Monday, April 30, 2018

ARC Review: Stand by Your Many (The Mannies 3) by Amy Lane

Blurb:
Sammy Lowell has his hands full juggling his music, college, some pesky health problems, and making the uncles who raised him proud. He needs help fulfilling his after-school duties with his siblings. Nobody can be in two places at once—not even Sammy! An injury puts Cooper Hoskins in a tough spot—if he can’t work, the foster sister he’s raising can’t eat. But years in the foster system have left Cooper short on trust, and opening up to accept help isn’t easy. Luckily, family intervenes—Cooper needs a job so he can care for Felicity, and Sammy needs someone who can see past his illness to the wonderful things he has planned for his life. Each heals the damaged places in the other’s heart. But falling in love is a big responsibility for young men deep in family already. Can the two of them get past their fear of the immediate future to see forever with each other?



Dani's rating:





Stand by Your Manny is pure adorable, fluffy goodness. If you're looking for a book about family that's all sweet feels and little angst, you'll love this story (which I suggest reading as part of The Mannies series).

Sammy is a college student majoring in music and the best big brother ever. But in some ways Sammy behaves like a child. He has emotional issues related to eating and often forgets to eat all day. I'm guilty of that too, but I don't have aplastic anemia. Sammy does though, and his body can't handle his crazy schedule.

Cooper, a foster kid who aged out of the system and is taking care of his younger foster sister, carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. Cooper is so used to going at it alone, he hates asking for help and depending on anyone. But when he's seriously injured on the job, he has to accept help from Sammy's family, who takes in every stray (seriously, just knock on their door).

ARC Review: Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton

Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride
Blurb:
Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run--all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn't ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his "intended", Robby's only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is -- and can't resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.

Damn, what a kerfuffle. If only Trace can get rid of the fugitive while hanging on to his own stupid heart.



Jewel's rating:



What a clever and amusing story! I don't often read historicals, but I could not pass up Robby Riverton: Mail Order Bride. One look at the blurb and I knew I had to give it a shot. Eli Easton has done well with this one!

I loved Robby. He was adventurous, clever, and quite inventive! As an actor, he knew a bit about makeup and disguise, and being slightly built, disguising himself as a woman worked. He could charm anyone and he really needed to put that skill to use when he found himself impersonating Rowena Fairchild -- the mail order bride for Clyde Crabtree's youngest son, Clovis.

Blogtour: Robbie Riverton: Mail Order Bride by Eli Easton




Robby Riverton Excerpt – First Kiss

By Eli Easton

AUTHOR’S NOTE – I always love writing, and reading, a couple’s first kiss. I like to make a big deal of it in my stories because it is big deal. Your first kiss with the love of your life? Magic.



There was the squeak of a door opening. Trace grabbed Robby’s hand and pulled him into the trees. They stood in the shadows, Trace behind Robby, one arm around his waist as though he might try to escape. Robby hadn’t the least intention of escaping. The warm muscle behind his back felt so damn good. He watched Pa Crabtree walk with his bow-legged gait across the yard to the privy. He was wearing a long night shirt, a wool hat, gloves, and galoshes over bare legs. He stumbled, half asleep. He went into the privy and the door banged shut.

Robby tried to calm his racing heart. His pulse pounded along Trace’s arm. Electricity radiated in time with the thud, thud. Dear God above. This attraction was officially insane. How could he feel even a speck of lust at one of the most dangerous and dodgy points of his life?

Unless that was why he felt it? He’d heard a close brush with death brought on the urge to copulate, as if the body was reminded of how imperative it was to reproduce, and soon. Of course, if Robby’s body was thinking about offspring, it shouldn’t have set its sights on Sheriff Trace Crabtree.

Something tugged under Robby’s chin. It was Trace, untying his bonnet. The damn thing was perpetually in the way. How did women stand it? He felt cool air as it was tugged off his head and tossed on the ground. He raised a hand to rake his fingers through his hair, loosening the tamed locks. It felt so good to be free.

“Are ya doin’ all right here at the ranch?” Trace asked in a voice that was so low, Robby wouldn’t have heard it except Trace’s mouth was against Robby’s ear.

He replied just as softly. “So far. But I still think I should run while I can.”

Trace pulled him closer, so that Robby’s back was pressed tight against Trace’s chest. His palm spread out along Robby’s ribs, making his skin dance with awareness. His words were firm despite the whisper. “Ya can’t go south, and the way north is dangerous. Besides, ya ran all the way from New York and didn’t outrun your troubles. Don’t run, Robby.”

His words were so sure, so certain. Robby needed to trust someone, needed to not feel alone. He turned, grasping Trace’s waist under his open canvas coat and resting his forehead on Trace’s chin. He was acutely aware of the texture of Trace’s wool vest beneath his fingers and the smooth, thick leather of his gun belt where one pinky rested, of the warm sweat-smell of man and the faint whiff of horse. Those things had never been his favorite smells, but right now they were more than merely good, the scent was life itself, like the smell of the woods and the night air.

