Sunday, May 31, 2015

April Hotpicks & Giveaway

Every month the Sinfully team brings you our Hotpicks. We're a little late with April's, promise we will be on tha ball with May's ;) Check out our favourites and don’t forget… five lucky readers get the chance to win a Kindle eBook from our list of April’s Hot Picks. Just enter the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win. Keep up with all our Hot Picks –> HERE.

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Lisa’s Hotpick

In the Absence of light by Adrienne Wilder

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Rating: 5 Stars

Lisa’s Review

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Synopsis

For years Grant Kessler has smuggled goods from one end of the world to the next. When business turns in a direction Grant isn’t willing to follow he decides to retire and by all appearances he settles down in a nowhere town called Durstrand. But his real plan is to wait a few years and let the FBI lose interest, then move on to the distant coastal life he’s always dreamed of.

Severely autistic, Morgan cannot look people in the eye, tell left from right, and has uncontrolled tics. Yet he’s beaten every obstacle life has thrown his way. And when Grant Kessler moves into town Morgan isn’t a bit shy in letting the man know how much he wants him.

While the attraction is mutual, Grant pushes Morgan away. Like the rest of the world he can’t see past Morgan’s odd behaviors
Then Morgan shows Grant how light lets you see but it also leaves you blind. And once Grant opens his eyes, he loses his heart to the beautiful enigma of a man who changes the course of his life.

Lisa: Every once in a while I read a book that renders me speechless and affects me on such a profound and elemental level that is hard for me to put into words. In The Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder fits into this category. This is one of those books that is beyond words or accurate descriptions. It moved me. I truly felt every emotion. I hurt. I got angry. I grieved. I laughed. I felt joy. And, I fell in love.

In The Absence of Light is an incredibly powerful book that made my heart bleed as I tried to take in all that I was experiencing while reading. Ms. Wilder’s lyrical style of writing grabbed a hold of me right from the start and I feel that the beautiful romance she penned was balanced perfectly with the suspenseful FBI sub-plot. Most individuals on the autism spectrum are still very much a marginalized group of people as many fail to see beyond their quirky ways and peculiar behaviours. I do think that this author did a wonderful job showcasing the fact that someone with a disability or a “disorder” such as autism is so much more than their diagnosis. Adrienne Wilder allowed Morgan to shine and for that I am thankful. This is a book that will stay with me for quite some time, possibly forever. A highly recommended read.

 

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Macky’s Hotpick

Dragons by Jaycee Edwards

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Rating: 4 Stars

Macky’s Review

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Synposis

A chance encounter in a hospital waiting room between twenty-two year old Will Messina and sixteen year old Josiah Pinkerton ends with a gift of a stuffed dragon off the hospital gift cart and a memory neither of them can shake.

Five years later, when a lonely, buttoned-up Will ventures into a gay club, he spots a pale, leather-clad specter with violet eyes tracking his every move. Will realizes he’s being watched by the grown version of the boy who’s haunted his thoughts for years.

Joey recognizes Will, but he’s no longer the sweet, brown-eyed boy worthy of Will’s attention. He’s damaged and defective and lives in a different world than Will now. When his childhood crush makes his way across the bar, Joey doesn’t have time to decide whether to be enchanted or dismayed because, unless he turns and runs, those worlds are about to collide.

Macky: Dragons was a lovely little tale that despite its length, captivated me from start to finish and actually brought tears to my eyes. It was poignant and tender, and even though the sex wasn't overt, still had a tangible sensuality and chemistry between its two main characters that showed you don't actually need to have constant bed hopping to make a story sexy. Short, sweet and definitely satisfying, it sort of came out of the blue and took me by surprise, so that's why I'm choosing it as my April Hot Pick.

 

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Mark’s Hotpick

Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues #2) by Alex Beecroft

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Rating: 4 Stars

Mark’s Review

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Synopsis

Billy Wright has a problem: he’s only visible when he’s wearing a mask. That’s fine when he’s performing at country fairs with the rest of his morris dancing troupe. But when he takes the paint off, his life is lonely and empty, and he struggles with crippling depression.

