Saturday, December 16, 2017

Release Blitz: Unexpected Christmas by Nell Iris



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | JMS

Length: 13,527 words

Publisher: JMS Books



Blurb
Daniel Erickson stormed out of his family celebration after choking on turkey served with a side of bigotry. Utterly miserable, he reluctantly lets himself be charmed by the hulk of a man and gets into the stranger’s car ... hoping he won’t be axed before the night is through.

Axel Wilson -- Ax for short, unfortunately -- is a sweetheart. Really. He may be badass-looking but his heart melts into goo at the mere mention of his four-year-old niece. Surely he isn’t dangerous?

Thrown together by family drama, the two men spend the evening getting to know each other. Axel is nothing like Daniel expected. But it doesn’t matter that he loves poetry, is gentle and patient -- and hot! -- Daniel is absolutely not falling in love at first sight. There’s no such thing.

Right?






Excerpt

A few minutes later, a vehicle approached from behind. Reacting instinctively, I turned around and waved my arms, hoping the big truck would stop and have mercy on my freezing ass.

I let out a giddy yelp as it slowed down, but it got stuck in my throat when the driver rolled down the window.

He was huge and couldn't hold his head upright without banging it on the ceiling. Big steel gauges adorned both his ears -- at least an inch and a half wide -- and his hair was black and so closely cropped it resembled a five o'clock shadow more than an actual haircut.

"You need a ride?" he asked and his voice was deeper than the Mariana Trench, perfectly matching his frightening appearance. Black tattoos crept up his neck and snaked down his hands below his sleeves. His shoulders were wide, his muscles strained the sleeves of his thick black jacket, and his cheeks were hollow. I was one second from shitting myself.

"I'm not riding with a serial killer!" The words slipped out of my mouth and I groaned. I couldn't have kept my mouth shut for five fucking seconds to avoid being chopped up and thrown to the wolves?

He threw his head back and let out a thunderous laugh.

"What's so goddamned funny?" I glared at him, but he didn't seem to care.

"I'm no serial killer."

"And I'm just supposed to take your fucking word for it?" I raised an eyebrow. I knew I was being combative and taking out my frustration on this stranger, but I couldn't stop myself.

"You could call my ma for references."

"Ha ha. Very funny." With a deep sigh, I resigned to my fate and started walking again. No way was I getting into a car with that mammoth of a man.

"Where you goin'?" he called after me. When I didn't bother to answer, he eased off the break and let his truck crawl after me.

I swirled around. "Stop following me, you creep," I hissed.

He let go of the steering wheel with one hand and held it up as if he surrendered. "Look, man. It's freezin'. You're wet and miserable. Get in the truck and lemme take you wherever you're goin'." His deep voice was surprisingly gentle. Non-threatening, as if he'd come to expect reactions like mine.

"I'm really not a bad guy." He stuck out his lower lip in a pout that would have made a five-year-old girl green with envy and I had to bite my lip to stop a smile from erupting.

"Really?" I tried to hang on to my mistrust, but he made it hard. His appearance screamed RUN AND HIDE, but there was something soft in his eyes that told a different story.

He shot me a crooked smile. "It was worth a try. It works on my niece every time."

The fucker knew all the right words to say to disarm me. "And how old is she?"

"Four."

I huffed out a reluctant chuckle. "Well, you know how it is. Everyone always says how they couldn't believe their neighbor was a serial killer because he seemed like such a nice guy."

His eyes grew big and round. "You're sayin' you don't trust my niece as a character witness?" He sounded as I'd just delivered the biggest insult of his life, but the amused glint in his eyes told me it was all for show.

"Can you blame me?"

Blogtour: Heart Of The Warrior by C.R. Richards



Author C.R. Richards is in the holiday spirit, and giving away some incredible gifts this month to help celebrate the release of the second book in her Heart of the Warrior series!

The giveaway includes:
Clue Firefly
A Stash Tea Gift Set
Ghirardelli Chocolate
Amazon Gift Card
A Snuggly Stuffed Lion
Signed Copies of Both Books in the Heart of the Warrior Series



As an additional giveaway, the author will also be gifting one lucky winner a signed copy of both books in the series! All you have to do is comment on this blog post below with your favorite Holiday movie to enter.

