Tag Archives: drama

Beautiful romance with a definite European flavour

Layover[The]cover_art.jpgThe Layover by Roe Horvat

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

NOTE: I originally reviewed this book when it first published in December 2017. This is that review.

***

Roe Horvat’s words are like the best filling in my favourite sandwich, they fill me up and leave me satisfied for days.

European flavoured, brilliantly executed, this tale of two disparate men who meet, have a supposed one night stand but actually end up slowly falling in love over the next six days, is everything I want in a novella.

It has emotions, humour, a little bit of hurting, throw in a tiny element of angst and some family drama, and mix it all up into a gorgeous romance.

I’ve yet to read anything from Roe I haven’t instantly fallen in love with.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review

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More gorgeous captains from this great writing team

The Captain and the Best Man (Captivating Captains, #4)The Captain and the Best Man by Catherine Curzon & Eleanor Harkstead

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

To quote Captain Guy, that was just gorgeous.

I love this series from Catherine and Eleanor but this one’s just sneaked into top spot, pushing out The Captain and his Cricketer into a still respected second place.

The plot of this one isn’t necessarily the most likeliest of scenarios but you know what, I just didn’t care.

I fell in love with Guy and Josh just as quickly as they did with each other. There’s nothing I love more than a good swoon worthy hero and Guy Collingwood fit the bill completely.

The drama is family centric and does rely on a bit of plot convenience but, again, I really didn’t care.

I just wanted to watch Guy and Josh get wrapped up in each other and in their beautiful Caribbean island.

#ARC kindly received from the authors in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Release Blitz: Summer of Hush by R.L. Merrill

Summer of Hush | R.L. Merrill

 Summer of Hush #1

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 8, 2019 (mass market paperback in January 2020)

Length (Print & Ebook): 214 pages

Buy Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/summer-of-hush-by-rl-merrill-10811-b

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Blurb

Hush is back… and it’s about to get loud.

After two years grieving the death of his best friend, Silas Franklin is back on the road with his metalcore band, Hush. With a new member, a brilliant new album, and a headlining spot on the last cross-country Warped Tour, life couldn’t be better—unless Silas could meet the intriguing music blogger known only as the Guru. Silas has followed his blog for years and feels the Guru might be the only person who “gets” him.

For years Krishnan Guruvayoor has reported on the metal scene as an anonymous blogger, and he’s just landed an internship on the Warped Tour as well as a potential position with a well-respected music magazine. His best friend arranges for him to meet singer Silas Franklin—but only as Krish the Intern. Their chemistry is instant, and Krish is thrilled to get to know the man behind the music.

The rock star and blogger quickly go from meet-cute to cuddle session, but secrets, overprotective bandmates, meddling media, and a terrible accident all conspire against them. Can their romance survive the summer of Hush?

Warnings: Characters are dealing with some grief after their bandmate committed suicide two years prior. It’s their first tour after losing him. There is no on-page graphic description.

R.L. Merrill talks about Summer of Hush

 Hope, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll. I’d love readers to come away with the book having hope, having a few laughs, and maybe finding some new music to love.

It’s also my love story to the Vans Warped Tour, which recently ended, and all of the good times had there.

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About The Author

Once upon a time… a teacher, tattoo collector, mom, and rock ’n’ roll kinda gal opened up a doc and started purging her demons.

R.L. Merrill is still striving to find that perfect balance between real life and happily ever after, and she’ll keep writing love stories until she does. Both self-published and traditionally published with Dreamspinner Press, Ro writes romance in contemporary, paranormal, and horror settings inspired by love, hope, and rock ’n’ roll. Ro also loves connecting with other authors online, at conventions, and chapter meetings for the Romance Writers of America, of which she’s been a member since 2014.

A sucker for underdogs, Ro has adopted a wide variety of pets including cats, dogs, rats, snakes, a chameleon, and some fish. Her love of horror is evident the moment you walk in her door and find yourself surrounded by decorative skulls and quirky artwork from around the world.

