Thursday, September 26, 2013

An Inch at a Time 4 Spanking Stars


An Inch at a Time (The Professor's Rule #2)
An Inch at a Time by Heidi Belleau and Amelia C. Gormley


Available for purchase at: Amazon and Riptide Books

eBook ISBN: 978-1-62649-059-8
eBook release: Sep 16, 2013
eBook Formats: pdf, mobi, html, epub
Word count: 15,700
Page count: 62
Type: Part of a Series
Cover by: L.C. Chase
This title is #2 of the The Professor's Rule series.
- See more at: riptidepublishing.com

See my review for book #1 Giving an Inch

Join Happily Ever After Saturday, September 28th at 9 pm EST for a Google Hangout. We're discussing the first book in this series and other bdsm stories. You can participate live and ask us all sort of things. Hope to see you there.

~ ~ ~


4 Stars for a Spanking Education!



 photo 169d5087-fe36-4d73-b427-06662a221523_zps783fac7e.jpg


So yeah, I admit, while reading this I was thinking what would make a guy want this, but what is so fan-fucking-tastic about Ms. Belleau and Ms. Gormley’s writing is that they let us in on the psychology of what drives their characters. Or, at the very least, give reason for the behavior.

I mean, I’m not reading academic journals for crying out loud, but it’s just so much better when the story has something I can sink my teeth into. When it has a solid reason for what is happening. Then I don’t have to question everything. It means a lot to me and lets me get into the story.

Don’t get me wrong, this is pure sex and purely impure. The only thing you have to worry about here is whether or not this is your kink…well, at least to read about. And then there's the whole: Two consenting adults, albeit professor and student, but well, that just adds some edge, doesn't it?

THE CHARACTERS

James Sheridan - I thought James was innocent. Juvenile. What was I thinking? Former adrenaline junkie. He’s going to be fun to learn all about. In "Give an Inch" I would have laid money that he was timid, introverted, but here we learn he has a past and it tells much about what makes him tick.

Professor Evander Carson - Intellectual, silver fox and bent! We get a few little glimpses behind Carson’s façade. The slick mother-fucker’s mask slips an inch or two.

The chemistry between James and Carson is just igniting and I think we’re in for a wild ride with these two. I can’t wait to uh, study book 3.

THE STORY

In the previous book, Giving an Inch, James has…experienced Professor Carson.

The Blurb:

James Sheridan is failing history. Luckily, his professor is a rumored pervert, and James isn’t too proud to pay for a better grade with his body. Professor Carson lives up to his reputation, but he’s not unethical enough to take sexual bribes. What he can offer is some highly unconventional tutoring . . . creative use of a ruler included.

The deal? Studying, followed by a “quiz.” Wrong answer? Spanking. Right answer? Reward. Ace the final, earn some mindblowing sex. It’s harder work than sexual bribery, but it beats the volunteer tutors at the student center.

After a few study sessions, James realizes he wants way more than a grade from Professor Carson, even if he’s not sure what that is. Carson’s a silver fox, all right, but James isn’t “bent” the way Carson is, and for him, the spankings are only supposed to be a means to an end. But the better he gets at history, the more he realizes he likes getting answers wrong just as much as getting them right.

This title is #2 of the The Professor's Rule series

Although he seems to enjoy himself we can’t help but wonder what his relationship with Carson is all about. Well, well, well, grab this book to find out.


James is struggling in his lessons, but luckily for him Professor Carson has a remedy. His methods may be unconventional, but they do get James’ attention.

THE WRITING

While this is most definitely a “whew, this is hot” spanking story it doesn’t dwell on each swack, or overly describe. Somehow this is relieving. I think some authors would have put too much into the details and bogged the story down. Erotica, yes. Porn, no.

This is a quick, hot romp that I read again immediately. Purely for the educational value, of course. In the end, I am completely intrigued to see where this will go.

Available for purchase at: Amazon and Riptide Books

~ ~ ~

I would like to thank Netgalley and Riptide Publishing for supplying me with a review copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

View all my reviews at Goodreads
Visit me at Goodreads

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Spotlight and Giveaway!!! After Midnight by Santino Hassell







Welcome Everyone,
Enjoy and Good Luck!!!



Available for purchase at:
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon
Smashwords


The Blurb:

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it's his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn't quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.






