Soldier On by Sydney Logan: Review and Giveaway

 Release Date: June 20
Genres: Romance/Military/New Adult
 
Will his call of duty break both their hearts?
Losing her father in Desert Storm has left Stephanie James with a bitter soul when it comes to the military. As a college senior juggling a full course load, Steph’s only goal is to graduate with honors at the end of the semester. She’s focused, determined, and a firm believer in all work and no play. Then she meets Brandon Walker at a New Year’s Eve costume party. Despite his disguise, Steph finds herself attracted to the camouflaged soldier who curls her toes with a scorching midnight kiss.

Brandon is an engineering major and ROTC student from the hills of Kentucky. Growing up as the son of a major general has given Brandon firsthand knowledge of the struggles military families sometimes face. Now that his father’s memory is fading, Brandon is even more determined to make his dad proud and graduate as an officer in the United States Army. Then he meets Stephanie, and suddenly, his focus is less on his military service and more on the pretty brunette who has stolen his heart. When he becomes aware of Steph’s resentment toward the military, he worries their relationship is doomed. 
When faced with the realization that she’s fallen in love with a soldier, can Steph’s wounds from the past be healed with love in her present . . . and in her future?
MY REVIEW:

Sydney always makes me understand her characters’ points of view –even when they conflict. I enjoyed these characters because they act their ages. They’re likeable, but immature. Steph has a chip on her shoulder against the military (for a sensible reason), and Brandon is therefore chicken to claim his status as a member of the army. Rational fears lead to some irrational behaviour. Fortunately, some sensible friends and family straighten the pair out.

I particularly like the character of Brandon’s dad, a retired military man with Alzheimer’s. He makes me think of my grandfather (WWI cavalry, WWII reserves) and uncles (WWII army, navy and Royal Canadian Regiment). I think they’d have given the young people similar advice. Brandon’s dad has good days, when he’s “on”, and bad days, when his memory falters and his frustration takes over. He reminds me of my grandmother, who had dementia with her Parkinson’s.

I gained insights reading this book, which always makes me happy. Five stars.

 

 
http://www.amazon.com/Sydney-Logan/e/B0096LZK90/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1401309284&sr=1-1
Regular Price: $2.99 (ebook) 
Also available in paperback

 

Sydney Logan is an Amazon bestselling author and holds a Master’s degree in Elementary Education. With the 2012 release of her debut novel, Lessons Learned, she made the transition from bookworm to author. Her second novel, Mountain Charm, was released in 2013. She is also the author of four short stories – Mistletoe Magic, The Little Drummer Boy, Force of Nature, and Stupid Cupid.A native of East Tennessee, Sydney enjoys playing piano and relaxing on her porch with her wonderful husband and their very spoiled cat.
 
 

Review: In His Command by Rie Warren

in his command cover final final

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Attraction isn’t just dangerous, it’s deadly.

It is the year 2070. Generations ago, the world was annihilated by catastrophic environmental events. The survivors were driven to live in big city centers ruled by the Company. To rebuild the world’s population, the oppressive Company had one rule: all homosexuals must be exterminated.

Commander Caspar Cannon has a stellar military reputation—and a life-threatening secret. When a revolution rips through the territories, Cannon is ordered to escort Company executive Nathaniel Rice to a secure location. For months, the commander has harbored illicit desire for Rice, knowing he cannot act on his attraction. Privileged, polished, and groomed to one day take over the Company, Rice is drawn to the rugged, military man. Yet Rice has his own mysterious agenda, and he knows their love can be as dangerous as the wasteland they must traverse.

Now leaving the besieged city behind, the two men embark on a journey that becomes a minefield of sabotage, betrayal—and forbidden passion. But when danger catches up to them, can Cannon trust the secretive man who holds his heart—and his fate?

My Review:

This book was recommended to me by a friend and I picked it up feeling a bit wary. I don’t read many books with gay characters for one reason: discouragement. Three quarters of the erotic stories I’ve attempted to read are just smut. Where are the love stories?

Of course, I could say that of erotic fiction in general. I’m often asked to review books with flat characters and no plot. No, thanks.

