Lovers, Losers and You (Sunshine and Happiness Book 2) by Skylar M Cates

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6839

 

51dtnthg5xl-_sl300_Blurb

How can you lose one dream and still find another?
Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.

Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.

When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.

Review

Book one reviewed here http://kimichanexperience.com/here-for-you-audiobook-by-skylar-cates-narrated-by-paul-morey/

I loved that (in comparison to book one) this book is almost angst-free (relationship-wise). There is drama about the show and things in the house, but the guys fall for one another and trust that. They move from “just met” to “can’t live without one another” rapidly, but also in a way that seems really organic and authentic.

In the end this is a story of two men falling in love over a week and agreeing to take a chance on that love. It was simple and sweet and sometimes sexy, but low on angst.

We also see the seeds of the future books/couples here: Morgan and River; Tomas and Marc and we get to spend a bit more time with Ian and Cole being ridiculously cute and in love.

Skylar Cates’ writing is lovely, as always, flowing and without effort. She brings depth and emotion to her characters and really bring them alive for her readers.

Fans of the series and the author won’t be disappointed with this book, and I think it does well as a stand-alone, too.

I highly recommend this book, series and author. It’d be great to see these guys more on their own (stress free) and I hope we see that in future books.

 

Audio

Hugh Bradley is dear to me for his work on Behind the Curtain by Amy Lane.  In that he was exceptional as the young and naive Dawson.  I think that soft voice really suits him. He does a nice job with Tomas’ accent, though it isn’t perfect.  He doesn’t do a lot for the women’s voices, but it’s obvious who’s speaking at all times.  His Southern accent is nice, giving Owen a gentle drawl.  He’s great at the emotions, pacing and is easy to listen to.  This was an easy listen and I think this is a great way to enjoy this lovely story.

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

One Pulse Blog Tour Stop with Edmond Manning

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OS: Welcome to Edmond Manning.  Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts about this amazing anthology.

 

EM:

Be Changed

Recently, the United States remembered the 15th year anniversary of that horrible day when two planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City. Fifteen years have passed since that horrible day. I remember crying a lot that day and thinking to myself, “the world will never be the same.”

The world is pretty much the same.

We still go to work. We go to movies, download music. We use Facebook more. Our cell phones are more sophisticated, I guess. We still have terrorists. Hell, we’re still pretending that we’re going to win the “war on terror.”

What changed?

We did.

People.

Americans united in horror. And we were showered with compassion and tears from all over the world. Our friends in Asia, Africa, and Europe wept with us. In some ways, 911 united the world in a global consciousness through which we continue to process the terrifying events of our often-maddening world.

And the terrifying events keep happening.

Recently, we had to stomach another horror, the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida at the Pulse nightclub. How was the Pulse shooting worse than the shooting at Sandy Hook? The mass murders in San Bernardino, California? They weren’t. They aren’t. Each of those are unique horrors as well.

The world doesn’t seem to be changed beyond immediate horror for these events.

But how will these events change you?

There’s no point in promising, “I will be more cautious,” because recent years has proven these events can happy anywhere. All you need to do is leave your home. So, being more wary can’t make you safer.

And you might be tired of crying.

So, how will these events change you?

Really, it’s up for you to decide. Perhaps you will open your heart to appreciation for your immediate family and feel their worth in a greater way. Perhaps your heart will more easily identify with shocked survivors who are suddenly thrust into the spotlight by grizzled reporters who repeat the same questions: how did it feel? Were you afraid? Are you shocked by these events?

Maybe you will be kinder to strangers in traffic or at the movie theaters, appreciating that some days we’re all just hanging on by a thread.

Who will you become?

I think the answer depends on how you feed yourself after these terrifying events. Do you gorge yourself on horrific footage? Do you read meditations on loving kindness and learning to cope with terror? Do you respond with greater love or greater fear?

I don’t have the answer.

All I know is that you will be changed.

I will be changed.