Meet C.R. Richards

Friday, December 15, 2017

Audio book Review: Freckles by Amy Lane

From The Blurb:
Carter Embree has always hoped to be rescued from his productive, tragically boring, and (slightly) ethically compromised life. But when an urchin at a grocery store shoves a bundle of fluff into his hands, Carter goes from rescuee to rescuer—and he needs a little help. 
Sandy Corrigan, the vet tech who helps ease Carter into the world of dog ownership, first assumes that Carter is a crazy-pants client who just needs to relax. But as Sandy gets a glimpse into the funny, kind, sexy man under Carter’s mild-mannered exterior, he sees that with a little care and feeding, Carter might be Super-Pet Owner—and decent boyfriend material to boot. 
But Carter needs to see himself as a hero first. As he says good-bye to his pristine house and hello to carpet treatments and dog walkers, he finds that there really is more to himself than a researching drudge without a backbone. A Carter Embree can rate a Sandy Corrigan. He can be supportive, he can be a hero, he can be a man who stands up for his principles! 
He can be the owner of a small dog. 
Listening Time:  4 hrs. 42 min.

Karen's rating:




Christmas and puppies...it's like a box of happiness...

I first read this story when it was released in e-book format last year, and needless to say it was adorable. I'm not going to re-invent the wheel, so I'll just borrow from my original review...
Carter Embree is a lawyer stuck in a dead-end job that he hates...well, he doesn't actually hate the job, just who he works for. Carter's a lawyer with a conscience and with each day he's becoming more and more unhappy with what he sees.

Sandy Corrigan's a vet tech who wants to a vet so at 33 years old he's working full time and going to school.

These two men's lives collide when Carter ends up the unexpected owner of a puppy that he's told is a Chow/Samoyed mix so imagine his surprise when he find out that his Chow/Samoyed dog is in fact a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua mix...little bit of a size discrepancy there...lol!

I liked Carter with all his insecurities and quiet demeanor. Carter was also a reflection of the adage 'money can't buy you happiness'. He'd been raised in a home where money wasn't a issue, the best schools, successful parents. But what Carter really wanted was someone to share his life with someone whom he could believe in and who believed in him.

Sandy was in many ways Carter's opposite. He'd grown up with a sister and a single mom. Things like money for college and nice homes weren't a possibility in Sandy's world. But Sandy wasn't one to let things like this get him down. He was confident and upbeat. He knew what he wanted and when he saw it he went for it. So when Sandy decided that there was more to Mr. Crazypants than meets the eye it was only a matter of time.

ARC Review: Gemini Keeps Capricorn (Signs of Love, #3) by Anyta Sunday

Gemini Keeps Capricorn (Signs of Love, #3)
Blurb:
Sometimes, one stubborn Capricorn is all it takes… to drive Wesley Hidaka to crazy, flirtatious lengths.

Wesley loves annoying his RA, Lloyd Reynolds. He just can’t help it. Lloyd is focused, decisive, grounded. He has this amusing ability to follow rules. Of course Wesley wants Lloyd to break one… or three hundred.

Sometimes, one smirking Gemini is all it takes… to have Lloyd laying down the law and marching Wesley straight back to his dorm room.

It doesn’t stop Wesley teasing again. And again. And again… But damn. Lloyd doesn’t crack easily. He’s full of principles. He’s unshakable. He’s the perfect friend to have when Wesley needs help. Like with his truant brother and his old high school principal.

Sometimes, one little lie is all it takes… to find Wesley fake-engaged to his off-limits RA.

What can he say? It seemed like a good idea at the time…

* ~* ~* ~*

“Gemini Keeps Capricorn” serves up a double shot of cluelessness, with a side of rock’n’roll and topped with a slow burn HEA. It can be read as a standalone.

Tropes: friends-to-lovers, slow burn, will-they-or-won’t-they, fake fiancĂ© Genre: New Adult, light-hearted contemporary gay romance






Jewel's rating:



Anyta Sunday is the queen of the slo​oooooooo​w burn, and Gemini Keeps Capricorn has some smoldering UST and a clueless MC who is the last to know how he feels.

