book log 2015: 15) Luke Young — Friends with partial benefits

Sweetly funny milf erotic romance novel – but be warned that the characters spend an awful lot of the book being interrupted before they can actually do something about their attraction. Successful romance writer Jillian divorced her no-good husband a while back for cheating on her, and hasn’t had much luck in the dating game since then. So when her son comes home from unversity for vacation and brings his friend Brian with him, Jillian can’t help but notice that Brian’s very nicely put together. He’s also her son’s friend, which puts him off limits.

Brian thinks Jillian’s pretty hot, even if she’s old enough to be his friend’s mother. In fact, she *is* his friend’s mother, which puts her off limits…

While some of the situations they end up in are frankly implausible, the lead and supporting characters are well-written, and Jillian and Brian’s ever more frantic efforts to first hide and then give in to their attraction are entertaining. This isn’t going to be to everyone’s taste; but if it appeals to your sense of humour, it’s a lot of fun.

This is the first of a series, but there’s closure at the end of the book. The ebook is free as a hook for the series, and I think worth downloading to try it out.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Kobo

Deals from Courtney Milan

BookBub alerted me to the fact that Courtney Milan has a 99c/99p deal on the first book in her Turner series, so I wandered over to Amazon to have a look, and found a number of other deals on her books. In particular, the Brothers Sinister series is in an enhanced box set for £6.50. This is the Victorian romance series I was raving about last year, because it features strong women characters, many of whom are scientists, without handwaving away the problems they would have faced. If you understand why I was Kermit-flailing when I read the dedication to Rosalind Franklin in one of the later books, you’ll probably enjoy these. It’s m/f, but there is an acknowledgement of m/m and f/f (and again, historically realistic about the need for secrecy, rather than pure fantasy), with one of the background romances for a secondary character in a later book being f/f. One of the side-story novellas is an interracial romance between an Irishman and a Black British woman. And alphole heroes are Not Welcome.

Book 1 in the Brothers Sinister series is currently free (it’s isn’t always, but Milan does regular introductory deals for her series).

Books 1 and 3 in the Turner series are currently 95p at Amazon UK, and the box set is around £4.70. Given how much I enjoyed the Brothers Sinister, I’m just going to go for the boxed set rather than trying the starter first.

Amazon UK:
The Brothers Sinister: The Complete Boxed Set
The Duchess War (The Brothers Sinister Book 1)
Unveiled (A Turner Series Book 1)
The Turner Series (An Enhanced Box Set)
author page

Author page at Amazon US:
Courtney Milan at Amazon US

Amazon Australia (hi, SallyMN :-)
http://www.amazon.com.au/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=courtney+milan

Author page at Kobo:
https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=Courtney%20Milan%20&ac=1&acp=courtney%20mil

Book log 2015: 9) Helena Newbury – Dance for Me

Natasha’s a ballet student who uses dance as one of her ways of coping with her demons, not always successfully. Darrell’s an engineering genius who designs weapon delivery systems as a way of coping with _his_ demons. Darrell’s stuck on his latest design, and then finds inspiration in watching a ballerina dance – so much so that he hires Natasha to dance for him privately at his workshop. They fall for one another, but they’re very damaged people and the road will be hard, even without someone deliberately trying to break the relationship up before it really gets started. Cue much angst before the happy ending. That happy ending acknowledges that True Love doesn’t magically fix everything, and Natasha and Darrell have a long way to go before their demons are vanquished. That the characters recognise this make it much more believable that they really will make it work in the long run.

This wasn’t a bad read, but it did need rather a lot of willing suspension of disbelief regarding a lone genius being allowed to work on a a secret defence contract in his garage. It also leans heavily on the Evil Brit trope for the plot’s antagonist; which doubtless appeals to many not-British readers, but was merely irritating to me. I’m glad I read it and would happily read the next, but I’m not desperate to rush out and buy it.

Amazon US
Amazon UK

Out now: Knotting the Tie

Knotting the Tie is out today. And… it’s currently free. It will probably remain free indefinitely at Loose Id, although official list price is $1.25. You’ll need to sign up for a Loose Id account to download it, but they don’t spam. You can read an excerpt at the book catalogue page before you sign up. (And thanks to Predatrix and Neyronrose for beta-reading this at very short notice. :-)

Knotting the Tie

KNotting the Tie cover art -- gay romance novel
After a year together, Alex knows what he has with Robin is for life, and he wants to stand up and say so in public. It’s time to propose, and he’s doing it the old fashioned way – roses, champagne and going down on one knee. But it may take more than that to persuade Robin it’s safe to put the past behind him. Maybe even more than the persuasive powers of a glass of champagne and going down on both knees…

This is a standalone sequel short story to Nice Tie – it’s the story of Alex proposing to Robin, but you can read it without knowing anything about the novel.

Available now at the Loose Id website: http://www.loose-id.com/knotting-the-tie.html

Book review: Diana Green – Bronze Fox

Posting well out of order since this is a review copy. I may or may not get earlier book log done…

Note: I received a copy of the book from the author through Reading Alley in exchange for an honest review.

Tobias is both a fox shapeshifter and a rifter – someone who crosses the rifts between worlds. He works as a field agent for a covert organisation that tries to control rift traffic, but he’s of an independent mind even if he’s loyal to the organisation. He needs a partner agent suited to him, not one chosen for him to suit others’ views.

Etty’s from the slums, barely earning a living by disguising herself as a boy and driving her dad’s hackney carriage after he was injured. She’s driving the nearest cab when Tobias needs a quick getaway one night, and her world will never be the same again.

Tobias may have stumbled upon the perfect sidekick, but first he’ll have to convince the people who pay his wages. And even if he does, there’s a baptism of fire waiting for the new partnership. There’s a whisper of new technology that could change the rift worlds forever — and it’s in the hands of a vicious criminal.

This is an excellent fantasy thriller with a strong romance subplot. The lead characters are engaging and well drawn, and I finished the book wanting to spend more time with them. There’s some good world-building, with the main setting being roughly Victorian with low key magic, but references and scenes that make it clear the rift links to worlds at different levels of social and technological development.

This is the first book in a series, and sets up the universe and series arc. It does an excellent job of wrapping up its own story without an annoying cliffhanger while still pointing the way to the next book. I’ve been annoyed of late by too many books that tried to force me to buy the next by not giving me the resolution to the story – this book does it the better way, by making me want to spend more time in this world.

I’ve only two minor criticisms; there’s a scene that’s flat out “beautiful blue-eyed blonde girl awes the primitive natives”, and there are some formatting glitches in my copy that made two chapters very difficult to read. It’s a measure of how much I was enjoying the book that I persisted through the section with scrambled formatting.

Overall a very enjoyable read, and I’m looking forward to the next in the series.

at Amazon UK
at Amazon US

Contest: Nice Tie at The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews is running a Summer Party all month with lots of giveaways each day, and an ongoing contest where you can rack up points each day for a bigger prize. I’ve got a copy of Nice Tie up for grabs in today’s giveaway – scroll down to question 13. Yes, it’s a multiple-choice question, but since the answer’s in the blurb for the book, it’s not exactly difficult. :-)