Series Review Tour: Shoes & Ties by Jena Wade

Shoes & Ties Series | Jena Wade

SERIES REVIEW TOUR

Book 1: Shoes & Ties 

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 33 000 words

Goodreads

Blurb

Ashten Brody is a chef fresh out of college. He lands his dream job working as a personal chef to Trent Cole, local luxury hotel owner. As it turns out, Trent is also his dream man.

After working together, the two are unable to deny their attraction. One late night they can’t hold back any longer. Too bad Ashten rushes off soon after.

In the weeks that follow, it appears to Ashten that he has landed his dream man and his dream job. He and Trent appear to be on the path to a serious relationship and life-long happiness. Life seems to be just too perfect…

Buy Links Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

Ashten Brody smoothed his hands down the front of his suit one more time. He hadn’t expected Trent Cole’s security guards to frisk him at the door. The man ran a luxury hotel in North Carolina. It wasn’t like he was a celebrity. Though he had the appearance of one.

As flustered as he was now, Ashten was confident that he was the right person to be Trent’s new personal chef. He was not confident, however, that Mr. Cole would hire him. He’d only just finished his degree in culinary arts and hospitality management. He was young and green, but he wanted this job and would do anything to get it. Well, that was a slight exaggeration, but he would wear a bland, conservative suit complete with a tie and jacket if it helped him beat out the competition.

The elevator pinged, and he took a deep breath as he stepped out, still in awe that he had gotten an interview. The main office was located on the top floor of the ten-story hotel—convenient if Trent ever worked late and needed to crash at the office.

Finding the secretary easily, Ashten stood next to her desk and patiently waited for her to finish her phone call. The lobby area was comfortable, with decor that matched the rest of the hotel. Doors lined the walls, and a few windows revealed the insides of conference rooms and small offices. Ashten rested his hands on the mahogany horseshoe desk. It was large enough to fill his old apartment.

“May I help you?” Annette, as her nameplate said, asked as she hung up the phone.

“I have an interview scheduled with Mr. Cole. I’m a bit early. My name is Ashten Brody.” His voice sounded calmer than he felt. It was important to make a good impression on the secretary, though; they were the ones who ran the whole office.

The secretary raised her brow. She opened her mouth to speak, but the elevator at the opposite end of the room dinged, and Mr. Cole stepped onto the floor, a deep scowl etched on his handsome face.

Ashten’s breath hitched in his throat. He bit his lip, pain stopping any reaction his cock might have had to the man capturing his attention. The pictures he’d found in his Internet search hadn’t done the man justice. Trent Cole oozed confidence. Ashten’s eyes followed him as he crossed the floor. A touch of afternoon stubble shaded his strong jaw, and his tailored suit outlined his broad shoulders perfectly.

The open jacket revealed lean hips, which brought Ashten’s tongue out to wet his lips. Trent walked directly past the desk, not bothering to glance at Ashten or Annette. Everyone in the office moved faster and looked busier now that the boss was in the room.

“Annette, please send in the applicants as they arrive. The sooner I get these interviews over with, the sooner I can get back to real work. Thanks.” Without waiting for a reply, he stepped inside his office, leaving the door wide open.

Ashten’s face heated, and his heart pounded. He rolled his shoulders back to try to get ahold of himself.

“Go right in, dear. Good luck.” Annette gave him an encouraging grin.

Ashten flashed a broad smile. “Thank you, ma’am.” He turned and walked toward the open door.

Book 2: Lumber & Law 

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 29 000 words

Goodreads

Blurb

A few months after his brother’s accident, Jesse Brody can’t stop thinking about Troy Evans, the police office that helped solve the case. Even though Troy almost had to arrest him, Jesse is sure he has a shot at a date.

The two meet by chance and share a nice dinner at Jesse’s apartment, which ends with Jesse all over Troy’s lap. Though he isn’t out at work, Troy agrees to give a relationship with Jesse a chance.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

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Excerpt

Jesse settled onto his usual park bench. The warm sun beat down on his back through his T-shirt as he leaned forward, elbows resting on his knees. Runners and walkers passed him without a glance. The happy chatter of Frisbee games and families sitting on outspread picnic blankets filled the air.

Taking a deep breath, he touched the tablet in his hand, pulling up today’s news. He checked the time and tapped his foot against the concrete of the running path. His reason for being here today and every Sunday for the past six months had yet to show.

Any minute now Troy Evans would jog by, his golden retriever following closely behind him.

