Audio and Book Review by Mel: Waiting for the Flood by Alexis Hall

wordpress blog stats

Waiting For The Flood Alexis Hall Audio

Waiting for the Flood, by Alexis Hall
Series: A Spires Story (Stand-Alone)
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Release Date Book: February 23, 2015
Narrated by Alexander Doddy
Release Date Audio: May 23, 2016

Book Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
5-of-5

Audio Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
5-of-5

Continue reading

Release Day Review: Mountain Murder Mystery, by Benjamin Dahlbeck

dahlbeck-mountain-murder-mysteryMountain Murder Mystery, by Benjamin Dahlbeck
Publisher: DSP Publications
Release Date: January 12, 2016

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Buy Link: Publisher

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

wordpress blog stats

Blurb:

The Severn family—Jeff and his wife Phyllis, Lynette and her new fiancé, and single Andy—has gathered at the mountain home of their grandmother, Mary Agnes Severn, to celebrate Thanksgiving and hear an announcement regarding their late grandfather’s will. With news of an escaped convict in the hills, everyone is barely settled in before a huge snowstorm strands them in the large old house with only gas lamps and lanterns to keep the darkness away.

Local sheriff Roger Dickerson arrives to check on the family and seek shelter from the storm. Sparks fly between him and Andy as long-held passions bubble just under the surface, but before they can address them, Mary Agnes’s three servants are murdered one by one. Who is the murderer? Is it the escaped convict? Is it someone in the house? Everyone has a motive, and everyone has the means. What’s going on between Andy and Marcus the handyman? What’s going on between Phyllis and Marcus? Is there something going on between Roger and Marcus? It’s (snow)bound to be a wild week of murder, mystery, and mayhem!

Continue reading

Advanced Book Review: Devin December, by Kate McMurray

mcmurray-devin-decemberDevin December, by Kate McMurray
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 23, 2015

Rating: 4 out of 5

Buy Links: eBook (Publisher) / Amazon

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

counter for wordpress

Blurb:

A freak blizzard strands flight attendant Andy Weston at LaGuardia Airport on Thanksgiving. Tabloid reports about Hollywood It couple Devin Delaney and Cristina Marino breaking up in spectacular fashion keep Andy sane. And then Devin Delaney himself turns up at the gate Andy is working. Against all odds—and because there’s nothing else to do—Andy and Devin begin to talk, immediately connect, and, after Devin confesses the real reason he broke up with Cristina, have a magical night together snowed in at the airport. But the magic ends when Devin boards his flight home the next morning, and Andy assumes it’s over.

Then Devin turns up on his doorstep. Andy is game for a clandestine affair at first—who could turn down one of the hottest men on the planet? But he soon grows tired of being shoved in Devin’s closet. As Christmas approaches, it’s clear that this will never work unless Devin is willing to make some big changes. Devin has a holiday surprise in store—but will it be enough?

Continue reading

Book Tour: Stranded, by Helenkay Dimon (Excerpt & Giveaway!)

Stranded_TourBanner

Welcome to the book tour for HelenKay Dimon’s newest release, Stranded, available now from Riptide Publishing! This short winter novel has it all… mercenaries in love, secrets and lies, lots of action, and enough heat to melt even the worst snow storm!

Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, as well as your chance to win a $25 gift card from either Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble (winner’s choice!). See the end of the post for contest details.

giveaway-comment-to-win

wordpress blog stats

Stranded_600x900

Stranded, by HelenKay Dimon

Release Date: November 23, 3015

Buy Link: Riptide Publishing

Stranded is one of Riptide’s 2015 charity titles.

Twenty percent of the proceeds from this title will be donated to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center.

Cabe got out of the gun-for-hire business the hard way—by nearly dying. Except then his former boss calls in one last favor for one final job. The mission should be simple: get a message to a retired operative in Alaska. But it puts Cabe face-to-face with the one man he doesn’t want to see and can never forget. Not after all the secrets and lies. Not after Brax almost killed him.

Brax Hughes lived hard and retired young to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Well, that was the plan, but before he can hang up his sniper rifle, he has one last mission: win back Kyle Cabe. Brax wants another chance, wants to come clean, but after months of lying to Cabe, he knows he could face a bullet—or worse—when they meet again. And they will meet. Brax made sure of that.

