Hello world!

This blog is all about Romance!  We review books about romance (mostly m/m – but there might be an occasional m/f, f/f, m/m/f, space-alien-babies, what have you).

In addition we are inviting fan fiction, slash fiction, fan-art – anything that moves you to create.

We hope you find something that entertains you or inspires you – Enjoy!

Feel free to email us at openskyebookreviews@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.

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Audiobook Month: Staff Picks -Our Favorite Audiobooks and Narrators

 

You know we all love audiobooks here at Open Skye, here are some of our favorites (it can be for the story, the narration or both!):

 

 

 

 

Narrators: Gomez Pugh, Joel Leslie, Greg Tremblay

Books: PsyCop series, Something Like series, Whyborne and Griffin series

 

Books: The Whyborne & Griffin series, by Jordan L. Hawke Harry Potter series, narrated by Stephen Fry, by JK Rowling Between Sinners and Saints, by Marie Sexton Superhero, by Eli Easton Brother Sinister series, by Courtney Milan

Narrators: John Solo, Michael Ferraiuolo, Nick J. Russo, Rosalyn Landor

 

Books: Wolfsong by TJ Klune, The Queen and Homo Queen, by TJ Klune,  Salvation, by Sloane Kennedy, Absolution, by Sloane Kennedy, Lord Mouse, by Mason Thomas, Try, by Ella Frank Darkhorse, by Kate Sherwood. All of the Outlander books! And Davina Porter as narrator!

Narrators Joel Leslie Froomkin, Shannon Gunn, Michael Lesley

 

Books:

The Dirty Heart series by Rhys Ford
Dark Horse series by Kate Sherwood
The Necromancers Dance by SJ Himes
For Real by Alexis Hall
Scrap Metal by Harper Fox
Psy Cop series by Jordan Castillo Price

Narrators:

Greg Tremblay / Boudreaux
Joel Leslie Froomkin
Gomez Pugh
Charlie David

 

Morgan - Signature-small

I have a hard time narrowing this down to a few “favorites” but…

Books:

Blame it on the Mistletoe by Eli Easton narrated by Jason Frazier is one of my all time favs.

The Sinners Gin Series by Rhys Ford narrated by Tristan James is another

Amy Lane’s Promise Rock series narrated by Paul Morey and Sean Crisden

Mary Calmes’ Marshall series narrated by Tristan James

Bolt Hole and Christmas Kitsch by Amy Lane narrated by Nick J Russo

NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart narrated by Joel Leslie

Jordan Castillo Price’s Psycop series narrated by Gomez Pugh

Avril Ashton’s Sinner’s Series narrated by Renard Pasquale

These rank among the top favorites for me.

Narrators:

I think Joel, Nick, Tristan, Gomez, Greg Tremblay, Charlie David and Sean Crisden set the standard for excellence in narration and I’m probably going to be willing to buy an audiobook based on the fact that they’re narrating it alone!

 

Narrators: Joel Leslie, Michael Lesley, Greg Trembley, Tristan James, Cornell Collins, Sean Crisden

Audiobooks: Singles: The Lightning Struck Heart, Crossroads, Family of Lies. Series: Sinners Gin, Marshals, Dirty, Mangrove Stories, Black Balled, Bear, Otter And the Kid, Love Lessons🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

RUNNER by Parker Williams Excerpt and Blog Tour Giveaway!

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OS: Welcome to Parker Williams who is here today to share his latest book, The Runner!

Blurb:

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

 

 

****

Excerpt:

I COULDN’T find it within myself to talk to him for the first four days. I kept hoping he’d stop running by and my life would go back to normal. I should have known better. Ever since the incident, nothing went the way I expected it to. I continued to watch him, and I had to admit, the apprehension that coursed through me had eased. He didn’t really frighten me anymore, but the thought of talking to him filled me with dread. What made it worse for me? He’d continued to glance toward the house, and if he saw me, he’d give a smile or a little wave.

