Tag Archives: Carina Press

Say it Right (All Saints #2) by A.M. Arthur

Say it RightSay it Right (All Saints #2) by AM Arthur

Released on September 12, 2016

Published by Carina Press

Page count: 352 pages

Categories: M/M, Contemporary, Romance

Blurb:

After his parents kicked him out for being gay, Marc Villegas lived on the streets before getting a second chance. Now he’s giving back by working at a shelter for LGBT teenagers—because helping fight their demons keeps his own at bay. Including his infatuation with the former best friend he’s sure is straight.

Anthony Romano hasn’t seen Marc since Marc left home eight years ago. In his confidant’s absence, Anthony turned to heroin. Now at rock bottom, he has an offer from Marc to help him get clean. Detox is hard and ugly, but not as hard as admitting the truth: he’s in love with Marc. Always has been.

Marc swore he’d never date an addict, but he never dreamed the one in question would be the man he’s always wanted to be with. As the two explore their feelings for each other, Marc faces a difficult choice. Say yes, and it could cost him his sobriety; say no, and it could cost him his heart.

Goodreads Badge

Our thoughts:

Anyone who’s read my reviews, knows I’m a big fan of AM Arthur. Her Perspectives and Belonging series’ have always resonated with me. I don’t think there’s a book in the bunch that didn’t receive a ‘BAD ASS BOOTS’ review from me. Reading Say It Right brought back all those warm and fuzzies, especially from the Belonging series, back. I love that this current series and the Belinging series intermingle, with Ezra and Donner being friends with Tate and Marc from the shelter. This tie-in brings me joy! Sometimes we don’t want to let go of the characters we like once their book ends. This way, we don’t have to because the cameos keep them alive and well on new pages, in new stories.

Marc works at the  All Saints shelter. He’s put his heart and soul into this endeavor with Tate and Dave. He’s had a rough life and knows what it’s like to be on that side of things. He can relate more than most with the homeless LGBT kids. He gives the shelter his full attention and wants to expand and offer more for the kids.

His little bubble is popped harshly when he comes home and finds a face he hasn’t seen in years. Madeline is Anthony’s sister and she needs Marc’s help. Anthony is missing and likely strung out on drugs again. See, Anthony and Marc were friends as kids. Growing up together and best of buds. Inseparable. When Marc came out, he was kicked out of his house. Left to the streets, he asks Anthony to come with him but he refuses. That was the last Anthony ever saw of Marc and it haunted him. Haunted him so much that he falls apart in an epic way and eventually gets into drugs.

Marc is successful in finding Anthony and he’s determined to get him clean again. What results are a lot of ultimatums, hard truths, and feelings renewed. Marc hasn’t had an easy life. Anthony hasn’t had it easy either. Now they have to trust in themselves and each other. Marc has to break down some of the walls he’s built and pull-up some of the deeply buried truths in order to completely allow Anthony in. Anthony needs to admit why he fell apart to begin with, accept who he is and move forward. Forward for him is being clean, getting a job and mending the hurt he’s caused.

There’s a lot of hard knocks truths in this story. The men aren’t perfect. Their pasts are dark and painful. The future is pretty bright though and if they can get through addiction, the streets, and more, they can get through anything–especially together.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Against the Rules (Boundaries #2) by A.R. Barley

Against the RulesAgainst the Rules (Boundaries #2) by A.R. Barley

Released June 6, 2016

Publisher: Carina Press

Page count: 169 pages

Categories: MM Romance, Contemporary, BDSM

Sales link: Amazon

Blurb:

Kelly O’Connell’s out of control

An RA at Halston University, he spends his off nights at a club, hoping to find what he’s looking for in rough sex with strangers.

Until one night the play gets a little too rough. An isolated room, a dangerous situation…and an unexpected rescue.

Ian Rankin knows what Kelly wants—a true Dom, someone who will protect him instead of using him, someone who can take him to the edge without pushing him into unsafe territory.

Ian knows just what Kelly needs, and he’s the only man who can give it to him.

There’s only one problem: Kelly is a student, and Ian is a teacher.

Goodreads Badge

Our thoughts:

I’m thoroughly enjoying the world at Halston University that AR Barley has created for the Boundaries series. Nick and Jesse were a treat in the first book, now we have their friend and Nick’s ex boyfriend, Kelly.

Kelly O’Connor is a Resident Aid at the university. He’s the guy that sat with Jesse at the hospital after he was attacked by his roommate. Kelly stuck Jesse with Nick because he knew Jesse would be safe there. Kelly is damn good at his job. He upholds the rules (sometimes creatively), is a handyman, shoulder to cry on, and more. He’s always in control and is a take charge kind of guy. He’s a few months from graduation but he feels less in control of his personal life every day. He’s drifting about, still grieving over losing both parents within a few months of each other and not that long ago.

Kelly’s become a bit self-destructive and one such encounter brings him to the attention of Ian. At the time, Ian appears to be a leather daddy at the club with impeccable timing. He saves Kelly and gets him home safely. Neither one expected to feel any connections or desire to seek out more from each other, but that’s exactly what happens.

Ian’s an economics professor at Halston. He’s apprehensive to start a relationship with Kelly because Kelly is still a student, also because Ian has baggage from a past relationship gone bad. However, Kelly needs someone to deliver an escape from reality and Ian is sure he can make him fly. Kelly goes all in and decides to dabble in some light BDSM with Ian.

I liked these two together. Kelly was his snarky self from book one, but Ian was strong enough to take the zingers and throw back. He also was able to set Kelly straight without demeaning him or breaking him. Ian was there for him. A body to snuggle up to, someone to share and connect with. A protector. All the things Kelly needs and wants. Problem is, Kelly isn’t sure who he is or want he wants in his life. He’s approaching everything with a short-term attitude and his emotional state is still unbalanced. He needs parents to be his sounding board but all he has are overbearing aunts and a few friends that don’t understand how he’s fallen. It takes quite awhile for Kelly to see that it’s been all wrong and he really has to step up. In the interim, Ian and Kelly’s relationship is almost destroyed.

Don’t give up on this story. If Kelly’s choice to dabble in kink seems odd, it’s really not! He needs a break from being the one in control all the time. He needs to decompress and soar. He just does the typical ‘jump in full speed ahead’ like always and has to pick up the pieces after everything shatters. Against the Rules was a superb addition to the series and I look forward to the third book set to release in the near future.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Beta Test (#gaymers, #2) by Annabeth Albert

Beta TestBeta Test (#gaymers, #2) by Annabeth Albert

Released: May 30th 2016

Publisher: Carina Press

Pages/Word Count: 178 pages, 64,000 words

Sales link: Amazon

Blurb:

Player vs. Player. Fight!

Brilliant graphic designer Ravi Tandel is ahead of the game—he’s just been asked to present a top secret project at a huge conference in Seattle. All systems are go…until he learns his buttoned-up office nemesis is coming along for the ride.

Tristan Jones isn’t really the gamer type, but he knows the back end of the video game business inside out. Together, he and Ravi will give an awesome presentation. If they survive the cross-country trip first.

Tossed together in close quarters, Ravi’s shocked to see Tristan’s sexy, softer side emerge from such a conservative shell. He’s less shocked to learn his handsome colleague’s prominent family would never support an out-and-proud son. But Ravi didn’t struggle through his own coming out to hide who he is now. To be together, Tristan will have to push past his fear and ultimately decide: Does he want a future with Ravi? Or is it game over before they’ve even begun?

Goodreads Badge

Our thoughts:

 
Beta Test is the second book in the #gaymers series by Annabeth Albert. I thoroughly enjoyed Adrian and Noah in the first book so I had high hopes for another stellar installment. That’s exactly what Albert delivers with Beta Test.

Ravi and Tristan work for Christopher Exploration Industries. Hired the same day, Tristan and Ravi couldn’t be happier to be with the company, but they don’t leave a good impression on each other. It doesn’t take much time for Tristan to realize that Ravi is cool, popular, chic, flashy, and active in everything charitable. Ravi has a ‘fan club’ at work and Tristan refuses to fall into that group. Tristan is opposite of Ravi is every way. He’s reserved quiet, unassuming, and unpopular. He is good at his job though and loves the company so he really doesn’t want anything to harm that. Keeping his head down and trudging on is Tristan’s way. Alone at work and at home.

Tristan and Ravi are put on the same project, Space Villager. Events at a promotional party thrust Ravi and Tristan into traveling to the big reveal in Seattle for the game. Tension is thick to start but it doesn’t take long for Ravi to figure Tristan out and put him at ease. They bond over tough family issues they both navigate in their personal lives. They bond over not wanting any relationship or fling impacting their job.

Tristan’s closeted ways and Ravi’s fear of work knowing and it costing his job propel the two to keep their budding relationship a secret. However, after a week together they’re hooked on each other and find parting less than ideal. Tristan and Ravi are extremely connected. Emotionally they’re charged. From misconceptions, family troubles, to their antics in bed, they’re riding some intense waves of emotions. All they know is that they feel good together. Everything is right when they’re together. They want more with every day that passes. They want to go to bed and wake up together, to be there for each other. How did this fling become an intense relationship they can’t seem to break off?

My only complaint is the late strife. I know it makes sense with the progression of the story, but I really don’t like late black moments! I guess I just hate to see two guys that are obviously in love, hurt so much and spend time apart. Luckily, they get their acts together quickly so they can be the happy, passionate couple again.

The #gaymers series is not one to look past. The books, so far, can be standalones but the cameos from Adrian and Noah in Beta Test can be appreciated more after reading Status Update. I highly recommend this series.

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!

Blog Tour: Come What May (All Saints #1) by A.M. Arthur

BannerTemplateComeWhatMay

Come What May by A.M. Arthur
Series: All Saints Book One
Release Date: May 23, 2016
Pages or Words: 70,000 words, 320 pages (print edition)
Publisher: Carina Press
Cover Artist: Carina Press
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, M/M Romance, New Adult, Romance

Today we’re thrilled to be interviewing A.M. Arthur, author of Come What May for her tour stop with us.
Welcome! Tell us a little about yourself, your background, and your current book.

Hello! I’m an m/m romance author, who mostly writes contemporary but occasionally delves into paranormal. I live in Hicksville, USA with two rambunctious cats and a large collection of horror film DVDs.

My newest release, Come What May, is the first in a new NA romance series with Carina Press. Jonas Ashcroft is suspended from college after a fraternity prank goes wrong, and he’s stuck working in his aunt’s thrift store—his very first job ever. Tate Dawson runs an LGBT homeless shelter nearby, and when their paths cross, sparks fly. So do insults, misunderstandings, and smexy times.

What genres do you enjoy writing in?

The bulk of my writing lately has been contemporary m/m romance. Sometimes I write New Adult, sometimes just plain adult. I’ve written paranormal and have a paranormal WIP (two, actually, come to think of it), so I like the freedom to play with ghosties and beasties. I’d like to write something historical one day, but my current list of projects is way too long.

What was the hardest part about writing this book?

A very big part of this book is the issue of LBGT+ youth homelessness. Their numbers are disproportionately high, compared their cis-het counterparts. One of my heroes, Tate, is a co-director of a homeless shelter for LBGT teens. While Tate was never homeless, his best friend and co-director Marc was, so they both have a driving need to give these kids shelter—even if only for one night.

I think the hardest part about writing this particular book was striking a balance between being informative and lecturing. I don’t want the book to sound like a PSA, but I do want to show that there are very real teenagers out there living in awful circumstances, simply because they’re not straight. It’s heartbreaking. A parent’s greatest task in life to love their child, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. That any parent would turn their child out onto the streets for being themselves is appalling to me.

Sorry, rant mode off.

What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

Jonas. I loved writing him. He’s one of those characters who is snippy and rude, keeping people at arm’s length, because inside he’s such a tangled mess of insecurities. I really enjoyed showing him opening up to Tate, first in friendship, and then in a sexual relationship. Tate helped him learn what true intimacy is, and he gave Jonas the confidence to finally embrace himself.

What cultural value do you see in writing?

Human beings have been storytellers since the spoken word came about. First in solely oral storytelling, and later, the written word. In terms of value, the period when a book was written often reflects the values and traditions of the time period. And often, it’s the popular fiction of the past that is still alive today (Charles Dickens, even Shakespeare, wrote popular fiction). While I can’t imagine what people will think of Twilight a hundred years from now, but hopefully they’ll find something of value in Harry Potter.

What is your favorite positive saying?

I’ve only recently stumbled across this one, but I love it: She believed she could, and so she did.

Thank you so much for your time and thoughtful answers. We hope to host you again soon!

 

Blurb:

Jonas needs Tate. He just doesn’t know it yet.

Or at least, he doesn’t want to admit it. Because there is no way Jonas Ashcroft is gay. He’s a straight, carefree frat boy player, just like any good son of a conservative state senator. If only his struggle to convince everyone—especially himself—didn’t leave him so miserable. No matter how many girls or bottles he drowns himself in, Jonas can neither escape nor accept who he is.

Enter Tate. He’s smart, confident, and instantly sees right through Jonas’s surly exterior. Sure, he’s done things in life he’s not proud of, but he knows who he is and what he wants. And what he wants is Jonas. As their easy friendship intensifies into something more, Tate introduces Jonas to a life he’s never known. One filled with acceptance and sex and a love that terrifies and excites them both.

But some inner demons refuse to be shaken off so easily. When Jonas’s old life barges in, he faces a shattering choice, one that could destroy everything he and Tate have fought so hard for. Sometimes love just isn’t enough—and sometimes it’s exactly what you need.

ComeWhatMay_final

Amazon  •  Barnes and Noble

Goodreads Badge

Excerpt:

“It’s small,” Jonas said.

“Better than a cardboard box or foster care.” The sharpness in Tate’s voice echoed in his frown.

Jonas had never known anyone before who’d been in foster care, and saying so would probably make him the biggest douche on the planet. It also took the edge off some of his irritation over the total mindfuck that was Tate Dawson. “It’s way better than both of those things. You worked hard for this place, Tate. I haven’t worked hard for anything in my life.”

“I disagree.”

He blinked. “You do?”

“Yes, I do. I think you work very, very hard to convince yourself and the world that you’re something you’re not. I think you work very, very hard to be perfect when no one is, and the only thing anyone should ever do is just be her or himself. Be true to you, not to what others want from you.”

Jonas’s throat squeezed tight. “I can’t.”

Tate took a step closer, bringing a gentle waft of sweat and something sweet. “Why not?”

He saw the barest reflection of himself in Tate’s glasses and he didn’t like it. He stepped back. Tate snagged his wrist and held him there. The touch sent awareness buzzing across his skin, down his spine and straight to his balls. H needed to pull away before this got out of control.

And then his rebel brain decided it was a good idea to glance at Tate’s pink lips. Lips that Tate, the asshole, licked with slow swipes of his tongue.

Jonas yanked away his hand away so hard Tate stumbled. “I’m not gay, so you can get that ‘fuck the frat boy’ fantasy out of your head right now.”

Instead of being cowed, Tate planted both hands on his hips and said, “Who are you trying to convince? Because it’s just you and me in this room, and I’m not the one who brought up your sexuality. You did.”

Damn him. “Why won’t you leave me alone?”

Tate’s gaze drifted over his face as he sought for words. “Because every time we’re together I can tell you’re struggling with something. You put up this lone wolf front to keep people at arm’s length so you don’t have to work so hard to pretend, but it’s exhausting you. Jonas, you can be yourself with me. Whoever that is.”

“I can’t.” Talking was getting harder around the lump in his throat. His heart was kicking too fast and his chest ached.

“Look me in the eye.” Tate closed the three strides between them, then curled a warm hand around the back of Jonas’s neck. “Look me in the eye and say you don’t want to kiss me right now.”

Meet the author:

A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.

When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Where to find the author:

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/A.M.Arthur.M.A

Twitter: http://twitter.com/am_arthur

Tumblr: http://www.tumblr.com/blog/am-arthur

Website: http://amarthur.blogspot.com/

Our thoughts:

It’s a guarantee that I will read every book AM Arthur publishes. There’s something about her writing style, protagonists, and plots that greatly appeal to me. I consider her a tried and true author. She has an authentic voice through her characters and I thoroughly enjoy every novel I’ve read from her. So, if you’re looking for a hard ass review where I rip the book up, just walk away! Pure gushing will now ensue!

What did I loved about Come What May? Where to start! First, I’d have to say I liked Jonas. At first he comes across a bit of a spoiled brat, out-of-place in his new surroundings, but still feeling it out. He was more open than I expected him to be. He was really repentant for the past issue that put him in his current situation.

Being away from his parents pressures and those of the college and frat he was attending allow for Jonas to start some self discovery. He was able to reflect and also just be. Never in his life had he ever been able to just be himself. How suffocating. That would be exhausting as well. The more we get to know Jonas, the more I liked him. Rich kid, yes. Spoiled kid, not really. A kid struggling and looking for love and self-respect? Definitely!

I felt for him and the lack of concern shown by his parents for all his life and especially when he discovers his learning disability and he’s belittled for it. Heartbreaking.

Through all the struggles and self-reflection Jonas is enduring, we have Tate on the sidelines trying to be the most supportive new friend to Jonas. Tate has his act together. He raises his two sisters, runs a homeless shelter, and somehow manages to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table. He doesn’t really have time for a relationship, but Jonas is just the guy to make him change that line of thinking. Tate is ‘adulting’ for real. Jonas is just finding himself. They’d appear to be opposites, but the attraction is too great to ignore. Once they get started there’s no stopping the runaway train that is their lust and affinity for each other. Tate is good about being firm with what he won’t do, like go back into the closet for Jonas, without pressuring him. He’s there if and when Jonas wants to come out to his aunt and uncle, and his parents.

I liked how Tate was the responsible, compassionate, mature one of the relationship. He balanced Jonas well and he wasn’t condescending or boastful. He was extremely patient and fell so hard for Jonas—I liked that. He wasn’t infallible and was willing to do what he needs to right things.

There were some background issues going on that help propel the story and cause some drama for our two heroes. Through it all, this was more a story of self discovery and finding true love. It stays an honest romance without a messy breakup or black moment. Just love, understanding, and growth. My favorites!

RATING: BAD ASS BOOTS!!!

Tour Dates & Stops:

23-May:

The Novel Approach, Gay Media Reviews, Gay Book Reviews, Man2ManTastic, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Mikky’s World of Books, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

24-May:

Oh My Shelves, MM Good Book Reviews, Attention Is Arbitrary, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words

25-May:

Unquietly Me, Havan Fellows, Prism Book Alliance

26-May:

Love Bytes, Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Sassygirl Books

27-May:

Hearts on Fire, 3 Chicks After Dark, Multitasking Mommas

30-May:

Happily Ever Chapter, Books A to Z, Joyfully Jay

31-May:

Dawn’s Reading Nook, Jessie G. Books, Book Lovers 4Ever

1-Jun: My Fiction Nook, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Making It Happen

2-Jun: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Full Moon Dreaming

3-Jun: V’s Reads, As The Pages Turn

6-Jun: Outrageous Heroes, BFD Book Blog

7-Jun:

Cathy Brockman Romances, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy

8-Jun:

Three Books Over The Rainbow, Bayou Book Junkie

9-Jun:

Kirsty Loves Books, Divine Magazine

10-Jun:

Alpha Book Club, Molly Lolly

 

 
a Rafflecopter giveaway