You can find her lurking on social media where she loves connecting with readers, or else find her educating America’s youth, being a mom taxi to two busy kids, in the tattoo chair trying desperately to get that back piece finished, or head-banging at a rock show near her home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Social Media

Website: www.rlmerrillauthor.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/rlmerrillauthor

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2001762376761722

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rlmerrillauthor

Instagram: www.instagram.com/rlmerrillauthor.com

Blog Tour: Unimaginable by Iyana Jenna

Unimaginable | Iyana Jenna

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Publisher: JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 14,675 words/ 52 pages

Buy Links

JMS Books

Amazon US | Amazon UK

BookStrand

Smashwords

The book is planned as part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

Add on Goodreads

Blurb

Callum Saxon wakes up to a totally different universe where all around him is water. Strangely he can breathe it as if it’s air. The bad thing is he can’t remember how he got there. He can’t remember himself, either.

Ainsley Carlisle is more than a man with long blond hair. He’s a unicorn shifter with secrets as widely stretched as the rainbow supposedly coming out of his rear. Ainsley won’t help Callum uncover who he is because Ainsley wants him to remember it himself.

In this new universe, Callum has to survive the creatures that live there, such as vampires, shifters, werewolves, you name it. But there’s more to Callum than meets the eye.

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Excerpt

Callum wasn’t completely unaware of where he was going. He recognized the place as the kind of pub Ainsley had showed him earlier. He wasn’t sure how he was going to pay for his drinks but the thought of losing himself in alcohol was as big of enticement as his desire to erase his mind completely — if there was any to erase.

Callum blinked his eyes, adjusting to the dim light inside. The place was quiet, practically empty. Perhaps it was still quite early. It wasn’t unlike other pubs he frequented — ha, he remembered that piece of information. The only thing keeping this one apart from the ones he knew was the slow moving thick water around him. Callum just hoped he wouldn’t get sick like some time ago when he first shoveled food down into his stomach. He gazed straight at the bartender. Now what could he say to get a free drink …

“Hello, gorgeous.”

He looked up. A literal tall, dark, and handsome was looming over him. Callum wouldn’t call himself short but compared to this man? He was a midget.

“What are you doing alone in this place, baby doll? Where is your, ah, partner?”

“What do you mean?”

The stranger waved his hand. “You know, that blond bastard?”

So he knew he’d been going about with Ainsley.

“Come on,” the man said dismissively. “Two pretty creatures like you? You were both strolling around the town like the happiest couple in the realm, making everyone jealous.”

Callum sputtered. “Jealous? We’re not a couple and I’m not sure about the pretty creatures …” Talking about pretty, he himself couldn’t tear his gaze away from … what was his name?

“Who are you?” Callum’s voice was as weak as he was feeling at the moment.

The man closed the distance between them and Callum sniffed his cologne. It was a scent he’d never smelled before. It was a mix of their surroundings, like ocean breeze as well as the old woods, added with citrus aromas and a trace of musk underlying all of those. It was strong but not too overpoweringly so or suffocating. It was more like the flow of the ocean water, soothing and lulling, spellbinding.

“Is a name that important to you?”

Callum felt like he was coming back from a long slumber. He looked up from the man’s strong, sculpted jaw, which sat at his eye level.

“Uh …”

“What’s yours, l’ange?”

It took a beat and Callum realized the man just called him angel in French. So they spoke French here, too, Callum mused. He wondered what other languages they spoke.

“Callum. Callum Saxon.”

“Your name is as pretty as its owner.” He practically purred.

“How about you?”

To Callum’s surprise, the man withdrew a little to make a deep bow with one leg pulled back and a hand waving low.

“I am usually called Patrice Deniau. I believe that’s my real name though it’s been centuries and I honestly can’t remember in which period of time I was named that.”

Callum felt as if all the air in his lungs was sucked out. Centuries. Period of time. What was this man whose name sounded French, too — Patrice Deniau? A vampire?

A shudder ran down his spine. Patrice did look like a vampire with his tall, slender figure, sharp chin, dark hair, and a pair of intense blue eyes that easily bewitched Callum.

