Review: Love/Hate by L.C. Mawson @lcmawson #ScienceFiction #Aspects #LGBTFiction #LesFic #LesRom #WLW #FamilyFiction #YoungAdult

A hero’s life means death.

Synopsis:

Claire never wanted to be a hero.

The Aspect Guardians protect the last cities of Earth from the creatures that were left there by their alien ancestors.

Remnants of a forgotten civil war.

Claire is all too familiar with the alien creatures. They killed her mother, leaving her all alone.

But those chosen can’t refuse. The Aspect powers embody emotions, and those most in tune with those emotions are called to take the mantle.

And they’re lucky to survive more than two years.

Some Aspects aren’t even that lucky, however, and the Aspect of Love is notorious for only having a few months at best.

So, when the Aspect of Love dies and Claire is chosen as her successor, all of her nightmares are made real.

She must face the monsters of her childhood. And they will likely kill her.

But strength comes in unlikely places, and finding the means to survive may mean Love turning to Hate.5

Wow! I have been on a fantastic voyage into yet another masterful world created by L.C. Mawson. I praise Mawson a lot and Mawson earns it with every book I read.

The “Aspects” series came out three years ago and I do not know how I missed it. I don’t know when the latest cover design came out for Love/Hate, but I love the old one which I feel describes the story better than the current one. I love how it shows the two emotions dancing around each other and Hate being wary. 

I thought Mawson creating a dynamic and diverse book and series was a one-time adventure with “The Ember Academy for Witches.” I can see that I am wrong by reading Love/Hate. Our central character is Indian and African, autistic, and a lesbian or bisexual. The other members of the cast range from Asian to white and from lesbian to nonbinary to aromantic. Half of the characters are autistic and all are fighters for the human race. Diversity at its best.

Love/Hate focuses on family, identity, and the battle for life and why they choose to fight. Let me clarify the last word in that sentence, they are unwillingly drafted to become an Aspect, but they could choose to not fight. Keep a block up and your powers won’t come through and you can’t be used to battle.

What I find fascinating is that Mawson has Claire battling monsters with just her own sense of self and an innate need to protect others. Claire is strong even though she has personal battles to overcome. 

Love/Hate is filled with battles and I should warn you that people die. BUT, the story is also filled with family. Family is what we make it and this book showcases this brilliantly. There are surprises and twists in this story which makes me hesitate on how to tag this book because the tags would be spoilers (laugh). So I wait to book two before adding the spoiler tags.

I cannot wait to read the next story because I am literally jonesing for it. Mawson creates a world that I would not want to live, but would watch over and over again. (laugh) Ummm…dragons that eat people…yeah I’ll just read about it. (smile)

If you haven’t started this series then you should. There is action, romance, and family drama. Put a bunch of kids living together in one place, what else can you expect?! You can expect an awesome ride with Love/Hate

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Books in the “Aspects” series:

Further Details:
Publisher: 978-1393551874, 11 November 2017
Series: Aspects #1
Pages: 234; Sex: N/A

Series Review: The Galactic Pantheon Novellas by Alyce Caswell @alycecaswell #NetGalley #AlyceCaswell #ScienceFiction #LGBTFiction #LGBTSeries

In the millennia since leaving Old Earth, humans have spread far and wide across the galaxy. A pantheon of sub-level gods was created to oversee the expanding population, always to protect them out of sight, never to become one of them – and never to experience love. Or so they thought.

Cover Design: Hampton Lamoureux

The Flickering Flame (F/F) 

Grace Pendergast is a disgraced reporter who thinks the galaxy would be better off without her. But then she meets Finara, the goddess of fire. As sparks ignite between them, Grace must choose between carrying out her original plans – or accepting an eternity at Finara’s side.

The Shifting Ice (M/M) 

Dom Zhang has just fallen to his death when Rasson, the god of ice, rescues him. Dom would be grateful, except for the fact that Rasson has chosen Dom as his consort. And Dom has no intention of settling down – even if marrying a god comes with certain perks.

