Tag: Piper Vaughn

DFRAT Review: One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea

Posted June 8, 2012 by Tracy in Reviews | 4 Comments

“Daddy” is not a title Rue Murray wanted, but he never thought he’d have sex with a woman either. Now he’s the unwitting father of a newborn named Alice. Between bartending and cosmetology school, Rue doesn’t have time for babies, but he can’t give her up. What Rue needs is a babysitter, and he’s running out of options. He’s on the verge of quitting school to watch Alice himself when he remembers his reclusive new neighbor, Erik.

Erik Van Nuys is a sci-fi novelist with anxiety issues to spare. He doesn’t like people in general, and he likes babies even less. Still, with his royalties dwindling, he could use the extra cash. Reluctantly, he takes on the role of manny—and even more reluctantly, he finds himself falling for Alice and her flamboyant father.

Rue and Erik are as different as two people can be, and Alice is the unlikeliest of babies, but Rue has never been happier than when Alice and Erik are by his side. At least, not until he receives an offer that puts all his dreams within reach and he’s forced to choose: the future he’s always wanted, or the family he thought he never did.
Apparently Rue got so drunk one night that he decided that he was going to “test” his gayness and sleep with a woman. I’m not sure if they didn’t use a condom or if it ripped or what but a few months after that night the woman came to Rue and let him know that he was going to be a father and she doesn’t want to keep it after giving birth. Growing up without a steady home the last thing that Rue wanted was his child to be put up for adoption and not have a clue as to level of care the baby would receive. He immediately tells the woman that he will take the baby.
We then jump to Rue bringing the baby, Alice, home and the insanity of that. He did have a week off but basically had to go back to school and work almost immediately. He was desperate for a sitter and went to check out the local day cares. He was met with facilities that made him shudder with their lack of cleanliness to places that stuck their nose up at the fact that he was gay to places that would welcome him…when they had an opening in about 6 months. He is getting closer and closer to having to return to normal life and is completely frustrated. His best friend Dusty will watch Alice at night but he had no one for the day. He ends up asking his neighbor for help and is turned down flat. Rue then starts putting fliers around the apartment complex and slowly raising the amount he’d pay.
Let’s talk about the neighbor. Erik is a bit well, high strung. Ok, he’s more than that. Anxiety thy name is Erik. The guy had had to move out of his house of six years and that basically sent him in to a tailspin. He had never been good in crowds, had to have his groceries delivered so he wouldn’t have to go to the grocery store and watched the original Star War trilogy to calm himself down. The thought of having to take care of another person, especially one so small, made him practically have a panic attack. But, here’s the thing. He still had to pay the bills. Erick is an author of sci-fi novels and the royalty checks were getting smaller. He had submitted more work but it wasn’t getting picked up. In order to pay the bills he does some research on babies and decides that taking care of Alice in his own home would be better than having to face the world and get a job. *Shudder*
Erik starts to take care of Alice and Erik, Alice, Rue and Dusty all fall into a routine of sorts. They become friends and Erik slowly starts coming out of his shell. They all find common ground with Alice and eventually with each other. Erik, who’s never been attracted to anyone starts to have thoughts of him and Rue together and eventually falls in love with the other man. Rue’s not sure what’s happening with Erik but he’s afraid to make a move on him because he’s afraid of frightening him off. The pair finally come together and it’s awesome. The problem is that now that Rue is out of cosmetology school his friend in California (they’re in Delaware) has an awesome job for him but of course he would have to move to California. How can he even ask Erik to move with him when he knows how hard it is for Erik to accept change?
I’m not sure what I expected with this story but it definitely went above and beyond anything I might have imagined. Rue was an awesome character. He was thoughtful, kind, generous, loving and just an all around great guy. He was the fishnet & nail polish wearing kind of guy and I imagined him as one adorable twink who’d been around the block. As the story went on I admired Rue more and more. It started when he said he’d take Alice before she was even born without having to give it a second thought and it grew as the story went on and he took such care with her and his friends. He worked hard to provide for his little family and he did it well. He grew a lot in the book and I loved seeing that.
Erik was a mess. lol I loved him but he took a bit getting used to. I guess I’ve never spent a lot of time with someone who was that anxiety ridden so I was on the same mental level as he was at first. But then he became friends with Rue and Dusty and he came out of his shell. Talk about personal growth! He went from a medication taking hermit to a friend and a lover, a caretaker and a protector. He was amazing and I loved reading about him.
The story is very sweet and pretty angst free. It does have its moments but they were worked so well into the overall story that they never felt convoluted just to extend the page count. I felt that the book ended exactly where it should have but I have to say I would love (are you listening authors?) a short or a novella to tell a little about how Erik, Rue and Dusty are doing now. This one was definitely worth the read.
Rating: 4 out of 5

