Saturday, March 29, 2014

Book Tour for Fractured by Mickie B. Ashling (Review & GIVEAWAY)

Thank you for inviting me to share an excerpt from my latest release Fractured.  As an avid reader, I've come across every sort of character imaginable: firemen, vampires, shape-shifters, doctors, polo players, cops, teachers, you name it, I've seen it.  The one thing I rarely find are stories featuring dentists.  Let’s face it, almost everyone agrees on one thing—dentists rank up there with morticians and tax collectors.  Most people associate them with pain and financial ruin, when they’re only trying to make things better, not worse. Imagine what your life would be like without teeth.  Pretty grim if you ask me.  Nowadays, you can get replacements with a lot less pain and trauma than in years past.  But enough with the PSA.  What I’m trying to say is we need dentists as much as we need our cops, firemen, and teachers.  Let’s take them out of the Dark Ages and try to see them in a better light. The majority of them are pretty cool, and some are even drool worthy.  What are the odds of falling in love at first sight in a dental chair?  Stranger things have happened, and they're usually happening in my world.  
Like the previous novels in this series, Fractured is set in a San Francisco dental clinic.  Characters from Impacted and Bonds of Love make guest appearances but Fractured can be read as a stand-alone.  My latest dentist is Lance Roberts, new to the Bay Area and hoping to find the perfect sub to complete his Dominant nature.  Roque Celdran is a struggling Mexican-American who's just suffered some facial trauma due to an unfortunate encounter at a BDSM club.  Neither man expects to find romance in this incongruous setting, but they do.  Here's the official blurb and a short excerpt.......

Roque “Ro” Celdran dreams of a better life, far away from the hand-to-mouth existence of his migrant worker family. He moves to San Francisco to study Landscape Design but finds himself short of cash.  Tony, Ro’s identical twin, comes up with a plan to help Ro make ends meet.  The BDSM club Tony frequents is looking for gay men to act as submissives to the Dommes-in-training.  Ro reluctantly takes the job and falls headfirst into a world he neither understands nor desires.  
Lance Roberts is the new doctor at the dental practice started by Scott Gregory and Robin Kennedy.  On the surface, he seems to have it all: the Mensa IQ, blond and blue-eyed good looks, and the determination to make it in his competitive field Underneath lies a frustrated Dom in search of the perfect sub who can handle his obsessive behavior and debilitating need for control.
When Ro ends up in Lances dental chair, the last thing either one expects is a physical and mental connection.  Ros attraction to “White Bread” never pans out, and Lances weakness for Latinos always leads to a dead end. Could this time be different?  What happens between the two alphas leads to a lot of soul-searching and some surprising conclusions.


