Reservations by Kindle Alexander: Blog Tour, Review, and Giveaway

Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: October 30, 2017

Wildly successful entrepreneur, Thane Walker is stubbornly set in his ways. Adamantly resistant to the shackles of commitment, he’s seen enough unhappy endings to learn the best way to play is by keeping his men on the payroll.

Levi Silva’s dream of graduating from one of the country’s top medical schools is in his grasp, until news from home changes everything. Now, he’s raising his two teenage brothers and trying to keep everyone’s head above water, emotionally and financially.

When Levi’s new job puts him in Thane’s path, their chemistry explodes, but their fear of being involved in relationships keeps them apart. Unfortunately, despite the intense desire drawing them together, neither man can move forward until they get past their own…Reservations.

Amazon Review – ““Reservations” by Kindle Alexander is a rare gem in the world of M/M Romance, because it is genuinely compelling story telling!”

Amazon Review – “Thane & Levi stole my heart!!”

Amazon Review – “Thane and Levi!! Simply amazing”

Amazon Review – “A beautifully written love story that is guaranteed to melt you heart!”

 

 

I love Kindle Alexander’s books so I was not so patiently waiting for this book to release. I like how past characters always pop up throughout the book and thoroughly enjoy reading about them again.

Levi has had to put his dreams of finishing med school on the back burner and return home to raise his two younger brothers after his father loses his battle with cancer. Levi is working as a physical therapist and a coffee shop but can barely keep them afloat. When Levi gets word that the coffee shop is going out of business he is left scrambling to find another job until one of his past patients makes him an offer that is too good to be true.

Thane is the owner of Reservations, a club for gay men to mingle, dance, eat dinner or find a partner for the night in a safe space. Thane has the whole world in his grasp and has never found someone that couldn’t be bought until he sets his sights on Levi and finds out that not everything has a price.

In order for Thane to get what he wants he will need to stop wielding his money like a sword and trying to slay all of Levi’s dragons for him. Levi is as independent as they come, bordering on control freak so Thane will have to prove he’s serious before Levi will let him in. Just when Thane and Levi begin to figure it all out someone from Levi’s past shows back up to upset the delicate balance that they were just starting to enjoy.

Such a great read, it was a really long book but the story moved along at a decent pace the whole time. There weren’t any parts where I felt like the story dragged along. I think the length helped Levi overcome his fears and put the doubts to rest without it feeling rushed or like he let Thane strong arm him. The execution was well done!

Levi: Such a great character. Nurturing to his brothers, he never makes them feel guilty that he’s put his schooling on hold. Independent and strong, I love that about him. Even though he’s struggling he never takes what Thane is trying to give because he has such strong self worth.

Thane: Billionaire playboy. Jaded by his parents failed relationship he only has time to entertain escorts, never wanting feelings to get involved. Once he finds out that his parents relationship is not what he remembers it causes him to re-think his whole outlook. I love his tenacity, he never stopped pursuing Levi, however whenever Levi said he was uncomfortable with something Thane stopped and reflected and came at him from a different angle.

This story is full of great new characters, Aunt Linda is one of my favorites, but we also get to see old favorites. Tristan and Dylan and Kellus and Arick make a few appearances. I really think it’s time for me to re-read some old favorites.

5 pieces of eye candy

Best Selling Author Kindle Alexander is an innovative writer, and a genre-crosser who writes classic fantasy, romance, suspense, and erotica in both the male/male and male/female genres. It’s always a surprise to see what’s coming next!

I live in the suburbs of Dallas where it’s true, the only thing bigger than an over active imagination, may be women’s hair!

Usually, I try for funny. Humor is a major part of my life – I love to laugh, and it seems to be the thing I do in most situations – regardless of the situation, but jokes are a tricky deal… I don’t want to offend anyone and jokes tend to offend. So instead I’m going to tell you about Kindle.

I tragically lost my sixteen year old daughter to a drunk driver. She had just been at home, it was early in the night and I heard the accident happen. I’ll never forget that moment. The sirens were immediate and something inside me just knew. I left my house, drove straight to the accident on nothing more than instinct. I got to be there when my little girl died – weirdly, I consider that a true gift from above. She didn’t have to be alone.

That time in my life was terrible. It’s everything you think it would be times about a billion. I love that kid. I loved being her mother and I loved watching her grow into this incredibly beautiful person, both inside and out. She was such a gift to me. To have it all ripped away so suddenly broke me.

