RJ Scott

Guest Post and Exclusive Excerpt: The Love’s Design Blog Tour with RJ Scott

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We’re so pleased to welcome author RJ Scott today on the tour for the latest book in her Bodyguards Inc. series, Love’s Design. Enjoy RJ’s guest post and the exclusive excerpt she’s shared.

Enjoy!

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Christmas food

I love Christmas. Not so much the actual day itself, weirdly enough, but the buildup… Buying presents for people, planning what we’re going to eat, organising meeting up with friends for Christmas events, that kind of thing. When I knew I was due to write blogs for the release of ‘Love’s Design’ I knew that I wanted to try and write about things that make me want to write Christmas stories; to capture the excitement of Christmas.

Okay, so I like food. A lot. All kinds of food, but particularly Christmas food. I think it goes back to my childhood where Christmas meant food that was special. We certainly didn’t eat as many sweets during the year as we did at Christmas. Not as much turkey, sausages, bacon, etc. You see what I mean!

But what I have fondest memories of is grapes. And yes, that ends weird I know. On Christmas Day, huddled around the TV watching the Morecambe and Wise Christmas special, we would have a bowl of grapes. Now grapes were a luxury, something special that was ‘just for Christmas’. I would sit next to my gran, who was really old (60 – which is only 12 years older that I am now, lol) and who spoiled my sister and me rotten… We would eat so many grapes I that I would burst. Only I didn’t, and there was always room for more crackers and cheese with home bottled pickled onions for supper.

Are there any foods for you that sum up Christmas?

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Bodyguards 5Blurb: Can Christmas be the time when Kirby finally stops running and allows himself to fall in love with the man who saves his life?

CIA Agent Stefan Mortimer is cooling his heels in the UK until he can go home. Taking on easy assignments with Bodyguards Inc. seems like a good solution to keep him sane. He’s used to life throwing him curveballs, and it’s just another day at the office when he rescues Kirby Devlin and his niece and nephew. Now he has to keep Kirby and the kids alive and stay professional.

Kirby Devlin has one priority; keeping his small family safe. On the run, and facing danger at every turn, Kirby finally runs out of places to hide on a snowy December day at Edinburgh airport. Stefan comes to the rescue, saves him and the children. Is it possible that Kirby finally has someone to trust?

Buy Links: RJ’s Blog

Bodyguard Inc. Series

Book 1 – Bodyguard to a Sex God

Book 2 – The Ex Factor

Book 3 – Max and the Prince

Book 4 – Undercover Lovers

Book 5 – Love’s Design

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Excerpt: Stefan checked him all over, encouraging him to lean forward and to stretch. The pain was manageable, and there was no blood or deep cuts on his skin.

“They went for your face and ribs, right?”

Kirby wasn’t going to share with anyone what Tommy had said when he pulled a knife. Carve you up good, pretty boy. Instead, he just nodded.

Stefan scooted back and tossed him some antiseptic cream and ibuprofen. “Get a shower, take some painkillers, and put that on the cuts.”

Stefan reached for a bandage wrapped in plastic and pulled it out, and with deft movements, he managed to get it wrapped around his own wrist.

“Do you need some help?” Kirby asked.

“Get a shower, Kirby.”

Evidently, that was a no. Kirby made his way to the bathroom; he stripped and left the door open so he could watch Andy and Louise in the mirror. He ran the shower warm but not hot, liking the press of it against his skin and at the tension of pain that banded his head. Pain meant he was alive, meant that somehow he’d managed to get Andy and Louise out of harm’s way. He took two tablets and hoped they worked magic on the aches he had everywhere. Being beaten up was a different kind of a pain to anything he’d felt before.

He didn’t know what the fuck he was going to do next. He wrapped a towel around his waist, toweled himself as dry as he could, and pulled his underwear and jeans back on. All the time he watched Andy and Louise in the bed, and Stefan, who hadn’t moved from his spot on that stool. His back was to Kirby.

When Kirby had left home, he hadn’t taken a scrap of clothing. Not the shit stuff or the tops he wore for work, not the leather wristbands, or a coat, or anything. He wrapped another towel around his shoulder, for warmth and to stop Stefan looking too closely at other marks that would soon become obvious as way older than the ones he’d gotten tonight.

As soon as he walked out, with his shoulders back, he discovered Stefan had been holding back.

Stefan had moved to stand at the window, looking down at the parking lot. “Now let’s talk about that bullshit that Andy fell. You know he didn’t fall, I know that, and fuck it all, Andy knows he has to lie. Those were grip marks on his wrist, and he said his dad did it.”

“It’s not what you think.”

“It’s part of the story you’ll be telling me, Kirby, along with who McLeod is and what happened to the kid’s dad?”

And, just like that, Kirby knew he was fucked.

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RJ ScottAbout the Author: RJ Scott has been writing since age six, when she was made to stay in at lunchtime for an infraction involving cookies. She was told to write a story and two sides of paper about a trapped princess later, a lover of writing was born.

As an avid reader herself, she can be found reading anything from thrillers to sci-fi to horror. However, her first real true love will always be the world of romance where she takes cowboys, bodyguards, firemen and billionaires (to name a few) and writes dramatic and romantic stories of love and passion between these men.

With over seventy titles to her name and counting, she is the author of the award winning book, The Christmas Throwaway. She is also known for the Texas series charting the lives of Riley and Jack, and the Sanctuary series following the work of the Sanctuary Foundation and the people it protects.

Her goal is to write stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, that hint of a happily ever after.

Email || Website || Twitter || Facebook || Library Thing || Tumblr (some NSFW) || Pinterest

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Giveaways, RJ Jones

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Indigo Road Blog Tour with RJ Jones

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Please join us in welcoming author RJ Jones today, on the tour for her new novel Indigo Road. Enjoy RJ’s guest post and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win an e-copy of this and one other e-title from her backlist.

Good luck!

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Christmas in Australia

Hi, thanks for having me.  Did you know it’s only a few weeks till Christmas? It’s scary to think how quickly it comes around each year. This season is a bit of a mixed bag for me. I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not.

On one hand Christmas in Australia means hot weather, BBQ’s and swimming, either at the beach or in the pool. It means cold cuts of meat, salads and icecream. I know this is hard for most of you to comprehend as I assume you’ll be having snow and horrible freezing temperatures. This is why I love Christmas in Australia. Snow may be pretty to look at but in reality, it’s awful to live in; it is for a sun-loving Aussie anyway. :)

On another good note, my husband will be home (he works away) so it’s great that the kids and I will have him here and no doubt the day will start super early for us; if you have young kids you’ll understand the pain.

On a not so good note, I have my father-in-law and sister-in-law visiting from Sydney and staying in my house. FIL is a decent guy and we get on okay, except for the fact that he’s a raging bigot and believes all gays should be put on the boats with the refugees and sent somewhere else. I try and overlook this for the sake of peace and harmony. I’m lucky my husband doesn’t think like his father. I guess if he did, I wouldn’t have married him. SIL doesn’t think like her father either but we don’t get on. She is single and has been ever since I’ve known her. She just turned 40 and there’s no partner on the horizon. She loves drama. Lives for it even, and anything that happens turns out to be a life and death scenario – according to her. She can be a little hard to take. So my husband is home for four weeks before he has to return to work and my in-laws are here for three.

So here’s to biting my tongue for three weeks for the sake of peace in our household. They don’t visit often (thankfully) but every time they do it gets harder to keep my thoughts to myself.

I hope everyone out there has a peaceful and happy day.

Merry Christmas :)

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Indigo Road CoverTitle: Indigo Road

Author: R.J. Jones

Genre: New Adult, Gay Romance, Contemporary

Length: Novel

Cover artist: Meredith Russell

Blurb: Two best friends take a year off to find themselves… and end up finding each other.

Joshua Simpson has just finished four years at Purdue University, but that’s not why he’s buzzing with excitement. Once they’ve said goodbye to their families, Josh and his best friend Alex are taking off to discover America in an old but reliable VW van, planning on not seeing snow for an entire year.

Josh has always considered himself straight—except for that one time in college—so when he and Alex are living in such close proximity on the road, he’s unsure what these new feelings mean. Is it because they’re spending 24/7 together, or is it something deeper? And does it really matter since Josh has only ever seen Alex with women?

While in Oregon, Josh meets Johnno, a sexy but confusing Aussie surfer. While having an impromptu surfing lesson, Johnno helps Josh realize who he is and what he wants—but Alex’s reaction leaves Josh confused.

From a Montana ranch to the bright lights and dangerous streets of Los Angeles to a dark and lonely deserted highway in Alabama, join Josh and Alex as they drive around the US, discovering not only who they are, but who they can be together.

Buy Links: Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon AU || Smashwords || ARe

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RJ JonesAbout the Author: R.J. Jones started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write.

It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower…

R.J.’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of her day. Not so. That shower scene ended up being 3000 words long and three hours of work.  And still, they didn’t shut up.  They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by her bed.

Whilst she was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit.

You see the problem? If she ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write.

R.J. is a wife and a mother to two boys. She is surrounded by males. Even her dog is a boy.

R.J. Jones can be found atWebsite || Facebook || Twitter || Tumblr || Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
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5 Stars, BA Tortuga, Genre Romance, Pride Publishing, Reviewed by Maryann

Review: And a Smile by BA Tortuga

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Title: And a Smile (Roughstock: Book Two)

Author: BA Tortuga

Publisher: Pride Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 197 Page

At a GlanceI just loved Dillon’s character–he made this my favorite story in the Roughstock series, so far.

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: All Coke Pharris wants is for his cowboys to be safe—all of them. When rodeo clown, Dillon, sets to prove that there’s more to the bullfighter, people could get hurt.

It’s Coke Pharris’ job to save bull riders from bulls, and he takes his work very seriously. Which is why he’s devastated when one of his favorite riders gets hurt, and he’s determined to help the young man ride again. Dillon Walsh is the arena entertainer for the bull riding tour, and he wants to help. He also wants Coke, has been admiring the man for a long time. He hasn’t made a move on Coke for fear of messing up their friendship, but when he finds out Coke might feel the same way, Dillon has to try to win Coke over.

Coke thinks he’s too old for Dillon, too beat up and scarred, but he can’t resist when Dillon finally makes a play for him. Dillon is like a wet dream for Coke, and the two of them have a great time getting to know each other better, at least until the danger of their job threatens to come between them. Will Dillon and Coke be able to help their friend and weather the problems that blow their way?

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously released elsewhere. It has been re-edited for re-release with Pride Publishing.

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Review: BA Tortuga takes us back on the rodeo circuit with the Roughstock series in And a Smile. Coke Pharras, Dillon Walsh, and the bullfighters give us rodeo action packed with dangerous bulls, the bullfighters taking risks to keep the riders safe–and it seems like the bulls are winning.

With Jason “Mini” Scott and Andy “Bax” Baxter’s injuries weighing on his mind, Coke is keeping watch over his bullfighters. Coke is a good man, and takes on the role of the senior protector, father, advisor. He perceives himself as being old and worn out, since he’s been on the circuit forever, and he thinks his days of meeting that special someone have passed him by. The funny thing is, Coke really isn’t that old, and Dillon Walsh doesn’t want Coke calling him son.

Dillon, the rodeo clown, has his eye on Coke. He’s been curious about Coke for a long time, but he’s just not sure when to make his move.  He even has doubts about Coke being gay. Dillon picks up on something not being right when Coke makes mention of Bax and Jason in rehab. As Coke and Dillon get closer, Coke confides in Dillion about Jason’s blindness, and how Bax has come up with a plan to get Jason back on the rodeo circuit.  Dillon also has a special connection with Jason and his situation.

