Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Guest Review: Half by Eli Lang

Posted February 15, 2017 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Half by Eli LangReviewer: Tracy
Half by Eli Lang
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: February 13th 2017
Genres: Contemporary Romance, m/m
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Living between worlds has never been comfortable, but it’s where I’ve always fit: between human and fey, illness and health, magic and reality.

I’ve spent the last six years looking for a cure for the nameless sickness eating me up. If I believed there was one out there, I would keep searching. But there isn’t, so I’ve come back home, where my past and present tangle. Come home to live . . . and to die.

But my father insists I meet Kin. He’s a healer, and determined to help, even though I’m not so hopeful anymore. But Kin isn’t what I expected, in any way. He sees me, not my illness. He reminds me of what it’s like to be alive. And I can’t help falling for him, even though I know it isn’t fair to either of us.

Kin thinks he has the cure I’ve been looking for, but it’s a cure that will change everything: me, my life, my heart. If I refuse, I could lose Kin. But if I take it, I might lose myself.

Luca is half human, half fey.  He is very sick and has been for quite some time.  No one that he’s seen can figure out what is wrong with him.  He’s convinced that the fey half of him is poisoning his human half.  He doesn’t know how long he has to live so when he meets the healer, Kin, it’s a mixed blessing.  He loves that he falls for him but he hates that he won’t be able to live a full lifetime with him.

Kin didn’t expect to like Luca when he told Luca’s father that he would check him out to see if he could heal him.  He was very wrong about that and almost immediately fell for the man.  The connection was obvious from minute one so he’s determined to find a solution that will keep Luca alive.

Kin tells Luca that he thinks he might have found a cure.  It’s really a legend about his people, the ningyo (they are water people/fey and have scales).  The legend says that if you eat one of a ningyo’s scales then you will be immortal.  Now, Luca wants to find a cure and live a long, full, happy life but he’s not sure that he’s willing to become immortal.  Kin’s not sure that the scale will work but if it does, what will that mean for Luca? Is he willing to take the chance?

This was such a good but sad story.  It was a very evenly paced story – nothing too, too exciting happens during the course of the book, but almost from the start I was intrigued by Luca and Kin and couldn’t put the book down.

Luca had been gone for six years traveling all over the world trying to find a cure and also living.  He had finally decided that he needed to be back home with those he loved because he realized there is no cure to what he has.  While he was once close with his sister, Saben, who is wholly fey, they are now near strangers.  Luca hadn’t contacted anyone in the time he was gone hoping that they would forget about him as he knew he wasn’t long for this world.  That kind of shot him in the foot and the strain it put on the relationship with his sister was a big one.  I loved watching Saben and Luca kind of dance around each other at first and then finally start to get to know one another again.  You could tell that they loved each other but there was a lot of hurt on Saben’s side as she had looked up to him and he left her.  She had felt abandoned.  Luca didn’t really know how to cross the divide but they managed it by the end of the book  and I felt they had reached a point that they could both be happy with.

The main part of the story was the relationship with Luca and Kin.  It definitely wasn’t a typical romance as it happened very quickly but it was still really good and very emotional.  The decision that Luca had to make about the scale really effected everyone.  Kin, of course, didn’t want to lose Luca.  Luca didn’t want to lose Kin either but he wasn’t sure that he could live forever and be a happy person.  That thought, however, brought him back to the fact that he thought he’d do anything to find a cure and now here it is staring at him in the face and he wasn’t sure he wanted it.  I can’t say I blamed Luca for his indecision.  I’m not sure I’d want to live forever.  I loved the tension that this brought to the relationship – it was written in a really great way. I also loved the way they talked things out in the end and loved each other enough to respect Luca’s decision.

The story was an emotional rollercoaster that had me turning page after page.  I’m not a huge fan of first person POV as we don’t get to read everyone’s thoughts and only get things from one angle, but I thought the author did a great job conveying Kin’s POV through Luca.  I definitely recommend this book but I’d say only read it when you truly want an emotional read.   It’s a very good book but it’s not a light and airy story.

