Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Blogtour: The Princess Plan by Julia London




Please welcome Julia London with 

The Princess Plan



Princes have pomp and glory—not murdered secretaries and crushes on commoners.

Nothing gets London's high society's tongues wagging like a good scandal. And when the personal secretary of the visiting Prince Sebastian of Alucia is found murdered, it's all anyone can talk about, including Eliza Tricklebank. Her unapologetic gossip gazette has benefitted from an anonymous tip about the crime, prompting Sebastian to take an interest in playing detective—and an even greater one in Eliza.

With a trade deal on the line and mounting pressure to secure a noble bride, there's nothing more salacious than a prince dallying with a commoner. Sebastian finds Eliza's contrary manner as frustrating as it is seductive, but they'll have to work together if they're going to catch the culprit. And when things heat up behind closed doors, it's the prince who'll have to decide what comes first—his country or his heart.




Get the book:


    



Excerpt:



CHAPTER ONE
London 1845
All of London has been on tenterhooks, desperate for a glimpse of Crown Prince Sebastian of Alucia during his highly anticipated visit. Windsor Castle was the scene of Her Majesty’s banquet to welcome him. Sixty-and-one-hundred guests were on hand, feted in St. George’s Hall beneath the various crests of the Order of the Garter. Two thousand pieces of silver cutlery were used, one thousand crystal glasses and goblets. The first course and main dish of lamb and potatoes were served on silver-gilded plates, followed by delicate fruits on French porcelain.
Prince Sebastian presented a large urn fashioned of green Alucian malachite to our Queen Victoria as a gift from his father the King of Alucia. The urn was festooned with delicate ropes of gold around the mouth and the neck.
The Alucian women were attired in dresses of heavy silk worn close to the body, the trains quite long and brought up and fastened with buttons to facilitate walking. Their hair was fashioned into elaborate knots worn at the nape. The Alucian gentlemen wore formal frock coats of black superfine wool that came to midcalf, as well as heavily embroidered waistcoats worn to the hip. It was reported that Crown Prince Sebastian is “rather tall and broad, with a square face and neatly trimmed beard, a full head of hair the color of tea, and eyes the color of moss,” which the discerning reader might think of as a softer shade of green. It is said he possesses a regal air owing chiefly to the many medallions and ribbons he wore befitting his rank.
Honeycutt’s Gazette of Fashion and Domesticity for Ladies


The Right Honorable Justice William Tricklebank, a widower and justice of the Queen’s Bench in Her Majesty’s service, was very nearly blind, his eyesight having steadily eroded into varying and fuzzy shades of gray with age. He could no longer see so much as his hand, which was why his eldest daughter, Miss Eliza Tricklebank, read his papers to him.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

ARC Review: The Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

Blurb:
Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

Dani's rating:

This is how you write a "gay for you" story without denying that bisexuality is a thing. So many GFY stories never so much as utter the word "bi," as if it were some some dirty secret.

Logan thinks of himself as straight, even though he has enjoyed getting off with men in the past. I would say Logan is initially bicurious and heteroromantic. He doesn't deny that getting his dick sucked by a dude is hot, but he can't imagine having a relationship with a man, kissing a man, cuddling with a man.

Until he meets Seth, adorable, slightly geeky, buttoned-up Seth, who wears pressed chinos and loafers during a kitchen renovation project.

Seth and Logan are thrown together by Logan's sister Jenna, who also happens to be Seth's friend and colleague. The new boss is all about families, including "the gays," so Jenna sort of, kind of pretends that Seth and Logan are a couple.

Blogtour: The Lost Souls by K.D. Worth



 Please welcome K.D. Worth with 

The Lost Souls

The Grim Life #3



My GRIM LIFE series tells the tale of Kody, a suicidal college student, struggling with his sexuality and his faith in God. Max is the grim reaper sent to take Kody to heaven when Kody tries to kill himself. Instead Max feels a deep, unexpected connection with Kody, and Max saves his life. Now they are both serving as grim reapers, taking souls to heaven. 
The third and final book in the series, THE LOST SOULS is a story of redemption,  ultimate forgiveness, trust, and friendship. After suffering unbearable losses, Max and Kody have learned that they are a part of a special prophesy that tells or two souls, twin flames, who will bridge the gap between purgatory and heaven. The daunting task of delivering souls stuck in purgatory to heaven seems more than Max and Kody can handle, but with a little help from their boss and mentor, the wise-cracking archangel of death, Slade, and their group of friends, they will learn the true meaning of trust, faith, forgiveness, and love.

