Friday, May 29, 2015

eBook Review: Hidden Wolf by Sue Brown

Today I'm featuring a review of Hidden Wolf by Sue Brown. This is the 2nd book in her series, Sapphire Ranch Wolves. I received an ARC copy in exchange for a fair review. Also, don't miss your chance to chat with Sue during her Facebook Release Party live tomorrow!! Plus, there's a contest during her blog tour, so make sure you check out the Rafflecopter below!

Hidden Wolf is a continuation of the first book in the Sapphire Ranch Wolves series where we were introduced to the underlying plot--bad men doing bad things to innocent shifters--and the characters in the series. The first book featured Cal and Joe but introduced us to both of the characters for this book, Milo and Eli.

Sue's mythos surrounding her wolves is outlined pretty well and fairly standard for the paranormal genre. I didn't find anything really 'new' about her wolves, but I did like the special benefits of their bond with a mate. We know that Milo and Eli are mates from the first book, so that wasn't a surprise, but their actual bonding scene in The Hidden Wolf is super hot.

For the most part, the plot follows all that Milo is wrestling with during the tumultuous events the wolves, and the men helping them, face against the Hunters. I liked that his struggles were all about being a strong man and wolf and doing his duty to the people he'd sworn to protect as Sherriff. Of course, the fact that they're in Texas and he's gay means he's hiding more than being a wolf from his fellow men-of-the-law as well as the people of his town.

What was shared in this story, I really enjoyed. I like all the different plot elements woven into the tale, but for me, there's a real lack of resolution to this story that irritated me when I got to the end. *Spoiler alert*

For me, it just feels like with all these elements introduced into the story, not a single one was resolved, other than Milo learning he needs to let his wolf out and be who he really is, and Eli and Milo becoming mates... which happened in the toward the beginning of the story. While I really like the storyline underpinning the series, I have a hard time with any novella in a continuation series like this that doesn't give me some sort of resolution beyond the couple's romance.

Title: The Hidden Wolf

Series: Sapphire Ranch Wolves – Book Two

Author: Sue Brown

Publisher: Love Lane Books

Cover Artist: Meredith Russell

Length: 32,700 words

Release Date: 22nd May, 2015

Blurb: Sheriff Milo Clarke has met his mate, Eli Watkins, and now they're conducting a long distance relationship while Eli runs Cavalry, the security firm protecting Joe and Cal at the Sapphire Ranch from the hunters.
The long distance loving is hard on all three of them, Eli, Clarke and Clarke's wolf, who is becoming more restless as Clarke refuses to shift. When Clarke going to give into the other side of him and how will Clarke and Eli resolve the distance between their lives?

Sheriff Milo Clarke leaned against the kitchen cabinets as he watched Eli Watkins and his team, the Calvary, remove the remains of Randy Streerson from the kitchen of Sapphire Ranch. He’d offered to help and been told firmly to stay the hell out of their way as they committed a felony.
Staying to one side was a damned sensible move. What used to be Randy Streerson, the head of a group of hunters that pursued and killed shifters, now covered the kitchen walls, floor, and dripped from the ceiling after young shifter Callum Pope shot him with one of the hunter’s bullets.
Cal was a distant shifter relative of Milo’s. His father had been related to Milo’s mother. Cal’s father and two elder brothers had been killed by a band of hunters led by the Streerson family. The pack had splintered in an effort to survive, and Cal had turned up on Sapphire Ranch after running hundreds of miles to get away from the hunters, only to discover the owner of the ranch was his mate. A lot had happened in a few days. Eli’s men took away what remained of the body and now they scrubbed the kitchen, surprisingly efficient. Milo didn’t have to be a cop to know this wasn’t the first time the Cavalry had cleaned away evidence that a murder had taken place.
He was stuck between duty and likely survival. On one hand he’d witnessed the struggle between Cal and Streerson for control of the gun before Cal had pulled the trigger. On the other…
How the hell would he explain to his deputies what had just taken place? They would want to know where he’d been hiding for the past few days, why he’d been lying to them, who the victim—who was no fucking victim—was, and what the hell was a shifter?
He was a shifter. At least a half-shifter. His mother had been a werewolf and Milo could change, he just chose not to. Instead he lived among the humans as a sheriff and hadn’t given in to that side of him for over five years except for one glorious moment a few days ago. Milo tried not to think about it even as his wolf grumbled inside.
Milo watched the team—at least he watched Eli. His whole attention was focused on the dark-haired man. Just watching him made his mouth dry and his dick hard. From the second Milo had shifted to prove the existence of werewolves to Eli and his assistant Ross, he’d realized that Eli was his mate.
Unable to resist, he’d trotted up to Eli and laid his head on his lap. Tentatively Eli had stroked his head, and Milo leaned into the caress, wanting Eli to touch him more. Eli filled his wolf senses. He smelled woodsy with a touch of citrus. He smelled good.
“Good doggy,” Eli had murmured.
Doggy? Milo gave a low growl at the insult, grinning in wolfy satisfaction as Eli snatched his hand back. He wouldn’t have hurt him—much.
And Eli had seemed equally drawn to him, finding it hard to take his eyes off Milo, even as they’d talked strategy with Joe, Cal’s mate and the owner of Sapphire Ranch.
But they hadn’t gone near each other, hadn’t touched each other at all beyond that one brief contact. Milo had been relieved because they had needed to focus their minds, not their dicks, to defeat the hunters. Relieved—and frustrated beyond belief to have his mate so close and not be able to touch him.
There was another issue. They hadn’t connected telepathically.
Milo had thought that happened immediately. But he was only a half-shifter, with limited shifter abilities in his human form, and Eli was a human. What would happen if they didn’t connect? Could they walk away from each other? It would make life so much simpler.
Milo caught Eli frowning at him, and he looked away, feeling guilty. Eli didn’t need to know. They hadn’t connected. He need never know. Milo’s wolf howled inside him at the thought of walking away from his mate, and for once Milo didn’t try to hush him. The thought hurt his human side just as much. But Milo had spent his whole life hiding his true nature, and now, through no fault of his own, everything he’d worked to hide was liable to be exposed. Among humans he hid the fact he was half-shifter. Around shifters he tried hard to fit in, even though his human side affected his wolf senses. And with both communities he hid the fact he was gay.

