Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Release Blitz: Hold Me Up by Colette Davison



Book Title: Hold Me Up (Chasing Gold Book 1)

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently Published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date: January 29, 2020

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Second chance, sports, slow burn, hurt/comfort

Themes: Forgiveness, trusting others, dedication, self-care

Heat Rating: 2 - 3 flames

Length: 68 500 words

It is a standalone story.

 
 

Buy Links - Available on Kindle Unlimited



Blurb

Can second chance love survive past trauma?
Reece has one goal: to compete in the Olympic Games. With the gymnastics World Championships looming, his dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.
When his childhood sweetheart, Alex, walks back into his life unexpectedly, Reece’s world is turned upside down. Alex was the boy who inexplicably pushed him away and broke his heart; the boy he still loves.
When the truth behind their break-up is revealed, Reece wants to hold Alex up and give him the strength to heal.
But can Reece be Alex’s rock, and remain focused on his training, or will his Olympic dreams suffer in the process?
Hold Me Up is a MM second chance romance, with a slow-burn relationship and lots of hurt/comfort. It’s the first in a series of books that follows male artistic gymnasts as they chase gold. 

Trigger warnings: Hold Me Up features a character who suffers from anxiety and panic attacks due to a past event that is briefly described.


Excerpt

“Pizza and beer, as requested.”

Alex’s smiled deepened as he stood back, allowing Reece to enter.

“Are we eating at the table, or are we going to be uncouth?” Reece made eyes at the sofa and then frowned playfully. “How can you be uncouth when you can’t be couth?”

Alex chuckled. “You’re an idiot.”

“It’s true, though,” Reece pointed out, kicking the door shut behind him. “Just like you can be over- or underwhelmed, but you can’t actually be whelmed. The English language is weird.” Raising the hand carrying the beer, he pointed to the table and then the sofa. “Table or sofa?”

Alex considered the question. The sofa would be far more relaxed, but he wasn’t sure if that was a good thing or not. In just a few days, most of his barriers regarding Reece had crashed down. He was enjoying having Reece back in his life, but he felt like it was for all the wrong reasons.

Reece took the decision out of his hands. “The table is occupied by your laptop. Let’s take the sofa.” He put the pizzas and beer on the coffee table before flopping down on one end of the sofa. He looked up at Alex expectantly. “Are you joining me?”

Alex glanced at the table, wondering if he should offer to move the laptop. It would have taken him two seconds to close the lid and prop it against the wall and only slightly longer to take it back through to his bedroom, but he didn’t want to. Instead, he wandered to the kitchen units and grabbed the bottle opener from the drawer.

“Good call,” Reece said as he pulled two bottles out of the cardboard pack. He held them both while Alex flipped the lids off, and then gave one to Alex. “I got us garlic bread,” he declared. “And I seem to remember that you’re not much of a fan of topping on pizza, so I’ve got a margherita for you and pepperoni for me.” He took a swig of beer before opening up the pizza boxes and handing Alex his. Then he reclaimed the bottle. “We should have a toast.”

Alex raised his eyebrows as Reece lifted his bottle.

“To you. Reporter extraordinaire.”

Alex felt heat creep up into his face. “I don’t—”

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

ARC Review: Second Chance by Barbara Elsborg

Second Chance
Blurb:
Ryder’s on the company bonding trip from hell, five days of competitive cycling with competitive colleagues and an even more competitive boss. Faced with yet another vertical climb, he ignores his uninvited, insistent inner cheerleader. No, he cannot keep up, and what’s more, he’s had enough. And the weather appears to agree he should stop, when sun turns in an instant to thick fog. 

Callan’s at Whittaker’s Auction House to bid on fae land that his werewolf pack need as their new home, when an unsuspecting human stumbles through the door. Ryder is out of breath, out of luck, way out of his depth—and apparently the newest item on the auctioneer’s block. Unexpectedly tempting, if Callan had the money. 

As the bidding heats up and Ryder proves dangerously irresistible to the assembled supernatural creatures, the situation grows more and more precarious. When Callan interferes, he puts his pack’s future in peril. Despite knowing how devious faeries can be, desperation makes Callan accept a deal, a chance to win the land for his pack and a future with Ryder. But it’s a risk. Possibly a deadly one. 

This is not 'just another Valentine's story', it's a Barbara Elsborg Valentine's story (ish). So don't expect the usual sonnets and flowers and Cupids, but do expect the unexpected - vampires, weres, witches and warlocks. Oh, and a vengeful fae. Things are not quite as they may seem. You have been warned!


Todd's rating:




Me during the first few chapters:
"Okay, if this dude doesn't stop talking to himself, to the point of internal arguments, I'm going to DNF the hell out of this story."
Me a few chapters later:
"Oooooh, m'kay. Nevermind." heh
I'll try my best not to be too spoilery, but basically Ryder, a London writer and magazine editor, took a spill on his bicycle and found himself in the Fae realm, being put up for sale on the auction block.

Then werewolf shifter Callan was torn between using his pack's money to buy a plot of land that they desperately needed versus bidding on Ryder to keep him safe.

But when Callan's vengeful Fae ex, Padraig, decided to fuck with them both, things got a lot more complicated, and fast.

There were deals struck with challenges to be passed, the first two of which I found really difficult to read.

All I can say is that there was WAAAAAAAAY too much sex involved during those "trials" for my tastes and leave it at that.

Thanks to the third "trial", which felt almost like a punishment for the first two, the tide of sex blessedly receded for quite a while, so I was able to enjoy an actual plot, which turned out to have a Big Twist that I enjoyed, even if I did see it coming early on.

