#NewRelease: Goodbye Paradise, by @SarinaBowen

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Most people called it a cult. But for twenty years, Josh and Caleb called it home.

In Paradise, there is no television. No fast food. Just long hours of farm work and prayer on a dusty Wyoming ranch, and nights in a crowded bunkhouse. The boys of the Compound are kept far from the sinners’ world.

But Joshua doesn’t need temptation to sin. His whole life, he’s wanted his best friend, Caleb. By day they work side by side. Only when Josh closes his eyes at night can they be together the way he craves.

It can never be. And his survival depends on keeping his terrible desires secret.

Caleb has always protected Josh against the worst of the bullying at the Compound. But he has secrets of his own, and a plan to get away — until it all backfires.

Josh finds himself homeless in a world that doesn’t want him. Can Caleb find him in time? And will they find a place of safety, where he can admit to Josh how he really feels?

Warning: Contains a hot male/male romance, copious instances of taking the Lord’s name in vain, and love against the kitchen counter. This book was previously released under the title: In Front of God & Everyone.

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If you’d like a copy of Goodbye Paradise, you can find it on:

AmazonB&NKobo

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About the Author:

Sarina Bowen is a USA Today bestselling author of contemporary romance. She lives in Vermont’s Green Mountains with her family, six chickens and too much ski gear and hockey equipment.

In 2016, Sarina became a Rita Award winner! The Romance Writers of America honored HIM by Sarina Bowen & Elle Kennedy with Best Contemporary Romance, Mid-Length.

Find out more:

Themed Book Recommendations: Men who write M/M Romance

Themed Book Recommendations is back! Yes, there was a holiday reading edition, but that was the first in a long time and then I skipped a week. Let’s hope it sticks this time.

For this list, I’ve put together (with a HUGE help from Twitter friends, new and old) a list of male authors who write M/M books. Why did I create this recommendations list? Well, while men dominate the publishing world still (big shock), the romance world is heavily populated by women. It always has been (to my knowledge), and it’s a great thing. But at the same time, I noticed something in my search for more diverse books.

Most of the M/M (that’s male/male if you’re new here) books I’ve read, seen promoted through my regular channels, had on this blog…they’re all written by women authors. Straight (to my knowledge, but I don’t go around asking) women authors. I’ve enjoyed MANY of these books. I have nothing against any of these books or authors. I’m friends with many. But I got to thinking, what are the guys writing about in their M/M books? Why don’t I see as much of these books in my timeline from those authors making the bestsellers lists? Why have I only read a handful of them, and probably only the random short stories I find?

I’m here to help shed more light on male written M/M books, today. It’s all part of making my own reading more diverse, and hopefully you’ll add some to your TBR, as well. In the end we just want to read ALL THE BOOKS! And that includes books from everyone from every walk of life. I can’t wait to dive in, and I hope you’re ready too!

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Special thanks for many of the names on this list go out to: Con Riley, Megan Erickson, KJ Charles, (Twitter) Jenny from Reading the End, Amy Jo Cousins, Chelsea M. Cameron, Dirty Book Chick, and anyone else I left out.

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Find something you might want to read? I hope so. Want to see another set of recommendations focused on a theme? Let me know what that theme is, and if you can help with some recs for it, include them in the message.

Happy reading!

#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: It Was Always You, an M/M anthology

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What do you do when everything you’ve ever wanted was right there all along?

Join these bestselling M/M authors as they bring you tales of love, lust, and laughter… between friends.

Featuring seven brand new novellas, each answering the question—what happens when the one meant for you was right there all along?

The book will be available for a LIMITED TIME only!

All money and proceeds for this anthology will be donated to the charity One.n.Ten.

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You can grab a copy of this book from

Amazon | B&N | Kobo | iBooks

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ALL PROCEEDS will be donated to the wonderful charity onenten.org

Please help us support this special LGBTQ youth organization.

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Find more about the authors:

Cardeno C.

