Monday, 23 January 2017

Watching and Wanting by Jay Northcote - Review Tour





Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon Global

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh

Length: 52,000 words

Housemates Series - though a series, each book can be read as a standalone.

Helping Hand (Book #1)  Amazon US | Amazon UK
Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Blurb


Watching Jude’s cam show stirs desires Shawn’s always denied...

Shawn is adrift. Recently graduated, he’s stuck in a dead-end job that barely pays the bills. His girlfriend dumped him, his friends have moved on, and he’s still in Plymouth—going nowhere.

Jude is a student living in the same shared house. Out and proud, he’s everything Shawn’s been running from since he hit puberty. When Shawn discovers Jude works as a cam boy, he can’t resist the urge to watch one of his shows. It makes Shawn want things that scare him, yet his fascination forces him to confront his attraction.

Keen to explore his bicurious side, Shawn suggests they do a show together. Jude agrees, and things get complicated—and kinky—fast. But Jude isn’t looking to get involved with someone so deep in the closet. If Shawn’s going to get what he wants, he needs to find the courage to stop hiding from himself and be honest about who he is.




My Review

To start with the blindingly obvious (to anyone who has been following my reviews) I adore Jay Northcote’s books. I love his writing, I always manage to fall for his characters, and without exception his books always leave me with a huge grin on my face. Watching and Wanting was no exception to that rule. Just as the fact that it was light on angst—always a winner with me—and high on sexy times wasn’t a surprise either.

This is the fourth title in the Housemates series but could be read as a standalone. Having said that, if you can read the series in order, I certainly recommend it. If only because it’s so much fun catching up with the couples from the earlier books again.

Jude and Shawn’s coming together is relatively easy and stress free because it starts off as an experiment; an opportunity for Shawn to discover whether or not he really is bisexual despite having denied his attraction to men for years. The situation doesn’t become complicated until feelings are thrown into the mix and poor Shawn has to overcome his insecurities and find the courage to openly admit who and what he is.

It’s funny how it sometimes works. I was fully prepared to, at least initially, dislike Shawn. He’s been a bit of a bastard to his gay and bisexual housemates in earlier books and I expected his redemption to be difficult. Imagine my surprise when despite Shawn doing and saying one or two shitty things along the way, it was Jude how made me sit up and think: ‘hold on mate, now you’re pushing it’. (No, I’m not going to explain, if you want to know why that thought crossed my mind you’ll just have to read the story J). Suffice to say that I wasn’t completely convinced that Jude, who’d been nothing but understanding and patient up until that point in the story, would suddenly put his foot down and say that. As a plot device it worked brilliantly though, so mine is only a minor squabble.

People who’ve read Jay Northcote’s stories before will know he excels at sex scenes, and in this book he takes it one step further by introducing a (light) BDSM angle to the interactions between Shawn and Jude. To say it was hot to watch Shawn give up control and submit to Jude would be a gross understatement. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that the author outdid himself in the sexy stakes in this book.

Watching and Wanting, just like its prequels, comes highly recommended if you enjoy a fun, very sexy, and highly entertaining story.

Earlier Housemates reviews: Helping Hand | Like a Lover | Practice Makes Perfect



Author Bio

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as 
audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her. 


Thursday, 19 January 2017

The Bend for Home by Dermot Healy



307 Pages
Book Club Read

The blurb

One day, years after he's moved away from his childhood home in rural Ireland, Dermot Healy returns to care for his ailing mother. Out of the blue she hands him the forgotten diary he had kept as a fifteen-year-old. He is amazed to find the makings of the writer he has become, as well as taken aback at the changes his memory has wrought upon the events of the past. Here is the seed of his story-the vision of the boy meets the memory of the man-which creates a stunning, illusory effect.

The strange silhouettes who have haunted his past come back to inhabit these pages: his father, a kind policeman who guides him back to bed when he stumbles down the stairs sleepwalking; his mother, whose stories young Dermot has heard so often that he believes they are his own; or Aunt Masie, whose early disappointment in love has left her both dreamy and cynical. In this billowing and expansive series of recollections, Healy has traced the very shape of human memory.