Trace’s hands covered Robby’s. Probably he was nervous with Robby so close to his guns. But that was all right. Robby didn’t blame him in the least. All he wanted was to be allowed to stand here for a moment. To not think—just for a moment.

Behind him, Robby heard the privy door bang as Pa-Pa exited. Trace held still until there was the fainter sound of Pa-Pa going back into the house.

Trace relaxed. “He’s gone.”

Robby sighed and stepped back. “It’s going to be hell sitting here waiting. With no idea what’s going on, or when they’ll come.”

“I’ll be keepin’ an eye on ya. Is there a time of day ya can get away? Take a walk?”

Robby thought about it. “Afternoons. The men and older boys work outside and the little ones nap. Marcy and Emmie are usually occupied.”

“All right. There’s a trail behind the barn that goes to the river. Walk south on the riverbank maybe ten minutes, and you’ll find an old cabin. Meet me there tomorrow.”

Robby nodded, relieved he wouldn’t have to wait too long for another update. “Tomorrow.”

“And if ya ever need to get out of that house, just go to the cabin. All right?”

Robby nodded again. He wasn’t sure what else to say and, honestly, he didn’t want to say anything. He wanted to stand there like this, feeling Trace’s warmth and strong confidence. He made everything seem so much more manageable, turned monsters into annoyances. He seemed to think Robby could do this, that they’d be fine. And maybe he was right.

Then he realized that Trace was all but holding him. They were only inches apart and Trace looked down at Robby’s hands, which he still grasped in his own. It should be awkward, but it didn’t feel that way. And Robby wasn’t stupid enough to push away the only good thing he’d felt in ages.

“Why are you doing this for me?” Robby asked at last. The intimacy of Trace’s closeness in the dark was doing strange things to his head.

Trace met his gaze, his eyes troubled. “I’m helpin’ you because it’s the right thing to do. I don’t want to see ya dead. And, in case it’s not obvious…” He huffed out a resentful sigh. “I kind of like ya.”

Robby laughed. “You don’t have to sound so put out about it.”

“Well, I am. I am put out about it. It’s the goddamnedest, most inconvenient thing.”

Robby couldn’t argue with that. But he felt a surge of happiness that Trace had admitted it. It made him feel reckless. Without over-thinking it, he leaned in for a kiss.

Trace stopped him, releasing Robby’s hands to grasp both upper arms. “Don’t. You know it’s foolish.”

Robby felt a flash of irritation. “What I know is that I’m scared out of my fucking mind. And I know that I might not be alive next week. So I’m not interested in nursemaid morality.”

Trace glowered at him for a long moment before responding. “Fine. One kiss. But we can’t be doin’ this.”

It was the worst logic ever, but Robby wasn’t about to point that out. The arms that were holding Robby away now pulled him in. And, despite Trace’s words, his lips were the ones that sought out Robby’s. And they were hungry.


Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design

Length: 65,000 words approx.



Blurb
Being a fugitive in the old west shouldn’t be this much fun.

The year is 1860. Robby Riverton is a rising star on the New York stage. But he witnesses a murder by a famous crime boss and is forced to go on the run--all the way to Santa Fe. When he still hasn't ditched his pursuers, he disguises himself as a mail order bride he meets on the wagon train. Caught between gangsters that want to kill him, and the crazy, uncouth family of his "intended", Robby's only ally is a lazy sheriff who sees exactly who Robby is -- and can't resist him.

Trace Crabtree took the job as sheriff of Flat Bottom because there was never a thing going on. And then Robby Riverton showed up. Disguised as a woman. And betrothed to Trace’s brother. If that wasn’t complication enough, Trace had to find the man as appealing as blueberry pie. He urges Robby to stay undercover until the danger has passed. But a few weeks of having Robby-Rowena at the ranch, and the Crabtree family will never be the same again.










About Eli

Release Blitz: Masc (Femme #2) by Marshall Thornton




Length: 56,000 words approx.

Series

Femme (Book #1) - Universal Buy Link




Blurb
Lionel and Dog are back in this follow-up to the Lambda finalist, Femme. Almost six months have passed and, after taking an online quiz, Lionel believes their relationship is doomed because they have nothing in common. To save their relationship, the pair joins a gay bowling league and discovers that Lionel is an excellent, if somewhat eccentric bowler.
Meanwhile, Dog gets profiled in a work newsletter. He's excited that he's out at work but doesn't immediately see that by fawning over Dog's masculine nature he was also putting down all femme guys. Lionel takes it personally which leads to a crisis in their relationship. Attempting to make it up to Lionel, Dog attempts to make a grand gesture which backfires spectacularly.

Will the two manage to put things right? And will a night in jail, a morning of drag bingo, an afternoon of day drinking, and a month of moping make things better or worse?







