Cross My Heart by Catt Ford: Exclusive Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Guest PostBecause this is a story about a man who likes to dress and live as a woman, creating a cover presented a challenge. As an artist, I can certainly take a photograph of a man and apply believable makeup in Photoshop, but at the postage-stamp size, the cover would just look like a story about a woman.

By cropping the model to leave most of his/her appearance to the imagination of the reader, but providing feminine clues, such as the dress, shoes and even the room, I hope to intrigue people enough to investigate further.

I realize that the subject matter will not appeal to everyone, but the essential theme of the book, as in all romances, is acceptance. Being loved for who you are, something I think we all yearn for.

I always find it difficult to decide what to include as an excerpt, but I hope you will like this one:

excerpt

When Dom finally pried himself away, Lana bolted the door after him in relief.

She really hadn’t needed that added little bit of drama Dom always seemed to stir up. She went back to the window. The man had apparently given up. He was walking west to the end of the block. Then he turned right. Lana waited. After a minute she spied Dom following the man in a suitably surreptitious manner, skulking as he’d promised. Lana rolled her eyes when she saw Dom flatten himself against a building and then sneak around the corner. She drew the curtains, hoping Dom would not call her tonight with the results of his playing detective. If the phone did ring, she would feel obligated to answer to prevent Dom rushing back over here to make sure she was alive.

Lana picked up her shoes and carried them to the bedroom. It was tucked behind a partial wall and furnished with furniture she’d found at the flea market.

The headboard was upholstered in velvet, and a silk duvet covered the bed, lending a bit of luxury to the secondhand pieces. Lana stored her shoes neatly away in the mirrored wardrobe. Early on she’d discovered living in such limited space required organization and constant policing, difficult when paired with an addiction to clothes. She took off her suit and hung it on a padded hanger. Lingerie went into the hamper.

She went down the narrow hall leading to the bathroom. A pedestal sink shared the microscopic space with the toilet and shower, but a bathtub had been sacrificed for the practicality of a washer. The frosted glass window let in light while still guarding her privacy.

Although small, the flat was the first place she’d ever had all to herself. Lana loved the beauty and tranquility she’d created. The only thing that would have made it better was someone to share it with, but that dream was impossible.

Quickly, Lana removed her makeup and bent over the sink to wash. She buried her face in the towel for a moment and then looked up at the mirror to see herself stripped bare.

“Hello, Roland.” His voice was soft and husky. “Nice to see you again.”

Roland reached for a jar of moisturizer. As he started to smooth the cream onto his skin, he closed his eyes and pretended it was another man’s hands roaming over his body. Not just any man, he realized. The hands Roland wanted to feel on his skin were those of the handsome man who’d followed him. The man might prove to be dangerous, but he was sexy as hell. Roland kept thinking about the man even though there was no point. Roland tried to forget him and concentrate on the usual faceless, nameless hero of his imagination. He wrapped his arms around himself in a tender embrace, but tonight the fantasy of happily ever after wasn’t working. That castle in the air dissolved into his lonely reality. After one last try, Roland opened his eyes to be confronted with the reality of him groping himself. He sneered at himself in the mirror.

“L’amour. Le bullshit. Pathetic.”

He returned to the bedroom, put on a negligée, and went to bed.

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Dreamspinner Press ebook

Dreamspinner Press Paperback

 

synopsis

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the dwarfs, to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.

American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.

Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.

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Are you ready to see the gorgeous new cover created by Catt Ford?

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meet the author

Catt Ford lives behind the orange curtain in southern California with a partner and two familiars in the form of cats whose fur is as black as their evil little hearts. She is a graphic artist by day and a storyteller by inclination. Catt enjoys the research required for writing a believable story. She is a rabid card-carrying fan of bull riding and also enjoys swing dancing. She gets drunk on words and sometimes over imbibes, but loves to write about love and happy endings.

Blog: catt-ford.livejournal.com

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Perfect Catch by N.R. Walker: Quick Review

perfect catchsynopsis

Calvin Lynch and Troy Hoffman have been best mates since they were fourteen years old. They’re both hard-working tradesmen, both love weekends away fishing, both gay, but have never been single at the same time. Until now.
What is supposed to be a weekend away fishing with a group of mates, changes at the last minute when friends bail out in an attempt to give Cal and Troy some alone time.
With more than just hooks on the line, can these two see what’s been right in front of them the whole time?
The Perfect Catch is a short story about falling for your best friend hook, line, and sinker.

buy now

Amazon

 

jennifer

Sigh…. I just love every single thing I’ve ever read by this author…

Cal and Troy have been best friends since they were teenagers. Having feelings for one another but to worried about ruining their friendship, neither of them wanted to say anything. Sure, there were times when both of them wanted to say something, but it never seemed like the right time. Now, Cal and Troy and a couple of their other friends a camping trip to just get away for a while.

 
Both of them are finally single at the same time and their friends use that as an excuse to get them alone together for the weekend. Seems like everyone realizes how they feel about each other, except each other…. So, at the scheming of the friends, they set off on their fishing weekend alone together.

It starts out just the same as I suspect every other trip goes; they hang out, fish, camp and all that… but then one notices the way the other looks at him and thinks, hmmm.. maybe our friends are right… They joke back and forth about hookin’ up, like guys do, but suddenly there’s a seriousness along with it… THEN, a night in the tent together proves to tempting to not try…

Of course, when they come back, some doubt and worries have things awkward for a time, but everything works out in the end; they’re too cute together not to.

 
I’m such a sucker for a HEA and these guys got a good one. Best friends to lovers is the best. I could have read pages and pages more about these two, and when they finally get together… shew! Hot!

