Thursday, June 29, 2017

Random Review: Ride Along by Meghan Maslow #Review #Giveaway




Author: Meghan Maslow
Book: Ride Along
Series: States of Love~ Maryland
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh
Publication date: June 14, 2017
Length: 122 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Drew Nolan is a loud-and-proud mystery writer with a brutal case of writer’s block. He needs practical experience with the Baltimore police beat to get his latest manuscript to his publisher on time. When he wins a ride-along at a writer’s conference, he thinks he’s hit the jackpot… until he meets his partner.

Closeted cop Josh de Oliveira lost his family, his partner, and the respect of his unit—all for doing the right thing. Recently busted back down to patrol, he’s relieved to get a cushy assignment at the Author’s Police Institute where he’ll take one lucky writer on a ride-along. Unfortunately, his author looks like he belongs in the backseat of Josh’s squad car—long, ginger dreadlocks, piercings, and an “I would bottom you so hard” T-shirt. But there’s something about Drew Josh is having a hard time resisting.

It’s going to be a long night and one hell of a ride as opposites attract and realize they share a lot in common beneath the surface. As animosity becomes desire, they realize they can help each other out—in more ways than one.


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Review

It didn't take me long to know I was going to really enjoy this story. I found Drew to be like sunshine. Him being a ginger only added to my happiness. He felt like one of my people with his attitude, outlook, and personality. It starts with his POV and I think that helped in me falling into this book. He's at a convention and hoping for a ride along with a police officer to help him out of his writer's block for a new book. Enter Josh.

The first impression of Josh is not a good one, people. I was very much, "What an attitude." But when the POV shifts to him, we see. We see all too clearly why he acted how he did with Drew and all he faces on a daily basis. You don't stay angry with Josh very long.

This is labeled a novella but it is on the long side for a novella. And typically speaking I'm not fulfilled with them. I always feel like there are gaps and holes and I'm missing things or it's rushed. I didn't feel that way with Ride Along. Were there issues I felt needed tightening? Yes. But not to the extent it aggravated me. I would have loved more closure for Josh and his backstory issues but the author does close it up so you aren't left really wondering too much.

It's an enjoyable and sweet story about love and strength. About standing up for yourself and finding your person who will stand beside you.


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Blog Tour: Wolf of the Northern Star by SJ Himes #Review #Excerpt #Giveaway





Title: Wolf of the Northern Star
Author: SJ Himes
Series: The Wolfkin Saga, #2
Release Date: June 15th 2017
Genre: Gay Paranormal Shifter Romance

 Reviewed by Morningstar

BLURB
Ghost, once known as the cub Luca, is finally home. Back among his kind and learning what it means to be both a man and a shaman, Ghost battles the expectations of his people, his family, and the pressures of a society that is both foreign and familiar. His power is greater than any seen before, dwarfing that of even the legendary Shaman Gray Shadow—and his union with Kane places him in the center of a controversy that rattles wolfkin society around the world.

Kane, greater alpha and Heir to Black Pine Clan, has finally defeated the traitor and murderer that destroyed the heart of Black Pine years before. Freed at last from guilt and pain, Kane has a new enemy to face: his own people. Placed on trial for violation of Law and blasphemy, Kane will have to fight to the death to preserve his bond with Ghost and keep his mate and people safe.

The soulbond between Ghost and Kane is forged by the creator and Goddess of the wolfkin. Usually, a sacred and treasured union that honors the pair and their clans, this soulbond is seen not as a gift, but a threat to eons of tradition and Clan Law.
The union of a Shaman and Alpha is anathema—but how to reconcile that belief when it is the wolfkin Goddess who forged it? Can Ghost and Kane save themselves, preserve their bond, and find a new future when the laws of the ancient past threaten to tear them apart?

*This book is part of a series and should not be read as a standalone. Prior books should be read to understand content. 104,000 words*

Purchase: Amazon Universal
Find The Wolfkin Saga on Goodreads





Review


I fell in love with book one, Wolves of Black Pine, piece by piece, word by word. SJ Himes has this wondrous voice that she lends to her characters. This amazing mind that builds worlds from nothing breathing life making you believe and hope that it’s all real. Because wouldn’t that be fan-freaking-tastic?

In this book, we get to revisit with all the old characters, like Ghost and Kane, Burke and Sophia, Andromeda and Caius, and many more. We get new ones like Wren that make us want more. The struggles that we see Ghost go through was one we all knew he had the strength to handle even if he didn’t always believe he did. With each and every twist and turn the author brought us on, it made me sit closer and closer to the edge of my seat.

