Review: Safe and Sound by Caitlin Ricci

Twenty-one-year-old Mason has to get out of his mother’s house, where her boyfriend subjects him to unwanted advances—and won’t take no for an answer. Since she didn’t believe Mason when he told her about his uncle’s sexual abuse, Mason knows he’s on his own, and it’s up to him to raise the money he needs. He thinks he’s in luck when he takes a modeling job.

Oliver is a photographer, and getting guys and sex has always been easy for him. His current open relationship is no exception: more friendship and fun than anything. But when Oliver meets Mason, he can see the younger man is fragile and desperately in need of help. Before anything can develop between them, Mason needs to free himself of his terrible living situation and start on the road to healing. Oliver wants to stand beside him as he does. What surprises him is the discovery that he might need Mason as much as Mason needs him.

Mason is having a hard time. His step-father seems to take every opportunity to make him feel uncomfortable while his mother is out of the house, and Mason doesn’t think she would believe him about it if he said anything. Mason needs money so he can escape his step-father and Oliver is hiring models for his stock image portfolio.

Oliver is a photographer who doesn’t say no to the easy access to naked bodies in his photography studio, but does take no for an answer when his advances are rejected.

To be honest, this was pretty cliche. The older photographer finds the shy new boy endearing enough to test the waters but realises there is some damage and decides to take a different approach. Mason is inexperienced, frightened, and just wants to get away from predatory men.

I know Oliver is not supposed to present as a predator but to be completely honest it sure seemed that way to me. He was open about his interest, but in the beginning it was just about sex and since the reader already knows that something is up with Mason, it is off putting the way Oliver approached him.

There was also a scenario that was unacceptable to me, which really got my back up. Putting an abuse survivor in a risky situation is just not on in my opinion. I actually couldn’t believe it was written into the story. I wish it wasn’t in there and the plot was written with a different scenario.

I will say that Mason and Oliver developed a close relationship, and I felt they connected well after the whole hire a model and if he’s hot I’ll sleep with him part. That was tacky and I really didn’t like it. But after my initial revulsion I did come to like Oliver. I don’t know what that says about me. He seemed somewhat redeemed.

I liked his relationship with his boyfriend. I think it was the most honest out of the entire story. I could have enjoyed the story more if it was between them and Mason.

So my overall feelings were that this is a bit of a minefield. Mason is a sexual abuse survivor and I didn’t get the feeling that Oliver was right in the way he handled everything. By the end, I didn’t hate Oliver, and Mason was a sweetheart who needed the room to be away from abusers and start to heal.

A review copy was provided for an honest opinion.

Review: Staggered Cove Station (Coast Guard Rescue #1) by Elle Brownlee

Rescues are wild in the Alaskan terrain. So is romance.

Sun-kissed California guardsman Dan Farnsworth might be at home in the water, but he’s out of his element at remote, rugged, and freezing Staggered Cove Station. Acclimating proves hard enough, but he’s also digging into how the station’s previous rescue swimmer was lost at sea. Was it an operation gone bad or something more sinister? Add to that the instant tension between him and his partner—no-nonsense Alaska-born Karl Radin—and Dan has his hands full.

As his investigation heats up, so does the attraction between Dan and Karl, even if they don’t completely trust each other. But as suspicious events escalate to sabotage, Dan starts to fear that he and Karl won’t get the chance to become more than reluctant coworkers.

This book came along when I needed it the most. I’ve been in a pretty down mood of late and needed to find a book that could draw me in and make me feel and this did just that.

Told from the dual POV’s of two Coast Guardsmen as they rescue the lives of stranded strangers and rescue their chance at love, we meet flight mech Chief Petty Officer Karl Radin as he’s out for a morning run along the crisp and frighteningly cold waters of the rugged Alaskan coastline. Karl an Alaskan native who is posted at the Staggered Cove Station and is about to meet the member of his team Rescue Swimmer, Dan Farnsworth. Karl isn’t keen on the newbie on paper yet when Dan arrives, Karl is attracted at first sight.

Dan has followed in the footsteps of his older brother Axe, joining the Coast Guard and becoming a rescue swimmer, but being assigned to Staggered Cove wasn’t by chance, Dan asked for it. You see, Dan’s brother Axe died on a rescue mission that was led by Karl Radin and Dan knows his brother was strong enough to survive the conditions so there must be foul play about. Dan has a job to do and a mystery to solve and both will lead him down roads he never expected.

I loved this story so damn much. The adrenaline with the rescue scenes were so intense and detailed I could hear the blades of the chopper and feel the cold of the Alaskan waters as Dan swam in them. It was amazing to read and just thinking about what a rescue of this caliber requires has me excited but knowing what goes on with Dan and Karl during the rescues has my heart rate spiking.