 
4 pieces of eye candy for me 🙂

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Afraid to Fly_600x900
synopsis

Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

buy now

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

 

denise review

Did you ever finish a book and think to yourself “Wow, that touched me more than I thought it would”? Afraid to Fly by L.A. Witt just did that to me. This book was not overly angst filled. It wasn’t filled with huge catastrophes that the MC’s had to get through in order for them to find their HEA. There were no bad guys getting in the way of the good guys seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

This was, at its core, a story about two men who had some of the darkest things happen to them, and trying to find a way to allow themselves to get past some of the intense pain and guilt and simply love again.

PTSD is no laughing matter, and having two main characters with PTSD brought on by their years in the military really helped open a tightly held door up, at least for this reader. PTSD is quite often portrayed as constant flashbacks, terror at every turn, being unable to hold down a job, and being unable to acclimate to society in general. These characters show you the quieter side (that was the best phrase I could think of) of PTSD. It is something people live their lives with every day. They go to school or work, they cook and clean, they make and keep friends, they fall in and out of love and hopefully find new love. Through all that, they cope in the best way they know, by trying to move forward, while still acknowledging what has molded them into the person they are today. Even down to the sex scenes, the representation of what life would really be like for these men spoke of realism.

I loved Clint and Travis together. They were a mess, to be sure. Even as they fell in love with each other, they couldn’t help but continually doubt themselves, and their ability to keep the other person engaged and excited to be with them. And really, isn’t that life, so often? We have fears, our self-confidence waivers, and we think there’s no way this other perfect person would want to stay with us. And yet, these two do, they find a way-with the help of lots of friends and family-to ignore the internal doubts and continue to forge ahead on their relationship.

These men trusted each other, even when they couldn’t trust themselves. When their own brains, emotions, or bodies said that what they were doing was going to fail, they trusted each other. With PTSD, that can’t be easy, yet Ms. Witt managed to portray the emotions of what was clearly a huge challenge to these men in a raw, honest way that hit you in the gut as you read it, and made you want to the book to be over right now, so they had their HEA, and continue on for pages and pages, so you could see how they would work through it.

Such a wonderful portrayal of two men just trying to make it through each day, and come out a little more happy, a little stronger, and loving one another even more.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut…

Website: http://www.gallagherwitt.com
Twitter: https://twitter.com/GallagherWitt

giveaway

To celebrate the release of Afraid to Fly, one lucky winner will receive $10 in Riptide Publishing credit and two books of choice from L.A. Witt’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on January 21, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Afraid to Fly_TourBanner

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Atonement by Sloane Kennedy: Release Day Blitz

ATONEMENT

The Protectors Book #6

by Sloane Kennedy

Release Day Blitz 

synopsis

“Once a fuck up, always a fuck up.”

Words twenty-six-year-old Dante Thorne has had to live with for more years than he can count and a title he finally earned at the tender age of sixteen when one careless decision led to tragedy. And since he can’t deny the truth of the words, why not live by them instead? Fucking up, fucking, it doesn’t matter; as long as it feels good and makes him forget the day he failed the one person he’d always sworn to protect. A good philosophy to live by until Dante meets the one man who might actually having him wishing he was something more…

At forty-one and with a distinguished career as a Texas Ranger under his belt, Magnus DuCane should have been in the prime of his life. Instead, he’s mourning the loss of the daughter he couldn’t save and contemplating a future that looks nothing like the one he had planned. The only bright spot in his life is the young grandson whose suddenly been returned to him after going missing two years earlier and the new family of men that he’s been welcomed in to with open arms. But with his iron will, unfailing self-control and unflappable discipline, Magnus knows he can start a new chapter and get his life back on track…if he can just get past the disturbing, unexpected feelings one young man stirs in him.

Because everything about Dante Thorne is wrong for Magnus. His arrogance, his cocky attitude, every single unfiltered word that falls unchecked out of his mouth and, of course, the fact that he’s a man.

But when his well-meaning friends send Dante with him as a bodyguard when he returns to Texas to testify in a high-profile case, Magnus begins to see beyond the brash words and endless sexual innuendo. And when he starts to discover that what he sees isn’t all that bad, suddenly the fact that that Dante is a man instead of a woman no longer seems like such a big sticking point…

 buy now

Amazon

teaser

excerpt
Prologue
Dante

The guy wasn’t bad at giving head. And what he lacked in finesse, he more than made up for in eagerness. But the fact that I had to remind myself to start fucking his mouth was evidence enough that my head wasn’t in the game. I’d like to say that was because of the slight buzz I had going from the two glasses of champagne I’d downed in record time after the first one that I’d slowly sipped during the handful of toasts that had been given to the grooms, but lying to myself was just a waste of time.

No, there was only one reason I was so fucking distracted that even a halfway decent blowjob was doing nothing for me.

And that reason was wrapped up in a gorgeous 6’2 package of hard muscle, a lazy, killer smile and the most intense blue eyes I’d ever seen.

That reason also hated my fucking guts and had no problem reminding me of that every time he flashed those icy blues my way.

Did he have a reason to?

Okay, so maybe I’d enjoyed needling him just a little too much about how uptight he was, his advanced age – though at forty something, he wasn’t at all advanced – and the fact that he was a grandfather. Hell, the man didn’t look anything like any grandfather I’d ever seen.

I’d wanted him from the very first time I’d met him and since I was the kind of guy who was used to getting what he wanted, I hadn’t hesitated in letting him know that five minutes with me would change his entire outlook on life.

