Pippa Reviews: Shards in the Sun by Trina Lane


Title: Shards in the Sun (The Heart of Texas series)
Author: Trina Lane
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 251
Characters: Brandon and Tyler
POV: Third
Sub-Genre: Cowboys and western
Kisses: 4

Blurb:

The heart of Texas beats strong, fueled by the love between two men whose lives are interwoven like the long grass of the hill country they call home.
Brandon Blackstun has spent the last decade moving on from the hellish halls of high school. With an invitation to his reunion in hand, he plans to show his former classmates that not only did the repeated occurrences of being slammed into lockers not cause brain damage, but he’s now a successful cover artist for the very books they buy off the shelves.

Tyler Synder was determined not to follow in his father’s footsteps as head of the international corporation that bears the family name. Instead, his heart is tied to the beat of his horses’ thundering hooves. He operates a breeding program for Tennessee Walkers and a guest ranch a couple of hours from the urban luxury of Dallas where he was raised.

The two men might live very different lives, but the heat between them is hotter than any Texas sun. With the help—or meddling—of an unlikely pair of friends, the two explore a relationship that stirs something deep inside them. Distance and misunderstandings force Tyler and Brandon to consider whether the fulfillment they’ve experienced in each other’s arms is worth the sacrifice of the lives they’ve built individually.
Texas may be the second biggest state in the union, but is it large enough to embrace the love between these two men, or will their deeply hidden fears shatter the boundaries of their hearts?

Review:

I am a huge fan of cowboy stories, but I have to say I have mixed feelings about Shards in the Sun. Before I launch into what I liked and didn’t like, I gave the book a solid 4 kisses because of some wonderful characters and scenes.

Trina Lane has created two very likeable characters in Brandon and Tyler, and I liked their disparate backgrounds. Brandon’s job as a cover artist is close to my heart, and I love cowboys. I wasn’t so sure about some of their interactions and conversations, but I love their interactions with other people. My mixed feelings arise from the fact I was less interested in them as a couple, and more interested in the men with their friends and families.

Overall, I was more captivated by the secondary characters than the main pair, and the author took time and care to give them depth. It was well done, and kept me reading to the end. I appreciated that the author didn’t use stereotypical tropes for the wealthy family, and the family dinner made me chuckle. I also appreciate that female best friend was treated with respect, and wasn’t a Mary Sue to be used and tossed aside.

When I read a book, I don’t usually pay much attention to description and vocabulary unless it detracts from the story, but in this instance, it was evocative and spot on. Shards in the Sun has shown us a well-developed world, and I look forward to reading more in the series.

Reviewed By: Pippa Wood

Click HERE to purchase Shards in the Sun

Sophie Reviews: Dragon’s Breath by Stephani Hecht


Title: Dragon’s Soul, Book 3: Dragon’s Breath
Author: Stephani Hecht
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 77
Characters: Tommy, Nicholas
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Shifter, Fantasy, Series
Kisses: 3

Blurb:

Sometimes, to save another, you have to look at your own weaknesses first.

Ever since Nicholas saw the small Dragon in chains in the scrying bowl, he knew that he had to save him. For some reason Nicholas is drawn to the other man and he won’t rest until he knows he’s safe.

Tommy has been a captive from the day he was born. When he is rescued by Nicholas he feels an instant connection to him. But Tommy is afraid to let his guard down and let anybody get close to him.

Can Tommy overcome his abusive past? Or will it doom him and Nicholas from finding love?

Review:

Dragon’s Breath is quick and easy paranormal themed story with plenty of action, sex and a cast of characters that are all sexy within their own right.

Stephani Hecht is an author I’ve read before and for the most part, I really liked what I read. She writes heroes who are pretty damn sexy and there is usually a wit to her writing that gives me a chuckle or two.

Who wouldn’t love Tommy? He’s small and has been a slave all of his life. Unable to shift into his dragon, Tommy has some self-esteem issues but still has a zest for life that I really liked. Nicholas is the perfect man for him. He is sarcastic, funny and a general bad ass when it comes to fighting for what is right and fighting for Tommy. They were a good couple and I liked them together.

