Sunday, May 26, 2019

ARC Review: The Color of Summer by Anna Martin

From The Blurb:
Tattoo artist Max Marshall races into his hometown of Sweetwater, West Virginia—and is promptly pulled over for speeding. Max’s luck isn’t all bad, though, because he recognizes the deputy, Tyler Reed, Max’s childhood best friend’s older brother. 
Reconnecting with Tyler helps Max settle back in, and it also leads to attraction. But when he tries to explore that connection at the grand opening of his tattoo studio—by kissing Tyler—awkwardness ensues. Max wants more, but has he misread Tyler’s signals? 
As a single father raising a six-year-old daughter, Tyler doesn’t have much time to date. He’s ignored his attraction to men for years, but he can’t stop thinking about the kiss he shared with Max. If he can handle the complications of dating in a small town and the possible consequences to his career, this romance could blossom with all the colors of summer.


Karen's rating:




While there were several things about this story that I liked...

what there wasn’t, was a lot or even much that I really loved.  So let's just chat about this for a bit...in fact let's start with Max and Tyler, the MCs of this story. Both of them very likable people.

Max left his hometown of Sweetwater for college and other than to visit his mom moving back was never a plan until his mom has a stroke and Max finds that he needs to change direction with his life.  Max decides it’s time to return home to be closer to his mom during her recovery and takes advantage of the opportunity to open his own tattoo shop.

Tyler left Sweetwater too, but he’s been back for awhile. However, Tyler’s return was prompted by an entirely different set of circumstances.  Six years earlier Max suddenly finds himself a single parent with a daughter to raise and decides what better place to raise a child than the place that held his own happy childhood memories and a loving family to help him. Max readily sets aside the dreams of his youth for the reality of his current life.

ARC Review: Adam Only by Roe Horvat

Adam Only (Those Other Books #2)From the blurb:
On stage, Adam lets his passion drive him. All his secret desires, everything nasty, dirty, and beautiful flows freely through him, for once in harmony. His soul thrives when his body moves, but only on stage. Adam’s passionate nature makes him a great dancer…and a failure at life. He’s a lonely, emotional mess. Going home with a man far out of his reach is the last thing Adam should do. Christoffer represents everything Adam isn’t: strong, independent, educated, and rich. His kind eyes, at odds with his brutish form, make Adam's knees and restraint buckle.

Once Christoffer sees Adam dancing, he’s lost. The young man is mesmerizing, otherworldly, and unpredictable. Whatever might happen between them, it will be transient, and Christoffer will most likely get hurt. The temptation is too great, however, and the sex explosive. He might as well enjoy every moment he’s given, even if it’s just one day, maybe two. If Christoffer treads carefully, Adam might stay until Monday.

Heather's rating: 5 of 5 stars

Ladies and gentlemen, clear your schedule, get somewhere private (TRUST ME), and dig in, because once you start reading Adam Only, you are NOT going to want to do anything else.

I loved, loved, loved this book. I loved it. I read it in public (my bad), but it was pure, erotic poetry. I finished it in less than a day... and I could have read 100 pages more and been happy.

If you enjoyed the style of The Other Book, then you will enjoy this one. I even liked it a little better, to be honest, because this one had a monogamous pairing (well, at least during the context of the story).

Saturday, May 25, 2019

ARC Review: String Boys by Amy Lane

String Boys
Blurb:
Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento.

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain.

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands.

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.





Jewel's rating:



The Queen of Angst is back! If you're familiar with Amy Lane, then you know she likes to torture her MC's before she lets them have their HEA. String Boys is angst from beginning to end. Don't worry, though - Amy Lane gives these boys their happy ending.

String Boys is about growing up and figuring out life when so much is stacked against you. It's about family, both blood and found. It's about finding and keeping love against all odds.

Seth Arnold, Matty Cruz, and Matty's younger brother, Kelly, have been inseparable since grade school. Having been picked to learn how to play violins that were donated to the school, the boys were dubbed the school's string boys. While Matty and Kelly did ok, Seth found his soul. Music became Seth's entire life, sheltering him from life's many uncertainties, until he noticed Kelly -- really noticed him. After that, Seth's life was music and Kelly Cruz.

Unlike Seth, Kelly is not an only child. Kelly's household is chaotic in the best of ways. He has parents that love him, an older brother he looks up to, and younger sisters to help care for. He's loved Seth since before he knew he was gay. Where Seth has his music, Kelly has art. The only thing he really wants out of life, however, is his beautiful Seth. Kelly is a nurturer and Seth needs someone to take are of him. Not because he isn't capable, but because he gets so lost in his music, he tends to miss everything else. Everything, except Kelly.

Release Blitz: The Hate You Drink by N.R. Walker


The Hate You Drink
N.R. Walker
Publication date: May 23rd 2019
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance



Blurb:
Erik Keston, son of the Keston Real Estate empire, knows what it takes to be successful. Despite his inherent wealth, he holds his own. He works hard, he’s grounded, he’s brilliant. He’s also secretly in love with his best friend. 
Monroe Wellman lost his parents three years ago and never grieved, never recovered. Inheriting the family company and wealth means nothing, and his spiral of self-destruction is widespread and spectacular. Dubbed Sydney’s bad boy, he spends more days drunk than sober, and the only person who’s stuck by him through it all is his best mate. 
But when Monroe hits rock bottom, Erik gives him an ultimatum, and his entire world comes to a grinding halt. But it’s when the haze is lifted that Monroe can truly see what he’s been searching for was never in the bottom of a bottle. It’s been by his side all along. 
An 80,000-word friends to lovers story about fighting the demons within, and trusting in the love that takes its place. 
“Because when all you drink is hate, that’s what you become.”



