Release Day Review: TAKING CARE OF FAMILY by Dani Gray

Title: Taking Care of Family
Author: Dani Gray
Series: Taking Care
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Erotic Romance, Romantic Suspense
Heat Rating: Scorching
Publisher: Book Strand
Cover Artist: Harris Channing
Release Date: November 1st, 2017
Purchase:
Bookstrand

Steven Deans never thought he would find love, especially not after his fiancé and baby girl die in a car accident. Living deeply in the closet for so long, and with his abusive parents, Steve isn’t sure if he would ever be ready for a relationship. Coming to help protect his brother and the others he lives with introduces him to the man of his dreams.

When Jason Marks is called to help his former commander when they are being attacked, he meets the man who he could see spending the rest of his life with. Helping Steve after his home is broken into leads them to finding more to add to their family.

While trying to make a relationship and heal the last wounds of the past, can these two make the most of the gifts that life has given them?

Dani is a new author, this being her third novella, but she packs a lot into a smallish package. This may not be a large novel, but I promise you won’t miss the word count as the story unfolds. Steve is a kind and gentle guys that just wants to live his life, escape the viciousness of his biofamily, and build a better relationship with his brother. Years ago the family came between him and his brother due to their extreme homophobia. And now his family is at it again as is someone else. Someone broke into his home and stole his memories of his lost child and best friend.

Jason is hired to help protect his former commander’s new employer and family, which includes Steve’s little brother. When they meet, the sparks fly, but that doesn’t mean everything will be perfect. Who broke in? What can they do about the threat to their loved ones, which now includes Steve? And what about the pregnant woman both men feel responsible for?

Yeah, Dani doesn’t make things easy for her characters! But it’s well worth the read. I loved the journey, seeing all the old characters from the first two books, and getting a tease of who might be the next to fall in this series. If you enjoy fun and steamy, then this might just be the book and series for you. So take a chance on a new author and enjoy!

 

Steve was getting up, slowly. He had that night off, so he decided to be lazy. Something he hadn’t done in a while. He lounged about in bed, then moved over to the couch, not even bothering to get dressed. Since he didn’t have to go anywhere, he stayed in his sleep shorts and T-shirt. He figured, If I’m not going out today, I might as well relax and enjoy it.

After a couple of hours of mindless TV—and who the hell could watch this crap day in and day out amazed Steve, it was all useless noise—Steve got up and went to check out the contents of his fridge. Doing a quick look through, he settled on making spaghetti from scratch.

While he was getting his ingredients pulled together, his phone rang. When he saw it was Andy calling him, he answered the phone with a smile.

“Hey there, little bro, how are you doing? Feeling any better yet?”

“Steve, don’t talk, just listen. Amy was beaten up by someone and she’s in the hospital. We are assuming it’s the cousins since they are missing. Abe and Shane are sending someone to come get you. His name is Jason. Pack a bag, anything special since we don’t know if the cousins know that you were talking to Amy. Please, come here. I can’t be worried about you, too.”

“Okay.” Steve had to agree. The cousins were crazy and he didn’t want to deal with them. “How soon will Jason be here? I’ll try to be ready when he arrives.”

“Abe is sending him in a couple of minutes, so you have maybe fifteen or twenty minutes.”

“Gotcha. I’m going to hang up now. This way I can pack some stuff and be ready. Tell Shane thanks for this. I wouldn’t want to be here alone if Harvey, Hank, and Harry are after me. You can fill me in about Amy when I get there. Love ya, bro.”

Steve hung up the phone and rushed to his bedroom. He grabbed a couple of bags and threw some clothes and toiletries in it. He then went and grabbed his box off his dresser. This had Tanis’s rings in it, as well as Lynn’s little bracelets. He refused to leave them here.

He also grabbed the most precious items he owned, the photo albums with the pictures of Tanis growing up and the photos of Lynn. Since all the ones on the walls were duplicates of what was in the album, he didn’t feel the need to take those.

By the time he had packed two bags, and finished making sure the house was locked up, someone was pounding on his door.

“Steve, this is Jason, we need to move,” he heard a voice yell.

He ran to the door and opened it to the most gorgeous man he had ever seen. He was six foot three inches of blond hair and blue eyes of amazing eye candy. He wished he had the time to drag the man into his room and lick him all over.

Would he taste as good as he looked?

“Hi.” Steve could have kicked himself. He knew he sounded like an idiot.

He watched as Jason shuddered, then leaned forward and grabbed one of Steve’s bags. “You ready?”

“Let me lock this door, then I am.”

Jason took the bag out to a large SUV, and stood at the driver’s door, scanning the area while he quickly locked up and ran over to the vehicle. Throwing his bag in the back with his other one, he hurried over and got in the passenger seat. Jason immediately got in and threw the SUV into drive. Steve could hear the tires squeal as they suddenly took off.

Steve watched as Jason hit a button on the steering wheel and he heard a voice asking what he wanted to do. “Call Abe.”

The phone rang, then a voice asked, “Go.”

“Coming in hot, have one truck in pursuit, ETA fifteen minutes, maybe ten if I don’t pay attention to the speed limits.”

“We’ll be ready with a welcoming committee.”

 

I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. I still remember one of the first books I read, it was the Bobbsey Twins. As I got older, I moved into the more interesting books, but some of the typo’s made me nuts! So, after contacting writers I started a career of where I began editing, beta reading and brainstorming. After being harassed for a couple of years by some of the writers, I gave in and have now begun to write.

I live in central Canada with my hubby of over 25 years, 4 kids, and 5 grandkids. We have a collection of pets, including our guard cat. I love nothing more than curling up with a good book, or my laptop to work on the next thing that catches the muse.

Website | Facebook | Bookstrand

 

4.5 Drops Review: DARKNESS RISING by Dirk Greyson #BlogTour #excerpt #giveaway

 
Title: Darkness Rising
Author: Dirk Greyson
Series: Yellowstone Wolves (Book 3)
Genre: M/M, Paranormal Romance, Shifters
Release Date: Feb 6, 2017
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
The last thing Tobias, alpha of the small Greenview Pack, expects is to find a lost human asleep in his storage building. As soon as he sets eyes on Pete, Tobias knows they are destined mates. But he cannot act on his attraction, no matter how much he feels compelled. Exposure to the human world could mean the end of their way of life, so he decides to help Pete get a room until he can reunite with the tour group he separated from.
 
But Tobias’s disgraced half-brother, Zev, has other ideas. He takes a liking to Pete and decides he wants what Tobias has—both his position as pack leader and his mate. Tobias can’t let that happen, but protecting Pete means keeping him close, which only increases the mounting tensions between them.
 
Duty, protection, desire, and secrecy clash as the darkness within Zev rises to the surface, and only Tobias can save his mate—even if he never plans to tell Pete that’s what they are.
 
This third installment in the Yellowstone Wolves series does not only live up to its predecessors, it makes me wonder what else Dirk has up his sleeves. Tobias is powerful, resourceful, determined, and… an idiot when it comes to his human. Pete is so sweet and just wants to do what’s right for everyone, but he’s been hurt before so trust of the heart doesn’t come easy. Then you add in Zev and well, things just don’t go well. Oh, and the taint of Anton just won’t leave these poor wolves alone, or will it?
 