Martin Deng stands out from the crowd. After all, there aren’t that many black Vikings on the living history circuit. But as the founder of a fledgling historical re-enactment society, he’s lonely and harried. His boss doesn’t like his weekend activities, his warriors seem to expect him to run everything single-handedly, and it’s stressful enough being one minority without telling the hard men of his group he’s also gay.

When Billy’s and Martin’s societies are double-booked at a packed county show, they know at once they are kindred spirits, united by a deep feeling of connectedness to their history and culture. But they’re also both hiding in their different ways, and they need each other to be brave enough to take their masks off and still be seen.

Mark: My April Hot Pick is the second book in the Trowchester Blues series from Alex Beecroft. I loved the way that Alex incorporates local traditions and history into this story along with broken characters and a bit of prejudice to content with thrown in.

When the MCs; Martin and Billy were together you could just feel that they were so right for each other, but they both have to overcome their obstacles in their own way. In doing so they find a greater love for each other that just flourishes until they get to their HEA. Oh my I have read a number of HEA in my time as a reviewer but this one really was exquisite! Had me oohing and aahing all over the place for days.

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 Liza’s Hotpick

The Altered by Annabelle Jacobs

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Rating: 5 Stars

Liza’s Review

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Synopsis

In this complicated world there were some humans that were...altered. Daniel is one of them, and in the eyes of shifter society, not one of the good guys. Hiding his ability as a seer, Daniel does his best to live his life as normally as possible - as normal as you can when scientists want to use you and shifters want to kill you. He has two close friends, Matt who is a shifter but who protects Daniel as best he can, and Ash who is human and knows his friends' true nature. And hiding is necessary. The government required all altereds to be registered, but when altereds started disappearing a lot of people, Matt and Daniel included, preferred to stay hidden in the streets of London.

Liza: Every now and again it's great to read a story that has a "different" take on shifters and other paranormals.  This one definitely fits the bill.  Jordan have a hard time ever getting together - Jordan is a shifter, while Daniel is a seer and in this wonderful world by Ms. Jacobs no one in the shifter world likes seers. The two men don't like each other, and yet they can't seem to stay away from each other.  Makes for some interesting dialogue and a couple of funny moments.

The other aspect that makes this book a standout for me, for the month, is the secondary characters.  They are not just bit players in this intriguing story.  They are fully fleshed beings, some of whom, like Keira being a right pain in the ass. Others, like Matt are decent and have agendas of their own. But they add real depth to this interesting story and I couldn't stop thinking about it long after it was finished.
 

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Sally’s Hotpick

Sunset Island by Elliott Mackle

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Rating: 4.5 Stars

Sally’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

February, 1950. Lee County, Florida. In the freewheeling, celebratory aftermath of World War II, survivors and veterans are starting new lives, resuming old ones, or just picking up the pieces.

Former Navy officer Dan Ewing feels safer than any gay man might expect in a segregated, dry county where the Ku Klux Klan is still strong. Managing an ultra-private club-hotel in Ft. Myers with a mixed-race staff, untaxed alcohol, high-stakes card games and escorts of both sexes, he’s been acting like he has nothing to lose: business is good and his romantic life is better. Lee County Detective Bud Wright, a former Marine sergeant and Dan’s secret lover, is outwardly strong and brave, but uneasy with the knowledge that, every time he and Dan get naked together, they’re breaking laws he’s sworn to uphold. It’s nothing that a few drinks can’t get him past, especially when moonlighting as security for Dan’s hotel. Both men have their work cut out for them, however, once a hurricane evacuation brings to the hotel wealthy, well-connected non-members who happen to own Sunset Island, a secluded resort fronting the Gulf of Mexico. Their arrival sets in motion a turnover of hotel staff, sensual and sordid seductions, brutal assaults, the discovery of looted art from Holocaust victims, and, of course, murder. After drowned men start washing ashore on nearby beaches, Dan and Bud must set to work unraveling war-related mysteries and exploring the implications of a rapidly changing society in those postwar years.

