Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Random Review: Broken Halo by Michaels Grey #Review #Giveaway

Author: Michaela Grey
Book: Broken Halo
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date: January 30, 2017
Length: 236 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Micah Ellis is an affluent businessman, comfortable in his life and work, as long as nothing happens to shake up his routine. Which is exactly what one Devon Mallory does, with his bright blue eyes and dirty skin and the forceful personality that’s everything Micah desperately needs but is too afraid to ask for.

Micah and Devon enter into a Dom/sub relationship and navigate the world of BDSM and Micah’s crippling insecurities as they gradually fall in love. But Micah’s past is coming back to haunt him, and they must face it together—and that means learning acceptance and discovering that they both deserve love their way and on their own merits.

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This is the first time I've read Michaela Grey. It's always interesting when reading a new-to-me author because you never know what you'll get. So, I was cautious... Going in I wasn't sure. The cover was very confusing to me. Not so much after I read the book. The manta ray will make sense, I promise.

We deal with a lot in this book. Some I was happy with and some I wasn't.  I loved Devon! He is such an amazing guy. Maybe too nice? I don't know. He's super boyfriend when it comes to Micah and all he does for him. I wanted to squish him 100 times. Devon works so hard at this relationship. Even when he realizes that to calm and center Micah he needs to become a Dom, he jumps right in. 

To be fair he does some research. Now, I think learning BDSM strictly via the internet may be okay for a book report but in practice? Not so much in my opinion. It doesn't really follow the SSC guidelines for BDSM. That very well might have been the author's intentions so I'm not completely clear on that.

Micah was a bit frustrating for me. I adored him in ways but I think when it came down to it, he bothered me too often. His naivety was cute for awhile but his clueless attitude about his manipulative  ( and very creepy) ex pushed it too far. Micah is a smart guy so not seeing it for pretty much the whole book rubbed me the wrong way.

I will say the sex was super hot! No chemistry issues or falling flat there! Scorching for sure. The author knows how to write sex that is not at all monotonous and keeps me engaged. Too often I skim sex scenes but not once in this book.

There's sadness in this book. A long sadness... of course in the end it's all worth it but be ready for an ache!

All in all it was a good book. It had it's flaws but nothing that you can't move from. You need to read it and make your own opinion on it that's for sure.


February's monthly giveaway  
Two ebooks from author Kris Michaels
A Heart's Desire
An Evidence of Magic
(co-authored with Patricia Knight)
Giveaway ends February 28th!


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Release Day Promotional Post: Flaunt by E. Davies #Review #Giveaway

Author: E. Davies
Book: Flaunt
Self Published
Publication date: January 31, 2017
Length: 300 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


“He's waiting for me to ask, and I'm afraid.”

“I'm just one more gay guy here.”

Moving to the suburbs of L.A. was supposed to give Nic Montero a fresh start. After escaping his family, coming out as a gay trans man, and excelling in computer programming out of desperation to get financially stable or die, everything should be easy. But joining gay culture now, post-transition, feels impossible... until he runs into the force of nature that is Kyle. Everything Nic isn't, Kyle embodies. Green hair, garters and cut-off shorts, sports jerseys, and all, brash Kyle is the most gorgeous man he's ever laid eyes on, and he pulls Nic headlong into the center of his world. If only Nic felt like enough for a man like Kyle.

“One-night stands are my only option.”

Loud, loving, and too much for most men to handle, Kyle Everett catches eyes and occasionally scorn... even at his job at the local HIV charity, Plus. His days and nights are spent at work, his precious spare moments spent with his son, Kevin, when it's his turn to co-parent, or his best friend, drag queen River. He only has money or time for cheap flings, but the lanky otter who walks into his life makes Kyle want to hold him for longer than a night. He knows what it's like for Nic to be without a family, but he isn't brave enough to let this man into his life... until his charity is targeted by bigots, and Nic's there for him.

“I'll stay with you if you're brave enough to be you.”

Nic spent his twenties avoiding family and even his own femininity, but his yearning is impossible to ignore. Kyle's used to flying solo, but Nic offers him safety and fills gaps in his life he never realized existed and now can't stand. Living in close proximity, they can't run from their attraction, but they're each used to being rejected, with the emotional scars to prove it. Can two men who feel like they're not enough and too much find something just right?


This is an opposites attracts story. Quiet, shy, somewhat nervous Nic Montero meets loud, proud, not at all shy Kyle Everett. When we meet both men each is harboring a secret. We know very quickly into the story that Nic is transgender and he fears telling anyone, especially Kyle.