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What I Read Last Week

Posted June 4, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 2 Comments

Hi ho the merry-o!
How the heck are you this fine sunny day? Ok, it’s only a little sunny here but it’s still a fine day. 🙂
As most of you have noticed I’m participating in the Digital First Read-A-Thon this month. Along with Book Binge (who has so nicely organized everything), Novel Thoughts and The Book Reading Gals we will be featuring guest posts and giveaways all month at all four blogs. I have to admit that I haven’t actually picked a goal number of how many digital first books I will read this month but hopefully by next week I’ll get my shit together enough to do that. lol I know DFRAT just started on the first but I DID read one digital first book. I read 5 ebooks but only 1 of them was digital first. I’ll do better on that this week. Here’s the schedule for DFRAT for the week. I posted the schedule for the week a couple of days ago. You can see it here if you want to know what author will be where.
My poor kitteh went in to heat this past week. My GOD! lol She never yowled but she meowed non-stop for 3 days. I thought my hubby (who is the lightest sleeper in the world) was going to lose it there for a while. No rest for the wicked, right? We ended up getting her spayed on Thursday and she came through with flying colors. We’ve only had to put the cone of shame on her poor little head twice and she hated it so much both times that she stopped licking altogether. 🙂 Smart kitteh. She was hanging out on the area rug right in front of the stove a lot because the canister light right above it puts off some heat and she was luxuriating in it. My daughter took a picture and because of the flash and the lighting in the kitchen it turned out like this:
Cool, huh? I thought so.
Ok – on to what I read this past week:
First up was Heart of Darkness by Lauren Dane. This is book one in her Bound by Magick series and is about Meriel who is next in line to take over her clan of witches in Seattle. She gets assigned to check out a club that is using the clans font of magick and let the owner know that it’s a big no-no. She meets Dominic who she finds out is her bond-mate and sparks fly. No, they don’t just go at it like bunnies right away – they wait to make sure they get to know each other first. It was a great story and I really enjoyed it. You can read my review at Book Binge here. 4.25 out of 5
Next was Too Tempting to Resist by Cara Elliott. Book 2 in the Lord of Midnight series focuses on a sister who is trying to take care of her no good brother while at the same time trying to save their estate, save money so she can get away from said brother and make a life for herself while still creating the art she loves. She meets Marquess Haddan who is supposedly a rake (though we never see that) who is reforming and writing a book of poetry. Their paths cross and lust blooms. You can read my full review here. 3.75 out of 5
One Small Thing by Piper Vaughn and M.J. O’Shea is the story of a gay man who ends up with a daughter and how he, his best friend and his neurotic next door neighbor make a life for themselves. I’ll post my review on Friday.
Snowbound with a Stranger by Rebecca Rogers Maher has 2 emotionally stilted people meeting during a hike and a snowstorm and spending 3 days together finding themselves and a bunch of passion. I’ll post my review on Thursday.
Echoes at Dawn by Maya Banks is book 5 in the KGI series. This is the story of Rio, one of the KGI members and his team while they head out to rescue Grace who has been tortured almost to death. Rio knows from the first moment he sees Grace that she is his woman but it takes Grace a bit longer to come to terms with Rio and his possessiveness. The story was good but Rio bothered me a bit. Grace was pretty admirable and didn’t have her using her powers throughout the book. 3.5 out of 5 (read for Book Binge – releases 7/3)
Next was Chaos Burning by Lauren Dane. Book 2 in the Bound by Magick series was just as good as book 1. I’m not normally a fan of witch stories but these are pretty darned good. This story had Simon who is a Lycian becoming friends with visiting witch, Lark. Lark is one bad-ass mofo and not to be trifled with. I loved her character. Simon and Lark were friends first before Simon realized that she was the one for him. It’s a good romance and a great story of witches kicking butt and taking names. 4.25 out of 5 (read for Book Binge)
Last for the week was The Baron’s Governess Bride by Deborah Hale. The story is about Grace who is beautiful and a governess. She’s tired of getting hit on and then having to leave her positions. She applies for a job but goes looking as dowdy as possible. She gets the job but then falls in love with the Baron. How to tell him she’s not who he thinks she is? I’ll post my review of this on Sunday.
My Book Binge reviews that posted this past week:
Happy Reading!!