With a storm moving in and someone lurking outside the cabin, time is running out. Brax needs to talk fast and keep his weapons ready. And his best weapon is the truth.

chase-fortunate-blizzard-divider

Continue reading

Blog Tour: Winter Wonderland, by Heidi Cullinan!

banner

WINTER WONDERLAND, BY HEIDI CULLINAN

RELEASE DATE: November 10, 2015

wordpress blog stats

Welcome to the blog tour stop for Winter Wonderland, the newest release from the incredibly talented Heidi Cullinan, and the third book in her “Minnesota Christmas” series!

In my review, I called Winter Wonderland, “Funny, quirky, and delightfully dirty,” with “truly fantastic and fully-believable characters”. The novel stands alone in the series, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a holiday read that focuses on emotions and family.

Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, as well as your chance to win a “Minnesota Christmas” prize pack that includes paperbacks of all three books and more!

Finding Mr. Right can be a snow lot of fun.

Paul Jansen was the only one of his friends who wanted a relationship. Naturally, he’s the last single man standing. No gay man within a fifty-mile radius wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle Parks, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.

Kyle is tired of being the town’s resident Peter Pan. He’s twenty-five, not ten, and despite his effeminate appearance, he’s nothing but the boss in bed. He’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.

But Paul comes with baggage. His ultra-conservative family wants him paired up with a woman, not a man with Logan’s rainbow connection. When their anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life and threatens the holiday festival, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.

Warning: Contains erotic snow art, toppy twinks, and super-sweet holiday moments. Best savored with a mug of hot chocolate with a dash of spice.

quote-scared

Continue reading

Military Short Stories, Week 1: “Possibilities” by T.A. Chase & “Lonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons” by Stephani Hecht

anthology-yellow-ribbon

This is Part One of Three featuring military short stories, originally published in the Aim High anthology and now being published on their own. I’ll be posting two novella reviews each week.

With Veterans Day approaching on November 11, I want to highlight the service men and women around the world who put their lives on the line in the name of freedom. And even soldiers deserve love, right?

wordpress blog stats

chase-possibilitiesPossibilities, by T.A. Chase
Buy Link: Pride Publishing (Nov. 3, 2015)
Rating: ★★★½

When Dixon and Carson meet during a hurricane, neither imagined that moment would be the beginning of a new relationship.

While a lot of the smaller details really bothered me, overall this was a sweet story about two men connecting in unlikely circumstances.

What I liked about this story was that it was the start of something new for both men. It was incredibly sweet; Carson (aka “Camaro”) has been crushing on Dixon for ages, but finally gets to talk to him when helping him out during a storm. And while we don’t see their full relationship develop, I love this first glimpse at their romance… the possibility of something more.

I do think the author needed to do more research on certain things (like why would Camaro have several spare alternators for an Oldsmobile lying around in his house?) or leave off specific details. Distracted from the overall plot.


 

hecht-lonely-hearts-yellow-ribbonsLonely Hearts and Yellow Ribbons, by Stephani Hecht
Buy Link: Pride Publishing (Nov. 3, 2015)
Rating: ★★★★

Being apart from the one you love is the hardest thing to do, until you get them back to find they’ve changed…

I feel like this had the potential to be a full-length novel, and I absolutely fell in love with Ross and Aden in this short story! Ross is a para-jumper in the Middle East, and is looking forward to returning home to his long-time boyfriend, Aden. And Aden is left alone, waiting and hoping for a safe return. It’s bittersweet, but also really lovely.

There was a lot of plot crammed into a very short space, so at times the plot really felt rushed. I would have liked to see more about Ross and his adjustment to life back in the US, and his and Aden’s relationship. But the scenes while Ross is deployed were excellent and action-packed, and I think really gave a great sense of what it’s like to serve overseas!


Next Week: I’ll be featuring reviews of Venetian Skies by Morticia Knight (Preorder), and Search and Rescue by Jenna Byrnes (Preorder).

pride-publishing-banner

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great reviews!

wordpress_logo_buttontumblr_logo_buttontwitter_logo_button

“Funny, quirky, and delightfully dirty!” — Book Review: Winter Wonderland, by Heidi Cullinan

cullinan-winter-wonderland

Winter Wonderland, by Heidi Cullinan
Minnesota Christmas, Book 3

Rating: ★★★★

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

wordpress blog stats

“A ten-foot-tall snow penis towered over Paul Jansen’s front steps. Again.”

