Friday, May 26, 2017

Release Blitz: Boys Don't Cry by J.K. Hogan




Please welcome J.K. Hogan with 

Boys Don't Cry 

Publisher:  J.K. Hogan
Release DateMay 25th 2017
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 70,000 words

Genre: Romance




Blurb:

Mackenzie Pratt is having the worst luck of his life. His apartment building is being torn down, and since he’s jobless and just weeks away from graduating college, he can’t find anywhere else he can afford to live that isn’t a critter-infested dump. As he’s lamenting the very real possibility of job hunting while couch-surfing, he gets an offer from the coworker of his best friend.

An in-demand mobile app developer and heir to his parents’ fortune, Laurent Beaudry is literally an eccentric billionaire. Even though Mackenzie realizes he’s basically living the plot of a cheesy romance novel, he takes the proffered room in Laurent’s Baltimore mansion. He finds his new housemate to be grumpy, brooding, and, at times, incredibly kind and endearing.

Raised by his brother after their father’s death, Mackenzie spent his formative years plowing headlong through school, focusing on little else beyond earning his teaching certification. He’s never taken the time to explore love and relationships, much less sexuality, so when he finds himself being courted by another man, he has no idea what to do. And when he realizes he might actually return those feelings, his life takes a whole new direction.



Excerpt:



The house was dark so I couldn’t see much, but what I could see was immaculate, contrary to what Taylor had said. The hardwood floors gleamed in the moonlight, the furniture looked expensive and perfect, and there wasn’t a dirty dish or dust bunny in sight. “I thought you said it was a sty,” I whispered.
“Oh, this? Not this. He only uses a fraction of the house, the suite with his bedroom, living room, library, and office. All of this is just for show,” he said with a sweeping gesture toward the big empty parlor we were facing. “And why are you whispering? He knows I’m coming.”
“I don’t know. It seems so quiet and…undisturbed.”
Taylor’s chuckle had an evil ring to it. “You want disturbed? Follow me.” He cupped his hands around his mouth and yelled. “Mr. Beaudry! It’s me, Taylor. Morrison. From Mindstream. The place you work.”
He made his way down a dark corridor with me dogging his heels. “He doesn’t remember who you are? Where he works?”
“Oh, he knows. But when he’s been staring at code for hours on end and not sleeping, sometimes basic stuff slips his mind. Details like that can be hard for geniuses like him.”
Genius? I didn’t think I’d ever heard that term used to sincerely describe someone. “What does he do again?”
“He’s a mobile app developer. Highly sought after, but right now he works exclusively for us. That was a huge coup for the company.” He stopped in front of a heavy, ornately carved door made of some kind of dark hardwood. He rapped his knuckles on it three times before barging on in, while I hovered in the doorway.
So this was the suite. Taylor had been right. What a mess. We stood in what I assumed was the living room, but it was hard to tell because every available surface was covered in wrinkled clothing, pizza boxes, and empty dishes. A huge fireplace was installed in the far wall, surrounded by shelves and shelves of books. More books than I’d ever seen in one place outside a library. The fire blazed in the hearth, and I was honestly surprised there wasn’t any garbage close enough to it to catch fire. As beautiful as the house was, the mess made my skin crawl. I usually lived in shitty apartments, so I was a bit of a neat freak to balance the universe.
“Beaudry? You in here?” Taylor called. There was no answer. “He must be in the bedroom suite.” He headed to a door on the left, like it was no big deal.
Wait! You’re just going to barge into the guy’s bedroom?”

Release Blitz: Back Home by RJ Scott






Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK



Cover Design: Meredith Russell



Length: 52,147 words







Blurb


Falling for his brother's boyfriend broke his heart. Now he's back home and falls in love all over again.

One birthday kiss and Kieran realizes he is in danger of falling for his brother’s boyfriend, Jordan. Leaving for college, then moving to another country is the only way to ease the ache in his heart.

But, when his father becomes ill and his sister begs him to come home, Kieran returns for good. He finds the family business nearly bankrupt and Jordan, the man he ran from, beaten down by despair and guilt.

Friendship is what they promise each other as they work to repair the business, but it could never be enough for Kieran. When secrets spill, and there are vital decisions to be made, Kieran realizes two things; he’s back home, and he wants to stay with Jordan for good.

