Monday, 31 January 2011

With These words – Sondrae Bennett

A Gentler Alpha

I’ve been reading romance novels practically my whole life. I got sucked into the world of charming heroes and heroines from the very beginning. Every time I picked up a book, I fell in love. I still today remember some of my favorite heroes I read about years and years ago.

It wasn’t until much later that I started hearing terms like “Alpha Male” and “Beta Male”. It took me awhile to spot the difference as I never felt the need to categorize the heroes I read about. I certainly fell in love with heroes from both sides of the coin. But I didn’t always like what I saw. Heroes were classified as alpha for being (pardon my language) complete dicks. I didn’t understand it. That wasn’t my idea of a perfect guy. I like to think I would never fall for that guy in life, so why would I fall for him in fiction? But the idea of the “alpha male” was something that appealed to me. Someone who could protect unequivocally. So when I started writing Arctic Winds, I thought about all the things I liked and wanted in a man and created Jason, my version of the alpha male.

Jason is an alpha wolf shifter and leader of his wolf pack. But he embodies what I like to think of as ‘A gentler alpha’. He is strong enough to take down anyone who poses a threat, but doesn’t feel the need to use his strength against others unwarranted. He doesn’t demand the respect others give him, he earns it. And they give it to him, knowing not only can he protect them, but he will without question or complaint. Without needing something in return. Is he perfect? Of course not. What fun would that be? What he has is the strength of character to overcome his imperfections. But most importantly, he’s someone I could see myself falling in love with. And I hope my readers can (and do!) as well. After all, isn’t that why we read romance novels? To feel all the joy and pain that comes with falling in love?

© Sondrae Bennett

 

Featured Book

Arctic Winds

Alpine Woods Shifter Series Book 1

Author: Sondrae Bennett

Publisher: Lyrical Press

Genre: Lycan Paranormal

Buy Link

Nothing will stop a wolf once he’s found his mate…not even her own doubts.

After her skulk abandoned her four years ago, Samantha knew she would never truly be wanted. When she accidentally stumbles into a wolf town and is asked by their premier to stay, she believes it’s the novelty of an arctic fox motivating him. She knows she’ll be on her own again once he tires of her.

Jason finds himself pulled to Samantha from the moment she faints in his arms. His wolf is calling to him, telling him he’s found their mate and the heat he feels for Samantha is impossible to resist. But his little fox is loaded down with emotional baggage and doesn’t believe she’s worthy of love. Can he overcome her fears? Or will pack jealousies and the local foxes convince her she doesn’t belong with him before he has a chance?

 

Excerpt

About Sondrae

Sondrae has been an avid reader of romance books since the tender age of twelve when her mother gave her one while she recovered from her wisdom teeth removal. Ever since then, she's been hooked. Her tastes in genres have expanded over the years, from the sweet contemporaries to the darker paranormal and even the steamy erotica, she loves them all. It wasn't until she started envisioning multiple endings for books she was reading that she decided to try her hand at writing one.

She believes the best characters are those deeply and truthfully invested in situations they find themselves in. Sondrae usually lets her characters speak for themselves, and considers herself merely the vessel through which her hero's and heroine's interact. Above all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever afters they deserve, after a little necessary drama first.

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Welcome to the world of publishing Sondrae and I wish you every success.…..

 

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Monday Catch – up, What are you reading….


A weekly event hosted by Sheila - Book Journey to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week

Books I completed last week

Sue Brown - Morning Report

Starla Kaye - Ranch Christmas Trilogy

Cooper William - Texan Summer

Stephanie Julian - Moonlight Temptation

by SA Welsh - Jaguar Mate - Pack Valley 1

 Book Pimping

Miss Minnie and the Brass Pluggit
Sahara Kelly

Buy link

He isn’t made of brass…but that won’t stop him from steaming up her nights.

Flouting convention and raising eyebrows from aristocratic drawing rooms to Whitehall, Lady Minnie Dalrymple takes men to her bed as she pleases. She doesn’t do favors outside the boudoir, particularly for politically powerful men whose motives are rarely pure. Yet when her lover asks her to visit the mysterious Dr. Pierce Lowell, she’s intrigued. Why should she be asked to essentially spy on the reclusive scientist?

Pierce has several projects under development, none of which he cares to share with the public. The arrival of any unexpected guest rouses suspicion, but the wealthier-than-God, eccentric young widow certainly isn’t threatening…not to his experiments, anyway. To his heart? That’s another matter entirely.

Their lighthearted, mutual exploration is interrupted by the discovery of a woman’s body found strangled just offshore. When Minnie learns this is the fourth such crime, it isn’t difficult to convince Pierce that working at his side to uncover the plot is the safest place to be. Until she is kidnapped. To save the woman he has come to love, Pierce must call on every ounce of ingenuity and brilliance—and reveal his most closely guarded secret.

Saving McCade
Angela Claire

Buy Link

What more could an innocent man behind bars want but a conjugal visit from a sexy stranger? A get out of jail free card, maybe?

Undercover agent Meredith DeView is offering Steve McCade a deal: work with her in a secluded safe house to crack the smuggling ring at his old tech company, and the FBI will guarantee he never has to return to prison.

Sounds good...if he can only keep his hands off the hot agent who’s rescued him.

Meredith is sex and salvation all wrapped up in one for McCade, but there’s a dark truth that’s driven her to seek him out. By getting him to the safe house, Meredith ensures that McCade goes free, even if she never comes clean.

When McCade finally learns the truth, will he hate Meredith, or will the truth set them both free?

Up next on the reading deck

Strange Familiar by Cassidy Hunter

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Sunday, 30 January 2011

The Sunday Salon, NaBloPoMo: January 30th – Reading, life and other stuff

Hello my book mates,

I hope the weekend is treating you all fine and you are all bracing yourself for the week ahead. I hate Monday’s, I am sure you can tell.

My weekend has been filled with cutting papers, gluing and loads of glitter courtesy of time spend with the niece. We are having a great time at a two day fair, it’s not so warm here at the moment – but what better way is there than to spend the day with ladies who speak my language and have no hang-ups about eating an unhealthy amount of chocolate with no complains in sights.

Here’s how things are shaping up on my end……

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On Reading

Do I ever stop, my e-reader has become my right hand machine, especially on the train home. I am also getting in a few audio books as well – they work really well when I am rushing around getting the house together to meet a new day.

I can’t say anything special jumped out at me this week – they are basically the same plotline only with different characters and a little shorter.

I am reading a set of books now with spanking – not BDSM, but where the general rule is that women are spanked to keep them in line or to re-enforce the pecking order or some such lamentation….

I really want to toss a big rock now!!!!!!

 

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On life

2011 had kicked off for me in a rather busy way- I feel like I have not stopped for the past three weeks. I haven’t even found time to do daily blog hops…

The boss hasn’t clamped down on the internet, but too much “beginning of the  year projects” has me knee deep in paper work.. Just another week or two and this onslaught show lessen – A bit.

