Friday, August 23, 2019

Release Blitz: Kept in the Dark by Charlie Cochet


KeptInTheDark RDB Banner

Kept in the Dark
Locke and Keyes Agency Series, Book 1
Charlie Cochet
Gay Romantic Suspense
Release Date: 08.20.19



Blurb

Former Army Ranger turned government assassin Álvaro Montero and CIA Officer Caiden Cardosa crossed paths two years ago in Vienna, where their encounter ended less than amicably—despite the explosive sexual chemistry between them.
Now Caiden is riding a desk at Langley after his cover is blown. And Álvaro—who was “killed”—has a new identity and purpose as Delta/D, an operative for the Locke and Keyes Agency, under the leadership of the mysterious Alpha Orion.
When D and Caiden team up in a deadly black ops mission, the urge to kill each other will have to take a back seat to the desire for revenge against the man who betrayed them both. Surviving the mission won’t be easy. Resisting the passion between them—that might be impossible.




Kept in the Dark 2

Kept in the Dark 1


Excerpt

“You don’t need to be a designer to know how not to decorate your house,” D said, scowling at the vintage floral loveseat across from the blue velvet couch. “I think my grandmother had a couch like that. Except it was vacuum sealed in plastic. Nothing like sitting on a plastic-lined couch in the summer with no AC.”

Caiden gasped. “Wait, you had a grandmother?”

“Have. Yes.”

“Which means you had a mother.”

“Have a mother. Yes.” D squinted at him.

“Where are you going with this?”

“Well, damn.”

“What?”

Caiden shrugged. “I was under the impression you emerged from the darkness below. Clawing yourself out from the dirt, like a zombie or a great evil that’s come back to life after a misguided loved one buried you in Stephen King’s Pet Sematary.”

D didn’t appear impressed. “Funny.”

“What does the Dark Lord look like?” Caiden asked, moving to inspect one of the pillars between two bookcases. “Was he like Tim Curry in Legend or sexy and British like Tom Ellis in Lucifer?”

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Author Of The Month - Lily Morton - Grand Finale



Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing







In our final post, we'll take a look at The Summer Of Us and Best Love. We also have our author interview and one more chance to win one of Lily's books.


First up, The Summer Of Us


Blurb:

It’s going to be a long hot summer.

John is an exceptionally good lawyer. He’s driven, arrogant and hides a warm heart underneath a façade of cool politeness. He’s used to people disliking him but for some reason when meeting Matt in London the other man’s open dislike of him bothers him. He’s therefore surprised to find himself offering Matt a place to stay in his villa in the South of France while he’s working nearby. He’s surprised because he’d actually planned to spend the summer working on his book and plotting to get his ex-wife back.

However, his perfect plans take a blow as the long hot summer progresses and the two men get closer, and John starts to nurse an unexpected attraction to his houseguest from hell.

Matt is John’s polar opposite. He’s warm, funny, sociable and scruffy. He loves people and they love him back. However, to his consternation he hates John more than he hates Marmite, and Marmite makes him vomit. He hates his arrogance, his public school voice and the air of superiority that he carries around. The idea of staying in his home with just him for company sounds torturous and not in a good way.

However, as the hot, lazy days slip by he’s forced to realise that maybe he’s not such a good judge of character after all, because underneath that arrogance is a warm, funny, vulnerable man who’s incredibly sexy. The only problem is that while Matt is gay John is completely straight and Matt now wants him more than he’s ever wanted anything in his life.


Excerpt:

I shake my head, my thoughts trailing away like smoke, and focus to find him racing around the side of the car to open my door and help me out. “John, I’ve cut my arm, not sawn it off,” I say irritably, feeling like some sort of Victorian maiden. He’ll be covering up the legs on the tables next in case I have impure thoughts. I snort out a laugh and he looks at me curiously.
“Ookay.” He elongates the word. “The hospital said to keep an eye on you because you said that some pain medications make you stupid. Apparently, if you were going to have a bit of a funny reaction to the painkillers it would hit you quite quickly. Luckily we’re home now.”
I laugh again. “Funny ha ha,” and then I lapse into giggles at the look of puzzlement on his face. “There’s that word again,” I sigh lavishly, pointing at him until he relocates my finger so that I’m actually pointing at him. Fuck. “Home. I like being at home with you.” 
He looks at me in complete abject bewilderment, his brow furrowing, and I poke the line between those spectacular eyes. God you’re pretty, I think, and then see the look of consternation on his face. “I said that out loud, didn’t I?”
He nods, a grin tugging at his lips. “I am not pretty, Matthew. I am extremely good-looking with a brain the size of the Tower of London. That makes me handsome, not, I repeat, pretty.”
“Hope other things are the size of the Tower of London,” I laugh, and get up with a groan and then stand swinging idly back and forth on his door enjoying the breeze, while hoping that my mouth stops talking right about now. A reaction to the painkillers, I muse. Right, at this point, really, could it get any stupider?
He looks at me as I hum a song that’s just come into my head and attempt to thread my good arm through his sweater. “Case proven for the painkiller reaction, I think.” He shakes his head and takes the sweater off me. “That’s back to front, babe.” He throws it onto the back seat and pushes his shoulder under mine. “Come on,” he growls, sending shivers down my spine. 
I like that noise. It goes straight to my balls. He freezes. “Shit, I said it out loud again, didn’t I?”
He shakes his head and closes his eyes. “Maybe we need to get some food down you, Matty? Mop up the painkillers.”
I nuzzle into him. “Let’s get some protein in me,” I growl. “Let’s have a liquid lunch. I promise that I’ll swallow.”
He closes his eyes in what looks like pain. “Fuck, the things that you say.”
“It’s not what I say, it’s what I do.” I’m starting to feel very weird now, so to take my mind off it I attempt a lascivious wink, but judging from the consternation on his face I don’t think that I quite pull it off. “I’m very, very good at the things that I do, Johnny,” I say proudly.
“Matt, you’re actually shouting, did you know that?” he says nervously, still attempting to get me up the stairs. Good luck with that, I think distractedly, because my legs don’t appear to be working.
“Oh my God,” I shout in panic, and it must be loud because he nearly drops me. “My legs don’t work. I can’t walk.”
“It’s okay,” he soothes. “The hospital said to let you sleep and the reaction will wear off. I’ve just got to make sure that I wake you up occasionally.”
“To check that I haven’t died,” I say slowly and painstakingly. “You must definitely do that, Johnny. Hey, you know what?” He jerks to a stop again. “We should get in bed together, then you can keep a check on me.” He closes his eyes and I go to nudge him and miss his arm by what feels like quite a lot. I smirk, or try to. My face is so numb now that I might be dribbling, for all the fuck I know. “My face feels funny, but my penis is still working,” I reassure him.
“Oh my God,” he groans.
I laugh. “I know, that’s what they all say. ‘Oh my God, Matty, that’s so fucking good.’” I shout the last and I think that I end it on a bit of a howl because his shoulders are shaking with laughter. I nuzzle into him. “You smell really nice, babe, like blackberries and sunshine and hot skin. Sometimes I want to lick you,” I say dreamily and his steps falter.



Get the book:



A free short called Matt and John's Wedding is available here.



Second in our line-up, Best Love


Blurb:

Noah and Sage have been best friends since they were seven when Sage climbed over the wall between their childhood homes. They know everything about each other apart from one small thing. Noah is hopelessly in love with Sage and doesn't ever intend to tell him.

However, fate has other plans. A dating website with a glitch in its system leads Sage to challenge Noah. Two days in which they will show each other their best dates. What could possibly go wrong?

At the end of these two days will the men discover that the best love comes with someone who really knows you, or will they fall back into being just good friends?


This short story was originally featured in the Heart2Heart Anthology. It has had a new scene and epilogue added to it.


Excerpt:

I look up at the sign again and let resolve fill me. My supposed perfect match is waiting for me a few feet away. If it’s a failure, then no one will know, and if it’s a success I just might find everything I’ve been looking for, and also someone who might prevent me from dying a lonely, single, old man and being eaten by my grumpy dog, Charlie.
Filled with resolution, I nod and stride forward grimly. Maybe too grimly. I pause and adjust my face so it isn’t demonstrating resting bitch. Sorted.
I reach out and push open the door. I’m instantly socked with a wave of warm coffee and sugar scented air, and predictably, my glasses immediately steam over. I curse and remove them, polishing them and popping them back on my nose. 
The place comes into focus and I look around nervously. It’s fairly quiet for a weekday. Normally, coffee shops in York are filled to the rafters with tourists, but the rain and wind must have kept most people away. There’s an old couple sitting together but staring in any direction other than at each other, a young couple attempting to share one chair, and a man tapping away furiously on a laptop.
I stare hard at him, but he’s not wearing a red jumper, which is what my mystery man promised to be wearing. I straighten my own navy sweater and look around, my brow furrowing. Disappointment sears me. He hasn’t come. 
My racing thoughts come to a stop when I hear a throat clearing behind me. I turn slowly and see a small table and leather armchairs tucked away in a quiet corner. Sitting in one of the chairs is a man wearing a scarlet jumper, and… my thoughts come to a screeching halt. 
“You!”
Sage, my best friend in the entire world, gives a startled laugh. “Me. And you?” I laugh, and he shoves the spare chair forward with his foot. “What are you doing here?” he asks. “I thought you’d bunkered down to get through the revisions.”
I subside into the chair thankfully and take a grateful sip of his hot chocolate which he pushes over to me with the ease of practice. I curse as I notice pen ink all over my hands, before focusing on the question. “I have got a lot to do, but I had a message from that dating site I was telling you about.”
Something crosses his face, a flare of what looks like recognition, before a slow smile lifts his full lips. “So, you’re here for a date then? Don’t tell me. You’re wearing a navy sweater to identify yourself, and your profile name is Ink Sprinkler, which, by the way, either sounds like a porn name or like you’re incontinent.”
I pause, and then realization rushes through me. “Oh, my God. Are you Picture Man?”
He waves his arms about gracefully as if conducting a symphony. The sleeves of the sweater are rolled up, and the colours from the tattoos on his arms and hands shine in the warm light of the coffee shop. “I thought it was appropriate,” he smiles, and just for a second my gaze snags on those full lips and the twinkle in his warm, cognac eyes.
Then I snap back into reality with the ease of practice. “So, we’ve been matched by a supposedly zero percent failure matchmaking agency.” I snort. “We’re going to detract from their perfect score, that’s for fucking sure.”
He sits back, and something crosses his face too quickly for me to figure it out. Then he assumes his normal expression of lively curiosity and welcome. “Why?”
It takes me a second to work out what he’s asking, and then I laugh. “Fucking hell, we’re about as far from a match as Russell Grant is to marrying Jordan Barrett.”
“I personally am really shipping for that to happen,” he says solemnly. “They’re a match made in heaven.” He folds his arms and sits back. “Are we really that different?”
I smirk and drain his hot chocolate with a flourish. “Just look at us.”
He frowns and it sits uneasily on his open face. “What do you mean?”
I wave my hand at him. “Look at you, and then look at me.” 
“I am,” he says, and there’s suddenly a deep note to his voice that I’ve never heard directed at me before.
I clear my throat. “You’re cool and sociable and outgoing. Good looking and a good friend.” I look down at myself. “I’m boring and colourless. I hide away in my flat behind a pen name, and I’m anally retentive to boot.”
He stares at me for a long second, and I squirm slightly under that focused gaze. “You forgot to mention kind, funny and a brilliant author,” he says steadily. “And the anally retentive bit I can really get behind.”
I raise my middle finger at him and shake my head. “I’m not under any illusions. Richard always used to say I was boring.”
He scowls and shifts in his chair. “I don’t know why you paid any attention to him.”
I stare at him. “You went out with him for four years. I’m your best friend. Of course I paid attention to him.”
“I wish I’d heard him say that,” he says fiercely, and then sighs. “Anyway, if that’s the sort of crap he was spouting, it’s a good job I’m not with him anymore.”
I shoot a look at him. “You never did say why you split up?” 

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Audio Book Review: Single, Single Dads #1 by RJ Scott

From The Blurb:
Reeling from the painful rejection of a man he thought he loved, Asher is left holding the baby. 
Ash wants a family, and is determined to continue with a surrogacy he’d begun with his ex. Bringing baby Mia home, he vows that he will be the best father he can be. Nothing in this world matters more to him than caring for his daughter, not even accidentally falling in lust with the doctor next door. Challenged by his growing attraction to Sean, and confronted by painful memories of his family, Ash has to learn that love is all that matters. 
When ER doctor Sean moves in with his friends next door to sexy single father Ash, he falls so quickly it takes his breath away. The sex they have is hot, but Ash is adamant his heart is too full with love for his daughter to let anyone else in. Why is Sean the only one who sees how scared Ash is, and how can he prove to his new lover that he desperately wants the three of them to become a family? 
Listening Time: 4 hrs., 35 min.

