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review 2018-06-27 23:25
Deadline
Deadline - Professor John H Dunning

This story got my attention very early on and kept it the whole way through. It was a good story. I really like the way it sounded like an old detective novel only it is about a journalist. Walker is just starting work at the Tribune in New York but before he gets there he happens to see a fire and hears people screaming at a small carnival. A circus tent was on fire, the fabric going up like paper. He went to help and a fireman asked for his help carrying a small body out on a stretcher. It was the body of a young girl and seeing her young form affected him deeply. Later, as the number of deaths increased, he kept tabs on the story and was surprised to learn that no one ever came to claim the young girl's body. He had been given another story to work on but he wasn't interested. He began trying to figure out the identity of that little girl who was eventually buried in a pauper's grave by the coroner. He knew there must be a big story there and there was. It was so big in fact, that finding out might cost his life.

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review 2018-05-17 13:28
Release Blitz - Level Up

 
TitleLEVEL UP
Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers
 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

Synopsis:

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Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.
 
However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.
 
A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.
 
Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

 

 

Excerpt:

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LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!
 
***
 
Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.
 
“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”
 
“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”
 
“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.
 
“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”
 
“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.
 
He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”
 
“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”
 
“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.
 
“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.
 
“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”
 
“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.
 
Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.
 
“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”
 
“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.
 
Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.
 
Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.
 
“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.
 
“Ow,” they said simultaneously.
 
“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”
 
“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.
 
Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.
 
Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.
 
Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

 

Purchase at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

Level UpLevel Up by Annabeth Albert
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Landon absolutely did not want to do this calendar shoot. If the photographer had not known how to coax him out of his shell, it could have been a disaster. Afterwards, he realizes he is attracted to the quiet photographer and wants to spend more time with him.

Bailey is immediately attracted to Landon. He appreciated the qualities that make him the shy almost recluse of a professor that he is. After spending time gaming together - they realize this could be worth a shot. Now if they can just put past pain and hurt behind them.

I felt like these characters were a great mix. I loved the reference to the amazing Gaymers series also! This story unfolds at a rather steady pace. The heat is obvious, but the solution is not. As always, this author brings us a book that makes us smile. Even after the storm.



***This ARC copy was given in exchange for an honest review.

View all my reviews

 

 

 

Meet the Author:

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Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.
 
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

 

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram | Annabeth's Newsletter | Annabeth's Angels

 

 

Giveaway:

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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review 2018-01-17 21:49
Pestilence (The Four Horsemen #1) by T.A. Chase
Pestilence - T.A. Chase

There is "not enough" trend in this book, IMHO.

 

Human Bart's not sick enough the way his illness is described.

Pest does not care enough & not emotional enough. He is detached and doesn't spend enough time with Bart.

Pest and Death talk about secrecy but they are not secretive enough. In fact they can't seem to keep their mouths shut.

The whole falling in love process is not convincing enough.

The whole case of pandemic about to explode is not believable either. 

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review 2018-01-17 02:03
Under a Blood-Red Moon (Duncan Andrews Thrillers #5) by Stephen Osborne
Under a Blood-red Moon (Duncan Andrews Thrillers Book 5) - Stephen P. Osborne

One of the best series I've ever read. 
By the looks of it, there is going to be a #6 and a good chance for a #7 =)

Best part, don't worry about gaps in between the books if you can't read them straight up. This one is so easy to remember. There is only a handful of characters and a simple universe where anything goes. If you manage to remember a (dead) Witch Council, 2.5 MCs (cause very prominent zombie dog for a pet) and 4 secondary characters, you are golden! Oh.... and Donald Drumpf Trump. He is a part of this book, and you just cannot forget THAT character, no matter how much you try.


yeah, now you know why I tagged this book "horror" and "humor" at the same time

5 stars.

PS I just want to mention: this series is urban fantasy at it's finest truest purest self. A major city, Indianapolis, to be precise, is housing all kind of magical creatures that human population is not aware of. A human detective along with his friends - a few humans with and without psy abilities and paranormal/magical creatures - battle the dark forces. It's not simply taking action in a city, it sticks to the tradition. An extra star just for that. And that makes it SIX 