Now he just needs to convince Jordan.






Excerpt

“Where’s Hayley?” he asked.

“She slept out last night,” Anna said as she spooned eggs onto a plate for him.

“Where did she say she was going?” Jordan asked again. He slipped into the familiar big brother role as easily as pulling on his jeans in the morning. After all, he damn was like a big brother to her, especially with Brad gone and Kieran on another continent. He had a right and a reason to be worried. As soon as Anna told him that Hayley hadn’t been home, he started fretting even though he knew he had to accept that the girl he thought of as five with pigtails had actually reached adulthood and had even had sex. He didn’t want to think about that in too much detail.

“She’s twenty-two, sweetie. If she wants to stay out, that’s her choice. Maybe she was with that nice young man Alex.”

Anna sounded so accommodating; as if it didn’t worry her that her youngest child was out God knows where with God knows whom. Alex might seem like a good guy, and Jordan had even grudgingly admitted he appeared to be a solid stable influence on the normally flighty Hayley, but still, he knew exactly what was in a twenty-five-year-old man’s head. After all, he was only twenty-nine himself, and he had a good memory. Resentment built inside him, sudden and bitter; after Brad, they should have been more careful knowing where their kids were and what they were doing.

Shit. Where had that thought come from? Brad had been a grown man. What had happened to him had nothing to do with Anna and Phil. They were good parents, and they had made a good family. It also wasn’t their fault Kieran was gone. He ruthlessly pushed down the irrational imaginings to where they belonged, way down where he stored his own guilt.

“Should’ve told us,” Jordan snapped in return, anger fighting with fear in his gut. She was so little, even at twenty-two, slim and petite and so blindly trusting of everything and everyone around her.

“Jordan…” Anna turned from the skillet, wiping her hands on a kitchen towel and looking at him with that patented mother expression that she did so well. It never failed to calm him down. “She texted to say she was okay. That is as much as we’re going to get. We know she’s okay—she said so.”

Jordan grimaced. Recently all he seemed able to do was focusing on the shit that was happening, or on the worst that could happen. It was so easy to let a million thoughts race through his mind, every one colored with death and blood and fear. He could imagine a kidnapper taking the phone and texting as her, or her being coerced… Jesus, it didn’t bear thinking about.

“I’m going to be having words with her,” he grumped, concentrating on the plate of food that Anna placed in front of him. He wasn’t even hungry, anxiety nibbling away at him until his stomach was one big knotted mess. Patiently, and acutely aware that Anna was watching him as she had done ever since his accident, he forked eggs and bacon into his mouth, the taste of them like ashes.

Eating didn’t stop him from brooding, and being watched didn’t stop his mood from spiraling lower. If anything, the combination of the two made everything worse. The appointment at the bank was still looming, and he was worried about what they would say.

Jordan had to go on his own; Phil wasn’t well enough to be there with him, but he was determined to be involved in dealing with the company's finances. He wanted to be hands-on, it was his company and on and on. Whenever Phil started talking that way, Jordan listened as patiently as he could, trying not to feel too hurt Phil was determined to hold on so tightly. After all, hadn’t he been running the company just fine for the last two years?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Author Of The Month - Ari McKay - Grand Finale



Welcome to our Grand Finale Celebrations for the amazing 



In today's post, we'll take a look at Heart Of Stone, Finding Forgiveness, and A Taste Of Honey. We also have our Q&A with the authors, and one more chance to win!


First up, Heart Of Stone



Blurb:

Stone Harrison never knew he had an aunt; he certainly never expected her to bequeath him one of the largest spreads in central Nevada. But something about Copper Lake Ranch and its foreman, Luke Reynolds, speaks to him, offering a chance for the home he's never really had.

Luke wants Stone to succeed as a rancher and put the legacy of his shiftless father behind him, but he'd also like Stone to share his bed. Unfortunately, Stone is convinced that the world is a harsh place that will never accept two men sharing their lives. Much to Luke's dismay, he refuses to risk Luke's life despite the intense attraction they share.

