Friday, April 30, 2021

ARC Review: Double Shot by Gwen Martin

Double Shot (Bold Brew #10)From the Blurb:
Coffee, with a double shot of desire....

West is still floundering three years after a failed relationship spun his life out of control, and forced him to move back to his hometown. When he meets Rhys at Bold Brew, his curiosity sparks, and he wonders if the alluring photographer could be his shot at embracing the inner Little he suppressed in the past. Rhys's photos are a passionate exploration and call to West's needs and desires.

Rhys loves to guide and nurture partners—then send them on their way. But something about West is different. The quiet man responds to Rhys's Daddy dominance in beautiful ways. And the camera loves him, too.

When West agrees to a photoshoot, their chemistry ignites. Rhys and West are a perfect complement to one another's cravings. But can this double shot at love last as long as one of Rhys’s photographs, or will they drink their fill and move on?

Potential Trigger Warning for a character discussing issues with alocholism. There is no relapse on page.


 
Ky's rating:



When I started reading "Double Shot", I was intrigued by the narration. Reading Rhys's chapters was exciting because we got to see the world through his eyes. He paid attention to the little things that would most likely go unnoticed by most. He had a unique way of focusing on specific details and he reveled in observing them. He was a photographer and he focused on details that he felt would bring out his subject, even when he wasn't holding a camera. I liked his "voice" and the way he saw things.

West, an alcoholic who moved back to Laurelsburg three years ago, decided to make a change in his life, after hitting rock bottom, in an attempt to have a new start, stay sober and save his life. So far, he has achieved the sober part by attending weekly AA meetings, having a sponsor and building walls around himself. He lives his life in solitude, sheltered and scared to venture further from his comfort zone, fearing that if he does, he might find himself in the bottom of a bottle again. He wants to avoid that at any cost.

When Rhys and West meet, they stike up a conversation, exchange information and soon, Rhys invites him to his studio for a photo session. West shows up determined to revisit a part of his past that he had given up for three years, while he was trying to put his life back together.

Release Blitz: Drake by A.M. Salinger


Drake

by A.M. Salinger

(Twilight Falls #5)
Publication date: April 30th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, LGBTQ+, Romance

 

Roman Campbell. Wild Child. Rebel. Rockstar. Broken. 

At the age of twenty-eight, Roman Campbell has the world at his feet. Young, successful, and brutally beautiful, his facade of an uber-cool rockstar hides deep scars that have tormented him for years. After finally putting the pieces of his broken life back together, Roman attends the wedding of his famous movie star friend Carter Wilson in Twilight Falls, where he meets Drake Jackson. Their attraction is instantaneous and Roman hooks up with the sexy builder for one intoxicating night.

Drake Jackson. Wickedly Hot. Serial Heartbreaker. Reformed (mostly) Bad Boy.

Having put behind his difficult childhood, Drake Jackson is content with his life. His one regret remains his lost chance at a relationship with his childhood friend Alex. After a torrid encounter with Roman at Carter’s wedding leaves Drake hungry for more, the builder believes he will never set eyes on the famous rockstar again. But when Roman buys the property Drake had long coveted in Twilight Falls right from under his nose and hires Drake as his contractor, Drake realizes trouble has come to find him with a capital T.

Sparks fly and the two men soon commit to a temporary arrangement that sees them satisfying their carnal desire for one another. But when Roman’s past comes crashing back into his life and his secrets are revealed, Drake finds himself experiencing a lot more than just desire for Roman. Will Drake finally accept the feelings growing inside his heart? Or will he reject Roman’s love and repeat the mistakes of his past?

Join Drake and Roman in this wildly addictive fifth installment in Twilight Falls, the new series by the author of the bestselling, contemporary, gay romance series Nights.

Content Note: this book contains sensitive content that may be upsetting to some readers. Please refer to the page at the start of the book for more information.

Goodreads / Amazon


EXCERPT:

CHAPTER ONE

Roman Campbell took a sip of his sparkling water and observed the two men taking to the floor for their first dance as a married couple.

Carter Wilson and Elijah Davis looked blissfully happy as they swayed to a classic Sinatra song, fingers interlocked and arms around one another while their bodies brushed sensuously. It was clear to everyone in the marquee that the grooms only had eyes for each other.

A twinge of jealousy stabbed through Roman at the happiness radiating on the two men’s faces. Carter laughed at something Elijah said and took his husband’s mouth in a hot kiss that had their guests clapping and wolf-whistling.

The newlyweds turned and extended their hands toward a pretty little blond girl in a cream taffeta and lace dress who stood watching them from the sidelines. Maisie, Carter’s niece and his and Elijah’s newly adopted daughter, squealed and ran out to join them. The couple caught her into their arms and resumed their dance, their mouths split in beaming smiles.

Roman swallowed a grimace.

I really am an asshole. I should be happy for them.

He’d been somewhat surprised to receive an invite to what was being touted as the most exclusive celebrity wedding of the year. Though he was friends with Carter, they hadn’t spoken for a while, their busy lives meaning their paths rarely crossed except at social events.

They’d met five years ago, at an exclusive sex club in L.A. It was the kind of place where the world-famous clientele could indulge in their private desires and fantasies to their heart’s content, without fear of their secrets becoming fodder for the paparazzi.

It had been Roman’s first time at the club. He’d hit on Carter the minute he’d walked inside the place, not realizing that the tall man with the dirty blond hair and the body to die for was the A-list Hollywood actor who had practically dominated entertainment news ever since he exploded on the movie scene with his first blockbuster.