EXCERPT:

I didn’t need to see the photographs of the wrecked car or the glass and metal strewn across the gutter. I didn’t need the reminder of how close it had been this time. I closed the newspaper, folded it in half, and slid it across the counter and let out an exhausted sigh. I didn’t want to meet Jeffrey’s disappointed gaze. I knew that look. I’d seen it more times than I could count. Jeffrey Kwon, a distinguished Korean-Australian man with short greying hair and a kind face, had been a close friend of Monroe’s parents as well as their trusted lawyer for thirty years, and Jeffrey assumed the same role for Monroe when his parents died. He was no-nonsense and astute, but he had a heart of gold and everyone knew Monroe would be lost without him. Well, everyone but Monroe.
“Where is he?”
“Still asleep,” I replied. I walked over to the nearest couch and all but fell into it, my head in my hands.
“You haven’t been to bed yet?”

Friday, May 24, 2019

Book Review: NoX by Adrienne Wilder

NoX
Blurb:
A nude man invades Luca Suarez's home and protects him from creatures who cannot exist.
Creatures hunting him.
The stranger can't tell Luca why. He can't even tell Luca his name.
He remembers nothing until the moment he sees Luca.
The only hint Luca has to the stranger's identity is a tattoo on his wrist: N o X


Nox doesn't know who he is, but he's sure of three things, his memory loss is temporary, the monsters chasing Luca are called Anubis, and his Alpha, Koda, sent Nox to protect him. There's just one problem… Koda is Luca's brother who was murdered five years ago.

With each passing hour, Nox fills in the pieces painting an impossible truth. And with each passing hour, both men find themselves unexplainably attracted to each other. Something Luca is willing to embrace because he has nothing left to lose. And one Nox can't let happen because it could get Luca killed.

Nox is a HEA/HFN m/m paranormal, science-fiction romance. But be warned, these are NOT the shifters you are used to reading about.





Jewel's rating:



​This book is exactly what I needed to end my book slump. Unique and engaging, I was kept in its thrall, from beginning to end.

Luca Suarez is a dying man. He's been fighting leukemia since childhood and he knows his days are numbered. In fact, he would welcome death at this point. His brother is dead, taken from him much too soon, and his parents died in an accident a year ago and with them went his will to fight. He's a dead man walking, and he's made his peace with that. At least as much as any 19 year old, who has barely lived, can.

Nox doesn't know who he is, only that he's a monster and has been charged - by Luca's brother, Koda - with protecting Luca at all costs. His memory comes back in bits and pieces, but often lacks context. With Nox's arrival comes a generous helping of danger, mystery, and sex appeal that Luca could not ignore even if he wanted to, and he really doesn't want to.

Seems the feeling is mutual.

Blogtour: Stable Hill by Jodi Payne



Please welcome Jodi Payne with 

Stable Hill 


Hello all! I’m Jodi Payne and I’m here to talk about my new contemporary MMM ménage, Stable Hill!


Stable Hill is my first ménage/triad/thruple/what have you, and I found it pretty challenging. I like to write characters that are real and human, which means they’re flawed, they make mistakes, and they’re far from perfect. When you add a third person into a relationship, all those little issues get amplified, because now you don’t just have he said, he said… you’ve added a third person’s take on things. Agreement is more difficult, compromise is more important, communication is key.


The deeper I got into the book, the more I understood that Stable Hill is about communication. Staying honest with yourself and your family, listening to the people you love, being clear about your feelings, admitting when you’ve screwed up and taking responsibility. Apologizing, Making thing right.


And that, as you know, doesn’t come easily to everyone.


I hope you enjoy Oscar, Jeffrey and Russ’s journey together. It’s not a straight line to love, that’s for sure. The one thing I can promise is they get their HEA.


Thanks for reading!


Jodi



Blurb:

Will three men from very different backgrounds find a home and a future together? 

After losing his husband to cancer, Oscar Kennedy has his hands full with their four girls, the house, his job, and his mother-in-law. When he loses his father too, keeping Stable Hill, the old horse farm where he grew up, becomes impossible. Oscar hires Jeffrey Stokes, a slick-looking real estate broker with a roll-up-his-sleeves work ethic, to get it on the market.

Russell White manages the day-to-day at Stable Hill. Russ had loved Oscar’s dad like a father, and took on even more responsibility when the old man fell ill. He is shocked and saddened by Oscar’s decision to sell.

All three men have a stake in Stable Hill, and it’s not long before they start to invest in one another too. But their complicated relationship doesn’t make having to sell Stable Hill any easier. Will the fragile triad they’re building last when the farm that brought them together is gone?



