#Blitz The Kinsey Scale by CJane Elliott (Campus Connections 01) #LGBT #NewAdult #Contemporary #NewRelease #Rafflecopter

Title: The Kinsey Scale

Series: Campus Connections Book 1

Author: CJane Elliott

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 11/9/18

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 89 pages

Genre: Romance, New Adult, contemporary, friends to lovers, college

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Synopsis

Life is good for Eric Brown. He’s a senior theater major, an RA for a freshman dorm, and has a great circle of friends. Single since sophomore year, Eric isn’t looking for love. But then Will Butler—fellow senior, co-RA, and the cutest guy Eric’s ever seen—walks into his dorm. Will has a girlfriend he sees off campus—a minor disappointment that becomes a major problem when a housing shortage causes Will and Eric to become roommates, and Eric is forced to witness Will’s hotness day in and day out. For protection, Eric asks Jerry, his ex-boyfriend, to pretend they’re still together. Jerry warns him it’s a stupid idea, but he reluctantly agrees.

Too bad it won’t save Eric from losing his heart.

Will Butler has never believed in himself. His dysfunctional family saw to that. Although Will has loved music since childhood, he’s never seriously considered pursuing it, and the person he’s dating doesn’t encourage him. Then he and Eric Brown become roommates, and everything changes. Eric believes in Will and his talent. He’s also gorgeous and playful and fast becoming Will’s best friend. And that’s not good, because Will is hiding some big things, not only from Eric, but from himself.

Excerpt

“So how’s it going with Hottie the Roommate?” Jerry asked. He lounged in the armchair at the coffee shop and took a languid sip of his latte.

“Fine.” Eric made a face. “We stay out of each other’s way. It sucks, but nothing we can do about it now.”

“I’m surprised you haven’t taken advantage of the situation.” Jerry arched his eyebrow.

“He’s straight. He has a girlfriend who doesn’t go here. I guess he sees her on the weekends. I don’t know. We don’t talk about that.”

“Don’t talk? Oh honey, that doesn’t sound like you at all. What’s up with that?”

“I don’t know. Shut up.”

“Touchy, touchy. God. You’re not usually this grumpy. Maybe you should look at changing this RA thing, because it sounds like it’s causing you stress.”

Eric shifted in his chair and sipped his latte. Jerry knew him too well. He was grumpy lately, but it wasn’t the RA thing. He enjoyed being an RA and counseling the kids. He and Will functioned well as an RA team, seeming to know instinctively when one of them would do better than the other in handling a situation, and then debriefing about it later. They talked about stuff really easily, and laughed a lot, having discovered they shared the same kind of crazy humor. And Will composed his own songs, which Eric thought was totally cool. He loved lying on his bed listening to Will play his guitar and sing.

“Yeah, it’s not that bad. We get along great, actually.”

And it wasn’t true that they never talked about Will’s girlfriend. Her name was Jessie, and Will sometimes mentioned her in passing, but Eric never pressed for details. In fact he had a strange reluctance to regale Will with his own sexual escapades, the way he always had in the past with friends or roommates. It was a weird thing, almost like a force field or something. They both shut up whenever the conversation veered too close to sex or relationships.

And then having to look at Will every day, with his bedhead when he woke up and his naked chest when he came out of the bathroom in his sleep pants, or when his face was animated and he threw back his head and laughed at something Eric said and…. God. No wonder he was grumpy.

“Let’s go out tonight. You need to dance and get laid.” Jerry’s voice brought him back.

“Okay.” It was Friday, so Will would be out of the room, thank God. Maybe Eric would even get lucky and bring someone back with him tonight… or go to their place, given the shitty dorm beds. He yawned, all of a sudden weary.

“Oh yes.” Jerry peered at him critically. “We’ve got to get you back to your perky self, my dear. I’m getting you another latte, for starters.”

Purchase

Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Google

Meet the Author

After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming-out stories. In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her family supports her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

CJane is the author of the award-winning Serpentine Series, New Adult contemporary novels set at the University of Virginia. Serpentine Walls was a 2014 Rainbow Awards finalist, Aidan’s Journey was a 2015 EPIC Awards finalist, and Sex, Love, and Videogames won first place in the New Adult category in the 2016 Swirl Awards and first place in Contemporary Fiction in the 2017 EPIC eBook Awards.

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Review of Savior (415 Ink 02) by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Contemporary #Tattoos #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford and the next book in the 415 Ink series: Savior. It release day today with it publishing everywhere on September 18th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press, and is approximately 220 pages. See my review for Rebel, the first book in the series here.