2nd edition - Revised and edited .


Expected publication: September 17th 2013 (first published June 1st 2011)

Original title: After Midnight

ISBN 9780615841

Edition Language: English

Series:  In the Company of Shadows spinoff


Characters: Adam C. Blake, Gordon Frost, Damian 'Chance' Perry, Carlotta 'Carla' Castillo, Marquis Delahunt


My Review


Prepare to:

-Fall hard for Gordon!
---Be teased to near death!
------Get completely sucked into this raw world!


-----NEED MORE!!!!!

In a nutshell this is a dark, raw romance that has intriguing chemistry between the two main characters. This world is uncomfortably similar to our own, but just edgy enough to keep you off center. I loved the relationship development, ensuing mysteries behind every character and the intense action scenes.

Confession: I haven’t finished reading the ICoS series. And I don’t think it mattered one bit! I am familiar with the post-war world that Mr. Hassell and Ais created, having read Evenfall and part of Afterimage, but I’m not an authority. After Midnight can easily be read completely apart from the ICoS series.

THE CHARACTERS
…he was an axious wreck most of the time; constantly frightened that his life would return to the old days. He knew Pandora just relaxed him enough to think clearly, but it still felt like magic. Rainbows and star shine and the will to keep going.
Gordon Frost - He seems to fall somewhere between anxious class clown and unaware genius. Okay, genius is way too strong, but he does have potential to not fuck up everything. If only he could keep his mouth shut. He also has this “woe is me” thing going on, but it’s genuine, not winey. It just made me want to hold him.
“You are the most batshit covert criminal…whatever guy, that I’ve ever met. You just tried to choke me and now you’re commenting that I have a fever.”
“I was making an observation,” Adam said with a defensive edge in his voice.
“Whatever, man. Just whatever.”
Adam Blake - Typical agent. Gorgeous, deadly, dry, and so fucking sexy he crinkled the pages of my kindle. At the same time there’s this mysteriousness about him and it’s hard to know what makes him tick. For all that Adam was a badass, he seemed so straight edge it was painful.

The relationship between Gordon and Adam is delightful. For a long time it goes something like this:
“Keep talking and I’ll gag you.”
“Blow me.”
Honestly, I really do love the chemistry between Gordon and Adam. At one point there’s this kiss that stops a bout of hysterics that is so vivid and intense my heart cracked. That’s when I realized just how much I was in Gordon’s head.

Side characters:
Rachel -The best friend and sexy badass.
Chance - I want his story, there’s so much more to know.
Marquis - I don’t even know what to think of him. He’s a…conundrum.
The Twins – Scary, sexy, scary.

THE STORY

It’s 2021 and more than ten years ago the world suffered nuclear attacks that killed untold numbers, decimating major cities and creating marked changes to the world as we know it. Survivors have found ways to endure, cope, and some, even to thrive.
He imagined it swirling into his system and entering his bloodstream while he anticipated the next few minutes, when the effects of Pandora would kick in. Every time he popped a cap he knew what true love felt like, and every time was like the first time.
Drug use is a popular coping mechanism, and luckily for Gordon he deals in the most popular drug of choice. Pandora. He partakes himself, frequently, and seems to change in front of your eyes. From self-doubting and insecure to mouthy, aware and horny, he goes through his days surviving. After a particularly bad day Gordon goes home only to be abducted.
Sadly, the first thing to cross Gordon’s mind was: Wow, he’s pretty fucking hot.
Mr. Greek, or Adam, as we come to know him, is an assassin for “The Agency “and always has to do what he’s told. Except he’s got a goddamned conscience. The mess he finds himself in, all because of his attraction to Gordon, is a train wreck waiting to happen.

From here on out there are people in the shadows, clear cut threats, jealousy, conspiracy theories and Gordon running for his life. Until he is caught…again.
In the two days it took Gordon to become mobile, his paranoia had reached astronomical heights.
THE WRITING

For me, the subtle feeling of gloom in this world comes not only from the eerie similarity to our present world, but also from a less-is-more approach. Mr. Hassell has certainly tightened up his word count and made it count! Bravo.


The pacing, the controlled imagery and the character connections are very well done. Although there was a little sluggishness in the middle, and there were a few awkward passages, the ending makes up for this with blazing action and drama.

