Monday, May 31, 2021

Blogtour: A Husband For Hartwell by JA Rock and Lisa Henry

A Husband for Hartwell

A Husband for Hartwell

By JA Rock and Lisa Henry

The Lords of Bucknall, Book 1

FINAL COVERHe must marry, or risk his fortune.

The whole of London Society has long assumed Lord William Hartwell will marry his childhood best friend, Lady Rebecca Warrington. After two Seasons, Hartwell remains quite content with bachelorhood--his parents do not. When Hartwell learns they intend to cut his purse strings unless he makes a match this Season, he resigns himself to a marriage of convenience with Becca, and yet he can't help but be drawn to her younger brother, Warry.

He must marry, or risk his sister's ruin.

The Viscount "Warry" Warrington is used to being viewed as the tagalong little brother. Now a grown man about to enter his second Season, Warry is desperate to be seen. When Lord Balfour, a handsome older peer, takes Warry under his wing, Warry thinks his dream is finally coming true. Until Balfour reveals his true intent--to make public a letter that will destroy Becca's reputation, unless Warry agrees to marry him.

Time is running out for both of them.

When an injury forces Warry to recover at Hartwell House, the two succumb to a secret flirtation. But Warry's sudden announcement of his engagement to Balfour drives Hartwell near mad with jealousy--and right into Becca's arms. With the clock ticking for Warry to save his sister, will Hartwell discover the truth of Warry's feelings before it's too late?

A Husband for Hartwell is the first book in the Lords of Bucknall Club series, where the Regency meets m/m romance.

Universal Link


Teaser 1

Teaser 2


Hartwell crossed an ankle over his knee. “I have a proposal. An arrangement that may benefit us both.”

Warry leaned back against the pillows but still held himself stiff.

“You may stay here until your bruises fade, and in return, you must help me learn to court your sister.”

Warry frowned. “You wish to court my sister?”

“Yes,” Hartwell said. “There is no need to sound quite so astonished about it. If she and I are to be married, then I must know her as more than simply a friend.”

“You’re not going to marry her.” It was said with a certainty that dug at Hartwell.

“Of course I am. It was all but decided before we were out of leading strings.”

Warry wrinkled his nose. “She doesn’t want to marry you.”

“She said she did yesterday.”

“She doesn’t want to marry anyone.”

“Well, she must. As must I. And so, we will marry each other. That is decided, Warry. That is not what this conversation is about.”

“It is now.”

This was the Warry Hartwell remembered—an obnoxious little pup, answering back over everything. Hartwell would have carried him outside and dunked him in a pond if he hadn’t looked so bruised and pathetic.

“I know nothing of her romantic tastes. We’ve always avoided talking of such since neither of us…” He shook his head. “Well, we have both, of late, been reminded of our duty, and we have come to an arrangement, but there is no need for that duty to be unpleasant, is there?”

The furrows in Warry’s brow seemed in danger of becoming permanent. “You believe I spend my days thinking on how to court my sister?”

Hartwell sighed impatiently. “No, but I know your sister has had admirers, and I’m certain you’ve seen her reaction to certain types of flowers or…or chocolates or sweet sayings in cards. I want you to teach me what she likes so we might present as a convincing match to Society. And more importantly, to my parents.”

He marvelled at just how simple a solution it was. It was as Becca had said: they would feign courtship in front of their parents. They would marry as friends and live their own lives. She would never hold him back from anything he wanted nor he her. He only wished he hadn’t been too pig-headed to see it that way in the first place.

“If you’re just putting on appearances,” Warry said, “surely she can pretend to like any flower.”

Hartwell struggled to keep the frustration from his voice. “Well, it’s not just pretend now, is it? I love your sister dearly. I wish her to feel I can be a husband to her as well as a friend.”

Warry’s scowl twitched into a near smile before re-etching itself firmly onto his face. “She’s going to laugh at you.”

Hartwell couldn’t hold back a snort of amusement. “Brat.” He stood, stretching, and then winced at the pop of his joints. He noted with some surprise that Warry’s gaze dropped to where the tie of Hartwell’s dressing gown had loosened. “Of course she will. But when she sees the lengths I have gone to in order to make myself a satisfactory suitor, she will be properly awed.”

