Book Review by Pixie: Textual Relations, by Cate Ashwood

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Textual Relations, by Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: August 6, 2017

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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Book Tour: A Forced Silence, by Cate Ashwood (Excerpt & Giveaway!)

Thanks for stopping by the blog tour for Cate Ashwood’s new release, Forced Silence! This novel combines crime drama and romance in all the best ways, and features one of my favorite romance tropes: a second chance at true love!

In my review of A Forced Silence, I said: Cate does a phenomenal job of showing a relationship between two men who parted on bad terms, but have never forgot their feelings for one another. Pair that with the stress from a murder mystery and difficulties at work, and you get a book that you absolutely won’t be able to put down!

You can read my review here.

So keep reading to check out an excerpt from the novel, as well as a great giveaway!

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ForcedSilence[A]FSA Forced Silence, by Cate Ashwood
Series: Zero Hour, Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 11, 2015

Blurb:

For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

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Advanced Book Review: A Forced Silence, by Cate Ashwood

ashwood-forced-silenceA Forced Silence, by Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: December 11, 2015

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Buy Links: eBook / Paperback

I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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For paramedic Adam Carson, his world is lights and sirens and saving lives. Pressures at work keep him firmly in the closet, and life is too busy to contend with the complications that come with dating and relationships. When a familiar face from his past turns up where he least expects it, Adam starts to question whether or not there is room in his life for those complications.

The last person forensic pathologist Sam McKenna expects to see at pub night is Adam, the guy who made his life hell in high school. The attraction is instant, but Adam isn’t gay and Sam has no interest in pursuing him. Still, the leftover animosity from their teenage years isn’t enough to extinguish the lust growing between them. After both are called to the scene of a horrific murder, Adam admits he’s not as straight as he led Sam to believe and they seek comfort and distraction in each other’s arms. One night becomes many as the murder investigation intensifies, but when Adam is faced with losing Sam, he is forced to make a choice: to break his silence, or to give up everything for the job he loves.

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Blog Tour: Tasting Notes, by Cate Ashwood (Excerpt & Giveaway!)

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Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Tasting Notes, by Cate Ashwood
Series: Canyon Creek, Book One
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 26, 2015)
Word Count: approx. 64,000 words
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Welcome to the book blast tour for Cate Ashwood’s novel, Tasting Notes, a new contemporary M/M romance out today! This is a really sweet romance, with some truly fantastic sexual tension between the two characters as they move from hate to love! Keep reading for an excerpt from the novel, as well as your chance to win an e-copy of the book!

Summary:

West, a venture capitalist, has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Rush returns to his hometown and settled in as a Christmas Tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parent’s vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.

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Book Review: Tasting Notes, by Cate Ashwood (Rating: 3.5/5)

ashwood-tasting-notesTasting Notes, by Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (October 26, 2015)
Page Count: 200 pages
Genre: Gay (M/M) Romance

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

Buy Links: eBook / Paperback

* I received an advanced copy of this novel in exchange for a fair and honest review. *

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Summary:

Joseph “West” Weston has paid for his wealth and success with long hours at the office and no personal life to speak of. Meetings, conference calls, and paperwork dominate his waking hours and have kept him from honoring the promise he made to his late grandfather years before.

After leaving the Marines, Robert “Rush” Coeman returns to his hometown and settles in as a Christmas tree farmer. His life is quiet and simple, and he likes it that way. When West arrives in town and buys Rush’s parents’ vineyard on a whim, that simple life is turned upside down. The animosity between them is palpable, but Rush shelves his preconceived notions in order to protect his parents’ legacy. He agrees to help West learn how to run the vineyard, and Rush soon realizes that love doesn’t necessarily come in the package he expected.

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My Review:

This was a really sweet romance, and I really enjoyed the plot and the characters. West is successful, but his life is completely empty, and he realizes one day that he’s not happy. Stress and over-work finally force him to take a break, and he makes an impulse decision to drive to the Pacific and spread his grandfather’s ashes, as a way to honor the man who raised him. Except he gets distracted on the way by a charming small town, a beautiful winery, and a handsome man named Rush.

I can relate to West in a lot of ways… being over-worked, and desperate for a break, is something that a lot of people can understand. So it’s nice to live out the fantasy through West, who has more than enough money to just take off one day.

Rush was a bit harder to grasp. He has his reasons for acting the way he does, but those reasons aren’t explained until much later, so at first he comes off as extremely unlikable.

But OH MAN, the hatred and sexual tension between Rush and West was so good! Rush is clearly attracted to West, but at the same time can’t stand the kind of person he knows (or thinks) West is. And West is just baffled, but certain that he wants to prove Rush wrong and win over the former Marine.

Rush saw the punch coming, and he couldn’t say why he didn’t react. West’s fist collided with his cheek, throwing Rush backward with the force of it. Even in the blur of anger, Rush had to give the guy credit. He didn’t think he had it in him.

While the initial relationship between Rush and West was fantastic, I feel like the animosity between them resolved way too quickly. I really wanted to see a slower transition from hate to love; the tension from Rush’s hatred really drove the plot and made both characters fascinating, but as soon as it was resolved everything really slowed down and leveled out, making the story drag on until the next point of conflict appeared.

I also feel like the author was a bit too pleased with her research. There were a lot of little details that were thrown in (ie, the exact make and model of West’s car, the specific breed of Rush’s dog, the exact type of helicopter pilot Rush used to be, etc) that seemed like overkill. Details that didn’t factor into the story at all, and didn’t improve the narrative, but instead just seemed awkwardly placed.

On the whole, though, the story was really enjoyable! Rush and West are sweet together, and Rush was great about teaching West to relax and enjoy the little things, while West was eager to learn and thrilled with the new challenges before him.

Worth checking out, especially if you want a sweet romance between two complex characters.

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