Friday, September 22, 2017

Release Day Review: Why I Love Bodyguards by T.A. Chase #Review #Giveaway

Author: T.A. Chase
Book: Why I Love Bodyguards 2nd Edition
Series: Why I Love #3
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Cover Artist: Anne Cain
Publication date: September 22, 2017
Length: 200 pages

Reviewed by Jenn


A Why I Love... Novel

Hilton Burke might be one of the most powerful men in the world, but he can’t get what he wants the most. Every time he sees Cathal McKinley, his head of security, Hilton wishes they could be more than just employer and employee. In fact, he might be in love with Cathal, even though they’ve never slept together.

Cathal McKinley accepts how much he wants his boss, but he’s pretty sure Hilton will never date him. They come from two different worlds. Now that he has to return to Sunburst, Montana, to deal with family problems, Cathal knows there is no chance for them to get together.

Hilton and Cathal spent years dancing around each other, but when Cathal needs help the most, Hilton comes to Montana to support him. Soon they’re struggling with children and an old friend who won’t take no for an answer. Finally admitting their love out loud might be the least of their worries.

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This book is the third book in the Why I Love series, but can be read as a standalone.

Hilton Burke is one of the most powerful men in the world and also one of the loneliest. He has a not so secret crush on his head of security, Cathal McKinley. Cathal not so secretly returns that crush. Both men are afraid to make a move until a call from home sends Cathal back to last place he wants to go....Sunset, Montana.

Hilton will step up and come through for Cathal and his family in ways no one ever has before. Soon these two will stop dancing around what's been right in front of them all along.Two men without families will walk into a ready made one and learn that home may just be wherever the other is.

This was such a good read, the main characters are good men, who do the right thing, but still have some edge to them. The kids in this book come off realistic and fleshed out, which I always enjoy. There is heart and humor and a sense of sometimes you really can go home again!


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Random Review: Lavender by Xavier Axelson #Review #Goodreads

Author: Xavier Axelson
Book: Lavender
Publisher: JMS Books
Publication date: July 15, 2017
Length: 85 pages

Reviewed by Michael


Following the sudden death of his father, Lawrence "Law" Crow must not only comfort his bereaved mother, but also find the strength to continue running the family business, a local and beloved lavender farm in the mountains of northern California. At first, consumed with his own grief and struggling to find meaning in life, Law indulges in his vices, mainly by surrendering to his sexual urges with numerous men, all in a desperate battle to forget his pain and to end the emotional turmoil tearing him apart.

But when a stunningly handsome and passionate Spanish soccer player named Garbi suddenly crosses his path, Law discovers light in the possibility of love. Does Garbi have the ability to heal Law's shattered heart, provide him with purpose, and help him fully embrace the joy of living once again amidst the beautiful and fragrant lavender fields?

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Grief can make people do things they wouldn’t normally do.  Some people lose themselves in drugs and alcohol, some to deep depression, and some to sex.  The latter is the case for Lawrence after the death of his father.

Lawrence and his parents own and operate a lavender farm, and have done so for years.  Lawrence’s father dies suddenly from a heart attack, throwing the surviving members of his family into chaos.  His father's wishes were to be cremated and his ashes spread, but Lawrence and his mother can’t bring themselves to do it.  Lawrence carries a sense of guilt because of this, which just intensifies his anger over his father’s sudden death.  When his mother leaves, he spirals deeper into despair.

Anger and guilt can be a toxic combination, driving even the strongest individuals into a deep state of dispair.  Lawrence’s only real outlet are his sexual conquests.  And I mean conquests almost literally.  He is emotionally unattached from the men he sleeps with, seeing them more as a temporary fix rather than actual people.  A band-aid, if you will, used to heal a broken bone.

It’s not until he meets Garbi that his stance begins to soften.  They meet quite by accident in the most random of ways.  Something I hadn’t seen in a book before.  In fact, there was quite a bit in this book that I hadn’t seen.  Some of it refreshing, some of it not so much.


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Blog Tour: Bad Boy's Bard by EJ Russell ~ Guest Post #Review #Giveaway

Author: EJ Russell
Book: Bad Boy's Bard
Series: Fae Out Of Water #3
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Cover Artist: Lou Harper
Publication Date: September 18, 2017
Length: 301 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


As far as rock star Gareth Kendrick, the last true bard in Faerie, is concerned, the only good Unseelie is . . . well . . . there’s no such thing. Two centuries ago, an Unseelie lord abducted Gareth’s human lover, Niall, and Gareth has neither forgotten nor forgiven.

