Monday, 29 August 2016

Wes’ Denial by Joseph Lance Tonlet - Release Day Review & Giveaway



Title: Wes’ Denial: Tease and Denial Book Two
Release date: 09/01/2016
Publisher: JLT Publishing
Cover & Graphic Artist: Preston Hultz, www.prestonhultz.com
Genre: M/M, Romance, Erotica, BDSM, D/s
Novel
103K+ Words / 300+ Pages


Blurb:

Wes has spent his life looking for that one special guy who will understand and love him—all of him. From his tender vanilla side, to his darker debauched side.

Throughout high school, his successful career in the Marines, and as a BDSM Dom, he’s remained confident his partner is out there waiting to be found.

However, several events shake his normally unflappable self–assurance.

And, even after he finds Grif, will his past catch up with him and possibly drive his soul mate away?

Tags: GAY, EROTICA, BDSM, D/s, DEGRADATION, SPH, BITTERSWEET,
  

Buy links:
Author’s Website      PayHip (PreferredARe    Smashwords

Lulu    Google Play    Amazon





My thoughts:

“It’s an irreplaceable gift they choose to give us and it’s a gift they can just as easily choose to take back. Never fucking forget that, Quinn. Particularly when your sadistic cock and inflated ego are trying to tell you otherwise.”

Some books shouldn’t be allowed to end. But because stories invariably must come to a conclusion and I really didn’t want to say goodbye to Wes and Grif I did something I almost never do and rationed my reading. In fact, it would be safe to say that, in keeping with one of Wes and Grif’s preferred kinks, I denied myself the pleasure of reaching the end as quickly as I could have. And still I’m sorry I didn’t manage to make the book last longer. Because while Grif’s Toy was a fantastic read, this one is even better.

It was quite a journey because, dear God, Joseph Lance Tonlet sure knows how to draw his readers in and shatter their hearts at the same time. Chapter one is short but it packs a punch hard enough to leave you breathless and devastated. But, after that first chapter the story settles down and, as was the case for Grif in Grif’s Toy, we are shown both Wes’ past and his and Grif’s present in alternating chapters. In the process we learn how Wes turned into the man we met in the earlier book and how his relationship with Grif grows, develops, and gets ever closer and kinkier.

These two men are so perfect for each other. Their desires and needs are mirror images of each other. They complement each other, fit together like two halves of the same coin and yet, there’s a part of himself Wes is afraid to share with Grif. You see, Wes’ Denial is a most appropriate title for this book because the story isn’t ‘just’ about Wes denying Grif his pleasure and orgasms. It is also, or maybe more so, about Wes denying a part of himself, a part he’s afraid of, a part he doesn’t trust, a part that has led to horrific consequences in the past, a part of himself he can’t show to Grif although—or maybe because—he loves Grif more than life itself.

Like Grif’s Toy this is a very sexy and kinky story. I have to admit I’m surprised at how much the kink affected me despite the fact that I’d run a mile if anyone would even come close to playing with me the way Wes plays with Grif. But, while I loved all those scenes, I adored the depth of their feelings for each other even more. The trust necessary to maintain a relationship like these two men have is staggering and a thing of beauty. And yet, at no point is either man portrayed as perfect. Wes, in this book, is shown to be all too human and fallible and he’s all the more beautiful for it.

I don’t think there was a single word in this book I didn’t love. Over the almost twenty-four hours since I finished the book, Wes and Grif have never been far from my mind. Images, phrases and ideas keep on swirling through my head, making me smile and reigniting some of that excitement I experienced while reading.

Pushing boundaries is a huge part of BDSM, and if there is such a thing, the books by this author are my personal boundary pushing reading experience. I’m enjoying scenes and descriptions I feel I maybe ought to frown upon, and yet I can’t. JLT has managed to make me appreciate, admire, and even feel curious about something I don’t understand and can’t begin to wrap my head around and that, in and of itself, is a five star achievement.

I’m not going to say anything concrete about it, but I do want to finish this review by saying that for me this book ended perfectly. In fact, the ending could have been written for me. And while I hope that the author will at some point tell us more about Quinn and Gage, I won’t complain too hard if he doesn’t because Grif and Wes’ story is perfection, exactly as it is.