No, I wasn’t being honest. After a few weeks of him waving, I had actually started to weave that into my daily routine. I stood in front of the window, looking out at the road every day at ten thirty. One day it rained, and he was thirteen minutes late. I went into panic mode, hyperventilating and pacing around the house, chastising myself. How had he become a part of my world? Why did I now depend on him to be where I expected him to be? I grew angry with myself for that. Despite the pleading I’d done with Clay, I no longer wanted the man to stop running by my house now that I’d grown used to seeing him.

And worse, when he waved, I had started waving back.”

 

****

Links:

 

Dreamspinner Press:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/runner-by-parker-williams-8706-b#

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073R2JF17/ref=sr_1_1

 

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/runner/id1249699003?mt=11

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/runner-29

 

 

—-

About the Author

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.

Living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin with his husband of a quarter century, Parker continues to believe and writes stories where there is (almost) always a happy ending.

Connect with Parker on:

Twitter: @ParkerWAuthor

Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/parker.williams.75641

Or you can visit his website: http://www.ParkerWilliamsAuthor.com

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Prize is a paperback of Runner.)

 

Posted in Giveaway, Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 3 Comments

Road Trip vol 1 by BA Tortuga Guest Post and Blog Tour

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OS: Welcome again to BA Tortuga, here to tell us about her newest book, Road Trip and dentists?!? 

BA:

Dentists or Ecoterrorists

Hey, y’all! I’m BA Tortuga, resident redneck and lover of wild boys.

I have to tell you, when I started writing MJ and Sonny, years and years (and years) ago, I had no idea of the ride they were fixin’ to take me on. Seriously.

I was looking to write a short, hot erotic little one off for a short story call about ‘bad boys’.

So I had this ridge runner from the Carolinas, and I was telling Julia about him and she was making appropriate ooh and aah noises.

Then I said to her, “So, I have two ideas for a lover for him. He can have a crazy eco-terrorist or a dentist.”

She stared at me. I mean, just STARED.

Then she said, “Uh. No dentists.”

“No?”

“Nope.”

Crazy wonderful brilliant eco-terrorist it was.

Now, I’m hoping to introduce a whole different set of readers to the madness that is MJ and Sonny and the other guys.

Best of luck, y’all. Hold on tight.

Much love, y’all.

BA

Blurb

The road to love is notoriously bumpy, full of twists and turns that can throw even the best driver. With obstacles around every corner, Sonny and MJ try to keep it between the lines in two tales that blend steamy romance with high-stakes action and intrigue.

Racing the Moon

Sonny runs moonshine the old-fashioned way. Too bad some fool blew up his road in the Carolina mountains, keeping him stuck, high and unfortunately dry.

Explosives expert and ecoterrorist MJ’s mission is to protect the environment by shutting down a logging company. An encounter with Sonny in the misty forest sheds a new light on his quest, but it’s not until Sonny drugs and kidnaps him for an impromptu holiday that their engines really start to rev.

Steam and Sunshine

A mission they can’t resist lures Sonny and MJ out of retirement when they get word of a man creating dangerous weapons for the government. They head to California to take him down.

What they find is Paddy, a physicist who doesn’t understand the scope of his own discovery, and Neil, his bodyguard. During a wild and unpredictable cross-country ride, an uneasy partnership develops between kidnappers and targets when the four men discover they have a common enemy.

Available July 24 from Dreamspinner Press: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/road-trip-vol-1-by-ba-tortuga-8697-b

About BA Tortuga

Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds and her beloved wife, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing Pinterest in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife, Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has heard the call of the high desert and lives in the Sandias. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head. Find her on the web at www.batortuga.com

Posted in Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | Leave a comment

Audiobook Month: Something Like Spring: Something Like…, Book 4 by Jay Bell Narrated by Kevin R. Free

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Something-Like-Spring-Audiobook/B00UO03PZ8?qid=1499309807&sr=1-3

Blurb

Nothing in this world is permanent. Friends, lovers, even family can all disappear in the blink of an eye. Without these anchors, it’s all too easy to find oneself drifting.

