Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Release Day Review: The Swap by Annabella Michaels #Review #Giveaway




Author: Annabella Michaels
Title: The Swap
Self Published
Publication Date: May 22, 2018
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer~ Simply Defined Art
Length: 64k words

Reviewed by Meredith

Synopsis

When their daughter goes off to college, Samuel and his wife Gayle begin to take stock of their lives. Realizing they’re best friends and not in love with one another, the two agree to an amicable split. Nervous about jumping back into the dating world, they accept a friend’s invitation to attend a swap party. 
Tossing their keys into a bowl and leaving it up to fate to decide who they’re paired with is too tempting to resist. But when Samuel is faced with an audacious young man who strikes up a conversation, the attraction to men he’s kept buried for so long comes rushing back. 

At twenty-two years old, Oliver Hughes is one of the most sought after male models in the world. Sassy and bold, with a penchant for wearing high heels and a touch of makeup, Oliver’s life is what he always dreamed it could be. Except for one thing… 
Yearning to fall in love and settle down, Oliver’s grown bored of meaningless hookups with shallow, fame seeking guys. While attending a swap party, his last-ditch effort to find someone who doesn’t know who he is when they meet, Oliver finds himself drawn to a handsome, older man. One who’s endearingly unaware of his own appeal. 
As their relationship grows, something sinister and dark threatens what they’ve managed to build. What will it take for Oliver and Samuel to survive, and is their happily ever after doomed from the start? 



Buy Links





Review

I'm a fan of Annabella Michaels. I've read all her books and each is unique and always gives me perfect closure and happiness. There's a signature an author puts on a book that makes it their own and Annabella does that.

The Swap is different from any of her other books in my honest opinion. There's mystery, suspense, romance, and humor. It's a great balance and it's all the qualities I look for in any book. 

Oliver and Samuel are absolutely adorable and every time they were on page together I simply melted. I adored the ensemble in this book and the amazing support Oliver and Samuel had throughout. 

But, within this gorgeous romance is a sinister darkness, one that for a lot of this book simply floats there. It pokes at you in a few spots and then bam, it's in your face and you're dealing with it. It was that moment I admittedly gasped and was so pleasantly surprised how Annabella Michaels was able to keep me on my toes.

I love when an author surprises me in the most delicious way and I love when I walk away from a book thinking they really did it perfectly.

I very much recommend this book to the romance lovers but also to those who like a little mystery suspense to their stories.





Giveaway

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Sunday, May 20, 2018

Random Review: BFF~ Claimed by Devon McCormack #Review #Giveaway



Author: Devon McCormack
Title: BFF: Best Friend's Father Claimed
Sequel to BFF
Publication Date: May 7, 2018
Length: 290 Pages

Reviewed by Jenn

Synopsis

ERIC:

I f*cked up. Not in a small way, either.

When I met my son's best friend, the attraction was instantaneous. Jesse Morgan is charming, witty, and hot-as-sin. He might be young, but he's wise beyond his years. And damn, what he can do to me with something as simple as his touch or one glance from those chestnut-colored eyes.

Hard as I tried, I couldn't keep my greedy hands off of him, and once I had a taste, I needed more.

He awakens a fire within me unlike anything I've experienced with another guy. He stirs a hot lust that makes it difficult for me to spend time with him without tearing his clothes off and giving him the pleasure he deserves.

It's more than that, though.

He makes me believe in something I'd given up on.

Love.

I love him. I want him to claim me, body and soul.

And messed up as it might sound, the man who destroyed what remained of my estranged relationship with my son might be the very man who can help save it.

Yes, I made one of the biggest mistakes in my life by starting down this path, but as far as mistakes go, Jesse Morgan is a pretty damn amazing one.








Review

“There’s something about disarming secrets that feels so good on your conscious” With this one sentence, the author and Eric, the character who said it, captured my heart all over again.

Jesse and Eric who fell in love in a shroud of secrecy behind Eric’s son and Jesse’s best friend are back. In this book we get to see what happens after all the excitement and drama that came with falling in love. Now comes the really hard stuff, staying in love, helping Ty understand and accept their love, forging new, stronger relationships with him and dealing with the past trauma that has shaped so much of Eric’s life. 