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.

5 Stars

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As I mentioned in the review of Rebel, I binged-read it and Savior with the intent on getting off my duff and publishing an ARC review on the day of release., since I have to read in series order. It doesn’t matter if they are standalone and can be read in any order, I have to read them in order. I just like to have the whole picture. Always been like that. I’ve been known to wait to get all the books in an established series before I start the first one… but I digress.

So, I’ve done it. I’m going to have this review posted the day of release. I feel accomplished. This is in spite of insane work hours and too many dental issues to name, as I recover from the latest root canal writing these posts. And now, the Review:

This is story of 415 Ink tattoo artist apprentice Rob Claussen and Mace Crawford, a San Francisco firefighter who works with Rey from the previous story. Mace’s back story is full of strife and provides Rhys’s signature storytelling and angst that we’ve seen from her prior series. It’s heart-wrenching but worth the high intensity that is Mace and the start of his relationship with Rob, although Mace being an owner and Rob an employee of the shop throws in additional layers of issues these two lovers have to overcome. I especially love the storming sex scene that you will just have to read to appreciate. Their story is on the explosive side where neither one was looking for a relationship, but it fits their personalities and their own ride to their happy ever after they didn’t know they wanted until it was dropped in their laps. We find out more about the brothers and what secrets they are hiding, not only from themselves, but the people they call family. I very much love how family is what you make and not necessarily whom you were born too. They all have issues and trauma from their childhoods. It’s great to find out as they fall in love. I can’t wait for the next pair. Perhaps there will be a threesome in the wings of this series? One can hope. 🙂 (Yes, Rhys, that was a hint.)

Overall, I give Savior 5 out of 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

DreamspinnerAmazon | B&N | Google PlayKoboGoodreads | iTunes

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.

Review of Rebel (415 Ink 01) by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Contemporary #Tattoos #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford and the beginning of a new series: 415 Ink with the first book Rebel. It released on December 29th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press, and is approximately 220 pages. Stay tuned tomorrow for a review of Savior, the second book in the series. 🙂

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.

5 Stars

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When I got the opportunity to receive the ARC for Savior and decide to attempt a release-day review (I try, but sometimes I fall behind), I realized that I hadn’t read and reviewed Rebel’s ARC either. I ultimately bought it and then forgot to do that review. Real Life got in the way and it’s been a helluva year. I’m sure some readers can agree.

So, I think, “Great! I’m a series completionist. I’ll try out this new series of Rhys and get that elusive release-day review in too.” Two birds with one stone, and all that.  (The blurb for Rebel did help tip me over to have a goal of one day in 2018 getting my first tattoo.)

It’s a good thing Rhys sent it early August for Savior so it gave me time to get both of them read. 😀 I just need to work on the scheduling reviews earlier part… and now, on to the review.

We meet Rey Montenegro, firefighter extraordinaire in San Francisco, California and former flame for tattoo artist Gus Scott, who returned to his family’s tattoo shop at 415 Ink to work on his personal demons and issues. One of those demons was how the relationship ended with Rey. In the midst of Rey and Gus circling each other to actually talk about the past, they find that family is key and it’s the family you make that heal your heart. There’s angst as only Rhys does, a romance that is slow to rekindle, and a new world and characters to learn about. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all of the “brothers” and how they banded together to create the family Gus returns to and Rey becomes a part of. I love how Gus and Rey get together: How Rey helps out Gus with Chris, Gus’s son, with no expectation of returning to the relationship that Rey ended suddenly three years prior. It’s a slow revival of trust as Gus and Rey open themselves to finally allow their relationship to be what they need it to be. It’s not explosive. It’s not sudden. Rey has to earn Gus’s trust again. It’s a great story to set the stage for the rest of the 415 Ink family: Ivo, Bear, Mace, and Luke. I was glad I could run right to the next book in the series to continue the story that gripped my imagination with it’s realism. This is definitely a great world to read about and the romance is hot too. 😉

Overall, I give Rebel 5 out of 5 stars.

Note: As of this blog posting, Rebel is on sale for $1.99 at all retailers. I would snatch it up while you can. I don’t know when the sale will end, so go quick.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

DreamspinnerAmazon | B&N | Google PlayKoboGoodreads | iTunes

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.

Review of Sin and Tonic (Sinners 06) by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Mystery #Suspense #Romance #NewRelease

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford and the last Sinners series book: Sin and Tonic. It released on May 15, 2018 and is approximately 610 pages including an appendix of all the songs and lyrics in the series.

