Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Book Tour for Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield (Review & GIVEAWAY)


When I think of some of he best writers in the m/m genre I automatically think of Z.A. Maxfield with her engaging reads and complex characterizations.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of the just-released and emotionally intense Home the Hard Way by Z.A. Maxfield, along with my impressions of it.  Make sure to leave a comment below for the chance to win a book from Ms. Maxfield's backlist and then fill out the form below for the chance to win a Riptide Publishing GC too!

Hello and thanks to Words of Wisdom from the Scarf Princess for letting me be here today!
I’m Z.A. Maxfield, coming at you from lovely sunny southern California where I’m blogging about my latest release, Home The Hard Way.
Dare Buckley has come home—or at least, he’s come back to Palladian, the small town he left as a teenager. After a major lapse in judgment forced him to resign from the Seattle PD, Palladian is the only place that’ll hire him. There’s one benefit to hitting rock bottom, though: the chance to investigate the mystery of his father’s suicide.
Dare also gets to reacquaint himself with Finn Fowler, whose childhood hero worship ended in uncomfortable silence when Dare moved away. But Finn isn’t the same little kid Dare once protected. He’s grown into an attractive, enigmatic stranger who neither wants nor needs what Dare has to offer.
In fact, Dare soon realizes that Finn’s keeping secrets—his own and the town’s. And he doesn’t seem to care that Dare needs answers. The atmosphere in Palladian, like its namesake river, appears placid, but dark currents churn underneath. When danger closes in, Dare must pit his ingenuity against his heart, and find his way home the hard way.
Read more about Home The Hard Way HERE.
MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

As a fan of the m/m genre there's a number of authors I can count on for an entertaining and emotionally engaging read.  Z.A. Maxfield is one of those authors and her latest book nicely blends suspense and a sweet and sexy romance between two men who've been in each other's hearts and minds since they were young but who never fully embraced those feelings.  This is a tale of reunited friends with a lot of baggage between them and a secret that could destroy their burgeoning relationship before it starts and it kept me engaged from start to finish.

Finn had a difficult time growing up as he was ostracized for his differently colored eyes and a mother who enjoyed men whether they were single or married.  One boy in particular, Bill Fraser, took great pleasure in hurting him both mentally and physically.  From the day Dare rescued him from Bill a strong connection was forged and he felt like Dare was the other part of his soul and there was finally someone to accept him wholeheartedly.  That sense of security came crashing down the day Dare's dad died and his mother took them away,  excising Finn from his life with no reason.  He was left to defend himself and I felt great pride in him finding his strength and surviving some pretty brutal bullying.  He's always been a sweet-natured man who wears his heart on his sleeve.  He's extremely loyal to his Aunt Lyddie who's dying from cancer and who he gave up a career and life far away from the bullying of Paladian to care for in her final days.  He's made a place for himself and is well-liked by all.  There's a bit of mystery hiding behind his eyes as seen by the secret he's been keeping regarding the truth about Dare's father.  He also may appear to be quiet and gentle but in the bedroom he enjoys being in control.  The introduction of his lifestyle was somewhat surprising but made sense as one gets tired of being bullied and longs to be the one in charge.  I felt though that it diminished his and Dare's relationship as it made their connection more about sex rather than love as Dare never seemed inclined to the lifestyle but did it for Finn.  Even with that facet of his life being revealed I was still drawn to him and the intriguing duality of his character.

Dare was drawn to Finn from the moment he saw him and was fascinated by his eyes.  He felt powerful the moment Finn looked at him with admiration for saving him and this hero worship was the basis for their burgeoning relationship.  After the tragedy of his father's death he left Palladian and never looked back leaving the boy who was everything to him behind.  Seeing so much death and tragedy as a cop, and without the emotional support Finn unknowingly gave him, left him a broken man who became an alcoholic which cost him his job.  Coming home in disgrace left a bad taste in his mouth but he's happy to finally reconnect with Finn.  He's caught off guard by the changes Finn's gone through, and while he misses the boy who needed him, he's drawn to the sexy and caring man he's found.  He knows quite quickly that he loves and wants Finn but Finn fights it every step of the way as he just wants a relationship of sex as anything deeper leads to emotional hurts.  This battle of wills took up most of the story and often left me frustrated.  I adored Dare though and the issues surrounding his return were heartbreaking and surprising.