The Whispering Grass (ace) 

Sanyul Bello has never failed to complete a mission – until he tries to assassinate Isabis, the goddess of savannah. She decides to punish him by showing him what it’s like to be her, but what she doesn’t expect is to create an intense connection between them.

The Creeping Moss (F/FTM) 

When Renaei, the goddess of tundra, needs a bodyguard the choice is simple: Lorne Lavine. Renaei is sure she has found her equal in him. But Lorne has worshipped her his entire life – how can he ever see her as a woman instead of an untouchable goddess?13


I am trying to think if I have a favorite in this series and I have to say it is difficult to choose. Alyce Caswell gives rainbow readers and everyone else a fantastic representation of diversity, identity, and genre in “The Galactic Pantheon Novellas” series.

The novellas tells the different stories of a divided family of gods and goddesses. They are of course at odds with each other and do not depend on their parent at all. There are three sides, but no one is really neutral by the end of their story. The stories are told in different worlds and display the power of a particular god. 

Caswell tackles a range of difficult subjects from suicide to self-isolating. Loneliness is a common theme among the tales. I would say with the exception of one god, all of them are hoping for their great love. This search leads to humorous situations, but also to love.

There is an excellent balance between the subject matter and the romance. I laughed a lot in The Flickering Flame which deals with suicide. The joy in Renaei jumped out of the page, even though Renaei and Lorne were in the midst of battles in The Creeping Moss.

I loved all of the books, but I do have some favorites. Finara is the god I liked best. Her attitude and kick butt style appealed to me. The best assist I think was the moss as it stands out clearly in my mind. My favorite couple is Sanyul and Isabis because of their unique situation and how Caswell writes their ending. I love a couple that can work around what others might see as obstacles. Best warrior is Lorne hands down. The steamiest couple is Dom and Rasson. There is a scene where Rasson is standing still and it is very erotic. 

The stories are quick reads with humor, family drama, and romance. Caswell gives us a ride across the rainbow with The Galactic Pantheon Novellas series. I loved this ride and I am sorry to see it end. If you have a particular type of couple, Caswell provides it in this series. You cannot go wrong with any book in the group. I loved all of them.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Further Details:
Publisher: 9780648544425, 20 August 2020
Series: The Galactic Pantheon Novellas; Settings: Arkansas, Sundafar, Velde, New Sydney
Pages: 241; Sex: Rated R

Fae Friday Ep. 303

How did it all begin?

What did you read – that you would recommend about…

Kristy’s topic today is: It’s Friday! That means it’s time to sprinkle some pixie dust around and answer this week’s prompt! Why do you read?

It’s an addiction? (laugh) Seriously, it is an addiction for me. If I don’t read everyday I am a very cranky person. I don’t know when I started reading. I have always read. I think I really stepped up my game when I was eleven. My grandmother used to have me read aloud to her and that’s how I got into the romance genre. 

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Tour: His True True Protectors by Lynn Chantale

Author Lynn Chantale stops by Phoebe’s Randoms with her latest book!

His True Love 

In a small town, in a popular bar, beautiful women disappear. This could just be a coincidence, but private investigators, Carson, Matt and Nathalie don’t believe in them. So they go undercover. 

However, when one of the missing women turns up dead, the trio is disturbed to learn the woman bore a striking resemblance to Nathalie; they increase their efforts. When Nathalie disappears from the same bar, Carson and Matt will do anything to find her. ​

*Contains explicit descriptions of sex, strong language, and descriptions of violence.* 


Excerpt:

Quiet sobbing bounced off the cinderblocks, before a creak overhead cut through the sound.

“Shh,” Ruth hissed. “He’s coming.”

Thump-thump-thump. Agatha stared at the exposed floor joists and followed the dull creaks and thumps with her eyes. If she leaned far to the left she could just make out a set of rickety steps at the far end of the room.

Were they in a basement or cellar? It had to be a cellar since the floor was solid packed dirt and not concrete. She touched the wall. Cool, but not damp. She squinted at the mortar. New. She swung her attention to the bars and wood at the front of the cell.

