Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audio Review

Skylar M. Cates - Rocking the Cowboy Audio Cover 934kswTitle: Rocking the Cowboy

Series: Dreamspun Desires 64

Author: Skylar M. Cates

Narrator: Colin Darcy

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 38 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (3rd January 2019)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 3.5 Hearts

Reviewer: Prime

Blurb: Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll.

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good.

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

Purchase Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Review: Rocking the Cowboy is a Dreamspun Desires line book by Skylar M Cates. I’ve read the book in ebook format and while it enjoyed it well enough, I had thought that perhaps hearing the audio would add another layer of interesting to the story.

I’ve read a handful Skylar M Cates books before – some I enjoyed and one I couldn’t finish. Ultimately, while this wasn’t the greatest book I’ve ever read, I really did enjoy this one. The romance was wonderful, the characters were relatable, the story was a lot of fun and most importantly the MCs had great chemistry.

In addition to that, the narration was good. Colin Darcy is a relatively new narrator to me. However, I feel that he did justice to this story, which is great because of its simplicity. His performance was great, despite the fact it didn’t really change my mind in calling this an excellent story, to a totally awesome story.

Rockstar Remy Sean has gone through a horrifying experience on stage where he almost got trapped by stampeding fans who broke through barriers to get onto stage. His agent, who personally is not a good man but ruthless in business, decides that Remy should go spend time at the family ranch which is ran by his son, Jed Riley. The problem is, Jed does not get along with his father at all.

Remy looks forward to this opportunity to heal from his mostly psychological scars. Years ago, when he had been sixteen, he had spent the summer at the ranch. Back when things were a lot better for the Riley family. This had been when Remy first met Jed, but he was certain that over the years he had a bad case of hero worship for Jed.

Jed makes a deal with his father for Remy to stay at the ranch in exchange for his father’s compliance. Jed will do anything to make his mother and sister happy and he has zero time for his a-hole father. What Jed didn’t expect, despite a bumpy start, was that he would have a true connection to Remy.

Fans of cowboy stories will not be disappointed, and if you like yourself a bit of a celebrity falling for an ordinary guy type of story then you’re in luck here too. Overall, a fun and enjoyable audio book.

Secrets of You by Skylar M Cates ~ Audio Review

Title: Secrets of You

Series: Sunshine and Happiness 04

Author: Skylar M Cates

Narrator: Michael Stellman

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 7 hrs, 36 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (8th March 2018)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: 💖💖💖💖 4 Hearts

Blurb: It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love. It’s not something he will consider…until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Secrets of You is the fourth book in Skylar M Cate’s Sunshine and Happiness series. While I think it would probably be best to read the series in order, as there are many overarching stories characters that are present throughout all the books, it isn’t exactly vital to do so as all vital information from previous books is retold for the reader with adequate detail. In fact, I will be the first to admit that despite loving the books I have simply forgotten to get around to reading the first book.

The narration for the by Michael Stellman was truly wonderful. Stellman is a new narrator to me and I was really pleased that I enjoyed every minute of his narration, even through some of the most angst-ridden scenes (I’m not a fan of major angst).

For anyone that has read or heard the audio from any of the previous three books in the series, like me, was probably looking forward to this story. River Darcourt has been present from the start and was front and center for a while in book two, where his dead lover’s long-lost brother came onto the scene. He had popped up again when he had quietly saved a young man from a beating and attempted rape, Morgan Hayes. River has been a very quiet but prominent character who withdrew from the world after the death of his lover, Brandon, a lover who had insisted that they keep their relationship secret. Brandon was just another lot of scars on River’s already damaged soul.

Now we had finally come to the book that gave River his chance for healing and redemption. This book is also the chance for Morgan to heal too, even though his new friends warn him that River is the wrong type of man for him. However, with their housemates sailing off on a cruise to celebrate a wedding, River and Morgan have the house to themselves as neither of them could stay on board the ship beyond the wedding day celebrations. What happens is a whirl wind of exploration of their lives, present and future, and discovering what they need to do in order to make it together for a HEA.