Now Warry outright snickered, and Hartwell suddenly felt he could sit there all day, trying to make little Joseph Warrington laugh. He reached out to tousle the sandy hair as he had done many times before and halted as Warry flinched away. Hartwell studied the bruises again. Perhaps that was all—Warry flinched because he ached and did not want Hartwell making him ache further.

But a niggling voice in his mind said that perhaps he and Warry had never really been chums. That his only friend was Rebecca, that she was his sole safeguard against a lifetime of loneliness, and that he must now learn to love her as a wife, even though, in all his unformed daydreams, if he had ever imagined himself with someone by his side at all, it had been a man and not a woman.

“Do not laugh at me, Warry,” he said with feigned severity, which only made Warry laugh harder. Hartwell felt a rush of warmth rise up in him, both tender and acute, and for a moment he wished…

But no.

Where on earth had that thought come from?

Even if he had ever thought of Warry as anything but Becca’s younger brother, which he most certainly had not, he was an only son. And Warry was an oldest son, and wishes were for children, not for men who had a duty to their families.

Teaser 3

Enter the Giveaway:

To celebrate the release of A Husband for Hartwell, 

JA & Lisa are giving away a $20 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Teaser 4

Teaser 5

About the Authors:

JA Rock Logo

J.A. Rock is the author of over twenty LGBTQ romance, suspense, and horror novels, as well as an occasional contributor to HuffPo Queer Voices. J.A.'s books have received Lambda Literary, INDIEFAB, and EPIC Award nominations, and The Subs Club received the 2016 National Leather Association-International Novel Award. 24/7 was named one of the best books of 2016 by Kirkus Reviews. J.A. lives in Chicago with an extremely judgmental dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Find out more on her website.

Lisa Henry logo

Lisa Henry likes to tell stories, mostly with hot guys and happily ever afters.

Lisa lives in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She doesn't know why, because she hates the heat, but she suspects she's too lazy to move. She spends half her time slaving away as a government minion, and the other half plotting her escape.

She attended university at sixteen, not because she was a child prodigy or anything, but because of a mix-up between international school systems early in life. She studied History and English, neither of them very thoroughly.

She shares her house with too many cats, a dog, a green tree frog that swims in the toilet, and as many possums as can break in every night. This is not how she imagined life as a grown-up.

Lisa has been published since 2012, and was a LAMBDA finalist for her quirky, awkward coming-of-age romance Adulting 101, and a Rainbow Awards finalist for 2019’s Anhaga.

Website | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads | Bookbub |Twitter

She also has a Facebook group where you’ll be kept in the loop with updates on releases, have a chance to win prizes, and probably see lots of lots of pictures of her dog and cats. 

Promotional post. Materials provided by


Sunday, May 30, 2021

Release Blitz: Opposites Attract by Jacqueline Lee

Opposites Attract

by Jacqueline Lee

Publication date: May 27th 2021
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

Megan is nerdier than all of the characters on The Big Bang Theory combined. But it’s a fabulous form of revenge that the same traits she was tormented for in high school have helped her land her dream job as a science journalist in New York and her dream apartment with fellow nerd, Josh, who is potentially her dream guy. The only problem is Josh’s brother, Brandon, is constantly around blocking any attempts to create a romantic atmosphere. Megan nurses an oversized grudge against jocks due to a past traumatic experience. The fact that Brandon’s a professional football player whose new favorite sport is mocking her only increases her fantasies of feeding him to a giant carnivorous plant.

Brandon’s life might look perfect, but he’s got a massive hang-up about his intelligence, a hang-up which is aggravated by all the verbal sparring with Josh’s new roommate. Even worse, it appears Science Barbie is falling for his deeply closeted brother. Why does he care so much about preventing the impending disaster? But the more time he spends with Megan, the more he realizes the sparks between them have the potential to ignite into something amazing.

Goodreads / Amazon


Living with Josh is as great as I expected. We move from roommates to friends seamlessly over the next fortnight, and inside me there’s a little spark of hope that the next progression might happen just as naturally.

Unfortunately Josh shows no sign of being interested in me romantically. And trust me, I’ve been searching for signs more actively than UFO enthusiasts search the night sky. Because there is no way I’m going to put myself out there and risk all the potential awkwardness unless I’m absolutely certain my feelings are reciprocated.

