Intelligent and emotional love story is out of the ordinary

A Love Song for the Sad Man in the White CoatA Love Song for the Sad Man in the White Coat by Roe Horvat

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Right at the laptop now so this book. I’m not sure really what I want to say about it because – on the face of it – there’s no one real single point of focus. It’s a story which needs to be read to be experienced.

Not everyone is going to like it. I suspect it may be a marmite book because I honestly don’t think you could be indifferent to it. It stirs passions. At times Simon infuriated me so much I could hardly think, at others I just wanted to pour all my love into his heart and stop him hurting.

This is also a very European book. It oozes out of every word. This is Prague in all her ancient and medieval glory, a city of contrasts, a city where a father could be a threatening violent alcoholic and it would pass under the water.

It’s also a book about words, about emotions, about how the mind works. It’s a book which touches on the life of one of my favourite poets Arthur Rimbaud and his crazy life with fellow poet Paul Verlaine and includes lines from one of my absolute favourite pieces of poetry A Season in Hell


Once, if I remember rightly, my life was a feast where all hearts opened, and all wines flowed.
One evening I sat Beauty on my knees – And I found her bitter – And I reviled her.

(Find out more about him here.)

Rimbaud’s relationship with Verlaine mirrors how Simon sees his with his young student Matej Chrs. He is left in limbo, all colour leached out of the world, relying only on his strength of will not to crumble.

Oh, I could go on about the symbolism, the beautiful use of words and imagery, I could tell you about how Simon slowly, oh so slowly, changed in my perception from a cold, locked off shell of a man into one who I just wanted to put in bubble wrap and protect from the ravages of his own staggering intellect.

And Matej. He’s almost an enigma. For much of the book we only have Simon’s remembrances and recollections. He seems flighty, willing to turn loose and perhaps unwittingly, inflict pain on those he professes to love the most.
But he’s so much more than that and when he returns to the narrative in his own right, all the colours come flooding back, including the angry ones.

Roe Horvat is rapidly becoming one of my favourite authors. Their use of the English language to evoke emotions and inspire feelings really is genius.

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

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Riley draws Jared and Keiran’s story to a beautiful “conclusion”

Jared's Fulfillment (Jared & Keiran, #2)Jared’s Fulfillment by Riley Hart

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

3.5*

There is some stellar writing in this book, there’s an in-depth examination into parts of the BDSM world, there’s some truly enlightened discussion about mental health and BDSM, and there’s a really wonderful mutually devoted couple at the heart of it.

So why not a higher score?

Because, ultimately, the whole Daddy kink just isn’t one that appeals to me as the basis for a relationship to the extent to which it takes place here, alongside the complete submission and the desire to subjugate your own needs and desires into pleasing someone else.

It’s utterly alien to me, even when it’s as well written and clearly mutually beneficial as it is here. I just can’t put myself into that head space.

The sex is kink-tastic and by turning off my brain’s awareness of the ‘Daddy-ness’ part, I could truly appreciate the connection between Jared and Keiran.

Bravo to Riley Hart for writing this series, in moving out of her more ‘traditional’ MM romance style, I think she’s crafted two really wonderful characters.

I just wish my brain would let me appreciate them to their full worth but sadly it won’t.

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

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Seriously impressive debut romance

Fragile GroundFragile Ground by Louisa Keller

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a truly special love story. It could have been full of cliches focusing as it does on a man with amnesia who has no memory of his partner.

But, in the hands of another debut author, this romance turns into something more. It’s about choices and connections, about trust and life experiences.

It’s also, at the heart of it, about falling in love all over again with someone who’s never stopped loving you but is afraid to rely on those feelings remaining.

I loved both Olivier and Auriel. Each had vulnerabilities which gives the book its fragile title. Their previously solid relationship had been stretched thin after the accident and coma as each one tried to deal with the two year memory loss.

I was so very glad that Olivier didn’t get his memories back, there was no magic cure, they both put in the effort to choose to be in love and remain in love.