If you like bad boy type stories that involves healing and redemption with the help of a very sweet and truly wonderful heart, this is the book for you.

Rocking the Cowboy by Skylar M. Cates

Title: Rocking the Cowboy

Series: Dreamspun Desires 64

Author: Skylar M. Cates

Genre: Contemporary, Western

Length: Novel (228 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (21st August 2018)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: Opposites who go together like country and rock ’n’ roll.

Long before he was a superstar, Remy Sean had a secret crush on Jed Riley. But Jed sees Remy as a spoiled pop rocker and an extension of his father’s control. Still, Jed is willing to let Remy hide from the press on his ranch—but only as a way to get his father out of his life and business for good.

Used to being admired and fawned over, Remy keenly feels the sting of Jed’s dismissal. Can he make Jed see him as more than a pain in the ass? Or is Jed too tangled up in his ranch to see past his old hurt?

Jed doesn’t believe someone desired by so many fans could want him, a simple cowboy. But Remy is determined to change Jed’s mind and steal his heart….

ISBN: 978-1-64080-444-9

Product Link: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon US | Amazon UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Reading the blurb of Rocking the Cowboy I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve read a handful Skylar M Cates books before – some I enjoyed and one I couldn’t finish, so that isn’t much help. I love a good cowboy story, so I was definitely keen to give it a go. While this wasn’t the greatest book I’ve ever read, I really did enjoy this one. The romance was wonderful, the characters were relatable, the story was a lot of fun and most importantly the MCs had great chemistry.

The plot of the story is quite simple and for the most part the blurb has more than enough detail before we enter spoiler territory. I don’t want to give too many spoilers, so I’ll keep my summary to a minimum.

Rockstar Remy Sean has gone through a horrifying experience on stage where he almost got trapped by stampeding fans who broke through barriers to get onto stage. His agent, who personally is not the best man and is ruthless in business, decides that Remy should go spend time at the family ranch which is ran by his son, Jed Riley. The problem is, Jed does not get along with his father at all.

Although a little hesitant, Remy does look forward to this opportunity to heal from his mostly psychological scars. Years ago, when he had been sixteen, he had spent the summer at the ranch. Back when things were a lot better for the Riley family. This had been when Remy first met Jed, but he was certain that over the years he had a bad case of hero worship for Jed.

Jed makes a deal with his father for Remy to stay at the ranch in exchange for his father’s compliance. Jed will do anything to make his mother and sister happy and he has zero time for his a-hole father. What Jed didn’t expect, despite a bumpy start, was that he would have a true connection to Remy.

Fans of cowboy stories will not be disappointed, and if you like yourself a bit of a celebrity falling for an ordinary guy type of story then you’re in luck here too. Overall, really fun and enjoyable, a great way to unwind and pass a few hours.

Close To You by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audiobook

Skylar M. Cates - Close to You Cover AudioTitle: Close to You

Series:  Sunshine and Happiness 03

Author: Skylar M Cates

Narrator: Tristan James

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 10 hrs, 12 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (8 Dec 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.5 Hearts

Blurb: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Close to You is the third book in Skylar M Cates’ series, Sunshine and Happiness. You don’t necessarily have to read or heard the two previous books to get this, I honestly haven’t read the first book, but I enjoyed the audio of the second book immensely. In fact, it was some of what had happened and shown about the characters of the third book that made me want to get my hands (or ears) into this story. The series is set around a group of guys living in a shared house and are still dealing with the fallout of the death of one of their best friends.

Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have both lived difficult lives. They have been friends for years, since high school. There has been the potential for more between them for years, since day one in fact. But Marc is damaged after a childhood of abuse and neglect and Tomas, who was damaged from losing his father as a child, is devoted to the little family he has left. Marc is certain that he is not capable of love, getting his only real feelings from being Tomas’s friend and from his passion of cooking. Back in book 2, something that is explained to us anyway, Marc made a deal with a friend that he would go to a therapist as a sort of buddy system for the friend. Between the therapy, Tomas moving away to be with his mother and grandparents, and an approaching hurricane, Marc begins to learn that maybe he isn’t quite so damaged any more. And maybe he has a chance to actually know what love is like and reciprocate the love from his best friend.