Niall O’Tierney, half-human son of the Unseelie King, had never lost a wager until the day he swore to rid the Seelie court of its bard. That bet cost him everything: his freedom, his family—and his heart. When he’s suddenly face-to-face with Gareth at the ceremony to join the Seelie and Unseelie realms, Niall does the only thing inhumanly possible: he fakes amnesia. Not his finest hour, perhaps, but he never revealed his Unseelie heritage, and to tell the truth now would be to risk Gareth’s revulsion—far harder to bear than two hundred years of imprisonment.

Then a new threat to Gareth’s life arises, and he and Niall stage a mad escape into the Outer World, only to discover the fate of all fae resting on their shoulders. But before they can save the realm, they have to tackle something really tough: mending their own broken relationship

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Guest Post

During the initial revision of any book, I invariably end up cutting a lot of material as I try to fit my chaotic first draft into a state that won’t make my editor’s eyes cross. The knottier the plot or character problem, the more words I tend to spew while trying to resolve it. In Bad Boy’s Bard, one of the issues I had to resolve was how to make Niall able to converse in modern English, and navigate the Outer World with reasonable facility, when he hadn’t seen the outside of the underworld forge since the Georgian era.

In this deleted scene between Niall and his brother Eamon (soon to be crowned King of the converged Faerie courts), I explored one option (as well as hinted at some of Niall’s other past escapades—plus gave a shout-out to one of my favorite Suzanne Brockmann books).


Eamon has tracked Niall down where he’s hiding in the Keep kitchen. Eamon speaks first.

“You’ve got the chancellor as nervous as feral cat. He keeps startling at every noise and looking over his shoulder more than he looks where he’s walking.”

“Me? I haven’t done anything.”

“Exactly. But he expects you to. You would have before—“

“Perhaps.” Niall shut down the rictus of grief that threatened to ambush his face and grinned instead. A travesty of his old expression, perhaps, but he couldn’t be bothered to care. “But I’m on the injured reserve list.”

“‘Injured reserve’? Where did you learn that term?”

Niall held up his book. “Research.”

Eamon squinted at the title. “Hot Target? Is that an archery text?”

“Hardly. It’s what they call a romantic suspense novel.”

“Really? I’d think that you’d look for more . . . more scholarly tomes to help you learn about the changes in the Outer World.”

“Nothing is better than popular entertainment for that. I learned that from Will Shakespeare.”

“He was a bad influence on you.”

“Will? Why do you say that?”

“It wasn’t until you joined his company that you started to openly defy Father.”

It hadn’t been Will who’d done that. It had been Niall’s inability to save Kit Marlowe. If he hadn’t provoked that tavern brawl . . .

“Never mind.” Niall set the book aside. “The chancellor isn’t the only one who’s acting like a skittish mare. Are you certain your advisors are on board with the Convergence?”

“They don’t have much choice. It’s the Convergence or death by entropy.”

“In case you hadn’t noticed, Unseelie fae aren’t famous for our strategic forethought. In the past, we’d be the ones urging entropy.” Hells, Niall would have been at the front of the pack, pulling every prank in his arsenal to hasten the downfall. But that was when his father had been King. His brother was a better man altogether. A better man than the Unseelie court deserved.

“Yet strangely, when faced with their own demise,” Eamon said, his tone drier than the herbs hanging from the rafters, “they show remarkable ability to change their tunes.”

“Are you counting on that? Their self-interest?”

He shrugged. “It’s one of the tenets. We look out for ourselves before any other.”

“Then what are you doing, working for the good of all?” Niall scooted his stool closer to the fire. “You’d better watch out, or they’ll believe those old rumors that you’re a Seelie changeling.”


As it turned out, I abandoned this line of “research” for Niall in favor of a different “modernization” method. What is it, you ask? Ah, that would be telling… ;-)


Throughout this series we have seen glimpses of Gareth, the one true Bard. His story was revealed piece by piece but in this one we get the entire tale.

Gareth is the last of the Kendrick brothers. I don’t know what this means for the series, if it ends, or there’s spin-offs or what but I can say if the author ended it here that would bring it full circle.