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.

5 Stars

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It’s with a bittersweet sob that I review the final Sinners book: Sin and Tonic Book 6. As always, I loved it like everything else Rhys has done in this series. Like the Cole McGinnis series before, this too tied up the loose ends, and we finally see what makes Miki tick as he deals with new information that comes to light. It’s a slightly lower-key ending then that of Cole McGinnis but just as powerful for all the trials Kade and Miki go through to get to the end of the murders that trigger Miki finding out about his biological mother and father. I cried at the end of this series because of the trials to love the main characters endure to get where they are now.

The Morgan clan circle-up around Miki as he is in danger yet again, and Miki finds the true meaning of family. Kade and Miki have a few rough spots but nothing that their love, and a little help from friends and family, can’t provide. The author says in the forward that there might be short stories in the universe but this story arc between Miki and Kade is done. Good luck to them, and the Sinners universe. We eagerly await what Rhys will come up with next.

Overall, I give Sin and Tonic 5 out of 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

DreamspinnerAmazon | B&N | Google PlayKoboGoodreads

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.

Review of “Dim Sum Asylum” by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Urban #Fantasy #Romance #NewRelease

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes another great new release from Rhys Ford! 🙂

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  This is the expanded version of short released in the Charmed and Dangerous anthology that I read and was interested in seeing what she did with it. It was a great story originally.

5 Stars

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Rhys returns to mystery and suspense with a longer version of the story with the same name from the Charmed and Dangerous anthology. Reading this version, I started getting déjà vu because I remember parts of the original story. At some point, I will probably re-read the original story because I’m curious as to how they are different.

From the beginning, the action is immediate and the detail to area amazing. I love the details Rhys does and this is no exception. We meet Senior Inspector Roku MacCormick of the San Francisco Chinatown Arcane Crimes Division as he is having a bad day: A Monday no less. Things continue to go sideways and he meets Trent Leonard, a new partner he can’t trust, with secrets of his own. Together, they are to bring down a spell-casting serial killer. They both get into trouble with a capital T, but they come out in the end closer to each other and with what I would say is a happy for now ending leaning to happy every after.  This is where I say this could be the start of a new series. 🙂 Yes, Please.

I really enjoyed the fast past-paced trouble Roku and Trent get into and all for the protection of Chinatown. Roku has to overcome trust issues and Trent has things he must face before his hope can be realized. Both have to lean on each other, and the journey they make is filled with tears, hope, and humor. It will gut you, it will lift you, and it will make you yell out loud, “No! you can’t do that!” I would like to see more in this universe because it’s a very interesting one.

Overall, I give Dim Sum Asylum 5 out of 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

DreamspinnerAmazon | B&N | Google PlayKoboGoodreads

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series, including Murder and Mayhem, a 2016 LAMBDA finalist. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people.

Rhys’ Blog: www.rhysford.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhys.ford.author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Rhys_Ford

Rhys Ford’s books can found at Dreamspinner Press (http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com), DSP Publications (https://www.dsppublications.com/) and all major online book stores.

Review of “There’s This Guy” by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Contemporary #Romance

So, it’s been awhile since Moonbeams over Atlanta did a review. And what better timing than a new release of Rhys Ford! 🙂

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  Thank you. This is a contemporary instead of her usual mystery and suspense. I liked it. Read on.

5 Stars

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I was intrigued when Rhys said this was a contemporary. She usually does mystery and suspense, and does it very well. Sometimes contemporary romances are generic, sometimes they are fluff, and sometimes they do have some depth to them. There’s This Guy is like other’s Rhys has done and gives you gut punches while making you giddy with laughter almost at the same time.

We meet Jake Moore, a welder by trade during the day and and metal sculpture artist by night. Then we meet Dallas Yates, a developer who sees his eye candy across the street from his newly purchased art deco-era building in serious need of renovation, and wants to get to know the man he drools over. There is angst– Rhys is really good at this– and there is a little bit of a mystery but not nearly so knock-your-teeth-out bordering on dark as her other stories. Don’t get me wrong, you still see blood, gore, and even death, but they are not the focus as with her mysteries and suspense novels. It still has it’s dark moments followed by lighter ones. You will feel warm and fuzzy one minute and then wonder how one of the main characters is going to recover from THAT. It flowed really well, had it’s crying moments– both yourself and the characters–, and most of all a friendship between two characters with depth and breadth that grew to love. I foresee a really good start of a series, and I want to see Celeste’s story. 🙂 Hint. Hint.

