****Breaking news – you heard it here first ****

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My journey with Threebooksovertherainbow over the past 12+ months has been truly amazing. I’ve had the privilege and honour of reading so many memorable books and build solid foundations with truly gifted authors. My journey also steered in in the direction of Gareth Owens – a WIP brand new author to this genre. Our rapport was instantaneous and I remember thinking “wow, this guy has something to offer – his talent is quite remarkable”. I agreed to beta for this Southern Firecracker, who is trying to write his first published fiction book. As the months have flown by, we’ve grown close – basically he just’s cracks me up! He’s outrageous but loyal, some may even say a tad “eccentric” (which I believe they say on a regular basis in his hometown of Atlanta, Georgia), has a razor sharpe wit (which keeps me in stitches) and I truly can’t wait for the day when I can say “Gareth Owens? well, I knew him before he published that first book of his”.

So why am I telling you all this?

Threebooksovertherainbow has grown and grown and after some arm twisting on my part, I have persuaded Gareth to pitch-in and Guest Review for us! He doesn’t know it yet but I’m hoping to persuade him to let me interview him, maybe a regular diary of how his own book is coming along? and what’s it really like to be a newbie author – the good, the bad and the ugly, lol.

Watch this space for further updates but meanwhile…….

WELCOME GARETH OWENS TO OUR TEAM

PRE RELEASE REVIEW: “THE LUCKIEST MASTER” by Sean Michael

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TITLE: The Luckiest Master
AUTHOR: Sean Michael
SERIES: Iron Eagle Gym – book 3
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: L.C. Chase
GENRE: Contemporary
E-BOOK: Yes
PRICE: $ 6,99 e-book on Dreamspinner Press Store
LENGHT: 210 pages
RELEASE DATE: 22 August 2016

 

BLURB: When Master Damien Richardson (Day to his friends) takes over the front desk manager job at the Iron Eagle Gym, he knows he’s going to need an assistant. But finding the right person for the job is harder than he thought it would be. When he meets Saw, he thinks he’s found the solution to all his problems, and maybe something more.

Sawyer Whitehead lost his master to a tragic car accident some years ago, and since then one opportunity after another has gone sour on him. Thoroughly convinced he’s cursed and a jinx to everything and everyone he touches, he refuses to officially become Day’s assistant because he knows that as soon as he does, something terrible will happen. He’s even more determined not to get involved with Day, despite his attraction, because it would kill him to be responsible for tragedy befalling the lovely man.

Day must convince Saw that he’s not cursed and that together, they can face any challenge that comes their way—in both their professional and personal partnerships.

 

12833361_10205887579250242_1339245014_nThe Luckiest Master is the newest addition to the Iron Eagle Gym series, and I was really excited to read what the author came up with. What I got was an absolutely sweet, real feel-good story with bare minimum angst, lots of enjoyable sexy-time, and two lovable characters who are the perfect match for each other.

Master Day and Saw/Jude meet at the gym and form a special bond while working together. Both need something the other can provide and dealing with a few obstacles to get what they desire and deserve is no problem to these great guys. The writing is flawless as we could get used to with this author. Sean Michael is a master storyteller, and this time he takes us on an emotional, adorable and very sweet journey of Saw/Jude’s self-discovery. However, my feelings are a bit mixed. I truly enjoyed the building connection between our MCs. Their affection towards each other was very palpable, well-paced and wonderfully written. The name motive woven in the story, our young sub’s transformation, was a great idea and well built in the plotline. On the other hand, I would have liked to get to know them more. I really like both of them, but would have liked to learn more about their pasts, read more background story. I feel there’s a lot in this story I didn’t read… I wanted more… I wanted to know more about their BDSM relationship, their scenes, their fantasies… and it just proves how much I really like Master Day and his boy.

If you are looking for a few hours of light entertainment, reading about two lonesome guys finding the missing pieces of their lives in each other, do not look further. This is the perfect read for you. Great storytelling, lots of sizzling sexy-time, and the sweetest couple you can wish for. Enjoy.

