Monday, April 20, 2015

Book Review: Doubleback, by Lissa Ford

Title: Doubleback

Author: Lissa Ford

Publisher/GR LinkGR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Cops, Injured heroes, mystery

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Lock this book up: 4 keys...this book is hot and sexy!

Length: Novella

Satisfaction: HEA, and dying for more

Cover Impressions: Clean and simple.  I like it.

SynopsisAfter a tragic shooting left him wounded and in disgrace, all that remained of former deputy sheriff Jude Anderson’s life was a shattered femur, the standard disability package, and a host of issues. Jude seeks sanctuary in a remote upstate cabin and tries to get his life back on track. 

Life has other plans when Jude finds a dead man draped across his front doorstep. The victim is the first hookup Jude’s had in, well, ever. Once Jude processes that shock he gets another when he learns that the homicide detective sent to investigate the murder is Rowan Muir, Jude’s ex. Their split was ugly, and Rowan isn’t the forgiving type. 

Now Jude is drawn back into a world he left behind: murder investigations and fighting the undeniable attraction he has for Rowan. Rowan is still holding onto a substantial grudge. But both men need to figure out how to cope with being thrown together again, because it’s becoming increasingly clear that Jude is being targeted by a murderer – one who may have come from Jude’s past for revenge. 

Warnings: if you don't like man-on-man sexytimes, this isn't the book for you. Everyone else: hot law enforcement officers, angst and hot make-up sex is on deck.

Impressions: This book really grabbed me, and I was glad to have the day off so I could devote the time to finish it!  Jude melted my heart, and I was so eager to watch him get the love and acceptance that he deserved.

The romance between these men was paced just right.  I liked Rowan, and I loved picking up on the feelings he hid beneath is cool exterior.  Ford did a great job of showing who he was without just info dumping.  The build between them was sweet, sexy and burned up the pages.

I liked the mystery, though I definitely read it for the romance.  I am very eager to read the next in the series, and I was excited to see that there would be a follow up. 

If you need a great read with a slow, perfect romance to burn up the pages of your kindle, grab this one now!

Definitely recommended!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Banned in Boston: 5 star read- Carry the Ocean

Title: Carry the Ocean

Author: Heidi Cullinan

Publisher/GR Link: Samhain, GR

Genre: MM Contemporary

Vice: Autism, Emotional issues, disability

Rating: 5 AMAZING stars

Lock this book up: 3 keys.  Sex is a supporter to the love

Length: Novel

Satisfaction: HEA/HFN

Cover Impressions: Love it

Best Line: "Like I said, I'm awesome.  I'm Emett David Washington. Train man."

Synopsis:  Normal is just a setting on the dryer.  High school graduate Jeremey Samson is looking forward to burying his head under the covers and sleeping until it’s time to leave for college. Then a tornado named Emmet Washington enters his life. The double major in math and computer science is handsome, forward, wicked smart, interested in dating Jeremey—and he’s autistic.

But Jeremey doesn’t judge him for that. He’s too busy judging himself, as are his parents, who don’t believe in things like clinical depression. When his untreated illness reaches a critical breaking point, Emmet is the white knight who rescues him and brings him along as a roommate to The Roosevelt, a quirky new assisted living facility nearby.

As Jeremey finds his feet at The Roosevelt, Emmet slowly begins to believe he can be loved for the man he is behind the autism. But before he can trust enough to fall head over heels, he must trust his own conviction that friendship is a healing force, and love can overcome any obstacle.

Impressions:  I have always loved Heidi Cullinan's work.  I have been impressed by her nuanced characters who grow and adapt to their realities with grace and a  strength that I always admire.  So, when I saw this book, I knew I would read it, but I never knew I could love it so much.

These boys are amazing, and they will break your heart and open your eyes and mind.  I cannot believe how much this book made me feel and learn, and I loved every second.  My sister has a mild form as Aspergers, and I love her like crazy.  She is very successful and intelligent, but she struggles with many things that Emett does as well.  Though I know about her issues, it can be hard to be faced with them, and hard to be on the receiving end of them.  Reading about Emett made me realize how much my sister struggles on a daily basis. There is knowing, and then there is being cognizant, and this book helped to remind me of the struggles and strength it takes her to just "be" some days.  

This novel is simply beautiful.  I felt my heart go out to these two men, and I was so awed by their strength and growth.  I rooted for them with each step that they take.  Cullinan's views on Depressive and Anxiety disorders are also poignant, informative, and emotional.  Never does Cullinan let us pity these people, but instead she lets us into their hearts and minds so we can feel their strength and share in their growth.