Jesse ran his fingers though his hair and glanced around the park. Annoyance prickled at his skin. Until his twin brother, Ashten, had been attacked three months ago, he hadn’t even known Troy’s name. It was just by chance that Detective Evans had been on duty when the police were called to investigate Ashten’s hit-and-run assault.

In the week that followed, Jesse and Troy had spoken over the phone and occasionally met at the precinct to discuss the case. Since the woman responsible for hitting Ashten had been arrested, Jesse hadn’t spoken with Troy.

A knot formed in Jesse’s gut as he remembered why he never tried to contact the man again. When he’d found Trent, Ashten’s boyfriend, and Troy together, he’d assumed the worst. Jealousy and anger had spurred violence in him he didn’t know he had. Anger because it appeared as if Trent could replace Ashten so easily, and jealousy because he’d replaced him with the one man Jesse wanted.

Jesse had punched Trent square in the jaw.

Shame filled him at the memory. He’d read the situation completely wrong, and he’d looked like a fool because of it. Had Troy not threatened to arrest him, he might’ve messed up their little sting operation further, and Ashten’s assailant wouldn’t have been arrested that day.

It had only been a few months earlier that Jesse had seen Troy jog by at the park. He’d been mesmerised by the man’s movement. Troy had worn blue basketball shorts and a tank top that stretched nicely across his chiselled chest and abs. Jesse hadn’t hidden his admiration for the man very well. His neck craned until he had to stand in order to continue watching his magnificent form.

The man never noticed him.

Book 3: Forever & Always

Cover Artist: Silver Heart Design

Genre/s: gay contemporary romance

Length: 8 000 words

Goodreads

Blurb

Now that they’re living in their Happily Ever After, Ashten, Trent, Troy, and Jesse are ready to take the next step.
But what happens when the twins choose the same wedding date? May the best couple win…

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US | Amazon UK

About the Author

Jena began writing in January of 2013 as a New Year’s Resolution–and so far she has stuck to it!

She lives in Michigan. By day she works as a web developer, and at night she writes. Born and raised on a farm, she spends most of her free time outdoors, playing in the garden, or riding her horses. She also helps run the family dairy farm.

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Giveaway

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Series Blitz: Responsible Adult by C F White

Responsible Adult Series | C F White

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Book #1 – Misdemeanor – currently 99c

misdemeanor_9781786515667_800_4

Book #2 – Hard Time  – currently 1.99

Copy of 35542826
Book #3 – Reformed – currently 2.99

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Blurb

The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O’Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother.

A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks… until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.

Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky’s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath.

With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.

Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that falling in love always brings responsibility.

misdemeanor_9781786515667_800_4

Excerpt from Misdemeanor

 

“You can join us if you like. Enough to go around.” Dan pointed at all the food and drink.

Micky looked down, licking his lips, but shook his head. He glanced at the play park and Dan followed his line of sight to see the blond bloke by the swings surrounded by a gaggle of girls, one of whom he picked up in a fireman’s carry and proceeded to slap her arse. Micky snorted and turned back to Dan.

“Thanks, but I got Flynn.” He scrunched up his legs, hugging his knees to his chest and hung the glass down over the top.

“Your parents not around then?” Dan asked, voice full of concern.

“Nah,” Micky said with a shrug. “Mum passed away. A while back now. And Dad’s, well, Dad’s not round so much anymore.”

“Workaholic?” Dan asked, almost hopeful.

“Something aholic, yeah,” Micky said. He shuffled his feet on the blanket, bunching it up and flattening it back down. “He’s just not good to be around Flynn.”

“So you take care of him by yourself?” Dan asked.

Micky nodded.

“Wow. That’s…” Dan searched for the word. Three years spent lovingly studying the English language hoping to come into good use this time. “Commendable.”

“Not really,” Micky said, ducking his head. “Any sibling would do it.”

“I don’t know about that, mate,” Dan said. “My big sister can be a right cow. She would’ve left me on a doorstep somewhere.”

Micky chuckled. He didn’t pay Dan much attention, choosing to watch Flynn and Tamsin as she spun him on the seated roundabout. Dan watched them, too, for a bit, before turning back to Micky.

“He’s a character,” Dan acknowledged. “There a reason he’s so small?”

Micky finally turned his attention on Dan. “Yeah,” he replied, voice tiny and tight. He scraped his teeth over his bottom lip several times, dragging away the congealed moisture forming over them. “He’s got a condition. He’s a little behind in years, too.”