Speaking of heart rates, let’s talk about the romance. At first, neither Karl nor Dan are fond of one another. Dan is basically there to prove Karl did something wrong in regards to his brothers death and Karl isn't enthusiastic about arrogant rescue swimmers and isn’t quick to trust but there is something about these two that draws them together… it was beautiful to watch.

There is a slow burn feel to the romance between Dan and Karl. They have the mistrust at the start but after a quick turn around with a rescue soon after they meet, they learn that if they can trust the other with their lives on a mission, there has to be other ways they can trust as well. Of course, being roommates and Karl being interested in Dan helps the romance along the way but it was really lovely and romantic to watch Dan finally find someone to open up to and see him through the “I’m fine” facade he presents.

I admit I wanted some sort of confrontation between these two preferably in a storm that ends with them getting physical and having a make out session and while I didn’t get what I wanted exactly, because what I got was even better.

The mystery of Axe’s death provides some heart stopping moments with the men and gives another level of character development to Dan and Karl as individuals and a couple. They have to trust, they have to listen, keep an open mind, accept the unexpected and they have to keep rescuing the other so they can have the type of relationship they are so damn hungry for.

I loved watching Dan and Karl develop into a couple and the intimacy build between them until it was an explosion of want. For me, I don’t need explicit on page sex to feel the connection between these two and what I got was more than enough. Actually, it was so much that I squeed and hugged my Nook at the end and that exchange between them.

Elle Brownlee has created a romance that has me researching coast guardsmen in Alaska and watching a few videos of rescues that have my toes tingling from the cold. It really felt like you were right there during each of the rescues and each of the moments that had action within the romance that it was impossible not to get lost in the story. Dan and Karl are wonderfully complex characters and I am thankful I was able to witness their romance.

Yup. This was good and I can’t wait to see what comes next in the Coast Guard Rescue series.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Tomboy by Janelle Reston

Janelle Reston and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Tomboy! Learn today about the historical friends to lovers romance today and enter to win a $10 NineStar Press credit!

Title:  Tomboy
Author: Janelle Reston
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: Female/Female
Length: 17000
Genre: romance, historical, LGBT, Historical, lesbian, 1950's, tomboy, student, blue collar, mechanic, NASA, scientist, friends to lovers

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Some kids’ heads are in the clouds. Harriet Little’s head is in outer space.

In 1950s America, everyone is expected to come out of a cookie-cutter mold. But Harriet prefers the people who don’t, like her communist-sympathizer father and her best friend Jackie, a tomboy who bucks the school dress code of skirts and blouses in favor of T-shirts and blue jeans. Harriet realizes she’s also different when she starts to swoon over Rosemary Clooney instead of Rock Hudson—and finds Sputnik and sci-fi more fascinating than sock hops.

Before long, Harriet is secretly dating the most popular girl in the school. But she soon learns that real love needs a stronger foundation than frilly dresses and feminine wiles.


Janelle Reston © 2018
All Rights Reserved

The first time I met Jackie, I thought she was a boy. Of course, she was only eight then, an age when most humans would still be fairly androgynous if our society didn’t have the habit of primping us up in clothes that point in one direction or the other.

Jackie was in straight-legged dungarees, a checkered button-down shirt, and a brown leather belt with crossed rifles embossed on the brass buckle. Her hair was short, trimmed above the ears.

“Who’s that new boy?” my friend Shelley whispered as we settled into our desks. It was the first day of fourth grade, and Mrs. Baumgartner had made folded-paper name placards for each seat so we’d know where to go. Shelley always sat right in front of me because our last names were next to each other in the alphabet. She was Kramer; I was Little.

I looked at the blond cherub in the front row. He—as I thought Jackie was at the time—had his gaze set toward the ceiling, eyes tracing the portraits of the US presidents that hung at the top of the wall. A cowlick stuck up from the back of his head. He reminded me of Dennis the Menace, the mischievous star of my new favorite cartoon strip, which had debuted in our local paper that summer. I liked the way Dennis talked back to adults but somehow never got in trouble for it. I wished I had the same courage.

Mrs. Baumgartner walked into the room. The class fell silent and we straightened in our chairs, facing her. “Good morning, class. I’m your teacher for this year, Mrs. Baumgartner.”

“Good morning, Mrs. Baumgartner,” we answered in unison. She spelled her name on the chalkboard in cursive and asked us to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Back then, the Pledge didn’t have the gist of a prayer like it does today; “under God” wasn’t added to “one nation indivisible” until three years later, after Eisenhower became president. I wiggled my toes around in my hand-me-down saddle shoes as we recited the words.

The trouble began when Mrs. Baumgartner started to take attendance. “Jacqueline Auglaize?”

“Here, Mrs. Baumgartner,” Dennis the Menace answered from the front row.

Mrs. Baumgartner narrowed her eyes. “New year at a new school, and we’re starting with the practical jokes already?”

“No, ma’am.”

