Thursday, 20 July 2017

Matchstick Men (A Hunter Dane Investigation #1) by Adira August

48000 words
Publisher: RedDeer
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK (also available on Kindle Unlimited)


SEX, GAMES & MURDER ~ Want to play? 

It was munch night at the most elite underground BDSM club in the Rockies. Relaxed and informal, highlighted by the weekly Matchstick Challenge game. 

Detective Sergeant Hunter Dane, reigning champion, looked forward to a relaxing evening to start his 3 days off. A few beers on the deck. An interlude with a sweet sub. Stumping a challenger with a new puzzle. Home early for a decent night's sleep.

Some people are SO deadly serious about their games. 
Now Hunt has a fresh body and a new puzzle to solve in twenty-four hours if he wants to find a killer.


Occasionally I read a book that enthrals me to such an extent that I have no idea how to write my review or what to put in it, apart from ‘this book is magical! Go buy and read it! Now!’  

Matchstick Men was exactly such a book. I knew from the start that I was going to be in for a treat. I read On His Knees, the prequel to Matchstick Men, only two days ago and that short story blew my mind away. I yearned to spend more time with Hunt and Cam and was over the moon that the sequel was ready and waiting for me.

And then the author went and turned what would always have been a fascinating story into my personal catnip. Long before I ever discovered MM and BDSM, Mystery was my go-to genre. Putting two hot men in a D/s situation while they’re solving a mystery, well, it doesn’t get any better than that for me.

I’m still not entirely sure what to say about this story. It is clever, well plotted, perfectly paced, extremely hot, and impossible to put down. And, what’s more, this book actively involves the reader in the mysteries it contains. Of course there’s the murder itself. And, I have to admit, that I had the murderer pegged from the start. That is however no shortcoming on the author’s part but rather the result of me having read so many mysteries that I’m almost too good at recognising how the plot works. And besides, watching Hunt and Cam come to the conclusion I had reached earlier on was as fascinating as trying to figure out the mystery for myself would have been.

But, as much as I enjoyed the mystery and the resolution of it, my main interest (some might say obsession) in this book was the developing dynamic between Cam and Hunt. And, between the two of them, it is Hunter who has really piqued my interest. He is so sure he’s got himself completely figured out.

Hunter made no claim of sexual preference (…) He formed no attachments. He simply wasn’t able to.

In other words Hunt:

(…) needed men for power, women for sex and no one for intimacy.

Except that this lack of emotional attachments appears to be less black and white than Hunt likes to think. He may have convinced himself that he doesn’t form or need those bonds with others, I remain to be convinced. As does Cam, who refuses to take no for an answer and knows exactly what Hunter needs, when he needs it, and how to give it to him. In On His Knees Cam gave Hunt what he needed in order not to break:

“Extreme Domism (…) There are no limits. You have no safeword. You do nothing I do not order. I don’t stop until I’m done… You have one chance to walk away. Once I restrain you, nothing and no one can or will rescue you. I am all there is.”

In this book, while the Dom is still there a lot of the time, the extreme is in the background because it’s not what Hunt requires and because Cam now wants more.

“I want you to do what I say because you trust me to make you to feel good. Because you want from me what I want to give you.”

And so Cam introduces Hunt to another beautiful first.  No, I’m not going to tell you what that was, read the book J I will say that the moment took my breath away.

And yet, despite all his Dominance, Camden is ‘just’ a twenty-something young man. And I guess that’s one of the many magical aspects about this book; that Cam is not portrayed as the big bad Dom. He’s allowed to be young, and overwhelmed, and even out of his depth. Just as Hunt is so very much more than ‘just’ a sub (or even a switch). Hunt and Cam are a two way street and when they collide in the middle it is poetry in motion.

Through Cam’s eyes the reader gets to recognise that Hunt doesn’t see himself as clearly as he sees the world around him. And while he’s nowhere near ready to admit to himself that maybe he is capable of becoming emotionally attached to someone else, his own thoughts betray him at times.

“It occurred to me then, that Camden Snow was possibly the most complex, interesting person I’d ever met. Child. Champion. Clever analyst. Extreme Dom. And I barely knew him. It would be easy to become kind of obsessed with him, with solving the puzzle that he was.”