Though Carter had flirted with Roman, he hadn’t obliged his invitation to visit one of the club’s private suites for some down and dirty time. He had, however, kept a close eye on him.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

ARC Review: Coddiwomple by S.E. Harmon


From the Blurb:
As a wildlife photographer, Journey “JJ” Sutton never stays in one place too long. The world is his classroom, and he’s living his dream. His only regret is that he had to sacrifice the love of his life to do it. But as the saying goes, you can never go home again. That’s until there’s a family emergency, and he has to…well, go home again. His easy breezy lifestyle gets complicated fast. It certainly doesn’t help that his ex-fiancé has bought the house next door.

After an unstable childhood, Cameron Foster loves small-town life. He has everything he needs in his vet practice, his friends, and his animals. Despite what numerous exes seem to think, he’s not still in love with Journey. And so what if they add “benefits” to their friendship? As long as he keeps his heart out of the equation, everything should be fine.

Too bad Journey's not onboard with that plan. With summer ending, he has to convince Cameron that this is more than just a fling. This time around, he knows what he wants. He wants a second chance. He wants forever. Most of all, he wants Cameron’s heart.

Journey may have put away his passport, but things are just getting interesting.


Ky's rating:




Let's start with the title. How perfect and unique is this title! How intriguing and interesting. How fitting for the story and Journey's way of life.

The cover. The cover is amazing. It's Journey at his core.

As for the story, it's a second chance and lifelong friends to lovers romance along with some family drama and the small town way of life.

The plot unwrapped seamlessly and through the course of a summer Journey and Cameron stopped fighting their feelings and gave in to what they always wanted. The only thing that didn't go according to plan was their feelings.

Journey is a wildlife photographer, basically living with a pack on his back and his camera in his hand. He has itchy feet that take him all over the world many times over and he loves his life just the way it is. He can't stay at one place for too long, and that craving to go out there and explore, see the world and capture its beauty with his lens, is what put and end to his relationship with Cameron in the past.

Blogtour: Summoned by J.P. Jackson





Summoned
Magus Malefica - The Coven Series Book 1
by J.P. Jackson
Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance, Dark Urban Fantasy



Devid Khandelwal desperately wants to experience the supernatural. After years of studying everything from crystals to tarot to spellcasting, nothing has happened that would tell him the Shadow Realm is real. And that kills Dev. As a last-ditch resort, he purchases a summoning board, an occult tool that will grant him his ultimate desires.

Cameron Habersham is Dev’s best friend. Cam loves Dev like a brother and will do anything for him, as long as he looks good doing it. So when Dev asks him to perform the summoning board’s ritual, he reluctantly agrees, but he knows nothing will come of it. Nothing ever does.

However, within a day, Dev and Cam’s lives are turned upside down as wishes begin to come true. They discover the existence of a supernatural world beyond their imagination, but peace between the species is tenuous at best.

Dev finally gets to see the Shadow Realm, meets the man of his dreams, and is inducted into the local male coven. But for all the desires that were summoned into existence, Dev soon realizes the magical community dances the line between good and evil, and Cam ends up on the wrong side of everything.

The old adage is true: Be careful what you wish for.


Excerpt:

Setup: Dev, having just discovered the summoning board has granted him his first wish, has also found a new friend, a fellow witch – and a handsome one at that!

 

Tully patted the cushion right next to him.

“Come, I don’t bite. Sit. Chat.”

Dev rolled his eyes. “I probably seem desperate.” He sighed.

“Ha. Not at all.” Tully chuckled. “Okay, maybe a little. Come on, handsome, sit next to me. Tell me everything.” Tully grinned as he raised the glass to his lips and took another sip.

Dev wandered over and sat on the cushion next to Tully, glanced at him and his glacier-blue eyes and half grinned. He reached for his own glass and had a sip.

“Oh. That’s really good.” The wine was chilled, but the alcohol burned his throat pleasantly. Sour cherries made his cheeks pucker, but a hint of spicy black pepper warmed him. Dev took another sip.

“Thanks.” 

“For what?”

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

ARC Review: Show Me by Neve Wilder

Show Me (Extracurricular Activities #3)
From the Blurb:
Two Roommates. One Camera. A whole lot of action.

I get crushes the way some people get seasonal allergies.
And sharing a house with four hot roommates is like being stuck in permanent spring.
Too bad I keep getting friend-zoned.

But it’s senior year now, and I’m done pining for the impossible.
Time to live it up and go out with a bang.
Or a lot of bangs.

And I’m definitely, definitely not getting attached to anyone.
Especially not my straight, gym-loving, football-player roommate Sam whose impressively large... smile I caught a glimpse of once.
Or several times.

That’s why, when Sam asks me for help with a very special, very NSFW project so he can make a little cash, of course I agree. In the name of friendship.

And if it turns out that Sam’s more than just muscles—that he’s sweet, and smart, and a little bit filthy, and a whole lot less straight than I thought—well, that’s neither here nor there, because this time I’m gonna be smart. This time, I’m friend-zoning myself.

We’ve got a list of deliciously hot scenarios, a camera, and Sam’s huge… smile. What could possibly go wrong?



Ky's rating:




Show Me is a fun, light-hearted romance about two college roommates who fall in love, both behind and in front of the camera.

Jesse is tired of crushing on guys when there's no potential for anything more than friendship. He has a habit of doing just that and he's trying to break out of it, so when he realises he's attracted to Sam, he's determined to get over it, and fast.

Sam is trying to make a little extra money and he has found just the perfect way to do that. He just needs a little bit of help if he wants to increase the quality of his videos. That help comes in the form of none other than Jesse.

