Review: Kidnapped by the Pirate by Keira Andrews

Will a virgin captive surrender to this pirate’s sinful touch?

Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World.

Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible.

Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust…

Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart.

This May-December gay romance from Keira Andrews features classic tropes including: a tough alpha pirate too afraid to love, a plucky virgin captive half his age, enemies to lovers, first-time sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.



To love could only be madness. 

Pirates. Give me a pirate romance any day.


I feel like 2017 is one for pirate romance spoiling, well for me, that's for sure. So many good MM pirate romances are out there! Keira Andrews' Kidnapped by the Pirate definitely can join the ranks of an entertaining and swoon-worthy tale. (I'm a bit of a pirate connoisseur if you couldn't tell.)

This book has a lot of buzz qualities. The hype is backed by the quality of this novel. If you're new to pirate romances, I think this is a wonderful start. I forgot how much this author excels at writing enemies to lovers tropes.

In Kidnapped by the Pirate, it delivers the blurb and more:

  • age difference - Nathaniel (aka Plum) is 18 to Captain Hawk's 41
  • enemies to lovers - both men were mere puppets on the villain's stage. It starts as kidnapper/captive but it blossoms to much more.
  • first time sexual discovery - once you get over the cherry popping in your head, think of all the fun an experienced lover can bring.
If you prefer a historically accurate tale, stop here.

If you enjoy tropes and don't mind having to stretch reality here and there, come aboard matey! Don't mind my squee.



In this tropey tale, Nathaniel's sole purpose in his life according to his shitty father is to be an heir. Motherless with a reading disability (dyslexic?), he's been told all his young life by his father that he's an imbecile. The one solace he has is being active and in the outdoors as much as he can. Forced into a betrothal to fatten his father's pockets, Nathaniel has to journey from England to his father's failing island Primrose Isle.

Nathaniel has a secret that would see him killed in 1710, he's gay. A fact he hides very well. And just his luck his dastardly father pissed off the wrong pirate, the legendary Sea Hawk. Captain Hawk can see his revenge finally come to fruition when he raids the merchant ship with Nathaniel on it. In order to save his sister from the wicked pirates, Nathaniel allows himself to be kidnapped peacefully.

Hawk puts Nathaniel in his quarters as his prison. And he tries to keep his eyes on the prize. Hell he even names him Plum to try and distance himself. The older, taller pirate has his eyes on the prize. Ransom the little brat in a month's time and if the governor fails to give him the money, he'll kill Plum...no problem.

Plum was supposed to be the prisoner, yet Hawk was ensnared, powerless to deny him anything, a fishing boat caught in a frigate's churning wake, swept up and only able to hold on.

Keeping a nubile, curious virgin in close quarters will wear down on a man. No matter how much Hawk acted like an ass.

I never tire of reading about a curmudgeon brought down by love. The more they resist, the more they protest, the harder they tend to fall. Hawk gave a good fight. But he was out stubborned by his Plum. Nathaniel slowly wears him down by being himself. Plus, being in close proximity day in and day out leads to caring about the other's well-being.

While the two started to open up to one another (*drum smash*), the mutual attraction only added to Hawk's downfall.

The urge to be the first to plunder that sweet, tight arse beat in Hawk like a war drum, and it was all he could do to keep himself in check.

You can only wave that juicy plum in front of a hungry person until their tempted to bite.

You know what is even better than that? When you add a heavy dose of possessiveness.

Thick, calloused fingers gently pushed the seed back inside where it dripped from Nathaniel's tender arse. "Only me," Hawk muttered, still leaning over him, lips by Nathaniel's ear.


*grunts*

The sex? Hot and plentiful. It's a sexual discovery win if that scratched your itch. Nathaniel is naturally submissive and eager to learn.

"Tell me. What is it you want, Plum?"
"Your cock. All of it."

Some highlights: domination, rimming, frottage, outdoor sex. Great variety and it didn't overtake the plot. I got kink teased. Just when I thought breath play was on the table, but it wasn't served. Maybe next time? ;) Overall, vanilla with a hint of spice.