My thoughts

‘What happened is a wonder, though memory is always incomplete, like a map with places missing. But it’s all right, it’s entered the imagination and nothing is ever the same.’

This was a fascinating read, and I have no idea what I want to say about it, or how to say it. The Bend for Home is as much a book filled with memories as it is a reflection on what memories are and what shapes them. It reminds us that memories can’t be trusted.

‘Language, to be memorable, dispenses with accuracy.’

But it also shows us that sometimes memories are better off staying hidden because not all our moments were such that we can be proud of them retrospectively.

‘Are you reading about the good old times? asked my mother.
I am, I said, wincing.
Aren’t you glad I kept it? she said.
Oh yes, I agreed.’

But, maybe more than anything this story is proof that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Families have always been and will continue to be a wonderful blessing interspersed with moments of pure frustration. Teenagers have always and will continue to push boundaries, try to spread their wings before they’re really ready to do so, and experiment with attraction, lust and love.

This is a book about beginnings and endings. Most of the book deals with Dermot Healy’s childhood and teenage years; the time when others looked after him, or tried to do so. The last section of the book tells of the time when Healy took care of his now elderly mother and aunt and life has gone full circle. He whose antics had been frowned upon but lovingly dealt with, now finds himself having to find the same patience while he looks after two strong minded but no longer able bodied women. This last part of the book was heartbreakingly honest.

‘Looking after mother is like watching language losing its meaning.’

If I had to label this book I’d call it a combination between memoir and philosophical essay. I enjoyed the historical look at Cavan, the county I live in, and the towns where I do my shopping, but I loved the all the statements and observations that made me stop reading and think. I could have filled this post with endless amounts of quotes and had a hard time limiting myself to those I did use. If you like a thought provoking and somewhat poetical memoir I recommend you pick up The Bend for Home.

‘What has happened repeatedly turns into a ritual. What has not happened turns into the mystery.’


The New Wolf (Building The Pack #1) - RJ Scott



Buy Links: Amazon US| Amazon UK

Length: 25,500 words

Cover: Meredith Russell 

Blurb

A dangerous lone wolf is intent on destroying the beginnings of a pack and when Connor is attacked and near death, there is only one thing that can save him. A wolf shifter’s bite.

After a hate crime leaves one of them near dead, Veterinarian Josh Nolan and Cop Connor Vincent are starting a new life in Black Creek, a remote town on the edge of the Green Mountains range, Vermont. Josh is taking over his grandfather's practice, and Connor starts a new position with the local sheriff's office. When Connor becomes curious about unsolved crimes going back fifty years he cant know the kind of secrets he begins to unearth. Or the danger that he puts himself and Josh in.


Excerpt

The smell of coffee woke him and he reached across the bed to check for Josh. When he felt empty sheets, he assumed Josh was the one making coffee. His feet hitting the floor sent a sensation of pain up his legs and he cursed under his breath. He had issued a check with Josh that his body couldn’t cash. Either that or he was getting old. Padding into the kitchen, he blearily rubbed his eyes. It seemed they’d slept through the day and it was after nine in the evening. Josh was wearing sweats that hung from his hipbones and in the soft light from the hall, the dark kitchen was casting weird shadows around his lover. Connor had never seen anything so beautiful as Josh leaning against the counter, waiting for the coffee machine to do its thing.

He yawned widely behind a hand and crossed to Josh, cuddling him from behind. Josh tensed in his arms momentarily in surprise. Evidently, he hadn’t expected Connor out of bed yet. Then he relaxed back into Connor’s hold and finally turned in his arms and pulled Connor closer for a hug.

“How you doing?” he asked gently.

“Aching a bit,” Connor answered truthfully. After five years together, Josh could see through Connor like his mom used to be able to do. According to Josh, he could tell when Connor was lying, joking, or any other ing Connor attempted to pull on him.

“You should probably take some more pain meds.” Josh punctuated that with a kiss and, for a second, they stood close and kissed gentle close-mouthed kisses and simply held each other.