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text 2018-01-12 06:36
Update Autorinnen Challenge A-Z - Der Monat Dezember
Boboville - Andrea Maria Dusl
Die Vegetarierin: Roman - Han Kang,Dr. Ki-Hyang Lee
Die unwahrscheinliche Pilgerreise des Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
Die gute Terroristin. Roman. - Doris Lessing,Manfred Ohl
Der Professor - Amélie Nothomb,Wolfgang Krege
Lucy fliegt - Petra Piuk
Eidechse - Banana Yoshimoto,Banana Yoshimoto
Die A-Z Autorinnenchallenge ist ein voller Erfolg und bereitet mir sehr viel Freude und Inspiration, neue Autorinnen zu entdecken. Wer noch einsteigen will, kein Problem wir haben noch das ganze Jahr 2018 Zeit, um 26 Bücher von Autorinnen zu lesen.  Selbstverständlich möchte Ich Euch alle auf dem Laufenden halten, wie diese Idee ihre Kreise gezogen hat.
Auf Goodreads hat sich mittlerweile eine Gruppe von 22 Personen gefunden, die fleissig bei der Challenge mitmachen und Gedanken austauschen. Mein Lesefreund Semion, der mich eigentlich erst auf die Idee gebracht hat, hat unter dem Titel Alexandras Alphabetische Autorinnenchallenge einen Gruppenthread eingerichtet, in dem extrem eifrig kommentiert wird und Tips für gute Autorinnen ausgetauscht werden. Genauso habe ich mir das vorgestellt. Falls Ihr Euch die Gruppe mal anschauen möchtet hier geht es zur Gruppe.
Aber auch hier in Booklikes, wo ich noch gar nicht so gut vernetzt bin, hat sich eine internationale englischsprachige Gruppe von 7 Teilnehmern unter der Schirmherrschaft von Themis Athena's Garden of books gebildet, die auch noch mitmachen. Themis Athena hat uns für grafisch interessierte und Spieltrieb-Besessene eine wundervolle Bingokarte entworfen.
Obwohl sich ja jeder seine persönliche Liste mit Autorinnen von A-Z zusammenstellen soll, braucht man manchmal Hilfe und Inspiration bei exotischen Buchstaben. Deshalb habe ich eine kumulierte Vorschlagsliste aus all Euren Vorschlägen (sowohl aus Goodreads als auch aus Booklikes) für die exotischen Buchstaben X,Y,Q erstellt. Hier ist die Liste
Weiters hat Tannat mir eine Liste von weiblichen Science Fiction Autorinnen erstellt, die ich um noch 5 Vorschläge von Semjon und aus Twitter erweitert habe. Gerade im Genre der Science Fiction sind Frauen noch sehr unterrepräsentiert, das werde ich persönlich für mich auf jeden Fall ändern, denn ich habe bisher noch kein einziges Buch einer Frau aus diesem Genre gelesen, obwohl mein SciFi-Shelf mehr als 80 Bücher enthält. Hier ist die Liste
A - Ann Aguirre, Madeline Ashby, Naomi Alderman
B - Octavia E. Butler, Lois McMaster Bujold, Rachel Bach, Aliette de Bodard, Kage Baker
C - C.J. Cherryh, Julie E. Czernada, Becky Chambers,
E - Kate Elliott,
F - C.S. Friedman
G - Mira Grant
H - Tanya Huff, Kameron Hurley, 
K - Mary Robinette Kowal, Nancy Kress, Amie Kaufman,
L - Karin Lowachee, Sharon Lee, Ann Leckie, Ursula K. Leguin,
M - Chris Moriarty, Elizabeth Moon
N - Emma Newman, Linda Nagata,
O - Nnedi Okorafor
P - Ada Palmer
R - Kristine Kathryn Rusch
S - Michelle Stern, Uschi Schwartz = Sci-Fi Pseudonym von Uschi Zietsch
T - Jodi Taylor, Verena Themsen
V - Carrie Vaughn
W - Martha Wells and  Connie Willis

Auch meine persönliche Challenge hat sich großartig entwickelt, ich habe Ende Dezember bereits 7 Autorinnen von meiner Liste gelesen. Möglicherweise werde ich, wenn das so gut weitergeht, bei Buchstaben mit Büchern unter 4 Sternen noch ein besseres nachlegen, aber schauen wir mal, ob hierfür die Zeit noch bleibt. Auf jeden Fall habe ich schon eine Enttäuschung erlebt (Lessing) aber umsomehr positive Überraschungen wie Banana Yoshimoto, Han Kang und Amelie Nothomb. Hier ist mein Aktueller Stand. Auch Vea Kaiser war sehr gut. Rezension erfolgt am 17.1.2018, denn diese muss ich mit einem Gemeinschaftsblog koordinieren. Juli Zeh wird gerade gelesen und bisher gefällt mir der Krimi außerordentlich gut. Hier ist meine bisherige Liste
A:
B:
C:
D: Dusl Anna Maria: Boboville - 2,5 *** aufgerundet auf 3
E:
F:
G:
H: Han, Kang: Die Vegetarierin *****
I:
J: Joyce Rachel: Die unwahscheinliche Pilgerreise des Harold Fry ****
K: Kaiser, Vea: Blasmusikpop (currently reading)
L: Lessing, Doris: Die gute Terroristin **
M:
N: Nothomb Amelie: Der Professor ****
O:
P: Piuk Petra: Lucy fliegt ***
Q:
R:
S:
T:
U:
V:
W:
X:
Y: Yoshimoto Banana: Eidechse *** nur wegen der Stilform Kurzgeschichte
Z: Zeh Julie: Schilf (currently reading)

 Ich hoffe, Euch geht es mit dieser Challenge genausogut wie mir und ich freue mich schon auf Eure zukünftigen Tips und begeisterte Rezensionen.
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