Book Review – Finder by J. E. Lorin #KU #Free #Review

Blurb

At the age of sixteen, August Goodson developed a strange and mysterious power overnight: he can find people. Victims of murder, suicide, kidnapping, accidents, and rape; August can find them all, usually dead, but sometimes still alive. Nine years later finds August volunteering his services to the police. He’s still smarting from the loss of his long-time love Dante, who cheated on him with his best friend, and harbors a deep crush on the incredibly handsome, and oh-so-straight, Detective Luke Williams. But there are bigger concerns on August’s mind: a serial killer is loose in the city, one whose victims are a little too much like him for comfort. When August finds a living victim who may be one of the serial killer’s, he’s drawn even deeper into the case. Will he make it out alive, or will he soon be the one in need of finding?

My Review

I really felt for August’s character in this story.

To suddenly find you have this strange ability? To be abandoned by parents that adopted you? To be cheated on by your long-term boyfriend and best friend? And finally, to have a crush on a straight man?

I don’t know how August is still a mostly sensible functioning adult. However, he is still pushing forward and using his abilities to find and bring to light people who have died in sometimes sad and sometimes horrific circumstances.

I liked Detective Luke Williams from the start. He seems caring and he wants August to be safe when he’s ‘doing his thing’.

As for Luke’s work partner, Detective Mark Gladstone, I didn’t like him at all at first. He was abrupt, dismissive, and at times downright rude. But, as I got to know him I warmed up to him and by the end…well, I’ll leave it to you to find out.

The clues that get dropped as to the identity of the serial killer keep the reader guessing all through the story, and although some may get a gut feeling as to who it is, there is no proof. When the culprit is revealed it is a surprise to all the characters and I think it will be to most of the readers too.

A highly entertaining read 4*s

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Valentine’s Day – Part two

Part Two

We sat sharing memories of holidays past until our appetizers arrived. Spinach and Cheese ravioli with roasted garlic and sun-dried tomato cream sauce.

My mouth watered at the amazing smells of the food. I’d been so nervous I’d skipped lunch and I was starving.

We fed each other, giggling like naughty kids and trying not to drop food on each other. Work had been so hectic that we’d hardly see each other recently and it was great to spend time just being a couple with no other worries to spoil the fun. Well, almost no other worries.

Our empty plates were exchanged for a classic Caesar salad and that was quickly followed by our entrée.

“Is this?” Terry didn’t finish his question as he was too busy moaning over the mouthful he’d just taken.

“It’s a Hornblower Surf and Turf. According to the menu I downloaded, its petit filet mignon, with a wild mushroom demi-glace. Grilled salmon with truffled potatoes au gratin. And finally, carrots and green beans.”

“It’s delicious.” Terry had to put a hand in front of his mouth, so he didn’t spray food over the table. I just rolled my eyes and returned t my food. He was right, it was delicious.

As dessert got nearer I felt myself tensing up again. The plates were cleared, and I saw our server heading our way.

“Your desserts, Sirs.” With a flourish, he placed a plate in front of each of us. The chocolate Tuxedo Bombs looked perfect, and Terry’s was exactly as I ‘d asked it to be prepared.

I heard Terry’s sharply indrawn breath and I watched him stiffen as he realized what he was seeing.

On the top of his chocolate bomb was a dollop of fresh cream and nestled in the cream was a rainbow gold ring.

I slipped out of my seat and dropped to one knee beside him. Pulling his hand into mine I drew in a deep breath.

“Terry, I know we haven’t been together long, but you are it for me. I want to wake up you and go to sleep with you every night for the rest of our lives. I want to show the world that you are mine and that I am yours.

“Would you do me the honor of becoming my husband?”

I watched as tears gathered and fell down Terry’s cheeks, I hoped they were happy tears. God, I really hoped they were happy tears.

“Yes,” he whispered.

“We can’t hear over here,” came a shout from behind me, and I realized we had gathered a large audience.

“YES!” Terry yelled and pulled me up into his arms.

The loud sound of cheers and whistles surrounded us as I slipped the ring on Terry’s finger and he kissed the breath out of me.

After we’d finished dessert we took a walk around the deck. We took photos of the Statue of Liberty and even got a willing lady to take a picture of us together.

When the DJ started the music, we were asked to take the first dance—good practice one guest said.

The other guests soon joined us, and all the couples held each other close to the soft music and slowly spun around the beautifully lit dance floor.

***

“This is the best night of my life,” Terry declared as we fell into bed together later that evening.