Get the book:





About the author:

Blogtour: Hold My Hand by Michael Barakiva



Hold My Hand 

Michael Barakiva 

Published by: Straus and Giroux (BYR)

Publication date: May 21st 2019 

Genres: Romance, Young Adult





Blurb:
Alek Khederian thinks about his life B.E. and A.E.: Before Ethan and After Ethan. Before Ethan, Alek was just an average Armenian-American kid with a mess of curly dark hair, grades not nearly good enough for his parents, and no idea of who he was or what he wanted. After he got together with Ethan, Alek was a new man. Stylish. Confident. (And even if he wasn’t quite marching in LGBTQ parades), Gay and Out and Proud. 
With their six-month anniversary coming up, Alek and Ethan want to do something special to celebrate. Like, really special. Like, the most special thing two people in love can do with one another. But Alek’s not sure he’s ready for that. And then he learns something about Ethan that may not just change their relationship, but end it. 
Alek can’t bear the thought of finding out who he’d be P.E.: Post-Ethan. But he also can’t forgive or forget what Ethan did. Luckily, his best friend Becky and madcap Armenain family are there to help him figure out whether it’s time to just let Ethan go, or reach out and hold his hand. 
Hold My Hand is a funny, smart, relatable take on the joy and challenges of teenage love, the boundaries of forgiveness, and what it really means to be honest.



Top 5 Favorite Foods

For anybody who knows anything about me or my writing, you’ll know that this question is like Sophie’s choice for me.  But here goes:

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Author Of The Month - Victoria Sue - Grand Finale


Welcome to our Grand Finale celebrations for the amazing 








In our final post, we'll look at the Kingdom Of Askara series. We also have our author interview, and one more chance to win!



First up, The Alpha King


Blurb:

The Kingdom of Askara has been torn apart by conflict for centuries, where humans exist as subservient beings to their werewolf masters. Legend says it will only be able to heal itself when an Alpha King and a pure omega are mated and crowned together, but a pure omega hasn’t been born in over a thousand years.

Luca is an Alpha-heir eagerly awaiting the choosing ceremony on his twenty-fifth birthday and the gifts granted by whichever omega he mates. His small pack is destitute due to the decisions of its ruling council, but being only an Alpha-heir, he has no authority to challenge them. Not until now—this moment he has waited a long time for.

Kit grew up as a street-rat, an unlicensed human who would never be more than a slave for whichever master owns him. Then one day he came across a young Alpha-heir, attacked and dying of poison, and found out their fates were suddenly entwined.

Luca needs to take over his pack and save his people. He cannot afford to be distracted. But when he meets Kit, he develops abilities indicating he is not just a pack Alpha, but the King his world has needed for a thousand years.

Is Kit really the cause of Luca’s newfound power, the true mate he needs? How is it possible when the young man isn’t even a werewolf, and as merely a human, a mating is not only forbidden but for Kit, a sentence of death? (MPreg)


Excerpt:

“Hey,” Sam elbowed him and said sarcastically. “You’re not listening. What if you miss the chance to be crowned an Alpha King?”
Luca snorted and sat up. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. Arwenn and Anton would be claimed immediately, and to be honest, neither omega, even male, did anything for him. He yawned and reached over to fill his goblet as the last gilded chair passed, then he paused in shock. The slave who had taken the whipping earlier was now being forced to be one of the servants carrying the chair the last omega sat on. Luca took in the shaking limbs as the boy struggled with the weight of the huge ornate chair. He was far too small for such a task and it had obviously been doled out as further punishment. The slave kept his face down as he staggered past Luca, then he stumbled. Luca saw the red and bleeding stripes on his back at the same time as Mickela raised the arm he carried the whip in.
But the grand-beta never got a chance to bring it down because before Luca realized what he had done, he had leapt from his seat and grasped Mickela’s arm, effortlessly keeping it still. The beta, all three hundred pounds of him, was helpless to break Luca’s hold.
“What is the meaning of this?” Mickela spluttered, and in seconds Luca was surrounded by Alpha Hendrick’s human guards. He dropped the beta’s arm, vaguely surprised at his own strength. Two other gammas surrounded the chair as it was lowered. Mickela clutched the boy.
“He was about to whip a servant for failing at an impossible task. The boy is too small to be a chair-bearer and he has already been beaten once.” Every conversation seemed to have ceased.
“Nonsense,” Alpha Hendrick snapped out, walking over to Luca. “The boy is human, and my slave. He has no rights here. Sit down, Luca,” Hendrick said jovially. “Today is a celebration, but to remind you of your responsibilities I will do one thing for you.” He gestured to Mickela and the boy. The beta’s fist tightened cruelly around the slave’s arm. “Instead of giving you twenty lashes for your impertinence at stopping the choosing, I will give your punishment to the boy.”
Luca gasped. “Absolutely not,” he replied before he thought better of it.
Hendrick barked an incredulous laugh out. “I think you would do better to wait until next year’s choosing. I doubt you have the maturity yet to take on the Alpha’s role.”
Luca opened his mouth to take a deep, angry breath and then he simply forgot to breathe altogether because at the same time as he heard Mickela laughing while he unleashed his whip, the boy finally lifted his face. Piercing blue eyes stared back at him. Eyes he hadn’t seen in exactly seven years. He had convinced himself he had dreamed of the child that day when he had almost died and he had let himself be convinced the boy’s words were nothing more than a product of his fevered imagination.
But as soon as he saw the boy’s eyes he recognized him. Luca took another breath, completely lost for words as the most incredible scent surrounded him. He took a step towards the boy. Luca’s wolf reared up and he had to grit his teeth to stop his change. His animal wanted out, and out right now. One of the gammas lunged for Luca as if he thought to stop him touching what was his. Luca merely shot out his left arm in an attempt to block him. He must have pushed him hard though because the gamma went sailing backwards and crashed into one of the tables where the guests sat.
Angry snarls erupted as the other Alphas moved. “Grab him,” Hendrick shouted, gesturing to his guards, and they all rushed at Luca. Luca barely took his eyes from the boy, just dealing with the guards as if they were merely an inconvenience, but in a few seconds all the guards lay unconscious on the ground where Luca had thrown them. Everyone was silent, scared. No one werewolf was strong enough to fight like that, and Luca had barely moved. Sam quickly put his back protectively to Luca and eyed the other Alphas warily.
“I know you,” Luca said quietly, and gently took the boy’s shaky hand, registering the sparks that traveled up his own at the contact. “What’s your name?”
The boy swallowed, and immediately Luca realized he was older than he had thought. It was the fact he was nothing but skin and bone that made him seem small. Luca frowned. He looked exhausted and his face was unnaturally pale.
“It’s Kit, your Highness,” he whispered, and before Luca could stop him he fell to his knees, and bowed his head.
Luca ignored the gasps around him and bent down quickly, reaching for Kit’s arms. “I’m not...” He started in confusion, then Kit looked up.
“I told you once,” he said softly. “You are the true Alpha King.”
“Blasphemy,” shrieked the grand-beta. “Put the slave in shackles.” More guards rushed forward but Luca turned, snarling. His growl rumbled from his chest, getting louder and louder. The ground started shaking, tables wobbled, and goblets fell over and spilled. The gammas all stood frozen until Hendrick in desperation shouted again. “Kill the usurper!” He pulled clumsily at the small knife all Alphas kept in their belt.
Luca whipped around, his cloak swaying around his legs and at the same time he clasped the small knife he kept in his own and threw it...straight at Alpha Hendrick, where it lodged between his eyes. The man was dead before he hit the floor.
The ground was still shaking and an ungodly growl was still coming from Luca’s throat. The servants dropped to their knees first, quickly followed by many of the guards. Luca stared at each wolf in the clearing until finally even the Alphas and the other heirs bowed down. Luca blinked and the shaking stopped. In the silence, Sam turned. He brought his arm across his chest, bent one knee, and bowed his head.
“Sam?” Luca said shakily, staring at his best friend.
“Your Highness,” Sam replied immediately. “I am your servant to command.”
Luca stared in astonishment at all the people on their knees. It was impossible. He wasn’t...
Luca heard a small sound behind him. Kit had stood back up, but his face was drained of color and he swayed. Luca lunged and caught him just as his eyes rolled up and his legs gave way. Luca took a breath and clutched Kit tightly, possessively, stunned at his own reaction and that of his wolf. Werewolves never mated humans, ever. He had no idea what was happening or whatever had just happened but whatever it was Luca was sure of one thing. He wasn’t letting Kit go. Not now. Not ever.



