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Release Review: Amy Lane: Bonfires

Amy Lane

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Release Date March 24, 2017
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Ten years ago Sheriff’s Deputy Aaron George lost his wife and moved to Colton, hoping growing up in a small town would be better for his children. He’s gotten to know his community, including Mr. Larkin, the bouncy, funny science teacher. But when Larx is dragged unwillingly into administration, he stops coaching the track team and starts running alone. Aaron—who thought life began and ended with his kids—is distracted by a glistening chest and a principal running on a dangerous road.

Larx has been living for his kids too—and for his students at Colton High. He’s not ready to be charmed by Aaron, but when they start running together, he comes to appreciate the deputy’s steadiness, humor, and complete understanding of Larx’s priorities. Children first, job second, his own interests a sad last.

It only takes one kiss for two men approaching fifty to start acting like teenagers in love, even amid all the responsibilities they shoulder. Then an act of violence puts their burgeoning relationship on hold. The adult responsibilities they’ve embraced are now instrumental in keeping their town from exploding. When things come to a head, they realize their newly forged family might be what keeps the world from spinning out of control.

The last time I read a novel by Amy Lane was before I started reviewing books for the blog, and the three books of hers I have read gave me the impression that she is a master of heavy and angsty plot in the manner that I really enjoy. Now that I have read Bonfires, I need to adjust my impression because it’s clear she can also write good lighter stories as well.

Don’t get the wrong impression from that last sentence though. With its own angsty background stories and subplots, Bonfires is far from fluffy, but it’s certainly not the sort of book that will rip your heart out and stomp on it with cleats before getting around to the happy ending (Chase in Shadow, I’m looking at you!) Here, the angst comes not only from a heinous crime but from how it has the potential to lead one of the main characters back down the same path that upended his family and nearly destroyed his life several years prior.

The story features two main characters—the high school principal, “Larx” Larkin, and a deputy sheriff, Aaron George—who live in a small town in the mountains of California and are both in their late forties. Besides being written by Amy Lane, this was the main draw for me, simply because the kind of drama that arises in these stories is a refreshing change of pace compared to the stuff in books with younger mains. Something else I don’t recall encountering before is also present with these characters: they’re both bisexual men who were married to women (one divorced and one widowed) and have kids who are all in their teens or older. As such, this is a story largely about family, for both the good and the bad of it. And happily, none of the drama of the book is caused by the reappearance of a spiteful ex-wife or other person from the main characters’ pasts.

Of more importance to the romance, though, is that the events that caused both these men to become single parents happened nearly a decade ago and neither has been in a serious relationship since then. So when Aaron and Larx, who have known each other for several years, both realize their feelings are mutual, it’s sort of a mad rush to act on it. Well, it would be if it weren’t for their responsibilities to their kids and their jobs, since the bulk of the plot revolves around a pair of crimes, the discovery of a dead body floating in a nearby lake and the assault of popular football player after homecoming, the latter of these looking largely like a hate crime.

Even though Larx and Aaron have known each other so long, the story does have the feeling of insta-love, mainly because the bulk of their relationship building happens over the course of the few tumultuous weeks that not only threaten what they’re trying to build, but also their careers and the town itself. While I enjoyed this story a great deal, I’m not sure if it was because of this brief timeline, during which their relationship went from “we’re interested” to “I love you” within a matter of days, or if it was because of the importance of the background story to the plot of the book as a whole, but something about it kept me from getting the level of feels out of the romance here compared to the other books of hers I’ve read. Of course, it might well be that I’m having a bit of book hangover from recent reads where I’ve fallen in love with the mains so much that I wanted to crawl into bed between them, so in no way do I mean this as something to deter someone from reading the book.