Karen's rating:





It's time to check out the audio version....

I really enjoyed reading this story in e-book format. I don't imagine it comes as a surprise to anyone who follows my reviews that I'm definitely an RJ Scott fan. While I can't say I've read all of her books, I can say I'm giving it my best shot and I'm doing the same for the audio releases especially when they're narrated by Sean Crisden, who just happens to be one of my favorite narrators.

So here we go once again heading bravely into that scary world of not just new parenthood but new and single parenthood with Ash. Who quite honestly didn't annoy me nearly as much this time and maybe that's because I took a few moments to ponder that same time in history in my life, although I was lucky enough to have a partner to share all the trials and tribulations with and I think remembering that helped me to realize that quite honestly Ash's world was just a little bit scarier than mine. I do know I never owned 4 strollers which I have to admit I found that mildly amusing and not in a bad way.

As cliche as this may sound being a parent is both the hardest and most rewarding challenge a person can ever have. if you're lucky and you get a few things right than you get see a cute and very dependent baby grow and become this amazing person before your eyes it's a pretty awe inspiring event. So for Ash to be nervous and worried and yes...even a little bit paranoid really isn't an inappropriate response to whats going on in his life. He simply wants to be the best parent he can be for little Mia and it's a lot of responsibility for two people much less one.

Blogtour: I Dare You To Break Curfew by Eva Munoz




Please welcome Eva Muñoz with 

I Dare You To Break Curfew 

Inshari Chronicles #1 



Blurb:

To save humankind, Camron may have to fall in love.

Vampires are real, and they are called the Inshari. After Camron Masters breaks curfew the first time, he discovers them living beneath Braylin Academy. The second time he breaks curfew, he meets a mad scientist who convinces him to take part in an experiment in exchange for more information about the Inshari. A small pinprick later, Camron wakes up as one of them and finds himself bonded to the prince of his dreams—vampire or not, Troyan is dark, brooding, and oh so delicious. But there’s the enigmatic Zaire vying for his attention too. Or is Camron just a pawn in a centuries-old feud?

All Camron’s ever wanted was to live his own fairy tale. But there’s always a catch after meeting Prince Charming.


Get the book:





Understanding Troyan  


On paper, Troyan seems like the perfect knight in shining armor type. He’s protective. He’s responsible. He’s duty bound to his people and everyone he cares about. But this is just on paper, a surface level kind of understanding.


When I first started writing I Dare You to Break Curfew, I didn’t know Troyan all that well. He was one of those characters that preferred to be closed off from the rest of the story. I really had to dig very deep to scratch the surface of who he was. 


I thought of him as typical. The strong silent type who gave his heart wholly to Camron. He was robotic, doing what he needed to do to save his people because he thought he was duty bound to do so. Not once did he think about himself or what he wanted. Even when the bond between himself and Camron was forged, he still tried his best to think about what his people needed. 


Several drafts of I Dare You to Break Curfew later, Troyan opened up more for me. I started seeing his hopes and dreams. What he really wanted in life. He’s a traveler. Someone who wants to see the world beyond his underground kingdom. He serves his people to the best of his abilities, but this service never made him happy. He longs for something more.

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

ARC Review : Romancing the Rough Diamond (Romancing the...,#4) by Clare London

Romancing the Rough Diamond (Romancing the..., #4)Blurb :

Trust is the most precious jewel of all.

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?


My rating:




Another addition to the “Romancing the…” series, each book being a standalone. I needed a light and cute contemporary romance with a zest of British favour : I got it.

Joel and Matt couldn’t be anymore different. Joel is CEO of a jewel company and, while being a great boss, is “as cool as a cucumber” as Matt would say. Matt, on the contrary, is quite vocal and brutally honest, but never with malice. A “rough diamond” as Joel would say.

Joel just bought Matt’s father’s company, something that Matt didn’t like at all and doesn’t hide. However, he’s persuaded to go working for Joel for a special and very confidential project : designing the jewels for a gay royal wedding coming soon (yes, William and Harry have a gay brother and its wedding is going to be celebrated full blast, hehehe).

Of course, Joel and Matt are quite attracted to each other, of course, they go for it, of course, it won’t be without some bumps. And of course, it’s cute to see them both going with gusto into their relationship, and fight, in a fun way, to get their HEA.