When Tobias finds Pete, he finds more than just a lost human, he finds his destined mate. But, what’s he to do with him? The wolves are so reclusive that they never tell humans what they are. Ever. It’s too dangerous. Right? But the Goddess wouldn’t give him a mate he couldn’t have, would she? If you’ve read the first two books (and if not, why not?!) you know she wouldn’t do that. So really it’s a matter of Tobias believing he can’t have Pete, nothing more. But there’s also Zev, Tobias’s half-brother who not only wants Pete, but seems to be bent on some kind of dark path. When Pete returns to his home in the city, danger follows. It’s up to Tobias to overcome his fears and protect his mate. Oh, and let him know he even in a mate. So no big right? LOL
 
If you love shifter stories where the men are hot, the story is solid, the passion is off the chart, and the HEA is both earned and deserved, then this is a must read. I have loved this series from the beginning and can’t wait to read more. (Hint hint… what’s next Dirk?)

 
 

Pete closed his eyes as he checked the outer pocket of his bag and found a flat, small, giveaway flashlight he’d received from some conference or other. He pressed the button and the tiny light came on. It wasn’t much, and the rain and gloom swallowed most of its glow, but it was enough to see a few steps ahead and that was all he needed. Pete figured he’d go a little farther and hoped he’d find shelter, because hope was all he had left. He slung his pack onto his back once again and wove around the trees and brush.

He was watching the ground and nearly face-planted into the corner of a structure. It was wooden, rough-hewn, and probably quite old, but Pete didn’t care. As long as it wasn’t a cougar den, he could deal. Slowly Pete made his way around it. His flashlight flickered,
and he managed to find the door and push it open, and used the last of his light to take a look around.

It was some sort of old storage building. There wasn’t much inside, but the building seemed solid and dry enough. The back was stacked with sacks from floor to ceiling, and that took up almost half of the structure’s volume. The rest was empty except for some tarps lying on hay.

Pete knew hay meant that someone used this as a barn. But he hoped they wouldn’t mind if he crashed here. He swept the loose hay together with his foot and spread one of the tarps over it to help soften the floor a little. Then Pete dug into his wet pack and pulled out his spare clothes. The plastic bag enclosing them was intact, so he stripped out of his soaked things and dressed quickly. He wrung out his clothes in the open doorway, then closed the door and laid them to dry over a board, knowing the owner would not thank him if he got the hay wet.

Pete pulled out his last bottle of water and a granola bar, ate it and drank half the water, then set the rest aside. How in the hell did he get into these situations? He lay down on the tarp and used another as a blanket. He was still cold, but it helped some. At least he was dry, and he could listen to the rain as it beat on the roof overhead rather than onto his face. He’d had something to eat and drink. For now he was dry and safe enough, and that was all he could hope for. At first light he’d leave his shelter and make for the hill so he could get some reception and hopefully call someone to rescue his sorry butt.

Lightning flashed, illuminating the space through the single small window beside the door. Thunder rolled and wind whipped around his shelter. It sounded as though Mother Nature was letting out all her fury tonight. Pete huddled a little deeper under his tarp blanket, hoping the building remained in one piece.

Pete was weary as hell, but the storm kept him awake. Once it abated, the strange sounds from outside—including the calls and answers of wolves—scared the living hell out of him. The noises weren’t near the barn, but that didn’t mean very much. After the cat and now wolves, Pete would be happy to get the hell out of here and back home to New York, where he could stare at the walls for all he cared. He was never leaving the safety of the city again, writer’s block or not. Writing nothing was better than losing his life and being ripped to shreds by whatever was out there.

More lightning flashed and the thunder shook the barn around him. Small bits of hay floated down from the rafters. Pete wanted to cover his head, but the tarp wasn’t the best-smelling thing he’d encountered. He shook a little and prayed the storm would lessen or move on.

Unfortunately, from the sound of it, the storm seemed content to stay where it was, and more little bits floated down from above as clap after clap of thunder tried to shake his shelter apart. Pete curled into the fetal position, comforting himself as much as possible. He’d been so dumb, thinking he knew what he was doing. Even as the wind rattled the door and whistled outside, he was in much better shape than if he’d still been outside.

“Roger, if I get out of this alive, so help me, I am going to slap you silly the next time I see you. ‘Go out west. Have an adventure. See things. It will spark some ideas for your next book.’ Bastard!” He clenched the tarp as another peal of thunder rattled the building. They were supposed to come on this trip together. But no. Roger managed to get mono, probably from kissing every man in New York. In his raggedy, sick voice, the asshole had urged him to go on his own.

“The point of this trip was so you could get ideas and stop moping around. It’s a tour of Yellowstone. You’ll meet people and have fun.” Those words rang hollow now. He had met people and gotten separated from the group. This whole thing was turning into a nightmare, and the least Roger could have done was be here to suffer along with him.

After what felt like hours, the storm moved off and it grew quieter outside. Pete rested his head on the tarp and closed his eyes. If he got a little sleep, it would help him in the morning.

Being out of the weather made Pete relax, and finally, even on the hard floor, he closed his eyes, tried to picture himself at home in his warm, soft, queen-size bed, and eventually dozed off.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 
 
 
Other Works by Dirk Greyson
Yellowstone Wolves Series
Day and Knight Series
Standalone Titles
 

** eARC received from author in with the hope that I will leave my Unbiased Opinion. I was not required to leave a review, positive or otherwise, and my opinions are just that… My Opinions. I am posting this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising". **

#ReleaseDay #Review: 4.5 Drops for Nachos & Hash by Brandon Witt

Title: Nachos and Hash Rekindled Flame
Author:
Brandon Witt
Series: Mary’s Boys 
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Angsty G
Release Date: January 25, 2017 
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
Add to TBR List
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Darwin Michaels is living his dreams in the Mile High City. While Denver offers the perfect job, scrumptious dining, and whirlwind dating options, Darwin is losing hope he’ll find the right man to spark his interest for more than a one-night stand—until he sets eyes on Cody Russell.

Cody has just accomplished his life’s goal—get the hell out of Kansas. In one fell swoop, he lands a job at Hamburger Mary’s and gets a newfound family and the chance to be with other gay people! All that’s missing is someone special. But when Darwin shows his interest, Cody is sure it’s too good to be true. After all, what can Darwin possibly see in the high school dropout serving him nachos?

As Darwin falls in love, Cody struggles to realize his worth. When his past threatens the fragile life he is building, Cody spirals into a moment of dark desperation. But Darwin is determined to show Cody that love and family and home are there for him… will Cody accept what is offered?

Being as I live near a Hamburger Mary’s… okay, it’s an hour away, but as I’m in that town regularly enough to count, I’ve been there and love it enough that that was the selling point that made me want to grab this book. As if it being a Brandon Witt book wasn’t enough. I love Brandon and have had the immense pleasure of meeting him (he really is adorable and sexy all at the same time!) so grabbing his new story was a definite. What I found when I opened the pages was better than I even hoped for, though.

The setting was spot on. The Hamburger Mary’s was so well done that I felt as though I was sitting right there with them. Kept wondering if any of their drag queens knew ours, lol. The characters were developed and fully fleshed out to make this novella seem more like a novel without all the bulk or length—would love to know how he pulled that off, honestly.

The story itself was fun, fast paced, but not rushed. The couple was cute, the struggle real, and the threat… grr…. Yeah, let’s just say the HEA is well earned and well worth the read. This is a great start to a wonderful novella series set around the Hamburger Mary’s in Denver. And there’s even a teaser in the back for the next. Let’s just say, you’ll be hunting for the next before you even get that far. It’s that good.