Author Bio

Sunday, April 29, 2018

ARC Review: Alaska (Sawyer's Ferry Book 1) by Cate Ashwood

Blurb:
Nobody says no to a Prescott.

Not even one of their own.

Holden:
Living up to expectations had never been easy, but when I went after something, I got it. Success. Money. Victory. I was standing on the doorstep to having it all. There was only one thing standing in my way.

Gage:
Power and prosperity are overrated. Especially when they come at a price. When enough became enough, I walked away. Nothing had ever tempted me to look back, until one day the past showed up in my backyard.

I’m not so sure I can walk away a second time.


Dani's rating:


I'm not a fan of winter, but I absolutely love reading books set somewhere cold and snowy. Maybe it's the whole "thank god, it's you, not me" aspect, but I've always been fascinated by Alaska. It just seems so remote and wild.

Holden means to leave Sawyer's Ferry, Alaska behind and return to New York. He did his dad's bidding and failed. Gage, the man Holden tracked down, wants nothing to do with Holden's father; he left the medical research company they formed together behind two years ago and is perfectly happy practicing surgery in Sawyer's Ferry, population 10,000.

So what if Gage is the hottest man Holden's seen in a long time? There's nothing between them.

That's what Gage tells himself too. He's used to living alone, but all of a sudden he's asking Holden to fill in for a surgeon who's been injured, and Holden's moving in with him. Temporarily, of course.


ARC Review: Alaska by Cate Ashwood

Alaska
Blurb:
Nobody says no to a Prescott.

Not even one of their own.

Holden:Living up to expectations had never been easy, but when I went after something, I got it. Success. Money. Victory. I was standing on the doorstep to having it all. There was only one thing standing in my way.

Gage:
Power and prosperity are overrated. Especially when they come at a price. When enough became enough, I walked away. Nothing had ever tempted me to look back, until one day the past showed up in my backyard.

I’m not so sure I can walk away a second time.




Jewel's rating:



"I had no idea what I’d done in a previous life to deserve my current situation, but apparently, Karma wasn’t just a bitch, she was a sadistic whore."


And with that first sentence, I was hooked.

Holden Prescott was sent on an impossible mission, by his asshole of a father, to Alaska to sweet talk a former business partner into returning to said business. Alaska. Land of perpetual winter. Snow, cold, six months of darkishness. Alaska. Never mind that Holden is not an errand-boy, he's a surgeon, like his father, and has been in charge of medical trials since going to work for his father, at Westbridge. But, Phillip Prescott is a controlling jerk and he loves to hold Holden's career over his head, so off to Sawyer's Ferry, Alaska Holden goes.

Gage Emerson is the surgeon that Holden has been sent to find...and drag back to New York. There is one thing that Gage Emerson is not interested in doing and that is being in the same state as Phillip Prescott. To say that they parted on epically bad terms would be an understatement. When Gage first sees Holden in the only bar in town, attraction is triggered. Until he found out who Holden was, that is.

Attraction can't always be ignored, though, and Holden and Gage soon find out that they have more in common than their professions and an association with Westbridge and Phillip Holden.

Release Blitz: Flowers For The Gardener by Sharon Maria Bidwell





Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design:

Publisher: JMS Books




Blurb
A warm-hearted rich man's son, Richard Gardener needs to overcome three obstacles: find a way the family business can run without him, help his mother cope with grief, and stop butting heads -- and other parts of his anatomy -- with the gardener.

Ethan Fields has worked for the Gardener family for many years. He’s struggling with debt and the desire to leave, and has loved Richard far longer than the man would believe. Ethan can cope with most things, but his anger with Richard’s mother won’t fade. Until that and his feelings for Richard are resolved, he feels trapped and, alas, the idea that sex will get Richard out of his system isn’t working.

To make the situation worse, both men assume too much and don’t say the right words, and Ethan’s offer of ‘just sex’ grows more complicated by the day. Can Richard and Ethan stop getting their wires crossed before their paths diverge?







Excerpt

Sounds of splashing made Ethan glance over his shoulder, witness to Richard's ineffectual efforts to clean his hands. While the teakettle worked away making a noise in the corner, Ethan tore off a few sheets from a roll of blue paper, tougher than the type intended for kitchen use, and handed over the wad.

"Wipe yourself with this first and pull back those sleeves. I'll change this."

He took the dish of now dirty liquid and tossed it out. By the time he walked back, the pot -- always so-called by his father -- started the little familiar jig before clicking off. Time they got a new one but no point asking for these things. No one up at the house would pay for them while those who worked on the estate could 'make do'. Ethan must wait until the appliance blew up or died. He made busy pouring out cold and hot water before handing over a small screwdriver.

"You might wanna dig out some soil if the brush don't get rid of it all." Not to say a little dirt on Richard Gardener wouldn't be an improvement.

Much improved by the view of things. Those grey-green eyes were brighter than Ethan recalled. The boy now a man and broader in the shoulders, and ... a quick glance to make certain and, yes, Richard filled out his trousers well. A number of people might find it strange Ethan noted Richard's eyes before giving his body and crotch a once-over-many people believed a person's eyes a female preference -- but a bright gaze always attracted Ethan.