There's a lyrical feeling to Ms. Maxfield's writing.  She draws you into this small town through its colorful denizens who aren't always what/who they seem.  Bill Fraser is depicted as cruel but his past blew me away and had me seeing him in a more sympathetic light.  Aunt Lyddie is delightful!  She deals with her cancer bravely and the scenes of her smoking marijuana were hillarious and made me love her even more.  The mystery surrounding Dare's father and other recent deaths was well-paced and kept me guessing to the end as the past is tied in with the present.  From start to finish I was fully engrossed in this small town and its compelling characters.  The romance was engaging but also frustrating and at the conclusion I still wasn't sure that Dare and Finn would have a HEA as it felt more like a HFN.  Ms. Maxfield is a true talent and those who enjoy the m/m genre definitely need to read her books.  This was a very satisfying read and I truly hope we return to Palladian one day as I feel there are more stories left to tell.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from NetGalley for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

About the Author – Z. A. Maxfield started writing in 2007 on a dare from her children and never looked back.  Pathologically disorganized, and perennially optimistic, she writes as much as she can, reads as much as she dares, and enjoys her time with family and friends. Three things reverberate throughout all her stories: Unconditional love, redemption, and the belief that miracles happen when we least expect them.
If anyone asks her how a wife and mother of four can find time for a writing career, she’ll answer, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you give up housework.”
Readers can visit ZAM at her websiteFacebookTwitter, or Tumblr.
**********GIVEAWAY**********

I’m doing a giveaway and there are a couple different ways to win! At each tour stop, one lucky winner will get to choose any book from my backlist, so if you’re new to Z.A.Maxfield, this is a great way to find out if you want to dive in! At the end of the tour, I’ll be giving away a Riptide gift certificate, so you’re going to want to follow along the whole blog tour HERE for your best chance at a prize!  There’s two ways to win today! Comment below (WITH YOUR EMAIL ADDY) for a chance to win an ebook from my backlist AND you can also…

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Book Release Blast for Captured Rapture by Lexxie Couper

Fans of dragon shifters will be up early this morning as the third installment in the sexy shifter Mercy series is unleashed on the world!  Keep reading to get a tantalizing taste of Captured Rapture by Lexxie Couper and then add it to your bookshelf......

Galactic Union Enforcer Raina Mynn never knew what hit her. One minute she’s busting bad guys across the galaxy with the help of her scary and scarily reliable partner Fraz, the next she’s being attacked by an insane man who thinks he’s part of an extinct species. Attacked in the best way, mind you. Attacked by his hands and mouth and more southerly body parts.Torr is as fascinating as he is infuriating. He won’t stop until Raina is mated…sated…
Captured.
But her gorgeous hunk of nutjob isn’t what he appears to be. And much to her surprise—neither is Raina.

EXCERPT:

I never knew what hit me. One moment I’m skimming over the surface of Mercy’s beta moon, its dull red ground a blurred carpet below me, its dry, cold air filling my lungs…
The next I’m flat on my back, wrists pinned to the powdery grit, legs spread, with a man roughly six-foot-seven pressing down on me. A cock that felt like a Tallaxion viper—y’know the really big, thick ones they find in the Furthest Jungles—rammed at the junction of my thighs, shoving at the lips of my sex with a brutal force that should have pissed me off but instead made my pulse leap and my mouth turn dry.
I stared up at whoever the fuck held me down, glaring into eyes the color of an angry Earth sky. A lone female on a jet cycle probably looked like an easy target, but for fuck’s sake, I wore the uniform of a Galactic Union Enforcer. What type of idiot, no matter how desperate to claim a woman, jumped a cop? Especially one flying across a moon at almost twice the safe propulsion speed with an Aglaian disruptor on her right hip?
“This kind,” the hulking man who felt like granite murmured, jerking my wrists above my head. He locked them in one large fist and yanked my disruptor from its thigh harness before I could blink.
Or digest the fact he’d answered a question I hadn’t asked aloud.

