Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Release Day Review: Cutting Cords by Morticia Knight #Review #Giveaway




Author: Morticia Knight
Book: Cutting Cords
Series: Kiss of Leather #6
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Publication date: May 23, 2017
Length: 182 pages


Reviewed by Erin


Synopsis

Liam yearns for Master Neal’s harsh touch, but Neal fears that a part-time Master can’t give a full-time sub everything he needs.

Liam’s world crumbled after the unexpected death of his Master. Prone to panic attacks and other social anxiety, Liam doesn’t believe he’ll ever find another Master who would be willing to take on such a challenged sub fulltime. Too distraught to go back to Club Consequence where he met the man he thought he’d be with forever, he decides to give Kiss of Leather a try.

After doing a piercing gig at Kiss of Leather, Master Neal signs up to become a member. On the night he performs a demo as the final step to being accepted, he meets a sub who brings out his protective urge and makes his heart come alive. Neal isn’t scared off by Liam’s anxiety or social awkwardness. On the contrary, he finds the sub to be refreshingly honest and endearing.

They try out a scene to see if they’ll click, and their connection is everything they’d both hoped it could be. However, the road to love and a Total Power Exchange isn’t an easy one. Neal still hasn’t discovered all there is to know about Liam’s traumatic upbringing, and he’s not sure if he’d ultimately be the right Master for Liam.

Both men are forced to face the truth about love, life and what it means to share it with another person. But before Liam can start over with Neal, he’ll have to cut the cords to his past and trust that Neal will be there to catch him when he does.



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Review

I've been a fan of Morticia Knight's Kiss of Leather series since the first book came out and await each new addition with baited breath. I love how she portrays both Doms and subs and how careful she is to show the power exchange dynamic realistically and with heart. There is also an underlying story arc that contains a mystery that is wonderfully woven into the story of each couple she introduces. The newest book, Cutting Cords, introduces us to Neal and Liam (who we've seen briefly in previous books) and also adds more clues to the mystery. I would suggest reading the books in order as each tends to build on the ones before so you'll lose some context if you don't. That being said, be prepared to fall in love with all of the men of Kiss of Leather. 

Neal is a Dom, and he's unlike most you'll encounter if you read BDSM at all. He's laid back, looks at life with a smile on his face and is one of the most easy going, genuinely good guys I've read in quite a while. I dug him a lot. I loved his attitude toward BDSM, his fellow Dom's, his family and friends, and most especially sweet Liam. Liam just melted my heart. So earnest, so just wanting to belong to someone again after the death of his prior Master, he could have so easily been a caricature, given his profound anxiety but Morticia wrote him just beautifully. He seemed so believable and you just wanted him to find what he needed so badly. Thankfully, from the moment he and Neal meet, the sparks flew and their relationship just grew from there. 

I liked how even though there was an instant attraction and a mutual need, Neal and Liam took their time to get to know one another outside of doing scenes together. This is a short book so yeah, things move quickly, but I still got the sense that there was more to these two than just insta-love ... there was a real connection. I didn't get that from book 5, but I definitely felt it here. As for the search for more answers into Corey's kidnapping continue, well we got a few but there is more to come and I can't wait to see what happens next! If you haven't yet started this well written series full of memorable characters and some steamy sex scenes, do yourself a favor a fix that right away!!



Giveaway

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Audiobook Review: Crooked Tree Ranch by RJ Scott~ Narrated by Sean Crisden #Review #Giveaway




Author: RJ Scott
Narrator: Sean Crisden
Book: Crooked Tree Ranch
Series: Montana #1
Publisher: Love Lane Books
Publication date: April 3, 2017
Length: 6 hours 20 minutes


Reviewed by Morningstar

Synopsis

When a cowboy, meets the guy from the city, he can't know how much things will change.

On the spur of the moment, with his life collapsing around him, Jay Sullivan answers an ad for a business manager with an expertise in marketing, on a dude ranch in Montana.

With his sister, Ashley, niece, Kirsten and nephew, Josh, in tow, he moves lock stock and barrel from New York to Montana to start a new life on Crooked Tree Ranch.