He set to making tea, including one for Richard, though he didn't bother asking if his boss wanted any. The man needed brains more than tea. Damn fool to come out without a jacket in this weather, which ... fine, so had Ethan, but he worked, built up a sweat, and he didn't react to winter's bite like the rich boy, more used to it. The reason Ethan gave Richard warm water was owing to how red his fingers were; so, too, his cheeks. Digging into the soil with bare hands ... the idiot was a walking invitation for frostbite.

"Sugar? Or are you sweet enough?"

Saturday, April 28, 2018

ARC Review: Test of Valor (Valor, #2) by Keira Andrews

Test of Valor (Valor, #2)
Blurb:
They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.




Jewel rating:



​​Test of Valor is the sequel to ​​Valor on the Move. Unlike, book 1, there is no suspense here. The whole story focuses on Shane and Rafa's fledgling relationship.

The story starts approximately 6 months after the ending of ​ ​Valor on the Move . Shane and Rafa have moved to Australia, where they have a little house near the beach, and Rafa is set to attend culinary school at Cordon Bleu in Sydney, while Shane is launching his personal security business. They spend their free time, surfing, camping on the beach, making love, and taking some much needed R&R after the events and traumas of book ​one​.

I loved revisiting Shane and Rafa. I loved them both in ​ ​Valor on the Move and the story starts out showing them happy and in love. I never doubted - throughout the story - that these men were in love​ and committed to one another​. They spend time together, are devoted to one another, they want to be together and that was always clear. They also get a lovely HEA here. ​Shane and Rafa each have people in their court, even though there are plenty of people that disapprove of their relationship.

But...

Review Tour: A Love To Remember by Sarah Hadley Brook




Length: 27,000 words approx.


Publisher: JMS Books




Blurb
Graham Hayes decided long ago he’d never be in a relationship. It was better to stay single than to fall in love only to be left alone, which he was certain would happen to him. He’d seen Alzheimer’s ravage his family members all his life, leaving their loved ones to deal with the fallout. Some of them stayed, but some didn’t. Graham isn’t going to risk it.

When he hires nurse Sam Morgan to take care of his dad during the day, his pledge to stay single is put to the test. He soon finds it difficult to maintain a professional distance.
Graham’s guarded his heart for so long, but his resolve is crumbling. Will he be able to conquer his fear to give himself a chance at love? Can he trust Sam to stick around for better or worse?







April 28 - Lost In Love, MM Midnight Cafe, Xtreme Delusions, BooksLaidBareBoys, Gay Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Gay Media Reviews
April 30 - The Novel Approach, Mikku-chan, Archaeolibrarian, Hearts On Fire, Nerdy Dirty and Flirty
May 1 - Gay Book Reviews
May 2 - Book Lovers 4Ever, BFD Book Blog
May 3 - Diverse Reader
May 4 - Slave To The Written Word, Making It Happen, Slashessed
May 7 - MM Good Book Reviews, Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
May 8 - Love Bytes
May 9 - A Book Lovers Dream, Valerie Ullmer, Drops Of Ink, Sarandipity, Mirrigold, Padme's Library, Jim's Reading Room, Bayou Book Junkie, Bookaholic & Kindle, Virginia Lee

Excerpt

The doorbell rang just as Graham took a seat at the table, preparing to try and get some work done. It had been days since he'd even opened his laptop. He groaned. Looked like it wasn't meant to be for the moment. His dad had finished his granola cereal and was sitting on the sofa, reading a book. It was still early enough in the morning where he seemed to have most of his faculties.

Assuming it was the home health care aide the agency was sending over, he didn't bother to check the peephole or the window next to the entrance and swung the door open.

Graham's jaw dropped and he stood in place, his feet frozen to the ground. Was he hallucinating? What the hell was going on? He stepped out and pulled the door partially closed behind him so he could speak to the man on his doorstep. The man currently grinning down at him.

"What are you doing here?" Graham hissed. "How did you find me?" He glanced up at the man he'd met at the club and wondered if he should call the cops. Wasn't this considered stalking? It didn't matter that his body reacted in all kinds of weird ways. He could be dangerous. And compared to Graham, the guy was huge.

The man stepped back and held up his hands, palms out. "Hey, I had no idea you lived here."

Graham's eyes narrowed.

"No, seriously," he insisted. "The agency sent me here."

"Agency?" Shit. "You're the ... home health care aide?"

Blogtour: Orderly Affair (Hearts & Health #6) by DJ Jamison




By DJ Jamison

Hello! I’m stopping by to share the release of a new Hearts and Health book, ORDERLY AFFAIR.

My latest novel is the story of Ian, a hospital orderly who begins to explore his long-suppressed bisexuality with a cute but geeky lab technician. As a man divorced two years ago and the father of a teenage son, Ian is behind the curve on taking his sexual journey.