A little conceited? Yeah, I suppose. My mother had always told me I needed to think more before I spoke, but I found that most of the men and women I wanted found it more of a turn on when I told them what they wanted. And I never failed to follow through on the promise of pleasure. Whether it was a man or a woman or hell, more than one of either or both, I made sure all my partners got off and then some.

Leave them wanting more.

It was a good rule of thumb because it meant I never had to chase someone. They came to me and then they kept coming back until I decided I was done, which was nearly always the case after the first time.

Like the pretty little number voraciously sucking my dick.

I’d honed in on him from the moment I’d spied him working with the rest of the wait staff to get the hors d’oeuvres set up. He’d tried to ignore my not so subtle glances, but when he’d upended a tray of some strange-looking shrimp dish after I’d discreetly adjusted myself so that only he would see, I’d known it wouldn’t take much. After that, I’d just had to tease him mercilessly with hungry glances and the occasional playful touch as he’d repeatedly approached me with trays of appetizers I’d had no interest in eating. When I’d finally stroked my hand over his groin after he’d appeared at my side with a tray full of champagne flutes, he’d barely managed to hang on to it. All I’d had to do was tell him, “Upstairs bathroom” and he’d nodded so excitedly that he’d looked like a man who’d just won the fucking lottery.

So, the blowjob really should have been better. Or I should have at least been able to look down at the head of brown hair and not see dark hair heavily threaded with silver. I shouldn’t have been hoping I’d see gorgeous blue eyes looking up at me as my cock was being sucked to the back of a corded throat.

Fucking Magnus DuCane.

I’d met the man the day I’d been assigned to stand guard outside his grandson’s hospital room. Little Matty Travers had been undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the children’s hospital in Seattle and I’d been charged with protecting him after his father, Tate and my former colleague, Hawke, had run afoul of some drug dealers. Fortunately, there’d been no threat to the boy and while I would miss interacting with the kid, I was glad he was out of the hospital for good.

What I wouldn’t miss were the looks of disdain Magnus would shoot me every time he saw me. How the fuck was I supposed to know the man wasn’t gay or even bi?

Okay, so maybe I should have gotten the hint early on when I’d sent him a few flirtatious looks and he’d responded with obvious discomfort, but I’d sworn I’d seen something else in those stunning eyes of his, too. And since I’d been more than willing to let the guy use me to test what it would be like to fly his rainbow flag, I’d made sure to let him know that with the occasional touch or suggestion when he’d been leaving his grandson’s room. His response?

Nothing.

Not one goddamn word.

He hadn’t ever told me to fuck off. Hadn’t ever told me he wasn’t interested. No, he’d just stared at me with that look.

That you’re a waste of skin look that my stepfather never failed to lay on me every time he saw me – that he’d cast on me from the moment he’d married my mother nearly twenty years earlier.

In truth, that was the reason I’d kept trying to get his attention. Not just because I’d been eager to find out what it would feel like to bury my cock into what I suspected was his very tight, very virgin ass. No, I’d been desperate to show him I didn’t give a shit what he thought of me.

I was so lost in thought that I didn’t register that me and my sloppy-mouthed new friend weren’t alone anymore. It wasn’t until I glanced up in the bathroom mirror that I saw him watching us.

Fuck, I couldn’t seem to escape the man. Or that fucking look which even now bloomed to life in his gaze as his eyes went from me down to the man on his knees in front of me.

I would have expected Magnus to send me the standard ‘You’re worthless’ look and remove himself from the bathroom, but he just stood there, his eyes on…fuck, where the hell were his eyes?

Not on my face and definitely not on the oblivious man who was still going to town on my cock…no, his eyes were on my bare ass which Caterer Guy was hanging onto as he sucked me down to the root.

No fucking way. It couldn’t be.

Caterer Guy finally seemed to sense we weren’t alone anymore because he popped off my dick and let out a gasp. Before he could scramble to his feet, I grabbed him by the shoulder and held him in place as I turned my head so I could watch Magnus. His eyes finally lifted to mine and then I saw the frown spread across his pretty mouth.

“Did you forget to lock the door, my sweet?” I asked the man at my feet, though I kept my eyes on Magnus. The fact that he still hadn’t fled had my senses going into overdrive and I couldn’t resist the urge to play with him a bit, especially since I’d managed to catch that brief look of something besides derision in his gaze.

“We’ll be done in a bit,” I said to Magnus as I shifted enough so he could see my very thick, very ready cock as it bobbed in front of Caterer Guy’s face. I snagged my fingers in the guy’s hair and forced his attention to me. I looked at him long enough to say, “Finish me off. Our friend here was just leaving.” I shifted my eyes back to Magnus and said, “Unless he wants to join us.”

I expected the suggestion would be enough to send the man scurrying, but to my surprise, he slammed the door behind him and then strode towards us, his jaw so hard that it looked like he’d break his own teeth. I lost interest in Caterer Guy and didn’t care that he hadn’t taken my dick back into his mouth. When Magnus reached us, he kept moving until he had me crowded back against the counter, forcing me to release my hold on the man at my feet.

“Out,” Magnus snarled at Caterer Guy and I felt a shiver of excitement run down my spine and straight to my balls at the harsh order. I wasn’t surprised when the man let out a little gasp and then stumbled to his feet. He’d been too busy sucking my cock to undress himself in any way so he was out the door like a shot, slamming it closed behind him.

Magnus didn’t touch me as he got into my space, though I was definitely wishing he would. My cock actually brushed his trousers when I forced myself not to retreat any farther.