From the opening sentence, I knew this was going to be a funny, quirky, and delightfully dirty holiday romance! Winter Wonderland is the third book in the “Minnesota Christmas” series. Three bears, each searching for their Goldilocks. In the first two books, Marcus and Arthur found love in their small Minnesota town, but Paul, the youngest, is still searching. And the only other gay man for miles around seems to be Kyle Parks… tiny, swishy, and young.

Paul can’t find a gay man within a fifty-mile radius who wants more than casual sex. No one, that is, except too-young, too-twinky Kyle, who sends him suggestive texts and leaves X-rated snow sculptures on his front porch.

Kyle’s loved Paul since forever, and this Christmas, since they’re both working on the Winter Wonderland festival, he might finally get his chance for a holiday romance.

But Paul comes with baggage. When his family’s anti-LGBT crusade spills beyond managing Paul’s love life, Kyle and Paul must fight for everyone’s happily ever after, including their own.

Kyle is really the complete opposite of Paul in many ways, but they fit together like puzzle pieces. Paul is serious, dreaming of the things he doesn’t think he’ll ever get: a family who supports him, a man who loves him, a relationship that satisfies his needs. But Kyle is pretty sure– no, he’s positive— that he can be everything Paul is looking for in a boyfriend… if only Paul will see past his youthful appearance and accept that Kyle is ‘man enough’.

And just like in ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’, Kyle might be ‘just right’ for Paul.

After Tuesday night, part of him had dangerous fantasies about how maybe Kyle was his Goldilocks after all. (Kindle Loc. 1004)

I love Kyle. LOVE LOVE LOVE him. His cheerful attitude, his selflessness and devotion to his sister and the patients under his care, his determination to win Paul over… he’s a brilliant character, and a heck of a lot of fun to read. He’s also very good at reading people. He’s able to win over Edna Michaelson, the cranky older woman who lives next door to Paul, and he figures out what Paul wants and needs.

“There are so many things I want to do to you. Sweet things. Wicked things.” He licked at the pulse of Paul’s neck. “But I can’t do them if you run from me after.” (Kindle Loc. 1466)

The supporting characters were excellent also, including Mrs. Michaelson and Corrina Anderson! But Paul… I’m not sure. He was interesting, but I feel like I didn’t get much more from his character than we’d seen in previous books. Maybe if there had been more tension between him and his family, something to create more character development? But even that point of tension didn’t amount to much.

And the sex was wicked hot! But this is a Heidi Cullinan novel… that name is definitely synonymous with brilliant, realistic characters and burning hot bedroom scenes!!!

Heidi writes truly fantastic and fully-believable characters. Overall this was a really fun, light-hearted holiday novel! Definitely a good book to read while the snow comes down outside.

Release Date: November 10
Pre-order: Samhain Publishing / Amazon / ARe

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great reviews!

wordpress_logo_buttontumblr_logo_buttontwitter_logo_button

Mixed emotions, betrayal, and lots of snarky banter! — Book Review: “Stranded”, by Helenkay Dimon

dimon-strandedStranded, by HelenKay Dimon
Riptide Publishing (November 23, 2015)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Buy Link: Publisher

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

wordpress blog stats

There are a few stories that I will buy without hesitation. Assassin boyfriends trying to kill each other over misunderstandings? Totally one of those plots!

Cabe got out of the gun-for-hire business the hard way—by nearly dying. Except then his former boss calls in one last favor for one final job. The mission should be simple: get a message to a retired operative in Alaska. But it puts Cabe face-to-face with the one man he doesn’t want to see and can never forget. Not after all the secrets and lies. Not after Brax almost killed him.

Brax Hughes lived hard and retired young to a cabin in the middle of nowhere. Well, that was the plan, but before he can hang up his sniper rifle, he has one last mission: win back Kyle Cabe. Brax wants another chance, wants to come clean, but after months of lying to Cabe, he knows he could face a bullet—or worse—when they meet again. And they will meet. Brax made sure of that.