Probably the thing I appreciated most about Bonfires is the author’s realistic portrayals of the consequences of her plots. It’s worth noting that the solution to the crimes is fairly obvious, so don’t go into reading this story thinking that it’s going to be a mystery/romance mix, but this fact adds to the realism in that the crimes and reactions fit well within what one might expect from small-town rural America. Of course, this is a romance, so the guys get their happily ever after, but it’s not a fairy-tale ending where every loose end is tied up with the best possible outcome. There’s a very real sense that just like in real life, the events that take place could well result in bumps in the future. But with this comes the equally strong feeling that these two and their newly extended family will persevere. And more than the feels sometimes, it’s this sense of hopefulness and optimism that gives a better sense of satisfaction in a romance.

The author and/or publisher generously provided me a complimentary copy of Bonfires in exchange for this fair and honest review.

Amy Lane 
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Amy Lane has two kids in college, two gradeschoolers in soccer, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.


Release Blitz and Review: Wedlocked: Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine

Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine 

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Release Date March 23, 2017

Because you have believed in them,
Celebrated with them, 
Loved and encouraged them, 
Ella Frank and Brooke Blaine invite you to join

Ace Samuel Locke
Dylan Prescott

Saturday the Twenty-Fourth of May
At Six-O’Clock in the Evening 
The Grand Floridian Hotel
4406 Palm Way
Orlando, Florida

For Love, Laughter and Happily Ever After  

After watching Ace Locke and Dylan Prescott meet, fall in love, and deal with some serious challenges and drama in Aced and Locked, it is now finally time for the real good stuff. The stuff from engagement to wedding to HEA that we have all been waiting for. 

And all this good stuff happens with them surrounded by all of their all of the characters from these series that we have loved from Ella and Brooke are an integral part of this story. There is so much fun, banter, and celebration. I adore the dynamics of all of these characters, and it made me smile so many times as they spent time together.

There was a bit of drama, but it did not overshadow the true heart of this story--the love, lust, devotion, and commitment of Ace and Dylan. These two guys are just so perfectly matched...the popular, magnetic action star and the gorgeous model. They both have such big hearts, passion, respect and true admiration for the other. I truly cannot pick a favorite out of this duo because they both are so lovable and charismatic. And they truly bring out the best in each other. They challenge and ground each other at the same time. Their chemistry has always been off the charts, but I also enjoyed seeing them become more comfortable being themselves and showing affection to each other.

I was excited to share the progression of their lives with them in this installment. It was funny, sweet, hot and steamy, romantic, and swoony. I absolutely adored these two guys. I love getting both of their points of view. I enjoy their friends and family. I still cannot get enough of some of the couples that I have become attached to in previous series so touching base with them makes me even more happy. They are a quirky, eclectic group, but the events in this book let their personalities shine even more.

I enjoyed that the authors did not throw a bunch of over-the-top angst in for dramatic purposes, and that it was a more real and romantic conclusion for Ace and Dylan's trilogy. Sure they had decisions to make, situations to handle, and fears to calm, but it felt realistic for where they were at in their lives and did not pull attention away from what was important. But they did give us: All the people. All the good things. All the laughs. All the feels. All the way down to a smile inducing, heartwarming epilogue. ***Happy sigh***

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

From Ella Frank’s Sunset Cove series and Brooke Blaine’s L.A. Liaisons series comes a scorchingly hot novel that blends humor, passion, and romance.

What happens when these two worlds collide?

Ace Locke is Hollywood’s hottest action hero. Women across the globe fling their panties in his direction, but Ace isn’t interested in those—he’s more of a boxer briefs kind of guy. Specifically, those of the nearly naked male model on a billboard he drives past every day.

Though he recently made headlines for his public coming out, Ace is wary about pursuing a relationship, fearing what the court of public opinion will do to his career. But there’s something in the model’s expression that intrigues him and has him wondering what if?

Dylan Prescott just scored his biggest modeling campaign yet. One that has him plastered all over L.A. in not much more than what he was born with. And when he’s cast in Ace’s latest blockbuster, it puts him in close proximity to his ultimate fantasy.

Outwardly confident, Dylan has no problem with his sexuality or his pretty-boy looks, and uses both to his advantage to get what he wants. And what he wants is the impossible—Ace Locke.