“Will the real Jacqueline Auglaize please speak up? This is your only warning.” Mrs. Baumgartner’s eyes scanned the room. I craned my neck around. I hadn’t noticed any new girls in the classroom before our teacher’s arrival, but maybe I’d been distracted by the Dennis the Menace boy.

“I’m Jackie Auglaize, ma’am,” Dennis the Menace piped up again.

Mrs. Baumgartner’s face screwed up as if she’d accidentally sucked on a lemon. “What you are is on the way to the principal’s office, young man.”

“I’m not—”

“And a detention for talking back.”

Mrs. Baumgartner called on one of the other boys to escort the new, nameless student to his punishment. From chin to scalp, Dennis the Menace’s face turned red as a beet. His flushed ears looked almost purple against his pale hair.

Kids playing pranks didn’t blush like that.

“I think that really is a girl,” I whispered to Shelley. But if she heard, she didn’t respond. She knew better than to turn around in her seat when a teacher was already angry.

An hour later, Mrs. Baumgartner was quizzing us on our classroom rules when the school secretary appeared at the door. In tow was a student in a frilly cap-sleeved blouse, knee-length blue corduroy jumper with a flared skirt, lace-trimmed white bobby socks, a pair of shiny black Mary Janes—and short blonde hair.

The cowlick stood like a sentinel at the back of her scalp despite the hair polish that had clearly been combed through since we’d last seen her.

An audible gasp filled the classroom. Actually, it was multiple gasps, but they happened in such synchronization that they had the effect of a single, sustained note.

“Mrs. Baumgartner,” the secretary said, “Jacqueline Auglaize is ready to return to the classroom. We’ve explained the school dress code to her mother. The behavior of this morning won’t be repeated.”

“Thank you, Miss Hamilton. Welcome back, Jacqueline.”

Titters filled the room as Jacqueline walked toward her desk. Mrs. Baumgartner slapped her ruler against her desk. “Does anyone else want a detention?”

We went quiet. Detentions are never an auspicious way to start a new school year.

We spent the rest of the morning learning how to protect ourselves from atomic explosions. Mrs. Baumgartner said this knowledge could save us now that the Soviets had the bomb. “When an air raid siren goes off or you see a bright flash of light, duck and cover underneath a table or desk, inside a corridor, or next to a strong brick wall. Then pull your sweater or coat up to cover the back of your neck and head,” she explained.

We all squatted under our desks as instructed. My father said the Russians weren’t stupid enough to bomb us, that they loved the common people and wanted to protect us. But Mrs. Baumgartner seemed to think they were. She went on in excruciating detail about the things that could happen to us if we didn’t duck and cover. Glass from broken windows could fly in our faces, we could get a terrible sunburn from the blast; pieces of ceiling might drop on our heads. I wasn’t sure whom to believe about the bomb—my dad or Mrs. Baumgartner. I didn’t want to think about it. I shut out my teacher’s voice and stared at my scuffed saddle shoes, pondering how a boy could magically turn into a girl in the wink of an eye.

“She’s not a girl,” Shelley insisted as we walked out to morning recess. “Girls can’t have hair like that.”

“They can if they cut it.”

“But no mother would let a girl wear her hair so short.”

“The school wouldn’t let a boy wear a dress to class.”

Shelley must have been won over by my logic, because the next thing that came out of her mouth was, “Maybe she has a little brother who likes to stick gum in people’s hair.” Shelley’s brother had done that to her once, but since he only got it on the tail end of her braid, she hadn’t lost much length to the scissors when her mother cut it out. “Or she got lice. Yuck.”

I didn’t like the direction of Shelley’s last comment. As it was, the new girl was guaranteed to have very few friends after the morning’s clothing incident. If the lice rumor spread, she’d have no friends at all. I’d been new once too.

“She doesn’t look dirty,” I said. “Maybe her hair got caught in an escalator and they had to cut it off.” I was terrified of escalators. My mother had warned me never to play around on one or my clothes would get snagged between the steps and I’d be pulled in, then smashed as flat as a pancake. Back when she worked in a department store, before marrying my dad, she saw a lady get caught by the scarf in an escalator’s moving handrail, and it would have been death by strangling if an alert gentleman with a penknife hadn’t been nearby to free her. I still get a little on edge every time I step onto one.

We got in line to play hopscotch on a board a couple other girls had drawn earlier that morning. I looked around. The whole school was out on the playground, and it was harder than I would have expected to find a short-haired girl in a blue jumper. There were lots of blue corduroy jumpers darting around the swings and monkey bars and jungle gym. Wanamaker’s must have featured them in its back-to-school sale that year. My dress wasn’t new. It was a hand-me-down from my older sister, with a ribbon tie and a skirt made with less fabric than the newer fashions. Shelley and I had done a test run of our first-day outfits the previous week, and no matter how fast I spun around, my skirt failed to billow as dramatically as Shelley’s.