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

*While this story invovles a few Fey people I wouldn’t consider this a paranormal romance.

four-stars

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Guest Review: Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton

Posted March 25, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Trailer Trash by Marie SextonReviewer: Tracy
Trailer Trash by Marie Sexton
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: March 21st 2016
Genres: Gay, m/m, Young Adult
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

It’s 1986, and what should have been the greatest summer of Nate Bradford’s life goes sour when his parents suddenly divorce. Now, instead of spending his senior year in his hometown of Austin, Texas, he’s living with his father in Warren, Wyoming, population 2,833 (and Nate thinks that might be a generous estimate). There’s no swimming pool, no tennis team, no mall—not even any MTV. The entire school’s smaller than his graduating class back home, and in a town where the top teen pastimes are sex and drugs, Nate just doesn’t fit in.

Then Nate meets Cody Lawrence. Cody’s dirt-poor, from a broken family, and definitely lives on the wrong side of the tracks. Nate’s dad says Cody’s bad news. The other kids say he’s trash. But Nate knows Cody’s a good kid who’s been dealt a lousy hand. In fact, he’s beginning to think his feelings for Cody go beyond friendship.

Admitting he might be gay is hard enough, but between small-town prejudices and the growing AIDS epidemic dominating the headlines, a town like Warren, Wyoming, is no place for two young men to fall in love.

Due to his parents divorcing Nate has been uprooted from his home in Austin, Texas and moved to a little town called Warren, Wyoming that’s dying a slow and painful death. He meets Cody not long after moving and they hang out together for a few weeks before their senior year starts. Cody tells Nate that he won’t want to hang out with him after school starts but Nate assures him he will.

When school starts Cody makes himself scarce even though Nate looks for him constantly. Nate lives in an area of town that is upper middle class called Orange Grove and Cody lives in a trailer in an area they call The Hole (short for shit hole). The kids from the Orange Grove are preppy, petty and snobby and Nate really doesn’t like them all that much – especially when they talk trash about Cody. Of course now that Cody avoids him he really has no true friends.

Eventually Nate finds out that Cody is gay and in Wyoming that might as well have been the plague. No one wants to be around Cody, especially with AIDS big in the news for the past few years. Of course small town thinking means that Cody possibly has AIDS just because he’s gay – doesn’t matter that he’s a virgin. When Nate starts to analyze his feelings about Cody he finds that he’s attracted to him and soon admits that he’s gay as well. It’s not something he’s comfortable with at first but if it means he can be with Cody then he’s all for it. Of course once Nate’s father finds out all bets are off and soon the boys are being torn apart in more ways than one.

This was a very powerful YA story that really touched me. I can so easily see all of this happening in a small Podunk town in Wyoming and the prejudices that Cody had faced his whole life – from being trailer trash to being gay. It was assumed that he was a bad kid just because of his parents and where he lived and that broke my heart as in this case he was just minding his own business. Even Nate’s dad, a local cop, had his own prejudices against Cody and he’d talked to the boy only once.

Nate and Cody together were a great couple. It was hard for Cody to see the light at the end of the tunnel but Nate gave him the hope that he needed to do what needed to be done so that they could be together. I loved the two of them to pieces, both separately and together. They each brought distinct personalities to the relationship that were so different in so many ways but blended perfectly together.

The story was very sad in a lot of places but had a theme of hope running through it that kept me reading. I really liked the flash back in time to the late 80’s and that was a fun aspect of the story with all the fashion that is mentioned. This young adult, coming of age story is so good and one that you won’t want to pass up.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Guest Review: Rock n Soul by Lauren Sattersby

Posted January 20, 2016 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Rock n Soul by  Lauren SattersbyReviewer: Tracy
Rock n Soul by Lauren Sattersby
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: January 16, 2016
Genres: Contemporary, m/m, Paranormal
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

I’m Tyler Lindsey, and until recently, I had an okay apartment, an okay girlfriend, and an okay job as a bellboy at a respectable Boston hotel. Then rock star Chris Raiden died right before I brought his room service—stiffing me on the tip, by the way—and my life went to hell. My fifteen minutes of fame was more like five seconds, and my girlfriend left me in disgust.