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  ELLORA'S CAVE

PREVIOUS BOOKS IN THE MERCY SERIES:
Highest Bidder (Book 1):  AMAZON  |  BN

Deadly Pleasure (Book 2):  AMAZON  |  BN

AUTHOR INFO:

Lexxie Couper started writing when she was six and hasn’t stopped since. She’s not a deviant, but she does have a deviant’s imagination and a desire to entertain readers with her words. Add the two together and you get erotic romances that can make you laugh, cry, shake with fear or tremble with desire. Sometimes all at once.
When she’s not submerged in the worlds she creates, Lexxie’s life revolves around her family, a husband who thinks she’s insane, an indoor cat who likes to stalk shadows, and her daughters, who both utterly captured her heart and changed her life forever.
Having no idea how old she really is, Lexxie decided to go with 27 and has been that age for quite some time now. It’s the best of both worlds – old enough to act mature, young enough to be silly.
Lexxie lives by two simple rules – measure your success not by how much money you have, but by how often you laugh, and always try everything at least once. As a consequence, she’s laughed her way through many an eyebrow raising adventure.

AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE:  http://www.amazon.com/Lexxie-Couper/e/B002GI35Z6/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/lexxie_couper
FACEBOOK:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Lexxie-Couper/231663340180702
WEBSITE:  http://www.lexxiecouper.com/

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Book Tour for Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie (Review & GIVEAWAY)


Fans of shifter stories will find much to like about Shift Happens by J.C. McKenzie.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of this sensual and fast-paced read, along with my impressions of it.  Learn even more about this series starter by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour and then make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win an autographed print copy of this book (US or Canada - digital copy substituted for international winners) plus a $25 Amazon GC to one randomly drawn commenter during this tour and the Reviews Only Tour.

Andrea McNelly's job as a government agent is not asking questions, but then a routine assignment turns into a botched assassination of a Master Vampire's human servant. Answers become a priority. Her search to discover the truth is riddled with obstacles, the largest being an oversized Werewolf who resembles a Norse god. Andy can't afford the distraction he offers, because if she fails, she faces eternal enslavement.
Wick's job is to monitor Andy, but he prefers more intimate activities, none of them G-Rated. His choices, however, are often not his own. His ability to help Andy is limited by his bond to the Master Vampire.
Facing many trials and challenges along her path to redemption, Andy learns the value of her freedom might be set too high.

EXCERPT:

His hand rested on my hip. Heavy and large, it made me aware of the heat emanating from his body through the sheets.
He’d shaken me awake.
I eyed him suspiciously. What was he doing in my bed?
“Why Grandma, what big hands you have.” When fear clung to me, like it did now, I found it best to bluff nonchalance. Fake it till you make it. I’d heard the slogan once on a TV show involving models.
“Better to hold you with, my dear,” he said, surprising me. I didn’t think he would get the reference.
Then again, the wolf story was based on a true Werewolf. He should know it.
The nightmare still clung to me like a silk bath robe after a shower. Those eyes haunted my sleep. If I closed my eyes again, I’d see them, crystal clear, as if they were real. Transported back to the hell I tried to forget, I looked into Wick’s deep brown safe eyes, dark portals in the dim light, and relaxed. Tension flowed from my body. Wick’s white teeth flashed in the dark in response.
“What big teeth you have.” I chuckled.
Wick’s grin grew. “I’m not sure you’re ready for me to reply to that.”

BUY LINKS:  ARE  |  Amazon  |  BN  | Chapters - Indigo |  Wild Rose Press

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Fans of the paranormal genre will find themselves quickly immersed in this story as the storyline hits the ground running in a world were otherworldly creatures are an open part of society.  Just because they're out doesn't mean things go smoothly though as there's a battle waging amongst these creatures that a special governmental group tries to keep under control.

Andy McNeilly is a member of this group and a shifter herself.  She's not your average shifter though as she can take on different forms.  Being different is a lonely experience as she keeps herself separate from others since her job doesn't inspire others to befriend her and her strange ability unnerves others too.  She had a bad experience with a man in her past which adds to her leeriness and makes her feelings for Wick, the Alpha of the werewolf clan who kidnaps her at the start of the story, confusing and unwanted.  Andy is the voice of this story and has a tell-it-like-it-is attitude.  She boldly brings out her ability whenever it's needed as a truly strong-willed woman and learns more about her supernatural talents as the story progresses.  She's scarred from her past though as flashes of PTSD sometimes overwhelm her and I felt sympathetic for everything she went through before and that we're just starting to learn about.  

We get to know Andy very well in this story but Wick wasn't as fully fleshed-out beyond the fact that he was strong and sexy and willing to take his time with Andy in a relationship that puts them, and us, through the emotional wringer.  I was drawn to their sensual battle of wills as they progressed from enemies to friends to something Andy doesn't want to acknowledge as Wick tried to keep her safe from a vengeful vampire when a direct order ends up with her set-up for killing a human servant.