They're young and they love hard, yet they still don't understand that with love comes forgiveness and second chances. And that no one can do everything on their own, and leaders are only as strong as the friends surrounding them. Below is an exclusive excerpt of some of the sweet romance in THE LOST SOULS between Kody and Max, and a sneak peek behind the scenes of their day to day life with their fellow teenage reapers.



Cover art: Paul Richmond
Blurb:

Teenage grim reapers Max and Kody are already dealing with being dead… and now they’re expected to save the world.
With the help of their guardian angel, Slade, and each other, Max and Kody have finally discovered the destiny God planned for them—help the lost souls languishing in purgatory back to heaven. But they’re still growing into their roles. Kody, the Healer, struggles to understand the power born of his empathy, and Max’s abilities as Protector suffer because of longing for his best friend… along with Slade’s dire prediction that Max will lose Kody. So many are depending on them, and they’ll have to summon all the love and faith inside them to face a mass school shooting and bring love and hope to those who need it most.



Get the book:


    


Excerpt:

“Do you have our assignment folder yet?” Kody asked me, obviously trying to change the subject.
“Yeah, it’s in our bedroom.”
Tristen pursed his lips and frowned at us. “You know it’s totally not fair that you guys get to share a room.”
“Not fair?” I blustered feeling my temper flare back up—it hadn’t really gone away completely. It wasn’t fair to worry that my boyfriend was going to die every day. It wasn’t fair that undead creatures were searching for him. And it wasn’t fair that I lost my best friend before I could say goodbye.
I opened my mouth to tell Tristen just that, but Kody placed a hand on my knee.
Ever the peacekeeper, Kody chimed in, “I know you’re upset that Heather ended things, but you shouldn’t take your anger out on us, Tristen. We’re your friends.”
Tristen studied his hands and actually looked like he contemplated Kody’s words.
“Why don’t you try talking to her?” Kody suggested.
I, on the other hand, was still annoyed. “Yeah, maybe she doesn’t even want you in her room.”
Tristen’s scowl returned, and he walked off in a huff.
“Max, that was mean,” Kody scolded.
“Yeah, but it’s the truth.”
“And sometimes it’s better to be good than it is to be right. And what you said was probably too close to home.”
“Meaning?”
Kody glanced over his shoulder to where Heather was killing time looking for flour she didn’t need for cupcakes that were already baked. “Tristen was pressuring her for sex, but she wants to wait for marriage. He said she was a prude, so she ended it.”
“What a jerk.”
“He’s heartbroken.”
“Doesn’t mean he has to make rude comments about us, I returned, feeling only slightly chastised.
Kody conceded my point with a shrug, then went back to piping frosting onto his cupcakes.
The melancholy strum of an unplugged electric guitar filled the common room, and I scowled. For crying out loud, Tristen became a reaper in the nineties. He should’ve grown up a little by now. I knew reapers were perpetually stuck in their death age, but brains and afterlife experiences should count for something. I mean, I wasn’t always going to be jealous about Kody, was I? I had to believe that I’d grow up by the time I was Tristen’s age.
Maybe Tristen should’ve been more respectful of Heather. Then he wouldn’t be in this mess.
I was so glad Kody and I were on the same page about sex. Well, at least we were becoming more comfortable talking about it. Since we’d been sharing a room, we hadn’t gone all the way—I still needed more time. Kody wasn’t exactly small, and I wasn’t exactly sure how to make it fit without it hurting too much. Thankfully, Kody had the patience of Job and a generous heart to go with it. We’d found plenty of other ways to have fun with hands, mouths, and rubbing. Though at first, neither of us had the energy to do more than sleep and cuddle after the whole debacle with Britany and Meegan. But over the last week, our curiosity and desire had returned to normal, and those hands and mouths were finding and giving pleasure whenever they could.
I studied Kody as he hummed a show tune while perfecting his frosting swirls. Physically he was three years older than me—same as Tristan was two years older than Heather. Being older like Tristen, was Kody frustrated by my immaturity and fears about sex?
Or worse, was I too boring for an older man?

Spotlight: Claimings, Tails, And Other Alien Artifacts by Lyn Gala



Today we shine the spotlight on Lyn Gala with 

Claimings, Tails, And Other Alien Artifacts






Blurb:

Liam loves his life as a linguist and trader on the Rownt homeworld, but he has ignored his heart and sexual needs for years. After escaping the horrors of war, he wants a boring life. He won't risk letting anyone come too close because he won't risk letting anyone see his deeply submissive nature. For him, submission comes with pain. Life burned that lesson into his soul from a young age.

