#Review: Out of Frame, by @MeganErickson_

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Title: Out of Frame (In Focus #3)
Author: Megan Erickson
Rating: 5/5 stars

Romance trades the open road for the high seas in the latest from the author of Focus on Me and Trust the Focus

Perpetually shy, Quinn Mathers is content to remain in the shadow of his brash best friend Jess Hartman. But before their college graduation, he and Jess have planned one last hurrah: a spring break Caribbean cruise.
 
And it won’t be just any cruise. On board are members of the reality show Trip League, which follows young twenty-somethings on adventures around the world. Since the show’s beginning, Quinn has been fascinated by J. R. Butler, with his amazing body, warm eyes, and killer grin. Unfortunately, he’s straight—or so the world thinks.
 
At nineteen, J. R. signed a contract to play straight for the show, and there’s no way to get out of it now. Yet with each passing day, Quinn and J. R. find it harder to keep their hands off each other and to keep out of the camera’s frame. But when the lens finally focuses on them, J. R. must decide if he’s willing to risk his career by admitting his bisexuality, and Quinn must determine if he’s bold enough to stand in the spotlight with the man of his dreams…
 (description from Goodreads)

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Erickson continues to write great books in her In Focus series. Out of Frame was no exception. In fact, it was more enjoyable than I was expecting.

I wasn’t too keen on the reality show and cruise ship aspects of the book, after reading the description. Those are just two things I don’t normally have interest in. But, it’s a book written by Megan Erickson. I had to give it a chance, especially since I loved the first two books in the series. The two aspects of the book that I wasn’t expecting to like may be the two that made this story as good as it was.

Being on a cruise ship, the characters were limited in where they could go, who they could interact with, and what they could do. Add in the cameras, fans, and script of a reality show…you get a difficult to develop relationship between two characters needing something good to happen to them.

I think if I went into more detail about why Quinn and J.R. were so great, and why I liked them together, this review would end up being too long. Plus, I want to leave readers with things to discover for themselves. Just know, like all Erickson’s characters, there’s a great deal of depth to them. Even the secondary characters. (Maybe Jess could get her own spin-off?)

Out of Frame takes to the seas for a road trip of a different sort. But it still continues on in a series full of memorable moments with memorable characters. I’m confident that when I get to the 4th book, Overexposed, the magic will continue.

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If you’d like a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

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About the Author:

Megan EricksonMegan worked as a journalist covering real-life dramas before she decided she liked writing her own endings better and switched to fiction.

She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, two kids and two cats. When she’s not tapping away on her laptop, she’s probably listening to the characters in her head who won’t stop talking.

Find out more:

#Review: Cole in His Stocking, by @Nya_Rawlyns

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Title: Cole in His Stocking
Author: Nya Rawlyns
Rating: 2.5/5 stars

There’s no place more festive, more glorious than the Big Apple during the Holidays. Jake Richardson loves the city, loves the lights and the hustle and bustle … but being alone again has put a real damper on his Christmas spirit.

Cole O’Neil is marking time as he plans his escape to a new life in the country, doing what he’s always dreamed about. When he encounters Jake at a party, he’s completely unprepared for the vision with curly auburn hair and sinful green eyes.

What starts as an embarrassing accident sends both Cole and Jake on a journey of discovery, but with time running out will they be able to find the courage to accept the magic of the season and to believe in each other? 

Holiday M/M romance short story (25659 words)” (description from Goodreads)

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Leading into the last months of the year, I tend to lean toward holiday-related stories. That’s one of the reasons I gave this one a shot. It’s also an M/M romance. Being that I want my holiday reading to be more diverse than in the past, this was a great choice for me.

But, as you see from my rating, this story didn’t shine through for me as much as I had hoped. It has a great premise. And to quote the description “There’s no place more festive, more glorious than the Big Apple during the Holidays,” maybe I held it up to those words too much. One of the main things I felt hurt the story was the way the point of view was written. It’s a third person story, told from both Cole and Jake’s points of view. While this is normal, I didn’t feel that the switching between the two was balanced enough with the telling of the story, nor were the transitions always very smooth.