I loved the story, I loved the angst and I loved the narration. I think the only criticism that I have is the pacing. I didn’t really get into the flashbacks. For me they were too disruptive to what was happening in the here and now. However, in saying that, I generally don’t like excessive flashbacks and for me this was excessive, almost every second chapter was a flashback. I know that Mark and Tomas’s relationship/friendship as kids was vital to the story but I just wasn’t into the flashbacks.

Lovers, Losers and You by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audiobook

Skylar M. Cates - Lovers, Losers and You Cover AudioTitle: Lovers, Losers and You

Series:  Sunshine and Happiness 2

Author: Skylar M Cates

Narrator: Hugh Bradley

Genre: Contemporary

Length: 8hrs, 7 mins

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press LLC (12th September 2016)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Blurb: How can you lose one dream and still find another?

Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.

Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.

When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.

Product Link: Audible US | Audible UK

Reviewer: Prime

Review: Lovers, Losers and You is the second book in Skylar M Cates Sunshine and Happiness. You don’t need to have prior knowledge or to have read/heard the first book, but if you have all power to you. If you haven’t, like me you probably want to go back as well as going forward to the third book. Which taking into mind that this is also the first book I’ve read by Cates, then I am quite happy to recommend this book and author – as well as being totally keen on seeing more.

The story itself is really one that tugs at the heart strings.

Owen King is lonely, mostly because the prestigious school where he teaches history – the very same school he attended as a child – means that he can’t have anything more than the random hook up with a strange man. He’s also the adopted son of a famous ex-baseball player and his sporty wife, but despite the unconditional love he has wanted to know about his biological family.

Unfortunately, he never knew about his brother until his brother’s untimely death. After constant communication with one of his brother’s friends, he finally makes the decision to go to Ocean Vista, where his brother had lived to find out more. It’s a difficult journey, for him and his adoptive parents, who have their hands full with his handicapped adopted sister. It’s complicated I know, but this is a superbly written book with a lot of depth to plot and characters.

In his quest to learn more about his brother and live in the house with the same friends his brother lived with, we meet Andrew. He’s also lonely in his own way and shoulders the burden of being the grown up for his younger half brother and sister, as well as his emotionally needy mother. But he also takes pride in the café which he owns and runs in Ocean Vista. He moved into the house where Owen’s brother had lived after another housemate had left to be with his boyfriend (the plot of book 1). Now he has entered a reality TV show contest in an attempt to make money to expand his café more. He wants to show his siblings that dreams are possible. It is he meets Owen he is the only one able to see him for himself, not as the replacement of a dead man.

I really love these two guys together. Andrew and Owen make a wonderful couple and it just so easy to not only relate to them but to also empathize with them. Not only that, there are so many details that come from all the minor characters in the house. This is a group of friends whose story are told through tragedy. One got his HEA, we are reading the current HEA and there is the couple of book 3 (Mark and Tomas).

Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!

Skylar M. Cates - Secrets of You Banner

Hi peeps! We have Skylar M. Cates popping in today with her upcoming release Secrets of You, we have a brilliant guest post from Skylar, a great excerpt and a fantastic giveaway, so check out the post and leave a comment to enter the giveaway! <3 ~Pixie~

Skylar M. Cates - Secrets of You Cover

Secrets of You

(Sunshine and Happiness 04)
by

Skylar M. Cates

It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love—it’s not something he will consider—until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.

Release date:  

Continue reading “Secrets of You by Skylar M. Cates Guest Post, Excerpt & Giveaway!”

Love is Love Anthology & Giveaway!

Anthology - Love is Love Jay Aheer 2016 banner 2

Hey guys, today we have a collection of wonderful authors who have got together and contributed poems towards the charity anthology Love is Love.

In the aftermath of the horrendous shooting in Orlando where 49 innocent men and women lost their lives and numerous others were injured, the LGBT+ community, along with their brothers and sisters in the straight community, pulled together in shock, grief and devastation . They pulled together to show that love is love, that we all stand together in the face of hate and we will support those who love.

