Thursday, October 24, 2019

Author Of The Month - Keira Andrews - Grand Finale



Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing








In our final post, we'll take a look at Reading The Signs, including a brand-new cover, and Flash Rip. We also have our author interview, and one more chance to win!


First up, Flash Rip

Blurb:

On Australia's hottest beach, the most dangerous current is between them.

Training to be a lifeguard is tough work, but Cody Grant loves a challenge. He spends long days in the sun and surf rescuing swimmers from treacherous rip currents while trying not to lust after senior lifeguard Liam Fox—who is deeply, painfully closeted.

Liam was supposed to be a football legend. Now in his mid-thirties, it’s been over a decade since his dream shattered along with his knee. Fans still recognize him regularly, and he's terrified his sexuality will be discovered and his conservative parents will reject him. He has strict rules to protect his secret and keeps everyone at arm’s length. Liam never acts on his need to surrender after being shamed for it years ago by the first and only man he trusted.

Out and proud Cody fascinates Liam—and tempts him to break all the rules.

Cody is practically half Liam's size and age, but has the confidence and compassion to take charge and give Liam the release, affection, and acceptance he desperately craves. But how long can a secret affair satisfy their hearts? As if saving lives isn’t hard enough, Cody faces his greatest challenge yet convincing Liam to trust him and find the courage to live out loud.

Excerpt:

“Home sweet home,” Cody said, flipping on the ceiling fan. He’d left the big screened windows over the patio open to get air in. The studio had AC, but he preferred the fresh breeze unless it was scorching hot and humid.
Liam gazed around warily. From where he stood in the doorway, the queen bed was directly on his right. He stared at it, and Cody was glad he’d at least pulled up the sheet and thin duvet, even if nothing was really tucked in.
Adam’s apple bobbing, Liam croaked, “It’s nice.”
A dark thrill of lust spiraled through Cody. Yes, Liam Fox was thirsty. But Cody had to play it cool and not spook him. He felt like a spider luring its prey into a web, and he couldn’t deny it excited him. He’d never, ever do anything Liam didn’t want, or pressure him, but if Liam did want this—if he actually wanted Cody… His heart thumped.
Calm down. Fix the leak and see what happens.
“You want another coffee? I’ve got a machine. I don’t use it very much, but there are some pods.” On the kitchen side of the studio, he opened a drawer.
“Sure. Thanks.” Liam slid off his thongs by the door and tentatively walked over.
While Liam looked at the collection of coffee types, Cody took off his running shoes and socks and made sure the bathroom was clean enough. He should probably put on a shirt, but…didn’t. Instead he pulled out the toolbox, putting it on the dining table in the middle of the studio. 
“Hey, can you do me a Milano after? Thanks.” He didn’t really need another coffee since he’d had a flat white earlier, but he wanted to give Liam something to distract him. He could sense a ball of anxiety in Liam and wanted to tell him it was okay, and they didn’t have to do anything. That Cody wouldn’t bite. Much.
He considered whether he was completely misreading the situation, but honestly couldn’t figure out why else Liam would be so nervous and tense. Cody kept talking. “You know, the first time I went to Barking, I got caught in the Croc.”
“Really?” This teased a little smile out of Liam. “Do you remember who pulled you out?”
“Not his name, but he was older. Blond hair, buff, really tanned. Very white teeth. He had a tattoo on his chest—a dolphin. He was like the poster boy for an Aussie lifeguard.” Not unlike you.
“Ah, Muggsy. He’s a contractor in Coogee. Used to be casual at the beach, but then business was too good. Nice bloke.”
“He was like a knight on a stallion. I’d been stupidly trying to swim back to shore instead of sideways out of the rip, panicking. And then the lifeguard was there, the rescue board appearing over the crest of a swell like out of thin air. I’d felt so alone and terrified, and he pulled me up over his board like I weighed nothing.”
He didn’t add that as a scrawny, gawky, horny-as-hell thirteen-year-old, he’d turned Muggsy into his go-to spank bank favorite. “You’d think it would have put me off Barking Beach forever, but I was hooked. It was fun and scary, and Muggsy was so reassuring. It really made me want to be a lifeguard. That combination of excitement and helping people.”
A smile tugged at Liam’s lips as he toyed with the pod of coffee he’d pulled out for Cody, the machine pouring his first. “Thought you weren’t a daredevil.”
Cody laughed. “No more than you are. I mean, I like the thrill of the ocean. But I’m not crazy like Baz. Holy shit, some of the waves he’s surfed? I saw an old competition on YouTube. It was insane. Or the break down near Walpole, ‘The Right’?”
Liam whistled. “Oh yeah. One of the biggest in the world. I wouldn’t dream of it, mate.”
“Me either. I did surf school down in Dunsborough last year. The swells are sick. Got absolutely smoked a few times. Then once I was in a vortex, and it was dumping me over and over.” He shuddered. “I thought my number might have been up.”
Cody remembered it as if it were yesterday, the sensation of being pounded down by a breaking wave, then sucked back to the rim of the shallow sandbank, then thumped down, sucked back—like a rag doll in a washing machine. Holding his breath, praying he’d be able to gasp in another before the next swell crashed him down.
“I was lucky the waves let up and the Jet Ski could get in and grab me. Never been so happy to see another human being in my life. That’s when I really knew I wanted to do this job. I’ve dreamed about it since I was a kid, and worked hard toward it, but in that moment, after the relief… It was like I knew it in my soul.” He scoffed. “That sounds stupid.”
“Nah. I get it. I totally get it.”
“Was it like that for you and footy?”
Liam looked back at the coffee machine, his shoulders tensing. He was silent a few moments, and Cody was about to apologize for bringing it up when Liam said, “Kind of. I always loved it, and I was so good at it. I worked my arse off, but I was born with the gift too. It made my dad so happy. Mum too, but…especially dad.”
He sounded so wistful, and Cody almost held his breath waiting for him to go on. Liam said, “Making him proud motivated me even more to be the best. Footy was my life. It was…me.”
Silence stretched out as Cody tried to think of the right thing to say, fighting the urge to reach out for Liam and reassure him that whoever he was now, it was okay. As much as he wanted Liam sexually—and holy shit, did he ever—it was the mystery of him as well, the depths of sadness and longing that Cody wanted to soothe.
The coffee machine popped up the empty pod, and they both jumped, then laughed awkwardly. Cody moved to the sink. “Better get started. So I unscrew this first, right?”
Liam sipped his coffee and gave Cody instructions where necessary, nodding and not saying much else. Soon enough, the tap wasn’t dripping, and Cody drank his coffee and tried to think of another reason for Liam to stick around. He scanned the studio, then a light bulb went off—or didn’t, more to the point.
“I need to change a bulb in the track lighting too. I’ve been meaning to get to this stuff for weeks.” He went to the wall by the patio door and flipped the right switch to remind himself which light had burned out. Then he got the spare and climbed up on the solid dining table. “It’s a pain in the ass. These bulbs are fiddly.”
Liam chuckled. “Pain in the aaaass. You sound so American sometimes. Canadian, I should say.”
“Pain in the arse, excuse me. See? If I say it like that I sound pretentious. Like to-mah-to. It doesn’t work with my accent.” He screwed in the bulb on the track.
“Fair enough. It does sound strange now that you say it.”
“Can you flip the switch?” he asked. Liam did, and the bulb came on with the others. “Cool, thanks,” Cody said, still standing on the table.
Well, that didn’t take long.
Mind working for yet another excuse for Liam to stay, he moved to step down onto the chair, watching Liam under his lashes. Then he did something he wasn’t exactly proud of, but what the hell.
He was going for it.
“Whoa!” Cody faked losing his balance, arms out, and Liam was right there with strong hands spread over Cody’s bare waist, steadying him on the wooden chair. Cody grabbed Liam’s shoulders, looking down at him—although not that far since Liam was a giant.
“Thanks,” Cody said, the word coming out breathier than he intended. He felt light and tingly all over, and fuck, he really wanted Liam Fox.
And he swore Liam wanted him too.

Get the book:




Second in our line-up, Reading The Signs


Blurb:

This hot-headed rookie needs discipline—on and off the field.

As a teenager crushing on Jake Fitzgerald, his big brother’s teammate, pitcher Nico Agresta decided he can never act on his desire for men. Nico is desperate to live up to his Italian-American family’s baseball legacy, and if he can win Rookie of the Year in the big leagues like his dad and brother did, maybe he can prove he’s worthy.
At 34, veteran catcher Jake just wants to finish out his contract and retire. His team doesn't have a prayer of making the playoffs, but who needs the stress anyway? Jake lost his passion for the game—and life—after driving away the man he loved. He swore he’ll never risk his heart again.

Then he’s traded to a team that wants a vet behind the plate to tame their new star pitcher. Jake is shocked to find the gangly kid he once knew has grown into a gorgeous young man. Tightly wound Nico’s having trouble controlling his temper in his quest for perfection and needs a firm hand. Jake fights to teach him patience and restraint on the mound—but when the push and pull explodes into the bedroom, can they control their hearts?
Please note: This 2nd edition only changes the cover art. No new content has been added.

