What I love…

HAPPY LEAP YEAR!!

I know it’s been a bit since I’ve blogged… gah… these past few months have been hectic. But I have been working, slow and steady, and I’ve been reading. So here are some of the things I’ve read recently that I’ve been head over heels for.

Kings Rising by C.S. Pacat

Damianos of Akielos has returned.

His identity now revealed, Damen must face his master Prince Laurent as Damianos of Akielos, the man Laurent has sworn to kill.

On the brink of a momentous battle, the future of both their countries hangs in the balance. In the south, Kastor’s forces are massing. In the north, the Regent’s armies are mobilising for war. Damen’s only hope of reclaiming his throne is to fight together with Laurent against their usurpers.

Forced into an uneasy alliance the two princes journey deep into Akielos, where they face their most dangerous opposition yet. But even if the fragile trust they have built survives the revelation of Damen’s identity – can it stand against the Regent’s final, deadly play for the throne?

Notes: This is the final book in Pacat’s The Captive Prince trilogy. The entire series is freaking amazing.. If you have not read, READ!

Genres: epic fantasy, m/m romance, enemies to lovers, slavery

 

Wildest Dreams by Kristen Ashley

Seoafin “Finnie” Wilde was taught by her parents that every breath was a treasure and to seek every adventure she could find. And she learns this lesson the hard way when they perish in a plane crash. But she never forgets and when she discovers there is a parallel universe where every person has a twin, she finds a witch who can send her there so she can have the adventure of a lifetime.

But upon arrival in the Winter Wonderland of Lunwyn, she realizes she’s been played by her twin and finds herself walking down the aisle to be wed to The Drakkar.

Thrown into inauspicious circumstances, with years of practice, Finnie bests the challenges and digs into her adventure. But as Frey Drakkar discovers the woman who is his new wife is not Princess Sjofn, a woman he dislikes but instead, his Finnie, a free-spirit with a thirst for venture just like him, without her knowledge he orders his new bride bound to his frozen world, everlasting.

But at the same time Frey plunges Finnie into a web of political intrigue that includes assassination plots, poison, magic, mystery and… dragons.

Notes: I adore Kristen Ashley’s work and as I’ve made my way through all of it, I found that she has a fantasy series. This is book one in the Fantasyland series. It’s so much fun.

Genres: fantasy, urban fantasy, magic, m/f romance

 

Tournament of Losers by Megan Derr

All Rath wants is a quiet, peaceful life. Unfortunately, his father brings him too much trouble—and too many debts to pay—for that to ever be possible. When the local crime lord drags Rath out of bed and tells him he has three days to pay his father’s latest debt, Rath doesn’t know what to do. There’s no way to come up with so much money in so little time.

Then a friend poses an idea just ridiculous enough to work: enter the Tournament of Losers, where every seventy-five years, peasants compete for the chance to marry into the noble and royal houses. All competitors are given a stipend to live on for the duration of the tournament—funds enough to cover his father’s debt.

All he has to do is win the first few rounds, collect his stipend, and then it’s back to trying to live a quiet life…

Notes: I tell anyone who will listen to me that this is the book to read. Sweet, fun, and perfect. I love everything about Rath’s story. So much so that I want more.

Genres: fantasy, fairy tales, m/m romance

 

Tied to Trouble by Megan Erickson

Between love and hate, there’s a whole lot of trouble…

Chad Lake only showed up at his sister’s party for the free food, but when he spots an uptight nerd at the edge of the crowd, he can’t resist trying to ruffle the guy’s perfect bow tie and impeccable hair. The hottie’s ready for him, though, and in the end, it’s Chad who’s left wide-eyed, his ears still ringing with the filthy things Bow Tie whispered in his ear. No one gets the upper hand on Chad. Ever.

Owen Hawkins has heard all about the cocky Adonis from Chad’s sister—the same sister who holds Owen’s career advancement in her hands. He has every intention of steering clear of the other man…until Chad’s sexy taunts push him too far. There’s something intriguing about Chad, and even though Owen knows that getting tangled up with the infuriating man is trouble, he can’t seem to stay away…

Notes: This is the third book in Erickson’s Gamers series, a m/f series. It does not have to be read in conjunction with the series, if you prefer only m/m. Although I’ve read all of the series and absolutely adore it. So sexy.

