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Kings of the Mountain Books 1 and 2 by Morgan Brice #giveaway

SERIES TOUR

Kings of the Mountain Books 1 and 2 by Morgan Brice

MM Supernatural Suspense

Fast cars, outlaw country boys, snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, menacing monsters, and a love that can’t be denied.

NEW RELEASE – BOOK 2 

Book Title: Sins of the Fathers—MM Supernatural Suspense

Author: Morgan Brice

Publisher: Darkwind Press

Cover Artist: Natania Barron

Length: 62 000 words/ 213 pages

Release Date: August 28, 2022

Genres: Urban fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Tropes: Hurt/comfort, friends to lovers, established relationship, evolving relationship, learning to trust, dealing with the past, dealing with family secrets.

Themes: Letting go of the past, moving on after loss, intergenerational trauma, family secrets

Heat Rating: 4 flames

 It is book 2 in the series but can be read standalone. It does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads   |  BookBub

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |   Nook

 

Reckoning with the past just might destroy Grady and Dawson’s plans for the future

 

Blurb 

Three deadly accidents that might have been magical murder. A dark witch with a grudge against the King family. Federal agents with supernatural abilities. And, as usual, Dawson and Grady are smack dab in the crosshairs of trouble even they can’t outrun.

When Grady King’s brother Knox is targeted by shady characters, old secrets, coverups, and lies come to light. Grady and his boyfriend Dawson begin to question what really happened when Grady’s grandparents and Dawson’s parents died. Then agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Supernatural Investigation show up pursuing a different case, only to discover that the crimes appear to be connected, with a vengeful dark witch at the center of the plot. And since monsters never sleep, Grady and Dawson are still carrying out their duty to hunt dangerous paranormal creatures, restless spirits, nefarious faeries, Civil War ghosts, creepy cryptids, and things that go bump in the night. It’s all part of the centuries-old King family mandate to protect the people of Cunanoon Mountain and Transylvania County, a mission Grady and Dawson are sworn to fulfill.

But when it looks like something is hunting the people Grady loves, it’s time to dig into the family’s painful past, uncovering dangerous details of long-ago hunts against immortal creatures who never forget—or forgive.

Can they solve the mystery and figure out who’s behind the deaths, or will they bear the deadly consequences of their hidden history? Reckoning with the past just might destroy Grady and Dawson’s plans for the future and set loose a tide of malicious magic that could sweep them all away.

Sins of the Fathers is a thrill-packed MM romance adventure full of fast cars, outlaw country boys, snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, menacing monsters, and a love that can’t be denied.

 

Excerpt from Sins of the Fathers

Dawson’s heart went out to Jason, worried about his long-time partner without news of how he was doing and now afraid of being left alone.

“Lily sent us here to talk.” Grady tag teamed. “She knew you’d be upset. She also knew how much you two loved each other.”

Lily Franklin was the long-time Meals on Wheels volunteer who had delivered to Jason and Everett for many years. She’d become a good friend and was Everett’s emergency contact once Jason passed away.

A door slammed. Grady’s head snapped up, and he shot a questioning look at Dawson. Dawson reached out to take his hand, intertwining their fingers and holding their hands in the air.

“We’re like you and Everett. We understand wanting to stay together.” Dawson picked up the conversation.

The planchette trembled before beginning to move. “D-A-N-G-E-R-O-U-S,” Dawson said as the pointer moved.

“Dangerous to admit what you and Jason were to each other?” Grady asked.

The planchette moved to “YES.”

“It can be, but plenty of people are ‘out’ these days. Even married,” Dawson answered.

A framed photo rocked back and forth on the mantle. Dawson saw that it showed two men in their thirties decades ago on a sunny day, grinning with arms slung over each other’s shoulders.

“If Everett can’t come home, do you think you could go to him?” Grady asked.

The planchette went wild, circling “YES” over and over.

“Is there something here that means a lot to you that you could ‘travel’ with if we took it to Everett?” Dawson looked around, wondering what objects among the collections of a shared lifetime might be special enough to anchor a ghost.

A crash sounded from the back of the house. They headed toward the noise and found the door to a bedroom open and a painting on the floor in a broken frame. As soon as Dawson entered, he was shoved by invisible hands sending him stumbling toward one side of an unmade king-size bed.

He nearly fell, and when he braced himself against the edge of the mattress, he saw a leather jewelry tray on the nightstand, and in it, two silver military rings.

“These?” Dawson felt a puff of cold air in response.

“What are they?’ Grady stood in the doorway, respecting the privacy of the old man who had lived there.

“Army service rings. Vietnam, if I’m right.” Dawson picked up the rings and looked at them in the light.

“Lily said they met when Everett was a nurse at the VA hospital, and Jason came home wounded from the war,” Grady replied.

Dawson’s gaze went to a photo of a younger version of the two men standing together in uniform. They were circumspect in their pose, but Dawson imagined that he could see a slight lean, a bit less space between them than usual, and broad grins.

That could have been Grady and me if we’d been born then. I’m glad they found each other and were happy.

 

BOOK 1

Book Title: Kings of the Mountain

Author: Morgan Brice

Cover Artist: Natania Barrron

Release Date: May 21, 2020

Genre/s: Urban Fantasy, MM paranormal romance

Trope/s: Hurt/comfort, mutual pining, friends-to-lovers,

childhood best friends, second chance

Themes: Coming of age, forgiveness for self and others,

crush maturing into love, letting go of guilt, family

Heat Rating: 4 flames     

Length: 63 000 words/238 pages

It’s the first book in the series

Goodreads 

 

Buy Links

Amazon US  |   Amazon UK  

 

Fast cars. Outlaw country boys. A love that can’t be denied.

Snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts and menacing monsters. 

 

Blurb 

Fast cars. Outlaw country boys. Snarky werewolves, vengeful ghosts, and menacing monsters.

Dawson King’s family has been hunting things that go bump in the night in Transylvania County, North Carolina, since before the Revolutionary War.

Dawson was never happier than when he was racing his souped-up Mustang along winding mountain roads and hunting monsters with his best friend, Grady. Then Grady fell in love with him, which should have been perfect since Dawson had already fallen hard for Grady.

But Grady was only seventeen, and Dawson feared that sooner or later, Grady would realize his feelings were just a first crush, and then he’d be gone, leaving Dawson devastated. They both needed space to figure things out. So Dawson joined the army, while Grady stayed on the mountain.

Four years later, Dawson is coming home. He’s more sure than ever Grady is his forever love, and they’ve both agreed to begin this new aspect of their relationship as soon as Dawson gets back.

Then Grady’s father is killed in a werewolf hunt gone wrong. Grady is devastated, and he’s throwing mixed signals about moving forward. Dawson knows he needs to hold off on this new thing between them until Grady has time to grieve. But monsters never sleep, and one hunt after another throws Dawson and Grady into constant danger, while tension and unresolved feelings ripple between them.

Making it even harder, Dawson’s got a secret. He’s dreamed of death omens—which point to something stalking Grady. Can Dawson figure out who’s trying to kill Grady, save his life, and win back his heart?

Plenty of mutual pining, hurt/comfort, spooky chills, sexy thrills, and a very happy ending. The Kings of the Mountain is the first novel in the series. It is a MM romance intended for readers 18 years of age and older.

 

Excerpt from Kings of the Mountain

The longer they spent time on the road and on hunts together, the more Dawson felt a powerful attraction to Grady. He’d always been fond of the younger man, but Dawson found himself admiring the person Grady was growing into. Grady deserved to find the right guy—if that’s what he wanted—who could make him happy. And as much as Dawson wished fervently that could be him, he knew he couldn’t take the chance that Grady might feel pressured or obligated to respond if Dawson made any advances.

Not to mention how Grady’s mother had always carried on about how awful it was to marry a “cousin,” something that she claimed no one in her family had ever done. She’d made her position loud and clear while she was married to Aaron, which had not endeared her to the rest of the community. Such marriages were legal in North Carolina, and not uncommon in the rural areas.

The fact that Grady wasn’t a cousin by blood probably wouldn’t matter to Camille. But what if Grady had accepted his mother’s bias? Maybe Dawson had imagined the flirtation, or worse, projected his own feelings onto the other man. So Dawson took the edge off with hookups and out-of-town one-night stands, very aware that he tended to choose partners with a resemblance to Grady.

Until he couldn’t stand it any longer.

That’s when Dawson enlisted.

Once they were on the main highway, Dawson turned to watch Colt’s profile.

“So…what happened with Uncle Denny and Grady?”

Colt’s grip on the steering wheel tightened, and the tic in his jaw told Dawson that the other man didn’t want to have this conversation. “They’re both alive. But a hunt went wrong a week ago, and Grady isn’t dealing with it very well.”

A week, Dawson thought. That was when he’d stopped getting emails from Grady. He had tried to convince himself the silence was due to any number of impersonal reasons, but Dawson knew in his gut something wasn’t right. His responses from Uncle Denny had gotten short and less frequent around the same time.

Was this what his nightmare had been warning him about?

“Could you be a little clearer?” Dawson knew Colt could read the warning in his tone.

“Grady got hurt. Aaron was killed. Grady’s not dealing well with it. Uncle Denny didn’t want to leave Grady alone. So they sent me.”

Dawson’s head swam. Uncle Aaron, dead? That’s hard to even imagine. He was always so full of life. And Grady—it’s got to be bad if he couldn’t come. Oh, God. I almost lost him. Plus there’s something Colt isn’t saying, something even worse. Because if Uncle Aaron died on a hunt, then Grady had to have been right there when it happened. That’s bad, really bad. No one should see their parent die, especially not like that.

 

About the Author 

Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions. Characters from her Gail books make frequent appearances in secondary roles in her Morgan books, and vice versa.

On the rare occasions Morgan isn’t writing, she’s either reading, cooking, or spoiling two very pampered dogs.

Series include Witchbane, Badlands, Treasure Trail, Kings of the Mountain and Fox Hollow. Watch for more in these series, plus new series coming soon!

 

Author Links

Facebook Group  |   Pinterest (for Morgan and Gail)  |  Twitter: @MorganBriceBook    

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Read a copy of my Badlands short story Restless Nights here for free

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Giveaway

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one of threeebook copies of Kings of the Mountain


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Leading Man (Hollywood Heartthrobs Book 1) by Valerie Ullmer #kindleunlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Leading Man (Hollywood Heartthrobs Book 1)

Author and Publisher: Valerie Ullmer

Cover Artist: Valerie Ullmer

Release Date: September 2nd, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Interracial Romance, Feelings long denied, Insta love, Friends to Lovers, Opposites Attract, Hollywood Actor, Personal Assistant

Themes: Trusting Yourself, free to be who you want to be, pursuing dreams

Heat Rating:  5 flames

Length:  approx. 54 000 words/183 pages

It is part 1 of a 3 book series but does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads  

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

Spencer Atreus.

Gorgeous movie star, workaholic, and the ultimate laid back, can’t-help-but-love-him kind of guy.

Oh, did I mention gorgeous?

But the reason I, Westley Lee, hid my attraction to the man was two-fold.

I loved my job. As his personal assistant, he depended on me and I’d come to crave being wanted by him, even though it wasn’t exactly as I imagined. Also, being part of his life, even in the peripheral, was better than not being with him at all. And while it screamed desperation on my part, every intimate thought I had about him was locked in the recesses of my mind as I kept up appearances.

Until one night changed everything.

Seeing Spencer in pain crumbled all the walls I’d built between us to protect my heart. And in a moment of pure weakness, he saw through my barriers and I was unable to keep him in the dark about my feelings.

But will we find our happily ever after when a threat endangers our entire future?

 

Excerpt 

The downside, or sinful temptation as I defined it, of living behind the man and being involved in everything from having groceries delivered, overseeing the few household staff he employed on a part-time basis, and having full access to his house and his finances was my life became inundated with everything Spencer Atreus.

The man was stunning. The fact he was also a straight cis movie star with people always wanting something from him or craving the man himself never went to his head, and I refused to be a sycophant.

Regardless of the images flashing behind my eyelids of the man with a gorgeous smile and beautifully sculpted body and what he could do to me in that bed, I locked all the fantasies down in the private recesses of my mind and drifted off as blackness descended.

A familiar, yet distant ring jolted me out of bed. I tried to blink the sleep from my eyes, but the gritty, dry discomfort meant I’d left my contacts in when I’d dropped off into slumber. Ignoring the irritation blinking caused and concentrating on the insistent sound, I scrambled toward it and on the fourth ring, I answered with a short, “What?”

“Lee?”

All the years of daily reminders I’d given, lecturing at him about how much I hated being called by my last name, Spencer refused to call me anything else. But at that moment, I shoved back my irritation as the urgency in his voice caught me off guard and worst-case scenarios ran through my head.

“What’s wrong? Do you need me to pick you up?”

There was a shuffling, as though the phone was being wrestled away, and then another voice came on the line. One I avoided at all costs.

“Hey, sexy? Someone threw a punch, and it struck—”

“Where are you?” I demanded in a low growl.

I whipped around and strode toward the bathroom, holding the phone against my ear with my shoulder, and washed my hands. After I cleaned my fingers, leaving them wet, I yanked the dried contacts from around my corneas and sighed in relief. I added eye drops to clear up the redness and irritation. In a rush, I cleaned my glasses before I pulled on some jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. It was March in California and the nights could get cold.

He was still rambling about something that had nothing to do with the current location of one Spencer Atreus, so I barked, “Where?”

“At the house, but you—”

Not proud of my actions, I hung up on Spencer’s friend and constant flirt, Mason Dawes, and stuck my feet in sneakers before I snagged my keys and wallet, locked up, and started up toward the main house.

It wasn’t as though I didn’t like Mason. I hadn’t allowed myself to get to know him because something about the man felt… off, and so I avoided him. He was never serious about anything, aside from maybe his career, and I refused to tolerate his attempts at chatting me up. Although it’d never come up during my employment with Spencer, Mason spotted me at Bayou, a West Hollywood gay bar early in my employment. That night, I tried finding another man who’d allow me to get over the stupid fascination I had with Spencer, but it was one of several nights of turning down offer after offer before I understood I’d have to live without. There was no substitute for Spencer in my eyes. And as far as I knew, Mason hadn’t yet told his friend.

 

 

About the Author 

Valerie resides in Denver, Colorado with her husband.  While she had been interested in writing a romance novel for years, it wasn’t until she wrote her first book that she really became hooked, and now she can’t stop.  She has notebooks full of ideas, and she plans to write most of them in the years to come.

When she’s not writing or learning about the craft of writing, she can be found surfing the internet way too much, watching Investigation Discovery and thinking that her neighbors are up to no good, and finding new ways to get her husband to laugh.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up  |   Pinterest  |   BookBub  |   Goodreads  

 

 

Giveaway 

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$25 Amazon Gift Card

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The Final Salvation by Nic Starr and BL Maxwell #kindleunlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: The Final Salvation (Four Packs Trilogy Book 3)

Authors/Publishers: Nic Starr/BL Maxwell

Cover Artist: BL Maxwell

Release Date: August 31, 2022

Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance 

Tropes: Protector/Ward, Shifters, Fated Mates, Friends to lovers, Forced Proximity, Opposites Attract, Hurt/ Comfort, MM Paranormal

Themes: Fight for Love, Fated Love

Heat Rating: 4 flames     

Length:  approx. 40 000 words

It is not a standalone book. It is the third in the Four Packs series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Series Link

 

 

Blurb 

Luca Bassani enjoyed a quiet, ordinary life. As an IT guru, most of his time was spent engrossed in technology and away from people. Now all that’s changed. As the one man who is a compatible donor, he’s suddenly essential to keeping his alpha healthy and preventing him from succumbing to The Slow Death. But serving his alpha, Zander Kingston, is something Luca is proud to do.

Diesel Jones is an enforcer. Following in his father’s footsteps, he has big boots to fill. But he’s focused and dedicated to the East Territory pack and avoids anything that distracts him from his duty. His dedication, together with his brawn and brains, ensure his reputation as being the best at his job.

When a possible threat on Alpha Zander Kingston’s life is uncovered, tensions rise within the pack. Security is increased and Diesel is assigned as the personal bodyguard for Luca. They find themselves paired against the enemy while battling their growing attraction.

Diesel must keep Luca safe and ensure his alpha’s life by doing so. But pack rivalry is strong and when threats become actions, suddenly Diesel is in the race of his life to ensure the future of the pack and to save the person who has come to mean everything to him.

The Final Salvation is part of the Four Packs Trilogy. While it can be read as a standalone, to ensure maximum enjoyment, it is best read in series order.

#mmparanormal #shifters #fatedmates #forcedproximity #oppositesattract #hurtcomfort

 

 

Excerpt

“Alpha, we came as soon as we got your message. We’re here to accompany to you to the North Territory as soon as you’re ready.” The one that spoke was the head enforcer, a big man with grey hair that somehow made him seem less intimidating—until he turned his eyes on Luca. They were not the warm, friendly eyes of someone’s grandfather, but the cold emotionless glare of a serious enforcer.

“Luca and my mate will also be joining us. I want one of you on each of them,” Zander directed.

The head enforcer bristled but bowed his head in respect. “Of course, Alpha. I suggest we take two vehicles. That way it won’t be quite so obvious that we’re all traveling together. The less conspicuous the better.”

One of the enforcers was familiar to Luca, but he couldn’t place where he knew him from. He was younger than the others, but in height and bulk he was bigger than them. He scanned the room while Zander spoke more in depth to the older enforcer, as Marrok watched on. He had yet to start the transfusion, and Luca wondered if they’d still be doing a treatment. When Luca’s and the enforcer’s eyes locked on each other, the strange feeling Luca had earlier intensified. The enforcer’s eyes widened in shock, but just as suddenly as it had happened, he looked away. Luca narrowed his eyes as he focused on the enforcer. His hair was cut short, and his eyes were both intelligent and vigilant. He seemed to see everything and analyze it as either a threat or a minor annoyance. He was all muscle, and it was no small feat that his shirt didn’t explode from all it contained.