I just loved Dillon’s character–he made this my favorite story in the Roughstock series, so far. I love his interaction with Coke and his attentiveness towards Jason. I found it strange that his fellow bullfighters think he’s odd and that they seem to want to protect Coke from Dillon. It definitely causes drama between Dillon and Coke. I saw Dillon as a ball of nervous energy and just a fun-loving character, always moving, dancing and making the rodeo crowd enjoy themselves.  But I also saw his vulnerability and confidence wane every so often. There’s not a lot about his life growing up in And a Smile, and I hope at some point BA Tortuga shares more about him.

** Note: A Sip: The New Guy and Cowboy Christmas are a couple of quickie stories featuring Dillon and Coke, if you want a sweet and fast read**

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You can buy And a Smile here:

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4.5 Stars, All Romance Ebooks, Genre Romance, J.R. Gray, Reviewed By Carrie

Review: Say Yes by J.R. Gray

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Title: Say Yes

Author: J.R. Gray

Publisher: OmniLit/ARe

Pages/Word Count: 93 Pages

At a Glance: Say Yes is a gritty story of control, and ultimately, of letting go.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: Charles holds the key to salvation, but James has to say yes.

James failed. He tried to be what they wanted. He tried to deny it. He tried to be a good Catholic boy…but it’s become too much. He craves pain, submission. He’s denied himself far too long, and it’s eating him alive.

Charles thrives off the exchange of power. He knows the world revolves around control. It’s given and taken like currency, in business and in pleasure. He won’t get attached, though, or so he tells himself, until James turns his world upside down. He’s defiant and snarky, but Charles can taste the submission on him.

All James has to do is say one little word.

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Review: James is young, strong, vulnerable, and was brought up in an uptight, wealthy atmosphere. He has a façade permanently in place that projects the man he wants the world to see. When his father dies and his mother cuts him off, his world becomes all about survival and straddling a line between the world he knew and the world he now resides in. He is the epitome of a young man denying himself everything in the name of keeping his head above water.

Charles exudes dominant sexual tension. Running into the enigma that is James piques his interest in a way not many things have. Oh, he wants James, wants him bad—but first he has to get James to say yes.  The sexual tension between these two men is almost ludicrous—the banter, the flirting, the emotions underneath are heady.

The magnetism of the characters J.R. Gray has created is palpable. There is tight, fast paced writing in this short story and because of that, we get a complete story arc and believable, well-rounded characters with plenty of relationship building. There is a BDSM element to the story, but it is not the focus, merely an element in it. James must learn to embrace himself even if no one else does, and Charles has to overcome past hurts and defenses to be what James needs. In the end, it takes courage for both men to say yes and to find their own power in the doing of it.

This was my first book by this author, but after this novella, I bought another book written by him because of the narrative power he developed in this short story. I hope this is the beginning of a new series for J.R. Gray, as I would love to revisit these two men and get another glimpse into their lives.

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You can buy Say Yes here:

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4.5 Stars, Felice Stevens, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Karen, Self-Published

Review: Betting on Forever by Felice Stevens

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TitleBetting on Forever (The Breakfast Club: Book Two)

Author:  Felice Stevens

Publisher: Self-Published

Page/Word Count:  231 Pages

At a GlanceIf you’re looking for a sweet and romantic book without a lot of angst or drama, just a nice story about two guys falling in love, then this book is for you.

Reviewed By:  Karen

Blurb:  A weekend fling in Atlantic City couldn’t be more out of socially shy Zach Cohen’s comfort zone, but a bet with his best friends forces him to put aside the humiliation he’s hidden for years and step away from behind his computer screens and online world. When he meets Sam Stein, despite their spark, Zach expects nothing more than a night of passion and a kiss good-bye. Yet weeks later, he can’t keep the man out of his head.

After a split-second decision with tragic results ends his twenty-year police career at the same time as his relationship falls apart, Sam Stein is drifting through life. At his best friend’s urging, he agrees to a trip to Atlantic City to clear his head. What Sam doesn’t plan on is meeting Zach Cohen, whose sweet nature and honesty has him thinking maybe he could move forward, until Zach leaves him without explanation, reinforcing Sam’s belief that people can’t be trusted.

Well-meaning friends refuse to let Zach and Sam hide from each other, forcing them to realize their weekend was much more than a one-night stand. Before that can happen, Zach must come to terms with his past and stand up for his own independence, while Sam has to learn to take a chance and believe in himself and people again. All bets are off when dreams become reality, and forever doesn’t seem to be long enough.

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Review: When I read the first book in this series, Beyond the Surface, it was Zach’s story that I was looking forward to the most. I have a fondness for and can relate to those characters who are a little geeky, shy, and quiet; those who sit off to the side, observing and hoping not to be noticed.  Zach certainly fit that bill, and Sam did too, in some ways.

Things aren’t all sunshine and happiness throughout Betting on Forever. There were misunderstandings and issues that needed to be worked through, but they are dealt with without a whole lot of craziness. You can sit back and are able to enjoy some of the simple things going on between Zach and Sam while they are falling in love—we get to watch them stroll down the beach holding hands, laughing and joking and letting go while flying kites, or just relaxing at home. And it’s nice that the other characters in the series are still around, and we get updates on what’s going on with them without it taking over the story.

While I loved Zach’s story, and it was nice catching up with Julian and Nick, now I can’t wait for Marcus’s story to see how his HEA will work out. If you’re looking for a sweet and romantic book without a lot of angst or drama, just a nice story about two guys falling in love, then this book is for you.

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You can buy Betting on Forever here:

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Reviewed by Lisa, Santino Hassell

Release Day Review: Sunset Park by Santino Hassell

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Amazon

Title: Sunset Park (A Five Boroughs Story)

Author: Santino Hassell

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 230 Pages

At a Glance: Think Sunset Park can’t possibly live up to the beauty of Sutphin Boulevard? Think again…

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Raymond Rodriguez’s days of shoving responsibility to the wayside are over. His older brother wants to live with his boyfriend, so Raymond has to get his act together and find a place of his own. But when out-and-proud David Butler offers to be his roommate, Raymond agrees for reasons other than needing a place to crash.

David is Raymond’s opposite in almost every way—he’s Connecticut prim and proper while Raymond is a sarcastic longshoreman from Queens—but their friendship is solid. Their closeness surprises everyone as does their not-so-playful flirtation, since Raymond has always kept his bicurious side a secret.

Once they’re under the same roof, flirting turns physical, and soon their easy camaraderie is in danger of being lost to frustrating sexual tension and the stark cultural differences that set them apart. Now Raymond not only has to commit to his new independence—he has to commit to his feelings for David or risk losing him for good.

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Review: Sunset Park is a book that had a lot to live up to. At least, it did for me. Santino Hassell set the bar in this series pretty damn high with Sutphin Boulevard, and I can’t lie: I was worried that Raymond and David would pale in comparison to Mikey and Nunzio. I shouldn’t have worried, though. While “Sunset” does have a different vibe to it (it’s lighter without being fluff), it’s a fantastic opposites attracts story in its own right, and what’s become true to form with this series, now I can’t wait for book three, First and First.

The differences between the two novels in this series begin with not only the fact that Raymond and David are night and day to each other, but that the drama in Sunset Park is different from that in Sutphin Boulevard. It’s also all kinds of good. Where Mikey and Nunzio went through hell apart and together, they went through it on equal footing, their lives so deeply intertwined, and they knew each other so well. But who saw Raymond and David’s friendship coming? Hassell explores some interesting cultural divides in Sunset Park through these two men—David, the privileged white guy; Raymond, the Puerto Rican man from the blue collar neighborhood. Watching their worlds converge and their friendship coalesce was sometimes a study in frustration (I wanted to thump both their melons on more than one occasion), but the emotional and physical affection between these two is off-the-charts. And eventually, as we watch their relationship grow and change, we see this night and day contrast is actually more Yin/Yang—opposites that complement each other—and it’s kinda gorgeous.

There’s a palpable undercurrent of tension that flows between Raymond and David in the way they feel about each other—David’s out, while Raymond isn’t sure of much of anything where his feelings for David are concerned. Ray’s trying to figure out what to do with his attraction to David, and all the while, the friendship and the frisson of UST that’s always right there on the surface is crazy-making and crazy hot when they touch and wrap themselves around each other. And then, when they finally start to resolve some of that tension… holy hell. I don’t talk much about sex in my reviews, but I have to say there aren’t many authors I’ve read who can write a sex scene like Santino Hassell does. Just sayin’.

There’s a lot more to the conflict between Raymond and David than just their attraction to each other, though; it goes way beyond sex and has a lot to do with not knowing how to ask the questions that need to be asked, let alone how to answer one of the biggest: how to deal with exactly what it is they want from each other. Hassell teases these problem out through the entire book, until it comes down to make-or-break time, and they each are forced to figure out how to deal with what’s going on between them. The one thing I can respect about these books is that they’re layered with so much realism. There are family and friendship issues, work issues—this book doesn’t read like an angst for angst’s sake story, it reads like a story about real people with real problems, and what it all comes down to in the end is that Raymond doesn’t want to stop being Raymond, nor does David want him to. Raymond just wants to be a better version of himself—and that better version of himself is the man David already sees. It’s kind of gorgeous in its complicated simplicity, really.

This author has such a great voice, which bleeds into his characters feeling raw and real and sweet and sincere, and since “Sunset” is narrated by both Raymond and David, we also get to see the author flexing his writing skills to their best effect by making both characters so completely individual. Some books you read with your head, some you read with your heart. This series is one I can’t seem to help throwing myself into, full immersion, and I can’t recommend it enough. Sutphin Boulevard is simply stellar, and Sunset Park finds its own place to shine just as brightly alongside it.

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You can buy Sunset Park here:

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4 Stars, Comedy, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Sammy, Rob Rosen, Short Story

Review: Best Laid Trap by Rob Rosen

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Title: Best Laid Trap (Sleigh Ride: Advent Calendar 2015)

Author: Rob Rosen

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 24 Pages

At a Glance: Fans of Rob Rosen will immediately latch on to his wickedly humorous writing style and slightly crazed characters.

Reviewed By: Sammy

Blurb: Roy has a crush on Steve, so when a work-related ski weekend is offered, Roy jumps at the chance to finally lay a trap for his hunky coworker. An abandoned cabin nearby is perfect for his scheme, and Roy stocks it with champagne, rubbers, and lube. But fate intervenes, and it’s not Steve, but Ranger Josh, who ends up trapped in the cabin with Roy during an avalanche. Roy’s plan might be ruined, but there’s still a chance for a very happy New Year indeed.

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Review: It’s holiday time and Rob Rosen offers up Best Laid Trap, another offering form the Dreamspinner Advent Calendar: Sleigh Ride. I must admit I am a huge fan of Rosen’s acerbic wit and snarky repartee, and this little short starts out in typical Rosen style, replete with a near stream of consciousness from the narrator and star of the story, Roy.

The plot is a simple one: Roy has been crushing on a coworker and accidentally finds an abandoned cabin right off the bunny trail at the ski resort they are both staying. With seduction on his mind, Roy sets the trap for his amour and sits back to wait. Little did he know that Mother Nature, a randy forest ranger, and some karma would change his whole night–and perhaps his future as well.

Be forewarned, this short story is about as insta-lust as you can get, but with lots of humor and a fairly hot, lengthy sex scene to boot. This is a mere snippet, so if you are looking for a great deal of character development, or much past a short rendezvous with a hint of a happy-ever-after, then this might not be the selection for you. However, fans of Rob Rosen will immediately latch on to his wickedly humorous writing style and slightly crazed characters.