Brandon Witt resides in Denver, Colorado. When not snuggled on the couch with his two Corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan, he is more than likely in front of his computer, nose inches from the screen, fingers pounding they keys. When he manages to tear himself away from his writing addiction, he passionately take on the role of a special education teacher during the daylight hours. I grew up in El Dorado Springs, Missouri for the first 18 years of my life. The day of my 18th birthday my mom, dad, brother, and I loaded up the cars and moved to Estes Park, Colorado.

I now live in Denver with my two perfect corgis, Dunkyn and Dolan. Growing up in an ultraconservative, Christian environment, then moving on to get my bachelors in Youth Ministry, I struggled with being gay for most of my life. This included five years in reparative therapy (ex-gay therapy), meeting one to three times a week. At the age of twenty-six, I finally accepted who God make me to be and never looked b
ack, and have never been happier. Each struggle, whether it be church, fearing damnation, heart shattering break-ups, and losing family to cancer and accidents, seems to make it’s way into everything I write, as well as a core of loving being alive. Life is hard, but man, is it ever wonderful! I’ve worked with children (ages 8-18) with emotional disabilities since 2000, first as a counselor in a residential treatment facility, and now as a special education teacher. During my sophomore year in high school, Ms. Hungerford introduced me to creative writing, and since that day, I’ve dreamed of being an author.

Having Elizabeth North offering a publishing contract was one of the most life-changing days of my existence. I now dream of being a writer full-time. My boyfriend, Stephen, is hoping for that as well, as he wants to tag alone on a world tour. Big dreams. Big dreams. Though my writing seems polarizing to many readers, both positive and negative, regardless of which of my books you choose, I pray that in its pages you find both the struggle and immense joy of life. I am humbled and honored by each person that reads my books. Thank you so much for making my dreams come true!

Website | The Witty Hour | Facebook | Twitter

 

5 Drops for BEAUTIFUL BOY by Grace R. Duncan

Title: Beautiful boy
Author: Grace R. Duncan
Genre: M/M Contemporary BDSM Romance
Published: November 20th, 2015
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Edition/Formats: eBook, Print, & Audiobook
Purchase: Dreamspinner Press |
Amazon | ARe | Audible

Malcolm Tate hung up his flogger when his submissive sought out another Dom and landed in the hands of a serial killer. Convinced his lack of dominance sent his sub away, Mal has spent two years blaming himself for what happened. But when his best friend finally convinces him to go back to the local dungeon, Mal’s grateful. Especially when he wins beautiful, submissive, firmly closeted Kyle Bingham in a charity slave auction.

College grad Kyle hasn’t earned enough to move out of the loft his conservative, homophobic parents bought, much less to buy any of the other things still in their name. When he’s won at auction by the hot, amazing Mal, he’s shocked that anyone would want him. No one else seemed to—not his parents, his former Doms, or any of his disastrous dates.

But Mal does want him and Kyle lets his guard down, only to be outed to his parents. With his world crashing down, he must find a way to trust Mal—and their developing relationship—or risk losing everything.

Beautiful boy is well written, beautiful, engaging, and well… what can I say that won’t just be a plot rehash or give the good bits away? Truly, it’s a beautiful story of second chances, personal growth, finding that person that is perfect for you—not that the person is perfect, neither man is! They are simply perfect for the other.

In this story, Grace begins with two men who are lost. One to the pain of the past and the other to the fear his cold family uses to control him. She also explores S and M more than she has in her previous works, but in a positive way, no worries. It was wonderful to watch as each man grew and awakened to the needs of the other and themselves.

This is an intense and dynamic pairing that is perfectly written and powerfully charged. I would highly recommend this to any that love BDSM, especially S and M, restraint, denial, and just plain ole yummy D/s love.

I chuckled and stood, trying to decide what I wanted to do. It was so crowded, I wasn’t sure I’d find anyone to play with, even if I wanted to. I looked around but saw mostly straight couples sitting together.

Sammy pulled on me and I turned to her. “The dungeon isn’t as full,” she said, accurately reading my expression. “And the slave auction is starting in a few. You might want to go check it out. The slaves up for auction are in cages in the event area.”

“Okay. Are you guys coming in?”

“We’ll watch the auction, then probably look for a place to play.” She patted my hand and waved at the door. “Go! Find a pretty little twink to torture.”

I rolled my eyes, laughing at her word choice. It killed me just how much she knew about gay culture. Not for the first time, I wondered what she read on that Kindle of hers. I patted Cam’s head and turned to make my way through the crowd.

I didn’t usually go for twinks. There was a reason Blake and I spent plenty of time fucking. Something about having a big guy submit to me got my blood going.

Somehow I didn’t think there’d be a lot of big gay submissives up for auction tonight.

The change from the social area to the dungeon was almost jarring. Where the social room was loud, crowded, and warm, the dungeon was quiet, open, and cool. It was divided into two sections. The farthest section contained the play areas. The closer section—the one I stopped in—was for events, painted dark red and with a huge oriental rug on the
floor. One end held a low, small stage usually for demos, and the rest was normally empty.

Tonight, a guy in a suit was already on the stage, fussing with a microphone. To my left, a row of cages—taller than normal dog cages, but not by much—lined the wall. I counted six in all, all filled. On top of each cage, there was a card and, inside, a mostly naked person.

I stepped up to the first and looked at the card before turning my attention to the cage occupant. The man inside was older than me by a good twenty years. His hair was silver, and he wore a thong, a wide leather collar, and nothing else. He sat with his legs crossed and head down. While he wasn’t bad-looking, I didn’t usually go for that much older than me. I was slightly relieved when his card listed, along with a number of activities, a preference for women.

The next three cages held women, so I skipped those. Woman bits never interested me in the least. I liked my lovers with their genitalia on the outside.

The fifth cage made me stop. Smaller and a bit younger than I’d ever played with, he knelt, head bowed, hands clasped behind the small of his back. It was difficult to tell with him in that position, but I’d have guessed he was still plenty tall. His chest had lean muscle and his abs were tight, if not overly defined, which was what I liked. His legs had more muscles. I pegged him as a runner or swimmer. Soft brown hair hung over his face, and he wore nothing but a tiny black leather jock. He had rings in both nipples, and I could clearly see the outline of a PA in his dick, which looked quite substantial for his size, even flaccid.

On his card he’d listed service, impact, sensation, wax, and fire play as options, though what really caught my eye was in parentheses at the end: “Other options available within hard limits.” I was impressed that he was willing to enforce his limits. It listed his age as twenty-three. Eight years difference wasn’t that bad, not that it mattered for just a play session. But what really got me was the next line: “Preference: male Dominant.”

I squatted in front of his cage. “Boy, look up at me.” I put every bit of Dom I had into my voice.

He lifted his head immediately, and a shiver went through him. His gaze never went above my neck, and the show of submission called to every Dominant cell in my body. I wanted him. It was that fast and that simple, and it rocked me more than a bit.

It also let me know I did, in fact, know how to recognize submission. Maybe I’d just been blinded all those years by my knowledge of Blake. Maybe he’d been good at pretending. I didn’t know, but this boy looked a lot more honest, somehow. I pushed the worry off for later and considered him.