Luca laughed at his thoughts, making everyone look. A blush crept up from his neck to his cheeks. “Sorry, I was just remembering something funny I saw on television,” he mumbled.

 

About the Authors

BL Maxwell

BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked.

Contact and Social Media Links

 

 

Nic Starr

Nic Starr lives in Australia where she tries to squeeze as much into her busy life as possible. Balancing the demands of a corporate career with raising a family and writing can be challenging but she wouldn’t give it up for the world.

Always a reader, the lure of m/m romance was strong and she devoured hundreds of wonderful m/m romance books before eventually realising she had some stories of her own that needed to be told!

When not writing or reading, she loves to spend time with her family–an understanding husband and two beautiful daughters–and is often found indulging in her love of cooking and planning her dream home in the country.

You can find Nic on Facebook, Twitter and her blog. She’d love it if you stopped by to say hi.

Contact and Social Media Links

 

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

a $10 Amazon gift card

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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A Beach Far Away by BL Maxwell #kindleunlimited #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: A Beach Far Away 

Author and Publisher: BL Maxwell

Cover Artist: BL Maxwell 

Release Date: July 30, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, instalove, vacation romance, meet cute

Themes:  Starting over, finding true love

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 31 000 words

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

Falling in love wasn’t on the itinerary

Blurb

Ryan Stone can’t wait to put his toes in the sand at the famous Bondi Beach. When he arrives after a flight that was far too long, and having not slept or eaten, all he can do is stare out at the beautiful expanse of white sand and blue ocean in awe. And when a blond guy asks him to play footy, he agrees, even if he doesn’t know for sure what that is.

Ollie Hughes thinks a day at the beach is just what he needs to take his mind off work. When he sees the cute but rumpled guy sitting by himself in the sand, he’s drawn to him. The more time they spend together, the less he wants the day to end. They end up spending a few days together, those few days turn into weeks, and neither is ready for their time together to end.

A lot of chemistry, and a little bit of luck make for an interesting day at the beach that both men are reluctant to end. Time and distance could be their biggest obstacle, but maybe some things are just meant to be. #meetcute #vacationromance #mmromance

 

 

Excerpt 

Slipping my shoes and socks off, I carried them with me to the water’s edge. The water was warmer than it was on our side of the planet, but the last time I’d been to the ocean had been near Eureka. The water was never warm there. I walked out enough for the water to hit near my knee.

“Oi, mate. You don’t want to be going out there. It’s a wicked rip. Pull you right out without warning and you’ll end up across the ditch in New Zealand.” A very tanned, very blond guy about my age, wearing an aqua and dark blue shirt with Lifeguard emblazoned on his chest, crossed his arms and planted his feet.

“It’s okay, I’m not going out far. I just wanted to see how warm it was.”

“If I had a dollar for every time I’d heard that, I’d be a rich man. Most that have said it, are now about fifty meters offshore.”

My head whipped in the direction he’d indicated, before he burst out in laughter.

“Just messin’ with ya. But seriously, don’t go out past your knees. Everyone thinks they can handle it, but it’ll drag you out before you can get your feet under you.” He stood and waited for me to walk out of the water and waved when I relented and walked back over to the grassy area.

Leaning my head back I let the heat of the sun warm my skin as my feet dried off. The sound of the ocean and children playing on the beach were all I could hear right now. The long flight started to weigh on me, and I knew if I kept my eyes closed much longer, I’d be asleep. I still needed to find a place to stay so I slipped my shoes on and walked toward the other end of the beach.

People were everywhere, and dogs, and cars, and even what looked like a group of lifeguard trainees. “Hey, you up for some footy?” a guy with long, curly blond hair that hung in soft waves around his face asked as he jogged closer.

“Footy?”

I wasn’t sure exactly what he meant.

“Yeah, we can just toss it around.” He threw the football up and caught it with a grin.

“Sure.” I stood and followed him down to where the sand had been raked smooth. People were gathered around the area, but most were at the edges of the immaculate sand. I set my

backpack down on the edge and followed him. Noticing he was barefoot, I hurried back to take my shoes off.

As soon as I was on the sand again, he tossed the ball to me and turned to run. I threw it back and he made an amazing diving catch. We both laughed as he dusted off sand before tossing it back to me. “What’s your name?”

“I’m Ryan, what’s yours?”

“Ollie, Ollie Hughes.” He caught the ball and did some weird jumping throwing thing that looked funny as hell but did the job.

I caught it and before I could toss it back, he was running at me. At first, I didn’t realize what he was doing but then he tackled me. We rolled around laughing until I was able to get away and run farther down the beach. When he got up and started to come at me, I threw the ball to him and turned to chase him down. Both of us laughed as we crashed together onto the sand and wrestled around to get the ball.

He got a grip on it and bolted away from me as a few people near us clapped. “Oh, I see how it is now,” I yelled and gave chase. He ran around other people that were sitting either in a chair or on a towel, and the ones standing tried to move out of the way.

Finally, when he got to an open area, he turned around and stopped with the ball tucked under his arm. “How long are you here for?”

“How do you know I’m not from here?” I asked.

 

About the Author 

BL Maxwell grew up in a small town listening to her grandfather spin tales about his childhood. Later she became an avid reader and after a certain vampire series she became obsessed with fanfiction. She soon discovered Slash fanfiction and later discovered the MM genre and was hooked. 

 

Author Links

https://smart.bio/blmaxwellwriter/

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

$10 Amazon Card

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Playing the Player – Beth Bolden #kindleunlimited #giveaway

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Book Title: Playing the Player (Miami Piranhas, Book 2)

Author and Publisher: Beth Bolden

Cover Artist: Cate Ashwood Designs

Release Date: August 3, 2022

Genres: Gay contemporary sports romance

Tropes: Fake boyfriend, bisexual awakening, friends to lovers

Themes: Found family, trusting yourself, trusting others, finding confidence

Heat Rating: 4 flames    

Length: 91 000 words

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

Center Logan Banks didn’t come to Miami looking for a best friend.

He came for football and for a chance at freedom—the freedom to live out of the closet.

But after a water main break, he lands an unexpected roommate, the new Piranhas kicker, Dylan Leonard. Between practices, games, and too many late nights on the couch, a best friend is exactly what he gets.

When Logan’s past rears its ugly head and threatens to destroy the freedom he’s hoped for, Dylan becomes more than just a friend. He becomes a lifeline.

But then their friendship gets incorrectly labeled as something more, and Dylan shocks Logan by suggesting they play along with a fake relationship.

Logan knows it’s off limits to fall in love with Dylan. He’s supposed to be straight, he’s his best friend, his roommate, and his teammate. But the closer they grow, and the more he and Dylan fake falling in love, the more real it feels.

The more real Logan wants it to be.

Making a play for love is the biggest risk he’s ever taken, but he wants it all and he wants it with Dylan.

 

 

Excerpt 

Dylan’s jaw dropped. “You’ve never seen Star Wars?”

“Guilty as charged.”

“Well, first, we’re gonna remedy that ASAP,” Dylan said with relish. “I can’t believe I get to pop your cherry.”

Logan froze, his hand still on the controller. “Uh,” he said. “Hate to break it to you but that’s been done . . .”

But I could pop yours, that voice that didn’t want to cooperate, inserted slyly. And now Logan was fucking thinking about it. A dark head, between his heads, tongue flicking out uncertainly. A hand pressed to the middle of his chest, as Dylan squirmed on his dick.

Stop. Do not cross Go.

“Your Star Wars cherry, silly,” Dylan said, laughing, punching him lightly in the arm.

“Is that a thing?” If it was, then Logan wanted it to be Dylan who did it. Logan wanted him to do all kinds of things.

It was a problem, even though he kept trying to pretend it wasn’t.

“Sure, it can be,” Dylan said, one of those quicksilver grins lighting up his whole face.

“So why this game?” Logan asked, trying to pluck the game from Dylan’s fingers, but he was too quick, and pulled it away. “’Cause it’s easy?”

“Well, it’s simpler, sure, but it also requires less hand-eye coordination,” Dylan said, and Logan shot him a glare. But Dylan only laughed. “We’re being honest here, dude. Set you on a football field, and you’d destroy most everyone, but with a video game controller in your hands?”

“Fine, fine, fine,” Logan said with a resigned sigh. He grabbed for the game again, and Dylan wasn’t quite fast enough this time, and when Logan got ahold of it, he didn’t let go.

Yanked both it and Dylan over the side of the couch, and Logan froze as the other guy landed basically in his lap.

He 100% did not mean to freeze. It wasn’t in his nature to freeze.

After all, they had a touchy-feely friendship. Logan had never shied away from touching Dylan and vice versa. It worked for them.

But now he was in his lap.

And he wasn’t moving.

Logan could count every shade of green in Dylan’s eyes as they stared at each other. His hand hovered right over Dylan’s back. He wanted to push him in, pull him close, but no matter how touchy-feely they were, they weren’t in the habit of embracing. Not like this.

Not with Dylan straddling him, not only wearing a pair of athletic shorts each.

Then Dylan reached out, pressing a palm against Logan’s chest. Right where his rose tattoo sat, right over his heart. Not pushing him away. Not using him to get up. Just resting it there.

Like he couldn’t help it, he just wanted to touch.

You’re wrong. He doesn’t want to. Not like that. Not like you want him to.

Logan opened his mouth to make a joke, but his brain was empty, and nothing came out.

Dylan leaned forward a fraction. Licked his lips.

There was something soft and hazy and affectionate in his gaze. Something curious.

And then he spoke. “Guess,” he said, voice low, “that your reflexes really do suck, Banks.”

 

About the Author 

 

A lifelong Pacific Northwester, Beth Bolden has just recently moved to North Carolina with her supportive husband. Beth still believes in Keeping Portland Weird, and intends to be just as weird in Raleigh.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published twenty-three novels and seven novellas.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |   BookBub

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up

 

 

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Spanish Siesta (Flying into Love #2) by C F White #kindleunlimited

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Spanish Siesta (Flying into Love #2)

Author and Publisher: C F White

Cover Artist: Kelly Martin (KAM Design)

Release Date: July 29, 2022

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to Lovers

Themes: Bisexual awakening, forced proximity, coming out

Heat Rating: 4 flames       

Length: 65 250 words/260 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Universal Link

 

Audible US  |  Audible UK 

 

Can a Spanish siesta make Matt see his best friend the way Kieran’s been hoping he would for years?

 

Blurb

Matt Robinson just got dumped. Again. With his sister’s wedding on the horizon, he needs a plus one.

Kieran Barker has been in love with his straight best friend for far too long. It’ll never happen. Having already been left behind when Matt went to university, Kieran can’t take more heartbreak.

So when Matt invites Kieran to spend a whole week with him on the island of Majorca, Kieran can’t let himself think there’s more to it than lads on tour. All he can do is play the field to take his mind of the hot, rugby honed body of his oldest mate. Sexy men are in abundance in Magaluf, right? Matt only wants to cop off with the bridesmaid anyway.

But when Matt’s overprotectiveness about Kieran’s late-night escapades borders on jealousy, can he even dare to think that there’s more to their years of flirtations than simple bromance?

And can Matt really acknowledge his feelings when they’ll soon be returning to England, with him back to the university rugby team and two hundred miles away from Kieran.

Spanish Siesta (Flying into Love #2) is a Contemporary, Friends to Lovers, Bisexual Awakening, Forced Proximity MM Romance featuring a hot-headed rugby Fly-Half struggling with his emotions and an out-and-proud wannabe dancer suffering from unrequited love.

 

Excerpt

“Shit.” Matt grabbed Kieran by the arm, and shoved him back into the elevator, slamming his hand on any old button.  

“What the fuck, Matt?” 

The elevator shunted and they both had to grab the handrail running along the lift. 

“It’s going down!” Kieran widened his eyes. “How is it going down?” 

Matt didn’t say anything. His heart thumped and the foggy wooziness from the alcohol he thought hadn’t affected him crept up to make his head spin. The doors opened into a dark space. A basement, maybe? A cleaning closet. He’d hit the sodding service call button. 

Kieran reached out to hit the G but Matt grabbed his arm, preventing him then yanked them both out and into darkness. 

“What the—” 

Matt slapped a hand over Kieran’s mouth, “Shhh!”

The elevator doors closed, the lift moving up, surrounding them in silence. Kieran stared at him, eyes widening. Matt drifted his hand from Kieran’s mouth but held a finger to his lips. 

“What the fuck?” Kieran mouthed. 

Matt stepped farther into the dark space, checking the surroundings. He breathed a sigh of relief when he discovered they were alone then turned back to face Kieran.

“Why have you shoved me in a fucking broom cupboard?” 

Matt’s chest rose with the force of his inhalation. He tried to calm his thrashing heart. His invasive thoughts. His fear. His nerves. He couldn’t find any words. How could he explain? What would he say when he didn’t understand any of this himself? Rationality drowned by his thumping pulse, he closed his eyes to try to steady his breathing. 

“Matt?” Kieran’s voice was distant but calming. “Matt, you okay?” He placed his palm to his forehead. “Is it sunstroke?” 

Matt opened his eyes at the gentle touch, at the warm breath trickling onto his skin, at the unwavering concern in shaking lips. 

Matt shook his head. 

Kieran lowered his hand but Matt grabbed his wrist. 

“Matt? You’re scaring the fuck out of me.” 

“You think I ain’t scaring myself right now?” 

“Why?” Kieran’s question was shrouded by his sharp swallow. 

“Because I don’t know, Kier. I don’t know what’s happening.” He squeezed desperate fingers around Kieran’s wrist, glancing down to the swirls of his tribal tattoo and his breath hitched. “What’s happening to me?” 

“Too much sangria?” 

Matt pursed his lip, shaking his head. 

“Too much sun?” 

Matt shook his head. 

“You drank the tap water?” 

Matt hefted out an exasperated sigh. 

“Then, you’re gonna have to tell me.” Kieran licked his lips. “Because I’m all out of ideas.” 

Matt rubbed his thumb along the underside of Kieran’s wrist, eyes down, not able to look at Kieran as he contemplated what he should do. What he needed to do. What he was so desperate to do that it consumed his every breath. 

“Matt—”

Matt cut off Kieran’s words with a kiss. 

Kieran didn’t respond. He stood there, eyes wide as if he couldn’t believe what was happening. Frozen. Stunned. Accepting Matt’s lips on his. Shit. It was wrong. This was wrong. This wasn’t how it was supposed to be. Fears confirmed, Matt pulled away, sinking back against the wall, telling his thumping heart he was sorry. 

Kieran didn’t move. He didn’t breathe either.

Then, he closed his eyes to exhale the words, “You better not be fucking with me.” 

Matt met his gaze through the shadowy darkness. “Give me half a chance.” It had meant to be a light-hearted joke. Something to lift the mood. It came out wrong though and Kieran reached for the lift call button. 

Matt held out his hand. “Don’t.” He hung his head. “Please don’t. I got this far. I might need help for the next step.”

Kieran dropped his hand away. Then, after several awkward moments of silence, he said, “You kissed me.” 

“Yup.” 

“You put your lips on mine.” 

“Yup.”

“You…were going to put your tongue in my mouth.” 

“Are you a fucking snog pundit? Do you commentate all your kisses in the dark?”

“No, Matt!” Kieran raked a hand through his hair. “Just the ones that come from my best fucking mate.” He slapped Matt’s chest. “My straight best mate.” 

“I don’t recall ever saying I was straight.” 

“You don’t have to, Matt. It’s implied in your heterosexual relationships.” 

Matt cocked his head. “Bit last season, there, Kier.” 

“I’m going to choke you with bog roll in a minute.” 

“Bog roll?” 

“We’re in a fucking closet!” Kieran flapped his hands at shelves and shelves of toilet paper and cleaning products. “Which is so damn ironic, I can’t deal.” 

 

 

About the Author

Brought up in a relatively small town in Hertfordshire, C F White managed to do what most other residents try to do and fail—leave.

Studying at a West London university, she realised there was a whole city out there waiting to be discovered, so, much like Dick Whittington before her, she never made it back home and still endlessly search for the streets paved with gold, slowly coming to the realisation they’re mostly paved with chewing gum. And the odd bit of graffiti. And those little circles of yellow spray paint where the council point out the pot holes to someone who is supposedly meant to fix them instead of staring at them vacantly whilst holding a polystyrene cup of watered-down coffee.

Eventually she moved West to East along that vast District Line and settled for pie and mash, cockles and winkles and a bit of Knees Up Mother Brown to live in the East End of London; securing a job and creating a life, a home and a family.

After her second son was born with a rare disability, C F White’s life changed and it brought pen back to and paper after having written stories as a child but never had the confidence to show them to the world. Now, having embarked on this writing journey, C F White can’t stop. 

So strap in, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.  

 

Author Links

Twitter @CFWhiteUK  |  Facebook  |  Blog

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Caught Off Guard by Beth Laycock #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Caught Off Guard

Author: Beth Laycock

Publisher: Rainbow Romance Press

Cover Artist: Free to be creative

Release Date: June 15, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance, Military Romance

Tropes: Forced proximity, friends to lovers, brat MC

Themes: Hurt/comfort

Heat Rating:  4 flames      

Length:  approx 40 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

 

He’d risk his life to find his brother. But he never expected to risk his heart.

 

Blurb

Three months since his brother went MIA, and Lane Matthews is tired of waiting for answers from overseas. Calling in a favour from his CO, he gets a posting to Jeddah—his first overseas deployment and where his brother was stationed—and the opportunity to try to find him.

Life in a foreign land isn’t quite as he imagined, and neither are his duties. And while his first encounter with his housemate, Tristan, may be memorable, it’s for all the wrong reasons.

Tristan catches him off guard but falling for the hot—straight?—soldier is definitely not in his future. Tensions rise as Lane gets closer to discovering the truth behind his brother’s disappearance, but even the best-laid plans can get swept off course and lost like a grain of sand in the desert. 