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What I Read Last Week

Posted April 16, 2012 by Tracy in Features | 5 Comments

Nothing to report this week. Just a pretty quiet week and I LOVE that. I do have to register my oldest daughter for HIGH SCHOOL this week. That’s kind of freaking me out, I must admit. When did that happen? How could she have gotten older and I stayed the same age? How? How? How? lol
I read a lot this past week so let’s get to it:

First up was Taming An Impossible Rogue by Suzanne Enoch. This was the story of Camille Pryce – an Ear’s daughter – who ran out on her own wedding a year ago and was then disowned and shunned by her family and friends. She actually became a maid in her aunts home until she found out about the Tantalus Club and the fact that it was hiring women. She got the job and is now hostess in one of their dining rooms. The man she was to marry is still technically engaged to her but he has been banned from the Club and since Camille never leaves it makes it difficult to talk to her. Lord Fenton employs his scandalous cousin, Keating Blackwood, to get into the club and makes a deal to pay him 10,000 pounds when he gets Camille to the altar to marry Fenton. But Camille and Keating fall in love and where does that leave them and Fenton. I really liked this book. I’m becoming a fan of Enoch’s and really like what she does with a romance. 4.25 out of 5

Wolf Tracks by Vivian Arend is the story of Pam who comes to the Granite Lake pack to be the maid of honor at her best friends’ wedding. Pam has no idea that she is among wolf shifters. TJ – the best man – discovers that Pam, who is VERY human, is his mate. After the wedding Pam goes on a hiking excursion and TJ basically kidnaps her. She discovers his wolf secret and TJ spends the week they are together trying to make Pam believe that they are meant to be together. This was another great addition to the Granite Lake Wolves series. I loved TJ and his tenaciousness and I loved that Pam didn’t just accept TJ without some damned good proof. A fun read. 4 out of 5

Sierra Falls by Veronica Wolff is a book that I read for The Book Binge. This is the first in a series about the citizen’s of Sierra Falls, California. In this story we have the daughter to the tavern/lodge owner and the new sheriff in town. Sorrow is trying to help her parents when a whole lot of things are going wrong at the tavern, along with dealing with her current boyfriend, and Billy thinks that the “accidents” at the tavern aren’t accidents at all. Along with that Billy is trying to get over the death of his wife and move on. While this was a good book there was really just too much going on for me. There were many side stories branching off from Sorrow and Billy’s relationship as well as other relationships between Sorrow and her family and some townspeople. Cute, but not wonderful. 3.25 out of 5

Pretty Monsters by Andrea Speed was next. This is a free short and the first story in the Josh of the Damned series. It’s about Josh who works the night shift at the Quik Mart and there’s a hell portal right out back. Josh’s customers range from vampires to zombies and there’s never a dull moment. In this story he meets the hottie, Colin the vampire, and becomes quite friendly with him. This was a fun story and a good introduction to Josh and his world. 3 out of 5

Peek-A-Boo by Andrea Speed is the second free short story in the Josh of the Damned series. This one involved a Yeti who is visiting Josh and slapping dead animals on his counter. Colin comes in and lets him know that the Yeti might have more on his mind with Josh than he originally thought. Again, fun story and funny! I definitely was laughing out loud more than once during this one. Don’t let the monsterish covers freak you out. These are definitely comedic reads. 3.5 out of 5