It’s not so bad, to be changed.

If you let your heart evolve into something softer and stronger, more able to cope with heartache in a world that seems to have no shortage of heartache, that could be a best outcome from tragedy.

Dreamspinner Press decided to respond with something wonderful to feed a loving heart. The employees at Dreamspinner and their stable of authors all volunteered to donate time and stories to create an anthology, One Pulse, mourning/celebrating/honoring those who died in the Florida nightclub. This anthology is designed to feed your heart.

The blurb for this wonderful effort is nourishment for the soul.

 

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

 

Thank you, Dreamspinner Press, for reminding us all that we get to choose how to respond to the horrors present in our brave new world. Fear or love? What will you choose?

Make a choice.

Be changed.

***

Blurb

Stories drive life. Sometimes life is good; sometimes life is bad. But it’s the nature of our community that in the aftermath of an act of hatred, we respond with love. Because darkness cannot exist in the presence of light. Cruelty cannot stand against compassion. Negativity will never overcome hope.

To show our support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we celebrate the triumph of love over every obstacle.

Jon Keys—A Single Night

Alicia Nordwell—About Best Friends & Boyfriends

Mickie B. Ashling—Adíos

M.T. Aspen —Asking for Trouble

M.A. Church—Chasing Tyme

Caitlin Ricci—Coming Out

George Seaton—Cucurrucucú

Jayce Ellis—Dance

Bree Cariad—Everyday Miracles

Chrissy Munder—Everything I Need

Ellis Carrington—For the First Time

Felicitas Ivey—Get Me to the Church Town Hall on Time

John Amory—Happy Pride

Grace R. Duncan—Hope

John Goode—Let Them Eat Cake

J. C. Long—Magical Boys Just Wanna Have Fun

Elizabeth Noble—Magicicada

Renee Stevens—More Than a Pact

Troy Storm—One Big Happy… Bunch

Connie Bailey—One Heart at a Time

Dev Bentham—Perfection

Andrea Speed—Pride

Laura Lascarso—Pull

Lila Leigh Hunter—Raffled Kiss

Emery C. Walters—Ranch Dressing

C.C. Dado—Read My Lips

Sera Kane—The Stag’s Bane

KC Burn—The Tithe

Vicktor Alexander—The Wooing of the Marqués de Sierra de Outes

Edmond Manning—They Danced

Edmond Manning writes books about love and compassion. He is a proud contributor to the One Pulse anthology.

***

Buy Links:

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/one-pulse-7577-b

https://www.amazon.com/One-Pulse-Jon-Keys-ebook/dp/B01LZQYAH5

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-onepulse-2092636-166.html

 

 

 

 

David, Renewed (Book 1) by Diana Copland

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/david-renewed-by-diana-copland-7541-b

31573244Blurb

When interior designer David Snyder buys a beautiful century-old house in eastern Washington, he is reeling with heartbreak and looking for somewhere to put down roots. Unfortunately his new home comes with a laundry list of problems: electrical, plumbing, heating… things David knows nothing about. When his mother offers him the business card of a local handyman, David pictures an overweight, balding man in his fifties. But Jackson Henry couldn’t be further from that stereotype.
Dark-haired, muscular, and handsome, Jackson left a large construction firm in Seattle to take care of his sick mother. However, his hometown still has an active “good old boy” network, and finding employment in construction is almost impossible for an openly gay man. Determined to persevere, Jackson takes odd jobs as a handyman. He’s exactly what David needs—in more ways than one.

David isn’t ready for his attraction to Jackson, not considering the way his last relationship ended. But as the two men get to know each other, it becomes clear that the heart often knows best, and it rewards those willing to listen.

Review

What a sweet, sexy and sentimental book! I just loved this so much! This is kind of a mutual hurt/comfort story about two guys who’ve had it a bit rough. David’s ex is really an asshole and he (later) really turns out to be more than just a bad break up. Jackson’s family makes his life hard and makes him feel inadequate. Together, with the help of their wonderful mothers, the two find their place in life and love.

