Title: Happy Medium
Author: Julia Talbot
Series: Club Raven
Publisher: Evil Plot Bunny LLC
Release Date: 01-03-2017
Genre(s): M/M Historical, M/M BDSM Romance, M/M Paranormal
Page Count: 116
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5
Andrew is out to debunk Max as a medium, not make love to him…
Max Bellame is working his way through 1870s Baltimore as a medium, even if he knows nothing about spirits. He uses the power of his mind to move objects, convincing his clients he’s the real thing.
Andrew Meechum works for Club Raven, a gentleman’s club that doubles as a paranormal research facility. He sets out to debunk Max, only to be fascinated by the man. Can Andrew convince Max to take a chance on love, and to find his true calling as a medium, or will their personal demons force them apart?
Club Raven is a BDSM gentleman’s club set in the 1870’s and caters to men with special talents: magical special talent. When the story begins, we meet Max he’s holding a seance and portraying himself as a medium. Andrew was an invited guest to the seance with the expressed purpose of identifying Max as a fraud. When Max showcases his actual special power of moving objects with his mind, Andrew was impressed and decides to look into Max a bit more.
From there, the story has MANY different directions, which weren’t necessary and were pretty… eh. Max starts to learn how to use and manage his talent (although that was a bit glossed over) at Club Raven while staying with Andrew there and falling in love. The world building is a bit interesting, but it was missing some significant details that were never revealed – perhaps because the story is so short, there just wasn’t time. But along the way, Max uses his powers, joined with others, and then needs to (wait for it…) exorcise a demon. An actual and random demon. I have no idea why or where or any reason why that is an integral part of the story, but it was a significant part of the last 20 pages or so.
The redeeming quality of this story, was the love plot line between Max and Andrew. There was a bit of insta-love going on, but it was fun reading them coming together, especially with the historical setting and the BDSM twist (very light BDSM). Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this series (more on book two to follow) for anyone other than die-hard historical M/M readers.
Review Copy of Happy Medium provided by Evil Plot Bunny for an honest review.
Title: Jackass Flats
Author: Julia Talbot
Series: Riding Cowboy Flats #1 (2nd Edition)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Cee Brown
Release Date: 12/28/2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance, M/M Western/Cowboys, M/M Military / Law Enforcement
Page Count: 115
Heat Level: 4 flames out of 5
Rating: 4 stars out of 5
“Can a traveling military man and a set-in-his-ways cowboy find a way to make things work?
Tate feels like the best part of life has probably passed him by, which is why the thirtysomething cowboy hits the bars every night. When he meets Dave, a young soldier from a nearby Army base, though, Tate figures things might be looking up. He and Dave get off to a rocky start, but Tate soon finds that he and the kid have enough in common to make things interesting.
Dave isn’t really into the whole don’t ask, don’t tell thing, and he doesn’t bother to hide his relationship with Tate from his friends. Once he realizes he should have been more careful, it might be too late. But Dave is willing to fight for Tate, even if it means taking on the military.
First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2008.”
.•.•*) .•*)Sometimes life worked out just like it was supposed to.
Five Sheets to the wind, Tate was rescued by a big, young military man. Being alone was starting to wear thin, but the small town of Jackass Flats was just not the place to find love or even a relationship for a gay, quiet man. Besides that, Tate had too much on his plate and not enough to offer anyone. No matter how drunk, there was attraction in their path. Meeting days later solidified that attraction.
Both decided to make a go at dating. But when soldier Dave expressed his interest in the cowboy to his best friend, things go from good to bad. Soon Dave finds himself fighting for his life and his job. Even with his honesty, Dave never thought he would become a victim. But Tate was there for him and together they made the most of life together.
A good story, one that I enjoyed. The author told a story of opposites attract. Never revealing Tate’s age, but hinting at him being much older than Dave, the two proved that regardless, they were good for each other.”
Review Copy of Jackass Flatts provided by Dreamspinner Press for an honest review.
Title: Catching Heir
Author: Julia Talbot
Series: Dreamspun Desires
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Reviewer: Mel Bradley
Release Date: 12/1/2016
Genre(s): M/M Contemporary Romance
Page Count: 250
Heat Level: 1 flame out of 5
Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5
“Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?
Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.
Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.
Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?”
Review: Being that I live on a ski resort fairly near where this takes place, I was stoked to see how it would all play out – outside my back door. This was a quick and fun read overall, with a lot of fun characters and interesting professions. I landed with 3.5 stars because it felt very… cheesy at times.
But putting cheese aside, I really liked both characters and enjoyed seeing, what felt like, a new and interesting location for a love story to take place. There could have been very interesting power dynamics as well, but the story didn’t head down that route. Regardless, both Matt and Cullen were fun to get to know and they fit together very well.