Excerpt:

Nico just needed to throw one more strike. Jake’s left knee throbbed, and he balanced on his toes in his crouch, his shoulders hunched forward. He flashed the signs and waited for the pitch, the crowd buzzing like cicadas in the surprisingly humid night. It was late June now, and this was apparently a taste of what was to come. Sweat dripped down Jake’s forehead, and he wanted to push up his cage mask and swipe it out of his eyes.
Nico wound up and let the pitch rip, just missing the corner of the plate. Jake held the ball, twisting his wrist minutely toward the strike zone. But the ump behind him, his hand resting lightly on Jake’s back, didn’t say anything as he stood up straight, which meant it was a ball.
Fuck. Full count. If Nico walked the bases loaded, his night was over, and he’d be on the hook if these runners scored in the inning. Nico’s shoulders were up, his fingers tapping his thigh restlessly. Jake wished he could communicate with him telepathically and tell him to breathe. Hell, he wished he could pitch for him, but all he could do was flash the signs and hope.
It was crazy to think Jake had only known Nico again for what, a month or so? Maybe it was the time they’d spent together years ago, because hell if Jake wasn’t rooting harder for Nico than he had for any of his pitchers in far too long.
The crowd roared as the fastball streaked over the plate and hit Jake’s glove, the batter caught looking and the ump pivoting with a guttural called third strike.
One more. Just one more out and they would escape the jam. Pop-up, fly ball, strikeout, groundout. Jake mentally reviewed the stats of the next batter and flashed Nico the sign for a two-seam fastball to try and generate weak contact in the bottom of the strike zone.
Nico nodded, wound up, and unleashed the ball toward the plate. Just like Jake had hoped, the batter jumped on the first pitch, hitting a grounder to third that ended the inning. Jumping to his feet, Jake shouted along with the crowd as Nico pumped his fist and walked toward the dugout. Jake pushed up his mask and joined him, slapping Nico’s butt with his gloved hand.
“Great patience to get the out. Keep it up.”
A grin brightening his face and dimpling his cheeks, Nico nodded. Jake firmly told himself to ignore the flutter in his belly.
But a minute later through the din of the crowd and an old CCR song, Nico’s voice rose at the other end of the dugout. “No way. I want to stay in. I can do it!”
Jake looked over to find Nico on his feet, gesturing emphatically to Skip and Loyola. Murakami, the closer, was up in the bullpen, and Nico’s face was turning alarmingly red. Jake wanted to go talk him down, but it wasn’t his place to get involved when Skip was already over there. The other guys seemingly ignored the fracas, but Jake knew they were listening to every word.
“I can do it! I want the complete game!”
The coaches spoke reasonably, too low for Jake to hear. Nico shook his head emphatically, insistent that he could finish the game, but the decision had been made, and he grabbed a batting helmet and whipped it onto the floor, where it clattered and spun. “Fuck this!”
Jake’s blood pressure spiked with equal parts irritation and disappointment. This juvenile bullshit should have been beneath any major leaguer, and Jake had thought Nico was better than that.
Chomping his gum so hard he was about to dislocate his jaw, Skip glared and hissed a warning to Nico, who slumped down on the bench, his lips pressed into a thin line and arms crossed, steam practically shooting out of his ears. The guys down there gave him a wide berth, and attention turned to the field as the team went up to bat. Jake was tempted to go over and tell Nico to cut the shit, but hopefully they’d score an insurance run or two and he’d get his head out of his ass.
Naturally that didn’t happen. After a pop-up, a ground out, a walk, and a fly ball, it was time for Murakami to close it out in the top of the ninth. Jake pushed Nico from his mind. The crowd cheered Murakami’s arrival from the bullpen, clapping along to musical interludes and doing the wave, excitement brimming. When he was ready, Jake flashed the signs. Three outs, and this one was in the bag.
Too bad the bag had a big fucking rip in the bottom.
Murakami was usually steady as a rock, his breaking balls fooling hitters from both sides of the plate. But after a walk and a hit, Atlanta’s second baseman ripped a three-run homer. Head low, Murakami trudged to the dugout in the middle of the inning after retiring the other hitters, the dissatisfied crowd unnervingly quiet.
Jake patted Murakami’s back, his jersey damp. “It’s okay. A bad day at the office. Happens to all of us.”
Murakami shook his head. “Tell that to Agresta.”
“He’ll survive. That’s just the way it goes sometimes.” Jake gave him another pat, then realized Nico was staring daggers at Murakami, who slumped on the bench. Jake briefly glared down the dugout at Nico and added, “We still have a shot to tie it up or pull ahead.”
Unfortunately, it was three up, three down in the bottom of the ninth, and that was the ballgame. The crowd shuffled out of the stadium as the team retreated to the clubhouse. Nico’s hands were balled into fists, and he kicked the side of the bench before disappearing down the steps.
Clenching his jaw, Jake stalked down the tunnel to the dugout with the guys, no one saying much of anything, the silence thick but for the dull echo of their cleats. Nico was just ahead, and he muttered, “Should have kept me in. Could have had it. I fucking had it.”
As Nico shook his head and scuffed his foot, his cleats scraping the concrete, a bolt of anger fueled Jake’s steps. Grabbing Nico’s arm, Jake tugged him away from the entry to the locker room and down to the gym, deserted since they were going on the road in the morning.
Bypassing the main area of weights and cardio machines, he hauled Nico into the stretching room, slamming the door behind them and flipping on the overhead lights. Like everywhere else in the clubhouse, the room was accented in the team colors, and Jake blinked at the assault of red and white.
“What the fuck?” Nico yanked back his arm. His cap was pulled low over his face, his blazing eyes just visible under the brim.
“Stop acting like an asshole. Mura feels bad enough about the blown save without you sulking about it.”
“He only had to get three fucking outs.” Nico’s hands cut through the air. “How hard is that?”
“Sometimes it’s damn hard, as you well know.”
“I needed this win!”
You needed it? No, the team needed it. Team always comes first, and we all fuck up sometimes. So no glaring and guilt-tripping. Come on, you’re better than this.”
“It’s wrong to care? Sorry if I give a shit about winning.”
“And I don’t?”