One Saturday night we’re heading out the door together when Brandon arrives. I swear Brandon spends more time at our apartment than he does at his own. Josh seems to enjoy his company, so I’ve bitten back my complaints.

“We were just going to grab some frozen yogurt. You want to come?” Josh asks him.

Brandon flinches. “Probably not a good idea.”

I let out a breath I didn’t even realize I was holding. It’s not just that I want to spend time alone with Josh. Somehow, when Brandon’s around there’s always this weird tension buzzing between him and me, and not just when we’re trading insults. It’s like antimatter—one of those phenomena science can’t find an explanation for.

Josh ducks back into his room and emerges holding a red baseball cap and dark sunglasses. “Here.” He thrusts them at Brandon, who puts them on.

I raise an eyebrow. “Is there a reason why you’re dressing Brandon up like that even though it’s mid-January, forty degrees, and dark outside?”

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Release Blitz: To Light a Fire to Kristian Parker

To Light a Fire by Kristian Parker

Book 1 in the Speak Its Name series

Word Count: 19,038
Book Length: NOVELLA
Pages: 82


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Book Description

Frank never thought he would find love…until he met his friend’s servant.

It’s 1922 and Frank Harris has finished his exams at Cambridge. He had planned on going home to his parents’ Midlands shop until his friend Charlie Fitzwilliam issues a surprise invitation to stay at his family’s stately home.

Frank has nursed a secret attraction to Charlie since their first meeting and can’t resist a chance to spend time with him, but once there, it’s Tanner, a manservant, with whom he instantly falls in lust.

Charlie tries to force a local girl on Frank, and although Frank knows he should keep up appearances, it’s Tanner who sets a fire in him.

To Frank’s astonishment, Tanner is attracted to him too, and their mutual passion kindles, then burns strong. Only, their feelings must remain a secret—discovery would mean the ruin of them both.

But how long can love that blazes this bright be hidden?


Cambridge, 1922

“Come on, Harris. Don’t be a chump. You can read your precious architecture books at my place. I don’t know why you’re bothering, anyway—we’ve done the blasted exams.”

So spoke Charlie Fitzwilliam the third…or maybe the fourth, standing there in all his glory. As usual, the rest of his gang flanked him and glared at me. It didn’t do to say no to Charlie. I had been in awe of him for four years at Cambridge.

The polar opposite to me, he could make a boy feel awkward just by entering a room. Blond, muscular and his parents owned most of one of the bigger counties just outside London. I, on the other hand, had dark hair, could have been described as a little on the skinny side and certainly didn’t come from the right side of the tracks.

“Go on, Harris,” said one of his henchmen. They followed him everywhere, doing his dirty work and hoping against hope some of that Fitzwilliam magic would rub off on them. “Charlie will be bored if you don’t.”

“Why don’t you go and entertain him then?” I said gruffly.

Friday, May 28, 2021

Blogtour: Let Love Rule by Jacqueline Simon Gunn

Let Love Rule
Where You'll Land Book 3
by Jacqueline Simon Gunn
Genre: Contemporary Romance

From award-winning author Jacqueline Simon Gunn comes 
the long-awaited third book in her Where You’ll Land series, 
a story about trauma, healing, love and discovering who we are by the choices we make.

Will Easton had been running from old wounds for too long when a tragedy sends him to his hometown, offering him the opportunity to revisit his past and learn to trust again. Once back at graduate school, he vows to take more risks, especially with his heart. When he meets Rachel, he is immediately drawn to her. But there are two problems: She’s still married, and he feels an obligation to his on-again/off-again girlfriend who stood by him. No matter how much he wants to be loyal, he feels a strong pull toward this new woman.

Rachel Dale finally found the strength to cut the cord to her cheating husband. When she meets Will, she finds herself irresistibly attracted to him. But he appears to have a girlfriend, and she refuses to become the other woman in someone else’s story. Besides, learning to trust another man is going to be hard. Trusting herself and her judgment after her husband’s betrayals is even harder. Meanwhile, her soon-to-be-ex is not letting her go easily. He could destroy any chance she and Will might have… if he ever leaves his girlfriend.

As Will and Rachel struggle to make the right choices, they both learn that saying they’ll trust again doesn’t mean it’ll be easy. In this complex, psychological romance, the most important choices are the ones that break the rules.

Let Love Rule can be read as a stand-alone.

