Oct 30, 2015

ARC Review: DEAD RINGER by Heidi Belleau & Sam Schooler


Brandon Ringer has a dead man’s face. His grandfather, silver-screen heartthrob James Ringer, died tragically at twenty-one, and Brandon looks exactly like him. But that’s where the resemblance ends. Brandon is unknown, unemployed, and up to his ears in bills after inheriting his grandparents’ Hollywood mansion. He refuses to sell it—it’s his last connection to his grandmother—so to raise the cash he needs, he joins a celebrity look-alike escort agency.

Percy Charles is chronically ill, isolated, and lonely. His only company is his meddlesome caregiver and his collection of James Ringer memorabilia. When he finds “Jim Ringer” on Hollywood Doubles’ website, he books an appointment, hoping to meet someone who shares his passion for his idol.

Brandon? Not that person.

But despite their differences, they connect, and Percy’s fanboy love for James shows Brandon a side of his grandfather he never knew. Soon they want time together off the clock, but Percy is losing his battle for independence, and Brandon feels trapped in James’s long shadow. Their struggle to love each other is the stuff of classic Hollywood. Too bad Brandon knows how those stories end.


Connect with the authors:
Heidi Belleau:  Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 

Sam Schooler:  Website | Twitter | Goodreads 


Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars. I really, really, really liked it!

Dead Ringer is one of those books I wanted to hug after finishing it; hug the book, its main characters, and the authors for writing it. And to the people responsible for this cover, I'd like to say: Well done! It is not only an awesome cover, but it's also perfect for the story. It was that cover that first caught my eye, and made me curious about the book, but what made me want to read it was that the main character was an escort. I remembered wanting to read as many escort books as I could at the beginning of this year. What ever happened to that plan of mine, I have no idea, but this was a great opportunity to put it back in action. Mentions of classic Hollywood didn't hurt either. (This book actually made me want to watch a bunch of old movies.) Needless to say, I started reading Dead Ringer with high hopes, and I'm happy to report none of them were crushed. The more I read about Brandon and Percy, the more I wanted to read about them. The book has quite a few pages, but never did I feel bored by the story. I got to the end and wished there was more, but content to leave Brandon and Percy at that point, seeing how far they'd come. 

Before I get all teary-eyed again over the ending, I should go back to the beginning of the story, and Brandon's troubles. Brandon Ringer hadn't had an easy life. He was only nineteen, and because his parents found having a gay son unacceptable, he had been living on his own the best way he could for years. The only person in his family who'd always been on his side had been his grandmother Dahlia, who had recently passed away, leaving her Hollywood mansion to Brandon. Owning such a mansion didn't come cheap, but he was determined to keep Dahlia's house and her memories. He started working as a cam model, which led him to another job at Hollywood Doubles, an escort service with employees who look like celebrities. Being a spitting image of his grandfather, James Ringer, an old Hollywood legend, Brandon was perfect for the job.  

Working as his grandfather's double wasn't an ideal situation for Brandon. All his life he was reminded of how much he resembled him, and not for good things. Plus, he grew up hearing gossip about James's numerous affairs, for which he was still angry on Dahlia's behalf. It goes without saying he was less than enthusiastic about playing the role of the man he despised, which showed quite clearly in the clients' reviews. 

Everything changed after meeting Percy. 

Percy, being chronically ill, spent all his time isolated in his part of his parents' huge house. His only company was his creepy caregiver, while his parents weren't exactly interested in his life, other than to take him to parties to show he wasn't too sick, and to show themselves in the best possible light as caring parents. At one of those parties, he met Kovie, a girl who soon became his friend and gave him the idea to do something rebellious. Percy being a James Ringer fanboy, saw hiring Brandon or "Jim Ringer" as  an excellent plan to both rebel and spend time with another Ringer fan. The problem was Jim turned out to be a disappointment because other than the way he looked, Jim was nothing like James. On top of that he didn't seem to know anything about him.

After letting Percy down, and his other clients, Brandon decided to change his attitude, and become better at his job. This was one of my favorite parts of the book. Seeing Brandon trying hard to do his job well, then being so happy after receiving positive reviews from the same clients who weren't so pleased before, it was wonderful. Ah, it still makes me smile.
Throughout the story it was easy to feel whatever the main characters felt, and Brandon's content for a job well done was contagious. More importantly, this was Brandon's first step in getting to know his grandfather. As the story progressed he found out more and more about him, making him realize not all was as it seemed, and that James Ringer wasn't the devil he was led to believe. 
Percy played an important role in that.