Jason Grant doesn’t have much, aside from a beat-up old guitar and knack for getting kicked out of foster homes. His latest placement is set to be just another in a long line of failures. Then he meets Caesar Hubbard, a handsome guy who lives down the hall. For the first time in his life, Jason wants to stay, which means learning to be part of a family, and not letting his feelings – or his actions – ruin his first real chance of falling in love.

Something Like Spring introduces a new character to the Seasons story, one with a troubled past and an equally turbulent future. Jason must traverse a winding road fraught with emotional conflicts and tough decisions – a road that might just lead to a certain couple in Austin.

 

Review

 

This review will contain spoilers for the first book, Something Like
Summer, which I strongly recommend you read first.

Ok. So many readers of SLS will come into this book with mixed or negative
feelings towards Tim. I totally get that. As someone who threw away his
first love because he wouldn’t come out, then years later nearly wrecked
Ben’s new relationship, hurt a lot of people and still came out a winner
in the end, Tim has a lot of baggage. SLW explores much of the events of
the previous novel from Tim’s point of view, and seeing how much he
suffered for his bad choices does help make him more likable. While
exploring some familiar scenes again may sound repetitious, I love this
aspect of the series, as each new perspective adds a deeper understanding
to the larger story.

Tim in many ways is a victim of our homophobic society, and he paid for
his mistakes. I think most people who read SLW, even if they start out
hating Tim, come out of this book understanding him a lot better. (I still
like Jace better though)

The story explores Tim’s years without Ben, and his close friendship with
a much older gay man, Eric. Eric is Tim’s partner in many ways, although
they are not lovers. Tim’s devotion to Eric, and although it may sound
funny, his whole hearted devotion to his very lovable dog show a lot of
emotional growth from a once very self centered boy.

Tim’s attempts to steal Ben from Jace, how he dealt with the fallout of
that and his second chance with Ben are all explored from this new
perspective, adding layers and depth to a familiar story, and their story
is taken further along.

It’s interesting to note the very appealing cover art tells it’s own
story. While SLS shows Ben watching Tim, SLW show Tim watching Ben. It all
seems symbolic of perceptions, which is a key theme in the series.
If you love this series, I recommend continuing from here to the third
book, Something Like Autumn where Jace’s story is told, of his
relationship with Ben and the untold story of his own first love.

Kevin R. Free’s narration is youthful and animated, if a bit exaggerated
at times.

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Posted in 6 star, Angst Level, Audiobook, Audiobook Month, Book, Brian Cherry, coming of age, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, m/m, Mid, Mid-grade, Monthly Theme, New Adult, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, Purchased, second chance at love, young adult | Leave a comment

Book Tour and Giveaway for Get a Grip by LA Witt!

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Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Get a Grip, the latest Bluewater Bay story!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Get a Grip) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 29th, and winners will be announced on July 30th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

 

About Get a Grip

If a tree falls in Bluewater Bay . . . could it be fate?

A year after his divorce, Shane Andrews isn’t interested in dating—not that he has time, between three kids and a demanding job as a grip. When a windstorm knocks a tree onto one of the Wolf’s Landing soundstages, Shane’s there to help with the mess . . . and so is firefighter Aaron Tucker.

A former smoke jumper, Aaron’s an adrenaline junkie and way too restless and reckless to be relationship material. As far as he’s concerned, monogamy is for penguins, and he’d rather be alone than tied down. Signing up to be a stepparent? No, thank you.

But after a scorching-hot night together, they’re hooked. Aaron is a taste of the excitement Shane’s been lacking, and Shane’s pushing buttons Aaron didn’t know he had. The more they’re together, the less Aaron craves wild nights with other men . . . but the more Shane wants to play the field like he never got to in his twenties.

This could be the love neither man knew he needed, but only if Shane gets his feet back on the ground before Aaron walks away.

Now available from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/get-a-grip

 

About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.

Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check out Bluewater Bay! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/bluewater-bay

 

About LA Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

 

L.A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).  