This is an impressive debut from Louisa and I look forward to more work from her.

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

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Release Blitz: Reawaken by Christina Lee

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REAWAKEN

UNDER MY SKIN SERIES, BOOK 2

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.02.17

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Cover Designer: KANAXA

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BLURB

Losing his adoring husband shattered Tristan Rogers world. For the past few years, he’s been going through the motions, running their dog grooming business while hiding the loneliness he feels down to his bones. When he witnesses an ugly breakup between a pretentious customer and his boyfriend, Tristan can’t help but intervene. Something about the unassuming younger man calls to him, and he can’t help wondering if he’s experienced some heartache of his own.

Life took a tragic turn for Jonas “West” Hollis as a teen, and he’s felt indebted to his overbearing lover ever since. Tristan’s kindness draws him from the start, but with his dreams finally in reach, West can’t risk getting close to someone else. Not now that he can live his life and stand on his own merit.

From innocent texts to companionable rides on Tristan’s boat, what starts as an unexpected friendship between the men sparks into undeniable attraction. Neither are ready for anything deeper than a couple of passionate nights wrapped in each other’s arms but their connection becomes too intense for either to ignore. If Tristan and West want to heal their broken hearts, they’ll need a considerable amount of trust and courage—not only in themselves but also each other.

Reawaken Teaser 1

EXCERPT

“Promise you won’t let me drown?”

“If I did, I’d miss out on whatever meal you promised as payback,” he replied with a smirk. “And believe me, I’m all for that.”

A nervous laugh jumped from my throat, even though the idea of cooking for him—for anybody, really—thrilled me. I pulled the sticky orange life vest over my neck and fastened it, figuring I’d bob around at first and get used to the water.

After I jumped in, I stuck close to Tristan, still nervous that I’d somehow float away from him and feel abandoned in this giant body of water.

“You ready to try without the life vest?” he asked in a tentative voice.

My pulse pitched, but I still nodded. I knew he wouldn’t leave me stranded or let anything happen to me.

“We’ll just practice floating.”

Tugging me closer to the edge of the boat, he helped unsnap the vest. As he fished it over my shoulders, his gaze met mine. “It’s okay. I got you.”

He placed the vest on the platform, where my fingers were digging into the edge for dear life.

Tristan moved behind me, his hands winding around my waist, and I immediately felt goose bumps line my skin. Just like I did when I was lying in bed with him. His lips found my ear, and it made all the hair along my nape stand on end. “Breathe, West. It’s going to be okay.”

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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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Release Blitz: Shattered Pieces by K.M. Neuhold

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SHATTERED PIECES

HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 4

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 10.31.17

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COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold

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BLURB

“I was sure my heart had withered away years ago, but then you smiled at me and I felt it beat again.” ~Gage

Years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s little brother. Then, he took his own life, leaving me shattered and unable to piece my heart back together. I’ve been a zombie for nine long years. Until a crazy, gorgeous man walked into Heathens Ink and injected color back into my world of gray. No matter how hard I try to resist Beck he just won’t give up on me. I would need steel willpower to withstand his gorgeous long legs in his high heels, and his drawer full of lacy lingerie. But is this just a kinky hook up or does it have the possibility for more?

“We’re both broken, but our jagged edges fit together well” ~ Beck

When you’re half of a whole you never contemplate what life would be like without your matching piece. Since my twin sister, Brianna, died last year, nothing I do seems to quiet my soul. I know there has to be some way for me to feel happy and whole again. And, when I look into the pained eyes of the tattoo artist at Heathens Ink I feel like I have a purpose. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I have to find a way to put him back together.

Shattered Pieces is book 4 in The Heathens Ink Series and can be read as a standalone.

Scattered Pieces Teaser 1

EXCERPT

“Dance with me.” Beck holds his hand out to me. His eyes spark with amusement at what I’m sure is the obvious horror in my expression.

“I don’t dance.”