I hope you all are doing great – I have been reading, but little to no comments here or there..  One thing you all have been doing however is adding to my To Be Bought list….

It’s in a crazy shape at the moment….

Thanks for the recommendations and looking forward to much more book pimping this week…

 

 

On Nablopomo

In January I took part in the Nablopomo month – which had a theme of Friends. It was a fun month remembering all the ups and downs that makes up friendship.. Check out my post HERE

I even connected with a few friends in real life – a neat way to kick ff 2011.

The theme for February Nablopomo month  blogging is CHARACTER. It's a flexible theme, allowing you to blog about all sorts of things:

1. The people in your life who stand out in regard to their outstanding (or lack of) character -- the use of pseudonyms might be prudent here;

2. Experiences in your life that have helped you build moral character, and the work you might still need to do;

3. It's a chance to try writing in character -- try on different personas and voices for fun, or to address things you might not normally talk about;

4. Character is another word for a letter or symbol, if you feel like it's finally time to indulge in some font nerdery.

©Nablopomo

The site also has a section for people who like to post everyday but find it difficult or struggle to come up with ideas…

Looking to do something different in February check out the Nablopomo  site.

 

Until next week

Cheers

 

 

I am doing NaBloPoMo this January. The theme this month is - Friends
Best friends, worst friends, friends of the family . . . how many do you have, how many do you need, and where are they when you need them.

 


From  site –

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

That's what happens at the Sunday Salon, except it's all virtual. Every Sunday the bloggers participating in that week's Salon get together--at their separate desks, in their own particular time zones--and read. And blog about their reading. And comment on one another's blogs. Think of it as an informal, weekly, mini read-a-thon, an excuse to put aside one's earthly responsibilities and fall into a good book.

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Saturday, 29 January 2011

NaBloPoMo: January 29th – Without Friends

 

I am doing NaBloPoMo this January. The theme this month is - Friends
Best friends, worst friends, friends of the family . . . how many do you have, how many do you need, and where are they when you need them.

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Friday, 28 January 2011

NaBloPoMo: January 28th – Have a Charlie Brown weekend

Filled with the laughter of friends and the clutter of little nonsense around you……

HAPPY WEEKEND

 

 

I am doing NaBloPoMo this January. The theme this month is - Friends
Best friends, worst friends, friends of the family . . . how many do you have, how many do you need, and where are they when you need them.

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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Excerpt Day - Away From Me © Sophie Oak

Excerpt

 

Cal moved behind her. He kicked at her feet, spreading her legs, and his hand moved between them. He slid his fingers all around her pussy. “That’s what I want. I want this little pussy wet and begging for me.”

 

It took everything Gaby had not to groan. It felt so good. His fingers slid through her juicy cunt, lighting up her every nerve ending. He teased her clit, running his finger just across it only to pull back and plunge into her pussy. The sound of her cunt sucking at his fingers filled the room. Gaby whimpered. She didn’t want his fingers. She wanted his cock. She wanted him to shove that big cock of his deep inside and ride her until she couldn’t think anymore.

 

His hand left her, and it was a mere second before it came down again on her ass. Tears blurred Gaby’s vision. She was so sore. She needed so much.

 

“That was for ruining a perfectly good glass of Scotch.”

 

She heard murmurs from the small crowd now gathering around. Gaby could see them in the mirror. They were shaking their heads in general agreement that she deserved to be punished for spilling a truly good single malt. At least ten people were standing around now, some men and some women. Gaby had been with Cal long enough to know that they wouldn’t bother Cal as long as they followed the rules of the dungeon. As long as they stayed quiet and didn’t interrupt him, he’d fuck her in front of a thousand people. It wouldn’t bother Gaby, either, as long as her shirt stayed on. What was bothering Gaby was an overwhelming need to come.

 

Cal took a step back. In the mirror, Gaby watched as he admired the marks he’d placed on her ass. He ran his hand across them, tracing the pink lines he found there. They would be gone by morning, she knew. Cal was always, always careful with her. He’d never raised a welt. He knew exactly how much pressure to exert to make the pain erotic. He leaned over, his blue eyes hot as he kissed each cheek. He turned back to the row of toys and unwrapped a medium sized anal plug.

 

Gaby whimpered. It had been so long since he’d filled her ass. It would burn and hurt all over again, just as it had when she was a virgin there. Her torture wasn’t over.

 

He poured lube over the plug, greasing it. When he parted the cheeks of her ass, Gaby shivered.

 

“Push out when I tell you to, pet. Do not disobey me or this plug will be all you get.”

 

Gaby felt him fit the head of the plug against her anus.

 

Cal swatted her sore ass. “Don’t tense.”

 

Gaby forced herself to relax. Cal pushed the plug, forcing her anus to open to take it.

 

“Press back, pet. That’s it. Such a pretty little asshole.”

 

Gaby took a deep breath and tried to flatten the small of her back, pressing out against the plug. She shivered at the sensation as the plug slid home. When Cal slapped her ass this time, every nerve clenched around the plug, a jangled cacophony of pain and pleasure.

 

He walked around and ran a hand through her hair. “Do not try my patience again, pet. Next time, I will not go so easy. Next time, I’ll have you on a St. Andrew’s Cross counting out twenty lashes of a single tail. I’ll pull you down and fuck your mouth, and you will not be allowed to come all night. Is that understood?”

 

Gaby nodded. She was hoping he wouldn’t put the “no coming” punishment on her this evening.

 

Cal’s hands went to his belt, and he shoved his slacks and boxers off. Normally, Gaby knew, he would neatly fold them, but tonight, he kicked them aside, a sure sign that he was losing his control.

 

He held his big dick in one hand and her head in the other. His fingers tangled in her hair. He pulled slightly, just a little sting. The sawhorse was perfectly adjusted to place her mouth right where he wanted it. “Get me hard, pet. Your Master wants to fuck his slave.”

 

She almost laughed. He was so hard he could pound nails. Gaby doubted the enormous cock in front of her could get any harder. She didn’t question him. She simply opened her mouth and let him push his way in. He didn’t require anything active from her when he was in this state. He merely wanted her compliance, and she gave it to him. He gently thrust himself in and out of her willing mouth.

 

His cock thrust forward as his hands pulled her head in. “That’s my good slave. Open wide for your Master. Your Master is going to fuck your mouth, then he’s going to take that hot ass of yours and give you a reaming you won’t forget.”

 

©  Sophie Oak

 

Away From Me

Author: Sophie Oak

Publisher: Siren Publishing (Bookstrand)

Genre: Erotic Romance, BDSM, Contemporary

Buy Link

Shattered by the loss of his wife, Callum Reed is a man surrounded by rules designed to protect him. He has found the perfect submissive in Gaby Sullivan, until she breaks his cardinal rule.