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

ARC Review : Conspiracy Theory (Hamarsson & Dempsey #1) by Elle Keaton

Blurb

Years of grueling police work have left Niall Hamarsson jaded and disillusioned with life…although it’s likely he’s been that way all along. The last straw lands when the DA refuses to try a case Niall worked for years to bring to justice. Within hours he finds himself heading to the only place he’s ever been able to call home—a place he knows he doesn’t belong.

Mat Dempsey returned to Piedras Island after his father’s death. These days he’s Island County’s sheriff. He’s happy enough, even if moving home from San Francisco effectively forced him back into the closet. Mat’s well-ordered universe collapses when a local’s body is discovered floating in the cold waters of Hidden Harbor’s marina. All hell breaks loose in the community, and accusations fly…all coinciding with Niall Hamarsson’s return.

Niall and Mat have a history, and it’s not one Mat’s proud of. He owes Niall an apology, even if it means getting down on his knees. However, Mat’s first priority is investigating the murder before his community tears itself apart and he may have to ask the aloof Niall Hamarsson for help.

Push apart, pull together, yes or no... The chemistry crackles between them but will the two men be able to put aside their pasts and embrace a future?

Christelle's rating:





A good page-turner for me as I always enjoy a good MM romance with a suspense subplot. Beware: this is an “on-going” series and this first part sets the ground…and what a solid ground for further enjoyment !!!

Niall Hamarsson is a loner. With his past childhood slowly revealed, it’s no surprise. His detective work, even thought quite successful, has left him jaded and on a spur of a moment, he decides to take a break and go back to the island he spent part of his childhood with his now-gone grandparents. But no rest for the wicked…A murder and a series of incidents on the island, an encounter with Matt, the current sheriff…Niall has a lot on his plate and he can’t ignore his baggage. As for Matt, the murder and reappearance of Niall shatters the sense of security he covets but hasn’t yet reached.

The pace is quite good with the slow but steady and captivating discovery of who Niall is, the characters are well drawn with 2 guys not spared by life and all the surrounding “small-community” cast, the plot interesting and, if I have to make an educated guess, far from being over and the angst is delicious.

Blogtour: Minuet by A.M. Leibowitz


Minuet

by 

A.M. Leibowitz

Notes From Boston #4


Categories: queer, MMF, romance



MinuetBlurb:

When it comes to love, Mack Whitman prefers to limit it to writing songs and poetry.
Aromantic, he’s content to have quality friendships and people who sometimes also share his bed. He’s never considered himself the jealous type. But when he sees everyone in his life, from his best friends to his occasional partners, moving toward more settled lives, it leaves him frustrated, disappointed, and worried he’ll be left behind.
Amelia Roberts doesn’t care about the genders of her partners as long as she follows her one rule: Don’t ever fall in love. It’s worked out well for her, since that’s a line she knows she’ll never cross with Mack. He’s as happy as she is to keep things as they are. The only trouble with her philosophy is that she didn’t count on meeting the one person who might change her mind.
Jomari O’Brien’s supportive family made it smooth for him to transition several years ago. Since then, he’s been in and out of love, and other people’s beds, plenty of times, and he has no regrets. Each one is a small part of a larger symphony. Becoming involved with two people at once is a more complicated harmony, but it’s one he’s willing to learn as long as they are.
Their individual melodies become discordant as they struggle to make them fit together. But if all three can learn to play with each other instead of against, they may yet hit all the right notes.