Long story short: Wes' Denial is almost certainly the best book I have read this year so far. And if it wasn't impossible for more reasons than I can count, I'd ask Joseph Lance Tonlet to marry me, just for having written that epilogue.

Related post: Grif’s Toy

Author information:

Name: Joseph Lance Tonlet

Bio:

JOSEPH is a born and raised Southern Californian—with a twenty-year stint of living in the Midwest. He loves the laid-back lifestyle of San Diego and considers himself lucky to live where people dream of vacationing.

A lifelong reader of m/m fiction, he began his writing career one night sitting at his MacBook and has never looked back. He writes to bring the characters he dreams about to life.

Social Media:

Email Address:  jlt@josephlancetonlet.com

Personal Website      Facebook       Twitter (18+)          Ello     Google+

Pinterest       Tumblr (18+)           Goodreads     YouTube


Giveaway:






Sunday, 28 August 2016

The Deeper He Hurts by Lynda Aicher - A Pre-Release Review



Kick #2
224 pages
Publisher: Loveswept
Release Date September 6, 2016
Copy received from the publisher through Netgalley

The blurb:

Asher Ruggiero, a partner at Adrenaline Kick Adventures, is living a lie. As a control freak whose big Italian family thinks he’s straight, Asher likes his encounters concise, dirty, and discreet—until his company’s new rafting guide walks into work, dripping with brooding, intense sexuality. Sawyer Stevens is a mystery man with secrets and rough edges, and he makes Asher want to get to know him inside and out.

Ever since the tragic death of his parents, Sawyer has dedicated himself to the rush of adrenaline that comes from pleasure and pain. Moving from one guy to another, hiding when life gets too complicated—that’s all he can handle. So why does Asher make him long for something lasting and honest, when the gorgeous geek can’t even be true to himself? Sawyer wants to give Asher his heart, but he just doesn’t know how. After all, a life without integrity is a life without passion—and that’s the one thing Sawyer craves.

My thoughts:

“Pain given and received equally in an exchange of need more than power.”

It’s only fair to start this review with a warning; it will be more me fan-girling about a book I adored and a story that touched me deeply, than a coherent reflection of my thoughts. And before I get all incoherent and start gushing let me just say that this book went straight to my ‘extra special’ list because it will stay with me for a long time to come.

Lynda Aicher ventures were few romance authors dare to go in The Deeper He Hurts. Just like The Harder He Falls, this book’s story is not quite BDSM. Sure, it plays by the BDSM rules in so far as that safewords are mentioned, but Ash is a sadist rather than a Dom and while Sawyer may be a pain slut, he is nobody’s sub. And that is what makes them perfect play partners, despite the fact that Asher has a rule against relationships with employees and Sawyer doesn’t want, need, or trust connections. Ms Aicher doesn’t flinch away from the thoughts and feelings a sadist harbours anymore than the needs of someone finding release in pain. Those scenes should have been shocking and even hard to read but weren’t. In fact they were stunningly beautiful.

Asher and Sawyer are two men who have convinced themselves that they are better off alone. Asher because he can’t figure out how to come out to his family and Sawyer because he knows, without a shadow of a doubt that to let people into his heart is a sure fire way to loss and pain. And yet, knowing you’re better off on your own with your head doesn’t always mean your heart is on board with the game.

Asher is the first to recognise, acknowledge and also accept the feelings he’s developing for Sawyer. In fact, Asher has no qualms revealing his secrets and darkness to the man he’s falling for. Sawyer on the other hand has built such strong walls around himself that he finds it impossible to open up. Even as he has to acknowledge to himself that Asher has gotten under his skin, he can’t bring himself to accept it; not to himself and especially not to Asher.

“Sawyer hid so much from everyone, he doubted anyone really knew him. Not even himself. Asher’s level of self-awareness was both humbling and terrifying. What would he find if he looked that deeply at himself? If he let anyone else see beneath the layers to who he really was?”