I apologise. I’ve been rambling above and I’m afraid I’m not sure how to fix it. I will however try to summarise my thoughts.

Matchstick Men is a combination of several intriguing mysteries. There’s the murder in the story, there’s the question who and what Hunter really is, and there is the matchstick puzzle for the reader to solve (answer kindly provided at the end of the book). Apart from that there’s the story about Camden and Hunter which takes us from (extreme) BDSM to pure love and back again. Every single aspect of this story is spellbindingly intriguing. It is safe to say that Adira August has captured me. I’ve only just finished this book and I’m already yearning for the next one. And I’ve got a feeling that if we ever get to ‘A Hunter Dane Investigation #3674’ I’ll still be gagging for more.

Related review: On His Knees.
This book is available as an Instafreebie until July 31, 2017.

Author social media links

Click on the link above to go to the giveaway where twenty (20) e-copies of 
Matchstick Men are up for grabs.

Matchstick Men and this giveaway can also be found on the following blogs:

- Attention Is Arbitrary  
- Books Laid Bare Boys  
- Diverse Reader  
- Kimmers' Erotic Book Blog (includes a review) 
- OJ He Say  
- The Blogger Girls (includes a review) 

Barging In by Josephine Myles - Release Blitz

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 93,000 words 


When the boat's a rockin', don't come knockin'!

Out-and-proud travel writer Dan Taylor is a city boy who can’t steer a boat to save his life, but that doesn’t stop him from heading into the English countryside to write up a narrowboat holiday. Compared to London, the canal seems dull as ditchwater. Until he crashes into the boat of a half-naked, tattooed man whose bad-boy, penniless appearance doesn’t fit with his posh accent. Dan is intrigued, and he always gets his man.

Still smarting from a past betrayal, Robin Hamilton is firmly closeted in his narrowboat—his refuge from outrageous, provocative men like Dan. But as circumstances keep throwing them together, he can’t help himself from coming to the hopelessly out-of-place city boy’s rescue. Exposure to Dan’s sunny charm starts to melt Robin’s resolve and he’s tempted by the idea of a brief, harmless fling.

After all, in less than a week, Dan will have left the canal and be back to his diet of casual hook-ups and friends with benefits.

Determined not to fall in love, both men dive into one week of indulgence…only to find themselves swept away by a current of escalating intimacy and emotional intensity. Troubled waters they didn’t anticipate… and haven’t a clue how to navigate.

Warning: Contains one lovable tart, one posh boy gone feral, rough sex, alfresco sex, vile strawberry flavoured condoms, intimate body piercings, red thermal long-johns, erotic woodchopping, an errant cat, a few colourful characters you wouldn't touch with a bargepole, and plenty of messing about on the river.

Author Bio

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Up In The Air 1 - Johannesburg by George Loveland - Review Tour

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 20,898 words 

Cover Design: Ethereal Ealain


Looking for love is the last thing air steward, James Foster, is thinking about when he swaps flights to save his hung-over best friend’s job. He doesn’t know that fate has other ideas and he would fall for the tall, bearded passenger, Darren Busby, sat in 14D. Up in the air, James finds that the connection he has with Darren is too strong to ignore.

After missing the opportunity to ask for Darren’s number, James' jaw hits the floor when Darren walks into the same hotel he is staying at. Butterflies and nerves take over, but soon give way to excitement as they get to know each other on the ground.

When James' ex, Richard, shows up and begs for forgiveness, James has to decide if going back to the man who broke his heart would be worth it, or if he should finally move on and take a chance on Darren.

July 17 - Slashsessed
July 26 - Bayou Book Junkie, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Sarandipity Book Reviews, Books That Are A  Must Read


Up in the air is a sweet, short, and fun read. I honestly think I had a smile on my face more or less from start to finish.

James Foster is a sweetheart and too nice for his own good. While his kindness and generosity make him a wonderful (best) friend, they also mean that he sets himself up for pain when he insists on thinking/hoping that the bastard ex, Richard, might be redeemable. It is impossible not to root for James and cheer him on when someone who does care about and for him, Darren, shows an interest.