The plot was fun. There wasn't as much swashbuckling action. Instead, we read how Nathaniel and Hawk grow to care and be each other's savior. Very romantic.

The villain, Walter Bainbridge is a loathsome man. He was giving me a certain Orange-Wanna-Be-Dictator vibes. *grimace* And while I wished his outcome would have been different (read: more violent and on page), it worked for the story.

Why not the full 5 stars? Being a pirate lover... I can't help but compare it to my top pirate reads. This was sweeter. There was action, but it was over fairly quickly. The central plot resolves around the kidnap and ransom, how it all ended was good. But I am lusty when it comes to revenge, I prefer on page justice. And when the final blow out happens? It was more a battle of wits and craftiness than swords.

There was a cracky fluff quality that I enjoy. It definitely delivers on the tropes and held my attention. The epilogue was pushing it for me in the sugar territory. I'm borderline on it being needed or not. (I like it darker with my pirates) However, if you're a reader who likes the HEA to sticky sweet and sweaty... you will not be disappointed! This is definitely added to my list of pirate top reads. The writing is strong and the main characters were charming.

Men were said to possess souls, and he only just discovered his and given it weight and shape.

Recommended to enemies to lovers fans who like tropes, hot sex from a pirate who likes to charge and an eager virgin who loves with his entire heart!










Release Blitz + Giveaway: Testing the Limits (Daniel & Ryan #9) by Tamryn Eradani


Tamryn Eradani and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Testing the Limits (Daniel and Ryan) today! Learn what Daniel and Ryan are up to in the latest serial edition and enter in the giveaway for a chance to win any eBook from NineStar Press!


Title:  Testing the Limits
Series: Daniel and Ryan, Book 9
Author: Tamryn Eradani
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: October 23, 2017
Heat Level: 5 - Erotica
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 11100
Genre: Contemporary, BDSM, contemporary, established relationship, businessmen

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Synopsis

Daniel and Ryan take their relationship to the next level, trying new things in scene and clarifying what they mean to each other.

Excerpt

Testing the Limits
Tamryn Eradani© 2017
All Rights Reserved

Mark: Haven’t seen you at the club in a while. Is work keeping you busy?

It’s a check-in and an inquiry rolled into one. Mark’s looking for personal answers while knowing he and Daniel aren’t…personal. Daniel’s been absent from the club for a long time, even for him, and knowing Mark, this is both a genuine question and a subtle feeling-out to see if Daniel’s still open to scening.

Mark’s always been good at giving Daniel space without it seeming like coddling. Mark knows who Daniel is and what he’s like, and he tries to meet him where Daniel’s most comfortable. Gavin never did. Gavin was Gavin, and it meant Daniel always knew what he was in for when he scened with him, but it also meant Daniel had to be in the right headspace. Gavin didn’t adapt.

Mark’s more flexible—too flexible sometimes. Daniel likes having someone to push against. He likes when they push back.

Ryan pushes back in the best of the ways. He pushes Daniel right up to his limits and, if Daniel wants, he pushes past them. There are some hard limits Daniel has but there are others which are only limits because he’s afraid to test them on his own or with a partner he doesn’t completely trust. With Ryan, Daniel’s learned how his body is capable of more things than he thought.

The message is still waiting for Daniel when he opens his phone.

It would be easy to send back a simple yes or maybe a more in-depth big project—performance reviews coming up. Mark would accept either of those. And he’d read into what Daniel didn’t say—I’ll be back when work’s quieted down.

Easy but disingenuous. Daniel doesn’t expect to be at the club any time soon. He hopes not to be. It’s not like Mark can’t find other partners to scene with; he’s easygoing and perceptive, and Daniel knows he was seeing at least two others while also seeing him. Different people for different things. Different people for different schedules.

Maybe he should send back exclusive arrangement at the moment. It has the benefit of being true, and it leaves the door open for the future.

Again, there’s a touch of not-right in this answer. Because he doesn’t want this relationship with Ryan to end? Because it’s strange to plan for the end of a relationship while in one? Because he doesn’t know where he and Ryan stand?