“I, uh, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Deniau.”

“Mister?” Patrice’s laughter was soft and lilting. “Unless you are to call me Sir or Master, Patrice will suffice.” He stroked Callum’s jaw with his long fingers.

Callum let out an involuntary moan. He knew he had to pull back, move away. But he couldn’t. Instead, he leaned in and his eyes shuttered closed. He practically purred.

“Yes, all right, Patrice.” It was Patrice for now. Later, he decided, he might change to Sir, even Master.

“Very well. Good Lord, you’re so gorgeous. Has anyone told you that?”

“Oh, yeah, I guess.” Amidst his foggy mind, Callum heard himself replying, not that he knew exactly what he had been asked.

“Really? Who was that, someone special?”

Callum nodded. “Yes.”

“Someone you loved or someone who loved you?”

“Both. Love.” Why past tense? “He still loves me.”

“As you deserve, someone as captivating as you. May I know — I believe it’s that Carlisle boy? Ainsley?”

Ainsley. Callum’s cheeks heated up as the name was mentioned. He’d definitely developed a certain infatuation with the man. But love? They had not even declared their feelings to each other. Declare, because Callum was certain their feelings were mutual. He shook his head slowly.

“No?” Patrice sounded surprised. “You’ve only been here for, what, two days, three days at the most. I can’t believe you’ve been fooling around, let alone falling in love.”

But of course he’d not been fooling around. He’d barely met other people aside from Ainsley and his mother. Yet it was neither of the two who he had on his mind.

Kevin Travers.

Callum blinked as a name suddenly flashed across his mind. He shook himself inwardly and took a deep breath. The name sounded familiar. It had to be familiar. Otherwise, why would it turn up out of the blue?

“What is it, my dear? You look ashen.”

Callum was suddenly out of breath, near hyperventilating. “He was … he is …”

“Yes?” Patrice’s hand crept up at the back of his head.

“I don’t remember but … but he was important to me. I just know it.” Patrice stroked his scalp with knowing fingers and it was all Callum could do to stop himself from moaning.

“Is he still important now?”

BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

About the Author

I’m Iyana Jenna and you can call me Iyana. I like writing, romance, and man-love, so you’re mostly going to find my stories as MM whether they are for adults or young adults. They are not going to be too heavy on explicit sex, though, as many say that my stories are considered sweet romance.

When I don’t write, I teach English to children, teens, and adults. I also work in the curriculum and materials department in a language institution. Among my responsibilities are writing books and tests.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram


Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebooks from Iyana Jenna’s backlist.

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Complex and beautifully phrased romance

grounded-t-kostova-customdesign-jayaheer2016-smallpreviewGrounded by Teodora Kostova

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Teodora Kostova has an incredible talent for putting you into the heads of her characters and making you feel all their emotions.

She also manages to pass a subtle commentary on just how we treat our military veterans, home and abroad, and also on the futility of a war that no one can remember the justification for.

Greg’s experiences as an RAF pilot are expertly drawn out, placing the reader in the heat and destruction of the conflict in Afghanistan. We also live through the emotionally draining effects of being the one left at home.

With so many family members and friends in the various branches of the UK’s military, I could relate to this a lot. It’s an ordeal being the person serving’s rock, especially when dealing with crises of your own.

I think it was perhaps a tad overlong, Shane’s many moments of introspection could have been reduced a bit but, overall, there was so much other excellent story building, I let it ride.

I preferred this to Cookies in the end, but it was a close call. Greg and Shane just shaded it with the super cute epilogue.

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Guest Post: Eli Easton talks about her favourite High School romances

Boy Shattered | Eli Easton

Guest Post

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I am absolutely delighted to welcome the lovely Eli Easton to the blog today with a Guest Post looking at her favourite TV High School Romances


Eli’s Favorite High School Romances on TV
 
By Eli Easton

Welcome to the blog tour to celebrate the release of “Boy Shattered”! This is my first Young Adult book since “Superhero” in 2013. It’s set in a high school and features a romance between an openly gay valedictorian type student (Landon) and the school quarterback (Brian). When Brian is wounded during a shooting at their high school, Landon saves his life and the two become inseparable. It’s an enemies-to friends-to lovers story.