While the weres in this story were immensely appealing in their rugged sexiness, the vampires were depicted as smarmy and dangerous.  They felt like an otherworldly mafia in the power they wielded and Andy definitely wasn't safe with them wanting vengeance.  Their human servant was truly vile and deserved what he got but there was more to his story that kept me on the edge of my seat.  It's an intriguing world depicted here with a compelling hierarchy within the supes that I look forward to learning more about.  The author doesn't pull any punches in addressing Andy's pain and I'm glad it wasn't sugar coated as it fit in with her strong-willed nature.  Wick and his weres were drool-worthy and I appreciated their support of Andy.  Overall, this was a unique read with a fresh spin on the well-used mythos.  It's an engaging start to a new series and I look forward to getting to know more about Wick in the next installment.

My rating for this is a B+

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

Born and raised on the Haida Gwaii, off the West Coast of Canada, J.C. McKenzie grew up in a pristine wilderness that inspired her to dream. She writes Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance.

WEBSITE: www.jcmckenzie.ca
BLOG: www.jcmckenzie.blogspot.ca
FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/j.c.mckenzie.author (JC McKenzie)
TWITTER: www.twitter.com/JC_McKenzie (@JC_McKenzie)
GOODREADS: www.goodreads.com/JCMcKenzie

**********GIVEAWAY**********

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Book Release Blast for Lead by Kylie Scott (GIVEAWAY)


As a fan of rock star stories I'm excited to introduce you to Lead by Kylie Scott, the third installment in her Stage Dive series.  Keep reading to get a tantalizing glimpse of this story and then add it to your bookshelf.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win some awesome prizes like a guitar signed by the men of Stage Dive, signed books, and author swag too!

As the lead singer of Stage Dive, Jimmy is used to getting whatever he wants, whenever he wants it, whether it's booze, drugs, or women. However, when a PR disaster serves as a wake-up call about his life and lands him in rehab, he finds himself with Lena, a new assistant to keep him out of trouble.
Lena's not willing to take any crap from the sexy rocker and is determined to keep their relationship completely professional, despite their sizzling chemistry. But when Jimmy pushes her too far and Lena leaves, he realizes that he may just have lost the best thing that ever happened to him.

EXCERPT:

“Lena, you seen my old black Led Zep shirt?”
“Nope.”
“You sure?” His brows became one dark cranky line. The scratches on his face were healing well, thank goodness. Though it didn’t reduce my desire to throttle his mother on a daily basis.
“Yes. I haven’t seen it.”
Can’t find it anywhere…”
“And this is a surprise, how?” I slipped my hands into my back jean’s pockets. “Jimmy, you own more clothing than Cher, Brittney, and Elvis, put together. Things are bound to go missing.”
“Sure you haven’t seen it?”
“For goodness sake, what do you think, Jimmy? That I stole it to sleep in or something?” I laughed bitterly. Sure as hell, the truth deserved a good mocking. I’d sunk so despicably low.
I hadn’t even meant to steal the stupid thing, but the shirt had been mixed up with my laundry a few days ago. It’d been the first top I laid my hand on after stepping out of the shower, ready to go to bed. Without thought, I’d put it on and it’d been so soft, the scent of him lingering beneath the laundry detergent. Every night since, I’d found myself in it come bedtime. My shame knew no limits. And no, I still hadn’t quit. The words still hadn’t come even close to leaving my mouth.
He frowned. “No.”
“That I have some deep secret longing to feel close to you resulting in my stealing your shirt like some creepy perv?”
“Course I don’t fucking think that,” he replied crankily, reaching up to grip the top of the doorframe. All of his bulging muscles stretched the arms of his white T-shirt in the nicest way. It was all I could do not to start drooling, my heart beat taking up residence somewhere down between my thighs. And who could blame it? Not me. Maybe if I got laid, this would go away and things would return to normal. It’d seemed safer to avoid rubbing up against any men just in case I got carried away and started dating again. This new situation, however, changed everything.
“Well, of course not! That would be crazy.” And wasn’t that the god’s honest truth?Cray-zeee. Lock me up and throw away the key because it wasn’t like I didn’t know better.
“Just can’t figure out where the hell it could be.”
Angels couldn’t have smiled as innocently. They might have tried, but they would have failed, the dirty-mouthed, winged, little liars. “Jimmy, I don’t know where it is. But I’ll look around for it later, okay?”
“Yeah,” he said, and then added as an afterthought, “and stop looking at me weird.”
“I’m not!”