These amazing authors have contributed a small part of themselves in the shape of poems, these poems will stand against hate and invite love in for all time. ♥ ~Pixie~  

P.S. there’s also a fantastic giveaway 🙂 

Anthology - Love is Love Cover s

Love is Love

by

AC Benus, Aditus, Andrew Jericho, Ann Anderson, Ash Marie, Asta Idonea, Betti Gefecht, Cam Kennedy, Cynus Eldranai, Darren White, dughlas, Eddy LeFey, Eden Winters, EmiGS Em, F.E. Feeley Jr., Gelybi , Headstall, Jack L. Pyke, Jana Denardo, Jason Frazier, Jay Rookwood, J.L. Merrow, Karina Rye, Kathy Griffith, Kay Ellis, Kaye P. Hallows, Kit Loffstadt, Laura B. Damone, Layla Dorine, Lily G. Blunt, L.J. Harris, L.M. Somerton, Louis Stevens, L.S.K Harris, L.V. Lloyd, Lynn Michaels, Maggie Chatterton, Maria Siopis, Monika De Giorgi, Parker Owens, Patricia Nelson, Pelaam, Petra Howard, Ravyn Bryce, Rick R. Reed, Ruski, Valik and Addy, S.J. Davis, Skylar M. Cates, Star Brady, Steve Baldry, Susan Crane, Tamara Miles, Tash Hatzipetrou, Tim Landon, Tracy Gee, Vicki Tubridy, Victoria Kinnaird, and Wendy Rathbone.

A collection of poems composed by over fifty authors in aid of the victims and survivors of the Orlando Pulse Attack.

On June 12, 2016, the most horrendous mass shooting in US history and an unfathomable act of hate was directed at the LGBT community in Orlando. The horror of this tragedy reverberated around the world, leaving millions shocked and appalled at the senseless violence that destroyed so many innocent lives.

In a display of solidarity with the victims and survivors of the Pulse nightclub shooting, a group of LGBTQ+ and straight allies, from all across the globe, came together to produce a collection of poems in celebration of love and acceptance.

The resulting Love is Love Poetry Anthology is dedicated to the families and victims of the shooting and all proceeds of this work will be donated to Equality Florida’s Pulse Victims Fund.

In this small way, the authors, along with the readers who purchase this work, seek to contribute to the lives of those who still suffer from the consequences of the malice directed toward them, and offer some positivity and compassion in the face of such bigotry.

Paperback: Amazon.com | Amazon UK |  CreateSpace

Continue reading “Love is Love Anthology & Giveaway!”

Close to You by Skylar M. Cates

CloseToYouLGTitle: Close to You

Series: Sunshine and Happiness, #3

Author: Skylar M. Cates

Genre: Contemporary/Abuse

Length: 248 pages

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 28th 2016)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥3.5 Hearts

Blurb: It’s hard to recover from a first love. Some people never do.

How hard would you fight to keep your best friend? Marc Lucas and Tomas Santos have been best friends forever, but now their friendship is in a crisis. When they were boys, betrayals ripped their world apart. They thought it was fixed, but some parts remained broken. Ever since he saved him from a humiliation at school, Marc has loved Tomas. The last thing he expects is for Tomas to love him back. To keep his best friend, Marc revisits an abusive past he’s tried to forget.

For Tomas, loving Marc has been anything but easy. His upbringing told him it was wrong, so why did it feel so right? Accepting who he is as an adult, Tomas decides he needs a committed relationship. To his deep sorrow, he can’t seem to find it with Marc.

When the two find themselves alone and in the grip of a hurricane, long-buried feelings emerge. Being “just friends” is no longer an option. They must risk it all on love.

ISBN: 9781634771368

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=7478

Reviewer: Aerin

Review: After reading Lovers, Losers, and You, I was so excited for Marc and Tomas’s story. We already know these two have a history, although we don’t know what that is. One thing’s for sure though… Tomas and Marc love each other. We saw that in the previous book. We watched them fight and argue one moment, go to being best friends the next and making lovey-dovey faces at each other when they thought the other one wasn’t watching.