Ultimately it’s very readable and engrossing. You’ll find a clever combination of humor mixed with tension, heartache, and even subtle human messages that give poignancy and a deeper connection to the story.

There was something special about coming so close to death and managing to escape.

I would like to thank Santino Hassell and Susan Lee for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.





Rafflecopter code for the giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway





Available for purchase at:
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon
Smashwords

Visit Me at Goodreads
View All My Reviews

Friday, September 13, 2013

After Midnight by Santino Hassell - 4 Strong Stars

After MidnightAfter Midnight by Santino Hassell

 
Available for purchase at:
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon


ebook, 2nd edition - Revised and edited, 244 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2013 (first published June 1st 2011)
Original title After Midnight
ISBN 9780615841
Edition language English

~~~

Prepare to:

-Fall hard for Gordon!
---Be teased to near death!
------Get completely sucked into this raw world!


NEED MORE!!!!!

In a nutshell this is a dark, raw romance that has intriguing chemistry between the two main characters. This world is uncomfortably similar to our own, but just edgy enough to keep you off center. I loved the relationship development, ensuing mysteries behind every character and the intense action scenes.

Confession: I haven’t finished reading the ICoS series. And I don’t think it mattered one bit! I am familiar with the post-war world that Mr. Hassell and Ais created, having read Evenfall and part of Afterimage, but I’m not an authority. After Midnight can easily be read completely apart from the ICoS series.

THE CHARACTERS


…he was an anxious wreck most of the time; constantly frightened that his life would return to the old days. He knew Pandora just relaxed him enough to think clearly, but it still felt like magic. Rainbows and star shine and the will to keep going.
Gordon Frost - He seems to fall somewhere between anxious class clown and unaware genius. Okay, genius is way too strong, but he does have potential to not fuck up everything. If only he could keep his mouth shut. He also has this “woe is me” thing going on, but it’s genuine, not whiny. It just made me want to hold him.

“You are the most batshit covert criminal…whatever guy, that I’ve ever met. You just tried to choke me and now you’re commenting that I have a fever.”
“I was making an observation,” Adam said with a defensive edge in his voice.
“Whatever, man. Just whatever.”
Adam Blake - Typical agent. Gorgeous, deadly, dry, and so fucking sexy he crinkled the pages of my kindle. At the same time there’s this mysteriousness about him and it’s hard to know what makes him tick. For all that Adam was a badass, he seemed so straight edge it was painful.

The relationship between Gordon and Adam is delightful. For a long time it goes something like this:
“Keep talking and I’ll gag you.”
“Blow me.”

Honestly, I really do love the chemistry between Gordon and Adam. At one point there’s this kiss that stops a bout of hysterics that is so vivid and intense my heart cracked. That’s when I realized just how much I was in Gordon’s head.

Side characters:
Rachel -The best friend and sexy badass.
Chance - I want his story, there’s so much more to know.
Marquis - I don’t even know what to think of him. He’s a…conundrum.
The Twins – Scary, sexy, scary.

THE STORY

It’s 2021 and more than ten years ago the world suffered nuclear attacks that killed untold numbers, decimating major cities and creating marked changes to the world as we know it. Survivors have found ways to endure, cope, and some, even to thrive.


He imagined it swirling into his system and entering his bloodstream while he anticipated the next few minutes, when the effects of Pandora would kick in. Every time he popped a cap he knew what true love felt like, and every time was like the first time.
Drug use is a popular coping mechanism, and luckily for Gordon he deals in the most popular drug of choice. Pandora. He partakes himself, frequently, and seems to change in front of your eyes. From self-doubting and insecure to mouthy, aware and horny, he goes through his days surviving. After a particularly bad day Gordon goes home only to be abducted.

Sadly, the first thing to cross Gordon’s mind was: Wow, he’s pretty fucking hot.
Mr. Greek, or Adam, as we come to know him, is an assassin for “The Agency “and always has to do what he’s told. Except he’s got a goddamned conscience. The mess he finds himself in, all because of his attraction to Gordon, is a train wreck waiting to happen.

From here on out there are people in the shadows, clear cut threats, jealousy, conspiracy theories and Gordon running for his life. Until he is caught…again.