But even worse—Chris is haunting me. Not the room where he died, like a normal ghost. No, somehow he’s stuck to me and is insisting on taking care of a bunch of unfinished business in California. So now I have to traipse across the country with the world’s most narcissistic ghost.

But . . . I keep having these weird thoughts. Thoughts about how much I like the way he makes me laugh. Thoughts where I kind of want to kiss the emo-narcissist, even though he’s a ghost and an asshole and I can’t touch him anyway. And even if I could, what will happen when he finishes his business and nothing’s keeping him here anymore?

Tyler works at a hotel as a bellboy and isn’t thrilled with his job. He hates the things he has to do for his customers and the fact that people tip so badly. When the book opens he’s out in the middle of the night trying to find red seedless grapes for a rock star that was staying at the hotel he works at. He’s not happy about it but he does it because it’s his job. They certainly don’t want to disappoint the guy and he’d been waiting a while for his room service. Tyler finally gets the food to Chris Raiden’s room but when there’s no answer at the door he ends up using his master key and finds Chris dead of a drug overdose.

Tyler is freaked out to say the least and doesn’t end up going back in to that same room in the hotel for a couple of months because of it. When he finally does he finds Chris’s ring under the sink and puts it on. Almost immediately Chris’s ghost starts talking to Tyler and believe me, Tyler is even more freaked out but he soon discovers that Chris isn’t leaving his side any time soon. After much discussion with Chris they discover that they can’t be too far away from each other, no one else can see Chris and…the biggest one – they need to take care of Chris’s unfinished business before he can move on.

At first Tyler is pissed at the fact that he has this ghost trailing him constantly. He didn’t like Chris while he was alive and certainly wasn’t happy about finding him dead (especially as Tyler’s girlfriend blamed him for Chris’s death) so that animosity came through every day. The more time they spent together the more Tyler started to like Chris and then eventually fell in love with him. The problem with that is that he’s a ghost, of course, but that their time together has an expiration date. As soon as Chris finishes making amends he’ll go…wherever he’s going.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this book. It had an interesting premise so I took a chance on it and I’m so glad I did! Tyler was hilarious and I loved his personality.

Chris and Tyler’s relationship was very sweet once it got going. I loved that Tyler didn’t actually like Chris at first because it seemed like it was something that would actually happen (despite the whole unreal aspect of there being a ghost involved). Tyler wasn’t star struck with Chris and that made everything better as they had to actually learn to tolerate each other. Tyler constantly gave Chris shit about his drug use and wasn’t afraid to show his disdain toward him because of it. I appreciated that the author didn’t side-step the drug use because it was such a huge part of why Chris had to make amends in the first place.

The story didn’t give me too many surprises but I really liked it none-the-less. Tyler with his humor and sarcasm, Chris with his surprising sweetness, and the engaging writing all blended to create a very different but worth-reading ghostly romance.

Rating: 4 out of 5

four-stars

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Running Wild by SE Jakes – Virtual Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Posted July 11, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Running Wild by SE Jakes – Virtual Blog Tour, Review and GiveawayReviewer: Tracy
Running WildSeries: Havoc series #1
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: June 30th 2014
Genres: Romance, Suspense, Gay, m/m
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

Embrace the danger.

Sean Rush is an adrenaline junkie. That's why he was in the Army, why he steals and races classic muscle cars...and why he can't stay away from bad boy Ryker, a Havoc Motorcycle Club lieutenant. Fortunately, Ryker can't seem to stay away from Sean — he's spent the last eight months breaking into Sean's apartment and stealing into his bed, leaving Sean physically satisfied but increasingly restless.

