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New Release ~ Beautiful Thunder by Louise Lyons

I am delighted friend and fellow author, Louise Lyons, could stop by on her blog tour for her latest release, Beautiful Thunder.

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Can romance and rock ‘n’ roll dreams survive with a storm raging around them?

Alex Randall has always wanted to be a rock singer. When he answers an ad from a local band, his dream finally comes true. He loves the stage, and the group’s fans love him. Things couldn’t be better, except for the attraction he develops for the band’s guitarist, Lindsey. Alex is surprised and initially worried, since he only had one brief flirtation with a boy in his teens. But even though he and Lindsey become close and start seeing each other, Alex fears commitment, and Lindsey worries that Alex might only be experimenting.

When Lindsey’s ex contacts him following a health scare, fear and anger drives a wedge between Alex and Lindsey, which causes rifts within the band. Alex and Lindsey’s relationship is still new and fragile, and with Alex unwittingly blaming Lindsey for their problems, it becomes a true challenge for them to weather the storm.

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The car pulled up outside the address at exactly eight thirty. The house itself was in darkness, but I could see a glow around the edge of the garage doors. I walked up the drive and knocked on the steel. The door rolled up slowly, making a screeching sound that told me it was on its way out. The man who came into view was about my height, with shoulder-length brown hair and blue eyes. Stubble dusted his jawline, and his Bon Jovi T-shirt, faded jeans, and running shoes made me smile. No makeup or spandex in sight. Maybe they wouldn’t be too glam, after all.

“Hey, I’m Alex Randall. I talked to Mark on the phone earlier?”

“I’m Mark Short. Thanks for coming.” The man stuck his hand out, and we shook, before he stepped back, gesturing me to step inside.

A rug covered most of the concrete floor and a drum kit was set up at the back of the garage. A couple of guitars leaned against the wall, and several amps stood around, with a tangle of cables trailing across the floor. Two other guys sat on a pair of shabby dining chairs next to the drum kit. One rose and came toward me, a grin a mile wide on his face.

“Ricky Wade. I play bass. Mark says we saved the best ’til last. Was he right?”

“I hope so!” I was pleasantly surprised that the drummer had apparently been singing my praises after only a few bars over the phone. I hoped it was a good omen.

The third member of the band remained seated, half turned away and ignoring us. Long blond hair hid his face, and I took in an outfit similar to those the others wore—jeans and a long-sleeved T-shirt with Kiss tour dates on the back.

“Linz, you gonna come and say hi?” Mark asked.

 Linz? Lindsey? The guitarist’s a girl?

The blond turned a little more toward me but didn’t look up. “Hi.” The single syllable was uttered softly, in a surprisingly deep voice. I raised my eyebrows. Lindsey’s a bloke?

“Hell, Lindsey, could you be a bit more friendly?” Ricky stepped toward the blond and gave his shoulder a push.

“Fuck off, Ricky.” Lindsey rose to his feet and lifted his guitar strap over his head. He tossed his hair back from his face and ran a hand through it, then stared at me in silence, hazel eyes drifting from my face, down over my body, and back up. I stared back. His smooth skin showed no sign of stubble, and his high cheekbones and straight nose gave his face an attractive, symmetrical look. He narrowed his eyes, drawing attention to his long lashes, and caught his lower lip between his teeth.

“Hi, Lindsey,” I said.

“You’re… Alex, right?” Lindsey’s Adam’s apple bobbed as he spoke, and I wondered why I noticed. Maybe because I felt unnerved by his silent appraisal.

“Yeah.”

“Are you any good?”

“I hope so.” I smiled, but he didn’t return it.

“Dude, let’s get on with it, shall we? I can’t be late tonight. I promised Lauren,” Ricky interrupted.

Mark snickered. “You haven’t even got a ring on her finger yet and you’re under her thumb.”

“Go to hell, Shorty. Just because you can’t get a woman for love nor money.”

“I wouldn’t want one if she was gonna control me like Lauren does you,” Mark said with a grimace.