Dr. Roberts walked in before Ro turned on the music, and he removed one earbud so he could hear the doctor talk. He exuded the same confidence that had set Roque at ease when they’d first met, and this morning he was a welcome sight. An easy smile creased Lance’s face as he greeted him. The light-blue gown made of some papery fabric made him look like one of the surgeons on his grandmother’s favorite telenovela.Dr. Roberts epitomized everything Roque ever dreamed of in a man, although he was just as unattainable as the proverbial stars he longed to reach. He could only imagine Tony’s caustic remarks about his attraction for “white bread.” Was it the blond hair and blue eyes that yanked his chain, or was it everything else the man symbolized? Now wasn’t the time to psychoanalyze his feelings for the good doctor. There would be more time in the future to figure out what, if anything, was drawing him toward the guy. Hell, he probably had a wife and two kids waiting at home.
“How are you holding up?” Lance asked, drawing on the latex gloves. “The swelling appears to have gone down somewhat. How’s the pain?”
Roque nodded. “It’s manageable.”
Lance sat down and rolled a little closer. “Have you ever had a shot in your mouth?”
“No, sir.”
“It’ll sting for a second, but the minute the anesthetic gets into your bloodstream you won’t feel a thing. Your face will feel different, but it’s an illusion. The tissue won’t grow even if you think it’s expanding. Your nose might go numb as well, so don’t freak out. Our nerves are an intricate network, like the roots of a tree. They branch out in all directions and hitting a spot in your mouth could affect parts of your face temporarily. This is nothing unusual, and I don’t want you to worry.”
“What you will feel is some pressure when I’m extracting the root tips that are still buried underneath the gum. Do you want me to talk you through the process, or would you rather I keep my mouth shut?”
“I’d rather not know what you’re doing if that’s okay.”
“Suits me fine,” Lance commented. “Some patients like a running commentary, and others believe in the old adage that ignorance is bliss.”
“That,” Roque concurred. “The less I know the better.”
“If you want me to stop, for whatever reason, raise your hand. Don’t jerk or push me away. I may end up drilling your tongue or cheek if that happens.”
“Shit,” Roque murmured.
“Don’t worry, buddy. It’s never happened on my watch, but there’s always a first time.”
“I’d rather not be your first.”
“That makes two of us.”
“Do you have the false teeth ready?”
“Sure do,” Lance said, looking exceedingly pleased with his efforts. “It took a couple of tries, but I’m very happy with the end result. Here, let me show you,” he said, reaching for a small plastic box. He withdrew the temporary bridge and showed it to Roque. “What do you think?”
“Looks like teeth to me.”
“It’ll look even better once it’s in your mouth. Now, remember. This is made of acrylic, so don’t try and crack walnuts or even bite into an apple or a burger. You have to cut your food or you’ll end up with problems I may not be able to fix.”
“What if it breaks and you’re not around?”
“It’s unlikely to happen so long as you’re careful.”
“I’ll be good.”
Lance smiled. “Did you take your antibiotic this morning?”
“Have you had any breakfast?”
“I was too nervous to eat.”
“You’re not going to be able to eat anything for several hours.”
“Don’t usually have time for breakfast, Doc.”
“Alright,” Lance said. “There is one last thing.”
“Your heart might start to race when I give you the shot. There’s epinephrine in the solution, and it’s been known to turn a steady heartbeat into a livelier conga line.”
“I’m a good dancer,” Roque quipped. “Bring it on, Doc.”
Lance looked at Susie and nodded. “Let’s get going.”
Roque put the earbud back in place and turned on the iPod. He put it on shuffle mode and closed his eyes, bracing for the shot. It did sting for a few seconds, but then it faded away, and soon he didn’t feel much of anything. There was a moment of panic when his heart began to race, but he remembered what the doc had said about the stimulant, and he took a deep breath to ride out the jumpy feeling. It passed in a few minutes, and he slowly began to relax.
Since he’d never sat in a dental chair before, he had no basis for comparison, but he could tell that the doc had a very light touch. He was so gentle that Ro almost fell asleep a couple of times. Who knew this could be so relaxing? Susie was no slouch either. She handled the steady exchange of instruments with a confidence born of years of practice. Neither partner in this intricate healing dance ever paused or pondered the next move. There was a reassuring synchronicity to their movements. Before he realized it, they were done. Susie wiped his mouth with a water-soaked piece of gauze to remove any blood and dabbed his lips with some Vaseline to help the dryness.
Lance pulled out one of Ro’s earbuds and passed over a hand mirror. “Tell me what you think.”
Ro brought up the mirror and stared at his face. He was still black and blue from the original beating and a little swollen around the mouth, but when he smiled, he saw perfect-looking teeth.
His eyes filled with grateful tears, and he whispered, “Thank you.”
“You’re welcome,” Lance said in the same soft tone. “Everything went as expected. I wasn’t able to place the implants, but I cleaned out the area and did some bone grafting to prepare the site. We’ll place the implants in a couple of months. In the meantime, you’re no worse for wear. You’ll be just fine.”

Fractured is now available in paperback or e-book format here:


From start to finish Ms. Ashling has crafted a compelling read bringing together two men from vastly different backgrounds, each with his own pile of emotional baggage, to make for a rocky road to HEA.  As characters from past books make appearances, and play a role in the HEA, I found myself enjoying seeing what's become of them and the sense of family this brings to the story as brotherly love is a main theme in this story.  Throw in numerous steamy encounters with BDSM-lite intensity and readers are rewarded with a well-rounded story with an intensely emotional romance full of thought-provoking social issues.