 

This MM military romance from Beth Laycock features an age gap, a bratty MC, forced proximity, hurt/comfort, and of course a HEA.

 

Excerpt 

The driver parked up, and I clambered out of the car as if I were waking from a dream—the heat a slap in the face after the blast of the AC. My CO, or who I assumed was my commanding officer, strode my way, every inch the army man with the stiff walk and straight back.

“Matthews?” He thrust a meaty hand at me, and I shook it as he crushed my palm in his.

“Yes, sir. Lane, Lane Matthews. The Duke of Lancaster’s regiment.”

“Major Tibbins. Glad to have you here. I won’t lie; we struggled to cover the last guard’s shifts when he left, so we’re happy to have you here.”

Guard? What guard? He released my hand and clapped me on the back. I staggered under the weight, catching myself before I stumbled.

“We’ll start you on gate duty in the hut you just drove past, but you’ll probably be able to rotate with the others soon. Anyway, I just wanted to welcome you, but I’ll let you get settled in. Reception has your accommodation details and duty roster. You’re not on until tomorrow afternoon, but I’ll swing by before then. Any questions, just let me know. I’m here to help you settle in.”

He waited a beat, but when all I could do was nod in response, he strode off, leaving me to stare after him, more than a little shell-shocked.

I shuffled into reception and waited as the man behind the counter spoke to a woman with a kid sat on her hip about the nursery. Army wife? Another woman popped up behind the desk before I could give it more consideration.

“Hi, can I help you?”

After a whirlwind of paperwork, I left with a set of keys and a folder of documents. I grabbed the map and followed the tarmac path-slash-road into a housing complex. I wound my way through the houses until I found mine in the corner and fumbled the key into the lock as I finished reading my roster.

After more years than I wanted to consider in the reserves, my first proper assignment would be as a guard. A glorified fucking babysitter. What the fuck? This was not how I imagined my first overseas posting with the army. Not leaving the compound all day. I wouldn’t be a soldier like my brother. How the hell was I going to find out what had happened to him—if he was even alive still—if I would be stuck in a hut all alone?

I needed to find the soldiers he served with, question them. Find out what they were doing to locate Jake. I couldn’t just wander onto their base, and I knew none of his teammates to ask. I was screwed. And I couldn’t help but wonder if Steve, my CO back home, and maybe my dad seeing as he went way back with Steve, had had a hand in keeping me on the compound. Probably with how Steve had helped me get posted here in the first place.

I slammed the front door shut with my foot, still staring at the goddamned piece of paper, and flung my rucksack to the floor. It knocked into the console table and rattled a can of pens. I slapped the handle of my suitcase down so hard the case fell over and crashed against the wall. A groan of frustration slipped out as I slumped against the doorway and buried my hands in my hair.

“You quite finished taking your tantrum out on my home?”

The deep voice had me jerking away from the wall as my eyes flew open. I’d thought I was alone. Why was there someone in my house? Wait, his home? “I wasn’t having a tantrum.”

One thin eyebrow arched in response and, yeah, sounding like a spoilt brat wasn’t my best defence. But then all reasonable thoughts disappeared as the surprise of someone else being there wore off and I took in the man standing before me.

A man I could’ve conjured straight from my spank bank: a couple of inches taller than my six feet and much, much broader than me. With his bare chest, it was all too easy to see just how ripped he was, and I licked my lips in response. His dog tags nestled in the valley between his pecs and my gaze wandered lower over each peak and dip of his abs and traced the veins disappearing beneath the waistband of his shorts.

He cleared his throat and my gaze shot up to his, meeting dark brown eyes that seemed to mock me. Do not blatantly check out guys you’ve just met, Lane. Unless you want to get punched. Especially not a straight guy, if the edge to his glare was anything to go by. I gulped.

“It sure sounded like a tantrum.”

“I didn’t know anybody else was here.”

He smirked and a dimple appeared, softening the sharp angles of his jaw that was accentuated by the hard bristles of his beard. “So, it’s not a tantrum if you’re alone?”

 

 

About the Author 

Beth Laycock’s books are influenced by her time living overseas as well as the gritty, urban landscape of the north of England where she grew up. She has been reading romance since she was old enough to tell herself that line every book lover does—just one more chapter.

As a teenager, she attempted to write her first novel, and many more since then are still gathering dust on her bookshelf. It wasn’t until she discovered the M/M genre that her muse showed up and refused to quit telling her stories about beautiful men finding love together. She hasn’t stopped scribbling them down since. Beth’s muse usually shows up when she is in the shower, is allergic to cleaning, rarely lets her watch TV, and insists she drinks copious amounts of coffee so she can turn caffeine into words.

 Beth’s books range from sweet to sexy, long to short, contemporary to paranormal, but a HEA is always guaranteed.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up  |  Pinterest  |  BookBub

 

 

Giveaway 

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Light Falls Away by Teegan Loy #kindleunlimited #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Light Falls Away

Author: Teegan Loy

Publisher: Rotten Girl Press 

Cover Artist: Me (Rotten Girl)

Release Date: May 2, 2022

Genre: M/M Paranormal Romance  

Tropes: Friends to lovers, Coming of Age 

Themes: Finding your place in the world 

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length: 84 534 words/ 304 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited 

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

When the Fallen is the One to Rise

 

Blurb 

Growing up in Evermore, Echo always knew he didn’t belong with the angels. He’d come here as an infant and grown up as the only child in a city that never aged. Now as an adult, his wings are turning black, so he is being sent down to the human world to experience life to try and stop his decline.

Before Echo can prepare to leave, things go horribly wrong. In a frantic effort to save his life, his memory is replaced with another’s and he is left on his own to navigate in a world where, once again, he feels he doesn’t belong.

Slowly Echo makes friends and falls in love in this new place, but he still has a nagging feeling that he doesn’t quite fit. Memories of people he doesn’t know invade his thoughts until he feels he’s going crazy. Things deteriorate until Echo is sure he’ll never find his happily ever after.

 

Excerpt 

 Music played, vibrating in Echo’s brain and squealing in his ear. He rolled over and almost fell off the small bed. His head throbbed and he blindly reached out, trying to find the offending phone, speaker, or whatever was allowing that sound to fill the room.

When he came up empty, Echo struggled to sit and quickly realized that was a terrible idea. He immediately fell back into bed, where he smacked his hand on a phone and was able to stop the music. He didn’t even know he had music on his phone.

“Oh,” Echo groaned and rolled his shoulders, which brought about a new round of excruciating pain.

Echo tried sitting again, only this time he took it slow. Things gradually came into focus and he realized he might be late for work. He glanced around the unfamiliar room, confused. He didn’t belong here.

He scratched his head, positive his bedroom had blue walls when he’d gone to bed last night. This place had colorless walls and no décor. A dresser leaned against one wall and a small table with a drawer sat beside the bed. He reached over and pulled open the drawer. A lone pen rattled around. He slammed it shut and frowned. His room was filled with books, spilled ink, and feathers.

Spilled ink and feathers?

Echo swung his legs off the twin bed and his feet hit a wood floor. With great effort, he pushed himself up and grabbed the wall, wincing as another sharp pain stung his shoulder blades. When he glanced back at the bed, the sheets were damp with sweat.

“What did I do?” he muttered as he stumbled to the bathroom.

The light was too bright and he had to blink several times before he could see his reflection. The ache in his back was lessening a little but he turned to see if there was anything on his back. His skin was clear, but he felt odd, like there should be something there.

He wrinkled his brow and tried to recall anything from the last few days. He was blank.

Echo leaned in closer and studied his reflection. His skin was slightly gray and the dark circles under his eyes had him wondering if this was the first time he’d slept in days. His hair stuck up in all directions that no amount of combing was going to help. He splashed cold water on his face and tried to concentrate harder on last night, but his mind remained stubbornly blank.

“Maybe a shower,” he mumbled.

But before that happened, the sensible thing to do was check out the rest of the apartment to make sure there wasn’t anyone else around. He could also search for any clues that might tell him why he was here. He didn’t think he’d randomly break into an empty apartment.

The bigger problem was that Echo didn’t know where he was supposed to be if he wasn’t supposed to be here—wherever here was.

Thinking so many tangled thoughts made his headache worse.

The faint smell of coffee tickled his nose, and he breathed deeply, hoping there would be a steaming cup in the kitchen. It might actually be helpful if another person was in the apartment. They might be able to explain things to Echo.

He wandered down the hall, checking the other rooms. The master bedroom was huge, but just like the small room he’d come from, it had limited furnishings. When he opened the walk-in closet, he was faced with empty shelves and a few stray hangers.

Surely Echo would remember renting a new apartment.

 

 

About the Author 

When she’s not writing, Teegan Loy can be found listening to Kpop, working on her artwork, and creating junk journals. 

She’s a huge hockey and tennis fan, loves having coffee with friends, and enjoys attending concerts. 

Always on the go, she is able to gather countless ideas for new stories through her travels. Life is best lived through experiences.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook

Twitter  |  Instagram

 

Giveaway 

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one of five ebook copies from the author’s backlist

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Author Interview – Jamison: A Maxim Novel by A.N. Waugh #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Jamison: A Maxim Novel

Author: A.N. Waugh

Cover Artist: Midnight Designs

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, second chance romance, rockstar

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: approx 45 000 words

It is book one in a new series. It does not end on a cliffhanger for the couple, but there are some unresolved conflicts that will reappear later in the series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb 

Vance
Jamison Black. Lead singer for the band Maxim, and my first love. He broke my heart to follow his dream. Now, six years after the heartbreak, he is my job. I’ve worked hard for this internship and to get close to him again, but it doesn’t take long to realize we can’t be anything more than friends. Not when Maxim is so close to the success they’ve been chasing all this time.

Jamison
I never knew how much I missed Vance Martin until I saw him in the last place I expected. He is my heart. Always has been, always will be. I’m his client, and he’s determined to keep me in the friend zone. A place I refuse to stay. I might have left my heart behind six years ago, but I won’t let him go again.


Jamison is the first book in the Maxim series. An MM Rockstar, best friends to lovers, second chance romance with two stubborn main characters, a too observant, witty and flamboyant interfering coworker, entertaining bandmates and friends, and a fake girlfriend who has forgotten her love isn’t real.

 

Excerpt 

“Hey, you should come out with me tonight. I know this great club.” Klaus interrupts my thoughts about working with one of the biggest and most well-known record labels.

“Sure, why not?” I agree. I need to make friends and Klaus, with his big personality and flashy attire, seems to be the most welcoming. Besides, I should get to know the man if we are going to be working together for the next few months. What can it hurt? He’s harmless, right?

A few hours later, I’ve resigned myself to the knowledge that Klaus is anything but harmless as he drags me inside a crowded club. Every head turns in our direction, and while I’m not ashamed to be seen with him, it means I garner just as much attention for being at his side. The tight leather pants and black see-through top he’s wearing leave nothing to the imagination. Every man and woman we pass can clearly see the size of his package and the piercings in his nipples. I look and feel out of place in comparison with my jeans and an old Nirvana t-shirt.

When we reach the bar, Klaus orders a couple of shots and some fruity concoction for the two of us. I look around, taking in all the people. My eyes drift across the club, over the dance floor, and up to the second floor.

A glass wall surrounds a balcony sitting area where the VIPs avoid the crowd of commoners literally beneath them. Sitting at a table in the corner is a face I would recognize anywhere, even at a distance. I blink and he’s gone. Did I imagine it?

Klaus hands me a shot and I toss it back, letting the burn that slides down my throat bring me back to reality and the here and now.

“Here.” He hands me one of the fruity drinks. “Let’s dance.”

Maxim’s latest hit plays over the sound system and the buzz of alcohol and the steady beat of the music flow through me. The sexy, gravelly voice of Maxim’s lead singer lulls me into a sexually charged state. I close my eyes and let the rhythm take over, my body swaying in a dance learned years ago.

Jamison Black’s voice has seduced me, consoled me, and left me wanting since I was a teen. His rockstar looks: long dark hair and ice-blue eyes lined with kohl stirred my libido before I fully understood my attraction to men. Late night fantasies of his talented mouth on my skin, fantasies that still claim me when I’ve gone too long without release, flash through my mind.

The DJ switches songs, and my Jamison-induced spell is broken. I open my eyes and take in the club. Klaus, in all his flamboyant splendor, is dancing between two well-dressed men, probably corporate businessmen here to unwind. Too bad Klaus has set his sights on them.

I laugh and move from the dance floor to the bar for another drink. My inhibitions slowly drift away as the warm and sensual caress of alcohol unfurls in my veins. I glimpse myself in the mirror behind the bar. My cheeks are pink with the heat that permeates my body, and my hair is a ruffled mess from dancing.

The bartender hands me another of the fruity drinks Klaus had ordered earlier.

“Damn. That’s too bad. I’d hoped to make it over in time to buy you a drink.” A man that screams sleazy Hollywood moves to stand next to me. “I’m Chad. I hope I’m not being too forward, but are you here alone?”

“Uh,” I stall, searching the crowd for Klaus. “I’m here with—”

“There you are. I thought I’d lost you out there.”

The rich, melodic voice comes from behind and I close my eyes as an arm wraps around my waist, fingers gripping my hip.

“My apologies.” Chad sounds more annoyed than apologetic about the newcomer’s intrusion.

“No problem.” I can practically hear the forced politeness in his voice and open my eyes to tell Chad that I am not here with anyone but a friend. But he has since moved on to another target farther down the line of people at the bar.

Breathing deeply, I step away until the man’s arm at my back falls away, then turn to face a blast from my past. A sexy as fuck blast from the past.

 

 

INTERVIEW PROMPTS

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Bacon. Hahaha. I could eat bacon for every meal. It’s kinda gross to think about.

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

I only read the book once for a college English assignment, but Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen. It hit hard and just thinking about it brings back what I felt reading.

The film you can watch time and time again…

Hmm. This is hard. I’d have to say I don’t have a specific film, but I could watch psychological thrillers all day, every day.

The song that means the most to you…

Holes by Michael Malarkey. There’s just something about the lyrics that speaks to me.

The happiest moment you will cherish forever…

Any of the dates my children were born.

The way you would spend your fantasy twenty-four hours, with no travel restrictions…

Exploring Paris followed by a night of uninterrupted writing.

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Always be true to you, even when someone is telling you it’s wrong or weird. Never regret being yourself.

The crime you would commit knowing you could get away with it…

I want to answer this, I really do, but I think it’s best if I don’t. 😬🤣

The character you enjoyed writing the most…

He’s only a side character at present, but Klaus. I love writing him. He’s so fun and snarky, and definitely takes no shit from anyone.

The character you found difficult to write…

Alex. And it’s only going to be more difficult when I reach his story arc in the series. But it’ll be so rewarding too. He’s not very likable currently, but I know readers will fall for him once his story is out there.

And the promo…

This is a rockstar series, but most of the scenes take place outside of performances. There will be some characters readers will hate at first  *cough* Alex *cough* that I hope they grow to love as they learn more about them. Each book will be a different trope tailored to the characters, and will contain different combinations of sexualities. I hope to make the readers fall for all of the characters despite their faults and to see the growth of the band and their growing family through some twisted ups and downs that are just beginning in Jamison.

THANK YOU

 

About the Author 

A.N. Waugh is an author of MM/MMM+ romances, a pansexual mess, and a firm believer that love is love.

 

Social Media Links

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Newsletter Sign-Up  |  Instagram  |  BookBub  |  TikTok

 

 

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Disowned Royal (Club Royal Book 4) by Elouise East #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Disowned Royal (Club Royal Book 4)

Author and Publisher: Elouise East

Cover Artist: Designs by Tina Løwen

Release Date: June 2, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, Daddy/little, hurt/comfort, famous person chooses commoner

Themes: Family trying to hurt those the MCs love, 

Heat Rating:  3 – 4 flames   

Length: approx 82 000 words/ 295 pages

It can be read as a standalone but it is recommended the other books are read first.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger, but there is an overarching storyline that goes through the series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

Book 1 (Rogue Royal) will be on sale from June 2 – 5

 

An ex-Army prince must protect the man he loves from his treasonous family

 

Blurb

Life couldn’t get any more twisted and convoluted if it tried. Christian hates his parents as much as they hate him, but he never expected them to throw him in a cell when he blurted out he was bisexual. Their public image is important to them because it hides the transgressions they’ve subjected many people to over the years. People Christian mourn every day because he couldn’t save them. Reading is an escape, and one place gives him the solitude he needs to shore his defences – and the view isn’t too bad either.

Oscar is living his dream. The owner of a beautiful cafe slash bookshop slash library, he is never happier than when he is working, which is all the time. When Prince Christian becomes a regular, Oscar tries to stop his attraction to him, but the man is like a god. A haunted god, but nonetheless. His scrutiny of the man means he notices when Christian nears breaking point, but he has no idea what to do about it. Christian offers to find him a Daddy, but Oscar hesitates. Does Christian really want to help or is he feeling sorry for him? 

When their attraction persuades Christian to take the role of Oscar’s Daddy for himself, can he keep Oscar safe when he goes up against the people who wish to harm those they love?

This is an MM book containing BDSM scenes and D/s dynamics in all forms. It also has lots of loving, friendships, family drama and, of course, a HEA.

 

Excerpt 

“Would you like some company?” he asked.

Christian smiled. “Sure. Have a seat.”

“I don’t have to if you want some peace. I didn’t realise Hilary had…”

“Sit down, little one,” Christian murmured.

Oscar slid into the seat opposite him, pulling his cup and cake towards him. He was quiet for a moment before he peered at Christian again. “Does it hurt?”

Christian chuckled. “A little. Eating is tiresome because it makes my jaw ache, but I can manage.”

“Are your ribs the same?” Raising his eyebrows, Christian tilted his head. “I saw you wince a couple of times.”

“Yes. My ribs are decorated like a rainbow at present.”

Oscar gasped. “Should you be resting?”

“If I didn’t get out of there, I would’ve gone mad. I’ve been ‘resting’ for days already.” He focused on his coffee, taking a sip.