The thing I love most about this book and this story is how it was written. I feel like this trope of falling for your friend’s dad has been done and almost always tied up with a neat bow. What Devon McCormack does is look beyond the sexy, beyond the taboo and he gets real. The depth and maturity of both the story and the writing is incredibly beautiful. The care shown by Jesse reaches so beyond his years and shows that he really is a man worth risking it all for. Eric’s commitment to Ty, Jesse and to his own well being is so admirable and sincere. What could have torn all their lives apart ultimately makes each man stronger. We see these men tackling the past while still living in the now and I simply love that. Life doesn’t end because you were hurt or because you caused hurt. They move forward and keep going, solid in the knowledge that this love is worth it. They laugh, they make love and they LIVE! All the things I wished for them at the ending of book one. This book is a MUST read.


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Saturday, May 19, 2018

Saturday Author Spotlight: Avery Duran #Interview #Giveaway




Hello and Happy Saturday to you! It's royal wedding day, I know, but today here on Diverse Reader we have something better. Avery Duran is hanging out talking books, answering questions, and doing a giveaway! Grab a chair and stay awhile :D





Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.

Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.

As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.

But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Links

 B&N
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Gabe Cotter is an out-and-proud elementary school teacher who has moved back to the New York City neighborhood where he grew up—hoping to pave the way by example for others, since it was a rocky road for him. When a false alarm brings a handsome, but ornery, firefighter right to his doorstep--he can’t help but be intrigued, especially when Fate keeps bringing them together, and Gabe catches a glimpse of the cranky man's softer side.

Chris Mancini has learned the hard way that some things are better left unsaid. A third-generation firefighter, his job and family responsibilities keep him firmly in the closet. He can’t get the feisty teacher he met on a false alarm call out of his mind, though. When they meet in a bar, his reservations go out the window and they share a passionate night together.

One night leads to another, and to another, until the men are spending all of their free time in each other’s company. The deeper their feelings grow, the more Gabe struggles with balancing the open life he is trying to live with Chris’s closeted one. When Gabe realizes he can no longer live with the secrecy, Chris is faced with making a decision that cuts both ways.


Free with Kindle Unlimited





Interview


Thank you for hanging out with us this fine Saturday. I’m excited because I’ve never had the opportunity to interview you. I promise to be gentle.

Thank you in advance!!!

Let’s start off easy. If someone just came across your books, where would you suggest they start and why?

 Ahava is Love, its part of the Dreamspinner Press World of Love Series, which means it’s a great love story in a unique environment, Israel. The best part – it will leave with one of those really good sappy smiles! I’m a big proponent of books that leave you with the warm fuzzies.

If we were to read your bio what are three things you can tell us about yourself we wouldn’t see on there? 

1) I am a huge fan of Duran Duran and have seen them every time they’ve come to the NYC area since 1983 – I’m well into double digits at this point.
2) I was raised in a Kosher home and stopped eating meat when I was in 4th grade, so I’ve never had bacon. Now, everywhere I look I see bacon flavored stuff, but I don’t understand the hype! My husband thinks I’m crazy, he loves the stuff.
3) I am terrified of clowns. With three sons, keeping my house a clown-free zone has not been easy.

When you’re not writing up a storm what do you enjoy doing? 

Reading – of course! I read a LOT! I also love to craft – crocheting especially. I tend to stick with small projects since I get bored easily (I have an embarrassing amount of half-finished afghans). I’ve gotten really good at crocheting Pok√©mon themed accessories though.

Will you be attending GRL or any other conventions or signings for the remainder of the year?

 Yes, I am attending GRL as a supporting author, it will be my first and I am excited and nervous. If you see me, please come say, “Hello!” I’ll be the woman trying not to hide in the corner.

I have authors who inspire me daily. What authors have inspired you in your life?

  This is a tough one, I couldn’t even begin to narrow it down, and every time I write a name, someone else comes to mind. I often turn to books when I need to be comforted, lifted up or to find a new path. Right now I am reading Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and it is fascinating. It’s all about the mind, intuition, and how we think.

The writers who have most influenced my writing are Stephen King and Nora Roberts. Stephen King is a master of pacing and setting a scene. His use of humor and cynicism in the most unexpected places took horror tropes and turned them around. I have a pretty dry sense of humor, so it really appealed to me. The first novella I wrote was actually a horror story, anyone who reads it can tell which author inspired me! I started reading Nora Roberts in category romances, and followed her as she grew. I loved that she had strong independent heroines, at a time when most were more…demure.  I’m no shrinking violet, so I appreciated seeing strong women finding love without giving up their independence. Her dialogue is always snappy and moves the story along. She’s still an auto buy for me.

If one of your books could be made into a motion picture, which book and who would you cast? 

I would love to cast Joey Graceffa and his boyfriend, Daniel Preda for the motion picture version of Double Edged Sword (A Memories with The Breakfast Club Kindle World Novella). His video for Don’t Wait totally inspired the renaissance faire that takes place in the book. My project boards and pins were filled with pictures of them.  