Release Blitz: Finn's Fantasy by K.C. Wells


Finn's Fantasy
By K.C. Wells

Maine Men Series, Book 1

It’s been twenty years since Joel was with a man, 
and he doesn’t want to screw this up.
Especially with Finn.

A secret desire

By day, Finn builds houses on the coastline of Maine. Afterhours, Finn dreams of the hot older guy who walks his chocolate lab on Goose Rocks Beach. The man of his dreams ticks all his boxes. Salt and pepper hair. Strong jawline. Blue eyes. 

His dream man is perfect fantasy material. As for actually speaking to him? 

As if. Their paths won’t ever cross, and the guy is probably straight.

A new chapter 

Recently divorced Joel is finally living as a gay man, but he’s not sure he’s ready to jump into a relationship. That doesn’t stop him from noticing his new contractor’s muscular build, hewn from hard, physical work, or his storm-colored eyes. Or the way he wears his tool belt slung low on his hips. The icing on the cake? There’s more to Finn than good looks. Maybe he’s the perfect guy to share long walks on the beach and warm nights in front of a fire. 

But it’s been twenty years since Joel was with a man. While he’s not forgotten how to flirt, he’s nervous about making a move. 

Especially with Finn.

Universal Link

Add on Goodreads

Excerpt:

Joel closed the front door behind him before unfastening Bramble’s leash. “You had to go running off, didn’t you? You had to go talk to your doggy pals.” Bramble gazed at him with those liquid brown eyes, his tail thumping on the floor, and Joel realized he was fighting a losing battle. He could never stay mad at this dog for long. He rubbed Bramble’s ears. “Just don’t do it again, okay?”

Bramble’s soft woof might have been Okay, but Joel would lay even money it was more a case of hey, why are you complaining? You got to meet a hot guy, didn’t you?

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

ARC Review: Knit, Purl, a Baby and a Girl by Hettie Bell


From the blurb:

Some people can’t wait to have babies. They’re ready for it—with their perfect lives and their pregnancy glow…

Poppy Adams doesn’t have a perfect life, and she wasn’t ready for the positive test. An unexpected baby—Poppy’s unexpected baby—won’t exactly have her family doing cartwheels. But she’s making the right choice.

Right?

Poppy’s totally got this. She just needs a little encouragement, and a knitting group is the perfect place to start. Baby blankets, booties, tiny little hats—small steps toward her new life. But she feels like she’s already dropped a stitch when she discovers the knitting group is led by the charismatic Rhiannon.

It’s not exactly a great time to meet the woman who might just be the love of her life. While the group easily shuffles around to make room for Poppy, it’s not so easy fitting her life and Rhiannon’s together. With the weeks counting down until her baby arrives, Poppy’s going to have to decide for herself what truly makes a family.


Heather's rating: 

 



I don't read a ton of WLW or F/F romance, but when I saw that Hettie Bell was coming out with a contemporary romance, I knew I had to try it.

I've been reading Hettie Bell for many years under a different pen name, and I was thrilled to read her again here. She took her writing talent and really made a great story for her readers to enjoy.

I loved, loved, loved having a full-figured female MC who doesn't have perfect, effortlessly cool sex all the time. Sex is super awkward, especially with someone knew, and I found those scenes to be extremely charming. Hettie Bell struck just the right notes there. I will say, however, that I could have used more heat in this book. Up those sex scenes for next time, pretty please!

Release Blitz: Captivated by A.C. Thomas

Title: Captivated

Series: The Verge, Book Two

Author: A.C. Thomas

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/26/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 73400

Genre: Science Fiction, LGBTQIA+, sci-fi, gay, nerd/linguist, space pirate, space travel/road trip, abduction/captive, twins, interracial, class difference, tattoos, body mods, humorous, opposites attract, outrageous flirting, sexual banter, undergarments, ribbon play

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Description

Dr. Theophrastus Campbell leads a comfortable life, along with his twin brother, buried in academia. His unique gift for obscure languages goes unnoticed as he teaches University students to conjugate Latin. Everything in his world is just as it should be; restrained, understated, boring. He would give anything to break away. In all his daydreams of adventure, Theo never expected it to arrive in the form of an outrageously attractive Outlier covered in intriguing tattoos. And Theo never thought the price he might pay for adventure would be his own freedom.

Captain Park Jun-Seo leads a dangerous life, running a Crew of misfits through Restricted space as he desperately searches for the key to completing his parents’ work. Work that could mean the difference between life and death for countless others. In all of his frantic searching, Jun never expected to find the key in the form of a beautiful professor with more brilliance than good sense. And he never thought the price he might pay for knowledge would be his own heart.

Stoic Jun and irrepressible Theo must work together to break the code before their time is up. Falling into bed together is effortless, but their growing connection wasn’t in the plan. Theo charms his way beneath Jun’s skin with every nonsensical move he makes. Jun must decide if he can make room in his harsh, goal-driven life for the unpredictable force of love. Theo begins their journey as a lighthearted adventure—until he cracks Jun’s tough facade to reveal the hero within. Theo must decide if he can risk his battered heart when Jun is risking everything.

In the lawless depths of space, can two captive hearts set each other free?

Excerpt

Captivated
A.C. Thomas © 2021
All Rights Reserved
Chapter One

Ding. Ding. Donk.

Theo held his index finger up at the uneven chime of the ancient bell over the door—yet another harried university student bustling into his office after hours. It was practically midnight, hardly the time to ask for an extension.

Honestly, students were the worst part of teaching. Theo didn’t know why he had taken the TA position in the first place.

