Book Tour + Review: Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale & Roan Parrish

Heart of the Steal

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Received: ARC provided by A Novel Take PR
Publication Date:July 11, 2017
Publisher: Philtre Press
Point of View: First Person (Will & Amory)
Genres & Themes:  LGBTQ+, M/M Romance, Contemporary

BLURB:

Responsible, disciplined William Fox channeled his love for art and his faith in the rules into being an FBI Art Crimes agent. Right and wrong, justice and injustice—the differences are clear, and Will has spent his career drawing a line between them. Maybe his convictions have cost him relationships, but he’s not willing to compromise what he knows is right. Until the night he meets Amory Vaughn.

As the head of his family’s philanthropic foundation, Vaughn knows very well that being rich and powerful can get him almost anything he wants. And when he meets endearingly grumpy and slightly awkward William Fox, he wants him more than he’s wanted anything. Vaughn is used to being desired for his name and his money, but Will doesn’t care about either.

When Vaughn falls back on old habits and attempts to impress Will by stealing a painting Will admires, their nascent bond blows up in his face. But Vaughn isn’t willing to give up on the glimpse of passion he saw the night he took Will apart. Before Will knows it, he’s falling for the man he should have arrested, and Vaughn has to realize that some things can’t be bought or stolen. Love has to be given freely. But can a man who lives by the rules, and a man who thinks the rules don’t apply to him, ever see eye to eye?

Heart of the Steal is a standalone romance with a happy ending. It features a Southern gentleman who thinks he’s always right, a buttoned-up FBI agent who secretly likes his buttons unbuttoned, and wall sex. And desk sex. And picnic blanket sex.

REVIEW:

Steal of my Heart—I mean Heart of the Steal by Avon Gale and Roan Parrish is the book I never thought of needing until they wrote it, and I’m baffled?

Let me tell you one of my most favorite manga was about a thief, who stole (ha!). One night, he was stealing from a house, but a guy was in the same room hiding and saw the thief…well, thieving. The police come a moment later, with the head of the police leading the investigation. Long story short—thief turns out to be the head police, and the guy ends up falling for the thief/police guy (there’s a good reason why he’s stealing, btw).

So, then, if this is my favorite manga, did I not think to get it in a novel format? I honestly am so ashamed of myself, but thankfully Avon Gale and Roan Parrish teamed up to write this beautiful, romantic, hilarious book.

Heart of the Steal is about Amory Vaugh and William Fox (completely in love with Amory’s name, btw), a snobby wealthy philanthropist known for donating funds for the Arts, and the black-and-white view FBI officer.

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Much Anticipated Book Review: The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Received: ARC provided by Edelweiss
Publication Date: June 27, 2017
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Point of View: First Person (Monty)
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Historical, LGBTQ+, M/M Romance, Bisexual MC, Fantasy

BLURB:

Henry “Monty” Montague was born and bred to be a gentleman, but he was never one to be tamed. The finest boarding schools in England and the constant disapproval of his father haven’t been able to curb any of his roguish passions—not for gambling halls, late nights spent with a bottle of spirits, or waking up in the arms of women or men.

But as Monty embarks on his Grand Tour of Europe, his quest for a life filled with pleasure and vice is in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

Still it isn’t in Monty’s nature to give up. Even with his younger sister, Felicity, in tow, he vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt that spans across Europe, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

REVIEW:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue—more like The Gentleman’s Guide to Breaking my Heart One Page at a Time by Mackenzi Lee. Given it might not be a catchy title as TGGTVV, but it be rather apt, and all true.

Fanart from Ace Artemis Fanartist

With a cast like Monty, Percy, & Felicity, it really is not possible to not fall in love with this book. The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue is filled with adventure, heart and resilience. Recently, I was having a conversation with a TGGTVV reader, she responded with something that read, “I’m loving it, it took a dark turn that I wasn’t expecting.” It got me thinking on the journey, and the story, and my expectations and the delivery, and until I’m sat here writing this review…it hit me.

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Book Review: The Prince and the Dressmaker by Jen Wang

The Prince and the Dressmaker

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Received: ARC provided by Netgalley
Publication Date:February 13th 2018
Publisher:First Second
Point of View: N/A
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, LGBTQ+

BLURB:

The Prince and the Dressmaker is about a young 19th Century prince named Sebastian who secretly loves to wear dresses. He hires an ambitious young seamstress named Frances to make dresses for him and as their collaboration grows, so do their feelings for one another. Sebastian and Frances must find a way to balance their inner desires with the strict expectations of the royal family – or risk exposing Sebastian’s secret to the world.

REVIEW:

No lie, I’ve been wanting this book since 2016. I requested this book in 2016. And then I got an email back that read that this beautiful, amazing, thrilling graphic novel wasn’t set out to come out until 2018.

And that’s the story on how your blogger died.

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Blog Tour: Oversight (The Community #2) by Santino Hassell + Review!

Oversight (The Community, #2)

 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 Stars
Received: ARC provided by/from A Novel Take PR
Publication Date: June 26, 2017
Publisher: Riptide Publishing
Point of View: Third Person (Holden)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ+, Paranormal, Thriller, Mystery Romance,

BLURB:

Spoiler Alert! The following blurb contains spoilers for Insight, book one of The Community.

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man-bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an Invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

REVIEW:

A reader said that it’s first a thriller. Second, a mystery, and third, a romance. And that could very be the case for Insight ( The Community #1), but for Oversight (The Community #2), Santino Hassell masters the perfect blend of all three, simultaneously. The perfect coalesced blend of thriller, mystery, and romance. Without one overtaking or dominating the book.