Darren, the gentle ‘giant’. While the blurb tells us that James falls for Darren (which he does, by the way) it is Darren who falls first, quite literally, and thus provided me with a laugh out loud moment. Darren is cute, kind and very protective when it comes to James. The moment when Darren comes face to face with Richard had me cheering from the sidelines.

James’ colleague and friend Annie was a wonderful addition to the story and just the sort of straight talking, no nonsense friend James needed. Richard on the other hand came, for me, perilously close to being a stereotype.

If I have an issue with the story it is that it felt a bit rushed to me. I could have done with not necessarily a longer story but with more words and time having been dedicated to the developing feelings and relationship between James and Darren. On the other hand, I did see that there will be another story featuring this couple, so maybe that treat is still in store for me.

All in all I enjoyed myself reading about James and Darren and I’m looking forward to reading more stories set ‘Up in the Air’. 

Author Bio

George was about eighteen when he told his friend that he was going to be a writer. It took him another eighteen years before he finally did anything about it and wrote his first short story. A typical Englishman, he drinks buckets of tea with milk—but no sugar, because he is sweet enough. His Nan told him so.

George lives just outside of London, but close enough to enjoy Soho and the West End, where you will find him in a bar with a pint, in a club dancing into the early hours of the morning, or enjoying a musical in the theater; but more than likely he will be in a coffee shop reading a book or writing a new story. Currently single, but taking applications for future husband position, George enjoys crafting romantic stories in which he hopes that one day, life will imitate art.

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

On His Knees (Riverheart #5) by Adira August

13k words
Publisher: RedDeer
Buy links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Available via Instafreebie until August 1st, 2017. 


Sometimes it's the cop who needs to hit the floor... As a homicide cop, every blood-soaked crime scene settled in my bones and snaked around my spine. There was only one way to exorcise the images from my soul ... 

Inside the club, I stopped to scan the room. He was here, Camden Snow. A Norse sex god in the guise of unpretentious youth. Only his ice-blue eyes gave evidence of the Dom who took whomever he wished, whatever way he wanted, with a look and a nod. Merciless. 

Cam found me watching him and fixed me with his arctic gaze. This time, I didn't walk away. He cocked an eyebrow. Well? 

The last thing I needed was mercy. 

I dropped to my knees. 


OMG. This was stunning. And while this book is more or less one long BDSM scene, that’s not actually what I refer to when I call this a gorgeous story. Because as hot as these two men are, that is not what captivated me.

Now, before I go any further, I need to get one thing out of the way. These two men play (although that doesn’t sound like quite the right word to in the context of this story) in a no-safeword dynamic. If that is something you have an issue with, this may not be the book for you.

This is the story of Hunter, a cop who’s just experienced the worst day of his life. He’s been intrigued by Cam, a Dom in the club he frequents. He normally has very strict boundaries when going to his club, which means playing with Cam is never going to be an option. On the night described in this book, Hunter is near breaking point and all too aware of it. He needs something and he’d rather fall to his knees in front of the Dom who doesn’t allow safewords than be crushed by the weight he wears.

Cam is the, literally, ALL demanding Dom in question. He knows Hunter and has been keeping an eye on him, knowing full well that their personal demands and expectations made them incompatible. Until they weren’t anymore…

Their scene together took my breath away. Not so much because it was hot, although God knows it really was. No, what really got to me was the way Cam was both exactly what Hunter expected and completely the opposite. I lost myself in both Cam’s and Hunter’s thoughts and observations. And the way in which Cam ‘broke’ Hunter with such exquisite care was breath taking.

Maybe the story could have been longer. It really is just one scene, a moment in time (but what a moment). But, since I knew there’s a second book featuring Hunter and Cam available, the length of the story didn’t bother me. I read it more like a prequel to what’s to come than a stand-alone story, I guess. But as such, it certainly worked.

As I mentioned above, this title is currently available via Instafreebie and, if you enjoy BDSM, you’d be a fool not to pick it up. Personally, I’m going to get my hands on Matchstick Men as soon as I possibly can. These two men combined with a mystery to solve should mean a one way street to book heaven for me.

