Get into the Halloween Spirit! Check out the release day blitz for a collection of stories by NineStar Press!!

Get in the holiday spirit with the Halloween collection of stories from NineStar Press

Releasing between October 9th and October 23rd, don’t miss a single one!

Available October 16th 

Synopsis

Danton is a 1200-year old vampire, blinded by the Medieval Church, who makes his life as a paranormal romance novelist. He writes about a vampire detective and “pretends” to his fans to be a vampire himself. But book sales are down because he has been without love for over 30 years and just doesn’t have that spark of romance left in him. Until he meets Kevin, a disbelieving young man, desperate for a job, who is brought in by Danton’s agent to try to lighten up his life and heat up his prose.

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Available October 16th 

Synopsis

Drew hates labels, but loves Halloween and he wants a trick-or-treat of his own. At his mother’s to deliver emergency candy, she has him get the door in his gender-bending costume. The handsome man with the little trick-or-treater would be Drew’s perfect treat.

David’s attraction to Drew is no trick. He wants the whole Drew, in all his unlabeled glory, making Drew think this could be a treat that lasts long past the holiday.

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NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

 

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Kimberly Reviews: High Balls by Tara Lain

Title: High Balls

Author: Tara Lain

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 163

Characters: Theodore, Snake, Andy

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary

Kisses: 4 

Blurb:

Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous. 

Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily ever after is for real.

Review:

An intriguing storyline, a dose of mystery, and some family-time bonding all makes for a wonderful novel from Tara Lain. This novel is part of the Balls to the Wall series and makes for a great new addition.

If you’d like to read all the novels released thus far, the order is as follows:

  • Volley Balls
  • Fire Balls
  • Beach Balls
  • Fast Balls
  • High Balls

Theodore and Snake’s relationship might appear to be a case of opposites attract, but we soon learn that the two might have more in common than first thought. Plus, with Theodore’s son Andy thrown in, they have the makings of a true forever family. I love a feel-good story! There were a number of interlocking plotlines going on in this, which made you want to keep turning the page to figure out where it would go next. Not only is there the developing relationship between Theodore and Snake, but also a custody threat from Andy’s grandparents that might put their ultimate happiness in danger. And if that weren’t enough, there’s also the stress of Theodore going through his PhD defense and working against the departmental disrespect that he’s constantly having to face because of his chosen research topic. It all makes for one grand adventure.

While I liked the story very much, there were a few drawbacks that reduced my enjoyment just a bit. First was the wandering POV, switching between Theodore and Snake, sometimes in the middle of the chapter. I’m more of a fan of a dedicated POV when reading, or at least a switch that comes at a chapter break to give it more separation. Secondly, the reference to Theodore’s fellow TA kept switching between his first and last name. It kept confusing me, and I had to pause to remember that the two names were the same person. Lastly, the character of JP Rellico was very flat and did not pose any sort of threat, nor any sort of real interaction with the plot. He was a seen, but not heard entity that caused little drama since the custody issue was cleared up relatively quickly.

However, even those few drawbacks weren’t enough to detract completely from such a great novel. I loved the evolving relationship between Theodore and Snake, the flawed and complicated nature of both their characters, and how they overcame many obstacles to end up together. I am rooting for their happily ever after. They deserve all the happiness, because they certainly provided me happiness while reading.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Kimberly

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

Kimberly Reviews: Waking the Behr by Pat Henshaw

Title: Waking the Behr

Author: Pat Henshaw

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages: 88

Characters: Ben, Mitch, Connor, Abe

POV: 1st

Sub-Genre: Contemporary

Kisses: 3.5 

Blurb:

Both Ben and Mitch think they know exactly what they want. Turns out, they don’t even know their own hearts.

Good old boy Ben has dated women his entire life, while gay nightclub owner Mitch has never considered unsophisticated country boys his type. But after they start hanging out, the small-town contractor and the urban entrepreneur are both stunned by the electricity sparking between them.

As they step outside their comfort zones to spend time together, Mitch finds he enjoys rural car rallies, and Ben is intrigued by the upscale bars Mitch owns in San Francisco. When they share their lives and grow closer, they start to question the way they’ve always defined themselves. Then they kiss and fling open the door to love. Now they must step up and travel the road that may lead to happily ever after—even if that path isn’t one they ever expected to walk. 