Daniel’s been with partners before who preferred monogamy, but it’s been for a variety of reasons. Some liked the feeling that they were the only one—possession sometimes, emotional attachment others. Some liked that it meant sex was safer—only one partner, regular testing, everything clean, no surprises. Some liked the implication that they were the only person their partner needed. Daniel’s never identified with the last one.

Different people for different schedules.

Different people for different needs.

Ryan’s the first person Daniel’s been with whom he could be happily, long-term monogamous with.

He’s just not sure if Ryan feels the same way.

Daniel leaves the message unanswered, because he doesn’t know how to answer it.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo



Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.


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Review: Love Plus One (Maths, #1) by P.A. Friday

Laurie and James are a monogamous couple with an occasional lover in James’s best friend, Al. It is a casual, friend-with-benefits situation which suits them all, especially given Al’s promiscuous lifestyle.

When Al is assaulted, however, Laurie and James are forced to confront the fact that their feelings for Al might be stronger than mere liking. But would free spirit Al ever want more than what they already have?


Wow. Yeah, this book packs even emotion than One Plus One and that surprised me.

I am going to recommend you read these books out of listed order. I cannot imagine starting with this and not knowing the history of James, Al and Laurie. We got James’ POV in One Plus One telling his story of the unrequited crush on his mother’s friend, Laurie and how he turned to his best friend Al for comfort and sexual release. You need to understand the length and depth of friendship James and Al have and how truly beautiful the intimacy was between them in and out of bed. You need to know how much James longed for Laurie, how Laurie rejected him all the while wanting nothing more than to be with James. You need to know that Al has always been a witty smart ass who was so open and fluid with his sexuality without reservation. You need to meet them before so you understand how they could work as ménage now in this book. Trust me on this.

We get inside Laurie’s head this time and I have to say how much I adore him. He’s this professional academic bloke who tried to resist the feelings he has for his friend’s son for years and finally gave in. Laurie loves the bones off James and when James brings up the topic of adding in a third in bed and it being Al, the boyfriends become monog-Al-mous and begin their three pointed relationship.

This book has some seriously hot sex in it. Goodness. I love how Laurie has become dominant when the three are together and how Al has pressed this new trait in Laurie. Knowing Al, it makes sense that he would provoke Laurie to get him to be all sorts of toppy and how much Al would get off on it. We know from One Plus One that Al whined and begged for James to fuck him so him turning into a bottom brat, just fits his personality. Along with the hot threesome sex we still get the moments between James and Laurie filled with love and how respectful Al is of those moments though he covers them with humor.

When Al shows up late one night at James and Laurie’s door battered and bruised from being physically and sexually assaulted, the three start to examine the truth of their emotions. Al has always been free spirited with his love and his life only be nailed down by his career as a film maker. But this assault has shaken him more than he admits though his lovers see it. James and Laurie do what they can for their friend without smothering him but the boyfriends thinks it’s time the man they both love, moves in with them, even if it’s only temporary.

I cannot say enough how much I appreciate getting Al’s POV in this book. I wasn’t expecting it when I turned the page yet was thrilled to get inside his head to see how he truly feels about James and Laurie as well as their relationship. Al says he doesn’t do love and doesn’t do relationships but living with James and Laurie provides him a front row seat to the couples intimate touches that start to flow over and onto Al.

As Al deals with his feelings and keeping them secret from James and Laurie, we see the side of Al that I adore and that’s the one who wants to be owned by his lovers. The kink that gets brought into their play time was scorching and was always important to the situation and how these three men connect with one another. Al is reeling with breaking his own rules of falling in love and as he spirals a bit out of control, Laurie is always there to bring him back with James by his side handling Al in the ways he needs it.

The assault isn’t something that is glossed over, Al does suffer recurring nightmares from it but for me, it fit his personality as well as his lovers how they tried to deal with it and move on. People deal with trauma differently and while sex wasn’t used as a magic pill for Al, being dominated and protected by his lovers during sex was his way of gaining control again.