Wesley is in his last year of undergrad and has been focusing on law. He's not excited about that, though, and can barely make himself actually do the work. However, I don't think it is his studies that keep young Wesley going, anyway. That title would go to one sexy RA, by the name of Lloyd.

Lloyd runs a tight ship keeping his residents in line (and alive, no thanks to one resident who is a complete disaster in the kitchen). Keeping the lead RA, Ryan, off his back is a challenge, too, so Lloyd tries to just fly under the radar and not break any of the rules -- particularly the rule about not sleeping with a resident, no matter how much he might want him.

Review Tour: On The Third Kiss by George Loveland




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
Length: 40,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Blurb
Sebastian Bennett is really looking forward to his Christmas holiday with boyfriend Elliot Bolton in the Gran Canarian sun. The only thing left is for him to sing one last song at the pub as his Drag Queen alter-ego, Donna Tracey. After the wig, make-up and dress come off, he rushes home to pack, only to find he and his chihuahua, Buster, have been deserted by Elliot, who’s taken someone else to Gran Canaria. Devastated, Elliot turns to his friend and the pub’s manager, Javier Reyes-Martinez, who helps him pick up the pieces.

Javier seems determined to bring fun and laughter back into Sebastian’s life during this holiday season, and Sebastian is both grateful and enchanted. After a family Christmas and a word of advice from his great-uncle, Sebastian starts to look at Javier in a different light. Is Javier as fond of Sebastian as he appears, or is Sebastian being misled by his own need? If he’s reading the signs right—and if he’s ready to move on from his previous heartbreak—could he and Javier be much more than friends?








Karen's review:






As Donna Tracey, Drag Queen extraordinaire, Sebastian Bennett works hard, and he’s looking forward to a well deserved vacation with his boyfriend and the love of his life, Elliot Bolton, on the Gran Canaria, or at least he thought he was until he came home to find Buster his chihuahua alone with nothing but a note telling him that Elliot needed a break and was going on their vacation with someone else…which this is bad enough, right? But no, Elliot didn’t stop there. Needless to say, Sebastian is devastated…hell, I was devastated with him.
Feeling like his world is crumbling Sebastian turns to the one person he can rely on, pub manager and friend, Javier Reyes-Martinez. Javier doesn’t hesitate to step-up, offering Sebastian support, friendship, a shoulder to lean on…whatever he needs.
When Christmas day rolls around and Sebastian decides that if he’s not going to be on Gran Canaria, he might as well go home to his family, he doesn’t hesitate to take Javier with him, and it’s in the midst of a broken heart and being with his family who mean the world to him that Sebastian begins to realize that maybe Javier could be more than a friend…maybe, he’s what Sebastian really needs in his life.

Blogtour: Getting His Man by B.G. Thomas




Holiday Greetings to all of you at My Fiction Nook! I am so happy to be here in what I always feel is a home away from home. Now for those of you who don’t know me, my name is BG Thomas (not BJ). However, my friends call me Ben. I’m hoping you will too.

I am here to tell you about my new book, “Getting His Man”. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a new book, and of course what happens is that I have two books coming out this month, both of which are very, very different. “Getting His Man” is a novel which is a part of the Dreamspun Desires line from Dreamspinner Press which is being release today!

Now for those of you who do know my stories, you are aware that in most of my books, my heroes can have a tough row to hoe before they get their Happily Ever Afters (although they always get their happy endings). But as part of the Dreamspun Desires stories, this book is pure fun. And therefore, this book was very fun to write!

Now this book came from a number of influences and inspirations, The first one—and this makes me very happy—was my husband. He was the one that said to me, “Hey baby, have you ever considered writing a book about a bounty hunter going after a guy and then they fall in love?”

Well let me tell you I sat up straight in my chair and my eyes went wide. A bounty hunter? Oh my!

“I was watching this episode of Quantum Leap where Scott Bakula had to go after this woman who had jumped her bail and it was hilarious and I kept thinking how this might be just what you were looking for. It would make a great gay love story.”