In the two days it took Gordon to become mobile, his paranoia had reached astronomical heights.
THE WRITING

For me, the subtle feeling of gloom in this world comes not only from the eerie similarity to our present world, but also from a less-is-more approach. Mr. Hassell has certainly tightened up his word count and made it count! Bravo.

The Blurb:

Gordon Frost is a survivor. He survived a war that ravaged the nation, and he made it through the orphanages and crime-ridden slums that followed. With few prospects for the future, Gordon carved out a niche for himself in the expanding drug trade of Lexington, PA. It’s not pretty, but it's his, and it beats what he was doing before. But a classic case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time results in a brush with death, going by the name of Adam. Afterward, the life that seemed good enough before, isn't quite the same.

Adam Blake is an assassin on the brink of being terminated by the very organization that controls him. He completed his mission, but not without being seen. With his secrets in danger of being exposed by Gordon, Adam knows he should kill the smart-mouthed redhead, but finds himself intrigued by the troublesome civilian instead.

When Gordon’s knack for finding trouble combines with the dangerous consequences of Adam’s indecision, their worlds intertwine in an explosive way.


The pacing, the controlled imagery and the character connections are very well done. Although there was a little sluggishness in the middle, and there were a few awkward passages, the ending makes up for this with blazing action and drama.

Ultimately it’s very readable and engrossing. You’ll find a clever combination of humor mixed with tension, heartache, and even subtle human messages that give poignancy and a deeper connection to the story.

There was something special about coming so close to death and managing to escape.
~ ~ ~

I would like to thank Santino Hassell and Susan Lee for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~


Available for purchase at:
All Romance Ebooks
Amazon



Visit Me at Goodreads View All My Reviews

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Introducing Debut Author Nicole Forcine



This Little Whatever

Please help me to welcome debut author Nicole Forcine. I am delighted to help you to get to know her since she is a wonderful, vivacious and entertaining person, as well as an engaging writer. I've just finished reading her book and my review is here:

This Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine


I know Nicole from our interactions on Goodreads, and our video book reviews on YouTube. Also, I had the pleasure of reading her free short, Smoky Glimpses from the 'Love Has No Boundries' Don't Read in the Closet event via the M/M Romance Group on Goodreads.

I'm going to let Nicole take over from here. I hope you'll drop a comment and tell her "hi".


Available for purchase at Amazon: This Little Whatever

~ ~ ~

Hey everyone. I'm Nicole and I want to thank Lisa for letting me guest post on your blog. I'm super-excited about this new release and I hope you guys like it too!

The first weekend of August involved games, drinking, friends and my first panic attack severe enough to need a ride to the hospital.  Just another wild and crazy Sunday night for this author.


I don't remember much about the time between telling my partner “I can't breathe” then apologizing to the hosts for the interruption in Cards Against Humanity (and I was winning, damnit) and breathing into a nebulizer at Hennepin County Medical Center.  According to Partner, there was a lot of apologizing, a little passing out, and coming to with more apologizing.



What I didn't tell him was, once I came to my senses, laying in a gurney for six hours, my second thought after “I'm sorry” was “Holy fuck, so THIS is what Dean has to deal with.”

I'm Nicole Forcine, and my first release, This Little Whatever, comes out September 6th.  The Dean in question is my main character Jonathan's love interest.  Dean's a big guy, looks strong and capable, but a panic attack can render him as helpless and scared as the short round author who created him.  Luckily, like Ms. Short Round, he had someone nearby who cared enough to help him through it (even if that someone wasn't aware that he cared yet).

It's strange, I wrote the scene where Jonathan witnesses one of his attacks nearly a year before having one of my own.  I also wrote about how it feels to lay on a hospital gurney not knowing what was wrong with me a year before having to do the same.
I also took bellydancing lessons this year, also a year after dreaming up Jonathan, who'd been shaking what his Mama gave him for 10 years.  