I hurt for Sawyer and I hurt for Asher and yet I cheered whenever they were together, doing what they were perfectly matched to do together. Who knew there was this much beauty in the giving and receiving of pain, just for the sake of pain? Because trust me, the description of the scenes between Asher and Sawyer is nothing short of glorious.

In fact, every single word in The Deeper He Hurts is a thing of beauty. I had so many sentences and paragraphs highlighted in this book it was almost embarrassing. Picking my favourites to share here almost broke my heart, but I managed it.

Sawyer is lonely, and the care Asher takes with him the first time he inflicts his pain is a stark reminder of that loneliness. Especially since the relief only lasts as long as the pain lingers; as soon as it lessens Sawyers need to isolate himself resurfaces with a vengeance, except now he’s had a taste of what could be.

“And he gave him all of it.
Every ounce of the hurt and pleasure that blinded his sight and trembled from his core. The well of emptiness that could only be filled by the pain. The years of isolation and loneliness he’d blocked into survival.
The crazy, mounting yearning to be held. To live instead of survive.
It flew from him until there was nothing left.
Nothing put the pain.”

Ash’s reflections on Sawyer’s self inflicted scars made me pause for thought. Self-harm is of course damaging, but it’s worthwhile reflecting on what it gives to those who indulge in such an escape.

“Whatever had caused every one of these marks would’ve hurt like a son of a bitch. Some deep, others more superficial, each magnificent to Ash. Where others might see ugly and deformed, he saw strength. Courage. Agony challenged and defeated.”

Sawyer needs the pain, even if it is a mixed blessing.

“Every ache was a testament to how alive he was.”

Sawyer feels as guilty about being alive as he’s grateful for it even if he’s convinced he shouldn’t be. He needs the pain to remind himself he’s living, while it also reminds him of those who don’t anymore. He’s pushed his feelings aside for so long, he’s no longer sure who he is and what he’d find if he allowed himself to really look into the heart of himself. Until Sawyer finds the courage to give and feel fully; I’m not ashamed to admit that I cheered—out loud—when that happened.

“His orgasm built from his groin but burst from his heart. It slammed through every fiber, tore from his chest in a long cry, and pierced through the hurt to wipe out the pain.”

The Deeper He Hurts tells a pain filled story without ever becoming overly angsty. It drew me into the minds and lives of two men I couldn’t help loving and rooting for. The sex scenes between them, both those centred around pain and those that were only about giving and receiving tenderness and love, touched me deeply. And just when I thought I’d given all my emotions to this book I came to the dedication which describes this wonderful, amazing, touching and heart-warming story better than I ever could:

“To those who’ve hurt, those who’ve healed, and those who’ve walked the line between both. And to those who understand that sometimes you have to hurt in order to heal.”

Lynda Aicher has never let me down. Every single one of her books made a lasting impression on me. And while I didn’t think it was possible, it is safe to say that she’s getting better with every subsequent book.

Related review: The Harder He Falls

Pre-order / Buy links: Amazon       Amazon UK


Guns n' Boys: Chokehold (Book #5) KA Merikan - Release Blitz & Giveaway

Guns n' Boys: Chokehold (Book #5) 


Author: KA Merikan

Release Date: August 27 2016

Buy Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK

Length: 110,000 words

Series Links

Guns n' Boys: He is Poison (Book #1) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: He is Mine (Book #2) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: Paris (Book #2.1) Amazon US  Amazon UK 
Guns n' Boys: Homicidal Instinct (Book #3) Amazon US  Amazon UK
Guns n' Boys: Swamp Blood (Book #4) Amazon US  Amazon UK 



Blurb

The ugliest truths blossom into the prettiest lies. 

A year into the relationship with Domenico, Seth still wants him as desperately as ever. Nothing is better than being intoxicated with lust for his deadly man and feeling his steady hands all over. 

No matter the misunderstandings, the fights... The crash. The burn. 

Crossing the Mexican border has been a goal for Seth and Domenico for a few months, but the trip couldn’t have ended in more of a disaster. While Domenico is stuck at home, for Seth each passing day becomes more difficult. Desperate to keep his family afloat, he accepts a job offer from Los Sepultureros. The Gravediggers. 

