Welcome to my new home

Some of you may know me from Books, Coffee and Captured Moments.  It was my first blog and encompassed many of the things I love.  After three years, I decided it was time for a change.  All of the book related posts have been moved here to
The Bookish Blue Dragon.  This includes the categories Books and Reviews, MM Holiday Delights and Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style.  I also brought over the MM Holiday Delights Reading lists from 2014-2016.

This is a LGBTQIA friendly site.  Most of the books I read and review are in the MM genre, but not exclusively.   Most of the books I read also contain adult content, so the site is for 18 years of age and older.  My tastes in books runs from contemporary to historical, you will also find Scifi, paranormal, fantasy, mystery, suspense, sports themes and holiday themes.  Some may be dark and gritty and the next book may be light and sweet.  Most of all I love stories with a bit of romance and always a happy ending.

Please take a moment to look around.  Maybe you will find something new or run across one of your old favorites.  I look forward to hearing about your favorite books too.

Thanks for stopping by,

Melyna

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Last week, the list of my Top Ten Books of 2016 was published at It’s About The Book. As always when attempting to create such a list, I was left in a quandary. How the heck was I supposed to narrow down the dozens of terrific reads from last year to a list consisting of merely ten? I decided to feature new-to-me authors, as well as debut authors. After decisively picking some books that fell into those categories, I actually closed my eyes and pointed to a panel of about 20 books to round out my ten. What I’m presenting today and over the next few months are some of those other “top ten” books. Today we have: The Arrangement, by Felice Stevens, and Beloved Unmasked, by Brita Addams. My reviews for both are linked in this post. I hope you’ll check out ALL of my picks! Until next time, happy reading!! 🙂

Dianne

 

Dianne’s Best of 2016

It's About The Book Badge

 

dianne-tbtbs-1-19-2017-beloved-unmasked-britta-addamsSummary: Born in 1898 to a heartless prostitute in Storyville, the red-light district of New Orleans, David comes into the world as Picayune, a name meaning “of little value” or as his mother reminds him, “nothing.”

In the early 20th century brothels and clubs, his love of music sustains young Pic until a fortuitous meeting places him on the road to respectability, and Pic reinvents himself as David Reid.

As David realizes happiness for the first time, conscription forces his friend and first love, Spencer Webb, into the Great War. A telegram from the War Department deals a staggering blow and interrupts David’s pursuit of a law degree. He must gather his wits and move forward. While his future looks bright, specters from Storyville return.

The past holds both pain and love, and facing it head-on might destroy David or give him the freedom to live the life he has dreamed.

Here is my review on Goodreads

dianne-tbtbs-1-19-2017-the-arrangement-audioSummary:  Carter Haywood lives for the weekends – specifically the one weekend every month when he escapes real life, with all the pressures of work and caring for his special needs brother, to do whatever he wants, with whomever he wants. Sex is only a release; he’s not looking for love, a relationship or even a second night with the same man, until he walks into a bar and finds someone who makes leaving it all behind impossible. After one incredibly passionate encounter, he breaks his rule and goes back. He needs to see this man again. And again.

Damaged goods. That’s all Reed Kincaide sees and hears when he looks in the mirror. Anxiety and ADHD define his life and he’s learned to keep people at a distance, never letting them get close enough to know who he really is. When Carter proposes a monthly weekend of sex without strings, it’s the ideal arrangement for him. Or so he thinks. Every month, leaving Carter proves to be more and more difficult. It’s not only the intensely hot sex they have in their hotel suite; Reed wonders about the secret life Carter refuses to share.

As months pass and they grow closer Reed finds himself falling for Carter, but he needs more than hurried hugs and farewell kisses. He wants it all. Letting Reed into his carefully constructed family life could upset Carter’s whole world, but it might be the risk he’s finally willing to take, if it means keeping Reed. Once bodies are engaged, the heart is sure to follow, and Carter and Reed discover that holding on to each other is the first step in letting go of the past.