 

Posted in Giveaway, Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 7 Comments

Audiobook Month: Romancing the Ugly Duckling by Clare London Narrated by Joel Leslie

Dreamspinner Presents:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/romancing-the-ugly-duckling-by-clare-london-8721-b

Blurb

Is this the makeover of a lifetime?
Ambitious fashionista Perry Goodwood lands the project of his dreams—track down a celebrity family’s missing brother in the Scottish Highlands and bring him back to London for a TV reality show. But first he must transform the rugged loner into a glamorous sophisticate.
Greg Ventura has no use for high fashion. He lives on the isolated island of North Uist to escape the reminder that he’s nowhere near as handsome as his gorgeous brothers and avoid the painful childhood memories of being bullied.
Greg wants nothing to do with city life, and Perry’s never been outside London. When Perry is stranded on North Uist, this conflict seems insurmountable. But Greg is captivated by the vivacious Perry, and Perry by both the island and his host. However, Perry’s one heartfelt wish remains: that ugly duckling Greg fulfill his potential as a swan.

Review

(Book Previously Reviewed by Beth)
This is a sweet story that shows you that you don’t always need what you wish for.
Perry must convince Greg that coming back to London is in his best interest and that he will make him look fabulous. Getting ready to leave London he is suddenly aware that he will have supporting coworkers and he will have to do this all on his own. I love how Perry seems to get along with everyone, or can at least convince people that he has their best interest at heart.
Greg was bullied by his family, and really had no use for them anymore. He’s settled in Uist a small Scottish island and follows his passion to paint. He doesn’t believe anyone when they tell him he is handsome. He wants nothing to do with Perry, but must put him up in his home for the night. From there we learn who these two men really are, as they get to know each other.
So if you are looking for a light fun read this will have you smiling. The writing was good although time passing seemed to be different for the general story and the MC’s POV. 4 of 5 stars

I have to agree with Beth that this was a really sweet story and it totally left me smiling! However, I wasn’t crazy about Greg and up til the very end I didn’t think much of him. He was pretty hard to like and since Perry was such a likable character I wanted someone as wonderful for him as a partner. However, it was a great contrast and we do get a solid HFN for our heroes by the end. If I’d only been reading this I don’t think I’d have been as pleased and would have probably given this a 3 of 5 stars. But…

I was glad that I ‘d listened to it because having all of Joel’s wonderful accents just made this feel so much more authentic and unique! The Scottish was fantastic!!!! The most engaging part of this audiobook was listening for the varying accents and I definitely think listening is the best way to experience this story.

As a result of the wonderful narration I do recommend this and give it a 4.5 of 5 stars overall.

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Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in 4.5 stars, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Audiobook, Audiobook Month, Author Provided, Book, class difference, Contemporary, Dreamspinner, Enemies to Lovers, farmer, Gay, Heat Index, Humor, m/m, Mid-grade, Mild, Monthly Theme, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Opposites attract, Part of a Series, Rating, Standalone, Themes | 1 Comment

Changing Lines (Harrisburg Railers #1) by R.J. Scott and V.L. Locey

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Changing-Lines-Harrisburg-Railers-Hockey-ebook/dp/B071WKKJC8/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1500583305&sr=8-2&keywords=harrisburg+railers

Blurb

Can Tennant show Jared that age is just a number, and that love is all that matters?

The Rowe Brothers are famous hockey hotshots, but as the youngest of the trio, Tennant has always had to play against his brothers’ reputations. To get out of their shadows, and against their advice, he accepts a trade to the Harrisburg Railers, where he runs into Jared Madsen. Mads is an old family friend and his brother’s one-time teammate. Mads is Tennant’s new coach. And Mads is the sexiest thing he’s ever laid eyes on.

Jared Madsen’s hockey career was cut short by a fault in his heart, but coaching keeps him close to the game. When Ten is traded to the team, his carefully organized world is thrown into chaos. Nine years his junior and his best friend’s brother, he knows Ten is strictly off-limits, but as soon as he sees Ten’s moves, on and off the ice, he knows that his heart could get him into trouble again.

Review

This drew my attention since I’m currently jonsing for some hockey! I was also curious about these two authors as a writing duo. I’ve not really been a Vocey fan, and some of RJ Scott’s latest works haven’t really impressed me – but I love her earlier books.

I think – overall – that they’re a good team. I think the new subgenre is good for Scott and gives a new direction – away from ranching and crime fighting – for her considerable writing talents.

The premise of this story and it’s start are very promising. May/December, Coach/player, family friend, closeted professional athlete, single father… you name it – lots of sexual tension and the need to keep things on the DL. I think, however, that the end result of all these reasons to keep things quiet were too many for our MCs to overcome in a short story.

There were just so many hurdles and not enough time for them to be really overcome in a way that made sense.

I appreciated that they didn’t just jump into bed, but the “slow” was too slow and Jared came across way too “father figure” and not enough “lover”. He was bossy and I never felt his emotions other than lust.

Ten seemed- sometimes – ridiculously immature and I thought his family was both ridiculous ( his oldest brother) and wonderful (his sweet mother). I wasn’t sure why he was there, but the Russian goalie – Stan – was my favorite and I hope we get to see more of him!

The book kept my interest and I’ll definitely pick up more in this series, but this wasn’t my favorite hockey book of all time.

(The cover does NOT help this story !)

3 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review

Posted in 3 star, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Book, Closeted, co-workers to lovers, Contemporary, Friends to lovers, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Hockey, Homophobia, Hurt/Abuse, m/m, May/December, May/December, Mid, Mid-grade, Mild, Morgan, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Older MCs, Part of a Series, Purchased, Rating, Single Parent, Sports | Leave a comment

Seti’s Heart by Kiernan Kelly

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents
https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/setis-heart-by-kiernan-kelly-8703-b

Blurb

2nd edition

Cursed by the god who shares his name, Seti was an Egyptian king who lost everything; his name, his kingdom, even the man he loved more than anything in the world. For centuries he’s waited in a dusty, forgotten sarcophagus, until Logan comes along. Logan is a graduate student who stumbles on Seti in the basement of a museum and accidentally awakens him. Logan figures any way he looks at it, a missing mummy is going to be bad for his career, so he takes Seti with him until he can decide what to do. He doesn’t want to be accused to theft, but who’s going to believe in a mummy coming back to life? Seti and Logan have a lot more to worry about than the modern day police. There’s a group of scientists that want Seti for more than decoration and a vengeful god with an agenda to get Seti gone once and for all. Logan has to deal with all of that, but his biggest problem might just be Seti himself, who’s trying hard to get into Logan’s pants, and his heart.

Review

This is a fun, exciting story. I love ancient history and mythology and with this book, you get both! This a fantasy book, so belief has to be suspended, but it’s so much fun that you won’t care ☺
Logan is a put upon assistant curator who accidently awakens a cursed warrior/sorcerer – Seti. Seti has been asleep for the last 5000 years, so it’s a shock for him to wake up in the 21st century, lol! The only things he is certain of are 1. That he wants Logan and 2. He wants revenge for the loss of his past life and punishment. What ensues is a story about ancient history, love, betrayal with a few twists. Along the way, both men, (man and mummy sounds a bit weird), have to deal with enemies ancient and modern; and the attraction they have for each other.
I enjoyed every bit of this story. Seti was arrogant but fun. His misunderstanding of all things modern, including the fact that you cannot order people around at will was hysterical. Logan, on the other hand, was sweet, a little snarky and funny. Together they were hot ☺

Fun fact – I had the pleasure of listening to the audiobook way before reading it. It was my first Joel Leslie narration – I really thought there were 2 people narrating – one for the American accents and the other for the Egyptian and British accents (he is that talented☺).

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Posted in 4.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Alternate World, Angst Level, Book, Dee, Dreamspinner, Gay, Heat Index, Humor, Little to no angst, m/m, May/December, May/December, Mid-grade, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Paranormal, Speculative Fiction, Standalone | Leave a comment

EJ Russell’s Guest Post and Giveaway for Cutie and the Beast!

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OS Welcome to EJ Russell author of Cutie and The Beast! Thanks so much for stopping by!