So I watched it and laughed and laughed and I knew he was right. I quickly contacted Dreamspinner and told them about this story I had in mind where the bounty hunter has to go after his man and the guy keeps escaping in one hilarious misadventure after another before he finally got his man—and they fell in love. I got the go-ahead and off I went!

Except that something happened that often happens to us authors who don’t (or can’t) outline and who write by the seat of their pants. The characters took me in a whole different adventure—i.e. roller coaster ride!—and what happened instead was a story that I think is no less fun, and a whole lot sweeter and romantic. As the cover says, it is a “story worthy of an old movie. With a twist.” Because both my heroes—Artie and August—love old romantic movies. Except one of them always dreamed of being the hero and, thankfully, the other dreamed of being the “damsel in distress.”

Except not damsel of course. Bachelor in distress? Nah.... Young gentleman in distress? Maybe.

Lad in distress! Yes! That’s it! In “Getting His Man”, Artie is a “lad in distress” and August Sterling is going to be his hero. And maybe, just maybe, they will tango into love.

Here is the cover and blurb....


A love story worthy of an old movie... with a new twist.

Artie needs a hero, a man like those he’s always revered in Golden Age films. His drug-dealing jerk of a roommate got him arrested, and since his savior isn’t likely to sweep in and save the day, Artie calls a bail bondsman.

August has always imagined himself a hero from a black-and-white movie, but he’s never found a man willing to let him play that role—at least not until he gets the call from Artie.
Both of their dreams might come true, but not before August must use his skills as a bounty hunter as well as a bondsman. Artie is on the run for his life, and August must protect him and help him clear his name. Only then can they both finally get their man.




EXCERPT:  

Important set up! Artie’s awful roommate fed him a brownie right before all hell breaks loose. A marijuana brownie! Artie doesn’t do drugs. That brownie truly is the beginning of poor Artie’s roller coaster ride of adventures....

xxxxxx


“That’s it?” Artie asked, those eyes big once more. “It’s over?”


“Well, this part,” August said. “You still have to go to court.”


“B-but what if I have to go to prison? What am I going to do?”


A tear spilled down his cheek and—God!—August was lost. That look! Who couldn’t feel for this kid? He didn’t look like he’d step on a bug if he could help it, let alone be dealing drugs. Certainly not skip on his bail. If for no other reason than he’d probably be too afraid to. Right now, he looked like he would pee his pants if August shouted “Boo!”


He didn’t intend to do that.


Because August Sterling was lost in Artie’s eyes.


Innocent, he thought. Arthur Bailey was innocent.


He’d forgotten all about Harry Bedford’s girlfriend and how innocent she had looked.
Right before she stabbed him in the back.


When August checked his messages, he saw another call had come in while he was dealing with Artie. Luckily, everything was smooth sailing, and the next person who needed bail paid promptly and politely. No more calls after that, and while maybe he should have called in to the office to check, August wanted to change out of his tuxedo. Needed to. He headed out of the court house, and that’s where he found Artie Bailey. Sitting on the steps. He was resting against a railing, and for a moment August thought he was asleep.


He stopped next to him. “Artie?”


Artie looked up at him slowly. “Yes?”


“You okay?”


Artie looked away. “Nooooooo...,” he slurred.


August took a deep breath, looked around, and sat down next to Artie. “What’s going on?”


Pause.


“I am so fudging stoned. Criminy. It’s been hours and I am still stoned!” He looked at August, and there was fear, or maybe panic, in those eyes. “You don’t think I did too much, do you? Could I be brain damaged? Am I going to stay this way?”


August chuckled. Criminy? Really? People still said criminy? His grandmother used to say criminy. “No.” He laid a hand on Artie’s shoulder and gave it a squeeze. The shoulder was harder than he thought it would be. Concentrate! “You’ll be fine. You just ate a lot of marijuana. You’ll be okay by tomorrow.”


Artie trembled and looked away again. “I sure hope so.”


Then August thought of something he hadn’t before. Something that he normally didn’t worry about. Something that, after all, really wasn’t his concern.


“Do you have a way home, Artie?”

