Ghosts of Alcatraz by Carol Lynne

Ghosts of AlcatrazLove is a powerful force. Unparalleled, unpredictable and often unforeseen. Yet it can surface in the most dangerous of situations. Suffocation, mutilation and dismemberment aren’t the normal outside influences that bring two people together, but inside the newly refurbished Alcatraz Prison, anything can happen.

As inmates begin dying in shocking and sometimes gruesome ways, the deaths prompt Warden Jensen Black to bring in sexy parapsychologist, Brian Phipps. With the help of Brian, Jensen hopes to get to the bottom of what is killing the men he is responsible for. But what he didn’t count on is falling—and falling hard—for the smaller man with the heart of a lion. The question is: will their love survive against the ghosts of Alcatraz?

BUY LINK: Wilde City Press

Review: Lynn, 4

Having read quite a few stories from Carol Lynne, I was excited to read her ghost story set at Alcatraz in the future.

The story itself got off with a bang. Within the first few pages, there’s a murder of an inmate that is surrounded with mystery. Jensen Black, the warden, knows he’s going to need outside help. He realizes something not from this world may be committing the heinous acts of terror in his prison. Enter Brian Phipps, a parapsychologist, who knows a little something about getting rid of ghosts.

I loved the refurbished Alcatraz in this story. All the prisoners are computer geeks in prison for committing cyber crimes. Everything that houses the prisoners is clear. Plexiglass cells, mattresses, and pillows are see through also. There’s no hiding and no privacy. We don’t see the typical murderers or violent offenders here at this prison, I loved that.

The ghost hunting was really interesting, I enjoyed the paranormal aspect. I loved how the author puts a different spin on the how’s and whys of why the ghosts are there, and trying to find out the reasoning behind their escapades. Made the entire story unpredictable.

The only thing that really bothered me about this story was Jensen and Brian wanting to get into each others pants right from the time they met while these unexplained murders were taking place. I get the whole love at first sight bit, I really do. It works in her other stories quite well. But with the content of this story and what was happening around them, I felt it was a little too much too soon. Don’t get me wrong, the sex scenes are hot, but I would have rather the whole murdering ghosts investigation be somewhat wrapped up before the “I love yous” started flying.

Regular readers of Carol Lynne will most likely still enjoy this darker side of her writing. For anyone new to her writing, or have found her stories to be too sweet in the past, I suggest you give Ghosts of Alcatraz a try. You may be very surprised.

Review: Sheri, 5

If you haven’t read a book by Carol Lynne, you’re missing out. Every time I start one of her books, my first reaction is, “Damn, I forgot how good she is.” Ghost of Alcatraz is a spooky story filled with hot men, secrets and of course ghost that are out for revenge. The storyline and plot are perfect. Past and present collide as inmates are mysteriously dying horrible deaths. The emotions from all the characters felt honest and real.

I agree with Lynn, the instantaneous connection between Jensen and Brian was a little too quick for my taste. But hey, who doesn’t like an “easy man”?

I recommend this to anyone who likes a little gore and chilling mystery with their romance. I love it! I’m looking forward to the next book. Did I say that I loved it? A must read!

New Release from Damon Suede

Have you been anxiously waiting for a new tale from Damon Suede? Do you devour all things Paranormal and think awesome incubus demons are the best? Even better when there is a little mystery involved? Yeah, me too. But the great news is that today, your wishes have been answered.

HORN GATE by Damon Suede has been officially released by Dreamspinner Press.

Horn Gate is the first in the Scratch books which also relate to another contemporary novel series (the Itch books) launching later this year.

Horn Gate - SuedeHORN GATE: Open at your own risk.

Librarian Isaac Stein spends his lumpy, lonely days restoring forgotten books, until the night he steals an invitation to a scandalous club steeped in sin. Descending into its bowels, he accidentally discovers Scratch, a wounded demon who feeds on lust.