In Close to You, we get the full story. It’s not pretty, more heartbreaking than anything. But it reinforces what we already know about their friendship and explains the behavior and the choices they make as adults. It takes a force of nature to bring those two together. But, once they get there, they hold on to what they have and fight for the happiness they deserve.

Marc’s childhood is terrifying to even think of, and it definitely breaks my heart to think of any child living like that. Raised by an abusive and alcoholic father who plays the perfect police officer during the day, Marc is repeatedly abused both emotionally and physically. He’s also neglected and unkempt, and that makes him the dirty kid who always wears tore-up clothes. The stinky one and skinny one, the one who’s more like an animal than a human being. Nobody ever was on Marc’s side, until Tomas.

Tomas’s father passed away when he was still a child. He and his mother came to live with his very religious grandparents. Tomas knows he’s not supposed to like boys the way he likes Marc, but no matter how much he tries to change that, he can’t deny how right it feels.

Marc and Thomas become best friends who never give up on each other. They always have each other’s backs, and that beautiful friendship turns into a fragile first love. Tomas eventually learns that sometimes doing what’s best for the person you love also means breaking their heart and losing them.

Years later, Tomas and Marc found each other again. But no matter how much Tomas wants a permanent relationship with the one and only man he’s ever loved, Marc is emotionally unavailable. Marc loves Tomas as well, and Tomas knows that.

But Tomas is the only person in this world who means more than anything to Marc and he’s afraid to lose that if their relationship doesn’t work. They finally manage to get it together and communicate. And don’t you know it, communication solves everything! Their journey wasn’t an easy one, but in the end it was all worth it.

I’m not sure if I feel disappointed in how Marc and Tomas’s story was told, because I definitely enjoyed reading the book, but something unsettled me. It took me a long time to really get into the story and that’s easily blamed on the writing style.

There are so many flashbacks/ it disrupted the flow of the story to the point where I wanted them gone. I wanted to know more about Marc and Tomas, but not through flashbacks; I think a longer epilogue with their lives as children would’ve nicely done its job. As it was, it took FOREVER for Tomas and Marc to give in and figure things out.

Another thing that bothered me is that this book was told from a 3rd person’s POV (author maybe?) in the present tense, and that was awkward as hell. It was like having a creeper spy on these guys and tells you what they do and feel. It really got weird when Tomas and Marc got to have sex, because I can’t feel the intensity and connection between the participants unless one (or both of them) personally tells me about it.

The real issue was the present tense, it simply creeped me out. I don’t remember having the same issue with the previous books, but maybe I’m becoming picky.

This really was a good book and a great story, full of friendship and caring and love. I loved how the guys, all of them, made their own little family and helped each other through everything. I’m so excited for the next book, because it’s time for River to stop being miserable and love again. That dude needs to chill; I’m thinking a shot of (Captain) Morgan is what the doctor prescribes.

 

Here For You by Skylar M. Cates ~ Audiobook

HereForYouAUDLGTitle: Here For You
Series: Sunshine and Happiness, #1
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Narrator: Paul Morey
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Length: 7 hours and 35 minutes
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (07-17-2015)
Heat Level: Moderate
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: Cole Gannon arrives in the seaside town of Ocean Vista to work as a bartender and finally find a place to belong. Determined to make a home for himself, Cole lives happily with his four colorful roommates, whom he considers brothers. The only problem is Cole’s attraction to Ian Stark—a guy all wrong for him. He wishes he didn’t keep running into the sexy lawyer.

Ian knows Cole is attracted to him, but the younger man keeps him at arm’s length. It only makes Ian more determined to be with Cole and learn all his secrets. But while Ian has built a successful law practice, he hasn’t done too well with relationships.

When a sudden and devastating tragedy occurs, it shatters Cole’s world and throws Cole and Ian together in unexpected ways. In an instant, everything between them changes forever.

Product Link(s): https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=6753

http://www.audible.com/pd/Fiction/Here-for-You-Audiobook/B011S473LA

Reviewer: Tams

Review: Life is a thread connecting us. One pull and it all unravels.