“It’s weird,” Connor started. “My thigh is fine, my chest, fine, but I feel like every muscle in me aches, and my joints, my knees, even my damn elbows. Like I’ve pushed too many weights, or run three marathons back to back.”

Josh tugged back a little and, even without being able to see into Josh’s eyes, Connor knew his other half was probably going to mention the unnecessary sex in the hallway. He wasn’t wrong.

“We shouldn’t have done that this morning,” Josh admonished. “You’re not well enough.”

“I was fine. You weren’t complaining.”

Josh huffed a laugh, then turned back to the coffee. Carrying two mugs into the front room, they sat next to each other on the old wide sofa that had come as part of the house.

“I’ll be complaining tomorrow,” Josh deadpanned. “I’m not saying it wasn’t hot, but jeez, look at this.” He wriggled a little and pushed down his sweats to expose his left hipbone and five perfect crescent dents that were red and sore.

“Shit, babe,” Connor snapped immediately. He placed the coffee down, then touched the marks on Josh’s beautiful unblemished skin. “Did I do that?” He leaned down and pressed a kiss to the marks, then sat back up, not knowing what to say. Should he say sorry? Is that what Josh wanted. Why was it so difficult to read Josh’s expression? Normally he could read Josh as easily as he, himself could be read.

“You just don’t know your own strength,” Josh said without accusation. Then he straddled Connor’s lap and buried his face in Connor’s neck. “I fucking loved it,” Josh mumbled.

Connor held him tight and relished the feel of Josh’s skin against his own. “I love you,” he said gently.

“I love you, too,” Josh murmured. “Don’t ever get attacked in the forest again. Okay?”

Connor moved so that more of Josh’s weight rested on him. The feeling of him was exquisite. Then he cuddled hard and made a mental promise never to go into the trees again.


Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
www.rjscott.co.uk/
www.facebook.com/author.rjscott?ref=ts&fref=ts
www.goodreads.com/author/show/3432558.R_J_Scott
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www.librarything.com/author/scottrj





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Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Tales from The Edge - Series Blast

New beginnings

There’s a line in a song by rock band The Editors, “Some things should be simple; even an end has a start”, which has resonated with me recently as I come to the end of a book series. Tales from The Edge consists of eight books and four free short stories and began almost four years ago with Reaching The Edge. The main characters, Olly and Joe, have inhabited my head ever since and letting go has proved anything but simple. I wish they were real – they’d make really good friends and I think a night out with them might be an adventure!

I didn’t want to write a never-ending series where readers forget what the whole premise was about and characters become formulaic caricatures. That’s boring for the reader and the writer. But, I never imagined how involved readers would become with the fictional lives of a group of kinky, loving men who overcome their problems with the help of friendship, perseverance and a healthy dose of snark.
Whilst writing Tales from The Edge, I frequently found myself accidentally creating characters with the potential for stories of their own, so I may have to indulge in a few more short freebies when the urge takes me! In the meantime, the final book in the series sows the seed for a new set of stories I’ll also be starting this year. So the end really is a start. Thanks so much for hosting me. xx


To celebrate the final book in the series, you can enter a Rafflecopter prize draw here. Five lucky winners will receive an ebook of their choice from my back list. (Draw open Jan 10 – Jan 31 2017)


Driven to The Edge
"So, fans of the Tales from The Edge series, buckle up. Here is the next story that you’ve been waiting for. And those new to the series, it’s never too late to start. You won’t be sorry. This is one of my favorite m/m, BDSM series. Enjoy!"  Becky Condit for USA Today.

Scorched Edges
"The characters are intelligent, spirited, and needless to say smoking hot.  Between danger and drama Scorched Edges has it all.  This series consistently gives readers smoldering, sensual, and engaging stories to enjoy.  Scorched Edges is another must read." Joyfully Reviewed.