Overall, it’s a really great story set in a different genre than normal but Rhys still gives us her style of writing. I can see here doing more in this genre and succeeding.

With this, I give There’s This Guy 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | B&N | KoboGoodreads

About the Author:

Rhys Ford is an award-winning author with several long-running LGBT+ mystery, thriller, paranormal, and urban fantasy series and was a 2016 LAMBDA finalist with her novel, Murder and Mayhem. She is published by Dreamspinner Press and DSP Publications.

She’s also quite skeptical about bios without a dash of something personal and really, who doesn’t mention their cats, dog and cars in a bio? She shares the house with Yoshi, a grumpy tuxedo cat and Tam, a diabetic black pygmy panther, as well as a ginger cairn terrorist named Gus. Rhys is also enslaved to the upkeep a 1979 Pontiac Firebird and enjoys murdering make-believe people

5 Star Review of “Undercover Boyfriend” (Dreamspun Desires) by Jacob Z. Flores #LGBT #Suspense #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Jacob Z. Flores  for a review of his June 2016 Dreamspun Desires book Undercover Boyfriend. If you are not a subscriber, you should be one. If you have missed them, pick them up. They are all good.

The Blurb:

A One Fine Day Novel

Two men, one lie, and a whole bunch of trouble.

Marty Valdez is in serious trouble. His sister’s wedding is around the corner, and everyone expects to meet Marty’s super-successful underwear model boyfriend—whom Marty invented. Now Marty has to produce a half-naked hottie or suffer the worst humiliation of his life.

FBI agent Luke Myers is in serious trouble. He’s been working undercover to take down a dangerous drug cartel, but his cover’s blown and he needs to disappear. Luckily, a geeky yet intriguing comic book artist gives him the perfect opportunity. Luke just has to pretend to be his boyfriend, and pretending is what he does best. But between Marty’s mother and his ex, Luke might’ve bitten off more than he can chew, and Marty’s knack for finding trouble might ruin more than just his sister’s wedding.

The Review:

The author provided the story to me for an honest review.  I’m a subscriber of the Dreamspun Desires line so I would have read it anyway. This way I got to read it early. 🙂

5 Stars

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First of all, if you haven’t subscribed to Dreamspun Desires, you should. You get the books each month 2-for-1. Even if you buy them individually, you should get them. I’ve read them all since the beginning of the year, signing up back in November last year. While I didn’t subscribe to the mainstream Harlequin equivalent, I confess that I did read serials like this back in the day. (Still do, technically. *grin*)

Undercover Boyfriend seems this is a start of a new series. Good. I really enjoyed this book as a light suspense novel, a little mystery, and romance rolled into one. As with the others in this line, it does have some serious moments, but it’s not deep, and that’s a good thing. It was perfect for what I wanted to read. I love how Luke and Marty skirt around each other as they are pretending to be boyfriends to Marty’s family. Or are they? You have to read it to find out. It does feature angst that is a perfect setting to the undercover intrigue for Luke and the issues with Marty’s family and ex as they are woven together into a believable story with a budding romance between Marty and Luke. There’s not a lot of sex but it does feature sweetness and growing love between them. While it was predictable in some of the plot, it still had a nice little mystery thrown in there too. Overall, it was a great read and I look forward to more in this series.

With this, I give Undercover Boyfriend 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe | B&N | Goodreads

5 Star Review of “Dirty Heart” (Cole McGinnis 6) by Rhys Ford #LGBT #Suspense #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford back for a review of the final Cole McGinnis book. See within the review for the links to reviews of the prior books.

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review.  Thank you. I’m sad to say goodbye to Cole and Jae, but I wanted to know Ben’s story. As promised, no spoilers. You have to go read the book to know.

5 Stars

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We return to the world of P.I. Cole McGinnis and the love of his life Jae-Min Kim, a Korean-American photographer Cole met on a previous case. If you haven’t read the first five books. Stop right now and Go. Read. Them. I reviewed the series up to Book Three on RGR here, and reviewed the fourth book, Dirty Deeds, on RGR here. Down and Dirty, the fifth book, will be here.