FIND AT GOODREADS here.

BUY LINKS:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  iTUNES

The rest of the Stage Dive series by Kylie Scott:
Lick (Stage Dive #1):  AMAZON  |  BN  |  GOODREADS

Play (Stage Dive #2):  AMAZON  |  BN  |  GOODREADS

Deep (Stage Dive #4) available January 6th, 2015:  AMAZON  |  BN  |  GOODREADS

AUTHOR INFO:

Kylie is a long time fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. Based in Queensland, Australia with her two children and one delightful husband, she reads, writes and never dithers around on the internet.


OTHER SERIES BY MS. SCOTT:


**********GIVEAWAY**********

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Book Tour for Bleeding Heart by Melissa Graves (Review & GIVEAWAY)


To start the week off I'm introducing you to a new-to-me author and her sexy paranormal m/m read that puts an intriguing spin on the well-known vampire myths.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of Bleeding Heart by Melissa Graves and how she balances the sexy with substance in a story.  You can read my impressions of this story and learn even more by visiting the other blogs hosting this tour.  Make sure to fill out the form for your chance to win a $25 BN GC along with eBooks and an author swag pack too!

Like sex itself, writing sex is about pacing.  
Do both characters share a mutual attraction that is openly acknowledged between them?  Is one oblivious while the other pines? Are they both unsure, or hovering in the in between space where a situation could go multiple ways?  
Once you have that decided, it's a matter of deciding how you want to take them there.  You let the characters get close, you let them brush up against each other, you let them do and feel what they need to do and feel before they can crawl comfortably beneath another's skin.
No matter how or what they do, it's all about textual foreplay.  
Without anticipation, there's no desire.  I write very explicit and detailed erotica, but if I just threw that in my reader's faces for the sake of "getting to the good stuff", it would ring hollow.  In longer work, without story substance, erotic scenes are flat and meaningless.  Erotic scenes should be the result of effort on the writer's part of building tension, of making you want these characters to touch, to kiss, to fuck so badly, that when they finally do, you fall over in your chair or make a noise or—well, have some fun of your own.
There's a formula with any given pair or set of characters who are on the road to getting their grooves on, and one of the most vital parts of that formula is that they have experiences before they can get there, experiences that lay the groundwork for the sweaty fun to come (pardon the pun!).  So maybe they talk about their desires with a friend, or just think about it.  They go through their lives.  They spend time away from the object of their affections.  They watch the person or persons that they want with desire but also distance.  Maybe they get close again, and then back away—maybe they do this multiple times before giving in.
Story substance is the meat and potatoes that justifies the dessert reward of erotic scenes—one isn't quite as good without the other, and together they make a complete meal!

While the public struggles to live side-by-side with vampires, medical student Brian Preston has dedicated himself to their care and study by working in a government-run clinic that monitors and feeds the resident vampire population. He has learned to expect the unexpected in his job, but his life takes a surprise turn late one night when a young, struggling vampire named Kyle stumbles into his clinic and his heart.
As they draw closer, can Brian come to grips with loving the elusive vampire, and can Kyle find the strength to share the secret that can separate them forever?
Bleeding Heart is the story of love, blood, political intrigue and the secrets that can spell the difference between life and death.

EXCERPT:

Kyle’s heart pounds loudly all the way to Brian's apartment, and the click of the door closing behind them causes it to skip a beat. He's nervous, and yet his skin is hot and his clothing feels tight and itchy against his skin and he just wants. He wants to put his hands on his boyfriend so badly.
Brian toes off his shoes and turns to look at Kyle over his shoulder. There’s a spray of red visible across Kyle’s cheeks and his eyes are wide and wet. Brian asks, husky and unsure, "Shower?"
Oh, my god, you can't just say that.
Kyle has no idea how much of a fool he looks standing there so aroused it hurts, his hands curled into fists and his chest heaving. "God, yes, please."
In the hallway outside the bathroom, Brian catches Kyle around the waist as Kyle reaches for him at almost at the same time, putting his hands on Brian’s shoulders and then around the back of his neck, pulling him forward into kisses that start out soft but go hard within moments, tongues and teeth dancing around throaty noises that die before they are even born.
It takes every bit of focus Kyle has to keep his fangs tucked away.
He pins Brian against the wall beside the bathroom door, carding fingers through his hair and turning his head up and back. His lips find the softness of Brian's throat and the hard ridge of his Adam's apple. He tugs Brian's button-up from the waistband of his jeans with falsely brave fingers, enduring a full-body shiver when Brian lets him undo the buttons one by one before shrugging out of the shirt. His undershirt follows and then they slow down, Kyle's lips hovering over his, his fingertips poised above the button on Brian’s jeans.


