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Piper’s Reading Roundup – March, April, & May

Hey, y’all! Whoops, it has been a while since I did one of these. Frankly, I had a long reading drought for a while there and couldn’t seem to settle on anything, so I haven’t read a ton of books in the last few months, but I did have some faves among the books I did read. Check them out below. 😀

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Power Play (Scoring Chances #3) by Avon Gale – See my review, which details why I love and recommend this book, but if you’re familiar with Gale and this series in particular, you know you can expect hockey, humor, well-developed characters, and lots of heart.

Full Strength (Point Shot #3) by V.L. Locey – I’m a big fan of this series and its main character, Victor Kalinski. He’s loud (and foul)-mouthed, he’s offensive, he’s arrogant, but behind the brash exterior is a loyal man who cares deeply about the few people he lets close to his heart. I loved watching him evolve as a character while staying true to himself. He didn’t make a complete 180. He’s still Victor… but a better version of himself. 🙂

The Benched Series by Misha Horne – This series starts with Rookie Mistake, and man, is it fun! Juno and Kyle are great characters, and and if you’re a fan of spanking and D/s elements, you need to be reading these shorts. I plowed through all 5 available stories in a couple of days, and I’m eagerly awaiting more!

The Harvest Young: Bound by Fate (The Next Generation #1) by MA Church – I love Church’s The Harvest series, and I think I’ve recommended it in previous posts. This is a spin-off series about the “young” of the couples we met in The Harvest (yep, there is mpreg in that series) now that they’ve officially grown up. I can’t wait for more stories!

Shutdown Pair by V.L. Locey – Yep, Locey is getting a second shout-out in this post. She wrote a story about amateur pick-up league hockey players, and while the game certainly plays a role, as with all her work, it’s her characters that really make the story. I loved Heath and Wyatt and would’ve happily read more about them.

The Galactic Alliance Series by KC Burn – The other day I posted asking for recs on Twitter and Megan Derr mentioned this series. I’d had the first book, Spice ‘n’ Solace, on my TBR list for a long time and I’d purchased it a while back, so I finally dove in. I’m glad I did! These were some sexy stories with fabulous characters that are perfect for anyone who’s a fan of sci-fi without an over-abundance of world-building and technical jargon to weigh the story down. I even went to ask KC Burn if there’d be more right after I finished the third book, which should tell you something. (She said yes, BTW. :D)

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And that’s it for now! I seem to be on a reading binge at the moment, though, so hopefully I’ll have more titles to recommend next time.

Happy reading, folks! 

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Authors I’m Thankful For: Jordan Castillo Price

While the various authors I’ve pimped over the last few weeks make up only a mere fraction of all my favorites, you know I couldn’t end the month without sharing some JCP love!

PsyCop is one of my favorite book series ever, and Vic is one of my favorite heroes. PsyCop starts with Among the Living, which I could only describe as “perfect” the first time I read it. I’ve subsequently read it another 3 or 4 times. But as much as I adore the PsyCop series, I’d also like to pimp some of Jordan Castillo Price’s lesser known work.

First, there’s Meatworks, which I had the pleasure of beta reading. I knew then that it was one of her best books. It’s different from everything else out there, and it’s not your traditional romance. As I said in my review, JCP defies formulas and breaks molds when it comes to her writing. That’s something I greatly admire.

Then there’s The Starving Years, which I lost my mind over when I read it. It’s set in a dystopian, alternate universe and I’d consider it a thriller with romantic undertones as opposed to a romance. It was well-written, riveting, and left me with a hardcore book hangover. And what makes this book even cooler was that it started as a serial with a “choose your own adventure” type of concept. That’s right, readers had input into this story after every chapter, and it takes mad skill to to pull together a story of this caliber under that kind of pressure.

And of course I can’t leave out The Persistence of Memory, the first book in JCP’s Mnevermind series, set in alternate-reality Madison, Wisconsin. It reminded me of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, which is one of my favorite movies, and the story itself was totally fascinating and once again, unlike anything else I’ve seen in m/m. That’s the great thing about JCP’s stories – while they’re always written with her signature talent and style, you’re always guaranteed a unique, incomparable experience.

And lastly, I must give a little shout out to her stories in the Petit Morts collection. I LOVE a well-written short story. Sometimes I just don’t have the time or energy to invest into something longer. I want short, sweet, and quick. With JCP, you’re also going to get a fantastically written story – and having done numerous shorts myself, I know how difficult it can be to try to craft something of this length. One of my particular favorites from this collection was Wishink Well. But Moolah and Moonshine, Spanish Fly Guy, Pretty Ugly, and Hue, Tint, and Shade all deserve to be mentioned! (Note: IMO, these are best read in order.)