Along with that, I think the characters were too inside their own heads for the reader to see the full story, the full relationship blooming. It was slightly a case of telling more than showing due to this. It also didn’t give way to much in the way of showing a “festive…Big Apple.” I felt the holiday aspect was lost to being a mere mention.

Even though I didn’t feel emotionally involved in the relationship, the characters, and their issues, there was early promise with this novella. Maybe it needed to stick to following one character’s POV. Maybe it just needed more room to flesh itself out and not be bogged down inside of the men’s heads. It wasn’t totally put off of reading Rawlyns again. The author is good with her words, when looking closer at a sentence. I’m hoping other works could suit my tastes better.

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If you’d like a copy of this novella, you can find it on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Crossing boundaries, taking no prisoners. Write what’s in your soul. It’s the bass beat, the heartbeat, the lyrics rude and true. Nya Rawlyns is the pseudonym of a writer who cut her teeth on sports-themed romantic comedy and historical romances before finding her true calling in the wilderness areas she has visited but calls “home” in that place that counts the most: the heart. She has lived in the country and on a sailboat on the Chesapeake Bay, earned more than 1000 miles in competitive trail and endurance racing, taught Political Science to unwilling freshmen, and found an avocation in materials science. When she isn’t tending to her garden or the horses, the cats, or two pervert parakeets, she can be found day dreaming and listening to the voices in her head.

Find out more:

#NewRelease: The First Vagabond, by @thesmboyce

Grimoire Saga fans, fantasy fans, and fans of incredible story telling…may I have your attention?

Today, S.M. Boyce has released the next book in her Ourean Chronicles series. If you didn’t know, this is a spin-off of the Grimoire Saga books, focusing on some key characters backstory. The first one, released last year, was The Misanthrope. That told the story of Stone. Today’s release is the first of two books telling the story of the first Vagabond. Originally planned as one book, his story was too much for one book to contain. And I’ve read this first one already, one book definitely wouldn’t have been enough!

If you’re new to Boyce (though I’m sure most of my readers have seen me raving about her for years), this may not be the best place to start. You can, but the significance of this character and what he becomes may be lost on you. I highly suggest starting with the Grimoire books. You can even find the first book, Lichgates, free everywhere (click that title a few words back).

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The First Vagabond

Rise of a Hero

(Ourean Chronicles #2)

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Unlock the dark beginnings of Ourea’s most famous political players in this Grimoire Saga origins series.

Ourean legends of the First Vagabond have survived a thousand years, blossoming in pubs and alleys even as the great Bloods of Ourea tried to squelch his name. But the myths glorify the deeds and forget the man he was—Cedric, a boy from a small Hillsidian farming village.

As a young man, Cedric discovers a terrifying defect in his nature. He has no blood loyalty, which means he can defy his king—something that has never happened in recorded history. But what begins as a flaw evolves into a strength. Citizens begin to listen to Cedric, and he discovers that if he leads, others will follow.

But there’s a catch. The more who follow him, the more famous he becomes. And the more famous he becomes, the more targets he finds pinned to his back.

He’s a wanted man. A traitor. And as Cedric begins to embrace the title he’s been given — the Vagabond, the only man alive with no master — he ignites a revolution. After all, no one has defied a Blood and lived to tell the tale. No one, that is, but Cedric.

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Want a copy of this book? You can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

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When S. M. Boyce graduated with a degree in creative writing, she realized that made her well-qualified for serving French fries. It would take years of writing hundreds of thousands of words of all kinds before she became the fantasy and horror novelist she is today.

Boyce specializes in action-packed stories that weave in fantasy, mystery, and heroines with a knack for mischief. All romantic leads are based loosely on her husband, who proves that soulmates are real.

She has a deep love for ghosts, magic, and spooky things. If you’ve already finished her books, check out her blog or twitter feed for a dash of adventure.

Connect with Boyce

#NewRelease: Dirty Like Me, by @JaineDiamondXO

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A gorgeous rock star.
An indecent proposal.
How can a girl resist?