The tension between them escalates when a series of calamities strikes Copper Lake. An unexpected and unwelcome visit from Stone's dandified cousin, James, only makes things worse. Stone's ability to run the ranch comes into question, but the threat of losing it means less to Stone than the threat to Luke's life. Stone will do anything it takes to protect the man he loves-even if it makes him a murderer.


Excerpt:


“You’re goin’ to have a lot of people lookin’ to you now.” Luke hoped he wasn’t making the situation sound too dire. “But as long as you’re fair and carry your weight, ain’t no one goin’ to complain.” He smiled, deciding it was time to lighten the mood. “Ownin’ a big, prosperous spread like this ain’t all bad, and it ain’t all work all the time. You’re goin’ to have a lot of the local gals real interested in you now, that’s for sure. You could have your pick.”
Suddenly Stone reined his horse to a stop, and he looked at Luke with a frown of consternation. “Gals? You mean the ones you don’t seem to think are very interestin’?”
Luke stopped as well, uncharacteristically flustered as he tried to figure out how to answer the question without revealing the truth. This ranch was his home now, and he didn’t want to be kicked out and lose his job and this place all at once because his new boss wasn’t happy about having a foreman who fancied men instead of women.
“Well, just because they don’t interest me none don’t mean one of them might not strike your fancy,” he said at last.
Stone’s expression didn’t change, but Luke noticed a flush had risen under his tan. “Doubt it. Don’t have time for it anyways, if I’m goin’ to learn how to run this place.”
“Well, one day, you’ll have it all figured out, and then you might want to cast your eye around,” Luke pointed out, hoping he wasn’t inadvertently squelching Stone’s social life with all his talk about how busy the ranch would keep them. “I won’t even ask you to take your courtin’ to one of the outbuildings[A1] ,” he added with a mischievous grin.
For some reason, Stone only turned redder. “You ain’t goin’ to have to worry about that,” he growled, and then he tapped Raider with his heels, spurring the horse into a fast walk.
The reaction puzzled Luke. He wondered if Stone was shy around women or if there was something else going on. A man as handsome as Stone ought to be plenty experienced, not blushing at the mere mention of courting. Unless….
He signaled Mist to speed up as well and caught up to Stone, studying him in silence. Was it possible Stone didn’t fancy women either? He wasn’t sure, and he couldn’t ask outright unless he wanted to risk being punched in the face on top of being fired, but maybe he could find out somehow.
“I guess that means it’ll be real quiet around the big house.” He kept his tone casual. “Just a couple of bachelors sittin’ around together every night.”
Stone gave him a sideways glance. “Sounds fine to me. I’m not much for bein’ social. Don’t need dancin’ and drinkin’ like some cowboys who don’t have no sense.”
“You don’t have to drink and dance to be social,” Luke pointed out. “You can take a lady out for a fancy dinner, a buggy ride, or a picnic.” He was fishing, but hopefully not too obviously.
That earned him a flat out scowl, and Stone’s jaw clenched. “Maybe I could. If I ever wanted to.” His eyes narrowed. “You ain’t got a sister you’re thinkin’ about throwin’ at me, do you? I don’t hold with fightin’, but I just might have to punch you if you try somethin’ like that.”
Luke’s eyebrows climbed almost to his hairline at that, and his suspicions grew even stronger at Stone’s unusually forceful objections to the idea of courting a woman. This had to be more than mere shyness or lack of experience with women!
“Nothin’ like that,” he replied easily, deciding it was time to be a little more direct. “I ain’t got no family that wants to claim me, if you want the truth. See, they found out I ain’t exactly fond of courtin’ the ladies either.” He fixed Stone with a steady, direct look. “My momma caught me behind the barn with my pants around my ankles, and it weren’t no young lady I was with at the time, if you take my meanin’.”
“What?” Stone stopped Raider in his tracks again, and the horse gave a whinny of protest at the sudden pull of reins. He stared at Luke, dark eyes wide in a way that would have been funny if the subject hadn’t been so serious. He had apparently forgotten how to speak, too, since his mouth opened and closed, but no sound came out. A few moments later, Stone shook himself like a man who’d felt something walk over his grave and cleared his throat.
“I sure hope you was with another man,” he said finally, his tone as dry as desert sand.

“Because if it was a cow or a horse or some other critter, I think we might have us a problem.”