Thursday, December 14, 2017

ARC Review: 2017 DSP Advent Calendar by Various Artist (Part 4)

Stocking Stuffers (2017 Advent Calendar)From the blurb:

Sometimes it’s the little things that mean the most…. 
The holidays are a time when bigger often means better, and meals are huge, decorations are over-the-top, and elaborate gifts and grand gestures are one way to show affection. But beneath all the pomp and ceremony, after the grandiose presents have been unwrapped, the stocking stuffers are still waiting to add that final sparkle to the perfect celebration. Even the tiniest trinkets can be gems when they’re chosen with love, and like a good love story, they are held close to the heart and treasured for years to come. The festivities don’t have to end after the feasts and gift exchanges. Dig a little deeper for romantic stocking stuffers both naughty and nice. 
Enjoy a tale of men in love with men every day throughout December.


Heather's rating:

I'm reading:

All Creatures Great and Small by Kasper Quill





A surprisingly cute, light little novella from newbie author, Kasper Quill.

I don't always have the best luck with anthologies, and I definitely don't have the best luck with first-time authors, but I was impressed by this one.

It started off a little rocky with a lot of telling and not a lot of showing, but it soon got into the groove. The MC was funny ( I LOVE funny) and the animals were adorable. The plot morphed into something that was just okay into a really sweet opposites attract story.

It wasn't perfect, but it was a really nice holiday story, and a winner for this anthology.



Blogtour: Being With Him by Mickie B. Ashling



Title:  Being With Him
Series: A Horizons Series Novella
Author: Mickie B. Ashling
Publisher:  Dreamspinner Press
Release Date: 12/27/17
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 145 (42K)
Genre: Romance, Holiday, Contemporary, Transgender

Add to Goodreads



Happy Holidays and thank you for helping me celebrate the release of my Christmas novella, Being With Him. This is a standalone featuring Zeb and Alex, the newest members of the Horizons family.    
As part of my 12 days of Christmas blog tour, I bring you a different recipe each day from Alex’s kitchen aka Southern Living. This man can cook and Zeb is the lucky recipient of his vast culinary arsenal. There’s also a $25.00 Dreamspinner Press gift certificate for one lucky winner.    



About the book:



Zeb Araneda leaves his privileged but closely supervised life in the Philippines to study architecture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, where his new roommate is openly gay Luca Dilorio.

Alex Boulet is a successful print model who appears to have it all, but on closer inspection, the ready smile never reaches his mesmerizing green eyes. Tired of living alone, Alex moves in with fellow model Chyna Davidson, Luca’s boyfriend.

Away from his father’s watchful eye, and with Luca’s help, Zeb learns to navigate his new environment, and experiences freedom of choice for the first time. This fresh perspective allows him to step out of his comfort zone and act on his attraction to Alex.

The holiday season has always been difficult for Alex. Sappy commercials tug at his heart, and storefront windows depict idealized scenes that remind him of what he’ll never have: a loving partner willing to accept his truth. Will this Christmas be another disappointment, or will Santa finally make his wish come true?



Excerpt

December Zeb Araneda tried to concentrate on his roommate’s queer tutorial. With gay dads who led by example—and his own out and proud status—Luca Dilorio knew a lot about being in a same-sex relationship, and felt duty bound to teach him the basics.

Because Zeb was clueless.

And a recently hatched queer.

In love with Alex Boulet, the stunning trans guy who graced this month’s cover of GQ magazine.

“Dude, are you listening?” Luca asked when Zeb didn’t respond.

“Sorry—what?”

“Repeat after me so I’ll know you understand.”

“Quit it,” Zeb grumbled. “I might be new at this relationship, but I’m a smart guy.”

“In case you need a refresher,” Luca persisted. “Rule number one, no PDAs, rule number….”

Zeb sighed and allowed Luca’s words of wisdom to trail off to another section of his brain. Great at compartmentalizing, Zeb tucked away today’s lessons, having every intention of revisiting at a later date.

He realized knowledge was crucial to the success of his romance, but right then, he couldn’t focus for shit. All he wanted to do was pack his bag and catch the bus to Manhattan to start Christmas Break with his lover.

Luca and his boyfriend, Chyna, Alex’s roommate, were flying off to Grand Turk Island to meet up with assorted family members. Which meant he and Alex would have the entire apartment to themselves—for seven days!

