An Unsuitable Heir (Sins of the Cities #3) by KJ Charles-a review

AN UNSUITABLE HEIR (Sins of the Cities #3) by KJ Charles-a review

An Unsuitable Heir

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 3, 2017

A private detective finds passion, danger, and the love of a lifetime when he hunts down a lost earl in Victorian London.

On the trail of an aristocrat’s secret son, enquiry agent Mark Braglewicz finds his quarry in a music hall, performing as a trapeze artist with his twin sister. Graceful, beautiful, elusive, and strong, Pen Starling is like nobody Mark’s ever met—and everything he’s ever wanted. But the long-haired acrobat has an earldom and a fortune to claim.

Pen doesn’t want to live as any sort of man, least of all a nobleman. The thought of being wealthy, titled, and always in the public eye is horrifying. He likes his life now—his days on the trapeze, his nights with Mark. And he won’t be pushed into taking a title that would destroy his soul.

But there’s a killer stalking London’s foggy streets, and more lives than just Pen’s are at risk. Mark decides he must force the reluctant heir from music hall to manor house, to save Pen’s neck. Betrayed by the one man he thought he could trust, Pen never wants to see his lover again. But when the killer comes after him, Pen must find a way to forgive—or he might not live long enough for Mark to make amends

••••••••••

REVIEW: AN UNSUITABLE HEIR is the third and final installment in KJ Charles’ Victorian England, adult SIN OF THE CITIES M/M romance, mystery trilogy. This is private investigator Mark Braglewicz, and trapeze artist and reluctant earl Repentance ‘Pen’ Starling’s story line. AN UNSUITABLE HEIR can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise and plot throughout the series focusing on the search for the heir to the Earl of Moreton’s estate.

NOTE: AN UNSUITABLE HEIR and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

SOME BACKGROUND: Twenty three years earlier, sixteen year old and pregnant Emmeline Godfrey Taillefer’s life fell apart when the man that she married walked away without a backwards glance. Fast forward and the son to whom she gave birth is said to be the legitimate heir to the Earl of Moreton-a position coveted by more than one surviving relation.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Pen and Mark) AN UNSUITABLE HEIR focuses on the search for the truth as a group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. Mark Braglewicz has been commissioned to locate a young man known a Pen Starling-one half of the Flying Starling trapeze artists, and the man who is quite possibly the missing heir to the Moreton estates. Enter Repentance Taillefer aka Pen Starling, a man whose lifestyle will never be conducive as the Earl of Moreton, and the man with whom Mark Braglewicz will fall in love. With a killer on the loose, searching for the missing Taillefer twins, Mark struggles to convince Pen and his sister Greta (Regret) that Pen’s life hangs in the balance as a killer sets his sights on the Moreton heir.

Pen Starling is an anomaly – a bi-gendered man living in Victoria England; a flamboyant trapeze artist whose ‘professional persona’ crosses over into his daily life including an attraction to men that must be hidden in light of the times. Pen’s ‘gender fluidity’ is expressed by the way he presents himself as a girl or a boy (woman or man) depending upon his current state of mind or emotions. Mark Braglewicz, a private investigator is a bisexual man (with a missing left arm) whose captivation with Pen is palpable and intense.

The relationship between Pen and Mark is one of mutual fascination; a forbidden romance between two men who must remain closeted at a time when homosexuality is criminal and a sin. Mark’s ongoing need to convince Pen to acknowledge his rightful title builds a wall between our leading couple, a wall that will harden the heart of Pen Starling as betrayal and lies force Pen to face the truth about the man with whom he is falling in love. Pen is a reluctant heir knowing his personal lifestyle will become fodder for the people in charge-his fears are legitimate and painful. The $ex scenes are intimate without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

The world building continues to focus on the hunt for a killer; the search for the missing Moreton heirs; and the developing friendships and relationships between a group of gay men in Victorian England. All of the previous story line couples and characters play secondary and supporting roles. Once again, the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic (see my review of books one and two). The premise is entertaining and enlightening; the characters are colorful but flawed; the romance is seductive and intense.

I would like to add that political correctness did not exist in Victorian England, and to apply modern standards to an historical romance novel would alter the perceptive believability of the era. Some readers may take offense to the ‘presentation’ of Pen’s sexuality or Mark’s physical disability but for readers to apply contemporary criteria, standards, measurements or guidelines to this series and story line would be a grievous error that should be avoided.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
An Unseen Attraction
An Unnatural Vice
The Unsuitable Heir

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Illegal Contact (The Barons #1) by Santino Hassell-Review and Excerpt

ILLEGAL CONTACT (The Barons #1) by Santino Hassell-Review & Excerpt

Illegal Contact

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About the book: Release Date August 15, 2017

The rules of the game don’t apply off the field in this first Barons novel.

New York Barons tight end Gavin Brawley is suspended from the team and on house arrest after a video of him brawling goes viral. Gavin already has a reputation as a jerk with a temper on and off the field—which doesn’t help him once he finds himself on the wrong side of the law. And while he’s been successful professionally, he’s never been lucky when it comes to love.

Noah Monroe is a recent college grad looking for a job—any job—to pay off his mounting student debt. Working as Gavin’s personal assistant/babysitter seems like easy money. But Noah isn’t prepared for the electrifying tension between him and the football player. He’s not sure if he’d rather argue with Gavin or tackle him to the floor. But both men know the score, and neither is sure what will happen once Gavin’s timeout is over.

••••••••••••

REVIEW: ILLEGAL CONTACT is the first installment in Santino Hassell’s contemporary, adult THE BARONS erotic, M/M romance series focusing on the professional football players of the New York Barons. This is Barons’ tight end Gavin Brawley, and his personal assistant Noah Monroe’s story line.