Foreman and part owner of the ranch, ex rodeo star Nathaniel 'Nate' Todd has been running the dude ranch, for five years ever since his mentor Marcus Allen became ill.

His brothers convince him that he needs to get an expert in to help the business grow. He knows things have to change and but when the new guy turns up, with a troubled family in tow - he just isn't prepared for how much.







Review


To me, the story of this book, besides the growing relationship between Nate and Jay, was the growth of the whole Sullivan family. With a move from the city, from the only home they’ve ever known, the angsty life of a teenager, the damage that Ashley has to fix insider herself to feel whole again, and the complete change in the path Jay’s career had once been on, they have a lot to heal.

Jay is a strong character one who knows what he wants and is not shy about getting it otherwise he wouldn’t be good at his job. Working on a ranch and its stubborn owner is something Jay has never had to deal with. I loved how Jay was both supportive and protective of his sister Ashley. On top of dealing with a teenage girl who would rather slam her door than speak and his nephew who is more than happy to stay forever and ever on the ranch, Jay has to do his job. One he is growing every day to love more and more. That might have to do with a particular hot and stubborn cowboy…

Nate has done a lot of sacrificing in the name of helping his family and the ranch which he’ll continue to do because he wants for them what he didn’t have himself. And boy oh boy is he a stubborn and cranky man! Nate finds the ranch in trouble after letting the business end of things slide, and now all the Todd men and Marcus have to buck up to get what needs to be done, done! In walks city slicker Jay and Nate. He doesn’t think the men has what it takes to understand enough about what they do to help them and it annoys him that he finds Jay attractive. Jay is a little tease once he realizes that Nate is gay. No matter how many times Nate thinks he has things in hand, Jay proves him wrong. I loved the banter between these two from day one; it was fun and hot and helped build the tension between them. Plus they both fit perfectly for the other, challenging each other, and bringing out their softer sides.

This was a well-developed story with wonderfully solid characters. The secondary characters were just as important to the overall arching story line, and the author made sure to make them two dimensional, so the reader felt just as invested with them as the main characters.

The narrator, Sean Crisden, did an excellent job of giving voice to each character making them unique and so real that I got lost on more than one occasion picturing these people in my head as though it was a movie. It’s funny how going into an audiobook I’m always fearful the voice of the character won’t match what I thought. But Sean hits the nail on the head each time. He gave even more depth and life to this story than I thought possible, making me love it even more.

Although we are left with some questions about Henry, what happened to Justin, and Marcus’s health I am sure these will be answered in future books!






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Contest ends May 31st!
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Review Tour: Wake by K.Evan Coles & Brigham Vaughn #Review #Giveaway




Buy Links: Pride Publishing (Early Download) | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Length: 96,517 words

Blurb

Book one in the Tidal series

Carter Hamilton and Riley Porter-Wright room together as Harvard undergraduates. An immediate friendship forms, but as the years pass it deepens into something neither man understands. As attraction simmers under the surface, lines begin to blur. When they move back to Manhattan, they gradually slip into the lives their families have envisioned for them.

Both men marry, but in time, Riley realizes he’s ended up in a passionless relationship like his parents’ while his career takes center stage. Although he loves his wife, Carter misses the emotional and physical connection he shared with Riley.

The weight of Riley’s feelings and his growing discontentment with his life eventually push him to tell Carter the truth about how he feels. Shocked and unable to face his own feelings, Carter rejects Riley.

As each man comes to terms with the lies they’ve told themselves, each other and the people around them, they find their lives changing in ways they never imagined. They soon discover that the truths they’ve been longing to tell shake the foundations of their friendship.



Review

I have read Brigham Vaughn a number of times and truly loved her creativity and style. K. Evan Coles is new to me and shockingly, this is her debut. The fact you can't tell that by reading Wake speaks volumes of K. Evan's talent.

What I loved most about this book was watching Carter and Riley's relationship growth. It's so rare we see new relationships form into mature ones these days. I can probably count on one hand the number of books I've seen this in.  When a relationship begins I'm always curious about what happens next and we see this here. And, these two authors make us eager for more with that ending!