LOCKED_AMAZON coverLOCKED (PresLocke #2)
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Kim's 5 star review


Sorry, ladies—and fellas—Hollywood’s hottest action star, Ace Locke, is officially off the market!

The man on Locke’s arm has been identified as Dylan Prescott, the sexy new “it” model currently featured in the latest Calvin Klein ads. Sources tell TNZ the men met on the set of Locke’s upcoming action film Insurrection 2, and that “they only have eyes for each other.”

This is the first public gay relationship for Locke, who came out a year ago, and there has been much speculation on who would finally be the one to catch his eye.

According to multiple eyewitnesses, Locke whisked Prescott away on his private jet for a romantic weekend at Syn, the most exclusive hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. After pictures recently surfaced of the new couple, affectionately named PresLocke, it appears from the possessive way Locke keeps his new beau close that things are heating up.

The world is watching #PresLocke, and we’ll be sure to keep you up to date on this budding relationship!

Ace and Dylan’s story continues in Book Two of the Bestselling PresLocke Series.

PresLocke is a spin-off from these series....

Ella Frank's Sunset Cove Series


Also meet Tate and Logan first in Ella Frank's Temptation series. 

Brooke Blaine's L.A Liaisons Series

Ella Frank

Ella Frank is the author of the #1 Bestselling Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction and lives with her husband in Portland, OR.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R.Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her 'quiet time.' Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

Brooke enjoys writing sassy contemporary romance, whether in the form of comedy, suspense, or erotica. The latter has scarred her conservative Southern family for life, bless their hearts. 

If you'd like to get in touch with her, she's easy to find - just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that's dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Join Brooke and Ella’s Facebook Group to stay up to date on the latest news

Release Review: Defensive Zone: Catherine Gayle

Defensive Zone (Portland Storm #10)
Catherine Gayle
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Release Date March 23, 2017

Portland Storm defenseman Cody “Harry” Williams owes his coach everything—especially for bailing him out of trouble in the past. It’s up to Cody to repay him by keeping his hands to himself around the coach’s sensual and mischievous daughter. All signs point to this task being easier said than done…

Up-and-coming fashion designer Dani Weber always gets what she wants—and she wants Cody Williams. Cody’s sexy, geeky-chic bowties and hard-to-get attitude only make her want him more, and Cody’s resistance is fading…fast.

One call is all it would take to land Cody on the trading block, ending their flirtation before it gains any traction. Cody is squarely in the Defensive Zone, but the only way for Cody and Dani to obtain what they really want is to go on the offensive—together.

Dani Weber has set her sights on Cody "Harry" Williams..."Dirty Harry" in her mind. She knows under his buttoned-up facade that he is hiding a sexy, dirty side and she wants to explore it. So much so that since they shared a kiss, she has essentially been stalking him or at least relentlessly pursuing him.

But Cody is on the run and resistant. After getting in some trouble, he made a promise to her dad, who is also one of his coaches, that he would steer clear of her. He is worried about his place on the team and a possible trade. And he has some personal issues that make it not a good idea. But even though he is really attracted to her, he pushes her away, tries to avoid her, and even resorts to lying to her. But Dani is determined to break down his defenses and is bound to eventually push him too far. He thrives on control, but Dani pushes all of his buttons. And no amount of trying to control her seems to work. And even when he thinks by sharing his hidden side to her that it might scare her off, it just spurs her on more.

In her mind there is nothing wrong with enjoying each other, and they both agree it could never be something serious. They can set rules. Discretion is key. No one needs to know what goes on with them behind closed doors. They are all about power exchanges, challenge, and heat. They are a blend of out-of-control passion and a balance of needs. They are a fiery match with a lot of potential, but they also have to keep it a secret. If her father or the team find out, it could mess with his career. Something he cannot afford to lose, no matter how much Dani might be worth it.