Nothing shattering, but mellow, light, amusing and with a bit of steam. A cute break.

-----------------------------------------


ARC of “Romancing the Rough Diamond” was generously provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.



 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/46021555-romancing-the-rough-diamond

Get the book :
 https://www.amazon.com/Romancing-Rough-Diamond-Dreamspun-Desires-ebook/dp/B07SVYL3MG/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?keywords=romancing+the+rough+diamond&qid=1566156834&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmr0


Buy Links are provided as a courtesy and do not constitute an endorsement of or affiliation with this book, author or bookseller listed.



Thanks for visiting our blog and I hope you enjoyed my review !


Blogtour: Threadbare by Elle E. Ire



Please welcome Elle E. Ire with 

Threadbare 

Storm Fronts #1





All cybernetic soldier Vick Corren wanted was to be human again. Now all she wants is Kelly. But machines can’t love. Can they?

With the computerized implants that replaced most of her brain, Vick views herself as more machine than human. She’s lost her memory, but worse, can no longer control her emotions, though with the help of empath Kelly LaSalle, she’s holding the threads of her fraying sanity together.

Vick is smarter, faster, impervious to pain… the best mercenary in the Fighting Storm, until odd flashbacks show Vick a life she can't remember and a romantic relationship with Kelly that Vick never knew existed. But investigating that must wait until Vick and her team rescue the Storm’s kidnapped leader.

Someone from within the organization is working against them, threatening Kelly’s freedom. To save her, Vick will have to sacrifice what she values most: the last of her humanity. Before the mission is over, either Vick or Kelly will forfeit the life she once knew.



Get the book:


  


The Book of My Heart
THREADBARE is not my first published novel. My first is titled VICIOUS CIRCLE, and it’s being rereleased by Dreamspinner Publications in a few months. It is unrelated to THREADBARE, and not part of the Storm Fronts series of which THREADBARE is the first book. However, in many ways, THREADBARE feels like my first published novel because it is, truly, the book of my heart.
To understand why this book is so important to me, one needs to know just how long THREADBARE’s heroine, Vick Corren, has been part of my life. Believe it or not, I first conceived of the cybernetic mercenary soldier when I was in college, and that is a long, long time ago, like about twenty-five years ago. I was majoring in creative writing at the University of Miami, and I’d written a couple of trunk novels (practice novels never to see a publisher’s desk that have been stashed away in the depths of my computerized trunk). Coursework demanded that I produce pieces of short fiction and poetry, but I wouldn’t be required to write another novel-length work until graduate school. However, I’ve always preferred the longer written forms, and my creativity was becoming stilted.
Enter the live-action film version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Okay, you’re probably thinking to yourself, this just took a very strange turn, especially where mutant turtles are concerned, and yes, it was a bizarre series of events. 
I had a very good friend in college who went to see the Ninja Turtles film with me as a study break during final exams. We also regularly watched the cartoon series on Saturday mornings and read the comics. Though she was studying to become a veterinarian, she had a strong creative side and loved to write, so we began composing fan fiction for the Ninja Turtles and sharing it back and forth between ourselves. The internet was barely a thing at that time, so that was as far as it went, but it was fun. I even got my name printed in a published Ninja Turtles comic book for suggesting a title to a spinoff series of theirs.
Anyway, as part of our fan fiction, my friend and I decided the turtles should have girlfriends. Yeah, okay, sappy sweet, but we were college students. By our second year of this, we’d actually gotten nicknamed after two of the mutant turtles. She was Donatello. I was Raphael. Both suited us. She was the intellectual science-y one. I was, well, something of a rebel with a bit of a foul mouth and a developing badass side. And any girlfriend I created for Raphael was going to give him a badass run for his money. Thus, Vick Corren was born.

Blog Tour: Behind the Stick by K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn



Book Title: Behind the Stick, The Speakeasy #3

Author: K. Evan Coles and Brigham Vaughn

Publisher: Pride Publishing/Totally Entwined Group

Release Date: August 20, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary, MM, Romance, Interracial, Erotic Romance

Trope/s: Bad Breakup, Hurt/Comfort, Interracial Relationship, Sex Buddies Become Lovers, Found Family 

Themes: Family, Friendship, Family Conflict, Racial Intolerance, Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length: 97 045 words/370 pages

 


Blurb

Kyle McKee lives a charmed life. He co-owns Under, an uptown speakeasy, where he is chief mixologist. Friends poke fun at Kyle’s tiny one-bed apartment in Chelsea, but they’re the best support system a man could ask for. Unfortunately, Kyle’s lackluster love life has led him to take a break from dating.