In His Command was entirely different. Yes, it’s an erotica. Prepare for graphic (and educational) love scenes. But that’s just the thing: these are emotionally charged love scenes, written with honesty, grit and moments of softness. There happen to be a lot of these scenes in the book, but I’d have read this series without them.

Caspar and Nathaniel inhabit a dysfunctional world where prejudice reigns. It all started with the culling of people in the 2020s that didn’t fit the mould of a so-called utopia. After that, a plague wiped out almost everyone else. Now, there are four nations that rule humanity with an iron hand, wiping out anyone who lives contrary to their harsh, restrictive beliefs. The implied rules are:

Judge, for ye will be judged.

Do not love one another.

Love not thy spouse as ye love thyself.

To thine own self be false.

Fear thy neighbour.

In the name of preserving life, the leaders have made the world a dystopia. Young people have the survival mandate drummed into them and when they reach maturity, they must prove they can reproduce by copulating with a genetically viable partner. Objectification of the opposite sex is an obvious side effect. Many of these arranged couples –decent people- are terrified to perform, especially in front of officials. This is institutionalized rape.

Anyone who resists risks his or her life.

Anyone who deviates from the norm is scapegoated, castigated and eliminated. It doesn’t stop them from being themselves; the best way to make something (or someone) more attractive is to ban it.

What happens when people are oppressed? Rebellion.

Caspar and Nathaniel are fascinating alpha males. Neither is effeminate. Both make credible warriors. Caspar is a secretly-gay man employed by the anti-gay Company to kill rebels. He lives in a constant state of turmoil. Nathaniel infiltrates the Company in order to destroy it. Of course, when they first meet, neither has any idea that the other is his enemy, and they fall fast and hard.

Allegiances to country, family and friends are all challenged. This is a war that takes no prisoners. The series arc is addictive. This is the first book and it would not work to read the other books out of order. A couple of short stories add to the canon. The second full length novel, On Her Watch, is now available.

I highly recommend this book, not as a piece of gay fiction, but as a work of fiction. Period. Five stars.

BUY LINKS:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00AG0VN32
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/in-his-command-rie-warren/1113852021?ean=9781455574148

http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/in-his-command/id582157368?mt=11

BIO:

Rie Warren Rie is the badass, sassafras author of Sugar Daddy and the Don’t Tell series–a breakthrough trilogy that crosses traditional publishing boundaries beginning with In His Command.

A Yankee transplant who has traveled the world, Rie started out a writer—causing her college professor to blush over her erotic poetry without one ounce of shame. Not much has changed. She swapped pen for paintbrushes and followed her other love during her twenties. From art school to marriage to children and many a wild and wonderful journey in between, Rie has come home to her calling. Her work has been called edgy, daring, and some of the sexiest smut around.

You can connect with Rie via the social media hangouts listed on her website https://www.riewarren.com. She is represented by Saritza Hernandez, Corvisiero Literary Agency. http://www.corvisieroagency.com/Saritza_Hernandez.html

 

Exposure by Jennifer and Morgan Locklear: Review

Exposure_Cover_FINAL
Publicist Shaunna Noble is no stranger to the ego-filled dysfunction of Hollywood’s elite, but is
she ready for her two biggest clients to turn into her worst nightmare?

Kyle Petersen and Michelle Cooper are Hollywood royalty, everyone’s favorite celebrity couple, but while on location filming their new summer blockbuster, Kyle ambushes his wife with divorce papers and orders Shaunna to destroy Michelle in the media. Unwilling to comply, Shaunna spectacularly and publicly quits her job, humiliating Kyle in the process.

David Quinn, a struggling actor cast alongside the A-listers, is caught in the crossfire. When pictures surface of David and Michelle out on the town, media and fans rush to crown them Hollywood’s new hot couple. Kyle explodes, tensions boil over, and everyone’s lives and careers are thrown into jeopardy. 

So what’s a publicist to do? Especially when Shaunna finds herself falling in love with the sexy and talented David. Can she put out fires on the set while keeping the flames burning in the bedroom?

 

Love, lies and passion. What happens when the naked truth is exposed?

