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


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.


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.

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

Second in our line-up, Best Love


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.


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. 
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 


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.

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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.

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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 !

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