Sean has always avoided relationships. He likes to come and go without being controlled. And Ryker is possibly the most controlling man he's ever known. Still, he finds that he wants more from Ryker than their silent nighttime encounters.

Then one of Sean's thefts goes bad, and Ryker's protective instincts kick into overdrive. He takes Sean to the Havoc compound, determined to keep him safe. But Sean's past threatens the safety of Havoc — and everything Ryker holds dear. Worse, Ryker's hiding secrets of his own. Soon it's obvious that the adrenaline rush can't keep them together anymore. But maybe love can.

Thanks so much to Tracy’s Place for hosting me on the tour for Running Wild: Havoc Book 1. This is the start of a brand new series, with different heroes for each book and HEAs at the end of each book. Sean Rush and Ryker stole my heart a long time ago, and I’m excited for you guys to meet all of them.


Here’s a snippet from a scene toward the middle of the book. Ryker has just proved to Sean that he doesn’t mind his MC knowing they’re together — by kissing the hell out of him in front of everyone. And then he tells Sean to get on the back of his bike, so he can take Sean home. Sean has objections…


Still, I kept my voice down so no one could hear when I told him, “I’m not riding in the bitch seat.”

He was trying not to grin, but failing. “Why not?”

“I know exactly what it means when you ride on the back of a guy’s bike.”

“Really?”

“It means you fucking own me, Ryker.”

“Don’t I?”

His words were a low rumble that shot straight to my dick and holy fuck . . . I had no answer. Well, obviously I did, but I refused to put voice to it.

I was out—that wasn’t the issue. And obviously being out wasn’t an issue for him either. But the MC shit, we’d never talked about it, what it meant for us. All these men knew about our relationship, knew he was looking out for me. Knew he considered me his.

I swear I had to remind myself to breathe.

“Get on the bike, Sean.”

This time, Ryker’s tone left no room for argument. If anything, it made me harder. I stopped thinking—par for the course when I was around Ryker—and I got on the bike behind him.


RUNNING WILD: Havoc Book 1

Read an excerpt
Order Running Wild


FYI, I’m also writing a m/f MC series under the Steph Tyler name—the first book of that series, Vipers Run is out now as well. And there’s a very light crossover in that you’ll see names of MCs that are main characters in my Vipers series—namely Vipers MC, along with the Heathens. Havoc’s friendly with Vipers, not so much with Heathens (they seem to be everyone’s enemy at the moment).


SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

You can contact her the following ways:

• You can email her at authorsejakes@gmail.com.
• You can post to her Facebook page: Facebook.com/SEJakes
• You can tweet her: Twitter.com/authorsejakes
• You can post on her Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes
• You can follow her Tumblr page: sejakes.tumblr.com
• You can follow her on Instagram: instagram.com/authorsejakes
• Truth be told, the best way to contact her is by email or in blog comments.
She spends most of her time writing but she loves to hear from readers!

SE Jakes is the pen-name of New York Times Bestselling author Stephanie Tyler (and half of Sydney Croft) — please go to my media kit to learn more!

Tracy’s Review:

You got the blurb earlier so I’ll just head into my part of it all. 🙂

I’ve been a fan of biker boys since time immemorial. There’s just something about the rough, not so lawful attitude that they exude. Most of the time they’re not all that lawful so to me that’s a bonus. lol When I saw this story and read the blurb I knew it was one I didn’t want to miss.

Sean’s a bit messed up about Ryker. He loves the fact that the guy is breaking into his house to have sex with him and then Ryker always does something sweet the next day – like a courtship…almost. The fact that Ryker is one tough motherfucker is just an added extra bonus for Sean. Sean is an adrenaline junkie who thrives on stealing cars and street racing. He’s gotten himself into trouble in the past and is trying to keep himself and his best friend Noah out of trouble but things don’t always turn out as planned. When Noah gets himself into deep trouble I loved that Sean was right there to help him out. He didn’t even have to stop and think about it – he just did it. That’s a true friend, right there.

