Book Reviews, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQA+, Year of Reviews - 2022

Review – Bruised But Not Broken by Nicole Dykes

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Bruised But Not Broken; Spark of Hope #1
(A standalone within a series)

Publication Date: May 31, 2022

Genre/Tropes: MM/Trauma-Healing/Age-Gap Romance

Author: Nicole Dykes

Review Rating: 5 Gold Stars


A beautiful, hope filled journey that I didn’t want to end.

This is a story about trauma, healing, and budding relationships – both friendship and sensual. It takes a very personal path of not only two men who have gone through some very horrible trials in their lives, but also those close to them who have also experienced trauma in one form or another. There are very raw moments, but offset with extremely tender ones. It’s very well done.

Ben and his brother, Roman, along with their long time friend, Andrew who is a therapist, begin a trauma group therapy meeting at Ben’s gym and while Andrew is the therapist in charge, Ben and Roman lead self defense classes afterwards. This is the initial premise of the Spark of Hope group. A safe space for someone who has been involved in some form of trauma; whether it’s by accident, abuse, attack, bullying, etc…their group is a safe space to meet. Plus Ben’s gym is the perfect spot to not only hold the meetings, but also to have a self defense class where people won’t have to travel or have the chance to change their minds if they have been in a situation where they need that opportunity to feel empowered again.

I have to say I love the premise and what these three men do. While these three men have had a long time bond, so there is lots of ribbing and such, at the heart there is a wonderful respect for one another that makes the story have this warm cozy feel.

Ben Price has only been with one woman in his life, but when his wife files for divorce, he’s left feeling hollow and completely unsure of where life will take him. He’s often accused of having a hero syndrome with everyone in his life, so when a beat up young man steps into his gym looking for a job, of course he offers to help. Never once did Ben look at Colby as anything other than a man who needed a job, a place to stay and someone who really just needed a little help getting back on his feet, but when they begin spending time together as friends and that friendship blossoms into more, Ben no longer has a hollow feeling inside and he sees hope for the first time in a long time, but is it his hero complex kicking in or could he really have true feelings for Colby?

Colby is a young man who will break your heart. The guilt and shame he carries with him is so heavy it’s amazing he can walk around everyday, He’s been emotionally and physically abused for years and like all domestically abused victims he doesn’t know how to break the cycle. Learning how to trust, to stop hearing all the hateful words cycling through his head…well, I like to think it’s fate that had him walking into Ben’s gym one rainy day. However, he isn’t sure Ben could like him for him. Ben has never been with a man before and then there are those awful voices that constantly filter through his mind. Yeah…I know how powerful those can be. I wanted to hug Colby all the time.

Their story touches on a lot of hard topics, but it’s also like a phoenix rising from the ashes in its beauty. I loved reading how both of them blossomed in each other’s presence, because that is what love truly does for the other person, it doesn’t diminish or take away, but it makes the person you love really shine.

Bruised But Not Broken is a beautiful book and I loved reading it.

Spark of Hope: A bi-weekly trauma support group.
This is my nightmare. When I think of a support group, I think of sad people sitting around talking about their feelings and nothing changing.
And yet, when my brother and his best friend, who happens to be a therapist, presented the idea of holding the meetings at my gym, I caved.
Because I, Benjamin Price, have always tried to rescue the people in my life. But I can’t. I’ve usually failed them.
Now, I’m hosting a trauma support group and desperately trying not to fall into my old habits—of attempting to save everyone.
And then, he walks in.
Bruised. But not broken. No matter how exhausted he may feel, a strength in him calls to me.
And there’s no way I can ignore the need deep inside me to at least try.

I’m tired. I’m afraid. And I don’t want to go back.
Not to the abusive relationship I told myself I was okay with for years.
But what am I supposed to do?
I have no real life skills. All my life, I’ve been told I’m pretty and that’s it.
Then I walk into a gym, looking for a job, but I find so much more.
I don’t want to trust Ben. I don’t believe his help doesn’t come with a price.
But what choice do I really have?
One thing’s for sure . . . Neither of us are getting out of this intact.
What we lose though, that’s anyone’s guess.

***Bruised But Not Broken is set around a trauma support group and will, therefore, touch on extremely sensitive subjects. I’ll always do my best to handle these topics with care and healing, and with no intention of hurting anyone. But please, heed this warning if you have any triggers.

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Cover Reveal - 2022, New Releases

Cover Reveal – Filthy by Tia Louise

Tia Louise has revealed the covers and blurb for FILTHY!


Releasing June 9, 2022

By Tia Louise

Good girls are saved by princes, but my savior is a monster.

After my father died and my family splintered, I became a target, a pawn in a game I didn’t know I was playing.
Then he appeared—dark, dangerous, tormented, and always just within reach.
He makes me feel something I lost years ago: Safe.
And he thinks he can keep me at arm’s length.

Once upon a time I was a hero, until the sins of my father caught up with me, and I was forced into darkness.
I should’ve died in that fire. Instead, I served evil men, until I risked it all by walking away.
Now I’m a wanted man. At any time, I could be taken down for what I owe.
What I don’t expect to find in my hiding place is her—broken, beautiful, so damn tempting.
I shouldn’t touch her with my filthy hands. I was hired to keep her safe.
But every day it gets harder, then she starts sneaking into my bed.