I thought the romance was sweet, organic and sensual. The bit with David’s ex was a bit OTT but… it also reminds us that this stuff can happen in real life and it pays to be safe.

The stuff about the houses was interesting too. Having been a homeowner, I could relate to the never ending list of fixes and thought that having a new handyman boyfriend would be any homeowner’s secret fantasy!

I loved David’s mom and that David was unapologetic about it and that Jackson appreciated it too. The solution that they find at the end is perfect and we get a lovely sense of the coming couples (I’m talking about you Gil!) in future books.

If you want a fairly low angst, high romance story – this is for you!

 

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Caught Inside by Jamie Deacon Book Blast!

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CaughtInside-1Blurb:

 Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

 Pages or Words: 83,000

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Young Adult

Banner300x250Excerpt:

I swallow against the dryness in my throat. “We need to talk.”

No response.

Slowly, as though wading through deep sand, I cross the room until I’m standing right behind him. He grips the edge of the worktop.

“Theo?”

Still nothing. Only the convulsive tightening of his fingers shows he even heard me.

“Theo,” my voice cracks, “don’t do this.”

Theo sucks in a breath. When he replies, his tone is even. “Do what?”

“This. Shutting me out.”

“I’m—”

“And don’t say you’re not, because we both know that isn’t true.” I’m aware of my voice rising, and lower it with an effort. “Just…don’t.”

Theo exhales in a long sigh. He turns to me, his expression distant but not unkind. I wish he’d glare at me, shout, whatever. Anything to show he gives a damn.

“Luke, I’m sorry about this morning. It was a mistake. If you got the wrong impression—”

“The wrong impression? You kissed me. What impression was that supposed to give me?”

He casts a nervous glance at the window.

“What’s wrong, Theo? Worried Giles might hear? I don’t blame you. He’d probably make you bathe in disinfectant for a year if he knew you’d kissed scum like me.” Theo starts to protest, but I shake my head. “You know what? Forget it. So sorry I embarrassed you.”

I need to get out of here. Humiliation, hot and clammy, coils like tar through my veins. Still, what did I expect? Theo’s made it perfectly clear how he sees me, that he thinks I’m beneath him. I grab for the nearest glass, intending to pour myself a liver full of whatever’s in that jug, but my hand shakes so much it slips through my fingers. Glass collides with oak in a minor explosion, glittering fragments flying.

“Shit.” I drop to my knees, begin picking up the larger pieces. I fumble, a jagged shard slicing my palm. “Shit.”

“Luke?” Theo crouches beside me.

“I’m fine.” I turn away from the phony concern in his eyes, fist clenched around the cut to hide it from view. Blood trickles through my fingers and onto my jeans. The pain is almost a relief.

“Let me see.” Theo holds out his hand, but I jerk away.

“I said I’m fine.”

He ignores me. With gentle firmness, he takes hold of my wrist, uncurling my fingers to examine the wound. My body stills. I scarcely breathe. Every nerve ending, every particle of my being is aware of him, the pressure of his fingers on my wrist, his warm palm supporting the back of my hand.

 

 

BadgeBuy the book:

 

Beaten Track Publishing

http://www.beatentrackpublishing.com/caughtinside

 

Amazon UK:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Caught-Inside-Jamie-Deacon/dp/1786450356/ref=sr_1_1

 

Amazon US:

http://www.amazon.com/Caught-Inside-Jamie-Deacon/dp/1786450356/ref=sr_1_1

 

Barnes & Noble:

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/caught-inside-jamie-deacon/1123565998?ean=9781786450357

 

Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/book/caught-inside/id1094224851?mt=11

 

Kobo:

https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/caught-inside-5

 

ARe:

https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-caughtinside-2001121-149.html

 

Smashwords:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/623264?ref=b10track

 

 

Meet the author:

 

Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are thrust headlong into the breathless, euphoric, often painful whirlwind called love.

 

 

 

Where to find the author:

 

Website: http://www.jamiedeacon.com

Blog: http://www.boysonthebrink.com

Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/jamiedeaconauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/jamiedeacon82

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/jamiedeacon/

 

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/29540070-caught-inside

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Making It Happen, Bayou Book Junkie, Open Skye Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Charley Descoteaux, Happily Ever Chapter, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Jena Wade, Three Books Over The Rainbow, A.M. Leibowitz, Butterfly-O-Meter, Nephy Hart, BFD Book Blog, Up All Night, Read All Day, V’s Reads, Outrageous Heroes, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Alpha Book Club, MM Book Escape, Book Lovers 4Ever, Wake Up Your Wild Side,

Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Unquietly Me, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic, Molly Lolly, MM Good Book Reviews

Final

Rafflecopter Prize: $20 Gift Card
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winner of the Best Audiobook Released August 2016!

Provalis-Experience

The Best Audiobook Released in August 2016….

 

blue-ribbon-number-161w63nnGSBL._SL300_Absolution by Sloane Kennedy Narrated by Joel Leslie

 

number-251bzhkvxlal-_sl300_Guns Blazing by Andrea Smith and Eva LeNoir Narrated by Joel Leslie

 

351Aivb4ghPL._SL300_Alaksa With Love by Sandrine Gasq-Dion Narrated by

 

 

 

 

 

 

congratulationsComment Winner:  Lauren!

Congratulations to all our winners and thanks for commenting!  I really hope some of those audiobooks get made!

 

Jon Terry Moore author of A Nice Normal Family Blog Tour and Excerpt

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OS: Welcome Jon Terry Moore, author of A Nice Normal Family.  Thanks for stopping by!

JTM:
I’m John Terry Moore, I began using my middle name around twenty years ago and it sought of stuck. I was a civil celebrant here in Australia at the time (I’ve since retired to concentrate on writing) —- but using the middle name helped differentiate me among the competition. I’ve continued to use it because I rather like it! Terry is a family name and also my late Dad’s name so it’s sentimental for me as well.
*****
“A Nice Normal Family” launched today, September 30th.
It’s my second novel to be published by Dreamspinner Press, the first was “Black Dog” in 2014.
On Sunday, October 2nd. we’re holding the Australian launch at our home here in Geelong, Australia.
My partner Russell and I celebrate our 33rd. anniversary the same day.
*****
Firstly and importantly “A Nice Normal Family” has a love story between two guys. It’s important because it carries the story from the beginning to the end. They meet as ten year olds and at the end of the book they’re mid-forties —in 2035.
Intrinsically linked to one of those characters is dyslexia, the central theme for the book.
My partner Russell’s dyslexia, how it affected him as a young person and how it has played out in his subsequent life has been my inspiration.
The word dyslexia comes from the Greek language and means difficulty with words. Individuals with dyslexia have trouble with reading and spelling despite having the ability to learn, they just learn in a different way.
It’s a trait affecting up to 13% of the population.
No two dyslexic people are affected alike, just like the rest of humanity they’re all different from each other.
But importantly, one of the generalities of dyslexic people is that almost all of them have at least average to high intelligence.
Some of their differences actually allow them to think on a different level altogether!
Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein, Alexander Graham Bell, Sir Richard Branson, Walt Disney, Jay Leno, Whoopi Goldberg, Nelson Rockefeller, Agatha Christie, Steven Spielberg, Harry Belafonte, Winston Churchill, and Richard Strauss were all dyslexic, as were many other famous people through history.
So the storyline is embedded with our dyslexic hero who goes from a council employee to being the nation’s leader; but only after he becomes part of a successful partnership with another guy.
*****
The third element or theme involves Australian politics. How we’ve had to suffer the idiotic behavior, the name calling, the personal attacks, snouts in the trough, etc. where politicians would rather score points by denigrating their opposition than doing what they were elected to do — represent their electorates and run the country!
Where even within political parties the factions are fighting it out regardless of the disunity it promotes. The treachery of it all, as factions turn on their leaders, further alienating the public.
And all the while the media is having a ball, always ready to whip up a story where none exists, never letting the truth get in the way of a good story.
And the public, the people who put them there as their representatives, are forgotten.
Sound familiar?
Yes it is depressingly so, but I turn it into a good read! Trust me! Our hero does things to Australian politics and the Australian federal parliament that only people with commonsense could initiate!
And there’s not too much of that around these days!
The fourth and final element or theme is Asia. And the relationship (or lack thereof) that Australia has with Asia.
It is predicted that by 2050 50% of Australians will be able to trace their ancestry back to Asia at the current rate of immigration. Yet as a nation we tend to ignore many of the relationships and business opportunities so close to the north.
Russell and I are great travelers. In particular we’ve spent some time every year for the last 25 years or so usually in some corner of Asia. The knowledge we’ve picked up has been most useful in putting this book together. Thailand has a strong presence in the book for the very best of reasons. Thailand has never been colonized by the Europeans, the Thais managed to keep everyone at their borders, including the Christian missionaries and consequently as a nation is quite unique in Asia and the world. As a result the Thai people are a very natural race, there are very few moralistic hang ups and a sense of family exists that is second to none in our experience.
It’s no accident that the two children on the front cover are somewhat Asian in appearance, perhaps Eurasian!
The book charts the progress of Australia heading blindly towards economic oblivion long after the mining boom, and rather than exploring new markets, and new income, tries to trim her sails, turning inwardly, blithely cutting back on the essentials of health and education, unaware of the potential economic benefits of her closest neighbors.
Not China, not India, but ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations. Ten of them, —– Brunei, Laos, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar (or Burma) and the Philippines.
Most of them even now with a burgeoning middle class, not so concerned with the cost of imported goods, but with quality products and reliability of supply.
So whilst this may also appear a dry topic, it does take you on a tour of the ASEAN countries and is quite entertaining. Trust me!
*****
When we travel I carry my trusty iPad with me and usually find I can concentrate better than at home without the distractions of my own office. About a third of “A Nice Normal Family” was written at Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand in August / September last year while we were there on six weeks vacation. We had a small apartment and I wrote for around three hours a day.
*****
I’m currently working on “A Little Bit Different” the first of three shorter books in a series called “Love in the Australian Bush.”
“A Little Bit Different” explores a subject which fascinates me —- love between two guys who both identify as straight. There is plenty of evidence to suggest both factually and in fiction that there are many same sex partnerships out there with one straight partner, the other gay.
But seldom where partners both identify as straight and each make the journey to being part of a same sex relationship.
So I hope it will be a good read!
*****
Does Australia as a background to a storyline interest you?
What about the exotic locations within South East Asia?
What about the cut and thrust of political life, the intrigue, the treachery and the potential danger of an extremist group plotting to bring down a government?
Or a beautiful love story involving two friends, one gay, one straight who finally commit to each other, allowing each other to bloom?
The love affair where the dyslexic boy goes from a council employee to the nation’s leader, his true potential unlocked by the partnership?

OS: What great questions!  Thanks for the background and good luck on your tour!

A Nice Normal Family Cover ArtBlurb

Jackson “Jacko” Smith is dyslexic, but like many people affected by the learning disability, he is highly intelligent. His best friend Sammy Collins helps him get through school and unlocks his potential. Jacko progresses through the ranks of local government until Mother Nature intervenes and the straight boy and the gay boy become a couple.

As Jacko and Sammy start a family and challenge social mores, Jacko enters politics, horrified at the direction Australian government is taking. With Sammy by his side, he can achieve anything and rises through the ranks to the highest office in the land, driving Australia away from its British colonial roots and engaging with its neighbors in Asia like never before. Economic growth results, and while most Australians are supportive, a small group of extremists might endanger everything Jacko has built—including his life.