I really loved the dichotomy of Cody. He had a lot of layers to him. He tried to be stoic and take everything on his own shoulders, and held tight as he could to his control. Dani got on my nerves a bit initially since she really was pushy and at times self centered on what she wanted and not what Cody needed. But she had a good heart and did grow on me more. I came to really like them together. They had a fun rapport and oodles of chemistry. This one had quite a few erotic and stimulating scenes.

It brings in cameos from some of the series regulars especially Dani's family including her parents, her sister, Katie and brother-in-law Jamie, and their brother, Luke. It also featured more with her friend, Bea, and Koz got a little tease of a story. I am really looking forward to Luke's book and Koz's book.

This series is easy to fall back into with familiar characters, but the stories can also stand alone as they feature new couples. It was feisty, steamy, funny, intense, and had a bit of a naughty side. It is told in both of their points of view which was perfect, especially in the beginning when it was such a cat and mouse game. These two were full of surprises and I liked that there was more to the characters than we had originally seen.  I really enjoyed this installment even though it was a bit different.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.  

Dani Weber has chased after Cody “Harry” Williams for some time. So far, Cody has been able to deflect her advances or avoid her altogether, since she has been away at college. Her father has warned Cody away from his little girl and Cody has taken that threat to heart, especially since the Storm management has announced they are looking to move some younger players into the defensive lineup. But Dani has always gone after what she wants, and she doesn’t care what her dad says: she wants Cody.

These two had great chemistry, even as Cody tried to stay away from Dani. Part of the reason David Weber wasn’t thrilled about his daughter being with Cody stems back to the night Cody was arrested and Webs bailed him out. Webs knows things about Cody that no father wants to know about the man his baby is with. As a reader, this gave things a fun little twist. Cody is into kink. He is not straight up vanilla, a fact that Dani uses to up his nickname from Harry to Dirty Harry. She is on board with trying out the things he is interested in, but it is definitely a hurdle they have to face: will she be into the same thing he is?

Overall I enjoyed this book, but there were times I felt like David’s overprotectiveness and the severity of the threat he issued went too far, especially as his daughter is an adult. The ending also felt like it wrapped up rather quickly for all the difficulties they had faced. I didn’t feel like things were really settled, even taking into account what they were doing in the final scenes. There felt like a lot of build up to just stop as soon as a solution had been found, and the foundation for their relationship was still on shaky ground.

I loved the side characters that are close to Dani and Cody. Much of Dani’s scenes focused around her start-up fashion business and her work with Bea. I love Bea’s general confidence and the additional confidence she finds with the help of Dani’s designs. I can’t help but hope, with a few of the scenes in Defensive Zone, that maybe Bea will find a match on the Storm as well. I also loved watching Cody rally around his sisters in trying to find a solution for their father, even as Cody had to do all his help from long distance. 
I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.
Catherine Gayle 

Catherine Gayle is a USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty contemporary hockey romance and Regency-set historical romance novels and novellas, with over half a million books sold. She's a transplanted Texan living in North Carolina with two extremely spoiled felines. In her spare time, she watches way too much hockey and reality TV, plans fun things to do for the Nephew Monster's next visit, and performs experiments in the kitchen which are rarely toxic.

Sign up for Catherine's newsletter for new release updates and to receive a free Portland Storm short story, Ice Breaker, available only to newsletter subscribers. 


Review Blitz: Take Me Back: Meghan March

Take Me Back 
Meghan March
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Release date March 20, 2017

We fell in love on a beach, got married in paradise, and I carried her off into the sunset. It should have been perfect, but saying “I do” doesn’t guarantee a happily-ever-after.

Two years later, I barely recognize either of us behind the walls we’ve built.

It’s time to bring it full circle. Back to a tropical paradise. Back to find out if we can still make this work.

I’m not willing to give her up, but to save us, I have to risk everything. 

Two damaged people. 

Countless secrets. 

The fight of our lives.

We might be broken, but we’re not done.

Dane is making a last ditch effort to get his marriage back on track by planning a tropical getaway. They met on vacation and shared many getaways while long distance dating. But now two years after getting married, they are living parallel lives and having issues with communication.