Together, we’re filthy, but together, we can find our way through the flames.

(FILTHY is a stand-alone, bodyguard, romantic suspense novel. It contains a fierce, wounded alpha-protector and the filthy girl he’s hired to protect… No cheating. No cliffhangers.)

⭐ 𝗙𝗜𝗟𝗧𝗛𝗬 𝗶𝘀 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝗝𝘂𝗻𝗲 𝟵…
✔𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗡𝗲𝘄 𝗥𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗮𝘀𝗲 𝗔𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘁:
✔𝗚𝗲𝘁 𝗮 𝗧𝗲𝘅𝘁 𝗔𝗹𝗲𝗿𝘁: Text “Tia Louise” to 64600 (*US only)

Cover Designer: Lori Jackson Designs
Photographer: Wander Aguiar


Meet Tia Louise

Tia Louise is the USA TODAY best-selling, award-winning author of super-hot and sexy romances. All her heroes are alphas with hearts of gold, and all her heroines are the smart, sassy ladies who love them.

Connect with Tia
Website |
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Text “TiaLouise” to 64600

Blog Tour - 2022, Contemporary Romance, LGBTQA+, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

Blog Tour – Wicked Flame by Ella Frank

He’s ready to steal his heart and never give it back.

Wicked Flame, a sizzling MM romance and the hot conclusion to the Chicago Heat Duet from USA Today bestselling author Ella Frank, is out now!

Life is hard. I learned that at an early age growing up on the South Side of Chicago. I accepted it, even came to expect it. With a sister who was a constant source of worry, and a track record of losing anyone even remotely close to me, trouble seemed to follow me no matter where I turned.

Some people were born lucky. I was just born.

That’s what I used to believe, anyway, until GQ. The gorgeous guy in the fancy clothes who for some reason decided to look twice at me. He gave me a place to call my own, a space to feel safe, and he made me believe in the impossible—that love was more than just a four-letter word.

Life is unexpected. I learned that just recently when I walked into a bar on the South Side and found the love of my life—Jameson Clarke.

He’s everything I’ve always wanted, and yet somehow even better than I imagined. He’s brave, brash, protective of those he loves, and under all that bravado is a vulnerability that calls to my very soul.

Jameson’s a storm cloud, but he thinks I’m the sun. If that’s true, then I’m determined to break through the shadows of his past and steal his heart the way he’s stolen mine.

Grab your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide:

Add to Goodreads:

Start the Chicago Heat Duet now!

Amazon Worldwide:

Add Wicked Heat to Goodreads:

About Ella Frank
Ella Frank is the USA Today Bestselling Author of the Temptation series, including Try, Take, and Trust and is the co-author of the fan-favorite erotic serial, Sex Addict. Her Exquisite series has been praised as “scorching hot!” and “enticingly sexy!”

A life-long fan of the romance genre, Ella writes contemporary and erotic fiction.

Some of her favorite authors include Tiffany Reisz, Kresley Cole, Riley Hart, J.R. Ward, Erika Wilde, Gena Showalter, and Carly Philips.

Connect with Ella
Stay up to date with Ella by joining her mailing list:

2022 New Release/Release Day, RomCom, Year of Releases - 2022, Year of Reviews - 2022

New Release – Good Vibrations by Kayley Loring

Title: Good Vibrations
Series: The Brodie Brothers #3
Author: Kayley Loring
Genre: Steamy Romantic Comedy
Release Date: May 26, 2022

A former model, a grumpy lawyer, and a single dad walk into an audition for a children’s musical… They’re all Miles Brodie. It’s only cute if you aren’t the director who’s being bribed to cast his daughter.
Re: Our discussion
1. True. Casting my daughter as the lead in your musical could be considered bribery if people find out I’m investing in it, but no one needs to know.
2. I only want to hire you as Macy’s singing coach so her vocal skills will improve.
3. Maybe if you’d spent less time surfing and more on your singing career, you wouldn’t be in this financial predicament.
4. Re. your living situation—my neighbor has a guest house. If you cast Macy as Alice, I will pay for your first three months’ rent.
Do we have a deal?
Best regards,
Miles Brodie
1. It absolutely is bribery, but I absolutely need that money for my production. Thanks!
2. It is very cute that you will do anything to get Macy this part, but I would only coach that sweet child as a favor to all mammals with functional hearing.
3. If I spend less time surfing, will you spend less time jogging on my beach with your shirt off?
4. You want to pay me to live next door so you don’t have to drive anywhere to frown at me?
5. I have another condition for casting Macy as Alice—you have to perform the part of the Cheshire Cat.
99c for a limited time!
Free in Kindle Unlimited
Whispersynced & releasing May 27
Narrated by Jason Clarke and Mackenzie Cartwright. Featuring Teddy Hamilton, Zachary Webber, Emma Wilder, Connor Crais and Emily Woo Zeller
Before writing steamy romantic comedy novels, Kayley Loring got a BFA in creative writing from a Canadian university and had a fifteen-year career as a screenwriter in Los Angeles (under a different name). She mostly wrote PG-13 family comedies that studios would pay her lots of money for and then never make into movies. In 2017 she decided to move to the Pacific Northwest and write about all the fun stuff that she wasn’t allowed to write about in those PG-13 scripts. Now she’s breathing cleaner air and writing dirtier words. It’s an adjustment she’s happily getting used to.