Roy is sweet and funny as he lays out his night of seduction for a coworker. When he finds that he is going to be left high and dry, he barely has time to be disappointed before the ranger of his dreams appears and he grabs opportunity with both hands! Barely a short story, Rosen still manages to pack this gem with soppy moments filled with inner dialogue from Roy’s head that will have you laughing. All in all, this was a fun romp that will leave you wanting just a little more!

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You can buy Best Laid Trap here:

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Joe Cosentino

Guest Post: A Home for the Holidays by Joe Cosentino

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Hello, the Novel Approach Readers! I’m visiting here today to tell you a bit about how I came to write my brand new holiday short novella, A Home for the Holidays from Dreamspinner Press, which takes place in gorgeous, romantic, and magical Capri, Italy!

After writing two Bittersweet Dreams novellas, An Infatuation and A Shooting Star (In My Heart Series) published by Dreamspinner Press, and a comedy mystery, Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery published by Lethe Press, I needed a vacation. So like Kunta Kinte charting his roots, my spouse and I dipped into our savings—and dipped into the Dramamine, and booked a flight and bus tour from the US to Rome, Naples, Venice, Assisi, Lake Como, Milan, Florence, the Amalphi Coast, Pompeii, Tuscany, and Lake Maggiore. We were exhausted, but we had the vacation of a lifetime seeing the most gorgeous architecture, natural resources, and views of any of our trip. We also ate delicious food and reveled in the art, history, and beauty (noticing all the statues were of very muscular, naked men). The people were warm and friendly as was the weather. However, there was no site more gorgeous, magical, and romantic than the Island of Capri.

While on the boat ride to the Marina Grande, the sight of the enormous cliffs sitting majestically on the water literally took our breath away. From the funiculare (cable car) we marveled at the stunning views of the island below and Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. At the Piazetta (main plaza) we boarded an island bus that zoomed around harrowing, tight corners like a car in a Fun House. We travelled to Via Krupp in the southern part of the island, and we walked through what Italians call “the villas of the rich and famous,” underscored by the sparkling turquoise sea below. We swam in gorgeous white sand beaches surrounded by artistic white stone formations like Marina Piccola. When we arrived at Mt. Solaro, our guide told us it was highest point on the Isle of Capri, five hundred and eighty-nine meters above sea level. As we looked out at the fog, the sun came up and the wind blew the vapors of fog upwards, crowning the clouds, and revealing stunning views of the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast, and the mountains of Calabria in the distance. As we looked out over the turquoise water, white mountains, and azure sky, I felt like I was in heaven. However, the most magical of all was the Grotta Azzurra (the Blue Grotto). As our boat went through the tiny portal of the expansive cave, my breath was taken away by the water’s brilliant shades of iridescent sapphire and emerald from the sun’s reflection on the water in the cove. Capri also had the most amazing restaurants and shops on the water’s edge. And the people somehow all seemed beautiful and sensuous.

Upon arriving back in the US, I realized I had to write a romantic story taking place in Capri.

In my story, Bobby, a young, Italian American law student, travels to Capri to meet his quaint Italian relatives. Though they get off to a rocky start, he falls in love with his handsome, muscular, sexy Italian third cousin, Paolo. Their relationship with highs and lows and some captivating surprises is the core of the short novella. Since I come from a long line of funny Italian Americans, I included a good deal of humor in the story as well with Bobby’s mother, who is loosely based on my mother, and Paolo’s eccentric family. Paolo’s grandmother is really a riot. She is loosely based on my grandmother who said, “A boy leaves home with a wife or in a coffin.”

Like Harold in An Infatuation and Jonathan in A Shooting Star, Bobby is sweet, sensitive, and smart. As a law student, he has buried his head in his books. As the novella begins, he is ready for an adventure—and ready for first love. Like Mario in An Infatuation and David in A Shooting Star, Paolo is handsome, muscular, charismatic, and like many people in Italy, much more interested in love than in work. He is also a gifted artist. Unlike Bobby, Paolo is very experienced in matters of the heart. Paolo loves the finer things in life, but doesn’t want to work for them. He is quite concerned about his body, clothing, and social life. That is a foreign (no pun intended) concept to me. He is loosely based on my cousin’s cousin who lives in Italy.

After reading A Home for the Holidays, people have said they’ve taken a little trip to Capri and had the romance of a lifetime. I hope readers will pick up this short novella. It’s a lot cheaper than a trip to Italy, and is bursting with the sights, scents, sounds, tastes, and romance of the magnificent island of Capri!

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HomeFortheHolidayscoverBlurb: Bobby McGrath’s Christmas trip to the beautiful Italian Island of Capri to meet his eccentric, extended family offers stunning views—none more stunning than his third cousin, Paolo Mascobello, a real stocking stuffer. As the two young men embark on a relationship, Bobby, a driven law student, learns to relax and bask under the old Italian moon, and Paolo realizes there’s more to life than a frolic on the beach. For the two to find everlasting amore, Paulo must overcome his fear of commitment and learn to follow his dreams, and Bobby must get his wish for happily ever after.

Buy Links: Dreamspinner Press || Amazon || All Romance eBooks || Barnes & Noble

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Excerpt: “Bobby, every Christmas your father and I buy you a nice gift and you return it. So this year before we go shopping, I’m asking you. What do you want for Christmas, exactly?”

I was tempted to answer, “How about the new Zeb Atlas DVD, Mom?” No longer reading my law textbook, I pressed the cell phone against my ear and responded, “My red sweater is getting frayed. I guess I could use a new one, Mom.”

“I don’t like red on you. I’ll get you a green sweater. It will go nicely with your eyes. You’ll be twenty-four in June. Nobody ever caught a husband wearing red clothes, except for Mrs. Klaus, and then look how overweight he was.”

I adjusted the heavy book on my knees and leaned back against the headboard of my narrow dorm room bed. Since fall semester of my third year of law school was over, my roommate had already gone back to Utah to be with his father and three mothers. Normally I would go home for the holidays.

As far back as I can remember, every December twenty-third through the twenty-fifth my mother works herself to exhaustion while forbidding anyone to help her. Since I am not married, I am seated at the kiddy table, where I dodge meatball and manicotti grenades courtesy of my little nieces and nephews. Then the gifts are bestowed with price tags on them so we all know “How many hours your father and I had to work to be able to buy our children such beautiful things.” This is followed by “oohs” and “ahhs” for every gift except the presents from me, which garner comments from my parents and two sisters like, “Oh well, I can wear that for dress-down day at work… if I keep on my coat.” After the extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins arrive for dessert (cannoli grenades at the kiddy table), my mother’s side (the Mascobellos) eat the pastries, and my father’s side (the McGraths) drink the liqueurs, while I sit upstairs in my old bedroom reading law case decisions on the Internet.

This Christmas is going to be different. Throughout my childhood I heard stories about my mother’s now deceased father who had a first cousin in Capri, Italy. Mom, “too exhausted from taking care of all of you to survive such a journey,” had recently spoken on the phone to her deceased father’s cousin’s daughter-in-law (got that?), and the two women had arranged for me to spend this Christmas with my Italian relatives. This led to my Christmas in Italy with my Italian cousin, Paolo Mascobello.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Amazon Bestselling author Joe Cosentino wrote An Infatuation, A Shooting Star, A Home for the Holidays (Dreamspinner Press), Drama Queen the first Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press), Paper Doll the first Jana Lane mystery (Whiskey Creek Press), and The Nutcracker and the Mouse King (Eldridge Plays and Musicals). He has appeared in principal acting roles in film, television, and theatre, opposite stars such as Bruce Willis, Rosie O’Donnell, Nathan Lane, Holland Taylor, Charles Keating, and Jason Robards. His one-act plays, Infatuation and Neighbor, were performed in New York City. He wrote The Perils of Pauline educational film (Prentice Hall Publishers). Joe is currently Head of the Department/Professor at a college in upstate New York, and is happily married. His upcoming releases in 2016 are The Naked Prince and Other Tales from Fairyland (Dreamspinner Press short stories novella), Porcelain Doll the second Jana Lane mystery (Wild Rose Press), and Drama Muscle the second Nicky and Noah mystery (Lethe Press).

Website || Facebook || Twitter || Goodreads || Amazon

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Giveaways, L.B. Gregg, Riptide Publishing

Guest Post and Giveaway: The With This Bling Blog Tour with L.B. Gregg

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Today we’re so pleased to welcome author LB Gregg to on the tour for the newest installment in the Romano and Albright series, With This Bling. Enjoy LB’s guest post, and then be sure to check out the great giveaway! Details below.

Good luck!

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Hi. My name is LB Gregg and I write gay romance. I’m here with Riptide Publishing celebrating the release of book three in my Romano and Albright series—With This Bling. It’s an exciting time. I know it’s also been a while and I appreciate readers sticking with me.

Expectation is a tricky thing. It took years for me to get to a point where I felt comfortable writing a new Romano and Albright book and once I did, I had a few false starts. Figuring out where to pick up the thread of Ce and Dan’s story proved harder than I anticipated.

Keeping things fresh is a challenge for any writer, and in the case of Romano and Albright, more than half a decade has passed since I last visited the guys. That’s a long time to pick up where you left off. In everything from popular culture, politics, publishing, and city’s landscape— New York City has changed. There’s a new mayor in town. Smart phones are universal, as is texting in emoji. We finally have marriage equality. Citi bikes racks fill the side streets, and Hurricane Sandy left damage, resulting in roadwork and traffic snarls. Wheat is out. Farm-to-Table is in. Uber is a thing. And so is Tinder (and Grinder) and social media is unavoidable. The High Line opened and stretches across the lower West Side, alive with history, blooming gardens, graffiti art, and tourists. And now One World Trade Center dominates the Manhattan skyline.

With This Bling begins only a couple of weeks after Trust Me If You Dare left off. Long enough for Caesar’s wounds to have healed after the BMW hijinks, but for this tentative, hot new thing between Dan and Ce to still feel fresh. The guys are just settling into a routine, but they still have a lot of questions.

Caesar makes frequent references to the here and now of 2008 and 2009 in books one and two—from marriage, to popular culture, to electronics and technology, to fashion trends—and I wasn’t sure if I should place the new story in 2015, or keep the guys sealed in the past. I struggled initially with how to adapt all the changes in our real world, with the very narrow timeline in my Romano and Albright series.

However, Caesar Romano is still the same twenty-eight year college graduate who struggles with the same day-to-day realties of life in the big city that most twenty-somethings do. Finances. Balancing family and friends. Commuting. Debt. Growing his career. Getting laid. Those basics haven’t changed for Caesar.

Yes, he’s always been a bit of a stick-in-the-mud, but because he’s young, he’s not oblivious to pop culture. Ce is and will remain current. Keeping him in the here and now wasn’t quite so difficult, because the things that make him tick haven’t changed, despite the prevalence of free wifi, a iPhone, Siri at his finger tips, and a languishing Twitter account.

And while Dan Albright might be a little above popular culture (Justin Bieber and Mylie Cyrus aren’t really on his radar), there isn’t a forty something in NY who hasn’t taken a selfie. Dan’s a smart guy. He’s hip. He’s educated. He loves to text. And the former detective has a firm opinion about both Deflategate and the World Series. He adores gadgets and video games and Dan’s not above using new and old technology to get his way. Those things won’t change about him either.

