Friday, March 23, 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: JACE'S TRIAL by JM Wolf (Trials in Abingdon #1)

Jace’s Trial 
(Trials in Abingdon Book One)

Author: JM Wolf

Publisher: Encompass Ink
Cover Artist: Rue Volley
Genre/s: May/December, Contemporary Romance, HEA, 
Length: 87K Words/230 Pages

This is Book 1 in the series, but can be read as a standalone story. No cliffhanger.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book contains content of physical and mental abuse, grieving, and bottled emotions.


Life is a trial full of obstacles that stand between you and your goals. Do you have the courage to face your own trial?

Jace Garrison was a musical prodigy at Juilliard ready to take the world by storm. Everything he could ever want out of life was unfolding right before his eyes, until everything came crashing down at once.

With his muse gone, along with everything he loved, will Jace find the courage to move on?

Former Navy SEAL Gerard Ramhart had always played by his family's rules and traditions. Until he fell in love with Riley Garrison. Unfortunately, before Gerard had the courage to propose to the man he loved, Riley's life was taken away. Gerard was left devastated, with only his memories of Riley and the pain of losing him to keep him going.

One year after Riley's death, Gerard finally makes it to Riley's hometown in Abingdon, Virginia and meets his son Jace for the very first time. Two men grieving over the loss they shared, and during their time of heartache, something blossoms. Can Gerard help Jace find the will to live the life he's meant to have? And can Jace find his muse and accept his feelings for Gerard, despite the fact that Gerard once belonged to his father?

Buy Links - Available on KU


I don’t know what possessed me to do it, but I sat up on his lap, his arms falling to his sides, but he remained motionless. I stared in awe as I began trailing my fingers up his body, from his hip bones, trailing along his defined abdominal muscles, up his pectorals feeling the tuffs of chest hair tickling the skin of my fingers. I continued from his collarbone and up his neck until my palms rested on the man’s cheeks. Gerard stirred, but never woke.

I tilted my head slightly and marveled at the man that once held my father’s heart, but now was quickly beginning to worm his way into mine. I wished I knew an artist who would be able to capture Gerard's face on paper perfectly so that I could look at it every night after his trip in Abingdon was over. I didn’t want to think of him leaving. I just wanted to revel in the stunning work of art that was Gerard Ramhart. All man, all muscle, and how I wanted him to be mine. I wasn’t afraid to admit it to myself anymore. I wanted him, so f*cking bad; but would he ever be mine? Would I ever get to feel what it was like to be his? Would I ever know what it was like to have his lips on mine?

Instinctively, my thumbs began running along his dark thickly grown beard and then to his lips. I remembered that moment when he was stepping out of the shower, and we almost shared a kiss. Almost. I never stopped thinking about it, and the desire to kiss him at that moment was making my heart practically beat out of my chest.

As if my body had a mind of its own, I began leaning down, bringing myself closer to Gerard’s face. My face was inches away from his. I could feel his breath on my skin, and his full lips were close, oh so close. My heart was thundering so loud I was worried Gerard would hear it and wake up. This may have been my only chance to kiss him, and I didn’t want it to slip by. I got closer and was about to press my lips to his when Gerard’s eyes shot open.

Oh f*ck, I was so screwed. I had no way to explain this. I pulled back some to looked into his startled eyes. I opened my mouth to try to say something, anything, but what the f*ck could I say?

“I-I…Gerard, I’m –” my words were cut off immediately when his hand cupped the back of my head, and his free arm around my waist. Gerard pulled me down to him and embraced me in a deep soulful kiss.

I was taken aback by the sudden embrace, but not enough to pull away. When the initial shock wore off, I closed my eyes and gave back as much as Gerard was giving me. And holy f*ck, was he giving me something that was literally stealing my breath away.

The kiss was not how I imagined it. I’d been kissed by many guys growing up, including Brett. I didn’t know if it would be possessive, rough and demanding like Brett’s or dull and lifeless like some of the casual flings I had to entertain my libido. I thought it would be simple but nice, like when Adam and I shared our first kiss, but it wasn’t. They all paled in comparison to the feel of Gerard’s lips on mine.