Review:

Love doesn’t follow the rules, as main character Ben soon learns in Walking the Behr. Although both his brothers, Abe and Connor, have come out as gay prior, Mitch never thought he’d do so as well. That is, until Mitch wandered into his town and into his life. Now Ben is wondering what this new-found attraction means and if he’s been hiding a part of himself all his life.

What I liked about this story is that the author didn’t immediately jump from attraction to acceptance too quickly. Ben has to take time and really consider why he’s suddenly attracted to a man. And he also must consider if that attraction is even real, since it’s a jumble of emotion inside his head and all new feelings for Ben. The ongoing pull between being territorial over Mitch and wondering if his brother, Connor, is actually the better partner for this rich city boy was a great thread that ran through the first part of the book. It made the developing relationship feel more real.

The one component I didn’t like, or perhaps just didn’t understand, was the presence of Mitch’s ex, Glen, throughout their tour of Mitch’s clubs. He was just annoying and always-present, but didn’t seem to pose any real threat, even when he was described as looking for a fight. If he had been utilized as a real threat, I could see him playing a more dynamic role. At present, though, he was just a detour from the story that I could gladly overlook. 

All in all, though, Walking the Behr was a sweet, romantic story of two men who seemed to be such opposites, yet found commonality in their love for one another. I’m not sure what the future holds for Ben and Mitch, but I do know that I enjoyed seeing the two of them becoming one.

Reviewed By: Kimberly

Click HERE to enter the Dreamspinner Press Homepage

We have a Release Day Blitz for Love by Number by DJ Jamison!

Title:  Love By Number

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: DJ Jamison

Release Date: October 12, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 31,000 words

Genre: Romance, LGBT, m/m contemporary romance

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Synopsis

Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the number of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a lifelong journey together.

Excerpt

Aidan clutched at his hair, heart hammering in his chest. The front driver’s side of his black Saab was crumpled. The wheel well took a direct hit, the force of the collision pressing it into the tire. He could tell from just looking that the axle must be bent, if not broken, by the way the tire tilted at the wrong angle.

It’s not drivable, he thought, and his heart hammered harder. He felt his hands trembling, and not as an aftershock of the accident. Well, not from experiencing the accident, at least. He was shaking because his plans had just been thrown in the blender.

“Hey, you okay?”

He looked up, gazing blankly at the figure approaching him. A man, but his features were lost in the shadows. Not that Aidan could focus on something like facial features right now. That wasn’t easy on a good day, much less in a moment like this.

“It’s not that big a deal,” he muttered to himself, as he’d learned from his therapist years ago. “It’s not. It’s not. But …” He groaned and clutched at his hair some more. “How am I going to get to the World Series now? I have to get there!”

He’d wrapped up so many hopes in getting to that series, in watching the Royals perform in high-stakes games. It was the perfect time to prove out his math. It might not be rocket science, but Aidan still wanted to watch his math come to life on the baseball field, in the most important series of the season. In person.

A hand touched his shoulder, and he flinched away.

“I’m sorry. Are you hurt?” a voice asked. A nice, mellow voice. He liked the raspy quality of it and the cadence of the man’s words. His tone calmed Aidan.

He managed to drag his gaze from the damage to the man’s face. “I’m …”

Sexy Artist Guy.

He faltered when he recognized the dark hair tinted with maroon highlights, dark eyes and sculpted lips — all coming together in a perfect symmetry. A perfect representation of geometry in nature, really. And the freckles splashed over his nose, highlighted now by the security lights overhead? They somehow added to his sex appeal instead of detracting from it.

Aidan had seen an open sketchbook on this man’s lap more than once when passing by on a bathroom break. He mostly drew portraits, from the look of it, but Aidan had only caught a glimpse. It made sense he was an artist since his entire appearance was like a work of art to Aidan’s eyes. He couldn’t imagine being so creative with his hair or his wardrobe or his skin, where Sexy Artist Guy had embraced both tattooing (his right bicep) and piercing (both ears and right eyebrow).

“I’m so sorry,” Sexy Artist Guy said again. “I saw an opening and went for it. I didn’t see you coming, but my grandfather was distracting me—”

“Blame it on the old man, why don’t ya?” a hoarse voice boomed loudly enough to make Aidan jump.

“Gramps, not now, huh? The guy is freaking out.”

“I’m not freaking out,” Aidan said sharply. The fascination with the stranger’s face faded as he remembered why he was in this situation. He gestured to the damage. “There’s no way I can drive that.”

“We can give you a lift,” the old man said, at the same time the handsome stranger said, “We’ll call you a tow truck.”