Harlem resident Luka Clarke is a lieutenant with Engine 47, the Pride of Morningside, where he carries on his father’s legacy with the FDNY. Luka, who is mixed race and bisexual, has his eye on Kyle, whom he met at a local burger joint and he just needs to make time to visit Kyle’s bar.

Before work one evening, Kyle is trapped inside the luncheonette when a fire breaks out. Luka’s firehouse answers the call and he connects with Kyle again under the most unexpected of circumstances. When Kyle gratefully invites Luka and the firehouse squad to Under, the flirting between the two men leads to a date.

Kyle and Luka quickly grow close, but Luka’s mother and sister distrust Kyle for being both white and gay. Luka believes his family will come around and accept Kyle in the end, but Kyle is not optimistic and hides his disquiet as attraction blossoms into love.

Kyle and Luka’s near-idyllic bubble is shattered one evening after a hate crime leaves them scarred, inside and out. Shaken, they put on a strong front but struggle inwardly against fear and personal demons. As the emotions seething beneath the surface finally come to a head, both men must decide if they have the strength to find love enough to conquer hate.

Reader advisory: This book contains references to non-nurturing parenting; homophobia; racism and racist slurs. There are references to recreational drug use. This book also contains scenes of mmmm ménage and characters caught in fire.



Buy Links


Excerpt

Kyle McKee set down his gym bag and yoga mat and pulled up a seat at his gym’s juice bar. The class he’d taken had warmed his skin and stretched his muscles and joints to their limits. He felt like the world’s most relaxed slab of single New York man, which was good for Kyle’s state of mind. He’d been stressed lately, about his love life in particular. Because damn if every guy he’d been out with in the last two months hadn’t turned out to be a shitheel of epic proportions. So much so, Kyle had decided to stop dating entirely.

Eyes closed, Kyle forced away thoughts of dating catastrophes. He rolled his neck from side to side but peeled his lids open again when the chair on his left slid back and his friend Malcolm Elliot dropped into the seat. Malcolm gave Kyle a lazy grin. At six-three, he stood a few inches taller than Kyle, and he looked rosy-cheeked and loose limbed, his blue-gray eyes shining.

“I am a man-sized untwisted pretzel,” Malcolm said. “I’m not sure what that means, so don’t ask.”

“You’re yoga-stoned, dude.” Kyle smiled at Malcolm’s laugh.

“Is that a thing?”

“Totally a thing.”

Malcolm narrowed his eyes at Kyle. “You’re the one with the bloodshot eyes—what did you do after class?”

“Ugh, nothing but itch from allergies. Ragweed is my kryptonite.” Kyle pinched the bridge of his nose between his fingers, then nodded at the menu on the wall behind the counter. “What are you drinking?”

Monday, August 19, 2019

ARC Review: The Doctor's Orders (Copper Point Medical 3) by Heidi Cullinan

Blurb:
Once upon a time Nicholas Beckert was the boy who stole kisses from Jared Kumpel beneath the bleachers. Now Jared’s a pediatrician and Nick is the hospital CEO who won’t glance his way. But everything changes when they’re stranded alone in a hospital elevator. Ten years of cold shoulders melt away, and old passions rekindle into hot flames. Once out of the elevator, Jared has no intention of letting Nick get away. He wants a full, open relationship, which is a step further than Nick is willing to go, and it looks like the same arguments that drove them apart in high school might resurface. Jared’s determined not to let it happen again. He won’t order Nick from his shell—he’ll listen to what he needs to feel safe. Maybe this time he can prescribe his lover a happily ever after.



Dani's rating:

This book felt more political to me than the first two Copper Point stories. An undercurrent of homophobia and racism permeates the plot.

Nick has always hidden his sexuality. As head of his family and hospital CEO, Nick carries the weight of the world on his shoulders. His church teaches that homosexuality is a sin, and his beloved grandma and mom, while generally accepting of the gay couples in Copper Point, feel that one of their own being gay would bring shame upon the family.

Jared is the happy, go-lucky pediatrician, but his cheerful demeanor hides a deep-seated loneliness. Since his friends moved out, Jared has felt unsettled. He's still carrying a torch for his first love: none other than Nicolas Beckert.

