Tag: Gwen Hayes

Guest Review: Don’t Stop Believing by Gwen Hayes

Posted November 10, 2015 by Tracy in Reviews | 0 Comments

Guest Review: Don’t Stop Believing by Gwen HayesReviewer: Tracy
Don't Stop Believing by Gwen Hayes
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: November 3, 2015
Format: eARC
Genres: Anthologies (multiple authors), Contemporary Romance, M/M
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books


The Ogre from the Hill

Simon Powell, the town recluse, only comes to town to deliver firewood and get supplies. Two days before Christmas, he sees the new librarian’s car in a ditch and knows he can’t leave him on the road, but it’s too late to take him back to town. He’ll have something he’s never had in his cabin in the ten years that’s he’s lived there…company.

The Book Nerd from the City

Adam Parker moved to the small community to make big changes in his life, but being snowbound with the bearded lumberjack in his rustic cabin was something he’d thought only existed in his fantasies. Simon pushes away anyone who wants to get close to him, but Adam sees what he’s hiding in his heart and he wants it. Badly.

A Christmas to Remember

Adam smells like cinnamon and redemption and Simon aches to run his fingers over the scrape of stubble on his cheeks. To pull him into a kiss. To reignite feelings he’d denied himself for too long. Life is right there, blazing in the eyes of the town librarian. A man who isn’t afraid of him. But he learned long ago that everything he touches gets tainted, and he’ll do anything to keep his darkness away from Adam’s light.

But Adam has something else on his side—he’s been a very good boy this year and all he wants for Christmas is Simon

Simon was hurt physically while a SEAL and emotionally by a fellow SEAL when they found out he was gay. He’s been pretty much a recluse since that time – coming down the hill into town only for supplies. He likes to read and that puts him at the library whenever he’s in town. He doesn’t mind the view of the new librarian, Adam, either.

When Simon finds Adam stuck in a ditch in a blizzard and can’t get his car un-stuck he takes Adam to his house to wait out the storm. Since it’s around Christmas Adam is determined to make Simon’s house cheery as it has no Christmas decorations at all. Simon is so attracted to Adam that he’s willing to let him do what he will.

As a day or two goes by the pair get closer and end up in bed together. Simon, however feels like he’s made a mistake and pushes Adam away. When he figures out that he doesn’t want to live without Adam he pulls in a friend from town to help with a grand gesture to get Adam back.

This was a cute but short story. I really liked both Adam and Simon and I liked them together as well. The involvement of the town in the grand gesture at the end was a great idea and I thought it brought a homey element to the whole story.

While Adam and Simon got together rather quickly it seemed to work. We didn’t actually get to know Adam at all in the story and that was disappointing. It was mostly about Simon and him working through his issues. This was fine but it made the relationship very one-sided in my mind.

Overall the story was sweet and sexy and was a good way to spend a bit of time.

Rating: 3.25 out of 5


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What I Read Last Week

Posted March 26, 2013 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments


I’m a little behind this week – so sorry. For those of you who know I work at a church all I have to say is that it’s Holy Week. The week before Easter is a incredibly busy week for me and frankly I was so exhausted when I got home last night I couldn’t have written a coherent sentence if I wanted to! Luckily it’s a short week for me since I have Friday off so I’ll have 3 days to recover. :P)

It was a pretty exciting week at the Tracy house last week. My youngest, after 4.5 years, got her black belt in Taekwondo this past Saturday. She did a really great job and I’m just so damned proud of her I could hardly stand it. The test was 4 hours long so after she was done she was almost too exhausted to enjoy it, poor thing. A few months ago she had decided that she wasn’t going to continue after she got her black belt but now that she has it she’s reconsidering so we’ll see what comes next. I put together a video that is made up of various parts of the test so but it’s fun. She actually had to learn Korean terminology and the Korean national anthem for the test, which is on the vid (sorry it’s a bit shakey).



With her main instructors

Happy Chica!