About the Series:

When Trevor, Nate, Jamie, and Mack moved in together, they had no idea how it would change their lives. Four roommates. Four stories about living and loving in the City on a Hill.



Publisher | Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon CAN | iBooks | Barnes and Noble 
Kobo | Smashwords | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads









MEME2 - Minuet


They paid for the groceries and headed for Mack’s van. Once they’d loaded it up, Mack went to start the van, but Trevor put a hand on his arm.

“Wait.”

“What?”

“I’m not letting you go home without talking about what the hell that was back there. You were really pissed off when you came to see me. You’re calm now, but if you go back home, you’re gonna get right back into that mess all over again.”

He was right, and Mack knew it. He turned over the engine. “Look, it’s freezing out here. I’ll drive you back, and I’ll explain on the way.”

“Fair enough.”

Mack waited until they were out on the road to say, “It’s fucking weird, having both of them together. It’s not like it hasn’t happened before, but not like this. I don’t know. It felt like they were doing this bonding thing, and I wasn’t part of that.”

“I get it,” Trevor said.

“Do you? Because your family looks different.”

“What is it you wanted? To have Amelia to yourself? You’ve said she’s not your girlfriend. So why does it matter?”

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

ARC Review: Flame and Ash (Witchbane #3) by Morgan Brice

From The Blurb:
The third novel in the Witchbane series. 
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse 
Seth rescued Evan Malone from one of the witches, and they’ve fallen in love despite the danger and chaos, going on the road to complete the quest and bring an end to the ritual murders. Their relationship is new, their emotions are raw, and the danger is real. It’s a challenge to find their way as a couple while they’re on the road together in the close quarters of Seth’s RV, training in magic and combat skills to fight off a supernatural killer. 
In pursuit of the next witch-disciple, Seth and Evan team up with older hunters Milo and Toby as their quest to stop a century-long killing spree takes them to a small town in the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re ahead of the sacrifice cycle, with plans to stop the murders and kill the dark witch. Only this time, the hunters become the hunted when the witch knows they’re coming to get him, and has deadly plans of his own. When their lives are on the line, will love be enough? 
Flame and Ash contains sexually explicit content intended for adults 18 and over.


Karen's rating:





There's work, there's vacations, there are working vacations and then there's...travels with Seth and Evan. It's unlike any working vacation you could ever imagine. 

Before I get into anything in terms of specifics let me just say if you haven't read  the previous stories in this series and by read I mean read or listened to the audio, I strongly recommend doing this to get the full background on Seth and Evan. Also this series connects to the authors "Badlands" series and to some of her stories that are written under the authors name of Gail Z. Martin. However, when it comes to reading these stories or even the 'Badlands' stories it's definitely an individual choice. While I've read the 'Badlands' series, I haven't read any of the other stories that are connected to this series and so far I haven't found it to be a problem.

Seth and Evan met back in the first book when Seth rescued Evan from one of the dark witch Rhyfel Gremory's disciples (for more on this just read the blurb). Since then these two have discovered that they have a few things in common the most important being that they're attracted to each other and they both want to see Gremory's disciples defeated to ensure not just their safety but that of the descendants of the deputies who originally destroyed Gremory.

I've been enjoying this series on audio but when the opportunity for this story was presented I decided that I didn't want to wait for the audio...not that I won't get it when it's available because rest assured...I will. But I was just to curious to see what was in store for Seth and Evan as they travel to North Carolina seeking to once again do battle with one of Gremory's disciples and save yet another descendant of the original posse and this time they've got help...not just the intended victim and his boyfriend but the boys are meeting up with Milo and Toby, Seth's mentors in the demon hunting world.

Blogtour: Roots Of Evil by K.C. Wells



Please welcome K.C. Wells with 

Roots Of Evil 

Merrychurch Mysteries #2



Blurb:

Many consider Naomi Teedle the village witch. Most people avoid her except when they have need of her herbs and potions. She lives alone on the outskirts of Merrychurch, and that’s fine by everyone—old Mrs. Teedle is not the most pleasant of people. But when she is found murdered, her mouth bulging with her own herbs and roots, suddenly no one has a bad word to say about her.