©2016 Felice Stevens (P)2016 Felice Stevens

You can find my review here: Audible Review

 

 

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Hey Everyone!

Returning from a short break, I thought I’d feature my favorite MM author, Josh Lanyon. Truth be told, she’s an all-time favorite for me in any genre. Her ability to capture the human condition no matter the time period, setting or plot of her story is second to none. No matter the story, I always feel as though I’m smack dab in the middle of the action – seeing, touching, savoring, becoming enveloped in the worlds where her genuine characters reside. I’m still trying to figure out if she wraps a romance around a mystery, or a mystery around a romance – she has such an extraordinary ability to weave all elements of a story into a striking whole. 

This time around I’m featuring some contemporary stories. No mysteries in these, rather, we have people bumbling and stumbling their way through life as they discover truths about themselves as well as those they care for. 

I’ve read through many reviews regarding Everything I Know that mystify me. Seems lots of readers don’t see the forest for the trees. I realize many of us interpret the same book differently, yet elements that seem to be “obvious” in Josh’s stories tend not to be the point of them.

Perfect Day is the ultimate short story. I defy any author to surpass this 27 page gem. The follow-up short, Wedding Favors, is a gorgeous, emotional bonus gift to readers.

All reviews (such that they are!) are mine. I urge everyone to check out these stories, and this talented and prolific author.

Happy reading!  😀

everything-i-know-josh-lanyonTitle:  Everything I Know
Author:  Josh Lanyon
Publisher:  JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:  May 27, 2014
Summary:  Connor loves teaching. He loves working with kids, he loves feeling like he’s making a difference. And the kids—and parents—seem to love him. Until the afternoon he makes a small error in judgment, and an angry father’s thoughtless comments start the kind of rumor that destroys careers. And lives.

Everything Connor thought he knew about himself and his world is now in doubt. But sometimes help comes from the most unexpected direction.

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My review:  LYLBTB 50 star   

I absolutely marveled at this story. Josh Lanyon has taken the subject of false allegations – a travesty that has been visited upon too many individuals in our society – and wrapped it in a profound study of interpersonal communication, and lack thereof. The result is a refined and entertaining story with a powerful theme.

Con is a young kindergarten teacher and grad student, who in the blink of an eye, finds himself facing ruination of his career, reputation and his very life. All of this based on the aftermath of a single incident, the decision he made when there was nobody else available to make one, and the reactions and fears of those affected by the incident. Words uttered by an individual in the heat of the moment, words the man – the wealthy Wes Callahan – had not intended to be interpreted as they were, none the less hurt Con deeply on a personal and professional level.

The obvious issue at play – that Con has been accused of improper conduct with a student – is the surface of the story. The complex and fascinating aspect of the story comes with recognizing how the author deftly explores the reactions of Wes, the crushing weight of his misinterpreted words, and the power of societal position – even when not wield with intent.

I was fascinated by getting to witness Con’s behavior in several relationships through the course of the story. Con was very open with Pip, his female best friend and co-worker. He was frustrated, and I believe angered, by his mom’s Alzheimer’s and inability to converse with ‘Con’ vs whoever she perceived him to be on a given day. Con was very doting and affectionate with Lizzy Callahan, the guileless and non-judgmental five year old student. Con found himself utterly blindsided by the administrators at the school where he taught when they made decisions based on what was deemed least messy and most convenient for their interests, rather than Con’s. He would have sworn they would have his back in any situation based on his three years on staff, and being a favorite of so many of the pupils and their parents. Con’s relationship with Eric, his ex-lover, was couched in mixed messages and conclusions that were not as hashed out or as well communicated as Con had thought them to be.

