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Guest Author ~ Alex Jane

A warm welcome to Alex Jane.

Thank you for visiting my blog and agreeing to tell us a little more about yourself.

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Doing nothing. I wish I was one of those people that can’t sit still and is super motivated but I’m really, really not. I can only do so much before I need a sit-down and a cup of tea that then ends up stretching into hours of laziness. I genuinely worry that I’m going to get a DVT from watching so much YouTube one of these days.

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

The Stand by Stephen King. I think I must have read it maybe twenty times. I love the story and weep over the characters every time but it’s the additions in the extended version that really get me. Quick studies of survivors who don’t make it for one reason or another. Ordinary people who find themselves trying to keep going in the face of such upheaval. It’s masterful.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

One of the happiest that springs to mind is the first time my dog wagged her tail in her sleep. She was a rescue that had been very badly treated and when she first came to live with me, she would who have such horrible nightmares that I would have to wake her up so she didn’t hurt herself. It took a long time to work through all her issues and a lot of patience on both our parts but I knew she’d turned a corner the first time she had a dream so happy her tail was thumping the sofa.

The unfulfilled ambition that continues to haunt you…

I always wanted to travel. And not just a holiday once in a while but spend a year living in France or take a road trip from Seattle to San Diego or backpack around Japan until they threw me out. Giving up on that dream is truly sad.

Your early recollections of writing fiction…

The first time I tried to write down a story…well, actually it’s not so different now…trying to get the swirling images in my brain to translate into concrete words seemed impossible. It took me a long time to even attempt it (and by long time, I mean twenty-five years!) I’m still not sure how managed to get anything written that first time around. I think I simply reached a point where it was now or never. And the result was awful. So, so awful. I’m sure some would argue that’s not changed much either. I still have the original manuscript somewhere. Am I tempted to take a look? No. No, I am not.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Make exercising as routine as brushing your teeth because being healthy is everything. Stretch every day because back pain is worse than toothache. Moisturize and wear sunglasses because UV is awful stuff. And don’t say anything about a person behind their back that you wouldn’t say to their face because in the end that’s what people will remember about you.

The treasured item you lost and wish you could have again…

It sounds stupid but when I was in school I had the best umbrella ever. It was a see-through orange thing with just the right sized and shaped dome, and neon orange trim. It’s been thirty years and I’m still gutted that I left it on the bus.

The philosophy that underpins your life…

“Be excellent to each other” Don’t get me wrong, I can be a pissy, vindictive bitch if provoked but my first instinct is to be kind. It costs nothing to be nice or encouraging or gentle. My social skills might suck but I still find it easier to consider everyone a friend deserving of a smile than to be suspicious and judgmental. I don’t think it hurts to be nice to people.

 

Ex-detective John Right likes to watch. There’s no harm in it.

The latest object of his obsession—a twenty-something stranger who chains his bike outside John’s office—doesn’t feel the weight of John’s eyes on him, doesn’t know about the secret recordings or what John does with them in the dead of night. Except when the kid disappears, John finds himself doing far more that just watching.

Reluctantly, John has to start thinking like a cop once more as he frantically tries to track down his mystery man. Although when he finds him, John is left with more questions than answers. And the more he learns, the more he wishes he’d never started looking in the first place.

Can John get to the bottom of the mystery without giving away his own dirty secret? And without giving in to his urge to do more than simply watch?

Well…nobody’s perfect.

A Mr & Mr Detective Story – #1

 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon DE  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon AU 
Smashwords  |   Payhip 

After spending far too long creating stories in her head, Alex finally plucked up the courage to write them down and realized it was quite fun seeing them on the page after all.
Free from aspirations of literary greatness, Alex simply hopes to entertain by spinning a good yarn of love and life, wrapped up with a happy ending. Although, if her characters have to go through Hell to get there, she’s a-okay with that.
With only a dysfunctional taste in music and a one-eyed dog to otherwise fill her days, Alex writes and walks on the South Coast of England—even when her heart and spellcheck are in New York.

www.alexjane.info |  Facebook  |  Facebook Author Page  |

 Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads  |  Amazon Author Page

I’ll be at the ShiMMer Book Signing on July 1st in Birmingham, UK if you’d like to get your paperbacks in person!

Guest Post by Dale Cameron Lowry

A warm welcome to Dale Cameron Lowry

 

 

When the news started coming out of Chechnya about the organized police campaign of torture, imprisonment and murder being conducted against men perceived to be gay, it hit me hard.