The former lovers reunite when they are trapped together after the hospital elevator they're on falls. As the fire department comes to the rescue, Jared and Nick, feeling like their lives are on the line, reconnect with a searing kiss. The problem, of course, is that Nick doesn't want to come out, and Jared won't push Nick, not again.

Blogtour: The Doctor's Orders by Heidi Cullinan



Please welcome Heidi Cullinan with 

The Doctor's Orders 

Copper Point Medical #3



Hi, and thanks for having me here today. I’m going to share a little information about my latest release, The Doctor’s Orders, available August 20 from Dreamspinner Press and wherever books are sold.
The Doctor’s Orders is book three in the Copper Point: Medical series, the final book in that trilogy. In this installment, we get to know Jared, an openly gay pediatrician, and Nick, the very closeted CEO of the hospital. Though Nick and Jared secretly dated in high school, it was clear nothing was ever going to happen between them again…until Jared and Nick are trapped in an elevator together, where sparks fly.
Nick’s story in The Doctor’s Orders is near to my heart because like him, I too had a late coming out. I actually know a number of people who came out past their thirties and forties, or who are not yet out at all, and now in the US a lot of us do in Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Coming out isn’t easy for everyone, and for some people it’s never possible. With marriage equality the law of the land, sometimes we forget that being one’s true self can still be a struggle.
*
I want to talk about Jared. How I feel about him. How I want to pursue something with him but don’t know how.
It wasn’t the first time he’d nearly come clean with Emmanuella. Not in high school, and not even in college. Sometime in his midtwenties, after his third attempt to date a woman and not being able to accept her invitation to go upstairs because he understood full well how he was cheating her—that’s when he’d started wanting to talk this out with his greatest confidant. He’d been too scared, though. He’d managed to distract himself with work for a long, long time.
What if he’d died without sharing this truth with her? Without living it for himself?
But if he was too exhausted to move, he was absolutely too spent to come out, even to Emmanuella. Soon. He’d tell her soon. “Talk to me about anything.”
“Want to talk about something silly, or do you want to talk about the accident?”
God, he wanted to tell her. It didn’t feel as terrifying right now. Because of the drugs they’d given him? Maybe he should use that. Or maybe he shouldn’t. He couldn’t decide.
*
I actually thought a lot about a good friend of mine from college while writing Nick. He and I spent a lot of breakfasts together, a lot of Sunday nights when were were on our own for supper—we were very close friends in a lot of ways, but it wasn’t until we were in our thirties that he came out to me. I was concerned that I’d somehow made him think it wasn’t okay to tell me, but he said no, his whole focus back then was to marry his work instead of someone he loved. He did well in his career too, until one day when he couldn’t take it one more day. He quit his job, came out, started dating, and was so much happier, brighter, lighter. 
This is something we’ve all seen over and over; someone who has been in denial about their orientation is able to push past denial, fear, or whatever is keeping them from acknowledging themselves, and at last they feel at a kind of peace. 

I’m a CEO of a hospital. I took out a nest of crooked board members. I can handle an interrogation from my baby sister. Except when Nick opened his mouth, all that came out was, “What do you mean, is it about Jared? Why would you guess that?”

Sunday, August 18, 2019

ARC Review: Unspoken Vow by Eden Finley

Unspoken Vow (Steele Brothers, #2)From the Blurb:
𝙃𝙚’𝙨 𝙚𝙫𝙚𝙧𝙮𝙩𝙝𝙞𝙣𝙜 𝙄 𝙬𝙖𝙣𝙩 𝙗𝙪𝙩 𝙧𝙪𝙣 𝙖𝙬𝙖𝙮 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢. 
There’s a long list of things I don’t handle well: 
Change. Relationships. Breakups. 
But there’s one person above everything else I can’t seem to get a handle on. 
𝘉𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘺 𝘞𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦. 
In short, he’s perfect. The reality, he scares me. He’s the opposite of what I usually go for. He’s bigger. Intimidating. He reminds me of someone I’d rather forget. 
When I need to find a new place to live, Brody offers me his spare room, but I have no plans on taking him up on the offer. He doesn’t know what happened to me five years ago, and I want to keep it that way. But with limited options, I find myself outside his apartment holding a full moving box and wondering: How can I do this without exposing the darkest part of my past?