Genres: m/m romance, geeks, opposites attract

 

Red River by Cardeno C. 

Two Alpha shifters join together to lead their pack and build a family.

Commitment, loyalty, and strength aren’t enough to make Wesley Stone’s birth pack accept an Alpha with a physical imperfection, even if it’s a meaningless mark. Putting the safety of his pack above his own wellbeing, Wesley trades himself for another Alpha and agrees to mate with a stranger in a mysterious, insular pack.

Alphas from Jobe Root’s family have led the Red River pack from the first day shifters walked the earth. Now the time has come for Jobe to fulfill his destiny, but to do that, he needs his mate by his side. Spiritual, easygoing Jobe reveres Mother Nature and trusts in fate, yet he can’t help being nervous about how his mate will react to his new life in Red River, his new life with Jobe.

Two Alphas with contrasting personalities, different upbringings, and divergent beliefs come together for the good of their packs. But to stay together, Wesley and Jobe must see beyond the surface and embrace every facet of themselves and their union.

Notes: I absolutely adore this book as well as the series. Such a sweet and heartwarming story of fate and love and finding home.

Genres: PNR, m/m romance, mpreg

 

Catch a Tiger by Charlie Cochet

Calvin Summers and Ethan Hobbs have been best friends since childhood, but somewhere along the line, their friendship evolved into something more. With the Therian Youth Center bombing, Calvin realizes just how short life can be and no longer keeps his feelings for his best friend a secret. Unfortunately, change is difficult for Ethan; most days he does well to deal with his Selective Mutism and Social Anxiety. Calvin’s confession adds a new struggle for Ethan, one he fears might cost him the friendship that’s been his whole world for as long as he can remember.

As partners and Defense Agents at the THIRDS, being on Destructive Delta is tough at the best of times, but between call-outs and life-threatening situations, Calvin and Ethan not only face traversing the challenges of their job, but also working toward a future as more than friends.

Notes: I can’t get enough of this series and to finally have Calvin and Hobbs’s story… gah. I loved it. And the ending… wow! This is the sixth book in the THIRDS series and must be read in order.

Genre: PNR, urban fantasy, m/m romance, law enforcement, friends to lovers

 

Some Assembly Required by Lex Chase and Bru Baker

Everyone wishes they were dead when wandering the purgatory of a home furnishings store, but these guys actually are.

Benji Goss is the quintessential good guy. When his boyfriend dumps him and moves out, Benji obligingly keeps the cat—even though he’s allergic—because his ex’s new place doesn’t accept pets. He’s always joked the cat would be the death of him, but not in a way he expects when a feline mishap crushes him under a DEL TORO bookcase.

Snarky loner Patrick Bryant is in such a rut he barely remembers the life he used to lead. The last thing he recalls is being decapitated by a DEL TORO bookcase in a freak accident. As a spiritual CASA resident, he haunts the aisles of affordable Italian furniture, assisting fellow spirits in moving on to their final destinations.

When Benji appears in the CASA café, Patrick considers the naïve spirit just the man to cure his boredom. Benji’s relentless optimism chips away at Patrick’s sarcasm, making him question if there’s something beyond what he can see. But the heart is like CASA furniture—there’s always some assembly required.

Notes: A modern day romantic ghost story. I loved Benji and Patrick’s love story. It’s so much fun.

Genre: PNR, m/m romance, ghosts

 

A Forced Silence by Cate Ashwood

For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

Notes: This is a fabulous story of enemies to lovers and in the closet love. It’s a mystery and a love story and nothing here is easy.  The struggle in finding love and keeping it is intense and exciting in this book. A must read.

Genre: contemporary, m/m romance, mystery, suspense, fire fighter

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In the Works

My life has been a bit insane these days, but I am working… however slow. Currently I have several things in the works. I’m finishing up a story—Devil’s Heart—with Lexi Ander. I’m so excited about this series we’re putting together. It’s an urban fantasy motorcycle club romance. Goblins, fae, elves, and sooooo much more.

I’m also working on my Arkansas entry for the Dreamspinner Press States of Love collection. There’s an amazing man out there who is so much inspiration for me who has allowed me to use him as my subject for this book. I cannot wait to get this story down on paper. Much love to my very own Marco.

