done before. But once they arrive in the city, the secrets multiply when Nate discovers an underground supernatural community, more missing psychics, and frightening information about his own talent.


Nate is left questioning his connection with Trent. Are their feelings real, or are they being propelled by abilities Nate didn’t realize he had? His fear of his power grows, but Nate must overcome it to find his brother’s killer and trust himself with Trent’s heart.




About Santino Hassell


Santino was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed grunge kid, then a transient twentysomething, and eventually transformed into a guy who spends his days and nights writing romance with an edge.


Santino is a dedicated gamer, a former fanfic writer, an ASoIaF mega nerd, a Grindr enthusiast, but most of all he is a writer of LGBT fiction that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.



To celebrate the release of Insight, one lucky winner will receive $20 in Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Acting Up by John Inman

It’s not easy breaking into show biz. Especially when you aren’t exactly loaded with talent. But Malcolm Fox won’t let a little thing like that hold him back.

Actually, it isn’t the show-business part of his life that bothers him as much as the romantic part—or the lack thereof. At twenty-six, Malcolm has never been in love. He lives in San Diego with his roommate, Beth, another struggling actor, and each of them is just as unsuccessful as the other. While Malcolm toddles off to this audition and that, he ponders the lack of excitement in his life. The lack of purpose. The lack of a man.

Then Beth’s brother moves in.

Freshly imported from Missouri of all places, Cory Williams is a towering hunk of muscles and innocence, and Malcolm is gobsmacked by the sexiness of his new roomie from the start. When infatuation enters the picture, Malcolm knows he’s really in trouble. After all, Cory is straight!

At least, that’s the general consensus.


John Inman writes in many flavors, comedy, romance, horror, drama, mystery, and he can own any of those genres. Acting Up is an addition to his RomCom flavor menu and I do so love this menu. It was a perfect escape into some fun and romance.

While Acting Up may not be the most realistic of story arcs, it is what I want reality to be and real realism is not what I’m there for when I’m reading a FluffInmantastic tale. That’s a word now, just FYI.

Malcolm Fox is a struggling actor with passable talent that he has no delusions of grandeur about. He loves it though and so he soldiers on. He and his roommate, Beth plod along in menial jobs in order to pursue their passions, they‘re young and full of snark making their banter fun to read. Malcolm is described as, and admittedly is, kinda self-absorbed, but he owns and it and he’s not a bad guy by any means.

Sure, Malcolm is pretty much all about Malcolm, but he’s never really had a reason not to be and he’s no more so than most at that age. He’s on a slow road to self-discovery and that’s what Acting Up is all about. Malcolm has never been in love so he just rolls with whom and what feels good. His world gets thrown out of whack when Beth’s hunky country boy brother, Cory, moves in with them in San Diego from his small hometown in Missouri.

Cory is made of muscles, innocence and a sweetness that Malcolm just can’t deny. He assumes Cory is straight (Cory moved to SD after breaking up with his girlfriend, so it makes sense that Malcolm would make that assumption) but all is not what it seems on that front and honestly reading about Cory and his coming out was ideal. I loved the dynamics between the two of them from the moment they met until the final page.

Cory was on his journey coming out, and while Malcolm was out and proud, he still had a journey of his own to figure out who he was as Grown-Up/Not-Selfish Malcolm. They were on two different life adventures, but their paths crossed at just the right time, making all the perfect RomCom moments happen deliciously.

Inman makes the absolute best secondary cast and they always play an integral role, especially so in his FluffInmantastic offerings. Beth, Malcolm’s roommate and Cory’s sister is awesome but even better is Malcolm’s mom. Any description I give is not going to do her justice, but suffice it to say, she’s not an oatmeal cookie mom, she’s a gin and tonic mom, I love her.

Acting Up is the antithesis book you need to have queued up after you’ve read something heavy and angsty or when real life just gets too real, that’s what I saved it for and it worked beautifully.

For more information and to get your copy of Acting Up, head over to Dreamspinner Press.


**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Review: Imago (Imago #1) by N.R. Walker

Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.