Watching James Ringer movies wasn't all Brandon & Percy did during their meetings. After all, Brandon worked for an escort service. But that wasn't all, either. These two young men discovered how much they liked each other's company, how much they liked each other, and how much they wanted to be together off the clock. However, with Percy's medical condition and his quality of life depending on medicines controlled by his creepy caregiver and parents, and with Brandon's secrets, that wasn't easy to achieve. How they managed or did they manage, you'll have to find out for yourselves. I've said enough. I, for one, enjoyed every part of their journey, even the ones that made my heart hurt. In the end, it was all worth it.

Overall, with an interesting  plot, subplots, lovable main characters, quite a few side characters who won my sympathies (there were a few exceptions, of course), and that old Hollywood feel, in my book, Dead Ringer was an absolute winner. 

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!


Oct 29, 2015

PRE-RELEASE ARC REVIEW: Unmasking Zach (Ellery College #2) by Edie Danford

Expected publication: December 1st 2015
 by Samhain Publishing, Ltd. 
Genre: MM Contemporary Romance

Buy The Book:

Connect With The Author:

Synopsis On GR:

The missing piece of the puzzle might be the one piece he can’t keep.

Before heading for grad school, Zach O’Malley needs downtime from his superhero-worthy schedule. Painting houses seems like the perfect summer gig for some mindless mellowing out.

There’s just one wrinkle in Zach’s Zen plan. Coworker Kirby Kurtcehajic, a hippie kid who starts hitting on him with happy and hardcore voracity three seconds after they meet. And has the ability to make his mind and body leap with a single smile.

Kirby would be the first to call himself a cockeyed optimist, but even he admits he’s had a tough year. After busting his knee, losing his cat, and accidentally demolishing his Vermont house, seducing way-too-serious Zach is the ideal distraction.

But when another spectacular mishap lands Kirby in crisis, Zach puts on his superhero cape to come to the rescue. And as boundaries dissolve, Kirby realizes he may be in too deep. Because the end of summer is coming, when Zach will be moving on, and Kirby will have to continue his quest for independence—alone.
Warning: Contains an unlikely friendship, an unwanted attraction, undeniable emotions, and enough outdoor sexy times to make a full moon blush.
RATING: 2.5 / 5 stars
*** REVIEW ***

I've read this book 3 -4 weeks ago, but unfortunately real life has prevented me to write  a proper review until now. To tell you the truth, I barely even remember the plot now, which can only give you insight into what kind of impression it left on me as a reader and that is: forgettable.

The story did start out good at first, I even thought that it might be a winner, but later on the more the plot developed the more I was losing interest in it. That's why I'll keep it short. The biggest reasons for my rating are:

a) The plot's main focus was the romance which became boring for me, especially in the 2nd half of the story.

b) The characters were portrayed quite one-dimensional and there were a lot of questions about them left to our imagintion.

c) There were some soap opera moments which made me wish I were a dnf reader. Even one of the characters in the book compares one situation to soap opera, so there you have it.

All in all, the book ended up rather disappointing and therefore I give it 2.5/5 stars.

Dear friends, bloggers, followers and authors,

Sorry for being AWOL for about a month now. I've taken a second job to teaching (which barely paid the bills), so I have almost none free time nowadays which I usually spend sleeping or hanging out with friends and family since I barely see them during the week. That's why I'm forced to take a break from the blogger life until I find a job with reasonable working hours, lol. I will try to keep in touch from time to time. Miss you,

Oct 27, 2015

ARC Review: DARKEST BEFORE DAWN (KGI, #10) by Maya Banks


THE ALL-NEW KGI NOVEL from the “incredibly awesome" (Jaci Burton) #1 New York Times bestselling author of When Day Breaks.

The Kelly Group International (KGI):
A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t...

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they've known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock's true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he's been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She's the only woman who's ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he's spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”


Connect with the author:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads 


In the popular series about the super-elite, top secret, family-run business that is the Kelly Group International (KGI), Darkest Before Dawn is the tenth book, but no worries, it can be read as a standalone. It's one of those installments that don't center around a member of the KGI, but rather a man who's been, as far as I could see, kind of frenemies with the KGI, Guy Hancock. Fans of the previous books will be happy to know the previous characters make an appearance here as well to play an important role in the resolution. I, having not read any of those books, was a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of minor characters, and their relationships. It would take me awhile to grasp all of it if I wanted to, but I think the majority of readers who'll choose to read about Hancock and Honor will be those who have read at least some of the earlier stories, and they should know about the Kelly family and others.

