Monday, December 31, 2018

Random Review: The Story of Us by Barbara Elsborg #Review #Giveaway

Author: Barbara Elsborg
Title: The Story Of Us
Self Published
Publication Date: October 30, 2018
Length: 435 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Two boys. One love. Ten summers.

Are you okay?
The first words Zed says to Caspian, and the first time someone has cared about the answer. On a hot summer’s day, the lives of two boys are changed forever. A rebel and a risk taker, Caspian doesn’t give a damn for the consequences. Studious and obedient, Zed is the good boy who is never good enough.

The two couldn’t be more different, but there’s one thing they share, a need to belong to someone who understands them, someone who cares. Their friendship goes deeper than either can possibly imagine. They’re young, in love, and planning their future when an act of betrayal tears them apart.

Fate deals its hand. Seasons pass. Zed’s words follow Caspian through pain, fear and into the darkest of places. Friendships can last a lifetime, even when the world conspires to crush them. But this is more than friendship. This is love and they’re not going to let it slip through their fingers.

The Story of Us is a tale of love and survival, and the triumph of good over evil against the odds. It's a new adult contemporary romance that deals with family and social issues. There is violence and cruelty to children but not sexual assault. The story has sexual situations, dark elements and suspense. The events and locations are a mixture of real and fictional. The characters are fictional.

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There is no doubt in my mind that Barbara Elsborg is one of the best authors I've ever read. If ever there was a tiny question in my mind The Story Of Us squashed that. This was definitely one of, if not the best book I read all year. The power, emotion, everything in this was outstanding.

Zed and Caspian are two boys who never really get to be boys then they are men and struggle at being men. And yet, they end up being the best humans they could be. Both with childhoods that are dark, full of hate, violence, and very little love.

The love these two have for each other is the light in this book. When they are ever in each other's orbit you feel the pull as the reader. Suddenly, the environment they are standing in doesn't matter because they are together.

I have no way to really explain this book and how it shook me, how it made my heart beat faster, made tears flow effortlessly down my cheeks, how angry I became. This is a book not to be missed. It's one you'll need tissues for, maybe some alcohol, and certainly time. This book will consume you and nothing will matter except Zed and Caspian and their rough, almost impossible journey.

Bravo, Barbara Elsborg, I want to be just like you when I grow up.

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Best of 2018~ Racheal's Top Reads

More Top Reads Time!!! Racheal is up next telling you her favorite reads of 2018!!!! The struggle is real, people! It's not easy to do this. So many authors with so many amazing books! But, here are her choices.

Blue Christmas by Viva Gold 

All I Want Is You by DJ Jamison

Bishop Ridge by Cate Ashwood

Lincoln's Park by Parker Williams

Flash Me by K.M. Neuhold

Flare by Posy Roberts

Wanted- Bad Boyfriend by TA Moore

Something About Us by Riley Hart

Taught by Tarilyn Sparks 

Fusion by Posy Roberts

Rainbow Place by Jay Northcote 

From A Jack to a King by Scotty Cade

Jupiter by Rhett Heath

Better Together by BL Maxwell

Hard To Get by Jaclyn Quinn

Written In Scars by Thom Collins

Roses In The Devil's Garden by Charlie Cochet

The Time Of My Life by Nora Phoenix

Teaching Ben by Shae Connor

Racheal's Best Veteran Author this year is

Jay Northcote

Best New To Me Author

Nora Phoenix

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Best of 2018~ Michael's Top Reads

The Best of 2018 continues with Michael's choices for Top Reads. Lots of great books out there this year and deciding the best is sometimes torture. Sit back and enjoy!

Bad To The Bone by Nicki Bennett

Nothing Serious by Jay Northcote

Bromantically Yours by K.C. Wells

His Truth by Riley Hart

BFF by K.C. Wells

Leaning Into Forever by Lane Hayes

Swann's Revenge by Shira Anthony

Leaning Into The Look by Lane Hayes

Not Today by M.C. Lee

Sheep's Clothing by Elin Gregory

Michael's Choice For 
Best Veteran Author is

Riley Hart

Best New To Me Author is

M.C. Lee

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Random Review: His Cursed Prince by Ryan Loveless #Review #Giveaway

Author: Ryan Loveless
Title: His Cursed Prince
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Publication Date: December 28, 2018
Length: 98 pages

Reviewed by Morningstar


Three facts about Tuckington Belle:

1. Given the choice between illegally scaling the royal castle’s walls to steal flowers for a client at his family’s dress shop or going on a date with a girl his brother set him up with (“He’s fertile, and he can sew!”), Tuck will scale the wall like a spider after a fly.