Zeb’s friendship with Luca had gotten off to a rocky start back in late August when they’d first laid eyes on each other. He could still remember the outrage in Luca’s voice.

“Dude! You’ll have to downsize. There’s no room for all your crap.”

“Right,” Zeb agreed. “Poor planning on my part.”

“I’m Luca,” he offered, sinking down on a bed. “We’re stuck with each other for a year, so let’s try and make the most of it. Why not start with some ground rules?”

“My name is Zeb, and rules work for me.”

“Good,” Luca said absently, glancing at his phone. He tossed it to the side. “Da fuck.”

“What’s wrong?” Zeb asked. “Girlfriend troubles already?”

“Boyfriend,” Luca clarified. “He’s not picking up his phone or answering my texts.”

Zeb blinked and did his best not to react to the revelation that Luca was gay. It was the last thing he’d expected but a huge relief. Maybe he’d finally get some answers to the questions that had been plaguing him for a while.

“Where is he?” Zeb asked.

“Manhattan.”

“What’s he doing there?”

Blogtour: Operation Green Card by G.B. Gordon





Please welcome G.B. Gordon with 

Operation Green Card 

Bluewater Bay #21 






Blurb:

Arkady Izmaylov is a family man. He’s also gay. In Russia. His sister Natalya has been telling him to get out for years, but it’s only after an attack in the street that he finally concedes and says yes to her desperate plan of him marrying a stranger for a green card.

Jason Cooley was taught from birth that he’s no good to anyone. Then the military taught him he was good enough to save other lives, but that purpose got amputated along with his leg. He’s now working security at Wolf’s Landing and sending monthly checks to his ex for their daughter’s education. When Natalya asks him to marry her brother, Jason knows right away he’ll do it more for the mission than the money she’s offering. But when he actually meets Arkady, his mission turns complicated.
Jason quickly discovers he’s not as straight as he thought. He’s also the man of Arkady’s dreams. Arkady must convince Jason that he’s worth loving, and that Arkady won’t disappear from his life like everyone else. Because Arkady has always wanted a family of his own, and he’s not letting go of this one.




Get the book:



About Bluewater Bay

Welcome to Bluewater Bay! This quiet little logging town on Washington state’s Olympic Peninsula has been stagnating for decades, on the verge of ghost town status. Until a television crew moves in to film Wolf’s Landing, a soon-to-be cult hit based on the wildly successful shifter novels penned by local author Hunter Easton.


Wolf’s Landing’s success spawns everything from merchandise to movie talks, and Bluewater Bay explodes into a mecca for fans and tourists alike. The locals still aren’t quite sure what to make of all this—the town is rejuvenated, but at what cost? And the Hollywood-based production crew is out of their element in this small, mossy seaside locale. Needless to say, sparks fly.


This collaborative story world is brought to you by eleven award-winning, best-selling LGBTQ romance authors: L.A. Witt, L.B. Gregg, Z.A. Maxfield,  Heidi Belleau, Rachel Haimowitz, Anne Tenino, Amy Lane, SE Jakes, G.B. Gordon, Jaime Samms and Ally Blue. Each contemporary novel stands alone, but all are built around the town and the people of Bluewater Bay and the Wolf’s Landing media empire.

Check it out at Riptide Publishing!




Meet the author:

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

ARC Review: Outside the Lines (Bluewater Bay, #22) by Anna Zabo

Outside the Lines (Bluewater Bay, #22)
Blurb:
Miniature artist Ian Meyers has one week to rebuild his damaged set. Needing help, he goes to End o’ Earth, the local comic and gaming shop. Owner Simon Derry pushes all of Ian’s buttons, and he also has steady hands and the skills Ian needs.

Before they can even grab a beer, Ian meets Lydia Derry, Simon’s wife. If Ian had any interest in women, he’d suggest a threesome, but then Simon explains that he and Lydia are polyamorous, and if Ian wants Simon, neither of them will complain. If anything, Lydia encourages the relationship.