After three years of perfect obedience, Gaby declares she wants love. Love isn’t in their contract, so Cal lets her go. But Gaby has a secret reason for leaving. When Cal discovers the truth, nothing will stop him from following her. On a secluded island paradise, Callum will do anything to prove he’s the perfect Master for his defiant, loving sub.

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NaBloPoMo: January 27th – Because I like you –I am sharing…..

 


I am doing NaBloPoMo this January. The theme this month is - Friends
Best friends, worst friends, friends of the family . . . how many do you have, how many do you need, and where are they when you need them.

 

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Excerpt Day – Two Man Advantage © Riley Shane

 Excerpt

There was a naked man in his bed. Nathan Troy wanted to laugh at whatever cruel twist of fate was taunting him, but somehow, he didn’t feel like choking out a chuckle at the moment. His gaze trailed down the clean lines of the mystery man’s back, down to an ass so firm, he could bounce a quarter off it. He shook his head. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t object to such a gorgeous specimen in his bed, especially since this one didn’t seem to be a cover hog. But normal circumstances for Nate were (a) knowing said naked man and (b) inviting that same man to be there. And, fine, (c) being in a relationship with the man in question. At moments like this, he could wish to be otherwise, but Nate could be pretty conventional. And he was honest enough with himself to admit it.

And how’s that working out for you? an inner voice mocked. His traditionalism was what had made David run, wasn’t it? Pushing the man he had talked himself into possibly wanting to spend the rest of his life with into taking a vacation like normal partners had gone so very well. Two years together, and all he got was a breakup via text message while he waited at the airline check-in counter with a suitcase packed with winter clothes, a large box of condoms, lube, and an overpriced, ugly watch that David had been not-so-subtly hinting he wanted. Just perfect.

Nate shivered. He didn’t like the cold. He was from LA, for chrissake. The last time he’d voluntarily been somewhere it snowed was when he was in school. A mountain getaway had been David’s idea, and the only input Nate had was making sure the place they stayed at wasn’t some showy monstrosity. And what was he supposed to do with the condoms now? Make balloon animals out of them? His gaze returned to the man in the bed.

Don’t. Even. Think. About. It. Nate sighed and rubbed his tired eyes. A day ago he’d have quietly slipped out. Hell, eight hours ago, he’d have blushed bright red and probably woken the man tripping over his own feet to escape. Now? He’d sat in traffic all the way from work to home, then again from home to LAX, before he had the pleasure of standing around LAX while waiting, apparently, for David to type up a damn text message and dump him so that Nate could enjoy the embarrassment of checking in alone, flying to Reno alone, and then driving in the middle of the night to South Lake Tahoe, alone. He was tired, cranky, and yes, still alone -- if one didn’t count his unconscious companion -- and wanted nothing more than a decent night’s sleep, a hot shower, and he didn’t care in which order he got them. All that stood in the way of his goal was Mr. Buns of Steel.

Nate cleared his throat. “Excuse me?”

No movement.

He kicked the bed. “Hello?”

The man made an odd sound, sort of between a snuffle and a snore and burrowed his head under the pillow.
“I don’t believe this,” Nate muttered to himself.

He reached out and shook the man’s shoulder roughly. “Wake up!”

Jet-black hair emerged from under the pillow, and the man rolled over, flopping lazily onto his back. As the stranger was lying spread-eagled on the bed, there was not an inch of him Nate could miss, including the man’s massive case of morning -- or rather evening -- wood. A lesser man would have let his jaw hit the floor, but given life’s numerous smacks today, Nate wasn’t going to let an attractive man with a hard-on throw him off course. Especially since the man currently on display was pretty much still out of it.
“Hey!” He snapped his fingers, not sure what else he could do without touching the man again.
Finally the man seemed to come around. He yawned, rubbing his hand across the thick stubble shadowing a sharp jaw. His eyes cracked open and seemed to contemplate Nate lazily.

“Hey, gorgeous,” the man said, giving him a sleepy smile.

Nate stared in shock, and the man’s hand shot out faster than he could have imagined, yanking on Nate’s wrist and sending him tumbling down across the firm expanse of all-too-tempting skin. The man smelled like a distillery, and his eyes were glazed and had a slightly bloodshot look. Nate pushed to get up, but the man held tight, and he found himself staring into eyes so dark, they were nearly black. Nate stared into those dazed eyes, unsure of what to do next. He felt the man’s erection against his thigh and felt himself begin to swell in response. The man’s hands moved downward, cupping Nate’s ass and pressing him more firmly against the thick rope of muscle that seemed to be begging for his attention.

The feeling of absolute want coursed through Nate, and he swore he could feel the heat of this man’s hands through the material that separated them. What would it be like, he wondered, to let go like that? To just take… Nate’s hand twitched, sliding down the stranger’s chest. His fingers traced warm skin, tracing down the man’s pecs and circling the flat disc of his nipple. Those midnight eyes fluttered to half-mast, and Nate could almost feel the power surging within him. It had been so long since he’d felt truly wanted; the feeling was heady, intoxicating.

Impatient hands tugged at his pants. Nate reached down to help, his sense of urgency rising. He raised himself slightly, ready to rip the barrier between himself and this man to shreds. He fumbled with the buttons and cursed. If he could just get --

“Mmmm,” his bedmate moaned. “Come a little closer, handsome.” The words, laden with the smell of whiskey, wrenched Nate back into reality.

“Jesus Christ!” He shouted, jumping out of bed and stumbling away from the drunken man who was now covering his ears. Nate’s heart was pounding so hard, he was sure it was about to jump out of his chest. What the fuck was wrong with him? Letting some stranger grab at him? Feeling the guy up in return? Getting ready to -- how fucking stupid was he?

“What th’ell are you shouting for?” the stranger groaned, giving Nate a grumpy look. “Who are you?”
“Who am I? Who are you?” Nate shouted again.

The drunk propped himself up on his elbows and raised an eyebrow. Great, now even the inebriated were making him feel like a fool. Nate took another few steps back, using the distance like a shield as he calmed his racing heart. Hysterics were not necessary. He took a deep breath and strove for composure, willed his libido to stand down. “I’m Nathan Troy, and this is my cabin.”

The eyebrow raised a fraction of an inch higher, and the man looked over at the empty bottle of whiskey on the nightstand. “Nope, my cabin. I got my friend Jack here to prove it. His cousins are in the kitchen, so as you can see, it’s a full house. Good-bye.” With that, the man fell back on the bed, rolled over, and pulled the pillow over his head.

Nate stared, dumbfounded. The irrational part of him wanted to go to the kitchen, grab whatever alcohol was in there, and “make room” by dumping them over the infuriating man.

You could lick it all up afterward, the devil in his pants whispered.

Knock it off, and don’t let the day get to you, Nate, the angel in his brain replied.

Nate pressed his thumb and forefinger against the bridge of his nose while he tried to silence the little voices that had suddenly moved into his head. From the soft snores coming from the bed, it appeared Mr. Hung, Dark, and Studly wasn’t going to be of any help.