One look at him left me a little breathless. His round face had full cheeks, a tiny chin, and an almost button nose. He put me in mind of an elf or fae creature. I probably wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d had pointy ears. His green eyes filled his face, and his mouth… dear God, it was a mouth made for sucking cock. Full pink lips that I could tell he was struggling to keep from biting.

“Why do you prefer men, boy?” It was entirely possible he wanted to simply avoid sex, and I didn’t want misunderstandings. If it was just for that, I’d certainly play with him… then go home and jack off until I was sore. But I wanted it clear before we went into anything, and I could admit I was hoping that wasn’t the reason. Of course, I was assuming I’d win the auction, which I was pretty sure I could guarantee.

While I might not be called “wealthy,” I did more than all right for myself. My tech security firm had paid off my modest house early and made sure I had a good car at all times. I never had to worry about the lights getting shut off in the winter, like I had growing up. It had also allowed me to build up a tidy savings account, should anything go wrong.

I could afford to win this boy.

He blushed, and the color on his cheeks went straight to my dick. He swallowed and bit his lip. “I prefer men, Sir, because I’m….” He glanced up at me so quickly I’d have missed it if I wasn’t watching his green eyes. “I’m gay,” he finished softly.

Gay. Oh fuck, this boy was going to kill me. “In the closet?” I asked, taking the harshness out of my voice for the moment.

He nodded. “Yes, Sir. My family would disown me.”

I winced. My parents hadn’t understood, exactly, but they tried their best. I couldn’t imagine losing them over my orientation.

I wanted to ask more, but just then the guy on the stage tapped the microphone, and I realized the room had filled in around me while I was eyeing my boy.

That thought brought me up short. My boy. I shook my head at myself. I’d never actually collared Blake—we had one he wore for scenes, but it came off when it was over. I didn’t think of him as mine. That I had with this boy kind of threw me off.

I turned my attention to the emcee and listened to the rules. Every winner would sign a contract, promising to abide by hard limits and to keep the scenes “safe, sane, and consensual,” or at least within the realm of “risk-aware consensual kink.” He explained about payment, pointing to a lady at a table by the stage, then announced the first slave.

One of the Doms who helped run the dungeon stopped at the cage next to my boy’s. He released the girl and led her onto the stage. I didn’t pay much attention, except to listen to how high the bidding went. She topped off at five hundred, but I suspected that was because she was only the first of the night.

I stepped to the side when they led her off stage and then they came over to my boy’s cage. The Dom unlocked it and my boy crawled out. When he stood, he immediately set his feet shoulder width, straightened his back, and clasped his hands behind him at his waist. He glanced my direction briefly, then lowered his gaze to the floor. My cock twitched again.

I was thrilled to see he came up to just under my chin. I wasn’t the tallest man in the world, but I still had a respectable few inches on the topside of six feet. This made him just slightly smaller than me overall, and two years ago, I’d have laughed at someone suggesting I’d want a boy like this.

In that moment, however, I couldn’t imagine wanting anything else.

Something in those deep green eyes called to me, made my cock stand at attention and my stomach jump in a good way. His pale skin just begged me to leave lovely welts and pretty purple bruises on it. Those nipples were made to be tormented, the rings pulled on.

Oh yeah, he was mine. And I started to realize I was thinking far beyond winning the auction. Somehow, though it probably should, that thought didn’t bother me one bit.

Choices Turning His Life Around Devotion

Real, erotic, forever…

Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.

A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind. As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.

 Amazon Author Page | Dreamspinner Press Page
Facebook | Facebook Group Grace’s Groupies
Website | Twitter | Goodreads

5 Drops Release Day Review: NOBLE INTENTIONS by Andrew Grey

Title: Noble Intentions Noble Intentions
Author:
Andrew Grey
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 12, 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Cover Artist: L.C. Chase
Add to TBR List
Purchase:
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe 

Robert Morton is in for the surprise of a lifetime. His mother, a bit of a rebel, raised him away from the rest of the family, and it’s not until he’s contacted by his lawyer about an inheritance that he learns who he truly is: the new Earl of Hantford. His legacy includes ownership of the historic Ashton Park Estate—which needs repairs Robert cannot afford. He’ll simply do what the nobility has done for centuries when in need of money. He’ll marry it.

Tech wizard Daniel Fabian is wealthy and successful. In fact, he has almost everything—except a title to make him worthy in the eyes of the old-money snobs he went to prep school with. His high school reunion is looming, and he’s determined to attend it as a member of the aristocracy.

That’s where Robert comes in.

Daniel has the money, Robert has the name, and both of them know they can help each other out. But their marriage of convenience has the potential to become a real love match—unless a threat to Daniel’s business ruins everything.

Continue reading “5 Drops Release Day Review: NOBLE INTENTIONS by Andrew Grey”

5 Drops Review: PLAYING WITH FIRE by Dirk Greyson

Title: Playing with Fire 
Author: Dirk Greyson
Series: Standalone
Genre: M/M, Contemporary, Romantic Suspense
Release Date: Nov 4, 2016
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Book Links: Amazon
| Barnes and Noble | Dreamspinner Press
Jim Crawford was born wealthy, but he turned his back on it to become a police officer. Add to that his being gay, and he’s definitely the black sheep of the family.
Dr. Barty Halloran grew up with lessons instead of friends and toys, and as a result, became a gifted psychologist… with only an academic understanding of people and emotions.
When Jim’s pursuit of a serial killer goes nowhere, he turns to Dr. Halloran for help, and Barty thinks he can get inside the shooter’s mind. In many ways, they’re two sides of the same coin, which both scares and intrigues him. Together, Jim and Barty make progress on the case—until the stakes shoot higher when the killer turns his attention toward Barty.
To protect Barty, Jim offers to let Barty stay with him, where he discovers the doctor has a heart to go along with his brilliant mind after all. But as they close in on their suspect, the killer becomes desperate, and he’ll do anything to elude capture—even threaten those closest to Jim‘.
Playing with Fire is hot, is sexy, is complicated, is different, is…. Yes, it is all those things and more. When Dirk set out to write a suspense mystery that had an MC that was not your usual, he scored with this story. Now, we all know that Dirk isn’t know for just going with the flow, he tends to step outside the box, but Barty is more than just a little different, he’s not like anyone Jim’s ever met, or like many real people have dealt with. Mind you, I know a few people that remind me greatly of Barty, which only made me love this story more. Having an MC that was not suave, cool, experienced, and more was refreshing as too often the MCs in stories are all that and more. I mean, I know that past high school, many are at least experienced, but really, if everyone was a “real catch” and everyone could see it, they wouldn’t still be single, right?
 
As for the story itself, wow. The community-building, the writing, the plot (and it’s twisting), and how it all comes together, were masterfully done. This was a one night read for me that will be reread more than once, I’m sure. It was fun, engaging, and made me have to flip the page. Mind you, that meant it was well past when I ought to have been asleep when I finished it (bad Dirk! And I didn’t even get sex Sad smile ) .
 
Watching as Jim and Barty not only raced against time and the killer, but danced around each other was wonderful. The chemistry was hot and the suspense will have you clutching your reader (be careful… they aren’t indestructible, lol) as you root for the couple both as a couple and as investigators. One of the nice things about Dirk’s writing is that his secondary characters are “real” too, so the story is not one of robust vs flat, but one of love, one of good vs evil, one of acceptance in the face of pain. It is a story you won’t want to miss! This is a great read and one I’m thrilled to have read. Thank you Dirk for writing all you do.