**Only .99 cents May 10th – 19th!!**

How did you come up with the title Let Love Rule

Sometimes a title comes to me very early in the writing process. But not this one. Let Love Rule had remained nameless until the manuscript was just about ready for final edits. It was driving me crazy. 

The book has many layers. On the surface, it’s a love story, two broken people struggling to heal old wounds and learn to trust in love once again. But the narrative is complicated and tied together by the underlying message that the most important choices we make are the ones that break the rules. I wanted a title that both screamed love story and embraced this theme. 

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Blogtour: Kiss and Repeat by Heather Truett

Kiss and Repeat

by Heather Truett

Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: May 25th 2021
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

In Heather Truett’s Kiss and Repeat, a teen uses the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father to begin a kissing experiment. Only the experiment gets messy, and Stephen will have to come clean if he wants to win one girl’s heart in this heartfelt and funny YA debut.


Stephen Luckie isn’t so lucky in love. He’s completely inexperienced when it comes to girls, and wonders if his tics – caused by Tourette’s Syndrome – are the reason.

Then a game at a party reveals that his body goes still while kissing. Using the scientific method drilled into him by his scientist father, Steven begins the best experiment ever–one that involves kissing as many girls as possible. Who knew science could be so fun?

But when the experiment gets underway, Stephen begins to question how he treats girls – and if his tics have been standing in his way at all. With two girls interested in him, he has to figure out what really matters to him and what he’ll risk – and gain – by being his true self.


Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Google Play


“Wanna bike Lost Bridge today?” I asked Ballard before biting into my sandwich. 

I have to study,” he said. “Chem quiz tomorrow. But we need to talk soon. I’ve been working on a plan for our kissing experiment.” 

As if on cue, Case glanced up, caught my eye, and said, “Luckie got lucky,” with a grin. 

I flipped him the bird and turned back to Ballard. “No, I’m not going to kiss a bunch of random girls. I’ve heard ‘Luckie got lucky’ enough to last a lifetime.” 

“No one has to know. Trust me.” 

I wanted to trust him. I first met Ballard in the guidance office. He was in trouble for goofing off, nothing unusual, and I was visiting a counselor about something in my 504 plan. A 504 plan is the pile of papers outlining different ways I get help because of Tourette’s syndrome, like being allowed to take my exams in the library, away from other kids. My processing speed and style is different than a typical student’s, and I have a lot of trouble blocking out sensory stimuli. I know it looks like “special treatment” to a lot of people, but those people have never lived inside my head. 

Anyway, Ballard asked me straight up, “Why do you keep flinging your arms out?” 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Blogtour: The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery

Mira Books presents

The Stepsisters

by Susan Mallery

Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.

Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.

Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.

Their fragile truce is threatened by one careless act that could have devastating consequences. They could turn their backs on each other again…or they could learn to forgive once and for all and finally become true sisters of the heart.



“Mom, I think I’m going to throw up.”

Daisy Bosarge felt the fear that was universal in the parenting world when Krissa uttered those eight little words. Even more concerning was the fact that her son was already home with stomach flu.

She’d known better than to let her daughter go to school this morning, she thought ruefully, but Krissa had begged and Daisy had been late for work and it had just seemed easier to say yes. A decision that was getting ready to bite her in the butt as she drove as fast as she could, given the traffic on the road.

“Ten more minutes,” she said, glancing at her eight-year-old in the back seat. “We’ll be there in ten minutes.”

“I don’t feel good.”

“I know, sweetie. I’m going to get you home.”

At least cajoling her daughter was better than trying to avoid looking at the ominous Check Engine light that had popped on right before Daisy had arrived at the school to pick up her daughter. Yet another problem she didn’t have time to deal with.

Priorities, she told herself. Get Krissa home and in bed, look in on Ben, then make an appointment to take her Mercedes to the dealership. After that, she would—

“Mommy, I’m going to throw up now!”

Daisy held in a moan. She carefully checked her mirrors before pulling to the side of the road.

“Just a second,” she murmured, knowing at this point there weren’t any words in the world that would keep the inevitable from happening.

Seconds later her day took yet another unfair turn as her daughter threw up all over herself, the back seat and the carpet. The smell and the sound of Krissa bursting into tears hit her at the same time.