Oscar bit his lip to stop from asking what happened. Instead, he used his fork to cut a piece of his cake and slide it into his mouth. The chocolate cake was delicious, and the reason he always had his supplier make an extra cake so he could take one home. He counted it as part of his wages. It didn’t help that he had a sweet tooth, something his Daddy would need to help him with when he had one who stayed longer than a night.

“What are you thinking about?” Christian asked.

Oscar opened the eyes he hadn’t realised he’d closed and studied him. Then he stared at his cake, pushing crumbs from one side to the other. He huffed a laugh. “I was thinking that I needed my Da…” He glanced over his shoulder. “I needed my Daddy to make sure I didn’t eat too many sweet things. I have something of a problem.”

Christian laughed. “Working in a cafe is probably not the best idea.”

“Don’t I know it. I’m sure my trousers are getting tighter by the day.”

“You look fine to me. I bet being on your feet all day balances the sweet addiction. I bet it’s not as bad as Henry and George, anyway.”

“Why?”

Christian put his mug down and curled his hands around it. “Henry loves fudge. Any flavour, any shape. Just fudge. If he had his way, he’d eat it every day. As for George, his addiction to love heart sweets easily pays a factory worker’s annual salary.”

Oscar chuckled. “I don’t feel so alone now.”

“You’d fit right in, don’t you worry.”

Oscar’s heart jumped with Christian’s words, though he knew the prince didn’t mean anything by them. There was no way he would fit in with royalty.

“I will be speaking tomorrow to a couple of people who might be interested in your…situation,” Christian said. “I will hopefully have more news for you tomorrow.”

Oscar swallowed hard, ignoring the pang in his stomach when he thought about someone else being with him. He couldn’t have a prince. “Thank you.” He drank his coffee, shoving down the feelings his traitorous body was bringing to the surface.

“What’s wrong?”

Oscar glanced up. “What?”

“You seem sad. Has something happened?”

“No, nothing. I’m okay.”

Christian narrowed his eyes on him, and Oscar fidgeted in his seat, wanting to make himself smaller. Not because Christian was intimidating, but because Oscar’s brain was already associating Christian with being a Daddy and someone he didn’t want to upset. He wanted to be good for him, even though they didn’t have that type of relationship.

“Oscar?”

He lifted his gaze to where his name had been called, and Hilary waved for him. He stood. “I have to get back to work. I’m glad you’re okay.” Oscar stepped away but turned back when Christian said his name softly.

“I’ll find someone. I promise.”

 

 

About the Author  

I am Elouise East but feel free to call me Elli. I write sweet and steamy connections in gay romance. I also touch on taboo stories under the name Elouise R East.

Books that tell the stories where friendship and family are the focal point – be it blood family or chosen – is very important to me. That’s why I include a variety of personalities, talents, ages, situations and abilities as I believe a story or a character needs. I want my characters to be real, to be relatable, to be free to have whatever views they tell me they have. And trust me, most of the time, I do not have any say in the matter!

My characters come to life on the page for me as well as my readers. Their stories unfold in front of me, and I have very little input into how they want to be shown. Just like real life, the lives of my characters change with every choice, every interaction and every conversation. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I write books that are emotionally realistic, even if liberties are taken with other aspects of my stories. I don’t know any other way to write. It comes from deep inside.

Who am I? A single parent to two children who make life worth living. An avid reader who still devours every book she can get her hands on. A student of learning about any subject that takes her fancy. An author of books she would read herself. And a romantic at heart who loves anything cheesy. 

Who’s in?

 

Author Links

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Instagram   |  Newsletter Sign-up  

Bookbub  |  TikTok

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of two signed paperbacks of one book from the Club Royal series

(Rogue Royal, Secretive Royal, Grieving Royal or Disowned Royal)

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The Fire Island Ice Queen by B.J. Irons #kindleunlimited #giveaway

BOOK BLAST

Book Title: The Fire Island Ice Queen

Author: B.J. Irons

Publisher: Spectrum Books

Release Date: May 7, 2022

Genres: Contemporary M/M Romance – Beach Read

Tropes: Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming of Age, Embracing Sexual Identity

Heat Rating: 2 flames

Length: 50 000 words

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads 

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US   |  Amazon UK 

 

A Fire Island beach read that will melt the hearts of all ice queens

 

Blurb 

College law student, Connor, is a bit pretentious, high-strung and what some might describe as being cold as ice. After catching his boyfriend cheating on him and then being dumped, Connor decides to take his best friend Byron up on his offer for a summer gaycation experience to Fire Island.

While at Fire Island, Connor reevaluates his identity and goes through a deep soul searching experience to truly understand himself. While on vacation, he befriends a stranger named Lawrence, who encourages Connor to open up more and become lively. Lawrence proposes that Connor completes a series of wild, fun tasks, which he dubs as the Fire Island Ice Queen Challenge to get Connor to come out of his shell more. Will this frivolous and boisterous vacation at Fire Island be enough to melt the heart of this Ice Queen?

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

“Ewwwww!” I exclaimed, noticing the skinny, shirtless guy dancing on the box out of the corner of my eye. He had two older men standing below holding dollar bills up at him.

Pathetic!

The whole scene gave me an unsettling feeling in my stomach. The boy reeked of desperation for attention and the old men reeked of desperation for the pale and frail twink. I was expecting to see his skin glisten like diamonds when the strobe lights moved on top of him. He was decidedly vampiric-looking, but lacked the hot features of Edward Cullen.

I rolled my eyes and diverted my focus back to my boyfriend, Derrick, who was beside me at the bar, ordering us another round of drinks.

“What are you ewww-ing about now?” he asked.

“Just that dirty ginger up on the box.” I pointed in the direction of him, now bending over on the box, getting the money tucked into his waistband by the two tragic geriatrics.

“Ugh! Why do you care about him anyway, Connor?” Derrick questioned me with a vexed tone in his voice.

He was right. I did care too much about how other

people behaved, dressed, acted, etc. I was a very judgmental person and I could recognize that in myself. However, I wouldn’t dare to let other people think that of me. As much as I cared about how others presented themselves, I cared even more about how I looked and how I was judged. I went to the gym every day, made sure I was the top student in all of my college classes, and wanted everyone to know that I was beyond mature for my age. I wouldn’t have them think any less of me.

But, I’d be out of my mind to admit this to my boyfriend.

“I don’t really care about him at all. It’s just an observation,” I confessed.

Derrick handed me my drink that the bartender gave him. “Yeah. But just let him be. He’s a young guy just trying to have fun. Clearly, he doesn’t care what other people think of him. If anything, you’re giving him the attention he wants by even making thatcomment.”

My boyfriend had a point here. I was giving him more attention than I should. And now, by having this conversation with Derrick, I was donating way too much of my time and energy in talking about him.

Derrick then reached for my empty hand. “Do you want to dance?”

I shook my head, recoiling from him. “Nah. I’m good. You can go ahead. I’ll chill out here at the bar for a bit. I wouldn’t be caught dead dancing out there.”

He simply shrugged and chugged his drink before turning around to head out to the dance floor.

I decided to take the now empty seat at the bar he left open. I glanced down at my phone and began scrolling through a few social media posts. This place was getting boring. Yawning, I checked the time to realize it wasn’t even midnight yet. What a snooze-fest tonight had turned out to be. Our usual friends had other plans and couldn’t make it out tonight, which left Derrick and me stuck alone with ourselves. I turned back around to try and pinpoint his location on the crowded dance floor, but had no luck.

I let out a heavy sigh, tapping my right leg up and down on the foot of the barstool. I had to really take a piss, and couldn’t hold it in much longer. But, at the same time, I didn’t want Derrick to come back and think I had disappeared.

However, I would only be gone for a minute or so. Oh well. I stood up and walked across the dance floor towards the bathroom.

“Nice ass!” I heard a man behind me say as he grabbed my butt as I scooted by him.

Dirty fucker! He was lucky I had to use the bathroom so badly. Otherwise, I would have turned back around and made a whole scene in front of everyone.

I pushed my way through the random guys chilling in the hallway leading to the bathroom, who were either gossiping or making out with one another. I opened the bathroom door and saw that the four urinals were occupied. One of the two stalls had the door halfway open, so I slightly kicked it to make sure no one was in there before I claimed it.

Locking the door behind me, I dropped my pants and released myself, letting out a light sigh of relief. I glanced down at the floor and could see a rather large shadow coming from the next stall over. There was definitely more than one person there. I could then hear a few wet and sloppy kiss-like noises coming from next door as well.

Like seriously!? Get a fucking room!

I flushed the toilet and walked out of the stall, shaking my head in disdain. Moving towards the sink, I checked myself out in the mirror as I proceeded to wash my hands. I rubbed my hand through my hair, making sure it was swept back nicely. My mouth gaped open at what I saw next. The door to the stall that was next to mine opened and the two guys emerged from it. The first was some random, cute guy who had a similarly toned body to me, except he had bright bleach blonde hair. Then, behind him, was Derrick.

Derrick was with that stranger in the stall!? What the fuck!?

I immediately turned around to face them both.

“Derrick! What the fuck!? Are you shitting me right now!?” I yelled.

 

 

About the Author 

BJ Irons works in the field of education as an educational leader and college professor. Many of his personal experiences as a gay man, have contributed to his works. Being a part of the LGBTQIA+ community himself, BJ hopes to continue to bring more fun fictional works to his LGBTQIA+ readers. The world could always use a little more color and fun.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |  Instagram 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

one of three ebook copies of The Fire Island Ice Queen

or one of three paperback copies (U.S. only)

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Sweet to the Core by Amy Aislin #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Sweet to the Core

Author and Publisher: Amy Aislin

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: Contemporary m/m romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, cousin’s BFF, small town, forced proximity, mini age gap (5 years)

Length: 64 000 words/ 250 pages

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

It is book three in the Lighthouse Bay trilogy, but it can be read as a standalone and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

AMAZON  |  APPLE  |   B&N  |  KOBO  

 

 

Blurb

Dev has pined for his cousin’s best friend for years, but no matter how hard he wishes, Clark sees him as nothing but a friend. And it’s as a friend that Clark comes to him for help.

Clark’s father is on the brink of losing his house and the fastest way to make a quick buck is to win the $10,000 prize in the inaugural Sweet to the Core apple baking contest. Only problem? He’s never baked anything that hasn’t come out of a box.

But Dev has. As a baker, he’s Clark’s best chance.

For the first time, Dev has something Clark wants. Only problem? Dev needs the prize for himself. The only thing he wants—besides Clark—is to buy the local lighthouse where he last spent time with his parents before they died.

Working together means opening a lot more than a barrel of apples, though. They may have found the recipe to love.

But will Dev have to give up the only connection he has left to his parents in order to have it? Or will Clark let his father down? They can’t both have everything.

Or can they?

 

 Excerpt 

“I wanted to talk to you about Sweet to the Core.”

“I already told you I’m not entering.”

“What if you had a partner and entered as a team?”

Dev swirled the beer in his bottle. “Why would I do that? I work alone.”

“As they say, two heads are better than one.”

“No, thanks.”

“Don’t you want to know who it is?”

“Are they an expert in baking with apples?”

“Uh . . . no,” Clark said. “They’re not really an expert in baking . . . anything. Except homemade pasta. And cock croissants.”

“Then again, I ask, why would I want to do that?” Why would he split ten grand with someone who couldn’t actively contribute? “Wait.” An expert in making homemade pasta? Cock croissants? “You want to compete?”

Clark crossed his arms and squinted against the sun. “I looked the rules up online. That social media component? It’s all about documenting your journey through the competition. Whoever gets the most cumulative likes at the end gets a thousand bucks, six months of free advertising, and web design consultation.”

“Yes, I know all this. That’s why I’m not competing. I don’t have time for all the social stuff.”

“Right. That’s where I come in.”

Dev regarded him through narrowed eyes. What universe had he been dropped into that Clark wanted to partner with him for a baking contest? There wasn’t a single part of that sentence that made sense. “Explain.”

“What if I take care of the social media stuff?” Sitting forward, Clark braced both elbows on his knees and regarded him. “Whenever you’re doing contest-related stuff, I’ll tag along, take photos, and post them with a catchy caption. Easy. I’ll have everyone eating out of the palm of your hand. Which leaves you free for the baking. If we win, we split the prize fifty-fifty.”

Dev pursed his lips. Fuck, it was tempting. So very, very tempting. Half the prize would speed up his timeline for acquiring the lighthouse and light keeper’s cottage by months. He could be out of Holland and Zach’s hair that much faster. Within the year if the one-story cottage could be renovated quickly.

The prospect of spending all that time with Clark, though . . . Dev both dreaded it and ached for it desperately.

“Why?” he asked. “Why would you do this? There’s a lot of prep that goes into this kind of thing. It’s not about submitting my bake and hoping for the best. There are two rounds of—”

“Judging. I remember.”

“It’s not just that,” Dev stressed, trying to drive the point home that this wasn’t something that would take an hour of Clark’s life before he went on his merry way. “Whatever I enter in the contest needs to be test-baked several times to ensure it’s as perfect as it can be. That means I need to check my personal inventory to determine if I have enough ingredients to cover multiple bakes. If it’s not, I need to buy some—flour, baking powder, whatever. And this is an apple baking contest, which means going apple picking to select the best apples. I also need to research other countywide contests to see what kinds of bakes have won. Granted, I’ll be doing all of this in the evenings after the bakery has closed, so if we do team up, it won’t interfere with your job. But it’s still going to take up a lot of your time in the next four weeks. This isn’t one of your hookups; there’s a time commitment involved.”

Clark opened his mouth to speak. Snapped it closed, brow furrowing. “You seem to have a very low opinion of my character.”

 

 

About the Author 

Amy’s lived with her head in the clouds since she first picked up a book as a child, and being fluent in two languages means she’s read a lot of books! She first picked up a pen on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class had to stay inside for recess. Tales of treasure hunts with her classmates eventually morphed into love stories between men, and she’s been writing ever since. She writes evenings and weekends—or whenever she isn’t at her full-time day job saving the planet at Canada’s largest environmental non-profit.

An unapologetic introvert, Amy reads too much and socializes too little, with no regrets. She loves connecting with readers. Join her Facebook Group to stay up-to-date on upcoming releases and for access to early teasers, find her on Instagram, or sign up for her infrequent newsletter.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram

Newsletter Sign-up  |  Facebook Group 

 

 

Giveaway 

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a paperback of Sweet to the Core.

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Collar Me (My Kinky Housemate Book Three) by Colette Davison #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Collar Me (My Kinky Housemate Book Three)

Author and Publisher: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Release Date: May 17, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Puppy play, friends to lovers, small amount of hurt/comfort

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: 72 000 words

It can be read as a standalone but is better read as part of the series.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Will losing my trainer lead me to what my heart desires—a collar and Preston?

 

Blurb

I’ve found the perfect place to live in London thanks to the My Kinky Housemate app. It’s close to work and my housemates don’t mind me de-stressing from my job as a nurse by being a playful puppy. Life is good until my puppy trainer finds a girlfriend leaving me high and dry.

A flippant comment leads to an offer from Preston, the housemate I’ve got a mile high crush on. I thought my attraction wasn’t mutual until he proves me wrong while being my temporary trainer for a puppy show. 

Preston has never been into pet play before, but it seems he’ll make an exception for me. As our relationship flourishes and strengthens with him as my new trainer, someone in the puppy community sets out to destroy my reputation.

Can Preston help me resolve the situation before I get driven out of the community that brings me joy?

 

Collar Me is an MM puppy play romance with housemates that become lovers, handcuffs, a fantasy toy, a jealous puppy and lots and lots of snuggles. It’s the third book in the My Kinky Housemate Series and, while it can be enjoyed as a standalone, it’s better to read it after Sugar Bunny and Plaything.

 

 

Excerpt 

Realising our first training session will be more about me training Preston than the other way around, I decide not to put on my puppy gear. Instead, I go downstairs in my pyjama bottoms, with my house ears and kneepads on.

It’s a weird time of day. If I’m on a day shift, I’d have been up and out of the house before anyone else is awake. I’m usually fast asleep if I’m on a night shift or on my days off. I’ve never been awake and in the house at seven in the morning. Beau and Fraser are in the kitchen, talking and laughing as they eat breakfast together. After waving good morning to them, I go to the sitting room.

Preston is waiting for me. He’s dressed for work in smart black trousers, a pale blue shirt, and a navy tie with white polka dots. I pause for a second or two to appreciate how handsome he looks.

“Morning,” he says. “I did some reading online last night, but I’m still not sure what I’m doing. Go easy on me, okay?”

I grin. “I figured. That’s why I’m not planning on going into puppy space.”

“You’re not?”

“Nope. We can talk through some basics, maybe practice doing a couple of simple commands. How does that sound?”

“Great.” He clears his throat and reaches for a bag. “Apparently, a trainer is allowed to give their puppy a collar.”

I tilt my head and let out a confused ‘ruff’.

Preston opens the bag and takes out a purple nylon collar. “I hope it fits.”

“When did you…?” I shake my head.

“Does the headshake mean you won’t wear it?” Preston looks visibly disappointed. “I’m sorry. I thought—”

I wave my hands to stop him from talking. “No, no, no. I’m confused, that’s all. When did you get that?”

“Does it matter?”

I press my hand to my stomach, which is fluttering ridiculously. “Yes,” I whisper. “It does.”

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook Page   |  Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub   |   Twitter  |   Goodreads  |  Instagram: @colettedavison

Mailing List  |   Newsletter Sign-Up

 

 

Giveaway

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a $10 Amazon Gift Card

 

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Everything About You: A Second Chance Gay Romance by Jeanne St. James #kindleunlimited

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Everything About You: A Second Chance Gay Romance

Author: Jeanne St. James

Publisher: Double-J Romance, Inc.