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**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.****

 

REVIEW: “RELATIVE BEST” by Pat Henshaw

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TITLE: Relative best
AUTHOR: Pat Henshaw
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
GENRE: Contemporary
E-BOOK: Yes
PRICE: $ 3,99 e-book on Dreamspinner Press Store
LENGHT: 80 pages
RELEASE DATE: 17 August 2016

 

BLURB: Sometimes love sneaks up when you’re least looking for it….

Zeke Bandy, owner of Bandy’s Finest Hotel in Old Town Stone Acres, California, is too busy for love. Not only does he oversee the operations of the historic hotel and uphold his family’s tradition of offering refuge to strays and runaways, Zeke also sings and plays down-home music two nights a week at the Stonewall Saloon and for occasional celebrations. Then Zeke meets Victor Longbow, the man of his dreams.

Vic isn’t looking for love either. In fact, because of his upbringing in a strict, white foster family, Vic’s not sure he believes in love. He’s in Stone Acres to open a branch office of a national brokerage firm. He’s also hoping to find a vintage photo of what might be his Native American ancestor. 

After their paths cross, they become friends, then more. Connected by their experiences as orphans raised by flawed fathers, Zeke and Vic realize that some men must find love, hone it, and create families for themselves.

 

12833361_10205887579250242_1339245014_nRelative Best was like fresh air for me. This story is a real gem with a unique writing style and two intriguing, lovable MCs. This book is part of the Foothills Pride Stories, but can absolutely be understood and enjoyed as a standalone. If you have read the previous books, you’re gonna meet familiar faces from those stories, if not, like me, you’re going to have the chance to meet a whole set of unique characters. There’s no problem figuring out who is who, and there’s enough background story to follow the plotline without having read the previous stories.

Writing a good short story is never an easy task. Making it great is even more difficult. Pat Henshaw does exactly that, getting your attention right at the beginning, keeping your curiosity intrigued, and giving you a heartwarming, fulfilling plot with lots of emotions and true feelings. I fell in love with Zeke Bandy right on the first page. I knew he was a character for me, someone I really want to get to know. He has heart, he has a story I wanted to know, a personality I wanted to know more about. There’s a lot in this book that will make you think, make you evaluate what’s important in our lives. I enjoy the chemistry between the MCs and love how the tension is present without the actual sexy-time being written, putting the focus on their real connection beyond the physical.

The story is perfectly built, with flawless writing, great timing and lots of feeling. I enjoyed every page of it. Highly recommended!


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**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.****

 

REVIEW: “RISKING THE WILD PLACES” by Shannon West

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TITLE: Risking the Wild Places
AUTHOR: Shannon West
SERIES: Mate of the Tyger Prince – book 3
PUBLISHER: Dark Hollows Press, LLC
GENRE: Paranormal
E-BOOK: Yes
PRICE: $ 4.99 e-book on Amazon
LENGHT:  226pages
RELEASE DATE: 15th August 2016

 

BLURB: Former Lycan general, Renard Dmitru, is the newly appointed Head of Law Enforcement on Lycanus, trying his best to clean up an illegal love slave operation on one of his planet’s moons. He has set up a sting operation to capture the slavers and put them all in jail for a very long time. But now that the long war between the Axis and the Alliance has ended, Prince Anarr of Tygeria has time on his hands and nothing much to do except train for battles that may never come. He dreams of adventure and longs to leave his boring life behind.  When he gets the chance to go on a rescue mission, he jumps at it, and lands in hot water when he’s mistakenly arrested for illegal slavery.

As General Dmitru fights an overwhelming attraction to the young prince, he accidentally compromises the innocent, sheltered young royal and soon discovers he has to make things right with the young man’s father, King Davos of Tygeria. Not to mention placating his furious mate, the royal consort Blake. Add in a gloomy, decaying settlement on a deserted moon, creepy, dark subterranean passages, ghostly apparitions, heroes, romance, and even a damsel in distress, and it’s a recipe for the most rousing adventure of the series yet!

 

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Shannon West was on top of her game for this one, my own inner tiger was roaring in delight and well sated, it was that tasty that I devoured it in one sitting, the whole book worked for me on so many levels, I lost count.