EJR:

Stonehenge Analogs

When I started working on the books in the Fae Out of Water series, I knew that my version of Faerie would have a Stonehenge analog in it. It’s prehistoric! It’s iconic! It’s mysterious! It also has a weight to it, both physical and historical that made it a perfect “anchor” for Faerie.

I’ve set scenes in the Stone Circle (the name for my Stonehenge analog) in each of the three stories. But unlike Stonehenge, my Stone Circle is intact. So in keeping with my habit of finding pictures that fit my ideas of my characters or settings, I went searching for images of what Stonehenge might have looked like in its heyday.

You can find some pretty cool artist’s renderings of the site on the internet—here, for instance:

https://www.hexapolis.com/2014/08/17/6-interesting-features-of-the-stonehenge

 

But the most amazing thing I discovered was that about three hours from where I live, there’s actually a full-sized replica of Stonehenge at the Maryhill Museum of Art in Washington.

 

http://www.maryhillmuseum.org/visit/stonehenge-memorial

 

The site was constructed by museum founder Sam Hill as a memorial to servicemen from Klickitat County who had fallen in World War I. He mistakenly believed that the original Stonehenge was built as a site for human sacrifice, and he chose to replicate it as a commentary: his statement about the sacrifice of so many on the altar of war.

 

The memorial was dedicated in 1918, but not completed until 1929, two years before Hill’s death. In 1995, the museum and the Klickitat County veteran’s association partnered to erect a second memorial to all county servicemen and women who have given their lives since World War I. Both memorials can be visited daily, from 7:00am until dusk.

 

Welcome to the Fae Out of Water blog tour, phase one–Cutie and the Beast! I’m so looking forward to introducing you all to the Kendrick brothers and their guys, starting this month with Alun and David. As you follow along on the tours—phase two, The Druid Next Door, in August, and phase three, Bad Boy’s Bard, in September—please leave a comment and your contact information for a chance at a $50 Riptide gift card. The drawing will take place after the last Bad Boy’s Bard blog stop. Thank you so much for stopping by!

 

About Cutie and the Beast

 

Temp worker David Evans has been dreaming of Dr. Alun Kendrick ever since that one transcription job for him, because holy cats, that voice. Swoon. So when his agency offers him a position as Dr. Kendrick’s temporary office manager, David neglects to mention that he’s been permanently banished from offices. Because, forgiveness? Way easier than permission.

 

Alun Kendrick, former Queen’s Champion of Faerie’s Seelie Court, takes his job as a psychologist for Portland’s supernatural population extremely seriously. Secrecy is paramount: no non-supe can know of their existence. So when a gods-bedamned human shows up to replace his office manager, he intends to send the man packing. It shouldn’t be difficult—in the two hundred years since he was cursed, no human has ever failed to run screaming from his hideous face.

 

But cheeky David isn’t intimidated, and despite himself, Alun is drawn to David in a way that can only spell disaster: when fae consort with humans, it never ends well. And if the human has secrets of his own? The disaster might be greater than either of them could ever imagine.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/cutie-and-the-beast

 

About the Fae Out of Water Series

 

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

 

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

 

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

 

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.

 

#faeoutofwater

 

Check out the Fae Out of Water series! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/fae-out-water

 

About EJ Russell

 

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

 

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

 

Connect with E.J.:

Website: ejrussell.com

Blog: ejrussell.com/bloggery/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/E.J.Russell.author

Twitter: twitter.com/ej_russell

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ejrussell/

To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Cutie and the Beast tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

Posted in Giveaway, Tour/Guest Post/Blitz | 17 Comments

Audiobook Month: Illuminate the Shadows (Shatterproof Bonds Book 2) by Isobel Starling Narrated by Gary Furlong

Audible Link
https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/Illuminate-the-Shadows-Audiobook/B071JZH1F1?qid=1500225618&sr=1-2

Blurb: The thrilling, funny sequel to ‘As You Wish’.