The story is a smooth read. I liked the backstory these characters told and overall, enjoyed the interesting life they lead. If you are looking for a short and sexy story this one is for you.

I wish there had been more to it. There is an instalove factor to it and because it is a shifter story, I guess I understand it, I just wish there was more to the relationship than what was given us. There really isn’t a buildup between these two men and I missed it. I’ve read many stories by this author and though I really like them, in some ways they all follow a pattern that I would love for the author to get away from, because I would love to see a fresh take on a much used formula.

I liked Dragon’s Breath. I wish it had been longer had more depth to Tommy and Nicholas’ relationship.

Dragon’s Breath is the third book in the Dragon’s Soul series by Stephani Hecht. I haven’t read the first two, Dragon’s Eye and Dragon’s Heart yet but I do plan on reading them some time in the future.

I recommend this read to those who enjoy a shifter story and crave a quick and easy read. Fans of this author will enjoy her latest installment in this series and look forward to more.

Reviewed By: Sophie

Click HERE to purchase Dragon’s Breath

Woo Hoo! Celebrate Valentine’s Day week with a special discount from Pride Publishing

To celebrate this week of romance Pride Publishing has an amazing discount from Bestselling author Carol Lynne at Amazon for a limited time. Pride Publishing has set up a collection of the first three titles from the Campus Cravings series as a volume which will be discounted, Campus Cravings Volume One!

To purchase Campus Cravings Volume One click HERE

Want to know more about Campus Cravings? Check out the blurb below:

Books one, two and three in the bestselling Campus Cravings series – previously released as single titles

Coach

Being a gay high school football coach isn’t easy, especially in a small town. For five years Justin has repressed his sexuality in order to keep the job he loves. His only serious temptation is the father of his star running back. Sparks fly between the two men, and one Friday night after a winning game, Justin just can’t say no.

Luc is the man he’s been searching for his entire life. But is this new relationship worth risking his career?

Side-Lined

College is supposed to be a time of exploring new things, learning about yourself and having a good time doing it. For Max Henley, it was the hardest time of his life. During his sophomore year, his best friend and lover, Nick, was killed in a car wreck. A car Max had been driving.

Now two years later Max has thrown himself into his studies. Side-lined from football due to an injury sustained during the wreck, Max’s entire focus is on academics. Well, that and his Professor Alec Demakis.

The problem is, whenever Max thinks about his Professor, the guilt over Nick’s death returns. Can Max ever forgive himself enough to love again?

Sacking the Quarterback

Julian Malono loves his job as conditioning coach for the university football team. When he meets incoming freshman quarterback Koby McIntire, he’s instantly attracted and offers to help with Koby’s conditioning regime.

Koby is thrilled when his all-time favourite player agrees to help him. Not only can they work on Koby’s upper body strength, but maybe on the growing attraction between them.

What Koby doesn’t know is that a lifetime of abuse has left its mark on Julian. When shadows from the past threaten their growing relationship, Koby helps Julian fight back by getting him the help he so desperately needs.

But will therapy be enough when the past comes back to threaten Julian in person

Pippa Reviews: Resuscitating Love by Devon Rhodes


Title: Resuscitating Love
Author: Devon Rhodes
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 33
Characters: Hill and David
POV: 3rd
Sub-Genre: Cowboy and Western
Kisses: 3.5

Blurb:

If Hill keeps putting cowboys ahead of his marriage, even being a cardiologist won’t help David fix their broken hearts

Hillard ‘Hill’ Pearson, the new events director of the American Royal, has worked hard to get to where he is. This is his first year as director, and the huge responsibility of the more visible position has taken over his life. Yes, he could be considered a workaholic, but he’s put fifteen years into the event he’s loved since he was a kid, and now is his chance to shine.