The war is over, the Axis Army claimed victory over the Alliance which is something Lycan General Renard Dmitru, finds hard to swallow, the Tygerian’s will always be a thorn in his side, he really resents them, nearly as much as his family’s “mating” curse.  Of course, him being adopted by Nickolai Ballenescu and Prince Jagger means that the curse is not relevant to him as he is not of their direct blood line, so when he meets a Tygerian trying to buy a young child for nefarious reasons at an illegal auction, it’s just lust that hits him, nothing else, which will be easy to dismiss as he’s not only the enemy but a scum criminal as well!

Prince Anarr of Tygeria has spent his life so far, training for battle but the war is over and he feels lost without a cause, when an opportunity arises for him to save a young boy being sold at an illegal auction, he jumps at the chance.  He can prove to his father, King Davros that he is worthy of being a Crown Prince, what could possibly go wrong?

Well everything.  The no-nonsense Renard finds that he is not as immuned  to the curse as he first thought and Prince Anarr, of the dominant Tygerian race finds that though he has a strong and dominant personality, giving up control in the bedroom is easier than he thought but getting Renard to have not only his child but becoming his Omak as well?…. might not be as easy.

Meanwhile, the Royal Consort Blake is so distraught and can’t think properly when he believes one of his beloved children is missing but even when totally flustered, Blake with his razor sharpe mind, never misses an opportunity where his children are concerned, his pounces would make any tiger proud and pounce he did, poor Renard never stood a chance.  A little indiscretion between Renard and Anarr gives Blake the perfect opportunity for a Royal Wedding and the “Queen of Queens” (I love Blake) played his trump card and Renard and Anarr get married.

With Renard spending all his time resisting the mating bond, he, unlike Ms West, was not on top of his game and that allows a saboteur to strike with far reaching consequences and I gotta say, I certainly didn’t see that one coming – that was one hell of a shock (but great reading).

As you’ve most probably gathered by now, I loved it.  Not only did the author keep me on my toes, she presented a wonderful and enthralling storyline and with those sensuous, salacious, sexy sex scenes that were just dream worthy, I was in seventh heaven.  Though the third book of the series, this can be read very successfully as a stand alone, highly recommended.

5 “I risked it and loved it” stars from me.

 

 

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****I would like to thank the Author for the opportunity and privilege of reading this ARC. My review was an honest opinion of the book****

 

REVIEW: “DARE TO RISK” by Kara Nash & Caitlin Ricci

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TITLE: Dare to risk
AUTHOR: Kara Nash & Caitlin Ricci
SERIES: Dare – book 1
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
COVER ARTIST: Anna Sikorska
GENRE: Contemporary
E-BOOK: Yes
PRICE: $ 6,99 e-book on Dreamspinner Press Store
LENGHT: 256 pages
RELEASE DATE: 29 July 2016

 

BLURB: For successful businessman Bran Wilson, selling the large Montana dairy farm that has been in his family for generations is an easy decision. He hates the farm, the land, even the cows, and wants nothing to do with any of it. But there’s a glitch in his plan: a stubborn cowboy from New Zealand who is as sexy as he is aggravating.

Kaden Barker loves the Wilson farm, and respected Bran’s grandfather up until the day he died. With his two best friends, he’s taken over working the farm and caring for the cows, and he’d happily spend the rest of his days doing it.

When Bran charges into his life, telling him he’s selling the farm and there’s nothing Kaden, or his friends, can do about it, the animosity between them is instant. But so is the attraction, and only one extreme can win out.

 

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 This is the first story in the Dare series and it proves to be an exciting, emotional roller coaster with a great set of unique characters. Beside our two main characters here, we also get to meet four other guys who are likely to be the main couples in the upcoming books. The series is written by an author duo, and although Kara Nash is a new writer to me, I like Caitlin Ricci and enjoyed her stories very much in the past. I was really excited to see what they came up with together.

What we get is a complex, and emotional love story between two completely different guys. Building on the enemies-to-lovers motive, we get to see how Bran and Kaden are working out their differences, how they get to know each other, mostly with the help of a fun drinking game, and how they learn to accept their strong attraction and the potential of a happy future together, despite the circumstances.

The writing is solid, and I really enjoyed the first half of the book, as it was well built with just enough tension, lots of vivid and lifelike descriptions, and great chemistry between our MCs. I truly enjoyed getting to know what life on a dairy farm is like, and how our guys get along with their different backgrounds.