Monday, 17 July 2017

Hunter (Brawlers #4) by JM Dabney - Release Blitz

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 

Length: 160 pages 

Cover Design: Winterheart Design

Brawlers Series 

Crave (Book #1) Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Psycho (Book #2) Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Bull (Book #3) Amazon US | Amazon UK



If there was a way to destroy his life, Hunter Black could do it. He was a catastrophe waiting to happen. Survival was his only priority and having to leave his old life behind meant a job of the legal variety. He’d found one as a bartender at Brawlers Bar and a safe place in a huge house with the rest of the bar crew who quickly became the family he’d never had. The one thing

Hunter didn’t need was his old life tracking him down.

Deputy Wren Gramble hated his job and his weekend assignment of staking out a bar in the middle of nowhere waiting for drunks. Although he’d heard the homophobic and racist jokes going around about the crew and customers, he kept his head down and stuck to his job and nothing else. He despised being driven back into the closet, but he’d reached the end of the line, and he didn’t know what he’d do if he earned another transfer.

Linus Trenton was considered the normal one in his family and according to the weird ones that meant he should be punished daily. He never came out one way or another, if he found someone attractive, he was attracted. His life was complicated enough having a crush on the sweet and awkward Hunter, but now he had to throw Wren into the mix. Linus didn’t have time for dating or romance, most of the time he didn’t even think about having a sex life. Although, Wren and Hunter were ruining his calm.

Hunter was in lust with the handsome deputy the minute the man pulled him over, but a man like that wouldn’t give him the time of day. His friend, Linus, was another matter altogether. Hunter wanted both. His bosses made it work with their man, why couldn’t he? Could Hunter prove he wasn’t as much of a screw up as he appeared or would he have to call in backup to claim his men?

Author Bio

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Echoes in Death (In Death #44) by J.D. Robb

371 Pages
Publisher: Piatkus


New York at night. A young woman stumbles out on to a busy street – right in front of Lieutenant Eve Dallas and husband Roarke. Her name is Daphne Strazza, and she has been brutally assaulted. Confused and traumatised, she manages to tell them one thing. Her attacker wore a devil’s mask.

As Eve investigates this shocking case, she soon discovers a disturbing pattern. Someone is preying on wealthy couples, subjecting them to a cruel and terrifying ordeal. Worse still, the attacks are escalating in violence and depraved theatricality. Eve and her team are now in a race against time to find the man behind the mask — before he strikes again. But for Eve, his case in particular has unsettling echoes of her own troubled past.

My thoughts

After having done so 43 times before today I’m running out of ways to rave about these ‘In Death’ books. In fact, it’s probably fair to say I ran out of ideas several books ago. So I’m going to keep it simple. I adore these books. I adore the characters in them. And I adore the horrific crimes the amazing (and somewhat scary) imagination of Nora Roberts, in the guise of J.D. Robb. She really has a special talent for coming up with sick twisted bastards which is as fabulous as it is somewhat disturbing. J

But it is of course more than that. In fact, one thing I adore about this series and always eagerly anticipate, is the wonderful balance between the tension caused by horrifying crimes and the subsequent investigation, and laugh out loud funny conversations. The following fragment is a good example of the latter:

“(…) If Mira’s right, we’re looking for a schmuck with an Edison thing.”
“Edison? Like Thomas?”
“Who’s Edison Thomas?”
“I mean Thomas Edison. The inventor?” Peabody explained. “The lightbulb?”
“No, for Christ’s sake, this isn’t about lightbulbs. Like the sicko guy who married his own mother, than whined about it.”
After a moment’ confusion, Peabody’s own lightbulb went off. “That’s Oedipus. I’m pretty sure that’s Oedipus.”
“Edison, Oedipus, Platypus. Whatever.”

Or how about this one:

‘“(…) she used to purchase a sheep station in Porongurup — that’s Australia.”
“Why do sheep need a station? Are they catching trains? Where are they going? Why do they have to go there?”
“I imagine they find themselves herded onto trains from time to time, but a sheep station’s a ranch.”
“Then why do they call it a station?”
“Blame the Aussies.”’