Don’t back down, Nate told himself. Hadn’t he done that for the last two years? He had let David have his way rather than start an argument. He sure as shit wasn’t going to let a drunken stranger win. There was a lodge, but only ten individual cabins in this whole place, and from the looks of the others as he’d walked by, they were all occupied. With a snarl of frustration, Nate shoved his key in his pocket, stalked out to the living room, grabbed his jacket and reservation confirmation, and walked out into the snowy night toward the main lodge where he would demand to speak with a manager. The Nate of yesterday would simply have asked for a room at the lodge. The Nate of today wanted the solitude of the cabin.

Screw what he would have done before. As of eight and a half hours ago, Nathan Troy was a new man. And that cabin was his.

© Riley Shane


Two Man Advantage

Author: Riley Shane

Publisher: Loose Id, LLC

Genre: GLBT

Buy Link

  When Professor Nathan Troy walks into his cabin and finds a naked man in his bed, he figures his one-man vacation to snowy Lake Tahoe can’t get any worse. It’s not that Nate doesn’t appreciate the view...he’d just prefer he knew the man in question.

Kyle Harper has come to Lake Tahoe to escape the memories of his former life -- one where he was a star hockey player until a career-ending injury shattered his dreams forever. All Kyle wants is peace, and he certainly isn’t going to get it with a prickly, stubborn man waking him up, insisting that Kyle is in his cabin.


An accidental double-booking and a wary compromise puts the two in close quarters. Attraction heats things up, but Nate’s not about to let his libido lead him into making the mistake of getting involved with his unexpected roommate. Kyle, however, seems determined to get under his skin at every turn. Both men soon learn that they can’t outrun desire. But lust is easy; it’s opening their hearts that’s hard. Each will have to let go of the past before they can take advantage of the future the two of them could have together.


Publisher's Note: This book contains explicit sexual content, graphic language, and situations that some readers may find objectionable: Male/male sexual practices.

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Excerpt Day - Jesse's Homecoming © Jude Mason

 Excerpt
 

Closing her eyes against the blinding glare of the August sun, Jesse rubbed a sweaty, dirt-grimed forearm across her brow. Her battered, dusty Stetson tipped back to reveal cropped, tightly curled, dirty blonde hair plastered to her head. She was sun-bronzed and lean. Some might say too lean, but she was satisfied with herself, and that was more than a lot of women in their mid-thirties could say. Snug jeans and a man's red plaid work shirt protected most of her skin from the sun. The low-heeled boots she wore rested easy in the stirrups, and were good for walking when her horse needed relief from her weight.

Looking at the sun, she watched the bottom arc of the fiery yellow ball approach the horizon. The ranch was still half a dozen miles ahead, and she knew she'd never reach it by dark. Taking up the reins, she urged Pepper, the agile roan gelding she favored, ahead with the slightest movement of her foot. The inside of her thighs felt as if she'd been straddling a sandpaper saddle for the past two days, but she'd needed to get away from the ranch.
Jesse smiled. Meg had understood and almost pushed her out the door when she'd asked if she could manage the current batch of hired help on her own for a few days. Thoughts of Meg were what had turned her around and made her head home. She missed the older woman's arms around her and the way they fit together in their large, homemade bed.

Still smiling, she turned Pepper's head to the right, heading him toward a stream she remembered from past excursions and toed him into an easy trot. Going off the trail, she ducked repeatedly under low-hanging branches and cursed when she had to lay flat against his neck to dodge one. Her thighs burned. She could hardly wait to get out of the saddle, strip out of her two-day dust-covered clothes and get into the cool water she knew lay ahead.
Pepper's head rose. He must have smelled the water. He'd be as anxious as she was to get there. A cool drink for him--he might even join her in the stream.

"Come on, Pepper." She nudged him with her heels. "Almost there, fella, and I need a bath." The horse moved a little faster, his ears twitched. Jesse ducked again as they moved through the last few yards of brush before it opened onto the bank of the stream. The temperature dropped several degrees as soon as they neared the gravel bank.

Pulling the horse to a stop, she swung her leg over his haunch, and dropped to her feet. Quickly unbuckling the belly strap, she hauled the saddle and rough horse blanket off and dropped it to the ground. Pepper whinnied, pawed the rocky ground, and then snorted, as if asking if he could go. Jesse pulled his head toward her and eased the bit out of his mouth. She scratched his soft nose and said, "Off you go. Get a drink."

As if he understood, the big chestnut horse turned and headed for the stream. The willows along the opposite bank shielded the water from the direct sunlight and the moss-covered ground a few yards away were like a velvet beacon calling to her. She flipped off her hat and smiled when it landed in the only patch of long grass on that side of the stream. Running her fingers through her sweat-damp hair, she felt goose bumps rise on her gritty neck. She had to wash it; the trail dust was driving her crazy. Reaching for the buttons of her shirt, she scanned the sun-dappled area to reassure herself that no one had found her secret swimming hole.

Free of the shirt, the light breeze cooled her over-heated flesh. Her nipples rose, sending a shiver down her spine. She cupped the small mounds and sighed when the rough callused tips of her thumbs inadvertently brushed her nipples.

"Oh, Meg," she breathed and pinched the hardened nubs. She tweaked them, and gently tugged on the puckered flesh, until with a shudder, she forced her hands away. "Damn, I miss you, girl."

© Jude Mason


Jesse's Homecoming

Author: Jude Mason 

Publisher: Phaze Books

Genre: GLBT/Lesbian

Buy Link

 When Jesse returns from a weekend of wandering in the hills to find her lover, Meg, being brutally raped by an ex-husband she'd escaped from years ago, Jesse fires her gun, wounding the man.

Battered and bruised, Meg is sure she's unlovable. It's up to Jesse to prove her wrong and to get the monster she'd married sent to prison

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Excerpt Day - Sandpipers' Secrets © Jade Archer

Excerpt 

Brody took a deep breath and ran his hands down his carefully pressed dress pants one more time. It was the best he could do for the moment, he decided nervously. Surely, no one would knock him back for an interview just because the creases in his trousers were a bit crooked or his shirt cuffs and collar were looking a little worse for wear. He certainly hoped not anyway. He had to get a job, and soon. He just had to.

He pulled his wallet out and rummaged through it again. Unfortunately, there wasn’t any more in there now than there had been an hour ago, or the hour before that, or when he had arrived home from job hunting last night.

Looks like I’m walking from now on. Brody sighed and ran his hand through his hair. Or at least until I get hold of a paycheque.

Pushing his wallet back into his pocket and readjusting his pants around his thin waist, Brody began to pray the weather held out.

Just long enough to get a job and get back on track, he begged, with very little hope that anyone would be answering his pleas—either on the weather or the job seeking front. No one had ever given him an inch before. He’d had to earn each and every lucky break he’d ever come across. Usually the hard way. He didn’t see why things should be any different now just because he and his brother Wolf had moved halfway across the country—Illinois to California in one long, harrowing road trip of hitching, hiking and flat out begging for rides.

