Tag Archives: businessmen

Tension-packed and cliffie ending paranormal romance opener from M.A. Grant

cover221057-mediumRare Vigilance by M.A. Grant

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Oh that was good. Not at all what I thought I was going to be reading, but still absolutely brilliant, even if it does end on a tiny bit of a cliffie.

That was expected, given it’s book one in a new trilogy from the writer of one of my absolutely favourite urban fantasy/paranormal series https://www.goodreads.com/series/2491… but even so I was like noooooooo, I need book two now!

It’s not a relationship cliffie, but related to the overall book arc which will run through the series and concerns an utterly delicious kind of political (small P not modern politics but political manoeuvring between specific business leaders of a particular persuasion).

On the face of it, things start as a fairly typical bodyguard/protectee kind of narrative, throw in a bit of antagonism, secrets and behind the scenes plotting and you could be forgiven for thinking you’re going to be reading a traditional suspense.

But no, it rapidly becomes clear there’s something going on that isn’t quite normal and that’s as much as I will say about the paranormal/supernatural element of the tale.

It draws from Romanian culture, a very specific part of which I’ve not really seen been the focus of many fiction books apart from Rachel Mead’s epic tales of good versus evil. (And that’s the biggest hint you’re going to get 😀 )

And as the plot unwinds, it’s clear that Atlas and Christian have a connection, one they’re both fighting big time as the tensions mount.

The feeling of dread which hangs over them as Atlas gets mired into a family dispute which has more layers and twists than he could ever have imagined is real.

The pacing is superb. I read this in one go in a few hours and never felt like any of it was filler. My feelings for the main pairing swapped and changed, same with the secondary characters which surround them, on a regular basis.

I couldn’t tell where the plot was going, only that something was being hidden. When it becomes obvious what that is, you get a definite Eureka! moment.

Cannot wait for more as I love M.A. Grant’s world-building and writing!

But one thing I will say, I don’t think the cover does this book any favours at all.

With a Blurb which is also fairly non-descriptive, I think the publishers are missing a trick for readers to get more of a feeling about the book’s subject.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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Release Blitz: Stranded With Desire by Rick R. Reed & Vivien Dean

Stranded with Desire | Rick R. Reed & Vivien Dean

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Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 30, 2020

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 55400

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Blurb

CEO Maine Braxton and his invaluable assistant, Colby, don’t realize they share a deep secret: they’re in love—with each other. That secret may have never come to light but for a terrifying plane crash in the Cascade Mountains that changes everything.

In a struggle for survival, they brave bears, storms, and a life-threatening flood to make it out of the wilderness alive. The proximity to death makes them realize the importance of love over propriety. Confessions emerge. Passions ignite. They escape the wilds renewed and openly in love.

When they return to civilization, though, forces are already plotting to snuff out their short-lived romance and ruin everything both have worked so hard to achieve.

Excerpt

Stranded by Desire
Rick R Reed and Vivien Dean © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Prologue

Colby LaSalle never dreamed his life would end in a plane crash over the Cascade Mountains in Washington State. But here he was, whispering fevered petitions to the Lord as the plane screamed, plunging downward…faster, faster.

Out the windows, all he could see was white. And the only outcome he could imagine was that once that white cleared, the last thing he’d take in would be towering pine trees and the cold side of a mountain hurtling toward him. It was almost too horrific to comprehend.

In those few moments, as Colby braced himself in his seat, head down near his knees, he found himself thinking what a loss this was. The man across from him, his boss, Maine Braxton, would never know the most important thing about Colby. And that thing was not his proficiency as an administrative assistant, keeping Maine on track and on schedule in all his business affairs, but that Colby was passionately—and secretly—in love with him. With all his heart and soul.

That fact, and the unspoken words that hid it, seemed tragic to Colby, maybe even more tragic than the life he was about to lose. What kind of life, Colby wondered, did you really have if you’d never truly loved and been loved in return?

Colby, at twenty-eight, had never been in love before. And now it looked as though he would never have the chance to act on his desire, on that feeling that made his heart flutter whenever Maine walked by his desk. Was love like a tree falling in the forest? If the object of that love never knew of it, did it really exist?

Colby looked up for a moment, maybe to have a final look at Maine, but was distracted by the view through the cockpit window of the six-seater plane they were traveling in—a Beechcraft Bonanza. The opaque fog of white cleared for a moment, and Colby could see, to his horror, that his imagination was correct.

They were hurtling toward the side of a mountain. The view was surreal. Shock kept him from thinking it was anything other than a very vivid nightmare.

He then looked over at Maine and saw he had slid from his seat to the floor. The strong, powerful man cowered there, hands over his head. His lips moved in what Colby could only assume was silent prayer.

Colby longed to slide over, to cover Maine with his own body and shield him from the impact, but he was paralyzed, a butterfly pinned to a board, and could only add his own whispered prayers to those of his boss.

“Please, God, help us get out of this alive. Let Maine know how very much I love him. Give me that chance.”

The private pilot, a blustery, gruff man named Gus Pangborn but whom everyone just called Rooster, shouted, “We’re gonna try and go up! We’re gonna try and go up!”

Colby didn’t know if he was talking to him, Maine, or himself, but the desperation in the pilot’s gravelly voice was clear. The despair in Rooster’s words communicated one thing to Colby and one thing only—he had no hope.

Colby squeezed his eyes shut tight and placed his head back down toward his knees again, covering it with his hands, although he wondered how much good it would do once the plane crashed, once it was consumed by a giant fireball.

What Colby LaSalle didn’t realize, though, was that the plane crash would signal not the end of his life, but the beginning.

Stranded with Desire New Release

About the Authors

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Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed is an award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction. He is a Lambda Literary Award finalist. Entertainment Weekly has described his work as “heartrending and sensitive.” Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…”

Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Vivien Dean has had a lifetime love affair with stories. A multi-published author, her books have been EPPIE finalists, Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Nominees, and readers favorites.

After spending her twenties and early thirties traveling, she has finally settled down and currently resides in northern California with her British husband and two children.

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Jayce ellis ticked all of my contemporary romance boxes

53079787._SY475_Learned Behaviors by Jayce Ellis

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The more I read Jayce Ellis, the more I fall in love with the worlds she creates and the men who inhabit them.

This was a beautiful romance between two single dads, one only 35 but with a daughter heading to college, the other a bit older, who get thrown together in a work environment and find out that they’re not as adverse to each others’ company as first suggested.

This is a narrative which also puts the focus front and centre on two black men, their experiences of life, their culture, language and their family expectations, are all fully explored and it’s such a pleasure to see more of this contemporary romance coming from authors of colour.

I’ve really enjoyed the other books I’ve read from Jayce and this one was no different. The plot loosely follows along with a workplace romance trope, but adds in more depth through complicated families and two daughters who also fall in love with each other while at college.

I did thing this plotline ended up dropped without a firm resolution, both girls seemed to be still pining for the other but there wasn’t any movement once their feelings had been revealed.

But, I guess that’s a mirror of life! We don’t always get a satisfactory conclusion to relationships even when residual feels still exist.

There was a great supporting cast of characters and I’m hoping the two men that Jaq makes friends with at his daughter’s college are going to be the subjects of the other books in this series. I’m intrigued by both of them.

I also loved the strong female secondary characters sprinkled throughout this book. All in all another great read from Jayce.

#ARC kindly received from the publishers Carina Press via NetGalley in return for an honest and unbiased review

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