Because Romano and Albright are character driven books, I let Ce and Dan decide what things to keep, and what things they wished to upgrade. Putting Ce and Dan right here, right now, in this present, is something I’ll continue to do with the next book—Gaydar Love. The guys adapt better and faster than the rest of us, apparently, and they can pick up exactly where they left off, leaping through time and space as only fictional characters can. And neither one of them has aged. If only I could say the same.

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With This BlingAbout the Book:

Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.

Almost.

Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.

But then again, a break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano.

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Author BioAbout the Author:

When not working from her home in the rolling hills of Northwestern Connecticut, author L.B. Gregg can be spotted in coffee shops from Berlin to Singapore to Panama–sipping lattes and writing sweet, hot, often funny, stories about men who love men.

For more info on L.B., because surely one can never get too much of a good thing, you can follow her on her preferred social media, Facebook. You can also e-mail L.B. at lbgregg at lbgregg dot com, visit her website www.lbgregg.com, be her GoodReads pal or follow her sporadic appearances on twitter.

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Giveaway

To celebrate the release of With This Bling, L.B. Gregg is giving away a Romano and Albright mug with swag, and a $40 gift card to Amazon! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! Don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Maryann, Scotty Cade

Review: Veiled Loyalties by Scotty Cade

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Veiled Loyalties (Bissonet & Cruz Investigations: Book Two)

Author: Scotty Cade

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 148 Pages

At a Glance: Veiled Loyalties is a great sequel to The Royal Street Heist!

Reviewed By: Maryann

Blurb: Halloween is Beau Bissonet’s favorite holiday, from carving pumpkins to decorating his yard to donning a costume and scaring the neighborhood kids. But this year his Halloween is about to take a different turn, one that will challenge his skills as a detective and his commitment to his partner in work and love.

A year since Beau and Tollison solved The Royal Street Heist, found love, and formed Bissonet & Cruz Investigations, they are thriving personally and professionally. That is until Tollison’s ex, Bastien Andros, shows up out of the blue. Naturally, Beau’s suspicious, but two days after Bastien’s arrival, he goes missing, and Tollison worries his past may catch up to him.

A mysterious package makes clear who has Bastien and what’s at stake. With both Bastien and Beau’s lives now at risk, Tollison has only one option: travel to Zurich, Switzerland, secure and deliver the ransom, keep both men safe, and stay true to himself at the same time.

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Review: Montgomery Beaumont Bissonet, former Detective of the New Orleans PD, and Tollison Eduardo Braga Cruz, former art thief and Lloyds of London insurance investigator, have now opened their business—Bissonet & Cruz Investigations in New Orleans. Tollison’s thieving past comes back to haunt him when his ex, Bastien, shows up, and Heinrich Fussli DeMatteo contacts Tollison.  DeMatteo has threatened Beau’s life and is holding Bastien hostage for the return of a historical painting. Tollison feels a heavy responsibility to protect Beau and save his ex. Along with Tollison and Beau, Auggie and Bruce are off to Zurich with a plan to steal the Titania erwacht, von aufwartenden Fairies.

Scotty Cade takes us on a whirlwind adventure to Zurich, and into the intricate planning of the theft of the artwork.  Cade provides us with historical facts about the painting, and we see Tollison’s brilliance and expertise as a former thief, along with the support he gets from Beau, Auggie and Bruce. There are some very emotional moments from Beau and Tollison as their views of trust, lies, and past decisions threaten their relationship. Cade also gave Beau a “big kid” persona, as it’s his favorite time of year, and Tollison is just confused and amazed at Beau’s excitement. Iona Ball is back too, as assistant to Beau and Tollison. She is quite the character!

Veiled Loyalties is a great sequel to The Royal Street Heist!

TNA_Signature_Maryann

 

 

 

 

You can buy Veiled Loyalties here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Genre Romance, Jeff Erno, Reviewed by Lynn, Wayward Ink Publishing

Review: Baggage by Jeff Erno

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Baggage

Author: Jeff Erno

Publisher: Wayward Ink Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 244 Pages

At a Glance: Overall, this is a sweet love story. Highly recommended.

Reviewed By: Lynn

Blurb: At thirty-eight years of age, Chandler finds himself single and caring for his brother Raymond, who suffers numerous health problems.

Mired in grief from the multiple deaths of close family members, he recedes into himself, crippled with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies.

Early one morning Chandler’s life is flipped on its end when he encounters his neighbor, twenty-five year old Marcus.

Nothing about a relationship with this young man makes sense. For one thing, Marcus is… well… YOUNG. He’s also biracial and has all kinds of tattooed muscles!

The streetwise Marcus introduces Chandler to an entirely different lifestyle, pulling the would-be hermit from his shell, albeit kicking and screaming. But how long can such a relationship last, and what about Raymond? Chandler fears a guy like Marcus, seemingly perfect in every way, won’t be able to truly accept Chandler with all his baggage.

An unexpected bombshell detonates and Chandler learns some unsavory details about Marcus, who he really is, and what he’s done in the past.

Finally, it’s Chandler who must decide if he can accept Marcus’ baggage.

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Review: I’ve read this author before and have enjoyed his stories, and Baggage is no exception. What I loved most about this story was the real life concept: two men finding each other when they least expect it. Chandler and Marcus are polar opposites. These are two people I would never in a million years put together, but fate, destiny, divine intervention, or whatever you want to call it, pulls them towards one another. And you know what? It worked and it was lovely.

When we first meet Chandler, he exudes loneliness, taking his lot in life with grace and acceptance. You see, he’s taking care of his older brother, a brother who has a slew of medical conditions, as well as being bi polar. It’s a full time job. Then we have Marcus. He’s a lot younger than Chandler, thirteen years younger, in fact, and seems to have taken a shine to Chandler. Here we go folks.

We get Chandler’s POV for the entire story. Usually when this happens, I feel like I’m missing something from the other characters; not so with this one. Mr. Erno does such a wonderful job of presenting Marcus that we really don’t need his POV. We know exactly what he’s thinking and feeling throughout the story. His intentions towards Chandler are very clear from the get-go. I loved watching Chandler’s reactions to Marcus. He really didn’t (or couldn’t) believe this young man was interested in him. But Marcus was bound and determined to change Chandler’s way of thinking.

I really enjoyed these two characters. At first I was a little leery about Marcus. I guess I was going by what Chandler was thinking, which was that Marcus could find someone his own age, and what does he want with Chandler? As I got to know Marcus better, his sincerity shined through. His humor and carefree manner was just what the doctor ordered. But then something happens (which I won’t go into because that would be a spoiler) and because of Marcus’s background, I thought the worst. Of course, when the truth comes out, I felt like an ass right along with Chandler. The lesson learned here is to never judge a book by its cover. Oh, and never assume anything.

What I loved most about this book was its simplicity. And by simple, I don’t mean boring—far from it. I love a great love story, and this is definitely one of those. Chandler and Marcus’s relationship was about overcoming stereotypes, accepting each other’s flaws, differences, and yes, baggage. I loved the realism the author gave us with these two. It wasn’t love at first sight, everything didn’t fall right into place. At times it was a struggle with miscommunication, self-doubt and worry. But when all the pieces were put together, it was beautiful.

Overall, this is a sweet love story. It has bittersweet moments, heartbreaking and sad moments, but a happy ending, for sure. Highly recommended.

TNA_Signature_Lynn

 

 

 

 

You can buy Baggage here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, J.A. Rock

Guest Post and Giveaway: The Subs Club Blog Tour with J.A. Rock

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Hi! I’m J.A. Rock, and right now I’m touring the internet talking about my latest release The Subs Club—Book 1 in The Subs Club series. Thanks so much to the blogs that are hosting me on this tour, and be sure to leave comments on the tour posts for a chance to win your choice of two backlist ebooks and a $10 Amazon gift card!

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The Subs Club Supporting Characters

At other stops on the tour, you’ll meet the four main Subs Club members: charming, snarky Dave; uptight perfectionist Miles; big-hearted dudebro Kamen; and super shy Gould. At the start of the series, they’re still reeling from the death of their fifth friend, Hal, but are steeling themselves to go back to playing at Riddle, the dungeon where he died. Here’s a look at some of the supporting characters who populate Riddle, and the Subs Club universe in general:

Bill Henson: The dom who was playing with Hal at Riddle the night Hal died. Bill was charged with second-degree murder when Hal strangled to death after Bill left him tied up, alone, in one of the playrooms. Bill was later found innocent in court—though the kink community has been less forgiving. Prior to the Hal incident, Bill had a reputation for being an arrogant, sometimes careless dom who exaggerated his experience level. This makes him an easy target for angry, grieving kinksters looking for someone to blame. But Bill might not be quite the monster everyone thinks he is…

Cinnamon the Ponygirl: The Subs Club’s mortal enemy, Cinnamon is famous in the pony play world, but far less popular at Riddle. Rude, self-centered, and fond of stirring up trouble, she was also the only witness to Hal’s death—and she spoke in Bill Henson’s defense at the trial, incurring the Subs Club’s further wrath. Dave, who has an irrational fear of furries, is particularly uneasy around her, because he considers pet players a little too close to furries for comfort.

Kel and GK: The owners of Riddle, one of two kink clubs in the city, GK and Kel are a married couple who had a dream: to run a dungeon together. But three years after that dream became a reality, things went to shit when Hal died at Riddle, causing kinksters to question whether GK and Kel are capable of maintaining a safe play environment. Kel and GK struggle to keep their club afloat in the wake of tragedy, making questionable decisions along the way. They also seem to have a real thing for Gould.

Ricky Chuy: The smoothest, twinkiest, innocent-est newbie imaginable. The Subs Club sometimes lets him tag along with them to Riddle to learn about the scene. Dave describes it as “like taking the goddamn Little Mermaid to a bondage club.”

Rachel, the Human Menorah-Maker: Okay, Rachel’s a bit elusive. But other clubgoers look fondly upon her annual Hanukah rope work, where she creates rope candleholders on people’s arms and turns them into human menorahs.

Regina: “Biggest hair I’ve seen outside a Winger video,” according to Dave. A Riddle staff member, Regina loves to play matchmaker at the club, introducing players with similar kinks. Regina can usually be found tending the dry bar, working the front desk, or else DM-ing.

Mrs. Pell: Kamen’s mom. She’s been in the scene for years, but she usually plays at Cobalt, the “White Castle of BDSM clubs.” So as long as Kamen sticks to Riddle, he can usually avoid, y’know…running into his mom at a dungeon. Much to Kamen’s mortification, Mrs. Pell is very frank about and comfortable with her lifestyle, and loves to show off the string of hairy-chested play partners she doms.

Bowser: A big, burly, Viking-esque man with a ginger beard, an extreme medical play fetish, and a laugh that sounds just like Bowser’s in Super Mario 64. Apparently he and the very masochistic Miles have a bit of a past together.

Fucktopus: A mysterious “tentacle furry” who shows up on the Subs Club message board to talk about his eight robotic tentacles of fun. Dave’s absolute worst nightmare.

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TheSubsClub_600x900About The Subs Club (The Subs Club #1): A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

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About The Subs Club Universe: After the death of their friend Hal at the hands of an irresponsible dom, submissive friends Dave, Kamen, Miles, and Gould band together to form the Subs Club—an organization seeking to expose dangerous local doms. The club slowly evolves as romances blossom, loyalties are tested, and tensions mount in a community already struggling for unity in the wake of Hal’s death.

From domestic discipline to knife play to fashion paraphilia, and from family drama to new jobs to first loves, the members of the Subs Club explore life’s kinks inside and outside of the bedroom as they attempt to let go of the past and move forward.