Then we have Con and Wes. These two had a long build- up of acquaintance and attraction. Neither man was aware the other felt this attraction, because neither ever acted upon it. Wes was mortified when he realized the implications his reactions to Lizzy’s incident had on Con’s life. I respected how determined he was to apologize and atone. However, once Con and Wes did begin a budding romance, even when they connected physically and felt a deeper attraction growing, basic communication was lacking. This didn’t get all tied up nicely in a bow, nor did it get overblown with angst. Both men faced up to how they had mishandled communicating.Con eventually realized his culpability in how each of his relationships had progressed. Had thrived, stalled or failed.

Frank communication is so vital. One would think that as humans, who possess such large vocabularies and seemingly high intelligence, it would be a given. It’s not! We tend to project our individual impressions and conclusions on the impressions and conclusions of others. The ability to buck up and come right out and ask someone what is going on, what they are thinking or feeling, is not easy. Nor on the other hand, is apologizing, asking for another chance, accepting what is offered – even if lacking – and moving on. This story is a budding romance, but it is so much, much more. Words and actions should be examined. They carry serious weight. Josh Lanyon’s words certainly do with this fine story.

 

a-perfect-day-by-josh-lanyonTitle: Perfect Day (Wyatt & Graham, #1)
Author:  Josh Lanyon
Publisher:   JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
Publication date:  May 27, 2012
Summary:  Wyatt loves Graham. Graham is still in love with Jase. But things could be worse. They could be camping.

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LYLBTB 50 star

 

 

My review:

Emotions: love, loss, fear, joy, sadness, uncertainty, delight. We all experience them. Nobody embodies them in the written word as Josh Lanyon does. Perfect Day is a prime example of this writer’s talent presented in a beautifully written short story. This is hands down my favorite MM short story -ever. My emotion after reading it: pure gratification.

wedding-favors-josh-lanyon
Title:  Wedding Favors (Wyatt & Graham #2)
Author: Josh Lanyon
Publisher:  JustJoshin Publishing, Inc.
Publication Date:  March 08, 2015
Summary:  Graham thinks Wyatt would feel more secure if they were married. Wyatt doesn’t want to spoil Graham’s wedding plans. So who’s really doing who a favor?

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My review:  LYLBTB 50 star  Wedding Favors had me in an emo mess – a good emo mess. The author’s ability to capture mood, emotions and the gravity of life,whether during huge events or every day interactions, is unsurpassed. My gut was twisting with Wyatt’s, and my heart was singing for them both he and Graham at the end. This is a, well, a perfect complement to the preceding story: Perfect Day. My emotion after reading this book? Pure gratification.

 

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

With Hallowe’en fast approaching, we’re featuring some spooky fare for this week’s throwback books. 👻

First up is Josh Lanyon’s fantasy/ghosty/magicky tale, The Darkling Thrush. I love the mix of elements found in this tale of the search for an ancient artifact. And the search – if unwittingly – for love. Septimus and Colin make a very impactful team. This one is available in audio as well, and the narrator delivers a fantastic performance.

darkling-thrush-josh-lanyonPublisher: Just Joshin
Published: April 12th 2012 (first published April 2010)
Summary: Fed up with his desk duty in the Imperial Arcane Library, book hunter Colin Bliss accepts a private commission to find The Sword’s Shadow, a legendary and dangerous witches’ grimoire. But to find the book, Colin must travel to the remote Western Isles and solve a centuries’ old murder.

It should be nothing more than an academic exercise, so why is dour — and unreasonably sexy — Magister Septimus Marx doing his best to keep Colin from accepting this mission — even going so far as to seduce Colin on their train journey north?

Septimus is not the only problem. Who is the strange fairy woman that keeps appearing at inconvenient times? And who is working behind the scenes with the sinister adventuress Irania Briggs? And why do Colin’s employers at the Museum of the Literary Occult keep accusing Colin of betraying them?

As Colin digs deeper and deeper into the Long Island’s mysterious past, he begins to understand why Septimus is willing to stop him at any price — but by then, it’s too late to turn back.