Brigham and K. Evan's put these boys through all the emotions and bring to the forefront the intolerance that still very much exists.

As a reader, each emotion is felt deeply. Sadness for Riley, frustration for Carter, Their friendship and the never ending love. Even secondary characters were written amazingly *cough* Dan *cough* He's brilliant and you won't be able to not love him.

 There's a great originality to this story and the writing is flawless. This is a huge win for me.





Author Bios



K. Evan Coles is a mother and tech pirate by day and a writer by night. She is a dreamer who, with a little hard work and a lot of good coffee, coaxes words out of her head and onto paper.

K. lives in the northeast United States, where she complains bitterly about the winters, but truly loves the region and its diverse, tenacious and deceptively compassionate people. You’ll usually find K. nerding out over books, movies and television with friends and family. She’s especially proud to be raising her son as part of a new generation of unabashed geeks.





Brigham Vaughn is starting the adventure of a lifetime as a full-time writer. She devours books at an alarming rate and hasn’t let her short arms and long torso stop her from doing yoga.  She makes a killer key lime pie, hates green peppers, and loves wine tasting tours. A collector of vintage Nancy Drew books and green glassware, she enjoys poking around in antique shops and refinishing thrift store furniture. An avid photographer, she dreams of traveling the world and she can’t wait to discover everything else life has to offer her.


Email: brighamvaughn@gmail.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brigham.vaughn
Facebook Author Page:

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Release Day Review: The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn #Review #Giveaway


Author: Sydney Blackburn
Book: The Lure of Port Stephen
Publisher: NineStar Press
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Publication date: May 22, 2017
Length: 113 pages

Reviewed by Erin


Synopsis

Robbie Wales is young and starting a new job in a new town, on his own. Coming from a split family, he was raised by his mother and maternal grandparents and came out as a teen without a lot of fuss, but his father, whom he only saw infrequently, has never known. As an adult, he’s found he’s got a lot in common with his father, and they’re finally getting to know each other. He fears coming out to his father may jeopardize that.

Then he meets Raj Williams, the attractive man in the trailer next to his father’s in a seasonal RV park. Raj is handsome, sophisticated, yet loves to fish and watch silly Disney movies.

Raj finds Robbie equally interesting. But Robbie’s still in the closet, at least in Port Stephen, and Raj’s ex used that as an excuse to treat him as nothing more than a friend with benefits. He’s not interested in a repeat experience.

Robbie finally finds the courage to come out to his father, but was it all just for a summer fling?



Buy Links




Review

If you're looking for a quick, sexy read that's probably a little different than what you're used to, look no further than The Lure of Port Stephen by Sydney Blackburn. A catchy (and oh so brilliant title) along with an eye catching cover put this on my radar as soon as I spied it. At a little under 100 pages, The Lure of Port Stephen was a really nice way to spend an hour or two and left me with a smile on my face. 

Set in picturesque Port Stephen, Robbie Wales spends his weekends getting reacquainted with his absentee father and new step mother. In his early twenties, Robbie knows he's gay but is afraid to come out to his dad for fear of upsetting their new relationship. They spend time fishing and camping, drinking beer around a firepit and talking. It's not a scintillating way to spend his weekends, but Robbie is happy with the way things are going and okay with letting everything happen in its own time ...until a Tall Dark and Handsome guy appears in the campsite right next to his dad's. Raj Williams is older than Robbie, sophisticated and sexy and intriguing and Robbie cant stop thinking about the man, or staring at him. Once these two meet, it's intense chemistry central. 

The plot of The Lure of Port Stephen is predictable and the conflict between Robbie and his dad even more so, but I found Robbie and Raj rather sweet. For such a short book, we got to know a lot about these two guys and their friends and family. There was WAY too much sex, so much so I skimmed most of those parts, but the attraction and chemistry between the two felt real and genuine. I really can't get over how perfect the title is for the book, and when I realized the link between the story and the title, I smiled like a fool. The book is well written, the plot doesn't get bogged down even though it was predictable. I liked how fishing played a part in both Robbie's relationship with his dad as well as his with Raj. The secondary characters were interesting and fun (well, there was one or two who were annoying, but that's good in its own way). All in all, this was a lovely book and I'll be looking for more from this author.