BUY AT INTERLUDE PRESS here.

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Fans of vampire stories will find themselves drawn to this one that's an intriguing mix of young love in a world where vampires are a part of society and their needs met through blood centers along with a bit of suspense.  With its two sweet main characters and a colorful cast of secondary characters playing matchmaker the romance goes from a cutesy burgeoning relationship to a steamy no holds-barred romp.  Along the way we're presented with a society catering to vampires while also showing bits of racism when it comes to the police.  Underground there's a group studying vampires and trying to make their lives better with leaders whose identities caught me by surprise.  All of this makes for an entertaining read that will hopefully lead to more.

Brian is a sweet-natured young man with a big heart who just wants to help people.  One night a bedraggled young man comes to the blood center and he goes out of his way to help him as he's completely drawn to him.  This meeting changes his life forever as their romance plays out over weeks of sweet verbal foreplay and hand holding before segueing into even hotter encounters before becoming scorching interludes.  Brian is clearly the more experienced but even he is caught off guard by being with a vampire which leads to encounters fueled by curiosity and sexy blood-fueled interludes.  Just when it looks like they're on their way to HEA danger from Kyle's past comes to put Brian in danger in a heart-pounding fast-paced conclusion that leads to secrets being revealed.

Ever since his parents died life has been lonely and difficult for Kyle.  He had no real friends and an aunt and uncle who saw him as a burden.  He was ostracized for being gay and one night out of desperation takes false comfort from a vampire which leaves him changed forever.  He knows very little about being a vampire which leads to a traumatic event that has him running from is past life and finding a new one at the Bleeding Heart where people pay for vampires to feed from them.  The owners become like family to him and his deepening relationship with Brian has him happy for the first time since his parents died until a not so blast from is past puts Brian in danger.  Kyle's guilt over this event further complicates his relationship with Brian and it's a true test of their commitment if their love will survive.

This story has a clever premise that I hope to see expanded as we've seen just the tip of the iceberg.  Seeing vampires as part of society, able to go outside, with a special field of medicine devoted to them made for an intriguing read.  The early stages of Brian and Kyle's relationship was sweet as they discovered more about their needs and the techniques but it soon started dragging.  The sexual interludes, while steamy, overwhelmed the story at times and showed Kyle as a kid with a new toy who couldn't get enough.  All of this made for a middle section that went on a bit too long.  The suspense late in the story seemed to come out of nowhere but it was the kick-start the story needed to make for a thrilling conclusion that kept me on the edge of my seat.  Overall this was an entertaining m/m read with lots of sweet and vividly detailed erotic encounters.  Fans of the paranormal will enjoy this view of vampires while others will enjoy the high steam factor.  This was a good introduction to Ms. Graves for me and I look forward to reading more from her.

My rating for this is a B.

*I received this book from the author for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

AUTHOR INFO:

A veteran writer of fan fiction known as MissBeizy to her online readers, Melissa Graves’ stories have thousands of followers. At age 13, she wrote her first work of fan-based fiction, and by age 16, had met her future husband in an online vampire fiction chat room. A fan of science fiction/fantasy, she has a degree in anthropology and a passion for good chocolate, amateur erotica and fan worlds that celebrate diversity. She is mother to two cats.

WEBSITE:  http://msmelissagraves.com/
TWITTER:  https://twitter.com/msmelissagraves
GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/melissagraves

**********GIVEAWAY**********

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Tour for Mastered: Ten Tales of Sensual Surrender Box Set (Review & GIVEAWAY)


To end the weekend on a steamy note I'm thrilled to introduce you to Mastered: Ten Tales of Sensual Surrender, a hot boxed set from ten of my favorite writers in the erotic genre.  Keep reading to get a glimpse of each of these stories and my impressions of this set.  Make sure to fill out the form below for the chance to win a Kindle Fire 7" HDX, Amazon GCs, and lots of eBooks too!


