Blog Tour: The Unicorn, by Delphine Dryden

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The Unicorn by Delphine Dryden
Series: The Escape Universe
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date: February 22, 2016

Buy Link: Publisher

Hi! I’m Delphine Dryden, touring the internet to talk about my latest book, The Unicorn. It’s a geeky, kinky M/F/F romp, it’s part of Riptide’s “Escape” universe, and it’s a much-expanded version of an earlier story called Roses and Chains. Thanks so much to all the blogs hosting the tour!

Be sure to comment on tour posts for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate and your choice of two books from my backlist.

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Series Spotlight: SPECTR, Series 1, by Jordan L. Hawk

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I recently re-read the first part of Jordan L. Hawk’s magnificent paranormal M/M series, SPECTR (covering Book #1.1 through #1.6). With Series Two underway, and #2.2 due out next month, I wanted to revisit this captivating series, and talk about how much I love Jordan’s brilliant and unique world of demons and vampires.

Already a fan of the series? “Dancer of Death” (#2.2) is out on February 16, and Jordan is offering a copy to one winner when it comes out! Keep reading to find out how to enter! (Open worldwide.)

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Things you can expect from a SPECTR novel:

– A federal agent with brilliant blue eyes
– A sassy, sarcastic young man who’s more than he appears
– A vampire who most certainly does not sparkle
– Menage sex with only two bodies
– Mortal nonsense

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Book Review: Follow Me Into Darkness – Anthology

Please note this book was reviewed prior to the revelation of author known as Santino Hassell’s identity and actions. Please read this statement from Riptide Publishing for more information.

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When Lead Me Into Darkness came out last year, I was over the moon. Five absolutely incredible authors came together for a themed Halloween anthology, and it was fantastic!

So imagine my happy dance when Follow Me Into Darkness was announced. With a Mardi Gras/Carnivale theme (’tis the season, right?), and from new publisher Open Ink Press, I knew from the start that this was going to be another favorite!

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Follow Me Into Darkness
Authors: J.R. Gray, Santino Hassell, J.C. Lillis,
Roan Parrish, and Kris Ripper
Publisher: Open Ink Press (Feb. 4, 2016)
Genres: Various (See each story for details)

Buy Links: Amazon / Publisher

anthology-follow-me-darkness-coverCarnivale is a time for decadence, for revelry, and for mischief. A time when we shed the figurative masks we wear in everyday life in favor of new ones… ones that allow us to be a little bolder, a little more adventurous, and perhaps a little truer to ourselves.

Follow Me Into Darkness is a compilation of original tales of queer romance by five of the premier authors of contemporary romance.

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Book Blast: Farm Fresh, by Posy Roberts (Excerpt + Giveaway!)

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Farm Fresh, by Posy Roberts
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press
Page Count: 202 pages
Genre: Contemporary, Gay (M/M), Romance, Ménage/Poly

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Farm Fresh is out now, and I’m so excited to be featuring this amazing book on my blog! In my review, I said this novel is “gorgeous, and the emotional impact will leave you gasping and aching for more”. Today I have an excerpt from Farm Fresh to share with you, as well as some awesome graphics and a giveaway!

Blurb:

FarmFreshCoverJude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.

And one particular farmer.

Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.

Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however, his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.

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Advanced Book Review: Farm Fresh, by Posy Roberts

FarmFreshCoverFarm Fresh, by Posy Roberts
Publisher: Labyrinth Bound Press
Release Date: January 28, 2016
Genre: Gay, Poly, M/M, Menage (M/M/M), Contemporary

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Buy Links: Amazon / Universal Amazon

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Blurb:

Jude Garrity visits the farmers market every Saturday. As an environmental engineering student, he’s curious about living off the grid and sustainable agriculture.

And one particular farmer.

Hudson Oliva has worked hard to support his commune, where queer people live without fear of harm or retribution. When Jude asks pointed questions about living there, Hudson realizes he needs to be honest about his home. Few people know what the farm is actually about, but Jude is insistent.

Jude moves to Kaleidoscope Gardens, however his sexual hang-ups make it hard to adjust. He’s an uptight virgin living among people who have sex freely and with multiple partners. When Jude finally loosens up, Hudson is flooded with emotions. Falling for Jude wasn’t part of Hudson’s life plan. But when vindictive rumors about the commune begin to spread, love might be all he has left.

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Advanced Book Review: Coming in Third, by Amber Kell

kell-coming-thirdComing in Third, by Amber Kell
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Release Date: December 22, 2015

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Buy Link: Publisher

I received an advanced copy of this novel from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Blurb:

Love sometimes comes in threes.