Review:
When this story was a work of online serial fiction, I couldn’t wait for updates so I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it, too. This is Hollywood intrigue driven by plot and character. One of my favourite things about the writing is the way the use of touch, taste and smell are explored. It’s highly sensual. Another thing I love is the strong wit and zippy phrasing that are used. The Locklears know how to turn a phrase.
This novel reads very realistically, as though the writers know exactly how the machinery of Hollywood works. The details feel natural, not forced. It’s indeed a pleasure to read. Four stars.
 
​Bio

Morgan and Jennifer Locklear met in 1989 as teenagers and became high school sweethearts.  They have been married since 1995 and live in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States with their two children, a son and daughter.

Although both enjoyed creative writing in their youth, they have only been working as a writing team since 2010. Since then they have created a dozen full-length and short stories together.

Jennifer has been employed in fundraising and development for a non-profit organization since 2000. She also enjoys participating in charitable activities, both locally and online. In her (limited) free time she is an avid reader.

Morgan has been employed in the hospitality industry since 1998. He has been active in the local performing arts community since childhood with many acting and directing credits to his name. He is also a musician and songwriter and has recorded 6 albums.


 

 

Alice Clayton’s Wallbanger: Review and Good News!

Wallbanger

WALLBANGER

I’ve been an Alice Clayton fan for a long time and I snapped up Wallbanger when it came out. If you like humour that borders on the farcical, a ton of UST, steamy love scenes, silly banter, sweet but confident heroines and naughty guys, this one’s for you. Note that the story contains strong sexuality and language.

Plus, there’s Clive.

Cat Supreme

Clive is evil. I love him, chiefly because I had a cat like that once. And I laughed so hard that I nearly spit my drink into the keyboard. In fact, I laughed so hard that I brought my family running to see what the heck I was laughing about. Which is never good.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the G-rated version of Clive vs. Simon:

 

cat-jumps-butt-grind

Kindly apply your imagination. Things are heating up nicely, Simon and Caroline are about to-

and…

 

Clive. Yeah.

 

I really want Clive to have his own happy ending. Alice Clayton, if you love me, you will give me a short story from Clive’s point of view. You can even name his soul mate after me.

As long as she isn’t “Meow.”

Caroline is great. She’s a little naive, but believably so. Simon, on the other hand, is very worldly. I like their backgrounds and their relationships with the supporting characters. I think it would be fun to go on vacation with this group.

These characters aren’t perfect and their lifestyles pose some challenges. That contrasts nicely with the farce. I particularly like it that Caroline needs a little help with her O.

This is the kind of book that’s great to take with you on vacation. It’s light, hilarious, sexy and would make a super onscreen RomCom. Five stars for the fun.

Best of all? There are more books on the way and a new one, Rusty Nailed, is coming soon. To celebrate that, Wallbanger is on sale for just $2.99 until June 22nd! Yay!

Wallbanger
WALLBANGER
Rusty Nailed
RUSTY NAILED​
​ pre-order links​

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Giveaway & Character Interview: Sherlock from How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You

Ainsley Blog Tour

Hi, readers!

I thought we’d sit on the reading rug and have a chat with a very special guest today: Sherlock Holmes. The other one. This one’s the ten year old brother of Oliver Holmes, who’s featured in the new novel, How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You.

JB: Hi, Sherlock!

Sherlock Holmes: Hello. *jots something in notebook*

JB: What’s that you’re writing down?

SH: Just some initial observations. I like to keep notes to help me remember things. Thank you for having me, Ms. Brown. It’s nice to talk to someone who wants to hear from me. Everybody always wants to talk to Oliver.

 

big-deguisement-2137_3642 sherlock

JB: Have your parents told you why they named you and Oliver after such famous Holmeses?

SH: Only about a million times! “We wanted you to have big names so you’d have big dreams and big goals.” My parents always say that.

JB: And your parents: what are they like?

SH: They’re pretty cool. For parents. I mean, my friend David has parents who don’t even talk to him, so that would really suck. Mine talk to us all the time. About everything. It can get annoying sometimes, but at least they pay attention.

JB: If you had a sister, what would her name be?