Ian’s all in, and it’s fantastic working with Simon to piece together his set and then take each other apart at night. His friendship with Lydia grows too. The only problem is, the more time he spends with Simon, the more he wants everything Simon already has with Lydia: A house. A cat. A commitment. So Ian runs, and shatters the trust he has with them both—right when they need him the most. Piecing their relationships back together might prove harder than a smashed set.




Jewel's rating:



Outside the Lines just became one my favorite books of the year. I was pulled into the story from page one and I loved every moment I spent reading. Every moment.

I knew from the beginning that I would adore Simon. He's a geek and loveable and just the kind of person that I would fall for in real life. Lydia, too, for that matter. They were both such amazing characters from the start.

​I've always found polyamory to be very interesting. Whose to say that love must be confined to just one other person. Love is limitless and when it's allowed to flourish, I think it is a beautiful thing, no matter what society might say. ​That's not to say that poly relationships are easy. I'm sure they're not. Communication is so important and easy to mess up. Relationships between two people can be difficult; add a third into the mix and you had better be good at talking about everything.

​I loved the dynamic created with Lydia, Simon, and Ian. Lydia and Simon are very secure with each other and very comfortable with the idea of developing relationships with people outside their marriage. Simon has a harder time forming relationships but not because of jealousy or anything like that, but because Simon needs an emotional connection to go along with sex​ and he tends to feel awkward in social situations​. But when he falls, he falls fast. ​Meeting Ian was like getting hit by a train and the fact that Ian was interested, too, was like sunshine at midnight.

Book Review: Secret Santa by Jay Northcote

Secret Santa
Blurb:
Keeping secrets is never a good way to start a relationship...

Theo hardly has time to date. Between work and caring for his four-year-old son there aren’t many hours left over. He’s lonely though, so he joins a hook-up app and starts chatting to a guy called Luke. Luke seems friendly and they arrange to meet. Theo doesn’t mention that he has a child. It’s early days and he’s worried about putting Luke off before they get to know each other.

Luke is currently working as Santa at the local shopping mall. He figures Theo never has to know. Christmas will be over soon and Luke will move on to a new, less embarrassing job. He’s surprised when Theo and a little boy visit Santa one afternoon. Theo doesn’t recognize Luke, and Luke realizes he’s not the only one with a secret.

Despite misgivings on both sides, they start dating, and the chemistry is amazing. But as Christmas approaches their secrets pile up like colorful packages under the tree. If they’re not careful, they’ll lose the best gift of all—each other.



Todd's rating:




This one started out pretty slow for me, as the guys kept lying by omission or flat out telling one another untruths.

Once they finally had their "coming clean" chat in the park, after the truth was out and the trust repaired, I enjoyed the story much more.

Theo was a 29 y.o. IT geek at the Apple store in the mall, but also the father of 4 y.o. Archie. We were told that Archie was "the result of a drunken experiment between two friends," but I *reaaaaaaally* wanted more details there, since there's zero indication that Theo was anything other than 103% gay. Much like myself. :- P

Also 29, Luke was temporarily working the holidays playing Santa at the mall, before starting his training as a pharmacy adviser.

Neither had been lucky in the love department, but both were hopeful that this time might be different. So, of course, they started building their relationship on the lies that I previously mentioned. *sigh*

Blogtour: Thirty-One Days And Legos by S.A. Stovall




Please welcome S.A. Stovall with 

Thirty-One Days And Legos

Ranger Station Haven #2 



Hello Internet! It’s me, SA Stovall, here to talk about my upcoming Christmas novella, Thirty-One Days and Legos, as well as share a quick excerpt!

Thirty-One Days and Legos follows two men, Owen and Carter, who adopt a pair of brothers right before the Christmas season. While Owen wants to celebrate all thirty-one days as though they’re each their own Christmas, Carter struggles to connect with the two kids. Add in a new adopted cat and hijinks ensue! Check out the excerpt (Carter trying to relate to Edmund, the youngest of the boys) and see what I mean!