“Come on, you’re supposed to be trying fun, new things. I’m not expecting Fred Astaire, just stand in my general vicinity and nod your head to the beat.”

I sigh in resignation and take Beck’s hand, refusing to notice how soft his skin is or how good it feels to touch someone, however casually.

Still clutching my hand, Beck starts to dance. He starts out tame, simply swaying to the music. But, before long he’s spinning and shimmying like a ballerina on crack. Even being goofy and over the top he’s utterly graceful. And the joy in his expression is heartbreaking in its beauty.

When he spins out and then into my arms like a tango dancer, a laugh escapes from my chest, too full of a warmth to contain it.

“You have a really nice laugh,” Beck says, smiling up at me.

My heart thuds violently against my ribcage. Some long-forgotten place in my brain wakes up from its long slumber and starts to make irrational demands like kiss him and make Beck mine.

I pull my arms back, forcing a smile as blood rushes in my ears. Beck isn’t mine. He can never be mine. I had someone who was mine and I broke him beyond repair.

“I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty,” I admit with chagrin.

“Never too late to pick it back up again,” Beck reasons, stepping close again but not so close to warrant another retreat on my part.

His lips are rosy pink and so soft, slightly parted and unbelievably tempting. I can’t remember if we were discussing laughing or kissing and I don’t really care.

“For the first time in a long time I’m starting to wonder if that’s true.” The hope my statement sparks in Beck’s eyes forces me to backpedal as guilt washes over me. “It feels wrong to imagine happiness is possible, even in some vague, future way.”

“I’m not going to give you any trite bullshit like saying Johnny would’ve wanted you to be happy. I didn’t know Johnny and even if I had there’s no way to know what he would’ve wanted because he’s gone. But you’re still here. You still have a life, a heart, and the right to be happy whether now or in a vague future.” The way Beck holds my gaze is like a cobra ensnaring a mouse. “You don’t need Johnny’s permission to move on and be happy. You only need to give yourself permission.”

Scattered Pieces Teaser 2

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I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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My favourite in the Heathens Ink series so far

Shattered Pieces (Heathens Ink, #4)Shattered Pieces by K.M. Neuhold

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked this one the best out of all in this series as there’s nothing sweeter than someone getting a second chance at love.

However, I think there was a touch too much introspection on Gage’s part as he repeatedly weighed up whether he could love Beck because of Johnny.

I mean I totally get that you don’t ever get over the death of a loved one and the particular circumstances here were heart breaking tragic, but still it was heading slightly into masochistic tendencies the amount of times he mentally beat himself up over every piece of enjoyment.

Beck was awesome though, I completely loved him. Unabashed about his love of make up, lace underwear and heels, he had an irrepressible spirit and just oozed joy.

He did provide the perfect foil for Gage and helped him move back into the world of the truly living and I do like this setting with its close knit bunch of friends.

#ARC provided by the author in return for an honest and unbiased review.

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Gorgeous romance from Christina Lee

Reawaken (Under My Skin, #2)Reawaken by Christina Lee

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is gorgeous and tugs at the heart strings before wrapping everything up in a slightly squiffy bow which has been tied together with a lot of love but not necessarily any polish. (The bow that is, not the book!)

I’ve said before how much I love the skill Christina has in connecting the reader to the characters she writes and this one, book two in her new series of intertwined stories, is no exception.

In Tristan and West she’s created two fully fleshed out men with their own broken parts and holes in their heart which are looking for the right person to mend them.

It’s a slow, slow burn, friendship into attraction into lust and into love and it has to be that way as both men have deep scars which need some tender care.

I felt a twinge of sympathy for Mr V, West’s ex-boyfriend, I think he did care for him in his own repressed way, and Tristan’s dead husband was a presence in the background who never took over or felt like a missing perfect saint.

Seeing them slowly open up again to the possibility of a new life and a new love was so beautiful to read. I’m looking forward to more from this series.

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

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