Growing up in the Netherlands just a few decades after World War II, I learned to dread authoritarianism and genocide — authoritarianism’s frequent offspring — early on in life. On school and family outings we visited houses with secret rooms where families had provided refuge to Jews as they sought to escape Occupied Europe. Every summer, we would drive through northern Germany to see my cousins, and my mom would announce the sites of former concentration camps we passed along the way.

I felt compelled to do something about the situation in Chechnya — but what? How could I possibly help from the other side of the world?

On April 14, I got an email that mentioned the Russian LGBT Network, the main organization working to help vulnerable Chechens get to safety. Things started to click into place in my head. I figured out how I could help.

I started by setting aside some of the proceeds from my recently released anthology Falling Hard: Stories of Men in Love for the Russian LGBT Network. Then I asked other writers if they could do something similar.

Fantasy author Olivia Helling was one of the first to respond, and she also volunteered to organize a charity auction. Over the next week or so, the idea grew into an effort that now includes more than thirty writers, publishers, and other book people. We call ourselves Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens and, through royalties, other donations, and an online charity auction to be held May 5–12, we’re helping to make a difference.

 

Authors, publishers, and other book people are:

  • setting aside royalties for the Russian LGBT Network
  • making direct donations to organizations helping vulnerable Chechens
  • contributing signed paperbacks, cover design and editing services, ebook collections, bespoke short stories, characters named after readers, and more to an online auction with proceeds to benefit theRussian LGBT Network, ILGA-Europe and Rainbow Railroad, which are helping LGBT Chechens escape to safety.

I’m also maintaining a newsfeed with updates about the situation in Chechnya and what  charities are doing to help. You can check it out here.

If you’re an author who would like to get involved, please sign up at Authors & Publishers for LGBT Chechens. There, you can also find answers to frequently asked questions about the auction, royalty donations, the charitable organizations that are helping out LGBT Chechens, and more.

If you are a reader who would like to learn more about the situation in Chechnya and how to help — including how to make a direct donation to a designated charity, buy a book from a participating author, or support the auction — please visit Readers & Writers for LGBT Chechens.

 

Dale Cameron Lowry is a romance and speculative fiction writer living in the Upper Midwest with a partner and three cats. Queer Mormons, immigrants and emigrants, people with disabilities, multilingual folks, and others who spend their lives navigating multiple cultures often appear in Dale’s writing.

 

Guest Post ~ A E Ryecart

When professional turns personal, it’s too late to step back. . .

Smart, young and ambitious, the future’s bright for Jake Stafford—except for his addiction to a man he should have turned his back on years before. When he receives news that forces him to re-evaluate his life, Jake has to kick his habit and go cold turkey for good.

When Oliver Lester walks out on his life in New York and returns to London after an absence of more than twenty years, the biggest piece of baggage he brings back is a broken heart. Powerful and sought after, Oliver is a man whose corporate reputation goes before him but as he stares into his future he sees nothing but work-filled days and empty, lonely nights.

Free of long-term relationships which have left them disillusioned and cynical, neither man is looking to risk his heart. But an invitation to dinner leads to more, and Jake and Oliver find themselves swept up in an affair neither is seeking. Crossing the line and breaking all the rules, both men come to learn what it is to feel whole and complete as they begin to fall in love.

But the past has one final trick up its sleeve. An uninvited guest, a violent confrontation and the fear history is repeating itself leaves them reeling.

As the future they promised each other hangs in the balance, Jake and Oliver are faced with a stark question: can they find the strength to destroy the past before the past destroys them?

Corporate Bodies is the third and final book in the Urban Love series, but it can be read as true stand-alone – there is no need to read the books in order.

Word count: 86,500 approx., a full-length novel.

 

Jake turned back to the bookshelf. Oliver licked his paper-dry lips.

“I’ve read this, it’s my all-time favourite. Seriously, I must have read it at least twenty times.”

Oliver smiled, he couldn’t help it, the delight and enthusiasm in Jake’s voice genuine and unrestrained. Oliver moved closer, and stood behind Jake, who pulled the book from the shelf.

“Oh, wow, your copy is even more beaten up than mine.”

Oliver looked down at the book in Jake’s hand. A book he’d had since he was a teenager, read over and over again throughout the years, pages turned so often they had started to fall out only to be stuck back in, the tape that reattached them now brittle and yellow.