This fear keeps him from noticing that the Rownt trader Ondry cares for him. Ondry may not understand humans, but he recognizes a wounded soul, and his need to protect Liam is quickly outpacing his common sense. They may have laws, culture, and incompatible genitalia in their way, but Ondry knows that he can find a way to overcome all that if he can just overcome the ghosts of Liam's past. Only then can he take possession of a man he has grown to respect.


Contains mature themes.

Excerpt:

“How much tremanium did you secure, Sergeant Munson?” Colonel Thackeray was circling around toward Liam’s back.
“One ton, seven units, sir.” Liam kept his eyes forward, but he could hear Colonel Thackeray stop.
The man leaned in so close Liam could feel the body heat. “We will discuss that trade when we reach base,” he whispered. Idiot. Rownt had excellent hearing, and they were not amused by public shows of disunion within a group. Either their audience now believed Liam had no skill and needed more supervision, or they believed that Thackeray had no ability to lead. Given how the last trade had gone, the first was far more likely.
“Yes, sir,” Liam answered. Parade-ground shine and sucking up were going to have to get him through this because his skill as a trader had definitely failed him.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Book Review : Thrown Off The Ice by Taylor Fitzpatrick

Thrown Off the IceBlurb :


Mike knew he was making a mistake when he let the rookie climb into bed with him. He just didn't know it'd be a mistake that would follow him for the rest of his life.



Christelle's rating:




A gamut of feels pouring out of each chapter. That...that is why I love reading. There is so much mixed and packed in this book : unforgettable characters, a whirlwind of light and angst, it’s scorching hot, it’s deep, it’s fun, it’s painful, it’s raw, it’s emotional,….It figuratively put me down on my knees.

To be honest, I didn’t really knew what this would be about : for once, I barely looked at the blurb, didn’t read any reviews. I thought it would be another sport romance, with an age-gap, some of my preferred tropes. How wrong I was. Yes, there is that, but it’s **SO MUCH MORE**: it’s also a beautiful and powerful life-tale and a true love story.

Yes, the title of the book and its cover make so much sense, now...it's poignant !!!

Through present tense and Mike’s POV, the author made sure I was breathing Mike and Liam. I loved Mike, grumpy, practical, hardy and protective, and I loved Liam, fiery, relentless and confident, and I couldn’t not be unaffected by their life, their battles and their love story:
“I’m not tiny,” Fitzgerald says, sounding offended. “I’m concentrated.”

"…being the kind of annoying that circles right back into endearing"

“Aww, it’s like watching a chihuahua pester a rottweiler”…Liam sputters with indignation…”At least make me a fucking terrier or something.”. Terrier honestly works. Fucking tenacious little shit that never runs out of energy ? Sounds like Liam.

Blogtour: Taking Shield Series by Anna Butler





Nothing New Under The Sun

Originality is a very rare commodity. So rare, I’m not sure what I’d do with it if it happened along.

I’ll admit quite cheerfully that I am influenced by what I read and see. Writers aren’t impervious granite blocks, against which culture, literature, films etc crash and break like ocean waves. We’re a bit more absorbent than that. We take all this stuff in, scrunch it all around inside ourselves, season the mix with a bit of “What if…?” and “What about…?” and “Oooh, if I just did that…”, and we synthesise something out of it all that’s our own. Or mostly our own. Our take on things. Our twist.

My biggest influence? Old school science fiction. Space opera. Star Wars and Star Trek, BSG and Babylon Five on film and TV; books like The Forever War and On Basilisk Station and even Starship Troopers. That stuff is my jam. Taking Shield was always going to be a big, sprawling thing with space fleets and alien enemies, huge spaceships bristling with laser cannon and nifty fast-moving little fighters, epic space battles and individual heroics, infiltrations into enemy territory and raids and full scale apocalyptic invasions. Standard space opera dramatics.

Those influences permeate everything. Let’s see. What about the baddies in Taking Shield? How influenced were they by what I’ve read and seen? Oh yeah. A lot. I wanted an opponent for humanity that was, rather like the Shadows of Babylon 5, a race of older, inimical beings that had no point of similarity to humans, no sense of even faint kinship that the humans can appeal to. And, also like the Shadows, I wanted them to be few in number and having to use other means of fighting—hence the cyborg drones, which themselves owe something to Imperial Stormtroopers, BSG, innumerable Trek episodes… even Forbidden Planet. They are not, from our point of view, nice aliens at all. Humanity doesn’t even meet one of the Maess until the final book—and then wish they hadn’t made the effort. It doesn’t end well.