Oh but Al just about broke my heart in this book. Knowing how his parents treated him and how as a teen he’d overheard their disdain at being parents, it’s no surprise that Al has a hard time dealing with falling in love with his best friends and thinking they can’t possibly love him back. But they love their Al and accept him for who he is including his having sex outside of their poly relationship. I adored the talk they had when he says he won’t be faithful and James and Laurie say he will and that sex is something different than his fidelity to them.

Yup. This was a good one and again, read the series out of order. Then… just enjoy watching these three fall desperately in love and have some ridiculously hot sex.

A review copy was provided.

Review: From Blood to Roses by Laurin Kelly

Rob's latest job is a simple one—kill the target, make sure it doesn’t look like murder, break into the safe and take the goods back to his client. A second hitman who gets the drop on him definitely puts a dent in his plans.

When they cross paths again, Rob doesn't know if he wants to kill the man or screw him. Unfortunately, someone else wants both him and Kelan dead, and if they're going to survive two men used to working alone are going to have to learn fast how to work together. Safely ensconced temporarily at a safe house in the middle of nowhere, Rob and Kelan team up to defeat their common enemy... and perhaps win each other's hearts along the way.




I was positive this would be a win because I read and LOVED the author's previous work, Under the Knife, and I love me some assassins. Unfortunately... this was dull. It reads like a novel in parts with an inordinate amount of details that took up valuable page time within the confines of a novella.

Rob tells the story of how he and Kelan, two hitmen, keep getting hired for the same jobs. The rationale behind this still alludes me. Granted, I don't have half a mil in disposable income lying around but why pay that out twice? #dumb The first time Kelan bests Rob which I liked since there is a size difference between them with Kelan being on the twink side of the size scale in his cute teal teeny tiny boy shorts.

The second time they meet is on a different job locating a secret will that lands them both in a strip club and in possession of some potentially damaging pictures of a probable presidential candidate.

Then it turned into a snoozefest.

They decide to join forces after they're both targeted by some other hitmen who think they have the pics (they don't) which leads them straight into domesticity in suburbia, complete with eggs benedict and coq au vin.


The primary reason I chose the book in the first place, the assassining, flew South for the winter. These two living in domestic bliss and lounging around a safehouse dancing the slow burn dance of eternity with very little movement on their "case" bored me and tanked by enthusiasm. Then I was irked by all the dangling threads that never tied up.

I think if I had bought into their coupletry things would've been different, but I didn't. Their relationship felt clunky, forced and awkward. I can buy into the fact that they're attracted to each other and maybe some of that is the danger involved, but there's a vast difference between attraction and love and forever.

It needed either some comedy or an abundance of filthy sex to jazz it up, because what's here simply isn't very entertaining. It feels rushed and some of their actions with regard to the hitmanning were TSTL.

The sex isn't bad but it wasn't enough to pull up my rating. I will try something else by this author, and I would recommend her novel but this kind of felt like an attempt to get outside of a comfort zone and it backfired, IMO.





An ARC was provided by NetGalley.


Blog Tour + Giveaway: Myths, Moons & Mayhem Anthology by Various Authors


Three's a party! Join the paranormal menage party! The Myths, Moons & Mayhem anthology features nine paranormal themed MMM stories from authors: Rebecca Buchanan, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Morgan Elektra, Greg Kosebjorn, Clare London, Dale Cameron Lowry, Carl Redlum, and Rob Rosen!

Check out the exclusive excerpt! See the giveaway where multiple prizes are being offered below! Good luck!