However, the scene became a bit crowded for me in the second half. I felt I didn’t have enough focus on our main characters, and the more didn’t mean better. With so many characters being present I feel I couldn’t get to know Bran and Kaden as much as I wanted to. There was too much going on to my liking, and the plot lost the depth it started out with. That being said I should say I really enjoyed reading the story. It was fun and entertaining and I cannot wait to read the next stories in the series.

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**** The ARC was provided by Dreamspinner Press in exchange of an honest review.****

 

REVIEW: “ACED” by Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine

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TITLE: Aced
AUTHOR: Ella Frank & Brooke Blaine
PUBLISHER: Ella Frank, LLC & Brooke Blaine
COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer
GENRE: Contemporary
E-BOOK: Yes
PRICE: $ 4.99 e-book on Amazon
LENGHT: 372 pages
RELEASE DATE: 10th July 2016

 

BLURB:  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.

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?

*Although Aced is a spin-off of Ella and Brooke’s series, prior reading of those novels is not required.*

 

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Ok, I really enjoyed this book and already counting the days for the next book as this ended in a cliffhanger and I can’t wait to find out what Aced will do?
Though this is a new series, we get to see our beloved MCs from the Temptation e Sunset Series in cameo roles, we see Logan who is Aced’s attorney and Derek/Jordan, as Dylan (Aced’s love interest) is Derek’s ex-roommate.
The story flows so easily. Aced is a film star, he is out but he doesn’t have a relationship because he know that if he did have one, the press and paparazzi would hound them unmercifully, but he does have a crush on a Calvin Kline billboard model….
On the first day of filming for his latest movie, he discovers that Dylan, his crush, is one of the cast members.
Their attraction is immediate for both of them, Dylan is already a big fan of Aced.
Now what I really liked about this storyline was the way that they slowly started a secret relationship, Aced doesn’t want to expose Dylan to the vultures of the paparazzi.
I loved Dylan, even though he had a complicated past, he was so easy going.   He was adopted as a teenager by Hippie parents and I have to say that the dialogue between Dylan and his parents was absolutely hilarious!
Now we didn’t get to the bottom of their full story, but was treated to some funny calls and Skype sessions, so I’m really hoping to find out more in Book 2?
I feel that I must mention a particular scene in the latter part of the book, it reminded me strongly of Stanley Kubrick’s movie “Eyes Wide Shut” but this was better and to say it was scorching hot is the understatement of the century! Read it and let me know your thoughts…
Now I thought the author did a very good job with the storyline but I went in expecting it to be a stand alone and therefore was surprised it ended in a cliffhanger, but of course, now I’m aching for more…..
I’ve heard rumours though it won’t be a long wait as they are saying that the next book will be out in August, I do hope so.

 

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REVIEW: “ANTHONY” by J.P. Barnaby

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TITLE: Anthony
AUTHOR: J.P. Barnaby
SERIES: A survivor story- book 4
COVER ARTIST: AngstyG
PUBLISHER: Dreampsinner Press
GENRE:  Contemporary
E-BOOK: yes
PRICE: $ 6,99 e-book on Dreamspinner store
LENGTH: 200 pages
RELEASE DATE: 27th June 2016

 

BLURB: Aaron Downing worshiped his mother. She saved his life. She did everything for him. But Anthony Downing has a different perspective. He sees the woman who tossed him into a basement for eight long years and forgot he existed. When Anthony decides he’s done being invisible, he packs up and heads for Detroit to stay with his Internet friend Jay, but fate intervenes.

Brendan Mears lost everything the day the man with a gun came into his father’s store. Now, he’s tethered to a business he can’t manage and a brother who resents him.

Different in all the ways that matter, Anthony and Brendan struggle to overcome their psychological obstacles, until a crushing betrayal sends them running for cover and each other.

 

 

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JP Barnaby writes some powerful emotional stories and Survivor Series is one of them.

