Braving the Storm by Xenia Melzer

Title: Braving the Storm 

Series: Gods of War 04

Author: Xenia Melzer

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Novel (300 pages)

Publisher: DSP Publications (November 21, 2017)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Blurb: Though some struggles have ended in victory, ease and contentment are not the fate of the gods of war. Instead they must contemplate the sometimes terrible and frightening nature of their powers—and the effect those powers have on the people they love.

After their campaign in Ummana, the gods of war return to the Valley with their ranks finally complete. Sic is the eighth Emeris to join Renaldo and Canubis in their war against the Good Mother. Even so, they must wait for their powers to manifest, and trials lay ahead.

It is only when a tragedy befalls Aegid, Kalad, and Daran that Sic learns the extent of his abilities as a Luksari. What he achieves will change Daran forever—and set him up for trauma that leaves him doubting his relationship with Aegid and Kalad. After surviving battle, torture, and rape, Daran must affirm his commitment to his lovers and his new status among them through even more blood and violence.

Even though Renaldo and Casto’s relationship has improved, they’re still struggling, which could prove to be more dangerous than they think—because the Good Mother is already plotting her next move.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-676-4

Product Link: DSP Publications

Reviewer: Shorty

Review: An engaging story about the struggles of several men. Renaldo, Casto, Canubis, Aeid, Kalad, Daran and Sic must find a way to defeat the good mother character in this book. I was appalled at the treatment Sic suffered through other books. But things are different this time.

Daran suffers through his own hell and afterwards has to deal with the things that happened to him.There are quite a few characters throughout that add an element of surprise by their actions and/or thoughts. Twists and turns are all throughout.

I like this series even though at times I feel overwhelmed by certain events that take place. An interesting addition to the series to say the least.

Great read.

Ummana by Xenia Melzer

Title: Ummana

Series:  Gods of War # 3

Author: Xenia Melzer

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Novel (294 pages)

Publisher: DSP Publications (July 4, 2017)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.75 Hearts

Blurb: In war, loss is the price of victory, and the cost of love is sometimes pain.

After Renaldo and Casto finally celebrate their marriage, the time has come for revenge against the followers of the Good Mother who tried to kill Casto—though this time, the gods of war won’t use bloodshed to take Medelina.

As a member of the Confederation of the Plains, Medelina answers to Ummana, the head of the alliance… and Casto is heir to the throne of Ummana. Accompanied by their most capable mercenaries, Canubis and Renaldo travel to Ummana to make Casto king.

They’ll face the Council of Elders; Lord Aran, Casto’s father; and Princess Anesha, Casto’s sister—none of whom are happy about the king’s return. For Casto, the city is a reminder of a terrible childhood, and Renaldo can only helplessly watch his beloved fight a seemingly hopeless battle.

Through trickery and political scheming, vengeance against the Good Mother is finally within their grasp—but their success might be bittersweet. Not everyone will return to the Valley with Casto and Renaldo..

ISBN-13: 978-1-63533-362-6

Product Link: DSP Publications | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon DE

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: Book three in the series has a different feel than the previous two books. There is still an interesting cast of characters throughout that add an element as well as political, plots, and some background info. I just could not put my finger on what was different with the overall feel of the story.

I love Casto but would like to see more of other characters as the main MC sometimes. Sic’s past and what he has been through broke my heart. I was happy that the person responsible for his pain finally got his. 

Though I enjoyed the series so far I did not care for this one as much. It’s a complex story that had me confused at times with explanations as to certain things. Never the less it’s a good read for the series.

It was an o.k. read.

Love and the Stubborn by Xenia Melzer

Xenia Melzer - Love and the Stubborn CoverTitle: Love and the Stubborn

Series:  Gods of War # 2

Author: Xenia Melzer

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Novel (334 pages)

Publisher: DSP Publications (December 13, 2016)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3.75 Hearts

Blurb: All is fair in love and war. By now, Renaldo has found out the hard way how utterly stupid this statement is once you’ve met your match. And Casto won’t give an inch in their ongoing war for love.

After a tumultuous start to their relationship, Renaldo and Casto seem to have finally reached calmer waters. But just when Renaldo starts getting comfortable and thinks he can relax, things get out of hand again. His old enemy, the Good Mother, is dangerously close to defeating the divine brothers by reaching out to what is most dear to him. Casto still clinging to his stubborn pride is all the plotters need to drive him and Renaldo apart. Burdened by the secrets of his past, Casto fights with everything he’s got not only to save his life, but also to secure his future happiness. Facing the destruction of everything they have built together, Renaldo and Casto must choose between pride and love.