Kyle is so wonderful. He's a great father. He really adores his son. His "out there" attitude is so much the polar opposite of Nic's. But my grandmother once said, "People with the deepest secrets are like magicians. They rely on the fanfare to distract you from the truth." That's Kyle. And getting to Kyle's secrets took a lot longer.

I admired both of these characters and love how they were written. They had an instant attraction to each other. But a somewhat slow burn in many ways. Kyle's attitude toward Nic's confession was beyond words awesome. I pretty much knew it would be just by seeing how Kyle handles all things.

E. Davies' writing is really wonderful. Terrific characters with incredible depth and emotion. He managed to work in some mystery and drama to really amp up this love story... and a love story it is. The amount of research and understanding that the author must have done made this book shine and there was a high level of respect for it. With Nic having gone through transition surgery we learn a lot about the whole process. I found it to be incredible as I didn't know as much as I thought I did. So, props to the author.

This is a very enjoyable and touching story.

About the Author

E. Davies was proficient in real estate ad shorthand (the old-fashioned newspaper kind) by the age of nine. Growing up moving constantly taught him what people have in common, the ways relationships are formed, and the dangers of “miscellaneous” boxes.

As a teen, he tore through a stack of found romance novels, wishing someone had written similar for M/M, though he could never find anything at Chapters or the library. Just after graduating university in 2013, semi-out and clutching his English B.A. for dear life, he stumbled on an Amazon M/M short story. It was a whole new... phrase he dares not repeat for fear of lawyers. It shone and shimmered splendidly, though.

After failing forty times to avoid crafting happily-ever-after endings for steamy short stories, he plunged into romance novels and hasn't looked back. As a young gay author whose formative gay fictional role models were characters punished for their sexuality, Ed prefers his stories lightly dramatic, full of optimism and hope.

Now out and proud, he writes full-time, goes on long nature walks, tries to fill his passport, drinks piƱa coladas on the beach, flees from cute guys, coos over fuzzy animals (especially bees), and is liable to tilt his head and click his tongue if you don't use your turn signal.

To find out when E. Davies has a new release, you can subscribe to his newsletter at edaviesbooks.com/subscribe, like his Facebook page at facebook.com/edaviesbooks, or visit his website at edaviesbooks.com.


Enter the rafflecopter below to win either a paperback or ebook copy of Flaunt!
Contest will end on February 7th!
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Monday, January 30, 2017

Audiobook Review: Power Play by Avon Gale Narrated by Scott R. Smith #Review #Giveaway

Author: Avon Gale
Narrator: Scott R. Smith
Book: Power Play
A Scoring Chances Novel
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press 
Publication date: October 11, 2016
Length: 6 hours 22 minutes

Reviewed by Erin


A freak accident during the Stanley Cup Playoffs put an end to Max Ashford’s hockey career. Despite everything, Max gets back into the game he loves—only this time behind the bench, as an assistant coach of the Spartanburg Spitfires, the worst team in the entire league. But nothing prepares him for the shock when he learns the new head coach is Misha Samarin, the man who caused Max’s accident.
After spending years guilt-ridden for his part in Max’s accident, Russian native Misha Samarin has no idea what to do when he’s confronted with Max’s presence. Max’s optimism plays havoc with Misha’s equilibrium—as does the fierce attraction that springs up between them.
Not only must they navigate Misha’s remorse and a past he’s spent a lifetime trying to forget, but also a sleazy GM who is determined to use their history as a marketing hook. But when an unwelcome visitor targets a player, Misha revisits his darkest days, and that might cost him and Max the beginning they’ve worked so hard to build.

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So, it's a pretty well known fact that I adore Avon Gale's Scoring Chances series. Like a lot of you. And of the four books in the series so far, Power Play is most definitely my favorite because Misha. Misha, Misha, Misha. Oh I love Max, too, don't get me wrong, and the epicness that is the bromance between Isaac and Misha is everything, but like I stated, Misha. That all being said, my anticipation of the audio of Power Play was off the charts and I'm so SO happy to tell you all that Scott R. Smith delivered another performance that is utter perfection. I had this voice in my head while I was reading the book of what Misha could and would sound like and Smith gave me all that I wanted and more. Not only do I think he rocked Misha's voice with all his gruffness and Russian accent to boot, but he captured the exuberance of Max and the feistiness of Isaac, too. 

Seriously folks, this series is one of the best out there. The writing is off the charts engaging and spot on, and Smith's narration just adds to the awesome. You'll laugh and swoon and there's a few times you might even wipe your eyes because there's a bit of everything in Power Play and all of the Scoring Chances books. I can't recommend both reading and listening enough. If you miss out on these, you're really going to be sorry.


