Beyond The Surface by Felice Stevens ~ ON SALE 99 CENTS



On 9/11, firefighter Nick Fletcher’s world changed forever. He’s unable to rid himself of survivor’s guilt, made worse by the secret he hides from his family and co-workers. Nick’s life is centered around helping burn victims, until he is reunited with the man he’d once loved but pushed away. Now he has a second chance at a love he thought lost forever.

For fashion designer Julian Cornell, appearances mean everything. His love affairs are strictly casual, and the only thing he cares about is making his clothing line a success. A chance encounter with the man he loved long ago has Julian thinking for the first time in years there may be more to life than being seen at the best parties and what designer labels to wear.

When Julian’s world takes an unexpected turn, it’s Nick who helps him regain perspective on what matters most in life. Julian, in turn, helps Nick accept who he is and understand he isn’t responsible for tragedies he couldn’t prevent. Lost love found can be even sweeter the second time around and after all the years apart, both men learn to look beyond the surface to find the men they are inside.


Loved this story

What a beautifully written story of finding a second chance at life and learning to love for the first time … and getting to do this with the one and only person you never knew you loved. Or did you?

This story is set in New York, post 9/11, and revolves around the lives of Nick Fletcher, one of New York’s Bravest and Julian Cornell, a hard-working men’s fashion designer. 

Fate has brought the past into the present and put these two back in each other’s lives for a reason; the consequences that result from this are astounding. 

“All I can tell you is when I’m with you, it all makes sense. People used to tell me half a life is better than none, but you’ve made me see everything I’ve been missing. Loving you has made me whole again.” ~ Nick

This isn’t just a love story ~ this goes much deeper into the heart and soul of a cast of perfectly flawed characters that Felice Stevens has brilliantly created. A battle between ignorance, stigma, cowardliness, and fear takes on tolerance, acceptance, strength, self-worth, bravery, pride, and love. The road isn’t easy, but the destination makes it worth the trek ~ Love wins. In the end, love always wins. 

Felice Stevens pulls out all the feels like no one else. Brilliant storytelling, impeccable grammar and sentence structure, along with a cast to fall madly in love with, have made this a five star read for me ~

04359888-DAC0-41D8-91F6-8BA095A02BFFReviewed by Lisa Cullinan ~ Bourbon, Bikes, and Books 

Book Review


The Wolf at Bay (Big Bad Wolf – Book Two) 

by Charlie Adhara 

Amazon link:


Going home digs up bad memories, so it’s something Bureau of Special Investigations agent Cooper Dayton tries to avoid. When he’s guilted into a visit, Cooper brings along Oliver Park, his hot new werewolf partner, in the hopes the trip will help clarify their status as a couple…or not.

When Park’s keen shifter nose uncovers a body in the yard and Cooper’s father is the prime suspect, Cooper knows they’re on their own. Familial involvement means no sanctioned investigation. They’ll need to go rogue and solve the mystery quietly or risk seeing Cooper’s dad put behind bars.

The case may be cold, but Park and Cooper’s relationship heats up as they work. And yet if Cooper can’t figure out what’s going on between them outside of the bedroom, he’ll lose someone he… Well, he can’t quite put into words how he feels about Park. He knows one thing for sure: he’s not ready to say goodbye, though with the real killer inching ever closer…he may not have a choice.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

This book is approximately 84,000 words


“The Wolf at Bay” is Book Two of the Big Bad Wolf series and picks up four months after the ending of Book One, “The Wolf at the Door.” Cooper Dayton and Oliver Park are now partners at the BSI, but they are struggling to define their relationship outside of work. Cooper returns to his childhood home for a family event, and Oliver decides to go with him. Cooper is nervous, not only about seeing his family, but also having to deal with not so nice childhood memories. When skeletal remains are uncovered, Cooper’s father is the number one suspect. Cooper and Oliver try to prove his father’s innocence, but other childhood events are brought to light, leaving Cooper with even more questions about his childhood.

I can’t tell you how much I loved this book. It was so much more than I expected.  Yes, it was a romance, but the author did a fantastic job of weaving a murder mystery into the story.  I kept trying to guess who it could be, and of course, I was completely wrong.