When David Weinstein finally convinced his long-time partner, Hill, to marry him, he thought it would bring them closer together. Instead, they’re not even to their first anniversary and their relationship is suffering. David’s finally at a stage in his medical career where he has regular hours, but he can’t seem to connect with his husband when he’s free. Now, with the event that he’s sick of hearing about underway, he feels like he’s making all the effort with no return.
Can Hill and David resuscitate their love before David gives up on the promise of forever?

Review:

I read Resuscitating Love twice, not sure what I felt about it the first time around. I’m glad I did, because I better appreciated the nuances of the storyline after a re-read.

This is a classic story of two men at different stages of their careers, one reaching the pinnacle of his career as the other has more time to relax. It’s not surprising that the relationship ends up with issues.

Like many short stories, I wish this had been expanded into at least novella length. This was a snapshot of an important moment in Hill and David’s life together. I think it’s testament to the quality of writing from Devon Rhodes that I felt Hill and David deserved a longer story. I wanted to know more about the couple as I felt dropped in the middle of the scene and then it finished. I wanted more.

Reviewed By: Pippa Wood

Click Here to Purchase Resuscitating Love

Check it out! Pride Publishing has discounted Elements of Retrofit by NR Walker for a limited time!

in celebration of bestselling gay romance author NR Walker. We are discounting the first in the Thomas Elkin series, Elements of Retrofit!

This book will be discounted to 99c/p from the 7th February for a limited time on Pride Publishing, Amazon, Kobo and other eBook retailers.

Click Here to purchase Elements of Retrofit at Pride Publishing
Click HERE to purchase Elements of Retrofit at Amazon
Click HERE to purchase Elements of Retrofit at Kobo

Here is the Blurb for Elements of Retrofit:

Generation versus generation, traditional versus contemporary, these men are about to learn a lesson in architecture and love. Can they prove that the old and new can be the perfect design?

A successful New York architect, Thomas Elkin almost has it all. Coming out as gay and ending his marriage before his fortieth birthday, he needed to start living his life. Now, four years later, with his relationship with his son back on track, and after a few short-lived romances, this esteemed traditional draftsman thinks he knows everything about architecture, about life.

Cooper Jones, twenty-two years old, is about to take the architect world by storm. Talented, professional, driven and completely infuriating, Cooper is the definition of Generation Y.

Starting an internship working with Thomas, Cooper is about to knock Tom’s world off its axis. Tom can teach Cooper about the architecture industry, but Cooper is about to teach Tom what it means to live.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released under the same title. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

Pippa Reviews: They Walk Among Us by TA Chase


Title: They Walk Among Us
Author: T.A. Chase
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Pages: 168
Characters: Zach and Raven
POV: First (alternating POV)
Sub-Genre: Futuristic and Sci-Fi
Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Zach agrees to help Raven and finds himself drawn into a world he never knew existed.

Zach Harleigh was a baby when the aliens arrived. He doesn’t remember much about those months, except his parents fighting and his dad leaving. His father died, destroying the aliens, and his mother died when Zach graduated from medical school. He’s alone in the world and working hard to get his career going leaves no time for any kind of relationship.

One night, a beautiful man is brought into the ER. Raven Sanderson has been severely beaten and seems unsocialized. Raven and Zach hit it off when Zach takes over his care. Raven can’t speak but writes notes to Zach, letting him know the man is in the city to find his sister.

Zach agrees to help Raven and discovers a world he never knew existed. A world full of alien creatures that read minds and heal with a simple touch. He realizes there is more to the world around him, and the aliens he thought were destroyed weren’t. Their offspring walk among us.

Review:

Aliens-on-earth is one of my favourite sci-fi sub-genres, and something I haven’t read for a long time. I am really pleased to have the chance to review T.A. Chase’s story. They Walk Among Us hit most of my buttons for aliens-on-earth stories. The plot was fast-paced and well-developed. I liked the ‘how’ of the aliens arriving and how they were treated by the humans. No real surprises there. I also really liked that there were no ‘good guys’ and ‘bad guys’ among the humans. They Walk Among Us managed to surprise me several times. I particularly appreciated the fact that the alien race wasn’t a ‘human with blue skin’. Again, that information took time to emerge, as did Raven’s true nature.