With a storm moving in and someone lurking outside the cabin, time is running out. Brax needs to talk fast and keep his weapons ready. And his best weapon is the truth.

Brax and Cabe used to work together, and spent their off hours in bed together. For two hardened killers, the idea of having a weakness– someone they love– is terrifying. But Cabe fell in love with Brax, and then had his heart broken when Brax shot him point-blank in the chest.

“You don’t get to decide how I love you.”

I love the mixed emotions that HelenKay wrote with these characters. The betrayal that Cabe feels, and Brax’s desperation to explain… but also the fact that they’re two stubborn, tough men who are totally emotionally constipated! Brax thinks he’s doing the right thing, protecting the man he loves, but Cabe doesn’t want or need protection.

“You almost sound like you care.”

“You know I do.”

The snarky back-and-forth was also very well done. There wasn’t a very strong conflict, though, but I don’t feel like it was that kind of novel. Just two men trying to work through years of training and a series of misunderstandings to come back together.

“You’re telling me I should shoot you.” Cabe looked far too happy to oblige.

“I’d prefer a punch.”

“That’s not near enough.”

This is a short novel, but a fun read. And 20% of proceeds from sales of it are going to the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) National Help Center!

wordpress hit counter

Book Review: “A Fortunate Blizzard” by L.C. Chase (Rating: 4.5/5)

chase-fortunate-blizzard-title

A Fortunate Blizzard, by L.C. Chase
Publisher: Riptide Publishing (November 2, 2015)
Page Count: 179 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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

wordpress blog stats

chase-fortunate-blizzard-dividerchase-fortunate-blizzard

Artist Trevor Morrison has always appreciated the little things in life, treating each day as a gift. And with good reason: he’s been on the transplant-recipient list for too long now. When he learns just how numbered his days truly are, he resolves not to take them for granted. But he won’t be unrealistic, either—which means romantic commitments are off the table.

Marcus Roberts seems to have it all. He’s handsome, financially sound, and on the fast track to partnership at a prestigious law firm. In reality, though, his drive for success has meant no time for friends or relationships. Add in the fact that his family discarded him long ago, and he’s facing yet another holiday season alone.

When the biggest snowstorm to hit Colorado in decades leaves Marc and Trevor stranded at the same hotel, a chance encounter and a night of passion leads to more than either of them expected. Finding comfort in each other is a welcome surprise, but time is not on their side. Either they find a way to beat the odds, or they lose each other forever.

chase-fortunate-blizzard-divider

The winter holiday season has, for me, always been synonymous with family and comfort, and this book is a fantastic example of a holiday romance! A Fortunate Blizzard is a spectacular and heartfelt novel about two lonely men who meet by chance during a winter storm, and who find comfort together when they least expect to find it. L.C. Chase is the kind of writer whose vivid imagery can make you feel the cold from the blizzard outside, but keep you warm inside with the wonderful emotions and romance between her lovely characters.

“All we have is today,” she’d told him time and again. “Live it.”

Trevor and Marc aren’t so much an example of “opposites attract” as they are “opposites complement one another”; they balance each other out. Trevor knows that his time is limited, and is pragmatic almost to a fault; he accepts that he can’t change his fate, and doesn’t want anyone else to have to suffer that fate along with him. But he’s also an artist and a dreamer, and his diagnosis has taught him that you can’t keep living with regrets.

Marc starts out as cold, distant, unable to connect to the people around him for fear of disappointing them the same way he disappointed his mother. But when he meets Trevor, he sees in him the person he wants to be… an artist, loved by his family, eager to love those around him. Slowly, he realizes that this is the person he wants in his life, this is the person who’s going to show him that he’s not a disappointment, so he finds himself desperate to get Trevor to stay.

chase-fortunate-blizzard-quote

This novel was absolutely gorgeous. It’s so full of emotion that it draws you in. This isn’t an action-packed story; it’s the interactions between the characters, their realizations about themselves and each other, which moves the story along. It’s the epitome of a holiday romance, all about dreams and realizing what’s important in life, and finding comfort and warmth and family.

I can easily see this becoming an annual winter re-read. There are definitely enough warm emotions in it to chase away the cold outside!

wordpress hit counter

Like this post? Follow me for more great reviews:

wordpress_logo_buttontumblr_logo_buttontwitter_logo_button