Kat has coped with sadness in her life by becoming a work-a-holic. It is easier than facing her own issues and letting her emotions take over. She puts up walls, pushes him away, shuts down, and avoids tough subjects. Since they both lead busy lives and travel, it has gotten out of control. They both have secrets that have helped build the barriers that they have put up.

Dane knows he is also to blame for their issues. Though he is a no-nonsense, strong, capable guy, he has kept some important details from her. He has been dealing with own personal struggles as well. But this is his way of taking a stand. They will either need to fight to get back what they had or give it up. He hopes that an isolated tropical vacation will bring them back together.

It is supposed to be a time of shedding secrets, rebuilding  trust, and rekindling romance and passion so they can try to to move forward happier. But it truly ends up being a trip they will never forget. It is full of tension, drama, and will test them in ways they never expected. They will both have to find their inner strength, power through challenges, and make sacrifices. Every action has a consequence. They will each have to do their part in order to have a chance at the future they hoped for.

I loved how this book had layers, surprises, and twists. This was definitely not just a fluffy vacation story. There was much more depth, intensity, emotion, and challenges. Dane had always been her safety net, but now that will be even more important as they deal with difficult situations.

I was pulled right in and captivated the entire book. It is told in both Dane and Kat's points of view and has flashbacks as well. I love it when a story is more than I expected. This is a perfect book to go in blind and just go where the characters take you.

Dane and Kat grew on me more and more as the book went on and we saw their real personalities and connection more. And they really had opportunities for growth and to realize what they truly wanted and needed. They really needed hope, forgiveness, healing, and to shatter the guards they had in place. They were strong, stubborn, and dynamic characters that had flaws and issues. But I could still feel their bond and love for each other even in times of stress and fear. I totally connected with them and was rooting for them to find their way back.

It is a stand alone so it is a great way to jump in and read a Meghan March book. It is passionate, emotional, intense, and full of drama and feels. I have just become a new fan and she did an amazing job on this story. I will be in a book hangover for a bit for sure. There were some side characters that I am hoping we might see again in a spin-off book too.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review. 

This book reminded me why I had to binge on Meghan March when I picked up her books late last year. Dane and Kat take that one step further.

They are not at the beginning of their happily ever after. Rather, they appear to be at the end. Two years after marrying, they are on the rocks and Dane has scheduled a last ditch attempt to salvage their relationship in the form of a tropical vacation. All their big moments have taken place in tropical locations, why not add one more?

Told with several flashback scenes interjected into the present day trip, there is a perfect amount of backstory for readers to feel what Dane and Kat felt at the beginning of their relationship. The flashback scenes are well placed to highlight moments in the present day while also building their past relationship. Readers can see the potential while also seeing where Kat and Dane had allowed things to sink.

I loved that neither was shying away from blame for the problems in their marriage.They each took responsibility for the roles they played in the marriage, the things they did that had brought them to where they were today. They owned their own actions, and while they hadn’t made changes yet, they were both willing to let things go in order to not lose their relationship.

This was a vacation they will remember, and turned into more than they expected. Their challenges grew beyond their marriage and tested them as individuals and as a couple. I loved the twists this story surprised me with.

This had all the feels, and some I wasn’t expecting to find based on the blurb. I couldn’t put this down, and found myself sneaking pages in by ones and twos as I could between my daily commitments. I was thankful I had at least those little moments or I would have been tempted to throw away all my plans for the day and dive in completely.

I was gifted a copy in exchange for an honest review.

Meghan March has been known to wear camo face paint and tromp around in woods wearing mud-covered boots, all while sporting a perfect manicure. She's also impulsive, easily entertained, and absolutely unapologetic about the fact that she loves to read and write smut. Her past lives include slinging auto parts, selling lingerie, making custom jewelry, and practicing corporate law. Writing books about dirty talking alpha males and the strong, sassy women who bring them to their knees is by far the most fabulous job she's ever had. She loves hearing from her readers at

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