Still, I tried to make the skirt swing gracefully as I hopped down the squares. I had no desire to be dainty, but I liked the aesthetic of fabric twirling in the air. We went through the hopscotch line four times before I finally spotted Jackie. She was over by the fence, poking at the dirt with a stick. Alone.

That last bit was no surprise.

It took three more rounds of hopscotch before I worked up the nerve to go find out what she was doing.

“Where are you going?” Shelley called as I marched off.

I didn’t answer her, afraid I’d lose my momentum. It was risky talking to an outcast. On the one hand, it was the only way to turn her into not-an-outcast. On the other hand, it might turn me into one too.

“What are you doing?”

Jackie looked up. “Thinking about digging a hole to China.”


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Meet the Author

Janelle Reston lives in a northern lake town with her partner and their black cats. She loves watching Battlestar Galactica and queering gender. You can keep up with her at


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Review: Pretty in Pink (Housemates #6) by Jay Northcote

Ryan isn't looking for a relationship with a guy--and Johnny isn't looking for a relationship at all.

Ryan's always been attracted to tall, leggy blondes--normally of the female variety. When Johnny catches his eye at a party, Ryan's interest is piqued even though he's never been with a guy before. The attraction is mutual, and the amazing night that follows opens Ryan's eyes to his bisexuality.

Experience has taught Johnny that love hurts. Staying single is safer, and there's no need for complicated relationships when hooking up is easy. When he moves in next door to Ryan, they're both interested in picking up where they left off, and it seems like an ideal arrangement: convenient, mutually satisfying, and with no strings attached.

Despite their best intentions to keep things casual, they develop an emotional connection alongside the physical one. Both begin to want more from the relationship but are afraid to admit it. If they're going to work things out, they need to start being honest--first with themselves, and then with each other.

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

Well this one was a naughty little book wasn’t it?!?! Masculine straight guy exploring his bi-curious side, femme wild boy after a little fun. Sounds like it was a match made in heaven, until they start to have feels and realise they have noooo idea how to communicate to a person they actually want a relationship with. But you know, this was what college is all about.

I really enjoyed this one, but it does have a different feel to the other books in the series...a more realistic feel. Where in previous books the transition from fuck-buddies to boyfriends is somewhat seamless, it's definitely not in this book. Sometimes it takes a little jealousy to change the course of a relationship and when Johnny sleeps with someone else it definitely wakes Ryan up, not straight away, but he gets there. There is no on-page sex scenes with other people though, just a ‘morning after’ scene.

As I said I thought this was quite a realistic portrayal of fuck-buddies to more, but also bi-curious/bi-sexual Ryan. He doesn't shy away 'from the gay’ and readily accepts that he's attracted to Johnny/men, just chooses not to tell to many people about it when he's experimenting. But there's no denying and no thoughts of shame.

I don't have to tell you, but the sex was hooooottttt!!!

This series is perfect for that! But this one did lack the extra feels of the previous books. I really did want a better epilogue, just to see these two actually having a relationship.

Hot and sexy, not a favourite within the series, but still lots of fun to read.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Lost Boy, Found Boy by Jenn Polish

Celebrate the release of Lost Boy, Found Boy with author Jenn Polish and IndiGo Marketing! Learn more about the sci-fi young adult QUILTBAG fiction! Enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title:  Lost Boy, Found Boy
Author: Jenn Polish
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: March 19, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Length: 21,200
Genre: Science Fiction, LGBT, nonbinary, trans, young adult

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In a futuristic world, Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a cyborg, and Tinker Bell is an automated computer interface.

Peter is desperate to save his lover from a military draft that, unbeknownst to him, Mir volunteered for because they are desperate to be able to fly. So, naturally, Peter programs an entire island—Neverland—as a refuge where Mir can fly without having to fight in a war.

But he doesn't locate Mir right away; instead, he fights for control of the island with automated interface Tinker Bell, and in his attempts to find Mir, others arrive on the island. But Peter’s single-minded focus on Mir generates repercussions for everyone.


Lost Boy, Found Boy
Jenn Polish © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
The boys knew they slept in pods because it was cheaper than having the oxygen on all night throughout the home.

But there was a rumor, too.

A rumor the pods were programmed to choose them. One at a time.

The younger boys believed it with wide-eyed fear and obedience.

The older boys believed it with solemn remembrance and, sometimes, defiant irreverence.

The middling boys fell, often, somewhere between utter panic and steadfast denial. It was the middling boys who were chosen.

Peter was a middling boy. Mir was middling, too, and placed with the boys.

The morning after Central glitched and only projected one sunset into the sky, Mir—who used to cradle their right forearm while they slept, to protect it from the pod; to protect it from the choosing—found their former protection was too feeble, their old desires long since changed.

The ship’s emblem was burned into the tender flesh of their forearm. They’d been chosen.

They grimaced and closed their eyes, allowing a solitary tear to drop, to sizzle on the still too-hot burgundy disruption in their otherwise-smooth golden-brown skin.