The iron held a faint sheen or newness, same as the door. No warping or dullness to give it that old and neglected feel. She sniffed the air. The faint scent of fresh cut wood filled her nostrils. She sniffed again. Was that varnish she smelled?
Clomp-clomp squeak. Tension rose. Agatha tightened her hands into fists at her side. She held her breath as the footsteps came closer. His scent, a subtle woodsy pine, hit her first.

“Good evenings, ladies,” he greeted. His voice was low and gravelly, like he’d been a chain smoking hardcore drunkard all his life. “I trust you’re giving our new edition the rules?”

“Why did you bring me here?” Agatha demanded.

He moved closer, but his face remained in shadows. “To keep you safe?”

“Safe from what?”

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His True Protectors

Revenge is his game, and Black Hemlock is willing to do anything to settle the score.

For years, Black Hemlock has been biding his time, sulking that bragging rights to a long ago cyber heist was snatched from him. Throw in betrayal and a broken heart, and he has the perfect motive for murder.

Once more True Detective Agency is called in to assist in finding the perpetrator, this time using Carson as bait. Fearless and capable, Carson has no problem going head-to-head with a killer with a penchant for poison.

As the trio delves into the lives and deaths of the victims, a buried secret could destroy them all.

Excerpt:

Nathalie blew out a shaky breath. Some of the tension left her body. “Okay. She stared at her hands. “You know, they’re the ones who found me,” she began softly. “I wouldn’t be alive today if not for Carson and Matt.”

Sterling shifted to the chair beside hers.

“I fought as hard as I could, and it still wasn’t enough.” She stared at the vacant leather chair. “There are still things I can’t do. You know how some people can just pig out at a buffet? I can’t do that or I’ll get sick. I don’t think I’ve had a steak or poultry in years.” She managed a self-deprecating smile. “Every now and then I’ll try a small piece of steak, but it stays on my stomach.”

“You are strong and you have overcome many obstacles to be where you are today,” Sterling praised. “You have the love and devotion of not one, but two very eligible men. You know how very proud of you I am.”

A soft smile creased her lips. “Thank you,” she

He stood. “You call me”—he held her gaze—“anytime. Anywhere.”

Nodding, she stood. “I better get back to work or they really will know something is up.” She strode across the room . Her hand was on the knob before she stopped and looked over her shoulder. “ Have you noticed anything strange with the computers?”

He furrowed his brow. “Strange how?” He settled behind his desk again.

She opened the door. “Random letters and numbers.”

He shook his head. “Can’t say I have.” He glanced at a planner on his desk. “We’re due to upgrade the hardware in a couple of months. Carson updated the servers last week, and I made sure the weekly updates were done last night.”

She nodded. “Thanks, Sterling. Now I need to type up my report, since my computer is on the fritz.” She made sure her voice carried to the other office.

“User error,” came the pithy retort.

Sterling chuckled and she smiled.

“Remember that tonight when we’re at the party,” she warned, walking toward Carson’s open door. She leaned on the jamb. Matt sat on a corner of the desk, while Carson typed away.

“Reboot your terminal,” Carson said without looking up.

She crossed the room, kissed Matt , then walked behind the desk and kissed Carson.
Carson stopped typing and caught her wrist. He looked her over. “What’s wrong?”
Matt shifted and studied her.

“Do I need a reason to show the men I love some affection?” She tugged at her wrist and Carson released her. Quickly, she moved out of reach.
The men exchanged a quick glance.

Nathalie tucked a tiny braid behind her ear. She willed her rapid pulse to slow. They could be unnaturally perceptive when they wanted. Now was not the time for that. “I’m really looking forward to tonight,” she deflected. “It’s not often I get to spank two delectable asses at one time.”

“I think she’s going to derive just a tad too much pleasure in this party,” Matt said.
Carson held Nathalie’s gaze. She refused to look away.

“Did you pack the toy bags?” he wanted to know.

“Of course.”

Carson nodded, then resumed typing.