NOTE: ILLEGAL CONTACT is a M/M romance story line with sexually graphic language, text and situations that may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual first person points of view (Gavin and Noah) ILLEGAL CONTACT follows the building but forbidden relationship between the New York Barons’ tight end Gavin Brawley, and his new PA Noah Monroe. With a six month suspension and house arrest on the horizon bad boy Gavin Brawley finds himself struggling to keep up in both his personal and private life. A reputation as a jerk with a temper Gavin’s circle of friends is small, and the only people he considers family are the team members he has left behind. Enter recent college grad Noah Monroe, Gavin’s new PA, and a man who struggles to keep secret his attraction to his boss. What ensues is the building romance and relationship between Gavin and Noah, and Noah’s battle to make life easier for the man that calls to his heart.

Gavin Brawley is a bisexual male who has yet to come out to the public or his team. When a recent video of our hero brawling went viral Gavin found himself facing jail time or house arrest but Gavin keeps more than his own sexuality a secret and refuses to reveal his reasons for losing his temper. Temper aside, Gavin’s reputation as a hot head both on and off the field is well known to the public but if his sexuality is revealed Gavin knows his professional career could come to a screeching halt. Gavin’s entire life revolves around the sport of professional football, and in this, Gavin’s sexuality could be a detriment to both his future and his career. Noah Monroe is in debt, and with his father’s recent lay off Noah is desperate to find any job that will put food on the table, and pay down his student debt. Working for Gavin Brawley finds Noah on the outside looking in with no concept of who or what is Gavin Brawley, and to add to the already tempestuous relationship, Noah’s history with powerful men is darkened by betrayal in the past.

The relationship between Noah and Gavin is one of immediate attraction but Noah struggles with Gavin’s attitude and emotional outbursts, as well as Gavin’s inability to see beyond his current problems. Gavin tries desperately to hide his attraction to Noah but fails miserably in spite of the possibility of future betrayal and blackmail. The $ex scenes are intimate, erotic and intense. The sexual chemistry was palpable but saying that I did have an issue with the lack of condom usage in this M/M romance story line. Fiction and the possibility of no unwanted pregnancies aside, I do believe that romance authors, including those who write M/M story lines, have an obligation to present safe (safer) $ex scenarios. There was no mention of STD or AIDs testing, or clean blood work-this was very disheartening under the circumstances especially when one of the leading characters was sexually active with another partner on more than one occasion.

We are introduced to several of Gavin’s teammates including quarterback Simeon Boudreaux and running back Marcus Hendricks, Gavin’s agent Mel Hawkins, publicist Joe Carmichael, and Noah’s best friend Jasmine. Simeon’s story line is next in Down by Contact-January 2018.

ILLEGAL CONTACT is a heartwarming, optimistic and encouraging story line. The premise is engaging and inspiring; the characters are charismatic and energetic: the romance is passionate and provocative. ILLEGAL CONTACT is a fantastic start to a new series.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