Cover Artist/Photographer/Cover Model: Golden Czermak @ FuriousFotog

Release Date: May 7, 2022

Genre:  Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Second Chance, Friends to Lovers

Themes: Forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 334 print pages

It is a standalone story.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon   |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

It was your smile.

Your laugh.

The color of your eyes.

The way you looked at me when no one else was looking.

The way you held me.

The way you kissed me.

It was everything about you I loved.

 

The flattening of that smile.

The silence of your laughter.

The loss of your lips.

The distance you created.

The way you left.

The way you destroyed it all.

The way you destroyed me.

Destroyed us.

It was everything about you I hated.

 

Everything about you.

I wanted.

Needed.

Hoped for.

And that day you not only broke my heart.

You f*cking crushed it.

Note: Everything About you is a standalone gay (M/M) second chance romance. Please refer to the content note at the beginning of the book before buying or reading. You can access that page by using Amazon’s “Look Inside” feature or downloading the free sample. This info can also be found on my website. As always, this book doesn’t have a cliffhanger and an HEA is guaranteed.

 

Excerpt

I stabbed the up arrow button on the lobby elevator in my building. My breath quickly returning back to normal and the sweat starting to dry on my body. I looked forward to washing that sweat and grime from my skin once I got upstairs.

Maybe even doing more than that under the warm spray of the shower.

The numbers lit up one after the other as the elevator car traveled down from the sixth floor.

Ding. Five.

Ding. Four.

Ding. Three.

The buzz and click of the outer lobby door unlocking behind me had me glancing over my shoulder to see if I needed to hold the elevator for whoever just entered.

I pulled the sweaty T-shirt from over my shoulder where I had tossed it, and used it to wipe my face, because clearly I was seeing things. Sweat must have gotten into my eyes. Or maybe I was lightheaded because I hadn’t eaten anything since much earlier today.

Or…

Or…  I was really seeing who I thought I was.

But that couldn’t be. I had to be imagining it. Imagining him.

Maybe I was having a stroke or some medical issue and needed to sit down. It was true that I hadn’t been running outside as much as I should be and it could be my blood sugar reacting to the intense cardio session.

Or I was simply delusional.

The man who had walked through the front entrance paused in the vestibule lined with the residents’ mailboxes. He appeared as if he had just rolled out of bed, even though he wore a suit. It was wrinkled like he’d slept on a park bench.

He couldn’t be homeless since he had the code to the front entrance and that was changed once a month. That meant he had to be a current resident, even though I had never spotted him in the building before.

However, not only did he look out of sorts, he was talking to himself. Just like the homeless man who often slept on a bench in Point State Park. The one who occasionally bathed in the fountain and also fished out the change thrown in by tourists and locals alike.

Funny, I never once had my wish come true after throwing a penny into a fountain, but maybe it worked for other people.

I couldn’t hear what the man was saying because of the second set of doors separating the vestibule from the lobby, but even with his head tipped down, I could clearly see his lips moving. He could be wearing earbuds and talking to someone on his cell phone.

Or he could be having a full-blown conversation with himself as he dug deep into his pants pocket. Most likely for his mailbox key.

Even after drying the sweat from around my eyes, he still looked so familiar.

Too familiar.

The elevator dinged as it arrived on the main floor and the doors whooshed open. Mr. and Mrs. Callahan from the fourth floor stepped out with their little yappy, ankle-biter Pomeranian, Mr. Pibbles.

I side-stepped to give the older couple room to pass and also so that little fucker didn’t take a chunk out of my ankle.

Mrs. Callahan’s gaze swept over me and I knew exactly why.

I was wearing nothing but black silky shorts that, when sweaty, clung to my assets, along with running sneakers, ankle-high sports socks and a Penn State U baseball cap.

It also didn’t help that my skin wasn’t a perfect shade of pale and I sported a wide assortment of tattoos covering my torso and arms.

However, it wasn’t the first time they’d seen me after a run and, unfortunately for them, it wouldn’t be the last.

Mr. Callahan held the elevator door for me even though it looked like he was sucking on a lemon while doing so.

They were lovely people.

By lovely, I meant judgmental assholes.

Even so, we needed to coexist since we all lived in the same building. Instead of flipping him the bird, I gave him a nod and said, “I’m not going up yet, but thanks,” then took a quick glance over my shoulder again toward the vestibule.

The newest resident must’ve found his key since the metal door to one of the mailboxes now hung wide open while he rifled through a fistful of mail.

Shaking his head, he continued to talk to himself. The only time he glanced up was when the Callahans walked past him with Mr. Pibbles yapping in warning. Mr. Pibbles didn’t like strangers.

Hell, Mr. Pibbles didn’t like anyone except for the Callahans. And even that was questionable.

As soon as the couple and their orange yap rat stepped out onto the sidewalk, the man shut the mailbox and turned…

And the revolving Earth came to a complete and abrupt stop, as if someone had jerked up the emergency brake.

 

 

About the Author

JEANNE ST. JAMES is a USA Today, Amazon and international bestselling romance author who loves writing about strong women and alpha males. She was only thirteen when she first started writing. Her first published piece was an erotic short story in Playgirl magazine. She then went on to publish her first romance novel in 2009. She is now an author of over fifty contemporary romances. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages, including interracial. She also writes M/M paranormal romance under the name J.J. Masters.

 

 

Social Media Links

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Cover Reveal – Jamison: A Maxim Novel by A.N. Waugh

COVER REVEAL

 

Book Title: Jamison: A Maxim Novel

Author: A.N. Waugh

Cover Artist: Midnight Designs

Release Date: June 7, 2022

Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, second chance romance, rockstar

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length: approx 45 000 words

It is book one in a new series. It does not end on a cliffhanger for the couple, but there are some unresolved conflicts that will reappear later in the series.

Goodreads

 

Pre-Order Links

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb 

Vance
Jamison Black. Lead singer for the band Maxim, and my first love. He broke my heart to follow his dream. Now, six years after the heartbreak, he is my job. I’ve worked hard for this internship and to get close to him again, but it doesn’t take long to realize we can’t be anything more than friends. Not when Maxim is so close to the success they’ve been chasing all this time.

Jamison
I never knew how much I missed Vance Martin until I saw him in the last place I expected. He is my heart. Always has been, always will be. I’m his client, and he’s determined to keep me in the friend zone. A place I refuse to stay. I might have left my heart behind six years ago, but I won’t let him go again.


Jamison is the first book in the Maxim series. A MM Rockstar, best friends to lovers, second chance romance with two stubborn main characters, a too observant, witty and flamboyant interfering coworker, entertaining bandmates and friends, and a fake girlfriend who has forgotten her love isn’t real.

 

Excerpt 

“Your music has garnered you a growing fan club, and I think you’re on the verge of hitting it big.” Lance Macallister, owner of Twisted Records, always starts these meetings the same: compliments on our music—because let’s face it, we’re good—followed by a reprimand for our behavior. Or, more accurately, Alex’s behavior.

“But?” I ask, prompting the reaming we’re all here for.

“But,”—he meets each of our stares—“we have to do something about the band’s image if you want to go any further in your careers. Ronnie spotted your talent that night six years ago, but talent only gets you so far.”

Ronnie offers me a polite smile. The man has been our manager since we won a battle of the bands contest in some hole in the wall bar, but he lacks any of the aggressiveness needed to keep a band of young twenty-somethings in line. Especially as he’s not that much older than us.

“What do you need us to do? I thought me dating Marcy was enough to eclipse any bad publicity coming our way.” The last time our lead guitarist, Alexander Gregory, pulled a stunt that got us called into this conference room, he’d trashed a hotel room and punched a bellhop. Macallister’s solution was to throw the popular up-and-coming actress, Marcy Dixon, at me. By redirecting the attention to my relationship with the popular starlet—no matter how fake it is—Macallister had kept Alex’s destructive behavior from the press. I’d do anything for Maxim, and it’s not as though pretending to date Marcy is a hardship. She’s gorgeous, and the sex is good. Our relationship may be fake, but I’m still a man with needs. Marcy understands that it’s all for show with a little fun on the side to ease the tension once in a while.

“It is. For now. But you’re gaining in popularity with your new single, ‘For Tonight’. It won’t be long until your faces are all over the entertainment rags. And when that happens, they’ll show the bad alongside the good.” Jude Thomas, Macallister’s friend and business partner, glares at us like the heathens he likely considers us. The man hasn’t had a smile for us since we met. Ronnie assures me he likes us, but that’s hard to believe when all he does is look down his nose at us and glare before rushing from the room after each meeting.

“Jude is right. We need to keep ahead of any potential disasters,” Macallister says. Meaning we needed to get Alex to fall in line before we lose the label any money. “I’ve hired a PR team specifically for Maxim. They’ll be here in two days for introductions before you leave for tour.”

“Tour?” Anderson—Anders—Cartwright, our keyboardist, asks.

“Yes. You’ll be opening for Tainted as they tour the country. I’ve also taken the liberty of hiring a stylist. He’ll be heading on tour with you and the PR team.”

I look at my bandmates to gauge their reactions to the news. Alex looks pissed. What else is new? Anders looks indifferent, ready to go with the flow of whatever we decide to do. Thierry Lachlan, Maxim’s drummer, and Rierdan Hughes, bassist, are both looking to me, concern for the band’s future clear on their faces.

“I’m sorry, okay.” Alex grits out the words between clenched teeth.

“You’re always sorry, Mr. Gregory,” Jude throws back at him, his tone clearly saying he doesn’t believe Alex deserves another chance.

“Which is why you will be required to attend anger management sessions. Since we can’t postpone the tour, they will be held virtually and to ensure you follow through, we have assigned a member of the PR team to attend alongside you.” Macallister gathers the papers sitting on the table in front of him. “I’ll see you in two days, gentlemen. Try not to get into any trouble before then.”

Jude hightails it from the conference room while McAllister and Ronnie leisurely take their leave. No one says a word until the door closes behind them.

“Fuck! Alex, you need to tame whatever the hell issues you have.” Thierry shoves a hand into his dark blond mane, gripping the roots and dislodging the hair tie holding his bun in place.

“I don’t know what’s going on with you, but Thierry’s right. If you don’t get yourself under control, Maxim will suffer for it.” Even Anders, the usually carefree, go with the flow guy, is noticeably frustrated with our guitarist.

“I think this anger management Macallister has planned will be good for you, Alex,” I tell him, and I mean it. He’s always been the angriest of our group, but the past few years have seen him move into a wave of hostility I can only describe as self-hatred.

Alex grunts his disapproval but doesn’t argue. He wants Maxim to be successful as much as the rest of us. After six years, we’re finally getting a chance to prove we’re worthy of all Twisted Records has put in to get us here.

Rierdan slams his palm down on the table, jerking my attention to the smile stretching his face. “We’re going on tour. Maxim is going to be headlining for fucking Tainted!”

 

About the Author 

A.N. Waugh is an author of MM/MMM+ romances, a pansexual mess, and a firm believer that love is love.

 

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The Last Beginning by Abrianna Denae

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Book Title: The Last Beginning

Author and Publisher: Abrianna Denae

Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 61 000 words/210 pages

It is a standalone story in a new series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Amazon link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

“Nobody tells you how one moment, one decision, can change the course of your entire life.” 

Kit Briar is starting over. At thirty-three, he thought he had his life planned out, but a devastating revelation sends him back to his hometown, desperate to make a life for himself and his son. 

“Sometimes, a single kiss can lead a person down a road they never expected.”

Lawson Craig never meant to fall in love with his hot new neighbor, his life’s complicated enough. Except Kit and his young son fulfill a void he did know he had. The more he tries to fight against the mutual attraction, the harder it is to stay away. 

“If it came down to it, I’d let him go. I’d let him go because he deserves someone so much better than me.” 

Lawson and Kit find themselves in a whirlwind romance. They fall hard and fast, but every choice comes with consequences and neither of them are prepared for what happens when their blissful bubble pops. They’ll have to learn to trust in each other and what they’re trying to build in order to get the happy ending they’ve both always wanted. When every road seems to lead to heartbreak, how will they ever find forever? 

 

Excerpt

We lean back against the counter and talk about random things for a while. It’s nice. I have some friends but no one I hang out with regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this could be just a one time thing, but I like the vibe Kit has, I’m hoping he likes mine too.

“You said you’re from the area?” I ask after a lapse in conversation.

Kit nods, “Yeah, my family all still live close. My siblings helped me move in today.”

“How many siblings do you have?”

He smiles a little, “Two sisters and two brothers. I’m the baby of the family and they all treat me that way. Never mind that I’m a grown ass man.”

“I think siblings are supposed to do that. I’m one of two. I have an older brother, we’re close since neither of us talk to our parents anymore. What about you?”

“I’m pretty close to all my siblings. It’s just my dad. Mom passed away when I was eight.”

“Wow. Five kids for one person, did he ever remarry?”

“No. He dated someone for a long time, but they broke up about five years ago. He’s gone on dates since but says he’s too old for anything serious.”

I scoff. “I don’t think love cares how old you are.”

Kit smiles at me and I ignore the way my heart trips over itself. “That’s what my sisters say, but I think he’s content. He has us and his grandkids. He’s enjoying his life.”

“Can’t say I blame him. I’d probably be the same.”

Kit looks at me, his dark brown eyes assessing, “Yeah? Believe in love for everyone but yourself?”

“Ehh,” I make a seesaw motion with my hand. “Yes and no. Would I like to have that one person I spend the rest of my life with, knowing that they’re it for me? Yes, I think most people want that. Do I think it’ll happen?” I shrug, “It’s complicated.”

“Trust me,” Kit sighs, “I know all about complications.”

Is it me or are we closer than before? My arm brushes his and I try not to react like a fucking teenager with their first crush. It’s ridiculous really, the things I feel for this man that I’ve known an hour.

“Tell me about the neighborhood?” He asks, breaking into my thoughts. “You said the neighbor on your other side hates you?”

I sigh and ignore how fucking close his mouth suddenly is to mine. We’re almost the same height, it would be nothing to lean forward and kiss him.

“Uh yeah, she’s a total bitch. I mean, maybe. I think it’s just me. She’s older, in her fifties I’d say. I try to be nice and do things like mow her yard and take her garbage cans out, things like that. She glares at me and never shows any appreciation. I can’t tell if she really hates me or if she is just a really sour person, you know?

“When I first moved in I made cookies, brownies, and muffins for her, the previous owners of this house, and the people across the street from me. She’s the only one who refused to take anything from me. Which, I get, it was kinda weird to have this stranger show up with a bunch of baked goods, but you’d have thought I offered up straight poison the way she acted.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s missing. More for me.” Kit smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

“You’ll have to come into the bakery some time, I’ll give you a discount.”

Kit pouts, “Oh so I only get free stuff at home.”

“Yep. Gotta make that money.”

He huffs out a laugh, “I’d happily pay for anything made by you.”

It’s not my imagination this time. He definitely leaned forward.

“You flatter me,” I hope that didn’t come out as breathless as I think. “What if the only thing I can make are cookies?”

“I like cookies.” He whispers.

We’re so fucking close.

“Good.”

I don’t know who moves first. One second we’re a breath apart, the next, our lips are touching in an impossibly soft kiss.

Neither of us move for a moment, and then Kit slowly moves his mouth over mine. I follow his lead, keeping the kiss soft and slow.

A hand grabs my hip and I groan as our bodies come together. Kit takes that opportunity to deepen the kiss. His tongue sweeps against my lip and I allow him in my mouth.

Gasping, I fight him for dominance. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything this good. He lets me take control of the kiss and I push him against the counter. Our lower bodies are flush and I can feel his arousal brushing against mine. Shivering, I press my lips harder to his. Tangling one hand in his hair, I pull back enough to bite at his lip, making him moan.

“Shit,” he gasps before kissing me hard.

I press my hips into his and groan at the sensation. Kit’s hands grip my ass tightly and it feels so fucking good. I almost beg him to fuck me, but that’d be reckless. Kissing him is enough for now.

We pull apart for breath, both of us panting softly. “Just so you know,” I tell him, “I don’t go around kissing all the neighbors.”

He laughs breathlessly, “That one neighbor might like you if you did.”

I snort and shake my head. “You’re prettier.”

I kiss him again, softer now. Our tongues meet and it’s perfect. Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could spend hours just kissing this man. Crazy? Absolutely, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve done, not by a long shot.

 

 

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-five-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, they have always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued their mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is their best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, Abrianna tries to incorporate as much of their real-world views and feelings into their stories as they can.

 

Social Media Links

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You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

 

 

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Long Past Dawn by J.K. Jones #kindleunlimited

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Book Title: Long Past Dawn

Author and Publisher: J.K. Jones

Release Date: March 23, 2022

Genre: M/M Romance

Tropes: Forbidden love, friends to lovers, Gang Romance, High School Romance

Themes: Coming out, drug addiction, abuse forgiveness

Heat Rating:  4 flames    

Length: 54 858 words/250 pages

It is a standalone story but has a soft cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

Thug.
Delinquent. Savagery runs hot in his veins. Miguel González doesn’t have any memories that don’t include cruel fists raining down on him. The only light in his life had been his younger sister Valeria, who was slaughtered during a drug run by the Gulf cartels.
Vengeance is the only answer.
War is brewing between the Gulf cartels and Los Zetas. With it, a rising drug lord threatening to destroy everything he’s working towards. Miguel will need to claw his way to the top if he wants justice.
It’s a new school year. There are a bunch of new faces, fresh and eager to learn as they navigate through high school. Most people fear him.
Then there’s him.
Javier Hernández isn’t afraid.
There’s something strange about Javier, something lethal. His gaze is deep, penetrating. Like two blades covered in frost, sinking into his chest.
Javier breaks beautiful things.
But Miguel begs for it.

Warning: Novella, gang wars, deals with alcohol addiction, substance abuse, HFN ending.

 

 

Excerpt

St. Augustine, Florida

Miguel storms across the sea of bodies, shoving his way to the bar. He barks his order, choking back something sweet and citrus. Fists pound in the air as raucous party-goers sway to the music.

Where’s Mateo? He was supposed to be here.