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Author BioAbout the Author: J.A. Rock is the author of queer romance and suspense novels, including BY HIS RULES, TAKE THE LONG WAY HOME, and, with Lisa Henry, THE GOOD BOY and WHEN ALL THE WORLD SLEEPS. She holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of Alabama and a BA in theater from Case Western Reserve University. J.A. also writes queer fiction and essays under the name Jill Smith. Raised in Ohio and West Virginia, she now lives in Chicago with her dog, Professor Anne Studebaker.

Website || Blog || Twitter || Facebook

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Giveaway

Don’t forget! To celebrate the release of The Subs Club, J.A. Rock is giving away two titles from her backlist and a $10 Amazon gift card! Your first comment at each stop on this tour enters you in the drawing. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on December 12, 2015. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. Entries. Follow the tour for more opportunities to enter the giveaway! And don’t forget to leave your email or method of contact so Riptide can reach you if you win!

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Giveaways, Silvia Violet

Blog Tour and Giveaway: Professional Distance by Silvia Violet

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Professional Distance CoverProfessional Distance: Thorne & Dash Book 1

Author: Silvia Violet

Cover Design: LC Chase

Release Date: 11.28.15

Buy Links: Amazon US || Amazon UK || Amazon CA

BLURB: Thornwell Shipton is wealthy, uptight, closeted, and an incurable workaholic. A tragic love affair left him terrified of relationships, so he tells himself sex is better scheduled and paid for.

Riley Dashwood is young, easy-going, and comfortable in his own skin. He’s a passionate baker and an aspiring chef, working as an escort to save up for culinary school.

They’re clearly made for each other.

When Thorne hires Dash, it’s lust at first sight. After a few scorching nights together, both men start to wonder if what’s between them is more than physical, but their age gap and resistance to romance make them afraid to change their professional relationship to a personal one. Dash pushes Thorne to admit he wants things he’s denied himself for years. Kinky things. Soft, caring things. Things that force him to open his heart, not just his body. To move forward, one or the other must take a risk and ask for what he really wants.

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TEASER

Professional Distance Teas

EXCERPT: Thorne’s workweek was just as bad as he’d expected it to be. At least, the memories of Dash and the anticipation of what was to come once he was back in town on Friday made it bearable, more than bearable actually. He’d jacked off every single night in the hotel, thinking of Dash while he finger-fucked himself and pretended it was Dash’s cock inside him.

That afternoon, he’d had a final tedious meeting with the client who claimed to want his advice but argued with him every fucking step of the way. A delay at the airport did nothing to ease Thorne’s annoyance. His neck and shoulders ached with tension by the time he landed in Atlanta. He couldn’t wait to see Dash. After coaxing, pushing, and manipulating clients all week, he wanted to let go and concentrate on nothing but pleasure. He was so eager to be held down, forced, and used that he had to move his jacket in front of him to hide his hard-on as he stood in the taxi line.

He reached home with barely time to clean up and change before Dash arrived. When he emerged from the shower, he slipped on his plush terry robe, another one of the luxuries he afforded himself. The robe had cost more than some of his colleagues’ suits, but he had the money, and he loved the feel of the soft fabric against his skin. He figured there was no need to dress since he hoped to be naked within minutes of Dash arriving. This time he wasn’t going to let Dash distract him. He was going to get down to business right away.

The buzzer alerted him to a visitor before he had a chance to pour himself a cocktail, but that was fine—even the best bourbon was no match for Dash.

“Mr. Dash is here to see you, sir. Shall I send him up?” Michaels asked.

“Yes, thank you.”

“You’re welcome, sir.”

Thorne frowned at the agitated state of his stomach. Butterflies. Fucking butterflies. He’d hired this man, and he was—oh fuck, why’d he have to think of that—twenty years younger.

Dash knocked, the same two sharp taps as last week.

Once Thorne let him in, Dash eyed him appreciatively. “Dressed for the occasion?”

“And why shouldn’t I be?” Thorne asked as he pushed the door shut.

“It’s a good look for you.” Dash’s gaze traveled down Thorne’s body. “You have beautiful feet.”

“Is that a thing for you?” Thorne asked, wiggling his toes.

Dash laughed. “So you can be playful after all.”

Thorne snorted at his impertinence.

“And my thing is whatever my client wants.”

Thorne raised a brow, challenging him.

“It’s not a particular fetish of mine—though I appreciate beauty in all forms and places—but I aim to serve my clients’ needs.”

“Or to tell them what those needs are.”

“Is that what you’d like me to do today?” Dash asked. He seemed to grow a few inches taller as he let the commanding persona settle over him.

Thorne ignored him. Dash had his messenger bag with him again, but he was also carrying a white paper bag that smelled of cake—rich cake.

“What’s that?” Thorne reached for the bag.

Dash slapped his hand away. “It’s a surprise for later.”

Thorne frowned. “Why do I feel like you wanted to tack ‘if you’re a good boy’ on to that sentence?”

Dash laughed. “Maybe I did.”

“I told you I—”

“Don’t do submissive. And I told you I wasn’t so sure you didn’t.”

Thorne hated how right Dash might be. “Look—”

Dash held up a hand. “I have an idea for tonight. Would you like me to run with it and see where it takes us, or are you going to wrestle control?”

Why the fuck did that sound so sexy—grappling with Dash, fighting for who would be on top. “Is both an option?”

Dash grinned. “We’ll have to see.”

“Worried about an old guy’s stamina?”

“You don’t seem the least bit old to me.”

Dash’s statement caught Thorne off guard, because it wasn’t made in the same playful tone. It sounded serious, heartfelt. Or maybe Thorne’s brain was too clouded by lust to tell. “I’d like to hear your idea.”

Dash set the paper bag down on the coffee table and unzipped his satchel. He pulled out a plug—not the giant vibrating one that had caught Thorne’s attention the week before—a basic one that was large enough to make a man really feel it but not scare him.

Thorne inclined his head toward the plug. “I like it so far.”

“Then turn around.”

Thorne almost protested. But he was the one who’d insisted they get right down to business.

“Kneel on the couch and brace yourself on the back.”

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Silvia VioletABOUT THE AUTHOR: Silvia Violet writes erotic romance in a variety of genres including sci fi, paranormal, alternate history, and historical.

She can often be found haunting coffee shops looking for the darkest, strongest cup of coffee she can find. Once equipped with the needed fuel, she can happily sit for hours pounding away at her laptop. Silvia typically leaves home disguised as a suburban stay-at-home-mom, and other coffee shop patrons tend to ask her hilarious questions like “Do you write children’s books?” She loves watching the looks on their faces when they learn what she’s actually up to. When not writing, Silvia enjoys baking sinful chocolate treats, exploring new styles of cooking, and reading children’s books to her wickedly smart offspring.

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: Newsletter || Facebook || Twitter || Tumblr || Pinterest

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter for the chance to win a $20 Gift Card to either Amazon or ARe, winner’s choice!

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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Cardeno C., Giveaways

Audiobook Tour and Giveaway: Just What the Truth Is by Cardeno C.

Header - Audio Just What the Truth Is copy

Cover - Audio Just What the Truth IsJust What the Truth Is

Author: Cardeno C.

Narrated by: Alexander Collins

Length: 6 hrs and 19 mins

Series: Home, Book 5

Release Date:10-23-15

Publisher: The Romance Authors, LLC

Blurb: People pleaser Ben Forman has been in the closet so long he has almost convinced himself he is straight, but his denial train gets derailed when hotshot lawyer Micah Trains walks into his life. Micah is brilliant, funny, driven…and he assumes Ben is gay and starts dating him. Finding himself truly happy for the first time, Ben doesn’t have the willpower to resist Micah’s affection.

When his relationship with Micah heats up, Ben realizes he has a problem: His parents won’t tolerate a gay son, and self-confident Micah isn’t the type to hide. If Ben wants to maintain his hold on his happiness, he’ll have to decide what’s important and own up to the truth of who he is. The trouble is figuring out just what that truth is.

©2013 Cardeno C. (P)2015 Cardeno C.

AUDIBLE US

Audible UK

Ebook Linksgoodreads-small
All Romance eBooks / Amazon / Amazon UK
Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords
Smashwords Coupon: VU38T

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About the Author: Cardeno C. – CC to friends – is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few “awwws” into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever- after sunset.

Cardeno’s Home, Family, and Mates series have received awards from Love Romances and More Golden Roses, Rainbow Awards, the Goodreads M/M Romance Group, and various reviewers. But even more special to CC are heartfelt reactions from readers, like, “You bring joy and love and make it part of the every day.”

WLK Giveaway

Win an audio copy of Just What the Truth Is !

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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3 Stars, Audio Book, BA Tortuga, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Amy

Audio Review: Ever the Same by BA Tortuga – Narrated by Paul Morey

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Ever the Same

Author: BA Tortuga

Narrator: Paul Morey

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Run Time: 7 hours and 32 minutes

At a Glance: Overall, I liked this story but felt it was missing something.

Reviewed By: Amy

Blurb: Audie Barrack is in it up to his elbows with a sick calf when his son’s school calls. Seems Grainger has gotten into yet another fight. When he walks into the principal’s office, he’s shocked to find his son has been fighting with a little girl named Randi.

A little girl with one blind dad and one dad who recently passed away.

Goddammit.

Dixon has lost his sight, his career, and his husband. Thank God for his brothers, Momma and Daddy, and his little girl, or he would simply give up. The last thing he needs is for Randi to start trouble at school, especially trouble that puts him in contact with another dad who might expect him to be a functional human being.

Dixon is struggling to live as a blind man, Audie is terrified someone might see he has a closet to come out of, and everyone from the school to both men’s families is worried for the men and their children. Unless they get themselves together and commit to change, neither of them stands a chance.

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Review:  I’m a big fan of BA Tortuga’s writing, and own several print copies of her books. I was excited to listen to this story—I’m definitely drawn to stories that are unconventional. Dixon was a great character, and he was put through some really trying times. When we are introduced to him and Audie, they meet because their children get into a fight at school. From then on, you meet a whole slew of characters—from Randi and Granger (the kids), to their respective families, and finally, the animals. The animals played an awesome part in the story.

The children really brought this story home for me. They are the glue holding it together, and without them, I feel this book wouldn’t have been successful. They were what was right about this story. But unfortunately, I felt that there were a lot of inconsistencies in the plot, and I had a hard time with Audie and Dixon’s families. These two men are not your conventional twenty-year-old guys. These are grown men facing very serious issues, yet they acted like they were very young, and they let their parents walk all over them.

Dixon was a great character whose growth is visible throughout the story. However, I really wanted to see him flourish as a blind person. Overall, I liked this story but felt it was missing something. The thing I think it’s missing is the actual romance. I felt like I didn’t get to see Dixon and Audie fall in love. It just was.

Narration: Ever the Same is performed by Paul Morey. That’s all that needs to be said. Morey is a consummate professional who does an excellent job narrating this book. He did a great job speaking for the children, which I always feel is a difficult thing to do as a narrator. He is absolutely fabulous.

TNA_Signature_Amy

 

 

 

 

You can buy Ever the Same here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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4.5 Stars, Audio Book, Brandon Witt, Dreamspinner Press, Genre Romance, Narration Rating - 5 Stars, Reviewed by Jules

Audio Review: Then the Stars Fall by Brandon Witt – Narrated by Andrew McFerrin

Audio Gem

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Then the Stars Fall

Author: Brandon Witt

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Narrator: Andrew McFerrin

Run Time: 12 Hours and 21 Minutes

At a Glance: Definitely check this one out, guys!

