Chef Wyatt Blake is finally ready to move on from his thankless job. He gets no wiggle room, zero praise, plenty of abuse, and on a good day, he might only spend twelve hours in the Terroir kitchens. A friend of his recommends a private chef position, but despite the boost in pay, Wyatt doesn’t want to babysit some spoiled, rich LA family.
Imagine his shock when the family isn't a Kardashian clone, but Ryan Flores, the only professional baseball player to ever come out of the closet.
Ryan is also at a career crossroads. His team’s management wants to see his more responsible side, which means no more late night hookups and no more adrenaline-charged stunts. When his agent suggests he find a fake boyfriend to give him an air of domesticity, he’s only reluctantly interested.
Until Ryan goes to a local bar and spies the cute private chef he’s supposed to be interviewing the next day. Maybe a quieter life wouldn’t be so bad, as long as Wyatt is part of it?
Wyatt believes Ryan could be more than just a crappy boss, but he isn't sure about leaving the kitchen for the life of a professional boyfriend. Especially when he wants the reality so much more than the fantasy.
What a wild emotional ride! Here are two guys who have a professional relationship and a personal one, but just can't get on the same page. Ryan's struggling with the whole "act like a settled, mature man who just happens to be gay so that the decision makers will like you" plan that his agent cooks up. Maybe it's a good move for his career. His heart has issues with it, in every single way.
I thought there was only one thing I needed to make me happy. I was so sure becoming a rock star would heal the dark corners inside me. But every time I walk onto the stage, with a roaring crowd screaming my name, all I can think about is the boy I left behind. All I want to do is rewind and make a different choice.
I thought I hated Lincoln when he ghosted me ten years ago and destroyed my heart. I thought I hated him when he wrote a chart-topping hit about our idyllic young love. But I’ve never hated him as much as I do right now, standing in front of me like he has every right to be in my world again. He’s not the rock god I thought he was...he’s still that same lost boy I used to love. Can I ever trust him with my heart again?
Face the Music is the first book in the Replay series. Each book in the series will focus on a different band member getting a second chance at love. Each book can be read as a stand-alone. This book contains descriptions of self-harm, suicidal thoughts, and sexy times.
The icy wind bites at my skin, but another swig of whiskey helps to chase the chill away. The air smells like snow. I do a mental calculation and realize it’s only two weeks until Christmas.
When I was a kid, I loved Christmas. This time of year felt so magical and joyful. The smell of cookies baking in the oven, the twinkling lights of the tree, making a wish list of presents you hope Santa will bring.
Another gulp from the bottle clenched in my numb fist. It stopped burning on the way down about a half hour ago, right around the time the far-off city lights started to blur.
There’s no magic now. My kitchen is empty of anyone baking any sort of treats. I can’t remember the last time I bothered to get a tree. They’re not much fun to decorate all on your own. Plus, what’s the point if no one else will be there to enjoy it with you? As for a wish list...there’s only one thing I’d put on that list and it’s something—someone—I had and tossed away too many years ago.
My legs are unsteady under me as I walk to the edge of my balcony to look down at the street below.
Certainly the fall would kill me. But who would care?
I can see the headline now…Rock star Jumps to Death from New York City Apartment.
But would they really care?
My bandmates might’ve cared a few years ago, before everything started falling apart, before we were at each other’s throats constantly.
If only I’d known the name of our band—Downward Spiral— would be so apt when we chose it. Maybe it was a bad omen, or a jinx. Maybe we were just cocky little pricks who were on top of the world and didn’t think anything could ever knock us off.
I wobble as I lean farther over the railing, testing the sturdiness.
I won’t really jump. That’s what I tell myself. That’s what I always tell myself when I get into these dark moods.
I try to lift the bottle to my lips again, but it slips through my fingers. I watch as it plummets downward and then shatters on the sidewalk below.
I teeter again against the railing before taking a step back and reaching into my pocket for a cigarette. I don’t even normally smoke, just when I’m drunk and sad.
I can only imagine what Jace would say if he could see me now.
I'm an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.
If you love angst, you’ve come to the right place. Lincoln and Jace have ten years of hurting and broken trust to work through. Thanks to a chance meeting, they have the opportunity to ask questions and address pain that’s festered since the day Lincoln disappeared ten years ago.
The story follows two timelines, the here and now, which is downright painful in places, and the unfolding of their youthful relationship. We get to watch them fall in love, learn about themselves, each other, and help one another. Lincoln’s dreadful parents have a lot to answer for: Jace is his stability in their early days. The current storyline makes a harsh contrast, where Linc is the living embodiment of his band’s name: Downward Spiral.
Pay attention to the warnings in the blurb: Linc ends up in some real bad headspaces, and it’s a lot to ask of Jace that he be so responsible for someone else’s wellbeing when he hadn’t the slightest clue of what’s going on. If you want 100% light and fluffy, this is the wrong book. Linc’s very real problems aren’t unrelenting though, the sweetness of the past alternates with the difficulties of the present, keeping the seriousness from being overwhelming.
This is mostly Linc’s journey, he’s more complicated than Jace, whose big question is Why? There is no external plot to speak of here, it’s all the two main characters sorting out their messes, with some cameos from other members of the band, plus a manager who can wrangle unstable musicians and produce miracles from his back pocket. We’re promised more stories for them, which should be angsty too, these guys have issues.