“Peter.” They frowned. Their oldest friend was a light sleeper. They pressed the comm button inside their pod again, making sure it glowed its signature azure, letting them know their voice was, in fact, being transmitted from their pod to Peter’s.

“Peter.” Louder this time, more insistent. Their attention didn’t move from Peter’s face. They wanted to see, just one last time, what the boy looked like when he woke, free of the worry lines that already plagued his face during his more alert moments. Mir wanted to, needed to memorize the way Peter’s crisp green eyes opened sleepily, the way they blinked out of a dreamland and into life. The way they flashed with all the magic of the stars of old the moment his gaze landed on Mir’s face; the way they only sparkled like that for them, the way Mir always made Peter’s mouth tug up into a sleepy, a happy, a blissful smile.

Mir wanted, needed, to record all this, make sure they never, ever forgot the uninhibited joy they and they alone could pull from the boy’s eyes.

Because once Peter saw the bloodied emblem on their forearm—and worse, when he found out why it was there—Mir knew his eyes would never light up like that again. Not for them, anyway.

Sure enough, Mir’s whisper-shout roused the boy this time. He jumped, the artery in his neck leaping with him, pulsing like it was trying to pull his body into flight.

Peter turned on his pillow toward Mir, peering out at them through the untinted glass of his pod. Finding Mir’s eyes waiting, watching him intently, Peter smiled. First in his eyes, with that sparkle that made Mir’s eyes water, that made Mir’s core swoop and their heart bellyflop; then in his lips, the left side first, then the right. He fumbled with sleepy fingers for his comm button.

“What’re you awake for, beautiful? Don’t you know there’s a war on? Sleeping in conserves oxygen reserves,” he quoted blearily, mockingly. Lovingly. He was whispering, even though Mir knew none of the boys could hear them—their comm signals only routed to each other’s pods. Peter had programmed them just for that purpose himself. Still Mir glanced around furtively at the other six pods in the windowless room. They were all tinted to near full darkness, but they imagined the other children’s sleeping forms tucked inside them nonetheless. Oblivious to them, and oblivious to Peter.

Mir didn’t answer, their throat one massive, painful lump. They just stared at Peter, stared at the boy who’d held their hand when they took their first step outside, the boy whose never-ending determination to make play out of even the most mundane tasks made him quite desired amongst all of their friends. They tried to open their mouth, but they nearly choked on their own saliva. Their forearm had long-since stopped burning—they hadn’t even felt the pod marking them, choosing them as they slept, but it stung now—and as they took in Peter’s eyes, they became acutely aware of each new striation in their skin, of the slight swelling surrounding the ship’s emblem that would take them away from Peter forever.

Peter squinted at Mir’s silence.

“What is it?”

Mir’s eyes just got wider, and Peter squinted across the room at them, watching them swallow. Wishing there were no pods—no air at all, for that matter—between them.

“Mir. Tell me.”

Wordless and shaking, Mir lifted their forearm, rotating their palm so Peter could see the tender underflesh where the choosing had left its mark.

A combination of disbelief and terror settled into Peter’s features, his rounded cheeks and angled chin, his wide eyes and his very, very pink lips. His head shook back and forth like he had a hinge loose in his neck, and his hands haltingly lifted to the glass of his pod, his palms pressing, pressing, trying to traverse the spaces between them.

Peter’s horror somehow settled Mir’s resolve, and they gulped, readying themself.

“I’ve been called to the war, Peter. The Hub needs pilots.” They paused. Peter was still shaking his head in shock, tears steadily streaking down his otherwise still, unblinking face.

No point in beating around the subject now. Best do it while he can’t say anything, anyway, Mir figured. They took a deep breath.

“The Hub needs pilots, and Peter…Peter, this isn’t a random choosing. This wasn’t the draft. I submitted my number for priority consideration last rotation. Right after my sixteenth birthday. I don’t want to fight in any war, Peter, but I need to fly. I need to fly, and the only way I can is if I serve the Hub for a few rotations. I need you to understand.” Mir’s voice broke, and they curled down into their blankets. “I need you to not hate me.”

Neither child knew how long the silence stretched between them, but neither child moved and neither child dared to even breathe too loudly, though Mir shuddered a couple of times.

Even through their shudders, Mir didn’t look up, not once in all their silence; they didn’t shift from their almost bowed position, like one of those ancient carvings of servants before royalty.

When Peter finally spoke, his voice was flat, distant, hollow. He sounded like someone else, someone else entirely. He sounded like a shadow would sound, if a shadow could sound.

“If that’s what you want, then good for you, Mir. You’re sharp. You’ll be a good pilot. A good fighter pilot. A good fighter. You fought to get them to let me into the boys’ podrooms when they said I didn’t have the proper documents, not to mention getting yourself in here. You’re already…you’re a good fighter.”