“Oh,” Dan said. He might have that etched onto his gravestone. “What’s the condition?”

“Williams syndrome?” Micky replied, then, with a shrug, shook his head. “Don’t worry. No one’s ever heard of it. It’s pretty rare. One in twenty thousand or so.”

“Oh,” Dan said. Again. For fuck’s sake.

“So, yeah, I’m sorry about earlier. I probably snapped at you.” Micky twirled the glass in his hand. “The friendly thing. One of the things he’s lacking is any stranger danger. They’re a bit overly social, if you know what I mean. Susceptible to being taken advantage of. Scares the crap out of me.”

Micky dipped his head, shaking it from side to side. He shuffled again and Dan sensed he was clamming up after having been so forthcoming. Dan didn’t want Micky to stop talking.

He was strangely fascinated by him. It wasn’t just that the bloke was nice to look at, which he evidently was. But his voice had an undertone of something more and Dan desperately wanted to find out what that was.

“How else does it affect him?” Dan wondered aloud.

“Multitude of things.” Micky exhaled. He took a deep breath before responding any further. “Medical stuff like a weak heart. Had two major heart surgeries as a baby. Will probably need another one in his lifetime. He has stomach troubles. Bowel issues. Weak muscles. The eyes. Teeth. Hyperthyroid. Plus he’s got learning difficulties.”

Micky’s eyes glazed over as he swished the glass in his hand. “He’s an eternal child. Sees the world like it should be in a fairy tale, minus the evil characters. Everything is bright and beautiful and everyone is his friend.” Micky paused. “It’s a real shame that life isn’t like that. Because a world full of Flynns would be the one I wanna live in.”

Dan paused for a moment, trying to take it all in. What Micky said. Flynn. The condition. The ideal. And how Micky described it all.

“I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that by yourself,” Dan finally said. “I had no idea.”

He’d just been lusting after his body all week. Now Dan knew the bloke had a soft, loving and caring side, what the hell was that going to do to him now?

Author Bio

 

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti.

And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, C F White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride…

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In honour of Williams Syndrome Awareness Day, Pride Publishing are putting Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed on a price promotion. You can get all three books at 99p/c each on Friday 18th May.

Link here: https://www.pride-publishing.com/serial/responsible-adult, but you can also buy it at this price at most other retailers.

If you’d like to learn more about Williams Syndrome, then you can find out all the excellent work that the charities in both the UK and US do here:

www.williams-syndrome.org.uk
www.williams-syndrome.org

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Review Round Up – Why series from Colette Davison

Why I Left YouWhy I Left You by Colette Davison

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Where to start with this one. It’s a powerful exploration of the pain of depression in a young man and it’s also a romance between two young men who’ve been in love since they were teenagers and who were separated by one desperate act and the consequences of it.

I don’t think I “enjoyed” it in the way I would usually enjoy a young adult romance, there’s too much pain and suffering I think to truly let go of the aspects of dealing with a mental illness.

There’s also, for me anyway, a definite feeling of realism over how neither man wants to deal with the serious conversations they’re owed from each other over what happened four years earlier.

And, also, the incident which caused Jamie’s initial breakdown – while perfectly possible and believable in its own right – didn’t work for me and I don’t have a logical explanation for why. I just read it and felt it was a bit “plot pointy” as there’d been nothing even remotely clued in throughout the rest of the narrative

Still, the writing is exemplary and care is taken to never diminish the effects of depression and how it alters people’s perceptions of themselves and others.

Why I Need YouWhy I Need You by Colette Davison

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

I preferred this one over book one because, while it still dealt with serious issues and there was still a ginormous lack of communication, these two didn’t mask over things with sex.

Both Noah and Fin are dealing with grief and both have huge hang ups over what they think the other person is feeling or likely to do if they reveal the truth.

Their fears were completely believable and quite realistic, but I just got a bit fed up by the push/pull over each of them opening up about what was going on inside their heads.

The ending, with characters of just 24 and 21, also felt a little unlikely but then again, when you know you’ve met The One, why wait.

Why I Trust YouWhy I Trust You by Colette Davison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Definitely my favourites in the series and the one with the least amount of angst and most focus on just the development of a loving relationship.

I liked that these guys talked to each other, there was no miscommunication or misunderstanding between Ryan and Martin. Their obstacles were practical and legal ones and it worked well.