Milo had spent his whole life in hiding and with one phone call Joe had exposed him to humans—both as shifter and as gay. He wasn’t fucking ready for it. And didn’t that suck?


Sue Brown is owned by her dog and two children. When she isn't following their orders, she can be found plotting at her laptop. In fact she hides so she can plot and has gotten expert at ignoring the orders.
Sue discovered M/M erotica at the time she woke up to find two men kissing on her favorite television series. The series was boring; the kissing was not. She may be late to the party, but she's made up for it since, writing fan fiction until she was brave enough to venture out into the world of original fiction.
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June 12: Drops of Ink || Bayou Book Junkie

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Wednesday Briefs: Fortitude Part 31

That's right... back again! This week's flash was inspired by the prompt: “It’s been a very long day, very hard… and not in a good way.”

Fortitude Part 31

Teddy came out of his fugue silently, but he reached between our seats and sank his fingers into my hip. I jumped, then ducked my head, avoiding my mother’s glare. Teddy’s grip ease immediately. Hopefully that meant whatever startled him wasn’t too serious, as the music was coming to a close, but there was no way to ask him any questions until after the concert ended.

The stage curtains came down after the last arrangement ended, hiding the orchestra from view. The lamps came on, and Teddy pulled away. I leaned toward him. “Are you okay? Is your shoulder hurting?”

“No.” Teddy’s gaze flickered past my shoulder and then back to me. “I’m fine.”

Whatever he came up with, it wasn’t something he could say in front of anyone else.

“William, stop lollygagging.” My father escorted my mother down the row of seats and out into the concert hall lobby. Teddy and I followed behind them. Michael was hobnobbing, and my parents were preening at the attention paid to them.

I wanted to bathe. Maybe scour off the top layers of my skin. These people, with their fake smiles and inane pleasantries hiding their rotten cores, made me feel filthy. Finally we left.

The carriage felt way too small to hold my mother’s smug pride and my brother’s puffed out chest. Didn’t they see how transient this all was? It wouldn’t last. Couldn’t they see the noble’s intentions? People who had money and power didn’t share it if they didn’t have to; once Teddy and I had been handed over, my family would go back to their previous status.

They’d better enjoy their illusion while they had it. If I had any say in it, they’d lose us as their cash crop sooner rather than later.


“What is it, Teddy?” I asked as soon as I locked my door behind us.

“Not everyone can be in on the plot Anna told us about, right?” Teddy sank down in a chair by the fireplace. “That wouldn’t make sense.”

“No. The more people in who know about it, the more people they have to share power with. Anna said it was the king and his closest nobles. But, unless you’re one of the inner circle, it’s impossible to know who else is a part of it as well.”

“Exactly. Do you remember that procession last year? The one after that fire burned down part of that school?”