Happy reading, everyone! If you’ve never read JCP before and want to try out some new-to-you authors in 2016, I can give her nothing less than my highest recommendation. ♥

 

 

 

Authors I’m Thankful For: Kim Dare

Ah, Kim Dare. ♥ She’s been one of my long-time faves since I discovered m/m existed as a genre outside of fanfic. I’ve read nearly everything she’s released, but I definitely have some favorites!

First, there’s Duck!, which tops my list. It’s a retelling of the Ugly Duckling fairytale… but with BDSM and some wicked shifter lore. And sweet, sweet Ori. I love him and Raynard. And I love the next book in the series, Magpie, also and I eagerly look forward to more in this world.

Then there is her Pack Discipline series, which starts with The Mark of an Alpha. That book and The Duty of a Beta are my faves of the series, but I also loved it as a whole. Good stuff, but definitely best read in order.

Axel’s Pup is her most recent all-new release. A motorcycle club and shifters? When I saw the blurb, I said, “Yes, ma’am, sign me up!” It didn’t disappoint.

And there’s Temporary Mark, which I have a major soft spot for. I’ve read that gem about 4-5 times now. (If you’ve read her Bi Now, Gay Later, you’ll recognize cameos by Jerry and Denton. Mr. Nolan, one of the MCs of Temporary Mark, first appeared in that story.) Mr. Nolan lost his long-time submissive a couple of years ago and hasn’t been able to find someone who can fill that void, while Mark can’t seem to find a good Dom who wants to keep him. I loved watching these two guys come together and wouldn’t mind seeing a little follow-up someday.

If you like lighter BDSM, you’d probably enjoy Kim Dare. She writes everything from contemporary to paranormal and has a huge backlist. The Thrown to the Lions series was fun, as was Sun, Sea and Submission, and the Perfect Timing books, and… well, you get the idea. 😉

Check her out!

 

Authors I’m Thankful For: Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon

Hey, all. So, life sort of hit me in the metaphorical nuts last week and I didn’t get a chance to write up my gratitude posts. Maybe I’ll double up on some, or possibly I’ll just call last week a wash, but I’m hoping I can finish out the month without any other blips. Cross your fingers for me. 😛

Today I’m grateful for Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon. If you’re a historical romance fan and you haven’t read this duo, well, you should rectify that posthaste! I like them both together and separately, and they don’t just write historical romances, for those who prefer contemporary. Individually, they also write other genres, but it’s their historicals I love most.

Some of my favorites by these fabulous ladies are: The Gentleman and the Rogue, Mending Him, The Gentleman’s Madness, The Bohemian and the Banker (set during the 1901 Paris Expo, which I hadn’t seen in M/M before this book), and Seducing Stephen. They have a couple of newer titles out too, including a cute Christmas short called Simon and the Christmas Spirit, but you seriously can’t go wrong with whatever book you choose by these two. Give them a shot, if you haven’t already! And if you’ve never attempted to read a historical before, I’d further recommend their books as a starting point because they’re not overly bogged down by factual details. In my opinion, there’s just enough to show they’ve done their research and know their setting without making you feel like you cracked open a history book.

Happy reading, friends!

 

Authors I’m Thankful For: Andrea Speed

Anyone who follows me on social media, or heck, even this blog, won’t be surprised to see this author’s name as part of my gratitude event this month.

I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read by Andrea Speed. Her Josh of the Damned shorts are hilarious and different from anything else in the genre. DMZ was 29 pages of awesome. But it’s her Infected series that well and truly captured my heart from the first page.

Roan… what can I say about Roan McKichan? He’s an amazing character. He’s snarky as hell, which I appreciate. He loves obscure bands. He loves to read. He’s brave, and he’s a bad-ass. When he loves, he loves whole-heartedly, and he’s incredibly loyal to those who’ve earned his trust, and he inspires the same kind of loyalty in return. Hell, I even have a tattoo for Roan – and he’s the only individual character I have ink for so far! (The Leo symbol, as seen below.) My other book related tattoo is a nod to a couple of different characters from the Harry Potter series.

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Beyond Andrea’s writing, which is masterful, in my opinion – a mix of humor and snark and grittiness – it’s the characters that really make this series. I may be a Roan fangirl, but I also have a lot of love for Dylan and Paris and Holden and Scott (and the other hockey players).

I’ve reread all the books in this series. I’ll reread them again. While at its heart, this is an urban fantasy mystery series, don’t let that fool you into thinking you won’t sometimes get gut-punched straight in the feels. Book two sort of ruined my life for a while, I’m not even going to lie.

I highly recommend all of Andrea Speed’s stuff, but especially the Infected series, which ranks as one of my favorites not only in the m/m genre, but in every genre. Everyone should experience the glory that is Roan.