Reviewed By: Jules

Blurb: The death of his wife four years earlier left Travis Bennett a shell of the man he used to be. With his dog by his side, Travis raises his three children, manages his business, and works as a ranch hand. But every day, every minute, is an aching emptiness.

Wesley Ryan has fond memories of the small Ozark town of El Dorado Springs. Seeing it as a safe place to put his failed relationships behind him, Wesley moves into his grandparents’ old home and takes over the local veterinary clinic. An early morning visit from Travis and his dog stirs feelings that Wesley seeks to push away – the last thing he needs is to fall for a man with baggage and three kids as part of the package.

Life, it seems, has other plans.

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Review: Then the Stars Fall is a gorgeous piece of writing by Brandon Witt. It was the first of his stories I’ve read – or, listened to, as the case may be – and it certainly will not be the last. It’s a big story. Very heavy at times, though there is also a good amount of levity to help balance it out. The story is beautiful, and complex; as such, it needed a certain kind of intensity brought to the narration, and I have to say that Andrew McFerrin does a superb job with the performance.

Wesley is trying to settle into his new life in El Dorado – the home of his beloved grandparents, who left him their house – and definitely is not looking for love. In fact, the plan was to swear off men entirely, for the time being anyway, after his recent, painful breakup. The plan was not to fall for a local, widowed father of three. Wesley never even saw Travis Bennett coming. Of course, the same can definitely be said of Travis…He absolutely did not see Wesley coming.

This book covers a lot of ground…family, loss, friendship, small town small-mindedness, homophobia, and ultimately, romance, love, and second chances…and has a variety of fabulous characters for you to love or hate (mostly love). Witt created a villain in John Wallace, whom McFerrin voiced with such venom that I actually cringed a few times when hearing him come into a scene. Without question, this is a book that will make you feel. Here are some of my actual notes from the audio about my feelings while listening!

Chapter 6 – I don’t like that he is downplaying the attack from John Wallace. I think he was right to feel threatened – there was a VERY aggressive advance, if not a full out sexual assault.

Chapter 8 – Wendy is hilarious, saying ‘to make your brown eyes pop and look a little sinister.’ Win win. – about the red glitter eyeliner.

Chapter 10 – I do love this narration. I looove his Wesley voice.

Chapter 10 – the end. So good. (The talk in the barn before the kiss. And, the kiss.) “They kissed. Animals slept. They kissed. The barn continued to stand. They kissed. Maybe a few stars fell.” Sigh.

Chapter 11 – Wesley talking about how hot Travis is…So funny.

Chapter 15 – God I love Wesley – berating himself for not being able to stay away from Travis.

Chapter 21 – Iris Linley – such a fabulous busy body… “You’re both nice men. And, those Bennett children need a mother.” *diez*

I actually ended up listening to it twice. The narration got better and better the more I listened. Good, good stuff. Definitely check this one out, guys!

TNA_Signature_Jules

 

 

 

 

You can buy Then the Stars Fall here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Audible.com

Audible.com

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Kate Hill

Guest Post and Excerpt: Blow by Blow by Kate Hill

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Kate Hill today on the tour for her latest novel Blow by Blow. There’s an excerpt for you to check out, too, so enjoy!

And now, here’s Kate.

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Blow by Blow – What You Didn’t Know

Every book has its share of unique ingredients–a pinch of imagination, a tablespoon of research and a cup of change.

I thought I’d share a few behind the scenes details that went into the recipe for Blow by Blow.

  1. The second to last sex scene was one of the first scenes plotted.
  2. In the first draft, Theo was named Ally.
  3. As part of my research for the book, I tried Jiu Jitsu classes–quite a change from the Shotokan and kickboxing I’ve practiced over the years.
  4. The original title was Raven’s Rapture.
  5. The original version had a very short prologue that I deleted because I thought it read too much like a book blurb. The information in the prologue was worked into other parts of the story instead.

I hope you enjoy the excerpt from Blow by Blow.

Thank you!

Kate

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blowbyblowmedBlurb: A hunky former heavyweight champ and an ass-kicking beauty fight for their lives and their love in a futuristic world of MMA.

Theo “Little Raven” Fisker, is a bantamweight with attitude who plans to make a name for himself in the Radical Warrior Tournament, a prestigious mixed martial arts event. The problem is no team will sign a male fighter who walks out in silver and pink with nail polish to match, until he meets Master Jesse.

Impressed by Theo’s talent, Jesse welcomes him onto his up and coming team. Fists and sparks fly when Theo meets gorgeous Valentin Merrickson. Theo draws Valentin out of his protective armor and sparks hope for a life the tough heavyweight never imagined possible. Their love grows, but threats from extremists and an injury that ends Valentin’s career in the cage might tear them apart.

Buy Link: BookStrand

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Excerpt: “Oh wow. Where did these come from,” Theo said, squatting by the pot. He let go of his bags and reached for the attached florist’s card. He read it, smiled, rose, and slipped his arms around Valentin’s neck. “Thank you.”

Valentin hugged him back a bit awkwardly since grocery bags filled his hands. “Didn’t know what else to give you as a welcome gift.”

“I love blueberries.”

“Kinda figured when you ate half my supply during breakfast yesterday morning.”

Theo stepped back, his hands still cupping Valentin’s neck. “Are you saying I’m a blueberry hog? Don’t answer that. Come on.” Theo opened the door, picked up his grocery bags, and stepped inside, Valentin close behind him.

They were quite hungry, so after putting away Theo’s shopping, they sat down to lunch. When they finished, Theo did some quick housecleaning, not that he had much to do. The house was impeccable. Debra and her parents obviously took a lot of pride in their property. Valentin volunteered to help. While Valentin tidied up the lunch mess and opened the windows in the house to let in the fresh spring air, Theo cleaned the bathroom and unpacked his belongings.

“I know this hasn’t been much of a date so far,” Theo said.

He and Valentin stood in the bedroom where Theo was about to put the new sheets he’d bought on the bed.

“Fine with me,” Valentin said, helping Theo tuck in the fitted sheet. They both reached for the top sheet at the same time and Valentin closed his hand over Theo’s. He tugged Theo closer.

Even with the thick heels on his boots, Theo still had to tilt his face up to meet Valentin’s gaze. Valentin dipped his head toward Theo to cover his mouth with a kiss.

Closing his eyes, Theo surrendered. He pressed even closer to Valentin.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Always a fan of romance and the paranormal, Kate Hill started writing over twenty years ago for pleasure. Her first story, a short erotic vampire tale, was accepted for publication in 1996. Since then she has sold over one hundred short stories, novellas and novels.

When she’s not working on her books, Kate enjoys reading, working out and spending time with her family and pets. Kate also writes under the pen name Saloni Quinby. She enjoys hearing from readers and she can be contacted at katehill@sprintmail.com. Visit her online at kate-hill.com.

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Cover Reveal, Giveaways, Lane Hayes

Cover Reveal and Giveaway: A Kind of Truth by Lane Hayes

A Kind of Truth

Title: A Kind of Truth
Author: Lane Hayes
Series: A Kind Of
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Word Count: 82k words
Categories: Bisexual, Contemporary Romance, Humor
Cover Artist: Aaron Anderson
Release Date: January 8, 2016
Pre-Order Links: E-book || Paperback
Blurb: Rand O’Malley dreams of superstardom. He hopes to one day sing the blues like a rock god. Moving to New York City and hiring a new manager are steps to make his dreams a reality. But nothing moves as fast as Rand would like, and everyone has opinions, which include he keep certain pieces of himself quiet if he plans on making it in the Big Apple. Like his bisexuality.

Will Sanders is a gifted musician who dazzles Rand with his ability to coax gorgeous notes from an electric guitar one moment and play the piano like a professional the next. He’s a geek, but Rand isn’t concerned about Will’s pressed exterior clashing with his tattoos. His focus is music. Yet there’s something about Will that makes Rand think there’s much more to the quiet college student than he lets on. As Rand’s dreams begin to materialize, he’s forced to reconsider his priorities and find his own kind of truth. One that might include Will.

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Excerpt: Watching Will’s face turn pink then red was extraordinarily entertaining. I nudged his elbow playfully and tried to gain control of my smile before it threatened to take over my entire face.  When I couldn’t take the building pressure of emotion, I winked at the girls then leaned in and kissed his lips, loving that I took him by surprise.  The elevator doors slid open a moment later.  Will stepped into the empty corridor and gave me a wide-eyed incredulous stare.

“I cannot believe you just did that.”

“What? Kissed you on an elevator?  It’s not like farting, ya know.”

Will huffed a sigh that clearly said he thought I was hopeless before turning to walk down the hall.  “I was talking about the underwear comment but yeah, the kissing part was awkward too.  No one wants to watch two people going at in a confined space.  And besides, we’re supposed to be playing this strictly straight while we’re in public.”

He stopped to unlock the door to the classroom then pushed it open, pausing to give me a perturbed look before he moved inside ahead of me. I barked a quick laugh as I set my guitar on the back table and shrugged my jacket off.

“First of all, that was hardly going at it.  It was a peck. You were the one advertising I left my clothes at your place in front of a couple cute girls.  And who said anything about playing straight?”

“Were we not in the same room two mornings ago talking about this?”

“We were.  In fact, we were naked in your bed.  Decidedly un-straight. But the way I remember it, I was one who was holding back the gay while you were the one going for it.  But let’s go back to the elevator. I think you purposefully blew my cover back there with those girls.  Were you jealous?”

He snorted and rolled his eyes.  “You’re unbelievable.”

“Thanks.”

“It wasn’t a compliment,” he quipped as he made his way to the piano.

“Well, the next time you announce you’re holding my underwear hostage in a crowd, all bets are off, baby.” I gave him a lascivious once-over and waggled my eyebrows before tightening the strap on my guitar.

Will chuckled.  “I’ll keep that in mind. But I’m pretty sure your tighty-whities never came up. My comment was perfectly innocent. There’s a big difference between hats and underwear.”

“I’m on to you, Will.  You wanted those girls to know something’s going on between us.  They’re probably talking right now.  Bet they’re wondering if we’re in here having sex.  Hell, they could be outside that door listening.  Maybe we should give ‘em something to talk about.” I made a show of unbuckling my belt and the top button on my 501s.  “Is there a camera in this room?”

“Keep your pants on. I’ve got two months left till graduation and I’d prefer not to get kicked out of school, please,” Will said primly, smacking my hand away.

“You won’t get kicked out.  I doubt we’d be the first anyway.”

I rezipped my jeans and started to back up, but at the last second, I reached out to cup his chin between my thumb and forefinger.  I traced his jaw and let my thumb roam higher to caress his cheekbone just under his glasses. His eyes fluttered shut.  I loved the contrast of his fair skin and darker lashes and eyebrows.  He was so damn pretty.  And those lips.  They were sensuous.  That was the word. I leaned in and brushed my nose against his.  I could feel his breath on my lips.  The urge to plunge my tongue inside and take what I was very sure we both wanted was strong, but I waited for his permission.

When he didn’t respond, I let my hand fall to my side and started to pull back.  Maybe he really was serious about propriety in the classroom. I wasn’t used to curbing my impulses to suit someone’s else’s sensibilities. I’d spent twenty-five years doing only what I wanted.  Screw anyone else.  Now here I was, attempting to hide my gay side publicly while trying to follow Will’s lead in private. It felt strange, I thought, just as Will launched himself at me.