This read was cute. From start to finish it was cute. Marshmallows and bunnies cute - even if it did feature a very scary forest fire.

Lawson is one of those characters that comes along once in a while who just melts a reader with his  true self. He is unabashedly nerdy - if we want to stereotype him - he owns his quirks and is amazing at being himself. I loved the fact that, while he is a geeky character, he isn't a doormat. He stands up for what he believes in; academically, work-wise and in life in general.

He is passionate about butterflies, and isn't there something incredibly gorgeous about  a person with passion about anything? He is also very caring, so much so that he is willing to risk his own life to save other lives. He may not be a stereotypical hero, but he assuredly is one. To top it off - BOWTIES. He rocks a bowtie, so not only is he intelligent and caring, but a sexy dresser too. Let's face it, what's not to love??

What I liked even more, was that the other MC in this story - whilst still managing ton be of the opposites attract variety, wasn't a macho arsehole who could save the world with what he's got in his pants. You know the type I mean, right? All to often the opposite of 'geek' is 'overly macho'. Not Jack though. He is as passionate about his job in Parks and Wildlife as Lawson is about butterflies, and certainly whilst it is true he physically fitter (owing to the outside nature of his job) he is no less caring than Lawson.

I loved the fact that Jack uses his dog to help him judge people. Rosemary is a most important part of his life and he won't compromise that for anyone. Rosemary, Lawson and Jack made quite a trio and the romance here was - well, I've used the word cute but I do need to use it again, because gosh darn it, it was cute. Cute and lovely and awwwwwwwwwwwww...

A book for lazy Sundays in the sun, or a quiet morning read. I'm pretty sure it will leave you with a smile on your face, it certainly did me!
A copy of this book was given in exchange for an honest review.
For more information see Goodreads.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Sons of Devils by Alex Beecroft


The Sons of Devils tour is here today with a $10 Riptide credit and a backlist ebook from the author! See below for details on how to enter!




About Alex Beecroft


Alex Beecroft is an English author best known for historical fiction, notably Age of Sail, featuring gay characters and romantic storylines. Her novels and shorter works include paranormal, fantasy, and contemporary fiction.


Beecroft won Linden Bay Romance’s (now Samhain Publishing) Starlight Writing Competition in 2007 with her first novel, Captain’s Surrender, making it her first published book. On the subject of writing gay romance, Beecroft has appeared in the Charleston City PaperLA Weekly, the New Haven Advocate, the Baltimore City Paper, and The Other Paper. She is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association of the UK and an occasional reviewer for the blog Speak Its Name, which highlights historical gay fiction.
Alex was born in Northern Ireland during the Troubles and grew up in the wild countryside of the English Peak District. She lives with her husband and two children in a little village near Cambridge and tries to avoid being mistaken for a tourist.


Alex is only intermittently present in the real world. She has led a Saxon shield wall into battle, toiled as a Georgian kitchen maid, and recently taken up an 800-year-old form of English folk dance, but she still hasn’t learned to operate a mobile phone.


She is represented by Louise Fury of the L. Perkins Literary Agency.


Connect with Alex:
  • Website: alexbeecroft.com
  • Twitter: @Alex_Beecroft

  • About Sons of Devils

    British scholar Frank Carew is in Wallachia to study the magic generator on nobleman Radu Vacarescu’s land. There, his party is attacked by bandits and his friends are killed. Pursued by a vampiric figure, he flees to Radu’s castle for help.

    Unfortunately, this is precisely where the vampires came from. If allowed, they would feed unchecked and spread their undeath across the whole Earth, but Radu maintains a shaky control over them and keeps them penned in his tiny corner of the country.

    As Frank recovers from his assault, Radu finds himself falling for the young man. But loving Frank and not wanting to lose him leaves Radu vulnerable to his demons’ demands. Can he bear to let them feed on the man he loves? Or must he give in to their blackmail and set them free to feast on his entire country?






To celebrate the release of Sons of Devils, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and one ebook from Alex Beecroft’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on March 18, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!