I also adored both Cooper and Oliver. Cooper had a lot to come to terms with, but I also think it helped make their relationship stronger. Their conversations had me laughing over their teasing/snarky comments and I cannot wait for Book Three.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.  Thank you! Reviewed by Diana Murphy ~ Turning Pages at Midnight ~ Goodreads group ~

Highly recommend, but start with “The Wolf at the Door”   (Big Bad Wolf – Book One) Amazon link:



Book Review


Craft Brew (Trouble Brewing) 

by Layla Reyne 

Amazon Link:


Assistant US attorney Dominic Price is staring down the barrel of his father’s debts. The bull’s-eye on his back makes him a threat to everyone he cares about, so when his lover wants to go public with their relationship, he bolts. Not because he isn’t in love–he can’t stomach the thought of putting Cam in danger.

Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne is determined to figure out what trouble Nic is running from, but devastating news from home brings him back to Boston and to the cold case that has haunted his family for two decades. Shoving aside his pride, he calls Nic for help.

Together they search for answers, navigating the minefield of Cam’s past. But when they get too close to the truth, Cam must use every skill in his arsenal to save the man he loves…before it’s too late.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


Craft Brew is book 2 in the Trouble Brewing series by Layla Reyne, and also a spinoff of Irish  & Whiskey series. Although I did struggle a bit with book 1 in this series, I absolutely loved this one.

It has been four months since Cam and Nic became a couple, even though their relationship is still unknown to their friends. Nic is still looking over his shoulder because of his father’s activities are still a problem, with no solution in sight. Nic is determined to keep himself and his friends safe and out of harm’s way.  He is almost relieved when Cam has to return to Boston for his family. But when open wounds get the best of Cam, he asks Nic for help. Together, along with Jamie, they try to put an end to a nightmare that has been plaguing Cam and his family for years.

While I struggled in book 1 with Nic and Cam being in a relationship, this story solidifies their feelings. Nic is protective and caring for Cam when Cam, himself, is struggling on many different levels. In fact, I moved Nic to the perfect boyfriend list.

I am thrilled that is going to be a third book. I hope that we finally get to see more of Nic’s past and hopefully overcome his demons.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/NetGalley, in exchange for a honest review. Reviewed by Diana Murphy of Turning Pages at Midnight ~ Goodreads ~


Review: Raising Riker by Paula Marinaro

705F77D8-F591-41F6-9BD8-1ACD3060E326Raising Riker: Hells Saint MC Series (Book Six)
By Paula Marinaro



Sex with Riker Devlin. The gift that kept on giving.
Despite having been raised in refined Catholic schools, Gia Bonzini was no angel. She had given her Uncle Gianni a run for his money in more ways than she could count. Uncle G had warned her that one more stunt and he would be done with her. Being an unwed mother to an outlaw biker’s baby would definitely qualify.
Riker Devlin was Saints to the bone. He rode hard, lived free, and answered only to himself and his president. The last thing he ever expected was to be presented with a choice that would turn the carefree life he knew spinning on its wheels.
Set against a backdrop of intrigue, violence, and chivalry this sixth installment of the Hells Saints MC series takes you on a wild ride with your favorite band of brothers.


Another amazing read from one of my fave authors ~
Paula Marinaro’s Hells Saints MC series is one of my all-time faves. She certainly didn’t disappoint with this latest installment, Raising Riker, which focuses on the turbulent, nutty, and pretty freakin’ awesome relationship between Riker Devlin and Gia Abiatti.
The whole series is a mesh between an MC and the mob. That’s a whole lot of badass, bossy testosterone floating around.
What I love about Paula’s books is how she includes a ton of humor mixed in with with all the action and sexy times that go hand and hand with biker romance books. The Italian (Catholic) references, whether it be Gia worrying over Riker’s soul sentenced to eternal damnation, to Uncle Gianni (major mob boss) and her mom, Audrina, losing their s#*t over not planning or privy to what Riker and Gia have gotten themselves into from the get go ~ and then … there’s Prosper, the MC’s prez.
Prosper is one of the BEST MC presidents out there. His “moral” speeches are epic. If any of his guys needed a father, Prosper is the one. He’s loud, vulgar, BADASS to the nth degree. The things that come out of this man’s mouth astound me from either his very roundabout tidbits of wisdom or his sarcasm inflicted on his club brothers (gotta keep those knuckleheads in line!). He fights hard to keep his family, his brothers, and his club safe. The best part? He loves even harder. I know this is Riker’s story, and I really did love it, but whether Paula realizes it or not, the impression that Prosper leaves in every installment is monumental. Yeah, much love for this series, but Prosper’s story needs to be told!!!!!!
Reviewed by Lisa Cullinan ~ Bourbon, Bikes, and Books


If you’re not caught up, grab the whole series ~ you’ll be happy you did!