She put on her flashers and raced around to the passenger side, where she helped her daughter out onto the sidewalk. Cars drove by so close, Daisy felt the whoosh of air as they passed. She kept hold of her daughter as she circled to the trunk, where she kept her emergency tote filled with paper towels, wipes and a shirt for each of her kids.

She cleaned off her daughter’s face, then reached for the hem of her T-shirt.

“Let me get this off you,” she said. “I have a fresh one right here.”

But Krissa stopped her, tugging the shirt back in place.

“No!” she shrieked, looking around frantically. “I’m outside. Someone will see.”

Someone who? Krissa was eight and the car was between them and the traffic, with Daisy blocking their view.

“Can you change in the front seat?” she asked, trying to sound reasonable, instead of close to losing it.

“No.” Tears spilled down her daughter’s flushed cheeks. “Mommy, no!”

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Blogtour: Fire in the Ice by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Title: Fire in the Ice

Author: Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

Publisher: Wainscott Press

Release Date: May 14, 2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 81,000 words

Genre: Romance, Gay Romance, MM Romance, Gay Hockey Romance, Gay Sports Romance, New Adult Gay Romance

Add to Goodreads


What if love threatened to destroy everything you’d worked for?

Hockey right winger Tyler Jensen isn’t thrilled to get the news he’s been traded to the Bethesda Barracudas. The team may be red-hot in the rankings, but there’s someone there he’d rather not have to see every day.

Defenseman Kevin Moore is one of the top-rated rookies in the country. He’s living the dream playing for the Barracudas—until he hears that his old high-school crush Tyler is joining the team. Ty was once everything Kev wanted, but their age difference got in the way. Tyler decided a three-year gap was too much and left Kevin behind.

In Bethesda, Tyler doesn’t take long to notice that Kevin has grown up into precisely the kind of man he can’t resist—brawny, brainy, and beautiful. Kev feels the pull too, and as the men become closer, they work hard to keep their budding relationship secret. Professional hockey may be welcoming gay players now, but Ty and Kev aren’t sure management would like the idea of two Barracudas taking teamwork to an entirely new level.

As the playoffs loom, news of their romance gets out. Ty and Kev, caught in a storm of controversy that threatens to destroy them, need a power play to save their careers. How will they find one before it’s too late?

Fire in the Ice delivers on the promise that second chances can work and dreams can come true. If you like exciting hockey, plenty of humor, a beautiful HEA, new adults, young athletes, and enough heat to burn down the house, this book is for you.


Fire in the Ice
A Novel by Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood
Copyright © 2021 Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood. All Rights Reserved.

The fire alarm went off! I sat bolt upright, my heart pounding like a bass drum and the soaring panic making it hard to breathe. Just as I threw a leg over the side of the bed, I realized I didn’t know where the door was. Hell, I couldn’t even remember what city we were in. Sweat ran into my eyes, and I called for Thompson, my roommate. He didn’t answer. Had he run for safety and left me sleeping?

I finally came around enough to realize the noise wasn’t the fire alarm—it was the alarm on my phone. Thompson wasn’t there because we weren’t on a road trip. In fact, he and I weren’t even on the same team anymore. The Seattle Cohos had traded me, and I was a Bethesda-fuckin-Barracuda now. Woo-hoo! The fact that I had a terrible crush on one of my new teammates, who definitely did not return the feelings, made my new life a thrilling prospect. I wondered if there was any chance Kevin might change his mind and give me a chance. Doubtful, after what happened last fall.

It was way too early to get up, and I stretched my way through a big yawn. I’d flown to DC with Birky Ferrell, my teammate who had also been traded, and we didn’t get into town until about eleven the night before. That had only been eight p.m. Seattle time, so I didn’t fall asleep for hours. According to my phone, it was currently seven a.m. in Washington, and I was due in Bethesda by eight thirty. Time to get my ass out of bed and into the shower.

Lucky me, I had a whole new team to get to know. Too bad they’d played in Seattle only ten days earlier, and I’d gotten into it with one of their defensemen, Pierre Gagné. The rest of the game hadn’t exactly been friendly between the Barracudas and me, and I didn’t know what kind of reception to expect at Cuda Arena. I hoped they’d be in the mood to let bygones be bygones.

An hour later, Birky and I were in an Uber creeping its way through rush-hour traffic toward Bethesda. Bob Shuford, the head coach, wanted to see us before our first practice with the team. I studied Birky’s profile while he looked out the window. His craggy face was handsome, and he wore his brown hair in a crew cut. Birky was an enforcer, so he got into his share of brawls, and a few scars gave his face character.