Title: Myths, Moons & Mayhem
Authors: Rebecca Buchanan, Elizabeth Coldwell, Rhidian Brenig Jones, Morgan Elektra, Greg Kosebjorn, Clare London, Dale Cameron Lowry, Carl Redlum, Rob Rosen
Publisher: Sexy Little Pages
Genres: anthology, paranormal, menage, LGBT, MMM romance, MMM erotica
Date of Publication: Oct. 13
Length: 194 pages
ISBN: 9781386972891 (ebook); 978-1977763518 (print)
ASIN: B07654NZQ2
Universal ebook Link: https://books2read.com/mythsmoons
Amazon universal link (paperback): http://getBook.at/mmm

Myths, moons, and mayhem make the perfect threesome—and so do the men in this anthology.
Enjoy nine erotic stories of paranormal ménages a trois fueled by lust and magic, where mystical forces collide with the everyday world and even monsters have their own demons to conquer.
A werewolf gets a lust-fueled lesson on fitting in with the pack, a professor unlocks ancient secrets and two men’s hearts, and a pair of supernaturals find themselves at the erotic mercy of a remarkable human. Ghosts, fairies, aliens, and mere mortals test the boundaries of their desires, creating magic of their own.
Penned by favorite authors such as Rob Rosen and Clare London, as well as by newcomers to the genre, Myths, Moons & Mayhem is an eclectic mix of paranormal lust and polymythic beings that will spark your fantasies and fuel your bonfires.
Inside Man by Clare LondonAt a London pub, a tear in the veil between the dead and living opens up new possibilities for a ghost who could only ever watch the men he desired, but never touch.
The Secret of the Golden Cup by Rebecca Buchanan—A classics professor finds himself at the center of a magical war. With an unfairly attractive student and a campus janitor as his only allies, can he stave off the forces of evil?
When The Big Moon Shines by Carl Redlum—A college student is intent on hunting down the man who turned him into a werewolf. But his mouthwatering neighbors keep getting in the way.
Careful What You Wish For by Elizabeth Coldwell—Josh dreams of meeting Mr. Right, so his roommate offers help with a love spell. Neither man is prepared for what happens when the spell begins to work.
The Cave by Dale Cameron Lowry—Losing sleep to the sounds of his tent-neighbors’ nightly lovemaking has nature photographer Ethan at his wit’s end. What kind of magic can convince the two men he should join them?
The Endless Knot by Morgan Elektra—The fiery romance between a vampire and a werewolf threatens to burn itself to the ground until a human teaches them to temper the flame.
Squatchin’ by Greg Kosebjorn—Two Bigfoot hunters get more than they bargained for when they set out on an overnight camping trip to trail the legendary beast.
Celyn’s Tale by Rhidian Brenig Jones—A young Welsh farmer is haunted by visions of his future lover, only to discover that the lover is not one, but two—and not exactly human, either.
Close Encounter of the Three-way Kind by Rob Rosen—In this quirky comedy, aliens arrive from another galaxy, but they’re more interested in consensual exploration than invasion. Alien probing never felt so good!

Excerpt from “The Cave” by Dale Cameron Lowry in Myths, Moons, and Mayhem


About “The Cave”: Single nature photographer Ethan and his co-worker Heather are accompanying a group of paleontologists on a caving expedition in Madagascar when Heather and Mendrika, one of the scientists, fall into a rock fissure. After using his magic to save them, Ethan gets quite the passionate thank you from Mendrika and his husband Joseph.
This scene takes place while Mendrika and Heather are still stuck in the fissure. By the way, Mendrika is common a man’s name in Malagasy, the national language of Madagascar. It means “dignified” or “deserving.” His husband, Joseph, is French.