(This 48K+ short novel was previously published by Loose Id Publishing)

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Here’s a great review of the story from Ije: goodreads-button

 

Next up is Alex Beecroft’s gothic feeling historical/paranormal, The Wages of Sin. This title is an all- time favorite of mine, and hooray, the author has promised a short holiday follow up this year, and a sequel is well in the works. Charles is unfulfilled in his life at the family’s haunted estate, and Jasper is a priest with a checkered past. How can the two of them hope to build a life together? Ghosts, family secrets, loving in front of a roaring fire, and…butter. Yeah, good stuff here!

the-wages-of-sin-alex-beecroftPublisher:  MLR Press
Publication date:  January 2010
Summary:  Charles Latham, wastrel younger son of the Earl of Clitheroe, returns home drunk from the theatre to find his father gruesomely dead. He suspects murder. But when the Latham ghosts turn nasty, and Charles finds himself falling in love with the priest brought in to calm them, he has to unearth the skeleton in the family closet before it ends up killing them all.

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This review from Sophia sums it up well: goodreads-button

Enjoy! Hope to see many of you at GRL next week.

 

 

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Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

This week for Throwback Thursday, I’m talking up two contemporaries.  I find it especially compelling when an author can weave a page turning story about two average people, without murder, heavy angst, or general mayhem helping drive the plot.  A genuine character driven story.  Not that here is anything wrong with murder, mayhem and drama!  Sometimes it’s nice to read about two guys simply – or not so simply – figuring out how their lives can fit together.  The stories featured today, Emergency Contact and All Bets Are Off, fall in that category.  Well, in the latter the guys do have to figure out who’s giving them some grief, but it’s not the focal point of the story.  These are two of my “go-to” re-reads.  Get ready to fall in love with Ash & Eric, and Liam & Garrett.  The writing in both stories is sumptuous and captivating.  I hope you check them out.

Happy reading!

tbtbs-emergency-contact-elle-brownleeTitle:  Emergency Contact
Series:  Standalone
Author:  Elle Brownlee
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  March 06, 2015
Cover artist:  Brooke Albrecht
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Romance
Length: 200 pages

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LYLBTB 50 star

 

Summary:  When Liam’s best friend has to leave town on business, he asks for a favor—be an emergency contact for his cousin who is new in town. Liam doesn’t think twice before he accepts. He’s great with numbers and confidently plays the odds, because nobody ever uses those emergency contacts, right? Wrong. The very next Sunday, cousin Garrett shows up at Liam’s apartment, fresh-faced, devastatingly gorgeous, and nothing like Liam had dismissively assumed.

Garrett arrived in New York City hoping to make it in the modeling world, and Liam isn’t sure what to do with him. While he eventually warms to welcome the distraction, he’s not prepared to have his steady, predictable world overturned. Liam is sure Garrett will soon tire of him and find someone closer in age and less eager for the quiet, settled life Liam prefers. But Garrett is too sweet-natured and naïve to recognize Liam’s dismissal, and he’s not as shallow as Liam presumes.

Although Garrett sees a future for the two of them, Liam manages to push him away. It is only then Liam sees the Garrett-shaped hole in his life.

My review at It’s About The Book    It's About The Book Badge

 

tbtbs-all-bets-are-off-marguerite-labbeTitle:   All Bets Are Off
Series:  Mountain Boys Book 1
Author:  Marguerite Labbe
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  December 09, 2011
Cover artist:  Anne Cain
Genre: M/M Contemporary, Romance
Length: 280 pages
Characters:  Eli Hollister, Ash Gallagher

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LYLBTB 50 star

 

Summary:   It only takes one night with Ash Gallagher to make Eli Hollister think he’s finally met the right man at the right time. Good thing he doesn’t bet on it, because Ash turns out to be a student in Eli’s class at the local college. Eli can’t deny he’s attracted, but now it’s complicated. He’s already in enough trouble with the department head, a man who would like to see Eli denied his tenure and fired.