Giveaway

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Cover Reveal: The Ties That Bind by S. Davidson #Excerpt

Title: The Ties that Bind
Author: S. Davidson
Genre: M/M Fiction
Release Date: June 1, 2017 Cover Art: Rue Volley Editor: EAL Editing Service Publisher: Encompass Ink Publishing
Flashback 1990's - Rollerblades, bungee jumping, the laptop, cellular phones the size of bricks, and AIDS - the gay men's cancer This is a story about love, friendship, and family. It is a story about growing up, about trying to change the past and the realization that no matter how fast, or how far we run, that The Ties That Bind us as children, many times come back to haunt us as adults. We become part of the life of a young counselor, Morgan, who specializes working with homeless, male hustlers. He seems like an angel from heaven to many. He cares deeply for every one of his boys and would literally die to save them from harm. He deprives himself of life's basic needs in order to reach just one more, but why? Morgan has his own agenda to work out, his own demons to exorcise. While avoiding his own past, he meets a particular young man, Greg, who is able to see through this well-crafted, public image. Greg sees Morgan's pain and denial. It is in this discovery, this role reversal that Greg, a life-long hustler begins to heal himself. He helps Morgan come to terms with his own violent past. Greg becomes his strength, the knife to cut the rope and release the guilt Morgan has denied for years. Just as they both begin to heal, Greg discovers the truth. The Ties That Bind can sometimes be very restricting but many times we find that The Ties That Bind can also provide our strength. The Ties That Bind are necessary for the sustenance of life.
“I do have something else to tell you about. Don't yell at me, okay? He, um, turned nineteen a few weeks ago,” Brice said quickly.

“Nineteen!” Morgan blew, swerving to avoid hitting the car in front of him. “Nineteen? What are you trying to do to me, Brice? Put me out of business? First, you tell me he needs to be watched. Then you tell me he is going to stay with you, in your one-bedroom apartment. Then you tell me he's at least two years older than any of the kids we take! If I didn't know better, I would think you wanted a playmate! These kids are hustlers, Brice. They have one thing on their minds! If this kid is even left in a room alone with any of the other boys, I've got to deal with a 'contributing to the delinquency of a minor' charge or he's hit with a statutory rape charge! When it involves two boys under my roof, I'm out of work and in jail as fast as City Hall can do it. Don't you realize they are always looking for a way to shut me down as it is? I bet you made a promise to Carol that I would take him, too! What in the hell were you thinking about, Brice?”

“I read your file on him.” Brice remained perfectly calm. “Morgan, you taught me to never give up on a kid, no matter how hard it was. You've got pages written on him. Your last entry was over six months ago. Morgan, its Gregory Wescott,” Brice said.
Shelly always had a goal to get a book in print. Well, that goal has been met. Another coming June 1, 2017, and one more still in the works. Always finding writing to be a way to escape into another world, M/M fiction is her passion and causing her beautiful boys a bit of agony is just what she does. None of her characters are flawless and most are pretty damn messed up! But they always persist, always try to be the best men they can be and hopefully find a kindred spirit along the way. Shelly is a mother, grandmother, and has a Bachelor’s in Social Services. Come on over to her Facebook page for current and upcoming release info. While she doesn't post about what she's having for dinner or what movie she's watching, she will give you info on her writing when there is news to share. Just remember, no matter who you are or what beliefs you practice, love is love and we all deserve to love.
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Blog Tour: The Wrong Woman by Cass Lennox ~ Guest Post #Giveaway




Author: Cass Lennox
Book: The Wrong Woman
Series: Toronto Collection
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover artist: LC Chase
Publication date: May 22, 2017
Length: 283 pages


Synopsis

As an independent filmmaker, Katie Cherry is used to difficult shoots—but a band’s music video in a tiny lesbian bar is proving worse than most. Stress-busting, expectation-free sex with Zay, the calm, gorgeous bartender, seems just the ticket. But then she and Zay discover the band’s lead singer beaten into a coma in the bar bathroom. They need an alibi, but playing girlfriends is a role Katie’s never excelled at, so she can't see this ending well.