Rough Around the Edges
"The sex…HOLY COW! I love how Harry takes charge – his Dom juju made my heart beat faster."  Inked Rainbow Reads

A Double-Edged Sword
“This pair have love, respect and honesty to help them through and ‘contract’ their new relationship. The story was real, the secondary characters important and the sex was sizzling!"  Prism Book Alliance

Dancing on the Edge
"Sensual dominance rules the day in Dancing on the Edge where desire sets the standard in tasteful erotic love play."  Joyfully Reviewed

Living on the Edge
“Living on the Edge is Yummy! This quick read is loaded with great characters, sizzling M/M sex, and engaging twists."  Jeep Diva

Reaching the Edge
“Oh, and Olly? My favorite character. God he’s just a freaking dervish. He’s like a Gremlin. Don’t feed him sugar. EVER. You’ll see.”  Mrs Condit & Friends



Series Blurb

The Edge is a training company with a difference. It’s weekend clients come for classes in bondage and domination, not team building and problem solving. The management, staff and customers of The Edge do not lead boring lives. In fact they have a habit of getting themselves into all kinds of trouble. Put dominant, possessive alpha males together with bratty, loveable submissives and sparks are bound to fly. Tales from The Edge are their stories.



Blurb for Binding the Edges (Book #8 in the series)

Never let go of the one you love.

After recent traumatic events, Olly is finding it hard to get his head around what happened. While he tries to deal with a maelstrom of emotions, renovations at The Edge are in full flow, alongside preparations for tenth anniversary celebrations. Joe, his Dom, recognizes Olly’s delicate state of mind and does his best to reassure him. A trip to the New Forest with their friends, Aiden and Heath, helps the healing process.

Returning home, Olly and Aiden focus on preparations for the party. When Aiden is called away, Olly takes a walk to clear his head, keeping his eye on a brewing storm. To his horror, he discovers Mark Vickery, an old enemy, has landed on the island by boat and is out for revenge.

With Olly missing and the storm raging, Joe, Heath and Aiden set out on a rescue mission that unfolds in a way none of them expected. Can the storm wash away the past or will Olly and Joe’s future be destroyed by a twist of fate?



Excerpt from Binding the Edges

Olly tilted his head back to get a proper look at Joe’s face. Joe’s expression gave no indication of remorse or guilt, just his usual serene certainty that everything was under control. His control. He pressed a finger against Olly’s lips preventing him from forming them into a pout.      
“Who knows what’s best for you, sweetheart?”
Olly ducked his head, escaping Joe’s finger. “You do, Sir.” In Olly’s mind, nothing was more certain. Joe only ever acted in Olly’s best interest, even to his own detriment. “But you don’t have to worry about me.”
“That’s for me to decide, Oliver. After everything you’ve been through recently I didn’t want you to be on your own.”
“Because you’re a psychologist and you were analyzing me?” Olly asked.
“No, because you needed a friend. I know what you’d do if you had too much time on your own to think. You’d mull over every detail of what happened and start to blame yourself, wish you’d handled things differently. Then you’d start worrying about all the what ifs with that creative imagination of yours, and end up having nightmares for weeks.”
“You know me too well, Sir.” Olly nuzzled against Joe’s chest, absorbing his warmth.
“I have better things to do with you in bed than watch you toss and turn in your sleep.”
“Yes, Sir.”
“So no sulking with Aiden. He’s a good friend.”
“The best. Now I understand why he didn’t run away when I interrogated him about what he and Heath got up to last night. I think you did me a favor, Sir.”
“That grin is far too wicked. I suspect you need to be punished.” “Ooh, yes please!”
“But you have packing to finish because we need to get on the road if we’re going to make it to Hampshire in time for dinner.”
“You’re no fun, Sir.” Olly was torn between wanting to play with Joe and his curiosity about their destination. He would also get to see Carey and Alistair. Maybe some of his other friends, too. “What do you want me to take?”
Joe gave him a curious glance. The press of Joe’s fingers under his chin tilted Olly’s head back. “This isn’t like you. Usually you’d have two enormous suitcases stuffed to bursting by now. What’s going on?”
“Sorry, Sir.” Tears that seemed to come all too quickly stung Olly’s eyes.
“Hey, now. None of that.” Joe kissed away a tear. “Are you having a tough time making decisions at the moment?”
Olly nodded. He worried that if he spoke he’d have a full-on nuclear meltdown. “Well, it’s a good job you have me, isn’t it?”
Olly bobbed his head, feeling a bit like a nodding dog toy. His head felt too heavy for his neck and a wave of exhaustion washed over him. He wanted to grab a pillow, one that smelled of Joe, hug it tight and drift off to sleep.