Through out the series there is the pain, both physical and emotional, of Cole’s former partner, best friend, and his then-lover Rick’s killer, Ben Pirelli and why he did what he did. There were not any hints… until now. After reading the book, I didn’t see reason coming. Rhys wove the story very well around a case Cole gets involved in by his brother, Mike, and I cried and laughed throughout. In some cases, I did it at the same time. It’s gritty writing and not for the faint-of-heart. As with most of Rhys’s books, they are… descriptive bordering on the dark. But, if you love a good mystery/suspense MM romance, this is for you. The romance is there: Definitely between Jae and Cole; Between other secondary characters such as Mad Dog and Mike, Cole’s brother; and between Cole’s newly-found younger brother Ichi and Cole’s best friend Bobby. The sex between Jae and Cole is hot, and the romance all around makes you smile at the way it should be in their world despite the everyday horrors and upset they face. This book felt a little lighter than the others, even with the reason Ben killed Rick, tried to kill Cole, and ultimately killing himself. Dirty Heart ended the series very well and the resolution to Ben’s anger is fitting.

With this, I give Dirty Heart 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Dreamspinner | Amazon | ARe | B&N

5 Star #Review of “Sloe Ride” (Sinners 4) by Rhys Ford #ReleaseDay #LGBT

Yes! Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes Rhys Ford back for another review in the Sinners series: Book 4 – Sloe Ride which releases today! I will be at DragonCon, so I will only be here in spirit (the power of scheduling posts, especially for a one-woman blogger like me). However, I have the app, so go ahead and comment and reblog. I’ll make sure to approve. 😉

 

The Review:

Rhys provided the story to me for an honest review back in late July.  Thank you for the opportunity. True story: I received a couple of Rhys’ stories in advance for review so far. I’ve been a bit behind this last year or so because of a variety of reasons. Figuring I was going to have to read a couple back story books, I was pleasantly surprised that I am in fact, caught up. (I have a database that tells me what I’ve read and not read.) And I was supposed to review Tequila Mockingbird. Crap, did I review it? Shoot. (Goes searching for post. Sure enough, published June 2014.) So I reread Tequila and started in on Sloe Ride.

5 Stars

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As expected, Sloe Ride continues the saga of the rock band started in Sinner’s Gin and it’s re-formation with new band members. And we get Quinn’s story. 🙂 I’ve been looking forward to this all series.

Quinn Morgan is my favorite supporting character through out the series. He’s a little quirky, a lot of fun, and coddled by the Morgan family. As the title implies, it is a slow ride to watch Rafe Andrade return to Quinn after years being a drug addict, general bad-boy bassist, and all around typical reason a lot of rock stars die young. Rafe had a spectacular falling out with his former band due to unusual circumstances and ultimately resulted in him getting off the drugs. There is plenty of angst on both sides but Quinn begins to rely on Rafe and help lead him to his own dreams.

I did end up reading it one sitting. Go figure. I typically do that with Rhys’ books. So, be prepared for that hanky because there are parts that will make you cry (well, they made me cry), and have enough time to read it in one sitting. You won’t want to put it down.

With this, I give Sloe Ride 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Book Links:

Goodreads Dreamspinner

5 Star Review of “Starting With the Unexpected” by @defiantandi @dreamspinners #LGBT #Romance

Moonbeams over Atlanta welcomes a new author, Andi Van and the first review of 2015 (I’m behind!) here with  Starting With the Unexpected which releases on May 15, 2015.  Andi contacted me and provided a reader copy for the purpose of the review. I’m so glad to took it on…

 

The Review:

5 Stars

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Andi is a new author in the M/M Romance category to me, but I was intrigued by the blurb (below) and knew I needed to read it. Well, time is a precious commodity right now and has been for several months, but I like music themed stories and a radio personality for a character was different enough that I wanted to read it.

And read I did. I actually couldn’t put it down. I had to read all 200 pages in one sitting. Not unusual normally, but since I’ve had to spread myself thin with that thing called work and family commitments, reading has been a lowly fourth, if not last. It’s a light, uplifting, humorous, and slightly quirky story of Zach Blaise, the local radio personality, and Marcus Edwards, the waiter. “Ollie” and “Marian” interact via the rage-text Marcus sends, and in person, until Marcus breaks down and tells Zach the truth.  From there, you see a glimpse in their lives, very much down to earth with quirky humor. You can’t forget the best friend of Zach, Jordan, dying of laughter a every turn and telling him to “go for it.” I was pleasantly surprise that it was not too intense, as a case of mistaken identity, and gender, could be. The writing style appealed to me, and led you smoothly to a great happy ending. So, a big thank you to Andi, and I will be looking for more of your books.

With this, I give Starting With the Unexpected 5 stars.