Blurb:

Park rangers Carter and Owen Williams have decided to expand their family and adopt two brothers—boys they rescued a year before when they tried to escape the foster system and flee to Canada. After completing their parenting classes, Carter, a reserved man who enjoys the simple life, swears he’ll be the best father possible. His patience is tested, however, when one brother adopts a cat out of the snowy Voyageurs National Park and the other brother refuses to talk about what’s bothering him.
Owen wants to make sure their first Christmas together is a special one, and he decides all of December should be a celebration. He has an activity planned for each of the thirty-one days, but none of them seem to go off without a hitch. The cat has fleas, the boys need to attend a court hearing, and Carter is more than a little overwhelmed.

But Carter is 100 percent determined to make his new family work. He just has no idea how….




Excerpt:

After a minute in, I struggle to think of something to talk about.


What do kids like? Destroying things? No, that’s incidental.


“So,” I begin.


Edmund turns around to face me, his eyes staring straight into mine as though he can’t wait to hear what I have to say.


What’re we going to talk about? He’s six. It’s not like we can have deep philosophical discussions. What if I damage his frail little mind? Maybe I should just remain silent.


No, the classes said not to do that.


Fuck.


“All right,” I say. “I need to level with you. I don’t know anything about small children.”
Edmund holds up the picnic basket. “I’m not small, ya know.”


“All right. I don’t know anything about medium children. Tell me things you like to talk about.”


“Legos and superheroes,” Edmund says matter-of-factly.


Superheroes? Eh. I know next to nothing about superheroes. I exhale and ask, “Okay, if you could have any superpower, what would it be?”


“Laser eyes.”


With a scoff I say, “That’s ridiculous. That’s not even useful.”


I regret my comment the second it leaves my mouth. He’s six. I shouldn’t be so quick to judge his fantastical choices.


Edmund snorts and continues on the trail with his head held high. “Laser eyes are super useful.”


“How so?”


“I could laser bad guys, of course.”


“And what about everyone else?”

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

ARC Review: Regret Me Not by Amy Lane

Regret Me Not
Blurb:
Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas.

Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.

As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.


Todd's rating:




Amy Lane is firmly on my "Top 3 Favorite Authors of All Time" list, but I don't know, for me, this story just sort of drifted along, leaving my feelings half-muted in comparison to the majority of other Amy Lane's other works that I've read. : (

At 32, Pierce had been in an auto accident and moved in with his sister's family while he healed, then after having snapped at her during a moment of pain, decided to take his best friend up on his offer of his beach condo as he continued to recover.

During Pierce's first pool workout, he met Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth, aka Hal, who was working toward getting his certificate in massage therapy. Hal was upbeat, take charge and determined to help Pierce regain his mobility.

And who was Pierce to argue? He needed the help, and the fact that Hal was attractive and wouldn't take no for an answer didn't hurt in finalizing that decision. Except that Hal was only 23.

ARC Review: Out for the Holidays by Cara Dee

Blurb:
I’m not saying Henry jinxed us when he chose to send out two hundred holiday cards stating we were going to have a blissful Christmas at home…

Before we knew it, our peace and quiet went out the window, and we were headed to Mexico for a photo shoot my agent had neglected to tell me about. Of course, we had to deal with the man who didn’t want us to be together, and then we ended up back in LA, and we had to figure out what was going on with my brother, and, and… Okay, deep breaths. FYI, Philadelphia is nowhere near our home in northern Washington. Additionally, I wonder how Viagra really works, and what’s it gonna take to get a proposal around here?

Honestly. I’m not saying Henry jinxed us, but I’m writing the damn card next year.

Warning: This story contains more sugar than the cookies you leave for Santa, and it's chock-full of greetings and updates from other characters written by Cara, titles including Noah, Home, Path of Destruction, Uncomplicated Choices, and more.


Dani's rating:


This book is stupidly hot!

Set more than a year after the end of Out, Out for the Holidays (which, as a novella, is still longer than some shorter novels) takes us on a ride with Zach and Henry as they celebrate their second Christmas together.

Their first Christmas was crazy, with Zach modeling and the boys settling in at college in L.A., so Henry and Zach are more than ready to spend December at home with their two dogs and one fat cat.

Alas, fate has other plans!

Zach finds out his agent booked him for a modelling gig in Mexico, where he'll have to work with the jealous, slimy Joseph. Thankfully, Henry comes with him, and things with Joseph come to an ... orgasmic (and sort of hilarious) conclusion.


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