“Write what you know” is a oft-repeated bit of advice given to authors, and it's good advice.  There's also “Write what you can reasonably research the crap out of”, because not everyone gets the chance to be a brain surgeon or a FBI agent.  Researching panic attacks nearly triggered my own anxiety, but looking up “male belly dancers” and  “fire eating” on YouTube goes up there with my favorite research dives thus far. 

Would “write what just might happen to you” be good writing advice?  I don't know, but I think I'm going to keep broken bones and fires out of my next book, and maybe add a scene where someone wins the lottery. 

 

Excerpt:

I insisted Dr. Spaulding try on the partial tunic first to make sure I got the fit right around her arms and chest. Thank fuck she was as flat as a board, since making space for a large pair of ta-tas would have been a big pain in the ass.

“Make sure you’re wearing something underneath this, okay?” I chided as I helped her out of it. “Or you’re risking some serious pinching.”

And talking about pinching and chests made me think about Dean’s pinchable, chewable, oh-so-sensitive nipples, and I had to shake my head to focus on stashing the work back in its own Ziploc bag and then back into the toolbox. I almost wished I had convinced him to sneak out of the office for a nooner. We were both sore and a bit bruised (my hips looked covered in leopard spots from his fingers), but I wanted him again. I never stopped wanting him.

Which got me worrying about running into him on the way out from my appointment. How had I never noticed someone that tall and hot before?

“Jonathan?” Spauldy’s voice brought me out of my thoughts. “Did you hear me?”

“Oh, sorry, Doc, zoned out a bit… what did you say?”

“Your show? How did it go? And afterward, of course.” She was already breaking out the notebook.

I wanted to be very proud of the fact that I didn’t get shitfaced at all last weekend, kept myself occupied and away from my major vices, but that would out me as the mystery guy Dean had taken up with, and I’m sure there’s rules about that. “The show was great, tons of people, no one exploded or broke anything. We even left the stage as clean as we found it.”

“And after?” she pressed.

“Didn’t get drunk, if that’s what you’re asking. Or stoned. I….” I looked at my open bag, at the toolbox, and thought about what I could be working on to distract me. “I didn’t even stay at home most of the weekend.”

She leaned back, eyebrow going up. “Your new guy? You had a second night.”

“And a third, and a fourth, and if I head over there tonight, a fifth.”

“And he was just as respectful as the first night?”

Fuck it. I could use another chain belt. Or a bracelet to make up for the one I’d yet to get back from Dean. I grabbed the Crown Royal bag and was busily looping away with a simple four-in-two pattern, linking two rings to two other rings, before I answered. “Yeah, he’s a great guy. Really. I like him, and I think we’ll be seeing more of each other.”

Dr. Spaudling smiled and crossed her arms. “It’s okay, you know. You can tell me you’re seeing Dean Winton.”































































Bio: Nicole Forcine was born a strange child and former Georgia peach. When she was younger, she was never far from a composition book, a pen in hand, and way too many people in her head (she’s even been known to talk back to them). When two or more of them talk loud enough to overshadow the rest, a story is born. After years of writing and storing her tales in those books, she had a revelation: man, there are a lot of dudes kissing in these stories.
Her stories include themes of creating families of choice, how love can come in all forms and supersede all boundaries, and the joys and sorrows of earning a happily-ever-after.
Currently, she resides in Minneapolis with one of the most laid-back men in history and his even more laid-back cat. When she’s not writing (ha!), she’s saving the world/galaxy/humanity as we know it in the world of video games and general geekiness and opening other people’s mail for a living.


Contact Nicole by email, on her blog, on Twitter, or on Goodreads


Available for purchase at Amazon: This Little Whatever  

This Little Whatever ISBN-13: 978-1-62798-132-3 Ebook Pages: 270 Cover Artist: Paul Richmond Published September 6th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press Edition language English



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Monday, September 9, 2013

This Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine 4 Stars

This Little WhateverThis Little Whatever by Nicole Forcine
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available for purchase at Amazon: This Little Whatever

ISBN-13: 978-1-62798-132-3
Ebook Pages: 270
Cover Artist: Paul Richmond
Published September 6th 2013 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition language English 