After being basically abandoned by his mother in his youth, Cole Gannon has always longed for a family. Together with his four roommates, he has finally found the family atmosphere and love he always wanted. Then tragedy strikes and threatens the foundation of Cole’s nuclear family. The one person that wants to be a shoulder for Cole to cry on, to lean on, is the one person Cole has spent the last several months pushing away.

Ian Stark has been enamored with Cole since the first day he saw him at a BBQ his intern Brandon invited him to. Brandon is Cole’s best friend and one of the four roommates. He is also slightly smitten with Ian. It’s this conflict of interest and Cole’s devotion to Brandon that stop him from acting on his mutual attraction to Ian. That is, until Brandon is hurt and the only person Cole can think of to find solace with is Ian.

As Cole and Ian grow closer, Cole’s little family drifts further apart. While Cole has always been the glue holding them all together, Brandon was the roots that kept Cole grounded. Without him, Cole is confused, lost and hurting. Cole is torn between two worlds he wants to merge that refuse to blend.

This was a dark and emotional story. There were a lot of tears and anguish, but there was also love, beauty and hope. The little bit of angst that dotted the story was not only necessary, it was well done. Cole is in pain and confused about the rift growing between him and the three remaining roommates.

How fucked up is it that life hands you the man you have always wanted, wrapped up in a pretty little bow, but demands such a hefty price in return. Ian is steadfast and loyal though, forever patient with Cole and his mood swings and random outbursts. The story was a series of ups and downs and learning that while life is brutal and demanding, there is beauty in hope and love.

Narrated by Paul Morey and I just loved the voice he gave these characters, he truly brought them to life. Ian is a high power attorney, sort of a no nonsense kind of guy, and Morey captured that with his gruff, no arguments tone of voice. Oh but when Cole was on one of his tangents, Ian became soft-spoken and tender and it made him that much more endearing. Cole was sort of flighty and a bit air headed, Morey gave him an easy-going lighthearted tone. When push came to shove and Cole got upset though, you could hear the anger and pain in his voice. Fantastic job on telling the story.

If you like slightly angsty but still adult stories with one of those hard-fought happy ever afters, then this is the perfect book for you. I can’t wait to start the next book, and I so hope that Mark and Thomas get a story at some point.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

Lovers, Losers, and You by Skylar M. Cates Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!

Skylar M. Cates - Lovers, Losers and You BT_Banner

Hi peeps, we have a Skylar Cates stopping by with her newest release Lovers, Loser, and You, we have a great exclusive excerpt and a incredible giveaway, so enjoy the post and click that Rafflecopter link <3 ~Pixie~

Skylar M. Cates - Lovers, Losers and You LG

Lovers, Losers, and You

(Sunshine and Happiness 02)
by

Skylar M. Cates

How can you lose one dream and still find another?

Owen King is a lonely history teacher who wants to be braver. So when Owen learns about the deceased brother he never met, he breaks free of his safety net and risks answers. Despite his loving, adopted family, Owen wonders if there are missing pieces inside of him. Visiting the seaside town of Ocean Vista, where his brother lived and died, will be no vacation.

Andrew Teagan wants to be a winner. After being dumped by his last boyfriend, Andrew is through letting others dictate his life. To prove that dreams are possible, he’s going after his ambitions full force. Having signed on for a cooking reality show, Andrew’s ready to make his small café into a sizzling success.

When Andrew aids Owen on the beach, what starts off as an act of kindness turns into a hot temptation. But can a sweet budding romance survive when the time comes for Owen to leave town? Both men must learn to trust each other if their love will conquer the miles between them.

Continue reading “Lovers, Losers, and You by Skylar M. Cates Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt & Giveaway!”