When Domenico’s need for control starts eroding their trust, Seth is sure their love can conquer all. But when Domenico rips open the wound left after the violence at the beginning of their relationship, it gushes blood all over their cozy lies and this time, there may be no way to seal it. 



Author Bio

K. A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are taken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite pushing thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Website 
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Saturday, 27 August 2016

Lost in the Echo by Jack L. Pyke


Book Information:




Story blurb:


Three days. Three questions. Three answers.

Kidnapped, blindfolded, and bound to a bed, running away isn't an option any more for Will Chambers. Despite being a linguistic tutor and having every conversational tool at his disposal, all Will wanted to do was fade into the background, become lost in the echo of wild heath and harbour. But now someone wants to put his body and mind on full display, force Will to find his voice—answer three questions, over three days. All Will has to do is provide three... simple... answers.

My thoughts:

This is going to be one of those ‘o my God, I want to say all the things but I can’t give anything away’ sorta reviews. This story blew me away. It had me wondering and guessing what exactly was going on from the start and the answers and revelations were nothing short of stunning.

This is a story about grief and (not) dealing with it. It’s about a man, Will, who has shut himself down. He actively avoids feeling and dealing with what has happened and doesn’t realise—or refuses to see—that this road will lead him to more rather than less loss and pain.

Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. Sometimes the kindest thing you can do for another is break them down to their basics so that they can find a foundation to build themselves up again. Sometimes the questions you least want to answer are those that will allow you to move forward, if only you find the courage or incentive to face them.

I loved how this story was written. Exactly what is going on, what has happened and how it relates to what is happening in the present is only slowly revealed. The reader has to pay attention; every word is important, every action has a reason and every thought reveals more than is clear at first glance.

There’s darkness, fear, anger, and despair in this story but ultimately this is a story about hope, about bonds that can’t be broken and turning your gaze to the future rather than allowing the past to swallow you whole.

I’m sorry. I know I’m being very vague here, but trust me when I say that I do so on purpose, be it reluctantly. You’ll want to experience this story. A large part of the magic this tale weaves lies in the fact that the reader only slowly discovers what is happening and why. You’ll just have to trust me when I say that you should read this book and allow the mystery to reveal itself as you turn the pages. It is impossible to do so without feeling the pain, experiencing the fear, and hoping that feelings that have been ignored for too long are still strong enough to forge a new future.


This was my first book by Jack L. Pyke but it most certainly won’t be my last. This author has a unique voice and a magical way with words. It was impossible not to be drawn into Will’s experience and emotions. Last night I went to sleep thinking about this story and this morning it was the first thing I thought about when I woke up. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the same thing happened again tonight. Lost in the Echo is a worthy addition to my list of extra special books. I can’t wait to find out if the other books Jack L. Pyke has written will affect me in a similar fashion.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Cover & Blurb Reveal Plus Giveaway - Snow In Montana (Montana #4) - RJ Scott



Author: RJ Scott

Release Date: December 7 2016

Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Length: 50,000 words

Series


Blurb

An actor in the closet, a sheriff stuck in a rut, and memories that won’t stay hidden. Will Christmas at Crooked Tree be cancelled?

Jordan Darby is known as the King of Christmas. The star of eight made-for-TV Christmas movies; he is the leading man that always gets his girl. Filming at Crooked Tree in an icy, snowy March he is fighting studio execs, and his fears of exposure, over one huge secret. After all, who the hell would hire him if it came out that their romantic lead was gay?

Sheriff Ryan Carter is advising on the new movie being made at Crooked Tree. He had hoped this would be one day of work and nothing else. Until that is, he meets the sexy hero of the movie. Jordan is spiky, resigned, angry, stuck in the closet and everything that Ryan doesn’t need in his life. Until that is, lust becomes part of the equation.

Against the chaos that has overtaken the ranch, Adam regains a memory that threatens his love with Ethan, and it is Justin who has to make sense of it all for everyone. Only through trusting in love and friendship can these two men, learn to look to the future, instead of letting the past destroy everything.

And then maybe, for everyone at Crooked Tree, there can be peace by Christmas.