Ky's rating:




This is the second book in the series and it's about Law's twin brother, Anders, and a gentle giant who wants to get to know him, Brody.

It's not a dark book but it's not a light one either. It deals with imortant and serious issues, which you already know if you read the first book, but in a way that's not overwhelming.

It gives Anders a voice and follows along in his struggle to overcome his past and have a normal life again, but the vibe is mostly positive about the future instead of murky and pessimistic.

Anders had gone through something that left him with scars, both physical and emotional. His physical ones were easier to hide but they were still a reminder of what had happened. His emotional ones were a lot more difficult to ignore or hide and affected his whole life.

The story takes place a few years after his assault and it's an important time for Anders because, as he keeps struggling every day to do even the simplest things, never knowing what might trigger a panic attack or a flashback, his attacker is about to get out of prison already. That knowledge sets Anders back in any progress he had managed to achieve.

Book Review : Heated Rivalry (Game Changers #2) by Rachel Reid

Blurb

Nothing interferes with Shane Hollander’s game—definitely not the sexy rival he loves to hate.

Pro hockey star Shane Hollander isn’t just crazy talented, he’s got a spotless reputation. Hockey is his life. Now that he’s captain of the Montreal Voyageurs, he won’t let anything jeopardize that, especially the sexy Russian whose hard body keeps him awake at night.

Boston Bears captain Ilya Rozanov is everything Shane’s not. The self-proclaimed king of the ice, he’s as cocky as he is talented. No one can beat him—except Shane. They’ve made a career on their legendary rivalry, but when the skates come off, the heat between them is undeniable. When Ilya realizes he wants more than a few secret hookups, he knows he must walk away. The risk is too great.

As their attraction intensifies, they struggle to keep their relationship out of the public eye. If the truth comes out, it could ruin them both. But when their need for each other rivals their ambition on the ice, secrecy is no longer an option…

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


Christelle's rating:




That was damned hot and good. So different for me from the first book from this series, which didn’t do me anything and so glad I gave it a shot, hehehe !!!

It’s no secret I enjoy sports romance and this one worked very well for me : two sexy NHL Hockey players playing in different teams, one with an image of a badass and one with the image of the Golden boy but both very talented, kind of enemies-to-lovers development (competing on the ice against each other, portrayed as archenemies by the public, but with a very different dynamics when Shane and Ilya are behind closed doors), over a span of several years, with a sweet epilogue.

I kind of worried at one point as I felt it was stalling a tiny bit, but that was just a blip and then, it went to "tons-of-feels" zone, to my great pleasure and entertainment.

Saturday, August 17, 2019

ARC Review: Music of the Knight by Mel Bossa

Music of the KnightFrom the Blurb:
Easily pleased, Micah enjoys a career in non-profit work and gets through his days one lame joke at a time. Then his friend Lou introduces him to her musical family and the Knights pull Micah into their world of resilience and sorrow. Soon, Micah understands that in the face of grief, optimism isn't always enough. 
Lei was once revered for his tremendous talent. But one day the music died, and the scars under his leather bracelets are a reminder of what he lost. These days, he's nothing but a phantom. Shut away from the world, Lei tunes instruments in the Knights' music store. 
Then charismatic Micah enters his life, charming his family and slowly coaxing his way into Lei's heart with steadfast devotion. With Micah at his side, it may yet be possible for Lei to reclaim the spotlight he'd thought permanently abandoned.



Ky's rating:





I've read many of Mel Bossa's books and still she keeps surprising me with the diversity of her stories.

The things they have in common are the atmosphere, the general feeling of the story, the way she makes her characters come alive. Other than those things though her stories are always unique and deal with different subjects. Usually, there's a somper air about them, her characters struggle through life but without letting that consue them whole. I guess you could say that her characters are real in a way that you don't find easily in stories.

In "Music of the Knight" I was once again amazed by the emotion she was able to convey through written words. I could hear the pain in Lei's voice as he sang, I could hear the agony and helplessness in Micah's pleas when he didn't know how to help Lei. I could see the struggle every single member of the Knight family was going through.

All that sounds pretty dramatic and it's true that I ofter found myself tearing up, especially during the second half of the book, once I had the whole story in front of me and knew the horror that Lei had lived through. No one, NO one should ever have to go through what Lei went through. I want to add a trigger warning, but doing that would also be a spoiler, so if you want to know what you're getting into before you go along and read this, feel free to contact me.
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