Both the main characters in Orderly Affair work as medical support staff, rather than as the doctors who typically get top billing in television and books, but I think they’re just as important in the real world.

So, in honor of my working-class characters, I thought I’d do an homage to the “unsung hero” of M/M romance and put together a few book recommendations. Please chime in on the comments with your favorite unsung heroes!

I’ve also brought an excerpt from Orderly Affair and a giveaway, so keep reading to check those out!

UNSUNG HEROES OF M/M ROMANCE

THE PLUMBER’S MATE SERIES, by JL MERROW: A highly regarded series featuring a snarky plumber. This guy has a sixth sense that gets him pulled into investigation.

FAMILY MAN by Heidi Cullinan and Marie Sexton. I know, I know, I just recommended a book with a plumber. But this plumber is more of an everyday guy, who’s a little late with his sexual epiphany, much like my character Ian in Orderly Affair. Plus, it’s a fantastic read!

ASYLUM by ROBERT WINTER: An undocumented immigrant works as a dishwasher after fleeing his country, where his life is in danger. He meets a man who helps him seek asylum and falls in love, but he has trauma to overcome in his journey.

HANDYMAN by CLAIRE THOMPSON: A handyman and a high-powered stock trader try to find common ground.

THE TROLL WHISPERER: At the bottom of the unsung pile is Oscar, a sewage plant worker. Oscar is almost as vile as his job, trolling people on the Internet for fun. However, when he inadvertently trolls his cute, sweet neighbor, his life begins to change.

Excerpt

Ian Connolly stepped into the janitor’s closet on the ground floor of Ashe Medical Center, returning the rolling mop and bucket to its corner. He’d just returned from a cleanup job in the emergency room. Food poisoning was nasty business.

Being an orderly was a lot more than cleanup, but that was an unavoidable part of the job description and one he considered just as important as using his muscle to help the nurses lift patients or (more rarely) restrain someone hysterical because of pain, grief, or drugs. Not to mention the collection of other tasks he performed, from changing bedpans to delivering patients for x-rays.

But as the door clicked shut behind him, Ian’s thoughts weren’t on the cleanup he’d performed in the ER. Or the tang of chemicals that always hung in the air in the storage closet filled with cleaning supplies. Instead, his mind went directly to the scene that met him in this cramped space three weeks ago.

His skin flushed as the image rose in his mind: two men, one on his knees with his mouth around the other’s cock. That he recognized both the men — Dr. Eric Holtz and Dr. Casper Rollins — only served to make the memory more erotic.

And awkward.

Now, he couldn’t even step into the supply closet without getting half-hard at the memory, which was kind of a problem because he was in and out of the closet several times a day.

Well, the janitor’s closet. The other one …

Ian was still figuring things out. Thirty-seven years old wasn’t too late to find yourself, right? Better late than never.

He pulled out his phone, seeking a distraction from uncomfortably sexy thoughts. His eye caught on Thrust, the hookup app he’d installed three weeks ago. The fact he’d installed it and several others the same day he walked in on that man-on-man action was total coincidence.

Yeah, he couldn’t even convince himself of that one.

The app was similar to Grindr — at least, he assumed it was; he’d never used Grindr — and it seemed to have more users in the Midwest region than some did. That was a plus, but he didn’t kid himself. Ashe, Kansas, was still unlikely to have a whole lot of Thrust activity. Thrust activity. The thought alone sent his pulse racing.

Ian had set up a profile, but he’d been too skittish to explore the app any further.

He was just now coming to accept this side of his sexuality. He’d taken the easy road in high school, dating girls and suppressing his crush on the lead male singer in his garage band. He’d married his high school sweetheart, and in retrospect, he might have rushed into marriage to avoid dealing with the other side of himself. The side that appreciated a hard, male body. The side of himself that couldn’t resist checking out the bulge in a guy’s jeans or the stretch of denim over his ass.

He tapped the stylized T, looking over his shoulder nervously even though he was alone in a closet. He snorted. Alone in the closet. My life is a fucking metaphor.

Ian checked the time. He had a break starting, so no one should need him. Perfect time to explore the app. He clicked a few buttons, and finally got the courage to look for nearby app users. He searched close to home first, though he’d probably have to expand to Wichita, a much larger city about 45 minutes’ drive away, to find someone.

Gotta find your balls first. Stop being such a damn chicken.

Heart in his throat, Ian clicked on the map showing users online. There were four including him. That meant three users within a thirty-mile radius. A limited pool, but a larger one than he’d expected.

One user was across town, somewhere near the old strip mall that was deteriorating but still did a brisk business at its dollar store. Another was at the high school. Geez, he hoped an underage student wasn’t on this app. But it was the third Thrust user who sent his heart into arrhythmia.

He’s in the building.