Buy Links for Binding the Edges


Bio

LM lives in a small village in the English countryside, surrounded by rolling hills, cows and sheep. She started writing to fill time between jobs and is now firmly and unashamedly addicted.

She loves the English weather, especially the rain, and adores a thunderstorm. She loves good food, warm company and a crackling fire. She's fascinated by the psychology of relationships, especially between men, and her stories contain some subtle (and some not so subtle) leanings towards BDSM.

LM is winner of the National Leather Association’s Pauline Reage Award for best novel and the 2016 Golden Flogger Award for best BDSM novel in the LGBT category. She has received multiple Honorable Mentions in the Rainbow Awards and won the Action and Adventure category of Divine Magazine’s Book Awards in 2015. You can track her down online here:


Reviewer’s note:

Over the past month I’ve read the Tales from The Edge series from start to finish. My thoughts on these books can be found here:






Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Standford Creek Series by RJ Scott

Now Available On Kindle Unlimited & In Paperback



These books were previously published with All Romance Publishing. There are no additions to the original stories, just a change of cover art but due to the demise of All Romance, if you have already purchased these titles and require copies, please email Rachel (rjscott.team@gmail.com) with proof of purchase and she will send you a replacement.

Notes & Roses (Book #1) 

It’s time to stop running and take a stand…for love.

Former pop star CJ Taylor is starting a new life. His stalker is behind bars, he’s taken back his birth name, and he’s bought a house in a small Vermont town. As Cody Brennan, he finally feels safe and wants to write new music and forget about his tragic past, but an accident nearly destroys everything.

Florist Megan Campbell is horrified when a stranger, covered in blood, collapses in her shop. Cody’s erratic behavior startles her at first, but as he recover, attraction to the stranger grows. Her family thinks she should curb her feelings, and worries about her safety—she worries about her heart.

From her amber eyes to her tempting smile, Megan is everything Cody promised himself to avoid. The more he gets to know her, the more he wants to stay. When his past begins to catch up to him in the form of violent threats, will they stay safe long enough to fall in love?

Buy Links - eBook


Buy Links - Paperback


My review: Notes & Roses

Love & Hope (Book #2)

Falling in love can be easy if you want it badly enough.

Danny Hudson has finally found a place to stop. With his daughter Hope in his arms, and his place in the music group Hudson Hart gone, he has a future to plan and a family to raise. Staying at his friend Cody’s house is hard enough, but finding a home of his own is impossible. A place to stay over the coffee shop in town is a godsend, but it comes with one proviso—he must work the cost of the room off in redecorating and rebuilding.

Rachel has secrets that she doesn’t even want to admit to herself, let alone her close-knit family. Dating the wrong guys is one way to protect her heart, but meeting Danny could change all that.

Can Danny and Hope show Rachel that love is the only thing that actually matters??

Buy Links


Buy Links - Paperback


My review: Love & Hope

Snow & Secrets (Book #3) 

First comes trust, then love… then the fight to stay alive.

Pop star Tyler Hart is desperate for peace after a humiliating public scandal. It seems like Stanford Creek may well be the place to lay low. After all, it worked for his friends and former bandmates, Cody and Danny. He borrows a cabin and settles in for a quiet Christmas…well, not quite.

Garrett Campbell is on the run. Wounded in the line of duty, he escapes to the only place he feels safe, Stanford Creek and his brother’s cabin. Only he doesn’t realize he’ll have a roommate, and a sexy one at that.

Amid snow falls and winter winds, passion burns bright. When danger threatens to follow Garrett, he has to decide whether to run again before his secrets could kill him and the man of his dreams.

Buy Links


Buy Links - Paperback


My review: Snow & Secrets

Author Bio

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn't with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn't like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


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