In the previous books we see how a tragic accident ruined Aaron life and how he fought tooth and nail to regain back his life. But tragic events doesn’t only hit the victim, it hits all the people that are around and this is the storyline of the book.
We see how Anthony, Aaron’s little brother, life has changed since Aaron was assaulted, raped and almost killed.
For years his parents have had to help Aaron and in the process, neglecting the other 2 younger sons, Anthony and Allen.
The situation becomes more difficult when Allen leave for college. Anthony feel alone, neglected and he is bullied at school for being gay.
At almost eighteen Anthony, he has now reached breaking point. He thoughtlessly runs away from home to visit a online friend in Detroit.
Fortunately his car breaks down and he never reaches the appointment (later in the book we discover what danger he could have been in).
He meets liquor store owner, Patrick, this turns out to be his salvation. Patrick not only gives Anthony a place to live but also a job to earn the money he needs to repair his car.
Patrick’s life has not been easy either, his younger brother, Bren, was shot in his store some years previously and their father was killed. This traumatic experience has left Bren unable to leave his house or run the shop, so Patrick has sacrificed everything for him.
Anthony and Patrick are two brothers who have had to face difficulties in a similar situations.
Anthony can understand Patrick feelings but at the same time, understands Bren’s trauma. They slowly became friends and then something more.
What surprised me was the understanding Anthony showed Bren, I expected resentment but it just shows what a wonderful character he is.
Though it doesn’t happen out of the blue, slowly both Anthony and Bren begin to heal. It is a long process but they start to rebuild their lives.
I really liked the book, my only wish would have been to have had it a bit longer, I wanted to see Bren start living his life again, so we are left with our imagination as to what a wonderful life it will be.

If this Series has slipped through your fingers, I urge you to read it, it’s a must read! I also strongly suggest that to get full pleasure, start with book 1 and make your way through.
It’s a powerful, painful and an emotional journey, one which I’m glad to have journeyed.

 

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REVIEW: “NOT A GAME” by Cardeno C.

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TITLE: Not a game
AUTHOR: Cardeno C.
PUBLISHER: The Romance Authors
COVER ART: A.J. Corza
GENRE: Contemporary Romance
E-BOOK:yes
PRICE: $ 4.99 e-book on Amazon
LENGTH: 220 pages
RELEASE DATE: 15th July 2016

 

BLURB:  An accidental meeting and a misunderstanding lead to a life-altering connection.

A new job, a new city, and hopefully a new life. When chubby gamer Oliver Barnaby receives a job offer from the best boutique game developer in the country, he leaves his family and his less than spectacular existence in Oklahoma without a second’s hesitation. Determined to change more than his career and his geography, Oliver implements a plan to finally land a boyfriend. Step one is improving his skills in the bedroom.

A life that looks perfect on paper, but feels empty in reality. Attractive, successful, charismatic Jaime Snow has a life other people envy. His already booming business is growing. He isn’t lacking in friends. And he has no trouble finding a date. But there’s an emptiness in Jaime’s heart and a hole in his life that only the right man can fill.

An accidental meeting, a misunderstanding, and falling in love. When Oliver and Jaime end up at the same bar at the same time, they each see something they want in the other. Going to bed together that first night is easy. Building the lifetime relationship they both desperately crave will require trust, time, and a little misunderstanding.  

 

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How does this author do it? delivery of winners after winners, after winners every time and this book adding another trophy to that already sizeable collection!

At 1% I knew I was going to be entertained, at 5% I had tears of laughter streaming down my face and at the end? I was in love with the two most perfect men.  And Oliver, the 6’2”, 28 year old, chubby nerd (who was forced to attend Social Etiquette Classes at school) is perfect, not only for me but for Jaime, the charismatic man he falls in love with.

Their love affair all started on a misunderstanding – Oliver believes that Jaime is his hired “teach me about sex” Escort for the night. I’ve already mentioned the Social Etiquette Classes and with Oliver’s very amusing introduction of “It’s not about eating the meal, it’s about learning to fish”, I’m sure from this statement alone (and there are plenty more scattered throughout the book) that you can judge for yourselves if the Classes paid off?  However, I have to say, boy-oh-boy did they go fishing!!

Because of Oliver’s low self-esteem and general shyness, Jaime knows that he has to tread carefully, he knows instantly that the man before him is something special and that if he reveals that he is not the man Oliver thinks he is, he will be straight out that door and Jaime will never see him again, so he plays along, hoping to ensnare Oliver in his own fishing net whilst teaching the inexperienced Oliver about his “learning to fish” experiment. No more spoilers from me, you will have to read this delightful, engaging book yourselves to see why it gained another award winning trophy from me.

