Blog Tour for Off the Ice by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

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Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.

 

About Off the Ice

 

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

 

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

 

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

 

Available now from Riptide Publishing. http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/off-the-ice

 

About Avon Gale

 

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

 

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

 

Connect with Avon:

 

About Piper Vaughn

 

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.

 

As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.

 

Connect with Piper:

 


 

To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

 

Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker Guest Post!

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OS: Welcome to Bru Baker here to talk about Werewolves!

BB:

 

 Reimagining werewolf lore

 

Hi, everyone! I’m Bru Baker, and I’m so happy to be here on Open Skye Reviews kicking off my release tour for my latest book, Camp H.O.W.L. I had so much fun writing my Dreamspun Desire (Tall, Dark, and Deported) that I jumped at the chance to try my hand at writing for the Dreamspun Beyond line. Al the sweetness and tropes with paranormal mixed in? Sign me up!

 

I’ve dabbled in paranormal before (Some Assembly Required, written with Lex Chase) but this was my first time writing werewolves. I love paranormal romances and urban fantasy, and Camp H.O.W.L. gave me the chance to dive in and try my hand at a little worldbuilding. I wanted to put my own twist on the werewolf mythology, but I also didn’t want to take it too far outside of what readers expect. There’s a reason the werewolf trope exists, and it’s because it works. I didn’t set out to reinvent the wheel–just change the hubcaps a little.

 

My wolves hide their true nature from society, but the moon doesn’t make them ravening beasts. They can shift at will and can master resisting the call of the moon once they’ve had the proper training. And that’s where the camp part comes in. In Adrian and Tate’s world, wolves are born. They have their first Turn at age nineteen, which means that tied up with all that teen angst, self-discovery, and rebellion is a second puberty–one that has them sprouting hair a lot more places than just under their arms. Teenage werewolves are a huge security risk, so most of them are sent to the equivalent of werewolf summer camp where they can learn how to control their shift and how to keep their true identity a secret.

 

It’s a big job, and one that werewolf therapist and camp counselor Tate Lewis has plenty of experience with. When Adrian Rothschild finds himself marooned at the camp amid kids ten years younger than him, he often finds himself wondering where Tate finds the patience to put up with them.

 

Which leads right into the excerpt I’m sharing today–Tate teaching a class on social media for werewolves. *g*

Blurb

Moonmates exist, but getting together is going to be a beast….

 

When Adrian Rothschild skipped his “werewolf puberty,” he assumed he was, somehow, human. But he was wrong, and he’s about to go through his Turn with a country between him and his Pack—scared, alone, and eight years late.

 

Dr. Tate Lewis’s werewolf supremacist father made his Turn miserable, and now Tate works for Camp H.O.W.L. to ease the transition for young werewolves. He isn’t expecting to offer guidance to a grown man—or find his moonmate in Adrian. Tate doesn’t even believe in the legendary bond; after all, his polygamist father claimed five. But it’s clear Adrian needs him, and if Tate can let his guard down, he might discover he needs Adrian too.

 

A moonmate is a wolf’s missing piece, and Tate is missing a lot of pieces. But is Adrian up to the challenge?

 

 

Excerpt:

 