With the Grand Master

Other than that it was a pretty quiet week so I’ll get on to what I read last week.  It may seem like I read a lot but really 6 of these were either shorts or novella’s so that counts as like 1 book, right. 🙂

I started off the week with Six Years by Harlan Coben. This is a mystery about a man and a woman who fall in love and spend 3 glorious months together. Jake knows that this is the real deal – like forever – and he knows Natalie feels the same. Unfortunately after 3 months she breaks up with him and then almost immediately invites him to her wedding to another man. After the ceremony she asks him to respect their marriage and never try to contact her. He promises but after six years he sees an obituary for the guy she married, Todd, and goes to the funeral. Surprise, surprise, the wife that Todd has had for many years, and has teen kids with, isn’t Natalie and Jake is more than confused. He’s never stopped loving Natalie and he won’t give up until he finds out what happened to her. This was a really good book that I just couldn’t put down. I read it in one sitting and I couldn’t figure out what was going on – which I loved. I hate when I figure it all out before the big reveal. Anyway, really good and definitely worth the read if mystery’s are your thing. You can read my full review here at Book Binge. 4 out of 5 

Next up was Timeslip by Clare London. This is the story about Kevin who has the hots for his more than uptight new boss, Marcus. Kevin is really confused when Marcus starts showing up in his room. Marcus feels real but he can puff out at a moment’s notice. The reasoning behind it all was really quite clever. While the story was pretty short I really loved the whole premise and of course the way Clare wrote it I was completely involved. 4 out of 5 

Next up was Light the Fire by JL Merrow. Kurt is sad and alone 2 years after his partner was killed. He gets frustrated by Matt in the gym as he just seems too…out there and perky. Kurt decides to give Matt a chance and things work out. I love Merrow’s stories and this one was no different. I could feel the pain and loneliness that Kurt was feeling, especially when he went to visit Raoul’s grave but I loved seeing him giving life a chance again and it was just a good story. 4 out of 5 

Icicle by Natalie Vale was about Sean who has been in a serious relationship with Zack decides that he needs to go and do. He’s not sure what he needs but he’s got the bug and ends it with Zack, and not in a good way. Now it’s 10 months later and he gets caught in a snow storm and is close to death when he gets saved by Ezra. Ezra is a wanderer of sorts himself and he helps Sean see that sometimes home is the place you need to be. Good story with a paranormal aspect to it. 3.75 out of 5

Next was Second Son of a Duke by Gwen Hayes. This is the story of two men who force their siblings to marry. They’re more or less ambushed but they make the most of it. After a horrid wedding night they start to see each other in a different light and end up falling in love. It was a cute story but not real deep. 3 out of 5 

Most Likely to Succeed by Kate Davies is the story about Kelsey who was voted Most Likely to Succeed in high school. Now it’s time for her high school reunion and she’s ashamed and embarrassed because she feels she’s done nothing with her life. Her old friend Nathan is there and while they become lovers he also shows her that taking care of your family is definitely something to be proud of. You can read my review here. 3.75 out of 5

Let it Be Me by Kate Noble is about Bridget who is an accomplished pianist who would like nothing more than to study with composer Vincenzo Carpenini. After he fails to show in England as she was told she talks her family into a vacation in Venice and goes looking for him. She ends up as his student but only because he’s in a competition to save his own skin. His companion, Oliver Merrick, thinks more of Bridget than he does the music and they end up falling in love. This was a great book. I loved the descriptions of the music and what it portrayed and how it made a person feel. Just a great story. 4 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

My next read was Only Lycans Need Apply by Michele Bardsley. This is the story of Moira who is an archaeologist and has almost discovered the resting place of ancient vampires. She’s interrupted in her dig by Lycans and vampires both good and bad who want what’s in the tomb. Moira finds out she’s a different being than she thought and only she can open the tomb, with help from Lycan, Drake. I found this story to be entertaining and I liked the whole good vs. bad vampire and the adventure of opening the tomb but I thought the romance itself wasn’t much. It was kind of meeting, attraction, sex then love. It happened way to fast, imho and the characters really knew nothing about the other at all. A bit frustrating but the rest was pretty good. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)