“But look at my car!” he said, not sure they understood the direness of the situation.

Artist Guy frowned, then glanced behind Aidan. Following his look, he realized they were blocking traffic. A line of cars snaked through the parking lot, headlights shining on Aidan’s personal disaster.

“I should move my car.” He glanced back at the bent wheel well, frowning. He hoped he could move the car.

“Jesse,” the old man spoke, “you help him push. I’ll get in and put it in neutral.”

They all took their positions, and with some work managed to push the car into an empty space next to the Lincoln Towncar that had so cruelly crunched the Saab. Aidan cringed at the scraping metal sound as his car rolled out of the lane of traffic.

Once off to the side, Jesse pulled out his wallet. He handed his license to Aidan, who stared at it. He took in all the details: 6-foot-1, 175 pounds, brown hair, brown eyes, born one year after Aidan, making him twenty-six.

Jesse cleared his throat, and Aidan glanced up.

“Aren’t you going to take a picture?”

Damn. He’d been staring. The old saying popped into his mind: Take a picture, it’ll last longer.

He flushed. “Sorry.”

He started to hand the license back, but Jesse looked at him as if he had a screw loose. Then it clicked. Take a picture. For insurance. Right.

He dug out his phone and clicked the pic of the license, and then of the insurance card that Jesse handed over. He was still rattled by the accident, thrumming with bottled-up anxiety.

“You okay? You’re pretty twitchy,” Jesse said. “I’m sure the insurance will cover the damage.”

“Yeah, but it’s my car.”

“Yeah?”

Aidan waved to his car, unsure how to make Jesse understand.

“It was reliable.”

“Um, won’t it still be reliable when it’s fixed?”

“The World Series is in two days.”

“So …”

“Jesse, stop being thick,” the old man interrupted. “Obviously, he was going to drive up to St. Louis, and a Saab is a foreign car. He won’t be able to get the parts locally. Maybe not even the mechanic. They don’t make those cars anymore. He can’t get it fixed in time.”

“Oh.”

“I have to go to that game. I go to all the away games within driving distance. I always do. And this is the World Series. I’m going to have to take a bus, and, oh God, I can’t stand to ride the bus—”

“Jesse will drive you.”

Aidan looked at the older man. He had a bushy head of white hair and enough wrinkles to give a Shar-Pei a run for its money, but his tone was confident, the kind of confident that brooked no nonsense. He’d heard that tone from his own mother too many times to count.

“He will?”

“I will?” Jesse echoed. “Gramps, I’m sure Aidan doesn’t want—”

“That would be great!”

Normally, Aidan wouldn’t want to ride long distance with a stranger, but when contrasted with a bus full of strangers, he jumped at the opportunity. Besides, Jesse and his grandfather had been at every home game. If Jesse were some kind of predator or bully, he’d have shown it by now. Right?

He’d only had one other interaction with Jesse. He’d walked up to Aidan once, when he was trying to quickly record the stats from the latest play and compare them against what he’d predicted for that player’s performance. Aidan had been too distracted to make conversation, especially small talk with a stranger. But he couldn’t help noticing his great smile. Jesse was one of those people who smiled with his whole being, not just his mouth. His eyes brightened, his cheeks dimpled and his body even seemed to vibrate with happy energy.

Aidan liked that because it was easy to see Jesse’s happiness. It wasn’t subtle, which would be lost on him, or confusing — like when people’s mouths smiled but their eyes stayed cold. He didn’t understand that. Was he supposed to respond to their mouth or their eyes? And then there were some people who just smiled all the time, even when they said mean things. What did that mean? Smiles could be confusing, but Jesse’s wasn’t.

“I have tickets to the games,” Gramps was saying now. “I was going to ask you to go, as a favor to me.”

“What? But you said in the car—”

“Hush,” Gramps said, a gleam in his eye. “I’m not up for that kind of travel. I want you to go in my place, so you can tell me all about it. You take this nice young man. It’s the least we can do. Watch the games for me, and tell me all about it when you come home.”

Aidan pulled out his phone to call the tow truck, watching the two men in a staring stand-off. He made arrangements for the tow and disconnected in time to see Jesse sigh and nod.

“Okay, Gramps. For you.”

“Good boy,” Gramps said, clapping him on the shoulder.