But it had been a good move. The only move they could make really if they wanted to pull themselves out of the hole they’d been born into. Being in a strange place, not knowing anyone, with no job and nearly no money…that wasn’t so good. And Wolf…well as much as he loved Wolf, he couldn’t deny that his brother definitely complicated matters.

Glancing up, Brody took the time to scrutinise his face in the bathroom mirror. Thick dark blond hair—slightly longer than it should be for job hunting because he couldn’t afford a decent haircut—fell over pale blue eyes shadowed with worry. And there was every reason to be concerned. Things were getting pretty desperate when you couldn’t even afford bus fare into the city.

He’d have to try looking for a job somewhere in the local area, he realised. Perhaps the little row of restaurants and caf├ęs down by the pier would have something. Anything would do. Even casual work would be better than what he had at the moment—absolutely nothing. And it wouldn’t be the first time he’d worked as a dish pig.

At the mere thought, sweat broke out across his brow and he felt his chest tighten with anxiety. Working in a kitchen always reminded him of his first job, the one he’d picked up right after one of his mom’s deadbeat boyfriends had kicked him out at fourteen. And hadn’t it been a glorious start to his working life.

Shit! Just thinking about it made him sick to his stomach. Leonard. What a complete and utter bastard. He’d been the owner of the little grease pit Brody had finally managed to scrounge up work in. He’d also reasoned that because Brody had been desperate enough to work the low paid, loathsome job, he’d be willing to do other, loathsome things as well. The fat, pompous prick.

Of course, what happened next was my own stupid fault, Brody acknowledged grimly.

He’d been so naive. He couldn’t believe now that he had actually gone to the cops. It had been one of the biggest mistakes of his life. Because instead of arresting his boss, the police had listened to Leonard’s bullshit story—and ended up charging Brody with soliciting and assault.

Brody still wasn’t exactly sure how it all transpired. Maybe Leonard had friends on the force or something. But regardless of how it happened, there ended up being just one short court appearance between Brody and his first stay in a juvenile detention centre.

Brody snorted and glanced away from the mirror. A hollow pain started up in his chest. He’d certainly learned some ‘tricks’ there.

Fuck! Now was not the time to be thinking about that shithead. Or the shithole juvie centre he’d ended up in. Or the numerous crappy foster care homes he’d continually run away from after that.

Grabbing the towel still draped over the sink where he had thrown it after his shower, he dabbed at his forehead and firmly pushed the memories away. Leaning forward against the cold, chipped porcelain bowl, he took several deep, calming breaths.

That was a long time ago now, he reminded himself. Nearly eight years. And over the last four years he had completely turned his life around.

© Jade Archer
Sandpipers' Secrets
Author: Jade Archer
Publisher: Total Ebound
Genre: GLBT
Book one in the Sandpipers' Series
Three men, so many secrets. Can Brody, Lark and Zak find their way to love, or will someone put a stop to their chance at happiness forever?
Brody is starting again. He’s moved halfway across the country to a new city, a new life. But it’s hard to stay hopeful when you’re one meal away from starvation and two weeks away from eviction. He needs a job. Fast. And not in his old line of work either or he risks everything. Fortunately, Sandpipers’ restaurant is in need of a kitchen hand and Brody’s desperate enough to do almost anything. But once the pressures off, Brody finds a whole new focus for his attention. Well, two actually! He’s just not sure he can afford to indulge.

Lark and Zak have been partners for years, both in business and in pleasure. They know everything about each other. They know what they have is right. They know…that there’s something missing. Could Brody be the answer? Will the secrets each of the men keep drive them apart? And will they live long enough to enjoy their love once someone decides it’s perverted?

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Excerpt Day – Predator © Vonna Harper

Excerpt

 

Someone was watching her.

 

Thoroughly scanning her surroundings, Mia debated amending her gut reaction. She was alone in the middle of the forest. If she was being watched, it had to be by an animal or bird.

 

Just the same, she’d heard distant rifle shots this morning. At the time, she’d been more pissed than alarmed because it wasn’t hunting season. If some idiot was poaching—damn it, that joker better not be scoping her out. Go back to where you belong. This mountain’s mine as long as I’m on it.

Experience had taught her how to be as silent as an animal, and she’d done so during her hike up Cougar Mountain. Quiet, so she could get in touch with the living creatures that shared this remote wild land with her and not run them off. She’d been rewarded when a yearling buck stepped from behind a pine tree and stared at her. She’d stared back, smiling. The two of them, human and nature’s creature, had studied each other for several minutes before the buck melted back into his surroundings.

 

Unfortunately, this time she felt no sense of peace and warmth. Instead, reality reared its ugly head. Whatever studied her now wasn’t a buck. Neither was it any of the other creatures that lived and died in the wilderness; she was now sure of that.

 

Unease crawled up her spine. Her body felt alive, not alarmed, but far from relaxed. Someone new to the forest might panic, but she felt more at home here than she ever felt in so-called civilization. Controlling her breathing and thoughts, she sent energy and strength to her legs. She had nothing to fear from an unseen hiker, camper, forest ranger, naturalist, or mushroom hunter.

 

And, yet… No, damn it, Jack the Ripper wasn’t hanging around!

 

She’d been away from the country that nourished and renewed her for too long; that’s why she was nervous and unsettled today. Two brief weeks of living out of suitcases in an upscale Washington, D.C., hotel had turned her urban, and what had always been familiar had become less so.

 

That’s why she’d decided to explore Cougar Mountain in northwestern California before returning to work as a Forest Service biologist, so she could get back in touch with her roots. She needed to trust her instincts again. Only, this afternoon her instinct was more than nagging—it was shouting.

 

She wasn’t alone.

 

“I know you’re out there.” The tops of the trees swallowed her voice. “If you’re playing a game, I don’t find it funny. I have a gun and a knife and know how to use both.”

 

Silence. Even the wind stopped teasing the pine branches.

 

A finger of alarm pressed against the top of her spine. “Look, I have as much right to be here as you do. I’ll go west, or east if you want west. Hell, I don’t have a problem with north or south. What I have a problem with is playing games.”

 

She couldn’t think of anything else to say after that. Much as she loved the evergreens, the thick vegetation provided too many places for someone to hide.

 

Okay, so her fellow traveler wasn’t interested in talking, she told herself in an attempt to calm herself. She had no problem with playing that game. Tossing back her long, single braid, she set her sights on the top of the rise she’d been climbing. The slope was steep enough that she had to lean forward to keep her balance, which caused her butt to stick out. Fine. Let the stranger have a gander at a firm, rounded mound. It wasn’t as if he’d ever get to touch it.

 

A soft and low sound, maybe deep breathing, silenced her own breath. A chilled wave coursed through her, stopping her forward progress, and a blip of something she hadn’t allowed herself to think about broke through. She’d been attracted to Cougar Mountain because of the legend surrounding it, a legend she’d fully expected to debunk.