Eloreen Moon

Starting With the Unexpected
Andi Van

Zachary Blaise is having a weird week—even by his standards. Though he’s gay, the radio personality has been dumped via text by a girl named Marian—and he’s never even met her. On top of that, he’s developed a massive crush on Marcus, the new waiter at his favorite diner. His best friend thinks the whole thing is hilarious.

Marcus’s week hasn’t been his best either. He’s been betrayed by those closest to him, and although he isn’t the guilty party, Marcus is the one getting harassed.

Impossibly, things are about to get even weirder. Marian has secrets, and those secrets are going to make some serious ripples in Zach’s life. When he discovers that the girl called Marian is actually the man named Marcus, Zach stumbles down a rabbit hole of abusive ex-boyfriends, psychotic relatives, and revelations from his own past. If he can survive the chaos, the journey might prove worth the effort.

Title: Starting With the Unexpected (Book 1 of Beginnings and Endings)
Author: Andi Van
Genre: MM Romance (contemporary)
Length: Approx 60,000 (novel)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: May 15, 2015

978-1-63216-926-6 Paperback
978-1-63216-927-3 eBook
Pages: 200
Retail Price: $14.99 Paperback/$6.99 eBook

Excerpt:

CHAPTER 1
FUCKING CHEATING bastard.
The shit you had here is in boxes next to the dumpster.
If you don’t fucking get it, the garbage men will.
Hope my skanky whore of a sister was worth it, jackass.
Fuck off and die.
I sat there staring at my phone as the text messages flashed up in rapid-fire style, and it’s
safe to say I was feeling somewhat perplexed. I wasn’t dating anyone, let alone anyone at
the number I didn’t recognize, and I certainly wouldn’t have been sleeping with
someone’s sister. Ew.
When the shock wore off, I thought about it for a moment, shrugged, and started a reply.
If nothing else, the poor girl needed to know her ex had no idea his things had been left
by the dumpster. She was far more polite than I would have been in the same
circumstances—I would have left his things in the dumpster and made him crawl in after
them.
Pretty sure you’ve got a wrong number, hon. The last thing I want to do is sleep with
someone’s sister.
Wanted to let you know, so your ex doesn’t give you grief about his shit.
Either that or I’m being dumped by someone I had no idea I was in a relationship with.
I can’t decide whether that would make me awesome or pathetic, to be honest.
I hope the cheating bastard and your skanky whore sister give each other crabs.
“I suppose this means I’ve done my good deed for the day,” I mumbled to myself as I
tucked my phone back in my pocket. It was kind of a weird good deed, but a good deed
nonetheless.
“What’s that?” my housemate and best friend Jordan Walker asked as he joined me in the
living room.
“I just got dumped,” I told him. “By a girl. Apparently I cheated on her with her sister.”
Jordan gave me that indescribable look he always gave me when I said something that
completely confused him. It was hilarious, really. It was also part of his charm, much like
his ability to belch the entire alphabet in one go. “What the fuck?”
Starting With the Unexpected (Andi Van) ‐‐ Excerpt
I tossed my phone to him so he could read the messages for himself. “Wrong number
texts,” I told him. “I feel kind of bad for her, to be completely honest.”
Jordan scanned through the messages, shaking his head as he did. “She handled it better
than I would have. I would have torched his shit in a massive bonfire. I mean, think about
it, it’s perfect timing. A bonfire to start off the new year would be awesome.”
“That’s just because you had so much fun doing it when Tyler dumped me,” I told him
with a grin. Tyler had dumped me nearly six years before, in a painfully public way that
I’d prefer to forget but had never really been able to. That night, while I was sobbing on
Jordan’s shoulder, Tyler was fucking someone Jordan and I had been good friends with.