The only time I saw Joseph’s facade crack was late in the afternoon, when twilight began to bear down and he lost his grip on his flashlight. It tumbled into the pit, glanced Mendrika’s ear, then skittered past his shoulder into the darkness below.
“Merde!” Joseph swore.
Mendrika smiled as if he’d been given a kiss instead of a whack on the ear. “Tout ira bien, mon amour.” I only understood that the word “good” was in there and he’d called Joseph “my love,” but his tone was so reassuring that even without all the words, I got the drift.
“Comment le sais-tu?” How do you know?
Mendrika switched to English. “I’m sure someone has another flashlight.”
He looked around at his rescuers, like a groundhog peeking out of its den, waiting for someone to say they did. But his answer came from within the cave, not from above. “Ethan can help,” Heather said.
I could? What did Heather know that I didn’t? I patted my side pocket to check if I’d left a penlight in there. Nope. “My flashlight’s back at the camp.”
She rolled her eyes at me, the same expression she makes when her dog does something particularly stupid, like looking for dinner in the cat’s litter box. “Not your flashlight. Your light.
Oh. Duh. That light. I turned to Joseph. “I can work with light a little. It runs in my family.”
Now it was Joseph’s turn to give me the you-are-stupid look. “Yes, you’re a photographer. What does that have to do with anything?”
“No, I mean…” I twiddled my fingers in what I hoped was a universal sign for magic. It was in the US. But waving at someone was a universal sign for “goodbye” in the US, and here in Madagascar, it meant “come here.”
As I feared would happen, Joseph stared at me blankly.
“Oh, merde,” I muttered. I lowered myself by the edge of the shaft and continued twiddling my fingers, but this time with purpose, aiming them toward where the flashlight had fallen. I was feeling for the strings of light, barely visible to the human eye, but still there.
There was a good chance my gift would fail me. It had the last time I’d tried it, when I’d been too lazy to put on my headlamp for a midnight piss and conjured up a ball of light. Only I couldn’t keep it going, and it disappeared on my way back to the tent. There’s nothing quite as fun as feeling your way back to your tent through brambles in the dark.
Still, it was worth a try. Better than leaving Heather and Mendrika stuck in a cave overnight.
I kept searching around, weaving my fingers through threads I knew were there, even if I couldn’t feel them yet.
My third finger landed on a string of light, thick like a bass guitar string. I plucked it and felt it resonate—a note so deep it was almost imperceptible. I slid up the string and plucked again.
This time, the note was obvious. Light swelled around Mendrika and Heather, filling the crevices between their bodies and the sidewalls of the cave.
The expression on Joseph’s face was an odd mix of disgust and elation. “You can control light? You didn’t think to mention this earlier?”
“I don’t control it. I work with it. And I’m out of practice. Electricity is more dependable.”
Joseph muttered something in French that I’m pretty sure was an insult. I ignored it and plucked another string. Joseph went back to his work.
It was dark before the rescue was complete. I took a picture as Mendrika surfaced, dirt-stained and smiling. Joseph pulled him into a bear hug and burst into tears. So much for his stoicism. I kept the camera on them, drawn in by their sweet murmurings in French and Malagasy, Joseph’s stifled sobs, their kisses. My flash went off like a strobe, but they didn’t even seem to notice I was there.
It was perfect.


To celebrate the release of the paranormal gay ménage anthology Myths, Moons & Mayhem,  Dale Cameron Lowry is giving away a bunch of paranormal and ménage ebooks for your reading pleasure. Prizes include:
  • Chance & Possibility: Seven Fantastical Tales of Gay Desire, an eclectic selection of Dale’s previously published paranormal, fantasy, and sci-fi stories. Chance & Possibility isn’t available to buy anywhere.
  • Pacific Rimming, a contemporary novelette about a middle-aged gay married couple who fall in love with a younger man while vacationing on Canada’s Vancouver Island
  • Love Unmasked, the story of a gay man who’s unlucky in love because, once in a blue moon, he turns into a raccoon.
Enter to win here. (https://dalecameronlowry.com/mmm-giveaway/)

About the Editor

Dale Cameron Lowry’s number one goal in life is getting the cat to stop eating dish towels; number two is to write things that bring people joy. Dale is the author of Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love and a contributor to more than a dozen anthologies. Find out more at dalecameronlowry.com.

Audiobook Review: Pent Up by Damon Suede

PENT UP: Mix business with pleasure and take cover.

Ruben Oso moves to Manhattan to start his life over as a low-rent bodyguard and stumbles into a gig in a swanky Park Avenue penthouse. What begins as executive protection turns personal working for a debonair zillionaire who makes Ruben question everything about himself.

Watching over financial hotshot Andy Bauer puts Ruben in an impossible position. He knows zero about shady trading and his cocky boss lives barricaded in a glass tower with wall-to-wall secrets and hot-and-cold-running paranoia. Can the danger be real? Is Andy for real?