“I know, but I’m knackered from all that dancing.” I rubbed at an ache in my back, I wasn’t as young as I once was.

“Not too tired I hope.” Terry trailed a finger down my chest and I found that actually, my back didn’t ache that much…

 

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GA Review – Home by Nephylim (AKA Nephy Hart or Cheryl Headford)

 

Welcome to another GA Review post. My story review this week is Home by Nephylim. Nephylim is a signature author on GA and can be found all over the GA site. Nephylim is also a published Author. Her books can be found on Amazon and other popular sites. Check out her blog to find out more about what she has available. She writes under the names Nephy Hart and Cheryl Headford.

http://cherylheadford.com/

Her Author Bio says:

Cheryl was born into a poor mining family in the South Wales Valleys. Until she was 16, the toilet was at the bottom of the garden and the bath hung on the wall. Her refrigerator was a stone slab in the pantry and there was a black lead fireplace in the kitchen. They look lovely in a museum but aren’t so much fun to clean.

Cheryl has always been a storyteller. As a child, she’d make up stories for her nieces, nephews and cousin and they’d explore the imaginary worlds she created, in play.

Later in life, Cheryl became the storyteller for a re enactment group who travelled widely, giving a taste of life in the Iron Age. As well as having an opportunity to run around hitting people with a sword, she had an opportunity to tell stories of all kinds, sometimes of her own making, to all kinds of people. The criticism was sometimes harsh, especially from the children, but the reward enormous.

It was here she began to appreciate the power of stories and the primal need to hear them. In ancient times, the wandering bard was the only source of news, and the storyteller the heart of the village, keeping the lore and the magic alive. Although much of the magic has been lost, the stories still provide a link to the part of us that still wants to believe that it’s still there, somewhere.

In present times, Cheryl lives in a terraced house in the valleys with her son, dog, hamster and two cats. Her daughter has deserted her for the big city, but they’re still close. She’s never been happier since she was made redundant and is able to devote herself entirely to her twin loves of writing and art

Cheryl writes books with gay characters for teenagers and new adults, often with difficult themes and a lot of soul searching, although sprinkled with a whole lot of humour albeit some of it dark.

Cheryl likes to write dialogue and has been told that her stories sometimes read like plays which she takes as a compliment. As her stories are very much character led she feels that the best she can hope for is that the readers can immerse themselves to the extend they become party to the conversations as if they were present and listening to the talk.

Home by Nephylim

Blurb/Description

Ryden’s home. His mother’s very happy about it. If only he was actually there. Where’s Luke. If only she could find him everything would be alright.

My Review:

 

First, I will issue a tissue warning, this story will have you in tears of sadness and happiness.

Ryden has been in an accident and it has left him very sick. He only has brief periods of being awake. When he is awake the only person he asks for is Luke. But, Ryden’s mum can’t get hold of Luke.

She calls his friends, and Lukes mum. They all seem to know something that she doesn’t, and no one wants to be the one to tell her.

When the reasons come to light I like the fact that Ryden’s mum doesn’t flinch from standing up and taking her son’s side. I was cheering when she found out why Luke hadn’t been around to see Ryden and she explodes spectacularly.

Ryden’s condition had me in tears for him and his mum. I don’t know what I would do if I had to sit and watch my daughter fighting to stay awake for even a few moments at a time. Nephy captures the agony and fear of the characters perfectly.

My only complaint about this story would be the length. I would have liked to have had more, but then I can be a greedy reader 🙂

A really well-written read, highly recommended. 4*s

Just click the link here and read it for FREE now… Read Home Now

 

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Wednesday Briefs – Valentine’s Day Special

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Welcome to my Wednesday Briefs Valentine Special. Today we are revisiting Billy and Terry from ‘Who’s it from?’. What has Billy got planned?

All comments are welcomed and please check out the other authors at the end of this post.


 

Cruising for my Valentine by Carol Pedroso

I looked at my reflection and tried to remind myself to breathe. A glance at the clock told me it was only five minutes later than when I’d last looked and I still had twenty minutes before I had to go and pick up Terry. I still couldn’t believe he’d agreed to go to his mother’s so I could pick him up to go on our date. He thought it was romantic, even though we’d been dating two years and living together for six months. I’d filled his other in on my plans and she would make sure he was wearing the right clothes. So, what was I worried about?

My phone interrupted my panic attack. I grabbed it and flicked the unlock.

Terry – why is my mom making me wear a tux? We agreed not too fancy.