Okay, yes, he did. But, to be fair, Professor Gladwell looked amazing in his spectacles and fitted waistcoats, and who could blame Theo for going a little glassy-eyed whenever they had private meetings?

Well, Professor Gladwell’s wife, for one, probably.

Theo finished his note and dropped his pen into the onyx holder on his desk, preparing to give the student his full attention.

Some of his attention.

Whatever was left over while Theo drifted off on thoughts of the strain Professor Gladwell’s buttons were under on a daily basis as they tried to contain all that athleticism. Those poor, poor buttons.

He lifted his head with the bored expectation of finding another skinny, pasty academic struggling to hold armfuls of paper with desperation written all over their ink-smudged face.

In other words, someone like Theo.

This person was holding a sheaf of papers, and there the resemblance ended to every expectation Theo had.

Perhaps it was time to expand his expectations.

“I’m looking for Dr. Campbell.” The stranger’s voice curled around Theo’s ears like smoke.

Monday, April 26, 2021

ARC Review: Inevitable by Briar Prescott


From the Blurb:
The three of us were never impossible. We were always inevitable.

When Drew meets Ezra, he doesn’t expect much. A one-night stand and a quick goodbye in the morning. That’s how these things usually go. Only there’s nothing usual about Ezra and the connection that forms between them.
When Ezra meets Drew, he doesn’t expect much. A distraction and parting as strangers after a night of meaningless fun. That’s how these things usually go. Only there’s nothing meaningless about Drew and the relentless spark between them that just refuses to disappear.
When Bas meets Ezra… things get complicated. As if being hopelessly in love with his best friend isn't painful enough. Throw in an unexpected friendship that develops with the one-time hookup of said best friend, and the results are messy at best.
But sometimes beautiful things emerge from messy and complicated beginnings, and where two isn't enough, three might be just perfect.



Ky's rating:




I don't usually read menage stories because I have some very particular standards about what the tropes and the relationships between the MCs should be like for it to work for me. But, every one in a while a blurb catches my interest and I decide to take a chance.

When I read the blurb for Inevitable, all those things were there, but, even so, this story was a surprise for me. From the first couple of chapters it pulled me in and I couldn't put the book down.

Drew, Bas and Ezra fitted together almost instantly, but they had a few issues to overcome before they could be together. So this isn't insta-love, extra points! It actually takes place in the span of about six months and I love it when the timeline is spread out in a book!

The fact that Bas was ace was a nice surprise and it made the story more emotional, as he was battling with himself about his importance in the relationship.

Release Blitz: Gretel on Her Own by Elna Holst

Title: Gretel on Her Own

Author: Elna Holst

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/26/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 23900

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, fairy tale, folklore, lesbian, witches, mental illness, confectioner, Germany, the Brothers Grimm

Add to Goodreads


Description

Once upon a time, a brother and sister were led away into the depths of the forest. It was only to protect them, their mother explained and the brother concurred; yet he insisted on pebbles, bread crumbs. He insisted on looking back for cats and pigeons and whatnots, brightened by the touch of the sun.

Twenty years later, Gretel Kindermann is on her own: her father has taken himself off to Dortmund, her mother is a fixture at the local mental healthcare institution, and her brother Hänsel, oh—

At the heart of the matter, like a thorny-rooted weed, is Frau Heckscher, the purveyor of all things sweet in the little village at the lip of the forest. And now, perhaps, also a niece that no one has heard of before, lately arrived from Vienna to wreak havoc on poor Gretel’s nerves and heart.

In Gretel on Her Own, Elna Holst offers a contemporary sapphic twist to your favourite Germanic fairy tale of homicidal arsonists and houses built out of baked goods, trickster witches, and parenting skills that leave a lot to be desired.

Excerpt

Gretel on Her Own
Elna Holst © 2021
All Rights Reserved

All her life, Gretel Kindermann had lived in the little village at the lip of the forest. In fact, as far back as anyone cared to remember—for there are always, for one reason or another, periods in the history of a place that no one can rightly recall—the Kindermanns had lived in the village. According to church records, a B. Kindermann, woodcutter, had been in residence sometime in the middle of the sixteenth century. Kindermanns were woven into the very warp and weft of village life, cropping up through the centuries, being christened, marrying, bearing children. Dying. Being born.

So, it was odd, unprecedented even, that on a raw, misty Sunday in early September, when a yellowing leaf here and there heralded the approach of autumn on the trees that lined an otherwise featureless residential street, Bernhard Kindermann was backing a rent-and-go moving van out of the driveway of no. 9, or, as it had been known to neighbours and friends for nigh on thirty years, quite simply ‘the Kindermanns’ place’.

Gretel, the grown daughter of this latest incarnation of a Kindermann paterfamilias, untied her mother’s apron and hung it over her arm, shivering in the nippy air as she walked down the drive to see her father off. Bernhard rolled down the window on the driver’s side and peered out at her, his gaze inscrutable. He picked at his gingerbread-coloured moustache.

“Do you have enough fuel to see you all the way to Dortmund?” asked Gretel, for something to say. She was in a perfect double bind, her hands clasped under the fold of the apron, pressing it to her: she wanted the moment to be over, and she wanted to prolong it indefinitely. They could not be said to have said all there was to say. Nor would they.

Bernhard glanced at the gauge to his left and shook his head. He shrugged his burly shoulders—those shoulders that had carried her through her childhood, it seemed to Gretel now as she was on the point of losing them.

“I’ll need a few breaks along the way.”

Gretel cleared her throat, dipped her head. She came up with nothing. “Well, call me when you get there.”

Her father looked as if something was on the tip of his tongue; but then he appeared to change his mind. He sat back in his seat and began to roll up the window.