Or how about the way spaceships manage to travel faster than light? Babylon 5 had jumpgates into hyperspace, but Star Wars ships just jumped straight in; Star Trek had warp engines as well as sub-light propulsion; Stargate had its wormholes. Everyone has antigravity, but don’t ask me how that works. I can just about get my head around the idea of sending the Gyrfalcon into hyperspace. I don’t want to get hung up on why everyone isn’t floating inside up against the ceilings. I opted for the Star Wars type of entry into hyperspace, btw. Just press a button and off you go. But at the same time the twist I put on it was to make sure that there were limits on when a ship could make the jump. Not in an atmosphere (you’d end up with an impressive fireworks display) and never in battle, where there was too much energy in flux. My reasoning there was I didn’t want ships to escape from danger too easily, because where would the drama be in that?

And then there’s the notion of carrying a single story arc over several volumes with lots of adventure underneath. My biggest influence here was Babylon 5, which did that so beautifully. A great, terrifically under-rated series that is still a joy to watch as the characters grow and change, and the plot unfolds. At least, seasons 1-4 were. After that, it’s a bit messier. If you’ve never watched it, go and give yourself a treat. I learned from Bab5: be sure about where you’re heading, foreshadow where you can, keep a strong hold on your characters, get back on track if you divert on the way.

And from all of those influences, every single one: my characters and their relationships are what matters, and what drive the interest in the story. Bennet and Flynn’s long, frustrating love story is in a long tradition of space opera love stories, with the only faint twist being that they’re two men. But without them, the story would have no heart.

Anyhow, the point I’m trying to make is that the influences are always going to be there. It’s what a writer does with them that matters.





Cover Artist: Adrian Nicholas

Hate buying books in a series until the whole thing is done? Then check out the Rainbow Award-winning Taking Shield series, just released as an e-book boxed set. Not only do you get the entire series, there’s a very nice saving on the cost of the individual books! Anna’s dropped in today to tell us more.

About Taking Shield

Earth’s a dead planet, dark for thousands of years; lost for so long no one even knows where the solar system is. Her last known colony, Albion, has grown to be regional galactic power in its own right. But its drive to expand and found colonies of its own has threatened an alien race, the Maess, against whom Albion is now fighting a last-ditch battle for survival in a war that’s dragged on for generations.

Release Blitz: Holiday Gridlock by Gretchen Evans




Title: Holiday Gridlock
Series: Cruised, Book Two
Author: Gretchen Evans
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: November 11, 2019
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 18600
Genre: Contemporary Holiday, LGBT, contemporary, holiday, Christmas, age-gap, interracial

Add to Goodreads




Synopsis


Gabe is way too happy. Mark is as close to a perfect boyfriend as you can get. He’s smart, good-looking, successful, and he cares about Gabe. He’s also way more serious about their relationship than Gabe’s ready for. He wants them to move in together.

The closest Gabe’s ever gotten to living with a boyfriend is accidentally leaving his boxers behind. But he and Mark are way past that. It’s terrifying.

Mark invites Gabe home for the holidays where Gabe gets an intimate look at Mark’s family, his childhood, and how different their Christmas traditions are. It’s loud, overwhelming, messy, and…really nice. Homey in a way Gabe’s never experienced.

But Mark wants more than for Gabe to just have a peek at this part of his life. He wants Gabe to become part of the family, to go to bed with him every night, and wake up with him every morning. He wants all their Christmases to be together. Moving in may be just the start.

It might take a Christmas miracle for Gabe to figure himself out and overcome his fears. Or maybe a little familial intervention.

Will Gabe and Mark take the next step, or will they get stuck in holiday gridlock?



Excerpt

Holiday Gridlock
Gretchen Evans © 2019
All Rights Reserved

DECEMBER 17TH

Pressure squeezed Gabe’s sinuses like a vice. A vice might be too extreme. More like he’d walked into a wall repeatedly, and now his entire face ached.

He blew his nose for the hundredth time. It wasn’t much relief. The best he could do was snuggle deeper into the nest of blankets he’d assembled on his couch and pray for the sweet release of death.

The scratch of a key turning the old, cheap lock on his front door roused him. The light coming through the blinds had dimmed a lot, and the Netflix “Are you still watching?” glared at him from the TV. He must have dozed off watching Planet Earth. Thank God for Nyquil.