Blogtour: Accepting the Fall by Meg Harding


BLOG TOUR

ACCEPTING THE FALL 

by Meg Harding




ABOUT THE BOOK:




Confronting the past is never easy.
Cole Whitaker is happy. He has the job and boyfriend he always wanted. His heart’s in no danger of being broken, and he can’t ask for more from life. As a kindergarten teacher, he sees it all; however, one troublesome student has him reaching out to the parent, wanting to help. There’s something about Savanah that tugs at his heartstrings.
He never expected her father.
Zander Brooks hasn’t had an easy life, and he’s made some mistakes. Freshly retired from the military and working as a firefighter, Zander thought he’d left Cole in the rearview mirror. He’s not expecting him to appear in St. Petersburg, Florida, of all places, teaching his daughter’s kindergarten class. Suddenly, his biggest mistake is being shoved in his face.
This is Zander’s chance to close a door he’d never fully shut, but time with his former flame might change his mind.



BUY IT NOW:



Exclusive TEASER EXCERPT:

The door shut, and Zander was there. Cole’s back was gently pressed to the surface, and Zander curled his hands around Cole’s waist, pressed his lips to Cole’s jaw. He nipped the skin he kissed, teasing with his tongue and grazing with his teeth—soft then rough. He didn’t keep his hands still either, he rubbed and massaged, digging his fingers into Cole’s back and sides.

Cole was turning to putty for Zander. Already he couldn’t catch his breath, and his knees were weak, threatening to buckle at any moment. He wasn’t worried, though. He knew Zander would catch him if his legs gave out. He wrapped his arms around Zander’s neck, fingers in the short curls of his hair, pushing, trying to get Zander to leave his jaw alone and move to his mouth. He wanted to kiss Zander. He wanted to feel the slick glide of their tongues together, a give and take that would match the rocking of their hips against one another.

Friday, April 27, 2018

ARC Review: Test of Valor (Valor 2) by Keira Andrews

Blurb:
They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.


Dani's rating:


I had no idea Keira was planning a followup to the amazing Valor on the Move, which landed on my Best M/M Romance of 2015 list and ended on a very happy note. I fully expected Rafa and Shane to be driving off into the sunset.

And they do. After a bit of a struggle . . .

The first thing I want to know when an author writes a followup to a non-cliffie book is: Does it fuck with the characters' HEA? Because if it does, I'm out of there.

And the answer to that question is NO.

Yes, the two men have to deal with some conflict, but they come out on the other side all the better for it.


Release Blitz: Test Of Valor by Keira Andrews






Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Designs

Length: 70,000 words approx.

Valor Series





Blurb
They’re free of the White House, but can their forbidden romance survive in the real world?

With his father no longer president, twenty-two-year-old Rafa Castillo can finally be with ex-Secret Service agent Shane Kendrick. Shane’s given up his career for Rafa, a move his fellow agents question the sanity and morality of. Eager to get away from the questions and judgement, Rafa and Shane are building a new life together in Australia. Though Shane struggles with nightmares and his over-protective instincts while Rafa fights his own insecurity, they love each other more than ever.

Now they just have to get through a visit from the former president and first lady.

Rafa’s parents certainly don’t approve of his romance with forty-year-old Shane, and they’re determined to make him see reason. They don’t see how their son could possibly be happy settling down with an older man, and they question Shane’s motives. Shane and Rafa just want a normal life together—but when they must suddenly battle for survival, they fight to prove their fierce love can withstand any threat.

This gay romance from Keira Andrews is the conclusion of the Valor duology. It features a May-December age difference, sex on the beach, and of course a happy ending.



About Keira

Blogtour: And The Beagle Makes Three by Geoffrey Knight


And The Beagle Makes Three Tour Banner



And The Beagle Makes Three

Geoffrey Knight

Genre: Gay Drama /Comedy

Length: 26,000 words

Release Date: 04.12.18








And The Beagle Makes Three Cover
BLURB


When Stuart Summerfield finally realized he was gay, he knew that telling his beloved wife Claire would be one of the hardest, most heartbreaking things he would ever do. Unfortunately Stu’s coming out wasn’t simply heartbreaking… it had the most unexpected and tragic consequences imaginable.

Now, almost one year after the car accident that took Claire’s life, Stu has buried himself in his work to push through the pain and guilt while doing his best to raise, Atticus, their young son, who has himself handled his grief in his own unique way. While getting by one day at a time proves difficult enough, it never crossed Stu’s mind that the family’s annual weekend away at the lakeside home of his sister-in-law, Bethany, would still go ahead now that Claire was gone.

Atticus, however, has other ideas. With his loyal beagle Digby by his side, Atty makes a phone call to Aunt Bethany in an effort to keep the family tradition alive, no matter what chaos and calamity might ensue.

And so over the course of one weekend filled with commotion—and emotion—Stu and Atty are about to learn that healing can open up your heart, that grief can sometimes be good, and that nobody travels the road to recovery alone.