Lindsey snorted. He raised a hand to tuck his hair behind his ear, revealing three rings through the lobe and a stud in the cartilage, just beneath the tip. I looked at Mark instead. He was the one who’d already heard me, after all.

“What do you want me to sing?”

“You didn’t ask him to prepare anything?” Ricky asked, frowning. “What’s wrong with you, man?”

“Lindsey was supposed to be arranging all this shit,” Mark grumbled. “I forgot, okay?”

Ricky grumbled and shot an irritated look at Lindsey. “We’ll have to wing it. What have you got, Alex?”

“Well, I sang a few bars of ‘Rattlesnake Shake’ on the phone earlier. I could do that. Or ‘Kickstart My Heart.’” Maybe they wouldn’t want Mötley Crüe. “Kiss, ‘Crazy Crazy Nights?’”

“Yeah, we’ll do that. It’s one of the covers we play sometimes,” Ricky said.

“How long have you been together?” I asked, realizing I knew nothing about the band, not even their name, assuming they had one.

“A year,” Mark answered. “We’ve been playing some of the smaller clubs around town and some in Leicester, Mansfield, Grantham, and around there.”

“And you don’t have a singer?”

“We had one, but things didn’t work out. He quit last month,” Ricky explained. “Lindsey’s been filling in.”

Lindsey frowned and didn’t look at me. I wasn’t sure whether to speak directly to him or to Ricky. “He sings as well as playing guitar?”

“Needs must,” Lindsey answered. I turned to him again, but anything I might have said in response was drowned out by a squeal from his guitar, clearly a cue to move things forward. Mark went to the drum kit and sat down.

“Okay, let’s do this.” Ricky picked up a bass guitar and slung the strap over his shoulder. “You ready, Alex? Do you want a drink of water or something?”

“No, thanks, I’m good to go.” I went to the microphone stand in the middle of the compact area and checked the mic was switched on. Nerves kicked in, my pulse quickened, and sweat made it difficult to grip the mic. I needed to nail this or I’d be back to square one, reading the ads every week and finding nothing. I took a breath to calm myself.

The band started up, and I glanced around at the three guys. They sounded good together and looked the part. Mark, behind the drums, kept good time. Ricky stood to Mark’s left as I faced them, with his bass hanging low across his thighs. His blond hair, a few shades darker than Lindsey’s, fell into his eyes, and he threw his head back to toss it away. Lindsey stood the other side of the drum kit, eyes unfocused as he played. His fingers flew over the strings effortlessly and seemingly without thought. He stood with his feet planted apart, knees slightly bent. I flicked my hair back and stared at the microphone in front of me instead. I needed to concentrate or I’d fuck up and forget the lyrics, or worse, sing out of tune. Usually singing came naturally, but I was distracted, and I couldn’t work out why. Maybe because it was so important to me. Maybe because the musicians were waiting for me to prove I was what they wanted or otherwise.

I listened for my cue and launched into the first few bars of the song. Half closing my eyes, I lost myself in the music the way I usually did when I sang alone in my flat. I forgot three pairs of eyes and ears were focused on me, and I sang my heart out. When the last note died away, I opened my eyes and realized all three men were staring at me, Mark with his mouth hanging open.

“What?” I gritted my teeth. “Was it pitchy?”

“Fuck,” Mark said.

I knew my face fell. It was the first time I’d sung in front of people who knew anything about music, and I wondered if I’d spent the last few years wasting my time dreaming I might one day be a singer. Was I terrible, but too wrapped up in myself to realize?

“You’re fucking awesome, man!” Ricky blurted.

“Oh! Wow, thanks.” I relaxed and grinned at him. I looked at Mark, and he beamed back at me.

“I think we found our singer. Linz?”

I looked at Lindsey. His face didn’t betray anything. He avoided my eyes but nodded and unplugged his guitar.

Ricky put his bass into a guitar bag and slid the strap over his shoulder. “I gotta go. Lauren’s—”

“Gonna skin you if you’re late. We know,” Mark teased him. “See you tomorrow?”

“Yeah. Nice meeting you, Alex. See you soon, yeah?”