 

But if there was something to the reason for the mountain’s name—

 

A man stood with his arms folded across a too-big chest, legs spread wide, muscled thighs and calves challenging his jeans to contain them, his dark eyes glinting with something she couldn’t or wouldn’t put a name to.

 

He was beautiful. Wild. Thick black hair so long it swept his shoulders. Days overdue for a shave. Broad shoulders and back; proud and, yes, arrogant. He held his mouth in an ungiving line, lips thinned in concentration, or anger, or something else beyond her comprehension. His facial bones were well displayed despite the stubble, jaw strong and cheekbones high. Those incredible and unnerving eyes were set deep in their sockets as if protecting them from deep scrutiny.

 

Although she wasn’t done studying the man’s unfathomable expression, Mia knew better than to let it distract her from his strength and size. Tall, maybe six feet two. Like his face, the rest of him carried no padding. He was all lean energy and health, his chest sheltered beneath a flannel shirt no bullet could stop.

 

A bullet?

 

No, she couldn’t—wouldn’t—shoot him.

 

Unless her life depended on it.

 

Shaking off the horrid image of aiming her pistol at that athletic form, she accepted that the only thing disturbing the lean line of his belly was a certain undeniable mound. A large, proud bulge that loosened her clenched jaw and softened her in ways she prayed he couldn’t guess.

 

Man. All man. Silent and watchful.

 

“One—one of us needs to say something,” she came up with, angry because her voice shook a little. “I’ve already shot off my mouth, so what say we make it your turn?”

 

Going by his lack of a reaction, she nearly believed he hadn’t heard her. But unless he was deaf, that wasn’t possible. Her career brought her in contact with men who made their living on their feet and working with their hands, so she was accustomed to well-toned males. To say she’d become immune to vibrant bodies would be a lie. She was a healthy young woman who loved nothing more than wrapping her body around and over a member of the opposite sex and feeling them become one.

 

But this man, this woodland stud, was putting the competition to shame. Yes, mystery and the possibility of danger added undeniable elements, but it was more than that. The appeal went deeper than a near-perfect physique.

 

“Okay, so you aren’t interested in talking. I understand. I do. I came here because I needed some downtime.” About to wipe her suddenly damp hands on her hips, she clenched them instead. “I want to put some more miles behind me while it’s light, so I’ll just be moving on.”

 

Maybe thirty feet separated them. A former high school and college track star, she was still fast on her feet. If he so much as made a menacing move in her direction, she’d leave him in her dust.

 

Not that she wanted to.

 

Shit, what was this? Some fantasy that she and Mr. Mysterious-and-Sexy’s eyes had once met across a crowded room? Not only wasn’t she a woman for romantic fantasies, this wasn’t a room, and it wasn’t crowded. Most telling, he was more intimidating than intriguing.

 

Not that it mattered, because she’d never see him again.

 

Swallowing disappointment, she made a quarter turn and took her first step toward what appeared to be a decent deer trail. She thought about asking what had brought him to the area and if he’d heard the rumors about cougar spirits and spells, but he probably wouldn’t respond to that, either. One step became two and then three. She told herself to relax, that the awkward encounter was nearly behind her.

 

“I’ve been waiting for you.”

 

His voice was a rumble, a deep and low growl. Unsettling as the tone was, his words made her shiver. And stop.

 

What?”

 

“You came.”

 

Run. Get the hell out of here. But, damn it, she’d never backed down from anything. After taking a halfway calming breath, she faced him. Moments ago he’d been standing in the sun as if inviting her scrutiny, but now he stepped into the shadows. Either that or the shadows had reached out to envelop him.

 

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” She paced every word, keeping them strong. But underneath, something was happening to her, a little more softening in her sex and a hell of a lot of awareness of herself as a woman. Not just a one hundred-twenty-pound woman being confronted by a man who might outweigh her by a hundred pounds, but female in its most basic form.

 

“You might not understand now, but you will,” he said.

 

© Vonna Harper

Predator

Author: Vonna Harper

Publisher: Samhain Publishing

Genre: Paranormal

Buy Link

To tame a wild thing, first you must gain her trust…

Mia’s retreat on Cougar Mountain was supposed to be a quiet time of communing with nature. Instead, she can’t shake the sense she’s being watched. The reason why appears before her, chilling her to the bone. His name is Stark. And he says he’s been waiting for her.

She takes to her heels, but it does no good. Captured and bound, she is surprised to feel no fear. Instead, she is mesmerized as her soul drinks deeply of his dark, commanding sexuality.

Stark once fought the Cougar Spirits, but now he embraces their mission to protect the forest and its creatures. Mia is his destined mate, perfectly made to fight by his side. But first he must tame her, starting with a slow and relentless seduction of her body—while he reveals each painful bit of his past.

Mia finds herself sinking into his touches, seeing the world as he sees it. But as shots ring out in the forest, she sees something else. A vision that Stark may never understand…and could not only destroy the bare beginnings of their destined love, but their mission to save the wilderness.

This book has been previously published and has been revised from its original release.

 

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Excerpt Day – Love Script :Deluxe Edition © Tiffany Ashley

Excerpt

CHAPTER

“When are you coming back?” Mary-Knight whined.

 

Laney sighed heavily. She was seconds away from wringing her manager’s neck. “I’ll be back on the twentieth. I put a reminder on your calendar last week.”

 

“The least you could have done was taken a four-day cruise. How am I supposed to get anything done while you’re on vacation?”

 

Laney didn’t have to tell the snooty bitch if she didn’t use her well-earned vacation she would lose it. Mary-Knight already knew this but she insisted on muttering about it. It was pointless for Laney to mention she’d only used two days of vacation last year. She would have used more if it weren’t for Mary-Knight calling her at all hours of the night, barking for her to complete projects, projects she would present to the “big wigs” as her own. It was only by sheer grace that she and Laney hadn’t had an all-out catfight by now. Lord knows it had been building up for years.

 

Mary-Knight Tyler had been Laney’s manager every since she’d transferred into the art department two years earlier. Their relationship had been toxic from day one. Mary-Knight had a bad habit of delegating her entire workload to her subordinates, namely Laney. This was unfortunate because, when pressed, Mary-Knight was very talented. But instead of actually working, Mary-Knight filled her days sucking up to members of upper management, circulating office gossip and, of course, lusting after the company’s young (and very single) CEO, Mr. Sinclair. Laney could think of a dozen more productive things Mary-Knight could be doing with her time.

 

“You do realize,” Mary-Knight continued, “you’ll have to do some serious overtime when you get back, right?”

 

“I know.” Laney sighed under her breath. “You’ve mentioned that twice already.”

 

“I just want to make sure you understand how much we have to do.” Mary-Knight smoothed back a stray hair. “We have clients, after all. They expect us to complete their projects.”