Blog Tour: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4) by Morgan Brice



Book Title: Loose Ends (Badlands Book 4)

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Release Date: December 30, 2019 

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Trope/s: Spooky supernatural suspense, hurt/comfort, dark magic.

Themes: Trust, loyalty, commitment, partnership

Heat Rating: 4 flames

It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and 

features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. 

Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

Length: 62 000 words/ 220 pages


 

As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand? 



Blurb

Cold cases, old enemies, ex-lovers, and vengeful spirits are making life dangerous for psychic medium Simon Kincaide and his boyfriend, homicide detective Vic D’Amato.

The ghosts of Myrtle Beach are restless, trapped by love, secrets, scandals, and spells, keeping Simon busy protecting the living from the unhappy dead. Someone from Vic’s past is out to destroy him and everyone he holds dear, and the high-profile trial of the first case Simon and Vic worked together puts them in the spotlight—and put a target on their backs. As a deadly trap closes around them, can Simon and Vic tie up the loose ends to stop the threat, or will they become the newest ghosts of the Grand Strand?


Loose Ends is an urban fantasy MM paranormal romance with spooky supernatural suspense, hot sex, hurt/comfort, feisty friends, found family, ghosts galore, and dark magic. It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone and features an evolving, established romantic relationship with all the feels. Intended for readers 18 years of age and older.




Buy Links




Excerpt

“I’ve been poking around on the Buccaneer story since the place shut down,” Josh said. “My team’s visited probably a dozen times. Plus, I knew people who worked on the construction and dismantling, and who ran the rides when it was open.” He leaned forward, dropping his voice. “They won’t talk on the record, or to the police, but I’ve heard all their stories. And the rumors that got out? They’re just a fraction of how fucked up that place was.”

Simon sat back in his chair, settling his lanky body and long legs as best he could. He warmed his hands on the hot paper cup and tucked a strand of long chestnut hair behind one ear. “Tell me.”

“One of my sources was a crane operator when they were installing the Riptide Roll steel coaster,” Josh confided. “He saw one of the workmen fall from the top of the first hill when they were assembling the ride. Says the guy died on impact. The company paid to hush it up. Same thing happened when another worker was crushed to death. A load of steel pipe shifted, and he ended up underneath it.”

“Jesus.”

“That’s not all of it. The place was only open for barely two seasons, but the ride operators had stories that would curl your hair. Riders got whiplash, one girl lost a couple of fingers, and a kid died from head injuries when his ride car came loose and crashed. Not to mention the operator who got electrocuted when he had to run his ride in the rain.”

“If the owners had to cover all that up, no wonder they went bankrupt,” Simon said, shaking his head. “I can’t believe they didn’t get shut down.”

“Their rides continued to pass inspections from the state office—or maybe someone got paid off. Still, they closed suddenly before the end of their last season,” Josh said. “Whistleblowers went to the media. The situation was going to be ugly. But then it turned out to be even worse.”

Simon remembered the end of the story. Investors clamored for their money back when the park abruptly shut down, only to find out that the accounts were empty, the books had been cooked, and the profits were never real. Before it could turn into a media circus and authorities asked for serious jail time, Ellington killed himself, and Stevens skipped town.

“Any clue about who’s haunting the place?”

Monday, January 27, 2020

Bookblast: Earnest Ink by Alex Hall



Book Title: Earnest Ink

Author: Alex Hall

Publisher: Nine Star Press

Published: October 14, 2019

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Genre/s: Queer Spec Fic, Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Thriller/Suspense

Trope/s: Found family

Themes: Mystery/adventure

Heat Rating: 1 flame

Orientation: Asexual, Pansexual

Identity: Cisgender, Trans

Warning: Depictions of Trauma, Blood, Violence, Murder, 
Eating disorders, Body hatred, Transphobia, PTSD, War

Length: 72 100 words/244 pages

It is a standalone book.

 


Blurb

While twenty-year-old FTM Hemingway is making an excellent living as a tattoo artist in a near-future version of Hell’s Kitchen, the rest of the country is splintered and struggling in the wake of a war gone on for too long. Technology has collapsed, borders rise and fall overnight, and magic has awakened without rhyme, reason, or rule, turning average unwitting citizens into wielders of strange and specific strands of magic.

Hemingway’s particular brand of magic has made him a household name. Not only is he a talented artist, but his work comes to life. Literally.

When NYC’s most infamous serial killer—the East River Ripper—abducts Hemingway’s best friend, Grace, he has only days to save her. Hemingway teams up with his stoic cop roommate to hunt for the killer and rescue Grace before she becomes the Ripper’s latest victim. But as the duo chase clues to the serial killer’s identity, Hemingway begins to fear the magic he and the Ripper share might eventually corrupt him too.


Buy Links





Excerpt

Earnest Ink
Alex Hall © 2019
All Rights Reserved

I work without speaking because that’s the way I prefer it. The vibration of my machine, the softer buzz of the fluorescent lights overhead, the tap of my foot on the pedal—it’s the best music in the world.

When I hit a ticklish spot, the girl I’m working on gasps, jolting in my chair.

“Don’t move,” I say. And then, with a salesman’s false cheer: “Almost done!”

The girl is sweating down the crook of her neck. She’s got silver glitter paint on her eyelids and cheeks, a new fashion trend I just can’t quite get behind. Under my lights the mix of perspiration and makeup looks like a blurry constellation.

She wanted a bee inked onto her collarbone, one of those tiny honeybees you find on good tequila bottles. Easily done, and she met the cash requirement. She’s eager, nervous, and breathing in and out in little puffs.

I can’t remember her name, but that’s fine. Customer relations is Eric’s job.

There’s another kid leaning over my glass counter, watching eagerly as I work. “Does it hurt?” he asks. “When the magic happens?”
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