I loved everything about the book, these two amazing men and their friends, the low angst, the way Oliver bloomed under Jaime’s tutorial and the acceptance of everything when the truth finally comes out.

Highly, highly recommended.

5 big fat “what a wonderful game” stars from me

 

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***I would like to thank the author for the privilege and opportunity of reviewing this ARC. My review was an honest opinion of the book***

REVIEW: “FAST CONNECTION” by Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell

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TITLE: Fast Connection
AUTHOR: Megan Erickson & Santino Hassell
SERIES: Cyberlove – book 2
PUBLISHER: Megtino Press
COVER ARTIST: Natasha Snow
GENRE:  Contemporary
E-BOOK: yes
PRICE: $ 4.99 e-book on Amazon
LENGTH: 260 pages
RELEASE DATE: 11st July 2016

 

BLURB: After a decade of serving in the Army, everyone still expects me to be Dominic ‘Nicky’ Costigan–the skirt-chasing player. They don’t know I’ve been spending my days trying to figure out my post-military life. Including how to pick up guys.

When I meet Luke on a hookup app, he makes it clear it’s for one-night only. That’s fine with me, because I’m down to see what this silver fox can do. But after I arrive at his doorstep, it doesn’t take long to realize we have serious chemistry, and we end up meeting again.

He’s got more walls around his heart than a military base, but I think he’s as addicted to me as I am to him. He can’t resist me for long. I mean, who can? Except Luke’s rules exist for a reason, and when I test his limits, things get complicated. Maybe too complicated. 

 

 

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What can I say… Cyberlove is the best series ever written. No, I’m not exaggerating… and yes, I am biased. I fell in love with this writer duo when I was reading Strong Signal and while I couldn’t wait to read this second book, I never in my wildest dreams thought they would possible top that. But they did. They gave me a story I couldn’t stop reading, and couldn’t stop thinking about since I finished (I am rereading it at the moment). There are tons of good books out there, lots of great ones, and there are the truly exceptional ones. For me the Cyberlove stories belong to that category.

If you have read Strong Signal and didn’t like it, well… I can’t say anything to you, except read it again… If loved it, you know what to expect and you get more. Not only do we meet Costigan (from book one), portrayed in a different light, and Luke, as our couple, we also get scenes with Garrett and Kai. If you are new to this series, I strongly recommend you to read both books, just because they are amazing. However, Fast Connection totally works as a standalone as well.

What I love most about these stories are the unforgettable characters. They are unique, and amazingly well portrayed. The chemistry between our MCs is indescribably hot, with lots of sizzling and sensual sexy-time. The plotline is gripping, and we get the two-parts feeling again. Just as in the first book, the first half of the story is about our new couple, how they work their way from meeting (on Grindr) to becoming important parts in each other’s lives. The second part shows how life can mess with our relationships, describing the complexity of family dynamics and its effects to our actions and reactions.

Another essential part of the series, and this is what makes these two authors so unique in my book, is their writing style. The way they are able to switch from something great to heartwarming, mind-blowing pleasure with the use of a few words or phrase at the right place at the right time, creating an unforgettable reading experience. Highly recommended!

FIVE BIG CYBER STARS

 

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RELEASE DAY BLITZ: “ALL NOTE LONG” by Annabeth Albert

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Title: ALL NOTE LONG

Author: Annabeth Albert

Series Title and Number: Perfect Harmony, Book 3, but stands alone well too

Publisher: Kensington

Cover Artist: Cora Graphics/Kensington

Release Date: August 2, 2016

Heat Level: 4 (explicit m/m sex, but lots and lots of plot too!)

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: aprox. 80,000 words/ 232 pages

Genre/Tags: Romance, M/M Romance, contemporary romance, multi-cultural

Add To Goodreads

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Synopsis

Giving true love a spin . . .

Michelin Moses is a country music star on the rise. With a hit single under his Texas-sized belt buckle and a sold-out concert tour underway, his childhood dreams of making it big are finally coming true. But there’s one thing missing—a promise to his dying mother that he’d find it—him—when the time was right. With a little luck, he won’t have to wait too long . . .