 

Correction, Laney thought, I’ve completed all my projects. Mary-Knight was referring to her own workload, a stack of incomplete files that would no doubt find themselves into Laney’s inbox by the time she returned from vacation.

 

“Make a list,” Laney said in a flat monotone, “and we’ll work on it when I get back.”

 

She wouldn’t dare tell Mary-Knight her cruise didn’t leave until next Saturday. Laney needed the next few days off to relax and completely forget about work. If things went according to plan, she would be engaged next week. There was no way she was going to let Mary-Knight ruin it by stressing her out about her workload.

 

There was a beep from Mary-Knight’s desk phone, and a smooth, rich voice flowed through. “Mary-Knight.”

 

Laney watched Mary-Knight’s eyes widen as she leaped closer to the phone. “Yes, Mr. Sinclair?” she said in a breathless voice.

 

“We’re having a quick meeting about the prospect of the Zelman account,” the voice informed. “Can you join us?”

 

“Yes, Mr. Sinclair,” she chirped happily. “I’ll be happy to help in any way I can. I’m on my way.”

 

Apparently satisfied with her response, the speaker emitted a loud beep, signaling the call had just been terminated. There could be no mistaking the seductive note in Mary-Knight’s voice. When it came to Mr. Sinclair, Mary-Knight was ravenous. This wasn’t necessarily a crime, considering every woman at Sinclair Corp nursed an infatuation for the CEO. Mr. Sinclair’s effect on his female employees often mystified Laney. Since being handed the position from his father, Nicolas Sinclair was little more than a ghost to everyone but his executive team. He was rarely in the office for an entire day. During the few occasions when he did grace the building with his presence, he locked himself away in his office, only emerging long enough to greet important clients and sit in on meetings. The end result was very few people ever saw him.

 

Mary-Knight continued the gaze at the phone a few minutes longer. Her eyes had gone slightly dreamy, and whether she was aware of it or not, she licked her lower lip nervously. For a minute, Laney thought she looked years younger, which was saying a lot; Mary-Knight was only thirty-five.

 

Laney fought back the urge to roll her eyes heavenward when Mary-Knight began prepping herself for her meeting with Mr. Sinclair. Watching her reapply her makeup and spray body splash along her neck and arms, Laney concluded Mary-Knight’s feelings for Mr. Sinclair surpassed any ordinary crush, they veered more toward obsession.

 

Seeming to have awakened from her love-struck stupor, Mary-Knight gave a small cough and pulled herself up taller. Her eyes, now flashing with alert clarity, fixed Laney with a predatory smile. “I’ll work on our list this evening,” she sang. “Are you working late today?”

 

After working with the woman for years, it still amazed Laney how Mary-Knight managed to disguise her demands as harmless questions. It gave Laney great satisfaction to match Mary-Knight’s false smile with one of her own. “No, I’m leaving at noon, remember?”

 

Mary-Knight’s smile vanished. “But Laney, I need your help on the Moore project!” There was a definite note of desperation in her voice.

 

“Can it wait until I get back?” Laney asked.

 

Mary-Knight tossed a lock of auburn hair over her shoulder and fixed her assistant with a cold look. “No, it can’t.”

 

Read rest of CHAPTER 1 HERE

© Tiffany Ashley

Love Script :Deluxe Edition

Author: Tiffany Ashley

Publisher: Circle 1 Publishing, LLC

Buy Link

To get the deal … he'll need her help.

Determined to land a huge advertising account for his company, Nicolas Sinclair gets a LITTLE carried away and tells the potential client he's married and about to celebrate his first anniversary. Now, Nick has a serious problem—he has agreed to a high-stakes cruise with this important client and must find a willing “wife” to join him.

Laney Parks is either in the wrong place at the wrong time, or the right place at the right time—She isn't sure which. She isn’t even entirely sure how she got roped into posing as her hunky boss's wife. She finds “sticking to the script” SERIOUSLY unnerving, especially when it involves cuddling up and kissing in public—and sharing the close confines of a cabin, and its single bed, with him.

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Wednesday, 26 January 2011

NaBloPoMo: January 26th – Some quotes to get you through the day....



"True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it be lost."

©- Charles Caleb Colton

"Each friend represents a world in us, a world possibly not born until they arrive, and it is only by this meeting that a new world is born."

© - Anais Nin

"My friends are my estate."

© - Emily Dickinson

"A real friend is one who walks in when the rest of the world walks out."
"A friend is one who walks in when others walk out"

© -Walter Winchell

"A friend is someone who is there for you when he'd rather be anywhere else."

© - Len Wein - Sent by Paulo Louro

"A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."

© - Sent by Donna Roberts

"A friend is one who believes in you when you have ceased to believe in yourself."

© - Sent by Lysha


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Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Review – Some recent reads © Thompson, Miles


The Cowboy Poet

Author: Claire Thompson

Buy Link

I haven't read a Claire Thompson in a while and am in a bit of catch up with her work... The Cowboy Poet was a fast read for me and alot of her style and voice comes across nicely in this book.

The story is a little bit of little BDSM with a mystery of sort added in... The characters were a nice mix and the main protags complemented each other pretty well..
Clint and Tyler both takes turns telling this story, which incidentally has a fantastic Texas backdrop. Clint is the more dominant partner but with some issues that spins out as the story progresses. Tyler was a little more stereotypical for me but no less likable with his conflicting feelings about his sexuality and  what he needs in order to get ultimate satisfaction.
There is no great waves or tension filled moments to this plotline and to be honest one major moment of niggle for me was how the two connect, it just happened and I really felt like I missed something - but once  I got past that - it was an easy enough read to get through and enjoy.

This is not a heavy read nor will it appeal to readers who have issues with lighter plotline.  All in all a good read to reacquaint myself with Ms. Thompson's work...




The Only Thing That Matters

Sequel to (Brackets)

Author: AKM Miles

Buy Link


It is no secret that I love this authors style - she does really heartwarming stories with all round happy ending with some fascinating cast to fall in love with tossed in for good measure..

The Only Thing That Matters is the follow up to Bracket - a book I totally adored.

This is a short read and was a nice catch up on Brack and Austin life to date. The plot takes place around Valentine day with a storm coming in to disrupt their plans - both men are on opposite end of the mountain, both pinning for each other and both have plans for the big day - but nature is a funny old things - it doesn't operated on our timetable..

This was such a sweet read, I absolutely adore these two guys and I was so pleased to see they are enjoying life and have made some major compromises in order to make things work for them...

This is a simply read and  I enjoyed every minute of it.....

 

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NaBloPoMo: January 25th – Friends comes in all Shapes and Sizes

 

 


I am doing NaBloPoMo this January. The theme this month is - Friends
Best friends, worst friends, friends of the family . . . how many do you have, how many do you need, and where are they when you need them.