“Sure.” I nodded. I couldn’t believe it was that simple. Was I part of the band now?

“I have to go too.” Lindsey put his guitar into a case and propped it against one of the chairs while he pulled on a leather jacket. “See ya.” Then he was gone, and I was left there with Mark, feeling a little bemused.

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Amazon US / Amazon UK / ARe / Dreamspinner Press

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway here

Enter the giveaway for the chance to win an eBook of Beautiful Thunder, a $10 Amazon giftcard, and a set of bookmarks featuring Beautiful Thunder and Louise’s first novel, Conflicted, also with Dreamspinner Press. Winner will be drawn at the end of the tour on Saturday September 26th.

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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Review ~ Drama Queen: A Nicky and Noah Mystery by Joe Cosentino

 Drama Queen by Joe Cosentino

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Paperback/ebook: 194 pages

Publisher: Lethe Press (June 6, 2015)

Language: English

Cover Design: Ben Baldwin

ISBN-10: 1590214676

ISBN-13: 978-1590214671

Release date: June 6, 2015

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It could be curtains for college theatre professor Nicky Abbondanza. With dead bodies popping up all over campus, Nicky must use his drama skills to figure out who is playing the role of murderer before it is lights out for Nicky and his colleagues. Complicating matters is Nicky’s huge crush on Noah Oliver, a gorgeous assistant professor in his department, who may or may not be involved with a cocky graduate assistant…and is also the top suspect for the murders! You will be applauding and shouting Bravo for Joe Cosentino’s fast-paced, side-splittingly funny, edge-of-your-seat, delightfully entertaining novel. Curtain up!

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Amazon.com / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Charis Books

Audible UK

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4*

A light-hearted murder mystery and gay romance peppered with innuendo and a mix of corny and amusing asides. A well-written and enjoyable read that doesn’t take itself too seriously.

The audio version was an excellent production. Michael Gilboe’s voice and fast-paced narration suited the tongue-in-cheek story and made each of the many characters’ voices clearly distinguishable

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Joe Cosentino is the author of An Infatuation (Dreamspinner Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, and Jason Robards.

His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming novels are Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), A Shooting Star (Dreamspinner Press novella), A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press holiday novella), and Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery.

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Review ~ Stay With Me by Lily Adile Lamb

Stay With Me by Lily Adile Lamb

(Second Edition)

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GENRE: Contemporary M/M Romance
LENGTH: 96 pages
RELEASE DATE: JULY 2015
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It has been weeks since Curtis first saw the young waiter with the haunted eyes. No matter how often he went to the café to find the right opportunity to introduce himself, that moment simply did not come that quickly. 
Joseph was aware of the gentle giant who quietly came to have his lunch and then left day after day. Fearing his father’s wrath and under his ever watchful eyes, he made no moves nor overtures. Until one day when the other man approaches to him…

Hope can turn to love… interracial love.

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3*

Craig is the strong, protective bear of a man who falls for Joseph, a waiter in an Asian restaurant. This younger man has been abused physically and emotionally by his domineering father throughout his life, but with Craig’s love and support he manages to break free. Overall, it is a romantic story, with two men falling in love and finding happiness together.

I found some of the scenes and descriptions repetitive, plus there were a few inconsistencies and errors. I liked the premise of this story with the contrasting Western and Asian characters and that it was set in Australia. It had great potential. English is Lily’s second language and due to various issues with the first edition, the book received a second edit. As a new author, Lily is learning the craft of storytelling and writing and will no doubt continue to improve with the support and advice from friends in the m/m community. Bravo for having the courage to attempt such a demanding first novel.