What I really love about these books — apart from the well plotted and imaginative (some might say scarily imaginative) mysteries, the fast and well constructed conversations, the wonderful interactions between the various characters, and the vivid descriptions of New York City in the 2050’s — is the relationship between Eve and Roarke. It doesn’t really play a major role in the plots anymore, not after all these books and all the time they’ve spent together , but it’s always there. And in every single ‘In Death’ book there has been at least one moment when an interaction between Roarke and Eve brought tears to my eyes. With every book their relationship grows, deepens, becomes even more beautiful than it was before. And it’s an utter joy — a bit like watching two friends you’re very fond of getting every closer to each other.

I’m not entirely sure what else to say. This book is great. The series is fabulous. And if you haven’t read the In Death books by J.D. Robb yet, you probably should. That’s all.

Thursday, 13 July 2017

A Brighter Palette (Colors #1) by Brigham Vaughn

244 Pages


Annie Slocum is a bisexual woman struggling to make a living as a freelance writer. Stuck in a rut, she feels bored with her career, her relationships—her life. A chance meeting with Siobhán at a gallery adds a bright spark to her dull life. 

Siobhán Murray is a lesbian Irish painter living in Boston. She loves her career, loves her life, but she’s missing the one piece that will make her life complete—a partner. She falls hard for Annie and is delighted to realize Annie inspires her work. But a string of failed relationships has left her wary of bisexual women and wondering if she can trust that Annie won’t leave her. 

When Siobhán’s past comes back to haunt them, they’ll have to decide if the new relationship is something that will burn bright and end quickly or if it’s meant to last. 


This is going to be a bit of a weird review. You know how it’s possible to have a love-hate relationship with someone? Well, while I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ‘hate,’ I did have a two-sided reaction to this book. To make what could well turn into a long story, short(ish) let me just say that Siobhán rubbed me up the wrong way. I found myself totally charmed by her in the early stages of the story. Her easy wit and the fact that she makes no secret of who and what she is totally drew me in. On the other hand, her attitude towards bi-sexuals, and more importantly, the way in which she sometimes seemed to hold Annie’s sexuality against her, made me want to shake her.

What it boils down to is that this story dealt with a few issues that bug the shit out of me in real life. I don’t have time for bi-bashing. The whole idea of ‘gold star lesbians’ infuriates me. And I’m not very accepting or understanding when it comes to jealousy either. Given that poor Siobhán displays all these qualities it is hardly surprising that I spent a lot of time while reading this book growling at her.

So, you ask, after everything I just said, how did I still end up rating this book five glorious stars? Well, it’s no real mystery. If an author can make me lose myself in a story and compulsively turn the pages, despite one of the MCs hitting all the wrong buttons, it is a sure sign they wrote an amazing story. I’m not one to continue a book when I’m struggling with it — life’s too short. While I may have shouted at my Kindle once or twice while reading A Brighter Palette, and while I never managed to completely fall for Siobhán, I can’t deny that I was completely caught up in the story of her and Annie’s relationship. In fact, when an author makes me feel angry about the fact that I can’t climb into my Kindle to give a character a piece of my mind, I know I’m dealing with an exceptional book.

And, furthermore, for every yin there is an equal but opposite yang, aka Annie. It was a pure delight to watch this somewhat insecure and indecisive woman grow and (re)discover her strength and worth. In fact, I think it is safe to say that Annie and Siobhán are a clear example of first impressions being deceptive.

Brigham Vaughn is in a league of her own when it comes to creating characters who come to life on the page. Her writing is smooth and she sweeps me along while her descriptions, both of scenery and of sexy times so vibrant I can almost see the images and feel the caresses.

A Brighter Palette is a well written, captivating and thought-provoking romance. It takes what are huge issues for some people and forces Siobhán and Annie to come to terms with them, in the process forcing the reader to think about the topics in question.

For a glimpse at the problems bisexual women deal with on a daily basis, you could have a look at this light-hearted and yet very deep and informative video: Bisexuals taking down biphobia.

If you like your FF stories with strong characters, well written, vividly sexy, as well as intelligent and thought-provoking, I highly recommend A Brighter Palette. I’m already looking forward to reading the sequel, The Greenest Isle, and meeting up with these two fascinating women again.