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After I finish that novella, Lexi and I will be starting on book two or our Devil’s Dawn MC series. I also have a knight arranged marriage fantasy novel I have in mind, tentatively titled Knight Apparent. This was inspired by the lovely Megan Derr, who is full of plot bunnies.

Next up will be my first Dreamspun Desires story in which a hotel magnate meets his match. After that… who knows. I have several stories outlined and waiting their turn. So we’ll see. Somewhere in there, I need to get my Christmas story on paper. And probably (maybe) a M/M Goodreads story if I have time.

In the meantime, I thought I’d drop a few lines from Devil’s Heart.

“Enjoy the show?”

In an instant, Énna stilled. His gazed dropped to study the green skin beneath his palms.

“Let me go.” Fear bled into anger and Énna jerked his shoulders to get away from Cookie’s hold.

“That really what you want, babe?” Cookie skimmed his nose along the back of Énna’s neck. “Cuz I don’t think it is. What I think is you liked what you saw so much you want to try it.”

Énna’s fucking body betrayed him when his cock twitched and he fought a tremor of desire. Because maybe… just maybe if Cookie wasn’t such an asshole. Maybe if he didn’t want to use Énna—and Énna had to remind himself, that yes, all the club wanted was to use him—that perhaps Énna could give in, give himself over. For once. He both loved and hated that Cookie brought that out in him.

“Yes,” he rasped. “I’m positive. Now, get your hands off me. They smell like skank and who knows where else they’ve been?”

“Don’t let Conah hear you say that.” Cookie made a dark sound that coursed through Énna, and then he tightened his grip, inhaling long and sensuous, as if breathing Énna in. “Smell fucking good, babe.”

Furious, Énna pushed at Cookie’s hold again, digging his fingers into the muscular forearm beneath his grip. “Don’t talk to me about your whore.”

He hadn’t meant to say that, but the last comment had thrown Énna off guard. Confusion fed his frustration as his body and mind warred over Cookie’s actions and his words. He kicked out catching Cookie’s shin.

“Fucking ow.” Cookie’s shook Énna. “Stop moving.”

“Let. Me. Go!”

“No.” That one word snapped out in Cookie’s deep baritone sounded more like a declaration than a protestation. “Do you really want to spend the rest of your life on your goddamn knees?” All of a sudden, Cookie sounded serious and angry at the same time. Énna stopped fighting and listened. “Be my fucking guest.”

Although he knew Cookie meant otherwise, his conflicted emotions and mind played scenes of Énna kneeling, looking up at Cookie as he swallowed his thick cock, on all fours as Cookie pounded into him, straddling Cookie’s hips as he rode the hell out of Cookie.

“Let me fucking help you,” Cookie demanded, his voice still gruff and raspy, as if he ordering Énna instead of asking would shatter Énna’s resistance.

Énna tried not to give in to the way Cookie slackened his hold as if to cradle him, but he knew continuing the battle was hopeless, had been since he crossed into Devil’s territory.

His shoulders slumped and he squeezed his eyes shut when he said, “Plants. My magick works well in a garden, with food. I… I can help there.”

Silence hung between them for a moment before Cookie asked, “How?”

Énna shook his head. “I can’t explain it. I just do. I can increase the crops, keep them healthy, and give the club not only enough to provide for the community but to sell or provide for others as well.”

His chest ached with each word he spoke. The thought of being another cash cow, of being shackled by someone else’s greed destroyed a piece of him and the magick coiled beneath his skin.

“Just…” Énna couldn’t help himself when he began to tremble and he words clogged his throat, but he pushed ahead. “Whatever happens, whatever you decide… I can’t be a prisoner. I need to…”

Gods, he hated being vulnerable and worse than that he hated begging. Letting out a shaky breath, Énna surrendered his weight to Cookie.

“You’re not a captive, babe. We’ll figure something out.”

“We’re not figuring anything out.” Seeing his chance, Énna jerked free from Cookie’s hold. He turned around and walked backward, changing his course. “I can take care of myself. I’ll figure it out.”

“You’ve done a shit job of it so far.” Cookie snorted, his face contorting into the asshole features Énna knew best.

His shoulders tensed at the jibe and he narrowed his eyes. “Don’t wait up.”