 

Authors I’m Thankful For: Kim Fielding

Hey, all! Happy Thanksgiving to my readers who are in the U.S. 😀 Today I’m making the entire meal at home for the first time. It’ll just be me, my husband, our son, and my father-in-law for dinner, and then later in the day, I’ll be stopping by to see my parents who are mid-move and couldn’t host at their place like they normally would have. Since they’re going to a friend’s place for the day, I decided to do something small here. Hopefully all the food comes out okay. 😛 Wherever you are, and whether you’re celebrating Thanksgiving or not, I hope your day is filled with good food and great company. ♥

Earlier this week I started up “Authors I’m Thankful For.” I was only going to do one a week between now and the end of the month, but I decided I wanted to showcase as many authors as possible, so I’m going with Tuesdays and Thursdays instead.

Up today is Kim Fielding. If you follow me on any social media, you’ve probably seen me gushing about Kim. I don’t keep the fact that I’m a fangirl a secret. Kim writes beautifully, and I never have any complaints about her craft, but I think what strikes me most about Kim’s writing is her characters. They just come alive for me–I cry with and for them, I cheer for them, I hope, suffer, and rejoice with them. To me, they feel real.

Kim has written three of my favorite books in the m/m genre: Brute, Speechless, and Rattlesnake.

These are all incredibly different books, but they share the common thread of overcoming odds, whether external or internal, and forming relationships that better both partners. Her heroes aren’t perfect. They might not be the best looking guys. But if you’re like me, they’ll tug your heartstrings, and you’ll want to reread their stories again and again.

If you haven’t tried Kim yet, you really should. I couldn’t recommend her more highly.

Authors I’m Thankful For: Avril Ashton

So, on a more positive note than my last blog post, every Tuesday and Thursday between now and the end of the month, I plan to post about an author I’m grateful for. This is just me spreading the love, since I’m as much a reader as I am a writer. And of course, after December 1st, I’ll also be posting the books I loved most in November, and as I did last year, I’ll be listing my favorite new (or new-to-me) holiday reads in another post as I dive into the seasonal offerings this year, so be on the lookout for those!

First up is Avril Ashton. Avril writes both het and gay romance. She has a gritty style, she writes smoking hot sex scenes, and her bad boys are unlike any others. These aren’t guys who are just tragically misunderstood. No. They will shoot you, kill you, pistol-whip you, and all around f*ck your shit up if push comes to shove. And I love them!

I particularly recommend her Run This Town series, but I’m also a huge fan of the Brooklyn Sinners series (Syren, anyone?). Characters intermingle between these two series, and you’ll have a richer appreciation if you read them all, but the Run This Town Series can certainly be read on its own also.

Start with (Watch Me) Break You and join the rest of us who are hooked on Avril’s boys! (Though I have to confess, (Watch Me) Unmask You is probably my fave of the series so far. ;D)

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Piper’s Reading Roundup: April

Hey, hey! April was a rather slow reading month for me, given the tight deadline we were working under, but I still managed to squeeze in some good reads. Here are my faves. ♥

The Bohemian and the Banker by Bonnie Dee & Summer Devon – I do so love this author matchup, as I said last month, and this one was fun. We had an opposites attract story featuring a serious banker named Nigel and a bohemian drag cabaret performer named Jay (as you can tell by the title). It’s set in the early 1900s in Paris during a World Fair, which really appealed to me, as I’ve often wished those were still happening on the scale they used to be. Definitely recommended.

Axel’s Pup (Werewolves & Dragons, #1) by Kim Dare – It’s no secret I’m a Kim Dare fan. I’ve read the vast majority of her work and count some of her books as my favorites in the genre. I really enjoyed this one. Loved the world-building and the unique take on shifters and it included all of the things I love from Kim Dare — solid writing, lighter BDSM, and a strong dom who’s besotted with his sub. Bonus was the whole motorcycle club element. Really looking forward to more in this universe.

Healing Hunter’s Heart by Charlie Cochet – Woot! I’d been waiting for this story for years, people. I loved the first book in the series, which is a freebie Charlie wrote for one of the Don’t Read in the Closet events a couple of years back. This one didn’t disappoint. I really liked Hunter and Ari and seeing all the guys again. It had humor and heat and great world-building. Bring on Mischa and Kristoff, I say! 😀

The Harvest: Taken & Journey’s End by MA Church – These books need to be read together for the full story of Keyno and Dale. They were a lot of fun. Aliens that are like warrior kitties, people! Plus, it had an arranged/forced mating, which I’d been craving (note: these aren’t non-con when it comes to the sex, though, even if Dale was forced into a relationship he didn’t initially want). If you’re a fan of alien/human stories and tails playing a kinky role during sex scenes, check these out! I’ve read some of the side stories Church has on her website, but I really hope there’ll be more to come in this universe!