Oliver reached for the book, his hand brushing Jake’s, all his awareness and focus on the man standing just inches from him. Every draw of Jake’s breath, every pore of his skin, every strand of auburn hair, the deep, rich colour of chestnuts. And the heat of him, Oliver could feel the heat from Jake’s skin, he swore he could.

Silence wrapped itself around them. Jake turned his head and Oliver stared into grey eyes turned black, the pupils blown so wide they devoured the irises, leaving only the merest hint of colour. Unnoticed, the book slipped from their hands, and fell to the floor. As their lips joined in a long, slow kiss Oliver had no idea who it was who made the first move, only glad that the move had been made.

An eternity passed before Oliver dragged his lips from Jake’s.

“This is—God, I don’t know what this is.” Resting his forehead against Jake’s, Oliver closed his eyes. What was he doing? Ever cautious, ever careful, what he was doing and what he so desperately wanted to do with Jake was as far from cautious and careful as it was possible to get. He was out of his depth, engulfed suddenly in a world where he had no control. It scared him, but by Christ it thrilled him even more.

Oliver’s heart skipped a beat as Jake’s arms coiled around his waist, pulled him in hard to his body and kept him steady. How long had it been since somebody had been his support, taken his weight, the way Jake was doing those things now? Too long, too damn long. The arms that held him tight, and the body that was solid and strong against his own felt so good. Oliver wanted to stay like this forever and just be held, but he couldn’t do that because like this, in Jake’s arms, they were breaking all the rules. Oliver made to pull away, but Jake tightened his hold.

“I kissed you, Oliver. I’ve wanted to kiss you since I saw you across the floor of that restaurant. I wanted to kiss you then and I want to kiss you now.” Jake shifted his head, seeking and finding Oliver’s lips again.

Hunger clawed at Oliver. Hunger for the man who pressed hard against him, Jake’s need and want matching his own. A man who wanted him for him, not an escort with a wide smile and a willing body only because it was a transaction, business, a sale and with about as much heart and soul.

Little strangled moans escaped from Jake when Oliver pushed back against him. He shouldn’t be doing this, he shouldn’t be kissing with a fervour that matched Jake’s, he shouldn’t be crushing his body against Jake’s and feeling every inch of his arousal meet his own. He shouldn’t be doing any of this because the man he wanted so much it burned was Jake. Twenty years younger, a junior colleague, a man whose career he could make or break, to do this was wrong but wrong had never, ever felt so right.

 

 

Amazon US  |  Universal Booklinker link

 

A E Ryecart (or Ali as her readers know her) writes contemporary MM romance and gay fiction laced with angst and high emotion. Her main men are complex, multi-faceted characters facing tough decisions – the problem is, they don’t always make the right choices. So they suffer, big time. After all, it’s a rocky, uphill road to a happy ever after, but the guys get there in the end. So far, Ali’s stories have been set in and around London, the city she was born and raised in, providing a thrilling, metropolitan back-drop to the main action, but she’s hatching plans to travel further afield.

Ali spends a lot of time writing in cafés as she likes to be within reach of a good coffee! The murmur of conversation, the hissing of the espresso machines and the whirl of the milk frother all provide a welcome background hum to the men in her head, who all shout for her attention.

 

Review ~ Imagines (Imago #2)

 

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Imago (Book #1): Amazon US | Amazon UK

Cover: Harper By Design





Imagines is the Latin plural for Imago, and the only thing better than one metamorphosis, is two.

Jack Brighton and Lawson Gale have been together for six months and are very much in love. Lawson’s work ensuring the survival of the Tillman Copper is demanding as ever, and Jack’s work with the regeneration of the bushfire-ravaged national park is just as hectic.

When Jack suggests they take a short trip, Lawson agrees. But then he is offered a two-week research position in tropical Queensland to help determine why the Ulysses butterfly is on the decline. Figuring they could combine work and pleasure, Jack and Lawson go on their first vacation together.

Working alongside renowned professor Piers Bonfils isn’t easy. But personal and professional differences aside, Lawson is offered a more permanent role in Queensland. Torn between his new life in Tasmania with Jack and a dying species of butterfly he feels compelled to save, Lawson has to decide where his fate lies.

But fate changes the rules. On a research expedition into the depths of the rainforest, suddenly it’s not only the butterflies’ existence that hangs in the balance

A butterfly’s life cycle never changes. From larvae to imago, their course is plotted by design. Jack and Lawson need to determine where they stand, if they live through it. Because the only thing more incredible than one imago is two.