ISBN-13: 978-1-63477-190-0

Product Link: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/love-and-the-stubborn-by-xenia-melzer-336-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: I have to say from the beginning of this book I hated Renaldo. I cannot honestly understand someone who claims to love another then turns around, because Casto was late, and forces him to accompany him to a festival where he allows him to be touched by another, paraded nude around others and then has sex with him through the night as a part of a display of ownership knowing that Casto did not want to.

Renaldo was way too full of himself. The way he treated Casto was atrocious. I would have left. I loved Casto’s spirit and defiance. Unfortunately it seemed as if Renaldo wanted instant submission yet for him to be defiant. That is contradictory to say the least. I think Renaldo should not have been in a relationship as he knew not what he actually wanted.

There were a lot of POV’s by different characters throughout this story. It gave an added depth to the story. So much happens that it’s impossible to write about everything. Some want both Renaldo and Casto gone for good. Some want just Casto gone and still others want to see them succeed. 

As with all stories there are villains in this one there are more than one that will stop at nothing to destroy Renaldo and Casto. The though was well written with a master/slave theme, suspenseful, drama humiliation aspects at times. It was an o.k. read. I did not enjoy it as much as I did the first book.

Ummana by Xenia Melzer Guest Post & Excerpt!

Hi peeps, we have Xenia Melzer stopping by today with her upcoming fantasy release Ummana, we have a brilliant guest post and a great excerpt, so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

Xenia Melzer - Ummana Cover

Ummana

(Gods of War 03)
by

Xenia Melzer

In war, loss is the price of victory, and the cost of love is sometimes pain.

After Renaldo and Casto finally celebrate their marriage, the time has come for revenge against the followers of the Good Mother who tried to kill Casto—though this time, the Gods of War won’t use bloodshed to take Medelina.

As a member of the Confederation of the Plains, Medelina answers to Ummana, the head of the alliance… and Casto is heir to the throne of Ummana. Accompanied by their most capable mercenaries, Canubis and Renaldo travel to Ummana to make Casto king.

They’ll face the Council of Elders, Lord Aran, Casto’s father, and Princess Anesha, Casto’s sister—none of whom are happy about the king’s return. For Casto, the city is a reminder of a terrible childhood, and Renaldo can only helplessly watch his beloved fight a seemingly hopeless battle.

Through trickery and political scheming, vengeance against the Good Mother is finally within their grasp—but their success might be bittersweet. Not everyone will return to the Valley with Casto and Renaldo.

Release date: 4th July 2017
Pre-order:
 DSP Publications ebook | DSP Publications paperback | Amazon

Continue reading “Ummana by Xenia Melzer Guest Post & Excerpt!”

Love Wins ~ Anthology

Anthology - Love Wins CoverTitle: Love Wins

Series: Anthology

Author: Lucie Archer, Kris T. Bethke, Deja Black, M.A. Chruch, David C. Dawson, Jana Denardo, Nicole Dennis, Ravon Silvius, L.A. Marrill, Grace R. Duncan, Xenia Melzer, Jude Dunn, Julie Lynn Hayes, Tray Ellis, Troy Storm, Alicia Nordwell, Renee Stevens

Genre: Paranormal, Holiday, Contemporary, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy 

Length: Novel (330 Pages)

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (December 12, 2012)

Heat Level: Low

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts (Combined)

Blurb:  With time comes healing, but Orlando and the LGBT community are still recovering from last June’s tragedy. To show our ongoing support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this second benefit anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we reaffirm that no matter the obstacle, love always wins.

ISBN:  978-1-63533-429-6

Product Link: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/love-wins-7898-b

Reviewer: Lisa

Review: I think that this was one hell of a perfect gift in my eyes.  The proceeds are going to be given to the LGBT in Florida after the tragic shooting in June. It was an amazing book and for the perfect reason.  I do admit though I just couldn’t read the ones with females in them because I don’t do girly parts at all.  However the hot men in this book made up for the girly parts in spares.  

Abstract Heart by Lucie Archer ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

Nick spends nearly every lunch break at the modern art museum, hoping to catch a glimpse of docent Kris. Kris has noticed the cute guy hanging around the exhibits too but never manages to approach him. It will take a matchmaking security guard to bring these two introverts together.

Thank god for friends because if it was left up to these two they wouldn’t get past hello and you can definitely see the heat between them.  It is a very cute little story about finding that one person you want to be with.  

Cats and Christmas Trees: Trouble Waiting to Happen by M.A. Church ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

What’s a half human to do when Christmas rolls around? Kirk tries ignores it, but his shifter mates Tal and Dolf, being sneaky kitties, persist in finding out what’s troubling him so they can make it better.

This was the perfect Christmas story for my favorite shifters.  I love how this author just makes these two cats, well like cats.  When I received this anthology I had not even realized that this story had been included and let’s just say I jumped for joy.  Tal is the perfect omega and Dolf is the perfect alpha, then you add in Kirk and you have got one hell of a threesome.  

A Chance for Hope by Deja Black ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

In the aftermath of tragedy, freelance writer Brad Truscott is drawn to ease Paul Bachman’s grief. But will Paul ever be ready to take another chance on happiness?

I think that this story will hit closer to home for those who suffered from this loss the most.  It shows the heartache, but it also shows hope.  A second chance at love and the tenderness found in each other.  I enjoyed reading it.

Changing Things by Nicole Dennis ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

Despite his allergies, Ryan puts up with the two rescue cats his boyfriend, Seth, adores. But when an especially severe asthma attack sends Ryan to the hospital, Seth realizes something has to give—either his relationship with Ryan or his guardianship of Fili and Kili.

This was a cute little story that was a blast to read.  I think Seth picked the right choice also, but you really need to read it because I am not telling.  I enjoyed reading it though. 

Especially in Orlando by Troy Storm ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

When bighearted mover Dalton is hired to haul away a hot young guy’s belongings after a breakup, he can’t help returning to see how the good-looking older man is dealing with the transition. George is happy to take Dalton up on his offer of solace. But then George’s ex, Peter—aka Mr. Prissy Pout—has second thoughts, and while George isn’t interested in taking him back, he and Dalton are willing to share their experience—and more.

Now this one was more sexual then actually fun to me.  I didn’t much care for it but then that is me.  I hate to admit that I basically skimmed over the story and read parts of it.  Which for me was a bad thing because it just gave me an eye of what was going on.  

Free to Love by Kris T. Bethke ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Henry is tired of hiding their relationship, but Shane is afraid to risk losing his job and his parents by coming out as gay. When his worst fears prove true, Shane finds that life outside his parents’ repressive control is so much better than anything he could have imagined.

Parents can be just as cruel as a stranger it would seem.  I felt bad for Shane but the end result rocks.  I enjoyed reading this story and will definitely be checking for these guys to have a longer story in the future, with more juicy details.

Happily Ever After, After All by L.A. Merrill ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Once upon a time, Princess Aubergine dreamed of a fairy-tale wedding to the girl of her dreams. Things haven’t exactly worked out that way. Locked in a tower for ten years, Aubergine managed to scare off all the princes coming to rescue her. Now it’s up to her to do the rescuing—until a band of students from the local Ladies’ Academy happen upon her tower and devise a daring escape plan.

Now the story is a fantastic story, however I hate female characters so the story didn’t do anything for me.  I hate to admit that I just skimmed it and didn’t really read it.  When I received it I was told it was m/m or m/m/m romance so to my shock this came up and well you can guess.  

The Importance of Pride by Ravon Silvius ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

College history professor Patrick Levine is looking for a subject for a research proposal when he discovers his granduncle’s journal. To his shock, not only was Uncle Marty gay, but he’d been at the Stonewall riot in 1969. Will learning more about his uncle’s history help Patrick face his own fears about coming out?

I just can’t imagine what his uncle went through to get where we are now.  It is still a fight for the LGBT to be considered equal and I fear what the future will be like.  This is a very sweet story of a young man who is not out but finds out that his uncle was a true believer.  I don’t know if I said any of this right, but I will tell you that this was an inspiring story.

The Insomniac Sommelier by Julie Lynn Hayes ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

Kirk Westmoreland dreams of owning his own restaurant someday, but for now he fights insomnia while working at family-owned Venezia with his control-freak older brother. After work he tries to de-stress at Sweeties, a small diner run by his sister and her wife. When Kirk meets the diner’s new server, Ashley, he ends up going home with him—to the best sleep he’s had in forever. If he can’t keep his life at Sweeties compartmentalized from his life at Venezia, Kirk will have to decide which one he’s willing to give up.

I definitely can understand insomnia.  This is a really cute little story if not a bit off, but was still a fun little story.  I just felt like it wasn’t for me though, because there was just something missing but I couldn’t figure it out.  Other than my issues, this is a cute story.

Looking for George by David C. Dawson ♥♥♥ 3 Hearts

Betty’s innocent crush on actor George Clooney became something more when he saved her from a fall at the hotel she works at in London. When she discovers her Italian holiday trip will take her only a few miles from the actor’s summer villa… well, surely fate means for them to meet again.

Now the story is a fantastic story, however I hate female characters so the story didn’t do anything for me.  I hate to admit that I just skimmed it and didn’t really read it.  When I received it I was told it was m/m or m/m/m romance so to my shock this came up and well you can guess.  

Love Over Lotto by Jude Dunn ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Craig Batson and Tom Rendelle have plenty of joy together but not so much money. Determined to improve their finances, Craig borrows a library book on the secrets of winning the lottery and empties their rainy-day fund to buy dozens of lottery tickets. Tom explodes when he finds out, leaving Craig to wonder if their love can survive.

This is a very cute story however it is a bit blown out.  I got a headache within the first few minutes afterwards.  As for the characters, they just seem a bit off to me.  Tom, who works blows at almost everything and then there is Craig who stays home and paints.  They don’t really have that much going for them until the lotto.  Other than those issues it is still a cute story but not really my idea of fun.

More Than His Scars by Jana Denardo ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

Facing the anniversary of the day he lost his arm while serving in the Middle East, Aaron is understandably depressed. It’s up to his lover, Rhys, to plan a special day to help Aaron see how amazing he really is.

This story has many different aspects to it, if that is the word for it.  On one sense it has the paranormal or fantasy seeing as Rhys and his children are not human.  Then you have Aaron who is not only human but was military until his arm was taken in the war.  It is a sad story with a happy tilt toit.  I am afraid that no matter how good it was, it just wasn’t for me.

Overcoming Fear by Grace R. Duncan ♥♥♥♥♥ 5 Hearts

In the year since a global pandemic ravaged their world, Duncan has done everything he can to ease Mark’s fears of losing him. When a minister and his wife seek out Mark for help, Duncan sees an opportunity to show Mark another level of commitment—if Mark will dare to take it.

One is afraid of losing another person in his life, the other wants forever.  I liked this story quite a bit, no to Christmas themed but it was a lot of fun to read.  I get a kick out zombies, apocalypse and pandemic stories.  This was a lot of fun and look forward to reading a bit more from this author.

Prevailing Zzz’s by Tray Ellis ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

After eight months together, Greg wants Win to move in with him. But how can Win agree when Greg’s snoring leaves him sleep-deprived and miserable?

Let’s just say that if I had left it up to the blurb for this particular book I would have just went on past.  I believe if you love someone deep enough, then their snoring is no big thing.  It is a fun little book if not a bit quirky to me.  

Pushing Back Oblivion by Alicia Nordwell ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Fighting a rapidly growing brain tumor, Cohen promises his partner, Jaime, that he’ll never give up. Through surgeries and setbacks, at times that promise and Jaime’s voice are all Cohen has to cling to.

Now this one was just a tease.  It is a sweet story but way too short to get any more than a hint of what is going to happen.  It went from one time, then to another, then two months after the fact that it left a good portion of the story out.  Other than that it was cute.

Reluctant Valentine by Xenia Melzer ♥♥♥♥♥ 4.5 Hearts

A best-selling thriller novelist, Dean writes romances as a relaxing hobby. But when writer’s block strikes, sexy handyman Morgan shows up to provide all the inspiration he needs.

The first thing I have to say is I could have done without the first few lines in this story.  Even if he is the author and it was just about his book, it was well gross.  I hate anything female in my story and almost just put it down to skimming this book.  Other than that we have an author who needs some inspiration and it comes to him in a sexy man.  It is a very cute love story about finding first love.  I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Taking a Chance by Renee Stevens  ♥♥♥♥ 4 Hearts

Gabe and Toby work for the same company, Gabe in the US and Toby in London. After meeting at a convention, they spend nearly every moment of their time together, but when they both have to return home, their only option is to attempt a long-distance relationship.

This was just a teaser.  Moving away from home to be with the man you love and then that is it.  It is a cute little story but I sure do wish the author might make it a longer story later.  I would love to see how these two do in the future.  

Overall
Overall some of the stories rocked, some were just stories and then of course the girly parts but the basis for the book still stands.  This is to help the LGBT community and for that we need to pick up those books and start reading.  Or maybe I should say we need to start buying these stories.  I enjoyed reading them and was glad to have a extra from one of my favorite paranormal love stories mixed in.  I would definitely recommend it.

Love Wins ~ Anthology & Guest Post by Ravon Silvius!

ANTHOLOGY - LOVE WINS Banner

Hi guys, we have the charity anthology Love Wins and one of it’s authors (Ravon Silvius) popping in today to let you know a little about the anthology before it’s release next week. Ravon Silvius explains a little about his story so check out the post and enjoy! <3 ~Pixie~

Anthology - Love Wins Cover

Love Wins

by

Lucie Archer, Kris T. Bethke, Deja Black, M.A. Church, David C. Dawson, Jana Denardo, Nicole Dennis, Ravon Silvius, L.A. Merrill, Grace R. Duncan, Xenia Melzer, Jude Dunn, Julie Lynn Hayes, Tray Ellis, Troy Storm, Alicia Nordwell, Renee Stevens

With time comes healing, but Orlando and the LGBT community are still recovering from last June’s tragedy. To show our ongoing support for those affected by the Orlando shooting, our authors, editors, artists, and staff have volunteered their talents to create this second benefit anthology. All proceeds will be donated to LGBT organizations in central Florida. Join us as we reaffirm that no matter the obstacle, love always wins.

Full list of stories below.

Release date: 12th December 2016
Pre-order: Dreamspinner Press

Continue reading “Love Wins ~ Anthology & Guest Post by Ravon Silvius!”

Casto by Xenia Melzer

Xenia Melzer - Casto Cover sTitle: Casto 

Series:  Gods of War # 1

Author: Xenia Melzer

Genre: Fantasy

Length: Novel (294 pages)

Publisher: DsP Publications (June 21, 2016)

Heat Level: Low – Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥ 3 ½ Hearts

Blurb: All is fair in love and war. Renaldo has lived happily by that proverb his entire life. But he has finally met his match, and he’s about to discover how unfair love and war can be.

When demigod and warlord Lord Renaldo takes a beautiful stranger captive during an ambush, he is delighted to have found a distraction that will keep him entertained during the upcoming siege. Little does he know, Casto is keeping more than just one secret from him. Slowly, Renaldo gets sucked into a turbulent roller-coaster relationship with his mysterious prisoner, one that begins with hatred and soon spirals into a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. And when it seems that things can get no worse, an old enemy stirs right in the heart of his home.

Determined to keep Casto by his side, Renaldo has to find a balance between the capricious young man and his own destiny as a ruler and god to his people.

ISBN: 978-1-63476-838-2

Product Link: https://www.dsppublications.com/books/casto-by-xenia-melzer-265-b

Reviewer: Shorty 

Review: I loved the fantasy and mythology throughout this book. It’s about two brothers who were created only to have something happen and have their hearts removed. According to a prophecy if the ones they are meant to be with find them again then they will get their hearts back though they won’t be as powerful.

Renoldo has yet to find his heart. His attitude certainly has a lot to do with that. I have to say one of the things that confused me was Casto and Renaldo’s so called relationship, as when Casto is first captured he is sixteen. I felt the master/slave factor was all there was to the relationship.

I did not feel that Casto and Renaldo had a real relationship at all. I loved Casto. He thinks for himself and does not let Renaldo push him around when he does not agree with him. There were so many characters and POV’s that at times I was lost in what exactly was happening.

I loved the banter between Casto and Renaldo. I enjoyed the witty, sarcastic comments from both and found myself laughing when they fought.

All in all it was an o.k. read.

Casto by Xenia Melzer Guest Post & Excerpt!

Xenia Melzer - Casto _FBbanner_DSPP

Hi guys, we have debut author Xenia Melzer popping in with her upcoming release Xenia Melzer, we have a fantastic guest post and a great excerpt so enjoy the post! <3 ~Pixie~

Xenia Melzer - Casto Cover s

Casto

(Gods of War 01)
by

Xenia Melzer

All is fair in love and war. Renaldo has lived happily by that proverb his entire life. But he has finally met his match, and he’s about to discover how unfair love and war can be.

When demigod and warlord Lord Renaldo takes a beautiful stranger captive during an ambush, he is delighted to have found a distraction that will keep him entertained during the upcoming siege. Little does he know, Casto is keeping more than just one secret from him. Slowly, Renaldo gets sucked into a turbulent roller-coaster relationship with his mysterious prisoner, one that begins with hatred and soon spirals into a whirlwind of conflicting emotions. And when it seems that things can get no worse, an old enemy stirs right in the heart of his home.

Determined to keep Casto by his side, Renaldo has to find a balance between the capricious young man and his own destiny as a ruler and god to his people.

Release date: 21st June 2016

Continue reading “Casto by Xenia Melzer Guest Post & Excerpt!”