Elliott Mackle—who has been called “the Tom Wolfe of gay fiction” and “the gay Pat Conroy”—is also the author.

Sally: I thoroughly enjoyed book three in the Caloosa club series. It was like catching up with old friends after an absence.

I love Dan's dry witty narrative voice, Bud is his stalwart supporter through hurricane and suspicion, the period detail is spot on and the plot is both complex and unexpected.There are foreign connections, a past that won't lie buried and an irresistible young man who looks a lot like Dan!

Highly recommended for readers who like their historicals with a sprinkle of salty authenticity.

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Monique’s Hotpick

Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron

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Rating: 5 Stars

Monique’s Review

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Synopsis

In a world where intellect and achievement are valued above all else, a young man risks everything to save his brother from a life of slavery. Thrown into a harsh, unyielding world where slaves are treated as less than animals, Sascha struggles to come to terms with everything he knows being ripped away from him, but a life of success could never prepare him for his life as one of the Demoted. Sinking lower and lower, Sascha begins to lose hope, but the whim of a mysterious, wealthy man has the potential to change all that.
Cashiel has a dark history that he guards carefully. Between family and business and politics, he rarely has time for a slave, much less a lover. But when he sees a young man who reminds him of the very history he is trying to escape, he makes an impulse decision that he’s not sure whether to regret or not. The slave could expose everything, or he could be the most valuable asset that Cashiel has ever acquired.
Cashiel and Sascha share desires, hopes, and a home. Each man is limited by status, hindered by history, and desperate to succeed. The question is, will that be enough?

Elliott Mackle—who has been called “the Tom Wolfe of gay fiction” and “the gay Pat Conroy”—is also the author.

Monique: I know it may sound strange, but, I love books that get me so emotionally riled up I want to fling my kindle at the wall. And …You know that sick feeling you get in the pit of of your stomach, when the anticipation of something coming up is just too much, and you really DON’T want to read it… But …at the same time you really DO want to read it! Yeah… I love that too! Some readers will totally get what I’m saying and some readers will run a mile before picking up a book that’s going to make them feel so anxious. For me, it means the author has done a bloody good job of weaving a cleverly laid out plot with words that connect me emotionally to the characters and their story.Subjection is that book, it’s intense, compelling reading and I was totally engrossed. It won’t be for everyone as the content is harrowing and I had more than a few histrionic hissy fits. It’s dark, it’s cruel and it hurts, but you read on in hope.

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Alan’s Hotpick

Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens

Rating: 5 Stars

Alan’s Review

Amazon Buy Link

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Synopsis

When a material witness changes her story during a court interrogation, allowing the man who assaulted her little boy to go free, Senior Crown Prosecutor Finn DeHavilland's legendary self-control goes out the window. His subsequent suspension from appearing in court leaves Finn with time on his hands. Desperate to continue working, and after regularly attending his mandatory psychiatric sessions, he accepts a delicate case involving a fraudulent Scotland Yard police detective.
Excited to be assigned to the case, DS Tommy Drummond, who has had a soft spot for Finn since Finn defended him during an internal investigation, and his partner, Stevie Fielding, begin uncovering evidence. A series of seemingly random occurrences muddle their investigation. Believing they’re on the right path, the team pushes forward, until Tommy’s apartment goes up in flames. Offering Tommy a guest room in his home turns up the heat on the growing feelings between Finn and Tommy. But Finn’s baggage may be too much to deal with, and paranoia threatens to tear them apart. As the net around the corrupt detective tightens, it becomes clear he must have had help from high places, and Finn and Tommy become pawns in the game.