“You want to play your little fucking games, you do it somewhere else because I will not have my grandson walking in on this shit,” Magnus said coldly, his words like little shards of ice. I knew he was right and it was my fault for not making sure the door had been locked, but of course, I didn’t say that. I never said shit like that because I didn’t apologize to guys like Magnus who looked down on me like I was nothing more than garbage.

“Fuck you,” I said, letting my mouth curve into a smile I wasn’t feeling as I added, “Or you too afraid to find out you might actually like it?”

Magnus shook his head at me as if he wasn’t surprised by my response. Like he’d expected it. “Grow up, Dante. Just grow the fuck up.”

And with that, he turned away from me and I was disappointed when he didn’t look back.

tco-also in series

 

 

meet the author

Although Sloane Kennedy always dreamed of being a writer as a teenager, she didn’t take the plunge until March of 2015 when she released her first novel as an independent author. Since then, she has released more than a dozen books including the Amazon best-selling “Barretti Security” series, “Finding” series and “Protectors” series. While she initially began writing M/F romance, she found her true passion writing gay romance and all four of her most recent releases reached the #1 spot on Amazon’s Gay Romance bestseller list and Freeing Zane, her final book in the Barretti Security series, made it to Amazon’s overall bestseller list. Sloane was born in Germany and grew up in Virginia and Wisconsin. Although she currently lives in Wisconsin, the place where she has always felt most at home is Seattle and many of her books take place in the Emerald city. Although she is unmarried, a menagerie of 2 dogs and 3 cats keeps her busy enough and 3 young nieces take care of the rest of her free time. Sloane loves being able to share her passion for romance with readers and she is truly humbled by all the support she’s received from fans and fellow authors alike.

Visit my website:

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Fire and Hail by Andrew Grey: Release Day Review

firesynopsis

Carlisle Cops: Book Five

Brock Ferguson knew he might run into his ex-boyfriend, Vincent Geraldini, when he took his first job as a police officer in Carlisle. Vincent’s attitude during a routine traffic stop reminds Brock why their relationship didn’t last.

What Brock doesn’t expect is finding two scared children in the trunk of a Corvette. He’s also surprised to learn the kids’ mother is Vincent’s sister. But his immediate concern is the safety of the two children, Abey and Penny, and he offers to comfort and care for them when their mother is taken into custody.

Vincent is also shocked to learn what his sister has done. For the sake of the kids, he and Brock bury the hatchet—and soon find they have much more in common than they realized. With Abey and Penny’s help, they grow closer, until the four of them start to feel like a family. But Vincent’s sister and her boyfriend—an equal-opportunity jerk—could tear down everything they’re trying to build.

buy now

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

 

jennifer

First, I have to say that I’m in love with this series and I really thought it would be impossible to top Donald and Carter’s story with little Alex; it was just as amazing though. I loved Brock and Vinny although Vinny was a little harder for me to get to know in the beginning…. Let’s break it down…..

Brock is a new Carslile police officer, we first see him doing traffic patrol when we start his story. It’s a pretty boring day even though he had to stop an ex that had broken his heart one summer in college. Cut to another call at the end of his shift, he sees the ex’s sister who has done something terrible…. Locked her kids in the trunk of her car while she takes a joyride in a fancy convertible with her friend. Obviously, she’s not mentally stable. Brock is the one who finds them first and they trust him, making it next to impossible for the softhearted Brock to leave them when they have to call Donald at protective services.

Turns out, Vinny hasn’t seen his nephew Abey since he was a tiny baby and has never met his niece Penny and as secretive and guarded as Vinny was when Brock knew him; he was completely different when it came to those kids. He done everything in his power to protect them from his sister and the dangerous people in her life, and there were quite a few, including one of Brock’s exes. I thought that that was a little far-fetched, who he ended up being to Abey and Penny and who he was to Brock…. Small world I guess….

As a mother myself, I couldn’t believe how selfish and self-centered the kids’ mother was and for that reason, I just couldn’t see her ever redeeming herself. The kids were much better off without her and Brock and Vinny loved them so much, even from the very beginning.

It was a long, tedious fight but everything worked out in the best way possible in the end and I loved getting to catch up with the rest of the crew, even seeing Terry and Red…. I was so happy for Terry!!! I’m so glad we, as readers got that.

Overall, this story was just another great addition to an already amazing series. I can’t wait to read more… perhaps the new guy that was briefly mentioned coming to work for Vinny? Ya just never know, but I’m really looking forward to finding out!

5 pieces of eye candy for me!

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Down by Contact by Sloan Johnson: Exclusive Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

synopsisThere’ve been two great loves in Zach Kendricks’ life. He lost one because of his commitment to the other.

After Griffin walked away because he refused to live his life in the closet, Zach put everything he had into achieving his football dreams. When he was drafted, he began to understand that Griffin had done the best thing for both of them by leaving. But that doesn’t mean he’s ever forgiven his first love.

Now in his second season with the Wilmington Breakers, Zach’s committed to keeping his head down so he can prove his rookie stats weren’t a fluke. He knows his resolve will be tested when he’s selected to participate in Outside the Pocket, a reality show which follows players through training camp. He’s almost convinced himself it won’t be a distraction when Griffin walks into the room. Distraction becomes an understatement when he’s informed he will be spending nearly every waking minute for the next six weeks with the only man he’s allowed to hurt him.

Will Zach’s love of the game be enough to keep him from being downed by contact again?

excerpt

I placed my hands on Zach’s shoulders and turned him around to face me. We stood so close our feet were touching. I leaned in slightly, resting my hands on his hips. If this went the way I feared, tonight would be my biggest regret in life, not the night I walked away the first time. “I know you think I’m being an asshole by telling you we can’t do this, but I think you also know I’m right. I’m not saying never, I’m just saying not tonight. Not when you’ve been drinking. At all. If we do this, I want both of us clear-headed. Because if I’m with you again, I’m not walking away. And I won’t let you run, either.”