Nathalie pivoted on her heel and made her escape. If she glanced back, she would know she hadn’t fooled either one of them.

**Contains Explicit descriptions of sex, some violence and strong language.
Also contains strong BDSM themes**11

Giveaway:

2Giveaway ends 17 January 2021

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/23d974a92632

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Silver Dagger Book Tours!! 

From the desk of Author Lynn Chantale:

I would rather watch a movie

There is nothing new under the sun. I’m sure you’ve heard this saying before. And it is so very true. If one looks hard enough, there has been jealousy, murder, betrayal since the dawn of time. The hardest thing as a writer is to present the same story in a different and unique way.

Recently, I watched or rather listened to a movie and had my brother and his wife give a description of relevant scenes I couldn’t see. The movie was Unhinged about a man with some serious road rage to the point he follows home a motorist and burns his house down. The heroine of the movie happens to get behind this motorist and blares her horn at him when he doesn’t move for a green light. He gives her a chance for a sincere apology, which she doesn’t take and well things go south from there.

Already this movie puts me in mind of Changing Lanes with Ben Affleck and Samuel L. Jackson. The two of them go about making each other’s lives miserable until well I won’t spoil the endings, but one learns the error of their ways while the other doesn’t.

Or maybe you’re a fan of the Die Hard and Speed franchises from the late 80s and early 90s; when some critics called Speed ‘Die Hard’ on a bus or cruise ship. Go ahead and nod your head, ‘cause you’d be right.

Being original is a balancing act. A writer wants the originality but at the same time wants to give the reader what they want. If anyone follows ‘The Repairman Jack’ series, the author F. Paul Wilson made a reader’s note that there were no more stories from Jack he could tell.  As unfortunate as ending a series or standalone may be, it’s what’s best for the author and for the character. 

Readers want a good read; with relatable characters and situations they can overcome Or at least live through…

While I try to give the readers a little of what they want, I do my best to balance it with some originality and try to keep predictability to a minimum. It isn’t always easy. I write what I like to read or at least what is in my heart. Hopefully, the same attracts the readers.

Read Lynn Chantale’s bio here.

Further Details for His True Love
Publisher: The House of Lynn, LLC, 979-8608850844, 12 February 2020
Cover Design: Dreams2Media
Editor: CW
Series: True Detective Series #1
Pages: 95

Further Details for His True Protectors
Publisher: 978-1087932699, 6 December 2020
Cover Design: Dreams2Media
Editor: Em Petrova
Series: True Detective Series # 2
Pages: 166; Sex: Rated R; BDSM

Promotion materials provided by Silver Dagger Book Tours.

ARC Review: Edging Closer by L.M. Somerton

The path of true love meanders through a minefield.

Cover Design: Claire Siemaszkiewicz

Synopsis:

After several years of adventures, submissive Olly Glenn and his Dom, Joe Dexter, are about to tie the knot. Needless to say, all does not run smoothly on the path to matrimony. Only Olly can turn a visit to a cupcake shop into a police incident.

While Joe and Olly’s friends join forces to make their wedding the most memorable ever, others are not so keen on them getting their happy ever after—or living to experience their honeymoon. So, when Joe walks into a carefully laid trap, it’s hard to see a way out.

Olly is determined that nobody, not even a sociopathic killer with connections to his past, will ruin the big day. He wants Joe standing next to him, in one piece, and he’ll risk anything to make sure that happens, even if they have to be handcuffed together. In fact, that idea has possibilities…4

Getting married is not easy in Edging Closer written by L.M. Somerton. Somerton puts every device except for the “runaway bride” in this story (laugh). There are knives, handcuffs, car crashes, and falling down hills and I have not even mentioned the BDSM activities (smile).

“It always amazes me how many different variations of the lifestyle there are. Something for everyone, no matter where you are on the kink ladder.” Loc. 495 in Edging Closer by L.M. Somerton.

Edging Closer is an exciting mystery where people think that the past is over with, but is it ever really?! Then there is the craziness of wedding planning Olly style. Olly is a hoot as well as all of his cohorts. 