He turned his attention away from the street. “You nervous?”

“No more than you.”

“We’ll be fine. They’re lucky to have us. You heard they made Johnson captain?”

“Yeah, I saw that last night.”

Birky shifted in his seat, so he could see me. “You know him, right? I’ve seen you two talking when the teams played each other.”

“We went to prep school together at St. Mark’s.” I took a deep breath and leaned back in the seat. Nick and I had so much more than gone to prep school together, but that was a lifetime ago. For five of the last seven years, we’d only been friends from a distance.

“Seems like a good guy.”

I smiled. “Nick is one of the nicest men you’ll ever meet. Best thing they could have done, making him captain. He was team captain in high school, and he’s a born leader.”

“Sounds like what they needed. Keefer’s an ass.”

“You’re almost right.”

He cocked his head.

“Nick as captain is what we need, Birky. We’re Barracudas now.”


Amazon US | Universal | Bookbub

Questions from Our Facebook Group

Ryan & Josh’s Room

Come join us. It’s the best group of people anywhere on the internet.

Answers By Ryan Taylor & Joshua Harwood

We thought it would be fun to ask our Facebook group, Ryan & Josh’s Room, to submit questions for us to answer. They came up with a lot of interesting queries, and we hope you enjoy reading the answers. Please check out the group on Facebook (link provided). Thank you for considering reading our new book, Fire in the Ice.

  1. What’s your least favorite part of writing a novel?

Ryan: Writing the blurb, no question. It’s difficult, because you’ve written an entire novel, and now you have to tell just enough about it to hook people without giving too much away.

Josh: Yes, and the blurb is so important. Many readers make the decision to buy a book based on the blurb. You feel that if you don’t represent your story in an appealing way, it may not do well despite being a perfectly wonderful book.

Ryan: It’s quite difficult. You have to tell what the story is about without giving away any spoilers, but you also have to find a way to make people curious.

Josh: Not too long, not too short. Ugh.

Ryan: I think you probably get the idea. We hate writing blurbs.

  1. How do you decide the location of your books?

Blogtour: THE WITCH KING by H.E. Edgmon


The Witch King 

by H.E. Edgmon

Wyatt would give anything to forget where he came from—but a kingdom demands its king.

In Asalin, fae rule and witches like Wyatt Croft…don’t. Wyatt’s betrothal to his best friend, fae prince Emyr North, was supposed to change that. But when Wyatt lost control of his magic one devastating night, he fled to the human world.

Now a coldly distant Emyr has hunted him down. Despite transgender Wyatt’s newfound identity and troubling past, Emyr has no intention of dissolving their engagement. In fact, he claims they must marry now or risk losing the throne. Jaded, Wyatt strikes a deal with the enemy, hoping to escape Asalin forever.
But as he gets to know Emyr, Wyatt realizes the boy he once loved may still exist. And as the witches face worsening conditions, he must decide once and for all what’s more important—his people or his freedom.


 “What if I don’t want to marry him?”

I’m fourteen years old and my resentment toward the fae has been growing for more than a year now. I don’t know it yet, but it’s only hours before the worst night of my life.

When I ask the question at the dinner table, everything goes silent. No more forks scraping against glass. No more persnickety sipping of blackberry wine, glasses held daintily between perfectly poised fingers. My father shakes his head, looking down at his plate with exasperation. My mother stares at me, lips parted in surprise. The glare on my sister’s too-familiar face is what rattles me most. I think, and not for the first time, Tessa would kill me if she had the chance.

I’m just asking. Maybe it’s not what I want for my future.” “Of course not. Because being queen of the fae is just too mundane for you,” Tessa spits, batting one hank of dirty blond hair over her shoulder.

I bristle. I know if I acknowledge her, it’s going to make this fight worse than it needs to be. But I’d like to smack the hateful look right off her face.

My mother sighs. “Sweetheart, I know you must be anxious. A lot is going to change over the next few years. I can only imagine how that must feel.”

She reaches across the table to rest her warm, soft hand over top my own. I wish I could find some comfort in the touch. I wish it could make me feel anything other than trapped.