“That’s what I want, Grif. It’s what I always wanted,” Zach admitted. He lifted his hand to my face and I closed my eyes, reveling in the warmth of his touch. I felt his body shift and I knew what was coming. I swallowed back the emotions overtaking my body. Bit back the pleas for him to ignore everything I’d just said and throw me back on the bed again, consequences be damned. His breath ghosted over my neck as he spoke, the words shooting through my body like an electric shock. “I know you don’t want to hear it right now, but I still love you. It was always you, and no matter how much I tried to hate you for destroying what we had, I knew why you did it. Deep down, I knew you did what you thought was best for both of us. But it wasn’t, because now we’ve both spent three years alone and miserable, because no one since then could compare to what we had.”

Not trusting my voice, I did what any man would do when they’re that close to the other half of their soul. I opened my eyes so I could watch him as I pulled his hips closer to mine. And then, I kissed him. It wasn’t sloppy and desperate, it was a promise to him that we would be talking about this more in the morning. Hopefully, early enough that we’d be able to spend the rest of the day not talking. Zach moaned into my mouth, sliding his hand around to the back of my neck, carding his fingers through my hair, tugging slightly to expose my neck. He broke the kiss and I knew we needed space between us, but I was frozen in place. His mouth moved lower, sucking and biting at the side of my neck. My knees nearly buckled when he found the hollow behind my ear and started teasing me.

“Always you,” he whispered before standing straighter and pushing me back just enough to slide out from between me and the wall. “If you change your mind tonight, you know where to find me.”

It would’ve been easy to climb into the bed next to him. And if he was still the way he was in college, he’d be so sound asleep that he’d barely even move as I settled against his side. I could take one night next to him, just in case he did change his mind in the morning. But I didn’t, because when I was next to him, I wanted him to know I was there. I love you, too, Zach, I whispered into the darkness and rolled over, trying one last time to get some sleep. It never came.

Release Date: January 28, 2017

teaser

Workplace with blank digital tablet, paper, pen and cup of coffee on work table. Above view shot.

DownByContact

 

DownByContact

 

giveaway

Sloan Johnson is giving away a copy of any of her back releases to a commentor on this blog post. Tell us what you think of the cover!

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Nothing Special V by A.E. Via: Blog Tour, Excerpt and HUGE Giveaway!

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synopsis

The boys are back and fiercer than ever!

“We were a unit tonight, moving as one. Even apart, we are deadly, but when combined – we are f**kin’ unstoppable.” ~~ God ~~

Atlanta’s notorious narcotics task force is at it again. They are stronger, bigger, and better than ever. Especially when a city councilman sends RECON Marine, Edwin Steele – who’s been blacklisted from his Oakland department – to join the team. God and Day weren’t recruiting. They have a lot on their plates, like the fact they’re supposed to be getting married soon. They don’t have the time or the patience to integrate a decorated war hero with a slight chip on his shoulder into their well-oiled machine.

A hothead that’s uncontrollable and terrible with authority… but wasn’t that their team motto?

Steele was ready to hang up his shield. He was done fighting with bigoted bastards that couldn’t respect the job. He was good at fighting; he just needed the right team to fight with. When his uncle – City Councilman, Rasmus Steele – shows him a video of God’s team in action, he knows right away, it’s where his nephew belongs in order to restore his faith.

Steele pointed to the driver, a behemoth of a man wielding those massive firearms like a true beast… like a soldier. “And him. Who the hell is he?”

“That’s your new boss. Lieutenant Cashel Godfrey… they call him… God.”

Steele was skeptical about his new placement, but when he meets God’s technology specialist/computer genius, “Tech,” he’s willing to give it his all, and he definitely shows and proves.

Tech is stunning. His sweater vest and khakis, a stark contrast to the blue-jeaned roughnecks he works with. A beautiful sheep amongst the wolves. Steel thinks there’s no way the brilliant man would be interested in a hardhead like him, but Tech has a few badass hidden talents of his own and manages to surprise him… surprise all of them.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA. There are no multiple pairings in this novel. 

Author A.E. Via

Title:  Nothing Special V

M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY

Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT – 365

Release Date: December 12, 2016

 

 

excerpt

Steele looked at his watch. It was going on five. He figured if he disappeared for a little while and popped back up before the cake cutting, no one would know. He had to do something to loosen the tightening in his slacks. Tech had the audacity to show up in a dark royal blue suit with velvet lapels – which appeared black in dim lighting – and matching blue suede loafers. And he’d be damned, Tech had on a goddamn bow tie made from the same material as the lapels. The pants stopped an inch above his ankles and Steele could see he wasn’t wearing socks. He took another swig of his drink and placed the glass back on the counter, one of the kitchen staff snatching it right up.

He walked over to Tech, not interrupting whatever he was talking about with Free and Furi. When they finished, Steele leaned into Tech’s back. “Come with me.”

Tech turned and looked behind him, giving Steele a skeptical look. Tech knew Steele’s voice. Knew when it was full of want. He took Steele’s hand and let him lead him up the stairs while most of the guests weren’t paying attention to the front of the loft. He really didn’t care if they were seen or not. Steele opened his bedroom door and hurried Tech inside. He closed and locked the door, then stepped back so he could look at his boyfriend. Steele had long ago shed his borrowed suit jacket and was rolling up his sleeves like he was about to do something serious to Tech.