Although I haven’t written a lot of YA, I love to read it. I also love TV and films set at that age. There’s something magical about first love, when every feeling and sensation is new and there are so many “first times.” I think the romance in “Boy Shattered” captures that new/first love. I hope so!

There are two TV series with gay romances that I especially love that I wanted to share with you. One is Física o Química (English: Physics or Chemistry) and the other is SKAM.

Física o Química

I discovered this show while browsing around youtube and trolled the web until I found videos with English subtitles. It’s a Spanish TV series that ran from February 2008 to June 2011. It had an ensemble cast with storylines about various high school students and teachers. But the highlight (for me at least) is the story of Fer and David.

 Fer (in back) and David (in front), played by Javier Calvo and Adrian Rodriguez

What I particularly like about Fer and David is the fact that their romance is just one plotline among many and it’s treated much like any other romance on the show. They have a loving and public relationship and neither the teachers nor the other students have a problem with it. That was very refreshing.

When their story begins, David is straight-acting and dates girls. Fer has come out. One night when they’re out with friends and drunk, David kisses Fer. After that, Fer is convinced David is gay and tries to get him to admit it so they can be together.

It’s a will-he-won’t-he scenario that has lots of UST and is compelling to watch. Eventually they become a couple and remain one for several seasons on the show.

If you want to check out Fer and David’s story, here’s a link to videos with English subtitles:

http://foqmylife.tumblr.com/Playlist

And here’s a lovely screen grab of Fer and David from a FoQ fan on tumblr:

SKAM

I saw people on Facebook and Twitter talking about Skam and loved it when I finally watched it myself. Skam is a Norwegian teen drama web series about the daily life of teenagers at the Hartvig Nissen School in West End Oslo. It was produced by NRK P3, which is part of the Norwegian government-owned NRK. Skam follows a new main character each season.

SEASON 3 is about Isak (played by Tarjei Sandvik Moe) and his romance with fellow student, Even (played the Henrik Holm). The romance starts with curious glances at one another to double dating (with girls) to a first kiss and an intense relationship.

It deals with Even’s bipolar disorder and how Isak helps him deal with that. It’s a beautiful teen gay romance.

You can watch Skam with English subtitles here:

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6glfsm

Here are some photos of Isak and Even:

Thanks for reading my blog tour post! I’ll be posting about different subjects during the first few weeks of the release on “Boy Shattered” on October 16th.

Visit my website or Facebook for links.

Eli Easton

 

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 85,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Tiferet Design

 Blurb

Brian

You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died.

Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open.

But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught?

And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?
Landon

Will you kiss me?

When I came across Brian Marshall, the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead.

When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up.

I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it.

Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.


 

About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been an MM romance author since 2013. She has more than30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time.

She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs. In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”.

Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog-shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.

Her website is www.elieaston.com

You can email her at eli@elieaston.com

Giveaway

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Lots of promise from this debut author

His Heart or Mine (Individualists #1)His Heart or Mine by C.S. Joyce

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Lots of promise from this new to me author but just needing some polish.

NOTE 18/09/2018: I’ve just found out the ARC I had was unedited due to circumstances out of the author’s control so I feel I need to point this out.

That aside, the story itself is quite angsty and I didn’t find either character particularly engaging at first. Adam is so deep in the closet he’s practically mothballed. Jacob at first seems to be a sweetheart but he viciously turns and inflicts pain on those he’s supposed to care for if he feels under threat.

Neither of them is very sympathetic at all but the book itself kept me reading because I wanted to see how their inevitable about-face would take place.

There’s still loads of bumps on the way and towards the end, it felt a bit like we were lurching from one crisis driven moment to another.

But the narrative managed to pull itself together and there was a very sweet epilogue which puts them in a very strong HFN with a HEA on the horizon.

I’m definitely interested in book two though as the brief glimpse of one of the protagonists in this book whetted my appetite.

#ARC kindly received from the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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