“Ich liebe dich, Papi. Gute Fahrt!”

In embarrassment, Gretel heard the strain in her voice, the tear-laced squeakiness of it. She hadn’t called the man in the vehicle in front of her Papi in years. And she certainly was not in the habit of telling him she loved him. It was true—of course it was—but it generally wasn’t a sentiment they put into words.

Bernhard moved his work-worn hand in a gesture somewhere between a wave and the sign of the cross.

“Goodbye, Gretelchen,” he said. Or she thought that was what he said. He had started the engine and was turning the steering wheel to go.

*

“So he’s off then? Good riddance to him. Off to chase that whore of his across the country, I dare say. All I’ll say is he better not come crawling back when she leaves him!” Ursula Kindermann held out her hand, impatient for another smoke. Gretel grabbed the half-empty pack from the outdoor table.

“You smoke too much,” she muttered, endeavouring to distract her mother from the topic of Bernhard. As far as she knew, there was no ‘whore’ in the picture.

“So do you!” Ursula cackled, a canny glint in her eye. Like a rebellious child, she snatched the cigarettes out of her daughter’s grip.

Gretel smiled, despite herself. It was in moments like these, fleeting episodes of astute observation, brief but witty repartees, tiny sucrose crystals of clarity, that she thought—she dreamt—she feared: We got it wrong. This woman’s mind might be salvaged. There’s nothing much the matter with her at all.

Ursula studied her through a haze of smoke. She raised her hand to wave it away and ended up teasing her peroxide curls. “It’s your brother I’m worried about,” she huffed, half ingesting her cigarette with each greedy drag. “He’s gone to the wolves.”

“What wolves?” Gretel asked, placing the pack back on the table beside her, out of her mother’s immediate reach.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Release Blitz: The Called by MD Neu

Title: The Called

Series: The Calling, Book Two

Author: M.D. Neu

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/19/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 114300

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, Vampires, witches, immortality, paranormal, werewolves, royalty, psychic ability, magic, established couple

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Description

The world is changing quickly for Chris now that he’s part of the Immortal Community. With the events of his past finally behind him, he’s still having visions and true magic is gradually taking hold in the world. Chris is still new and has no real standing in the Immortal Community, but he is learning that nothing is what he thought.

Old enemies must work together and longtime friends may not be trustworthy. With Juliet, Amanda, and Kirtus by his side, they have to prevent the immortal and witch community from being exposed.

New friendships are made, and longtime alliances are called into question. How will The Called defeat these latest threats, and what does it mean for the world?

Excerpt

The Called
M.D. Neu © 2021
All Rights Reserved

The question of death returned to me as I reflected on recent events. You die and your body no longer functions. I was wrong. You die and your soul leaves, and what’s left turns to dust. That wasn’t the case.

Everything I thought was no longer my reality.

I sat with a glass of brandy between my hands, focusing on the fire in Juliet’s office. The oranges, reds, and yellows of the flames danced around the logs, releasing a warmth that barely penetrated my worried exterior. The crackling of the fire tickled my ears as the scent of burning pine lingered in and out of my consciousness. A knot tugged the back of my neck. What was this new vision? Worse yet, what did it have to do with me? Not to mention Juliet, Kirtus, Gregor, and the other Immortals.

“Chris.” Juliet’s gentle voice pulled me from my fog of apprehension.

How long had I been like this? A minute? A day? A year? I wasn’t sure. I turned from the fire. Kirtus sat next to me on the sofa, his coat removed, replaced by an air of worry. His red hair, green and gray eyes typically so intoxicating, brought me no joy. Gregor’s tall solid frame blocked one of Juliet’s bookcases, his rugged face a shadow of concern. All of Juliet’s tomes and books, several of them personal journals of her long life, sat there taunting me. Would they be able to unravel this new vision? This new mystery? They were next to no help with the witches, or my father. The monster. I sipped my brandy, hoping it would take the chill from my soul.

I caught Juliet out of the corner of my eye waiting for me to speak. She was patient as always. She sat with her ivory pant-clad leg crossed and a glass of red in her hand, but deep in her stunning eyes there was unease. Despite her apprehension in moments like this, she appeared so young. Nevertheless, behind that façade of youth was the power of an Immortal who had been around for 1650 years. No one should ever underestimate her.

My eyes narrowed on the red, and my stomach flipped, not from hunger or desire but from this new burden I was meant to carry.

“Would you like a glass?” she offered. Her dark blonde hair, normally combed out, was in a ponytail, making her appear all the younger. I caught a whiff of vanilla and roses, her signature scent. I inhaled deeper, hoping it would soothe me.

I shook my head.

“I realize it’s difficult, but please can you tell us the vision again.” Juliet’s voice was a whisper, but the request rang in my head. How many times would I have to retell this story?

Saturday, April 24, 2021

Release Blitz: The Vampire's Witch by Damian Serbu


Title: The Vampire's Witch

Series: The Realm of the Vampire Council

Author: Damian Serbu

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: 04/19/2021

Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex

Pairing: M/NB

Length: 98500

Genre: Pararnormal, LGBTQIA+, Established couples, vampires, witches, college, reunited, grief, men with pets, dark, ghost, immortal, magic

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Description

The Vampire’s Witch welcomes readers back to the world of vampires, witches, and magic.

Jaret Bachmann’s life spins out of control after a handsome stranger saves him from an attack along the bike path on Lakeshore Drive. His estranged high school sweetheart stalks him, the enraged ghost of his ancestor destroys his family, and his bike path savior-cum-lover abandons him after learning Jaret is a powerful witch.