No point in getting up. Only one person had a key to his apartment: Mark. If it wasn’t Mark, that meant someone was picking his lock and planned to rob him. Good. They could take whatever they wanted as long as they took this damn cold too.

“Hello!” Mark called from the hall.

Gabe managed to sit up, sort of. “In here,” he called out, voice cracking.

Mark appeared in the living room doorway wearing a devastatingly handsome three-piece gray suit. Gabe was sick, not dead. He could appreciate his sexy his boyfriend in almost any state. Mark gripped a brown paper Whole Foods bag in his hand.

His boyfriend. It was a thrill to think about. How often did a gorgeous, successful man you met on a hookup app turn out to actually be gorgeous and successful? And then be as interested in you as you were in him? Their early days of hooking up in public bathrooms—and one memorable time, a parking lot—were behind them. But those were some nice memories.

They had gone from an awkward “hey, let’s try this” to practically living in each other’s back pockets in only a few months. Gabe hadn’t had many relationships and sometimes felt a little lost at sea. But when Mark was with him, that didn’t seem to matter.

Mark’s legs were long, and Gabe’s apartment was small, so it only took a couple steps for Mark to reach him. He dropped the groceries on the battered coffee table and bent to kiss the top of Gabe’s curls.

“How are you feeling?”

Sunday, November 10, 2019

ARC Review: Starting from Scratch by Lane Hayes


From the Blurb:
Charlie Rourke is an ultra fabulous human whirlwind on a mission to launch the next biggest band in the world. However, he might have taken on more than he could handle when he signed on to manage Zero. Promoting a rock band and finding gigs shouldn’t be hard. They’re a talented group with a ton of star power. If Charlie can find the right record label, he’s sure he can help them get to the next level. The only problem is the skater boy slash bassist with a quirky sense of humor. He’s annoying and silly, and he’s exactly Charlie’s type. Except he’s straight. 
Ky Baldwin isn’t afraid to switch things up. He loves a challenge as much as anyone, but Charlie doesn’t make things easy. Zero’s manager is a force of nature with a razor sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a no-nonsense attitude. Ky can’t stop thinking about him. Winning over Charlie becomes Ky’s pet project. But when the ice between them thaws, neither is prepared for the intensity of going from enemies to lovers. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to start from scratch and take a chance on the unexpected.




Ky's rating:




When I read the first book I wasn't sure if I liked Charlie or not. He was pretty chaotic and he talked non-stop about everything and nothing. I thought it would be exhausting to read a whole book with him as a main character. But.... I was so so wrong about him!

Charlie is a sweet person with a huge personality and a heart of gold. He is strong and loyal. It turns out that he only talks a mile a minute when he's nervous or he wants to divert the attention somewhere else. The rest of the time he talks at a regular speed and it's easy to follow his thought process.

Ky, the drummer of Zero, is an enigma at the beginning. At first, he gives the impression that he's this laid back type that's always looking for a good time and never takes anything seriously. As the story progressed though, a whole new layer of Ky was revealed. He's actually suffered a lot in his life and had to depend on himself for many years. He was family issues that go way back and have played a big part in who he is today.

Charlie and Ky start as antagonists. Their attraction and chemistry is obvious but in trying to stay away they end up bitching at each other and constantly getting in each other's face. Charlie's little brother helps bring them closer together and as they spend more and more time in each other's company they stop resisting what they want.

Saturday, November 9, 2019

ARC Review: Hat Trick by Eden Finley

From the Blurb:
Soren:

You know what’s not fun? Going on a Fiji vacation with four other couples. Especially when recently single.
What’s even worse is when a past hook-up arrives unannounced.
Not only do we have a history, but he’s ten years younger and a famous rock star. Most importantly, he’s my friend’s little brother.
Being trapped on an island with Jet Jackson is going to be sweet torture because all I want is another chance.
I just don’t think he’s going to give it to me.

Jet:

You know what’s not fun? Escaping one guy who broke my heart only to run into another.
Being on the road for three years has left me exhausted. The last thing I want is for Caleb ‘Soren’ Sorensen to try for round two.
I can’t fight my draw to him. I’ve never been able to.
I’m suddenly back to being the naïve kid who stupidly lusted after a hockey player.
All I can think is if I let Soren get close, I’ll walk away from this vacation with a double broken heart.



Ky's rating:





I'm kind of sad that this was the last book in the "Fake Boyfriend" series so I tried to read slowly and make it last longer. I wasn't very effective though. I basically inhaled this story!

Jet is the younger brother of Matt, one of the MCs from "Trick Play", he's a singer and his band is one step away from hitting stardom.

Soren is the hockey player that came out in "Deke" and a close friend of Matt's.

Those two have a common social circle but they also have a secret from three years ago so they've been kind of avoiding each other since then. The story starts with all four couples from the previous books plus Soren taking a two-week vacation on a private island in Fiji. Soren broke up with his longtime boyfriend a few months ago and, even though he knows that was the right move, he's starting to question his decision to go away as the only single one among four couples.

That is until Jet shows up heartbroken after splitting up with his closeted boyfriend. The attraction between them is unmistakable and soon they give in. It's supposed to be just for fun but they can't deny their feelings no matter how many obstacles they have to overcome. And they have enough of those: ex-boyfriends in close proximity, paparazzis following them everywhere, distance.

ARC Review: Graveyard Shift by Jenn Burke

From the blurb:

Shifting Into High Fear

Ghost/god Wes Cooper and his not-life partner, vampire Hudson Rojas, have settled into cohabitation in an upscale part of Toronto. So what if their hoity-toity new neighbors haven’t exactly rolled out the welcome mat for the paranormal pair? Their PI business is booming, and when a suspect they’ve been tailing winds up in the morgue, it’s alongside a rash of other shifters in apparent drug-related fatalities.

Now Wes and Hudson must connect the dots between the shifter deaths and an uptick in brutal vampire attacks across the city. Throw in a surprise visit from Hudson’s niece—who may or may not be on the run from European paranormal police (who may or may not exist)—and guardianship of a teen shifter who might be the key to solving the whole mystery (if only she could recover her memory), and Wes and Hudson have never been busier…or happier.

But when a nightmare from Hudson’s past comes back to haunt him, their weird, little found family is pushed to the brink. Mucking this up would mean Hudson and Wes missing their second chance at happily-forever-afterlife…

Heather's rating:





I love these books so much, and I'm beyond excited that Jenn Burke delivered again with another excellent addition to her Not Dead Yet series. Fans of these books, get ready for a whirlwind of emotions!

Yes, I know this is supposed to be the final installment of the series, but I'm so not ready to say goodbye! I think there is so much potential for an offshoot series here... (hint, hint!!)

Graveyard Shift is a book that must be read after Give Up the Ghost and Not Dead Yet, so you can't just jump into the series at this point, I'm afraid. However, the first two books are so good that I'm really doing you a favor by telling you to read them all.

Friday, November 8, 2019

Review Tour: Twice Shy by Sally Malcolm




Exclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 88,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Sally Malcolm

New Milton Series


Book #1 - Perfect Day - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #1.5 - Love Around The Corner - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Between The Lines - Amazon US | Amazon UK



Blurb
The last thing Joel Morgan wants is to fall in love again. Scarred by his failed marriage, Joel's determined to keep his life emotionally stable - which means taking a job teaching fourth grade, fixing up his house on weekends, and avoiding absolutely all romantic entanglements. And he's doing great.
Until he meets sweet but struggling single dad, Ollie Snow.
Following the tragic death of his sister and her husband two years earlier, Ollie became the legal guardian of their two young sonsÑmuch to the horror of the boys' conservative grandparents. They think Ollie's too young and too unreliable to raise their grandsons. So to prove them wrong, Ollie's determined to parent the boys without anyone's help.
Until he meets reserved but caring teacher, Joel Morgan.
As the only two men in the school's Parent-Teacher Association, Joel and Ollie are thrown together over a series of fundraising events, and somewhere between the Beach Fun Run and the Fall Festival they fall in love. But Ollie has another reason for moving to New Milton - a reason he's keeping close to his chest - and Joel's wounded heart won't trust a man with secrets.

Dare they hope for a future together, or will their past pain keep them apart forever?



Todd's review:





This story was "fine", but didn't work as well as the previous books in the series, so I liked both Joel and Ollie, but it wasn't an everlasting, true love for the ages for me.

I think my main issue was that strong, confident, independent investment banker Joel had a completely debilitating breakdown when his marriage ended, and even 4 whole years later, he was still an emotional shipwreck just waiting to happen.

That never fully rang true to me, feeling more exaggerated than what "most" folks would experience, so his constant hand-wringing over the past got very tiresome very quickly.

Ollie, on the other hand, his insecurities about doing everything for himself and the boys felt much more believable. He'd fought years of constant battles with the boys' grandparents for custody and had to constantly prove his worth, so I got it.