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Only a few hours left!!!

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Blog Tour: Rogue Magic by Kit Brisby #Review #Giveaway

Author: Kit Brisby
Book: Rogue Magic
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Publication date: January 30, 2017
Length: 81,000 words
Cover by L.C. Chase

Reviewed by Morningstar


While trapped in a stalled subway train on his morning commute, PR rep Byron Cole flirts with Levi, a young waiter with adorable curls. But Byron's hopes for romance crash and burn when Levi saves him from a brutal explosion—with outlawed magic.

When Levi is imprisoned, Byron begins to question everything he's ever believed. How can magic be evil when Levi used it to save dozens of lives? So Byron hatches a plan to save Levi that will cost him his job and probably his life. If he doesn't pull it off, Levi will be put to death.

Byron discovers that he isn't the only one questioning America's stance on magic. And he learns that Levi is stubborn, angry, and utterly enchanting. Time is running out, though. Byron must convince Levi to trust him, to trust his own magic, and to fight against the hatred that’s forced him to hide his true nature his entire life. The more Levi opens up, the harder Byron falls. And the more they have to lose.

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Magic is a wonderful thing. We’ve all wished to have powers at some point in our lives. Maybe you wanted to be able to move things without touching them so you vacuum without getting up from your comfy seat, or influence how they think so they’d let you in front of the super long line at the coffee shop… or even a power that would allow you to change your appearance so that costly hairdresser bill disappears. But what if magic isn’t seen as a fun awesome thing but a power that the government and society feel is sin or something that can get you sentenced to death? Would you still want to have magic? Would you hide it to stay safe or stand and fight for the rights of those that are born with it?

This story takes place in a world where magic is known and the people born with it are seen as subhuman and can even be sentenced to death for concealing it. There’s registrations, and children being taken away from parents who are known mages, and a company profiting off of their suffering. The struggle and the fight that each main character goes through in this book is not easy, each for different reasons, but all just as compelling.

Byron Cole goes through an awakening in this book. He has this set path in the beginning but meeting Levi and seeing him suffer through being caught hiding magic is one thing he can’t get off his mind. Levi is a mage with immense power that he’s been hiding his whole life. Never one to take the easy way out; he suffers for the one moment his power comes out to save others from death. Their relationship didn’t move fast but Byron’s feelings did. He was enamored with Levi from the moment they met and fighting to save him brought those feelings to the surface with a rush. I loved it, it gave him a heart and warmth that I didn’t immediately see from the start coming from him.

I love that this story, minus the magic as the thing that makes them subhuman, resembles our country right now. No, it’s not political or preachy but the parallel was one that was easily seen. I loved the secondary characters like Eleanor and Victoria who were both fierce and needed for this story to be what it was. Sam, Levi’s ex-boyfriend, was one character I felt wasn’t as fleshed out but I still loved his part of the whole thing because it added a little heart and humor to it.

The evil character(s) were purely psychotic and way more off their rocker than most bad guys are. But the real danger to mages they represented was important. Showing how there is only profit or fanatical beliefs at the center of everything that was done in the name of...yeah some tense moments were had when it looked like the bad guys were going to win. There were losses on the good side and some gains on the bad but in the end it was a HEA! I would love to read more not just from this author but even from this world...maybe Sam can find he forever?

About Kit Brisby

Kit Brisby lives in Tampa Bay, Florida, with her two young sons and two rescue dogs. A graduate of the University of Florida, she's been writing professionally since 2002. Her career has taken her from writing think pieces on breastfeeding to writing erotica for the adult industry—and nearly everything in between. She works in digital marketing and helps businesses find and tell their stories.

Kit is always trying to find balance between working full-time, revisiting or writing books every night, and modeling badass behavior to her two boys. Sometimes the lure of Tumblr interferes with all of that balancing. She's just old enough to still be utterly enchanted by animated gifs.

A single mom and aspiring yogi, Kit is open about her struggles with anxiety and the importance of self-care. She also advocates for neurodiversity and acceptance of those on the autism spectrum. Few things get her as riled up as bisexual erasure.

Though she lives in the South, Kit is a NYC girl at heart, and makes a point of traveling to the city as often as she can to catch a few shows and eat as much ramen as humanly possible.

She reads avidly, and gravitates toward historical queer romance and young adult fantasy, especially when the stakes are high. She's a fan of awkward first dates unless she's participating in them, and is outspoken about embracing kink and sex positivity.

Connect with Kit:


To celebrate the release of Rogue Magic, one lucky winner will receive a yoga mat from Kit and a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on February 4, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!