But this is going to be such a good thing for you. The first witch to ever marry into a royal family? We’re talking about making history.”

I don’t care about making history.

Revolutionaries usually end up getting killed by the masses,” I remind her. “No one wants me to rule. Aren’t you a little worried they’ll revolt against a witch wearing their crown?”

My mother sniffs. “People will adjust.” 


This conversation is pointless,” my father interjects, tone firm. “There is a contract in place. You will marry Emyr North or you will die.”

When my black energy sweeps out around me, it brushes up against the energies of my family. My father’s biting ice blue. My mother’s, the same shade as her favorite red lipstick. My sister’s, a perfect mix of the two—a field of lavender.

My darkness and I don’t belong here. We never have.

My mother snatches her hand back as if I’ve burned her. If I did, it was a happy accident.

Contracts can be dissolved,” I insist through clenched teeth. “You can ask the king and queen to talk to the Court, tell them—”

Monday, May 24, 2021

Blogtour: The Rooftop Party by Ellen Meister

The Rooftop Party 

by Ellen Meister

one of Harlequin's Summer Reads 2021

In this witty and engaging novel, Dana Barry, the Shopping Channel’s star host, stops by the company’s rooftop party to pitch the new CEO her brilliant idea that just might save the flagging business, her job and possibly her love life.

As she chats with the smarmy executive, he backs her into a dark corner. For Dana, it’s a quid pro oh-hell-no. She escapes his lecherous grasp and grabs her drink on her way to the dance floor. Woozy, she blacks out.

When she comes to, the CEO is dead, fallen from the roof. Or was he pushed? And if so, by whom? It’s hard to know, but one thing is certain: Dana was close enough to be suspect.

Sure, she loathed how the creep moved in on her, but she’s no killer. Or is she? Truth is, Dana can’t remember much about those minutes. Now she has to use all her skills to prove her innocence to everyone, including her police detective boyfriend—and herself.


Dana Barry raised her fist to knock on the door and paused. She wasn’t easily intimidated, but walking into Eleanor Gratz’s office was like trying to open an umbrella in a hurricane, and she needed a moment to anchor herself. 

Not that Dana wasn’t used to stormy weather. Until she got this job at the Shopping Channel, her life had been one shitstorm after another. The last monsoon hit six months ago, when she was fired from her job at a mall store in Queens. With no acting auditions on the horizon, Dana didn’t know how she would pay her rent, let alone her student debt. So she did the only thing she could think of. She got drunk. And high. Thank god for her friend Megan, who burst in and dragged her to an open call. Now here she was, with a steady gig as a Shopping Channel host. And she was crushing it. 

Dana took a breath and rapped twice on the door. 

“If that’s not Anthony Bourdain with an exotic drink and two tickets to Fiji, get lost,” Eleanor called. Dana opened the door and stuck her head in. “You know he’s dead, right?”

“Like this whole place might be if I don’t get my work done.”

Despite the warning, Dana stepped inside. The sun-drenched office of the Shopping Channel’s head buyer was a study in whites, grays and aqua blues. Eleanor sat behind a long desk the color of sea pearls. She was sixtyish, with shoulder-length salt-and-pepper hair, offset by hammered-silver hoop earrings. She wore a jewel-toned top with bell sleeves, bohemian-inspired but sophisticated. A pair of tortoiseshell reading glasses rested low on her nose. Through the window behind her, the Manhattan skyline flexed its might against the sky.

“You want me to come back?” Dana asked.

“Like a yeast infection,” Eleanor said, but she sighed, relenting. “Sit down.”

Dana took one of the chairs opposite her desk and the two women studied one another.

Despite her bluster, Eleanor’s demeanor was open, and Dana took a moment to reflect. She could hardly believe how long she’d been at this job without screwing it up. Usually, she’d be cleaning lead out of her foot by now and filing for unemployment. But somehow, every self-sabotaging shot had missed. So she was living the life of an actual adult, with a paycheck that covered her expenses and then some. And sure, she missed the rush of going on auditions and the thrill of getting callbacks. She even missed nursing the hurt of rejections. But she didn’t miss getting threatening notices when she was late on her student loan payments. Or being so broke she couldn’t afford tampons without a discount coupon.