Neither of them said anything while the sexual tension built around them and saturated the air. Tech leaned against the door, his hand drifting down to the front of his pants, rubbing himself there, like just looking at Steele made him hard. Steele stalked forward and brushed his hand over the bow tie, his eyes hooded, his dick rock hard. He wrapped one arm around Tech’s back, still caressing the fabric of his suit. “You look breathtaking, dressed up like this. I couldn’t keep my eyes off you,” Steele whispered. He methodically removed Tech’s suit jacket but didn’t touch his black dress shirt or that tie. He walked Tech to his bed, watching his eyes behind those frames cloud with lust.

“Edwin,” Tech moaned, leaning into his neck and sucking at his throat.

Steele growled, easing Tech down on the bed and covering his body, pressing firmly against him. Steele kissed Tech with all the built up passion he’d kept contained for the last eight hours.

NS5 - Teaser

michelle review

*****THE BOYS ARE BACK AND BETTER THAN EVER*****
Nothing makes me happier than when one of my favorite series has a new book added to the family. I absolutely love the Nothing Special Series and AE Via has outdone herself once again.
Nothing Special V has everything I love in a series….New characters….new relationship….previous characters and all the God and Day you can handle. Via does an excellent job in keeping you engrossed in the pages as we watch the Bad A$$ awesomeness that is the Narcotics Unit come alive. Her stories, especially the Nothing Special Series, always gives me goosebumps while reading it. In the 1st book when God goes crazy over Day being held captive will forever be my #1 scene. It gave me ALL THE FEELS, however, the opening chapter of Nothing Special V comes very close to taking that #1 spot…
The sound of Desert Eagle handguns. “You hear that, Ro? Hang in there. He’s here
OMG…..That line right there will have you reading until the wee hours of the morning. This book was a little different from the previous ones as it had multiple POVs besides the 2 MCs, Tech & Steele. We get into the minds of God, Day, Tech (Eekkkk….he is one bad a$$ computer nerd), Steel (ex-military….enough said!) and Free (yep….new character who I have started to adore).
If you haven’t started this series – YOU SHOULD
If you have and are waiting to read this – DON’T WAIT
If you want a read that will leave you wanting more – HURRY UP AND 1-CLICK.
Book Hangover – ABSO-FREAKING-LUTELY
Via could write 100 books in this series and I would always want more. I could read about every single character she could create and never get tired of them. I wish I could give more than 5 pieces of eye candy as this deserves a sh!t ton more. I cannot wait for Free and Hart to get their story. Well done Ms. Via – You have delivered another fantastic read.

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meet the author

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A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children. Adrienne Via has tons of more stories to tell, but she really would like to hear yours. Via Star Wings Books is currently accepting submissions for established and aspiring LGBTQ authors.

Visit my site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next

 

Links

Amazon Buy Link:  http://amzn.to/2jzH7C8

Barnes & Noble: https://goo.gl/DVKJ5O

Smashwords: https://goo.gl/psjFiu

Goodreads: https://goo.gl/e0aytf

Author Official Website: http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Bloghttp://authoraevia.com/blogfann.html

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Buyout: A Love Story by Dev Bentham: Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

TCO is excited to bring you the cover reveal of Buyout: A Love Story by Dev Bentham. Check out the synopsis, a short excerpt and then the lovely cover done by Catt Ford, @catt_ford

Guest Post

Thanks so much for having me here to show off Buyout – A Love Story’s gorgeous cover. Not only is it beautiful, but Catt did a great job of capturing the personalities of Sean and Martim. And I love her use of a nighttime shot of the facade of the The Praça do Comércio in the cover. The setting – Lisbon – is one of the things I loved best about writing this story.

I’m very excited that this novella will be coming out right before Valentine’s Day (it releases from Dreamspinner Press on Feb. 9th). What could be more romantic than second chances, love and Lisbon in the Spring?

synopsis

Everyone deserves a second chance. Or do they? Sean and Martim fell in love at Harvard. Things broke apart when Martim fell into a downward spiral of addiction after his father died. Sean kicked him out but has regretted it ever since. He’s never gotten over losing Martim. But then, not many aspects of his life have lived up to his collegiate dreams.

Now Sean is in a position to once again put Martim out on the street when he’s sent by his boss to evaluate Martim’s family hotel for foreclosure. In the time since they parted, Martim has pulled himself together, although both health and financial problems linger as a result of his years as an addict. Can the two men bridge the gap of distance and time to rekindle their relationship, or will they fall apart again under the burdens of guilt and disease?

Set in Lisbon, Portugal, this is the story of lovers reunited after more than a decade apart and their second chance at romance.

excerpt

Martim slid into the seat across from me. I smelled his shampoo and imagined that I could detect the fresh soapy scent of his skin. I had to quit thinking like this. I tried to picture him as I’d last seen him, strung out and naked with another man, but the emotional energy of that betrayal was gone. All I remembered was want.

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Dreamspinner Press

 

meet the author

Dev Bentham has lived in way too many places and had far too many jobs. She’s finally settled in frozen northern Wisconsin where she teaches online and draws on her former lives to write love stories about mature men searching for true love. Her restless feet take her globetrotting whenever she gets the chance, but most of the time she’s tucked up in her office in the woods dreaming about romance and adventure.
She’s the author of many gay romances, including a DABWAHA finalist, a Rainbow Award Honorable Mention and a Rainbow Awards Finalist.