Zay Fayed-Smith is finally getting her life back together after her junkie ex broke it apart. She’s working part-time while pursuing her dream of being a lawyer, and definitely keeping things chill on the girls front. Of course, that’s when a crime happens in her bar and her ex shows up wanting to try again. “Dating” Katie seems like the best way for Zay to keep her head down and teach her ex a lesson.

Except pretty soon, the charade begins to feel less and less like acting. And when the attacker turns his attentions toward Katie, they have to cut through the lies to discover what’s real.


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10 Little Known Things about the TC series

Lots of fun stuff happens in the course of researching, writing and editing a novel. Here’s a collection of stuff from across the entire Toronto Connections series.

1. In Blank Spaces, Vaughn tries to watch a Bruins vs Leafs game during the toga party. That game is based on the Wednesday 30 November 2011 game, in which the Leafs lost to the Bruins 3-6. (Bad, but not as bad as the infamous overtime game 7 loss on 13 May 2013 – I’m not that cruel.)

2. The Dam, the fictional bar in The Wrong Woman, was inspired by this excellent establishment in Queen Street West: http://www.thebeavertoronto.com/events/ I had a cup of tea and cake there entirely on a whim while in Toronto. I recommend it!

3. My editor burned through two wood-scented candles while editing Growing Pains. We thought that was appropriate, given the book’s setting in NATURE. (I had a pumpkin and vanilla candle.)

4. There's a scene in Blank Spaces where a reporter gets wrestled to the ground by a burly caterer. Despite these two being entirely background characters I, um, totally ship them. In my head. As it were. *embarrassed mumble*



5. I originally planned to include lyrics from “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” by Jet in Finding Your Feet. I decided against it, as permissions requests can stack up and be expensive.

6. The scenes involving Brock's family in Growing Pains were very difficult to write. It turns out I'm bad at putting my characters through negative experiences - my editor really had to push me to up the ante where tension and fear were concerned.

7. This Pride and Prejudice joke happened during Blank Spaces edits.



8. The Wrong Woman was actually the second book I completed for this series. The writing order, submission order, original running order and eventual running order are all different. It helped to connect the characters and keep them consistent, and to work in running jokes across all four books, but honestly, it was a tough way to write a series. I’m sure there are details I’ve messed up.

9. Most of the touristy things Evie does during Finding Your Feet are touristy things I did while in Toronto. (Excluding the dance competition. There was no competition. There were performers at Toronto Pride though.) I definitely recommend visiting the city, it’s a pretty amazing place.

10. I ate more pizza during the year I wrote and edited these novels than I've ever eaten before. Fact.






About the Toronto Connections Universe

The winters might be cold, but hearts are warm in Toronto. Canada’s largest city is home to a big lake, a big tower, and a big queer community. People here are trying to get by like everyone else: pay the bills, deal with life in the city, and maybe find some happiness along the way with someone who’s sweeter than maple candy and more constant than a Canadian’s love for Timmie’s coffee.

For some, falling in love is a real challenge. For others, falling is the easy part—it’s the happy ever after that proves a little more difficult. But in the end, love is worth every complication, misunderstanding, and occasional swear word.






About Cass Lennox

Cass Lennox is a permanent expat who has lived in more countries than she cares to admit to and suffers from a chronic case of wanderlust as a result. She started writing stories at the tender age of eleven, but would be the first to say that the early years are best left forgotten and unread. A great believer in happy endings, she arrived at queer romance via fantasy, science fiction, literary fiction, and manga, and she can’t believe it took her that long. Her specialties are diverse characters, gooey happy ever afters, and brownies. She’s currently sequestered in a valley in southeast England.

Connect with Cass:




Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Wrong Woman, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 27, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!