So for now, her acting ambitions were on hold. (Or at least the ones she could be public about.) In the meantime, the Shopping Channel gig was so much more than she had imagined. But lately, Dana worried it could all blow away. Despite her personal success, the company’s sales were down overall. They had even brought in a new CEO, sending a ripple of anxiety through every department.

That’s why she wanted to present her idea to someone important. And sure, it might be impolitic to leapfrog her boss to talk to the head buyer about it. But going straight to Sherry Zidel with the idea wasn’t an option, especially now that the business was so wobbly. Sherry was always tightly wound, but these days her jaw was tense enough to crack teeth.

“They tell me you’re our resident action hero,” Eleanor said, “saving us all from imminent demise.” She laced her fingers, and her emerald-cut diamond ring took center stage. It was flanked by sapphires, showcased in an art deco platinum setting. The piece was tasteful despite the size, and Dana could imagine cooing over it on the air.

“Some heroes wear capes and fight crime,” Dana said, offering a self-deprecating smile. “Me? I can talk for hours without taking a breath.”

Eleanor shook her head, her expression serious. “Silly girl, you don’t even know your own superpower.”

“Enlighten me.”

“It’s your eye for detail.”

Dana shrugged. She’d heard that kind of thing before. She noticed minutiae on an almost atomic level. It enabled her to talk about the quality of the polished rivets on a pair of jeggings with the same gushing enthusiasm she could rally for a diamond ring.

“I’ve been told it’s pathological,” she said.

“As long as you move products,” Eleanor said, “I don’t care what you call it.”

“That’s what I came to talk to you about—products.”

Eleanor shrugged as if to say, What else is new? People talked to her about products all day long. 

Dana hoped she could break through, and leaned forward to study Eleanor Gratz’s age-defying complexion. Though her face was softening around the jawline, there was barely a wrinkle. And nothing about her appearance suggested Botox or a face-lift.

“What kind of moisturizer do you use?” Dana asked. It was a question she had formulated on the elevator. She would flatter her way in, but earnestly.

Eleanor pulled off her glasses. “I know an opening line when I hear one.”

“There’s a reason I’m asking.”

“I would hope so.”

Dana regrouped. Eleanor wouldn’t respond to fawning or manipulation. She had to get right to the point.

“Look,” she said, “I know we’re not doing as well in apparel as we used to. And Sherry is leaning on me hard. But the fact is, there’s no way we can compete with the internet. All those fashion websites—they’re creaming us.”

Eleanor snorted. “With cheap rags. Made with cheap Chinese labor.”

“Awful,” Dana commiserated.

“Disposable clothes held together with spit and a prayer.”

Dana nodded, agreeing. “They can’t touch us on quality, but that’s hard to demonstrate on TV. Skin care, on the other hand…”

“Please don’t tell me you’re suggesting a skin care line.”

“Why not? I can sell it, Eleanor. I know I can. All I need is a couple of models and a tight shot of disappearing crow’s-feet.”

Eleanor laughed. “Honey, you really think this is an original idea?”

“I don’t know if it’s original. I just know I can make it work.” She had been studying the industry giants—HSN and QVC—and knew that any product with a strong demo moved like beer at a frat party. 

“Twenty years ago, when this was still a young company, I brought in a skin care line and it was a disaster.”

Dana straightened her back. “Maybe it wasn’t the right time or the right host or… I don’t know. Point is, twenty years is a long time. It’s worth another shot, don’t you think?”

“Which is why I’ve been pitching the idea every few years. But the board always knocks it down. It’s like they have PTSD from one loss on the books two decades ago.”

“What about that hand lotion Kitty used to sell?” People at the Shopping Channel rarely brought up Kitty Todd—the former star hostess who was found with a bullet in her head—but this was important.

Eleanor waved away the comment. “That California Dreams crap? It was a loss leader. The board holds it up as further proof we would always fail at skin care. I’m telling you, they’re dug in.”

Dana considered this as she pictured the man now occupying the largest office in the company. He had the look of an aging preppie, with a full mop of white hair and webs of burst blood vessels on his nose and cheeks. Evidence, she assumed, of a hard-drinking past, though today he seemed as sober as a judge.

“But we have a new CEO now,” she pressed. “Maybe he’ll be open to it.”

Eleanor released a bitter laugh. “Ivan Dennison.”

“He was brought in to shake things up, wasn’t he? Maybe this is just the—”

“He’ll never go for it.”

“Are you sure?”

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