Tate clapped his hands, and Adrian winced at the sharp sound, regretting his seat choice. Would his hearing always be this sensitive? How did people deal with that?
“Now that we’re all ready to pay attention,” Tate said, standing and leveling the class with a solemn look, “let’s get started. I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’ve gathered you here today—”
“Social media?” a girl from a few rows behind Adrian said, her tone confused. “It’s on the syllabus.”
Adrian’s lips quirked into a grin when he saw Tate stifle a groan. He met Adrian’s eyes for a split second, and a chill went down Adrian’s spine at the playful annoyance in his gaze. Poor Tate. It must be hard to be surrounded by teenagers all the time.
“Well, that joke went over like a lead balloon,” Tate said, shaking his head. “Yes, Brittany, we’re talking about social media today.”
Adrian turned to look up at the back row when someone scoffed loudly. “What can an old guy like you teach us about social media?”
It was pretty close to what Adrian had asked earlier, but with a knife-edge of irritation and scorn instead of playfulness. The kid was clearly trying to cause a scene, but Tate didn’t take the bait. Adrian did, though. He could feel his skin start to tighten, and he tamped down on it as hard as he could, silently begging his body not to shift.
“Well, Ryan, I’m so glad you asked!” Tate said cheerfully, as if Ryan’s question hadn’t been dripping with condescension. Tate’s easy manner made it easier for Adrian to breathe through his own annoyance, and after a moment the itchy-hot feeling subsided.
“I’m sure everyone in this room is well-versed in how to use social media, but it’s my job to make sure you are using it responsibly,” Tate continued.
“Who made you the dick pic police?” Ryan jeered, and this time Adrian didn’t turn around. He kept his gaze trained on Tate, who aside from stiffening a little didn’t outwardly react to the taunt.
“Honestly, I’m not interested in policing who you share intimate photos with,” Tate said, unruffled by Ryan’s disrespect. It was probably a daily occurrence around here, Adrian realized. How the hell did Tate do this every day? Adrian had spent a grand total of less than an hour out and about with these kids, and he was ready to kill them all. And he wasn’t even in charge of them—he was just a bystander! Adrian couldn’t imagine putting up with this kind of irritation every day.
“That is,” Tate continued, “unless those photos in any way compromise the safety of werewolfdom. And even in that event, I’m not the one you have to be worried about. Your Alpha is bound by werewolf law to turn anyone who flaunts our rules and risks exposure, literally or figuratively, over to their local Tribunal.” Tate arched a brow as he lifted his face to look in Ryan’s direction. “I don’t have firsthand experience with that, but from what I’ve heard it’s not pleasant. And that’s if your own Alpha doesn’t kill you instead of handing you over for trial.”

 

Camp H.O.W.L. by Bru Baker, release date Nov. 1, 2017

 

 

Pre-order links:

 

Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Google Play

I’ll be on Love Bytes on Nov. 2 with more about Adrian. I hope you’ll come read about what makes him tick!

 

 

Bio:

 

Bru Baker spent fifteen years writing for newspapers before making the jump to fiction. She now balances her time between writing and working at a Midwestern library in the reference department. Most evenings you can find her curled up with a mug of tea, some fuzzy socks, and a book or her laptop. Whether it’s creating her own characters or getting caught up in someone else’s, there’s no denying that Bru is happiest when she’s engrossed in a story. She and her husband have two children, which means a lot of her books get written from the sidelines of various sports practices.

 

Visit Bru online at www.bru-baker.com or follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

PS by Caraway Carter

Beaten Track Presents
https://www.amazon.com/PS-Caraway-Carter-ebook/dp/B0754CPGZQ/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1509474658&sr=1-1&keywords=ps+caraway+carter

Blurb
Looking back, it was kind of crazy to put a down payment on a fallen-down train depot I’d never actually seen, in a state I’d never actually been to, and use it to build a life with a guy I’d never actually met, but love makes people do crazy things. If you’ve ever been in love, you know what I mean.

But before the plane had landed, I found out that Sam – the guy I’d met online and had been talking to for four years – wasn’t really Sam. He wasn’t even a guy.

I already own the little train depot, and I can’t go back to my old life. And Fairville is such a lovely welcoming town. Did I mention James? He’s made sure that I’ve had a really warm welcome.

All I want is to build a great little bookstore, and have a relationship based on humor, honesty, and hardbacks. I see some tough choices ahead of me.

Or maybe I don’t have to choose..

Review
I haven’t read anything by Caraway Carter before and my first impression of this book is that it is a very positive story. In the beginning we find out that Gus was a victim of catfishing and I wondered where the story was heading. It’s certainly not a theme I have read before. Caraway Carter handles this emotive situation quite well by not letting Gus dwell on what might’ve been. The line that struck me the most was from chapter one “she didn’t believe a guy could be so lonely as to sell everything he owned”. With these few words the Author helped me understand Gus and the whole premise for this story. Gus is a sweetheart. He chooses to see the silver lining rather than bemoaning about the situation he finds himself in. To be honest I was a bit torn over this story. I liked it a lot but in a fairytale kinda way where everything works out fine and the people are friendly and lovely. Part of me wanted some drama and angst over the catfishing angle, but that would be an entirely different book. This book is about the bright side of life and finding love at the same time. An absolute feel good book. I will be looking out for other work by this author.

What helped me quite a lot with visualising the building was Caraway Carter posting a link to the inspiration for the Train depot on his Goodreads page and Facebook page. If you do read this story I recommend checking it out
https://www.goodreads.com/author_blog_posts/15904050-inspiration-for-ps-the-train-depo

4 of stars out of 5

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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

 

 

 

Spooky! Summoner of Storms by Jordan L Hawk

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Summoner-Storms-SPECTR-Book-6-ebook/dp/B00LEST7MO/ref=sr_1_12?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1508955871&sr=1-12&keywords=spectr+jordan

 

Blurb

Federal exorcist John Starkweather’s life is in tatters. His best friend Sean betrayed him. SPECTR, the agency he viewed more as a surrogate family than an employer, wants him dead. His only allies are members of the mysterious organization called the Vigilant, whose motives remain in question.

The only thing keeping John together is the presence of his lovers: Caleb Jansen, a powerful telekinetic, and Gray, the vampire spirit possessing Caleb.

Together, they must not only evade capture, but somehow stop SPECTR from building an army of demon possessed soldiers. If they are to succeed, John must question everything he’s ever believed about SPECTR and spirits. And Caleb and Gray must decide how far they’re willing to go–not just for John’s love, but for his very life.

Review

All through the previous books we have been given hints and people that All lead to the conclusion of this storyline! Yes there have been side stories but again they build to this climax. We have all the major players either banding together to protect or destroy.

The final confrontation at Fort Sumpter was so well constructed that you can feel the emotions, the physical strain and forces of nature all come together to overcome the final conflict. I love how the love and trust John, Caleb and Grey have for each other is what brings about the conclusion of the final battle that could have gone so wrong otherwise.

This series is worth the praise so many reviewers have already stated. Well written, with mystery, plot twists and characters that keep you engaged and wanting for more!

4.5 of 5 stars

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Spooky! Drakenwood (Whyborne & Griffin #9) Audiobook by Jordan L Hawk Narrated by

Amazon Link

https://www.amazon.com/Draakenwood-Whyborne-Griffin-Book-9-ebook/dp/B071F2SZXL/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1509307515&sr=8-1&keywords=draakenwood

Blurb

Someone is killing members of the old families…and the evidence points to Whyborne.

Widdershins has been unusually quiet for months. But now a mysterious creature from the Outside is on the loose, assassinating members of the town’s old families by draining their blood. Whyborne and Griffin set out to solve the mystery—but as the evidence piles up, the police begin to suspect Whyborne himself is the murderer.

Now Whyborne must both clear his name and stop the horrors the monster threatens to unleash. His only hope: an alliance with his old enemies the Endicotts.

Because something terrible lurks in the Draakenwood, and it will stop at nothing to seize control of the maelstrom itself.

Draakenwood is the ninth book in the Whyborne & Griffin series, where magic, mystery, and m/m romance collide with Victorian era America.

 

Review

One could argue that you already know what this review is going to say, because I basically just repeat myself in every review I do for this series: I LOVED IT! I have no idea how Ms. Hawk manages to be 9 books in to a series and still continues to keep everything fresh, interesting and never ever tiresome or repetetive. I realise that not everyone loves the same kind of books, but truly, regardless of what kind of stories notmally does it for you, this series WILL do it for you. Ms. Hawk is a master! A true storyteller. She blends romance, friendship, family, suspense, the supernatural and historical fiction seamlessly and she never ever drops the ball! Really – we are 9 books in, and every thread that she has ever dangled has been neatly tied or woven deeper into the fabric of the main story arc. How she manages this while still somehow keeping each installment of the series self contained is a complete mystery to me – but she does!

This story picks up after Fallow ended. So many things are up in the air. The Fidelis is still an obvious threat but most of all there’s the impending arrival of the unknown masters, and with them, the end of the world, to worry about. This is a threat so much bigger than Whyborne, even bigger than the maelstroem and Whyborne ends up allying with old enemies to try and find out more, things are getting even more complicated by the arrival of a new police chief in town, who is out to make a name for himself. Widdershins knows it’s own, and this man is not one of them! This story is creepy and intense and it leaves you desperately needing the next book in the series.

I would say: go read it! But you really shouldn’t start here. Go back to the beginning. Start with Widdershins and be happy because you’ll know going in, that you will have 9 brilliant books ahead of you, with more to come!