Her name was Kindle. Honest to goodness – it was her name and she died a few weeks before Amazon released their brand new Kindle ereader. She had no idea it was coming out and she would have finally gotten her name on something! Try finding a ruler with the name Kindle on it.. It never happened.

Through the course of that crippling event I was lucky enough to begin to write with a dear friend in the fan fiction world of Facebook. She got me through those dark days with her unwavering support and friendship. There wasn’t a time she wasn’t there for me. Sometimes together and sometimes by myself, we built a world where Kindle lives and stands for peace, love and harmony. It’s its own kind of support group. I know without question I wouldn’t be here today without her.

Find out more by visiting www.kindlealexander.com or email me at kindle@kindlealexander.com


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Wrapped With Love by Beth Bolden: Release Day Review, Blitz and Excerpt

Wrapped with Love RDB Banner

WRAPPED WITH LOVE

A FIVE POINTS NOVEL

BETH BOLDEN

M/M ROMACE

RELEASE DATE: 11.14.17

Silhouetted of coconut tree

NFL player Jordan Christensen walks into Reed Ryan’s restaurant without a reservation. It isn’t the most serendipitous of meet-cute’s and they certainly aren’t the likeliest of romances, but over venison steaks and crème brûlée, they fall in love anyway.

Flash forward two years . . .

Jordan isn’t a football player anymore.

Reed sold his restaurant.

But even more drastically, they’ve lost each other.

When Reed moves to Los Angeles take a new job, he doesn’t realize Jordan now works at the same company. But Jordan definitely realizes how precious the second chance fate has bestowed on them is. He’s determined to make up for everything that fell apart the first time around, and it turns out he’s not the only one scheming to right old wrongs.

Starting a new career is always difficult but sharing office space—and big projects—with an old lover is particularly rough. Between impromptu Secret Santa exchanges, Christmas light viewings, and more tacos than even Reed can eat, the two former lovers have an eventful holiday season to navigate.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

I hadn’t read anything by this author before, but usually if there is something sports related with it, I am all in (interestingly that is exactly how I stumbled upon the m/m genre in the first place), so I jumped on this one. Adding in a second chance romance, one of my favorite tropes to read, and it was definitely going to be mine to review.

Although I could tell fairly quickly into the story that it was part of a series, the author did a good job of keeping it a stand-alone, with other characters dropping in, or referencing past events with explanation. The reader could develop connections with the previous characters despite not having spent any time with them. (There is one character in particular-I won’t name names-who was a sweet matchmaker with a bit of a snarky side, I loved him!).

However, I will say I was confused about the relationship with the MC’s. I was never quite sure, throughout the book, exactly WHY they broke up. I found myself wondering when the “big reveal” as to the real reason was going to happen, and it never quite felt like I got it. It was clear they loved each other, and then they moved to LA once Jordan was traded from Chicago to Los Angeles. Then it is a bit murky for me. It seemed they had reasons, yet didn’t quite have enough of them to cause two men who were so much in love to suddenly just break up. Reed just left, and Jordan just let him, and they didn’t speak again until Reed turns up at a job where Jordan works (I still am unclear how Jordan was quite qualified to be a writer for a popular show). It doesn’t take long for them to begin to work their way back

This story takes the reader between their past relationship, and their current, and back again, so the reader can see how one thing caused another (the story about the Harry Potter scarf was awesome!). This helped me to understand some of where these men were coming from. In the end, though, I still felt like it was more that the men gave up on each other the first time, and wondered how they wouldn’t the second time.

I did enjoy the Secret Santa storyline-and the surprise around it, that I never saw coming-and it isn’t what you think!

In the end, 3 pieces of eye candy. I enjoyed it, and would like to read a full book from this author, as I did like her writing style as well.

improbable love

“So,” Rory continued, still shoving hummus into his face at an alarming rate, “how did you two meet? Because I gotta say, Reed barely sticks his head out of the kitchen for more than five minutes at a time.”

“We actually met at Garnet,” Jordan said, all gooey affection, like the first night they’d met, Reed hadn’t accidentally insulted him.

“Oh?” Rory asked, all creamy innocence because he knew how much Reed hated being summoned to the dining room.

“It’s actually really embarrassing. My agent knew how much I’d been wanting to visit Garnet, and just barged in, no reservation. And Reed,” Jordan glanced over, “was kind enough to give us the private dining room. Picked our menu for us and everything. I had to meet him, after all that trouble he went to.”

Rory burst out laughing and Reed shifted uncomfortably in his chair. He had a bad feeling about where this was going.