Get the book:





Book 2 in the series, The Alpha Heir 



Blurb:

Man and wolf. Sworn enemies in the battle for Askara. Can hate and betrayal ever lead to love? Caleb Harken has spent six years wrongfully imprisoned for his father’s treachery. Tortured and reviled by the very wolf pack he should have been leading as Alpha, he is not surprised to learn he’s finally to meet his death at the hands of the human rebel leader, Taegan Callan.

Taegan gave up his dreams of a life-mate and a family after seeing too many humans butchered at the hands of the wolves—even if Caleb doesn’t seem to be the bloodthirsty savage he expects, and even if he starts to long for a different kind of future with the wolf.

Can Caleb become the Alpha he was always meant to be and lead his pack, or will he finally realize that winning his freedom means nothing when he has already lost his heart?


Get the book:





And book 3 in the series, The Alpha Prince


Blurb:

The Askaran desert can longer sustain the secret hybrid population of wolves bred from those sent there to die for their crimes. Justice knows the time has come to lead his wolves to a new life, but soon realizes his pack could never be governed by nor swear fealty to the cruel and despotic Alpha of Solonara—Darius—so he hatches a plan to fight and ultimately kill the Alpha, his heir, and take over the territory.

Cashel should not exist. It was unheard of for an Alpha-heir to be born an omega, and Darius has made every day a torment for his son. After spending years failing to breed another heir, and desperate not to have to give his territory away to another pack, he finally turns his attention back to Cashel and a whole new nightmare begins.
Justice’s whole life has been about righting a wrong and delivering the very thing he was named for. Meeting Cashel, and finding out he is his true mate, sends his carefully constructed plans and promises up in flames. When he discovers Darius’s cruelty runs deeper than any of them imagined, he is faced with a last desperate choice between his love for Cashel or his loyalty to his people.

Excerpt:

“Cashel?”
Cashel startled a little at the voice and the warm hand on his shoulder. It wasn’t Hale or Axel, so he cautiously opened an eye. Then he closed it again immediately.
Why? Why him? Of all people to witness his humiliation it had to be the one Alpha his traitorous body had responded to.
“No,” he whimpered.
“No, you’re not Cashel?” The rich deep voice rumbled again, this time laced with a little humor.
“It’s not funny,” he snapped miserably with what seemed to be the last of his energy and he slumped forward.
“Of course not,” the wolf—Justice—replied solemnly. “Would you like some water?”
Cashel peered up into the same golden eyes he had first seen only a few moments ago and wondered again about the unusual name. He was going to nod his head but thought better of it. It didn’t seem necessary as he was offering him a small leather pouch for him to drink from. It seemed to have been fastened to his belt, but Cashel was too wrung out to wonder what Justice was doing carrying water around when it was plentiful in the compound. His hands shook so violently he nearly dropped it before Justice covered Cashel’s hands with his and held it steady.
“Just a little,” Justice cautioned.
Cashel took a few sips and then spat it out. He took a few more and swallowed it cautiously, waiting to see if his stomach objected. He heard the sounds of shouting and recognized Hale’s voice, knew he’d been missed. He glanced up at Justice, shivering uncontrollably. Justice frowned but immediately pulled his shirt out from his breeches and up and over his head. Cashel had a second to appreciate deep bronzed skin before softness engulfed him as the shirt was pulled over his head. It was huge on him of course, but warm and soft and Cashel clutched at it gratefully.
“Cashel?” Hale ran over, followed by Axel. “My prince, are you well?” Hale glanced at the other wolf.
Cashel nodded and tried to stand but his legs refused to cooperate. Justice simply placed one arm around his waist and gently lifted him to his feet. Cashel swayed and the wolf tightened his grip. Cashel swallowed. “Thank you—”