The story begins when the relief center in the Middle East where Honor volunteered was bombed and she was the sole survivor. Her escape made her a target of the terrorist group responsible for the attack, which also made her an important part of Hancock's plan to finally take down Maksimov, the man he had a personal vendetta against. But that plan was not easy to actually carry out as it would inevitably lead to Honor's slow and painful death, a fact that had been weighing heavily on Hancock and his team who had admired Honor from the start, and it raised the question whether sacrificing one innocent person for the greater good was really worth it.

The premise sounded, and it still does sound interesting. I wish I could say the same about the story itself, but sadly I can't. In my opinion (and I'm not alone in this; I've checked), this book contains way too much repetition. The word count could have been significantly lower without it hurting the plot. In fact, it would have helped it by not making me or anyone else who picks it up to read about the same things, whether it's facts, thoughts, or actions, over and over and over again. The books has 378 pages -- it's a lot of pages to go through when the constant repetitiveness is annoying you. It made me want to wish I, too, had skimmed some parts. And while I'm on the subject of annoying things and parts I wish I'd skimmed, I have to say this: if you're going to put words in the mouth of a supposedly religious Muslim, please don't make them sound as though they haven't a clue about Islam. It is not enough to just use the word God in Arabic, and then say whatever. Just no.

While the premise did sound interesting, what really made me accept this ARC was Hancock, and if I had read this series before, I'm certain his book would've been one I'd be anxiously anticipating. I do so love reading about these bad guys who in the end always do the right thing. Hancock proved to be one of them, but a couple of things about him left me confused. The time it took him to finally, finally reach the decision about Honor was one. After everything I learned about his past actions, and the present facts, it seemed like something that just didn't fit in. The second is: he kept, like almost everyone else, referring to himself as a emotionless machine, but all the emotions he felt belie that. And he had many. It surprised me about him and everyone else, just how much they cried, these big, tough guys, tasked to do the dirty jobs the government can't. Other than that, I did like the loyalty and the bond he and his team shared.

What to say about Honor? Her name says it all. She was a saint. Honor is the kind of character that most will probably like. She definitely seemed like the person one might like to have in their lives, as she seemed to be the most caring, giving, forgiving, compassionate character ever. But how often do we really find people who have no flaws at all? And, well, I prefer my fictional characters to have flaws, something to make them more real. "There's nothing more boring than perfect." I'm afraid I agree with this.

The development of the romance between Honor and Hancock was okay, slow, but okay. The bigger part of the story was about Hancock's plan to take down Maksimov, and ANE (the terrorist group hunting Honor). Having to deal with such dangerous people had put all of them in danger many times. There is no shortage of violence in the book, though it didn't seem as gruesome as it could have been. 
Would I have preferred both the plan and the romance were handled differently? Yes! Why? I can't say as it would be a spoiler, but I will say it's because of my own personal preferences.

In the end... I'm not even sure what to put in the end. Darkest Before Dawn left me wanting to scream: TOO MUCH REPETITION! And ignoring that, I think, ultimately, I'm not the right audience for this type of romantic suspense -- I admit, reading about military never held much appeal to me. I wouldn't want to scare anyone away from reading this book, especially not those fans looking forward to Hancock's book. If you've waited for it, then go for it, and see for yourself. Good luck!

***ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.***


Until next time, happy reading!


Oct 26, 2015

Cover Reveal Blitz: “Driven Snow” (The Pennymaker Tales, #2) By Tara Lain

Driven Snow
(The Pennymaker Tales, #2)
by Tara Lain

Young Snowden "Snow" Reynaldi is brilliant, beautiful, and alone. Though he's shy, weird, and tolerated by the NorCal University students because he's a renowned whiz at chess and helps put the school on the map, that doesn't keep him from dreaming of the object of his desires, Riley Prince, championship quarterback.

 When Riley needs a physics' tutor, Snow jumps at the chance, and their relationship heats up-but Riley has to come out of the jock closet to get anywhere. Meanwhile, Snow's one true friend and mentor, Professor Kingsley, marries a woman who secretly wants the chess tournament glory and money for herself. Soon after, the professor collapses and Snow finds himself underwater-literally. In a car!