Ash is looking forward to taking his life in a new direction. After serving one active-duty stint in the Marine Corps and another in the Reserves, he’s ready to put his military life behind him. The last new experience he’d planned for this semester was to fall in lust with his English professor, but the more Eli resists, the more Ash is determined to have him. Then he discovers Eli’s playing for keeps, and Ash is only interested in a fling… or is he? Between these two, when it comes to life and love, all bets are off.

My review at Live Your Life For The Book  Live your Life buy The Book

Books and Reviews – September 26, 2016

Good morning!
I hope everyone had a great weekend.  Did you read or listen to any great books last week?   I read a book this week that I have been so excited about, Mad Lizard Mambo (Book 2 of the Kai Gracen series) by Rhys Ford.  I also listened to one of my all time favorite Neil Gaiman books, The Graveyard Book.  Although not in the M/M genre or even considered an adult book.  It is an all ages book that I absolutely adore.  What are you reading or to listening to this week?  Let me know in the comments section.

the-graveyard-book-audiobook-coverTitle:  The Graveyard Book
Author:  Neil Gaiman
Narrator:  Neil Gaiman
Publisher:  Harperchildren’s
Publication date:  September 30, 2008
Format: Audiobook
Length:  7 hours 47 minutes
Genre: All ages (although it is marketed as a children’s books) horror, paranormal, fantasy.
Summary: Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family.

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times best-selling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

amazonBuyButtonaudible an Amazon company

 

 

Thoughts:    LYLBTB 50 star   I first listened to this book read by Neil Gaiman on his website, Mouse Circus. I was enchanted. I decided to buy the audible edition with Mr. Gaiman narrating it. I adore this story.  Perfectly creepy and enchanting. My absolute favorite Neil Gaiman book. Buy the audiobook (I prefer the one that Mr Gaiman narrates because that is how I first heard it and I love his voice) and when you get a moment, go mousecircus.com and watch him read the book. It’s a treat.

I will also leave you with this excellent Review by Sally  on Goodreads

 

MadLizardMamboFSTitle:  Mad Lizard Mambo
Series:  Kai Gracen Book 2
Author:  Rhys Ford
Publisher:  DSP Publications
Publication Date:  September 13, 2016
Format: ebook
Genre:  Urban Fantasy, LGBT
Cover Artist:  Anne Cain
Summary:  Kai Gracen has no intention of being anyone’s pawn. A pity Fate and SoCalGov have a different opinion on the matter.

Licensed Stalkers make their living hunting down monsters and dangerous criminals… and their lives are usually brief, brutal, and thankless. Despite being elfin and cursed with a nearly immortal lifespan, Kai didn’t expect to be any different. Then Ryder, the High Lord of the Southern Rise Court, arrived in San Diego, Kai’s not-so-mundane life went from mild mayhem to full-throttle chaos.

Now an official liaison between the growing Sidhe Court and the human populace, Kai is at Ryder’s beck and call for anything a High Lord might need a Stalker to do. Unfortunately for Kai, this means chasing down a flimsy rumor about an ancient lost Court somewhere in the Nevada desert—a court with powerful magics that might save Ryder—and Kai’s—people from becoming a bloody memory in their Merged world’s violent history.

The race for the elfin people’s salvation opens unwelcome windows into Kai’s murky past, and it could also slam the door on any future he might have with his own kind and Ryder.

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Thoughts:  LYLBTB 50 star   When I saw that Rhys Ford was coming out with the second book in the Kai Gracen series I was thrilled!  I love all of her work and she writes a varied mix of genres.  This series is pure urban fantasy.  When I finished reading it yesterday the first thoughts I shared where these

“I just finished Mad Lizard Mambo by Rhys Ford. Woohoo! What a ride! Violence, bloodshed, dragons, an arrogant- not so arrogant sidhe lord, a stalker with a gentle heart under a gruff exterior, evil relatives… And did I mention- Dragons. Sigh. When is Kai #3 coming out?”