The Holiday Hoax by Skylar M. Cates

HolidayHoax[The]LGTitle: The Holiday Hoax
Series: N/A
Author: Skylar M. Cates
Genre: New Adult/Holiday
Length: Novella (85 pages)
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 12th, 2014)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4 Hearts
Reviewer: Aerin
Blurb: I’m Evan Goodman, budding actor, future star, college freshman. Oh, and let’s not forget—recently dumped. If only my family wasn’t expecting to meet my new boyfriend over the holiday break. Enter JD Laurens—a sweet and quiet science major who mostly keeps to himself. When he gathers the courage to come out, poor JD gets abandoned by his only family right in front of me, and now he has nowhere to go for Christmas.

But I have a proposition for him: pretend to be my boyfriend for the holidays so I can take him home.

It’s a win-win. What could go wrong?

ISBN: 9781632165930

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=5801

Review: What a cute holiday story, the best I’ve read so far. Our main characters are Evan and JD, both college students, each with his own problems concerning Christmas. JD’s story was quite sad and unfortunately, a lot of young gay men have stories similar to his. JD’s brother can’t accept the fact that JD is gay and now JD doesn’t have anywhere to go for Christmas.

Evan was excited to take his boyfriend Tyler home for Christmas to introduce him to his parents, but got dumped by Tyler at the last-minute. After witnessing JD’s abandonment by his brother, he comes up with a genial solution: he offers JD a home and a family for Christmas and in return, JD helps him out by pretending to be Tyler.

As Evan gets to know JD better, the pretend relationship they have starts to feel real. I liked them together, their relationship seemed genuine and their chemistry intense. Evan’s family is very open-minded but conservative at the same time. They were kind and made JD feel welcome, but what I really loved about them was the fact that religious traditions were important to them, but only if they got to experience them as a family.

There’s no steam in this book, no on-page sex, but the feelings JD and Evan develop for each other are strong and real. This is a perfect, lovely holiday read that will definitely put a smile on your face.

* I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review through http://mmgoodbookreviews.wordpress.com *

The Guy from Glamour by Skylar M. Cates

71n247wf0IL._SL1350_Title: The Guy from Glamour

Series:   The Guy Series

Author: Skylar M. Cates

Genre: Contemporary

Length:  Novel (236 pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (January 9th, 2014)

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4Hearts

Reviewer: Eli/Mandingo

Blurb:  Anthony Carrino loves his big, gregarious Italian-American family, even if his sisters are interfering, and his dad, the local sheriff, knows everything going on in town. He’s happy as a middle school guidance counselor. Despite helping kids and their parents fix their problems, Anthony can’t manage to get his own love life right. If only everyone would stop calling him the “nice” guy. 

Dean Pierce doesn’t do relationships. A tough-minded military man, he is dedicated to his job as a Night Stalker, flying Chinook helicopters and not speaking much to anybody. He certainly doesn’t want to deal with a mess of emotions. But when tragedy strikes, Dean finds his hands full with his troubled niece, her irresistible guidance counselor, and a meddlesome family, which includes a rather large puppy.

Purchase Link:   http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=4557

Review: Dean Pierce is safe and secure life he has built from himself in the military.  Tragedy has flung him into being a parent and into the path of exactly the type of man. He needs to find to be with in order to be true to himself. The story takes its time to show how damaged both men are from their respective life experiences; and, how they can each help each other to become happy and whole. Both men must trust each other and learn how to build a life together.  And while the men appear vastly different when they are first presented, they are perfect matching puzzle pieces.

Nestled within this story is how we are impacted by our families or the lack of them.  Family is who has made Anthony the man who can teach Dean how to become his niece’s family.  Dean’s poor family life is what makes him know that he must be there for his niece even if it means giving up everything that he knew in his life before. The true impact of this is seen as Dean builds a relationship with his niece and she becomes herself a happy and whole person and he learns to become a parent.  It is Anthony who shows Dean how to allow himself the ability to not only feel to but also show the deeper emotions that will be necessary to bring about the transformations for both his niece and himself.

Anthony and Dean will become friends and then lovers. Their romance is warm and touching and the reader roots for both men to be able to always be together. Anthony because he so deserves to find a good man who wants him just for himself and Dean because he’s been so cut off that being loved is a gift he will cherish. Often in romances, the reader is rushed through the life scenes that will serve to ensure that the reader roots for the HEA of the two men.  This book took the reader on the journey that both men had to go on in order for them to be happy and healthy together. Great characters, both in Dean and Anthony, as well as the ensemble cast of family and friends.  Lots of heart.  There might be a few tears.  A very endearing read.