Struggling barista Katie Bloom doesn’t even know who Jesse Mayes is until she inadvertently wins the coveted role of sex kitten in his hot new music video. But by the time she’s in bed with him, she knows his reputation.

Love maker. Heartbreaker.

Making out with a stranger in front of a camera crew isn’t how Katie imagined herself getting over a broken heart, but when Jesse touches her, sparks fly. The sex is fake but the chemistry is real, and soon the steamy video is blazing up the charts.

Then Jesse makes Katie an irresistible offer: act as his girlfriend for six weeks while he promotes his new album. The only catch? Their sizzling make-out sessions will be for the cameras only.

Which is fine with Katie, since she’s not about to trust her heart to rock’s most legendary lover. Her body? Maybe…

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon

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About the Author:

Jaine Diamond is a romance author who believes in fairy tales, ice cream, and true love. She lives in beautiful Vancouver, Canada with her real-life romantic hero (Mr. Diamond) and their baby girl.

Find out more:

Smut by @MetalBlonde is on Sale!

Yesterday, you may have read my post about Karina Halle’s Experiment in Terror series. The scary horror series that’s perfect for reading this time of year.

Well, that’s not all Halle likes to write about. She writes in a few other genres and I’d like to share one of those today. Her book Smut is a romantic comedy (one of my favorite subgenres of romance). And it’s also on sale for only $0.99 today. I haven’t gotten to reading it yet, but I have a copy. And I know that Halle’s a great writer. Will you check it out and experience this rom com with me?

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What happens when the kink between the pages leads to heat between the sheets?

All Blake Crawford wants is to pass his creative writing course, get his university degree, and take over his dad’s ailing family business. What Amanda Newland wants is to graduate at the top of her class, as well as finally finish her novel and prove to her family that writing is a respectful career.

What Blake and Amanda don’t want is to be paired up with each other for their final project, but that’s exactly what they both get when they’re forced to collaborate on a writing piece. Since Amanda thinks Blake is a pushy asshole (with a panty-melting smirk and British accent) and Blake thinks Amanda has a stick up her ass (though it’s a brilliant ass), they fight tooth and nail until they discover they write well together. They also may find each other really attractive, but that’s neither here nor there.

When their writing project turns out to be a success, the two of them decide to start up a secret partnership using a pen name, infiltrating the self-publishing market in the lucrative genre of erotica. Naturally, with so much heat and passion between the pages, it’s not long before their dirty words become a dirty reality. Sure, they still fight a lot, but at least there’s make-up sex now.

But even as they start to fall hard for each other, will their burgeoning relationship survive if their scandalous secret is exposed? Or are happily-ever-afters just a work of fiction?

Want a copy of Smut? Find it here:

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | Kobo | iBooks
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About the Author:

Karina Halle author picKarina Halle is a former travel writer and music journalist and The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestselling author of The Pact, Racing the Sun, Sins & Needles and over 25 other wild and romantic reads. She lives on an island off the coast of British Columbia with her husband and her rescue pup, where she drinks a lot of wine, hikes a lot of trails and devours a lot of books.

Halle is represented by the Waxman Leavell Agency and is both self-published and published by Simon & Schuster and Hachette in North America and in the UK.

Hit her up on Instagram at @authorHalle, on Twitter at @MetalBlonde and on Facebook. You can also visit http://www.authorkarinahalle.com and sign up for the newsletter for news, excerpts, previews, private book signing sales and more.

Find out more:

#NewRelease: Jed Had to Die, by @TaraSivec

I’m sorry everyone, but Jed Had to Die. The title of this book tells it like it is. But if you’d like to know just why, well, you’re going to have to read it for yourself. My review from a few weeks back only touches on all this book has in store for you. It’s from Tara Sivec, so you know one review isn’t enough for all that’s found in her books.

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The happiest day of Payton Lambert’s life was the day she graduated high school and watched Bald Knob, Kentucky get smaller and smaller in her rearview mirror. She wanted more for her life than a tiny town where everyone knows your business and you can’t find a decent cup of coffee for at least forty miles. Twelve years later, an unexpected phone call in the middle of the night has her packing up her life in Chicago and racing back home to the one person she ever regretted leaving behind.