Me – it’s a surprise

Terry – aww, come on…I feel ridiculous in this getup.

Me – I bet you look hot. Just wait until I get you home later xxx

Terry – Why can’t I just come home now????

Me – No, now be good and do as your mom tells you.

The doorbell echoed through the house making me jump.

Me – Gotta go our rides here xx

I checked my reflection once more and rushed out the door.

The limo was exactly like the photo I’d seen on the website. Bright white with long blacked out windows the vehicle took up most of our block to itself. I nearly squealed like a teenager when I got in and saw the inside. A long, padded seat ran the length of the limo and wrapped part way around the back end. Opposite the seat was a bar, stocked with all our favorite drinks. This was going to be a perfect night.

***

Twenty minutes later the limo pulled up to Terry’s mother’s small home and I jumped out to ring the doorbell.

Terry opened the door and his jaw dropped.

“Oh. My. God. You got us a limo? I’ve always wanted to ride in a limo.”

I grinned and relaxed slightly. He liked it. Hopefully, he liked the rest too.

“Don’t just stand there gawping,” came his mother’s voice from somewhere behind him.

“Hi, mom,” I called and watched as a head with grey hair appeared over Terry’s shoulder.

“Billy, darling.” She waved something in her hand and I realized what she held. “I’ve got my camera. Get out there both of you and make an old lady proud.”

Terry tried to protest but between us, we got him in front of the limo and even got the chauffeur to pose with us for a few pictures.

By the time she had all the photos she wanted I was glad I’d built in some extra time to allow for delays.

As soon we were alone in the back of the limo Terry pulled me into his lap and claimed my lips in a hard kiss.

“Thank you.”

I huffed a laugh and had to pull back to catch my breath. “It’s not over yet, love.”

“Where are you whisking me off to?” Terry tried to look out the windows, but the view was blurred, and I was fairly sure he wouldn’t work it out. But, just to be sure. I pulled him back around and reclaimed his lips. “You’ll have to wait and see,” I replied before silencing him once more.

We spent the entire forty-five-minute journey making out and helping ourselves to the drinks. By the time the driver’s voice came through the intercom with a ten-minute warning we were looking rather disheveled. I pulled a comb from my pocket and we worked quickly to straighten ourselves up.

“I still don’t see why we couldn’t have just gone for a drive then headed home to…” he gave me a leering look and I got the idea.

“Because I wanted to plan something special for us. Now, stop moaning and get over here so I can fix your hair.”

“We have arrived, Sirs,” the driver announced and after a moment’s pause the car door opened.

“Why are we at the harbor?” Terry asked as I pulled him out.

“You’ll see.” I slipped the driver a tip and reminded him of the pick-up time. With a nod, he got back in the car and pulled away.

I checked the time and seeing it was six thirty-five I looked for the signs I needed. I pulled Terry along and soon we were confronted by a beautiful long cruise ship emblazoned with the Hornblower name and logo. A sign at the bottom of the entrance to the ship said, “Hornblower Valentine’s Day Cruise boarding this way.”

“We’re going on that?” Terry asked and I watched his eyes go wide.

“Yep, come on.”

I pulled him up the steps and reached into my back pocket for my booking confirmation email. Once we were allowed on, I looked around at all the people dressed up in their posh clothes.

I leaned down to whisper in Terry’s ear, “Aren’t you glad I got you that tux now?”

I grunted at the punch I received on my arm. “Shut up and let’s find where we’re meant to be.”

At the door to the dining room, we gave our names and were guided to a small table that looked out over the Hudson. A delicate vase in the center of the table held a red rose. I watched Terry looking around to take it all in.

“Do you like it?” I was nervous. I knew as a rule that Terry didn’t like posh events, but I had felt this needed to be a big deal.

Terry smiled, and I felt a bit more tension dissipate. “I love it. Thank you.”

A waiter stopped by our table to fill our glasses with Champaign.

“To us,” I said and raised my glass to tap his.

To be continued


Come back Saturday to read what happens on their cruise.

OR

If you want to read the rest right now head over to GA where the entire short is posted in full – Cruising for my Valentine

 

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY TO ALL


For more great stories from more great authors click the links below or visit the Wednesday Briefs website

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Book Review – Bound and Bonded Series by Lisa Oliver

Blurb for book one – Only 99p on AmazonUK

Submissive wolf shifter Levi has met his mate, the one he wants to call Master. The problem is the Master concerned wants him for nothing more than a regular Saturday night scene and thanks to the rules the man has put in place there is nothing Levi can do about it.