Can you tell us what you’re currently working on or future projects?

 Yes, I am working on expanding and re-releasing my first release, Matzo Ball.  It was originally part off an anthology for a publisher that has since closed. It’s interesting to see how much my writing has changed, but my voice is still there. I also am about to type, “The End” and submit a full length novel – but I’m too superstitious to say anything more about it…yet!


How can readers follow your work: Blog, website, FB, Twitter etc…


Is there a subject, topic, or genre you believe you’ll never write in or about? 

I am a firm believer in never saying never!

What would be a dream come true for you?

 Other than becoming a bestselling author? Meeting Simon Le Bon from Duran Duran!

FAST FIRE QUESTIONS
Day or night? Night – I’m a total night owl, mornings are not my friend.
Favorite color? Purple
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Favorite time of year? Fall
DC or Marvel? DC – I grew up on Super Friends
Favorite animal? Whichever one is cuddling with me at the moment!
Swimming in the sea or a pool? Sea

Thank you, Avery SO much for being here!

Thank you so much for spending some time with me! I had a lot of fun answering these questions.





Giveaway

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Contest ends May 25th
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Friday, May 18, 2018

Flashback Friday Review: Unbroken by Larry Benjamin #Review #Giveaway




Author: Larry Benjamin
Title: Unbroken
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Publication date: September 8, 2018
Length: 268 pages

Reviewed by Truus

Synopsis

My parents, unable to change me, had instead, silenced me. When they'd stilled my hands, they'd taken my words, made me lower my voice to a whisper. Later, I remained silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Antiman. Faggot.


Lincoln de Chabert's life is pretty unremarkable until he comes home from kindergarten and announces he will marry his best friend, Orlando, when he grows up. 

His parents spring into immediate action, determined to fix him, igniting an epic battle of wills as Lincoln is determined to remain himself, and marry whom he chooses, at all costs.


Buy Links





Review

There are just a few books that make such a deep impression on me… like an imprint, something you can always find and feel.
I finished and reviewed this read on December 30, 2016, and I could not get it out of my mind for a long long time.
It was deeply moving. When I recommend stories this is always one of them.
Larry Benjamin, a Bronx-born wordsmith, a Lambda Literary finalist, and an IPPY Gold Medalist and, god I understand why! Because his writing style is striking and one of a kind.
Every line, every sentence is just a piece of art. Definitely a must-read !!


The writing style was striking. I was caught immediately.
It had a yearning in it. 
There were people who made my teeth grinding and I wanted to scream, cry and throw chairs.

This book....the longing....my heart.....it almost flew out of my body....reaching the sky.

Lincoln and Jose, two beautiful boys –omg- I loved them from the first line. 
Lincoln was twelve and knew he wanted to marry Jose. They had a long way to go.

This story is told from the kind and beautiful mind of Lincoln, what a personality he has, so determined, firm. I bow to him.

Several times I cried it was so emotional. All those experiences in life they went through.
And never ever did Lincoln's love temper...it was like a rock. 

The story expands over a long period. And not one moment should be missed. It starts in 1962 and ends in the now. Their journey isn't easy at all, cobblestones as their path, but for the most part, they had each other and that was a reassurance. I can't go into details because it would take their journey away and it is so so worth reading.
Together they were growing into loving and caring boyfriends, lovers, fathers and finally husbands.

There are beautiful beautiful lines, I'll put them in my heart and they will never leave.

The way this story is written is strong, kind, honest, convincing, very realistic, and deeply touching, it made me very emotional.

I'm astonished by this author's brain. It’s one of the few times I ran into a writing style so superior my heart swelled.


“I don’t pray often, but when I do, I pray that I die five minutes after you so I’ll always be here to look after you but not have to live without you.”

"Sometimes the best mom is a dad."

Btw...I so so loved Lincoln's voice !! And "At Last" awesome choice!!

Highly recommended 

"My parents, unable to change me, had instead, silenced me. When they’d stilled my hands, they’d taken my words, made me lower my voice to a whisper. Later, I remained silent in defense, refusing to acknowledge the hateful words: Brainiac. Sissy. Antiman. Faggot."





Giveaway

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Release Blitz: Better Together by BL Maxwell #Review #Giveaway




Length: 90,000 words approx.

Blurb

Since being thrown out of his home by his parents, Caden has been struggling to survive on the streets.

He lives in constant fear, stresses over his next meal, and dreads trying to find a safe place to sleep at night. He eventually finds an unlocked car and settles in to sleep, but is soon interrupted when someone steals the car. With little choice but to ride along, Caden soon learns that first impressions aren’t always correct.