Raine Falling: Book One


Chasing Claire: Book Two

380E4E74-A048-48A4-AC38-DA2CCE33CCE5Taming Crow: Book Three

1422085D-C8E4-45CE-9BBD-2DAC5EA32E2ESaving Glory: Book Four

6A546873-D689-4A59-8785-CAD4ACCB0EEEHallelujah Rising: Book Five

AA752214-43C2-4ED0-B1EF-60446AFC416C.jpegRaising Riker: Book Six



Book Review/ Author Q & A


The World Traveler

By Claire Castle


Amazon US:

Amazon UK:


Charming Taylor Samuels doesn’t expect his sister’s video audition for the reality television show The World Traveler to result in anything. But when they’re chosen to compete, he can do nothing but hope for the best.

Adam Scott’s best friend wants them to try to get on The World Traveler, and so Adam reluctantly agrees to make him happy.

As the reality sets in that they’ll competing, Adam tries not to panic too much.

Little do they know that a twist in the show will see Taylor and Adam’s worlds collide in a way they never imagined. 

Will everything go horribly wrong, or could this be the perfect beginning to a wonderful journey?


The World Traveler by Claire Castle is a fun filled and refreshing book about two contestants, each with their own partners, who wind up falling for each other while traveling the globe.

Adam, and his friend, Anderson, are teammates from Chicago, while Taylor, and his sister, Jess, reside in San Francisco. 

The journey starts at Wrigley Field in Chicago, where all the contestants from the TV show, The World Traveler, congregate to gather information as to what will come next—

Let the games begin! Loosely akin to the show The Amazing Race, the teamed-up couples are sent on one adventure after another, with stops in London to Rome to Islamabad to Calgary and many places in between, in a wild race to complete all the requirements before moving on to the next. But somewhere along the way, the contestants were assigned to a different partner than the one they started out with for the remainder of the challenge.

Adam meet Taylor. Taylor meet Adam. How convenient since these two have subtly had the hots for each other since Wrigley Field! 

As Adam and Taylor begin their journey together as teammates, they find out just how suitable they are for each other—with and without the cameras rolling. Who knew that Adam would be the one to excel in swimming and bungee jumping, while Taylor can actually sing and dance! Afterwards, when the two were done for the day, they both seemed to excel in their hotel-room-activities as well!

Each time they make it through another elimination, they trust and lean on one another even more so. As they fall in-sync and realize it’s highly likely they could win, they also fall in love; suddenly, the challenge doesn’t seem as important as what will become of them after it’s all over.  

I loved Adam and Taylor. They equally brought something to the table—their humor, intelligence, vulnerability, and sex-appeal—all  blended together perfectly, and I couldn’t help but root for them  as they raced to their happily ever after. I recommend this one if you’re looking for a light and enjoyable feel-good read ~

Reviewed by Lisa Cullinan ~ Bourbon, Bikes, and Books Book Blog

5888A3EA-45BC-4A6A-A4D9-458413FE6FE7Q & A spotlight for Claire Castle, author of The World Traveler!

Had you always felt a desire to write from a young age?

📚Yes! I’ve been an avid reader since I was young. In summers in middle school, I kept a list on the fridge of what I read that summer. I’ve always loved reading and wanted to write, but wasn’t sure I could ever do it. 

With all the fun and specific details you’ve added in the story, was there a lot of research involved for what goes on behind the scenes of a televised show?

📚There was quite a bit, but it was fun to me! It is tricky to get the fine line of integrating the information into a story and not making it sound like a textbook you are forced to read! I’m a huge fan of The Amazing Race.

Have you been to any of the destinations mentioned in the book? 

📚Yes I have. The Scotland and Canada destinations. 

What made you choose the countries that you did?

📚I wanted to have lots of variety. I think that was the important thing. The world is such a vast, amazing place! I picked some I am familiar with, but others that are intriguing and new. The ones that spoke to me. 

Now, every time I hear “Safe and Sound” by Capital Cities, I think of Adam and Taylor! Do you listen to music while you’re writing, in general?

📚Oh wow! I hoped that would happen. You’ve really made my day. Of course, for me, it is “their” song. Sometimes I listen to music, but not always. I go back and forth. 

Do you pull your cupcakes apart like Adam does? My hubby does the same thing.

📚LOL yes! Go Adam & your hubby. 

Superman or Batman?


Would you ever consider writing another adventure/love story for the same show with different contestants *cough … Anderson* and destinations?

📚Hmmm, great question! I do want Anderson to get his story, I’m just not entirely sure if it would be in this setting again.

How did you decide which character, Adam or Taylor, would be the most suitable for the some of the challenges?