The bruise on his eye throbs, blood still trickling down his brow from where his foster father, Felipe, had punched him earlier. He can’t even remember what he did to piss Felipe off. It started with a few jeers here and there, scathing comments about being a freeloader, then it ended with Felipe’s fist raining down on him.

Fucking bastard. Miguel knows he shouldn’t have left Valeria alone with him.

It’s all the same shit. Guilt rakes up and down his body, but he pays at the counter, not bothering to flash his fake ID before he downs his drink.

Shit. No sign of Mateo. Oh, well. He can’t wait forever.

Miguel fights his way through the crowd, desperate to get home soon. It’s late. Valeria will be worried. That’s enough motivation to keep him moving faster. He’s only about halfway across the room when he finally loses his patience and shoves into the next person blocking his path.

The man turns, a deadly glint in his eye as he checks who just pushed him. Miguel glares back defiantly, the stranger looking barely old enough to be allowed in a club at all.

He’s handsome. Devastatingly so. Miguel’s heart jams in his throat as the man smiles, sleek and cool. Deadly. A shiver runs down his spine and he banishes it with the hot flood of disgust that washes through him. This is not the time or place. Valeria, his younger sister, is waiting for him.

The man’s gaze morphs into something softer, steel melted down with fire. A smirk drags across his face and he steps closer. His hair is wild auburn curls, his skin ochre like the setting sun. The stranger’s eyes are a swirling mix of greens, blues, and browns, a smoky hazel. He’s wearing a neon green sheer top, his pierced nipples flickering in the strobe lights, and his black skin-tight jeans make his legs look endless.

“Can you back the fuck off?” Miguel tries to say but his voice gets lost in the heavy, pounding bass. He huffs out a breath and turns to continue elbowing his way through the crowd. He barely manages a step, when a hand encircles his wrist, the strength in that grip forcing him to stop.

He whips his head around to look back at the man who is impeding his escape. The fiery look is still there, as Miguel glowers at him. The man just grins lazily, tugging on his wrist until he trips forward.

The move causes Miguel to press up against the man, both of his hands splaying across his chest and his face nearly buried in the crook of the man’s neck. What the fuck? He tries to wrench himself back, to regain some distance from the man, when the other bends slightly to brush his lips against the shell of Miguel’s ear.

“Leaving so soon?” His voice is hot and wet against his earlobe. Miguel shivers and he feels the other man smile. “Dance with me.”

Fuck no. The way their bodies move is not what Miguel would call dancing. It’s too slow to match the beat of the song. The stranger slots one of his thighs between Miguel’s legs and presses forward, rolling his hips indecently. Miguel sucks in a sharp breath. With half a mind to punch the man in the throat, he leans back slightly only to find his movement being followed as a pair of lips attach themselves to his throat.

 

About the Author  

Heaven and hell, demons and angels. J.K Jones has always had an affinity for otherworldly things. From her debut novel, it’s easy to see she loves all things crawling in the shadows. As it so happens, J.K Jones is the author of a gritty, fun, action-packed, soul-rending novel. Her characters are so dark and twisted they defy the dimensions of this world. She does not believe in HEA, she does believe in writing a suitable ending for her characters. Never will you read any of her works where the characters ride off into the sunset together. Not going to happen. There is nothing J.K. Jones loves more than a tragic ending. She is an avid reader, poet, and LGBTQ activist. She is a University graduate with a BA in Sociology, also has a TESOL certificate for teaching English as a Second Language.

 

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Beasts of Burden (The Black Blade Chronicles 2) by J.K. Hogan #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Beasts of Burden (The Black Blade Chronicles 2)

Author and Publisher: J.K. Hogan

Cover Artist: Wicked Pixel Designs 

Release Date: March 29, 2022

Genre: M/M Fantasy Romance

Tropes: Enemies to reluctant friends to lovers

Themes: Swords and sorcery, adventure quest

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  approx. 75 000 words      

It is not a standalone story. It is the second book in The Black Blade Chronicles series.

This book ends on a HFN, with the understanding that the HEA will be at the end of the 3 book arc.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

The journey continues…

 

Blurb

Senne Clayward and Kasimir vas Hjardar continue their quest to rescue Senne’s young ward, Princess Sigrid, from the evil tyrant who has taken her hostage. After they follow through with a mad plan to sneak into King Prosper’s fortress that only halfway succeeds, the princess slips through their fingers once more. As they travel across the continent of Taleth, they are one step behind their quarry at every turn.

Encountering numerous obstacles and enemies both old and new, Senne and Kasimir doggedly pursue their goal while coming to rely on each other more than ever. The two unlikely companions enlist the help of a small band of adventurers to track the princess and intercept her captors while the armies of Toivonen march westward behind them.

Kasimir continues to grapple with the beast on his back—a lifelong struggle—while Senne must bare his soul to earn the trust of those around him. Can they survive the journey? Will they save Sigrid in time to keep her from harm and prevent the realm from plunging into eternal darkness? And what will be left for them after the dust settles?

 

 

Excerpt 

“You there. Halt!”

“Here we go,” Kasimir murmured under his breath. He turned to confront a group of greycloaks who had approached them from behind. None of them seemed to have any visible rank higher than foot soldier. Kasimir put on a carefully blank expression. “There a problem?”

“By royal decree, bearing arms within the city walls is prohibited. You are in violation of this order.”

“Oh, aye.” Kasimir nodded dumbly. “Saw the notices, I did. Smart idea, that. Only the notices was addressed as to say ‘Attention Senkalese citizens and Yesenians traveling within the city, by royal decree’ an’ all that. But y’see, we’re not Yesenian, an’ me mate here, well, he cannae read at all. So I figures it ’ad naught to do wi’ us.”

Senne cast him a puzzled look, no doubt wondering why he was putting on the thick Lunarii peasant burr. Kasimir’s reasoning behind it was sound. These guards were merely grunts. He had to confuse them enough to report to their commander, because without someone of higher rank noticing them, they had no chance of being put before the king.

Just as Kasimir predicted, one of the grunts, the one who seemed to be somewhat in charge, scratched his head and looked at the soldier to his right. “Does it say that?”

The other guard shrugged. “Well, yeah, seems right enough. Never thought about what happens if we catch an outlander armed up in the city.”

“We ought to fetch the captain, then,” said the grunt-in-charge.

His right-hand man nodded sagely.

“I mean you, ya bloody imbecile,” he spat. The foot soldier flinched and scarpered off. “Youse two, don’t move a muscle until the captain gets here.”

“Wouldn’t dream of it,” Kasimir said in his normal accent.

Senne snorted quietly. The soldier gave them an odd look but didn’t comment. After countless minutes of the tension-filled standoff, the messenger returned, leading a man wearing a red officer’s cloak.

Upon further inspection, Kasimir realized he was not only an officer, but a decorated one. His cloak was pushed back off his shoulders so Kas could see he wore epaulettes studded with silver stripes and dripping with braided silver cords. The dragon emblazoned on his armor appeared to be inlaid with real silver, and the regulation bycocket hat had been replaced by an obsidian dragon-winged battle-helm. It all made for a fearsome sight, and Kasimir had to fight the urge to take a step back when the man approached.

When the captain reached them, he flipped up the visor of his helm, and Kasimir was surprised that he appeared much younger than he would’ve thought for a high-ranking officer, though the gray threaded through his dark hair proclaimed him to be middle-aged. He was handsome in that craggy, chiseled way Yesenians had—they always seemed to look as though they’d gone straight from mother’s womb to the battlefield and never looked back—with his square jaw, closely trimmed black beard, and slightly bent nose, as if it had been broken a time or two.

“I am Vilhelme, Commander of the King’s Army. Who are you and why are you in my city?”

“Commander,” interrupted the head guard. “These blokes said the arms notices only refer to Yesenian citizens, so I didn’t know what to do with ’em.”

The look Vilhelme turned on the man was nothing short of murderous. “That is absurd.” He turned back to Kasimir and Senne, effectively dismissing the ignoramus, and repeated his question. “Who are you and what are you doing here?”

“Just travelers passing through,” Kasimir hedged. “Here to trade for supplies.”

Vilhelme glared over his shoulder again. “In that case, welcome. If you wish to trade in the city, I am afraid you must surrender your weapons. They will be stored in the armory until you are ready to move on.”

Kasimir’s jaw tensed, his pulse thudding in his throat. “Can’t do that, friend.”

Vilhelme attempted a smile, though it was more a baring of teeth than anything. “You may address me as Commander Vilhelme and nothing else. If you do not wish to disarm, you will be escorted to the main gate so you may leave. In fact…” Vilhelme narrowed his eyes. “You should not have even gained entry with all those weapons. I shall have a chat with the watch captain.”

“No need,” Kasimir said conversationally. “We snuck in.”

Despite the smile, Vilhelme’s eyes glittered with danger. “Why would you do a thing like that?”

“We want to see the king,” Senne said. “Thought if we breached the wall, he’d come down from on high and deliver the mighty blow of justice.”

Vilhelme scoffed. “His Royal Eminence does not entertain petty criminals.”

“Oi,” Kasimir said. “Why don’t you give him a message for us, then?”

Vilhelme turned to face him head-on and crossed his arms as if he were bored. “I’m dying to hear what that might be.”

“Tell him,” Kas growled through clenched teeth, “that we’ve come for the girl.”

Vilhelme raised a fist to chin level, almost casually, and they were instantly at the sword points and arrow tips of the guardsmen who had tripled in number and somehow surrounded them. Easily thirty weapons, at least half of which would be aimed at a kill spot somewhere on Kasimir’s body. His vision wavered. His blood ran hot, pounding wildly in his chest and up through his neck, nearly choking off his breath.

“That,” said Vilhelme, “would be inadvisable if the two of you are in any way attached to your hides.” He cast a bored glance at the men around him, oblivious to Kasimir’s torment and the danger they were all in. Kas didn’t think Senne had noticed either.

“All the same,” Senne said, his jaw bunching with his frown. “Tell him the knight and the sellsword have come to collect our charge.”

“Well, I can’t say whether or not you’ll ever see the king, but you’ll certainly get a good long look at the inside of our dungeons,” Vilhelme remarked blandly. Then he gave his head guardsman a small nod. “Take them.”

 

About the Author 

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, she found her true passion. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them.

J.K. resides in North Carolina with her husband, two sons, and their pets. If she isn’t writing, J.K. can be found designing book covers at Wicked Pixel Designs, creating fiber art and supplies at Earthbound Fiber Arts watching Hurricanes Hockey and, of course, reading!

 

 

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Cursed (A Balance of Magic #2) by Jackie Keswick #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Cursed (A Balance of Magic #2)

Author: Jackie Keswick

Cover Artist: Jackie Keswick

Release Date: March 23, 2022

Genre: M/M Fantasy

Tropes: Friends to lovers, love vs. duty, soul mates, found family, worlds in peril, two against the world, hurt/comfort

Series Themes: the world is fragile, short-term decisions have long-term consequences, gifts are given for a reason

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length:  77 000 words

It is the second book in a trilogy.

The book does not end on a cliffhanger. Raijin and Sandro’s story ends on a HFN. The main story arc continues across all three books.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Universal Link

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  PayHip

Apple  |  B&N  |  Kobo

 

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

 

Blurb

Two friends. Two worlds. A selfish desire that threatens them both.

Raijin killed a witch and found himself cursed.

Sandro went to Raijin’s aid and became an assassin’s target.

Neither expected that they would trigger the biggest upheaval their world had seen in a thousand years.

And that it needed the love between them to lift the curse.

 

Cursed, the second book in the Balance of Magic series, is a slow-burn m/m fantasy romance featuring friends-to-lovers who become soulmates, irate death gods, curses, inept, narcissistic politicians, curious, compassionate witches, and a found family.

 

Excerpt 

France, Summer 1920

“Poplars and plane trees, beeches and birches, or a mountainside of firs.” Sandro stared into the bottom of his wine glass and tried to keep the misery at bay. “Is it really too much to wish for a few olive and lemon trees? I’ve not been near my grove in six years. Six years, Raijin!”

“I know.”

“What if they’ve dug it up?”

“Why would they?”

Sandro set the glass down. “To spite us,” he said.

Raijin stared at him.

“I know, I know. It’s not like me to think badly of people.” He waved a hand. “But what other interpretation is there for the way Tan Hao treats us? Every time we finish a task, he finds another one that keeps us from the base. Do you really think he does that to everyone?”

Raijin wisely kept his mouth shut.

Sandro was grateful. He’d never been a maudlin drunk, but the last six years had changed many things. Being prevented from visiting the only home he’d ever known… hurt. Even if he’d barely spent a day alone while the human world tore itself to pieces.

Maybe he shouldn’t complain. Especially not to Raijin. He hadn’t been home for far longer, but… He lifted a hand to summon the waiter and order another bottle of wine, when Raijin stopped him.

“Come along. I have an idea.”

“What kind?”

“The good kind.” Raijin smiled the soft, lopsided smile that Sandro had no defences against.

“Tell me.”

“In a moment.”

They paid for their meal and left the restaurant, wandering up the street towards their lodgings. They had their own courtyard garden, had food, and even wine, but Sandro had been too restless to stay home, and Raijin had indulged him.

“You’ve been doing that a lot lately.” He tried to express his gratitude.

“Doing what?”

“Indulging me. I’m… Ignore me.”

“Never.” Raijin unlocked the gate and ushered them into the place they’d made their base since the Armistice. It was clean, comfortable, and private. But it wasn’t home.

Sandro had no idea what Raijin meant to do, but he didn’t have to wonder long. As soon as he’d locked the gate behind them, Raijin took hold of his arm, opened the veil and tugged Sandro through.

Two steps later, scents of brine and citrus hit his nose. Soft, springy turf caressed his feet, and one look at the familiar trees had him fight back tears.

Raijin had brought them to the top of the Custodia base. Had given Sandro what he’d most needed: a visit to his grove of lemon trees.

If he could have touched all his trees at once, he’d have done so. Since he lacked that ability, he wrapped his arms around the nearest tree, and hummed.

The trees responded, impressions wrapping him up like a cloak: comings and goings, hot sun and sparkling raindrops, a storm from the east. Sandro soaked it all up like a starving man and shared his own experiences in turn.

After the first sharing was done, Sandro went from tree to tree, touching, checking, renewing his connection. When he joined Raijin at the centre of the grove and accepted the glass of wine Raijin had poured him, he hummed with green energy, his watcher sight as sensitive as it had never been before.

“I wish I could explain—” he began hesitantly.

Only for Raijin to wave it away. “It’s fine. You wanted to check on your family. I understand.”

Raijin wasn’t demonstrative.

But when he chose to make a point, he took Sandro’s breath away.

 

 

About the Author 

Jackie Keswick was born behind the Iron Curtain with itchy feet, a bent for rocks and a recurring dream of stepping off a bus in the middle of nowhere to go home. She’s worked in a hospital and as the only girl with 52 men on an oil rig, spent a winter in Moscow and a summer in Iceland and finally settled in the country of her dreams with her dream team: a husband, a cat, a tandem, a hammer and a laptop.

Jackie loves unexpected reunions and second chances, and men who write their own rules. She blogs about English history and food, has a thing for green eyes, and is a great believer in making up soundtracks for everything, including her characters and the cat.

And she still hasn’t found the place where the bus stops.

For questions and comments, not restricted to green eyes, bus stops or recipes for traditional English food, you can find Jackie Keswick in all the usual places

 

Blog/Website  |  Facebook group  |  Facebook page  |  Twitter 

Instagram  |  Newsletter Sign-up  |  TikTok  |  Patreon 

 

 

Giveaway 

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win

$10 Amazon gift card and an ebook of choice from the author’s backlist

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 

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99c Sale – High Alert by Becca Seymour

99c BOOK BLAST

Book Title: High Alert

Author: Becca Seymour

Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing

Cover Artist: BookSmith Design

Release Date: August 11, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, best friend’s brother, small town

Themes: Firefighter, natural disasters, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames

Length:  64 000 words/344 pages

It is a standalone book and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

99c Sale for a Limited Time

Also available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link    |  Amazon US  |   Amazon UK 

 

It’s a tale as old as time.

Blurb 

I’ve crushed on my brother’s best friend since I sprouted hairs on the unmentionables. Once upon a time, he was straight, until he wasn’t… and talk about bad timing. 

And when we’re finally at a place for me to make my move, sexy rural firefighter Dan clams up and acts weird and I’m left with pants that are too tight and my heart feeling bruised… but he’s a good friend and I’m grateful he’s in my life.

Because of course Dan is a good guy. 

Though him being “good” and ridiculously easy on the eyes and possibly the best man I know only makes me want him more. 

When we’re thrust into a situation that brings both of us close to danger, it’s hardly the time to be chasing first kisses or finally acting on my crush. But Dan doesn’t seem to mind. 

I just know that when the stakes are high and emotions are running wild, sometimes you have to show your hand and go all in. 

And that’s exactly what I plan to do.

 

Excerpt 

The squeal of brakes had me exhaling. Any minute now, he’d be stepping out of my brother’s Toyota. With just a few metres and steel between us, I had no idea how to react, not with the nervous excitement thrumming in my veins.

The doors opened, and movement caught my attention. Dan Madison followed after my brother, his eyes already on mine. 

His hand tightened around the pack of beers he carried, and pink coloured his cheeks. 

But that was likely my imagination making a much bigger deal about this reunion than it really was.

Funny, the things you noticed, though. He had new glasses. They were thicker rimmed than any style I’d seen him wear before. He rocked the whole hot geek vibe. Killed it, in fact. 

Though there was nothing geeky about him in the traditional sense. Not when he worked with his hands for a living as a carpenter, and I doubted so much had changed that he wasn’t digitally challenged beyond a game on the Xbox. 

It took everything in me not to allow my gaze to eat him up.

Two years—however brief on that one-week visit home—of not working side by side with the man when I talked him into fitting me some new doors. 

Two years of not listening to his addictive laugh that made me smile so big my face hurt. 