The two main characters, Zach and Raven, were sympathetic and rounded characters. I particularly like the way their back stories emerged and interlocked over the course of the book, rather than info-dumping at the start. I felt as the story progressed that Raven dominated the story, but it was understandable. The secondary characters were equally well written, whether they were human or alien.

I had a couple of reservations. I would have preferred a more in-depth ending. I felt the very end was a bit rushed and lacking in the nuance of the rest of the book. I did feel the relationship between the two men was rushed too, but I qualify that by saying it was the nature of the story and I can accept it was necessary.

However, reservations aside, this was a well-written and interesting sci-fi story, and well worth the read.

Reviewed By: Pippa Wood

Click HERE to purchase They Walk Among Us by TA Chase

Lydia Reviews: Beautiful Goodbyes by NJ Nielsen


Title: Beautiful Goodbyes
Publisher: Pride Publishing
Author: N.J. Nielsen – Saddington
Pages: 231
Kisses: 5+

Blurb:
As someone wise once said—life is like an ice cream cone. When you think you have it licked, it drips all over you.

When life seems to be running smoothly there has to be a bump, or three, in the road. Ray and Viv realize that while they grow closer in their relationship, their family is falling apart around them, and they can’t seem to do anything to stop the heartache from happening. The only thing they can do is pick up the pieces.
Ray would love nothing better than to shake the hell out of the adults in the family and tell them all to wake up. The problem is that Ray has his own demons to face. From being swept away by flood waters to his daughter’s unraveling relationship, custody battles and launching a new business that helps abandoned teenagers, Ray loses himself for a while.

Viv tries desperately to hold the family together. He’s so used to Ray being the strong one that at first he’s clueless how to fix what’s going wrong in their lives. Viv enlists the help of the family to get everyone back on track. Sometimes wisdom comes from where you least expect it, but mostly it comes from the ones who know and love you best.

With so much going on in their family, will Viv and Ray keep their love alive? Or will their world come crashing down around them?

Review:

Beautiful Goodbyes is the second book in the, The Connelly Chronicles series. This book picks up where the first book ended so readers need to read Family Connections first. This also means that there will be spoilers ahead for those who have not yet read the first book.

When Family Connections ended, Declan had just showed up to tell Viv he thought Viv was his father. He makes it clear from the beginning that the only thing he is looking for is help finding his missing friend Nate. Much to everyone’s surprise Nate turns out to be Girly’s half-brother. As fans of the first novel know, this means that not only are Viv and Ray now going to look for Nate but so are Girly and Dan. The addition of these two young men to the Connelly family brings joy and problems.

Ray and Viv also find themselves dealing with problems that have Bear and Jamie. Bear’s father doesn’t want his son living in the same house with two gay men. It becomes worse when he learns that Jamie and Bear share a bed. The scenes that follow had me crying and while I could understand why the author would do what she did in regards to the two little boys at the same time it made me very sad.

Then there is Girly and Dan. As readers, will remember Dan is bi and was intrigued by both Girly and Ray in the first book. As he told Viv the reason he went after Girly instead of Ray was because Girly kissed him first. When Nate moves into the house, Dan is fascinated with him and Girly can’t help throwing them together to see what happens. It only makes since that this would cause more than a few problems and soon someone is going to get hurt.

There is so much going on in Beautiful Goodbyes that readers will be laughing one moment and crying the next. The family faces one issue after the other, more than a few of which are troublesome. I really began to worry just how the story would play out.

In many ways, Beautiful Goodbyes is like the middle of a story. While it gives us more of Ray and Viv, it sets up the rest of the series, giving the readers a hint to what may be coming next. I was up late into the night reading this book, you think I would have learned by now not to start a NJ Nielsen book so close to going to bed, and can’t wait to see what the next book will hold. Fans of this author are sure to love this story. Those that have not yet tried either this series, or this author really should give the books a try.

Reviewer: Lydia

Click HERE to purchase Beautiful Goodbyes