Seven frat brothers from Grimm College rescue Snow just in time for his life to get even worse, and Snow discovers the one relationship he always wanted slipping away. With evil looming at every turn, Snow must survive if only to prove he's the fairest of them all and regain the trust of his handsome prince.

Release Date: 
November 25, 2015

Available for pre-order at 


Snow nodded. "Now, this is pretty basic, but we can get a lot more sophisticated." He scratched out a slightly more complex set of calculations, and Riley seemed absorbed.
"Man, this is so dope."

"Glad you like it."

"Wish Jenkins could make physics so interesting."

"You have to create the excitement for yourself. See the potential."

Riley looked up. "You make it exciting." He smiled slowly. "You make everything exciting."

"M-me?" Snow's brain froze.
"Yeah. Why do you think I come see you play all the time? It's like plugging into the solar system and catching the stars in my hand."

"S-stars are gas."

"The planets, then. I've wanted to tell you this for a while. I think you're-"

The sound of a key in the lock brought both their heads up.


Like some cosmic joke, the apartment door opened and beautiful, perky, perfect Courtney Taylor walked in. "Oh, hi. Are you two still studying? Oh my gosh, Snow, you must be magic or something. No one could ever get him to study physics before. I told him, 'You have to do it, baby. The team can't do without you. Find a way to learn this shit.' And what do you know? He found you. Amazing." She walked over, pushed Riley's head back, kissed him on the lips, and plopped down in his lap. "Did you learn a lot, baby?"
Her knee bumped Snow's thigh, and he leaped up like he'd been shot. "Oh gosh, look at the time. Better get back to work myself. Have to study for the tournament and all." Sweet God, he had to get out of there.

Riley stood Courtney on her feet and stepped over beside Snow. "When can you help me again? I've only got two weeks. I made so much progress today. I know you're busy, and I hate to ask, but could you please-"

"Yes, of course. Just text me, okay?" He ripped out the pages they'd been working on, shoved the notebooks into his backpack, and headed for the door. He seemed to be running from everyone these days. "Bye. Bye, uh, Courtney."

Outside the door, he clambered down the steep staircase and stopped at the bottom just to breathe.
What were you thinking, you idiot? That somehow his girlfriend had magically transformed into a teapot?
He started to tell me something. He said he's wanted to tell me for a long time.
What are you dreaming? That he suddenly quit being straight and is attracted to a wimpy little queen like you? Spare me.

Okay. Okay.

The door to Eudora's apartment flew open, and a hand emerged, holding a glass. "Hey, cutie. Have some water."

Like it was perfectly normal to accept water while standing in hallways, he grasped the glass and drank the liquid down. Amazing how much better he felt.

She took the empty glass. "Lessons for the day. Don't sell yourself short. And don't believe everything you see. Got it?"

"I… I guess so."

"Good." She patted his cheek, and then the door closed behind her. If a caterpillar suddenly appeared saying "Who are you?", he wouldn't be even slightly surprised.

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she's now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. 

She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say "Yes"!

You can find Tara at


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Oct 20, 2015

ARC Review: RAIN SHADOW (Bluewater Bay, #10) by L.A. Witt


Jeremy Rose came to Bluewater Bay to work as Anna Maxwell’s bodyguard, not to escape his increasingly bitter relationship with his estranged kids. He just wants to focus on his job and be alone for a while. He’s done with love, especially now that three years after his long overdue divorce, he’s got a front-row seat to the rapid deterioration between Anna and her girlfriend. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe him.

Then Anna and Leigh’s attempts to reconcile put him in the crosshairs of marriage counselor Scott Fletcher. Scott’s exactly what Jeremy needs right now: gorgeous, hot, horny, single, and 100% uninterested in a relationship. The problem is, too much no-strings-attached sex—and too much time in each other’s company—inevitably builds emotional connection.

Except Jeremy refuses to seek counseling for his broken family, and Scott refuses to get seriously involved with men who work dangerous jobs. They both need to realize they can only hide for so long from the pain they came here to escape. They must face their pasts before they lose their shot at a happy future.


Connect with the author:


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars, which means, you know, I really liked it!

I was dead, wasn’t I? And heaven was actually a hot guy’s bed with an eternal supply of lube, wasn’t it?