Blogtour: Unscripted by JR Gray


Join us as we celebrate the release of a new J.R. Gray book, a celebrity romance!
Get ready for UNSCRIPTED...



Unscripted 

by J.R. Gray 

Publisher: Graybooks 
Release Date (Print /Ebook): November 6th, 2019 
Length (Print/Ebook): 83,000 words 
Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Romance 
Warnings: None   




Book blurb:

Movie star 101: A smile hides all pain.

Quellcrist King has been playing a part his entire life. The more famous he becomes, the more he hides. The only person he ever let see the real him rose with him from nothing to the very top.

They were the king and queen of Hollywood— and then she wanted a divorce. The only way to survive his depression is to bury himself in work. If he can be a character, maybe he won’t have to remember himself. A gay role can’t be any different than playing a straight one, can it?

But instead of finding solace in the character, he finds it in his costar. Hale becomes his best friend, his lifeline, the light in his darkness. Quell is forced to examine everything he thought he knew about himself while filming intimate scenes with Hale that feel more real than anything ever has before.

He’s lived his entire life following the script. What would life be like unscripted?

Exclusive Excerpt:

Sleep started to take me again. I rolled to my back to get more comfortable, my hip brushing into Quell as I did. I hadn’t realized I was so close. I froze, not wanting to jerk away and wake him. He moved his hips and nudged into me again. 
Was he hard? 

Cover Reveal: The Wolf And The Sparrow by Isabelle Adler




The Wolf and the Sparrow by Isabelle Adler

Cover created by Natasha Snow

RELEASE DATE: November 25, 2019


Available to Pre-Order at NineStar Press on November 22nd

Add to Goodreads


Blurb:

Derek never wished to inherit his title as a result of a bloody battle. With the old count dead and the truce dependent on his marriage to the rival duke’s son, Derek has no choice but to agree to the victor’s terms in order to bring peace to his homeland. When he learns of the sinister rumors surrounding his intended groom, Derek begins to have doubts—but there can be no turning back from saying I do.

After the death of his wife, Callan of Mulberny never expected to be forced into another political marriage—especially not to someone like the new Count of Camria. Seemingly soft and meek, it’s only fitting that Derek’s family crest is a flighty sparrow, worthy of nothing but contempt.

Another war with the seafaring people of the Outer Isles looms on the horizon, and the reluctant newlyweds must team together to protect those caught in the circle of violence. Derek and Callan slowly learn to let go of their prejudices, but as they find themselves enmeshed in intrigue fueled by dark secrets and revenge, their tentative bond is all that keeps their world—and their lives—from plunging into chaos.




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Thursday, November 7, 2019

Author Of The Month - Lillian Francis - Week One


Welcome to our first week of celebrating the amazing 





In our first post, we're going to look at the Village Love series.



Village Love is set in the fictional Sussex village of Slopy Bottom. I'll let Rick (from Resistance) tell you how Slopy Bottom got its name.
“It’s one p, Slopy Bottom. The village has been there for centuries. Local historians think it started life as Slope Bottom since the oldest houses are on the low slope at the bottom of a hill. The rest of the village spread out into the valley as the years went by but the name stuck. At one point the village was all but owned by a French lord, which could account for the mispronunciation, and it appears to have been Slopy Bottom ever since.”
Who’s this Rick you mention? I notice he’s in the blurb for book two, as well.
Rick is the village gardener/handyman. His story of how he struggles to fit his sexuality and his London-born Pakistani boyfriend in to his life in his sleepy village home is told in Resistance (Village Love #1). Rick and Mal’s  meet-cute is told in a short story, Resonance. As Resonance doesn't take place in the village it has been assigned as Village Love 0.5.
Do I need to read the books in the series in order?
No. Each book deals with a separate couple. However, in such a small village people bump into each other all the time. So yes, characters will appear that the reader has been introduced to in the previous books. 
Hang on, these covers don’t look anything like any gay romance novels I’ve ever seen? Are you sure they’re not garden manuals?
You definitely don’t want gardening advice from me. I wanted something different but that still portrayed an English village, with a gentle, soothing feel. Garrett Leigh did an amazing job with these covers. 
Will there be more books in the series?
Definitely. I'm gearing up to start work on Book 3, Trevor’s tale. I have very brief story lines, if they work out, for at least a Book 4, and maybe a Book 5. If you read a particular character that you like drop me a line and let me know, I've undoubtedly got a plan to pair him with someone!
I've already been asked about Adam, the coffee shop owner. Yes, he will definitely get his story told.