“Peter.” The sound was ragged, full of gravel and full of grief. Mir lifted their gaze to look into Peter’s, now, but Peter was staring down at his interior pod controls. He punched in a few numbers before looking up and smiling, the forcedness, the fakeness sending shivers down Mir’s spine. But at least his voice sounded more like his own, with that musical quality, that earthy ebullience underneath it, holding it up.

“And then when you’re done, you can come back and I can program you the fanciest ship to ever enter Hub space.” Mir tried not to flinch away from the vacant flicker in Peter’s eyes, even as he just kept smiling that fake, twisted smile, punching away at his pod’s keypad.


But Peter was gone, the communications cut. Peter had overridden his pod’s safety protocols and popped open the top, despite the surrounding air being devoid of oxygen.

Peter didn’t offer so much as a backward glance to Mir, who just stared, helpless. Who just pounded lightly, open-palmed, on their own pod door, unable to override the safety protocols without help from Peter. Trapped and mandated to sleep until the podroom was oxygenated again at artificial sunrise.

“Dammit,” Mir whispered. “Dammit.”


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

Meet the Author

Jenn Polish is the author of two young adult books, Lunav and Lost Boy, Found Boy. Their debut novella, Lost Boy, Found Boy, is a scifi re-telling of Peter Pan in which Neverland is a holomatrix, Hook is a bisexual cyborg, and Tink is an asexual lesbian computer interface. Their debut novel, Lunav, a lesbian faerie tale, features dragons that grow on trees and friendship amongst rebellion. They teach Theater and English in the CUNY system, where they are also a doctoral candidate in English. They live in New York with their fiancée and their fantasies of having multiple puppies.

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Audiobook Review: Tender Mercies (Men of Lancaster County #2) by Eli Easton

Eddie Graber's dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the 25-acre property in Lancaster County - and all the hopes he held for it - before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place.

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his clubfoot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn't the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There's Fred and Ginger, two cows who'd been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benny who might be the key to life, love, money - and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.

Listening Length: 8 hours and 28 minutes
Narrator: Will Tulin

I enjoyed the audiobook narration by Will Tulin. This is the first time I’m listening to his work, and I’d definitely do so again without any worries.

The way readers are introduced to Samuel broke my heart. The abuse by his father made my blood boil. But even sadder was how Samuel knew nothing could be done to change his family’s minds.

But despite those awful circumstances, Samuel has an inner core of strength and resiliency. He doesn’t let his family’s rejection, or his club foot, keep him down for long.

I was rooting for Samuel from the first page!

Eddie has his own struggles with the farm. But he’s determined to make his sanctuary work, even if it costs him both financially and personally.

The two men are brought together in less-than-perfect circumstances, but it’s clear from the beginning that they’re a strong match for each other.

The romance in ‘Tender Mercies’ is a slow-burn. While Eddie and Samuel are attracted to each other from the beginning, it takes a while for them to do anything about it.

Instead, they gradually become friends. Over shared meals and farmwork, the two get to know each other. And eventually, they start leaning on one another for comfort and support.

But underneath that friendship, there’s a lingering sexual tension. When Samuel and Eddie finally give in, it’s a natural extension of the emotional relationship they’ve already built.

I thought it was really sweet how the two filled a whole in each other’s life. For Samuel, Eddie becomes the home he was so desperately looking for. And for Eddie, Samuel becomes his driving force when he thinks about giving up.


Most of the conflict in this book is driven by the struggle to keep the farm sanctuary running. I could have done with less of it, because it overshadowed the romance and unnecessarily slowed the book down.

Even so, I enjoyed ‘Tender Mercies,’ and I was glad to see Samuel and Eddie get their HEA. If you’re looking for a slow read with a sweet and gradual romance, I’d give this book a try!

Blog Tour: Livingston (Trenton Security #1) by J.M. Dabney

J.M. Dabney and Vibrant Promotions visit the blog on the Livingston (Trenton Security #1) Blog Tour! Learn more about the bodyguard/charge romance today!

RELEASE DATE: 03.06.18
Cover Design: RESSE DANTE
He was the Beast without the escape clause.
Francis “Liv” Livingston was a beast. No matter if he wore a perfectly tailored suit or if he was in his tactical gear, people avoided looking at him. He was always first to volunteer for the jobs only a person with a death wish wanted. Tomorrows weren’t guaranteed. His boss had come to him and told him he needed him for a job. Linus knew the jobs he liked, but when he opened the file, it all went to hell.
Beauty was only skin deep.
Fielding Haskell made his way in the world on his looks. He’d earned his first film role before he could read a script. He didn’t want the fame. He wanted to go to college. He wanted a man who didn’t look at him and see how pretty he was. Unfortunately, a so-called fan only cared how attractive he was, and it earned him a personal bodyguard and a vacation. He looked forward to the break until he met the man in charge of his safety and wondered if the danger he left was worth dealing with a sudden attraction to a man who was colder than ice.