Jonathon de Mountford is adjusting to life up at the manor house, but it’s not a solitary life: pub landlord Mike Tattersall sees to that. Jonathon is both horrified to learn of the recent murder and confused by the sudden reversal of public opinion. Surely someone in the village had reason to want her dead?

He and Mike decide it’s time for them to step in and “help” the local police with their investigation. Only problem is, their sleuthing uncovers more than one suspect—and the list is getting longer…

Exclusive Excerpt:

Wednesday, November 8
“Jonathon.”
No response.
Mike tried again, only this time he nudged the sleeping Jonathon’s thigh with his own. “Jonathon!”
“Hmm?” Brown eyes gradually focused on him, blinking. When that familiar smile blossomed, Mike’s stomach did a flip-flop. Jonathon first thing in the morning was always a gorgeous sight. Then Jonathon grinned as he slid a warm hand over Mike’s fuzzy belly, moving lower….
Mike grabbed him firmly by the wrist. “Much as I love the way you’re going—”
“Oh good, me too.” Jonathon let out a sleepy chuckle.
“That was not why I woke you up.” Mike gestured toward the bedside table on Jonathon’s side. “Your phone was buzzing. You’ve missed a call.”
“Good. Too bloody early to be calling me anyway.” Jonathon shifted closer, until his lips were inches from Mike’s nipple—then he froze. “Wait a minute. No one I know would be calling me at this hour.” He raised his head and squinted at the window. “It’s only just dawn.”
Mike let out a patient sigh. “You’re usually awake before dawn. Which is why I woke you up. I figured it had to be important.”
With a huff, Jonathon rolled over, grabbed his phone, and peered at the screen. His face fell. “Oh God. Well, that’s killed my mood.”
“Who called?”
Jonathon sat up in bed and tapped the keys on his phone. “My father.”
Mike could understand that reaction. One withering glance from Thomas de Mountford had been enough to shrivel Mike’s nuts to the size of raisins.
He waited while Jonathon listened to a voicemail message, his facial expression not improving. If anything, it appeared to worsen. After a few minutes, Jonathon tossed his phone onto the bed and sank back against the pillows.
“He’s coming to see me,” Jonathon said in a subdued voice.
“When?”
“This weekend. And he’s staying the night.” A few minutes was all it had taken to change Jonathon’s mood from playful to downright miserable.
“Any clues as to the reason for this sudden visit?”

Blogtour: Neon Saturday Night by Julia McBryant


Neon Saturday Night
by
Julia McBryant



Neon Saturday Night - Julia McBryantBlurb:


Audie and Calhoun continue their long-distance relationship through college. They sneak off to Myrtle Beach. Audie drives to Charleston when Calhoun gets the flu.
They meet for a fake fishing trip on the Outer Banks. But Audie needs to belong, and because of his traumatic past, he feels like he has little to offer in a committed relationship. While he and Calhoun have fun together, they also have a difficult time negotiating Audie's need to give as much as he takes and build an authentic relationship together.
Calhoun says his job is to learn to be loved. But Audie wants to be more than a fun top and a tragic boyfriend.





Series Blurb:
The Southern Seduction series chronicles the interconnected lives of a group of well-off, high society young adults in Savannah, Georgia, most of whom have known each other since kindergarten. Their complicated relationships (and unconventional sexcapades) form the meat of the series, along with a careful attention to chronology, character, and prose. More than romantic erotica, the Southern Seduction series details a fully realized world of drama, theme, and most of all, memorable characters.

Amazon | Goodreads | BookBub



Excerpt


“You know what it means to be hurt,” Jax says finally. “I don’t know what hurt you, not really. Same’s I talked around it and didn’t tell you all of it, not the whole truth or the real part of it. But you know. You saw it right away and so did I. Henry and Calhoun don’t know what that means. That’s why they can try to put us back together and maybe it’ll work and maybe it won’t.”

“I’m afraid of sharks,” Audie says suddenly. He can’t hold it suddenly, can’t stop it. “But I’m really just afraid of the ocean and I swore I’d never get in it again.”

Jax cocks his head at him. “Someone did something to you.”

Audie tells him about his father and the pontoon boat in the Charleston harbor, about being eleven years and told to swim, just swim to his daddy and they could go home, about the four hours of sheer terror, the thirst and his father’s laughter. ‘

“You’d get in, if you made that go away,” Jax says.

“I can’t.”

“You can. And you need to tell Calhoun this story.”

“I’m not telling Calhoun this. I never should have told you.” Audie casts again. He tosses an empty back up above the high tide line.