The Wolf Who Loved Me by Lydia Dare is book 5 in the Westfield Wolves series. This story was about Weston Hadly, a nothing and nobody in the ton, who is caught by Lady Madeline, a Duke’s daughter who has a huge dowry, changing into his wolf form. He manages to corral her and then they’re off to Gretna Green to get married as a mate won’t tell the shifter’s secret. They are soon chased by Madeline’s father but during the trip Madeline manages to fall in love with Weston. I read this one for the Book Binge – you can read my review here. 3.5 out of 5

Josh of the Damned Triple Feature by Andrea Speed was next. This contains 3 short stories that are just great. This one contains a huge man eating mustache, a hentai monster and then Josh has to visit Colin’s boss who is the monster that all monsters are afraid of. Wow. It was really good and I can’t wait to read what happens next. You can read my review here. 4.25 out of 5

Next up was Bride by Mistake by Anne Gracie. This is the conclusion to the Devil Riders series. I didn’t read all the books in the series but I really didn’t need to as this one is good all on it’s own. The story is about Luke who was in Spain during the war and came across a young girl being beaten and raped. He saves her and in order to save her from having to marry her nasty cousin Luke marries the 13 year old – with the thought that the marriage can later be annulled. He drops her off to her aunt in a convent and goes about his life. Eight years later he finds out that the marriage can’t be annulled. He heads to Spain to collect his bride but she is nothing that he expected – she’s better. Bella takes him on a merry ride through Spain and they actually get to know each other. Bella falls completely in love and Luke does as well – while ridding himself of the nightmares that have plagued him since the war. This was a good story. I really liked both Luke and Bella and the whole premise of the story. I thought Spain was a great location for the book. Some parts didn’t work for me as well as others but overall I liked it. 3.5 out of 5

Midnight Rescue by Elle Kennedy was my next read. This is the story of an assassin, Abby, whose cover has been blown. Her boss asks a mercenary group to go in and get her. Her choice to drop her cover was to try to get closer to the young girls that were being kidnapped and held for auction. When she’s rescued she convinces the mercs to go in and save the girls. The story focuses on the mercs getting ready for the mission but also the budding relationship between Abby and one of the mercs, Kane. The story premise was good but a lot of the book didn’t work all that well for me for different reasons. I read this one for The Book Binge so I’ll let you know when my review posts. 3 out of 5

Next was another book for The Book Binge (yes, I’m trying to catch myself up!) called All For You by Lynn Kurland. This was the story of Peaches Alexander who wants the whole fairy tale relationship thing. Nothing else is going right in her life so when she’s invited to a ball at a Duke’s house she’s sure that he’s interested. Also at the ball is Stephen de Piaget who is thoroughly in love with Peaches but gets tongue tied and blows it every time he’s near her. Peaches doesn’t care for Stephen at all but when she walks through a time gate and ends up in medieval England Stephen’s the one that can save her. This was a very sweet and good story. Stephen is lovely and he’s so good to Peaches. (I honestly had a problem with her name though – I know it was her hippi parents but yuck. lol) I liked the story, the romance, the time travel and almost everything else. It just worked. 3.75 out of 5

Wanting by Piper Vaughn is a short free read and one I read about at Tam’s…then realized that I already own it and must have had it for a while – oops. lol Anyway, the story is about 18 year old Jonah who’s got it bad for his older brother’s best friend, Laurie. Jonah asks Laurie to take his virginity. He does and the pair end up in a relationship. It I really liked all the characters in this one. I would have loved this as a full sized book but it really worked as a short and was great. 4 out of 5 Written for the Goodreads M/M Romance Group’s “Hot Summer Days” anthology.

Last for the week was Joy & Pain by Celia Kyle. This was another free short that had an ex ballet dancer working at a strip joint. Tevin has a certain “kink” that hasn’t been fulfilled in a while. His boss introduces him to one of his friends, Zeke, who is more than willing to fill the kink for Tevin. This was good but pretty short. I really couldn’t connect with the characters as it was told from Tevin’s pov but it was definitely on the spicy side. 3 out of 5

Free novelette written for the Goodreads M/M Romance group’s “Hot Summer Days” event.

My Book Binge reviews that posted last week:

Happy Reading!

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