He disconnected the call and slipped his phone back into his pocket. “That for me?”

“Yes, sir, I didn't mean—” Fielding swallowed hard. “I wasn't listening.”

The boy closed the distance between them quickly and thrust the mug at him. He caught it before it made a trip to the ground.

“Black. I noticed you didn't, um, put anything in your coffee. Is it strong enough?”

He hesitated with the mug at his lips. He swore the boy was holding his breath waiting for his approval. Taking a sip, it was perfect, but he took his time to see how long Fielding would keep himself from breathing. Nothing much amused him anymore, but that was doing it for him.

During the time the boy was in his home he'd picked up on little things about him. Fielding's need for approval. The boy's natural submissiveness. Fielding was also downright domestic.

“Not bad.”

“I'll do better. Are you going somewhere?”

“No, not for a few more days. We’ll head to the office for a check-in, and see what Linus’ boy, Hunter, found out about your stalker.” Interesting, the stalker comment hadn’t earned a flinch, but the moment he said boy, the kid’s perfectly arched brows rose. “Make a list of anything you need. We’ll hit the store before we come back.”

“Can I get candy and chips?”

The question took him by surprise. Fielding didn’t look like anything fattening ever passed his pretty lips.

“Do you want candy and chips?”

“So much.”

He hid his smile behind his mug at the boy’s longing sigh. He’d noticed the boy didn’t eat very much, not enough in his opinion, but Fielding wasn’t big. Tiny compared to him, probably not for normal sized men.

“We’ll see then.”

“Yes, sir.”

One more submissive little yes, sir with averted eyes and the boy was going to find himself on his knees worshiping his cock. He was too old for the boy, but his dick didn’t seem to have a problem with it. What made it harder to resist Fielding was a natural submissive born to be someone's boy. He was inclined to dominate and to have the perfect boy in front of him was more temptation than he'd ever experienced.

He needed to get Fielding as far away from him as possible and soon.

JM Dabney Logo

J.M. Dabney is a multi-genre author who writes mainly LGBT romance and fiction. She lives with a constant diverse cast of characters in her head. No matter their size, shape, race, etc. she lives for one purpose alone, and that’s to make sure she does them justice and give them the happily ever after they deserve. J.M. is dysfunction at its finest and she makes sure her characters are a beautiful kaleidoscope of crazy. There is nothing more she wants from telling her stories than to show that no matter the package the characters come in or the damage their pasts have done, that love is love. That normal is never normal and sometimes the so-called broken can still be amazing.

Audiobook Review: Smitty's Sheriff (Hope #3) by Cardeno C.

Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they're perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

Narrated by: Ezekiel Robison
Listening Length: 3 hrs 19 mins

Smitty's Sheriff is a simple opposites attract story that features former hookups to lovers. Smitty's Sheriff works well as a standalone (as I haven't read the previous books) for anyone interested. It's set in an Arizona town and features older hero, town sheriff, Richard Davis. Richard has been hooking up with his best friend's little brother for sometime but took a break when he wanted more...a steady relationship.

The little brother, Todd Smitty? He's in his early twenties and "flakey". Other than having a good time, Richard never thought to ask for more. So he cooled it off for a few months. But his feelings, as much as Richard would like to deny, were still there. And needing release.

An unexpected job (Todd's sister is still in the service) makes her have to leave her baby with responsible Richard and her youngest brother who doesn't have a full time job to occupy his time. [Don't worry the baby is just used as a plot device to bring the men together in a living space--she is not prominent at all. In fact, it was a little weird for me to see a book with a baby barely getting any mention other than in passing] It's all about these two men.

Hmm...former lovers who never quite got over each other having to care for one small child in a shared space?

I wonder what could happen?

Richard is a dominant without the title or formalities. He enjoys being in control. He's organized and prefers things under his thumb (it's the impression he gave me). Todd enjoys being "deferential". And Todd also craves Richard's body. So add sexual tension and miscommunication and you get the gist of the conflict for this novella.

I liked the simplicity of the story. It wasn't burdened with a lot of sex. Instead, we get two adults who are obviously made for each other thrown into a domestic situation. Do they get it right after day one? No.

Todd proves himself to be more mature by some of his actions. It seems to satisfy Richard's controlling nature.  I wished they would have talked more openly from the start especially before Todd moving in to stay with the baby. The story itself was 3.5 Hearts. It used tropes I like: brother's best friend finally gets the protagonist, second chances, opposites attract, large age gap, miscommunication/non-communication. Nothing went too wild. Contemporary brain candy...

But...there was something that gave me pause. I want to preface that both main characters were happy with their roles. Richard was dominant and liked to control, Todd enjoyed being "deferential" to Richard's needs and moods. Listening and reading Smitty's Sheriff, their relationship read like domestic discipline or a 24/7 type of deal without BDSM. I like reading D/s. But Richard seemed just a tad too much in the controlling department. If Todd ended up calling Richard master or sir at any point, I wouldn't have thought twice.