Beagle Promo Art





EXCERPT


Atty sat on a chair outside the principal’s office. He turned his head when he saw a flash of daylight reflect on the well-mopped floors as the door at the end of the corridor opened and his father come running toward him.

Stu practically slid to his knees in front of his son, grabbing Atty’s arms, feeling his forehead, looking for any bruises from bullies or red marks on Atty’s knuckles on the off-chance he’d fought back.

“Atty? Buddy, you okay? What’s happened?”

Atticus gave his father a concerned look and said quietly, “Dad, I made the whole class cry.”

“What do you mean you made the whole class cry? Why? How?”

“I didn’t mean to. I don’t think they liked my presentation.”

“What presentation? You didn’t tell me you had a presentation.”

“You were busy, I didn’t wanna bother you. I’ve never failed an assignment before. What do you think it feels like to get an F?”

Stu gave Atty a tight, long hug. “It’s okay to get an F once in a while. Nobody’s perfect all of the time, Atty.”

At that moment, the door to Principal Parsons’s office opened.

“Ah, Mr. Summerfield. I thought I heard your voice. Would you mind stepping inside?”

Release Blitz: Only the Beginning by Daphne Dubois





Only the Beginning 
Daphne Dubois
Publication date: April 25th 2018
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance






Blurb:
After a heartbreaking betrayal, Melissa Legacy shuns romance. So when her best friend joins the Lovers Oasis website and fears her fiancĂ© will find out, Melissa agrees to meet the anonymous Romeo, prepared to explain her friend’s change of heart—then she sees him. 
Failing restaurant entrepreneur, Craig Wheaton hasn’t been home since his mother’s tragic death. Now he’s back to confront his demons and stand beside his brother as best man. Dreading the reunion, he agrees to meet his avatar lover, but at the last moment he reconsiders the arrangement—until he lays eyes on her. 
When Craig assumes Melissa is his online consort, she impulsively plays along, resulting in an afternoon of unexpected intimacy. But with Melissa using her friend’s identity and Craig dealing with a family fallout, is a future together impossible, or will they discover that love at first sight is Only the Beginning?



EXCERPT:

They were in her bed and he was breaking off a piece of toaster pastry for her. The pillows and sheets were strewn around them. Earlier, he’d left the rehearsal party to pour out his heart to her. That confession had led to an encounter in her hallway, which then carried on into her bedroom.

Melissa looked at her phone and smiled. She’d told him she’d found the Proust questionnaire online.

Taking the last bite of toaster pastry from him she asked, “What is your perfect idea of happiness?”

He put the foil wrapper on the bedside table, then brushed his hands together. He had an answer, but he kept it to himself and instead said, “Easy, cooking for someone else.”
She frowned. “Not yourself?”

“No, too boring. There’s no surprise.”

She’d laughed, then handed the phone to him. “Ask me the next one.”

Craig cradled the phone in his hand going down the questions. “What is your greatest fear?”

Melissa pulled the sheet up to her chin, then tucked into his side. “Losing Gran or having something bad happen to her.” She was quiet for a moment then pinched his arm. “Ask another one, it’s supposed to be without too much thought.”

“Why?”

“Because people take too long, trying to come up with an answer that sounds grand and important. The truth gets lost…or at least the most interesting bits.”

He read, “What is your greatest extravagance?”

“My Pink Kitty toaster. It makes great meals.”

“God.” He moaned. “Okay, moving on. What is your current state of mind?”

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Author Of The Month - J. Scott Coatsworth - Grand Finale



Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing 







In our final post, we'll take a look at Flames (from the A More Perfect Union anthology) and The Great North. Plus, we'll have our author interview and one more chance to win one of Scott's books.



First up, Flames



Blurb (for the anthology):

On June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States made a monumental decision, and at long last, marriage equality became the law of the land. That ruling made history, and now gay and lesbian Americans will grow up in a country where they will never be denied the right to marry the person they love.

But what about the gay men who waited and wondered all of their lives if the day would ever come when they could stand beside the person they love and say, “I do?”
Here, four accomplished authors—married gay men—offer their take on that question as they explore same-sex relationships, love, and matrimony. Men who thought legal marriage was a right they would never have. Men who, unbelievably, now stand legally joined with the men they love. With this book, they share the magic and excitement of dreams that came true—in tales of fantasy and romance with a dose of their personal experiences in the mix.

To commemorate the anniversary of full marriage equality in the US, this anthology celebrates the idea of marriage itself, and the universal truth of it that applies to us all, gay or straight.

From Sandra's review, specific to Flames:

Alex and Gio have been living together for a while. They're in love, but Gio wants to get married, and Alex doesn't. After a massive fight, Alex runs off to cool his heels.

When a fire nearly takes Gio from him, Alex must confront the fact that as his boyfriend, he has no legal standing, when Gio's mother has him removed from Gio's hospital room.