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

ARC Review: Gideon by Lily Morton

Gideon (Finding Home, #3)From the Blurb:
Gideon Ramsay is so far in the closet he should be a talking faun. 
A talented, mercurial, and often selfish man, Gideon has everything he should want in life. Fame, money, acting awards – he has it all. Everything but honesty. At the advice of his agent, Gideon has concealed his sexuality for years. But it’s starting to get harder to hide, and his increasingly wild behaviour is threatening to destroy his career.  
Then he’s laid low by a serious illness and into his life comes Eli Jones. Eli is everything that Gideon can’t understand. He’s sunny tempered, friendly, and optimistic. Even worse, he’s unaffected by grumpiness and sarcasm, which forms ninety percent of Gideon’s body weight. And now Gideon is trapped with him without any recourse to the drugs and alcohol that have previously eased his way through awkward situations. 
However, as Gideon gets to know the other man, he finds himself wildly attracted to his lazy smiles and warm, scruffy charm that seem to fill a hole inside Gideon that’s been empty for a long time. Will he give in to this incomprehensible attraction when it could mean the end of everything that he’s worked for?



Ky's rating:




Gideon is Milo's brother from book #2 and he wasn't a very likeable character when we met him. He had some unresolved issues and handled the knowledge of Milo and Niall's relationship in a horrible way.

In this book we get his story. We get to know him pretty well and get some answers about his behavior. You see, in reality, Gideon is an extremely lonely guy, he craved attention and to be wanted. All his life he felt he was a bourden to those around him - especially his parents who sent him away for school at seven and then all but forgot about him - and like he didn't deserve love. What he wants most in the world is to feel connected to another person, to finally have a real family who wants him close by.

Eli is a nurse for wealthy people, he travels a lot with his job, he's a lot younger than Gideon and he is relaxed about most things. After a mix-up with his name, he ends up accompaning Gideon on a cruise and helping him recuperate from pneumonia.

The first half of the book was really good, their banter was hilarious, Gideon's grumpyness was evened out by Eli's possitivity and there was a hint of a slowburn. All in all, it looked like a sweet deal.

Blogtour: Seeing Red by Alex Beecroft


Seeing Red Tour Banner


Seeing Red
Trowchester Series, Book 5
Alex Beecroft
Contemporary MM Romance
Release Date: 05.12.19

Seeing Red Cover

BLURB
Bad boys don’t tame easy.

Victor is a bad man. Is there anything he won’t do for power and money?

Destroy a local business so he can buy it cheap? Kick out its owners and turn it into a cash cow? He relishes the chance.

Idris is a good man in possession of a renowned tea-house. He’s put his heart and soul into the place. It’s everything he has and wants...

Except for Victor.

He wants Victor too.

Can the love of a compassionate man soften a predator’s heart before it’s too late? Or is Idris doomed to lose his life’s work, and his heart with it?


A contemporary mm romance, Seeing Red is a long-awaited new installment of the critically acclaimed Trowchester Series. Each book in the series is a standalone, and can be read in any order. Feel free to start here and work back!





Seeing Red Graphic



EXCERPT

“You were brought up poor?” Idris’s inner voice was now more of a clench of pity and anger in his gut. “And you see yourself in these dogs?”Stray dogs, un-fed, unwanted, dogs that were being taken out to be drowned. “I won’t ask you the story behind that,”Idris put out an arm and pulled the man closer to him, relishing the way Victor melted into him, letting his meagre weight rest against Idris’s sturdier frame. “But I want to remind you that not only you but also I fell in love with these dogs the moment we saw them. Those who mistreated them before... not everyone is like that.”

“They are, though.”Victor’s head came slowly down to rest on Idris’s shoulder, tentatively. His cynical words made even that little gesture of trust seem enormous, more than Idris deserved. “It’s kill or be killed out there, and I’m not... I’m not going to be killed.

Of course, he had fought off two men only a couple of hours ago—bigger men than himself. That must have taken some courage, and he was probably now exhausted from the adrenaline crash. With that and whiskey on top of it, he was confessing private insecurities to a man he had only just met.

As much as Idris would have liked to carry on supporting all his weight, hearing his murmured confessions, and perhaps sliding his fingers into that drying hair and stealing a kiss or two, he realized that this was absolutely not the time.

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Blogtour: Redesigning Landry Bishop by Kim Fielding



Please say hello to Kim Fielding with 

Redesigning Landry Bishop

a Dreamspun Desires title 




Hi! Kim Fielding here to brag about my new book, Redesigning Landry Bishop. Okay, not exactly, although of course I hope that the moment you’re done reading this post you click on a buy link, read the book in rapt delight, and then leave glowing reviews everywhere. But first, I’m going to talk about weird ways to serve food.