Purchase at Amazon

Meet the Author

 

DJ Jamison grew up in the Midwest and worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years, which came in handy when she began writing stories centered on a series of love connections between small-town Kansas newspaper staffers, their sources and their readers. It was the perfect entrance into the world of fiction, and she has since branched out into ERs, health clinics and other settings to tell the stories of characters who are flawed but loveable. She writes a variety of queer characters, from gay to bisexual to asexual, with a focus on telling love stories that are more about common ground than lust at first sight. DJ is married with two sons and two glow-in-the-dark fish that are miraculously still alive.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | DJ and Company | DJ’s Newsletter

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Gabbi Reviews: Love by Number by DJ Jamison

Title: Love by Number

Author: DJ Jamison

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages: 71

Characters: Aidan, Jesse

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Contemporary Romance

Kisses: 4

Blurb:

Aidan doesn’t have the best record with relationships, but he’s had a lifelong love affair with baseball. Player stats and computer simulations make sense. People don’t. But when he needs a ride to the World Series, he must rely on another person: a sexy artist who is as spontaneous as Aidan is predictable.

Jesse doesn’t care about baseball. As an artist, he’d rather paint a player than watch him at bat. But his grandpa loves the Kansas City Royals, so he takes him to every home game. He has no idea a fender bender in the parking lot is about to deliver new inspiration in the shape of a man with a whole bag of quirks.

Despite their differences, Jesse and Aidan hit it off, and their sexual chemistry is fantastic. But when Aidan’s numbers betray him, Jesse isn’t prepared for the fall-out. If Aidan continues to put his passion for baseball stats above everything else, he could miss out on the most important numbers in life: the number of smiles, kisses and laughs they could share in a journey of a lifetime.

Review:

Love by Number is the first book I’ve read by DJ Jamison and it won’t be my last. I thought the author did a good job at writing interesting characters with a fast-paced storyline that I truly enjoyed.

Both Adian and Jesse are complex in their own way. Aidan is a twenty-something man whose love for numbers and calculating the stats for the Royals baseball games. Adian is determined to show that his calculations can predict future plays, runs, and wins. Aidan gets wrapped up into his own world. As a man on the edge of the autistic spectrum, he has difficulty understanding other peoples’ body language and doesn’t relate well to others.

Jesse can’t seem to settle down and make up his mind about what he wants to do with his future. He loves art but doesn’t pursue being an artist. He can be a restless spirit going from job to job, but one thing Jesse does love is his Grandpa.

Jesse is a good man with a devilish sense of humor that I found myself appreciating. It is through this determination and humor that he is able to reach through Aiden’s barriers and become friends with him. I liked the banter these two men came to have and I thought though they were pretty different, they fit well together.

Love by Number is the story of the beginning of Jesse and Aiden’s relationship together. I really enjoyed watching them get to know and even try and fit each other into each other’s lives. Love by Number is a quick and satisfying read that left this reader wishing for more. I liked these two men and know their life together will be a solid and interesting one.

Love by Number is an easy book to recommend. If you are looking for a fast-paced romance with two unique heroes then this is definitely the book for you.

Recommended!

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Love by Number by DJ Jamison

Gabbi Reviews: Yerad by Catherine Lievens

Title: Council Enforcers, Book 5: Yerad

Author: Catherine Lievens

Publisher: eXtasy Books

Pages: 122

Characters: Yerad, Lenny

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Shifter, Series, Romance

Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Sometimes fear keeps us away from happiness.

Yerad never expected his mate to run seconds after they’d met, but that’s what fate dealt him. Lenny insists on saying he doesn’t want Yerad. Yerad wants to push for answers, but he’s a liaison agent for the council, and his job is more important than a stubborn man who doesn’t want him.

Lenny never wanted to meet his mate. His parents, the people who should have shielded him from the world, kicked him out, and he doesn’t want to be hurt again. He knows that’s what will eventually happen if he agrees to give Yerad a chance, and that’s why he tells his mate to leave him alone.

Lenny’s resolve weakens as his friends try to convince him to give Yerad a chance. When he finds out Yerad is working with his birth tribe, he runs to the rescue, only to find out Yerad didn’t need him. Will Yerad forgive Lenny for pushing him away? Will Lenny manage to get over his fear of being hurt to give Yerad a chance? Or will fear have the upper hand and ruin their mating?

Review:

I was anxious to read Yerad by Catherine Lievens. As this series has progressed, I’ve found myself becoming more invested into these characters’ lives and I’ve enjoyed the story they’ve had to tell.

Since the first book of the Council Enforcers series, Lenny has been an unrepentant player. He had been very outspoken as to why he has no desire to have a fated mate. Lenny, himself, knows he’s an ‘asshole’ more often than not and he  offends others with his careless words and behavior.