reviewed by Sandy

Illegal Contact teaser

Excerpt beige

Excerpt intended for mature readers 18 year and older

Gavin
***
Somewhere in the past couple of weeks, right around the time I’d watched Noah’s face light up as he threw himself into philanthropic planning schemes and he’d warned me about Joe being a nosy scumbag, I’d lost my mind. Evidence? Me wanting to smack my closest friend for putting the moves on him.
At first I’d thought I was being overprotective. Not even a week ago, I’d had this whole talk with Noah about him feeling safe, and I’d taken it seriously. As a foster kid, I’d never felt safe. Especially in the homes of people who’d temporarily taken me in. I’d been constantly reminded of my precarious position in their houses, and how they could put in a thirty-day notice with my social worker at any point. And they’d used that leverage against me.
I wasn’t about to step into the shoes of bastards who’d worked hard to ensure I would end up distrusting and despising people for the rest of my life.
He was my employee. I was his boss. He obviously didn’t trust me but had agreed to shack up in my house for two reasons only—money to help his father and to catch up on his debt. He didn’t really want to be here, but he had to be. The least I could do was respect his wishes. The same for my friends, but Simeon was laying it on thick.
As he’d run his hands all over Noah, I’d justified each jolt of discomfort by saying Simeon was shitting all over my promise. But Noah agreeing to fan day and whatever else? That had turned discomfort into outright jealousy. Especially since he hadn’t even known my damn name after meeting me at the interview, but he knew all sorts of random facts about Simeon. Simeon, who was in full-throttle, charming superstar QB mode. I was over it.
Regardless, my jealousy was a complete anomaly. Had never happened before. But it was happening right the fuck now, and I was furious with myself. Who cared if Noah was cute and a smartass who wasn’t
afraid to tell me to go fuck myself? And so what if that turned me on? Who cared if he was proving to be helpful and loyal enough to warn me about Joe? He was still my employee. I wasn’t supposed to care that he was more interested in my best friend.
Fuck. Whose idea had it been for me to be someone’s boss? I had zero clue what I was doing. Why had I ever listened to Joe?
I returned to the game room and paced the mostly empty space. I’d just seen that anger-management person a few days ago, and every tip and suggestion had flown out of my mind. All I could think about was how pissed I was at myself, and how I needed to go down to the gym and beat the shit out of a punching bag to work it out of my system. The last time I’d been this mad at myself had been when I’d trusted a journalist who’d invented a fake backstory for himself to get me to respond to his prying questions. Then he’d blasted my childhood across the front page of the newspaper.
Gavin Brawley Blames His Out of Control Temper on Hardscrabble Past.
Every word out of context. Bits and pieces of my identity twisted to fit the story he’d wanted. After that, I’d vowed to never talk to a reporter again. I hadn’t expected my emotional thermometer to blast through to enraged over Simeon coming on to Noah. And now I had nothing to use as an outlet. I could work out from morning to night, but after a while it was monotonous. Energy being expended but not going anywhere, and I felt like it circled the air and absorbed right back into my shoulders every goddamn night.
“You’re being real extra right now.”
Marcus’ calm voice did nothing to settle me down. “Shut up.”
“Nah.” Marcus yawned and plopped onto one of the sofas. “Fuck, dude, I’m ready for nap time. Your
cagey, jealous shit is ruining the vibe.”
“Who says I’m jealous?”
“Your white ass gets so flushed when you’re mad that it would be impossible to miss. I thought you
Illegal Contact / Hassell, Santino 107
108 Illegal Contact / Hassell, Santino
were going to jump Simeon when he made that comment about giving ole boy a ride.”
“Yeah, well, what can I say?” I stopped pacing. “I didn’t invite you assholes over here to give my
employee a hard time.”
“Your employee.” Marcus threw his muscular legs up onto the couch and stretched out. “Don’t even
front like you don’t want to smash him.” “I don’t.”
“Bullshit. You were staring them down the whole time we were downstairs. I mean, hey, no judgment. He just looks like a typical white-boy hipster to me, but whatever floats your boat, man. You may want to lay it down for Simeon if you’re serious, though. He most definitely wants to tap that ass.”
I ground my teeth together and tried to remember the last time I’d felt possessive over anyone, but I came up short. Then again, I didn’t normally hang out with the people I had sex with for more than ten minutes after we both came.
“I don’t want Simeon fucking him, and it has nothing to do with me being jealous.”
“Oh yeah? What’s it got to do with?”
“Him not pissing off the only person I can stand to have in my house for six months,” I snarled.
“Simeon can stick his dick in someone else until Noah is finished here.” “And then you’d be cool with it?”
“Yeah, then I’d be cool with it.”
Marcus snickered. He knew I was full of shit.
“Let me ask you a question, Gav.”
“Is that a question or a warning about the fact that I can’t stop you from asking even if I wanted to?” “Probably the last one.” Marcus propped his feet up on the arm of the couch, making himself nice
and comfy. “If you’re having jealous temper tantrums over this kid after a month, how the fuck are you gonna act in another two or three? He’s gonna be here all the time, dude. Showering in your bathroom, sleeping in your guest room, jacking it in bed a few thousand square feet away . . .”
“For fuck’s sake, Marcus.”
“Am I right or am I right, though?”
He was right. But I refused to admit it.
“I already told you I’m not jealous. Do we get along? Yeah. We do. And you know that’s a miracle
when it comes to me. Half the Barons can’t stand my ass because I won’t laugh at their stupid jokes, but at least they respect me. Most people think I’m a piece of shit.”
“And your boy?” Marcus pressed, looking truly intrigued. “What’s he like?”
“He’s . . .” How was he? What was it about him that had even clicked with me enough to make me want to guarantee he not walk out of the oversized front door and not come back? To become desperate and throw in that huge bonus so he wouldn’t have to keep commuting? “He’s a smartass, but he’s a good person. And he gets me.”
Marcus raised an eyebrow. “How’s he get you? He doesn’t even like football.”
The disgusted tone drew a smile out of me. I plopped down in one of the armchairs and tilted my head back. “He didn’t grow up like me, but . . . he gets it. And he’s not phony. He’s straight up with his opinions and isn’t afraid to tell me them.”
“So he’s not scared to say . . . ‘Gavin, you’re being a dickhead.’”
“Basically. He talks almost as much trash as I do, which is probably why we managed to get along. Also, he keeps trying to make me look good to Mel. Gave me credit for all this shit that he came up with. I don’t get it, since I was a total douchebag to him, but I appreciate it. He’s a good dude.”
“Huh.” Marcus slowly nodded, analyzing me with his big dark eyes. “Aiight, I’ll talk to Simeon.” “About what?”
“Him keeping his greedy hands off your boy.” Marcus winked. “But if you’re keeping on with this
whole I’m-trying-to-hold-on-to-my-employee bullshit, I’d recommend getting laid. From where I’m sitting, you just look like a jealous, horny bastard.”
“Done.”
Illegal Contact / Hassell, Santino 109
110 Illegal Contact / Hassell, Santino
Marcus rolled off the sofa and sprang to his feet. He arched his back with a jaw-cracking yawn. “You mind if I catch some sleep, dude? I’ve been having nightmares every night for the past few days.”
“What kind of nightmares?”
“Eh. Stress shit. Getting injured before the season even starts. Moe getting hurt messed me up, man.” “You spoke to him?”
“Yeah.” Marcus sobered. “His agent isn’t feeling too good about his contract since this is his last
year, and he’s had four fucking surgeries during the life of it. Remember what I said earlier? About them saying he was injury-prone? I wasn’t making it up. His career may be over, man. Or maybe they’ll trade him to some douchebag team like the Predators.”
The Predators were infamous dickholes. It seemed to be a requirement for signing with them. Even their cheerleaders were mean as fuck. The Slytherin of the NFL. The only time I could play a game without everyone mentioning my shitty reputation was if we were playing the Predators. They, as a whole, had a shittier reputation than me.
“You won’t get hurt.”
Marcus arched a brow. “You a prophet now?”
“Yeah. And I prophesize your ass winning the Super Bowl this year.”
“Without you and Moe? Nope.”
I scoffed. “Yeah, right.”
“For real, man. I love Phil, but he’s no Brawley. He’s small and lean enough to run circles around D-
men after a reception, but he has none of your force or bulk. They’re changing everything to account for you and Moe not being there. Fucking sucks.”
It did suck. Even more so because I was now facing the reality that my team was short not one but two starters. If I’d controlled myself better, I’d be there to support them. All of this stress and anxiety about how the season would roll out wouldn’t be on their shoulders, although in my opinion Moe was more of an asset to the team. He was one of the best wide receivers in the league. Even so, I wanted to be
there to step up. But I was stuck. Because of my need to escalate shit five times past where it could have ended.
“All right, bud. I’m gonna go talk to Simeon, and you figure out how to get laid.”
I nodded, watching him go, and actually listened to the tip. Between Simeon and Noah, the shit about Moe, and now the news that my replacement wasn’t rising to the occasion of starting for the Barons? I needed an outlet. It was either time to get in a monstrous fistfight or take out the brimming frustration on someone’s ass.
I went for the latter.