Where things went a bit off track…
A pro-snowboarder doesn’t just suddenly go off the circuit for such a long time and I had a *really* hard time figuring out the timeline and the seasons throughout. They didn’t seem to flow as they do in real life, and it was throwing me off – big time. The other thing that kept needling me was the insta-ness of everything in the book. Insta-like, insta-over-angst, insta-fixes, and so on. While reading it, it didn’t appear as such, but looking back everything just magically came together.
But none of those things stopped me from reading until the end with a smile on my face. This is a great read for anyone who likes a hot snowboarder who’s wealthy but down to earth, and a Texas transplant who thrives in the hotel business. There wasn’t a lot of heat, but it wasn’t missing at all!
Review Copy of Catching Heir provided by Dreamspinner Press for an honest review.
Author Name: Kiernan Kelly, Julia Talbot, and BA Tortuga
Book Name: Midnight Rodeo: Belonging
Series: Midnight Rodeo
Release Date: January 29, 2016
What happens when rodeos start to get too tough for humans to compete in? Midnight Rodeo, of course, where supernatural creatures like shifters and vampires work for the prize money, and for the awe of their audience.
Light a Rocket by Julia Talbot
Rocket is probably the worst rider in Darque and Knight rodeo troupe. This cheetah shifter is fast as the wind, but he only has so many lives in his cat body, and he spends more time injured than not. Raven Walkingman is the number one cowboy in the Midnight Rodeo, at the top of his game. The two seem an unlikely match, but Raven enjoys doing things no one expects him to, including Rocket.
Raven likes his relationships casual, though, and when Rocket starts talking mates as shifters are wont to do, Raven pulls up the stakes. He has his animal spirit guides, his good friends, and his fancy trailer. He doesn’t need a ragtag cheetah falling in love with him. His spirit guides know better. They adore Rocket and are more than happy to support him, and abandon Raven, until the stubborn fool does the right thing.
Tails and Whiskers by BA Tortuga
Tiger shifter Dmitri loves the rodeo. Darque and Knight has become his home, and he adores all of his new friends. Still, his past as a circus animal causes him to hate injustice, so when he meets a trick rider and fox shifter, Dmitri is appalled to find that the hot little kit isn’t allowed inside the rodeo ground except when he works. In fact, none of the entertainers are allowed in, all being contractors and thus bound to a different boss, who happens to be a greedy goblin.
As Dmitri and Isaac learn to love one another, they find growing dissatisfaction with the status quo, and they go to their friends for support in forcing a policy change. Too bad there’s a certain goblin who doesn’t want to give up control of his workers. Can Dmitri and Isaac find a way to be together, and to make a change for the better of everyone at D&K?
Freaked Out by Kiernan Kelly
Gargoyle-shifter Killian has spent his life living and working with all different sorts of supernatural folk, but because he had three forms instead of two like most other shapeshifters, he’s always felt like a freak. His habit of keeping to himself and minding his own business has been his shield against being hurt, and to aid in that endeavor, he’s adopted a stony personality.
When a troupe of sideshow performers are hired by Darque and Knight to augment the rodeo, he’s forced to redefine his ideas of what constitutes beauty and what defines a freak. Meanwhile, the hard, protective shell he’s erected around his heart threatens to crack wide open under the tender touch of Micah, the sideshow’s hideous Snake Man.
Pages or Words: 60,000 words
Categories: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Western/Cowboy
Excerpt from Tails and Whiskers by BA Tortuga
Someone was singing about having a tiger by the tail. Loudly.
Honestly, Dmitri loved to sing. He loved other people’s enthusiastic music. This morning, though, he was not so pleased. His head felt very large.
He blamed Brax. The head of the kitty cavalcade loved to get everyone full of green smoke.
Dmitri lifted his throbbing head that was, at least, five sizes bigger than it had been, and peered out of the window. Oh. His dear friend Denver was calling for him.
With fried sweet things.
For that he would crawl out of his happy bed, which still smelled like Denver since he’d bought his friend’s old trailer, and put on—shorts? Something.
“Open up, pussycat. I brought doughnuts.” Denver was a good friend, especially for a wolf. Blaine must have thrown him out this morning for being too perky. Denver’s little wolf partner was not a morning person.
Dmitri opened the door to his trailer. “Welcome, friend Denver.”
“Good morning, fuzzy.” Denver walked up and rubbed cheeks with him, sharing scent. The bullfighter knew the rules, knew how to be pride as well as pack. That made him more valuable than gold.
“What did you bring for breakfast?” Dmitri asked.
“Apple fritters. Fresh from the fryer.”
“I love apples!” His head began to clear pretty quickly. “Tell me what is the news.”
“We got a big crowd tonight. Seems tell people are revved. Bulls are spitting fire. That weird little group of trick riders are pulling the first break, to give Kurt a breather. He’s burning up.”
Yes, it was warm in Texas for a panda. Dmitri understood. His inner Siberian tiger longed for Colorado. Maybe Canada.