There was nothing that Richard did that would make me think he'd turn abusive at any point. But he's one who was just at the border of being too much. He would fly off the handle when it came to other men just as so much as talking to Todd. It was unjustified and unnecessary...if he talked and explained himself, he wouldn't need to waste so much energy and inner angst.

You like boundaries, pal? Then set them up from the start. (Mind you, I like reading about possessive guys, so in a way Richard definitely checks off the possessive category)

This was my first time listening to Ezekiel Robison and I would definitely listen to books narrated by him again. He gave good emotion to the text, I liked the way he characterized each character. I'd rate the narration 4 Hearts. I haven't listened to a bad Cardeno C. contemporary yet. (*knocks on wood*) And I'm glad to have extended my list of narrators to try out.

Recommended for fans of age differences, some miscommunication, opposites attract and possessive heroes. If you enjoy that, you can't go wrong in the audio or eBook direction.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Expedition 63 :: Book 1 - Dusk by T.A. Creech

It's release day for Expedition 63 :: Book 1 - Dusk from JMS Books! Celebrate with author T.A. Creech and Signal Boost Promotions! Learn more about the sci-fi romance today! Enter in the backlist eBook giveaway!

Universal Buy Links

Length: 42,700 words approx.

Publisher: JMS Books


When contact is lost with Mission Control, Commander John Dennington isn’t overly concerned. Such hiccups in communication are common. The first inkling of the larger problem occurs when he sees the very shape of the world change before his eyes.

John must ease his crew into a new mission and keep the Station together by any means necessary. The crew jeopardizes their chances by fighting his orders, but Jason Weiss, his mission specialist and the light of his life, makes John’s situation more bearable.

The smallest malfunction to Station or crew would spell the end for six astronauts trapped high above a ruined Earth. It’s their mission to carry on. Random chance of the universe hasn’t operated in their favor so far, but John is determined to see them all safely home.


"Nobody's going to be angry if you literally can't get a hold of them," John tried to placate him. The wrinkled nose on his cool bronze face didn't reassure him that Yakecen would let it go, but he had to try. His prickly friend was going to blow a gasket one day and John hated the thought.

Yakecen confirmed his fear with a shake of his head, simple crow black braid swishing against the interior panels like an agitated cat's tail. "I don't want to get dressed down again. The last time, the asshole on the other end of the line said she'd put a reprimand in my file if I couldn't stay on schedule."

That was news to him. "Who told you this?"

"Some drone in Control. I don't remember," he told John, the discomfort in his whole body clear as day. Yakecen wasn't a people person on his good days and when someone had a problem with his work, it just made him dig his heels in.

John sighed and ran his index finger down the bridge of his nose. It didn't help the headache that brewed right behind his eyes. "I'll get it straightened out. People can't expect everything to go perfectly all the time and they shouldn't take it out on you."

"Thanks, John." Yakecen meant it, John saw it in the earnest way he thanked him. John was happy to be the buffer for his crew, especially for Yakecen, but fuck, he hoped someone would take up the duty once they back on the ground. John had plans and he couldn't do that job full time.

John nodded and started to back out of the capsule. "So, yeah, comms are down. Just sit tight, okay?"

"Sure thing." Yakecen ducked out of sight between the seats. "And tell whoever has the camera to knock off with the flash. It's so bright, going off in here, that it almost gave me a headache."

John paused. A camera flash wasn't anywhere near that strong and the interior wasn't that dark. And someone would've made a lot of racket getting past the garbage container over his head. "You see who it was?"

"No," was the muffled answer, but his crewmember popped up again and gave John a strange look. "I didn't see anyone when I checked. Although, how any of our guys avoided me seeing them, I'll never know. Saito even has a problem getting in here."

Saito was the smallest of them all, barely five feet in his socks.

"Huh." That was peculiar. "You know, Turlach was saying the same thing. Maybe Saito knows something about it. He's been in Destiny for a few hours now."

"It was annoying as fuck." Yakecen popped back out of his spot and pointed a finger at John. He hated that finger, because Yakecen always managed to have a disapproving look that matched John's mother's so perfectly, he thought they were clones for a second. "I don't have a problem with the candid shots, but not while I'm working in here. It's too dark for it."

"Understood," John promised.

About the Author

I am a house-parent to a rambunctious small child and happily mated to an equally rambunctious military spouse. My adventures in writing began with fanfiction, and once I was hooked I never looked back.

While I've always tried to make my fanfiction unique, what I enjoy most about creating original work is the ability to delve into my stranger ideas without worrying about how I might apply them to someone else's world and characters. With my own creations, I take pride in twisting familiar tropes into something new and unexpected.

When I write, it is with the intention that my stories will leave a lasting impression. I hope you enjoy the characters and the worlds I create, and that they help you to find a place to exist, for a while, outside of your own.

--T.A. Creech

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