The kiss was heated, but not enough to devour me. It was filled with affection, longing, desire, wholesome. Gerard was kissing me as if he’d been waiting for centuries to do so, and now that he had me, he wanted to treasure the moment. He wanted to cherish me. I had never felt so desired by a man in all my life, and my eyes burned as if I would cry at the realization.

Was this how my father felt when he kissed Gerard? Was this how it felt to have someone kiss you like you were wanted? I couldn’t begin to comprehend how badly I wanted this moment, how much I needed it. Gerard was claiming me, and I wanted to be his.

Carra's Review

JM Wolf is a new-to-me author, and with a May/December age gap romance my interest was immediately piqued—particularly once I read the blurb and saw the fantastic cover.  I found the overall story to be a very good read and it’s one I would recommend.

Jace is young—about 21—and it does show in his attitude, actions, and words.  He’s intelligent and incredibly talented, but his naïveté and lack of experience lead to a difficult and dangerous situation at school that quickly brings him back home.  Gerard is twenty years older, and was Jace’s father’s boyfriend…but then Jace’s father is killed while serving in the military, and both Gerard and Jace experience the loss of the man closest to them—though in different ways.  They don’t meet until a year later, but once they do there’s a spark between them that cannot be suppressed.

The story almost has a sort of taboo aspect to it, with a father’s boyfriend and dead lover’s son, especially once the age gap is factored in.  The attraction is absolutely there, and it doesn’t at all feel like Gerard is projecting his feelings for Riley onto his son—you can definitely feel the difference.  I really would have liked to have seen more relationship development between Jace and Gerard.  I think the story would have benefitted from more of that since even with their attraction, the relationship didn’t feel quite complete to me.  

I enjoyed Jace’s over the top best friend Adam, and am looking forward to his story as the series continues.  There are several other supporting characters, with a few acting as surrogate parents for Jace both before and after his father’s death, giving their unconditional support and love.  

Jace’s Trial was an entertaining story, and hovered between 3.5 and 4 stars for me since the writing was a bit rough around the edges.  The author does have me interested for more stories in the series, so I’ll be keeping an eye out for the next book.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language, sexual content,  and adult situations including mentions of prior abuse.

About the Author 

JM Wolf never thought he would one day say that he's a published M/M romance author. Having a poet for a mother and a sister who once ran a blog, it was only a matter of time before JM discovered his writing genes. In the beginning, his sole purpose in life was to be a singer/songwriter. Writing lyrics was the first step putting his thoughts onto paper. Even while singing, JM always found time to dabble with writing little short stories but never thought too much about it.

Once he reached adulthood, his music dreams left him, but not the feeling for writing down what was in his mind. However, that didn't mean music no longer played a part in JM's life. His debut book The Black Feather was inspired by one of his favorite songs. Whether lyrics or love stories, you will always find JM's heart and soul in every word on paper.

JM Wolf lives in Chesapeake, VA with his husband and in-laws. When he's not writing, you can always find him reading a good book, spending time with the love of his life, or jamming out to music. He didn't pick the world of literature, the literary world picked him.


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Thursday, March 22, 2018

New Release-Review: TEN MILE BOTTOM by Teodora Kostova

Ten Mile Bottom
by Teodora Kostova


Hitting rock bottom is just the beginning...

I’m a son, a brother, a friend. 
A writer.
An addict.
Cardiac arrest isn’t enough to keep me dead, though. The doctors brought me back, but for what?

At twenty four I’ve already achieved what most people do in a life time. I’m a successful author, own a flat in the heart of London and drive my dream sports car. 
Or at least that’s what people see.
Once the spotlight fades, I’m left alone with my overactive mind, alcohol and drugs the only way to quiet down the noise.
Until an overdose nearly kills me and drags everyone I love down with me. 
With the help of my best friend, I leave London and its toxic influence behind, moving to a small town in the outskirts of Cambridge to try and put my life back together again.