~~~


3.5 stars bumped to 4 stars because I want Patch’s story.

In an effort to be very honest and full-disclosure and all of that, Nicole is a friend (we video blog about m/m books together), BUT, BUT, BUT her writing is just delightful. I absolutely enjoy myself, the characters and the story while I’m reading her work.

Within the first few pages I was pretty struck by the in-your-face grit and I could see there wasn’t going to be any holding back. Get ready for a whirlwind ride of sex, drug use and manipulations that feel very true to life. Even if it’s a lifestyle you aren’t familiar with.

Oh, and by the way, I’m putting in my order for Patch’s story right now!

THE CHARACTERS


Yeah, a guy that shakes his ass on stage once a week or more while wearing enough flash to make a cameraman jealous having a low opinion of himself? Who’d’a thunk it? I wasn’t in the mood to talk about it now. It made me feel too raw to drop the bravado.

Jonathan - Rainbow-colored sexual oddball OR manipulated best friend? His dancing grounds him, his family is his tribe and his vices are always knocking at his door.


…this paradox of a man, physically strong, emotionally tender, mentally fragile. I was supposed to be giving him a better memory of the night, not wallowing in my own stupid issues.

Dean - Gorgeous, reclusive, and entirely more layered than I expected. But, how can Dean’s social anxiety match with Jonathan’s flamboyance?

Side characters include Rachel – the bitch worthy of the energy you will expend getting worked up about her. Patch – the sweet, twinky, fireball that just really needs some real, true, love.

THE STORY

On the surface this is a light-hearted, easy going story of a hippie/gypsy dance troupe who floats

The Blurb: Jonathan Mendoza used to live an even crazier life, partying with his tight-knit traveling performance troupe whenever he wasn’t on stage belly dancing. When his sick mother begged him to change his lifestyle, he agreed to try to live sober, but that change is hard. Neither is it easy to stop staring at Dean Winters after he nearly knocks the man over before a performance.

A former recluse, prone to panic attacks after surviving a traumatic accident, Dean isn’t Jonathan’s usual type. Still, Jonathan is irresistibly attracted to him, and decides to cure the itch with a one-night stand. But that night, he’s shaken by Dean’s kindness and consideration—something he’s not used to in a lover or a friend. His best friend, Rachel, who co-owns the troupe with Jonathan, sees Dean as a threat to their friendship and to the troupe—the dream they’ve worked together to build. She reveals a cruel and possessive streak that could do much greater damage on both fronts, and Jonathan realizes he will have to choose between the nomadic life he’s lived and the man who is stealing his heart.

from town to town avoiding responsibility and making sure nothing brings the tribe down. The deeper you go though, there is a lot going on here. Every character, for good or bad, has issues and traumas to deal with.

The unlikely (and I think this is Ms. Forcine’s forte) developing relationship between Jon and Dean is just quirky and charming enough to melt your heart while the freaky, hot sex is steamy in all the right places. Then there’s this wash of tender, adoring care that works it’s way to the surface and just doesn’t let go. By the end of the book I was absolutely needy for Jon and Dean to work it out.

There were a couple areas that seemed to foreshadow and give away a little too much, but then there were other moments that I was struck dumb for not seeing what was coming. Rachel is an absolute horrible monster, this is no secret, but the depth of her deceptions continue to assault me.

Take note: There is a rape element to this story, but it is dealt with in a way that makes it clear how horrible the action is and goes on to deal with the trauma.

THE WRITING

Read Nicole Forcine for her honest-to-goodness unique characters. It’s not like she’s inventing a new species, but rather exploring with writing about characters that aren’t typically developed. In this book we have Jonathan, a male belly-dancer. In her LHNB story, Smoky Glimpses, she wrote about a male fortune-teller. Her characters are vivid, and lively and tend toward living on the fringes of society. Much more interesting for their mystery.

She also has the most interesting mix of fun and serious styles, all mixed together. She is able to delve into some pretty heavy content without bogging the story down. Her writing is readable and real. It’s emotional with both humor and heartbreak.

~ ~ ~

I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press and Nicole Forcine for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

~ ~ ~

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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Outtakes by Tibby Armstrong (Hollywood series #4) 5 Stars

Outtakes (Hollywood, #4)Outtakes by Tibby Armstrong
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Available at: Loose Id and Amazon
~ ~ ~

I found myself struggling to hold my heart together. The writing made this story tangible and tactile. It feels so real that I had to drag myself up and out of the words. Amazing.

Once again, Ms. Armstrong has matured her characters, given them difficulties (these were foreshadowed in book 2,Acting Out) and raised the tension a solid notch or two. Without question, this is a well planned out series with forethought on the arc and enough richness in the characters lives to keep me riveted.