With his mother plotting to have him wed, Niall decides to sneak out of the fae palace and fulfill one of his greatest fantasies. At the Unconventional bar, he finds a pair of lion shifters looking to spice up their love life. Unable to resist the strong attraction between them, Niall lets the persuasive pair take him home.

Jovan and Luka have been searching for their third for years. When Niall stumbles into the bar, their shifter instincts tell them the innocent fae could be their long sought mate. After a sensual night together, they’re certain the beautiful man was fated to be theirs.

His guards fetch him from the shifters’ bed and Niall is taken away from the pair. Upset about Niall’s return to the palace and a possible arranged marriage, the lion shifters battle to decide their future—should they go and fetch their mate or let it only be the one-night stand Niall promised them?

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Book Review: The Bite of Winter, by Lauren Smith

smith-the-bite-of-winterThe Bite of Winter, by Lauren Smith
Release Date: November 24, 2015

Rating: 2 out of 5

Buy Link: Samhain Publishing

I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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Blurb:

She is theirs to claim. They are hers to save.

Zoey Blake is about as far down on her luck as she can get. A car crash took her parents, leaving her destitute and on the street. When she’s attacked by another homeless person, her lifeblood drains away as her fading vision is filled with the face of a handsome stranger.

Ian Kennedy, a century old Irish vampire, never could resist rescuing a stray. As a few drops of his blood heals Zoey’s wounds, he realizes she’s a sweet, tempting, flesh-and-blood woman. But there’s one problem. Connor, who made Ian promise decades ago: no more mortal lovers.

After another vampire murdered his soulmate, Connor O’Shea swore never to let a mortal woman pay the price for loving him. Until he feels Zoey’s skin and tastes her lips. She makes him want to break that vow.

Zoey finds herself caught in their web of seduction. But as Christmas draws near and her grief deepens, happiness seems far out of reach. And Ian and Connor join forces to prove their love is sacred, special…and forever.

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Book Review: Inferno, by Stormy Glenn

glenn-infernoInferno, by Stormy Glenn
Series: Pacific Cove, Book 1

Rating: 1 out of 5

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I don’t know why I bought this book. I honestly cannot tell you what my thought process was, to make me decide to buy this. I mean, I love cheesy erotica, and shifter novels, and twins, and probably all of these things factored in. Plus, the writing in the sample chapter was solid, definitely readable.

But I spent the entire time I was reading it wishing I’d spent a few bucks on a cup of coffee and donut instead.

Look, this is erotica, so it’s pretty much porn without plot, which I’m fine with. In fact, I’m pretty sure the basic premise– lonely, geeky boy who is not loved by his family finds that he is destined to mate with two super hot twin shifters– is a big reason for why I read it. Mindless, glorious fluff.

Still… a whole lotta “nope” for me!

1. Stop talking about “owning” people in a relationship. It’s not sexy. It’s creepy.

Abe and Ben are alpha males. They’re shifters, okay, I get it. But they alternate between treating Danny like he’s a piece of hot ass that they can own, and like he’s a fragile vase to put on a shelf. Danny is obviously a grown up. He’s survived his crap-tastic family, he’s going to school, supporting himself. Yes, he’s super klutzy, but he’s obviously not bothered by it.

So why do Abe and Ben have to act like he’s a cow that they bought at auction?

“Do you know the victim, sir?”

Ben glanced at the detective taking his statement. “Yes, his name is Daniel Lake.” He didn’t care if they hadn’t gone through the official commitment ceremony. Danny was his and Abe’s and he dared anyone to say otherwise. “He belongs to me and my brother.”

2. Unrealistic timelines

Danny meets Abe and Ben. He has sex with them like a day later. It’s true love.

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Even Danny points it out in the novel… just because they’re mated doesn’t mean they’re instantly compatible.

“Are you sure about this?” Danny asked hesitantly. “I mean, how can you know for sure we’re supposed to be together? This isn’t a romance novel.”

(Of course, two seconds after saying this, they’re having sex. So.)

And then there’s the background relationship between Nurse Betty and Vinnie (one of Danny’s friends). This novel happens over like two days. At the beginning of the novel, Danny introduces them. TWO DAYS LATER THEY’RE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING. Seriously.

3. Unrealistic sex

Oh my god. Stop it. Please.

Danny had just experienced six orgasms in less than an hour, no doubt a record for pretty much any man breathing.

What?!

And then the double penetration, which was another huge WTF moment.

I just.

No.

NO.

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4. Implying a plot but then not following through

This is such a pet peeve. If you’re going to write erotica with no plot, awesome. If you’re going to write erotica with a plot, also awesome. But don’t hint at all of this plot and then just ignore it until it’s convenient.