NetGalley is addictive -- why didn't anyone warn me?! Just when I was telling myself I have more than enough books to read and review, I saw Rain Shadow, and, damn it, I just had to click on that Request button. I had to! I hadn't read any of the Bluewater Bay stories, but always wanted to. It's L.A. Witt, so of course I wanted to read it. But the most important reason was that lately I've been in a no-excessive-drama-or-angst-in-books mood, and I expected/hoped this would be a story about a hot relationship between two men, laced with some problems they would promptly solve, and all that in just the right number of pages: not too few, not too many -- just right. And I was right: Rain Shadow was all I hoped it would be.

This is Bluwater Bay story #10, but it's my first, so I believe it's important to point out that for me it worked perfectly fine as a standalone. While reading it, I never felt as though I was missing something because I hadn't read any of the previous books. I think it's possible some of the characters that did appear here were the main characters from some of the previous stories, and if that's true, those who've read about them would be happy to see them again. To me they were strangers, but I didn't mind it one bit. This was Jeremy's book (he's the one whose idea of heaven is at the beginning of my review ;)), and it never stopped being Jeremy's book.

What I learned from reading other people's reviews of some of the previous installments is that the stories revolved around Wolf's Landing, the TV-series that's being filmed in Bluewater Bay. I wouldn't say Rain Shadow revolved around it, but it was mentioned, and it is thanks to that series Jeremy Rose moved to Bluewater Bay: he was hired as the bodyguard of one of the directors/producers of the show, Anna Maxwell, who, I see now, will be getting her own book! Yay! But, back to the MC at hand, Jeremy. He may claim he made the move because his company sent him there, but the truth is more complex. After a long-overdue divorce, and what it did to his relationship with his children, he just needed to step away from it all for a while, and think of a way to repair it. Dating is definitely not an option for him, so when he meets Scott Fletcher, a man who pushes all his right buttons, and is also not interested in dating, especially someone in Jeremy's line of work... Well, as Jeremy put it:

A hot, insatiable man with no interest in a relationship? Color me hooked.
He was hooked, and they hooked-up a lot. Always fun --  by "fun" I mean sexy -- times when Scott and Jeremy got together, which is why I was glad they got together as often as possible. Things would get very hot very quickly when those two were in the same place, which is what I've come to expect from L.A. Witt's books, and exactly what I had hoped would happen.
Jeremy & Scott's sexy time sure were enjoyable, but so were the parts in between when they were learning how much they enjoyed each other's company, just being together. It was sweet, even if it did lead to the inevitable holy-shit-this-got-too-serious breakup. I knew they wouldn't take too much time in resolving their issues -- L.A.'s characters never do -- and they didn't, which was also sweet.
Ah, many good feels in this story...

Jeremy's main problem, what was worrying him the most, his strained relationship with his children, mainly his daughter, wasn't so easily fixed, but they've come a long way. I believe they'll make it.
More good feels...

And more good feels, I think, are to come in the next book, Stuck Landing, which will be about Anna. She kept appearing in this one as she was the one Jeremy's job was to protect, so I grew curious about her. I'm glad hers is the next story. I want to see what happens in her love life after everything she went through in that department in this book.

All in all, Rain Shadow is a book I've enjoyed reading immensely, and because I've enjoyed it this much, even though I have not read the rest of Bluewater Bay stories, I'll say this was a great addition to the series.
Recommended to L.A. Witt's fans, fans of this series, and hot M/M romance lovers in general.

***ARC provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.***

Until next time, happy reading!


Oct 19, 2015

SPOTLIGHT TOUR & CHARACTER BIO: Sinders and Ash (The Pennymaker Tales Series) by Tara Lain

Sinders and Ash
(The Pennymaker Tales Series)
by Tara Lain

Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.

Available for order at 


Character Bio - Sinders

Name: Mark Sintorella (Sinders) 

Age: 22 

Hair: Black and long; his mother loved his “crowning glory” so he keeps it long but hides it under a cap 

Occupation: Works in housekeeping for a resort hotel; aspiring fashion designer, trying to develop a portfolio so he can go to design school 

Family: He comes from a large Italian family. Only his mother supported him after he came out as gay and when she died, they threw him out and he lived on the streets

Motto: Work hard, stay anonymous, don’t expect much 

Passion: Falls hard for Aston Armitage, the billionaire’s son, the moment he sees him at the hotel 

Secret Weapon: Mr. Carstairs Pennymaker, his unexpected mentor and “fairy godmother”

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. 

She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at



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