I don’t want to give away any spoilers because there’s a lot revealed in this. We see all the characters in play here. David, Bryce, the Kendrick brothers, Eamon… the list goes on. There’s a finality to all of it as every secret is told. Every tear shed has served it’s purpose and the Kendrick brothers have all found love.

These are not standalones at all. We are following one large story arc so you need to start with book one (Cutie and the Beast).

There’s suspense, and heartbreak, a haunting feeling as we follow Gareth and Niall’s story. I can’t imagine what two hundred years of thinking something false does to a person when the truth slams you in the face.

The whole series is wonderful for sure and I’d recommend this to anyone who is a fan of fantasy, magic, myth, and legend.

The only issue I had at all, and this was with each one, was the stubbornness of the fae. Because they were like that, they lacked communication. Every time their “partner “would say, “We need to talk.” They’d be like, “Not now. Now let’s just be happy.” Then the truth would come out and they would have a fit and I’d sit here like OMG they tried to tell you. That’s just me though but it was frustrating.

Overall this is a great book and a wonderful series. Give it a go!

About the Fae Out of Water Series

Once upon a time, there were three brothers, nobles of the Seelie Court of Faerie, who set out to seek their fortunes. The eldest—

Scratch that. Rrrrrewind.

Nowadays, when tales are told in 140 character bursts on tiny LED screens, rather than spun out by the glow of a midnight campfire, even Faerie’s elite have to get with the program.

The Kendrick brothers have traded longbow for briefcase, battle steed for Harley, and enchanted harp for electric guitar.  But while they’re finding their feet in the modern world, instead of finding their fortunes, they stumble straight into love.


 About the Author

E.J. Russell holds a BA and an MFA in theater, so naturally she’s spent the last three decades as a financial manager, database designer, and business-intelligence consultant. After her twin sons left for college and she no longer spent half her waking hours ferrying them to dance class, she returned to her childhood love of writing fiction. Now she wonders why she ever thought an empty nest meant leisure.

E.J. lives in rural Oregon with her curmudgeonly husband, the only man on the planet who cares less about sports than she does. She enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.

Connect with E.J.:


To celebrate the release of all three books in the Fae Out of Water series, one lucky winner across all three tours will receive a GRAND PRIZE of a $50 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the Bad Boy’s Bard tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Flashback Friday: The Demon You Know by Barbara Elsborg #Review #Giveaway

Author: Barbara Elsborg
Book: The Demon You Know
Publisher: Loose ID
Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde
Publication date: April 27, 2017
Length: 226 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


A good demon?

Ezra is a timekeeper in Hell, responsible for building and maintaining the clocks that tick away eternal torment. He’s never believed he deserves to be in Hell, and when the reason he’s there is revealed, he’s horrified...yet filled with hope. But is this just another form of torture? When Ezra’s given a chance to go to the surface, he’s determined to uncover the truth, but his fellow demons seem just as determined he won’t survive the journey.

A bad angel?

Roman doesn’t understand why an angel who failed his training the first time round has been given the job of policing paranormals in the UK’s capital city. He’s consumed by unhappiness. He might not be in Hell, but sometimes it damn well feels like it.

When Roman meets Ezra his failings come back to haunt him. Ezra makes him want to break the rules, but an angel protecting a demon? Discovery would bring an eternity of suffering, and with a boss none other than the archangel Michael, it'll take more than a miracle for the lovers to stand together.

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For the Flashback Friday I’m going to Hell…. For reals! The Demon You Know is probably my favorite book by this author. I remember reading this two years ago like it was yesterday. I remember how I ached and cried for Ezra through the entire thing and when his whole story was told feeling so moved that I was hungover for days.

The author takes us into Hell for this book and I always find it interesting to see how people perceive Hell to be. She really honed in on the depravity and darkness. 

This is book three in this series and funny enough, I read this one before the others. So easily it can be a standalone. Ezra is a demon and the other MC in this Roman, the one whose heart belongs to him, is an angel. Makes you think of that quote, “A fish could love a bird but where would they live?”

This was such a gripping, entertaining, suspenseful read. I didn’t want it to ever end and yet I wanted it to so that I could get to the happily ever after. She really makes you work for that happiness and I loved every minute.

I honestly can’t recommend this book enough as a must read and re-read. It will shake your soul and keep you thinking. It will stay with you long after it ends and you will long for more.


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