Exposed by Skylar M. Cates

ExposedLGTitle: Exposed

Series: N/A

Author: Skylar M. Cates

Genre: MM / Contemporary Romance

Length: Novel

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (March 1st, 2013)

Reviewer: Thommie

Heat Level: Explicit

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥4.5 Hearts

Blurb: After years of running from a traumatic secret, young journalist Rafe Quintero is making his way in the world alone. Now that he’s landed a job at a Miami newspaper, he’s hungry for success. His goal? A blistering exposé on closeted PGA golfer Daniel Andrews. Rafe will stop at nothing to get the scoop—even if it means going undercover on Daniel’s private yacht.

Daniel is used to being in the spotlight, but his reputation for being cold and unfriendly hasn’t made him very popular. Still reeling from his mother’s death and his ex-boyfriend’s engagement, he hides out on his yacht to escape the press hounding his every step. His instant attraction to Rafe, his new crew member, is a problem he can’t ignore.

When Rafe and Daniel begin a steamy affair, Rafe knows it’s only a matter of time before Daniel discovers his betrayal. Now he has to choose: confess and hope Daniel can swallow his pride and forgive him, or put his ambition ahead of his heart and follow the story.

Product Link: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=3605

Review: Have you ever felt that you want to inhale a book from page one? I have on few occasions and this is one of those books. With a very powerful start Exposed keeps building and building the intensity, until you literally can’t take it anymore and beg for a let out.

It starts with an incredible insight of Rafe and his personality. Rafael the hurricane, as I kept thinking of him; always running head first toward his goal, demanding and full on emotion. A hungry journalist who is tired of having his pieces taken away literally, grabs his final chance for making it big for himself.

The idea behind the story is quite the stereotype; the undercover reporter going for his famous mark, trying to worm himself to some confidentiality and make the story of his life. And of course he blows it all up by falling for said mark.

Yet there is nothing stereotypical about this book. It was a very well written piece that has you on your toes and keeps pulling your chain to follow almost blindly this intoxicating love story.

It is a wild ride seeing Rafe playing undercover, yet in order to make his background story believable he uses his real name, his real private past up until the day he changed them. It is almost heartbreaking seeing him rushing toward his goal and not understanding the danger his puts his heart in. After so many years of being alone, not wanted and uncared it wasn’t a big shock that he fell prey at Daniel’s caring and soothing character.

And Daniel, while he is no match for Rafael’s exuberance and energetic character, he is a very attracting one himself. Born in wealth, his life might have been smooth yet no less needy and in Rafael he finds that spark of life he never knew was missing. Their time together in the yacht is a hard and fast buildup of tension and emotion until it all comes crashing down with an even bigger bam.

As I said everything about this book is a huge build up and when things came crashing I almost expected for things to slow down a bit and the story to lose intensity since you could see where it went. It didn’t happen, on the contrary after it deluded you with some short shallow breaths the story picked up pace once again and the sensation of having your heart beating wildly never let up until it was over. Kudos to the author for making that happen.

And for my favorite part I’m going to attack those intimate scenes I so much love. I think our dear author must be seriously into mind games and control, because that is exactly what I felt reading our guys’ scenes. David being the cool type he was and Rafael the utterly emotional type with the great responsiveness were bound to drive me crazy. Playing the virgin part Rafael had it coming for himself though and loving making his crazy with want and need David literally tortured him with the slow lead. In the end of their first time together even I was screaming inside my head for that damn release. It is so very rare that some characters will reach and affect you as much as these two did. I felt as if I was the one taking part in there, as if I was in there, in that room and being tortured by sensations myself. I admit though that while I loved those scenes toward the end I got a bit inpatient with them. Really, it is not nice keeping people waiting that much. Ah who am I kidding…?

What else is there to say about Exposed…? Nothing beside take it up and read it… Now!