To say that Lenny was horrified to meet his mate is an understatement.

Unfortunately for him, Lenny’s mouth overran his good sense, and because of it, he offended and hurt his fated mate, Yerad. As time goes by and he realizes that he was wrong about so many things, including being mated with Yerad, Lenny is forced to look at himself and he must decide if he wants to take a chance at a happy life, or if he wants to continue to push others away before they get too close to him.

I totally fell for Yerad. His intelligence and patience is something that I came to admire. Let’s face it, Lenny’s negative attitude would even drive a saint to sin, but Yerad somehow finds forgiveness and patience to put up with him.

Don’t get me wrong, because I did like Lenny. But there were times I wanted to strangle him myself. I was glad to see his attitude and outlook on life begin to change and in the end, I thought he and Yerad were good together. I do wish they had spent more time together than they did, but I did enjoy their chemistry when they were in scenes together.

The Council Enforcer series continues to get better with each book. If you enjoy a solidly told shifter series, then this is definitely a good choice for you. Also, these books aren’t very erotically told, so if you’re not into a lot of very descriptive sex scenes this is also one to consider. I know I’m looking forward to the next book and anxious to see what Ms. Lievens has in store for us next.

Highly Recommended!

Yerad by Catherine Lievens is the fifth book in the Council Enforcers series. Although it could be read as a stand-alone book in the series, I do not recommend it. In my opinion, to fully understand the dynamics and the backstories of these characters, it would be best to read this series in book order.

The Council Enforcers series in book order are:

Daniel

Anthony

Kin

Cerris

Yerad

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Yerad by Catherine Lievens

Gabbi Reviews: Cerris by Catherine Lievens

Title: Council Enforcers, Book 4: Cerris

Author: Catherine Lievens

Publisher: eXtasy Books

Pages: 122

Characters: Jackson, Cerris

POV: 3rd

Sub-Genre: Shifters, Series, Romance

Kisses: 4.5

Blurb:

Things always happen for a reason, even the things you don’t want to happen.

Cerris is an orphan who’s been told he’s a monster all his life, and he’s come to believe it. He did his best to keep his werewolf half under control, but when he killed a hunter, Dominic asked the enforcers for help. Cerris is sent to work with their only werewolf, but as soon as he sees the man, he realizes they’re mates, and he runs.

Jackson doesn’t understand why Cerris runs, but he intends to find out. When he finally locates Cerris, Cerris’ friends intervene and explain what happened to him and why he doesn’t want to see Jackson—Jackson is a werewolf, and all werewolves are monsters.

Jackson knows he’ll have to work hard to convince Cerris of the contrary, and he hopes finding Cerris’ long-lost father will help. He also has to teach Cerris to control his wolf before something happens.

Will Cerris learn control, or will he become the monster he always thought he was?

Review:

Cerris is the fourth book in the Council Enforcers series and it’s my favorite book in the series so far. As this series continues, I find it more and more easy to get wrapped up in these characters’ lives.

What makes Cerris different than the other three books before it is the unique backstory Cerris has compared to others in these books. Since Cerris is a half-breed who has been abused by his tribe and made to be ashamed of his werewolf side, he is truly a wounded man. He lives with a lot of shame and guilt, and it’s because of this, that this reader felt a lot of compassion for him.

When Cerris meets Jackson and realizes that he is Cerris’ mate, he is horrified because Jackson is a werewolf shifter. Through Cerris’ abuse and teachings from his birth tribe, he believes that all werewolves are monsters and pure evil, so it takes a lot of time and patience for Jackson to show Cerris that everything he’s learned about wolf-shifters is wrong.

What I really liked about this book was the way Jackson shows Cerris what it’s really like to be a werewolf and his sheer determination and diligence to have him for a mate. Seeing Cerris evolve from a scared and ashamed young man to a more confident one was a lovely sight to see.

After reading this story, I am definitely anxious to read the next installment in this series. The Council Enforcers series is one not to be missed if you like shifter stories with unique and sexy heroes.

Highly Recommended!

Although Cerris could probably be read as a stand-alone story, I do not recommend it. In my opinion, the dynamic interplay between the characters and their backstories are best understood by reading this series in order.

The Council Enforcers books in series order are:

Daniel

Anthony

Kin

Cerris

Reviewed By: Gabbi

Click HERE to purchase Cerris by Catherine Lievens