Starting with the first book, which is at position 0.5 in the series, Resonance

Blurb:

Rick Brandt would never have said he was claustrophobic; after all he’s been in plenty of enclosed spaces in his job as the village’s only handyman cum gardener. He even squeezed into a disused coal chute to rescue a trapped dog for an elderly resident. So why did opening his eyes in the MRI scanner induce a breath stealing freak-out that has him jabbing at the panic button.

Luckily, Mal, the radiographer running his scan has a pleasant voice and an excellent bedside manner that soothes Rick’s frayed nerves and rabbity heartbeat. Soon the resonance of his tone has gone beyond calming and Rick is lost in a fantasy of the man behind the voice. But things aren’t always what they seem and when Rick’s shocked surprise at the reality causes offence, the likelihood of him getting to experience Mal’s true bedside manner appears to be slipping away.

Excerpt:

“I cancelled an appointment with the vicar’s wife for this.” I gasped out as a tongue traced the outstretched dragon’s wing that crested my shoulder and wrapped around my bicep. “I’m officially going to hell…” That wicked tongue caught the edge of my armpit on the way back and in my surprise I inhaled a mouthful of quilt cover. “In a hand basket.”
Warm breath ghosted over my flesh and my skin broke out in a rash of goosebumps.
“If my Ammi knew I was picking men up at work she’d be mortified.” Pausing in his ministrations, he rested his forehead at the base of my neck and sighed. “Or vindicated. Always a disappointment.”
I thought of his body. Of him. Long legs with muscled thighs. Dark hair that flopped endearingly over his forehead. His laugh, sudden and surprising from his studious demeanour. The encouraging comfort of his voice. The gentle focused way he was taking me apart with just his mouth and the lightest touch of his fingertips.
“Not to me, Mal. Not to me.”
Exhaled into my skin on a damp breath I could barely make out his response but I think he mumbled “So glad you freaked out today”, before returning his attention to my artwork and his lips to the body of my dragon.
Something thick and heavy still lingered in the air along with the smell of sweat and spices and sex.


Get the book:



In the actual number 1 slot, Resistance

Blurb:

How long can you wait on a promise?

After his first night with Mal, Rick broke the habit of a lifetime and invited the sexy radiographer to spend the weekend in the sleepy English village he called home. Rick isn’t in denial but he’s afraid to reveal his sexuality in the close-knit community that has known him since he was a babe in arms.

The sex is amazing but equally Mal loves lazy days spent in the garden at Slopy Bottom, and every precious moment he spends with Rick. For Mal the village quickly becomes an oasis of peace, far from the noise and grime of life in London, a slice of tranquillity with Rick at the heart. But Mal has defied his family and his religion to be true to himself, and there is no way can he join Rick in his self-built closet, no matter how comfortable it is...

Rick is afraid revealing the true nature of his relationship with Mal will change the way his neighbours see him. He adores these people, this village, and he can’t face the thought of losing everything over who he chooses to sleep with. When the alternative is giving up a man who has slotted perfectly into his life—a man who he might just love—it’s no choice at all. But, knowing what has to be done isn’t always as easy as putting it into practice.

Excerpt:


Make something? Visions of Rick swinging his hammer and brandishing a saw flashed into Mal’s mind. The muscles in Rick’s upper arms bunching as he knocked in nails or cut through a plank of wood, sweat soaking his T-shirt. Until he had to get rid of the sodden material and he stood there, tanned and topless for Mal’s viewing pleasure. And all because Mal had expressed an interest in a piece of furniture. Please let him make it when I’m around. Mal would happily buy the wood to watch that show.
Silence followed as the scene in Mal’s imagination veered away from PG-13, and Rick frowned. “Handyman, remember. But I could certainly set up a double hammock for now.”
“Oh, I remember. Do you have a tool belt?”
“Kinky fucker. Yeah, I do.” Rick winked. “Want me to wear it for you?”
Mal blinked. This cheeky Rick was a world away from the worried man full of excuses and furtive glances who had greeted Mal at top of the lane. “Would you be comfortable with us lying together like that?”
“Sure.” But the glance towards the other two houses on his side of the lane undermined the certainty in Rick’s tone. “The rear garden is completely hidden from the lane and can’t be accessed easily from the front, and the houses my dad had built are angled so that they can’t look over my garden from their top floors.”
“Good to know. Especially about the tool belt.” Mal grinned, and then indicated down the garden. “So, what’s at the far end?” It was so far back and the garden planted at such different stages and angles that Mal could barely make out the stone wall. “On the other side of the wall? Is that yours, too?”
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