Casual Sex Friday by Evie Kiels was next. Ben and Calvin went out a while back and Ben was bored out of his freaking mind. Now Calvin asks Ben out every Friday and Ben has to repeatedly say an adamant no. Ben thinks he’s got Calvin figured out but when Calvin finds Ben in the park watching a live feed of people having sex on a website. Calvin takes over Ben’s fun from there and Ben sees that there’s a whole other side to Calvin he’d never known existed. This was another cute story with lots of sex and not too much depth…definitely entertaining. 3 out of 5

Semper Fi by Laura B. Cooper and Christopher Cooper was my next read. Hot cover, not so hot book. (I’m gonna just copy and paste what I put on Goodreads): Mattie gets drunk dialed by her boyfriend of 7 1/2 years, Travis, and since they’re in different states he asks if he can screw someone else cuz he’s horny. She says, “hell no” and he says, “we’re done.” She heads to the airport so she can fly to where he is and see him face to face. We get the impression that she’s going to just talk to him to see what’s up but later in the book we find out that she was going to break up with him. She’s stuck at the airport all night because of a storm and meets Logan who is a Marine who is on his way back to his unit after attending his father’s funeral. The two hit it off and talk for hours. Next think you know they’re kissing AND having sex behind the ticket counter at the gate (and getting caught)! Seriously! This scene was so ridiculous I just laughed. She had “heaving breasts” and “raging nipples” and when he looked at her “steam rose from his eyes.” OMG what a crack up! I was a bit perplexed by Mattie’s insistence that Travis not sleep with anyone else and then she’s goes and does it in public with a guy she just met. Double standard or what? Logan falls hard and fast for Mattie but Mattie doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in her life and can’t decide what she wants to do about the two men. The story goes on to deal with Mattie and Travis, Mattie and Logan, Mattie and her family, Logan and the memories and demons he’s dealing with, and it kind of goes off into a weird area with Logan’s dad and his kinky sex habits. It’s a story that had a great idea but it was just written oddly, imho. What started out as a fun romp tried to become too deep and it just didn’t work. 2 out of 5

The Duke’s Tattoo by Miranda Davis is the story of Prudence who was banished by her brother after an incident with the Duke of Ainsworth. Nine years later and she has the man kidnapped, drugged and tattooed but then discovers it’s not the right Duke of Ainsworth. Jem, the current duke wants to get back at the person who did this but when he figures out who it is and then meets her he wants something completely different – her, permanently. But Prudence is an independent woman and isn’t falling into Jem’s arms. The story was cute and I loved the humor and witty banter that Jem and Prudence had going but imho things were dragged out way too much and I found myself wanting things to move along. Prudence on one had was wonderful and the other so incredibly dense I wanted to shake the woman at times. In the end it was a good story and I’m glad I read it. 3 out of 5 

Last for the week was Feral Sins by Suzanne Wright. Latent shifter Taryn Warner is the healer of her pack but treated like crap – even by her father – because of her latency. She is approached (in an unorthodox way) by Trey Coleman who wants her to act like his True Mate for 3 months so that he can build an alliance with her father’s pack in order to fight his uncle’s pack. The couple have their issues but they can’t stay away from each other in the bedroom. This doesn’t make things easy as they can be mates but each of their real True Mates died previously. The story is mostly a love story with a great number of incredibly hot sex scenes involved. We got a tortured hero in Trey and a snarky, sarcastic, smart-ass heroine in Taryn and I loved them both. Taryn was awesome. I know a lot of people don’t like the snarky bitch heroine but if done right they are wonderful. Taryn kind of reminded me of Sara Morrighan in Shelly Laurenston’s Pack Challenge (another book I love to pieces) in that she was an alpha female who was underrated and pushed aside for what is thought her handicap, but doesn’t take shit from anyone. Her snappy comebacks to Trey’s grandma (who was a bitch) were wonderful and I laughed each time. I will definitely be reading the next book in this series. 4 out of 5

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:
No Turning Back by HelenKay Dimon
Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs
Still Life with Shape-Shifter by Sharon Shinn
Six Years by Harlan Coben
Down to You by M. Leighton

Happy Reading!