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AmazonAmazon UK

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Lily Adile is from Turkey. She works as a nurse by day and writes GLBT Romance by night.
She visits her family in Turkey regularly and travel to other countries like Singapore to visit the other family members.
She is blessed with three grown up children and a furry child, JJ Basil.
Lily Adile’s focus in her GLBT stories are on mere mortals because she believes that love is universal. Her mortal heroes are not rich, famous or incredibly handsome males with six pack bodies… rather they are just everyday men who work hard and deal with whatever that life throws at them.
Lily Adile is against bullying in any form. She is actively involved with Marriage Equality and stands by the same sex couples who want to have children. She believes that primarily, a child needs a loving, protective home.
Lily’s biggest regret is not studying English formally because writing stories, consequentially, takes much longer. She still gets there of course, thanks to her bevy of loyal and supportive beta readers, editors and wonderful friends.
Lily especially thanks her husband with all her heart for his endless patience, love and support. He is the love of her life and apple of her eye….he is the home she goes to at the end of a hard day at work.

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Review ~ A Casual Thing by Annabelle Jacobs

Title: A Casual Thing

Author: Annabelle Jacobs

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Length: Novel/138 pages

Genre: Contemporary gay erotic romance

Cover Artist: Anna Sikorska

Release Date: Wednesday July 1st

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Patrick Mason travels to Bristol to spend the summer with his brother, Ben. He’s cat sitting for the first two weeks while Ben goes on holiday. But Ben neglected to tell him he wouldn’t be doing it alone. Will Adams—Ben’s mate and Patrick’s long-time crush—is staying in Ben’s guest room while he waits to move into his new house after a breakup.

Against his better judgment, Patrick convinces Will that a little no-strings fun is just what they need. Patrick doesn’t want to get involved with a guy on the rebound, and Will isn’t interested in starting something serious with a student. But Patrick’s never been good at separating sex from feelings, and this time is no exception. As their weeks together draw to a close, they need to decide if they have something worth pursuing or if it’s really just a casual thing.

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 Patrick stopped, the words dying on his tongue as he noticed Ben wince.

“No.” He jumped off the bed, fisting his hands in his hair. “No fucking way. Ben, please tell me you’re not leaving me alone for two weeks with the guy I have a huge unrequited, and frankly, embarrassing, crush on?”

Ben shrugged. “He needed somewhere to stay. I’d sort of forgotten you had the hots for him.”

“How could you forget?” Patrick paced in front of the bed. “The last time I was here, I tried to climb into his lap and told him how hot he was. In front of his boyfriend.”

“Oh yeah.” Ben grinned, and Patrick stopped his pacing to punch him on the arm.

“It’s not funny.”

“It was hilarious.” Ben ducked out of the way when Patrick tried to punch him again. “Look, you were drunk. We all were. He doesn’t hold it against you.”

“But he won’t have forgotten.” The whole thing still made Patrick cringe every time he thought about it. He may have been drunk, but sadly not drunk enough to wipe the horrifying experience from his brain.

“Sit down. I think you might be overreacting just a tad.” Ben even used his finger and thumb to demonstrate how much he thought Patrick was overreacting before grabbing Patrick’s arm and yanking him back down onto the bed.

Patrick sighed. Fine. Maybe he was being overly dramatic, but come on. This was Will. Tall, dark, and handsome, and as easygoing as Ben. He oozed charm and made you want to curl up with him somewhere warm and never ever move. Well, that last part could just be Patrick.

Fuck.

He was going to make such an arse of himself. He flopped onto the bed and covered his face. “I hate you. You are the worst brother ever.”

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4.5*

From the start you know the decision to become ‘fuck-buddies’ will be more than ‘a casual thing’ between Patrick and Will while they live under the same roof. Events and tiredness conspire against them so they don’t actually spend much time in the bedroom. However this gives them time to get to know each other better and enjoy each other’s company. Throw in an ex-boyfriend, the slight age difference, the thought of a long distance relationship and one of them won’t admit he has deep feelings for the other. I was rooting for Patrick from the start and was even wishing he’d go on a date with Christian to make Will jealous to kick him up the butt.

Another hot, yet sweet story from Annabelle, sprinkled with humorous moments and a touch of angst thrown in for good measure. Very enjoyable. Well written and nicely paced as always, with realistic dialogue and a HFN ending.

***A copy of this book was provided by the author in return for an honest review***

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Dreamspinner Press / Amazon | All Romance | Amazon UK

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Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with her husband, three rowdy children, and two cats.