As you can tell, I was a little excited.  This is a fast paced action packed book.  I love the world the author has created and the amazing creatures that inhabit it.  You really need to read the first book in the series- Black Dog Blues (Kai Gracen Book 1)  Then you will be able to jump right into Kai’s next adventure.

This is a great Review for Mad Lizard Mambo by Christy at Rainbow Book Reviews. 

 I hope you have a fantastic week and read (or listen to) some amazing books. 

Grab a cup of your favorite brew and enjoy.

FBS, coffee and reading

 

Melyna

Finn and library

 

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Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Hi Everyone!

This week Throwback Thursday is going back in time – again. Yes, my favorite  MM sub-genre, which of course is historicals, is being featured.

First up is the lengthy and oh so satisfying debut novel by Tamara Allen:  Whistling In The Dark. This one is set in New York City, amidst the emotional ashes WWI and just as the 1920’s are about to start roaring. The author’s ability to convey the pace, the flavor, and the spirit of the city held me completely captive. Hearing about the safe havens very lively queer culture that thrived in NYC during the time period was of huge interest to me. One of the characters, Sutton, is a musician – a type which never fails to capture my interest. Sutton is a somewhat naïve small-town boy in the big city, and Jack, well Jack embodies big city street smarts and savvy. Both men have a ton of fortitude and heart. The story of how they meet, become friends, and eventually lovers is a grand adventure. Be ready to settle in, for a long read – as I mentioned, this is a slow burn story – there is so much more going on than the romance element. Tamara’s other stories are just as wonderful. I advise anyone with an interest in historical fiction to check them out.

tbtbs-whistling-in-the-dark-tamara-allenAuthor: Tamara Allen
Publisher:  Lethe Press
Publication Date: January 2009 (First published December 10, 2008)
Genre:  M/M, Historical
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Summary:  New York, 1919. His career as a concert pianist ended by a war injury, Sutton Albright returns to college, only to be expelled after an affair with a teacher. Unable to face his family, he heads to New York with no plans and little money—only a desire to call his life his own. Jack Bailey’s life has changed as well. After losing his parents in the influenza epidemic, he hopes to save their beloved novelty shop—now his—by advertising on the radio, barely more than a novelty, itself. Sutton lands work in Jack’s corner of the city and the two conclude they couldn’t be less suited for friendship. But when Sutton loses his job, Jack gives him a place to stay. Sutton returns to the piano to play for Jack and finds the intervening months have healed him. The program promises to rescue Jack’s business and Sutton’s career…but success brings its own risks for two men falling in love.

This review by Alicja sums up my sentiments:     goodreads books logo

Next we have The Desire For Dearborne, which is one of the earliest historical romance categorized MM books I read. No, I’m not counting classics such as Maurice or The Charioteer  😉   I have to mention that I find the cover for this book to be…unfortunate. To me it emulates a long line of MF “bodice ripper” books, and the fact is, neither main character in this book is anything close to effete, weak, or looking to be rescued from life. Entirely unrepresentative of the story. Anyhow, as with the Allen book above, this adventurous Regency tale features a naïve country boy. Leander comes to England from America, to claim a family Earldom, something that certainly came as quite a surprise to him. He goes about the necessities with great aplomb, and more than a little notice from society, and a fellow Earl, Julien.  We get a good look at London society -the class disparity, the hob-nobbing, the eternal power struggles – and we also get a cracking good adventure and a steamy romance. This is a book I often re-read. The author’s last public post that I could find was in Nov. 2014, where she was outlining her writing plans. I do wish she would surface with more stories, I loved her fantasy book, Hidden Treasure, as well.

tbtbs-the-desire-for-dearborne-v-b-kildaire-coverAuthor: V.B. Kildaire
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  June 15, 2009
Genre: Historical European
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Summary:  Leander Mayfield is the only surviving son of a poor farmer… or so he believes until the day he learns he is in fact the new Earl of Dearborne. Still recovering from a lingering illness, the sensitive young man travels to Great Britain to claim his estate and embarks upon a bewildering new life.