Of course; I remember thinking it was kind of the king to visit the school and talk to the teachers about what they needed. Now, I just thought about the waste of manpower and time when they should’ve working to fix the school. After all, it wasn’t like the king himself was going to order the supplies and crews to do the work. “I remember. What does that have to do with anything?”

“Did you see the handkerchief in his pocket? I remember it being odd, that it was stitched, but not with his initials. It had a small mark on it, a black tower with a jagged top.”

“A maker’s mark?” I suggested.

“No, I don’t think so. Tonight I noticed that Sir Varket had the same symbol on the uppermost button on his coat. I thought back, and I’m sure I saw the same symbol on some of the snobs who were so eager to talk to us. Always on a piece of clothing, and always the same tower with a broken spire. There were two others; that woman in the hideous blue dress and the man with the fake beauty mark who kept leaning in to speak with you.” Teddy started to run his hand through his hair and then winced, pulling his arm in close to his chest.

“Be careful; you really shouldn’t be using that arm at all.” I hurried over to him to help ease his coat and vests off. “I didn’t notice the marks, but now that I think about it, you’re right. It would make sense, that they’d form some sort of cabal and need to mark themselves.”

I leaned down and gave Teddy a short kiss. “Good job; now we have an idea of who our enemies are. That’s invaluable.”

He smiled. “It just came to me.”

The fugue state was far more useful than most people were willing to admit; that, or maybe Teddy was just different. He really was the only gamma I knew, but he was smart—he just took a bit longer to get there and sometimes his way of looking at the world was very different than most people’s.

“Are we going to go back to the theater tomorrow?”

“We have to.” Our time was running short, and the answers we sought had to be with the tunnel that ended at the dead man’s cell. “It’s been a very long day, very hard… and not in a good way.” Teddy snickered, and I caressed his sore shoulder, checking on it and enjoyed the touch of his skin. “Let’s get some sleep.”


Getting up early after the late night was a truly awful experience; Teddy was his usual bear of a self until he had some chocolate. It wasn’t raining, but a heavy mist hung over the city. Our clothes were damp, and little droplets clung to Teddy’s hair like mini crystals.

“Do you think we need to sneak in another way?” Teddy asked. “We’ve been here a lot.”

“No. There’s no one about, and we’ve come at different times each day. It should be safe.”

How wrong I was. We didn’t even get a chance to move the cogs and open the trap door before someone had me by the throat, with a knife, again.

“Did you think your little visits had gone unnoticed? Really?” said a man with a gravelly voice. He dug the knife in when Teddy moved until he froze, his gaze tracking the heated trickle down my neck. “Well?”

NOW who is after them?!!! Find out more next week! But first, you have more flash updates to read. Yay!

Briefers Website

Monday, May 25, 2015

eBook Review: Kage by Maris Black

Today I'm featuring a contemporary eBook review for Kage by Maris Black. Check out my review and then the R rated (oh so hot!) excerpt she shared. There's also a contest so make sure you scroll all the way down!

   Kage, as a solo book, was a three and a half star read for me. When I read the description, I expected grit, sweat, and some raw passion. The book does deliver that... but not really til the end, which sort of cuts off in a rather random location to leave readers dangling with a cliffhanger. The good news? Round two is supposed to come out in August, and I will definitely be looking for it and round 3 as soon as they come out!

   If I had to guess, Kage was originally written as a much longer single piece that is being broken up for publication. In many ways, I'd really like to read that original version. Partly because I hate waiting for something when I want to know what happens next in a story, lol, and partly because I'd like to see what the overall plot arc was. If that wasn't written this way, I'm not sure why the author set the story arc the way she did, because the ending didn't feel like any sort of natural conclusion to the events that preceded it to give readers that satisfaction of the beginning, middle, end yet keep us wanting more for each installment of the series.

  While I have quibbles on the plot arc, and the story could've used another proofing to find those final typos like missing or incorrect dialogue punctuation, I found those detracted little from my interest in main characters, Kage and Jamie, who excellently portrayed. They had very distinct personalities that led me to like both of them, and when they finally came together it was an explosive combination. The groundwork is laid for the addict vibe Jamie is sharing in the story description, and there are depths to both characters that make them feel very realistic, which is vital in a contemporary story to keep readers interested. Kage, in particular, has a lot of layers to peel back, and that's not easy at all. He has secrets, for all he seems to be the one who is less likely to hide when it comes to their relationship.