Somerton gives us a quick read with some spanking fun and a line of danger. Edging Closer is the ninth book in the “Tales from the Edge” series, but can be read as a standalone.

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Further Details:
Publisher: Pride Publishing, 9781839431005, 19 January 2021
Series: Tales From The Edge #9; Settings: England
Pages: 183; Sex: Rated R, BDSM

WWW Wednesday Ep. 302

This week it is a wide mix of books….

Photo by Alana Sousa on Pexels.com

WWW Wednesday idea is from MizB at A Daily Rhythm and is currently hosted by Taking on a World of Words. I learned about it from NottsReader.

All you have to do is answer the three following questions:

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish?

What do you think you will read next?

I am currently reading: 

F/F Romance

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I just finished: 

Children’s Book

I think I am reading next: 

Fantasy

What are you reading? Just finished? Or thinking about reading? Comment and let me know!

Walking In A Winter Wonderland Reading Challenge Ep. 302

Walking in a Winter Wonderland Quarterly Challenge Update

Photo by Daniel Frese on Pexels.com

Origin: Romance Readers Reading Challenges on Goodreads. See my original post about the challenge for full details.

When: 15 December 2020 to 14 March 2021

25/30 Completed


Completed this past week:

16. Read a book with six words in the title or six letters in the title or a book you want to keep by your side.

#16 Noelle

17. Read a large book (your interpretation of what constitutes large for you) or a book with a large rating- 4.0 or higher.

#17 Large Book

21. Read a book that has an inspirational or paranormal tag or a book with more than one person on the cover.

#21

24. Read a book with something HOT (your interpretation) on the cover or a book with a character who needs someone else.

#24 Skye needs her trio

26. Read a book with a celebration or holiday in the story or a book with a word in the title that rhymes with ‘art’ (ie. start, heart, chart, tarte).

#26 Holiday

27. Read a book with a conflict in the story or a book set in Canada.

#27. Conflict

28. Read a book with a shapeshifter or animal tag or a book with an animal or moon on the cover.

#28 Shapeshifter & Animal

29. Read a book that has a title or cover that draws you to it or a book that has a road trip in it.

#29 Road Trip

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Other topics that I still need to read:
6. Read a book with something round on the cover or a book with a ‘ballsy’ character.
8. Read a book set in Europe or a book with a light source on the cover.
10. Read a book tagged Historical or a book set in England or a book with a color of the sunset on the cover.
20. Read a book set in the food industry or a book you hope you won’t want to stop reading.
30. Read an anthology or a book that has different page counts depending on the edition.

Bonus: My favorite thing about Winter and then spell out that word (or phrase). Use each letter in that word to read a book whose title or author’s first or last name or series title corresponds to that letter.

Spring is next!

#1
Gender Swapping
#2
Urban Fantasy Mystery
#3 MC: Dagny
F/F Holiday Romance
#4
M/M Holiday Romance
#5 Sebastien Grey: forensic anthropologist
Mystery
#7
LGBT Fantasy Fiction
#12
Poly Bi Urban Fantasy
#13

#14
M/F Romance w/Goddess
#9
Toronto, Canada
#15, #0.5 “Ember Academy for Magical Beings” Series
#18. M/M Holiday Fantasy Romance

#19.
F/F Romance
#22. F/F Holiday Romance (MtF)
#23
Mystery
#25.
Mystery

Completed topics:

3. Read a book with a title that begins with one of the letters in ‘Thundersnow’ or a book with a title or character with an unusual name.

4. Read a book with an lgbt character or a book with a colorful cover.

5. Read a book with a character in a science field or a book with food on the cover.

7. Read a book set in a city or a book with the letter ‘Bb’ somewhere in the title or author’s name.

9. Read a book set in Canada or a book published in February of any year.

11. Read a book set in the U.S. or a book with a 7 or 0 in the page count.

15. Read the first book in a series or a book with a foot on the cover.

18. Read a book with a person on the cover or a book with double numbers in the page count or publishing date (i.e. 422 pages, pub. 2009).