Lucky Ramirez is a hunky boy toy who dances at The Broom Closet, one of West Hollywood’s hottest gay bars. He loves what he does, and he’s good at it—almost as good as he is at playing dumb when he spots Michelin Moses at the bar. What happens next is off the charts—and keeps Michelin coming back for more. He’s just not sure it’s the right move for his career. But if Lucky gets his way, Michelin will get Lucky—and no matter how the media spins it, neither of them will be faking it . . .

Excerpt

Michelin Moses had no business at a gay bar, especially not one as notorious as West Hollywood’s The Broom Closet. And the line to get in totally underscored that—the vestibule was a long, narrow tunnel filled with kids out to enjoy their Friday night. Babies, really. Fresh-faced young things who probably didn’t even need to shave jostled one another in the tight space, laughing and joking as they admired one another’s club wear and gossiped about who was fucking who.

Not that Michelin was listening in, but the space was so tiny it was hard not to. He didn’t have club wear to ogle. He had “please for the love of God don’t notice me” clothes. And the idea of openly pointing to another dude in line and announcing to one’s friends, “Oh yeah, I hit that last weekend” was so totally foreign that he couldn’t help but gape a bit. The plexiglass walls of the tunnel gave off weird shadows—neither the lights outside the club nor the dim track lighting along the bottom edge of the tunnel were enough illumination.

He tugged at the collar of his Henley shirt. Damn, it was hot in here. Too small. Too tight. Not enough air. Shut up. He was not claustrophobic. If this line ever moved, he’d feel better once he was inside the Closet.

If that’s not a metaphor for your whole damn life…

“ID please.” Finally, the line reached the bouncers who were taking ID. Michelin couldn’t even remember the last time he’d had to stand around like this, show ID. At least unlike these nineteen-year-olds with their fake identification, Michelin’s Oregon driver’s license was likely to hold up. The bouncer was a huge guy—so tall and jacked that Michelin felt for the tiny stool that held him up—with surprisingly small, delicate hands.

He held the card aloft before finally handing it back and nodding. “Okay, cowboy. Enjoy your night.”

At least he hadn’t laughed outright at the name. That was something. Shoving his license back in his wallet, he stumbled a bit coming out of the tunnel.

“Watch it,” someone barked behind him.

“Sorry,” Michelin mumbled. Hell, he couldn’t even successfully enter the Closet. A nervous laugh bubbled up in his throat, something he stamped right back down. Forget the stupid bar, coming out of his personal closet was out of the question, and he didn’t need the crowd jostling behind him to remind him of that.

“This your first time here?” a kid to the left of him asked—short little guy with far more bravado than brains. Michelin made a noncommittal response but the kid grabbed his sleeve, his eyes going soft and hooded. “How about you be my daddy for the night? We can make sure it’s your lucky night.” The kid winked.

Ugh. Getting lucky wasn’t even remotely in the cards for his night.

“No thanks.” He pulled away from the kid, scanning the cavernous space for signs of the private party room his friends had promised. And oh holy hell, knowing in the abstract that this place had go-go dancers was a far cry from actually seeing said dancers dispersed through the place on platforms and in cages and even on something resembling a trapeze. Gleaming bronze skin and tiny shorts everywhere he looked.

Fuck the private room. I need a soda. Something to relieve his suddenly parched throat. He turned toward the main bar area and ran smack into one of the elevated dancers’ platforms. Two platforms flanked the opening of the club, directing the stream of traffic toward the bar, sort of like how a different sort of place might have large statues. Only instead of works of stone or ice, this…piece of art in front of Michelin was all man.

And what a specimen he was. The dancer probably wasn’t much older than the kids waiting to get into the club, but there was nothing juvenile about his tall, ripped body or that juicy bubble butt that he worked to perfection the way Michelin’s guitar player did a solo—each muscle working in concert with the others, each wiggle carefully choreographed for maximum appeal. Said butt was encased in a pair of shorts. Or at least Michelin guessed that one would call them shorts—they were longer than underwear, but not by much, and made of a clingy, silky red material. The stitching did things to the guy’s package that shouldn’t be legal.