Through the love and the strength of their partnership, Jacko and Sammy rise above their ordinary lives. Because love is never ordinary.

Excerpt

With Matt’s help I found a stall selling magnificent orchids, and after explaining their purpose, the owner giggled and put them together into a stunning presentation vase.

Then I bolted for the room, peace offering in hand.

I arrived outside the door realizing I’d left my key card behind, so I rang the bell like a florist with a special delivery.

The door flung open. He’d been crying, and my heart nearly broke in two.

“Jacko, where have you been? I was so worried about you I was nearly sick.”

I couldn’t say anything much because I too was choked up, but I managed to thrust the flowers into his hand and say, “These are for you. I’m sorry I made a dick of myself.”

His eyes shone.

Sammy always loved flowers; he loved growing them, displaying them, and I knew he loved them as a gift.

“Well,” he said with a grin, “they’re beautiful, thank you, but really I’m as much to blame as you are.”

“No, you’re not,” deciding I had to ramp up the stakes. First I had to wipe away his tears, very unromantically, with my thumb. Then I did what I have should have done many years ago and kissed him, on the lips. Beautiful, full, puffy pillows they were, and suddenly the world lit up, it was like someone had just turned the lights on.

We stood there gazing at each other in bloody wonderment as we leaned in and did it again. There was love in Sammy’s eyes, but I could see the concern also, one of the benefits of some dyslexic people seeing things on a different level.

Russell&John25years 070JOHN TERRY MOORE

 John Terry Moore and Russell Baum, his partner of thirty three years, live in Geelong, Victoria’s largest regional centre, one hour from Melbourne, Australia. Many factors influenced John in the writing of this novel, not the least of which has been Russell’s dyslexia, how it affected him as a young person and how it has played out in his subsequent life.

John’s interest in same sex partnerships, economics, politics and Asian affairs have also played a major role in the storyline.

John and Russell have travelled extensively throughout Asia for many years. Studiously avoiding western tourists, they have inserted themselves into the culture and the daily lifestyles of the local people and consequently have a unique overview and understanding of Asian nations, (ASEAN in particular), and the relationships those countries have with Australia.

John completed his education at Hobart Matriculation College, and held a number of senior positions in the automotive industry over a thirty five year period, working separately for three Asian motor companies.

He has been a civil marriage celebrant and funeral celebrant for many years, (now retired), witnessing at first hand rapidly changing Australian public opinion questioning traditional family structures and also questioning Australia’s place in the world. Australia remains tied to the British Commonwealth, yet with the fastest growing global economies only a few hours away in Asia, the messages Australia sends to its neighbors sometimes appear confusing and unhelpful.

John is a passionate advocate of same sex marriage and equal rights for same sex parents and their children, encouraging, supporting and driving the push for marriage equality in Australia. That LGBTI people should finally be embraced as an integral part of society, removing the scourge of homophobia and the risk of self harm, replacing it with humanity, commonsense and love. That only when everyone is treated exactly the same under law will society begin to heal itself.

By the Light of the Moon (Assasin/Shifters Book 3) Audiobook by Sandrine Gasq-Dion Narrated by Greg Boudreaux

 

audiobookreview

41v3q0mdhel-_sl300_Blurb

Dakota Cadotte is on the run and alone. Forced out from his pack by the Alpha for being gay, Dakota fends for himself in the Denali wilderness. When he ventures too far away from his safe zone, he’s put right in the path of a truck on the highway and right into the arms of Sam Waters. The two hit it off immediately as man and wolf, but Dakota fears Sam won’t be so understanding when he sees what he truly is. When Dakota shifts in front of Sam, the sparks fly, but Dakota’s past and pack threaten their newfound relationship.