“There’s a lake close by. We should go, the bunch of us,” Denver suggested.
“Oh.” Swimming. His tiger surged, close the surface, wanting out of his human body. “Yes. Apple things first.”
“You bet. Come sit with me.”
Dmitri followed Denver out into the sun and sat at a picnic table. The heat pressed at him, but he did love the light.
Denver had an entire box of the pastries and they ate eagerly, wolfing the doughnuts at first, then ending with lazy nibbles. Oh. Better. So much better.
Sugar left his tiger cold, but his human side loved it, and the crispy-fried part? Perfect.
He bounced, rocking the table. “Swim now?”
“Let me grab the others. You’ll invite the pride?”
“I will.” He grabbed a trash can lid and a piece of wood and began banging. “Wake up, kitties! We are going to the lake!”
He got half cheers, half people throwing things at him. Blaine walked over with an apple fritter in hand, the other bullfighters Caul and Carter followed along with Potts. That only left one bullfighter and Terrance was notoriously slow.
Brax appeared, his naked, tanned form lean and pretty. “What are you caterwauling about?”
“Swimming! Friend Denver says there is a lake.”
Brax wrinkled his nose, stretched slowly, all golden skin and muscle. Yum. “I’ll pass.”
“Coward,” Denver teased. “You can come tan. Show off all that pretty skin. Maybe you’ll get laid.”
Dmitri wished he would have that, not Brax. No one wanted to be broken, Brax told him, afraid of Dmitri’s size and… enthusiasm.
“Yeah?” Brax came over, scented Denver and Blaine, then nodded. “Okay, sure. Let me grab some oil.”
“And some shorts,” Potts called. “A shame to damage yer pecker, eh?”
“Mine is so big I can cast my own shade.” Brax winked and headed off.
Potts growled, but the sound was more happy than ugly. Dmitri looked between them, then raised a brow at Denny.
Denver just shrugged, eyes twinkling. “What will be, will be, huh?”
“It will.” He was happy if his friends were happy.
“Lake. Water. Swimming.”
“Dog paddling,” Dmitri teased.
“You know it. Terry is a champion paddler.” Denver clapped Terrance on the back when he went by.
They clomped the half mile to the lake, the water glinting under the sun, the grass on the way green and thick. Dmitri whooped as soon as he saw the water, breaking into a run.
Blaine followed with him, the little wolf losing shirt and flip-flops with a happy howl.
He laughed, splashing in and leaving his clothes on the bank. He popped water at Blaine, roaring with delight.
Blaine tackled him, totally unafraid and eager to play.
Dmitri chortled, and soon he was surrounded, five puppies and kittens flying in all directions when he shrugged hard. Denver was floating on his back, watching with deceptively hooded eyes. Denny saw all.
Oh, Dmitri loved his life.
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About the authors:
Texan to the bone and an unrepentant Daddy’s Girl, BA Tortuga spends her days with her basset hounds, getting tattooed, texting her sisters, and eating Mexican food. When she’s not doing that, she’s writing. She spends her days off watching rodeo, knitting and surfing porn sites in the name of research. BA’s personal saviors include her wife (still amazing to say that), Julia Talbot, her best friend, Sean Michael, and coffee. Lots of coffee. Really good coffee.
Having written everything from fist-fighting rednecks to hard-core cowboys to werewolves, BA does her damnedest to tell the stories of her heart, which was raised in Northeast Texas, but has gone to the high desert mountains and fallen in love. With books ranging from hard-hitting GLBT romance, to fiery menages, to the most traditional of love stories, BA refuses to be pigeon-holed by anyone but the voices in her head.
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Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Torquere Press, Dreamspinner and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com.
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Kiernan Kelly lives in the wilds of the alligator-infested U.S. Southeast, slathered in SPF 45, drinking colorful tropical, hi-octane concoctions served by thong-clad cabana boys.
All right, the truth is that she spends her time locked in the dark recesses of her office, writing gay erotic romance while chained to a temperamental Macintosh, drinking coffee, and dreaming of thong-clad cabana boys.
To date, Kiernan has seven novels in print, a plethora of short stories in e-format…and still no cabana boy of her own, although her husband may beg to differ.
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Publisher: Turtlehat Creatives
Cover Artist: Kris Norris
Tour Dates & Stops:
Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Kirsty Loves Books, Molly Lolly, V’s Reads, Bayou Book Junkie, Hearts on Fire, MM Good Book Reviews, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, The Fuzzy, Fluffy World of Chris T. Kat, Mikky’s World of Books, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Happily Ever Chapter, 3 Chicks After Dark, Velvet Panic, Havan Fellows, Man2ManTastic, Alpha Book Club, Full Moon Dreaming, Inked Rainbow Reads, The Hat Party
Rafflecopter Prize: Print edition of Midnight Rodeo: Belonging