Consorting with a mortal is a bad idea, but Scratch can’t resist the man who knows how to open the portal that will free him and his kind. After centuries of possessing mortals, he finds himself longing to surrender.

To be together, Isaac and Scratch must flirt with damnation and escape an inhuman trafficking ring—and they have to open their hearts or they will never unlock the Horn Gate.

Get the story Damon’s boyfriend describes as “Scooby Doo with boners.”

A Betting Man by Sandrine Gasq-Dion

A Betting Man CoverHow bad could one harmless bet be? Kent Samson is about to find out. Raised in Alabama, Kent has hidden his past and now loves his life as a big time ad exec for a prestigious advertising company in New York. But when he makes a bet with his best friend, Blaine, Kent is thrown for a loop—for Kent has to make the next person to walk through the door fall in love with him.

Terry Barron is hiding out in New York. Raised in England in a wealthy family, Terry escapes to New York to avoid arranged marriages and the lifestyle he’s grown to hate. When he delivers a package to an advertising firm, he meets the unbelievably sexy Kent Samson. Suddenly, secrets and lies complicate everything and both men find themselves in uncharted waters. How will Terry feel when Kent is revealed as a betting man?

BUY LINK: Wilde City Press

Review: Dolorianne, 4.5

I’m not sure I can tell you how much I enjoyed this story.

I grew up on the John Hughes films in the 80’s and the Disney generation teen movies of the 90’s. The friends-make-a-bet-that-backfires plot is not a new one but it catches my interest almost every time. It amazes me how many different ways the theme can be handled. More times than not I find myself identifying with the one being blindsided … and this one is no different … almost.

The thing that I found so surprising in A Betting Man is the connection I made to the cocky ad exec. The contrast as to how people see him vs how he sees himself is very interesting. He has a reputation but almost from the beginning, he lets his competitive edge go in favor of genuine feelings for Terry.

I’m a very cynical reader, but the writing style made it so easy to go with the flow. I think the overall timeline is perfectly paced. The dates are fresh and well timed, the comedy is entertaining, and the romance is obvious. The sex is good and used to deepen the emotional connection that has already formed between them. Supporting characters show up and almost always interfere at just the right moment to keep the couple (and the reader) off balance and interested. Their relationship is a lot of fun to read.

Usually I cringe (in a good way) in anticipation of the scene where the pawn discovers he/she was a bet. I do this because I know the person is going to be hurt and I don’t like it when the characters I’ve become attached to get hurt. I think – for the first time ever – I found myself hoping that scene didn’t happen. I didn’t want Kent to tank himself. He had been doing so well. Please, oh please, can he just keep his mouth shut?


Of course it comes out, as well it should, and now Kent has to fix it. The resolution is a little too convenient and tidy for me. I liked how the immediate supporting characters helped move things along, but the inserted scene with Kent’s boss threw me a little. I know it’s a crazy thing to say, but sometimes too much acceptance can pull a reader out of the story. It’s a romantic comedy, though, so what Kent does is adorable and sweet and just the right thing. Terry is able to forgive and give up a few secrets of his own. Neither set of parents are what I expected them to be.

And the epilogue at the end is fantastic in that I loved seeing the guys solidly back together and having fun with their friends. I love a large cast of characters and these last few pages highlighted one of Kent and Terry’s biggest supporters. Though I’m still not sure how or why Terry became Anna’s wedding planner? Although it was enough to pull me from the story momentarily, it was not enough to lessen my overall enjoyment.

I’d recommend this to everyone. Especially readers who enjoys a sweet romance that isn’t over the top, or more cynical readers like me who might want something a little lighter every now and then.

Review: Lynn, 5

Having never read this author before I didn’t know what to expect. After read the blurb about making someone fall in love with you on a bet, I was very much interested in reading this story.

From the very first page this story draws you in. We first meet Kent and Blaine, who at first glance aren’t very likable characters. Making a bet to get someone to fall in love with them is pretty harsh, if not downright sleazy! Enter Terry, the unsuspecting victim of their bet, who has a few secrets of his own.