Ella Frank

Riley Hart

Lane Hayes

Christina Lee

Felice Stevens

N.R. Walker

#Review: Focus on Me, by @MeganErickson_

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Title: Focus on Me (In Focus #2)
Author: Megan Erickson
Rating: 4/5 stars

“A sexy new romance from the author of Trust the Focus.

Colin Hartman can now add college to his list of failures. On the coast-to-coast trek home from California, Colin stops at a gas station in the Nevada desert, and can’t help noticing the guy in tight jeans looking like he just stepped off a catwalk. When he realizes Catwalk is stranded, Colin offers a ride.

Riley only intended to take a short ride in Colin’s Jeep to the Grand Canyon. But one detour leads to another until they finally find themselves tumbling into bed together. However there are shadows in Riley’s eyes that hide a troubled past. And when those shadows threaten to bury the man whom Colin has fallen in love with, he vows to get Riley the help he needs. For once in his life, quitting isn’t an option…” (description from Goodreads)

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I haven’t read a Megan Erickson book in a while. I may have even taken too long of a break from Erickson’s writing. I say this because after finishing Focus on Me, I realize that I’ve missed her great books.

I read the first book in the In Focus series, Trust the Focus, and loved it. It was one of my first M/M romance books. Focus on Me is the follow-up and didn’t disappoint. It had much of what I enjoyed from the first book, but had an appeal all its own that set it apart.

One of the things I enjoyed the most about this book was that I didn’t know what was going to happen next. I didn’t know where the relationship between the characters was headed. I know ultimately in a romance novel things work out. But Erickson doesn’t give up the conclusion that easily. The conflict that real, it was strong, and it was emotional at many points.

Not only was the conflict raw and pulling me along, the characters had so much depth to them. It wasn’t easy to figure them out and they were growing until the very end, and probably beyond. Characters are one of Erickson’s strength and keep me coming back to her books.

A nice surprise was how she tied this book in with the first book. While they both stand alone on their own, they way they connect was a nice touch. I think I see how this one will tie in with book 3, but I’ll have to see if I’m right once I get to that part of my TBR. For now, I’ll have to wait. I just won’t wait as long. Book 4 comes out in a few months!

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Focus on Me can be found on

Amazon | B&NKoboiBooks

Trust the Focus (book 1) is available from:
Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

Out of Frame (book 3) from:
Amazon | B&N | KoboiBooks

You can pre-order Overexposed (book 4) from:
Amazon | Kobo | iBooks

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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: Their Natural Habitat, by @Silvia_Violet

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Title: Their Natural Habitat (The Forestry series #2)
Author: Silvia Violet
Rating: 5/5 stars

“Dan and Parker want a nice weekend away, but bear baiters are camping in the forest where Parker works as a ranger, putting both humans and animals at risk. Dan is worried that Parker will be harmed, angry at their lack of time together, and terrified their developing relationship can’t take the strain.

This is the sequel to Silvia’s story His True Nature.”

(description from Goodreads)

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Similar to how I felt about His True Nature, I am happy I grabbed a copy of this story.

With it being a continuation from the first story, I knew what I was getting into. What I didn’t know was that the author would grab me yet again with an even better story than the previous one.

The characters and their relationship developed even further, as it should, though uncertainty is found throughout the story. There’s also a good amount of suspense in certain sections of the story that caught me off-guard. This added more enjoyment to the reading experience. It could have been a story about a struggling relationship, but instead, it wasn’t a simple quick story between two characters.

The only issue I have with the story is that I want more of Dan and Parker. If the author were to write a third story for the series, I’d be one of the first to go out and get a copy. There may be a fitting end to this one, but there’s always room for more adventure. Maybe even a longer one so I can spend more time with them.

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You can grab this story from

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | KoboiBooks

and if you haven’t grabbed the first story, His True Nature

Amazon | SmashwordsB&N | Kobo | iBooks

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About the Author:

Silvia writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, and historical. She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.

For more: