Bring the Heat by M.L. Rhodes

400000000000000313937_s4Title: Bring the Heat

Author: M. L. Rhodes

Genre:  Contemporary/Mystery/Suspense

Length: Novel (127 pages)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press (June 28th, 2009)

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Heat Level: Explicit

Blurb: Police Detective Riley Ellison has a new habit…stopping by a coffeehouse called the Java Pit on his way to work. The coffee’s good, but it’s not the rich flavor that lures him to drive blocks out of his way each morning, and it’s not an addiction to caffeine either. He’s half-embarrassed to admit it, but it’s the man who keeps him coming back. The long-legged, painted-on-jeans wearing, dark-haired, edgy sex god with the teasing eyes. He’s everything Riley—who has a history of geekdom and being flustered around hot men—is not. Riley knows he should put a stop to the daily forays because nothing can ever come of it. Guys like that aren’t interested in men like him. Yet every time the hunk meets his gaze across the crowed shop and aims a sizzling grin at him, Riley gives in and comes back to participate in the silent sexy, flirtation another day. 

The last thing he’s expecting when he goes to question a witness about a murder at a local gay strip joint is to discover the witness is his coffeehouse hottie. Dane Scott works as a stripper strictly for fun. He doesn’t need the money—he’s got plenty in the bank from his other career. He just likes to have something to keep him busy a few nights a week. When one of his fellow dancers turns up murdered outside the strip club, the police detective who shows up on Dane’s doorstep asking questions is none other than the sexy, blond cutie he’s been flirting with at the coffeehouse for weeks. Riley Ellison’s a fascinating contradiction—rugged, strong, serious-eyed hero, and bashful boy next door. A combination Dane finds all too appealing and a refreshing change from the selfish, shallow men he’s known and dated in the past. From the moment Riley flashes his badge at Dane, Dane’s determined to show the skittish cop they can make magic together. 

The heat between them quickly soars to the boiling point and not even a murder investigation can cool the passion they share. That is until new information on Riley’s case turns up that implies Dane may not be all seems… 

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Reviewer: Cat

Review:  Riley is a police detective, and like order in his life. He has no idea why he is all of a sudden obsessed with the man he sees in an out-of-the-way coffee shop but he can’t seem to stay away.

Dane is intrigued by the sexy quiet man and everyday he comes in the more he knows he is more than intrigued, He wants to get to know this man and not just in a sexual way. Dane is handsome, outgoing, a successful model and a stripper, but not only is his stereotypical image wrong he loathes those kinds of people.

Riley keeps saying he is going to quit going back to the coffee shop but a case brings them together.

I really liked this story a lot. I loved both Dane and Riley. The storyline of the romance, why Riley hesitates, why Dane wants more, and the murder mystery are all intriguing and fit together well. My only issue was the story was rolling along then BAM! We find out from Dane it’s days later and the case has been solved and how it’s been solved. I would have loved to see it unfold and more about, the case but I can see why the author chose to solve the case in this manner. I really like how the o author drops description and tips through other characters. One of my favorite parts was the coffee barista looking Riley over describing him. I won’t tell you why but his was a very cute sweet scene. You will have to get the book and see! It’s worth it!

I thought the romance between Riley and Dane was awesome. I loved how Dane knew what he wanted and went for it but also knew how to step back and not push too hard, and the dinner in bed was so sexy, sensual, and hot!

Recommendation: If you like, mystery and suspense, police detectives, male strippers, coffee and a sexy, hot romance this is definitely for you.

Love Me Back To Life by M.L. Rhodes

LOVE-ME-BACK-TO-LIFETitle: Love Me Back To Life

Series:   N/A

Author: M.L. Rhodes
Genre:  Contemporary

Length: Extended Novella (39k)

Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC (June 30th, 2013)

Heat Level:  Moderate

Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Blurb: The first time Noah Blackburn met Phoenix Quinlan, he’d known they were going to be best friends. It was fate, after all, since they were the same age and shared the same birthday. It hadn’t mattered that Noah lived in a sunny world where he spent his days wandering the Colorado mountains with his doting, artist father, while Phoenix hailed from the outskirts of town, where he lived with a dad who drank more than he worked and who ruled their house with a brutal temper. When the two boys were together, life was perfect, and neither of them could imagine being parted. But the spring before their sixteenth birthday, tragedy struck, robbing Noah of the father he’d adored. Shortly afterward, Phoenix began to withdraw, holding Noah at arm’s length, missing school…and then one day he just disappeared. Devastated by those events, Noah’s further shaken when, without warning, his emotionally detached mother moved them across the country, cutting Noah’s final tie to everything he’d once loved.

Now, twelve years later, Noah returns to La Paz, Colorado. He’s tired, emotionally battered, and looking for a fresh start, or maybe a restart of the life that had so long ago been derailed. But with painful memories haunting every corner, he begins to doubt his decision. Without his father, and especially without Phoenix, whom he can now admit was so much more to him than just a friend, his childhood town feels barren, absent of the connections that had once made it home.

But then, when he least expects it, Noah discovers something that shakes his world. He finds that truths aren’t always what they seem, quaint small towns can hide the darkest of secrets, and some heartaches run so deep only the strongest, most steadfast of loves can heal them.

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Reviewer:   GiGi

Review: I enjoyed how this author leaves us wondering what went wrong with Noah in D.C. at the start of this story. It’s always in the back of my mind as I read along, wondering how it would tie in at the end when what made him leave the east coast was unveiled. This very dramatic, heart-wrenching story does contain abuse scenarios that might be a bit too intense for some readers, but the struggles Noah and Phoenix went through, would go through as their relationship grew, and will continue to face in the future all pivot on it. It’s hard to say too much more without giving the story away. But I fell in love with both characters and felt at peace by the end of the story. If you like angst in your romance, this book is for you.

An Unexpected Magick by M.L. Rhodes

1145871Title: An Unexpected Magick

Series: Draegan Lords 03.5 – A Draegan Lords Interlude – Wen & Wesley 01

Author: M.L. Rhodes

Genre: Fantasy World

Length: Novella (128pgs)

Publisher: Amber Allure (17th March 2013)

Heat Level: Moderate

Heart Rating:  ♥♥♥♥4Hearts

Reviewer: Pixie

Blurb: Having lived his entire life under the veil of the high sorcerer’s repression, Wen Daneson grew up with a sword in his hand. Now, at twenty-eight, he’s already earned the rank of second lieutenant in the draegan lord’s guard and been granted the privilege of sitting on the lord’s council of advisors. In spite of his achievements, he’s made a point of keeping his distance from personal relationships. He’s seen too many people develop close bonds and share their hearts, only to have everything torn apart with one slash of a sword. Which is why his attraction to the human Wesley Brannock unsettles him so much. There’s something different about Wesley. Wen doesn’t want to care about the younger man, but when he’s tasked with training the inexperienced yet naturally talented Wesley for a position in the guard, being around him stirs powerful emotions he can’t understand.

Wesley grew up living in secluded villages, learning at a young age to hide from prying eyes and keep to himself. Having spent most of his formative years with little company, when the settlement where he lives is attacked by the sorcerer’s soldiers, he’s frustrated that he doesn’t have the skills to fight back. The draegans who come to their aide encourage the residents to relocate to the draegan camp, and when they do, a new world opens to Wesley. He’s determined not only to learn how to protect himself but to join the draegan lord’s guard and be part of something that matters. But when he’s paired with the passionately intense Lieutenant Daneson, he begins to doubt whether he’s suited for the guard at all. Not only does the lieutenant push him hard while never letting him close, keeping Wesley constantly torn over his feelings for the man, being around so many people after years of isolation makes it hard to keep the secret he’s spent his whole life protecting.

On the eve of war, the two young men have to decide if facing their secret fears will destroy them or give them unexpected strength to face the coming darkness.

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Review: This story is linked to a series and chronologically, takes place concurrently with Lords of Kellesborne. Wen is second lieutenant in the draeganjhere (the draegan lord’s guard) and has learned to protect his heart from harm, having seen too much love torn apart by a sword or an arrow.  When Wesley catches his eye, Wen is hiding from the sorcerer’s soldiers.  His mother has taught him from a young age to protect his secret, but when they settle into the draegan’s camp and he has a fierce attraction to Wen.  He finds it harder and harder to hide the secret and he has to decide if he can face rejection from the one he has come to love.

Whoop! *dances* Finally, after six thousand years (okay, a slight exaggeration) we are getting a taste of the Draegan’s again.  Do I care that it is Wen and Wesley? Hell. No! Wen and Wesley caught our attention in Fires of Ballian and we can now discover how they got together. Wen has fought against the sorcerer for as long as he can remember.  Now, a second lieutenant for the Draegan Lords, he is training those who wish to learn to fight. Wen tries his best to protect his heart from loss by keeping relationships at arm’s-length, but Wesley sneaks into his heart. Wesley doesn’t know what he has done that Wen would now hold him at arm’s-length and a confrontation has both of them admitting the truth of their feelings. But, Wesley still has a secret and he fears how Wen will react. But, danger finds them and Wesley has no choice, but to trust in his instincts.

This is a wonderful visit to the world of Velensperia and the Dreagan’s who are fighting for freedom. This story is centered on the developing relationship of Wen and Wesley. Although, we do see brief glimpses of Gaige and Kieran, they are very much in the background. Wen and Wesley are brilliant characters. Wen the seasoned warrior at only twenty-eight and Wesley, the eager trainee, desperately determined to be a fighter and protector. Each of them cautious about relationships, but for very different reasons. The development of the relationship is good; it is well written and isn’t rushed into.  But, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have scorching sex, because they do. Oh, boy do they! I loved how this story is woven into parts of Lords of Kellesborne keeping the strands in place, but being independent so we never lose focus of whom the stars of the book are. The danger is well placed and gets the blood pumping and Wesley gets a shock, while Wen is a lot more accepting than Wesley feared.

I have to recommend this to those Dreagan Lords fans who have been panting for more. To those who love fantasy worlds, danger, excitement, hot sex, love and a happy for now ending. Also, as a side note, I am keeping my fingers crossed for this summer and hopefully the appearance of Circle of Ariend and a second Wen and Wesley interlude.