Roque has had a tight bond with his twin brother Tony since the day of their birth working side by side through the years putting up with (and protecting) him in his increasingly harmful twin-reversals.  Tony's getting more and more out of control ever since becoming involved in BDSM and his latest act to gain his own Dominatrix resulted in major facial damage for Ro.  It's just one more act that has Ro hating his ethnicity as he's always felt like a lower class citizen.  His first love sold him out for being Mexican and the numerous stereotypes hurled at him have him trying to rise above that by working non-stop and going to college.  Those feelings still rear their ugly head during inopportune moments and force him and his new love Lance to deal with them head on.  

Lance has always appeared to have it easy with his smarts and family wealth, but it's led to more pressures that culminate in occasionally crippling OCD and having to hide his sexuality from those in his social circle.  Instead he had relationships mostly with those that worked for his family as he could be in control and free of judgements which fueled his need to be a Dom.  Those relationships fizzled quickly as they left him unchallenged and the inequality led to boredom.  Ro excites him though and is full of contradictions that have Lance giving up some of the power which puts them on more equal footing allowing for a satisfying HEA.

Issues of ethnicity are dealt with realistically and sensitively making for some thought-provoking moments.  Lance's OCD is handled in a believable and accepting way that made it apparent that these two are made for each other as Ro was caring and supportive during his panic attacks.  Their relationship was full of give and take with many moments where they leaned on each other with no judgements between them.  The romance between them was at times sweet, always sexy, but always in jeopardy because of Tony's machinations.  He was my least favorite part of the book and I could never be as forgiving as Ro was over all his misdeeds.  Barring that I found this an entertaining stand-alone read that nicely balanced all aspects of this imperfect pair's lives and recommend it to those wanting a well-written and seductive m/m read with a bit of telenovela added in to ramp up the suspense.

My rating for this is a B+

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


Mickie B. Ashling is the alter-ego of a multifaceted woman raised by a single mother who preferred reading over other forms of entertainment. She found a kindred spirit in her oldest child and encouraged her with a steady supply of dog-eared paperbacks. Romance was the preferred genre, and historical romances topped her favorites list.
By the time Mickie discovered her own talent for writing, real life had intruded, and the business of earning a living and raising four sons took priority. With the advent of e-publishing and the inevitable emptying nest, dreams were resurrected, and the storyteller was reborn.
She stumbled into the world of men who love men in 2002 and continues to draw inspiration from their ongoing struggle to find equality and happiness in this oftentimes skewed and intolerant world. Her award-winning novels have been called "gut wrenching, daring, and thought provoking." She admits to being an angst queen and making her men work damn hard for their happy endings.
 Mickie loves to travel and has lived in the Philippines, Spain, and the Middle East but currently resides in a suburb outside Chicago.

You can contact Mickie at or leave a comment on her website at or her blog



-To be entered, LEAVE A COMMENT STATING WHAT YOU ENJOY ABOUT M/M BOOKS, along with your email addy (no email=no entry).
-Winner will be chosen using
-Giveaway IS OPEN TO ALL and ends at 11:59 PM CST on 4/5!


  1. Jody, thank you very much for hosting my blog tour and especially for this honest and insightful review of Fractured. I'm glad you enjoyed the novel.

    1. Thank YOU for being here and for your comments! Looking forward to hosting you again, which has me asking, What are you working on right now?

      The Scarf Princess

    2. Sorry for the late reply. I just received my contract for Book 4 in the Cutting Cords series:) It should release sometime in the Fall.

  2. What I like most about m/m is being shown that men can be submissive to another, tender and loving and still retain their masculinity. Being in a mutually satisfying relationship w/another man doesn't make them less of a man or threaten their right to alpha status.

    ilookfamous at yahoo dot com

  3. What don't I like about M/M books?! 2 tough guys going weak in the knees in love...: sigh:

    Really I love it all!
    Thanks for the chance to win.

    raynman1979 at yahoo dot com

  4. I'm with Rissa, I love it all!

  5. So want to read this. Count me in please. Thanks! :)


  6. It's all about the sexy men!! lol Also, I love reading about men and the obsticals they have to go through to get their HEA!!

    Interesting excerpt! Thanks for the giveaway!

    aegger.echo @ yahoo .com

  7. I love reading about the relationships between men. I find them fascinating.

    So happy to see your comment about book 4 in the Cutting Cords series. :)

    Thanks for the giveaway!


  8. WOW...Sounds great...... Saving up to get the book.