He set up his laptop and spent the rest of the day working through what he’d read and seen to develop a profile of the killer, but there was so much information he was missing that what he came up with was only in general terms, and that frustrated him. He liked his answers to be solid, but what he kept coming back to was nebulous and could apply to millions of people. Jim played the message that had been left for them, and it reinforced Barty’s profile but didn’t fill in any of the blanks.

Jim had pretty much left him to his own devices for the afternoon, and that was precisely how he liked to work. But Barty found himself checking for Jim every half hour or so. He kept wondering about him, and not in an academic way. First thing, Jim had actually answered Barty’s questions honestly, which told him he was a pretty self-aware kind of man. Barty had also divulged things about himself. Academically he knew that could be the start of a friendship, and he liked that notion. He didn’t have many real friends. He’d never been good at making them. Mostly he had acquaintances and contacts.

Something else niggled at the back of Barty’s mind, but he didn’t understand what it was in the least.

“Have you come up with anything?” Jim asked, placing a cup of coffee next to him.

Barty smiled. It was nice that Jim thought of him when he got a coffee for himself. He lifted his gaze from his laptop and caught Jim’s smile. It was nice, warm, and genuine. Barty had made a study of smiles as part of his work. People smiled for different reasons—for example, to cover up embarrassment or discomfort. Sometimes a smile could be menacing and chilling. Jim’s smile was nothing like those. It was like he was happy to see him. A flutter in his belly that had been simmering all day flared into a flight of butterflies, and Barty wondered if he might have eaten something that didn’t agree with him, but there was a pleasant feeling, like an aftertaste.

“I have a basic profile,” Barty said, and Jim leaned closer. “It’s definitely a man, in my opinion, and he’s smart, super smart.” Barty paused before he got into what he wanted to say. “This is all opinion at this point. A theory that we need to prove or change as we get more evidence.”

“Like, you smart?”

Barty colored. His intelligence was a source of pride for him, but he’d learned that it intimidated other people. “You can be as smart as you like, but don’t make others feel dumb,” Nana had told him.

“Maybe. But in a different way. He’s smart, and at the same time, ruthless and without empathy. He doesn’t care what his actions do to others. His entire emphasis is on himself and the effect others have on him.” Barty turned away from his computer screen. “He’s the kind of subject that people in my profession would love to be able to study. He’s aware of his strengths and very good at minimizing his weaknesses. However, the exception is his ego. I think that’s what’s driven him to this extreme.”

“How so?” Jim asked.

“To boil things down, let’s say we have two people, both raised in pretty much the same way. But as adults, one turns into a serial killer and the other one studies people who become serial killers.” Barty might have been getting a little close to himself, but the example seemed to work in this case. “The two people are like two sides of the same coin. One turns evil, and the other goes on to lead a fairly normal life. One of the things that can help decide which way they go is ego. Let’s say that both of them have the potential to climb on rooftops and shoot people. Not everyone is going to do that.”

“So the one most likely is the one with a biggest ego?”

“Possibly,” Barty said and turned to Jim. “You be the bad guy. You’re our serial shooter. You’re smart and think you’re smarter than everyone else. Therefore, you’re the best at everything. So something triggers your superiority. You get passed over for promotion, or flunk a class that you think you should be teaching because the instructor is a complete idiot. Or your girlfriend leaves you for someone else, but of course you’re the best lover and best boyfriend in the world, so she should definitely want to be with you. Therefore, something is wrong with the world and you need to change that.” When he looked into Jim’s eyes, heat built up inside him, and he wondered why the room had suddenly gotten warm. “So you need to change the world and set it back to right where you are better than everyone else. Our shooter is doing just that. There’s an event that triggered these episodes, but we don’t know where to look for that yet. There is also some escalating event.”

“I don’t understand.”

Barty ran his finger under his collar because it felt a little tight. He lost his train of thought as he momentarily fell into Jim’s brown eyes. Barty blinked and got back on track.

“Okay, so we have you as our potential serial shooter. You believe you’re better than everyone else, therefore other people matter less than you do. They’re expendable because you’re the very best. Something happens that triggers your righteous indignation because things aren’t right. Your ego is bruised, but you grind your teeth and continue on, because after all, you are smarter than everyone else and know what’s best. But the world doesn’t return to where it should be. You are slighted over and over again, and each time the anger and resentment builds and builds. Other inferior people are being promoted over you… whatever it is. Then something happens that sends you over the edge, and you have to take action because the wor
ld isn’t righting itself, and you feel it isn’t going to.”

“Jesus,” Jim said softly.

“The problem is that it often isn’t until after the fact that we’re able to piece these incidents together and come up with a real cause or answers. Sometimes we never can at all. There are people who would be fantastic research subjects, but they won’t talk. Others do nothing but talk, but their information is so skewed and facts hard to corroborate that we get no usable data.” Barty sipped his coffee, then set it aside. He was still too warm. “Is there something cold to drink?”

“Sure. Give me a minute.” Jim left, and Barty breathed as normally as possible, trying to determine the cause of this reaction. Jim returned with a bottle of water that had condensation on the outside, and Barty opened it and drank half. “How do we use this to try to find him?”

“I’m still working on some things. There are a number of possibilities. A lot of super intelligent people work in academia because many of us don’t have superior social skills. Though I’m not saying that’s a given, but it might be a place to start. You could try MENSA, but I don’t think that’s the kind of group our shooter would join. He’d surround himself with smart people, but no one potentially smarter than he is. That way he’s always the biggest and best in the room.” Barty stopped. “Chess clubs,” he added.

“You said that this is a game a couple of times.”

“Yes. He thinks many moves ahead, and that’s something chess players do. So try looking at the various chess clubs, but only at the very top players. He’d definitely be one of the best….”

 
Dirk is very much an outside kind of man.  He loves travel and seeing new things.  Dirk worked in corporate America for way too long and now spends his days writing, gardening, and taking care of the home he shares with his partner of more than two decades.  He has a Master’s Degree and all the other accessories that go with a corporate job.  But he is most proud of the stories he tells and the life he’s built.  Dirk lives in Pennsylvania in a century old home and is blessed with an amazing circle of friends. 
Goodreads | Twitter @dirkgreyson

CHASING THE DREAM by Andrew Grey

Title: Chasing the Dream 
Author: Andrew Grey
Series: (Set in the Bronco Boys Universe) (Book 1 in Spin-Off)
Genre:  M/M Contemporary Romance
Release Date: July 11, 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Blurb/Synopsis:
Born with a silver spoon in his mouth, Brian Paulson has lived a life of luxury and ease. If he’s been left lonely because of his family’s pursuit of wealth and their own happiness, he figures it’s a small price to pay for what he sees as most important: money.
Cade McAllister has never had it easy. He works two jobs to support himself, his mother, and his special-needs brother. They don’t have much, but to Cade, love and taking care of the people who are important to him mean more than material possessions. When Cade is mugged in the park, he can’t afford to lose what little he has, and he’s grateful for Brian’s intervention.
Cade is given a chance to return the favor when Brian’s grandfather passes away and Brian’s assets are frozen. Cade offers Brian a place to stay and helps him find work, and the two men grow closer as they learn the good and the bad of the very different worlds they come from. Just as Brian is starting to see there’s more to life than what money can buy, a clause in his grandfather’s will could send their relationship up in smoke.