BUY LINKS:  KINDLE  |  NOOK  |  iBOOKS  |  KOBO |  AMAZON UK  |  AMAZON CA  |  iBOOKS UK  |  iBOOKS CA

Three Secrets by New York Times and USA Today bestseller Opal Carew
Sharing secrets has never been so exhilarating...
Nicole and Abel met in Paris and fell in love, but Nicole believes her secret lifestyle will drive Abel away. After the vacation ends, she decides to take a chance and share her secret, but little does she know he has a secret of his own.


Website: http://www.opalcarew.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/OpalCarew
Twitter: https://twitter.com/OpalCarew
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His Secret by International and UK Sunday Times bestseller Portia Da Costa
Quiet storm…
Ben Chambers is the perfect handsome boyfriend. Sarah adores him, yet despite their delicious lovemaking and the fun they share, she senses he has a secret. But then, during a luxury weekend away, one casual pat to her bottom transforms everything, revealing Ben’s thrilling hidden dominance, and a world of decadent pleasure and deeper love.

Website:  http://www.portiadacosta.com

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/153287.Portia_Da_Costa

Remastered by Multi-Award-Winner Madelynne Ellis
A bad experience with a former girlfriend caused Spook Mortensen to repress his sexual urges, but when sound engineer Allegra Hutton is called upon to remaster Black Halo's first album, there's only so much attitude and stubborn refusal to listen to the bands' wishes he can take before he's forced to break his self-imposed vow and take her in hand.

Website:  http://madelynne-ellis.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MadelynneEllis1
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MadelynneEllis
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/271150.Madelynne_Ellis

Working Out by USA Today bestseller Marie Harte
When lust turns to love, who’s really on top?
An ex-Marine with a kink for dominance, Mac is Maggie’s boss. But Maggie doesn’t seem to realize he’s in charge…until he shows her that Sir is more than a title. It’s a lifestyle that could suit them both. That’s if Maggie sticks around long enough to wear his collar.


Website:  http://marieharte.com/

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Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MHarte_Author
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/263567.Marie_Harte

The Scientific Method by bestseller Joey Hill
Mastering her body was easy. Mastering her heart and soul will be an erotic science…
In the vampire-servant relationship, the vampire holds all the power. Being Lord Brian’s research assistant as well as his servant, Debra accepts that, but she craves her Master’s heart. When Brian notices his servant’s unhappiness, he uses methods they both understand to prove just what belonging to him fully means.


EXCERPT:

Debra slid into the bed. Feeling brave because her Masterwas fast asleep, and he’d asked her to do something as intimate as share his bed, she tugged the sheet down.
He wasn’t wearing anything. Usually he wore a pair of brief shorts, a snug garment that hugged him in very appealing ways. He often made jokes about how, if not for vampire metabolism, he’d be a typical soft-bellied nerd, but she had her doubts about that. All vampires trained to protect themselves, to ensure their strength and stamina was enhanced beyond what the gods had blessed them with. So his muscles weren’t all supernatural-made. He had an aristocratic bearing, six feet tall with a good breadth of shoulders, tapered waist and fine buttocks and thighs. She let her fingers slide over those areas, barely touching him, but it was too much to resist. She let herhand settle fully on him.
When awake, his intellect gave his mouth and brow creases that emphasized his emotional maturity, making it easier for him to deal with vampires much older than he was. But asleep, those lines smoothed. Pretty, some would say about him, especiallywith his sandy-colored hair and those punch-right-to-a-woman’s-heart hazel eyes. She thought of the times they’d rested on her with total absorption. It happened during sex of course, sometimes during feeding, but it also happened in the lab, when their minds tangled together and they built on one another’s theories until they reached the same conclusion. She cherished those moments of melded intellect, even as she thought they were as addictive as a drug, leaving her wanting more and more.
She followed the upper rise of his buttock down to his lower back, trailed her fingers up his spine. He was sleeping on his stomach, arms wrapped around the pillow. She was a woman who was attracted to a man’s mind first, but her Master had quite a body. Though she agreed if he was mortal and therefore not in need of a vampire’s defense training, he probably would be a bit chunky, because he had a sweet tooth and a craving for junk food. One night, she’d seen him sit down to a vampire-sized sampler of gourmet fare and only pick politely at it. Later that same evening, she’d found him in the lab with a snack bag of Cheetos. He was savoring the mere two or three his vampire digestive track could absorb, before he offered the rest to Maggie, the elderly Irish wolfhound who was smart enough to follow around a vampire carrying a surplus of food.
She curved her fingers over his shoulder, slid them downover his biceps. Where his other hand emerged, wrapped around the pillow, she outlined his fingers. He kept his nails short and impeccably clean, a typical scientist.
Now she curled her fingers into a loose ball so she could run her knuckles down his side, over his rib cage, the layer of firm flesh stretched over them. He was beautiful, and it made her heart hurt to look at him. She was so tired.
I love you, Master. I’m so sorry I do. I would be a better servant if I didn’t feel that way, or if I could figure out how to love you without wanting…more. If I could figure out how to remove want and desire from my heart, I would. I just don’t know if I can do this for three hundred years. Love you without you loving me back. I always thought I could be anunconditional love kind of person, but I’m more selfish than I realized.
With a sigh, she curled up next to him, pillowing her cheek in the small of his back, her head cradled in that dip between chest and taut backside. She nestled her hand under his chest,finding and clasping his other hand, tucked beneath the pillow. It was sweet heaven, just to lie here and hear his heartbeat, feel his heat against her. Hold his hand and imagine he was holding hers back.
All while wishing they could sleep forever, where the dream would never be disturbed.