If only it were that easy.

Carra's Review

Is it enough for me to say that I really loved this story?  It had the perfect balance of angst and romance with just the right touch of family drama, bringing enough emotion into the mix to grab my heart without overdoing it—something that I often see happen in this type of story (journey back from addiction).  I’m usually a strong proponent of a story being told in both main characters’ points of view to give the story more depth, and make it easy to understand each character’s emotions and motivations.  Ten Mile Bottom is told from only Finn’s point of view, but this actually works quite well as this really is his journey back from the partying, high-life guy who doesn’t take into consideration the effect his actions have on his loved ones.  Telling the story from his point of view made it easier to fully understand his emotional journey.

When we’re first introduced to Finn, I was not impressed with his lifestyle of using drinking and drugs to escape his issues.  The circumstances of his latest dance with the edge and his family’s intervention put him on a new path—one that puts Ben in his sights, and gives Finn something more to center on.  Ben has had his own issues, but has quite a different family life than Finn.  They’re slowly drawn together, and their chemistry is evident from the moment they meet.  The development of their relationship feels natural, and I love how they are supportive of each other.  Everything about them being together feels comfortable, one of those meant-to-be connections.

There’s a good cast of supporting characters, from Finn’s best friend Aiden (I can’t wait for his story!) to his neighbors (especially Rose), and all of Ben’s family.  I was not a fan of Finn’s mother and her self-centered attitude almost every moment she was on-page.  Family and friends are important to Finn moving on from his past…all of these characters did a great job of rounding out the story, and contributing exactly what was needed for Finn to come to certain realizations as he continues his journey.

It’s hard for me to say much more without putting spoilers in, so I’m just going to leave you with my 4.5-star overall rating, and tell you I’d definitely recommend this book to any M/M romance fan.  It does contain adult content including language, adult situations including drug use, and sexual content (some hot and steamy content!), so this story is meant for readers 18+.

About the Author

Hi, my name is Teodora and I live in London with my husband and my son. I've been writing ever since I can remember, but it became my full time job a few years ago when I decided that everything else I've tried bores me to death and I have to do what I've always wanted to do, but never had the guts to fully embrace. I've been a journalist, an editor, a personal assistant and an interior designer among other things, but as soon as the novelty of the new, exciting job wears off, I always go back to writing. Being twitchy, impatient, loud and hasty are not qualities that help a writer, because I have to sit alone, preferably still, and write for most of the day, but I absolutely love it. It's the only time that I'm truly at peace and the only thing I can do for more than ten minutes at a time - my son has a bigger attention span than me.

When I'm procrastinating, I like to go to the gym, cook Italian meals (and eat them), read, listen to rock music, watch indie movies and True Blood re-runs. Or, in the worst case scenario, get beaten at every Nintendo Wii game by a very inventive kid.

Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: CRAZY WOMAN CREEK by Ryan Jo Summers

Individual Book in the Craving Country Anthology

by Ryan Jo Summers

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Review & Giveaway: OUT OF THE OCEAN by Lynn Michaels

Length: 26,500 words approx.


Cal Bigsby spent his life working the fishing boats and ignoring who he really is and what he needs to be happy.

Prescott 'Scott' Vandenburton is being primed to take over Daddy's company, but he craves a life of his own. His only escape is sailing his yacht.

When a freak storm hits, both are forced to think about life from a whole new perspective.

Shipwrecked, fighting for their lives, and finding unexpected love.

Carra's Review

Out of the Ocean is a story I'm kind of on the fence in my opinion.  This is the first book I've read by this author, and I was intrigued by the synopsis since it seemed like a great premise for the story.  I'm also a big fan of age gap books, so this one of course caught my interest for that.

I did like both main characters, and they not only have the age gap but there's a gap in their class status as well.  Cal is working class, working on fishing boats his entire adult life; Scott comes from a wealthy family, and is expected to continue working in the family business--something he does not want to do (and is apparently not good at anyway).  The circumstances of them meeting of both of their boats going down in a storm, that is a bit of a stretch but I went ahead and suspended my disbelief for that one.