Those muscular legs and that smooth, oiled chest also needed outlawing. The dancer had completed his look with thick, chunky combat boots, sunglasses, and a necklace with a medal on it. The boots and glasses upped the hotness factor to supernova, giving him an untouchable appeal that made it no surprise that he had a fair-sized crowd around his platform. Right as Michelin completed his muscle-by-muscle catalog of the guy, the dancer’s glasses slipped, revealing chocolaty eyes. His eyebrows went up, and the message he sent Michelin was unmistakable: You gonna stay there all night?

Oh fuck. Michelin was blocking the line of traffic, and more important, blocking access to the platform for the patrons who wanted to slip tips in the guy’s waistband.

Should he? He shoved a hand in his pocket, considering. Did he dare risk touching a piece of that gleaming skin? The lights reflecting off the dancer’s body totally made Michelin think of caramel dripping off flan—rich golden tones only enhanced by the contrast of the shiny black combat boots and his closely cropped black hair.

What the fuck was the protocol in a situation like this? Hi, I’m sorry I’ve been eye-fucking you for the last ten minutes, here’s a five? He’d never been to a straight strip club either. Hell, he avoided most bars like the plague. And eye-fucking? He never ogled—and not just because it could be disastrous to his career. Most of the time he simply felt oblivious, but something about the dancer perked up parts of Michelin that usually stayed dormant. Two people shoved around him to stuff money in the dancer’s shorts, their arms trapping Michelin briefly in place. Coming here had been a giant mistake, just as Gloria had warned him.

“You can’t go to that party! Gossip is already high about you mentoring two gay groups—”

“They’re not gay groups. They just happen to have gay members,” Michelin said wearily, already tired of this latest publicist the label had shoved at him.

“Whatever.” Gloria flipped her bony wrist. “They’re a risk you can’t take right now.”

“It’s no big deal. There will be straight people at the party.” Michelin didn’t bother with the “other straight people” pretext. Gloria knew the drill. “There’s no risk in celebrating a friend’s birthday.”

Except now, looking at the dancer, Michelin knew how wrong he’d been. This place was risk personified, and that dancer was the embodiment of everything Michelin denied himself. The dancer was a triple pour of top-shelf whiskey and Michelin couldn’t stop thinking about the heady rush touching him would bring. He should turn around now. Get back to his car now before he really embarrassed himself—

“Mi—boss! There you are!”

Oh thank you, small mercies, that Lucas stopped himself before he said Michelin’s name. Still, Michelin turned toward him warily. Play it cool, he tried to tell Lucas with his eyes.

Lucas nodded, just slightly. Message received. Like everyone else in the club, Lucas was in his early twenties and about a decade younger than Michelin, but at least he was one of Michelin’s favorite kids, especially because he was here to lead Michelin away from the temptation that was the dancer with the sculpture-worthy ass.

“The party room is back this way.” Lucas motioned with his hand. “Follow me.”

“Babe!” A familiar rangy figure with a punk haircut draped himself over Lucas. “You found him.” Cody had a smile for Michelin, but his affection was all for his boyfriend.

Ordinarily, Michelin loved being around the two of them and the other guys he mentored. Their energy was infectious, and their passion for music renewed his own. But tonight, Michelin’s stomach cramped as he followed the two of them to the rear of the club. Happiness practically rolled off them and their movements were totally in sync with each other. Once Michelin had thought he might get to know what that was like, but those days were long past.

“Don’t even think about doing anything now. You’ve got too much riding on this year. Don’t be foolish. You’ve got the number one country song in America right now. Don’t mess with your momentum.” Gloria’s voice rang in his ears. Nope. No way was Michelin ever getting what his friends shared. No sense in pining for it either. He had a career he loved, friends who made him laugh, and family at his back. He’d known what the trade-offs were when he decided to trade his rock stardom for country crossover success.

Tonight’s strange melancholy mood had him aching to get back home, push all these feelings into working on a new song. With any luck, Michelin could say happy birthday to Jalen, make a round of greetings to the other musicians he was mentoring, and get the hell out of Dodge. Preferably without running into the dancer again. He didn’t need another reminder of how little he fit into this world—or how much he wished life were a bit different.

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All Note Long Square

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Represented by Saritza Hernandez of the Corvisiero Literary Agency

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