 

 

About The Author beige

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Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

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Dirty Deeds (The Dirty Series #1) by HelenKay Dimon-Review & Giveaway

DIRTY DEEDS (The Dirty #1) by HelenKay Dimon-Review and Giveaway

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DIRTY DEEDS
The Dirty Series #1
by HelenKay Dimon
Release Date: August 8, 2017
Genre: adult,contemporary, M/M, erotic, romantic suspense

Dirty Deeds

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date August 8, 2017

No dirty deed goes unnoticed in a seductive game of cat and mouse. But for Alec and Gaige, the wrong move could get them killed.

Alec Drummond didn’t make his billions by playing nice—or by playing much at all. When it comes to pleasure, Alec only has time for whatever’s quick and easy, which is exactly what he gets from his company’s hot new computer genius. But Gaige Owens isn’t some pushover. He pushes back, and it’s giving Alec a rush. The question is, could Gaige be the one who’s leaking trade secrets? Just to be safe, Alec keeps him close at hand . . . night and day.

Gaige never thought he’d roll over for a man like Alec again, but who could resist sex this mind-blowing? Then there’s the draw of Alec’s mysterious side: his cutthroat ambition, his covert CIA connections, and the murder in his past. For Gaige, a deeper look proves an irresistible temptation. But when Gaige and Alec are stripped of their defenses by an unseen danger, everything they don’t know could bring them closer together—or tear them apart. Only one thing is certain: Before it’s all over, someone’s going down.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: DIRTY DEEDS is the first installment in HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary, adult THE DIRTY erotic, M/M romantic suspense series-a spin off from her TOUGH LOVE series. This is former CIA operative Gaige Owens, and billionaire businessman Alex Drummond’s story line. DIRTY DEEDS can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty-any important information from the previous series is revealed where necessary. Alec is first introduced in Guarding Mr. Fine (Tough Love #3)

NOTE: DIRTY DEEDS contains graphic scenes of M/M sexual situations, intended for mature readers only.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Gaige and Alec) DIRTY DEEDS follows the search for the truth. Gaige Owens finds himself ‘tied’ to the CIA, and repaying his debt comes with a dangerous mission to Germany, and the man with whom he would fall in love. Enter Alec Drummond, billionaire businessman and civilian security specialist with high ranking government contacts, whose off hour business shipments to Svalbard, the ‘Doomsday Vault’ in Norway, have caught the attention of the CIA. What ensues is the building relationship between Gaige and Alec, and the struggle to uncover the who, what and why behind the ‘mysterious’ cargo entering the secret vaults meant to preserve the world’s food supplies.

Gaige Owens is an IT specialist but his latest ‘assignment’ has him coming face to face with a man who wants nothing to do with Gaige or the reasons behind the CIA’s involvement. Gaige is working undercover at Drummond Industries, and Alec has a difficult time trusting the man with whom he will fall in love. Both burned in the past by people they once loved Gaige and Alec’s attraction to one another is both palpable and immediate. But someone is desperate to keep both Gaige and Alec from uncovering the truth-our couple are targeted at home and at work. The $ex scenes are numerous, intimate and erotic. Alec battles both his heart and his head knowing there is an end date when the mission is complete.

There is a large ensemble cast of secondary and supporting characters including Alec’s second in command Tony, as well as Tony’s girlfriend, former military personnel Caroline; Alex’s PA Pam Masters (Caroline’s sister); CIA Special Activities Division Agent (SAD) Seth Lang (Guarding Mr. Fine#3); Doomsday vault head of security Daniel Berg, and supervisor Astrid Larsen.

The world building continues to focus on the secret military operations, and Black Ops missions; the people, the places, and the threats to world safety and security, and the men whose mission it is to go undercover-in more ways than one.

DIRTY DEEDS is an intriguing and suspense filled story line focusing on the potential destruction of the world’s food supply. The premise is original, engaging and entertaining; the characters are colorful, edgy and animated; the romance is seductive and intense. DIRTY DEEDS is a sensual and passionate story of two men thrown together in the face of impending disaster.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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About the author

HelenKay DimonGoodreads /Website/ Twitter/ Facebook

Helenkay Dimon spent the years before becoming a romance author as a . . . divorce attorney. Not the usual transition, she knows. Good news is she now writes full time and is much happier. She has sold over thirty novels, novellas and shorts to numerous publishers. Her nationally bestselling and award-winning books have been showcased in numerous venues and her books have twice been named “Red-Hot Reads” and excerpted in Cosmopolitan magazine. But if you ask her, she’ll tell you the best part of the job is never having to wear pantyhose again.

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HelenKay Dimon’s publisher is graciously offering an ebook copy of DIRTY DEEDS to ONE (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. If you have not previously registered at The Reading Cafe, please register by using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

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An Unnatural Vice/ An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities 1 & 2) by KJ Charles-Reviews

An Unnatural Vice / An Unseen Attraction (Sins of the Cities 1 & 2) by KJ Charles-Reviews

An Unnatural Vice

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / B&N / KOBO / Chapters Indigo /

AN UNNATURAL VICE ( Sins of the Cities #2) by KJ Charles

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date June 6, 2017

In the sordid streets of Victorian London, unwanted desire flares between two bitter enemies brought together by a deadly secret.

Crusading journalist Nathaniel Roy is determined to expose spiritualists who exploit the grief of bereaved and vulnerable people. First on his list is the so-called Seer of London, Justin Lazarus. Nathaniel expects him to be a cheap, heartless fraud. He doesn’t expect to meet a man with a sinful smile and the eyes of a fallen angel—or that a shameless swindler will spark his desires for the first time in years.

Justin feels no remorse for the lies he spins during his séances. His gullible clients simply bore him. Hostile, disbelieving, utterly irresistible Nathaniel is a fascinating challenge. And as their battle of wills and wits heats up, Justin finds he can’t stop thinking about the man who’s determined to ruin him.

But Justin and Nathaniel are linked by more than their fast-growing obsession with one another. They are both caught up in an aristocratic family’s secrets, and Justin holds information that could be lethal. As killers, fanatics, and fog close in, Nathaniel is the only man Justin can trust—and, perhaps, the only man he could love.

••••••••••

REVIEW: AN UNNATURAL VICE is the second installment in KJ Charles’s adult, Victorian, historical Sins of the Cities M/M romance, murder-mystery series. This is journalist and former lawyer Nathaniel Roy, and Seer of London Justin Lazarus’s story line. AN UNNATURAL VICE can be read as a stand alone but for cohesion and backstory I recommend reading the series in order as there is an ongoing premise and plot throughout the series. Some of the events of An Unnatural Vice cross over and run parallel to the events of book one-An Unseen Attraction

NOTE: AN UNNATURAL VICE and the SINS OF THE CITIES series contain scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual third person points of view (Justin and Nathaniel) AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the enemies to lovers relationship between the Seer of London (Medium) Justin Lazarus, and journalist Nathaniel Roy. Nathaniel’s latest assignment is to uncover the truth behind self-proclaimed Seer Justin Lazarus-a proclamation Nathaniel is determined to prove fraudulent and deceitful. But Justin has information that could prove helpful to Nathaniel’s friend Clem Talleyfer (An Unseen Attraction #1) as the group of friends endeavors to find the missing heir to the Taillefer fortune and title holder to the Earl of Moreton. What ensues are Justin and Nathaniel’s attempts to stay one step ahead of the people hired to destroy any evidence of an heir, and Justin and Nathaniel’s growing love between two people whose lives follow different paths towards the future.

The relationship between Nathaniel and Justin is slow to build. Their acrimonious but tepid friendship requires cooperation when Justin is targeted by someone in control; Nathaniel is determined to protect the man with whom he is falling in love sweeping his lover to a secreted location fearing for their lives. The $ex scenes are intimate and provocative without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

AN UNNATURAL VICE follows the search for the missing heir, although most of the investigation is behind the scenes as the story line focuses on our leading couple. The requisite evil has many faces but the ultimate villain has yet to be revealed.

The world building continues to look at the friendships and relationships of a group of ‘gay’ men in Victorian, England although AN UNNATURAL VICE primarily focuses on Nathaniel and Justin’s struggle to stay alive. Once again, the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic (see my review of book one). The back and forth banter between Justin and Nathaniel is witty and entertaining. The premise is much more detailed and descriptive than the first installment as the author brings to life the dreary and wretched world of Victorian England; the characters are colorful and dynamic although I would have liked more information about Nathaniel’s earlier years; the romance is seductive and intense. AN UNNATURAL VICE is an entertaining story line; a fast paced and intriguing story of mystery, suspense, romance and love.

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

________________

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION
(Sins of the City #1)
by K.J.Charles
Genre: adult, Victorian, M/M, historical romance

An Unseen AttractionABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 21, 2017

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Lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer prefers a quiet life. He’s happy with his hobbies, his work—and especially with his lodger Rowley Green, who becomes a friend over their long fireside evenings together. If only neat, precise, irresistible Mr. Green were interested in more than friendship…

Rowley just wants to be left alone—at least until he meets Clem, with his odd, charming ways and his glorious eyes. Two quiet men, lodging in the same house, coming to an understanding… it could be perfect. Then the brutally murdered corpse of another lodger is dumped on their doorstep and their peaceful life is shattered.

Now Clem and Rowley find themselves caught up in a mystery, threatened on all sides by violent men, with a deadly London fog closing in on them. If they’re to see their way through, the pair must learn to share their secrets—and their hearts.

•••••••••••

REVIEW: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is the first installment in KJ Charles’s adult, SINS OF THE CITY Victorian, M/M, historical romance, murder-mystery series. This is lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and stuffer (taxidermist) Rowley Green’s story line.

NOTE: AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION contains scenes of M/M sexual situations and may not be suitable for all readers.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Clem and Rowley) AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION follows two paths and focuses on the forbidden relationship between two men: lodging-house keeper Clem Talleyfer, and taxidermist Rowley Green. The year is 1873, and Clem Talleyfer manages, on behalf of his brother, a lodging house for single men. Enter Rowley Green, the local taxidermist, and the man who has caught the eye of the lodging-house manager. When one of the tenants disappears and is found dead several days later, Clem and Rowley face the wrath of not only the local law enforcement but Clem’s brother as well. What ensues is the investigation into the who, what and why, and the building but forbidden love between two men caught in a game of secrets and lies.

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is a slow building story line; a murder /mystery plot where our leading couple find themselves targeted for reasons unknown. As the investigation grows, so too does the realization that the person(s) responsible is all too familiar to the lodging house manager.

The relationship between Clem and Rowley is one of immediate attraction but the fear of the unknown and public scrutiny have kept their relationship at a slow burn for several months. When Rowley invites Clem for an evening out, Clem soon realizes that his attraction to the local taxidermist is one of mutual want and need. The $ex scenes are intimate and seductive without the use of over the top, sexually graphic language and text.

AN UNSEEN ATTRACTION is, first and foremost, a story of murder, mystery and suspense. Clem and Rowley’s backstories are heartbreaking; family history is something no one wants to share. The slow reveal of clues is well paced; the identity of the person ultimately responsible was (for me) easily deduced early on. The language and text is simple; the tone of the story is not conducive to the era or the time-I was expecting a tighter interpretation of the language e.g. euphemisms, slang, sentence structure, and because of this, the story line reads more modern than historic. The premise is entertaining; the characters are colorful and energetic; the romance is sweet and seductive.

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Reviewed by Sandy

About The author

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KJ Charles is a writer and freelance editor. She lives in London with her husband, two kids, an out-of-control garden and an increasingly murderous cat.

KJ writes mostly romance, gay and straight, frequently historical, and usually with some fantasy or horror in there. She specialises in editing romance, especially historical and fantasy, and also edits children’s fiction.

Find her on Twitter @kj_charles or on Facebook, join her Facebook group

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Unsteady (On Solid Ground #3) by Melissa Collin-Review and Book Tour

UNSTEADY (On Solid Ground #3) by Melissa Collins-Review and Book Tour

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UNSTEADY
On Solid Ground #3
by Melissa Collins
Release Date: April 28, 2017
Genre: adult, contemporary, MM, erotic, romance

Unsteady

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 28, 2017

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

••••••••••••••

REVIEW: UNSTEADY is the third installment in Melissa Collins’s contemporary, adult ON SOLID GROUND M/M romance series. This is army veteran Micah Hudson, and elementary school teacher / coach Jude MacMillian’s story line. UNSTEADY can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. The reader was first introduced to Micah in an earlier story line.

NOTE: UNSTEADY contains graphic scenarios of M/M sexual situations.

Told from dual first person points of view (Micah and Jude) using present day and memories from the past, UNSTEADY is a second chance story line that focuses on the friends to lovers relationship between former childhood friends Micah Hudson, and Jude MacMillian. Micah and Jude grew up the outcasts: Jude a victim of school bullies, Micah the victim of his father’s rigid demands. Micah was Jude’s protector and guardian, and the man with whom Jude would fall in love. But the bullies that continue to stalk Jude throughout his school life forced our hero to push away the only man he would ever love. Fast forward ten years, where Jude would come face to face with his past- Micah Hudson, an army veteran and amputee looking for a second chance at life, love and a happily ever after. What ensues is the rebuilding friendship and relationship between Micah and Jude, and the fall out when too many lies cover the secrets Micah left behind.

Micah Hudson has been living a lie most of his life-rejected by the only man he would ever love, Micah found army life a way to escape everything he left behind including family and friends, and the truth about his love for a man who pushed him away. But Micah keeps buried a secret that once revealed forces Jude to question his relationship with Micah Hudson.

The relationship between Micah and Jude is one of second chances; a rekindling friendship and romance between two men who have never found love or peace without the other. Jude is an alpha male desperate to keep Micah back in his life; Micah is struggling with his place in the world. The $ex scenes are intimate and passionate.

We are introduced to Jude’s fellow teacher and coach Brandon, as well as Jude’s father George MacMillian, and Micah’s service dog Sarge, as well as a number of students at a sports camp run by Jude MacMillian. The requisite evil reveals the discrimination aimed at our story line heroes.

The world building looks at the fall out of fear, lies, betrayal and mistrust. Micah’s lies by omission surface to destroy the relationship with the man that he loves; betrayal comes from an outside source when their relationship goes public.

UNSTEADY is a story about struggle and pain; heartbreak and loneliness; acceptance and recovery. The premise is dramatic and intense; the characters are broken and anxious; the romance is challenging, provocative and fated. UNSTEADY is an emotional story line of second chances, family and love.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
On Solid Ground
On Higher Ground
Unsteady

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Unsteady Teaser

about the author

Follow: Goodreads / Website / Facebook / Twitter / Pinterest

Melissa CollinsMelissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.

Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Guarding Mr. Fine (Tough Love #3) by HelenKay Dimon-a review

GUARDING MR. FINE (Tough Love #3) by HelenKay Dimon-a review

Guarding Mr. Fine

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date February 14, 2017

In this steamy novel of seduction and international intrigue, two brave men are stripped of their defenses—and exposed to dangers and desires that simmer below the surface.

As an agent with the CIA’s special activities division, Seth Lang lives for risk—and yet he’s stuck playing bodyguard to the U.S. consul general in Munich. Although Seth’s last assignment nearly killed him, babysitting some desk jockey in a suit sounds way too easy. But when he lays eyes on the new top man, tactical expert Rick Fine, Seth’s thrilled to see just how hard this job is going to get. Mr. Tall, Dark, and Quiet has a body worth guarding—and he requires hands-on attention day and night.

Dispatched to a German consulate to expose the murder of his predecessor, Rick finds himself in an extremely vulnerable position. He needs a man like Seth—in so many ways. This mission will inevitably plunge them both into jeopardy, but each new threat only brings them closer. Rick just hopes that he can keep his deepest, darkest secret hidden—or else risk imperiling a relationship they’re both fighting for their lives to protect.

•••••••••••••

REVIEW: GUARDING MR. FINE is the third installment in HelenKay Dimon’s contemporary, adult TOUGH LOVE (formerly End of the Line) erotic, M/M romantic suspense series. This is CIA and special activities division agent Seth Lang, and temporary U.S. consul general to Munich, Germany Rick Fine’s story line. GUARDING MR. FINE can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary. The reader was first introduced to Seth in book two-The Talented Mr. Rivers.

NOTE: GUARDING MR. FINE contains scenes of M/M sexual situations and mature subject matter.

Told from dual third person points of view (Seth and Rick) GUARDING MR. FINE focuses on uncovering an arms shipment ring with connections to the US Consulate in Munich, Germany. Former consul general Ed Wright’s death was labeled a suicide but for all intents and purposes not everyone believes Ed’s death was a suicide-at all. CIA Special Agent Seth Lang is one of those who suspects Ed’s death is part of something much larger including an illegal arms ring that leads back to the people with whom he works. Enter Rick Fine, temporary US consul general, and the man with whom Seth will fall in love. What ensues is the search for the people behind the arms deals, and the building relationship between Seth and Rick as our couple must stay one step ahead of the threats against Rick Fine.

GUARDING MR. FINE looks at international espionage, illegal arms deals, secrets, betrayals, lies and power. Someone with access to the consul general is using the position of power in an unlawful manner. Seth has been hired to protect Rick Fine but Rick’s is also working to uncover the truth and the people involved.

The relationship between Rick and Seth begins as an anonymous hook up before our couple have been introduced on a professional basis. Seth’s immediate attraction to Rick finds our hero breaking all of his rules to protect the man with whom he is falling in love. Rick is determined to protect Seth knowing he is willing to risk his life to do his job but Rick has a secret, one that if revealed, may destroy his relationship with Seth Lang. The $ex scenes are intimate, graphic, intense and erotic.

We are introduced to Owen Rankin, a civilian and the head of security at the consulate; Tim Craine-a spoiled consular language employee who uses his family connections for career appointments; Ben Rogers, the consulate’s public affairs officer; Alec Drummond, another civilian security specialist with high ranking government contacts; and the women in charge of the CIA’s Special Activities Division Helena Bond.

GUARDING MR. FINE is a story with a bit of an inst-love trope that finds two men struggling with their attraction to one another, and the over-protective alpha-ness of being in charge. The premise is entertaining and spicy; the characters are sexy and colorful; the romance is intoxicating and intense. GUARDING MR. FINE is an intimate story of passion and intrigue.

Reading Order and Previous Reviews
Mr & Mr Smith
The Talented Mr. Rivers
Guarding Mr. Fine

Copy supplied by the publisher through Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

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Wound Tight (Made in Jersey #4) by Tessa Baily-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

WOUND TIGHT (Made in Jersey #4) by Tessa Bailey-Review, Book Tour & Giveaway

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WOUND TIGHT
Made in Jersey #4
by Tessa Baily
Release Date: December 5, 2016
Genre: adult, contemporary, M/M, erotic, romance

Wound Tight

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date December 5, 2016

When CEO Renner Bastion walks into a room, everyone keeps their distance. Well, everyone but the sarcastic, tattooed, Boston-bred security guard whose presence has kept Renner in New Jersey longer than intended. As if the unwanted attraction isn’t unsettling enough, Renner finds out his protector isn’t as unavailable as originally thought.

Milo Bautista just came out to his wealthy, ultra-confident boss, a man he secretly respects and admires…in more ways than he’ll admit. Worldly, experienced Renner would never look in his direction, let alone share some of that confidence he wears like a cloak, so Milo has set his sights on someone else to be his first.

Until Renner offers him private lessons in seduction.

••••••••••

REVIEW: WOUND TIGHT is the fourth and final? installment in Tessa Bailey’s contemporary, adult MADE IN JERSEY erotic, romance series focusing on the men and women in the blue collar town of Hook, New Jersey. This is CEO Renner Bastion, and US Army veteran/security guard Milo Bautista’s story line-both of whom we have met in previous story lines. WOUND TIGHT can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from previous story lines is revealed where necessary. Renner Bastion is the step brother to Samantha Waverly whom we met in WORKED UP (book 3).

NOTE: WOUND TIGHT is a M/M story line with graphic same sex scenarios and situations.

Told from dual third person perspectives (Milo and Renner) WOUND TIGHT focuses on the building but forbidden relationship between US Army veteran Milo Bautista, and CEO Renner Bastion. Renner is a workaholic; a wealthy businessman who came to Hook, New Jersey to save a manufacturing plant that employs a majority of the town’s people. Renner is gay but his attraction to the manufacturing plant’s head of security is strictly forbidden as Renner is unaware of Milo’s sexual persuasion.

Milo’s interest in Renner Bastion goes beyond safe guarding the boss. Milo is a man who is uncomfortable with his attraction to men, and his preference seems to be leaning towards the man in charge. When Milo reveals his deepest secret, Renner offers to ‘aid’ Milo in the art of seduction knowing that his feelings for Milo may only go one way. What ensues is a developing friendship that soon leads to something more permanent for Milo Bautista and Renner Bastion.

The relationship between Milo and Renner begins acrimoniously. Renner is Milo’s boss and Milo’s carefree attitude gets under Renner’s proverbial skin. The two are constantly ‘butting heads’ as Milo insists on protecting the boss from the dark and dangerous life outside of work. It doesn’t help that Renner keeps himself secreted away from the people who work and live in Hook, New Jersey making himself persona non grata to his other employees. When Milo asks Renner to help him get over his fear of seducing a man, Renner hopes that Milo directs all that he learns towards the man, himself. The M/M $ex scenes are intimate and provocative. There is plenty of sexual tension between Milo and Renner.

Most of the previous story line couples play secondary and supporting characters including Samantha Waverly, and her husband Duke Crawford-Duke and Samantha are looking towards the future and adding one more to the population of Hook, New Jersey. I am still hoping that Tessa writes a series focusing on Duke’s four sisters-each recently divorced or struggling in their current relationships.

WOUND TIGHT is an emotional but predictable story line; a sweet romance between two men who struggle with who and what they are. The premise is moving and inspiring; the characters are passionate and encouraging ; the romance is intimate and intense. WOUND TIGHT and Tessa’s MADE IN JERSEY series are a moving and comforting look at a blue collar town and the people who live to love.

Reading Order and Previous reviews

Crashed Out
Thrown Down
Worked Up
Wound Tight

Copy supplied by Netgalley

Reviewed by Sandy

About The author

highres-MJB_5140.jpgTessa Bailey is originally from Carlsbad, California. The day after high school graduation, she packed her yearbook, ripped jeans and laptop, driving cross-country to New York City in under four days.

Her most valuable life experiences were learned thereafter while waitressing at K-Dees, a Manhattan pub owned by her uncle. Inside those four walls, she met her husband, best friend and discovered the magic of classic rock, managing to put herself through Kingsborough Community College and the English program at Pace University at the same time. Several stunted attempts to enter the work force as a journalist followed, but romance writing continued to demand her attention.

She now lives in Long Island, New York with her husband of nine years and four-year-old daughter. Although she is severely sleep-deprived, she is incredibly happy to be living her dream of writing about people falling in love.

Connect with Tessa Bailey

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Tempting Tristan (Harborside Nights #3) by Melissa Foster-Review and Book Tour

TEMPTING TRISTAN : Tristan Brewer (Harborside Nights #3) by Melissa Foster-Review and Book Tour

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TEMPTING TRISTAN
Harborside Nights #3
by Melissa Foster
Genre: adult, contemporary,erotic, M/M/ romance
Release Date: October 19, 2016

Tempting Tristan

 

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ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date October 19, 2016

Tempting Tristan is a stand-alone M/M romance featuring two sexy, lovable alpha heroes.

TRISTAN AND ALEX

Fresh off the heels of yet another bad relationship, Tristan Brewer is taking a break from men to try to figure out where he keeps going wrong. He knows his biggest fault—he leads with his heart, not his head—and that’s never going to change. But after several introspective weeks, he’s beginning to get a handle on things. That is, until badass heartthrob Alex Wells walks into his bar…

Alex has spent eight years in the army, months in a hospital bed, and far too long hiding his sexual identity. He’s guilt-ridden, damaged, pissed off, and up for a Silver Star for the incident that nearly cost him his life—and kept him from his grandmother’s funeral. But all he wants to do is live the life he’s always dreamed of and forget his stint with the institution that allows but doesn’t necessarily accept.

The chemistry between Tristan and Alex ignites from the moment they meet, and the more time they spend together, the hotter the flames burn. But the closer they become, the more Alex’s walls go up, and when the two walk onto a military base, Tristan finds out Alex’s physical scars aren’t the ones that run the deepest.

••••••••••

REVIEW: TEMPTING TRISTAN is the third installment in Melissa Foster’s contemporary, adult HARBORSIDE NIGHTS erotic romance series- which in turn is part of Foster’s LOVE IN BLOOM series. TEMPTING TRISTAN is a M/M romance story line focusing on bartender Tristan Brewer, and US army vet/artist Alex Wells. TEMPTING TRISTAN can be read as a stand alone without any difficulty. Any important information from the previous story lines is revealed where necessary.

NOTE: TEMPTING TRISTAN contains graphic scenes of M/M sexual situations.

Told from dual first person perspectives (Tristan and Alex) TEMPTING TRISTAN follows the building relationship between bartender Tristan Brewer, and US army veteran Alex Wells. Alex’s appearance in Harborside following months of hospital recovery and rehab comes with the grief that he missed his beloved Grandmother’s funeral knowing that he will never get the chance to say good bye. Enter Tristan Brewer, the man his grandmother spoke of so highly, and the man that calls to Alex’s heart. What ensues is a romance that is threatened by the scars Alex carries both inside and out.

The relationship between our leading couple is very sexual; there is an insta-love quality between Tristan and Alex although Alex is reluctant to reveal the details of his two tours in the Middle East. Tristan is a man who has been burned by most of the men in his past but is willing to give Alex the benefit of the doubt and helps Alex accept the man that he has become. The $ex scenes are intimate, intense, erotic and provocative.

There is a large cast of secondary and supporting characters including Delilah and Ashley (Discovering Delilah #2) and Wyatt and Cassidy (Catching Cassidy #1). Tristan’s parents are accepting of their son’s lifestyle and the man that he loves but Alex has difficulty with the US Army’s history and the LBGQT community.

TEMPTING TRISTAN is a decadent story line without the interference of any outside conflict; an engaging and energetic tale about two man who fell in love when neither one expected. Alex’s struggle for acceptance in the military causes some disconcerting issues in his relationship with the man that he loves. The premise is encouraging and romantic; the characters are passionate and inspiring; the romance is seductive and heartwarming. Melissa Foster writes an emotional story about acceptance, recovery and love.

Copy supplied for review

Reviewed by Sandy

Tempting Tristan Teaser

excerpt

“Can I ask you something? You don’t have to answer.”Tristan shrugs. “Have at it.”

“Why were you taking a break? I get that your ex was a prick, but is there more to it?”

He looks down the street, across the street, and then his hand cruises through his hair as it has so often that I’ve already come to expect it when he’s nervous.

“Ian was a prick, but the rest is going to make me sound like a pussy,” he admits.

“I’ve only known you a day, and I already know nothing can make you sound like a pussy.”

He meets my gaze, and his jaw tightens. He lifts his chin and I recognize the struggle between feeling proud and worrying about looking weak. I fight that battle on a daily basis.

“I give away my heart too easily, and I end up getting hurt.”

His eyes never leave mine, and that trust, that confidence, is the sexiest thing I’ve ever seen.

“I was right. Nothing can make you sound like a pussy.” I slide my hand to the hard ridge of his jaw and lean in closer. “I’ve never given my heart away. That makes you braver than me.”

about the author

Melissa Foster

Melissa Foster is a New York Times & USA Today bestselling and award-winning author. She writes sexy and heartwarming contemporary romance and new adult romance, contemporary women’s fiction, suspense, and historical fiction with emotionally compelling characters that stay with you long after you turn the last page. Her books have been recommended by USA Today’s book blog, Hagerstown Magazine, The Patriot, and several other print venues. She is the founder of the World Literary Café and Fostering Success. When she’s not writing, Melissa helps authors navigate the publishing industry through her author training programs on Fostering Success. Melissa has been published in Calgary’s Child Magazine, the Huffington Post, and Women Business Owners magazine.

Melissa hosts an Aspiring Authors contest for children and has painted and donated several murals to The Hospital for Sick Children in Washington, DC. Melissa lives in Maryland with her family.

Visit Melissa on social media. Melissa enjoys discussing her books with book clubs and reader groups, and welcomes an invitation to your event.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

 

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