I grunted in surprise when he wrapped his arms around my neck and crashed his mouth over mine. He softened the connection and tilted his head as he raked his fingers through my hair.  I responded but let him control the tempo. Until he tentatively licked my lips. Fuck, he tasted sweeter than I remembered. Like peppermint candy or hot chocolate.  I pulled him flush against my chest and slid my tongue alongside his, twisting and colliding in a passionate fusion.  When he gasped for air I pulled back only to have him grind his hips into mine and lick my jaw. He swayed into me with a moan and lost his footing.

“Steady there.”

Will was sexier than he knew, which spelled potential danger for me.  It was better to let the music take over for now.

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Author BioAbout the Author: Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time!  It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel.  An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters.  These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men.  Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked.  Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions in the 2014 and 2015 Rainbow Awards.  She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband and the coolest yellow Lab ever in an almost empty nest.

Where to find the author: Facebook || Facebook Author Page || Twitter: @LaneHayes3 || Goodreads Link

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THE GIVEAWAY

Enter for the chance to win a $10 Gift Card to the e-tailer of the winner’s choice

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Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, BFD Book Blog, The Hat Party, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue, Words, Boys on the Brink Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, A.M. Leibowitz, Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, Open Skye Book Reviews, Louise Lyons, Happily Ever Chapter, Unquietly Me, MM Good Book Reviews, Alpha Book Club, KathyMac Reviews, Gay Book Reviews, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Carly’s Book Reviews, My Fiction Nook, Velvet Panic, Cheekypee Reads and Reviews, The Novel Approach

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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5 Stars, Astrid Amara, Genre Romance, Loose Id, Reviewed by Kim

Review: Crash Plus Expenses by Astrid Amara

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Crash Plus Expenses

Author: Astrid Amara

Publisher: Loose Id

Pages/Word Count: 94 Pages

At a GlanceI love these types of romances!

Reviewed By: Kim

Blurb: Dan Lewinski would follow his subject Connor Katz to the ends of the earth. It’s what he’s paid to do. Apparently this also includes following his subject Connor Katz as they plummet to earth, because their plane is going down. And Dan likes living so that’s a problem.

It’s also a problem because he knows there’s a secret behind Connor Katz’s past, a reason the man’s sister is paying beaucoup bucks to have him followed, a reason Connor appears so quiet on the outside, yet seems lit like a fire from within. Dan needs to know Connor’s secret.

But if they survive the crash, how on earth can Dan get to know the mysteries of a man he’s been in love with from afar without admitting he’s a private eye who’s watched his every move?

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Review: I’m a big fan of Astrid Amara’s contemporaries. I love her brand of humor and the way her MCs are thrown together so that they have no choice but to get to know each other. Crash Plus Expenses doesn’t waste any time, starting as the plane is about to crash. This part was kind of intense and reinforced the very reason why I avoid flying in planes. But, as the plane prepares for its quick downward landing, there’s a brief summary as to why Dan is on this particular flight. He’s also got a bit of a crush on the man he’s been paid to follow for the last year.

I’m going to spoil things by saying, “Yes, they both survived the crash,” buuuuut now comes the fun part—surviving the wilds of Alaska as they wait for rescue.

I love these types of romances! I loved Dan’s character and how human he was when he let the cat out of the bag about things he shouldn’t know about Connor (oops). Dan really has it bad for him, and the letter he eventually writes to Connor had me giving it a great big aaaaaaah, how sweet.

As for Connor, Dan is his hero…until he learns more about Dan and why he was on that flight (that was an interesting fall out). Connor did have some pretty good secrets from his past, and it’s quite understandable why he was suspicious in nature.

I had trouble putting Crash Plus Expenses down. It just hit all the right buttons for me, and I made the mistake of starting this one before bedtime, then ended up going to work the next day, tired! I will add, if you’re one who doesn’t believe in coincidences (because there are some things that are a little unbelievable that occur throughout the story), this may not be your cup of tea.

I definitely see a sequel…and, lo and behold, as I was getting ready to start this review, I found out there is one (Hanukkah on Retainer)! Guess who went to ARe and bought it without hesitation?

TNA_Signature_Kim

 

 

 

 

You can buy Crash Plus Expenses here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, Dreamspinner Press, Holiday Romance, Reviewed by Angel, Sean Michael

Review: Unto Us the Time Has Come by Sean Michael

Small Gems

Amazon

Amazon

Title: Unto Us the Time Has Come (Sleigh Ride: Advent Calendar 2015)

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Pages/Word Count: 59 Pages

At a GlanceA wonderfully rounded, second chances story.

Reviewed By: Angel

Blurb: Last Christmas, Kenn Greyson gave husband Chris Martenson an ultimatum—spend more time with the family or we’re leaving. He never expected Chris’s reply would be “then leave,” but that’s exactly what happened, and Boxing Day took on a whole new meaning.

Separated for nearly a year now, both men are miserable apart and coping the best they can for the kids’ sake. With Christmas just around the corner, a new conflict arises: neither man is willing to forego Christmas morning with their children. Chris finally suggests they spend the holiday together at the house and, to his shock, Kenn agrees.

Armed with the knowledge that he’s been a stubborn idiot, but that perhaps he can change and begin to repair their relationship, Chris takes steps to win his husband back. He just hopes he can get Kenn on the same page before Santa comes down the chimney on Christmas Eve.

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Review:  I enjoy Sean Michael’s work, and this book was no exception. Michael didn’t skimp here on this story—despite the shortness, it packs a big punch. Both men are at fault as to the cause of their break-up, and both are doing what they can to remain friendly in spite of it, for their kids. It comes down to them both realizing that what they had could be saved if they would only communicate. Michael also shows the impact of adult decisions on children in a relationship, and once again, he doesn’t shy away from the hard emotions. I cried several times over the course of this short story, but I loved it all the more for the realness.

The ending was sweet and heartwarming. While the make-up was quickly resolved, it felt real to me and not tacked on to get a happy ending. Kenn and Chris had to work hard and learned their lessons, and I think both grew up a bit while they were apart. I would love to read about this couple again, in, say, a year later, just to see how they and the children are doing.

TNA_Signature_Angel

 

 

 

 

You can buy Unto Us the Time Has Come here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, BDSM/Kink/Erotica, J.A. Rock, Reviewed By Carrie, Riptide Publishing

Release Day Review: The Subs Club by J.A. Rock

TNA Page Turner Resized

Amazon

Amazon

Title: The Subs Club (The Subs Club: Book One)

Author: J.A. Rock

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 297 Pages

At a Glance: I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

Reviewed By: Carrie

Blurb: A year ago, my best friend Hal died at the hands of an incompetent “dom.” So I started the Subs Club, a private blog where submissives can review doms and call out the douche bags.

A perfect example of the kind of arrogant asshole I mean? The Disciplinarian. He has a pornstache. He loves meat, stoicism, America, and real discipline. And he thinks subs exist to serve him.

But . . . not everything about him is awful. His Davy Crockett act just seems like a cover for his fear of intimacy, and part of me wants to show him it’s okay to get close to people. And, I mean, sue me, but I have fantasized about real discipline. Not role-play, but like, Dave, you’re gonna be thirty in four years and you still work in a mall; get your ass in gear or I’ll spank it.

Not that I’d ever trust anyone with that kind of control.

I’m gonna redefine “battle of wills” for the Disciplinarian. Or I’m gonna bone him. It’s hard to say.

—Dave

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Review: We all have preconceived notions of not just ourselves but the people and the roles they have in our lives. What happens when that reality is shattered and you are left to reinvent yourself inside a new paradigm? Like taking an old well-loved coat and repurposing it to something new and better than it was before – something that will grow with you and make you a better person. It hurts, but it is worth the transformation.

Dave. He’s complicated, witty, and a little immature (but trying so hard), loyal and an advocate for others. He’s a sub but he’s gonna make you work for it – especially if he feels you don’t deserve it. He is secure in himself as a submissive, and he knows what he needs and is convinced he will never find it or have the guts to ask for it, especially now. There used to be five of them, a circle of friends who are all subs. Now there are only four.  His best friend died at the hands of an irresponsible Dom, and it’s a wound that hasn’t healed for any of them. Their first night back at an event at Riddle, a local BDSM club—and the one where Hal died—Dave spies a man he nicknames Pornstache, and falls into insta-lust. “Come save me, Pornstache. But, I mean, don’t, because I’m not attracted to you and I’m not here to have fun. I’m here to reflect on how stupid-lonely I am, and how I prefer meaningless sex to relationships, and meaningless spankings to meaningless sex.”  Pornstache is actually Dave (yes, the main characters have the same name!), a Dom who goes by the name The Disciplinarian and, yeah, he noticed Dave too.  But Dave isn’t easy, and the wounds he carries for not just himself but for all of his friends, make this relationship painful and not just from the spankings.

This book really delves into a serious issue in the fet community—subs having a voice. Who is responsible when something goes wrong in a scene? Rules are there for a reason and should never be broken, and when they are, who do you blame?  Dave has an idea to start an online blog called The Subs Club where subs can go and talk about anything, and that includes the Dom’s they play with. It’s all about being safe, knowing who is playing safe and who isn’t and what kind of experiences they are having as subs. Sounds good, right? But what happens when people start talking about your new Dom on the blog?

This book is about moving forward from tragedy, wrapped inside the complicated world of discipline and submission. Brilliantly written, Dave is a man you truly want to find his HEA inside the domestic discipline relationship he craves, and Pornstache is just the Dom to give it to him! Dave finally realizes “Oh my fucking God.  Love really is the most dangerous game. And I want to play it.”

I highly recommend this book and cannot wait for Pain Slut, coming out in February of 2016.

TNA_Signature_Carrie

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Subs Club here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

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5 Stars, L.B. Gregg, Mystery/Suspense/Action Thriller, Reviewed by Lisa, Riptide Publishing

Release Day Review: With This Bling by L.B. Gregg

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Amazon

Amazon

Title: With This Bling (Romano and Albright: Book Three)

Author: L.B. Gregg

Publisher: Riptide Publishing

Pages/Word Count: 264 Pages

At a Glance: Dan Albright and Caesar Romano are back and better than ever!

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Caesar Romano’s catering career is doing better than he’d ever dreamed. And so is his love life—even if his boyfriend’s house in Staten Island is way too far from civilization for his liking. But then in short order, Caesar is duped into helping his cousin propose, is tricked by his best friend and business partner into appearing on live television, and is harassed by a thug-like personal trainer and his far too beautiful wife. In fact, Caesar is almost too busy to notice that something is troubling his PI boyfriend, Dan Albright.

Almost.

Laid-back, open, charming—that’s the impression hunky former NYPD Detective Dan Albright gives everyone. Caesar can add sexually adventurous and a bit of an exhibitionist. But he also knows that Dan is hiding something—something dark and a little dangerous—and when Dan’s silence over his mysterious past threatens to harm them both, it’s Caesar’s turn to save the day.

But then again, a break-in, a gallery party, an heirloom ring, a new suit, and a stalker with bad BO are all just a typical week for Caesar Romano.

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Review: Oh, Caesar Romano, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways:

1.) ALL OF THEM

It feels like we’ve been waiting forever for Ce and his big ol’ sexy Private Investigator lover Dan Albright to return to an e-reader near us, doesn’t it? The humor, the sex in somewhat super conspicuous places (Dan and Ce are just a wee bit kinky that way), the mystery and danger—did I mention the hilarity?—they’re all back and then some in With This Bling, and I’m beyond ecstatic to say it was worth the wait. Okay, a little less waiting would’ve been nice, but who’s happy now? Me.