Excerpt:

Cinzia Montanari and Alex had a complicated relationship.
Well, maybe not so complicated, Alex mused. She hates me with a passion.
In her mind, Alex had committed three unforgivable sins.
First and foremost, he was gay. Gio’s mother had an almost unrivaled commitment to the Catholic Church and all that it embodied. Although she’d known Alex for going on ten years, her opinion on the whole gay thing had remained unchanged… yet somehow Gio seemed to get a pass on that one.
Second, Alex had taken away her beautiful little boy. Gio would always be her bel bambino—and no one came between an Italian mother and her son. It was a clichĂ©, but for a reason.
And third, Alex had kept Gio in America. Gio had been due to return to Italy after a two-year program as a visiting professor with the University of Arizona, but once they had met, Gio extended his stay indefinitely. Although it had at least as much to do with the university offering Gio a permanent position as it did with their relationship, at least initially, Cinzia Montanari would not be swayed. She still hated him.
Her last name meant “from the mountain,” and she was as immovable as one.
As Alex sat holding his partner’s hand, he thought about the trips back to the bel paese—the beautiful country. They had visited Gio’s family three times over the last ten years to try to calm the waters. With little success. Two of those trips had ended in shouted curses and one in thrown pieces of pottery.
And now, for the first time, la signora Montanari was on her way here to the United States.
It was too much for him to think about right now.
He held Gio’s hand and caressed the back of it gently, where the skin was not burned, with his other hand. The doctor had been by to discuss Gio’s condition an hour or two earlier. It was hard to keep track of the passage of time in here. The big clock on one wall said it was already four, but Alex didn’t believe it. He’d gotten here close to nine, and surely seven hours couldn’t have passed already.
There was no visible response from Gio. The doctor said his body had gone into a coma to allow itself time to recover and heal. Gio’s worst burns were on his forearms and shins. The firefighters had found him huddled in a corner of the kitchen, with his back to the wall and his arms wrapped over his head for protection.

Alex’s heart was breaking, over and over again, to see his beautiful Gio like this. To know he hadn’t been there to protect him. He wished with all his might to turn back the clock and do the last night over. But time, always eager to rush forward, refused to turn back.



Get the book:




Second in the line-up, The Great North


Blurb:

Dwyn is a young man in the small, isolated town of Manicouga, son of the Minstor, who is betrothed to marry Kessa in a few weeks' time.

Mael is shepherding the remains of his own village from the north, chased out by a terrible storm that destroyed Land's End.

Both are trying to find their way in a post-apocalyptic world. When the two meet, their love and attraction may change the course of history.







Excerpt:

Dwyn lay on his back, breathing softly. He didn't want to move. He didn't ever want to leave this moment, this place. Mael.
Out there, beyond the trees and the soft sound of the wind through their branches, was the real world, where his father and the rest of Manicouga awaited him. Where his guilt lived.
Here, in this sacred place beneath the redwood trees, there was only Mael. Beautiful, perfect Mael.
"Did you hate it?" Mael asked, staring down at him, a worried look on his face.
Dwyn smiled lazily. "Not even a little."
Mael's radiant smile was reward enough.
Dwyn shifted, trying to find a comfortable position. There was something hard under his back.
He sat up, and a sudden gust of wind blew through the little clearing, whipping the leaves and dirt around them into the air in a frenzy. He yelped and covered his eyes and heard Mael cry out as he did the same. Dwyn could feel the bits of dirt and debris stinging his skin as he struggled to both cover his eyes and haul up his breeches at the same time.
He shrank into a ball, reaching out and finding Mael's hand, waiting for the whirlwind to stop.
Then all at once, it was over. Dirt and pebbles fell from the air as if they had been dropped, clattering on the ground.
Dwyn blinked the grit out of his eyes and stood. He was covered in dust, and Mael was too.
The clearing had been transformed. Where the ground had been covered with layers of dead leaves and mulch and dust and twigs and debris, now there was a rectangular pad, made of something hard, like stone. In the middle was a rusted metal hatch.
"What in God's name…?" Dwyn said, his fear forgotten.
Mael stepped up to it and pulled on the old handle. It didn't budge. "Come help me with this! I think it's from Before."
Dwyn joined him. Together they pulled on the handle, but to no avail. It refused to lift.
"Go get one of the shovels. We can use it for leverage."
Dwyn nodded. He found his shirt, blown into one of the trees, and pulled it on as he ran toward the fence posts. He found one of the shovels and grabbed one of the unused posts to act as a fulcrum.
Then he ran back to the redwood tree grove.
"Will these work?"
Mael took the shovel and nodded. He inserted the shaft into the handle and gestured for Dwyn to place the post underneath it. Then they both heaved.

With a groan, the hatch gave way, lifting up a hand span. They pushed down on it again, and it popped open, revealing a dusty staircase that led down into darkness.



Get the book:





Author Interview:


1. What inspires you? What gets you writing?


I write every day, so it’s nothing particular. Having a good story to tell, an idea that makes me grin when I think about it, and the time to write it out are all I need.


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

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...