Bear shifters! Wars between shifters and hunters! Great tragedies in the past! Abe and Ben’s family! All things that were mentioned like once, and then ignored unless needed.

And don’t even get me started on the “villain” of the story. Let’s just say it was even more unbelievable than the six orgasms in 60 minutes thing.

Final Verdict?

There’s erotica that’s so bad that it’s good. This is not that. I was hoping it would be, because I really love cheesy erotica, but just nope. A whole load of nope. (But hey, it’s really short, so there’s that going for it?)

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Buy Link: Amazon

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“A well-deserved treat!” — Book Review: Stand and Deliver, by Scarlet Blackwell (Rating: 4/5)

blackwell-stand-deliverStand and Deliver, by Scarlet Blackwell
Publisher: Pride Publishing (October 20, 2015)
Word Count: approx. 35,000 words
Genre: Historical; Gay (M/M) Erotica, Romance, Threesome (M/M/M)

Rating: 4 out of 5

* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. This novel was previously published and has been revised and re-released. *

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I’m not sure that I should have enjoyed this book as much as I did, but it was so fun and delightful that it was the literary equivalent of eating an entire bag of candy in one sitting. Healthy? Nope! A well-deserved treat? Oh heck yes!

Lucien, Earl of Ravensberry, has the looks, the title, the house and all the money in the world. What he’s lacking in his humdrum life of loneliness is someone to warm his sheets at night. When he’s kidnapped by five highwaymen one night, things start looking up. This is the most exciting thing to happen to him in forever.

But Lucien’s life is in danger. Dante, the tough, self-appointed leader of the band, doesn’t have a lot of time for captives and vows to kill him—after he’s used Lucien’s body as he desires. Then there’s Ambrosius, Dante’s best friend, a damaged, reclusive individual who appeals to Lucien from the outset. The feeling is mutual, and Lucien is soon braving a whirlwind of emotions. He had never thought to fall for an outlaw, and he is torn between escaping and satisfying the needs of his heart. All he knows is, life will never be the same again…

First things first, the summary has a pretty serious typo, which is glaringly obvious: there are only four highwaymen, not five. Um, whoops?

Okay, my review.

Look, this novel is cheesy to the max. It’s Regency England, and Lucien is stuck-up and full of himself, with a bit too much money and too little common sense. It’s full of characters getting aroused during inappropriate situations, and kidnappings, and tragic backstories that make the characters Dark, Brooding, and Mysterious. Basically, replace Lucien with a random woman and you’d have your standard bodice-ripper erotica.

But sometimes the brain needs a bit of junk food, and I really enjoyed this book. Lucien knows that the road home from a late-night party is dangerous, but he doesn’t really expect to be robbed halfway to his home. So he fights back… and captures the attention of one of the robbers, who can’t decide if he’s brave or stupid but is intrigued all the same. An impulse decision to take Lucien with them results in Lucien being thrust into the world of the four highwaymen, all of whom are interesting and complex characters.

I will say that there were a few moments that I was less than pleased with. The whole “I’ve been kidnapped and they’re going to rape me but I’m attracted to them so it’s okay” trope is not appealing, and frankly a bit disturbing.

Did the highwayman mean what he thought he meant? Oh Jesus, Ambrosius had brought him to a fate worse than death. And yet… try as he might to deny his own loins, the highwayman was attractive, damn him. He was so attractive that Lucien felt a stirring in his breeches. (ePub pg. 15-16)

It’s not Stockholm Syndrome, it’s a ridiculous excuse for the captive to fall in lust with the man (or men) who captured him, without putting any effort into writing the actual emotions. Lucien being so easily turned on by the men who kidnapped him, right off the bat? Yeah, could do without. Thankfully, this does improve!

There are a lot of plot holes here, but ignore them. Seriously, just turn the logical part of your brain off and enjoy these ridiculous, delightful characters and their ridiculous, delightful emotions. This isn’t high literature, but it sure as hell is a fun read!

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As the story progresses, the relationships really start to blossom into something beautiful. Ambrosius, one of the highwaymen who kidnapped Lucien, has a fantastic backstory that ties into the plot very well. His attraction to Lucien is only physical at first, but they soon learn more about one another, and realize that there’s something deeper between them.

“Now you know what you’ve done to me. I still want you. Knowing what I know about you, Ambrosius, I still want you.” (ePub pg. 94)

There’s also a fantastic side-plot with Dante, the highwayman who threatens Lucien with rape over and over. He’s not just a flat, evil character; there’s a legitimate reason for acting why he does!

For a smutty erotica novel, there’s a surprising amount of depth and character-building here, which made it easy to digest the less-than-literary parts. A really enjoyable read!
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