A horrific family tragedy sends Jaret into deep depression. Struggling to find his way afterward, Jaret searches for comfort in the unlikely friendship of a secret vampire community.

Over time, Jaret’s friendship with the vampires strengthens and he forges a new family connection with Xavier, Thomas, and Catherine. But he and Anthony are estranged, and though their souls are entwined, their hearts are another matter.

Xavier, Thomas, Anthony, and Catherine return in this, the third book in The Realm of the Vampire Council series and a sequel to The Bachmann Family Secret.

Excerpt

The Vampire’s Witch
Damian Serbu © 2021
All Rights Reserved

19 April 2010

Chicago, Illinois

Even after three years, living in a big city still creeped Jaret Bachmann out. He hated his fear of dark corners and alleys, not to mention his concern about getting beat up as a gay guy. Straight guys, no matter how peaceful they looked, worried him. In broad daylight, he felt more secure as long as he watched where he went, kept his head up, and stayed in populated areas. And he loved living in the Rogers Park neighborhood. Being in a metropolitan area was so much better for him than small town Colorado. Still, he only had a little light available before the sun went down tonight.

He giggled at himself to release some tension. His mind went to some weird place about the sun setting, like a vampire might jump out and attack him. As if.

Heading out to meet his best friend, Brady, Jaret relaxed once he got to the path along Lake Michigan. He passed several joggers, almost got hit by a bike, and meandered his way south. He contemplated taking the “L” but had plenty of time to walk. The spring weather warmed up Chicago, still a comfortable seventy degrees, even as the sun slowly descended in the west. The weather was perfect. Besides, he could always use the exercise.

Jaret felt safer and got his iPod out to search for music. He loved Lady Gaga; why not a little monster love? Or Train’s latest CD rocked. Still, he paused at “Relax” and grinned. That song totally kicked ass. Totally. And, he hadn’t listened to much of his favorite singer’s first album in a long time. If he loved Lady Gaga, then words couldn’t describe his adoration for Mika.

He popped in his earbuds and picked up his pace. He even danced a little, despite being in public and seeing the few passersby glancing his way as if he’d gone insane.

The path grew darker with the setting sun and the trees lining both sides of the trail. This dance mix steeled Jaret’s nerves. He wiggled his butt, jumped to the side, and smiled at a little old lady and her dog as they walked by.

A few yards later, he was alone. He fretted a little but cranked the music to ignore the world around him. To comfort himself, he reached into his pocket and rubbed the ruby necklace he always brought along for protection. All the Bachmann heirloom jewels empowered his witchcraft and kept him safe, and he loved the beautiful rubies most of all. In a pinch, he could always use his magic to ward anyone off. He’d never had to use his ability to defend himself, except from ghosts, but knew he could if needed. Being a witch had its advantages.

Jaret almost missed the group of four guys sitting off to the side, watching the lake or something. He slowed when he glimpsed a bright-red shirt and thought of his boyfriend, Steve. He’d seen Steve earlier in the day, wearing this totally hot red T-shirt that clung to his chest and showed off his gorgeous biceps. He couldn’t remember the shirt exactly, though he thought it had a University of Nebraska logo on the front.

Jaret lurched to a stop when he bumped into someone. “Uh, oh. Sorry. I didn’t see you.” He glanced up to see another guy with a pretty big belly, yet tons of muscle, not to mention a wicked scowl.

The guy yanked out Jaret’s earbuds and glared down at him. “Fuckin’ fairy. Watch where you’re walkin’.”

Friday, April 23, 2021

Blogtour: The Quiet House by Lily Morton


The Quiet House Banner

The Quiet House

by Lily Morton

Black and Blue, Book 2

TheQuietHouse-f900-webLevi Black has mostly recovered from the events of a year ago. The only lingering effects are that he’s much more well known in York than he’d like to be, and he’s a lot more cautious about walking around his house naked. However, those events brought him the capricious and fascinating Blue, so he’s not complaining. On the contrary, he’s happy, in love, and looking forward to Blue finally moving in with him. And if sometimes he wonders what Blue sees in a boring cartoonist, he keeps that to himself.

Blue Billings is finally ready to throw off the memories of his past and move in with the person who means the most in the world to him. His psychic abilities have grown in the last year to his mentor Tom's consternation, but Blue is determined to look on the bright side. He’s also focused on ignoring all the warning signs that he’s received lately.

However, even deeply buried secrets have a way of rising to the surface. And when a surprise from Blue’s past turns up and draws them away to a lonely house on the Yorkshire moors, Levi and Blue must fight for their survival once again.

From bestselling author, Lily Morton, comes the second book in the Black and Blue series. The books should be read in order.

Universal Link

Goodreads

TheQuietHouse-Teaser1

Excerpt:

It’s ten in the morning before I remember the old man from last night. I’m unpacking a new box of books, sitting cross-legged on the floor in the book shop surrounded by stacks of books and bubble wrap, while Tom sits at the counter clutching his ever-present cup of tea with his face screwed up into grumpy lines.

“I’m just saying that you’re opening yourself up too much, Blue.”

“That’s never been a complaint before,” I say lightly, grinning up at him as he rolls his eyes.

“Lovely as this glimpse is into your private affairs, I must move you on.”

“Private affairs? I’m not Prince Charles.”

Release Blitz: Jared by RJ Scott and Meredith Russell


Please welcome RJ Scott and Meredith Russell on the release day for

Jared 

Boyfriend For Hire #4


Jared’s world is turned upside down after Luka hands over his pocket money 

to hire him as a friend for his lonely, widowed dad.