Continue reading “CHASING THE DREAM by Andrew Grey”

5 Drops Review: REKINDLED FLAME by Andrew Grey

Title: Rekindled Flame Rekindled Flame
Author:
Andrew Grey
Series: (Set in the Bronco Boys Universe) (Book 1 in Spin-Off)
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Erotic, Romance
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: June 13, 2016
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Add to TBR List
Purchase Links:
Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | ARe 

Morgan has worked hard to build a home for himself after a nomadic childhood. When Morgan is called to a fire, he finds the family out front, but their tenant still inside. He rescues Richard Smalley, who turns out to be an old friend he hasn’t seen in years and the one person he regretted leaving behind.

Richard has had a hard life. He served in the military where he lost the use of his legs and has been struggling to make his way since coming home. Now that he no longer has a place to live, Morgan takes him in, but when someone attempts to set fire to Morgan’s house, they both become suspicious and wonder what’s going on.

Years ago Morgan was gutted when Richard moved away, so he’s happy to pick things up where they left off, but now that Richard seems to be the target of an arsonist, he may not be the safest person to be around.

This is one book that I eagerly awaited. I love Andrew Grey’s writing, but as someone that deals with the issues of feeling like not being a whole person due to disability and a “damn chair,” I eagerly awaited seeing how Andrew tackled this issue and gave Richie his HEA. Andrew only gives us HEA’s, but it’s the getting there that’s such a treat and such a journey!

In Rekindled Flame, Richard Smalley and Morgan Ayers had been best friends as children, but then Morgan’s father ripped them apart by moving Morgan away just after then boys had come out to each other. Mind you, they were so sweet and nieve, they didn’t really understand what it all really even meant at that time. Fast forward to our story and wow has time changed these two wonderful men.

Morgan is a firefighter, one of the ones called when the house Richard lives in the small attached apartment of is engulfed in flames. Richard can’t be found, so Morgan dons his fire attire and runs into the burning building to find a man unconscious in a wheelchair. He carries him out, barely making it out in time himself before the fire swallows the rest of the home.

How do you rebuild a friendship and then more while trying to find your footing together, deal with PTSD, loss, an insane arsonist, and more?

Morgan is a romantic that still remembers things from their childhood—like how a friend of theirs bullied them into getting married at 13, lol. Richie doesn’t see his worth or believe that Morgan could really want anything with him for long—he’s only half a man now that he’s in the chair. Who would want to deal with all that comes with being with someone in a chair for the long haul…? Oh, and is his presence in Morgan’s home and life putting him in danger thanks to the arsonist that seems to be after him?

I love that we get to see some of the Bronco Boys again! Love them (happy swoon). And that this story is so uplifting while being so down to earth and real. This is a story of love, triumph, caring, and friendship. The fears are real, the worry is tangible, and the support and camaraderie just what was needed throughout. I can’t praise this book enough on so many points. I can say that not only is this a well-written story, but it’s a touching and at times heart-pounding one where the HEA is sweet and perfect, and the characters are… you’ll have to read to find out Winking smile

“Yeah, I’m going to stop at the hospital to see how the man I helped last night is doing, and then I’m going home.” Morgan headed for the door and threw his bag into the trunk of his car before pulling out and driving across town to a place he knew way too well.

Morgan had saved a number of people over the years. It was one of the things that went with the job. Not getting there in time could rip a firefighter apart, and saving someone brought you a kinship no one else could understand. All he knew about this man was that his name was Richard, but in a few minutes they had shared something unique. Morgan had had an influence on the rest of Richard’s life.

“Can I help you?” the woman behind the visitors’ desk asked as he approached. “Oh, hi, Morgan,” she said when she recognized him. “What can I do for you?”

“There was a man brought into emergency last night. His first name was Richard. I need to know what room he’s in.”

“You don’t want much,” she told him and began typing. Geri was used to his unorthodox inquiries. She was a little younger than him and had worked at the hospital for years. “What happened to him?”

“I got him out of a burning building last night, and I want to make sure he’s okay.” He leaned against the counter, relaxing while she searched.

“I found him. Room 212. It says he can receive visitors.”

She handed him a pass, and Morgan thanked her before striding toward the elevators. He rode to the second floor and then walked through familiar hallways to the ward and down to Richard’s room. He paused outside and heard nothing. Peering in, he saw a sleeping figure in the bed. Maybe he’d come too early. He walked in anyway and stood by the end of the bed.

“Who are you?” Richard demanded in a rough voice that set Morgan on alert.

“I’m the firefighter who pulled you out last night. I just wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“You rescued me from the fire?” he asked. “You should have saved your efforts and left me there. Everyone would be so much better off.” The anger and vitriol rolled off him in a tidal wave of blackness.

“Well, I did,” Morgan said as he put his jacket on the nearby chair. “The kids were worried about you.”

That softened some of Richard’s features as a nurse came rushing into the room. “Mr. Smalley, you need to remain calm.” She helped him lay back down, glaring at Morgan. “His breathing needs to be as regular as possible to give him time to heal.”

Morgan barely heard her. He stared at the man in the bed and let her do her job. Once she left, he moved closer.

“Richard Smalley? Did you grow up on a farm outside Enola?” Even before Richard spoke, Morgan knew the answer.

“Yes.” Richard lifted his head of sandy-blond hair, the color of perfectly ripe corn. Morgan knew that color so well, even after all these years.

“It’s Morgan, Morgan Ayers. We were friends when we were growing up.” He continued staring at the man Richie had become. “What were we, thirteen the last time we saw each other?”

“Yeah. After seventh grade when your dad moved the two of you away. Where did you go? I went away to summer camp, and when I came back you’d moved.”

Morgan nodded. “Dad lost his job and got a new one in Detroit, so he packed us up and we moved. Not that we stayed there for very long either. After that we were in Cleveland, and then Pittsburgh, where Dad finally stopped drinking and we could settle down. He remarried, and that’s where I spent my last few years of high school.” God, he wanted to hurry forward and give Richard a hug, but he didn’t have the right any longer. It had been decades, but Morgan had never forgotten Richie. How could he? “I wrote you, but I was thirteen and….”

“Yeah. It wasn’t like there was Facebook back then.”

Richard was definitely happier than he’d been, with a hint of the smile Morgan remembered from his friend. The memories had dulled over time as the years had gone by, but Morgan would never forget Richie, no matter how long he lived. That wasn’t possible. How did you forget the one person you told your deepest, darkest secrets to, and he’d not only understood but told you his in return? How did you forget the boy who had made things better and brought you home when your dad drank most of the grocery money away? Richie had been the one who’d helped see that he didn’t starve more times than he wanted to remember.