“You realize why he actually came out of the kitchen, right? Why he picked your menu?”

Jordan shook his head, a baffled expression on his handsome face.

Rory leaned forward. “Let me educate you about the ego of a chef, Christensen. Reed didn’t give you his best table and his best food out of the kindness of his heart. He did it because he wanted to put you in your place with his awesomeness.”

“I’m trying to remember why I invited you out,” Reed interrupted before Rory’s education could continue. But Jordan, intrigued, ignored him, and Rory was never going to stop now that he’d started. Reed flopped back in his chair, somewhat resigned to the inevitable embarrassment to come.

“Reed doesn’t have an ego.”

Rory’s head actually whipped back as he cackled loudly. “Oh, honey. All chefs do, at least the best ones. It’s how we get to the top. We’re insufferably certain of our own perfection. At least in the kitchen, anyway. Garnet is Reed’s castle, and he’s the king.”

Jordan turned to Reed, who could only hold his breath and pray that Rory’s comments hadn’t completely changed his opinion.

“Is that true?” he asked.

“I mean, you can’t be that surprised,” Reed said awkwardly. “Especially after what I said when we met.”

“I thought you were trying to hit on me!” Jordan exclaimed in mock outrage.

Reed flushed.

“I hate to say it,” Rory said, which was a complete lie because he looked like he was enjoying every second of this, “but Reed doesn’t have that kind of game.”

“So, how did you two meet?” Jordan asked, and Reed wasn’t dumb enough not to know he was changing the subject. He told himself it would be okay. Jordan couldn’t be angry about how they’d met, so many months later.

“A butchering class,” Reed said.

“No, not even close,” Rory said, taking another drink from his beer. “You aren’t going to get off this easy, Reed.”

Reed made a disgruntled sound. Of course Rory felt obligated to tell the whole story.

“Yes, it was a butchering class,” Rory said, gesturing with the bottle in his hand. “And you know, I’m formally trained. I mostly took it for fun. But here’s Reed, a newbie who’s read at least fifteen books on his own at this point. He spent at least half the class telling the instructor everything he was doing wrong.”

Reed couldn’t help but frown. Jordan glanced over, ever-attuned to Reed, and reached under the table to squeeze his knee.

“Was the instructor wrong?” Jordan asked loyally, even though if he knew Reed at all, he already knew the answer to his question.

Rory laughed and nodded. “Oh, he was insanely wrong. The rest of us were just ready to write this whole class off as a bad afternoon and go have some drinks later and laugh about it, but Reed was burning with the injustice of wasting an afternoon being taught what he knew was the wrong thing.”

“So he tried to teach the class.” Jordan glanced over, eyes brimming with affection. As if this story, which definitely wasn’t one of the greatest moments of Reed’s life, actually endeared him further.

“It was a power struggle, from beginning to end, but,” Rory said, tipping the bottle in a mock toast Reed’s direction, “you already know who came out on top.”

“He was wrong,” Reed felt justified in adding again.

Jordan’s hand settled warm and firm back on Reed’s knee. Reed jumped, nearly upsetting his own beer. “I wouldn’t expect any less, sweetheart,” he said quietly.

 

Beth Bolden Logo

Beth Bolden lives in Portland, Oregon with her supportive husband and their beloved cat. She wholly believes in Keeping Portland Weird, but wishes she didn’t have to make the yearly pilgrimage up to Seattle to watch her Boston Red Sox play baseball. She’s a fan of fandoms, and spends too much of her free time on tumblr.

Beth has been writing practically since she learned the alphabet. Unfortunately, her first foray into novel writing, titled Big Bear with Sparkly Earrings, wasn’t a bestseller, but hope springs eternal. She’s published three novels and two short stories, with her next novel, The Rainbow Clause, releasing in April 2017.

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Snowflakes & Cinnamon Buns by Claire Castle: Exclusive Excerpt and Pre-Release Day Review

Cameron Pearce loves to work hard and play hard. Living in New York City, means lots of men and lots of variety. He isn’t looking for love.

When he goes to his small hometown Dickensville for Christmas, food, friends, family and seeing his best friend Levi are what’s on the agenda. He also hopes for some friends-with-benefits enjoyment.

Levi Jones owns and runs his own café in Dickensville. He loves the Christmas season and all that comes with it. Decorating, baking, and snow among other things. Another perk is when Cameron visits home and he gets him all to himself.

What will happen when true feelings are revealed and everything is put on the line. Will their friendship survive?