  Overall, I really liked Kage more than Jamie, actually, though we get very little of him for much of the early parts of the book. The tension between Jamie and Kage kept me up reading til 2 AM, and I began reading again as soon as I got up until I reached 'The End', but I wish I was able to read the series installments back to back. I think the most enjoyment for readers will be found that way, especially if you like really long stories like I do. If you can hold off, I'd buy each one as they come out and add it to your TBR pile once round 3 of the story comes out. If you can't, well... just expect to be sitting on the edge of your seat to find out what comes next for a few months!

ROUND 1 of the KAGE Trilogy
My name is Jamie Atwood, and I’m an addict. I never thought I’d say such a thing. Never had a problem being overly-attached to anything in my life. I came from a perfectly middle-class family, made good grades, and had a hot cheerleader girlfriend. But the truth is, nothing ever really moved me. So how did a guy like me become an addict?
I met Michael Kage.
Kage is an MMA fighter. A famous one. I like to think I helped him get that way.
He’s charming as hell, with looks to rival any movie star and talent to back it up. So why did he need to hire me as an intern Publicist? Simple. He has a darkness in him– like a black hole so deep it could swallow him, and me, and everyone we know– and that’s not good for business.
The first time I met him, I felt the pull. I think the addiction began at that very moment. And even if I’d known then what I know now, I would have fallen for him. How could I not?
For me, Kage is everything.
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Kage pushed his tongue deeper into my mouth, and suddenly I was sucking hungrily at his tongue, winding my arms around his neck, and pressing my lower body against his. I was desperate to get closer, to feel through the barrier of my clothing what he had pressed against me. My hunger knew no bounds, growing exponentially with each passing second as it became clearer that this was not some fevered fantasy. This was actually happening.

And I was going to let it.

He unwound my arms from his neck and reached down to pull my t-shirt over my head so that we were skin to skin. The scrub of chest hair against my nipples was exquisite torture, and I moaned, pulling back to catch my breath.

“Fuck no, you’re not going anywhere!” Kage yanked me back against him. “I’ve waited too long for this. Been patient enough.” He covered my mouth and face with kisses, moved down to my throat, and bit the sensitive skin there until I cried out. I was overcome with passion, my breath coming in quick gasps as I fought to keep it together. I had always thought of myself as a player and a skilled lover, but I swear Kage made me feel like a virgin all over again.

“Take off your pants,” he said.

“What are you planning on doing to me?” I asked, my voice distant to my own ears as I worked my shorts down my legs, leaving my boxer briefs on.

“What I should have done when you first got here…”

“How did you know I’d let you?”

He chuckled. “I could tell by the way you look at me. Like you’re eating me alive with your eyes.”

“I don’t do that,” I protested. “I don’t even like guys.”

“Liar.” Kage shook his head and took a step back. “Get on your knees, Jamie.”

“Pardon me?”

“Don’t give me that look. I said get on your knees.”

I wanted to tell him no, that this was insanity, and that I wasn’t gay. I wanted to point out that I’d just recently had a girlfriend whom I’d fucked soundly on a regular basis. But instead I sank to my knees in front of him and waited, looking up at his unbelievably perfect body, all muscles and planes and smooth skin. The boyish face with the five-o’clock shadow, the dark locks of hair that fell loosely around his face… and that’s when I felt it. He was right. I was devouring him with my eyes, because God help me I could not get enough.

Author Bio

My name is Maris Black (sort of), and I'm a Southern Girl through and through.

In college, I majored in English and discovered the joys of creative writing and literary interpretation. After honing my skills discovering hidden meanings authors probably never intended, I collected my near-worthless English degree and got a job at a newspaper making minimum wage. But I soon had to admit that small town reporting was not going to pay the bills, so I went back to school and joined the medical field. Logical progression, right? But no matter what I did, my school notebooks and journals would not stop filling up with fiction. I was constantly plotting, constantly jotting prose, constantly casting the people I met as characters in the secret novels in my head.

Yep. I can blame my creative mother for that one!

When I finally started writing fiction for a living, I surprised myself with my choice of genre. I'd always known I wanted to write romance, but the first story that popped out was about a couple of guys finding love during a threesome with a woman. Then I wrote about more guys, and more guys, and more guys. I was never a reader of gay fiction, and I'd never planned to write it. The only excuse I have for myself is: Hey, it's just what comes out!



5/25/2015            Rainbow Gold Reviews 
5/26/2015            Love Bytes         
5/26/2015            Sue Brown      
5/27/2015            Multitaskingmommas Book Reviews      

5/27/2015            Gay.Guy.Reading and Friends   

5/28/2015            RJ Scott
5/28/2015            Wicked Faerie's Tales and Reviews