 

I enjoyed Imago, but totally loved Imagines. Jack and Lawson are even more adorable in this story. They are several months into their relationship and deeply in love—just perfect for each other. A little bit of angst throws them a challenge. Could they really survive a long distance relationship as Jack claims? Thankfully they don’t get the chance to find out. Jack is there for Lawson when things don’t quite to plan on an expedition. I adored when Jack is beside himself with worry and barely keeping it together. And the ending and epilogue are just delightful. Superb writing and mastery of characters to engender warm and fuzzy emotions in the reader.

Looking forward to reading Red Dirt Heart Imago next. I wondered what the connection was when I read the deleted scene!



$20 Amazon Giftcard

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N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance.

She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldnít have it any other way.

She is many things: a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.

She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things, but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal.

She’s been writing ever since.

Where to find N.R. Walker:
Amazon Page
Website
Facebook
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Email:
nrwalker2103@gmail.com

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Re-Release ~ Screwing the System

Happy Re-Release Day to Josephine Myles.

I first read Screwing the System several years ago and thoroughly enjoyed Jo’s writing and her characters.

I’m definitely planning a re-read of this 5* story in the near future.

 



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Length: 228 pages


Cover Design: Harper By Design



When Boss meets brat…

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. But his attempt to shock the sexy, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant has a very different result.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office for flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the most dominant man he’s ever met.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the youngster’s bratty attitude that fascinates him.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. But while Cosmo might enjoy the kink, he’s not up for becoming Alasdair’s household slave.

When Alasdair goes one demand too far, Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less than glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead. Written in Jo’s usual exceedingly “English” English.

N.B. This book is a re-release.

Cosmo crossed his ankle over his knee and began humming. It wasn’t deliberately to annoy the blonde chick behind the reception desk. No, he’d had this tune buzzing around in his head ever since waking, but what with having to come along to this interview for a piece-of-shit job, he hadn’t had a chance to get it down yet. That was why he couldn’t hold down regular employment, see? It wasn’t laziness or stupidity, no matter what his old teachers might have said. Nah, he was just one of those creative types. He’d told that to Irene—she was his advisor at the Jobcentre. He’d told her he was looking for jobs that would utilize his musical skills. She’d said, “In High Wycombe? Dream on, Cosmo,” and told him he had to put down a wider range of acceptable jobs or she’d bloody well do it for him.

In the end, she had started to arrange interviews for him, which explained why he was sitting here, waiting to be interrogated about his suitability as a “sanitary disposal operative”—in other words, the poor sod who had to go around emptying bins in ladies’ toilets.

Fuck that.

The skinny bloke who’d gone in before him loped out of the shuttered office and hightailed it across the lobby to freedom. Cosmo sighed and popped a stick of gum into his mouth. Fresh breath, see? It looked like he was making an effort so he’d get brownie points, but chewing gum during an interview was guaranteed to piss off pretty much every manager out there. As was asking how many cigarette breaks you got per hour.

“Mr. Rawlins?” the blonde chick called. “Mr. Grant will see you now.”

Cosmo stood and smoothed down his black drainpipe trousers. He even had a well-ironed shirt and tie on. Thing was, he’d discovered that on him, the smart clothes and grade-two haircut made him look less like a good little worker and more like a thug. He’d probably get a job as a bouncer if that was what he was going for—not that he had the intimidating build or anything, but he looked well hard, what with the couple of scars on his chin and the one across his eyebrow from fighting off angry closet cases, plus he could do a mean stare if he felt the need.

But he had other tricks up his sleeve too. Quite literally. Cosmo massaged his sore wrists and headed on into the boss man’s office, giving Blondie a huge grin on the way. She smiled back, all coy-like. Barking up the wrong tree there, love.

Mr. Grant, on the other hand… There was a tree he wouldn’t mind barking up. Or climbing up, more like. He was huge and had to be old enough to be his dad, which wasn’t actually all that old, seeing as how his dad was only fifteen when he got his fourteen-year-old excuse for a mother up the duff. But this wasn’t some fat old geezer with white hair bristling out of his nostrils. Mr. Grant wasn’t big like that. He was built like a bricklayer, all broad chest and shoulders bunched with powerful muscles. It was obvious, even with his body covered up by the fancy suit, he spent time down the gym.