Can best friends go from hooking up to a real relationship? Do they even want to?

This book contains delicious cinnamon buns, a cute westie and sexy hot men to warm up your holidays.

As I lay in bed the next morning after an incredible night of hot sex, I thought how amazing it was to be so relaxed and in tune with someone. To know their body and what they wanted and needed and for them to know the same about me. We were incredible together. I was almost sad that our time was nearly over, though I always knew it would come to an end. It was for the best. Commitment involved risk and I was very risk averse. To put your love and devotion into someone and have them up and leave you, would be devastating. I preferred to know what was going on. Know where I stood.  Not very romantic, for sure, but that was the way I had always been.
I peeked out the curtain as my musing continued and saw snow. I sprang out of bed and ran to find Levi. I got excited for snow, like a big kid. So sue me. Belatedly, I realized I was still naked. I grabbed one of Levi’s hoodies, boots, and my pajama pants and opened the front door. Wow, it had snowed again overnight. Quite a bit too. It made everything look more beautiful. I raced down the path and threw snow up in the air. I heard movement behind me and knew it must be Levi. He started to say something when I threw a snowball at him. Uh oh, he had no shirt on. That must be cold as fuck.
His nipples looked like they could cut glass. I had no idea what the saying was about the cold and shrinkage or not but I stared at his bulge as his sleep pants tented.
“You will pay for this.” He threw a snowball at me and ran down the front steps. He had been smart and bundled up in a jacket. Rory sprung around beside him, bounding through the blanket of white, kicking up the snow as he went. Levi ran behind a tree, but I still tried taking aim. The ball hit the side of the tree. Damn. As I crept closer, Levi snuck around the back somehow and shoved a big ball of snow down my pants.
“Oh my gawd, you bastard!” My teeth chattered. I ran and grabbed him and pulled him down into the snow. We were both rolling around and he ended up on top of me. “You are way too heavy,” I joked as I reached up and kissed his nose.
“Hey that’s my line.” He jumped up to run in the house and Rory followed him.
Laughing, I ran in after him. Rory looked up at me as if I was a crazy man and Levi had about the same look on his face. “What, it was fun, admit it!” I said, grinning through the shiver that rolled through my body.
“You are crazy,” he said. “I think it’s cute, your love of the snow.”
“I know, ” I said, sauntering away.
“Toast” he asked?
“No cinnamon buns this morning?”
He laughed before telling me to get some warm dry clothes on, and then said he would make coffee. “Maybe then you won’t be so demanding.”
“Me, demanding? Never.”

 

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

A very short little Christmas read…

Cameron is coming home for the holiday’s and he needs the break from his “work hard, play hard” type of lifestyle… We don’t see that, it’s just kind of self-proclaimed. When he gets back into town, he stops by at his childhood friend Levi’s house first…. They have a kind of FWB relationship when he comes to town…. It’s hot, if a little cheesy…but it seems to work for them. Cameron spends the whole holiday with Levi, doing things together and catching up, like friends do.

However, I’m kind of on the fence about this one because while I do like friends to lovers and second chancers… I thought Cameron was extremely selfish. Nobody is that clueless, he had to have known that Levi had feelings for him, but for a second, lets say he didn’t know… he was possessive and jealous when he thought someone else was flirting with Levi, he was really boyfriend-y, acting as if they were together, even AFTER Levi told him that he loved him. He might’ve been pulling away in his head, but he wasn’t at all while they were together…. Cuddling and kissing him the way it was explained. I mean, all the while, knowing he was going to up and leave. How selfish is that?!!!

Then….he stays away for A YEAR…. Not a couple weeks while he gets himself together, not a couple months, realizing how much he misses and loves Levi back, nope…. A whole entire year!!! And Levi, pshhh. Make him work for it, man… when he does come back ….AFTER A YEAR… he’s all arms wide open and forgiving, like he didn’t just leave you high and dry, no contact for THE LAST YEAR!

Am I the only one with a problem with alla that??? I mean before they were FWB, they were supposed to at least be friends, best friends actually…. But you don’t have any contact with him for a year after he tells you how he feels about you? That’s cool….

Anyway, alls well that ends well I guess… it does have a HEA ending that too, is cheesy but cute. I just can’t get over all the stuff in the middle.

3 pieces of eye candy from me.

Claire Castle grew up surrounded by books. She has loved reading for her whole life. Her true love is romance and HEAs. When she’s not reading or writing, she can be found wearing comfortable leggings, drinking mocha and petting her west highland terrier. She loves collecting awesome mugs and paperbacks of her favorite stories.