Now, generally speaking, nice restaurants in North America and Europe serve meals on plates. (Possibly that’s true elsewhere as well, but I haven’t visited any other continents so can’t speak from experience.) As serving pieces, plates make sense. They’re easy to store, handle, and wash. They come in various sizes to suit different servings. They usually have some kind of edge or lip to help corral food and sauces. They come in an endless variety of patterns to suit themes and decors. Plates can be shockingly expensive or they can be really cheap.


In recent years, however, some restaurants in the US (and elsewhere) have decided it would be clever to serve food on… things not usually used for serving food. Wooden planks were an early example of this, and I suppose they make sense too, especially since some foods such as salmon may actually be cooked on planks. And french fries in little wire baskets also make some sense.


But that’s not good enough for some restaurants. In Las Vegas my husband received french fries in a miniature metal shopping cart, and I got a grilled cheese sandwich hanging from a hook. In Portugal I was served a beautiful salad… in a flower pot. In Austria my daughter’s burger came on a slice of tree trunk, complete with bark. In France we got an amuse-bouche that consisted of an egg mixture cooked in an eggshell and served in a nest. There’s actually an entire Reddit devoted to this trend, r/WeWantPlates.


I had a lot of fun with this idea in Redesigning Landry Bishop. At one point Landry and his personal assistant, Jordan, have dinner at a restaurant that eschews traditional serving ware. Landry promotes creativity in people’s lives, but I’m not sure he’s impressed with this.


What’s the strangest way you’ve ever been served a meal or a drink?




Blurb:

Love never goes out of style.

Landry Bishop fled his tiny hometown and never looked back. Now his expertise in food, fashion, and décor has earned him all of Hollywood’s glittering perks. But with his husband deceased and his personal assistant retired, Landry has nobody to rely on—and no one to help him indulge his secret cravings.

Casual, plainspoken Jordan Stryker seems a dubious choice of a PA for someone as formal and self-controlled as Landry. Jordan’s questionable fashion sense and limited kitchen skills don’t exactly enhance his résumé. But as Landry soon realizes, Jordan has many attractive qualities too.

With a strong pull toward Jordan, new career opportunities on the horizon, and a persistent tug from family back home, Landry is in a quandary. He can advise others on how to make their lives special, but what should he do about his own?



Excerpt:

Half an hour later, while Landry was puttering around with an experimental tabbouleh recipe, Jordan and Elaine joined him in the kitchen. “Try this,” he ordered, handing them each a spoonful.
Jordan made approving noises, but Elaine frowned. “That’s not a grain.”
“It’s cauliflower.”
“For the love of God, why?”

Release Blitz: Torn by Rick R Reed







Length: 63,424 words

Cover Design: Reese Dante

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press



Blurb
Ever been torn between two lovers? That's Ricky Comparetto's problem.

It's 1995, and Ricky is making his very first trip across the pond with his best friend. Ricky, hungry for love and looking for it in all the wrong places, finds it in the beach city of Brighton. His new love has the curious name of Walt Whitman and is also an American, which only serves to make him sexier and more intriguing. By the time Walt and Ricky part, promises are made for a reunion in Boston.

But the course of true love never runs smooth. In Chicago Ricky almost immediately falls in love again. Tom Green is a sexy blue-collar beast with the kindest heart Ricky has ever run across.

What's he to do? With a visit to the East Coast on the horizon and a new love blossoming in Ricky's home of Chicago, Ricky truly is torn.



Excerpt


In which our hero, Ricky Comparetto, finds himself lost on his very first time in London in the wee hours of the morning. It serves him right, after his shameless behavior at an after-hours sex club.

Much later, I found myself wandering the streets of London near New Scotland Yard, searching through its labyrinthine corridors for Trevor’s building. In the quiet darkness of London’s wee small hours, it seemed the world had paused to take a breath. Again, a feeling of things being surreal overcame me; I wondered if I’d ever find my way back to Boutros again, or if I’d be doomed to wander endlessly through this curving warren of streets.

It was maybe three o’clock in the morning, and Westminster felt almost like a movie set, perhaps something dystopian, where the main character wakes to find the world empty. The light of Big Ben shone in the distance, but I had no idea how to get back to Trevor’s.

I was too exhausted to panic, however, even though I felt like a rat in a maze, a charming, historic maze, but a maze nonetheless. Looking back, I recall that I felt serene, strange as that is to remember.


I had just decided to see if I could find a park bench or curb to lie down on—to await morning’s light and new clarity to get back to my friends—when I discovered that there was such a thing as a bobby, the Brits’ word for a patrolman on foot. This bobby, who was dressed all in black with a tall hat adorned with a shield, and I appeared to be the only ones about, other than the black cabs that passed by stealthily, similar to the one that had deposited me in a place I’d believed was close to Trevor’s.

I approached the bobby and told him, a little abashed, that I was lost. I supplied him with the name of the street I sought and, for good measure, what Trevor’s building looked like.

He nodded, all business. “You need to cross the Thames”—he pointed that way—“and then make your way back in the opposite direction from where you were going. You’re not far.”

Monday, May 20, 2019

ARC Review: Out of the Shade by S.A. McAuley

Out of the Shade
Blurb:
The hardest battle is the fight to be yourself.... 