An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

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Beyond the Scars by Louise Lyons

New release from 

Louis Lyons

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After years of physical and mental abuse, Tommy Chadwick finally finds the strength to leave Colin, his tormentor. But Tommy soon finds that escaping his violent boyfriend was only the first step on his path to recovery.

Now he must overcome feelings of worthlessness in order to rebuild his battered self-esteem.

Tommy’s lack of self-confidence prevents him from going out… at first, but then has him ricocheting from one man to another, desperately trying to please them in his search for love and acceptance.

After being rejected on New Year’s Eve, and then beaten after leaving the gay bar, he agrees to accompany his best friend, Sarah, to a martial arts club. There Tommy meets Marcus, a strong older man, who at first becomes his friend, introducing Tommy to new interests, and later, tentatively asks him on a date.

Will Marcus be the man to help Tommy put his past behind him and fall in love for real?

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Shane rang me the next day after work, and my heart leapt when his name came up on my phone. I was in the lounge talking to Sarah, and I jogged upstairs to my room as I answered the call. I told myself he couldn’t wait until Saturday and wanted to speak to me in the meantime.

“Hi, Shane,” I said brightly.

“Hi.” He cleared his throat. “About Saturday….”

“Yes?” I wondered if the arrangement for the weekend was to change.

“It’s not gonna happen. I’m sorry.”

“Oh!” I felt the smile slip from my face, and I waited for him to elaborate.

“I’ve got a girlfriend. She’s been working in Spain for a few weeks, and I didn’t think she was coming back until next month, but she turned up this morning. Sorry.”

“Girlfriend?” I echoed, stunned.

“Yeah, I’m bi.”

“I thought you said you broke up with someone recently.”

“Well, she’s been away a long time, and we’d had a row when I said that.” I could picture him shrugging as he spoke.

“Oh. Okay. No problem.” I did my best to sound as if I didn’t care, while my heart plummeted into my shoes and tears prickled at the back of my eyes. When I ended the call, I reminded myself about everything that had been wrong in the very brief relationship. He didn’t talk, we had nothing in common, and he was inconsiderate in bed. But I’d liked him, far too much, and it fucking hurt that he had a girlfriend I didn’t know about. It hurt that he’d probably only been using me to fill in the time until she came back.

I curled up on my bed and wrapped my arms around myself. I wouldn’t let myself cry—I’d done far too much of that over Colin—but my throat hurt with the effort of not giving in to it, and my jaw ached from grinding my teeth. I lost track of time as I lay there feeling sorry for myself and wondering if I should have stayed with Gary after all.

“Tommy?” Sarah called softly from the doorway and waited.

“Yeah.” I rolled onto my back and forced a smile onto my face.

“What’s wrong, hun?” She closed the door and came to sit on the edge of my bed. My smile apparently hadn’t been very convincing, and I let it slip away.

“Nothing, I’m okay.”

“You were all excited when your phone rang, and now you look like a puppy that’s been kicked.”

“Thanks.” I grimaced and tried to laugh it off.

“Is it that bloke you’ve been seeing?”

“Shane. I’m not seeing him anymore. He’s got a girlfriend,” I blurted out. My eyes smarted again, and I blinked.

“I’m sorry.” Sarah rested her hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “But you’d only seen him a couple of times, hadn’t you?”

“Yeah, well, I’m a prick. We didn’t even have much in common. Less than me and Gary. But somehow I suppose I….” I sniffed miserably and sat up. “I really liked him.”

“Oh, Tommy.” Sarah slid her arms around me to give me a cuddle, and I sagged against her. I felt pathetic. I couldn’t say I was heartbroken over someone I’d had sex with twice, but I felt the sharp pain of rejection all over again, and the fragile confidence I’d built up since I left Colin began to crumble. Shane slipped from my mind, and I thought of a situation I’d been in with Colin more times than I could count.

“Get your shit packed and get out of here, Tommy.” Colin sneered at me from the couch. “You’re a pathetic waste of space and I’m sick of the sight of you.”