Number of stars 6 out of 5

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Copy Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

Audiobook: If the Seas Catch Fire by L.A. Witt Narrated by Michael Ferraiuolo

audiobookreview

Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Romance/If-the-Seas-Catch-Fire-Audiobook/B076HYJW3J/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1508964173&sr=1-1

Blurb

Sergei Andronikov was a child when the Mafia wiped out his family, leaving him with nothing but a hunger for revenge. Years later, through ruthless strategy and tireless patience, he’s a contract killer working for the three families ruling Cape Swan…and he’s nearly in position to bring them all down from the inside.
Domenico “Dom” Maisano is Mafia royalty, a made man…and a hitman. He’s caught up in a violent life he can’t escape, struggling to maintain an image he doesn’t want, and suppressing desires he can’t have.
A chance encounter throws the killers into each other’s paths. Though Dom knows he’s playing a dangerous game, he’s intrigued and keeps coming back. Sergei can’t resist him either – Dom is everything he set out to destroy, but he’s also everything he’s ever ached for in a man.
Then Sergei gets the contract he’s been waiting for – the hit that promises to bring the town’s Mafia to its knees.
But when a boss makes an unexpected move, Sergei must choose between dropping the hammer on the families he vowed to annihilate, and protecting the man he swore he wouldn’t love.
And the wrong choice – or even the right one – will destroy them both.

Review

If the seas catch fire audiobook it is has to be one of the most outstanding audiobooks and listens of this year – and that’s saying a lot because there are some amazing books out there!  This has that magical combination where you have an amazing narrator an amazing author who have managed to find just that right combination.  We also get two MCs who have  their own issues –  in this case we have a feisty Russian and “mademan ” Mafia style.  There’s absolutely no way this relationship should work and yet they manage to do it.

We get loads of very hot smexy times, a ton of feelz, and some really exciting action and adventure.   Add that to the fact that Michael Ferraiuolo can  do 89 accents for the whole cast of characters – all of them with varying accents and age groups – and you’re are practically sitting in the front row of the m/m version of the Godfather! 

This was absolutely amazing, and I cannot recommend this enough –  if I would give it more than six stars I would!  You have to go out and get this!

6 of 5 stars

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Morgan - Signature-small

Copy Purchased for Review

Spooky! Infected Books 1 and 2 by Andrea Speed

Amazon Link

https://smile.amazon.com/Infected-Prey-Andrea-Speed-ebook/dp/B01HLOS37E/ref=sr_1_3_twi_kin_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508113781&sr=1-3&keywords=Infected+Andrea+Speed

Blurbs

Book 1

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve crimes involving other infecteds.

The murder of a former cop draws Roan into an odd case where an unidentifiable species of cat appears to be showing an unusual level of intelligence. He juggles that with trying to find a missing teenage boy, who, unbeknownst to his parents, was “cat” obsessed. And when someone is brutally murdering infecteds, Eli Winters, leader of the Church of the Divine Transformation, hires Roan to find the killer before he closes in on Eli.

Working the crimes will lead Roan through a maze of hate, personal grudges, and mortal danger. With help from his tiger-strain infected partner, Paris Lehane, he does his best to survive in a world that hates and fears their kind… and occasionally worships them. 

Book 2

Sequel to Infected: Prey
Infected: Book Two

In a world where a werecat virus has changed society, Roan McKichan, a
born infected and ex-cop, works as a private detective trying to solve
crimes involving other infecteds.

The newly married Roan is struggling to balance his work with his home
life as he grows increasingly distracted by his husband Paris’s declining
health. One case with strong emotions attached takes up most of his time:
finding the murderer of a missing little rich girl. It’s a family with
secrets so toxic they’d rather no one investigate, and there’s no shortage
of suspects. But despite the dangers and obstructions involved, Roan won’t
stop… until he loses something infinitely precious as well.

Reviews

Book 1

While this review is only for the first book, the first six books are
available at a bargain priced set that I thought was worth mentioning.

https://smile.amazon.com/Infected-One-Andrea-Speed-ebook/dp/B073Q82XY1/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1508113781&sr=1-2&keywords=Infected+Andrea+Speed

 

This is one of my favorite series. There’s great world building that feels
similar to True Blood or Anita Blake Vampire Hunter, werecats live openly
in society, the ability spread by a disease, with a complicated and
interesting world building on how society reacts to them. They are envied,
feared, even worshiped by some.

Our hero Roan is a likable intriguing character. He’s a rare werelion,
even more rare that he was born with the virus and thus has greater
control and power than most shifters. The realities of the fantastic
situation play out in interesting ways, with the strain of shifting taking
the toll on the health of most shifters causing them to die young.

Roan is a private detective and former cop, putting him in an uneasy
position with local police in his investigations into the disappearance of
a teenage boy who had a fascination with werecats and a series of murdered
werecats.

A great element of the novel was Roan’s relationship with his boyfriend
Paris. They’re an established couple at the beginning although I believe a
novella released later tells how they met. Paris is infected with a rare
werecat strain that is more taxing than most other strains and thus his
health and very life are in a precarious state. This felt very much like a
metaphor for any normal terminal illness, although joined with the men
being gay/bi (specifically Roan is gay and Paris is bi) and the stigma of
them being werecats definitely brought to mind HIV, and the way they get
on with living their lives with this hanging over their heads was touching
and thought provoking. Despite their problems of illness and prejudice
they have a real passion for life and love for each other.

Paris is a great love interest. He’s very very attractive, something he
uses to his advantage with a self aware sense of humor. Roan has very
human pangs of jealousy but it’s not really a problem for them either.
Their relationship is mature and there’s an element of friendship to it
beyond sex and romance that I found refreshing. They’re still very hot for
each other but that doesn’t get in the way of the plot or their
investigations.

The book has a strong ending, but not necessarily a happy one. I do think
it works well as a stand alone although I could see where the ending could
be interpreted as a cliffhanger. It’s a series, and the lives of Roan and
Paris continue into the next book.

5 of 5 stars

Book 2

Bloodlines picks up a bit after the first book, with Roan and Paris having
married in Canada between books (at a time when same sex marriage is still
illegal in the USA where they live). Paris’s health continues to decline
and the two men are coming to terms with the reality that he’s not likely
to live much longer. It does bring a darker tone to the book, but it’s not
overwhelmingly oppressive. The two men are both emotionally strong and
still living life to the fullest. The parallels of the werecat virus and
HIV continues and brings a deeper tone to the story.

In the middle of this very personal crisis Roan is persuaded to take on
the case of a missing woman from a wealthy and powerful family who are
strangely opposed to the investigation.

There’s no happy ending to be found here, and it’s a stronger story for
it. It’s still the ending the story demanded and leaves me anxious to get
to the next book.

5 of 5 stars

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Copies Purchased for Review

(Don’t forget – commenters on this month’s “spooky reviews” will be entered to win some Jordan L Hawk swag or $15 from Dreamspinner!)

 

   

 

Off the Ice (Hat Trick #1) by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn

release day review

Riptide Presents

http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/off-the-ice

Blurb

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Review

This was a pretty sweet, very low angst May/December/OFY story of opposites attract.  It had some of the trademark snark that Avon is known for and a bit of the hot smexy times that she and Piper are so good at. 

While it had some funny points, for me, it lacked that strong comedic thread that I adore from Avon.  It had a fair amount of hockey –  although I don’t think you can have too much hockey!  I think the relationship developed in a way that felt natural and the sexual tension was sizzling!  (I loved the first confrontation in the professor’s office – yowza!)  I’m not a big fan of the whole power dynamic, vaguely D/s thing – it was mild – but I think the age difference and Tristan’s low self esteem would have been enough without it.  However that wasn’t a huge aspect. 

I really enjoyed this and, as far as this writing team goes, I think I enjoyed this one the most and I’m looking forward to more from the series.

 

This is highly recommended to fans of the author, fans of May/December relationships, fans  of hockey romance and fans of opposites attract.  

4 of 5 stars

 

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Morgan - Signature-small
Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Late in the Day by Mary Calmes

release day review

Dreamspinner Presents

https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/late-in-the-day-by-mary-calmes-8993-b

Blurb

Second from The Vault
Terrence Moss. Conrad Harris. Gold Team Leader. Darius Hawthorne. The Vault. Juggling all these names would bother some, but for Darius, it’s business as usual. When he closes a chapter in his life, he leaves a name—and the people associated with it—behind. He’s managed to keep a few colleagues, even fewer friends, and no companionship through his forty-plus years… but that’s now changing.
The newest chapter of his life is bringing serious change: a stable home, a recovered identity, an unlikely family, and now a chance encounter with the one man Darius ever loved: Efrem Lahm. The reasons they parted are still valid, and there’s no way they can trust each other. But Efrem has already decided he won’t let Darius go… and Darius will have to decide if he wants to take a chance with his heart this late in the day.