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Guest Author: Gwen Hayes – Why Haden Black is no Edward Cullen

Posted March 1, 2011 by Holly in Promotions | 4 Comments

Today Gwen Hayes is here with us to celebrate the release of her debut YA novel, Falling Under.


Why Haden Black is no Edward Cullen

As an author who writes young adult paranormal novels, my book is going to get compared to Twilight. It’s just one of those things, and I can appreciate the marketing viewpoint. After all, Twilight has a lot of fans…like a gazillion. People who were swept away by the teen romance and drama about a girl falling in love with someone who isn’t one of our species are going to find that Falling Under has a similar premise. That’s a pretty big score for this author if they like it.

Stephenie Meyer is a good storyteller. Whether you are a fan or not, you have to admit she reached out and touched a LOT of people right where they live. You won’t hear me complaining about how her books brought readers in droves to the YA genre. And while I am perfectly fine with the comparisons, there is one person who is not, and his name is Haden Black.

Haden Black is no Edward Cullen. He really doesn’t want to be compared to him, it makes him angry, and we don’t like Haden when he’s angry. I like to call the following list damage control.

Top Ten Reasons Haden is no Edward

1. He’s not a vampire. According to Haden, vampires are disgusting.
2. Haden is not a vegetarian. And he really likes his food. If you get what I mean. (However, he
suggests that if you ever find yourself invited to a meal in Under, you skip the meat course.)
3. He doesn’t have a family like the Cullens to support him. His family ties are more than a little
dysfunctional. In fact, before he met Theia, he had no one that even saw the real Haden inside.
4. He doesn’t shy away from human companionship. You won’t see him ignoring the kids at school
and pretending to eat lunch in the cafeteria. Haden genuinely enjoys spending time with
people. Also, he’s a fan of Tater Tots.
5. He’s not shy about using the power of his charm on females. He employs it frequently and not
very judiciously. And he’s not apologetic about it, either. Girls are enchanting.
6. Haden is not immortal—but he’d be really hard to kill.
7. He’d like everyone to know that there are no circumstances in which it would be okay for his
main rival to hold Theia all night to keep her warm. For one thing, Haden doesn’t have rivals.
8. Haden thinks that “Hold on tight, spider monkey” is the lamest thing a guy has ever said to a girl.
9. Haden prefers guyliner and black nail polish to Edward’s lipstick stained “look”. Also, he likes to
wear cravats and top hats occasionally.
10. One word: Sparkles

Thanks for having me visit!

Since we’re talking about bad boys…who is your favorite bad boy character?


This book is available from NAL. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes

Posted March 1, 2011 by TG in Reviews | 4 Comments

TG‘s review of Falling Under (Falling Under, Book 1) by Gwen Hayes

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

Theia doesn’t understand how she dreamed of Haden before they ever met, but every night has them joined in a haunting world of eerie fantasy. And as the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her forward one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels toward him is stronger than her fear. As she slowly discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure whether she wants to resist him- even at the cost of her soul.

I loved this book and the author’s writing style. She occasionally annoyed me with a few of the background character’s attitudes and actions, but kept me interested with peeks in to Haden’s mind, and by giving detailed descriptions of his character without missing the point of the story.

The entire perspective of the heroine changes once she reached the climax of the book, but in a way that had me on the edge of  my seat, waiting to see what will happen. Throughout the entire book, she managed to surprise me with the behavior of the hero and heroine without ever breaking their character. As the story went on, the attitude of the hero and heroine changes almost imperceptibly until they’re obviously full blown in love.