Although, I have to come clean and say that Six and Holden, and their banter and connection was one of the best part of the book. See, I’m a sucker for soul mates (not saying this is what Six and Holden have), strong connections, and just like a bond.

“But you’re gorgeous. The combination of your skin color and black hair is gorgeous. If you weren’t such an asshole, I could probably get lost in your eyes. They’re beautiful.”

“A woman at the Farm told me I had devil eyes, and the description got around.(…)”

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Book Review: Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Autoboyography

My rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Received: ARC provided by/from Edelweiss
Publication Date:: September 12, 2017
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Point of View: First Person (Tanner)
Genres & Themes: MM Romance, LGBTQ+, Romance, Contemporary, Young Adult

BLURB:

Fangirl meets Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda in this funny and poignant coming-of-age novel from New York Times bestselling author Christina Lauren about two boys who fall in love in a writing class—one from a progressive family and the other from a conservative religious community.

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

REVIEW:

“It opens with a boy and a girl, a dare, and crumbs on a bed.

But where it really begins is with a double take and the words “His smile ruins me.”

We all know that LGBTQ+ films are rare and few, and even rarer is happy endings. I’m always on the look out for rep and a couple of years back I stumbled upon Latter Days. A movie about a young Mormon who has just moved to LA. He’s living next door to an out, gay man. I don’t want to spoil the movie, but if you want a happy ending, check it out.

Really the mormon part is really as close to Autoboyography as it gets, but I couldn’t help and remember the film. I was hoping, and praying (bad pun?), that it wouldn’t disappoint.

Most of my most anticipated LGBTQ+ books have been falling short this years, not because they’re bad, but because most have the pairings together until maybe the last 80% (if I’m lucky) together and the beginning pure angst, or just doubting everything.

I have to note that I really don’t know LDS, at all. Apart from them coming to my home every now and then, therefore I cannot say if the rep is represented well or not, regardless to how it reads to me. Therefore, I’ll not comment if it’s properly portrayed or not.

Autoboyography is a win in my book. The biggest win of all, since it’s full of heart and emotions, and a beautiful love story, with a full cast of characters that bring so much to the story.

It’s the beginning of a new year for Tanner, and he has the daunting task of choosing classes. His best friend, Autumn, urges him to take a seminar that’s about completing a novel in four months. Sounds long, right? Well, maybe. Last time someone took the class, they got a publishing deal and now said author is mentoring the class.

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Book Review: Mature Content (Cyberlove #4) by Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell

Mature Content (Cyberlove, #4)

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Received: ARC via Novel Take
Publication Date:June 2, 2017
Publisher: Megtino Press
Point of View: Third Person (Multiple)
Genres & Themes: M/M Romance, Contemporary, Romance, Cyber Love

BLURB:

My life plan is to be brutally honest all the way to the bank. Don’t believe me? I run a popular YouTube channel called TrashyZane, and my claim to fame is oversharing about every aspect of my personal life. Sometimes while tipsy. Not everyone loves my style, but I have a long history of icing out people who can’t handle me. I have no time for judgmental foolishness.

Except, apparently, when it comes to Beau Starr. His channel is the polar opposite of mine, and so is he. Wholesome, inspirational, and clean-cut. Everything about him should turn me off, but when we hook up following a confrontation at a convention, my world flips upside down. Not only does Beau Starr turn me on, he uses the exact combination of dirty talk and roughness needed to turn me out.

But we still hate each other. I think.

REVIEW:

He tasted like alcohol, pop rocks, and bad decisions.

Dare I say this is The Hottest book in the Cyberlove series?

I think I dare.

Youtube is my thing, not like my thing that I do (although I maybe want?) but something that I know pretty well watching for years now. It’s obvious that Megan Erickson and Santino Hassell know what they’re doing (although I would want to see how they would write actual recording—what with the messing up and re-saying things, but maybe it would be to much reiteration?), and wow do they knock this out of the park.

Hardwire introduces Beau and Zane, youtube rivals that bicker and fight every time the other’s name is so much as uttered near their vicinity.  You can imagine how their coming together is something that is Needed, capitals and all. And when they do….well, they come together in the only way they can whilst still hating each other

“He wasn’t pretending to like this, there was no way he was that food of an actor. He got off on the hair-pulling, the hand-tying. He got off on me telling him what to do in a tone I hadn’t used in years. It wasn’t every day I met a guy who got this turned on by my brand of sex. “

The Love-Hate sex is on point. The banter is on point. The kink is ON. Point. Everything is on point. 

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Book Review: There’s Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins

There's Someone Inside Your House

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: ARC via Edelweiss
Publication Date:September 26, 2017
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
Point of View: Third Person (Multiple)
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Contemporary, Horror, Slasher

BLURB:

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

REVIEW:

His question was curious, though his voice was dead. “Why aren’t you screaming?”

Because I don’t want to wake up my brother and sister. When she didn’t answer out loud, he finished her off. 

There’s something about binge watching slasher movies that just makes my day. There’s a difference between scary movies and slasher movies, both of which I love, and it’s important to note that this is a YA Slasher-esque book.

How someone who wrote Anna and the French Kiss could possibly write There’s Someone Inside Your House is exciting and intriguing. Stephanie Perkins doe not write fluff and rainbows in this one. She does not hold her punches, either.

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