Obviously we weren’t friends with him anymore. When Jordan and I got home from that
ill-fated weekend, we’d bundled up the few things that Tyler had left in the apartment
Jordan and I shared at the time and had taken them to the beach as bonfire fodder.
Granted, it hadn’t been the middle of winter when we did it, but it was still quite
satisfying.
“Well, her number’s local,” Jeff said as he tapped my phone against his chin. “If she
really does live nearby, we could offer to burn the shit for her.”
“You’re just hoping she’s cute and looking for a rebound,” I shot back and got a grin in
response. I sighed and grabbed my phone from him. “Fine, I’ll at least tell her you said
she ought to burn the stuff. Maybe it’ll make her smile.” Like I said, I felt bad for her. I’d
been in that sort of situation, and the only thing that had kept me sane was Jordan’s weird
sense of humor. “Don’t think this means that I’m going to try and get her to hook up with
you, though. The poor girl’s obviously devastated.”
My roommate says you should just torch your ex’s shit in a massive bonfire, by the way.
He offered to do it for you, but I think he’s just hoping you’re cute and on the rebound.
Or possibly he just wants an excuse to roast marshmallows. I can never tell with him.
“Happy now?” I called after Jordan, who’d headed into the kitchen.
“I’d be happier if I didn’t have to go to work,” he answered. “You still feel like helping
tomorrow night?”
“Sure. You still buying breakfast afterward?”
“Yeah. Looks like I’m also buying pizza right now,” Jordan said as he came back out of
the kitchen, frowning. “Nothing in the fridge. Want to split an order?”
“No olives on my half,” I reminded him, like I did every time we ordered pizza. Maybe I
thought he’d forget between orders or something, despite the fact that we’d basically
Starting With the Unexpected (Andi Van) ‐‐ Excerpt
grown up together. “I’ll pay for the pizza. I’ll even go grocery shopping tonight if you
want.”
Jordan came back into the living room, dropped onto the couch next to me, and rested his
head on my shoulder. When I glanced down at him, he fluttered his eyelashes at me.
“Best housemate ever. Doesn’t steal my girlfriends, keeps me company at work, and does
the grocery shopping. If I were at all interested in men, I’d marry you.”
“Uh, no,” I said, smothering a grin. “Because that would mean I’d have to have sex with
you. Just…. No. Ew.” I already teased him about how he was my mom’s favorite son. It
would’ve been like having sex with a sibling or something.
“Yeah, okay, that’d be a bit too much like incest,” Jordan agreed.
“Right. So order us some pizza like a good boy and quit grossing me out.”
Before he could say something smart back to me, my phone started to chime. Jordan
practically pounced me to get at it, and I ended up with a lap full of roommate. “Is it
her?”
“Good lord,” I sighed, pushing him off me. “Seriously, she just got dumped. Don’t be
such a dog.” I held my phone out of his reach and glared at him. “Pizza. Go. Now.”
“You’re no fun anymore,” Jordan grumbled, heading back to the kitchen where he would
likely dig through the latest specials from our favorite pizza place. When I was sure he
was occupied, I read the messages.
I’d say awesome and not pathetic.
You guys have made me smile for the first time in over 24 hours. Thank you.
So sorry you got blindsided by my rage texts. Thanks for letting me know and for having
a sense of humor.
Tell your roomie I’m flattered but not looking. Roasted marshmallows sound good
though.
We’d made someone with a broken heart smile. Mission accomplished.
By the time Jordan and I had polished off our pizza, written down a shopping list,
watched an extremely bad and unintentionally hilarious movie involving sharks, and said
good night when Jordan left for work, the heartbroken girl was forgotten.
Little did I know that she wouldn’t stay forgotten for long. Those wrong number texts
were about to make some big ripples in my life.