Even after all of their hardships together, their constant push and pull relationship never changes and neither of them seem to find peace with the other. Whether it’s Haden, making Theia jealous, just to tick her off, or Theia, flaunting the traits in her that he hates the most simply because she can, they’re both insufferable in a loving kind of way. With all of that in mind I have gained new-found respect for Hayes. The characters stay true to their original personalities.

I add my compliments because I have yet to stop thinking about the book and the characters and all their hardships.

I would rate this book a 4.5 out of 5. I didn’t give it a five simply because some of the background characters really annoyed me, and almost made it hard to read.
This book is available from NAL Trade. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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Review: Falling Under by Gwen Hayes.

Posted February 2, 2011 by Rowena in Reviews | 2 Comments

Genres: Paranormal Romance

Main Character: Theia Alderson
Love Interest: Haden
Series: I’m not sure, will edit when I find out
Author: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

Theia Alderson has always led a sheltered life in the small California town of Serendipity Falls. But when a devastatingly handsome boy appears in the halls of her school, Theia knows she’s seen Haden before- not around town, but in her dreams.

As the Haden of both the night and the day beckons her closer one moment and pushes her away the next, the only thing Theia knows for sure is that the incredible pull she feels towards him is stronger than her fear.

And when she discovers what Haden truly is, Theia’s not sure if she wants to resist him, even if the cost is her soul.

I was looking forward to reading this book because the cover is gorgeous. I like pretty things and this book was pretty so coupled with the awesome blurb, I wanted to read it. It came up for grabs on an ARC Tour and of course, I grabbed it up (thanks Holly!). I had seven days to read it so I immediately jumped right in.

The book started out with a lot of promise and I will say that Hayes did a fabulous of sucking me in. I wasn’t always happy while I was reading the book but that had more to do with what the characters were doing instead of the actual writing. The writing was great, it flowed well and the story never slowed but those hot dang characters really did work my nerves.

First off, there’s Theia. Theia is a young girl who has a very controlling (scary controlling) father who keeps her under thumb at every turn. He’s got a shopper who buys her clothes but only the clothes that he approves of. If it wasn’t for her iPhone that he got so that she’d have no reason not to check in with him, she would have no kind of contact with the outside world. But even though her Dad was crazy controlling, Theia had a great circle of friends who were good to her. They actually cared about her and I adored all of them. From Donny to Ame to Gabe and even Michael, they were all wonderful friends to Theia and she knew she was lucky to have them.

Anyway, so Theia starts having these weird dreams where she feels like she’s Alice in Wonderland and this total hottie guy is rocking her world at the same time that he’s scary the crap out of her. She’s in this alternate type universe that she should want to run from but for some unexplained reason, she can’t. She stays because she’s curious about Haden and she’s drawn to him. He makes her feel alive and she begins to crave the attention that he gives her in these dreams but what drove me up the wall in this book was the way that Haden treated her in her real world.

The going back and forth with Haden drove me absolute bonkers the entire time that I was reading this book. It’s actually what dimmed my enjoyment of the book. I get that he was trying to protect her from his evil Mom and her evil plans but goodness, if that was the case, why in the world did he keep going back? He was such an ass before Theia fell in love with him that I wondered why in the world Theia liked him in the first place. I mean, his glamour (I forget what it’s called) didn’t work on her so it couldn’t have been that but outside of that, there wasn’t much to like about him nevermind love about him. It drove me crazy.

But as the story continued on, my dislike for Haden softened and by the end of the book, I grew to like him. I still didn’t love him but I didn’t dislike him as much. I thought this book was good but it wasn’t a book that I’d likely re-read. I’m not even sure if I’d continue on with the series but I’m glad that I gave this book a shot. What I enjoyed most about this book was the friendships that Theia had with her little circle of friends. Donny and Ame were great friends to Theia and I loved reading about their friendships. Even the boys were a great addition to this series but the actual romance between Haden and Theia was hard to get through sometimes.

..and that’s your scoop!

This book was provided for review from ARC Tours (thanks again Holly!) and to see the rest of the reviews and posts from this particular blog tour, please visit here.

Buy the book: B&N|Borders|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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