Julien Sutcliffe, the Earl of Blackstone, is suffering from ennui. He’s tired and bored with all the finery and wealth and wonders about him. Then he meets this refreshingly naive American Earl, newly arrived in England, and suddenly the world comes alive around him again.

Irresistibly drawn to one another, Julien finds himself besotted, and Leander is equally smitten. But just when they think they may have finally found happiness together, Julien and Leander discover that something–or someone–is determined to separate them permanently.

This review by Dai  , written in 2009, mirrors my thoughts:  goodreads books logo

Happy time traveling!

Dianne

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

The featured books for this week’s Throwback Thursday contain some of my favorite elements: Artists, opposites attracting, second chances and a bit of mystery.

In Clare London’s True Colors, Zeke, the moody artist with a troubled past, is an all-time favorite character of mine. His match is Miles, the uptight wealthy businessman who should have it all, but as he gets to know Zeke, he realizes he indeed does not. The two sizzle on page as they dance around their true feelings. They also solve a bit of an art mystery that is very personal to Zeke.

Ethan Day is always guaranteed to liberally sprinkle true to life humor in his stories, and Second Time Lucky is no exception. This book is also poignant and insightful, as Luke and Owen discover each other again after fifteen years. This is my personal favorite by this author.

Wonderful characterizations and relationship dynamics abound in both of these stories. Check them out, and enjoy!

~ Dianne

 

True Colors by Clare London coverSeries: True Colors Book 1
Author: Clare London
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Publication date:  May 11, 2009
Summary:  From the very first, Zeke Roswell and Miles Winter are like oil and water. After a tragic fire claimed his brother’s life, Zeke’s personal and professional life spiraled out of control, and now he has no choice but to sell his gallery to cover his debts. Enter successful entrepreneur Miles, who buys it and plans to make a commercial success out of Zeke’s failure. Their initial hostility stands no chance against the strong passion that ambushes them. Zeke’s talent and lust for life intoxicate Miles, and Zeke finds Miles’ self-assurance and determination equally fascinating. But it’s not until an unsolved mystery of violence and stolen sketches threatens to sabotage any chance at happiness that Miles and Zeke realize they have a chance at all.

Lena Grey’s Review on Goodreads

You can buy the individual title here:

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Or

Dreamspinner Press has the series bundle for $9.99.  Click Clare London’s Greatest hits below to buy the bundle now.

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Second Time Lucky Ethan Day book coverAuthor: Ethan Day
Publisher: MLR Press, LLC
Publication date:  June 10, 2012
Summary:  Second chances aren’t easy to come by but for Luke Landon and Owen West, sometimes the best things really do come back to you. Luke Landon and Owen West already had a once upon a time. They burned hot back in college yet still managed to lose their way. It’s been fifteen years since they drifted apart and while a lot has since changed, they’ve discovered that some things still feel the same. While one calls it fate, the other dumb luck, second chances aren’t easy to come by. Putting the ignorance of youth and life’s baggage aside, they just might find that sometimes the best things really do come back to you.

BuyDirect2amazonBuyButton

 

My review can be found here:  goodreads books logo

Enjoy,

Dianne

 

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

 

Blue Notes #1 Shira Anthony

Dianne’s review of Blue Notes on Goodreads

Welcome to Throwback Thursday, where I’m featuring another favorite series this week. – the fantastic Blue Notes series by Shira Anthony. In the spring of 2012 when I noticed a book about musicians in Paris, I was all over it. What music lover wouldn’t be?! I was charmed by the romance of Jason and Jules as well as the author’s captivating writing style. Her flowing descriptions of settings gave cities a distinct pulse, and her characters oozed personality, vulnerability and determination – she had me enthralled.