“Henry taught me I owe him the truth.”

“I told him the truth. I have a shark phobia.”

“You didn’t tell him shit and we both know it, Currell. Same’s I told Henry I slept around. I told him something. I never told him why. Never told anyone why.”

“Why’d you do it?”

Jax looks over the horizon and squints into the sun. “I was fucking lonely, Audie, the hell do you think?” He straightens up. “How deep will you go?”

“My knees.”

“Go out to your thighs. I’ll go with you.”

“No.”

“I’m not your father and you’re not eleven. Do you trust me enough to tell me that fucking story?”

Audie hesitates. “Yes.”

“Did I trust you enough to tell you why I slept around?”

Audie stares at the vast expanse of water and wonders at its secrets. “Yes.”

“Then trust me enough not to get your ass eaten. I’ll go ahead of you so you know there’s nothing there.”

Audie begins shaking. But he looks at Jax and realizes that he’s right, for some goddamn reason he does trust him. Jax takes his hand. It’s not sexual; it’s not the way you hold the hand of a lover. More the way you’d lead a blind man, or the way Audie imagines a preacher leading someone down into a river. But Jax holds Audie’s hard firmly and takes him into the water, one step at a time. Audie looks down anxiously, watches his feet. Jax suddenly laughs and points. “See the teensy ray?” he asks, the water at their knees. “Like a little pancake.” And it is, small and gray. They keep going until they stand up to their waists when the waves come in. “You’re safe,” Jax says. “Look how clear the water is.”

Audie stops. Turns. He can see in every direction. He looks. There are no sharks. None that he can see. He knows there are sharks, knows it in his bones: this is Nag’s Head, the Carolina coast, sharks up and down it, black-tips and makos, duskies and sand tigers. But the sharks are far away, and the chances of them hurting him so small. He stands and dives. Stands. Dives again. Suddenly he’s swimming, swimming strong, the way he learned as a boy in the Low Country, in the creeks and estuaries of the Cooper River. Jax swims next to him. Audie flips, backflips. He rides the waves and swims under them, a part of this vast, mysterious thing, just one more creature in this strange universe governed by the pull of the moon. A world of undrinkable water, of whalesong, of menace and beauty, crashing whitecaps and glass-calm. Jax doesn’t leave him alone. They finally swim back to shore.

“You aren’t eleven anymore,” he says quietly.

“I’m not,” Audie says.

“And you never have to be again.”

They share a towel.

“Your trunks are wet,” Calhoun says, when Audie comes into the living room.

“Do you want to go swimming?” Audie asks.

“But —”

Monday, October 21, 2019

ARC Review: Hat Trick (Fake Boyfriend #5) by Eden Finley


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

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

Hat Trick is a full-length M/M romance with a guaranteed HEA. This is the final book in the Fake Boyfriend series and as such is not recommended to be read as a standalone. All main characters of the series feature heavily.




Todd's rating:




Wow, wow, WOW! This story fully earned its place alongside the rest of the books in this amazing series.

And everything that happened during the group's vacation in Fiji, taking Jet and Soren from a place of awkward interactions and hurt feelings to so much more? Gah!
It gave us our defining moment. It was the first time I’d heard Jet’s song the way it was supposed to be heard, the first time I saw how much we had truly affected each other’s lives, and the whole place means so much to me and to us.
I loved not only Jet and Soren, but also how this story covered every single major event (good, bad, and ugly) in their relationship, from their first tentative hookup to their "hashtag real Disney love" HEA.

The guys had a *lot* to overcome along the way, so some parts of the story felt pretty heavy and angst-laden.

ARC Review : First Impressions (Auckland Med #1) by Jay Hogan

Blurb :

Michael:
Two years ago I made a mistake, a big one and then I threw in a couple more just for good measure. I screwed up my life big time but I made it through. I was lucky.
Then I was given the opportunity for a fresh start. Two years in Auckland, NZ, ‘The City of Sails’. Away from the LA gossip, a chance to breathe, to get my life back together.
I grabbed it and packed my new set of golden rules with me.

I don’t do relationships.
I don’t do commitment.
I don’t do white picket fences.

And I especially don’t do arrogant, holier-than-thou, smoking hot K9 officers who walk into my ER and rock my world.

Josh:

The only thing I know for certain about Dr. Michael Oliver is the guy is an arrogant, untrustworthy player, and I’d barely survived the last one of those in my life. Once was more than enough.
The man might be gorgeous but my eleven-year-old daughter takes number one priority and I won’t risk her being hurt, again. I’m a solo dad, a K9 cop and a son to pain in the arse, bigoted parents.