And two years since once again, he’d left me disappointed when he’d waved goodbye and headed back to the city—and his boyfriend—where he’d set himself up with a new life away from the Sunshine Coast hinterland. 

Never once had I told him about how I felt, the right time never seeming to arrive. If I’d known he was gay before he’d left town when he was twenty, perhaps I would have been more obvious with my crushing. At eighteen, I’d been very definitely out. But Dan’s sexuality came as a surprise. Craig had dropped that bombshell when I was in my second year of uni. 

And hadn’t that been a kick in the gut, swiftly followed by elation. For the first time ever, I’d considered that just maybe I had a chance.

The chance never came, though.

There was no point when we lived a couple of hours apart. Long-distance wasn’t something I thought I could handle, even when it was for my brother’s best friend, the man who’d snagged a piece of my heart when my balls first dropped and my dick had thickened watching Gerard Butler in 300.

There was also the fact he’d had a boyfriend. Had been the exciting word of the day. Almost a year ago, they’d split. 

The gravel under his feet grew louder, and his gaze remained fixed to mine. Barely a metre apart, and he stopped, shifting the six-pack to his side. 

“Hey, Ross.” Pretty light-brown orbs peered back at me, wide and just as mesmerising as I remembered. “Bloody hell, you’re a sight for sore eyes.”

I grinned, uncertain of the words that might fall out of my mouth.

I didn’t need to worry. In Dan’s next breath, he said, “Get your arse over here already and give me a hug.”

I ignored my brother’s snort as he snagged the beer from Dan and walked on past us.

A deep exhale escaped my lungs as I stepped forwards and pulled him into my arms. I wrapped myself around him, holding him tight. The feel of his large limbs, strong and firm, wrapped around my own frame made my heart sing.

“Good to see you too, mate. About time you made the move back to civilisation.” My grin remained wide when I eased away, his snort making me chuckle.

“Civilisation, huh?”

“Yep. You better believe it. You know, a Subway opened in town, and Bunnings got an extension. Civilisation at its best.”

Dan’s laugh washed over me like a familiar hug, the sensation warming me, much like the log fire already built in my sitting room did.

“Come on.” I gripped his arms, giving a happy squeeze. “Let’s go and grab one of those beers.” 

 

About the Author 

Becca Seymour is the #1 gay romance best seller of the True-Blue series, having sold more than seventy thousand copies of book one in the series so far. Known for “steamy and endearing” and “emotionally profound love stories” (InD’tale Magazine) her books have been nominated for multiple RONE Awards.

Becca lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, Becca’s life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.

Author Links

https://linktr.ee/beccaseymour

 

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Cover Reveal – The Last Beginning by Abrianna Denae

COVER REVEAL

Book Title: The Last Beginning

Author: Abrianna Denae

Publisher: Self-published 

Cover Artist: Designs by Morningstar

Release Date: April 5, 2022

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance 

Trope/s: Friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Heat Rating: 3 flames     

Length: 61 000 words/210 pages

It is a standalone story in a new series and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Pre-Order Link

Universal Amazon link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

 

Blurb

“Nobody tells you how one moment, one decision, can change the course of your entire life.” 

Kit Briar is starting over. At thirty-three, he thought he had his life planned out, but a devastating revelation sends him back to his hometown, desperate to make a life for himself and his son. 

“Sometimes, a single kiss can lead a person down a road they never expected.”

Lawson Craig never meant to fall in love with his hot new neighbor, his life’s complicated enough. Except Kit and his young son fulfill a void he did know he had. The more he tries to fight against the mutual attraction, the harder it is to stay away. 

“If it came down to it, I’d let him go. I’d let him go because he deserves someone so much better than me.” 

Lawson and Kit find themselves in a whirlwind romance. They fall hard and fast, but every choice comes with consequences and neither of them are prepared for what happens when their blissful bubble pops. They’ll have to learn to trust in each other and what they’re trying to build in order to get the happy ending they’ve both always wanted. When every road seems to lead to heartbreak, how will they ever find forever? 

 

Excerpt

We lean back against the counter and talk about random things for a while. It’s nice. I have some friends but no one I hang out with regularly. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, this could be just a one time thing, but I like the vibe Kit has, I’m hoping he likes mine too.

“You said you’re from the area?” I ask after a lapse in conversation.

Kit nods, “Yeah, my family all still live close. My siblings helped me move in today.”

“How many siblings do you have?”

He smiles a little, “Two sisters and two brothers. I’m the baby of the family and they all treat me that way. Never mind that I’m a grown ass man.”

“I think siblings are supposed to do that. I’m one of two. I have an older brother, we’re close since neither of us talk to our parents anymore. What about you?”

“I’m pretty close to all my siblings. It’s just my dad. Mom passed away when I was eight.”

“Wow. Five kids for one person, did he ever remarry?”

“No. He dated someone for a long time, but they broke up about five years ago. He’s gone on dates since but says he’s too old for anything serious.”

I scoff. “I don’t think love cares how old you are.”

Kit smiles at me and I ignore the way my heart trips over itself. “That’s what my sisters say, but I think he’s content. He has us and his grandkids. He’s enjoying his life.”

“Can’t say I blame him. I’d probably be the same.”

Kit looks at me, his dark brown eyes assessing, “Yeah? Believe in love for everyone but yourself?”

“Ehh,” I make a seesaw motion with my hand. “Yes and no. Would I like to have that one person I spend the rest of my life with, knowing that they’re it for me? Yes, I think most people want that. Do I think it’ll happen?” I shrug, “It’s complicated.”

“Trust me,” Kit sighs, “I know all about complications.”

Is it me or are we closer than before? My arm brushes his and I try not to react like a fucking teenager with their first crush. It’s ridiculous really, the things I feel for this man that I’ve known an hour.

“Tell me about the neighborhood?” He asks, breaking into my thoughts. “You said the neighbor on your other side hates you?”

I sigh and ignore how fucking close his mouth suddenly is to mine. We’re almost the same height, it would be nothing to lean forward and kiss him.

“Uh yeah, she’s a total bitch. I mean, maybe. I think it’s just me. She’s older, in her fifties I’d say. I try to be nice and do things like mow her yard and take her garbage cans out, things like that. She glares at me and never shows any appreciation. I can’t tell if she really hates me or if she is just a really sour person, you know?

“When I first moved in I made cookies, brownies, and muffins for her, the previous owners of this house, and the people across the street from me. She’s the only one who refused to take anything from me. Which, I get, it was kinda weird to have this stranger show up with a bunch of baked goods, but you’d have thought I offered up straight poison the way she acted.”

“She doesn’t know what she’s missing. More for me.” Kit smiles and I can’t help but smile as well.

“You’ll have to come into the bakery some time, I’ll give you a discount.”

Kit pouts, “Oh so I only get free stuff at home.”

“Yep. Gotta make that money.”

He huffs out a laugh, “I’d happily pay for anything made by you.”

It’s not my imagination this time. He definitely leaned forward.

“You flatter me,” I hope that didn’t come out as breathless as I think. “What if the only thing I can make are cookies?”

“I like cookies.” He whispers.

We’re so fucking close.

“Good.”

I don’t know who moves first. One second we’re a breath apart, the next, our lips are touching in an impossibly soft kiss.

Neither of us move for a moment, and then Kit slowly moves his mouth over mine. I follow his lead, keeping the kiss soft and slow.

A hand grabs my hip and I groan as our bodies come together. Kit takes that opportunity to deepen the kiss. His tongue sweeps against my lip and I allow him in my mouth.

Gasping, I fight him for dominance. It’s been a long time since I’ve felt anything this good. He lets me take control of the kiss and I push him against the counter. Our lower bodies are flush and I can feel his arousal brushing against mine. Shivering, I press my lips harder to his. Tangling one hand in his hair, I pull back enough to bite at his lip, making him moan.

“Shit,” he gasps before kissing me hard.

I press my hips into his and groan at the sensation. Kit’s hands grip my ass tightly and it feels so fucking good. I almost beg him to fuck me, but that’d be reckless. Kissing him is enough for now.

We pull apart for breath, both of us panting softly. “Just so you know,” I tell him, “I don’t go around kissing all the neighbors.”

He laughs breathlessly, “That one neighbor might like you if you did.”

I snort and shake my head. “You’re prettier.”

I kiss him again, softer now. Our tongues meet and it’s perfect. Best kiss I’ve ever had. I could spend hours just kissing this man. Crazy? Absolutely, but it’s not the craziest thing I’ve done, not by a long shot.

 

 

About the Author 

Abrianna Denae is a twenty-five-year-old author living in Northern California. An English major, they have always had a passion for writing.

Deciding to sit down and write one of the many stories that had plagued their mind for years was the easy part—finding the time to do it was a different story.

Caffeine is their best friend, and sleep is her worst enemy.

A lover of books that make the reader feel something, Abrianna tries to incorporate as much of their real-world views and feelings into their stories as they can.

 

Social Media Links

Facebook  |  Facebook Group  |  Twitter  |  Instagram

BookBub  |  Goodreads Author Page  |  Amazon Author Page  

You can also email her at authorabridenae@gmail.com

 

 

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New Release and Author Interview – Ryld’s Shadows: AURA 4 by Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn #giveaway

BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Ryld’s Shadows: AURA 4

Author: Angel Martinez and Bellora Quinn

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Release Date: March 8, 2022

Genres: Urban Fantasy M/M Romance

Tropes: Fish out of water, friends to lovers, unlikely pair

Themes: Acceptance, growth, people aren’t always what they appear

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 74 000 words/ 276 pages

It is not a standalone story. It is book four in the AURA series.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Pride Publishing  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Kobo  |  Apple Books  |  B&N

 

Ryld must learn to control his dangerous shadows before they kill someone he cares about or someone unscrupulous learns how to control him.

 

Blurb 

AURA’s offices have been quiet since the mage tower incident—as quiet as they can be for an agency dedicated to policing holes in reality—and the department heads have been free to turn their attention back to mundane matters. The return to quiet bureaucracy gives AURA’s Director of Research, Kai Hiltas, the time to turn his energy to a new issue—a young drow with unusual and dangerous powers named Ryld.

Though his shadows always lurk at the edges of his vision, Ryld does his best to live peacefully and not let them hurt anyone. He has his work, his apartment and a succession of minders assigned by AURA who are, ostensibly, there to keep him safe in his new world and to prevent him from causing any scenes with his shadows. Most of the time, the arrangement works. But one disastrous incident causes Ryld’s minder to leave him unattended and lost—the precise thing he was hired to prevent.

To replace the faithless minder, Kai suggests Hank, a half-goblin accountant recently in the middle of a string of terrible luck, while Kai works out how best to get Ryld the magical training he so desperately needs. For his part, Hank truly likes Ryld and insists he would be happier working as Ryld’s companion rather than as a controlling minder.

As Hank and Ryld slowly come to terms with sharing space—and eventually more—Kai’s search for a teacher for Ryld takes them out west on the invitation of the Elvenhome’s aelfe queen and right into the lap of inter-elven feuds, ancient prejudice, conspiracies and trafficking rings. What should have been a pleasant visit soon turns into more than even forever-scheming Kai can handle.

 

 

Excerpt 

“Another one, Brady. I don’t have all night.”

The bartender sighed when Hank thumped his fist on the bar. That crack was already there. I know it was.

“One terabin per customer. You know the rules.”

“I’m not even close to drunk enough.”

Shaking his head, the bartender put a glass of water in front of Hank. The water swayed. Maybe the bar swayed. A single terabin would’ve taken down a human and sent them to the ER. A second one would even put a troll on the floor. Hank was pretty sure he could manage another.

Brady put his hands on the bar and leaned in. “What’s happened, Hank? This isn’t like you.”

Hank tried to answer, his short tusks getting in the way of his words. That hadn’t happened since he was a teenager.

“What was that?”

“They fired me today. Fired me.” Hank gave up trying to look menacing and put his head in his hands.

“Did you screw something up? Lose a decimal place or something?” What Brady knew about accounting probably wouldn’t have filled half a jigger.

“No.” Hank gulped a breath. “I did my job. I worked hard. But the new manager… She said I wasn’t commensurate with the company image.”

“Wait. Just ’cause of how you look? You could file a complaint?”

“Sure. Right. The pretty sylphs in the non-human rights office are gonna get right on that. Far as they’re concerned, the only place I should be is locked up.”

The bartender winced in an uncomfortable way and patted Hank’s arm awkwardly. “Not like you’re riding a varg down the street swinging a battle-axe. You’re, you know, civilized. Still can’t serve you another one.”

A bitter smile curled Hank’s mouth as he took the water and chugged half of it down. “Thanks, Brady. I feel so much better now. I’ll… I guess I’ll find something. Somewhere.”

Out on the sidewalk, Hank breathed in the relatively fresh air. Poisoned with exhaust fumes and all the reek of too many humans in too small a space—still it was cooler and not the close, claustrophobic smell of the bar. He probably shouldn’t have let Brady’s racist comments go, but tonight he was too damn tired to deal with it, and Brady needed to count his lucky pebbles that Hank wasn’t some thin-skinned goblin kid with a chip bigger than his head. You’re okay, Hank. You’re one of the few good goblins. Not like those other filthy barbarians. Pat the half-gobbo on the head and smile.

He wanted chilies, huge bags of them, wanted to drown in the capsaicin high they’d bring. But he had enough sense, even this drunk, to know he’d overdo it in his current state of mind and probably end up in the ER from a ghost pepper OD again.

Once was enough.

No. Go home. Get some sleep. Figure it out in the morning.

He’d manage. He always did.

It was just that this time he thought he had managed. Found a place for himself. Reached the spot where things could be routine, and he could be normal. Just another worker bee in the crowd.

The screech of tires on pavement yanked him out of his reverie and just about made him jump out of his skin. His reactions were muddled and slow, but the shot of adrenaline racing through him as he stared at the truck only inches away was almost enough to knock him sober.

The driver’s door opened, and a tall elf got out. His face was full of haughty arrogance and disdain, as was usual for aelfe, but his words were even and neutral as he asked, “Are you all right?”

Before Hank could answer the passenger door opened, and another elf got out, this one a drow. “You are walking where vehicles are supposed to be driven.”

“Get back in the truck, Ryld,” the first elf said sternly.

“But, he’s walking where vehicles are driven. That’s against the rules.”

“Get. In. The. Truck. Ryld.”

“But…”

“Now!”

The drow cut his eyes away. He made some odd gestures but sat back down and closed his door. Even from behind the windshield Hank could pick out how unnaturally blue his eyes were. He’d only ever seen drow with red eyes or white.

“Are you all right?” the blond elf asked again.

Hank pulled in a slow breath, then two more. The rising nausea settled, and he leaned a hand against the lamppost on the corner. “Fine. I’m fine. You stopped in time.”

The elf stared at him, maybe thinking Hank owed him a thank you for not ploughing over him. Finally, he gave a sharp nod. “Okay. Good.”

That was it. He climbed back into the truck, shut the door, said something sharp to the drow and drove off.

Weird. That was…weird. Though maybe the terabin had made the whole interaction so strange. Maybe there hadn’t been any blue-eyed drow insisting on road rules. Hank shook himself, hurried across the street and reached his apartment building without any further bizarre incidents.

 

About the Authors

Angel Martinez

The unlikely black sheep of an ivory tower intellectual family, Angel Martinez has managed to make her way through life reasonably unscathed. Despite a wildly misspent youth, she snagged a degree in English Lit, married once and did it right the first time, (same husband for almost twenty-four years) gave birth to one amazing son, (now in college) and realized at some point that she could get paid for writing.

Published since 2006, Angel’s cynical heart cloaks a desperate romantic. You’ll find drama and humor given equal weight in her writing and don’t expect sad endings. Life is sad enough.

She currently lives in Delaware in a drinking town with a college problem and writes Science Fiction and Fantasy centered around gay heroes.

 

Author Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook  |   Facebook Group  

Twitter   |  Newsletter Sign-up   

 

Bellora Quinn

Originally hailing from Detroit Michigan, Bellora now resides on the sunny Gulf Coast of Florida where a herd of Dachshunds keeps her entertained. She got her start in writing at the dawn of the internet when she discovered PbEMs (Play by email) and found a passion for collaborative writing and steamy hot erotica. Soap Opera like blogs soon followed and eventually full novels.

The majority of her stories are in the M/M genre with urban fantasy or paranormal settings and many with a strong BDSM flavour.

 

Author Links

Facebook  |   Twitter

 

AUTHOR INTERVIEW PROMPTS – Angel Martinez

The prized possession you value above all others…

Can I say my book collection? I know that’s a bunch of things instead of one, but it’s true. I don’t get rid of books—hardbacks, paperbacks, graphic novels—they’re my friends.

 

The unqualified regret you wish you could amend…

Not being home when my last elderly cat died. Sweetpea was nineteen, we knew she had inoperable tumors and the vet had given us the means to make her comfortable as long as possible. She was doing well—still eating, still enjoying seeing us and having lap time—when I went off to Seattle for a week for a convention. I hoped she would wait for me, but there was always that possibility. Halfway through that week, the spouse called to say she could no longer move her back legs and was no longer interested in food. He was at the ER vet, and we had to make that terrible choice to euthanize. He was with her, but I never had a chance to say goodbye.

 

The temptation you wish you could resist…

Oof. Sweets. Chocolate, pastries, ice cream, etc. If it’s in the house, I’m going to want it. And if it’s there long enough, I’m going to eat it, whether I should or not. A nutritionist once said to me, “Put those things up on a high shelf where you can’t reach them.” Ha. It’s like she didn’t know me at all.

 

The book that holds everlasting resonance…

A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula LeGuin. It’s a beautiful book, beautifully written, and while written for young people, it’s a story everyone should read. It’s about pride and power, balance and excess, and ultimately, about becoming self-aware enough to acknowledge your own demons.