Ce is now out of the art business and contentedly ensconced at Posh Nosh with his pregnant BFF Poppy (my grumpy spirit animal), who happens to be carrying the offspring of Ce’s cousin Joey. Why is this significant? Because a seemingly cursed (and kinda gruesomely acquired) ring, an appearance on a schmaltzy New York morning show, and the single most hilarious cooking segment on television all leads up to what was supposed to be an epically romantic wedding proposal. Supposed to… The thing is, where Ce’s involved, what’s supposed to happen and what does happen rarely are one and the same—so much shenanigans ensue, I swear. Trust me when I say it always makes for great reading, though, and this installment of the Romano and Albright series is no exception.

Of course, then there’s the woman who keeps rubbing her girly junk all up against Dan’s fine-ass form. What the oh-hell-no is up with that? Well, she’s a nasty blast from Dan’s past, and her hygienically challenged husband is a tad on the stalkery side—though the smell, well, that may just be a second hand stench Ce was smelling. At any rate, the Lutzes are a couple of putzes, and one of them is making it awfully easy for a certain someone to try to get his hands on Dan. The interaction between Caesar and Blair, though, it’s priceless! On a scale of one to snark, it’s a total verbal bitch slap:

Blair: “Caspar. We meet again.”
Ce: “Blade. Are you enjoying the show?”

Okay, you had to be there, but oh my god, the only thing missing from this scene was shoulder pads and a catfight. No one should go up against Caesar Romano in a battle of snits, let me assure you, especially when that someone is trying to get with Ce’s man. But there’s so much more to the story than Blair Somerset-Lutz, skank extraordinaire, trying to sink her claws into one Dan Albright. I can’t tell you what it is, though, or it’d spoil all the fun. Just suffice it to say that L.B. Gregg is in top form here, and she did nothing but make me realize how much I missed her guys, and I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Romano and Albright back on my e-reader. This book doesn’t start off with quite the bang of the other two in the series, but that’s okay because it doesn’t take long before all hell breaks loose, and this time Ce gets to be the hero in the uber-tight suit. That poor suit… God.

For us dedicated fans of this sexy couple, Gregg also gives us a pretty sweet payoff in the romance department, and I loved every minute of it. Listen, our heroes aren’t ones for the shmoops and candy conversation hearts, that’s definitely not their M.O., but still, they find themselves in uncharted waters by the end of the story, and it was completely fabulous, and now I can’t wait for book four, just on general principle alone, but also to see how this new development develops.

With This Bling may have been a long time coming, but have mercy, it was worth the wait. I’m still cackling over that cooking scene. Comedy gold.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy With This Bling here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

All Romance eBooks

All Romance eBooks

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Giveaways, Rebecca Cohen

Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway: He’s Behind You by Rebecca Cohen

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We’re so pleased to welcome author Rebecca Cohen today on the tour for her new novel He’s Behind You, the third installment in the Treading the Boards series.

Here’s an exclusive excerpt from the book just for you, and when you’ve finished that, head on over to  UK Gay Romance for a giveaway of He’s Behind You..

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HesBehindYouFSBlurbA Treading the Boards Novella

It’s panto season for the Sarky Players, an amateur dramatics society based in Greenwich, South London. With the traditional Christmas play around the corner, it’s time to get ready for more larger than life performances—on and off stage.

While Craig Rosen is happy with his quiet life playing Warhammer and working in a university lab, a new colleague thinks he needs more excitement and drags Craig along to an audition for the Christmas pantomime, Aladdin.

Corporate lawyer Jason Carter accepted he’s gay a little later in life than most, but now divorced and in his late thirties, he’s ready to embrace who he really is. He can’t believe his luck when he runs into Craig at the audition and the cute younger man agrees to help him navigate his new life. There’s no doubting the attraction between Craig and Jason, but with Craig’s insecurities and Jason still finding his way, they’ll need to make sure they don’t veer off script.

Treading the Boards SeriesOverly Dramatic || Summer Season

Buylink: Dreamspinner | All Romance | Amazon

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Excerpt: Craig cocked his head to one side. “I wouldn’t say that, but I guess what really intrigues me is why now for your gay enlightenment, and how do I fit into it?”

“It’s not happened overnight, and it has taken me this long to be comfortable enough in my own skin to explore it. Let’s face it—I need a boyfriend to explore it with. The only naked men I’ve seen are in porn or the odd flash of arse in the gym.”

Craig dropped his gaze and chased the condensation down the side of his glass with a finger. “If you’re expecting someone built like a porn star, you’re going to be sorely disappointed in me. Maybe you should consider the club scene if you want to experiment a bit rather than having a boyfriend.”

“I think you’re being very harsh on yourself. The man sitting in front of me looks like a fine specimen.”

Craig’s little smile was cute, and Jason really wanted Craig to be the first man he ever kissed. Something about his self-effacing manner and kind eyes made Jason think he’d be fine in Craig’s hands.

“Still, if you want to explore your sexuality, there’d be plenty of willing bodies if you know where to go.”

Craig’s uncertainty surprised him a little, but maybe he’d underestimated him, judging Craig on what he thought a young gay man would be like—free, maybe a bit easy. He’d fallen guilty of believing a stereotype. God, he didn’t want Craig to say thanks, but no thanks. “So you wouldn’t be willing?”

“I’m not saying that. But I would want to be your boyfriend, not a casual shag. I’m not overly experienced myself. I’ve had a handful of partners and might be a bit boring.”

“I don’t believe that for a minute.” Jason hesitated for a moment, wanting to reach out and take Craig’s hand but not knowing if he should. “I know the club scene’s not for me. I tried going to a couple of nights, but… I can’t do it. I doubt I’d have been able to cope twenty years ago. I felt like a lamb to a slaughter. A bloody old lamb at that.”

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Rebecca CohenAbout the Author: Rebecca Cohen is a Brit abroad. Having swapped the Thames for the Rhine, she has left London behind and now lives with her husband and baby son in Basel, Switzerland. She can often be found with a pen in one hand and a cup of Darjeeling in the other.

Blog || Twitter || Facebook || DSP author page || Amazon author page

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
*Some residency restrictions may apply
*All comments must be relevant to the author’s prompt to be eligible (when applicable)
*The Novel Approach will not be held liable for prize delivery unless otherwise specified
*Void where prohibited by law

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4 Stars, Christina Lee, Genre Romance, Giveaways, Reviewed by Lisa, Self-Published

Review and Giveaway: The Deepest Blue Blog Tour with Christina Lee

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Amazon

Amazon

Title: The Deepest Blue (Roadmap to Your Heart: Book Two)

Author: Christina Lee

Publisher: Self-Published

Pages/Word Count: 228 Pages

At a Glance: There’s just enough angst to go with the sweet to make The Deepest Blue a pleasant way to spend a few hours reading.

Reviewed By: Lisa

Blurb: Rugged and conventional Callum Montgomery enjoys running Shady Pines hunting preserve, except for the secret that’s eating him alive. When his sister brings a date for a family wedding, he can’t stand the arrogant city slicker with the stick up his perfectly fine ass. He doesn’t understand his draw to Dean, who pushes his buttons at every turn, but he’d never dream of betraying his sibling over some lust fueled fantasy.

Handsome and conscientious Dean Abbott is a research assistant in his university’s biology lab. When his roommate, Cassie, begs him to be her pretend date in front of her meddling family, he begrudgingly agrees to help. He doesn’t anticipate being enchanted by the countryside, the colorful cast of characters, or her sexy and brooding straight brother.

When contempt turns to passion and leads to stolen moments in a sugar cane field, Callum can’t help longing for the kind of connection he believes he can never have. But not even the world’s most heart-melting kiss can bridge the vast philosophical differences between the men.

Dean’s return to his urban lifestyle leaves him restless, his mind continually wandering to the charming setting that spoke to something missing deep inside him. Because you can take the city boy out of the country but you can’t make him forget the intriguing man he left behind.

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Review: After running across Christina Lee’s The Darkest Flame on my Amazon recs, and One-Clicking it, I knew I wasn’t really taking much of a risk in accepting The Deepest Blue for review. I liked the author’s voice in The Darkest Flame—though I must admit I’d expected it to be a bit grittier since the story is set in and around an MC—but her characters Smoke and Vaughn were easy enough to root for through the drama and on to their happy ending. Now, having finished this second book in the series, I have to say if I had to pick a favorite of the two, it’d be no contest. The Deepest Blue wins.

At its heart, this book is a City Mouse/Country Mouse story, and has everything you might look for in an angsty genre romance: one man out and proud, the other deeply in the closet; two men on the opposite ends of the spectrum, socially. This is a true opposites attract story in almost every way. Dean Abbott is the college student, environmentalist, vegetarian city boy to Callum Montgomery’s small town rural guy. Callum helps run his family’s hunting preserve; he’s the brains behind the business, so before you go and think he’s a backwater hick, he’s most definitely not. He and Dean are an intellectual match, no question, and once Callum stops being so abrasive and decides Dean isn’t a half bad guy, we see how each of these men begin to open up to each other, and how they really do complement one another. They may have diametrically opposed views on what Callum’s family does for a living, but all that does is serve to ignite the spark Christina Lee lights between them.

The primary issue when these two meet and those sparks fly, however, is that Callum believes Dean is straight. And, why wouldn’t he? Dean is attending a family wedding at Shady Pine’s as his best friend and roommate Cassie’s date/maybe boyfriend. Cassie…who just so happens to be Callum’s sister.

The complication is all neatly served, and then the fun is in getting to watch the story unfold—through the friction, the secret Dean and Cassie are keeping, and most especially through the sexual tension that’s always thisclose to the surface between Dean and Callum. The story is told in alternating points of view, so we get both sides to their story, which I thought worked well given their situation. We don’t stand by and watch Callum struggle with his attraction to his sister’s “boyfriend,” we get a firsthand account of the fear he feels of someone in his family discovering his deepest, darkest secret. And the why of it is plain as well. We also get to experience Dean’s conflict—his wanting to be truthful with Callum because the attraction between them definitely goes both ways. I ended up really liking both of these guys, individually and as a couple.

As secondary characters go, Callum’s family was pretty great. I especially loved his younger brother Billie and would gladly read a novel with a grown up version of him in it somewhere down the line. He’s sweet and innocent and struggles with some physical limitations, and he stole every scene he was in. He’s the kind of kid you just want to hug the stuffing out of. What becomes evident quickly, something we see through Dean’s point-of-view, is that Callum underestimates just how wonderful his family truly is.

Overall, as contemporary genre romance goes, The Deepest Blue ticks all the relevant boxes in the category. Its characters are engaging, and there’s just enough angst to go with the sweet to make it a pleasant way to spend a few hours reading.

TNA_Signature_Lisa

 

 

 

 

You can buy The Deepest Blue here:

Amazon US

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble

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(photo credit: Elaine M. Johnson)

(photo credit: Elaine M. Johnson)

Once upon a time, I lived in New York City and was a wardrobe stylist. I spent my days shopping for photo shoots, getting into cabs, eating amazing food, and drinking coffee at my favorite hangouts.

Now I live in the Midwest with my husband and son—my two favorite guys. I’ve been a clinical social worker and a special education teacher. But it wasn’t until I wrote a weekly column for the local newspaper that I realized I could turn the fairytales inside my head into the reality of writing fiction.

I’m addicted to lip gloss and salted caramel everything. I believes in true love and kissing, so writing romance novels has become a dream job.

I write Adult, New Adult, and M/M romance.  I also own a hand-stamped jewelry business, which requires me to stamp letters and/or words onto pieces of silver. They go hand-in-hand perfectly.

Visit my WEBSITE. Or my FACEBOOK author page. You can also find me on TWITTER.

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The Fine Print:

*Entrants must be 18 years or older to qualify
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