Upon her return, she sees that Leo Hudson, the scrawny boy who followed Payton around like a puppy and could recite cow insemination facts in his sleep, is long gone. Leo is still hot on her heels, but now he’s wearing a sheriff badge and dead set on solving a murder that may or may not involve Payton…along with half the town. In a place where the biggest crime happened the day someone kicked a few of his cows, people are pointing fingers, rumors are spreading like wildfire, and Payton swears she’s only making out with the sweet-talking, studly sheriff to distract him from the secrets she’s keeping.

When you’ve been tased, peed on by a yippy dog named Bo Jangles, and can’t stop picturing what Sheriff Hudson looks like naked, it will be a tough job making everyone agree that…Jed had to die.

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If you’d like to buy a copy of this book, you can find it on:

Amazon | B&N | Kobo  | iBooks

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About the Author:

Image 7Tara Sivec is a USA Today best-selling author, wife, mother, chauffeur, maid, short-order cook, baby-sitter, and sarcasm expert. She lives in Ohio with her husband and two children and looks forward to the day when they all three of them become adults and move out.

After working in the brokerage business for fourteen years, Tara decided to pick up a pen and write instead of shoving it in her eye out of boredom. She is the author of the Playing with Fire series and the Chocolate Lovers series. Her novel Seduction and Snacks won first place in the Indie Romance Convention Reader’s Choice Awards 2013 for Best Indie First Book.

In her spare time, Tara loves to dream about all of the baking she’ll do and naps she’ll take when she ever gets spare time.

Tara also writes under the pen name T.E. Sivec.

Find out more:

Website | Twitter  | Facebook
Goodreads | Amazon | Smashwords

#Review: Spellbound, by @Daisy_Prescott

spellbound-prescottTitle: Spellbound
Author: Daisy Prescott
Rating: 5/5 stars

“If you don’t carve a pumpkin, it will appear ripe and perfect for months while it slowly rots from the inside out before imploding. The act of transforming a simple, ordinary gourd into something magical accelerates its downfall.

The same could be said for my life.

For twenty-one years I’ve lived quietly in the shadows, avoiding attention, and escaping notice.

I hide in plain sight.

With glasses and average brown eyes below the same dark hair sported by the majority of humans on the planet, there’s nothing extraordinary about me.

Except nothing about me is ordinary.

Not with the last name Wildes in Salem, Massachusetts.

My mother believed she could escape my fate by marrying a normal man.

My father thought he could change me by removing me from Salem and my mother’s history.

Both of them are wrong.

My fate has been sealed since the first time I laid eyes on Madison Bradbury.

She thinks she’s average, but she’s extraordinary to me.

A new love. A curse. Everything can go wrong. ” (description from Goodreads)

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I very much enjoyed Daisy Prescott’s story Bewitched. So much so that I went right out and bought this one, the sequel, Spellbound. My eagerness was rewarded by an even more enjoyable read.

Everything that I enjoyed about the first story was present in its sequel. But what made it more enjoyable for me was that the characters were able to develop more. There was also some more development in the ongoing plot points, some of which were only hinted at in Bewitched.

I also found it interesting to be inside of Andrew’s head for this story. He’s the character going through personality changes due to unknown causes. This would have been easy to write from another character’s point of view, but Prescott decided to get into the head of the one dealing with this issue first hand. And she does it well. While reading, I felt how helpless Andrew was to the changes taking place. It added a unique experience to this story that I haven’t seen anywhere else.

I would really like to read more stories from this series and I’m hoping Prescott plans on writing more. I only hope I don’t have to wait too long to read them. Though, I know however long the wait it, it’ll be worth it.

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You can buy this book from:

Amazon

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About the Author:

USA Today Bestselling author Daisy Prescott lives in a real life Stars Hollow in the Boston suburbs with her husband and an indeterminate number of imaginary housegoats. When not writing about people falling in love, she can be found traveling, gardening, baking, and reading a good book.

Her novels include the Modern Love Stories series, the Wingmen series, and several short stories. She’s also working on expanding the world of Bewitched this fall.

Find out more: