Thursday, May 17, 2018

Series Recap: Responsible Adult by CF White

Series: Responsible Adult
Author: CF White
Series: Responsible Adult #2
Genre: M/M Romance
Publisher: Pride Publishing


In honour of Williams Syndrome Awareness Day, Pride Publishing are putting Misdemeanor, Hard Time and Reformed on a price promotion. You can get all three books at 99p/c each on Friday 18th May. Link here, but you can also buy it at this price at most other retailers. 

If you’d like to learn more about Williams Syndrome, then you can find out all the excellent work that the charities in both the UK and US do here.

Summary:
The Responsible Adult series follows bad boy Micky O’Neill as he attempts to better his life to bring up his disabled little brother. A past full of juvenile delinquency and living in a small town rife with idle gossip means Micky struggles to be seen as anything other than a no-hoper from the wrong side of the tracks... until he takes a job at the local supermarket and meets his boss, Dan, a university graduate and self-proclaimed shy, awkward bookworm.

Dan, older and burned from a past relationship, is the one person who sees through Micky’s tough-guy facade to the true heart underneath. With fear and mistrust on both sides, the two must steer their way through a complicated relationship where outside forces are determined to break them up at every turn.

Responsible Adult is a series about growing up and learning that falling in love always brings responsibility.

Misdemeanor #1
Summary:
After his mother tragically dies and his deadbeat father goes off the rails, nineteen-year-old Micky is left to care for his disabled little brother, Flynn.

Juggling college, a dead end job and Flynn's special needs means Micky has to put his bad boy past behind him and be the responsible adult to keep his brother out of care. He doesn't have time for anything else in his life.

Until he meets Dan.



Hard Time #2
Summary:
Love isn't always responsible.

After Micky O’Neill is remanded in custody for breaching his court order, his already tempestuous relationship with Dan Peters is tested to the limits.

Having to battle their way through a court case that could end with Micky in jail, social workers breaking up the family home, and the return of Micky’s deadbeat father, it seems everything is set to destroy their relationship before it even had the chance to start.

With such high stakes involved, not just for Micky but for once-burned, twice-shy Dan, they both have to learn that falling in love isn’t always responsible.

Reformed #3
Summary:
Someone has to be responsible.

Micky O’Neill and Dan Peters now live in Wales, bringing up Micky’s disabled little brother away from small-minded Heathwood and close to Micky’s deceased mother’s family.

Things are fine…until Dan begins his dream career as an English teacher at the local school and Micky, main caregiver to Flynn, is isolated in a village that only serves to remind him of his mother’s absence.

With Flynn’s health deteriorating and his needs becoming more complex, everything is tested to its limits and Dan seeks solace in a friendship with a fellow teacher, sending Micky into further turmoil.

After an accusation is leveled against Micky and it seems he’s slipping back into his old ways, he and Dan are torn asunder. To repair the rift, both have to accept responsibility—for life.

Misdemeanor #1
Original Review July 2017:
Mikey has to grow up fast when fate steps in, in the form of his mother's tragic death.  He has to go from a bad boy teenager to a man who needs to look after his little brother who is living with Williams Syndrome.  Dan on the other hand comes from a good home with support and stability, a great job, and is an all around well put together person.  When they come together there is immediate fireworks that both pop and fizzle, but will it be enough to create something meaningful.

First, I want to say that I love a good opposites attract story and lets face it, Mikey and Dan couldn't be more opposite.  Second, I really find stories where disabilities are huge factors to be be incredibly appealing having come from a family that has dealt with disability and major health issues, it's always refreshing to see that side of life explored even if it's not the main character with said disability.  As for the disability that Mikey's little brother lives with, Williams Syndrome, a developmental disorder that I must admit I had to look up, I found interesting and well handled.

One issue I did have with Misdemeanor is the fat-shaming directed at Dougie, a secondary character.  Seeing how this ends with a cliffhanger I am holding out hope that this is something that will be addressed and factor into the next installment of CF White's Responsible Adult series and I tried not to let it influence my final opinion too much.  Having mentioned the cliffhanger, I know that not everyone is a cliffie fan so if that is the case for you, I recommend waiting until book 2, Hard Time, is published in September to begin Mikey and Dan's journey.  Whether you read it now or later, I definitely recommend giving this series a read and/or place on your TBR list and as this is my first CF White read, I look forward to checking out her backlist and future releases.

RATING: 

Hard Time #2
Original Review September 2017:
We left Mickey in book 1(Misdemeanor) facing jail time after a breach of court order.  Now we find them living with that possible future over their heads.  Will Mickey and Dan be able to survive the ordeal and come out stronger or will it be too much?

I found myself enjoying Hard Time even more than the first book which is not something I am often able to say, sequels by definition are often inferior because the characters are already established and not entirely new to the reader so it will lack what I like to call the anticipation factor.  This is not true in this case.  I loved how even though this is fiction and most of the scenarios are not your every day plot devices, the author meshes these with Mickey and Dan's typical relationship challenges.  Of course how the issues that are not the norm being balanced with that threat of jail is really beautiful to witness.

I won't give away too much as I'm not a spoiler kind of gal but I will say, you won't be disappointed.  If you loved Misdemeanor than you are in for a real treat with Hard Time and if you are like me and found a few moments of frustration in book one then you are going to be blown away with book number two.  From beginning to end the author had me sucked in and I knew there was just no way I would be able to function properly before reaching that last page.  CF White is definitely an author I look forward to exploring.

RATING: 


Misdemeanor #1
“You can join us if you like. Enough to go around.” Dan pointed at all the food and drink.

Micky looked down, licking his lips, but shook his head. He glanced at the play park and Dan followed his line of sight to see the blond bloke by the swings surrounded by a gaggle of girls, one of whom he picked up in a fireman’s carry and proceeded to slap her arse. Micky snorted and turned back to Dan.

“Thanks, but I got Flynn.” He scrunched up his legs, hugging his knees to his chest and hung the glass down over the top.

“Your parents not around then?” Dan asked, voice full of concern.

“Nah,” Micky said with a shrug. “Mum passed away. A while back now. And Dad’s, well, Dad’s not round so much anymore.”

“Workaholic?” Dan asked, almost hopeful.

“Something aholic, yeah,” Micky said. He shuffled his feet on the blanket, bunching it up and flattening it back down. “He’s just not good to be around Flynn.”

“So you take care of him by yourself?” Dan asked.

Micky nodded.

“Wow. That’s…” Dan searched for the word. Three years spent lovingly studying the English language hoping to come into good use this time. “Commendable.”

“Not really,” Micky said, ducking his head. “Any sibling would do it.”

“I don’t know about that, mate,” Dan said. “My big sister can be a right cow. She would’ve left me on a doorstep somewhere.”

Micky chuckled. He didn’t pay Dan much attention, choosing to watch Flynn and Tamsin as she spun him on the seated roundabout. Dan watched them, too, for a bit, before turning back to Micky.

“He’s a character,” Dan acknowledged. “There a reason he’s so small?”

Micky finally turned his attention on Dan. “Yeah,” he replied, voice tiny and tight. He scraped his teeth over his bottom lip several times, dragging away the congealed moisture forming over them. “He’s got a condition. He’s a little behind in years, too.”

“Oh,” Dan said. He might have that etched onto his gravestone. “What’s the condition?”

“Williams syndrome?” Micky replied, then, with a shrug, shook his head. “Don’t worry. No one’s ever heard of it. It’s pretty rare. One in twenty thousand or so.”

“Oh,” Dan said. Again. For fuck’s sake.

“So, yeah, I’m sorry about earlier. I probably snapped at you.” Micky twirled the glass in his hand. “The friendly thing. One of the things he’s lacking is any stranger danger. They’re a bit overly social, if you know what I mean. Susceptible to being taken advantage of. Scares the crap out of me.”

Micky dipped his head, shaking it from side to side. He shuffled again and Dan sensed he was clamming up after having been so forthcoming. Dan didn’t want Micky to stop talking. He was strangely fascinated by him. It wasn’t just that the bloke was nice to look at, which he evidently was. But his voice had an undertone of something more and Dan desperately wanted to find out what that was.

“How else does it affect him?” Dan wondered aloud.

“Multitude of things.” Micky exhaled. He took a deep breath before responding any further. “Medical stuff like a weak heart. Had two major heart surgeries as a baby. Will probably need another one in his lifetime. He has stomach troubles. Bowel issues. Weak muscles. The eyes. Teeth. Hyperthyroid. Plus he’s got learning difficulties.” Micky’s eyes glazed over as he swished the glass in his hand. “He’s an eternal child. Sees the world like it should be in a fairy tale, minus the evil characters. Everything is bright and beautiful and everyone is his friend.” Micky paused. “It’s a real shame that life isn’t like that. Because a world full of Flynns would be the one I wanna live in.”

Dan paused for a moment, trying to take it all in. What Micky said. Flynn. The condition. The ideal. And how Micky described it all.

“I’m sorry you’re dealing with all that by yourself,” Dan finally said. “I had no idea.”

He’d just been lusting after his body all week. Now Dan knew the bloke had a soft, loving and caring side, what the hell was that going to do to him now?

Author Bio:
Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly searches for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

She eventually moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

Having worked in Higher Education for most of her career, a life-altering experience brought pen back to paper after she’d written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Having embarked on this writing malarkey, CF White cannot stop. So strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride...


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Misdemeanor #1
⏳💸⏳Currently 99cents⏳💸⏳
B&N   /  KOBO  /  PRIDE PUBLISHING

Hard Time #2
⏳💸⏳Currently $1.99⏳💸⏳
B&N   /  KOBO  /  PRIDE PUBLISHING

Reformed #3
⏳💸⏳Currently $2.99⏳💸⏳
B&N  /  KOBO  /  PRIDE PUBLISHING


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Audiobook Tour: The Solstice Prince by SJ Himes

Title: The Solstice Prince
Author: SJ Himes
Series: Realm of Love #1
Genre: M/M Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: November 24, 2017
Audiobook Release Date: April 30, 2018
Narrator: Joel Leslie
Cover Design & Illustrator: Sarah Jo Chreene
Summary:
Rescued from slavers, healer novice Jaime Buchanan finds himself alone and free in Pyrderi, a kingdom of magic, mythical creatures, and a culture as open and kind as his homeland was cruel and close-minded.

Despite his rescue, Jaime is not left without scars, both mental and physical. Traumatized by his experience and hiding his gift, Jaime struggles to earn his place in the kitchens of Angharad Palace, the heart of Taliesin City. His former life as a student of the healing arts leaves him at a disadvantage in the kitchens, and his damaged state is becoming more apparent by the day.

One day, when necessity and fate intervene, Jaime meets someone unexpected—Prince Maxim, youngest son of the Pyrderian king, a sword master and a devastatingly kind man. Unaccustomed to powerful people with compassion and heart, Jaime flees. A cascade of events reveals Jaime’s hidden talents of healing, and he finds himself not in chains, but at the beginning of a new life.

This swift change of fortune opens Jaime up to new possibilities, including a smitten prince who cautiously courts Jaime, easing him away from his fears and reminding him that compassion and love can make him strong. The winter solstice is quickly approaching, and Prince Maxim shows Jaime the enjoyment and excitement to be found in a land that embraces the ice and cold, and the mysteries of all things magical. He learns to see the man under the royal mantle, and Maxim is more than even Jaime suspected.

The winter solstice is nigh when tragedy strikes, and Jaime learns that his past of grief and sorrow can be a pillar of strength for his solstice prince. If there is one thing that Jaime believes above all else, it is in the healing power of love.


His eyes were drawn to the wide shoulders of Prince Maxim, the royal speaking quietly to a pair of full healers in their silver and white robes, the edges trimmed in varying hues of green that denoted their ranks and specialties. One of them saw Jaime hovering and pointed towards him with a smile. Prince Maxim turned and grinned wide when he saw Jaime. Jaime smiled back, flushing. The prince said his goodbyes and strode across the room to him. Long legs, a trim waist, a broad chest, and strong shoulders clothed in black leather pants and a brilliant white shirt, topped with a long jacket in rich sky blue left Jaime at a loss for words. The prince looked every inch the royal.

Prince Maxim was at his side before he was ready, and Jaime shivered, skin tingling from head to toe when the prince gave him a wide smile and offered his hand. Jaime found his much smaller hand engulfed in the prince’s with his long fingers curling over, holding him firmly. His face burned, and he ducked his head, hair falling over his eyes.

“Good morning, Jaime.”

“Good—good morning, Your Highness,” he stammered back, and he gripped the hand holding his in an unconscious plea for support.

He was holding hands with a prince. His life had taken an unexpected twist.

“Please, call me Maxim,” the prince offered, and Jaime gasped, shaking his head frantically. The prince was smiling at him, somehow beyond patient.

“I wouldn’t dare! I couldn’t, Your Highness,” Jaime burst out, heart racing again. “It’s not allowed.”

Prince Maxim drew closer, their joined hands between them, and he gave Jaime a slow perusal, taking in his wide eyes, flushed cheeks, and no doubt able to see the galloping pulse in his neck. “There is no one to gainsay you for the privilege. I do not mind. Please, it would be an honor for you to use my name.”

“Can I—can I think about it?” He couldn’t believe he just said that, and he nearly bit the tip of his tongue off snapping his mouth shut.

Prince Maxim chuckled and turned them both, tucking Jaime’s hand in the crook of his elbow. “While you’re thinking about it, how about I give you a tour of the castle? Something besides the kitchens and servants’ halls? Would you like to see the library? Do you like to read?”

“Master Eames wanted to talk to me…”

“I’ve been ordered to return you promptly after midday by Master Eames, along with strict instructions not to overdo it.” The prince’s charming grin never fell away, and he seemingly saw nothing amiss in a healer ordering about a royal. Master Eames was a distinguished healer, surely used to getting his own way, and Jaime had no desire to run afoul of the healer’s orders either. Prince Maxim continued, “Now what about some breakfast and then on to the library?”

“I love to read. I would love to see the library.” The idea of the prince taking him to personally see anything was spinning about in his mind, making him feel dizzy, and leaving him glad for the strong hand holding onto his.

SJ Himes
I'm a self-employed writer who stresses out about the silliest things, like whether or not I got my dog the best kind of snack and the fact my kindle battery tends to die when I'm at the best part in a book. I write mainly gay romance, erotica, and urban fantasy, with occasional forays into contemporary and paranormal. I love a book heavy on plot and character evolution, and throw in some magic, and that's perfection. My current series are: The Beacon Hill Sorcerer, Bred For Love (as Revella Hawthorne), The Wolfkin Saga, and the epic fantasy romance series Realms of Love. My last two novels in the Beacon Hill Sorcerer won 3rd Place in the Gay Fantasy category for the 2016 Rainbow Awards.

I live in New Orleans, where the personalities are big and loud and so are the bugs! New Orleans is rich in cultural history, and the flavor and music of the City is impossible to hide. Before that, I lived all over the United States: Tampa, Western Massachusetts, Indianapolis, and on and on.... I'm a nomad, and I've yet to find a place that calls to me strongly enough to become home. My faithful travel companions are my dog Micah, the numerous voices in my head who insist they all get put on paper, and the wind at my back.

Joel Leslie(Narrator)
Joel Leslie is a UK transplant, growing up with American parents in a British commonwealth.  A classically trained actor with an MFA in theatre from USC, he is often cast for his unique ability to deliver native, authentic combinations of American and British sounds.  His great range and ability to bring characters to life with honesty, wit and versatility delights producers and listeners alike.

He is proud to have a strong following with m/m listeners and an ongoing relationship with some of the finest writers in the genre.  He loves that every day he gets to share these beautiful, inspirational and empowering GLBT characters with the world.

His authors have praised him as “a narrator among narrators, a man whose ability to create different characters rests on the power of his voice and his impeccable delivery,” and a “true delight…" "his professionalism, good humor, and charm make him a dream to work with,” "Anyone else would only be second best”.

Joel has consistent access to his home studio for all production needs.  When not in the booth he spends his time chasing after two loquacious wiener dogs.


SJ Himes
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Release Blitz: Alpha Heat by Leta Blake

Title: Alpha Heat
Author: Leta Blake
Series: Heat of Love #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Release Date: May 11, 2018
Cover Design: Dar Albert/Wicked Smart Designs
Summary:
A desperate young alpha. An older alpha with a hero complex. A forbidden love that can’t be denied.

Young Xan Heelies knows he can never have what he truly wants: a passionate romance and happy-ever-after with another alpha. It’s not only forbidden by the prevailing faith of the land, but such acts are illegal.

Urho Chase is a middle-aged alpha with a heartbreaking past. Careful, controlled, and steadfast, his friends dub him old-fashioned and staid. When Urho discovers a dangerous side to Xan’s life that he never imagined, his world is rocked and he’s consumed by desire. The carefully sewn seams that held him together after the loss of his omega and son come apart—and so does he.

But to love each other and make a life together, Xan and Urho risk utter ruin. With the acceptance and support of Caleb, Xan’s asexual and aromantic omega and dear friend, they must find the strength to embrace danger and build the family they deserve.

This gay romance novel by Leta Blake is the second in the Slow Heat universe. It’s 130,000 words, with a strong happy ending and a well-crafted, non-shifter Omegaverse. It features alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. No cheating. Content warning for brief sexual violence.

Slow Heat #1
Summary:
A lustful young alpha meets his match in an older omega with a past. 

Professor Vale Aman has crafted a good life for himself. An unbonded omega in his mid-thirties, he's long since given up hope that he'll meet a compatible alpha, let alone his destined mate. He's fulfilled by his career, his poetry, his cat, and his friends.

When Jason Sabel, a much younger alpha, imprints on Vale in a shocking and public way, longings are ignited that can't be ignored. Fighting their strong sexual urges, Jason and Vale must agree to contract with each other before they can consummate their passion.

But for Vale, being with Jason means giving up his independence and placing his future in the hands of an untested alpha--as well as facing the scars of his own tumultuous past. He isn't sure it's worth it. But Jason isn't giving up his destined mate without a fight.

This is a stand alone gay romance novel, 118,000 words, with a strong happy ending, as well as a well-crafted, non-shifter omegaverse, with alphas, betas, omegas, male pregnancy, heat, and knotting. Content warning for pregnancy loss and aftermath. 

Author Bio:
Author of the bestselling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.


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Alpha Heat #2

Slow Heat #1




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