Jared is good at his job, but his soft heart means that he often finds himself in the weirdest of situations. A kind-of-threesome, a disappearing swan, and a destroyed hotel room are just the tip of the iceberg, but he is a popular boyfriend-for-hire and always in demand. He dreams of working as a family psychologist one day, and as his work with Bryant & Waites is funding his studies, the last thing he wants is to lose his job. 

At a make-or-break meeting, Jared vows to focus on being strictly professional. Still, almost immediately, he meets Luka sitting on the office steps with pocket money in hand and with a sadness that melts Jared’s resolve. Luka explains that his mom passed away some years ago, and his hardworking father needs a friend. Jared has no intention of taking Luka’s pocket money, but he wants to make Luka smile again, and if being hired as a friend for Luka’s widowed dad is what it takes, then he’s all in.

Being a single dad to eleven-year-old Luka is the best thing in Nate’s world, but add running a bar with long hours, and his work-life balance is screwed. There’s certainly no time for relationships, and even though Luka worries about his dad’s love life daily, romance is the last thing on Nate’s agenda. Owning Rhea’s Bar and keeping his head above water is second only to his love for Luka. His entire world consists of his son and the bar until Jared stumbles into his life. Even though Nate won’t admit it, he’s lonely, and Jared is the first friend he’s made in a very long time. Could their friendship become something more?

Excerpt:

“I didn’t get fired,” Jared announced with pride, but Rowan just huffed and didn’t move from the door. “What’s up?”

“There’s a kid on our steps,” Rowan muttered, “and he said his dad was coming but that was ten minutes ago and no sign of the dad.” He shrugged into his coat. “I’m going to get him in and call the cops—a kid that age shouldn’t be on his own. Poor boy is all upset about his dad, and something about his mom. He came in trying to hire a boyfriend.”

“For real?”

 “This is ridiculous, Gideon said to wait for the dad, but it’s not sitting right with me. I’ve tried to bring him inside, but the last time I asked he refused to move. I’m going to sit there with him.”

“You want me to talk to him?” Jared didn’t know where that came from, but he could see Rowan was upset and worried, and Jared had slipped easily into his super-helpful mode without even realizing.

“You’re sure?”

“I’m on it.”

“Good luck, shout if you need me.”

Jared zipped his coat and headed out.

Three steps down and he drew level with the kid “Hey,” he murmured so as not to scare him.

The boy glanced up at him, around ten or so, dark hair sticking out from a beanie, wearing a thick green coat, jeans, and Nikes. He hugged a dark notebook and was on the verge of tears.

My kryptonite.

The boy gave him a tremulous smile. “Hi.”

“What ya doin’ buddy?”

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Blogtour: How to Nail a Stud by Katharine Sadler


How to Nail a Stud

by Katharine Sadler

Publication date: April 16th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance


Shel is tired of dating men who don’t appreciate her rock and roll wardrobe or her tomboy tendencies. She’s swearing off dating, and she is not going to give another moment’s thought to the hot single dad next door. She is not going to waste a single moment dwelling on his muscles or his eyes or the way he plays with his adorable six-year-old daughter.

Max has made mistakes, he’s been a terrible father, and he has no problem spending the rest of his life atoning by being the best, most devoted parent he can possibly be. A devoted father does not have wicked thoughts about his sexy neighbor, and he most certainly does not consider an actual relationship.

Except, he can’t stop thinking about Shel, and he’s not sure what to do about it.


Goodreads / Amazon


Excerpt:

"Hi, Max." She should smile and say something charming and witty, put them both at ease, but she just stared at him, knocked brain dead by the sight of his bare feet, worn jeans, and fitted t-shirt, dark scruff highlighting his — Her eyes dropped back to his t-shirt, sure her brain had misfired. No, she'd seen exactly what she'd thought she'd seen.

"Wouldn't have taken you for a fan of Ella Marie." The female pop star’s psychedelic logo stretched across his pecs. 

He looked down at his shirt and winced. By the time he'd looked back up though, a cocky smile was firmly in place. "My sister got it for me as a joke. It's a good shirt."

"Right," she said, her discomfort forgotten now that the subject had changed to music. "You're definitely too manly to be a fan of her album, The Perfect Ones."

"The Rejected Ones," he said, smugly, before he realized his mistake and his eyes went wide.

She swung her arm up to point at him. "Ha! Only a fan would know that." Too late she remembered she still held a bag of poop. She dropped her arm back down by her side. 

He recovered almost immediately and shrugged. "So, I like Ella Marie. I'm surprised you'd be so narrow-minded as to stereotype her fans."

Shel's cheeks heated. "It's not stereotyping. It's a game I play, trying to guess what music people love based on their personalities. Not that I know your personality, but you drive a big truck and you've got all the trappings of toxic masculinity. I hadn't pegged you as a fan of pop music, or really anything that's not filled with rage on some level." And there she went, sounding weird again.

"Toxic masculinity?" he said, brows high. "Sounds like stereotyping to me."

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Blogtour: Rogue Wave by Isabel Jolie


Rogue Wave

by Isabel Jolie

(Haven Island, #1)
Publication date: April 13th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

Sometimes opposites don’t just attract — they collide 
with all the violent passion of a rogue wave.


Tate

I sailed every ocean, saw the worst that humanity had to offer, and accomplished… nothing.

The world is just as screwed up now as it was when I set out to save it. The futility of it all left me disillusioned. Numb.

Then an idealistic beauty burst into my world, shining a light into all the dark corners of my soul.

The last thing she needs is a summer romance with a burned-out wreck like me.

I shouldn’t want her.