Ryan’s fears over having to rely on someone else were perfectly understandable, as were Martin’s over people being with him for his money.

Together they were seriously sweet and a lot of fun to read, as well as being crazy sexy. Overall I’ve enjoyed this series from an author New to me and – as a Leeds born girl – it’s always great to see stories set in and around my part of the world.

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

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Review Tour: Fox and Birch (Rowan Harbor Cycle #3) by Sam Burns

Length: 48,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Melanie Harlow @ Clause & Effect
The Rowan Harbor Series
Book #1 – Blackbird In The Reeds – http://books2read.com/BlackbirdInTheReeds
Book #2 – Wolf And The Holly – http://books2read.com/WolfAndTheHolly

Blurb

Fletcher Lane wants to protect people. It was why he became a deputy. A month ago, it was why he killed a vampire who kidnapped one of his friends. Now, that death has started a cascade effect that’s tearing his life apart, leaving him possessed by magic that whispers to him in ancient Gothic.

While he’s already fighting for control of his own mind, he has to hold it together when strangers come into town looking for the dead vampire. They say they’re bounty hunters, but Fletcher knows that’s a lie. They’re the same kind of murderers who killed Fletcher’s mother. When one of them puts up a kind front, Fletcher knows that people who hunt the supernatural can’t be trusted. However nice Conner Mason seems, the worst thing Fletcher could do is fall for his act.

This is the third of nine books in The Rowan Harbor Cycle, not a standalone. It continues where the second book left off. Fletcher and Conner will return in book six to continue their story, so this book contains a HFN, not their HEA.

About The Author

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.

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Cover Reveal – Blood Bathory: Like The Night by Ari McKay

 Cover Design: Lou Harper @ Cover Affairs
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Length: 123,737 words

Blurb

 

You can run…

After losing his younger sister to cancer, fashion photographer Evan St. John tries to outrun his pain, leaving New York for the excitement of Paris. His talent and striking good looks bring him to the attention of Elizabeth Nadasdy, the elegant and powerful owner of House of Nadasdy. Evan is thrilled at the opportunity to work for such a prestigious designer, but he soon discovers Elizabeth wants more than his talent. Beneath the beautiful mask she presents to the world lurks the evil of a vampire whose lust for beauty is surpassed only by her thirst for blood.

Evan’s life is shattered when Elizabeth turns him into one of her “children.” Unable to bear what he has become, he flees to New York to find his best friend, police officer Will Trask. The one person who might be able to help him.

But you can’t hide…

Together, Evan and Will find themselves drawn deeper into a strange world they never knew existed. Standing against the vampires are the theriomorphs, shapeshifters who serve as the guardians of Gaia, the embodiment of all life on earth. Though sworn to eradicate every vampire, Marielle Du Lac, the leader of the theriomorphs, offers them a bargain. If they help bring down Elizabeth, her people will try to find a way to restore Evan to life.

Caught up in an ancient war between two powerful supernatural forces, Evan and Will must choose sides, because if they are to have any chance of a future together, they must destroy Elizabeth Nadasdy before she destroys them.

About The Authors

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for more than a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

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In which Fletcher finds his perfect match

38477300Fox and Birch by Sam Burns

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I bloody love this series but if you asked me to identify quite why I do, it would be difficult to immediately pinpoint the reason.

I love the quirky nature of the stories, the paranormal aspects of life in Rowan Harbor are just treated as everyday things, no one bats an eye when one of the Deputy Sheriffs shifts into a Fox and runs off, or when they’re talking to a dryad in the woods.

There’s a gentleness to the narrative, even when things turn occasionally violent, that brings a whimsical feeling to the story that I’ve mentioned before and the writing is just beautiful.

In this, the last of the ‘intro’ books in this series of nine (a trilogy of interconnected trilogies), we get Fletcher’s story and his meet cute with Conner, who’s come to town with a couple of unsavoury characters tracking the vampire Sol, who was the main antagonist in book two.

There’s instant attraction but given the nature of all that is going on, Fletcher is too reticent and worried about his own fate to notice how much Conner likes him, but also how out of place he is with the other two men he’s travelling with.

The plot travels along at a good clip, there’s no unnecessary detours to distract from the main story and the action is perfectly paced to drive towards the big end of book epic confrontation.

I can’t wait for book four, when we go back to Devon and Wade and also find out a bit more about the over-arching storyline which is anchoring all the books together.

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

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