SH: First of all, gross. A sister would be the worst. David has an older sister and she’s forever playing dumb music and texting and leaving her shoes everywhere and yelling at him about nothing. But if I had one, I would guess my parents would find a name of a famous Holmes woman. Oliver always says Katie would be a bad choice, but I don’t know. It’s okay, I guess.

JB: I hear you’re quite the fan of the great detective Sherlock Holmes. How come?

SH: He’s only the greatest mind in history! Have you read any of the books? My friends don’t understand why I like them, but their only exposure is through the movies. You know, with Robert Downey Jr.? The movies are cool, but the Holmes in the books is even better. He sees everything and can uses logic and deductive reasoning to solve crimes that no one else can figure out!

JB: I love the books and I’ve read them all, many times. And you do some detecting yourself, right?

SH: I do. There are many crimes out there that must be solved.

JB: What spy equipment does every great detective need?

SH: First of all, a sharp brain. *taps temple* That is the most important tool. Then, keen observational skills, which is why I need this. *holds up notebook* A notebook to keep track of clues and theories.

JB: Is Oliver a cool big brother?

SH: I don’t know if cool is the word. I mean, he looks at himself in the mirror a LOT. It’s weird. He’s also a bit obsessed with muscle magazines lately. And his hair. It’s all very strange. I have a few working theories.

*thinks for a moment* However, I must say that Oliver has his moments. There are times when things are . . . tense at our house. He’ll let me hang out in his room and play Xbox. That’s nice.

JB: What do you know about teenagers, based on your detecting?

SH: 1. They smell

2. They attempt to cover up the smell with various things

3. Their voices crack

4. They make no logical sense

JB: What does Oliver think of that?

SH: I have yet to discuss my findings with Oliver. When I conclude my investigation into his recent odd behavior, I will present my theory.

JB: What have you deduced about Oliver?

SH: I try not to form deductions until I have obtained all the pertinent information in a case. I am still gathering the clues in the case of Oliver Wendell Holmes. The game, my dear Ms. Brown, is afoot.

 

Ainsley

Seventeen-year-old Oliver Wendell Holmes (Yes, his parents are just that peculiar, but his brother’s name is Sherlock, so it could have been worse) knows that he’s different. He’s quirky, awkward, and he’s okay with that. Oliver also likes making lists-meticulous procedures for achieving his goals, step-by-step. Whether it’s “How to Get an A in Chemistry” or “How to Get Accepted to MIT,” he has a process, and it’s worked for him so far. He doesn’t even care that the popular kids mock him. Oliver’s got his eye on the prize.

So when he decides it’s time to declare his feelings for Ainsley Bishop, the girl of his dreams, it’s only natural for him to make a list-a point-by-point strategy to win her heart. He knows it will take a grand gesture for her to see all he has to offer, and her approaching birthday provides the ideal opportunity for Oliver to put his plan into action.

Finding the perfect gift is a challenge Oliver meets with his usual dogged determination. He’ll need to watch her carefully for clues to pinpoint exactly what he should give her. And along the way, he might just learn that what Ainsley really needs is not quite what he expected.

Ainsley is available now!

Amazon |Barnes & Noble |iTunes |Kobo | TWCS

 

Giveaway

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T.M. Franklin T.M. Franklin started out her career writing non-fiction in a television newsroom. Graduating with a B.A. in Communications specializing in broadcast journalism and production, she worked for nine years as a major market television news producer, and garnered two regional Emmy Awards, before she resigned to be a full-time mom and part-time freelance writer. Her first published novel, MORE, was born during National Novel Writing month, a challenge to write a novel in thirty days. MORE was well-received, being selected as a finalist in the 2013 Kindle Book Review Best Indie Book Awards, as well as winning the Suspense/Thriller division of the Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Awards.

In addition to MORE and its sequel, The Guardians, Franklin penned the Amazon best-selling short stories A Piece of Cake andWindow, which also won a Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award for Short Story/Fantasy. Her new YA romance, How to Get Ainsley Bishop to Fall in Love with You, is Franklin’s first love story without a paranormal or fantasy element, although she believes love is the best kind of magic.

TWELVE, the final installment in the MORE Trilogy will be released in the fall of 2014.

Connect with T.M. Franklin

Website | E-mail | Facebook | Twitter

 

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