Website: DevBentham.com
Email: DevBentham@yahoo.com
Twitter: @DevBentham
FB: https://www.facebook.com/dev.bentham

Dev’s Monthly News Flash, a little news plus a bit of original fiction – sign up at: http://eepurl.com/bNFX5f

 

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Leave a comment for Dev regarding the cover, synopsis or excerpt, and let her know what you think, for a chance to win an ebook from Dev.

 

This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.

Off Base by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Blitz, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

TitleOff Base

Series: Out of Uniform #1

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Carina Press

Release Date: January 9th 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 73,000

Genre: Romance, Military, SEALs, Contemporary, Roommates-to-lovers

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synopsis

After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

Book One of the Out of Uniform series

This book is approximately 73,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Find out more at CarinaPress.com/RomancePromise

excerpt

“What do you mean they’re not coming?” Zack tried hard to sound like the badass navy SEAL he was now. He’d passed all sorts of interrogation training—there was no reason he couldn’t hide that he didn’t particularly like this guy. Or this fancy bar where he and his nontrendy clothes and military haircut were out of place. He’d agreed to go out for drinks with a group. His friend Ryan had promised him a drink for finishing his SEAL qualification training and getting his trident, and Zack had figured dealing with the rest of Ryan’s crowd wouldn’t be horrible. But tolerable was a far cry from being stranded alone with Pike freaking Reynolds without Ryan as a buffer.

“They blew two tires getting out of Santa Monica and are waiting on a repair truck now. Ryan said to have fun without them.” Pike looked harmless enough—shorter than Zack with a lean build and bright red hair and freckles that made him look too young to drink—but Zack knew from experience he was anything but benign. Pike was the type of guy who would flirt with wallpaper, but he seemed to have singled Zack out for special attention ever since their first meeting at a LAN party.

Which was all well and good, but unlike a lot of Ryan’s crowd, Zack wasn’t openly gay. And what Zack hated was that Pike seemed to see through all his “no, really I’m straight” protests and see things Zack refused to even think about. And a whole night with Pike? Torture. And that was coming from someone who’d been tossed into frigid water with his arms and legs bound. Repeatedly.

But he’d happily endure another round of drownproof training if it meant an easy out of this situation.

“Is Landon coming?” Please say it’s not just us. Surely, Pike’s omnipresent sidekick would be there to bail Zack out.

“Nope. He’s doing research at the Hadron Collider for the next few months. Just us, I think.” Pike grinned at him. “Alone at last, right?”

Zack guessed that the Hadron was one of those supersmart things Pike’s crowd just assumed everyone else knew about. He certainly wasn’t about to appear dumb and ask. “You don’t have to stick around on my account,” he said instead.

“Dude.” Pike smacked him on the shoulder. “I’ve had a shit week. Another three interviews for jobs for the fall, another three fuckups on my part. Don’t make me drink alone.”

“I guess I could do a beer.”

“On me, right? We’re all super stoked that you passed SQT.” Pike gave him another of those disarming smiles.

Ba-deep-deep. Zack’s phone chimed. Sure enough, there was a message from Ryan apologizing for bailing. Have fun with Pike, Ryan ended. But whatever you do, don’t let him talk you into shots. He looks scrawny, but he can drink you under the table. Trust me.

Zack shoved his phone away. Nope, no way was he doing shots with Pike. Last thing he needed was to get drunk and forget himself around the guy.

“So what’ll it be? They have a whole selection of craft beers here.” Pike offered him one of the little bar menus artfully strewn around on the huge antique wood bar.

“A Bud’s fine,” Zack said. He’d never developed a taste for the fancy stuff. This whole place was fancier than he was used to, what with the exposed hardwoods everywhere, the prettified bar food emerging from the kitchen, and the painted inspirational quotes behind the bar. Even the name, Mellow, was a far cry from the hole-in-the-wall places he’d drunk at in college or even Big Ted’s, the little sports bar right off base that his fellow SEALs favored.

Pike signaled the burly bartender, who frowned at them after Pike gave their order for a Bud and some fancy-ass beer Zack had never heard of. “Hand stamps, please. Both of you.”

Zack stuck his hand out, showing that the bouncer had indeed checked his ID. Pike put his arm right next to Zack’s—way too close for comfort. “See, look at us, finding things in common.”

“Getting carded is hardly something to be proud of,” Zack mumbled as he pulled his arm away. Back in San Diego, when he went to the bars with his friends, they never got carded anymore. And he liked that—he was twenty-three now, for crying out loud.

“Of course it’s not for you, Muscles.” Pike did that whole standing-too-close thing again, moving over so others could get to the bar.

Zack really shouldn’t like that Pike noticed what the past few months of training had done for his physique. He’d always been lean, but days of log- and boat-carry drills had carved out muscles he hadn’t even been aware he had. Zack accepted his beer from the bartender, then followed Pike to one of the little high-top tables ringing the bar area.

“Seriously, you are jacked now.” Pike winked at him, giving him the sort of once-over Zack’s buddies gave girls in bikinis. “Look at those shoulders. It even makes you look taller.”

Flattery was not going to work on Zack. Not even a bit. Besides, Pike was the short one, probably five seven or so. But Zack was a perfectly respectable five ten. In your boots.

“Truth, man. I just call it like I see it.” Pike shrugged. And that right there was the whole problem with Pike—he had absolutely no filter and a way too keen sense of observation.

Heather's Review

My list of auto-buy authors is short. As in, you could probably count them on two hands and have some fingers left over. But right near the top of that list is Annabeth Albert. Seriously, the same woman whose characters I first met in a series about reality television then made me fall in love with a bunch of gamers, even though I hate video games. And now, she’s taken another turn, getting me to fall in love with a Navy SEAL and his math geek boyfriend in Off Base.