Review

OMG guys! This is the first book in the series where we finally meet the “shifter” portion of “Assassin/Shifters”. Dakota was the wolf we met in Alaska who helped Mark and Josh. Now he’s run into trouble again and met Sam. Well, Sam is way more than just a friend to Dakota and we finally get to learn a bit more about what goes on in Alaska.

This is one of my favorite in this series. Dakota and Sam have an amazing link/relationship and Sam’s family is awesome! I love what happens to Dakota after Sam and Dakota hook up and I love the responses Dakota gets afterward as well. It’s so rewarding!  I love how casual Sam is about everything and his family, too.  Nothing freaks him out!

For me, it’s from this point forward that the series gets really going. We add in the paranormal element and Sandrine is really good at giving us a fascinating and seductive new “world” with lots of “mine, mine, mine!”

There’s danger, as usual, but most of this is lots of new world building and new characters being introduced.

(The only thing I would change about this is the cover!  I think an update is needed!)

Audio

Greg does another amazing job here. I LOVE his take on an “Native American” accent. The Alpha was exceptional and I ADORE how he chose to do Sam’s voice. Dakota is just right, not too light, not too heavy. Greg is fantastic at pacing and emotion and I think it is SOOOO awesome that he’s agreed to do this series. I LOVE it!

6 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

Audible Link

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/By-the-Light-of-the-Moon-Audiobook/B01M0IDTRI/ref=a_search_c4_1_6_srTtl?qid=1474648533&sr=1-6

Collide (Blackcreek Book 1) Audiobook by Riley Hart narrated by Luke Itzvic

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At 10 years old, Noah Jameson and Cooper Bradshaw collided midair when they dove for the same football. For three years they were inseparable…until one day when Noah and his parents disappeared in the middle of the night.

Noah and Cooper never knew what happened to each other. Now, 17 years later, after finding his boyfriend in bed with another man, Noah returns to Blackcreek looking for a fresh start. And damned if he doesn’t find his old friend grew up to be as sexy as sin.

Coop can’t believe Noah – the only person he trusted with the guilt over his parents’ death – is back. And gay. Or that Cooper himself suddenly wants another man in his bed for the first time. There’s no denying the attraction and emotion between them, but can they overcome the ghosts of their pasts to have a future together?

Review

This is another book I was shocked to find I’d never formally reviewed. This was my first “exposure” to the wonderfulness that is Riley Hart. This showcases her expertise at writing “gay first time lovers” so well.

First, she gives us two really well developed MCs with compelling back stories and then puts these guys back in each other’s orbit. That sets us up with not only an interesting, but a believable story.

Second, she excels at the emotion behind the sex. Sure, the smexy times are off the charts hot, but even more, they work so well because of all the FEELS. Coop and Noah work slowly toward one another. Each subtly noticing their feelings and then when they act upon them it’s an explosion because we’ve been working up to it right along with these guys.

Third, once they’ve begun acting on their feelings, things are magically “fixed”. There are still a lot of questions, regrets and worries. But… it’s not like they vacillate, just appropriately ruminate and contemplate and proceed cautiously forward. It feels really organic and natural.

I think the flashbacks did a great job of showing us the longevity of their relationship and help us to see some of Noah’s issues as well as Coop’s – beyond the new feelings toward each other.

I really loved this and was so glad to see it come to audio!

 

Audio

Luke Itzvic really impressed me with his work on the # Gearshark series (reviews to come) and he did an amazing job with this! He’s really good at the emotion, timing and grittiness of this story. There’s not much to distinguish Coop from Noah, but it was always easy to know who was talking. He’s got an easy voice to listen to and the sound quality is excellent. This is definitely the best way to enjoy this story and highly recommended.

 

5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

 

Audible Link

 

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Collide-Audiobook/B01LFD1CQG/ref=a_search_c4_1_6_srTtl?qid=1475030520&sr=1-6

First Audiobook by KC Wells Narrated by Gregory Salinas

audiobookreview

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/first-by-kc-wells-7468-b

 

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It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia, hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets to sample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.