2. If, upon knocking himself unconscious when he falls off the wall, Tuck wakes up bruised, blindfolded, and inside the castle, where—based on the unearthly wails heard nightly—the prince no one has seen in ten years is probably a ghost, Tuck would still choose this over a date with a girl.

3. Tuck thinks it’s time to admit he’s gay.     

Three facts about Prince Frederick George Deor (Read and approved with great reluctance by Lord “Protocol is Protocol. Stop Being a Pain About It” Todd):

1. He brought a curse upon himself and now bears the skin of a snake.

2. He can’t take his eyes off the injured thief recovering in the castle.

3. Friendships born from lying and insisting the other person wears a blindfold can blossom into true love—which he needs to break the curse.

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This is the first book of this author that I’ve ever read. The story and plot had lots of promise, but as someone who reads and loves all things fantasy, this was a hard sell for me.

What I loved most were the two characters, Tuck and Frederick. They were both full of life and personality and were easy to get to know and love. They were cute and Frederick having to hide definitely made watching their relationship evolve fun and unique. Tuck was really a good guy with a good heart, and he was the perfect guy to bring life back to the castle and his occupants, not just the Prince.

Oh, I also loved, LOVED the dog, Muffin and Tuck’s Mom was pretty awesome herself.  

For me where it fell flat were two things. The world building is first. There were too many inconsistencies that brought me out of the story like cell phones and tweeting but no one had electricity except Frederick's castle. For no explained reason even though the castle had power and a dishwasher they never used technology, so letters and the such were still sent by horse and rider.

The other way that it fell flat was the sudden “I Love You’s” that came, for me as reader out of nowhere. I understand it’s a novella length book, so these things are typically rushed, but this was one moment they were still getting to know each other, the next they’re confessing love and saying it like it had been forever since they knew but they’d only known each other for four days.

These are just things that took me out of the story, so maybe for you, it would still work. Give it a try because overall it is still a cute romance story.


Enter the monthly review giveaway
Contest ends December 31st

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All About Me And What's To Come ~ Helena Stone #Giveaway

It's time for another All About Me And What's To Come! Today we have author Helena Stone with us talking about her books and what's coming from her. So, please, hang out and enjoy.

Something Old, Something New, Something…Cheap

Thank you, Meredith King for inviting me to the Diverse Reader site today. I’ve been a fan of your blog since I first discovered MM and am always honoured to be featured there among so many authors I admire.

With it being less than three days before the start of 2019, I thought it might be a good time to reflect on what has been and look forward to what I’m planning to do next. The books mentioned below can be found on Amazon by clicking on the titles.

2018 was a surprising year for me. The two full-length novels I published (Double Dutch Courage and All or Nothing, more about them later) were planned well in advance, as was Too Hot for Santa. Three of the four shorter stories I released were as much a surprise to me as they may have been to my readers. Between Valentine’s Love, Careful What You Wish For, and A Miracle in the Library I’ve learned to just listen to my muse and don’t get too hung up on writing and publishing schedules.

And then, on Christmas Day, Pride Publishing surprised me by releasing a box set of my Dublin Virtues stories.

Because so much of what I wrote last year took me by surprise, I’m reluctant to make hard and fast plans for 2019. But, there are one or two things I’m fairly certain about.

I’m hoping to release another Valentine’s Day story in February, although I’ve no idea what it will be about yet. In March I’ll be revisiting Mitch and Cian from A Miracle in the Library just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. And, since Mitch will celebrate his eighteenth birthday shortly before that story starts, things may get it bit more explicit for these two young men. 😊

I’m also planning the re-release of Little Rainbows (MF), the first story I ever wrote and the book that kick-started the Blowhole Series. And talking about those books, I will be writing another book set in that resort on the Irish west-coast, but this one will feature two men as the main characters. Afterall, the Blowhole caters to all tastes and orientations.

Finally there’s the top secret project I’m involved in. Because of the confidentiality agreement I signed (I’m not even joking), I can’t tell you anything about that except that I’m hyper excited about it and love the first draft of the story I wrote during NaNoWriMo. More information will certainly be revealed over the course of 2019 and if you’d like to hear about it first you can join my reader’s group: Helena’s Book Haven, or sign up to my newsletter:

And finally for the ‘something cheap’ I mentioned in my headline. From December 30th to January 2nd both All or Nothing and Double Dutch Courage will be available for only $.99/£.99 on Amazon.

So, I’m moving from exciting times in the past to more of the same in the future. I hope the same will be true for you and that 2019 will turn out to be exactly what you’re hoping for.

And on that note, what is it you are looking forward to in 2019, book related or otherwise? Let me know in the comments. One randomly chosen respondent will be able to choose two titles from my backlist.

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