Books Piper Loves: “Bone Rider” by J. Fally

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This book, you guys. THIS BOOK. I’ve had a book hangover all week because this book was so good I’ve been having a hard time moving on to something new. This is what I said on FB shortly after finishing it:

I loved this book. Looooooved. Loved it like I instantly searched for J. Fally’s social media links right after finishing it, and finding none, I sat here and emailed her a fan letter.

SO. GOOD. I can’t. It was amazing. McClane is my boo, and I adored Riley and Misha.

Some people might not like all the POV switching, but for me, the book couldn’t have been told any other way. It had the perfect blend of humor and action that I adore in action-adventure films. Throw in a bit of sci-fi and some romance and I was a GONER.

Onto the favorite shelf it goes. I’m buying it in paperback too, just so I can snuggle it.

If you’re a fan of action-adventure flicks like “Die Hard,” I seriously recommend this book.

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Blurb:

Riley Cooper is on the run. Misha Tokarev, the love of his life, turned out to be an assassin for the Russian mob, and when it comes to character flaws, Riley draws the line at premeditated murder. Alien armor system McClane is also on the run, for reasons that include accidentally crashing a space ship into Earth and evading U.S. military custody. A failed prototype, McClane was scheduled for destruction. Sabotaging the ship put an end to that, but McClane is dubbed a bone rider for good reason—he can’t live without a host body. That’s why he first stows away in Riley’s truck and then in Riley himself. Their reluctant partnership soon evolves into something much more powerful—and personal—than either of them could have imagined.

Together, they embark on a road trip from hell, made all the more exciting by the government troops and mob enforcers hot on their trail. Misha is determined to win Riley back and willing to do whatever it takes to keep him safe. When hitman and alien join forces, they discover their impressive combined potential for death and destruction. It will take everything Riley has to steer them through the mess they create.

Buy it here.

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Disclaimer: I’d never had any contact with J. Fally before reading this book. Any books I post on this blog as recommendations are strictly based on my personal enjoyment of said books and not any affiliation I may or may not have with the authors.

Books Piper Loves: “A Sinner Born” & “Illumination”

Hey, all. 🙂 So I’m introducing a new thing on the blog today. Even before I was published, I rarely wrote reviews. Now, I don’t know how comfortable I am trying to write up critical reviews of work by my friends and peers. You’ll never find an actual review, a la Jessewave or The Novel Approach, on this blog. But I’ve never had a problem yelling it from the mountaintops when I love a particular book. I like to spread the love, and that being the case, since I’m just as much of a reader as a writer, I’ve decided to post about the books I love, old or new. This won’t necessarily be happening on a regular schedule because of course it’s all dependent on when I come across a book I’m really crazy about, but to kick it off I’ve decided to go with a doubleheader featuring two books I read and loved recently. And without any further ado…

Sinner

First we have A Sinner Born, which is book three in Avril Ashton’s popular Brooklyn Sinners series, the story of Syren and Kane. Syren is a man with many, many secrets. Kane is a man still grieving the death of his partner. And when these two come together, it’s sizzling. As an added bonus, one of the heroes has a panty fetish, which is one of my kinks, so the book really worked for me! For the more sensitive readers out there, there is some difficult subject matter, like self-harm and mentions of rape and child abuse, but I thought those topics were all well-handled. So if you like federal marshals and bad boys with a lot of attitude, I definitely recommend you check this one out!

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Secondly, is Rowan Speedwell’s Illumination.

Now, I make no secret of the fact that I think Rowan Speedwell is pretty much the bee’s knees. She’s an awesome person and an awesome writer, and I haven’t read a single thing by her I haven’t loved. Illumination is no exception. You can tell the subject of illuminating books is something Rowan is very familiar with. In fact, she does it herself, and her knowledge of the subject makes itself known in this book and adds such richness that it made me wish I had a halfway decent hand at drawing or painting so I could try it myself. Then there are the characters, Adam and Miles, who are both battling their own demons, but came together so beautifully. I was rooting for them both the whole time, and I loved the book so much that when I saw Rowan at GRL, I bought a copy of the paperback so she could sign it, despite already having the ebook. Rowan knows her stuff and her writing is lovely. Every time I read a book of hers, it’s like a gift. So, of course, this one is highly recommended.  ❤

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And as a disclaimer, some of the books I love will doubtless be by people I know or consider friends, because my friendships with a lot of my fellow authors began when I loved one of their books and contacted them to say just how much. But there will also be books featured by authors who I’ve never really spoken to or maybe only rarely on social media sites. Suffice it to say, I’m trying to keep it unbiased, but when I love a book, I love a book, and I have no problems saying so. Friend, acquaintance, or stranger, it doesn’t matter to me who wrote it. 🙂

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