Author Bio:

RJ Scott is the bestselling gay romance author of over ninety MM romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men 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. 

RJ also writes MF romance under the name Rozenn Scott.

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.


Website        Facebook       Goodreads     Twitter         Librarything

Giveaway:



Thursday, 25 August 2016

Volatile (Treacherous Chemistry #1) by Avylinn Winter



Author: Avylinn Winter

Links:


Add to Goodreads

Length: 72,000 words

The Violinist (Now called Volatile), won a Watty award in 2015 in the LGBT+ category. The Wattys is the world’s largest online writing contest hosted once a year by Wattpad.

Blurb

Like a depressed moth drawn to a wild flame, Chris hoped that flame would brighten his life, not burn him alive.

Chris Sinclair fades into a grey world after losing his mother to cancer. When forced to attend a concert as a last attempt to coax him out of his shell, he discovers that life might not be as bleak as he first thought.

Dante Heron holds the audience between the tips of his fingers and the delicate bow, playing the violin as if every heart is his to command. However, something darker brews behind the fa├žade, and Chris is determined to solve the enigma.

When Chris is offered the job of traveling around Europe with the famous violinist, he surprises himself by accepting. With no idea what awaits him, he's thrown into a world where emotions rule and rules are bent.

They're a perfectly dysfunctional match, but then there's always calm at the heart of 
the storm.



My thoughts

This is going to be a hard review for me to write. Volatile is a wonderful book and flawlessly written, it just wasn’t a book for me. But, I have absolutely no doubt that my reasons for finding this a harder story to read will be the main reasons others are going to adore it.

But, let me start with everything that was wonderful about this book before I get to my very personal reasons for having a hard time with it. This is a very well written story. The words and descriptions hooked me from the moment I started reading. I really felt as if I was in Chris’s head, I could feel his gloom, I shared his fears and excitement, and his pain tore through me.

Because we experience everything that happens through Chris’s eyes and thoughts, and Chris is ‘only’ twenty years old and therefore not yet very world wise, Dante remained almost as much of an enigma to me as he was for Chris. But, and this was done very well, I did have a better understanding of what might be going on with the talented violinist than Chris had. But, to be fair, Chris was still fighting a few demons of his own, which made it harder for him to recognise Dante’s.

That’s what this story is about; two troubled and fragile young men trying to find and keep their footing in a world that appears to expect them to live, act, and perform in a manner well beyond their age. I think my heart started breaking about two paragraphs into the story, and it didn’t stop until I had almost finished the book.

And that, in a nutshell, is my personal issue with this book. I don’t do angst. I don’t deal with it very well and avoid it in my reading when I can. And there’s angst a plenty in Volatile and it is very well done. While a lot of the angst is the result of Chris and Dante just not communicating with each other—one of my pet peeves— it made perfect sense in this story. In fact, if they had talked about all their issues with each other, it would have been completely out of character. Given who they are, their ages, and individual histories, their relationship couldn’t have developed in any other way. But, knowing all of that, did not make it easier for me to read.

Long story short; if you enjoy very well written stories, featuring two fascinating young men building a troubled relationship, and a liberal dose of angst, this is THE book for you. Go read it and enjoy while I try to figure out whether or not I want to read the next book when it comes out. Because on the one hand, Avylinn Winter is a wonderful writer and storyteller, but on the other hand, my heart can only take so much angst.

Author Bio

Raised in one of the cold corners of the world, Avylinn spends her days either wrapped up in a blanket or basking in the precious sunlight. When she can’t choose herself, she’s holed up in an office working with climate research that has little to do with the worlds and characters she creates in her vivid dreams.

Always the emotional one, she has found her outlet in writing, voicing thoughts, emotions and fears through her characters that feel very much alive to her. And, what began as a hobby soon took more and more time in her life until she realized that she had left her old life behind and entered a new one where her emotions turned into a super power—ready to launch at her poor readers.

She recharges with the help of coffee, cinnamon buns, popcorn and occasionally a healthier alternative.

Social media links    

Website        Facebook     Twitter         Wattpad

Giveaway