19. Read a book by a favorite author or a book set in your favorite season.

22. Read a book set in France or a book with a sports tag or athlete in the story.

25. Read a book with a mystery or suspense tag or a book with a complex sounding plot or character.

Review: Her For The Holidays by Sally Bend

Her for the Holidays is a sweet transgender romance about coming out, falling in love, and celebrating the season.

Holiday Short Read

Her for the Holidays – A Sweet Transgender Romance

Synopsis:

Newly widowed during the age of COVID, Felicia gave up a good job and took a significant pay cut to be able to work from home – and, more importantly, transition in private. Without the pressure of having to face friends and colleagues every day, quarantine was supposed to be her opportunity to embrace her transition.

When a surprise return to the office is announced, she’s not ready. With her legal paperwork and name change still pending, she’s stuck living a lie that she promised herself was forever behind her. There’s only one woman at the office she hopes to impress, a friend to whom she hoped to one day come out, a misunderstanding makes a bad situation already worse.

Can she fix things? Can she turn the holidays around? Can she rescue a friendship and, just maybe, find romance? With the help of a surfing Santa, all things are possible.4

I freaking love this story. Sally Bend adds in real-life COVID issues in Her For The Holidays. This does not mean that Her is depressing, but it does influence the value of love for Dee and Felicia. Dee and Felicia have been talking for a while working online together. They got to know each before meeting for the first time. This is no fly-by-night romance in this quickie. This is a clean contemporary romance that leaves you with a huge smile on your face.

Get it free on Kindle Unlimited!3

I happen to love what happens in a year in Her, especially about the realistic arguments that people can have. I think the reason that this story really hits home for me is that a friend of mine went through her transition while still working and she ended up losing her job. I saw how difficult it was when she was just coming into my building and how my employees reacted when she left. The ignorance and transphobia was ridiculous. I ended up becoming friends with her because of what was happening…though I think we would have become friends anyway because hello I’m mad cool. Bend showcases the fears and judgment that the person transitioning has and the people surround them. Bend also shows how people can be accepting too.

Feliz Navidad to all of the Felicias out there. Huge hugs! 

I received an ARC of this book and I am writing a review without prejudice and voluntarily.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Books in the “Christmas Tales” series:

#1
#2

Further Details:
Publisher: Smashwords, 10 December 2020
Series: The Christmas Tales #3
Pages: 37; Sex: Rated R

Blitz: Dirty Deeds

In this collection of all-new urban fantasy novellas and other stories, no job is too big or too small — if the price is right.

Dirty Deeds: An Urban Fantasy Collection

When the going gets tough, the tough get their hands dirty. Join NY Times Bestselling author Faith Hunter, USA Today Bestselling author R.J. Blain, and National Bestselling authors Diana Pharaoh Francis and Devon Monk on a wild romp where the damsels bring the distress and what can go wrong will go wrong.

Venture into a thrilling spinoff tale from the world of Jane Yellowrock; join vacationing gods in what appears to be a quiet, ordinary town; visit a supernatural hotel where the bedbugs could very well eat you; and dive into the zany, deadly world of the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series.


Excerpt From Diana Pharaoh Francis’s The Pixie Job

The thing about taking a vacation is that you always feel guilty that you aren’t being productive, or someone wants you to do something you don’t want to do. Case in point: the ghost elf sitting on the lounge opposite giving Mal the fish-eye stare because she refused to go train. 

“I told you. I’m on vacation. I promised Law, and the other ghosts, and So’la. I’m not supposed to do anything but relax for an entire month.” 

Mal reached for her mimosa and sipped it deliberately. She wasn’t generally a drinker, especially in the morning, but Edna, another of her ghost companions, had encouraged her to try it out. She could have done without the champagne in the orange juice but whatever. She was on vacation, and apparently this is what people did on vacation. She wouldn’t know. She’d never actually taken one before. 