RoundAndRound Love Comes in Darkness EasternCowboyFS

Andrew GreyAndrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Amazon Author Page | Barnes and Noble Page | Dreamspinner Press

Facebook | Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads | Twitter | Website

 

THE SCHOLAR’S HEART by Antonia Aquilante: 5 Drops #Review, #Excerpt, & #Giveaway

Title: The Scholar’s Heart The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)
Author: Antonia Aquilante
Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance
Series: Chronicles of Tournai
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Release Date: May 30, 2016
Length: Novel (294 pages)
Add to Goodreads 
Purchase Links: Dreamspinner Press ebook | Dreamspinner Press paperback | Amazon | AllRomance | Kobo | Barnes & Noble | Apple

Youngest son of a royal duke, Etan is a scholar at heart who juggles his work for the prince with his studies of the history and legends of Tournai, something of particular interest to him because he shares the magical Talent that runs in the royal bloodline. Etan’s peaceful world turns upside down when his best friend—the man he secretly loves—unexpectedly marries a woman. Though Tristan values his friendship with Etan and has always been attracted to him, he is a dutiful son, raised to shoulder responsibility for the family business one day. That day comes far sooner than anticipated, and he makes a deathbed promise to his father to marry the woman his father chose and become head of the company and family.

A year later, Tristan is a widower with an infant daughter and a mother who demands he marry again quickly—something Tristan resists. Circumstances throw Etan and Tristan together, and even as they succumb to the desires they’ve always harbored, Etan battles his feelings, wary of being cast aside again. When Tristan’s daughter is kidnapped, Etan and Tristan must come together to find her, find the person responsible, and support each other through the ordeal… and maybe beyond.

The Scholar’s Heart was… in a word, wonderful. It is a story of love, pain, redemption, friendship, learning, and so much more. It is also one that teases the reader. It made me want to demand, when is book four coming? The author graciously has informed me that we only *cough* have to wait until November/December for the follow-up, and trust me, you will want it.

This is not just as story of romantic love, but one about family. Tristan has a baby daughter and has lost his wife tragically. While he didn’t love her, he did care for her, so this is a hard thing for him. His mother doesn’t make things easier for him. The blurb doesn’t do justice to how pushy and bullying his mother is about the idea of him remarrying.

Etan has loved Tristan for years now, as we all know. He however, pulled away when Tristan married. I can’t blame him, I would have too. But fate, tragedy, and maybe even their friends intercede and before long, they are faced with the truth. But has too much happened, too much time, too much pain, too much hurt. Can Etan trust Tristan? Can Tristan relegate himself, body and heart, to one man? And can they save Tristan’s daughter?

Thankfully, The Scholar’s Heart is an HEA, so yes, but it wasn’t easy getting there. And the things we learn…. The things we are teased with possibilities about…. The world building is again excellent and the characters well developed. The plot twisty enough to be enjoyable, the sex hot enough to require a fan or two, and the romance sweet and tangible enough that my heart hurt, squeezed, and raced for Tristan and Etan. Definitely a ReRead.

Several people milled around the small entrance hall, all strangers to Etan except Adeline, Amory’s sister. She moved gracefully around other people and dropped into a curtsy in front of Philip and Amory. The others in the room noticed the action and the princes in their midst and made their bows and curtsies as well. When Adeline straightened, Amory embraced her and Philip kissed her cheek.

“It’s good you’re here. I know Tristan will be glad to see friendly faces,” she said, reaching out a hand to Cathal and Etan, and then Flavian.

“How is he?” Amory asked. Etan was secretly happy he did, because it saved Etan from having to ask the question.

“A little overwhelmed, I think. With the arrangements, and between his family, Da
riela’s family, and the baby.” She shrugged. “I’m trying to help as much as I can.”

“You’re a good friend, Adeline,” Amory said, smiling and squeezing his sister’s hand.

“Oh, hush. Come, I’ll take you to him.” They followed Adeline’s slim figure, clad in a gown so dark a gray it was nearly black, as she walked farther into the house. People bowed or curtsied when they passed. Etan trailed at the back of the group, still flanked by Cathal and Flavian.

While conversation had been quiet in the entrance hall, it was hushed in the room where the coffin was, so much so that the quiet weeping of the older woman who was likely Dariela’s mother was clearly audible. She was in a chair in the corner, a small cluster of women around her, trying to comfort her.

The poor woman had lost her daughter far too young. But still Etan’s eyes sought out Tristan. He stood near the coffin. Etan was used to him shining with his bright blue eyes and his gleaming gold hair. Today Tristan seemed dulled, dragged down by fatigue and grief. Etan ached to make it better, to take some of the burden from his shoulders, to hold Tristan and comfort him, but he couldn’t. He steeled himself against the urge to do so.

They filed past the coffin on their way to pay their respects to Tristan. The woman lying there had been undeniably pretty in life. Etan didn’t know much else about her. In the months they had been married, Etan had done his best to spend as little time with Tristan, with or without his wife, as he could. Self-preservation on his part, giving himself the time to get over his grief and put away his love for Tristan. He hadn’t managed to get over all the hurt yet. And now she was dead. As much as he wished Tristan hadn’t married at all, as much as he wished Tristan returned the feelings Etan had had for him, he never would have wanted that for this poor woman. Etan’s unrequited feelings, his grief, hadn’t been her fault.

And he felt wrong standing at her coffin with her mourners after doing his best to avoid her for so long.

“Etan.”

Tristan’s voice brought Etan out of his thoughts. The musical quality was muted now, but his voice still made Etan’s insides swoop around dizzyingly. As it always had. He ruthlessly ignored the feeling.

“Tristan, I’m very sorry for your loss.”

Tristan nodded. “Thank you for coming.”

The words were stiff, formal, completely different from the words they used to exchange back before Tristan had married. Back when they had been close friends and Etan had reason to hope for more someday.

“Of course.” Yes, of course, Etan would come today to pay his respects after Tristan’s wife died, but Tristan couldn’t have known that, not after he had distanced himself from Tristan and their friendship as much as possible in the almost year of Tristan’s marriage. Guilt stirred inside him, just a little.

As Tristan stared at him, Etan struggled for the polite words he should say in this situation, but he couldn’t seem to find them. He’d been brought up to know what to say in every social situation, but all of that training failed him now. Not that he thought Tristan was waiting for meaningless social niceties. No, Tristan had to expect something more from someone who had been his friend, and Etan should give him that because it wasn’t Tristan’s fault Etan’s heart was broken, not really. But Etan couldn’t find the words.

Thankfully, Amory stepped up, filling the silence with all the words Etan couldn’t conjure up. And that was best. Amory had been Tristan’s closest friend since childhood, was someone Tristan had probably been more than a little in love with. Maybe still was, for all Etan knew.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Prince's Consort (Chronicles of Tournai, #1) The Artist's Masquerade (Chronicles of Tournai, #2) The Scholar's Heart (Chronicles of Tournai, #3)

Antonia AquilanteAntonia Aquilante has been making up stories for as long as she can remember, and at the age of twelve, decided she would be a writer when she grew up. After many years and a few career detours, she has returned to that original plan. Her stories have changed over the years, but one thing has remained consistent – they all end in happily ever after.

She has a fondness for travel (and a long list of places she wants to visit and revisit), taking photos, family history, fabulous shoes, baking treats which she shares with friends and family, and of course reading. She usually has at least two books started at once and never goes anywhere without her Kindle. Though she is a convert to ebooks, she still loves paper books the best, and there are a couple thousand of them residing in her home with her.

Born and raised in New Jersey, she is living there again after years in Washington, DC, and North Carolina for school and work. She enjoys being back in the Garden State but admits to being tempted every so often to run away from home and live in Italy.

She is a member of the Romance Writers of America, the New Jersey Romance Writers, and the Rainbow Romance Writers.

Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads


Release Day Review: FIRE AND SNOW by Andrew Grey

Title: Fire and Snow
Author:
Andrew Grey
Series: Carlisle Cops #4
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance
Publisher:
Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 20 2016
Formats Available: eBook & Print
Add To TBR List
Book Links:
Amazon | Dreamspinner Press |All Romance

Fisher Moreland has been cast out of his family because they can no longer deal with his issues. Fisher is bipolar and living day to day, trying to manage his condition, but he hasn’t always had much control over his life and self-medicated with whatever he could find.

JD Burnside has been cut off from his family because of a scandal back home. He moved to Carlisle, but brought his Southern charm and warmth along with him. When he sees Fisher on a park bench on a winter’s night, he invites Fisher and his friends for a late-night meal.

At first Fisher doesn’t know what to make of JD, but he slowly comes out of his shell. And when Fisher’s job is threatened because of a fire, JD’s support and care is more than Fisher ever thought he could expect. But when people from Fisher’s past turn up in town at the center of a resurgent drug epidemic, Fisher knows they could very well sabotage his budding relationship with JD.

I have loved this series from the very first, but this story is a little different. The issues Fisher faces are not visible as they were with Red or  only family or past based (not that that isn’t a huge issues for many!) with many of the others, but for him it’s so much deeper as it’s something that can’t be “gotten over” or “worked past”. That is something I love reading about and seeing how those issues are worked around.

With JD, his issues are his past, but nope, those don’t have the decency to stay there either. Just when he thinks he’s building something good in Carlisle and with Fisher, it comes back. Actually, both men seem to have this problem, and with the drug epidemic rampaging through the town, it’s anything but easy for them to find their footing.

Fire and Snow was well crafted with fully fleshed out characters in a series we loved. It was a joy to see all the old characters again, to catch up on their lives while sharing this journey with JD and Fisher. It’s always interesting to see where Andrew will go with his characters, but you are never left wanting (other than more of his writing Open-mouthed smile).

If you want a story of love, overcoming, growth and finding your true home, then this is your book. It’s one that is in my to-be-reread pile already! I can’t wait to revisit JD, Fisher, and all the Carlisle Cops gang again. Thank you Mr. Grey for another fun, hot, and powerful read.

Fisher knew it was probably best if he walked back home. It was only going to get colder, but he wanted to sit a little while longer. He knew he was being dumb, but this was the place where he’d met JD, and he was hoping JD might want to talk again or something. He didn’t have his number. He knew he was a police officer, but that was all. They’d met here in the square, so he wanted to see if JD would walk by again.

Another police car passed the square. This one slowed, made the turn at the square, and then the turn behind the square toward the Gingerbread Man bar. Fisher followed it with his eyes, and when the car pulled to a stop, he waited to see if the officer got out. Of course, when he did it wasn’t JD, but Fisher did recognize Red. He figured this was his chance. So he
got up and wandered over.

“Fisher?” Red asked as he approached.

“Hi, Red.” He flashed a smile.

“We got a report of someone soliciting. Have you seen anything?” Red asked.

“A guy came through, black kid, asked if I wanted something to make me happy. When I said I didn’t, he moved on.” Fisher spoke softly. “He was missing a front tooth but looked all right otherwise.” Fisher took a step back at Red’s stormy look. “I don’t do none of that anymore,” spilled out of his mouth before he could stop it. “Not that I did a lot, but I was pretty messed up. I told him no, and he walked over toward the side street beside the church.”

“He isn’t going to find any business there,” Red said, then made a call in a police code of some sort. Just as he did, the guy raced out of the alley, tails of his coat flying, with JD on his heels. JD ran like the wind, strides long and fluid. Fisher couldn’t take his eyes off him even as Red got back in the car and drove away, sirens blaring. The noise bounced off the facades of the buildings, echoing from all directions and overlapping until it felt like a drill in Fisher’s head, but he didn’t look away until JD tackled the man to the ground. That was the last he saw because Red’s car pulled up, blocking the view.

Fisher waited and watched the activity in the surrounding area, wondering if he could go over under the guise of seeing what was going on and maybe catch JD’s eye, but he was working, and Fisher wasn’t really interested in the drug dealer seeing him speaking with the police. No use asking for trouble. So he went back to his bench and sat down, the cold instantly seeping through his clothes. Maybe it would be best if he went home, he thought again. He could be alone in his own apartment just as well as he could here, and it was warmer too.

But Fisher stayed where he was anyway and watched the officers as they loaded the man into the back of the police car, which Red drove away. Fisher expected JD to go as well, but he saw him still standing on the sidewalk. JD looked from side to side, then crossed the street at a jog.

“Hi, Fisher,” JD said as he approached.

“Officer,” Fisher said formally, wondering what kind of stop this was. He liked JD; he was a nice guy. But he still wasn’t sure what the deal was, and he’d already learned the hard way that hope could be a dangerous thing.

“What are you doing out here?” JD asked gently. “It’s too cold to be sitting on a bench. You’ll get sick, and then where will you be?”

“I needed to get out of the house.” It sounded lame even to his ears, but he wasn’t going to say he’d been sitting out there hoping to see JD. “I saw you running after that guy. You’re fast.” JD began walking toward the street, and as if JD had a string tied to him, Fisher followed right along. “Isn’t it too cold for you to be out too? Don’t they give you a car or something?”

“Yeah, they do, but I had to catch the suspect, and Red said you could identify him. Said he tried to sell to you.”

Fisher shook his head. “He approached me, but in that way they have that can be denied. Nothing solid, just the usual wink and nudge.”

JD nodded. “He had stuff on him, so we got him for possession.”

“There’s been a lot of activity recently,” Fisher said. He sat on his bench often enough and knew what to look for, so he saw plenty of guys approaching folks, leading them away to make deals, stuff like that. “How late do you work?”

“Late,” JD said, and Fisher nodded, lowering his gaze as they headed along the sidewalk. It took him about two minutes to realize that JD was walking him home.

“You know, I’ll be okay on my own. I’m not anyone that these guys are going to bother with.” He shoved his hands deep into his pockets and positioned them against his body for warmth.

“Why do you say that like that?” JD asked.

Fisher stopped and shrugged. “It’s just the way it is. I’m one of those guys who sits on a bench in the square because he has nothing better to do. People walk by all day. We watch them sometimes, but they don’t see us. Not really. We’re like part of the bench itself. It’s like that to the druggies too. I’m surprised that guy you took down stopped by me today. I’ve seen him before, with his expensive leather coat and gap-toothed grin. He strides through the square like he owns it and never sees anyone. I’m sure you’ve done it too.” Fisher hazarded a glance at JD. “Not that you’ve done anything wrong. It’s not like I’m the most memorable person.”

“I saw you yesterday, twice. So I don’t think I fall into that category.” JD sounded miffed.

“Okay.” He didn’t want to argue, but Fisher knew he was right. He was forgettable and easy to write off and put away. Don’t look at Fisher and he’ll just go away. And that’s what had happened with his family and the people who had once been in his life. They’d stopped looking, and he’d in effect gone away.

Fire and Water by Andrew Grey eBook Fire and Ice by Andrew Grey eBook Fire and Rain by Andrew Grey eBook Fire and Snow by Andrew Grey eBook

Andrew GreyAndrew grew up in western Mi
chigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing) He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

Amazon Author Page | Barnes and Noble Page | Dreamspinner Press

Facebook | Facebook Group All the Way with Andrew Grey

Goodreads | Twitter | Website