What’s a bullet catcher to do? Ruben knows his emotions are out of control even as he races to untangle a high-priced conspiracy and his crazy feelings before somebody gets dead. If his suspicions are right, Andy will pay a price neither can afford, and Ruben may discover there’s no way to guard a heart.

Length: 12 hours 46 minutes
Narrator: Christopher Kipiniak



Reviewer: Shee Reader


Ruben is a recovering alcoholic divorcee with a target for a face. Damon Suede really knows how to craft a character that is full of flaws, but eventually lovable nonetheless. Andy is also a charmer. A dodgy dealing financial whiz with enemies in every shadow. His cocky fine-boned face draws Ruben from the outset.

The story is written from Ruben’s POV and I found him hard to like at the start, but he did grow on me. Andy wasn’t that likable at first either, but he redeemed himself in the end, mainly by how he treated Ruben. There is so much conflict and angst in this book, but it was still a fun listen. At times the story felt to be moving far too slowly, but the HEA was worth the wait!

There were some great supporting characters in Pink (Ruben’s sponsor in Florida) and Charles (Ruben’s brother who gives him a job and couch to sleep on in NYC) among the horribly unlikeable ones.

Christopher Kipiniak was a new-to-me narrator and I found his style agreeable, but more inflection to distinguish Ruben’s almost constant inner monologue and his audibly spoken words would have helped me follow the story much more easily.

In all, not one for the low-angst fluff moments, but enjoyable.

I was given a copy of the audiobook free in exchange for an honest review.




Giveaway + Blog Tour: Tracker Hacker (Codename: Winger, #1) by Jeff Adams


Jeff Adams is here today talking about his new release from Harmony Ink, Tracker Hacker. He's also offering an ecopy of the book, so be sure to enter below. Good luck!



I'm excited to be at Boy Meets Boy to talk about my latest release Tracker Hacker which is the first book in the Codename: Winger series. The book is the first adventure for Theo Reese, a high school student who is hockey player, computer genius and an agent for Tactical Operational Support. His computer skills got him the job with TOS, the agency his parents also work for. In Tracker Hacker, Theo is taken out of the safety zone of working behind the scenes at his keyboard as both a security specialist and software designer for some of the agencies gadgets. Here he has to go on his first field mission and it opens up a whole new world of danger for him.
One of the things that was interesting to work on while constructing the series was for a teenage hero with some serious consequences--far more than the average teenagers.
Theo has known since he joined TOS at age 11, which happened after he had hacked his parents’ phones, that he's often dealing in life-and-death situations. If a program he’s working on fails, an agent's life at risk. If Theo’s working with an agent to assist in the field he knows a wrong move could be very detrimental. Theo, however, has never been directly in danger before.
That all changes in Tracker Hacker.
Because of his understanding of the TOS systems that are hacked and because the bad guys base of operations happens to be underneath the rink where high school hockey competition is happening, Theo is the perfect person to send in to thwart the bad guys.
It was interesting as an author to write these consequences--truly life-and-death in some cases. Most of my writing to date, including my young adult novels, have romance at the center. Of course, there are consequences in romance novels because without some conflict the story could be rather boring. For Theo, much of the conflict he deals with is extreme and it's interesting to see how a younger person--someone who's just a couple years away from being a legal adult-- handles it.
He's smart enough to know what he needs to do in many of the scenarios but he's also aware that he's hampered by his inexperience. He'll berate himself when he's feeling scared or might be on the verge of tears because of the stress he's under. He doesn't want to disappoint the adults he works with and so he has these considerations along the way. He also sees the ramifications of his actions on the people around him, especially his boyfriend who he can't be completely honest with.
On the other hand he is keenly aware that what he does is important, which also gives him in a sense of pride and fulfillment. He even tries to use his connections to help people when he sees the needs. There's a subplot in Tracker Hacker about a classmate, Cullen, who knows Theo has expertise in computers. Even though Theo is busy, and he knows his help might make a bad situation worse, he still looks for a way to help Cullen.
This is part of what makes him a good agent--he's constantly trying to do good. Occasionally trying to do the right thing can have personal consequences. He doesn't always get what he wants.
Working out the wins and losses and how Theo copes with them was not one of the challenges in writing the book. It was also fun. Deciding where Theo would have his success and failure took some planning because he couldn't always win. If he always won, it wouldn’t be realistic. So, as much as it would be cool for Theo if he could always come out on top he needed to have some losses that were equal to his wins. How he overcomes the failures is key to his growth as a character.
Below is an excerpt from the book, showing a bit of Theo in the aftermath of botched kidnapping attempt. You’ll also find the blurb, buy links and a Rafflecopter that will give you the chance to win a free copy.
Excerpt