Merrow’s lips twisted downward. She looked entirely out of place. Well, generally ghosts did look out of place among the living, especially since generally the living made sure they were exterminated like vermin. Mal used to be one of those exterminators until she couldn’t stomach it anymore. Now she had her own family—collection? cult? hangers on? —of ghosts. 

She had eighteen of them, now that Merrow had joined. They fed off her magical energy, which they needed to survive. Which was sort of an oxymoron but whatever. 

Anyhow, Merrow had been an elf. A militant one, part of an elite fighting force. She’d been betrayed by her own and killed, then joined Mal in order to get revenge. She’d achieved that and Mal thought maybe she’d have crossed over in whatever way elves do, but she’d stayed. 

Merrow was bored. 

Law, Mal’s boyfriend and the blood-bound security witch of Effrayant—where Mal was vacationing, just as she’d promised after her most recent near-death experience—had arranged charging stations for the ghosts so they could go anywhere and find sustenance. This was not an unselfish act. He’d been motivated by a desire for privacy with Mal, but the ghosts were grateful. 

Most of them.

Authors include: Devon Monk, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Faith Hunter, and R.J. Blain6.

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Giveaway

2Giveaway ends 21 January 2021

Direct Link: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251234065/

Further Details:
Publisher: Pen & Page Publishing, 978-1649640109, 12 January 2021
Series: Magical Romantic Comedies; Ordinary Magic; Jane Yellowrock; 
Pages: 643

Promotion materials provided by Xpresso Book Tours.

Mini Reviews: Still spending the holidays with #DeanCornwall #KatLong #DelilahNight and #RyanTaylor and #JoshuaHarwood

Sometimes I like a book, but really don’t have a lot to say so I figured I would try this and see how it works out.

Driving Him For Christmas By Dean Cornwall

Throw together one beautiful Angel and the King of a small gambling empire, and watch the sparks fly.

Photographer’s model Drew Angel is no pushover. He’s been hurt more times than he can count by men that see him as nothing more than the pretty face on the other side of their lens.

So when his drunken cab driver runs into the back of a beaten-up old Porsche on the way to the station, he tries to ignore the attractive other driver’s attentions. He knows men like Simeon King, and he knows better than to succumb to their superficial charms. Even when he learns the truth, that Simeon’s father recently passed away and the car was his only real legacy, Drew keeps an arm’s length between them.

But Drew Angel has a Christmas tradition: he and his sister give out gifts at the children’s home where they grew up before they found their forever family.

Get it free on Kindle Unlimited!3

He has to get home for the big day. And when the trains are all cancelled because of the weather, how can he possibly turn down the offer of a ride?13

Dean Cornwall makes a road trip fun, but maybe not so merry (laugh). Cornwall gives us a rich guy who always gets what he wants no matter who has to step on and a guy who is tired of being stepped on. Then Cornwall mixes in some really hot chemistry and talk about a conundrum. The back stories are good and realistic. The hard-core rich guy’s turn around is quick, but hello it’s a holiday story (smile). Cornwall gives us some great heat too. I really liked this holiday road trip and I like the message that Cornwall gives as he writes about giving back. Add Driving Him For Christmas to your warm, fuzzy, and gives you a “good feeling” holiday reading list. (18 Dec 2020, p. 108) Goodreads. StoryGraph

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Noelle by Kat Long

Because unwrapping your Christmas Gift is only half the fun. . . .

Straight-Lace. That’s what Gabriel calls me. But it’s not who I am. Before I go home for Christmas, I have to tell him. I’ll tell him how fast my heart beats when he’s near and how sexy his ink and piercings are. I’ll tell him. Tonight.