Jesse Solomona has always tried to be the perfect straight guy--a cocky sports fan capable of drinking more than he did in his fraternity days and an expert at one-night-stands. That he hooks up with just as many men as he does women is a secret Jesse's been hiding for years, fearful of losing his family and tight group of friends. He's a Kensington boy--a group of guys that grew up in the same neighborhood and somehow all ended up back in their hometown. They, and his family, are the only things that still matter in his otherwise soul-sucking life. 

Chuck Dunn, a tattooed and pierced sports photographer, has refused to step back into the closet since he was disowned by his family, but he keeps choosing men who can't fully be with him. Finally free from a long-term relationship he should've ended years ago, he quits his high-profile gig in favor of getting back to the art of sports photography--documenting a local boxing club that works with at-risk teenagers. He may not have the same swagger anymore, but he's working to be happy with who he is. 

When Chuck joins one of the Kensington boys' community center sports leagues, Jesse's self-imposed rules are systematically demolished. But there's one barrier Jesse can't find the strength to break through--coming out to the other Kensington boys. Chuck knows hooking up with Jesse is a bad idea. Falling for him even worse. But he can't stay away. 

Chuck is damaged by his past. Jesse is frightened about his future. But, together, they may just be able to come out of the shade.



Todd's rating:




For me, this was a story with which I most definitely did *not* immediately connect.

When the book began and I was introduced to the world of the Kensington Boys, it was all so completely... Bro Dude. There was even caveman speak for fucksake!

Instead of this tight-knit group of men in their thirties coming across as grown-ups, it felt much more like they were still stuck in their college fraternity days. Or worse, high school.

They were getting drunk and acting immature in nearly every single scene, which got tiring and old pretty quickly. I'm assuming that was why a few of my Goodreads friends DNF'd the story pretty early on.

The book eventually got better, to the point that there were actual feelings, instead of just grunts and groans as pitchers of beer were passed around the tables by grown man-children with wives and families at home.

I really liked Chuck right from the start, and Jesse was okay, but it took a while for me to connect with him, after coming across as yet another of those closeted "Yeah, your dick is in my mouth, but I'm still straight, man" kinda guys.

Blogtour: Going Off-Script by Jen Wilde



Going Off-Script 

Jen Wilde 

Published by: Swoon Reads

Publication date: May 21st 2019

Genres: Romance, Young Adult




Blurb:
A TV writer’s room intern must join forces with her crush to keep her boss from ruining a lesbian character in this diverse contemporary YA romance from the author of Queens of Geek. 
Seventeen-year-old Bex is thrilled when she gets an internship on her favorite tv show, Silver Falls. Unfortunately, the internship isn’t quite what she expected… instead of sitting in a crowded writer’s room volleying ideas back and forth, Production Interns are stuck picking up the coffee. 
Determined to prove her worth as a writer, Bex drafts her own script and shares it with the head writer―who promptly reworks it and passes it off as his own! Bex is understandably furious, yet…maybe this is just how the industry works? But when they rewrite her proudly lesbian character as straight, that’s the last straw! It’s time for Bex and her crush to fight back.
Jen Wilde’s newest novel is both a fun, diverse love story and a very relevant, modern take on the portrayal of LGBT characters in media





Ten Songs to Listen to While Reading GOING OFF SCRIPT

Blogtour: Let Me Show You by Becca Seymour

Let Me Show You - Becca Seymour





Let Me Show You




Let Me Show YouBlurb:

When a veterinarian and a construction worker connect, it takes mishaps, mistakes, and a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Rex to show them they’re made for each other.
Dr. Carter Falon is content living a quiet life in a small town caring for his animal patients. That doesn't mean he's not looking for a distraction. After finding himself precariously wedged… naked and at the mercy of a drop-dead gorgeous construction worker, Carter hires his savior to renovate his home.
When Tanner Grady’s best friend and new niece needed him, he uprooted and relocated without a second thought. His life has since been centered on work and spending time with his family, but when he comes to the rescue of a cute vet, Tanner finds he's a lot more interested in the homeowner than the house he’s renovating.








Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iBooks 
 
Google Play  Goodreads | QueeRomance Ink




Giveaway


Becca is giving away two $10 Amazon gift cards with this tour – 
enter via Raffleopter for a chance to win.









Excerpt




Looking at the caller ID, I greeted, “Hey, Mom.”


“Hey, baby boy.” I smiled. In my late twenties, I was far from a baby, but she’d once told me that even at fifty I’d still be her baby. “Good day?”


“Yep. Not too bad. Nothing too hectic or crazy. You?”


“A great one. Your dad’s booked a cruise for our anniversary.” Excitement lit her words. She’d been hinting at Dad for a while about a cruise. I was pleased he’d listened. It didn’t take a lot to make my mom happy; she found joy in the smallest of things,so that he’d organized it all was pretty impressive. Mom usually organized everything, so I knew him booking the vacation for them was a big deal.


“That’s terrific. Caribbean?”


She actually squealed down the line. I pulled the phone from my ear and laughed loudly. “Yes! Carter, I’m so excited.”


“Really? I’d never have guessed.”


“Oh, hush.” She spoke over me as I laughed again. “Don’t sass your mother.”


My laughter continued. “Never, Mom. You’d tan my hide. Wouldn’t dream of it.”


“I should think not. So anything new? Any dates?”


With a groan, I rubbed my face and then stepped further into the kitchen and pulled out a glass. “Mom…,” I sighed.


“What? I worry about you. You’re so far from home and are there all alone.”


I poured myself a glass of wine and took a sip. “I know you worry, but honestly, life’s good.” Admittedly it would have been nice to hook up, but one, I didn’t do casual and never had, and two, there was no way I’d tell my mom I was afraid my penis would drop off from lack of use. “There’s nothing new either, and that’s okay. I’m liking the quiet life.”


“Hmm….” That was her tell for not being convinced. “You know, I was talking to Julie last week, and her nephew’s gay.”


“Mom,” I said with laughter, “honestly, no hookups. I do not need my mom fixing me up.”

She ignored me. “Well, he lives quite far away, but maybe a week of casual—” She cleared her throat. “—sex would do you good.”


“Jesus, Mom.” I spluttered on my mouthful of wine. Grabbing a towel, I wiped my face, catching the dribble of red wine on my chin, and wiped the counter top I’d sprayed. “Stop. I don’t need you arranging anything, okay? Please tell me you’re listening.” She was quiet. “Mom,” I said louder.


“Yes, yes, I hear you.” She sighed. “Grandbabies would be nice.”


Holy crap on toast! With wide eyes, I looked at the ceiling and counted to five. I then took a big gulp of wine before saying, “Mom.”


“Yes, baby boy?”


“I have to go. I need to grab a shower. I’m expecting someone.”


“Ooh—”

Sunday, May 19, 2019

ARC Review: String Boys by Amy Lane

String Boys
Blurb:
Seth Arnold learned at an early age that two things in life could make his soul soar—his violin and Kelly Cruz. In Seth’s uncertain childhood, the kindness of the Cruz family, especially Kelly and his brother, Matty, gave Seth the stability to make his violin sing with the purest sound and opened a world of possibility beyond his home in Sacramento. 

Kelly Cruz has loved Seth forever, but he knows Seth’s talents shouldn’t be hidden, not when the world is waiting. Encouraging Seth to follow his music might break Kelly’s heart, but he is determined to see the violin set Seth’s soul free. When their world is devastated by a violent sexual assault and Matty’s prejudices turn him from a brother to an enemy, Seth and Kelly’s future becomes uncertain. 

Seth can’t come home and Kelly can’t leave, but they are held together by a love that they clutch with both hands. 

Seth and Kelly are young and the world is wide—the only thing they know for certain is they’ll follow their heartstrings to each other’s arms whenever time and fate allow. And pray that one day they can follow that string to forever… before it slices their hearts in two.



Todd's rating:




Gah! Separations. This story haz them. In spades.

As the book began, I adored seeing Seth and Matty as fourth graders, and third grader Kelly tagging along with the two best friends.

It was all very sweet and my little YA heart was just waiting for Seth to see that he was totally as head over heels for Kelly as Kelly was for him.

That finally happened some years later, after one fateful nap during a bus ride home, and I may or may not have done a little jig in my seat as I read that passage.

But shortly after, the Goddess of Angst made her first of many, MANY appearances in the story, and that bitch stayed on the scene for close to a decade, just to make sure that nobody got their happy on too deeply. : (

What began as an educational opportunity for Seth, turned into a path to escape and safety, but that meant that Kelly would have to say goodbye to his beloved Seth.

And with that opportunity came the first separation. Then another, then another, and another. Sweet baby Jesus, I was about to scream, because other than The Big Misunderstanding (blessedly avoided here), the thing I loathe most is prolonged separations.

ARC Review: Burden by K.C. Wells

Blurb:

They never knew what hit them.

A hooker with a heart, falling for a Vice cop? This is no Hollywood movie, and if they want a happily ever after, it's not going to be easy.

Detective Randy Michaels is back with Vice, working to help NYC crack down on its prostitution problem. When he suspects Jesse Bryant of soliciting, Randy is torn between duty and his knowledge of what put Jesse on the streets. Jesse is clearly struggling, and he isn’t the only one. Recent events have forced Randy to question his sexuality, and a shocking encounter with Jesse plunges him into a crisis of conscience.

Jesse didn’t think his life could get any worse. His family cut all support, his education is on hold, and he’s surviving the only way he knows—selling himself on the streets. Of all the people who could have offered him a helping hand, why did it have to be Randy?

Two men carrying their own personal burdens: How long will it take them to realize that what they really need is each other?



Sandra's review:





This is the 2nd book in the Love, Unexpected series, and could be read as a standalone novel, though I believe it would have worked better for me if I had read the first book, Debt, as it touches many times on the events from that book.

Jesse Bryant is, after losing parental support and having to put college on hold, basically living on the streets, hooking to support himself but struggling to make ends meet. His friends Nico and Mitch are moving north to start their new life together after the trial against the sex trafficker is over, and while Jesse is happy for them, he doesn't want to be a burden so he doesn't tell them about his current profession.

Randy Michaels is after the trial against the owner of the illegal sex club back working Vice, tasked with keeping prostitutes off the streets. But ever since he worked in the sex club, undercover to take that sex-trafficking organization down, he's been sort of questioning his sexuality, especially since he's figured out he has feelings for Jesse.

Jesse on the other hand has no idea that Randy is having these questions - he only knows that Randy is totally straight, and that his crush on the older man, a Vice cop to boot, is useless and will not be fruitful. He's also ashamed of having to earn money the way he does, and he sure as hell doesn't want Randy to know. So he lies. The two men start to spend more and more time together, which only exacerbates Jesse's crush on Randy, and Randy's confusion about his feelings for Jesse.

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