Alan: If you’re looking for a happily-ever-after, you’ll find this book most satisfying. If you’re also looking for an extraordinarily well-written book, with scenes that seem to set themselves, evocative characters who jump off the pages, a total lack of melodrama and artifice in a surprisingly moving story, you’ll simply love “Conflict of Interest”. I know I did, and I recommend it with all my heart. This is a subtle, beautifully-written and exciting story that introduced me to a remarkably talented author whom I hope to read for many years to come.

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GIVEAWAY

a Rafflecopter giveaway

49 comments:

  1. I like the sound of In the Absence of Light & Conflict of Interest

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  2. Blue Eyed Stranger (Trowchester Blues #2) by Alex Beecroft

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  3. Blue Eyed Stranger. I love everything by Alex Beecroft

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  4. I think Conflict of Interest.

    Anne

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  5. The Altered by Annabelle Jacobs sounds interesting

    [

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  6. i pick The Altered by Annabelle Jacobs i like shapeshifters

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  7. So many great books I would choose "In the Absence of light" by Adrienne Wilder

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  8. Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron

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  9. Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron.

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  10. So many interesting books, so hard to choose just one... but I think I'll go with In the Absence of Light by Adrienne Wilder. Thanks for the chance!

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  11. probably The Altered or Blue Eyed Stranger. :)

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  12. I love this blog you know, I just wish to have more time to read :)

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  13. They all sound so good that it is hard to choose but I finally picked Dragons by Jaycee Edwards as the one I would most like to add to my collection.

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  14. In the Absence of light by Adrienne Wilder

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  15. probably The Altered or Blue Eyed Stranger. :)

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  16. Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens, my choice

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  17. Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens. Thanks! One of the links goes to a different book. (Elliott Mackle's Book on Amazon)
    taina1959 @ yahoo.com

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  18. Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron is my choice

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  19. In the absence of light, so many good ones!!! Thanks for the giveaway!!!

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  20. Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron

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  21. So many to choose from! First choice is Dragons, but In the Absence of Light, or Blue Eyed Stranger are close seconds. Thanks for the givaway.

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  22. In the Absence of Light was amazing! My pick would be Dragons or Conflict of Interest. Thanks for the giveaway.

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  23. Probably Blue Eyed Stranger or The Altered. I'm reading Conflict Of Interest right now and am really enjoying it.

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  24. It would be a toss-up between The Altered or Dragons

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  25. I've really been wanting to read In the Absence of Light! It sounds fantastic!

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  26. It'd be a difficult pick between Blue Eyed Stranger and The Altered.

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  27. In the Absence of light by Adrienne Wilder or Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens

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  28. In the Absence of Light

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  29. I would choose Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens.

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  30. Dragons is the one I want to read. Absence of light is wonderful. Read it, loved it.

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  31. Dragons is the one I want to read. Absence of light is wonderful. Read it, loved it.

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  32. Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens. I love HEA!!

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  33. Absence of Light and Conflict of Interest sound really good.

    Mel

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  34. Blue Eyed Stranger. Thanks for the chance!

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  35. Blue-Eyed Stranger, it's a book I've wanted to read for a while now. Thank you for the chance!

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  36. There are several titles that I would like to read, especially "In the Absence of Light" and "Conflict of Interest". Thanks for the reviews and the giveaway!

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  37. I already have Blue Eyed Stranger, so The Altered would be my next choice. Thanks!

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  38. Read and enjoyed many so I would choose Conflict of Interest. Thanks for the chance!

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  39. They all look good but since I have to pick one that would be Blue Eyed Stranger or Dragon's.

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  40. His Client is on my TBR list but after reading about In The Absence of Light I think
    I'd have to go with one one- looks soooo good!

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  41. In The Absence of Light would be my choice this week. Thanks!

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  42. I would love to read In the Absence of Light.

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  43. Subjection (Demoted: Book #1) by Alicia Cameron. It's on my wishlist already!

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  44. As a disabled person, and as someone who has an autistic brother too, I'm drawn to In the Absence of light by Adrienne Wilder! Thanks for the giveaway!

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  45. Dragons by Jaycee Edwards

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