Thanks to the war Steel is a damaged wolf. He knows Levi is his mate and wants nothing more than to claim him. But to do that means spilling more secrets than Steel has ever been willing to share with anyone. Does he have it in him to tell Levi what is going on, or should he release him to another Master at the club?

Two men who want each other – rules and secrets standing in their way.

Warning – this book is based on BDSM concepts and contains graphic scenes of M/M sex, strong language in places and a small amount of violence, plus an HEA. Please do not buy if you find these concepts objectionable.

28,000 words plus a sample chapter from the next book of the series.

My Review

I was wary when I first saw the title and book covers for this series. I’ve read a fair few bad BDSM books and I had decided to steer clear of them. However, I had already read a lot of Lia Oliver’s books and I knew her style wasn’t to ever promote abuse or non-consent and after reading the reviews from other readers I decided to give it a try. And I’m glad I did.

This series is full of respect and love. The stories are so well written you forget the setting and are focused on the growing relationships between all the varying characters.

Like last week I am going to focus on my favorite book in the series, so this review doesn’t end up longer than some of my stories. Therefore, today I am going to focus on Fighting the Fangs.

As you may guess from the title this book has a vampire in it. I like in this that the mate everyone takes to be the smallest and therefore weakest is actually the one that is physically stronger (and older).

The wolf shifter in this book has a hard time accepting his mating due to the way he was raised. His Vamp doesn’t give up though and when the wolf decides to sacrifice himself for his perceived crimes the vamp sets in and defends his mate. The wolf in this gets a lot of lessons in mates and just what would happen if either of them were to be killed. The reader gets to see the slow change in a once perceived bigoted wolf. They get to see him become a loving mate and master to the vamp.

My favorite bit of this book is near the end. Another character is interfering in the mates spending time together and so the mate of the interfering character, along with the alpha and alpha mate hatch a plan and show the interfering wolf exactly what would happen if a vamp is left without his mate for too long.

The results are both expected and unexpected. Although, you will have to read it for yourself to see what I mean <add in evil laugh 😉 >

As always a highly recommended read 5*s

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Monday Update

Okay, so I am managing to slowly catch up and keep to my schedule.

I have updated the Books Page of my blog. There is now a page for Books out to buy and a page for Free Reads

I have February mostly organized for reviews and posts. As always if you have suggestions on books you want to see reviewed drop me a comment/email/Facebook message. And of course, to other authors, if you want me to review/feature your books drop me a line.

Help! My Lover’s an Alien, the first re-edited draft, is with my two great beta readers, hopefully, they like it.

I have a Valentine short planned for Wednesday

And finally, I have several short stories in the planning stages for various submission calls.

That’s all for this week…Happy Reading Everyone

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Book Review – A Tale of Two Horns by Hannah Walker #KU #Review

Blurb

Being one of the rarest shifters that exist, Charlie tends to hide his unicorn from the world, choosing to surround himself with what he loves — books. Owning one of the best bookstores in the area, he dedicates his life to his passion, and to spending time with family and friends.

Knox Vaughn is a hero, a larger than life Siberian tiger shifter who has earned the respect of everyone in the paranormal world. Few know the real man, the one who fights for his family and friends and hides who he really is inside.

When a simple mistake thrusts Knox into Charlie’s bookstore, he finds himself smitten with the young unicorn. Two lives couldn’t be more different on the outside, but Knox has a secret, one he’s never shared with anyone other than his family. One that proves he’s not so different from Charlie after all.

Unable to ignore the chemistry between them, Charlie and Knox grow closer, but as they do, trouble descends on the small paranormal community, threatening to keep them apart. The two must come together, trusting in what they feel so they can overcome the threats to their union.

When secrets are revealed and truths admitted, bonds form that won’t ever be broken. Still, when it comes to tigers and unicorns, it might not be enough to save them.

My review

I love all books by this author. Her characters are funny and engaging.

The surprise is fairly predictable once you’re introduced to the characters. But, the fun part is watching the characters trying to figure out what the reader has already realized. Trust me you’ll be yelling at the book and characters, I know I did and I got some rather queer looks from my work colleagues.

I liked Charlie in this story. He was bouncy and fun, but serious when needed, and very protective of his family. Although he is wary he is also open to letting Knox in and starting a relationship.

A fun short read and highly recommended. I hope the author revisits them and maybe gives some of the other characters their own happy ever after.  5*

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