SJ Himes has a unique way of writing her stories with magical words that bring every aspect, even the heartbreaking and violent ones, to life. With the rich history, she gave this world to the modern changes she lets the characters acknowledge. Each piece, each character keeps you wondering what will happen next and who plays a part.  For the latter, everything and everyone plays a part in how the story unfolds and how it will progress. We don’t just get a story about Ghost and Kane, although they are the leads, we get a story spanning a whole pack and more. Each linking to the other, affecting the other in ways we would never think to see.

And even with the fighting and tension in every part of this book she gives life to this beautiful romance of Ghost and Kane and sneaks in a couple of surprise romances to boot. Both that would shock you a bit if you didn’t know they were coming but were great just the same.

Basically, this book, like every book she writes, was worth the wait because she builds a world I would dive back into time and time again, and it would always feel as full of wonder and magic and life as the first time.





Excerpt

“Where have you been? With your mate?” Glen asked, and Ghost grumbled.
“Been running around the mountain all night long, thinking. Being a man is hard. How do you do it?”
Glen snorted out a laugh. “Practice.” He nodded at the blanket, and Ghost sighed loudly.
Ghost sat up, wrapping the quilt about his hips. He threw himself back down almost immediately, and Glen found himself unable to resist the plaintive whine that came from his pretty lips. Glen was as straight as they came, but even he could acknowledge the sheer beauty of the human form of his wayward wolf. Ghost was beautiful, inside and out, and yet he had a shade of sadness hovering about his expressive silver eyes. He walked around the couch and paused as Ghost scrambled out of the way long enough for him to sit down. A bare second later he had an armful of lean youth and wiggling limbs.
Ghost curled up in his lap like he used to as a pup, though it was different now, as Ghost was not a wolf anymore. Glen heaved out a groan in complaint, but let Ghost hide under his chin and snuggle. He hugged the boy to his chest, and they both relaxed, adjusting easily enough to the new dynamic.
“What’s wrong?” Glen asked, and Ghost responded in a tiny voice.
“They put Kane in a cell in the woods yesterday. And they want to destroy our mate bond.”
Glen could recall only two times in his entire life he ever got angry enough to kill. Once was back in college when he tore a drunk frat boy off a cussing and furious redhead who then proceeded to wallop her attacker. The other time was when he rescued a malnourished wolf-hybrid from a careless and ignorant suburban family in the outskirts of Toronto, the poor thing starved near to death and skeletal thin. As he did then, he ran his hands over the back of a young wolf’s head, and said, “Everything is going to be okay.”
Glen managed to hold onto his temper, but it was a battle. The youngling needed a shoulder to cry on, a place to relax his guarded emotions, and Glen would be that safe place for him.
“I wanted to come home more than anything,” Ghost whispered, pressing his face into Glen’s chest. “But nothing good has come of it. They think me damaged, weak. Vulnerable.”
“We both know you are not damaged or weak. I don’t think I would have survived fifteen years locked away in the body of a wolf, deprived of any sense of self or family. You’re strong. And what do you mean nothing good has come from returning to your people? You have your man now, Kane. He’s your mate, no matter what those fools may say or think.”
“He’s in a cage, Glen. In the woods, alone, surrounded by alphas who wouldn’t hesitate to hurt him. I can feel him through our bond. He’s frustrated, and misses me. I haven’t seen him since they took him away yesterday We can’t talk because the alphas might be able to overhear us, but I can still feel him. It hurts not being with him.”




The Wolfkin Saga Book One


Title: Wolves of Black Pine
Release Date: June 30th 2015
Genre: Paranormal, Shifters, MM Romance

BLURB
An ancient civilization long hidden from humanity is on the brink of chaos and war.

Peaceful for thousands of years, the wolfkin clans are mysteriously losing packmates, kidnapped and killed by unknown foes. Among the dead is Luca, youngest grandson of the two most powerful wolves in the Northern Clans, but he is forced into a half-life, hidden in the far northern wilds of Canada and cut off from his kind. Those who raised him have no idea the creature they harbor in their midst, and name him Ghost. He begins to lose himself over the long years, and though he barely recalls his true name, the one wolf he never forgets is Kane.

Heir to the wolfkin clan Black Pine, Kane is charged with hunting down the traitors who them to the humans. Years fly by, and more wolves are dying. He refuses to give up, and he vows to never again fail another of their kind, as he failed young Luca years before. His heart tells him Luca lives, but his mind tells him that it’s foolish hope, his guilt eating him alive.

Fate and magic change the course of their lives, and the two wolves long separated by the years find their paths intertwining, though the reunion does not come without cost...

150,000+ words, contains graphic sex between men, dubious consent, mentions of abuse. Contains gore and violence. Mature readers only.

Purchase: Amazon Universal  **On SALE $2.99 until 5th July**





About the Author


I'm a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I'm at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that's perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), and The Wolfkin Saga. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.
I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on.... I'm a nomad, and I've yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.






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