I loved how both Kent and Terry had their own voice in the alternating chapters. I felt it gave an insight on how they were both feeling throughout the story. I also loved how the story itself was written. It flowed so easily page after page. There’s not a dull moment in this book. I’m so glad Kent got to redeem himself, at first he came off as an ass, but as the story moved along you realized he was hiding his true self. Terry was adorable, I immediately fell in love with him probably because I knew he was going to be hurt when he found out about the bet, and they always find out.

The secondary characters in this book were so supportive throughout the story. Terry had Spencer, a good friend who was always looking out for him as well as being Terry’s boss. Kent has Anne, his secretary, but also someone who knew the person Kent truly was. There is also a lot of humor throughout but the one scene that made me laugh out loud was Kent and Terry going ice skating. Kent can’t ice skate, so there were a lot of ups and downs and sore bottoms, hilarious!

Overall, I really, really enjoyed this book. The only problem, as with all short stories I read and fall in love with, is that I wanted more!! Perhaps we can revisit Kent and Terry in the future when Blaine and Spencer get to tell their story!

The Boy From Brighton by Geoffrey Knight

ImageSeven-year-old Charlie thinks he is invincible. He is convinced he has a clock for a heart, which makes it impossible for him to die or feel the sort of heartache his mother always feels every time she and Charlie must flee another abusive loser who doesn’t deserve a woman like Charlie’s mum.

But yet again Charlie and his mum find themselves at Aunty June’s in Brighton on the south coast of England. And while Charlie’s mum seeks refuge, Charlie himself lets his curiosity get the better of him in his latest attempt to prove his own immortality.

That’s when he meets him. The boy who saves Charlie’s life. The boy from Brighton.

BUY LINK: Wilde City Press

REVIEW: Lynn, 4

I’ve read quite a few books from Geoffrey Knight and have enjoyed all of them so I was pretty sure I was going to like this story too. After reading the blurb, I had no idea what to expect. The blurb really didn’t give anything away so I went in not knowing a whole lot. I was not disappointed.

This story had me from the get go. The humor, the adventure and just the interactions of the characters. Ant and Charlie had me hooked. You feel the sense that something special is going to happen with these two young boys. The caring way Ant takes care of Charlie when he’s injured. The way Charlie is just enthralled with Ant and wants to be near him, and gets caught up in anything Ant is doing or about to do. These two together are quite entertaining.

The only thing missing from this story is, what happens next? There were twists and turns, and subtle hints, but at the end I wanted so much more! I want to read about Ant and Charlie all grown up.

REVIEW: Dolorianne, 5

I agree with Lynn, such a compelling story.

From Charlie’s tick-tock heart to Ant’s spontaneity, both characters jump off the page. Each are compulsive in their own way, and that leads them to meet under dire circumstances. A day that could have ended horribly turns out to be the best ever, a day that influences the rest of their lives. These boys are in different stages of their adolescence, but they are both able to see exactly what they need to see. Not only is it sweet and endearing to read, it’s quite beautiful.

There are a few subtle (and not so subtle) things going on outside of Charlie and Ant’s bubble. As the boys have their fun, the adults seem to be imploding. This is a short story so their actions are shown briefly, just enough to shape the world around Charlie and Ant. A way to contrast the inner peace, confidence, and awareness they are both able to achieve in their perfect-but-not-so-perfect day. Regardless of how short the page time is, these supporting characters are just as brilliant, and help to explain who Charlie and Ant are by what they’re going through.

This short story is fast paced, fun, and a nice shout out to the 80’s. Their interaction is age appropriate and could easily be enjoyed by readers of any age group.

If there is anything I disagree with Lynn on, it’s the ending. Of course I would like to have more from these characters because they are great characters. But I don’t feel like there is anything that I need to know, or that there is anything left unsaid. The ending is such that I know that everyone will be fine and happy. And that makes me happy.