“Cosmo Rawlins,” the boss-man said, holding out a huge hand, which swallowed up Cosmo’s in a warm and firm handshake. What a grip. Cosmo had all kinds of naughty thoughts about where else he’d like to feel a hand like that and wondered whether getting a boner in the interview would be something this Mr. Grant would report back to Irene. Best not take the chance. “I’m Alasdair Grant. Please take a seat.”

Usually these things were done across a desk, but Mr. Grant didn’t seem to need the prop to boost his ego and had a load of comfy chairs arranged around a giant coffee table at one end of his office. The man was clearly doing all right for himself. Cosmo could have fit the entire ground floor of his shared house in there and still had room to swing a cat in. Not that he believed in cruelty to animals or anything.

“Nice place you’ve got here,” Cosmo said as he settled into the chair indicated.

“Thanks. It’s taken me a decade to build this company up, but we’re now the largest sanitary services operation in the South East.”

Cosmo tried not to look too impressed, but it was bloody difficult not to when faced with the sight of Alasdair Grant seated across from him, like a stern George Clooney with that handsome face, cropped salt-and-pepper hair and designer stubble so thick it was bordering on beard territory. He had these sharp grey eyes fixed on Cosmo. It was unnerving, sitting there with the bloke looking at him like that.

Was Boss-man checking him out? Yes, definitely, but Cosmo was buggered if he could tell if it was purely a professional assessment or if there was a more salacious interest lurking in his gaze. Alasdair Grant didn’t have a wedding band, but Cosmo wasn’t going to read too much into that.

“So, Cosmo, has your advisor at the Jobcentre let you know exactly what the job entails?”

“Emptying rag bins in the ladies’ lavs, as I understand it.”

Boss-man gave this pained smile and leaned forward a little. Shit, it felt like he was looming over Cosmo, despite him being the other side of the coffee table. “That’s certainly an element of the work, but it’s a more responsible position than that. We provide a full replenishment service for all disposables, like paper towels and hand soap. We also empty and top-up the vending machines, so there’s a cash-handling element. You’d be in charge of one of our vehicles and acting as a frontline representative of Sanco Solutions at all times.”

Cosmo tuned out the words Boss-man was saying and just enjoyed the sound of his voice. There was this deep bass rumble to it that made him think those lungs must be huge, but that was overlaid with a melodic timbre not all that many speakers had, and there was a smooth, easy rhythm to his speech. Shit, he could listen to him for hours. Cosmo found himself tapping his foot and drumming his fingers along with his words. Gave him ideas for inserting a rap in the middle of the new song. Some UK Garage or Grime stylings, maybe. Would that work? The rest of the band would hate it. Rizzo especially, which made it doubly appealing.

“Mr. Rawlins. Am I boring you?”

That made him snap his head up. “What?”

“You looked like you were lost in music.” Boss-man stared pointedly down at his fingers.

“Oh, that. Sorry, it’s just habit. I’m a musician, see, and I can’t help it. I find inspiration everywhere.” Actually, this was good. Playing the flaky-musician card put off most employers, but he didn’t normally get a chance to until the bit at the end when they asked him if he had any questions.

“A musician? What do you play?”

“Guitar, and I sing too. I’m in a band. ScarDue, we’re called.” How much longer he’d be a member, he didn’t know. They were currently experiencing a bout of creative conflict. In other words, the rest of them were content playing cover versions of alt-metal hits in local pubs, whereas he wanted to experiment with crossing genres, come up with a completely original set and go places.

“Should I have heard of you?” he asked.

“I doubt it. Not unless you make a habit of hanging out down the White Horse on open-mic night.”

“Can’t say I do. The White Horse… Is that still a bikers’ pub?”

“Kind of. More emo and goth kids these days, but there’s a few bikers still hanging around. Freddie’s mates.”

“Freddie Henderson? Is he still the landlord?”

“Yeah, you know him?” Cosmo couldn’t imagine the two of them moving in the same social circles. For a start, Freddie had a shaved head, handlebar moustache, and the rest of his body was pretty much covered in tattoos and black leather. Alasdair Grant, on the other hand, was corporate establishment through and through.

Boss-man got this weird expression on his face. Fond? Yeah, it was that, but there was something more. Something kind of hot, like he was remembering sexy good times.


 

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

 

Website and blog: josephinemyles.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles
Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s

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Review ~ Starting from Scratch

Title: Starting from Scratch

Author: Jay Northcote

Publisher: Jaybird Press (self published)

Length: 57,000 words approx

Genre: Contemporary m/m romance/erotica, transgender, new adult

Cover Artist: Garrett Leigh

Release Date: Wednesday 12th April 2017

Series info: Housemates #5

 

The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain.