Get the book:





Second in today's line-up, Finding Forgiveness


Blurb:

Boston in 1888 is quite urbane, but unfortunately for Gil Porter, that isn’t the same thing as being understanding. When his sexuality is exposed by the scandalous suicide of his lover, Gil is exiled to the small town of Mercy, Texas, by his domineering father, George, who believes life on Vernon Porter's ranch will cure Gil of his “unnatural” desires. Grieving and ashamed, Gil is determined to keep his distance from everyone until he can return home.

To his surprise, he finds acceptance at Bent Oak Ranch, especially from Matt Grayson, the handsome son of the ranch foreman. Knowing he must fight his attraction to Matt, Gil courts a local girl, but an unexpected encounter with Matt leads to his discovery of Matt’s feelings for him. Torn between Matt and his desire to be “normal," between returning to his old life and building a new one in Texas, Gil is faced with a choice—appeasing his father or becoming the man Matt knows he can be.




Get the book:





And last, but not least, A Taste Of Honey


Blurb:

Boone Phillips needs a girlfriend-now! If he shows up to the family reunion alone, his mother will throw every woman in sight at him. But the only "woman" Boone trusts enough to ask is Honey, the drag queen alter ego of his best friend, Rob. It's a crazy idea, but Boone is desperate.

Boone wins Rob over to the idea after first going on a "date" with him as Honey, but everything feels different once the plan is set in motion. Between nosy relatives, illegal moonshine, and the sight of Rob in white lace panties, Boone starts to wonder if he's as straight as he thought. When an earth-shattering kiss sends Rob running, however, Boone learns some surprising things about both his family and himself. 
Now he needs to convince Rob to give him another chance, or his first taste of Honey might also be his last.

First Edition published by Torquere Press, 2016.





Get the book:





Our Q&A with the authors:



1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?

We have a list of plot bunnies over 100 long that we’ve built up over the years. We often go to it for inspiration of we’re answering a publisher’s call, or if we want something to write that we’ve already given a bit of thought. Sometimes we’re inspired by books, or movies, or tv shows… or even actors. There are lots of things that spark our creativity, and we’re glad for each and every one of them.


2. What's your writing process? Seat of your pants, lots of sticky notes, complex spreadsheets?

We’re basically pantsers, though for things that require a logical progression rather than an organic development, we work out a general plot as a sort of guideline. But we are always open to change, because some of the best things we’ve ever wrote (in our opinion, at least!) are ones that come to us on the spur of the moment and spring fully to life pretty much all by themselves.


3. Which character from your books is your favorite, and why?

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

ARC Review: Shelter the Sea by Heidi Cullinan

Shelter the Sea (The Roosevelt, #2)From the blurb:


Emmet Washington has never let the world define him, even though he, his boyfriend, Jeremey, and his friends aren’t considered “real” adults because of their disabilities. When the State of Iowa restructures its mental health system and puts the independent living facility where they live in jeopardy, Emmet refuses to be forced into substandard, privatized corporate care. With the help of Jeremey and their friends, he starts a local grassroots organization and fights every step of the way. 

In addition to navigating his boyfriend’s increased depression and anxiety, Emmet has to make his autistic tics acceptable to politicians and donors, and he wonders if they’re raising awareness or putting their disabilities on display. When their campaign attracts the attention of the opposition’s powerful corporate lobbyist, Emmet relies on his skill with calculations and predictions and trusts he can save the day—for himself, his friends, and everyone with disabilities. 

He only hopes there isn't a variable in his formula he’s failed to foresee.

Heather's rating: 






A moving sequel to one of my all time favorites, Carry the Ocean, Heidi Cullinan hits high notes again with Shelter the Sea.

Carry the Ocean is a book that I can barely talk about without getting choked up. It had a deep, profound affect on me, and it changed my scope of romance novels and who romance novels can be about forever. It has a very special place in my heart, and I was... scared when I saw that a sequel was coming out with the same two MCs. One of my biggest pet peeves ever is when an author gives two MCs a perfect, happy ending and then RUINS it with a second book. Thankfully, Heidi didn't do that with this one (it would have CRUSHED me!). Just the idea of anything happening to Emmet and Jeremey's relationship gives me heart palpitations, FFS. 

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