Website:  http://www.storywitch.com
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/JoeyWHillAuthor
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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/103359.Joey_W_Hill

Juicy by bestseller T.J. Michaels
Twilight Teahouse ~ Choose something decadent from our menu…
Solie Shaw is a brilliant self-made woman. After managing a corporation by day, at night, all she wants is to not be in charge. The last man she’d gifted her heart to had smashed it to smithereens and then did the mambo on top of the pieces. Now, along comes the chance to get exactly what she needs. All Soliehas to do…is choose.


Website:  http://www.tjmichaels.com/

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1025972.T_J_Michaels

No Limits by USA Today bestseller Kate Pearce
All bets are off when there are no limits…

Dr. Julia Reed deals with life or death situations at a California ER. When British businessman Alex Logan offers her a sexual bargain, she gets to share her darkest fantasies; he gets the power to carry them out. But who is the real winner in this high stakes game, and is Alex even playing fair?

Website:  http://www.katepearce.com

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kate-Pearces-Fan-Page/220636502580
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/Kate4Queen
Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/688826.Kate_Pearce

Ink Reunited by USA Today bestseller Carrie Ann Ryan
Only two men can give Sassy the happily ever after she craves. 
Rafe, Ian and Sassy loved each other…until it all blew apart. Now both men are back for the woman they love. It will take more than apologies for these three to overcome their history. But once they take that step, the streets of New Orleans will never be the same.


Website:  http://www.carrieannryan.com

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5360266.Carrie_Ann_Ryan

Unfettered: An Overwatch Story by Sasha White
You never forget your first love
Mechanic Ronnie Lang is tired of being "one of the guys". Chasing the fantasy of finding a dominant male to help her explore her sexuality she applies to Overwatch, a private BDSM club where her eyes are opened to a world that’s more than she ever imagined, and the man she’s never forgotten.


Website:  http://www.sashawhite.com

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/104557.Sasha_White

Bondage on 34th Street by Emily Ryan-Davis & Jennifer Leeland
In knots over love
After years of searching, Tasha Sears finally finds the Master of her heart …on his knees in front of intimidatingly sexy bondage enthusiast Noah Dreyfuss. As sparks flare between the three, Noah’s ropes will either bind them together or pull them apart. 


Website:  http://www.emilyryandavis.com

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1329006.Emily_Ryan_Davis

Website:  http://www.jenniferleeland.com 

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Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1407299.Jennifer_Leeland

MY IMPRESSIONS OF THIS BOOK:

Boxed Sets are becoming all the rage now and I was hoping to see one with an erotic slant and found this one to be an engaging read with a bit of varying kinks and themes for every reader.  There's a bit of BDSM, a little m/m action, and a bit of vampy loving.  From start to finish each one grabs you and keeps you enthralled to the very last story.  Most of them felt fully fleshed-out and with surprising depth but one or two felt a bit less refined and more of an enjoyable fluff piece.  Two or three are part of a series but can be read on their own whereas the rest forge new territory and leave you wanting to return to the world's depicted.

From start to finish this boxed set stirs the sensual fire with its drool-worthy and sexy heroes and its strong-willed women who go after what they want when one taste isn't enough.  These stories will reacquaint you with some of your favorite authors while introducing you to new ones, but no matter what, you're guaranteed a sexy thrill ride that will leave you parched!

My rating for this is an B+

*I received this book from the authors for review in exchange for my honest opinion.

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