**Not a stand-alone book. This needs to be read as the 4th book in the very, worth-your-time Hollywood series (here No Apologies).

THE CHARACTERS

Kit Harris - Oh Kit, you are a mess in this book. Be careful, vulnerability can easily lead you astray.

He and Kit moved into each other without hesitation, as natural and easy as the sea against the shore.
Jeremy Ash - The security he’s achieved since being with Kit is threatening to crumble, but does his security come from his career or from Kit?

--Enjoyable supporting appearances by Greg and Aaron serve to solidify the series and give us glimpses of their unique relationship. Ms. Armstrong, can we have more of the number games they play, please???
“Three,” Aaron said,
[…]
The game of dominance and submission these two played had always fascinated him. Aaron, the easygoing, friendly guy dominating Greg, the brittle, antisocial screenwriter. It seemed so backward as to be surreal. The contradiction captured Jeremy’s attention every time…

THE STORY
“I’m just so fucking scared you won’t want me. Not anymore. Not like this.”
Three years have past in Kit and Jeremy’s relationship and there’s trouble in paradise. Jeremy seems to have become Hollywood-ized and Kit is struggling with a career that has always grounded him.

The Blurb: After actor Kit Harris tells the world he’s gay, life isn’t all cupcakes and rainbow flags. It’s decidedly less tasty and a lot less colorful. Coming out might not have been the best thing for a Hollywood career or a high-profile love life.

Try as he might, rising star Jeremy Ash can’t seem to stir Kit’s interest long enough to heal his bruised ego or fragile heart. Complicating matters, a celebrity chef enters with plans to cook up a new angle on Kit’s career.

Jeremy’s worried Kit’s going off half-baked, or worse, turning up the heat on a new relationship. Either way, Jeremy knows the situation is a recipe for disaster if he and Kit can’t come up with the ingredients to love.


The honeymoon period is over and we get to go deeper, further into the relationship. This is where the rubber hits the road and we get to see if these two have traction. Or if Kit’s attention can be distracted by, “Mr. Sex On a Spatula.”

We learn much more about Kit’s background and it’s heart-wrenching.

THE WRITING

Command of writing. That's what I found here. It's a pleasure to read Ms. Armstrong's writing. And the editing is superb too.

Parts of this story feel fragmented, but in a way that sort of mimics what Kit is going through. Or actually, what both Kit and Jeremy are going through. Isn’t it true that when your life feels like it’s falling apart it’s extremely difficult to connect all the pieces?

Breaching and breached. Lover and loved. The two roles, yin and yang, spun around each other swirling in Jeremy’s head until he didn’t know whether he was the light or dark, left or right, top or bottom, healer or healed. When he and Kit came, their shouts and the burst of pleasure brought Jeremy as close to nirvana as he guessed was possible. Only Kit could take him this high. If only… If only he didn’t have to come back down.
*By the way, I have to give a shout out to Ms. Armstrong for appropriately squeezing in the NOH8 campaign. Nice!

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I would like to sincerely thank Loose Id and Tibby Armstrong for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Full Disclosure (Hollywood Series 3) by Tibby Armstrong 4.5 Stars

Full Disclosure (Hollywood #3)Full Disclosure by Tibby Armstrong
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Available at: Loose Id and Amazon
 
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4.5 Blazing Stars

Wow, Ms. Armstrong really improves here…again. I didn’t think this series needed improving – it reads just fine – but this is a standout in an already outstanding m/m romance series.

I’m not writing a full review here, not because it doesn’t deserve it, but because I want to get right to finishing book 4 and to writing its review. I will make a few comments though.


"I am who I am because you allow me to be. You let me be strong. Brave. and good." Aaron's tone implored him to believe the truth in his words. "You're the angel here, Greg. Not me"
[...]
Because you allowed me inside your hurt and let me show you how to love yourself, I learned how to love too."

The love is deeper, more mature and more meaningful. Much more emotional. The struggles have come full circle and have to be conquered once and for all. Getting to watch that happen,

The Blurb: Weddings are stressful under the best of circumstances, which this certainly isn’t. Following the release of his debut movie, No Apologies, Greg Falkner is working hard to be a better man to fiancé, Aaron Blake, despite his baser instincts. When their alma mater contacts Greg and asks him to serve as their celebrity master of ceremonies, for an upcoming charity event, he grudgingly accepts at Aaron’s urging.