Noelle. My Christmas Angel. She has no idea how much I want to possess her, and how deep my feelings run. One touch wasn’t enough. I want her. All of her. When she steps in my bar tonight, she’ll know. I’m going to take my Straight-Lace and ruin her for anyone else.13

I will say that if there is a wall or door nearby that is probably where you will find Noelle and Gabriel. (laugh) Kat Long takes us on what initially appears in Noelle: A Naughty Christmas Novella as a whirlwind romance, but Noelle and Gabriel have been talking for three months. She has shared all of her troubles with him and they have talked about mundane things too. They have talked about everything except for how hot they are for each other (laugh). Once that initial kiss happens though, it is game on and a good time is had by all. Long gives us a holiday gift that you can unwrap every year.(Erotic Impulses, 9781393171171, 17 Dec 2020, p. 54) Goodreads. StoryGraph.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

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Comet’s First Christmas By Delilah Night

A bad Santa is turning believers faster than melting snow. Can the mystery be solved in time for Christmas?

Claudia

I’ve dreamed of this day for years, and now it’s reality. I’ve been called up for the Big Show. Official Pole phone and email, Naughty-or-Nice login, and upgraded I.D. with my new job title—Comet. In three weeks, I’ll be part of the team flying Santa around the world.

In an instant my life goes from peaceful, if boring, to a blizzard of last-minute flight preparations, route planning, and anxiety-triggering stress.

The moment I meet my P.A., Jillian, her beautiful smile and sparkling blue eyes are an oasis of calm. But I’ve barely got enough time to wonder if her plump lips taste as sugarplum sweet as they look. Disturbing news has popped up on Santa’s radar.

Someone is turning Santa’s most fervent believers into non-believers overnight. If we can’t find and stop this hacker, there won’t be enough reindeer cutout cookies and hot chocolate in the world to restore balance to Santa’s Naughty-or-Nice list in time for Christmas Eve.13

Comet’s First Christmas is a fun cozy mystery written by Delilah Night. Night takes us around New York City at Christmas time as Claudia and Jillian try to solve the mystery. Night infuses the story with comedy, romance, magic, and of course holiday cheer. I love New York during the holidays and Night gives the city that fresh-eyed look through Claudia. The mystery is fun, but not truly solved, but no worries because Night is giving a sequel next year! Make sure to be on the lookout for Prancer’s story as this is an annual mystery you want to read. (20 Oct 2020, p. 132)  Goodreads. StoryGraph

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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Nice Catching You by Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood

What happens when the No. 1 college hockey star in the country falls in love—with a man?

Nick Johnson, a top prospect for a pro hockey team, has a secret: he’s gay. Tired of living in the closet for the sport he loves, he sees no way out.

Jacob Meyer’s string of bad boyfriends left him cynical about love. Instead, he focuses on his studies as a third-year law student. With a new job waiting for him, he’s eager to graduate and move on.

On a school-sponsored trip, Nick and Jacob meet in a most unexpected way. When Nick tells Jacob his secret, they decide to hang out, just as friends. But their attraction is too strong to ignore, and they soon begin dating.

Since Nick is a big man on campus, it doesn’t take long for people to notice his attachment to Jacob. All hell breaks loose when the relationship gets out. As the national media descends, university officials try to figure out how to solve their “problem.” Their efforts divide Nick’s team, inflame fans, and put Nick and Jacob’s futures in jeopardy. Will the men be able to survive a plot to destroy them without derailing both their careers?7 Want to read an excerpt about how Jacob and Nick meet? Read here.

Ryan Taylor and Joshua Harwood write the sweetest romances with a message and Nice Catching You is no different. I will warn you that there is extreme homophobia and a break in friend code in the story. Taylor and Harwood tackle homosexuality in sports and this time it is hockey. I love both Nick and Jakey…(hysterically laughing…cough) I mean Jacob. They are the perfect power couple and extremely supportive of each other. Though the authors write about a serious topic there is a lot of humor too. I am still chuckling over Little Jacob and…hmmm I will let you read it and you can chuckle too. The supporting cast is awesome and I so totally hope that Scott gets a story in this genre and it would be awesome if Kelly does too. This is an awesome young love story with a strong message. There is ice skating (the romantic kind), hand holding, and christmas lights. Nice Catching You is a holiday love story you can read every year. (Wainscott Press, 30 Oct 2020, p. 311) Goodreads. StoryGraph.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I received ARCs of these books and I am writing reviews without prejudice and voluntarily. 

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