I don’t have time for games.
I don’t have time for taking chances.
I don’t have time for more complications in my life.

And I sure as hell don’t have time for the infuriating Dr. Michael Oliver, however damn sexy he is.


Christelle' rating :





Auckland Med is an MM romance series with standalone stories. I can attest to that as I read book#2 first, LOL. As book#2 was a hit for me, I decided to give it a go with this one and once again, another hit with this kind of enemy-to-lover, opposite attract MM hot and sexy romance.

Josh is a single dad of an 11-year-old girl, has bigoted parents but a great bond with his sister and is a K9 police officer. He has a great sense of responsibility and wants a serious loving relationship.

Michael is very different : he’s a great and committed trauma doctor but can struggle with the stress attached to his job. He doesn’t do relationship and keeps his lovers at a safe distance.

When they meet, Josh doesn’t give a lot of credit to Michael : granted, he first sees him with the hand of a twink in his pants in a night-club. As for Michael, no way he’s ready to deal with Josh’s irritability, but he’s having a lot of fun rattling Josh. But maybe it’s Michael’s foundations that are going to be shaken.

Blogtour: From Brussels, With Love by Emy Calirel


Please welcome Emy Calirel with 

From Brussels, With Love

a World Of Love novel


Blurb:

Dispirited after a recent breakup, Irish project manager Trevor is guilted into a trip to Brussels with his best friend. A chance meeting with cute and funny tour guide Jerome turns into a weekend of sex and friendship. Forgetting his phone at Jerome’s apartment shifts their fling into a long-distance relationship held together by postcards, texts, and stolen weekends.

But distance isn’t the only thing keeping them apart—Trevor is a workaholic who values his success, while artistic Jerome is carefree but insecure.

Starting a life together means facing major challenges, but the loving words they’ve shared build a bridge across the sea—one that might let them meet in the middle.



Get the book:



HOW TO WOO AN IRISHMAN


There’s two scenes in From Brussels, With Love in which Jerome cooks forTrevor. To celebrate the release of the book, I’ll share with you both of these very easy and common recipes.


EXCERPT


“Hey, Maman, I need your help,” Jerome said as soon as his mother picked up the phone. “Can you talk me through the risotto recipe?”
“The risotto recipe,” Brigitte said knowingly. “You’re trying to impress someone?”
Jerome tied the apron around his waist before answering. “Just trying to make a nice dinner for someone.”
“Start by getting the Tupperware of pot-au-feu sauce I left in your freezer, and defrost it in the microwave. Man or woman?”
“Man.” Jerome followed her instructions. “But don’t get any ideas. This is not a thing and won’t become a thing.”
“Why not?”
“He was only here for the weekend. We had a good time, but he’s leaving tomorrow morning, and then that’s it.”
“Why are you making him Ingrid’s recipe, then?”
Jerome put the microwave on and leaned back against his kitchen counter. “Because he’s a fancy guy, lots of money, and I like him. I want to impress him enough so that he’ll remember me.”


RECIPE


The risotto recipe Jerome’s asking about is very simple, but it looks (and tastes!) fancy when it’s done. Here’s how to impress an Irishman. Or a lover, friend, family member, enemy…


First of all, you do not EVER throw away what’s left of your pot-au-feu (French beef stew, done a lot in winter). Ever. You can do a lot of things with the broth leftover and it freezes great.
In addition to 1 liter (about 34 ounces) of the sieved broth, you’ll need 2 shallots, 200g (about 7 ounces) of arborio, a bit of butter, and some parmesan cheese.
Melt the butter in a pot and brown the thinly sliced shallots to it. Add the rice and stir until the grains become translucent. Add one ladle of the warm broth and stir. Keep your heat on low and add another ladle every time the rice absorbs the previous one. It takes a while (about 15/20mn) but it’s not more complicated than that!


Plate, sprinkle with parmesan cheese, pour a glass of red wine, and enjoy! 


EXCERPT


“It smells amazing,” Trevor said when he came back out ten minutes later.
Jerome stood in front of his old beat-up stove, cooking their breakfast. “I usually just eat tartines with honey in the morning, but I wanted to be fancier today.”
“I only had french toast once before.” Trevor leaned over Jerome’s shoulder to smell the food. “I loved it.”
Jerome flipped the toast in the pan. “If you had it in a big fancy hotel, mine won’t compare.”
“No. It’ll be better.”
Trevor reached for a piece of the already-cooked toast stacked on a plate.
Jerome whacked his hand away with the spatula.
“Flattery will get you nowhere. And no eating before it’s ready. I’m almost done.”


RECIPE
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