Shira is a well- traveled former opera singer, so she knows of what she writes here, in regard to the classical music details as well as the depictions of many cities around the world in which she sets the stories. The series features a different main couple in each book, however they are interrelated, with all of the main characters impacting each other’s life either on or off page throughout the series.  Suffice to say, the fact that this series went on to be seven books long – with each one being as good as or better than the one before it – made this reader ecstatic.

Blue Notes # 4 Prelude Shira Anthony Venona Keyes

Dianne’s review of Prelude on Goodreads

The relationships in the Blue Notes series are very raw and real. No easy path for any of these men! Shira takes them all on some gritty reality checks, but never fear, love prevails to the point of standing ovations!  It’s worth noting that this series of interrelated, classical music themed standalone novels can be read in any order. Chronologically they take place over several decades. I read them in the order they were released, but then I re-read them in chronological order, and would recommend approaching them that way if you are new to the series.

Enjoy!  ~ Di

(You can see Dianne’s reviews of Blue Notes, Prelude and Encore by clicking the links below the book cover)

Chronological order:
1) Encore
2) Prelude
Free prequel to Blue Notes: Knowing  (Blue Notes 0.5)
3) Blue Notes
4) Aria
5) The Melody Thief
6) Symphony in Blue
7) Dissonance

Blue Notes Encore Coer by Shira Anthony

Dianne’s review of Encore on Live Your Life Buy The Book

Order of publication:
Free prequel to Blue Notes: Knowing  (Blue Notes 0.5)
1) Blue Notes
2) The Melody Thief
3) Aria
4) Prelude
5) Encore
6) Symphony in Blue
7) Dissonance

 

 

 

 

You can buy these individually or they are available as a boxed set for $9.99

Blue Notes Shira Anthony Blue Notes series graphicDreamspinnerPress     amazonBuyButton

Dianne’s Throwback Thursday – Book Style

Hello fellow readers! I’ve been reflecting on the fact that so many of my favorite books are actually series. I love long stories, so complex story arcs which develop over a lengthy period of time are my cup of tea. Lou Sylvre’s captivating Vasquez & James series fits that bill perfectly.

Dreamspinner Vasquez and James seriesSonny James is an artist. He’s laid back, and prefers the solitude of his Pacific Northwest weaving studio to any other location. When ex-ATF/security agent Luki Vasquez shows up with his bad ass attitude and emotional baggage, Sonny’s world changes forever. The spark of attraction between them is supernova bright.

The author writes with a unique style, beautifully combining the depths and nuances of each man’s personality with the evocative story settings, heart pumping action scenes, and gut wrenching situations. Sonny’s home and the surrounding region are as much a character as the men are – I love how it’s an intrinsic part of Sonny’s being, and how it comes to mean the same to Luki. Both men have rich cultural heritage – Sonny’s Native American one in particular – and this plays a big part as well. There is action and suspense galore in this series. As Luki’s world of crime fighting leaches its way into the men’s tentative relationship, we get to see how they work together when the chips are down.

With all the action and mystery in this series it is still a profoundly character driven one. Sonny and Luki both have demons in their pasts – and their present – that are confronted individually and as a couple. The love they develop and harbor for each other is one of my favorite romances in MM. This series does get gritty, be ready for some heartbreaking moments, some frustrating moments, and some screaming at the characters moments. It’s all oh so worth it.

Loving Luki Vasquez Book 1 Vasquez and james series by Lou SylvreI identify so much with this review by Mary, written about the first book in the series  – Loving Luki Vasquez.  She really captures the overall flavor and vibe of the story, and indeed the series.

Mary’s Goodreads review

My review for Saving Sonny James, book four in the series, is here: goodreads books logo

  Saving Sonny James Book 4 Vasquez and James novel Lou Sylvre

 

 

All seven stories are avalable as a bundle for $9.99 at DreamspinnerPress  and Amazon US

Enjoy! ~ Dianne