All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.

When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.

And then a beautiful young man asks Mike to be his first….

Review

(Book reviewed here previously)

Tommy is a sweet, sweet 19 year old college student who has decided it’s time to come out to his family and be the man he always was inside. Part of this decision is his super-stalker-crush on the hot bartender he meets, Mike.

Mike is 40, a porn star and a bar tender at a local gay sports pub. He’s not really looking for a relationship as he’s just gotten out of one where – yet again- his boyfriend couldn’t handle his career.

When Tommy comes out to his family, they disown him, forcing him to re-evaluate his life and priorities. Luckily, his roommate’s family is awesome, and they mostly adopt him and help him with his new look on life.

With their support, Tommy gathers his courage and asks Mike to be his “first”. His first real kiss, sex and boyfriend.

Mike and Tommy find themselves connecting on a level that neither expected. To Tommy, Mike is everyone he’d ever hoped to find, even if he’d never really defined that. Tommy happens to hit all of Mike’s buttons, both protective and otherwise, despite the age gap.

The big conflict comes when Tommy – who comes from a very strict background with very black and white morality code – finds out Mike’s also a big porn star.

Mike has to decide – what’s more important? His career or his love life?

**

I really enjoyed this book. Tommy was a sweet heart and though he seemed almost too “good” to be true, I appreciated his ability to just set aside the non-sense from his family and concentrate on his own heart. I was glad that he got immediate support from his roommate’s family and that going to school was never the issue.

I also though that Tommy’s attitude about porn and his unwillingness to have Mike in the industry felt very authentic. And while Mike never made it out like porn was anything but work, I was glad that he could see Tommy’s side of things.

The “firsts” were super hot and I loved the chemistry between these two guys.

This was a fun, mostly angst-free look at first love and two incongruous people coming together in a perfect fit.

I’ve always enjoyed KC Wells’ writing and find it smooth, flowing and immersive.

I highly recommend this book.

Audio

Gregory Salinas is a new to me narrator.  He has a lovely reading voice and he seemed to have a fairly good “grasp of his subject”- meaning he had good timing, infused the appropriate emotion in the dialog and was very easy to listen to.  He didn’t do a lot for the characters, though I really, really loved his version of Tommy.  Just the right mix of innocence, Southern Charm and youth.  He didn’t do Mike as I’d imagined him – but maybe that’s because the model on the cover is a “real person” and I pictured his voice in my head. (Can you picture a voice in your head? LOL)  Anyhow… it was an easy listen and definitely a good way to enjoy this sweet story.

Overall 4.5 of 5 stars.

 

Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review

 

Making Waves (Wrench Wars Story) by Marie Sexton

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/making-waves-by-marie-sexton-7569-b

 

making-wavesBlurb

A Wrench Wars Story

Best friends since they were teenagers, Ward Kent and Dean Zimmerman work together at Reggie’s garage, where the reality show Wrench Wars is filmed. Outside of work, Dean is a notorious player, and as far as he’s concerned, Ward’s the best wingman ever. Little does he know, Ward is much more interested in the gentlemen than the ladies.

Then Dean’s younger brother, Ash, comes to work at the garage. Ash may be seven years younger, but he’s had a crush on Ward for years, and he’s not shy about going after what he wants.

Admitting his best friend and his brother are gay is one thing. Seeing them together? That’s a bit more than Dean can take, and he’s about to force Ward to make a decision: lose his best friend and his job, or give up Ash forever.

 

Review

This was a sweet friends to lovers story with very little angst and lots of slow burn and sizzle.

I liked that there was very little hemming and hawing between the two men, and that the resolution with Dean was over fairly quickly.

I’d have liked to see the lovers as a couple more – maybe seen some of their time in Vegas – but for a novella it was pretty low key and sweet.

Recommended for fans of the series.

4 of 5 stars

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Copy Generously Provided by Publisher for Honest Review