 

The poem that touches your soul…

I do love poetry, from the epic to the silly to the personal. My degree is in English, so I’ve read a lot of poetry, but among all those difficult or famous or grandiose poems, there’s a simple one by Mary Oliver that actually touched me—”Starlings in Winter.” It may have to do with me associating it with my father’s passing, and that’s certainly why it makes me cry. But it’s a lovely, hopeful thing. Go read it.

 

The pet hate that makes your hackles rise…

Bigotry. Can that be a pet hate? It feels bigger than that. Whether it’s lack of respect or lack of acknowledgment or lack of remorse, there are few things that can make me angry faster than people who pearl clutch instead of facing their own prejudices. And let’s be clear—we all have them. We’ve all had to learn. But there’s a huge difference for me between someone willing to acknowledge and learn, and someone who digs their heels in and says how dare you accuse me.

 

The piece of wisdom you would pass onto a child…

Chase your future with you own longings, not what they’ve told you to want. Don’t listen to “that’s not a good career” or “you can’t make a living that way.” Anyone can make a living. Anyone can have a job. And there’s honor and satisfaction in any hard work. That’s another lie they tell, that only certain kinds of jobs are worthy. But if you have a yearning, a need, go there. Follow that. Don’t let them tell you that you don’t want it. That you can’t have it. Because you can.

 

The character you enjoyed writing the most…

That’s always hard, making an author pick their favorite child, lol. In this current release, I probably enjoyed writing the drow mage, Kai Hiltas, a bit too much. Always scheming, always thinking, Kai likes being at the center of dozens of webs. But the flip side of this is that he often forgets to eat and to sleep. Some mages need a keeper. He can be arrogant, impatient, and demanding of his staff, but the ones that know him best know he has a soft squishy marshmallow center.

 

The character you found difficult to write…

Every character at the beginning. Characteristics, families, backstories, all of that gets set out beforehand, but I don’t think I ever start to know a character until I’m writing them. Probably one of the most difficult characters in that respect was Leander, the minotaur librarian in the Brandywine series. I knew who he was and certainly what he looked like, but I had to live with him for a bit in his day-to-day life to see into his heart.

 

The book you enjoyed planning/writing the most…

I’ve really enjoyed planning with my co-authors, both Bellora Quinn and Freddy MacKay. When you find another writer you really click with and you get going on a project, planning is more like play with both writers tossing up ideas and batting them around until things stick. At it’s very best, it becomes more of a game. Both the AURA series and the Lijun series have been like this.

 

And the promo…

AURA

THE AGENCY FOR UNNATURAL RESETTLEMENT AND ASSIMILATION

It’s a weird job, but somebody’s got to do it.

A magical catastrophe tears the fabric of reality, causing unpredictable holes between worlds through which anything might fall—elves, centaurs, trolls, yeti. The brave officers and employees of AURA struggle daily to help the lost and injured, and contain the irretrievably violent while their research staff scramble to find a way to reverse the effect.

Anything can and does pop through into the human world, sometimes with disastrous and deadly results.

Ryld’s Shadows is the fourth book in the AURA series. For the first three books, we kept the action in New York City, where AURA headquarters is. Most of the characters involved were AURA employees or contractors, and many of the settings were in the AURA building itself. For this fourth book, we wanted to explore a little more of this world where elves and pixies, etc. live among us, so the two main characters come from outside AURA staff and the setting begins in New York, but moves to the west coast for the second half.

One cinnamon roll creative trying to adjust to the human world, one stalwart accountant just trying to do his best, and one interfering, know-it-all drow join forces. We hope readers enjoy this return to AURA, where everything was supposed to be fine now. Oops.

Thank you.

 

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Oblivious by Colette Davison #kindleunlimited #giveaway

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Oblivious

Author: Colette Davison

Cover Artist: Covers by Jo

Release Date: February 14, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Best friends to lovers, double bi-sexual awakening

Themes: Trusting in each other

Heat Rating: 3 flames   

Length: 43 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

 Goodreads

 

 Buy Links – Available in Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

Isn’t it obvious we’re just best friends?

 

Blurb

Adrian is my best friend. We live together, hang out, and he’s the best cake taste tester I could want. 

 Hugs are the norm, along with cuddles while watching horror films. I need someone to protect me during the scary bits, so why not Adrian? He’s almost a foot taller than me, so he makes a good armchair too.

 Life is exactly the way I like it until Adrian’s sister drops a bombshell that leaves me questioning everything I think I know about myself and my straight best friend.

 Can one kiss change everything? I’m about to find out. 

Oblivious is an M/M best friends to lovers novella. It’s a light and fluffy love story, with a double bi-sexual awakening, a little bit of heat and no angst. None. Zip. Nadda. There’s meddling family members and two sweet best friends who are totally oblivious about how much they really care for each other. Oh, and cakes. There’s lots of cakes.

 

 

Excerpt 

She hands me an order slip.

“Is Adrian here?” I ask as I read the order. He puts up with me calling him Addy, but to everyone else, he’s Adrian, and I respect that.

“Yes.” She picks up the order I’ve just finished preparing, but instead of turning around and going to serve it, she stares at me.

“What?”

“You knew Adrian was here based on his order?”

“He always asks for the same thing—a cheese and tomato toastie. No cucumber, extra radish. I bet he asked for peppermint tea.”

“You’re so cute.”

“What? Why?”

“You just are, that’s all.” She smiles at me and then leaves the kitchen with an extra spring in her step.

I’m left metaphorically scratching my head. I can’t do it because I’m preparing food. What on earth was that about? I shrug and get Addy’s order ready, then take it out to him. He’s wearing his work clothes—heavy-duty combat trousers, boots with steel toecaps, and a fluorescent vest over a thick woollen jumper. He has to wear a hard hat when he’s working up high, which has left his brown hair mussed up. He’s starting to go grey at the temples. Although the hair on his head doesn’t have any warm tones in it, his beard and moustache are streaked with auburn.

“You didn’t say you’d be popping in today,” I say as I put his food in front of him.

“I finished a job early, so figured I’d come to say hi before I have to be at the next job. Plus, where else am I going to get a mountain of radish with my lunch?”

I laugh. “I don’t know how you can eat that stuff.”

He picks up a thin slice of radish with his thick fingers and pops it into his mouth. “It’s delicious. You’re busy today.”

“Lunch rush. It’ll get quieter in about an hour. Then we’ll get the afternoon tea rush around three.”

“Make sure you take a break.”

“Yes, boss.”

I’ve made a joke of it, but I do appreciate his concern. We’ve been looking out for each other for twenty years now.

Even when we went our separate ways to university, we used phone and email to keep in touch and support each other. Addy did a degree in arboriculture near Preston, whereas I went to culinary school in London. I loved every minute of my course, but those three years were lonely. As kids, we’d popped over to each other’s houses to hang out, but that was impossible to do while living almost two hundred and fifty miles apart. I’d looked forward to every holiday when I could see him in person.

Unlike most of our friends—okay, my friends—Addy has always been a bit of a loner. We both ended up back in our hometown after uni to be close to our families. As a bonus, it meant I got to hang out with my best friend again.

Funny that I should think about that now.

 

About the Author

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |   Facebook Page   |  Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub   |   Twitter  |   Goodreads  |  Instagram: @colettedavison

Mailing List  |   Newsletter Sign-Up

 

  

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Us Against the World by Shayne Prescott #kindleunlimited

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Us Against the World

Author: Shayne Prescott

Publisher: Self-Published – Spartakittah Press

Cover Artist: GetCovers.com

Release Date: February 1, 2022

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes: Friends to lovers, sports, college

Themes: Bullying

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 65 000 words

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK 

 

Betrayed by the only family he’s ever known, Owen must decide: for love or team?

 

Blurb

Betrayed by the only family he’s ever known, Owen must decide: for love or team?
 
For Roseden University frosh Theo Carter, the journey to his true self has been long and publicized. It seems most everyone on campus saw the TV series in which he was transitioning, and some feel very strongly he doesn’t belong at the prestigious all-male school. Struggling with classes and bullying, junior Owen Lewis swoops in like his own personal savior.  But as the heat rises between the two, so too does the torment from some of the school’s lacrosse team.
 
As a product of the foster care system, Owen knows all about not being wanted.  That’s why his lacrosse teammates are so important to him — they’ve become the closest thing he’s found to a real family.  Being bounced around constantly between different homes with just a plastic bag of his possessions taught Owen there was no such thing as love. But if that’s true, why does Theo feel like a home he’s never known? Owen is convinced that nothing will stop him from protecting Theo — but what if the choice is between his found family and his first love?
 
When all seems lost, both have choices to make. Will they choose each other?
 
Us Against the World is a 65 000-word HEA set at the fictional Roseden University, in Roseden, Pennsylvania. It is the first in the series of Roseden U books, and contains some derogatory language (LGBTQIA+)

 

Excerpt 

When I finally reached the campus bookstore, it was virtually empty, and I breathed a sigh of relief, though a staffer quickly came to greet me. Owen, according to his name tag, tall and Black, had a build like a football player. A stunning individual, it took all of my willpower to keep my jaw from hitting the ground.

 “Hi! Do you need help finding your books?” My books, my brain, my capacity to speak…

 “Y-yes.” My tongue tangled like when I was a kid, when I’d had a mouth full of Gobstoppers and couldn’t manage any words. I bet I looked really intelligent.

 Owen grinned at me, either oblivious or nonplussed by my brainless moments. “Do you have your class schedule? I’ll need that to find your books.”

 “Sure do,” I confirmed. I handed him my class list and he looked it over, nodding quietly to himself before suddenly grinning even wider at me.

 “You’re in my Spanish class. But I don’t remember seeing you in the fall semester?”

 “I took the fall semester online, back home in New Hampshire.” Before he could ask why — I could see the curiosity on his chiseled face — I explained. “I had surgery early in the year; it made more sense to be home, rather than recovering here.” Smooth, Theo, so smooth. Why don’t you tell him about the time you tripped and skinned both knees while you’re at it?

 Owen nodded. “I totally get that. So since you’ve got Spanish covered, it’ll just be the other four classes?”

 “Yeah. Take all my money,” I groused, and he laughed, which made my stomach do a little flip-flop. I fought the urge to groan. I needed to get over myself. I didn’t know this guy, and despite him looking damn good, I shouldn’t have been swooning.

 Owen went off to search the stacks for the books, while I decided to pick up some more highlighters. I’d brought some from home, but given the current state of my Spanish book, it would take me no time at all before those were dried up and in need of replacements. Finding a five-pack of assorted colors, I made a happy little noise and snatched them up, coming back to the book section just as Owen approached with a thick stack of books.

 “Oh God. How am I going to get all of those back to my dorm?” Yes, Theo, complain to the handsome man about your own ineptitude.

 Owen peeked around the books to peer down at me. “You didn’t bring a backpack?” I shook my head morosely. “Two options. You can either buy a Roseden one, or if you’ve got one back in your room, I can set the books aside while you go grab it.”

 “Can you really set them aside?” Owen nodded. “Okay, thanks! I’ll get back here as fast as I can.”

 “Don’t rush,” Owen assured me with a dazzling smile. “It’s been slow. More professors are going for online textbooks instead of the physical ones.”

 I hazarded a glance at my stack. “Not mine, it seems.” Owen winked at me and my stomach fluttered again. I started towards the door, then remembered the highlighters in my hand. Turning, I placed them beside my texts. “I’ll pay for those, too, when I come back.” Owen gave me a friendly wave, and then I was off, back to Tucker Hall.

 

 

About the Author 

Shayne Prescott has been putting together books since his medium was scraps of paper and pencil nubs. A children’s book was considered for publication while in middle school, and his short stories were often a favorite of his beloved English teacher, Mrs. Mazzacarro. Still, he writes.

 

 

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New Release – Townies by W.S. Long

RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Townies

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Designs

Release Date: November 6, 2021

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Tropes:  Friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness, first time

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Length: 45 000 words/ 151 pages

It is a standalone story and does not end on a cliffhanger.

Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Publisher   |   Amazon US |   Amazon UK

 

Can a secret crush who rejected Johnny be someone he can trust? And why would the richest teenager in town be interested?

 

Blurb

Johnny Cunningham had a secret crush on the high school quarterback, Zach Carpenter. Because of fear and anxiety, he didn’t do anything about it. A chance meeting after high school brings their paths together again, and sparks fly. 

Zach Carpenter was born into the richest family in town, but since 10th grade he has been attracted to Johnny Cunningham and wasn’t sure if Johnny liked him too. When they meet again after high school, Zach cannot deny his strong attraction to Johnny and pursues him, even though Johnny is a Townie and dirt poor and Zach’s parents have already determined Zach’s path in life. 

When Johnny discovers that Zach suffers from bipolar disorder, and that Zach’s parents have other plans for Zach that don’t include Johnny, can they overcome these obstacles and make their love last forever?

 

 

Excerpt 

The drive to their mom’s Waffle House shouldn’t have taken long but stop and go traffic going to the restaurant added several minutes to their drive.

As they rounded Memorial Park, some campaign signs lined the road.

“I can’t believe they have election signs up already. It’s still a year off.” Johnny eyed one small sign. Pete Buttigieg.

“That’s the gay guy, right?” Colton asked.

“Yeah. I heard people still don’t know how to pronounce it.”

“He’s not going to win. Look how many Trump 2020 signs there are here.”

“He won this county last time.” Johnny sighed. “He won the whole state, I think.”

“Could you imagine if a queer man won? Holy hell?” Colton laughed. “Here we are.” Colton pulled up, and parked.

Johnny and Colton walked quickly into the restaurant and were greeted by Gladys. Their mom soon appeared from the back.

“Hey you two, happy birthday!” Sharon beamed. “Take that booth over there.” Their mother pointed to the corner and Colton and Johnny took the seats quickly with Johnny taking the seat that faced the entrance.

Gladys came up to them with a coffee pot in her hands. Johnny turned the cup over on the saucer and let Gladys pour. “I can’t believe you two are nineteen. High school graduation was just days ago, not a month or so.” She chuckled as she poured a cup for Colton.

Sharon smiled, and placed her hand on Johnny’s shoulder. “Glad you could make it Conn — I’m sorry, Johnny. God that’s going to take time getting use to calling you what your grandpa called you. Your brother said you were like the dead this morning.”

“Yeah, why sweetie? It took me how many years to tell you two apart, now you got be called Johnny now?” Gladys laughed.

“What did the boys want?” Dwayne, Gladys’s husband yelled.

“The usual, right” Sharon asked.

“Yes, ma’am,” Johnny said.

“Yeah,” Colton. “Me too.”

Johnny kicked Colton underneath the table.

Sharon put her hands on her hips and glared at Colton. Johnny nudged his shoe against Colton.

“I’m sorry.” Colton’s face flushed. “Yes, ma’am.”

“That’s better.” Sharon relaxed her arms. Gladys chortled as she went back to the counter to take care of a customer who wanted to pay his bill.

“I bought a small cake for you two from Publix to have before you leave. I have to work until nine tonight. So, we’ll just have to a birthday dinner another time. Raincheck?”

“That’s fine, Mom.” Johnny smiled. “Chocolate cake? Yellow cake?”

“It’s yellow cake with fudge icing.” She held her finger out. “I’ll be right back.”

The door opened with a small bell ring, and Zach Carpenter walked in with an older man.

Johnny instinctively slunk down in his seat.

Colton’s eyebrows knitted together, “What?” Colton twisted his body to where Zach stood

Zach was scanning to see where they should sit.

“You can sit anywhere you want honey!” Gladys shouted, as she took the customer’s twenty and made change from his bill.

“Hey, Zach!” Colton shouted.

Johnny’s neck heated.

“Hey, Colton, Connor, what’s up?” Zach Carpenter walked toward them; his companion followed him too. Zach stood at least six feet three inches, and when Colton stood up to greet Zach, it was noticeable that Colton was a couple of inches shorter.

Zach had three days or so of light brown stubble that contrasted with his unruly ash brown hair. The grey shirt he wore seemed painted on his sculpted chest. The shirt further tapered into a V-shape, showcasing his small waist. The pink shorts he wore showed off Zach’s thigh muscles. Johnny didn’t know what brand of moccasins Zach was wearing but he was sure he didn’t buy it from Wal-Mart.

The man next to Zach was shorter; thinning salt and pepper gray; the man’s eyeglasses balanced at the end of the gentleman’s nose.

Before Zach or Colton could say anything, Sharon appeared, holding the cake in one hand, and another tried to keep the candles on the cake from blowing out.

“It’s your birthday?” Zach asked, staring at Johnny, who nodded quietly slightly embarrassed when their mom started singing.

“Our birthday,” Colton corrected.

Luckily for them, Gladys took over when their mother faltered in staying in tune, and Gladys’s golden voice, trained from years of choir practice at the local A.M.E. church, got other patrons to clap at the end, right before the twins blew out the candles. Zach and the older man next to clapped hard.

Dwayne came out with grilled cheese and fries and gave the plates to Gladys who in turn placed them in front of the boys.

Sharon hugged her boys and went back to the back office while Gladys and Dwayne went back behind the counter.

“This is my uncle, Roderick,” Zach said. “He’s visiting from Boston and saw this restaurant from across the bridge from his hotel on Gulfside.

“We don’t have them in Massachusetts.” Roderick eyed Johnny and Colton’s plate as he scanned the cooking area. “I remember as a kid going to them in Pennsylvania. We would stop after summer camp in upstate New York just to try the grits. I haven’t had grits in so long.”

“Well, uncle, I can tell you’re hungry so let’s take a seat.” Zach waved goodbye at Colton, Johnny, and Sharon as Gladys passed with two fresh plates for the cake.

Johnny relaxed when Zach and Roderick sat in a booth several feet away and not in the empty booth right next to them.

 

About the Author 

Immigrant, military-brat, gay veteran, and former theme park employee, among other things, W.S. Long upon leaving the military became a lawyer. During the day, he practices law but at night he reads and writes male-male romance under this pen name. Once in a while W.S. Long travels or dreams about traveling to wonderful places with his wonderful husband, a mild-mannered college professor. 

 

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