Be prepared for an emotional roller coaster for this second chance Rockstar romance.
I read a fair number of ARC copies. Some are from big publishers that I don't talk about here, some from authors and small publishers who put different amounts of effort into the ARC.
With some books I wonder if I've been handed a formatted first draft. Usually I can determine where in the publishing cycle the book is, and if I know it's going to get more love later, I don't mind the rough edges. Other times, the book is just perfect and ready to sell.
And then I get what I think is the final product with a disclaimer that all is not quite finished. Complete with missing punctuation and weird formatting, but it says ARC, so I'm not suppose to take official notice of that. Then I feel like I've been played for a fool, because I don't talk about the mess and the mess gets offered for sale, and then my standards look low. They're not.
Cryssy Crankypants here has dropped entire publishers for making me look at such messes and tricking me into pretending they aren't messes. I have turned down review requests from indies because I've looked at the files before deciding. I've also fallen down the rabbit hole of having to read the whole book RIGHT NOW because it's pretty to look at and the story is just that good, and then I've told the author, um, sure, I'll review. It would be nice if that one happened more often.
Yes, an ARC means I get to read a book that I don't have to pay for. But I really do, because not only does that book get hours of my attention, it need some thought and effort for writing a review. That makes a free book more expensive than if I paid top dollar for it.
Remember how you get one chance to make a first impression? That's what an ARC does. The big pub ARCs I get are ready to go except for the pretty cover. Because they understand that first impression thing.
Remember Thousand Word Thursday? I give you a pic and whoever feels the urge can send me a ficlet or an except to post. 100-1000 words, and I tell everyone about one of your books to boot. Directions here.
Title: Aunt Belle’s Time Travel and Collectibles
Author: Marshall Thornton
Genre: humor, time travel
Cover artist: Marshall Thornton
Length: 126 pages
Where would you go if you could travel to any part of your past? That’s the question Terrance faces on his 45th birthday—and right away, he knows. He wants to go back to 1992 and not meet Mr. Wrong. But what begins as a journey to change the past becomes a trip to find the future. From the writer of Femme comes a story of best friends, time travel and falling in love.
This is a sweet and humorous tale of second chances. Because of the rules governing time travel here, Terrence has a chance to go back in time and do things differently. Except—somehow it doesn’t work out the way he expected.
Because how can things stay changed if not everyone remembers they got changed to start with? And why is Sean mad at him this time?
The baked in rules generate a comedy of errors tinged with sadness: Terrence has a lot of chances to explore exactly how things got fouled up to start with, and it’s only when everyone’s playing in the same timeline can things work out. Smiles for happy ending!
One thing I really enjoyed was that the characters aren’t young and trying everything for the first time (at least part of the time.) Terrence has some miles and mistakes on him, and strives to be a better man. His mistakes mostly come from well-meaning gone awry, and you have to love him for trying again and again until he gets it right.
Title: Balls: It Takes Some to Get Some
Author: Chris Edwards
Cover artist: Deutsch
Genre: nonfiction, memoir
Length: 265 pages
Changing your gender from female to male takes balls. And if you’re going to do it in front of five hundred coworkers at the largest ad agency in Boston, you’d better have a pretty big set!
At a time when the term transgender didn’t exist, and with support from family, friends, and a great therapist, Chris Edwards endured 28 surgeries to become the person he always knew he was meant to be. He used the principles of marketing along with his ever-present sense of humor to rebrand himself and orchestrate what was quite possibly the most widely accepted and embraced gender transition of its kind. He’s a pioneer who changed the perception of an entire community, and his memoir, BALLS, will touch readers’ hearts and change quite a few minds.
Edwards is funny, brazen, and endearing, and BALLS is a hilarious and inspiring story about family, friends, and the courage to be your true self. It boldly and fearlessly goes where other trans memoirs don’t. If you’ve ever felt uncomfortable in your own skin–for whatever reason–you will be inspired and empowered by this book.
A portion of the proceeds of BALLS will be donated to Camp Aranu’tiq (camparanutiq.org), a nonprofit program serving transgender youth and their families.
I don’t usually review nonfiction, but this memoir touched me deeply. There is a T in LGBT, and I don’t always read it. I’m glad I did though.
Chris Edwards has a fabulous writing voice, and a light touch with what had to have been anything but funny at the time. From describing himself as a boy while still in preschool, to enduring all the medical procedures to make his exterior match, this is a detailed look at a transition.
Chris had a kind and supportive family and friends for the most part, and for that, I am extremely glad. None of this journey could be easy, but he’s very clear how supported he was. Every *trans person deserves this, and maybe a few people will read this book and be there better for their person in transition. This is how love does, world.
The story never flinches away from the medical parts, even some of the gruesome misadventures. Try not to be eating during some of it, even though it’s described humorously. Chris spent decades in marketing, and knows how to sell even the difficult aspects as “just what you need to do to be you.”
This is a journey of an amazing person. I think it should be required reading for family of transgender people, because the memoir is extremely relatable and may be helpful for when the person in transition doesn’t have the words. 5 marbles