DESPITE THE popular trend to automate radio stations, the tiny one I worked for
couldn’t manage that. Some days I was amazed we were on the air at all. Because we
were so small and underequipped, the morning show had to be recorded live during drive
time, which meant my workday started around three in the morning. This also meant that,
during one broadcast when my cohost was feeling particularly evil, there had been no
way for me to stop our entire audience from hearing her play a recording of me singing
“Material Girl” at the top of my lungs after a night that involved far too much alcohol.
Obviously there was a downside to recording live.
On the plus side, she’d refrained from sharing my rendition of Captain and Tennille’s
“Love Will Keep Us Together” from the same evening, so that was something.
The odd hours made Sunday nights particularly difficult for me, though it helped that
Jordan basically had the same schedule I did. Unfortunately he also had the same
propensity to stay up far too late on my days off, despite the fact that he worked seven
days a week.
When I stumbled into the station carrying two cups of liquid caffeine, my evil bitch
cohost—who I adored, incidentally—was waiting for me.
“You look like shit,” Kat said gleefully as she took the caramel-mocha-whatever she
always made me get her.
“I love you too,” I growled. “Got anything interesting to talk about this morning?”
Research into local news, current events, and interesting bits we thought the listeners
would enjoy took up a good portion of our working hours. As much as I would have liked
to have been able to tell people we made everything up on the fly, it just wasn’t true. We
spent a lot of time throwing ideas back and forth, writing out notes, and scripting funny
bits that we thought we really ought to have scripted. I was just grateful we no longer had
to run the content of the show by our boss.
“A couple of things,” Kat answered. “How was your weekend?”
I started to answer her with my usual “fine” when the brokenhearted girl from the other
night popped into my head. I took a sip of my chai latte to give myself a few moments to
figure out how I wanted to word my answer. “I have a funny but kind of sad story about
my weekend that we might be able to work into the show, but it might cause a bit of a
stir,” I admitted. Discussing the need to burn your ex’s things could potentially be
hilarious, but could also be polarizing if people who’d had their things burned were still
upset about it. But then, really, everything was polarizing. We’d gotten hate mail over an
episode where we joked about rubber duckies, for God’s sake.
“Would the stir be from the boss or from the public?” Kat asked, arching an elegant
eyebrow as she peered over her coffee cup.
“Public,” I told her. “See, it started with these random texts….”
And so, when five o’clock hit and we welcomed everyone to “Kat and Zach in the
Morning,” Kat started off the show by asking me how my weekend had been.
“Well,” I said slowly, “I got a very interesting set of texts from the wrong number. That
leads me into our first question of the morning. If you discovered your lover sleeping
with your sibling, would you feel justified in having a nice little bonfire with the crap
they’d left at your place? We have a poll up on our website, and at the end of the show,
we’ll let you know the results.”
“I’ll admit that cheating is a pretty messed-up thing,” Kat said. “But what if it was an
accident?”
I snorted. “What, like they were both accidentally naked and she tripped and accidentally
impaled herself on his—”
Kat grabbed the bike horn we used to censor each other and cut my words off with a loud
honk. “Point made. Never mind.”
My phone vibrated in my pocket, but I wasn’t about to check it while we were on air.
“Not that I’d know what’s impossible between a man and a woman, of course, but it
seems pretty unlikely to me.”
That was one of the fantastic things about working for the station I worked for. I went
into my interview fresh out of college and announced to them that I was very gay and
very out. My boss had seen that as a draw, and our tiny station had gained a devoted
following of listeners from the LGBT community thanks to the gamble he’d taken in
putting me on the air after telling me to just be myself. The previous year, Kat and I had
even been asked to join the Pride Parade, and we’d already been invited back for the next
year’s events. It was another reason we got hate mail, but our supporters far outnumbered
our adversaries. We were too small a station to cause a huge stir.
The topic shifted, and we followed our notes until the first commercial break, at which
point I pulled out my phone to check my messages.
Oh my fucking God, I rage-texted Zach Blaise??
I laughed. I couldn’t help it. And then I sighed and hoped I wouldn’t have to change my
number. I’d been on the wrong end of “oh my God, you’re a local celebrity” before,
despite the fact that I wasn’t really that well-known, and I didn’t care to deal with it again.
You did. Now that you know my name, can I get yours?
It took a little longer than usual before I got a response, and for a moment I wondered if I
was going to get an answer at all.
When my friends want to piss me off, they call me Marian.
If it pisses you off, why give me that name? I asked. It seemed weird to give someone a
name you didn’t really want to go by.
Like I’m going to give someone I don’t know my real name, even if you are Zach Blaise.
Smart, I told her. In that case, when my friends want to piss me off, they call me Ollie.
Can I call you Mari?
Only if you pronounce it MAHR-ee, and not like Mary. Why Ollie?
Middle name’s Oliver. Commercial break’s almost up. Enjoy the show.
I grinned as I put my phone away. Mari had spirit, and I could see us being friends. Who
couldn’t use more friends? Maybe I’d end up setting her up with Jordan after all, once
she was over her ex. She was definitely our kind of people.
The commercial break came to an end, and I put it out of my head and focused on the
next segment of the show.

Book Links:

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Author Bio:

Andi Van lives near San Diego with a small fluffy thing named Koi, a baseball bat that’s forever being used for things other than baseball, and a fondness for rum and caffeine (though not necessarily together).

Andi is fluent in three languages (English, sarcasm, and profanity), and takes pride in a highly developed—if somewhat bizarre—sense of humor.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr


Praise for ANDI VAN

“I loved Zachary and Marcus and I loved Zachary’s parents and Jordan. It was a nice read and definitely a book I would re-read again if I was in the mood for something sweet.”

—On Top Down Under Reviews, on “Starting With the Unexpected”

“As it is, I find this story a lovely addition for all the fans of paranormal romance.”

—MM Good Book Reviews, on “A Swift Herd for Solstice”

Other titles by this author:

ASHfS