But I do…

Luna
When I look at Tate, I see a legend. He’s done it all, seen it all — lived my dream.

Too bad he doesn’t see what I see.

He thinks he’s all wrong for me. Too old.

But age is just a number. In our souls, where we’re both one with the sea, we’re the same.

He says I shouldn’t want him.

But I do…

They clash in every sexy, dangerous way imaginable. But is attraction — and maybe even love — enough to overcome all that stands between them? Or will their happily ever after remain elusive?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Excerpt:

In the morning, I woke as the sun seeped into the bedroom. Luna’s long, tangled hair fanned out across the bed, as did her arms and legs. Somehow, the girl laid claim to the entire bed. I took up my one portion on the right side. Her head lay below the crook of my arm, one arm draped over my stomach. Her naked body flailed out wildly, unencumbered and unashamed.

My college self would have fallen madly in love with her. Not necessarily because she was the epitome of a free spirit, because there were plenty of those in college. Not even because we shared a major and the same passions and causes. The marine biology department was a niche, but not that niche. And we were all environmentalists. All of us were idealists, yet to be burned by life’s reality. But no, Luna had that heart of gold that Neil Young endlessly searched for. An idealistic dreamer, yes, but an energy and a zest for life and a willingness to risk and go for what she wanted that appealed to me…or back then, when I was younger, I would have been a shark to blood. 

At thirty-five, oddly enough, I still couldn’t stay away from her. At twenty-two, I knew what I wanted from life. I wanted to make a difference in the world. As a teacher, she made a difference in our community, in individual lives. I thought I could be like her, only do more. I thought I could take up a cause and right wrongs. 

At thirty-five, I knew nothing. I lay in bed with Luna, clueless. She didn’t seem to have any expectations, not for us. I had forgotten how free it felt to be twenty-two. Your entire life in front of you. Why would she be worried about tomorrow? Or where the relationship was going? She just wanted experience. She had a steadfast optimism that everything would work out, that she’d achieve her dreams. At her age, I had been the same. 

I should have been okay with that. Happy to have this gorgeous young woman sprawled out naked in my bed, for me to do as I pleased. But my older brain worked differently. Now that I’d allowed myself a taste, I didn’t want to let her go. But go, she would. And my thoughts circled reality nonstop.

Blogtour: The Hate Project by Kris Ripper

 


Please welcome Kris Ripper with

The Hate Project

The Love Study #2

a Carina Adores title


This arrangement is either exactly what they need--or a total disaster


Oscar is a grouch.


That’s a well-established fact among his tight-knit friend group, and they love him anyway.


Jack is an ass.

Jack, who’s always ready with a sly insult, who can’t have a conversation without arguing, and who Oscar may or may not have hooked up with on a strict no-commitment, one-time-only basis. Even if it was extremely hot.


Together, they’re a bickering, combative mess.


When Oscar is fired (answering phones is not for the anxiety-ridden), he somehow ends up working for Jack. Maybe while cleaning out Jack’s grandmother’s house they can stop fighting long enough to turn a one-night stand into a frenemies-with-benefits situation.


The house is an archaeological dig of love and dysfunction, and while Oscar thought he was prepared, he wasn’t. It’s impossible to delve so deeply into someone’s past without coming to understand them at least a little, but Oscar has boundaries for a reason—even if sometimes Jack makes him want to break them all down.


After all, hating Jack is less of a risk than loving him…


Excerpt:

I’d never had friends until college. And even then, I wouldn’t have had friends except that Ronnie and I were freshman year roommates (before she transitioned, obviously), and she was friends with Dec and Mase and Mia, and they came around a lot and just sort of looped me in. It happened slowly over that first year and suddenly I had…friends.

What’s that thing with snake poison, where you take it in small doses every day to grow your immunity to it? That’s what happened with the Motherfuckers. Eventually I built up a tolerance to their, like, happiness and friendliness and optimism. Now my brain just recognizes them as a part of me. The same thing probably happened to them: eventually they built up a tolerance to my moods and freak-outs.

The most important thing you need to know about my friends is that they’re all way better people than I am. You can tell because they threw me a pity party. There’s the aforementioned Declan and Sidney, who got together during the commission of a video series called The Love Study on Sidney’s YouTube channel. Then there’s Mia and Ronnie, disgustingly married to each other. And the last of the official Motherfuckers is Mason, who once tried to get married (to Dec) and was left at the altar (by Dec). Which was awkward for a while, but now it’s fine. Though of all of us Mase is the one who wants a white picket fence and 2.5 kids.

Sounds fucking awful to me, but to each his own, I don’t judge, whatever floats your life raft, et cetera.

Since I didn’t want to get my impotent rage-slash-panic germs on anyone, I took up a seat in the corner and didn’t leave it except to use the bathroom and acquire victuals. By which I mean vegan, gluten-free, cauliflower-based pizza that turned out to be delicious. It used to be that my friends had an informal rotation for who’d sit with me, trading off for the duration of the social event, but that was before Jack. Jack was new to the group. Dec had collected him from work, and for reasons I didn’t understand (I would have suspected sexual favors if I didn’t know better), he kept mostly showing up to drinks with the Motherfuckers. And was now also on the invite list for ad hoc gatherings to celebrate catastrophic job loss.

Jack and I had no other setting with each other than arguing. Since neither of us was all that nice (and everyone else in the Motherfuckers was very nice), it worked out. He thinks he knows everything, I definitely know everything, and even though for the most part we would arrive at the same point from different angles, we spent most of our fights poking at each other’s angles to prove they were incorrect.

I probably shouldn’t have been surprised when it turned out bickering was actually foreplay.

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