“You seriously want me to leave? Who’s going to pay the bills, then?” I asked.

“I’ll have no trouble getting a new flat mate. I don’t know why I haven’t done this sooner. There are plenty of cute boys out there. I don’t know why I stuck with the ugly little slut you are for so long.”

“Fine. I’ll go.” I turned away from him as hot tears spilled down my cheeks. He didn’t want me, didn’t care about me. I felt lost and crushed and relieved all at the same time. Maybe this time he’d really let me go.

I went into the bedroom and found my rucksack. I began packing my clothes first, while I sobbed and snuffled, and repeatedly wiped my eyes and nose on my sleeves. It was just after our first anniversary. He’d given me the ring and told me how much he loved me, how special I was to him, and how things would be perfect between us from now on. I’d almost forgotten all the times he’d hurt me, and even though I didn’t like the ring, I’d been delighted to receive it. It made me believe he really did love me. The next couple of days had been perfect—until now. I could barely remember what had started it—something to do with him not liking my suggestion we go out somewhere. We spent our whole lives cooped up in the flat except for me going to work and him going fishing with Gary. I’d thought we could do something nice together, but he could only see that I wanted to get out so I could look at other men or get attention from them.

I crammed the last few items into my rucksack and set it aside. I looked up to find Colin standing in the doorway, watching me.

“I’m sorry, babe,” he said. “I didn’t mean any of it. You know how jealous I get. I love you so much, and I want to keep you all to myself.”

“So why did you tell me to leave?” I said in a small voice.

“I wasn’t thinking straight. I don’t want you to leave. I never want you to leave.” He came to me and took my hands. He stroked his thumb over the ring I wore. “This means we’re together forever. I’m never gonna let you go, Tommy. I promise.” He began kissing my face all over, tasting my tears. “Forgive me. Come on. You know I love you.”

The day had ended with him fucking me on the floor from behind, so hard he’d almost smashed my head into the wall. I’d been so sore afterward, I could barely sit down without yelping.

“Tommy, are you sure this is just about Shane?” Sarah was stroking my hair, and I realized I’d wept all over her blouse and left a wet patch on her shoulder. I pulled away and rubbed my hands over my face.

“Sorry. Uh… yeah, I’m just being stupid. I thought things were going well. Clearly I was wrong.”

“Are you sure that’s all? You seem so upset.”

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“You know, I don’t get why you broke up with Gary. He seemed really nice.” Sarah frowned in puzzlement. “He treated you well, didn’t he?”

“Yes, but we had nothing in common. We never did anything except… never mind.” I laughed and felt my face heat up. “I’m fine, really.”

I was fine. I moped for two days and then went out to La Rues again. I met Paul, whom I dated for two weeks. He was ginger and freckled, and I wasn’t really attracted to him, but he was keen on me and he made me feel better. My confidence rose again, and I forgot about Shane. I felt good and I began to feel I could get anyone I wanted.

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Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

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Paint the Sky

Paint the Sky is now available via PayHip

for those who prefer to use PayPal or don’t have access to Amazon or ARe.

Paint the Sky E-Book Cover

View and Buy Here

Genre: M/M, Contemporary Romance and Erotica

Length: 65,000 Words

Release Date: August 30, 2014

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A love of art…

A mutual interest in art draws two shy university students together. Ben admires Vinnie’s painting of the university building, so Vinnie invites him to an exhibition of his artwork. From a wealthy family, Ben purchases some of Vinnie’s art and arranges for the artist to personally hang the paintings in his apartment.

Starry, starry night…

Ben commissions Vinnie to paint his portrait, in order to spend more time with the artist. On the night of the sitting, Vinnie fingerpaints the starry night on Ben’s chest… and they kiss. They begin a relationship beneath the night sky, God’s own canvas.

But every relationship has its ups and downs and so it is with theirs. When Ben thinks Vinnie spends too much time with a fellow artist, his jealousy drives a wedge between them and forces Vinnie into the very thing Ben dreads.