This scene takes place in the garage at Theo’s house right after he’s gotten home from his boyfriend’s. The day before Theo was nearly kidnapped and he’s dealing with the after effects—both physical and mental. Here he gets a call from his Dad, who is currently in the field, which is why he’s calling on the secure line.

As I was typing, my phone vibrated with a TOS call.
“Winger. Defender here.”
It was Dad!
“Hi. I…. Thanks for calling. I don’t know where you are but thanks.”
“Snowbird was able to reach me and told me what happened. Are you okay?”
“Um, yeah.”
The silence lingered. I knew I didn’t sell my condition well enough.
“No,” I finally admitted.
“Are you secure? Can we go video?”
“Sure,” I said and activated my video connection.
Dad’s face filled the screen. I couldn’t tell where he was, but it was good to see him.
“Winger, tell me.”
He sounded like he always did when he knew I was holding back. He’d used the voice on me when I was eight and terrified of going back on the ice after I broke my leg. He’d used it when I was thirteen and trying to tell him I was gay. And here it was again. Of all the people I could talk to about this, Dad was the best because he got me so completely. And he always set me on the right path.
“I keep reliving yesterday. Crashing my bike into the van. The gun aimed at me. Eddie in the crushed Jeep.” I sat on the hood of the car. “Sometimes it ends differently—with one of us dead.”
“I’m so sorry. That shouldn’t have happened to you. When you started working for TOS, we didn’t like the idea of you getting too involved, but I don’t think we envisioned anything like this.”
“I didn’t either,” I said quietly. “I tried to fight back, as best I could, Da—”
“I have no doubt.” He cut me off before I could call him Dad, which I desperately wanted to do right then. “If you need to walk away from this, I think we’d all understand.”
“No. I can’t. Too many years helping on too many projects. Besides I want to make sure no one else gets picked off like I did. Even with your training, getting abducted still can’t be easy.”
“You’re pretty amazing, Winger. I don’t know if I’d have felt the same way at your age. Take care of yourself. I’ll be home in a few days, but if you need anything, pick up the phone. Okay?”
“I will.”
“Good. I gotta go.”
Dad put his hand on the screen and a wave of nostalgia crashed over me. He’d done this when I was younger as a way to hug me via video chat. I placed my hand over his.
“I love you, Winger.”
“Love you too, Defender.”

Book Blurb:
High school student. Hockey player. Computer whiz kid. Covert agent?

At sixteen Theo Reese is the youngest agent for Tactical Operational Support. His way with computers makes him invaluable. He designs new gadgets, helps agents (including his parents) in the field, and works to keep the TOS network safe. But when a hacker breaches the system TOS uses to track agents, Theo is put to the test like never before.

Thrust from behind the safety of his desk, Theo must go into the field to put a stop to the hack. He’s scared but resolved because one of the missing agents is his father. And just to make it more interesting, he has to keep everything a secret from his boyfriend and teammates.

Can Theo get the job done, save his dad, and make things good with his boyfriend?

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Bio:
Jeff Adams has written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published. Since then he’s written several shorts and novels.

Jeff lives in rural California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance.

Jeff is the co-host of Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast, a weekly show devoted to gay romance fiction as well as pop culture. New episodes come out every Monday at biggayfictionpodcast.com.

Learn more about Jeff at http://jeffadamswrites.com/




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