This story does fit solidly into the insta-love category, and I was honestly questioning where Scott's head was at thinking of and acting upon his immediate attraction instead of focusing more on the fact that they were stranded at sea.  Cal was a bit more reserved, but still gave in as well in the end.  

Of the secondary characters, Scott's parents were the ones that figured most into the story.  I wasn't a fan of his father, but I was happy to see the change in his attitude as the story got closer to the end.  And while his mother can be mistaken for cold and aloof at first, she's actually more the strong and silent type of personality.

The book goes by quickly, with much of the details just skimmed over.  For me, this was disappointing as I felt like the story could have been more rewarding with more in-depth description.  Of the details that were divulged, some didn't allow for a full picture to match what it seemed like the timeline was (for example, a character looking thinner when they've only been stranded for what I thought was a couple of days at that point).

Out of the Ocean is a quick read, and is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

Author Bio

Lynn Michaels lives and writes in Tampa, Florida where the sun is hot and the Sangria is cold. Lynn is the newest addition to Rubicon Fiction, and she loves reading and writing about hot men in love. She writes paranormal and contemporary MM Romance


March 15 - The Novel Approach

March 16 - Sexy Erotic XcitingHearts On Fire ReviewsCupcakes & Bookshelves

March 17 - Gay Book Reviews

March 19 - BookLoveXtreme Delusions

March 20 - Joyfully Jay

March 21 - Jim's Reading RoomMaking It Happen

March 22 - MM Good Book Reviews

March 23 - Diverse ReaderArchaeolibrarianDreams and Screams BookaholicsAnnette GisbyWicked Reads

March 26 - Bayou Book JunkieValerie UllmerSarandipityScattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

March 27 - Love Bytes Reviews

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Monday, March 19, 2018

Audiobook Review & Giveaway: UNDER THE BOARDWALK by Felice Stevens, narrated by Nick J. Russo

Buy Links: 

Narrated By: Nick J. Russo
Cover Design: Reese Dante
Photo: Eric McKinney @ Cover'd By 6:12
Length: 3hrs 56 minutes


Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied: All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family's frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.

Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.

It's a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.

Carra's Review

One of the main reasons I like this author’s books is the characters.  I know I can count on them to carry the story, and make me feel invested in their lives and relationships.  This does happen again here in Under the Boardwalk, with both Alexi and Cam quickly getting under my skin as I read.

The fact that they’ve both noticed each other from afar—and not just in the present time frame—comes across as sweet with a bit of longing, and when the first move is finally made it was one of those *happy sigh* moments.  The fact that this is novella length though means that things progress pretty quickly between them.  They each have issues to deal with…Alexi not having come out to his family, and Cam with his voice issues…so for me I think a longer story would have given more time to fully explore these while allowing for more relationship development.

Story length aside, there’s still plenty to get readers sweating with Cam and Alexi’s hot intimate scenes.  And there’s enough drama provided by their individual issues to cause a good amount of angst.  The different backgrounds from which Cam and Alexi come from also give the story some great contrast.

For a good, relatively quick read with a nice dose of heat to add to the sweet, Under the Boardwalk will definitely fit the bill.  For me, it’s falling somewhere between a 3.5 and 4 star rating, mostly because I felt like it could use a bit more length to really give Cam and Alexi’s relationship time to grow more.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

The narration: As I often find it does when the narration is really good, Nick J. Russo’s narration of Under the Boardwalk has me more solidly sliding this title into a 4 star rating.  He voices the characters quite well, accents and all, particularly when it came to Alexi in the more emotional and more passionate scenes.  Nick’s narration made me appreciate this story more, making repeated listens at a future date highly likely since I truly enjoyed the way he brought Cam and Alexi to life.

About Felice

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.


March 12 - Mainely Stories
March 14 - My Fiction Nook

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Pre-Order-Excerpt & Giveaway: INCONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE by Reily Garrett

The McAllister Justice Series, Book 3

by Reily Garrett