Each book focuses on new characters, with themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

 

 

Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

 

 5*

I’ve been a fan of this fabulous series from the start and Starting From Scratch is another great installment. Each story features ordinary young men who are exploring their sexuality and entering into their first serious relationship while studying at college and living away from home for the first time. I like how the established couples from previous stories play a role in the subsequent stories. Ben and Sid were introduced in the previous book, Watching and Wanting, and now it’s their turn to fall in love. Ben was the quiet and rather reserved new housemate and Sid was Jude’s ex, who frequently made Shawn jealous. And the friction continues on and off during this story.

The main focus of this story is on Ben and his blossoming relationship with Sid. I adored how Sid helped Ben feel at ease with his body and gave him the confidence to be himself, both in and out of the bedroom. The reader gains an insight into the emotional and physical issues facing many transgender men through Ben’s experience in this story.

There’s no unnecessary drama or angst. I liked the ‘ordinariness’ of their everyday lives. There’s plenty of eating and watching TV. Nothing major happens. It’s all about Ben and Sid getting to know each other, how they respond and how they feel as their relationship develops. The reader experiences the anxiety and doubts as well as the warm, fuzzy feelings of happiness as they fall in love.

The story finishes with a positive happy ending and a strong hint at the next couple. I’m looking forward to reading about this sexy guy who wears eye-liner and lacy panties, and has gained the attention of another supposedly straight guy.

 

 

 

Amazon.com  |  Amazon UK  | Universal Link

 

Add on Goodreads

 

Series Information and Links

 The Housemates Series is a collection of standalone stories set around a student house in Britain. This new adult series focuses on themes of self-discovery and sexual awakening.

 

Helping Hand (Housemates #1)

Like a Lover (Housemates #2)

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates #3)

Watching and Wanting (Housemates #4)

 

 

 

Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

 

 

www.jaynorthcote.com

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Review ~ Bitten by Design

Buy Links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 80,000 words

Regent’s Park Pack Series

Bitten By Mistake (Book #1)

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When the last thing you want, is everything you need…

Seb Calloway isn’t interested in shifters. After his best friend bonded with one, he avoids getting involved with them no matter how hot they are to prevent the same thing from happening to him. Why take the risk for a few hours of fun?

Tim Walters is the pack doctor. Considered to be mild-mannered and non-threatening by pack standards, he prides himself on being able to stay calm and maintain his control at all times. Desperate for a bond of his own, he knows his interest in Seb is an exercise in futility, but he canít seem to help himself.

When news emerges that threatens Seb’s safety, he and Tim need to fake a relationship to keep Seb safe. Despite Seb’s refusal to be anything other than friends with benefits, what starts out as pretend, quickly becomes more for Tim at least. If Tim doesn’t want to end up heartbroken, he needs to prove to Seb that loving a shifter doesn’t mean losing himself.

 

5*

I always enjoy reading Annabelle Jacobs’ intriguing shifter stories. Bitten By Mistake was one of my favourite growly reads of last year, so I was keen to read Seb and Tim’s follow-up story. It was also great to see that Jared and Nathan were still hot for each other and the continued story of the conflict between the two local London packs and the rogue shifters, along with more info on some of the other pack members. Who can they trust? Thrilling stuff!

The romance is another ‘pretend boyfriends’ plot, although different from book 1, with Seb firmly stating he didn’t want to become a shifter or end up in a mated bond like his bestie, Jared. He fears having the choice about his future taken away from him. Even so, Seb falls for Tim, who is already besotted with him, as they try to divert the rival pack’s attention away from Jared/Nathan and keep Seb safe. There’s plenty of action and suspense, along with some lust-filled steamy sexy times and some more tender moments for these guys.

Tim is such a calm and patient guy. He’s kind and restrained with Seb and my heart went out to him several times. Tim wants the happiness and love Nathan and Jared share, but is willing to accept being Seb’s friend if that is what Seb decides when their ‘fake relationship’ comes to an end. I adored his growly possessiveness and his care for injured Seb throughout. I especially loved the exciting climax of the story. Perfect for these guys!

Great writing and storytelling. I’m already looking forward to book 3—hopefully Alec’s story. (Although I’d be happy with Luke’s story, just saying!) Glad Alec was given page time in this story too.

Disclaimer: I assisted in the proofreading of this story.

 


Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with 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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