Hold tight to your dreams…

Ben and Vinnie will have to walk through fire before they can find one another again. But if they believe, and if they keep their faith in the night sky and each other, just maybe they can make their dreams of love come true.

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Vinnie led me across the room, pulling me by the shirt. “Lie back on the sofa for me and I’ll paint you.”

As if in a dream, I settled my head against one arm of the sofa, my legs dangling over the other end, scarcely breathing now. Vinnie knelt on the floor beside me with an open pot of paint in his hand.

Teasingly, he dipped his index finger into the dark blue paint as if it were cream he would lick off. His finger connected with my skin and he made short strokes across my chest, the coldness of the paint making me shiver.

Mesmerised by the closeness of his beautiful face, the view of the night sky through the window, and the picture forming upon my chest, I watched as dab after dab and stroke after stroke he built up a mix of shades, until a dark night sky with the moon and stars were there to be seen—a masterpiece, drying on the warmth of my blazing skin, a transient thing of beauty. His fingers skimmed my skin causing gooseflesh to ripple in waves down my arms and thighs. My nipples pebbled in response to his touch.

And when he was done, his lips met mine in a languid kiss; how our first kiss should have been—sweet, innocent, and full of promise. He pulled away, smiling down at me.

This was the beginning of something special.

Paint the Sky Facebook Cover Art copy

Review ~ Back in the Saddle by J.R. Barten

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Gregory McKnight is not lucky in love. In fact, he feels like a downright failure, having had two partners leave him for someone else. So, instead of trying another relationship, Gregory focuses on what he does do well: run a business and raise his daughter, Kendall. Willing to do just about anything for his daughter, the single dad takes them on vacation to Colorado and books a weekend tour riding horseback in the mountains. For Kendall, it’s a dream come true. For Gregory, who has been afraid of horses since he was a kid, this is just another opportunity for him to fail.

Enter Cowboy Cooper, the tour’s lead guide and expert rider. The two men have an immediate connection, and while Cooper isn’t shy about making that known, Gregory is terrified of getting his heart broken again. They share an amazing night in the stables, but Gregory ultimately rejects the sweet Cowboy and leaves the ranch without saying good-bye. Knowing how her dad really feels about Cooper, Kendall convinces him that it’s time to get back in the saddle and take a chance on love. What Gregory and Cooper soon realize is that getting together was the easiest part. Can their relationship survive when they’re not even in the same time zone? Follow Gregory and Cooper from the mountains of Colorado to the lakes of Minnesota, where they navigate a relationship hampered by distance and insecurity, and finally find their happily-ever-after.

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3.5*

Not having read the blurb or reviews before I began I expected the story to be set on a ranch with loads of hot cowboys. Once I started reading, I liked the premise of a short vacation at a Cowboy Camp situated miles from home and meeting a potential future partner. Very romantic.

Cowboy Cooper has a very pleasant and patient personality. I liked him very much. He was the good guy in the story for me. He’s quite a bit younger than Gregory, not overly hunky or especially attractive, but he possesses a sexy voice that initially draws Gregory’s attention. Despite falling deeply for this dream of a cowboy within hours of seeing him in person, Gregory is torn between throwing himself into a new relationship and giving up before the first day is out. And this happens for much of the story. Although in his forties, Gregory is indecisive and comes across as insecure and a worrier. Gregory had been hurt by previous breakups, and that experience makes him dither about jumping into something new.

Insta-love happens for both men, which is feasible in real life and fiction. They declare their feelings early on and have no qualms about telling the other, which surprised me considering they had only just met. At the same time, Gregory doubts his feelings are reciprocated even though Cooper states they are, plus Gregory worries about maintaining a long distance relationship. This angst and indecision has Gregory wavering throughout much of the book and I could sympathize with Cooper when he snaps and tells him to make up his mind.

I would have preferred less agonizing about Cooper’s forthcoming visit and more details on their developing relationship after he stayed at Gregory’s house. The final two chapters were a blur of information and could have been fleshed out a lot more.

On the whole the story is well written, although I would have preferred it in past rather than present tense.

**Copy provided by the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review**

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Amazon.com / Amazon UK

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