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Monday, 24 January 2011

Review – Love Means…No Fear © Andrew Grey

Love Means…No Fear

Series: Farm 5

Author: Andrew Grey

Publisher: Dreamspinners Press

Genre: GLBT

Buy Link

Raine Baumer is living the party life in Chicago, indulging in short relationships with little emotional commitment. But after he’s severely injured in a gay bashing, close friend Geoff arrives to take him to the country to recuperate. There Geoff and his partner Eli treat him like part of the family, and Raine meets Jonah, Eli’s brother, who is exploring life in the world outside his Amish community.

Jonah and Raine’s mutual attraction draws them together, but they may not have a chance to explore it. Jonah’s father is making ultimatums, and the police believe that the attack on Raine may not have been as random as it initially appeared. Raine and Jonah will have to face what they fear most in order to have any chance at a life together

 

“Do you know if anyone called my work?” Raine didn’t even try to open his eyes. He was comfortable, and that was all he could ask for right now.

“I did. Your boss stopped in while you were out of it. He seemed upset and asked me to call him if anything happened. He seemed like a really nice guy. In fact, a number of people have stopped by, but the hospital wouldn’t let them in. It seems you’re still quite the social butterfly.”

“Mr. Abernathy stopped in? That’s nice.” The medication seemed to be taking over again, and Raine didn’t fight it. At least when he was asleep, nothing hurt. Opening his eyes again, Raine found another man sitting next to Geoff, the two of them talking softly.

“I’m Officer Clark with Chicago PD.” The huge man stood up, and Raine knew that if he’d been feeling better, he’d be all over the man who was just his type: tall, dark, and yummy. “I have just a few questions for you.”

Raine nodded slowly. “I’ll try to help.”

“Good.” He opened his notebook and began writing. “Did you see the man who hurt you?”

“Yeah.” Raine closed his eyes again, and a picture of the man’s face filled his mind. “I thought he was going to kill me.” Raine shuddered and was rewarded by a stab of pain in his chest and side. “He had a knife, and I figured he was going to stab me any time. He knelt near me, so I got a good look at him. I think someone else coming by saved my life.” His thoughts weren’t terribly coherent, but he was trying.

“We got fingerprints from the scene. If I were to bring by some pictures later, do you think you could identify him?”

“I’ll try.” Raine felt his eyes getting heavy again. “They kept saying all kinds of things. Calling me faggot and stuff.”

“Sir, do you believe this was a hate crime?” the officer asked softly.

Raine kept his eyes closed, it felt better. “Yeah, it definitely was, and I’ll testify that it was. They were looking for a fag to teach a lesson to.”

“How many were there?”

“I’m not sure, but there was more than one. That’s for sure. They kept calling me names as I was kicked and hit.” Raine felt tears well in his eyes. “I really thought I was going to die.”

“I know, and we’re going to do our best to catch these guys.” Office Clark closed his notebook. “I’m going to let you rest, but I’ll be back in a few days when you’re feeling better, and hopefully I’ll have some news for you.” He walked toward the door. “Do you have someone to stay with you when you get out of the hospital? You really shouldn’t be alone after something like this.”

Raine was about to answer when Geoff spoke up. “When he gets out, he’s coming to stay with me for a while.” Geoff followed the police officer out of the room, giving him what sounded like additional information, and Raine  let his eyes close again. Geoff would take care of him; he could let everything else go.

© Andrew Grey

 

My Thought

I finally found the time to catch up with one of Andrew Grey latest releases LOVE MEANS..NO FEAR recently. I have been following this series since book one and all the characters feel like old friends and so I know to find the cosiest spot to sink into before I open the pages of any of these books.

When I read the blurb of the book  I really wasn’t sure what to think because Raine, who I meet in book one was not one who I would think of being pair up with an innocent and unworldly Amish boy – but this is Grey’s world and so far I have enjoyed all his paring so I delved in.

The story starts with Raine in a setting where he is comfortable – his job, a setting where he is still amazed that he is in, has working in a place where you love what you do and is accepted wholeheartedly for your sexual orientation is not something that alot of gay men can say they have.

Within a few pages Raine’s happiness and joy at what should be a day of fun and laughter at a gay pride celebration turns to horror when he is violently attacked.  When his closest and dearest friend Geoff turns up to take care of him he is relieved and goes one step further and goes home with Geoff to his farm for some much needed R&R and time to heal.

The main bits of this story actually starts once Raine arrives on the farm and this is where I feel like I start zoning out of this story.

Raine is not the only new arrival at the farm, there is also Jonah. Jonah just happens to be the brother of Geoff’s partner Eli, and he on his one year break from the Amish community, where he has been feeling trapped in for sometime now – but not knowing anything different he is at a crossroad in his life and literally have no idea what to do.

Raine and Jonah provide the main angst of the story with misunderstanding, insecurities and just general cuteness…

What I liked

I am pleased that Raine was getting a story- while I had some niggle with the overall production itself, I really liked Raine from the moment I met him in book one and I am glad he got his HEA.

When I read book one in this series I remember thinking Grey was really respectful to the Amish society and I am glad to see that he has highlighted the positive and the negative of the Amish way in LOVE MEANS..NO FEAR . I saw people who were happy with the life they had, I saw people who had common sense as well as people who were a pain in the arse – it was a nice balance to see as the two people whose life we are exposes to from the Amish community was not happy there at all.

Niggles

I just couldn’t connect with Jonah at all, while he was sweet and he was in a situation that you cannot help but feel for him – I just thought him too plain of a character. Greys characters for me generally bring bring something special to each and every book – Jonah felt forced and paper thin in terms of personality and character.

The speed of the connection between the two main protags did not work for me at all.. I can deal with insta-love, but both these men have issues and baggage a plenty and i wished Grey had given them a chance to learn more about each other before hooking them up.

The personality changes that Raine and Jonah went through within a few scenes was too quick, too drastic and just felt unrealistic. Jonah, a naive and untried young man seem to want something that he has been taught from birth as being wrong, while Raine who has always been the life and soul of the party suddenly becomes the voice of reason and the one holding back. 

There was a mystery of sort surrounding Raines attack, but that never really held any tension and as such the people who pass through the book to support this plotline were just cute and made for sweet reading a little bit of side humour.

In some respect Raine’s and Jonah’s relationship was almost a mirror image of Geoff and Eli’s path to happiness – the leaving, the missing and the compromise… and I was a little annoyed by this.

Bottom-line

There is something about Andrew Grey’s style that makes me rush out and buy his books on release day  and for the most part I am always left with a smile and in a happy place after reading one of his books.

With each Love Means book the characters are the driving force behind each story for me, With this fifth instalment the charm is fading and I was really pushed to connect with either the story or any of the characters and the book just feels like it's piggy backing on bits and pieces from the previous four books.

To be honest I am quite pleased that the author only has one more story planned for this series as the ranch is getting mightily crowded now.

Fan’s of the series – it’s a nice catch up book, all the old favourite makes an appearance and just as myself you will enjoy Raine and Jonah rather sweet courting scenes. New readers, with five books published and only one more to go – get stuck in especially if you like just an all round sweet read..   

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