What worked:
Zack. This man’s got enough issues to fill an aircraft carrier. If it’d been any other author, I’d have been nervous that it was overkill. But it all worked! Sure, DADT is a thing of the past, but that doesn’t mean everyone’s comfortable being out. And yeah, we live in a more accepting world than we had years ago, but that doesn’t mean every family is going to openly accept their children for who they are. Combine all the aspects of Zack’s life and you have one big, sloppy, denial sandwich.

Pike. Who better to win over a man who won’t even admit that he’s gay than an out and proud, take no prisoners gay man? The best part about Pike is I never felt icky. You know, that feeling you get when you’re reading and the openly gay guy is pushing too hard to get the man of his dreams to admit his feelings? Yeah, that’s not Pike. In fact, I was impressed that he was the one putting on the brakes at times.

The chemistry. In and out of the bedroom, Zack and Pike had chemistry in spades! And unlike some of Annabeth Alberts’s stories, which are sweet with a pinch of spice, this one definitely turned up the heat! Don’t get me wrong, stories can work both ways and it’s a testament to her talent to know which stories need what level of heat.

The tension. At no point did it feel easy for either character. They didn’t throw their own issues to the side for the sake of an easy story. They truly met in the middle to decide whether or not they were going to take the next step.

What didn’t work:
Nothing. There wasn’t a single thing in this story that didn’t work for me. It’s not often that I can say that, but this is one of those cases. Seriously, this is an instant-buy, re-read, love it for life type of book! I may already be trying to figure out how to hack computers so I can get an early copy of the sequel!

5 mother effing stars!!!

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buy now

Carina Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

 

meet the author

annabeth-avatar

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.
Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two children.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Annabeth’s Angels | Sign Up for Annabeth’s Newsletter!

 

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Block and Strike by Kelly Jensen: Release Day Review

block-and-strikesynopsisJacob Kendricks is three months out of prison, estranged from his daughter, and ready to get his life on track. Taking care of the bum curled up on his doorstep isn’t part of the plan. When he realizes the man has been assaulted, Jake takes him to the hospital, where he learns that Max is his downstairs neighbor… and that he could really use a friend. Keeping Max in the friend-zone would be easier if he wasn’t so damned cute.

Maxwell Wilson has been bullied for years, and the only person who ever cared lives too far away to come to his rescue. Now his upstairs neighbor is offering support. Max remains cautious, suspecting he is little more than a project for the handsome Jake. When he learns Jake has had boyfriends as well as girlfriends, Max has to reevaluate his priorities—and muster the courage to take a chance at love.

Just when a happy future is within their grasp, life knocks them back down. A devastating blow leaves Max lower than ever and Jake wrestling with regret. They both have to find the strength to stand on their own before they can stand together.

Title: Block and Strike
Author: Kelly Jensen
Release Date: January 6, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 266

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Dreamspinner Press

 

jennifer

Shew, this story was an emotional rollercoaster…
First, I should say that there will most likely be mild spoilers, because that’s just how I do it. So, prepare.
Jake is fresh out of jail; not wanting to mess up, not wanting to call attention to himself and only worried about himself and when he can see the daughter his ex-wife won’t let him see when he finds a drunk guy passed out on his door-step…. Only this isn’t a drunk guy passed out and covered in vomit and urine, it’s a guy so beat up and left for dead, he doesn’t even recognize that it’s the man who lives downstairs; Max.
Max is so beat down by life. Used to being shuffled around, neglected, beat up and abused; he’s just a hot mess. He flinches at his own shadow and doesn’t have any self-worth at all. He’s trying, but life just keeps on knocking him down. Being in the wrong place at the wrong time has him victim to another beating and thankfully, Jake is there to help him out, even if he does have trouble accepting.
Jake has secrets though, several of them and Max wants to run every time he finds out a new one. I’d say none of them are really terrible. I think Jake has a problem with his anger, but I can’t at all blame him a bit for any of it. In a way I even hated how he made up with the ex and the guy that sent him to prison because every bit of it was their fault. You tell a man that loves you, that your boyfriend beat you up and he DOESN’T come over and give him a taste of his own medicine, that man, isn’t a man… At least in my opinion… Had it been one of my three brothers, my dad or my husband, any man puts his hands on me; he’ll be eating his meals through a straw for the foreseeable future… So, I didn’t hold that against him and I’m glad Max didn’t either.
I loved these two together. It took a while for Max to trust and rightfully so…. then it took a bit for them to admit their attraction for one another, but once they did; I was glad it progressed the way it did. Jake was patient and understanding; he didn’t push or expect too much and you could feel how much he cared about Max from the beginning; how he does things to get him to open himself up to new things, like taking him to the dojo and helping him learn self-confidence and having him meet accepting and considerate people.
I loved Jake’s family. They were great and accepting and they took to Max with open arms; which was awesome, because his dad seemed terrible, even though we thankfully never met him and Max’s mom had passed away and that still hit him hard. I wished that he had closure on what she meant because as a mother, I’d like to think she didn’t mean what he thought she meant. I do wish his dad would have gotten the karmatic beat down that he deserved though.
I also loved that Jake called Max beautiful. Sappy but true, I felt like not only was it sweet but I felt like Max needed that. Overall, this was a pretty angsty read, not too much, but enough to have me flipping pages like crazy to see what happened next… and then I was extremely happy with the ending. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these two and their families.
4 pieces of eye candy for me.

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This post may contain affiliate links. Advanced Reader Copies are accepted by Two Chicks Obsessed in exchange for an honest review without additional compensation.