There are so many things I can say about this book, but its truly a work of art, and I encourage everyone to move it to the top of their TBR pile.

I have to say, I usually stick to MM for my recreational reading, and when I heard the next book in the series was not MM, I figured I'd just stick to the ones that are.  I can say there is NO way that I will miss the next book, or any book, in this series.  I'm already half in love with the MC of book #2, and frankly I'd read the telephone book if Emett and Jeremey made guest appearances!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Giveaway! Everything Changes, by Melanie Hansen

Everything Changes was reviewed here a few weeks ago, and received huge praise, as a gripping, romantic read.  Check out the review!

Ms. Hansen is not only providing us with an excerpt and a blurb, she is running a giveaway!  

One of the commenters on this post will win their choice of an Everything Changes bag of goodies, or a $10 Amazon gift card!  The winner will be drawn on 4/17 at 5 PM, so comment away!

Here is a note from Melanie Hansen: I love talking about inspiration for my stories, and for Everything Changes there are so many of them:  The people I’ve met during the course of my husband’s Navy career, the stories they’ve told, the things I’ve witnessed or lived through.
Two of my most vivid memories as a military spouse:    
My husband was on his ship preparing for a normal workday when 9/11 happened, and he only had time for one quick phone call to me before he was gone.  For three weeks I didn’t hear one word from him.  I didn’t know where he was, what he was doing, if he was safe.  After the three weeks he called me and I was able to meet him at the waterfront for one 15-minute conversation and hug, and then he was gone again.  I don’t even remember what we talked about, the only thing that mattered to me was that he was safe and I could hug him.  I gave him a bag of candy and some other comfort items, said goodbye, and sent him back into the unknown.
Then in 2011, a beloved gym teacher at my boys’ elementary school lost her husband in Afghanistan.  Since it was a rather high-profile incident, and the media was going to be all over it, the CACO Team (Casualty Assistance Calls Officer) had to be called out immediately, and they couldn’t wait for after-hours.  They had no choice but to come over to the school to inform her of her husband’s death, and the minute they walked in, in full dress uniform, everyone knew why they were there and who they were there for.  I was volunteering that day and hearts were breaking, especially the school secretary’s, the one who had to go get the teacher from her class, knowing that every step she took toward the gym was one step closer to this woman’s life changing forever.
Both of those events will always be with me, and I knew my first book had to be a military book.  I wanted to explore what might happen between close friends and teammates who had been through hell and back together, who had survived but were forever changed, the deep feelings they already had for each other having been forged by the fires of war into something more.  
Friends to lovers, gay for you, men who have served their country – my favorite tropes, and I hope you enjoy reading Everything Changes as much as I enjoyed writing it!

Read on for a blurb and an exciting excerpt!

What happens when friendship catches fire?

Former Marine and lower-leg amputee Carey Everett keeps a grueling schedule of counseling fellow war veterans and their families. The injury he received in Afghanistan forces him to rely on a reserve of strength he didn’t even know he had. A much deserved vacation will let him reconnect with his best friend, who saved his life and has been there for him through devastating injury and painful recovery.

Part-time EMT and aspiring singer Jase DeSantis has been in love with Carey for years, but he’s come to accept that his straight friend will never be able to offer more. Jase fills his days with band rehearsals, ambulance shifts and willing groupies, all while trying to cope with debilitating PTSD.

A week of sun, fun, and music in San Diego changes Jase and Carey’s lives forever when their relationship takes an unexpected turn. Jase has been longing for that change, but it leaves Carey reeling with confusion. As Jase fights to hold things together, Carey deals with doubts, fears, and his own preconceived notions about labels and the true nature of love.

Suddenly Carey flashed back to those hazy memories of the aftermath of his injury, Jase gripping his hand and whispering in his ear, “Hang on, Carey. Get through today, dude. If today is all you can give me, that’s okay. I’ll take it. I’ll take today.” He remembered Jase whispering that over and over, “I’ll take today, Carey. I want every second of it, you hang on. You hear me? Give me today, Carey.”
He remembered how he had fought to hang on, to give Jase that day, every second of that day, how it would have been so easy to let go and drift away into the blackness where there was no more pain or blood or agony. But Jase had wanted today, and Carey had wanted to give that to him. He’d focused on that, fought for that. And he was here now, alive, and he had the chance for a lifetime of love and happiness with a man who knew him better than anyone, who understood him better than anyone ever had or ever would. A man Carey desired above all others, a man who, when Carey thought of him, he thought of love and home and acceptance and belonging. The man Carey loved.

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work.   She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met.  After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.
She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man.  After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.
Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student.  She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.
@MelJoyAZ  (Twitter)

Thank you, Melanie!!