Seventeen-year-old Damario has been raising his little brother and sister by himself since his parents were deported. He never knew how hard it was going to be paying the bills and making sure there was always food on the table. Or how hard it would be to hold his family together when they all depended on him to do it. He finds himself stealing cars to make ends meet, but he never expected to find someone sleeping in the back of one of them. And he really didn’t expect this stowaway to change his life.

When Damario brings Caden home, it was supposed to be just for a shower and a hot meal, but he can hardly kick him out onto the streets again. There is no way he could have seen that by saving Caden that night, he was also saving himself. When Damario’s world starts to fall apart, they both realize that the answer to all of their problems is helping each other, and although the world tries to drive them apart, they really are better together.



Review

BL Maxwell's is a new author to me and I absolutely fell in love with not only the story but also with the two main characters.

Caden, a young man at the age of only 17, is tossed out of his family and a life he never thought would turn on him. Alone in a world that can be so heartless with nothing but a backpack. I felt my mother's instincts kicking in so much. I physically ached for his character and cursed his parents for turning their son out into the cruel world with no care for his well being! 

Demario still a boy himself thrown into a situation of having to raise his younger siblings with no help while trying to work and go to school. The injustice of him having to give up his freedom and having a normal childhood left me reeling with anger over the society in which we live. Because it's a fact that we still see this injustice almost daily.


However, when their two worlds collide, they become each other's anchors. They both learn from each other since neither really have any guidance from parental influences. What develops between them is slow and very heartwarming and beautifully written. Theirs’ is not the easiest of fairytales, but it is the most amazingly realistic one that I can relate to.

BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked.
Many years later, she decided to take the plunge and write down some of the stories that seem to run through her head late at night when she’s trying to sleep. 


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Thursday, May 17, 2018

Random Review: Ben's Rainbow by Victoria Sue #Review #Giveaway




Author: Victoria Sue
Title: Ben's Rainbow
Series: Rainbow Key #3
Self Published
Publication date: April 29, 2018
Length: 242 pages

Reviewed by Meredith


Synopsis

Benedict Keeler was one of America’s most popular models. Hot body, hot career, and super-hot boyfriend, until a devastating house fire destroyed his face and his dreams. After being told all his life that a pretty face is the measure of his worth, he can’t face another rejection and runs from his lover, eventually hiding out on Rainbow Key.
Zachary Jones, a highly sought after photographer—even if he would rather shoot the homeless in Manhattan than a fashion spread—is now facing the real possibility that a genetic disease will render him blind and his days behind a camera may be over.
Two devastated men, one haunted by his past and one convinced he has no future. Will they both hide from the world, or will they give love, and each other, a second chance








Review

I'm going to start off with the technical side of things. This is book three in Victoria Sue's Rainbow Key series. However, it can absolutely be read as a standalone. The author does an incredible job of intersecting important facts you need to know from previous books. I also love that if you have read the others you build on your already great emotional connections from past characters.

I have, in fact, read all the books in this series. Ben was one character who intrigued me from the very beginning. It's no secret he suffers from burns on one side of his face and down his shoulder. We learn how it happened in this, the impact it had and continues to have, and the repercussions of Ben running and hiding.

We also meet Zach. And talk about serendipitous. Him coming to Rainbow Key because of his own medical situation bringing him face to face with Ben, the love he thought he lost forever. It was so wonderful and I love second chance stories.

I loved how Ben and Zach's situations were what they were. In the blurb it tells you that Zach is suffering from possible blindness so it's no secret. Ben, who was a model once upon a time, lost his money maker so to speak. One can't see and one can see everything. It was a great contrast and added a lot to this story.

I adored Zach in every way. He was positively my favorite and I'd go so far as to say my favorite of the serious to date. Everything about him was truly remarkable. His strength, his power to persevere, his humanity. He had his bouts of depression but who wouldn't when you're losing one of your most valued senses and lost your heart too. His patience with Ben should make him a saint, seriously.

Ben. So, I wanted to love him so very much but I struggled. While I felt so much sympathy for what he'd been through in his life and when luck comes knocking making the once homeless hopeless man rich and famous just to have it taken away in a fire.... uhg! Not cool! I ached for all he'd been through. I did feel the connection between Zach and Ben easily. My problem with Ben was what he put Zach through even after they were okay. The last time really bothered me and I had a hard time getting beyond it. I found I didn't trust him and that made me a little sad.

All in all it's a marvelous series filled with creative plots, colorful characters, good balance of romance, angst, wonder, and excitement!




Giveaway

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