Review

This is a difficult review for me because I really wanted to love this book. Note: this is all on me. For one, I have not read ‘A Day Makes’ and so was unaware that this book was in the same universe (hitmen, vaults). And, to make matters worse, I have not yet read ‘Mine’. While this book could be read as a standalone, I would recommend reading either (or both) of the other books mentioned.

Darius is chosen to be the new Vault.

The story continues with Darius helping to get someone out of danger and relocate to a new life in Boston. As he is working on this, he is suddenly face to face with his old love, Efrem Lahm.

The story didn’t work for me – it started at some time in the present (?) with Darius dealing with closing down mob ties. Then it jumped to the past where Darius recalls how he became the Vault. Then fast forward some months later; he is suddenly in the custody of Homeland Security, where he reconnects with Efrem.

Also, Darius and Efrem do not get a lot of time together – the book seemed to revolve around all the other characters. Both MC’s do not get together again until two-thirds of the book.

Again, if I had read the other books, especially ‘A Day Makes’, the writing style would have made more sense.

It’s a good book, one that I’ll re-read once I’ve read the other books.

 

3 stars out of 5
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Copy Generously Provided for Honest Review

Audiobook: Faking It by Riley Hart and Devon McCormack Narrated by Michael Pauley

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Audible Link

https://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Faking-It-Audiobook/B06XGY54H8/ref=a_search_c4_1_1_srTtl?qid=1508364078&sr=1-1

Blurb

There’s never a dull moment at Metropolis…the condominium known for having the hottest openly gay tenants in town. The boys of Metropolis are always on the prowl for a good time. They like their drinks heavy and their tricks easy.
Gary should be living it up in his South Tower unit of Metropolis, but he’s having a hard time adjusting to his newly single status. It’s not easy to walk away from five years with his ex, who he discovered was cheating on him with some North Tower twink. After a night out partying, licking his wounds, he goes to bed alone. When he wakes the next morning, there’s a naked guy in his bed. Not just any guy. A stud from North Tower. But hot as he is, what the hell is he doing in his room?
Travis doesn’t get why Gary’s freaking out. So he went home with Gary’s roommate and accidentally crawled into the wrong bed. It’s not the first time he’s woken up in a strange place. Maybe Gary would loosen up a little if he gave it a try as well. Travis has more important things to deal with though…like his meeting with an investor who could give him the money to start his massage clinic.
They’re both sure that’s the last time they’ll have to deal with each other until a mix-up leads Gary’s ex and Travis’s investor to think they’re an item, which Gary and Travis use to their benefit by posing as a couple around town. Soon, they discover the chemistry between them is off the charts. Travis brings out a sexual confidence Gary didn’t know he had – one Travis enjoys exploring with him. But as the two keep up their boyfriend hoax, Gary realizes Travis isn’t as shallow as he thought. Gary’s starting to develop feelings for him. But Travis doesn’t do relationships, and Gary should know better, considering they’re just faking it.

Review

I was given this book to read for my reading challenge in October: https://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/18918252-october-mini-gang-bang-challenge–sign-ups-closed-pairs-posted#comment_form

I listened to this, narrated by Michael Pauley and he does a really good job of bringing out all the different characters – of which there are many!
On the one hand, it’s a pretty straightforward fake boyfriend stor. There is a little bit of depth to both MCs, they each have some issues to work out, but most of this is the two of them realizing – what everyone else can see plain as day – that they are in fact perfect for one another!

This is the first book I’ve read by the collaborative team of Riley and Devon and I think I missed some of that depth that I’m used to with Riley Hart stories. There is a lot of great humor and fine writing, but the emotional gripping-ness that I find with Riley’s stories wasn’t there. I love how great she is at anchoring the reader into her stories with this compelling emotional pull – and I didn’t feel that here.
I guess if I were to classify this, I would call this Riley Hart “lite”. It’s still well written, with lots of hot sexy times and easy read, just not my favorite series from her. I think fans of the fake boyfriend trope will still find this enjoyable as well as fans of the authors.

3 of 5 stars for the story
5 of 5 for the narration
4 of 5 overall

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Copy Purchased for Review