There’s some info that comes out about Ryker and his MC as the story goes on that makes Sean doubt Ryker’s feelings for him and I thought it added a slightly softer side to the whole story. Sean just wasn’t as tough as Ryker or as tough as he portrayed himself and that was okay by me as I like the dichotomy of it all.

The whole story was pretty riveting and once I started it I didn’t put it down til I was finished.  There are a plethora of reasons to pick up this book and my advice is to read it and find out what those are.  You just can’t understand it’s pull until you read it…so read it. 🙂

Rating: 4 out of 5

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

four-stars

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Review: Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau

Posted June 19, 2014 by Tracy in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Straight Shooter by Heidi BelleauReviewer: Tracy
Straight Shooter by Heidi Belleau
Series: Rear Entrance Video #3
Published by Riptide Publishing
Publication Date: April 1st 2014
Genres: Gay, Romance, Contemporary, m/m
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
four-stars

"This macho jock has a crooked little secret."

College hockey player Austin Puett is in trouble. Unless he starts treating his flamboyantly gay roommate with respect, he'll lose his room and his job at Rear Entrance Video. But Austin's got a not-so-straight secret of his own: nothing turns him on more than insults implying he's gay-even though he's definitely not -and all his old coping methods have stopped working.

Pure desperation drives him to rent a Mischievous Pictures porn flick about straight men tricked into servicing Puck, a male dominant. Instead of letting off steam, though, it just leaves him craving more, more, more, and suddenly, Austin finds himself at Mischievous Pictures studio for an audition. After all, you can be Gay for Pay and still be straight . . . right?

But meeting Liam Williams, the real person behind Puck, confuses Austin even more. Liam really seems to like him as a person, and Austin likes him back. And while Gay for Pay's okay, what does it make Austin if he still wants Liam when the cameras aren't rolling?

Austin is a hockey player and has always been a team player. He’s sees life as black and white so he doesn’t understand the fact that he pops a boner every time someone calls him a fag or pussy. He knows he’s not gay so why does that do it for him every time? He desperately wants to cure himself of his problem but he doesn’t know how. He works part time at a video store that was recently turned into a gay porn video store. One night a guy returns a DVD entitled Straight Sub Setup 4 Austin thinks he’s figured out a way to “fix” his problem . He takes it home to watch and realizes this is what he needs. He needs someone controlling and humiliating him and having sex with him…with his consent yet…then he can blame it on the setup. Huh? He wants it, he just doesn’t want to admit he wants it. He’s straight but with a definite kink that’s ruining his life.

When the star of Straight Sub Setup 4 walks into the porn store Austin is flustered yet impressed. He decides that he wants what Puck can give him so he tries to go after starring in one of Puck’s movies. Puck refuses. Austin is determined, yet by the time he actually gets Puck – real name Liam – alone he realizes that while he wants what Liam can give him he doesn’t want it on film. Liam agrees to help Austin and Austin ends up getting way more than he planned for.

This book had an intriguing blurb so I was looking forward to reading it. I definitely wasn’t disappointed.

This is a straight up GFY story. It takes Austin quite a while to embrace his kink and along that road we got plenty of humiliation & self-torture it did go on for longer than I expected it to, I must admit, but in the end it just showed how it all truly controlled his life and not in a good way. When Austin and Liam finally start working together to deal with Austin’s kink neither man knows what will be in store for them in the long run. I believe that Liam definitely has his eye on Austin from the start but it took Austin awhile to really see Liam for the man he was. Once that happened he could embrace him and that eventually helped him to embrace himself.

I wasn’t sure the pair was really going to end up together as even when the pair was together it wasn’t a hearts and roses type of love. The author, however, did a great job of putting them into a place in life where they both got what they wanted from the other and found love at the same time. It was a great ending and I really enjoyed the book.

My first full length read by this author and it won’t be my last, that’s for sure.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Heidi Belleau

four-stars

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