A Scotsman and an Englishman fall in love…

After the most amazing week of Declan Ramsay’s life, at Dunloch Castle on the banks of Loch Ness, in Scotland. The charming, mysterious Samuel Aiken has turned Declan’s life upside down. Declan has experienced a remarkable change. He has come to terms with the fact he is bisexual, and he has fallen head-over-heels in love with his boss’s son Sam.
However, falling for his boss’s son was never going to be an easy path to happiness, mainly because the boss in question is multi-millionaire property tycoon and former MI5 operative, Sir James Aiken.
Sir James is repulsed by his son’s homosexuality, and so discovering that his employee Declan Ramsay- the man he installed to run his luxury property rental empire- is in a relationship with Sam, does not go down well.
The lovers cannot hide from the looming presence of Sir James Aiken for long! Soon enough James makes his move, and Declan finds out what he will have to endure to stay with Sam, and what he will have to give to feel worthy of Sam’s love.

**The story continues in “Return to Zero” (Shatterproof Bond #2)** This second book will be released on 6th June 2016

Review:

The story gets 2 stars, Gary Furlong, the narrator pulls it up to 2.5.
This was clearly an intermission story, whilst we wait for book 3 and what I am guessing will be Declan and Sam going out on missions for ALL? Because all this story was, was a very long and weird interrogation scene bookended by sex scenes.

*** Be warned: there may be spoilers ahead***

This is the kind of story where you desperately need to shut off brain, suspend all beliefs and just go with the flow. Because none of this really makes sense and if you think too hard on it, you will be rolling your eyes all the way through…
Illuminate the Shadows picks up precisely where As you Wish left off, with Sam and Declan in bed together in the town house. Sam and Declan have been together for a week in Scotland at the wedding, then apart for 3 months (pining for one another) and then spent 2 days having a boink-fest in London. This is the entire extent of their “relationship”! This is the kind of insta love I have a very hard time getting onboard with, which obviously taints my reading experience of book 2 a great deal!
I didn’t like the “surprise” revelation at the end of book 1 that Sam was a secret agent, so I was a bit hesitant going into book 2, as it was obvious we would continue down that rabbit hole and sure enough. Declan is now recruited into Sam’s fathers agency.
There was a lot of things wrong with that – mainly the “accidental spy” set up that the author tried to sell me on Declan. That he had inadvertently foiled several attacks and never wised up to it. Also the Declan we are introduced to here does not seem to be the same Declan we met in book 1, which I found very confusing. The funny thing is, I would have loved that story! I would have loved the fumbling, bumbling accidental spy that ends up being picked up by an agency, because he constantly gets in the way, but that was unfortunately not this story.
This story is a bit of a jumbled mess. We spent the main part of the book in an interrogation room, where James (Sam’s father) and his people “interview” Declan and reveal stuff about his past. Nothing of the revealed screamed “great candidate for undercover military work” to me, but as I said, you need to shut off your brain and just accept what’s is going on…
After Declan has been “employed” we then get no more info on any of his training with ALL, which seemed odd. Basically this middle aged high end realtor is sent to an MI6 training camp, where he “wipes the floor” with the recruits there? Which seemed completely implausible and kind of strange, especially because we didn’t get to experience any of it.
I still have no idea what James’ agency do, I have the very odd feeling that Sam must be an incredibly untalented spy and I have no idea who Declan is, as his character was completely different in this book than in the first.

If you enjoy stories with very little plot, but a lot of action and sex scenes you will probably enjoy this story, but it didn’t work for me. I spent the main part of the audio book, saying: “WHAT? That makes no sense!” Out loud…

Things may become clearer when I get to book 3? I am not sure. But right now, I not exactly champing at the bit to get there…
Overall Impression: 2.5 out of 5 stars

2.5-stars-small


Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

Posted in 2.5 stars, Action/Adventure, adult - 18+, Angst Level, Anna, Audiobook, Audiobook Month, Author Provided, Book, Christmas, Contemporary, Established Couple, Gay, GFY/OFY, Heat Index, Holiday, Homophobia, Insta Love, Little to no angst, m/m, Mid-grade, Monthly Theme, Novel 140 pgs + (80K + words), Part of a Series, Secret Identity, Valentine's Day | Leave a comment