📚They just spoke to me, and it happened. It unfolded very organically. 

Are you currently working on any new projects that your readers can look forward to? 

📚Yes! Thanks for asking. I’m getting a Christmas novella ready for the holiday season and working on a co-write with BL Maxwell, called Cake Clash, which takes place on a baking reality TV contest.  

Thanks so much for answering these questions and giving your readers a little insight into your writing world. I, for one, can’t wait to enjoy more of your work. Best of luck to you!!!

📚Thank you so much for having me! It was great to chat. 



Book Review





Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing) 

by Layla Reyne 

Amazon link:



Layla Reyne spins off from her pulse-pounding Agents Irish and Whiskey books with Imperial Stout, the first installment in the Trouble Brewing series

It’s a good thing assistant US attorney Dominic Price co-owns a brewery. He could use a cold one. Nic’s star witness has just been kidnapped, his joint operation with the FBI is in jeopardy, his father’s shady past is catching up with him and the hot new special agent in San Francisco is the kind of distraction best handled with a stiff drink.

Kidnap and rescue expert Cameron Byrne has his own ideas about how to handle Nic, but his skills are currently needed elsewhere. The by-the-book FBI agent goes deep undercover as a member of an infamous heist crew in order to save Nic’s witness, break up the crew and close the case before anyone else gets hurt. Nic in particular. 

Things heat up when Cam falls for Nic, and the witness falls for Cam. As the crew’s suspicions grow, Cam must decide how far he’s willing to go—and how far into his own dark past he’s willing to dive—to get everyone out alive.

This book is approximately 62,000 words


Imperial Stout (Trouble Brewing #1) is a spinoff of the Irish & Whiskey series by Layla Reyne, where we first meet Nic and Cam.  You could tell there was an attraction between the two and I couldn’t wait to get their story.

Assistant US Attorney Dominic “Nic” Price and FBI Special Agent Cameron Bryne are working a case together and trying to keep their CI alive.  When things don’t go as planned, Cam has to put his life on the line.   Nic is struggling, not only with his new budding relationship with Cam, but someone is threatening Nic.  He know his father is involved, but he needs to find out the details to finally put an end to it.

I loved both Nic and Cam and their very slow burn romance.  Their chemistry is off the charts and there are a few pretty hot sex scenes.  Plus, you get to see the whole gang again, even Danny.  Although I did have one little niggle.  Right from the beginning, there is a lot going on, maybe too much.  I struggled to figure out who was who and I even thought I skipped a book.  It does all work out, and by 15% I settled in and I started to understand more.

Since this does end with a HFN, I am anxious to get my hands on book 2.  I think there is so much to learn about both Nic and Cam.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher/NetGalley in exchange for an honest review ~

Reviewed by Diana Murphy at Turning Pages at Midnight Book Blog ~ Goodreads


Book Reviews








Ravensong (Green Creek Book 2) 

by TJ Klune 



Sequel to Wolfsong

A Green Creek Novel

Gordo Livingstone never forgot the lessons carved into his skin. Hardened by the betrayal of a pack who left him behind, he sought solace in the garage in his tiny mountain town, vowing never again to involve himself in the affairs of wolves.

It should have been enough.

And it was, until the wolves came back, and with them, Mark Bennett. In the end, they faced the beast together as a pack… and won.

Now, a year later, Gordo has found himself once again the witch of the Bennett pack. Green Creek has settled after the death of Richard Collins, and Gordo constantly struggles to ignore Mark and the song that howls between them.

But time is running out. Something is coming. And this time, it’s crawling from within.

Some bonds, no matter how strong, were made to be broken.



I can’t tell you how much I loved Wolfsong, so I was nervous I wouldn’t like Ravensong as much. There was no need for me to worry, I adored Ravensong and the poetic writing sucked me into the story from the very beginning.

Ravensong is the story about Gordo and Mark.  Don’t worry though, there is plenty of Joe and Ox as well as the rest of the Beckett clan.  Of course there are a few changes within the clan, including Team Human, but their fierce loyalty and love of family is always present, especially when they are threatened.

“Sometimes a family of choice is better than that of blood”

The story does time jump, from when Gordo and Mark were kids, to present day. You find out the backstory of the relationship and why they are struggling.

The story is a must read. It’s an emotional journey that had me laughing one minute, and freaking out the next. It’s the type of story that will stick with you for a long time, and I am thankful there is a book 3, hopefully soon.

Reviewed by Diana Murphy ~ Turning Pages at Midnight Book Blog ~ Goodreads