Aaron admires the new man Greg has become, yet craves the old independence of his lover. He’d love to strike a compromise in the relationship and hopes that returning to their beginning will help Greg lay some personal demons to rest.

Neither man anticipates the violence that will befall one of them, potentially changing both lives in unimaginable ways. What emerges from the darkness, through frustrations and determination, is true deep love.

• Note:Warning: This book contains explicit sexual situations, graphic language, and material that some readers may find objectionable: male/male sexual practices.

in well written form, is so rewarding. It’s what we read for. This is an emotional ride with proper highs and lows. Rough patches and smooth, loving moments that allowed me to catch my breath.


The commitment becomes completely solidified, but not without struggles, angst and pain first. It’s a pleasure to see the development of this relationship.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

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I would like to thank Tibby Armstrong for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Sunday, September 1, 2013

Acting Out (Hollywood Series book 2) 4 Stars

Acting Out (Hollywood #2)Acting Out by Tibby Armstrong


Available at Loose Id and Amazon
ebook, 1st Edition
Published May 8th 2012 by Loose Id (first published May 7th 2012)
ISBN 161118858X (ISBN13: 9781611188585)
edition language English

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4 very solid Stars!

The Blurb: Jeremy Ash, aspiring actor, is single, gorgeous...and openly, quietly gay. When he lands a starring role opposite America's favorite former child star, 21-year old Kit Harris, he's ecstatic and more than a little attracted to the enigmatic star.

Kit Harris's career has been flagging and his agent promises this new film, an edgy coming out story with a famed director, is just the thing to get it back on track. The problem is that the film is relatively intimate in nature, and Kit's definitely not gay. He's not even slightly bent.

When the two men collide in a crushing first test kiss, Kit's left reeling and Jeremy's left wanting, and both are left gasping for air. And that was just the screen test. When filming starts and the two men are brought into close proximity every day, passions ignite and souls collide--both on screen and off. The two men find that the only way to assuage their mutual lust is to give in to it. Kit's sure this strange new attraction will run its course; Jeremy's hoping it never has to end.

But when a manipulative model obtains salacious film footage of the two men in bed, Kit's prepared to do whatever it takes to save his career. But how far is too far to push the boundaries of love and how long can one man hide from himself?

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




I’ve been living inside Tibby Armstrong’s Hollywood-land lately. I’ve stopped and taken a few breaks, but I haven’t really left. These books are very absorbing. If you like to know your characters inside and out, this series is for you. Personally, I fell for Jeremy and Ash, completely.

THE STORY

In book 2 we meet Kit and Jeremy, two young actors who portray Aaron and Greg (from book 1 – No Apologies) in Greg Falkner’s film.

It’s an interesting, interwoven bit of storytelling that sheds light on previously unanswered questions; at the same time exploring a budding, coming out relationship under the Hollywood spotlight.

THE CHARACTERS


"Aaron's appeal is in how unaware he is of his beauty. How...willing he is to be selfless in everything he does."
It takes a minute to place Kit and Jeremy. You want to understand their place in the story and the film individually, however, as Greg’s doppelganger and total newcomer to Hollywood, Jeremy struggles to know his place too.


Watching Kit play the part of 'Kit' struck Jeremy as surreal. The Kit walking next to him had a resonant laugh deeper and more full-bodied than the blue-label whiskey he seemed so fond of, a toe-curling smile, and the ability to shatter Jeremy's internal universe with one well-placed kiss.
Switching to Kit’s perspective it’s easy to see all the behind-the-scenes politics surrounding stardom. It’s also easy to see how and why he feels so deeply for Jeremy.

THE WRITING

Ms. Armstrong’s writing skills are much improved in this book. This is an author that works to bring her words richness and flavor. As I said above, I’ve been living inside this world and it’s because of the writing and the character development. I love watching an author just get, even better.


Lifting his head, he took in the sublime wreckage of Jeremy's expression and grinned. Yeah, he'd done it right.
The struggles are unique, the solutions realistic and the love scenes are beautiful and sexy. I think any m/m romance reader will find this a rich and fulfilling addition to the Hollywood series.

HFN ending.

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I would like to thank Tibby Armstrong for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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