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Twitter: @CCastleAuthor

Email: Clairecastle_author@yahoo.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.

Lace-Covered Compromise by Silvia Violet: Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

Adam Kingston expects to inherit his father’s multinational conglomerate. When he finds out half of it went to Nate Thomas—an annoying man whose dreams for Kingston Corp.’s future clash with Adam’s need to stave off financial disaster—Adam is furious. He’s willing to do whatever it takes to wrest control of Kingston Corp. from Nate.

Nate may be soft-spoken, but he refuses to be swayed by Adam’s arrogant demands. When Nate accidentally drops a pair of his lacy panties in front of Adam, there’s no mistaking Adam’s interest. Nate hadn’t realized Adam was bisexual, but now that his secret is out, Nate is willing to use Adam’s lust against him if it means protecting the welfare of the company he loves.

For Adam and Nate, hatred and desire are closely linked. Their inability to compromise threatens the company and could expose their tightly held secrets. But as they work together to develop a plan to save Kingston Corp., they begin to realize there might be more to their relationship than anger and lust.

Hello! I’m Silvia Violet and I’m here today to share my sexy contemporary romance, Lace-Covered Compromise. I can’t wait for you to meet Adam, a sharp-minded businessman with control-issues and Nate, an easy-going environmental scientist who likes panties and lipstick. They are going to take you on a wild ride.

Follow along through the week and don’t forget to check out my giveaway of a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

Kobo Books

 

I do LOVE a HOT book. And when Silvia Violet writes it, you can usually count on some smokin’ hot sex scenes to be sliding across your kindle like it’s coated with the lube that Valerie mentions knowing is Adam’s favorite brand. 😉 The even better part of her books is that she wraps around those sex scenes neatly with usually a great story, and The Lace Covered Compromise does all that!

If an enemies to lovers book is written well, the push and pull can make for some fantastic reading, and Ms. Violet does it very well. Written in first POV, we only see Adam’s view of his contentious relationship with Nate. However, there are frequent small glimpses of Nate not seeing their relationship in quite the same way that Adam does (at least when Adam isn’t being a complete a-hole).

Adam has to grow so much in this book, and he does, thanks to his father’s death, and the patient love of Nate. Oh, and the fact that Adam learns he likes to be controlled during sex, and apparently loves having his man wear some lace over his man bits. In the end, though, the portion of the title that is the most difficult for Adam to do, and the part that also creates the most growth for him is “compromise”. Not something he has ever had to do, he learns that it won’t kill him to compromise, even if it seems like he would be losing to do it.

The resolution to this issue seems a bit too easy for a man with Adam’s personality to do without an incredible amount of stress, but it works because at that point, he knows he has to choose between that, or his love for Nate.

And there is one piece that you almost never get in any romance novel that the author gives you here. A chance to see the MC’s actually BE in a relationship after all the work to fall in love and resolve their problems. You see Adam and Nate talk, go on a date, do normal things. The reader even gets to see Adam’s relationship with Valerie mature and become one where they are even more honest with each other.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the sex scenes…OH MY! The author is, shall we say, creative, and I loved every part of it. Even angry sex has its consequences, which are discussed as adult-like as the “no condom” conversation. I couldn’t stop reading this book! Thank goodness for the kindle app on my phone, so I could at least pretend to get some of my day job work done, while finishing the book. 🙂

Highly recommend, and this is a MUST re-read for me.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. She can 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 she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Connect with Silvia:

To celebrate the release of Lace-Covered Compromise, one lucky winner will receive a $25 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 11, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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Tiki Torches and Treasure by J.C. Long: Release Day Blitz with Excerpt and Giveaway

 

TitleTiki Torches and Treasure

Series: Gabe Maxfield Mysteries, Book 2

Author: J.C Long

Publisher:  NineStar Press

Release Date: November 6, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 60000

Genre: Contemporary, contemporary, gay, romance, private detective, cozy mystery, law enforcement, Hawaii, humor

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Gabe Maxfield has reached a comfortable point in his life. His past troubles in Seattle are all but forgotten, he co-owns his own business, Paradise Investigations, with his best friend Grace Park, and he’s happy in his relationship with sexy cop—his neighbor—Maka Kekoa. Maybe the best part is, no one’s pointed a gun at him in weeks.

Knowing his luck, that is bound to change. Lack of clients and money forces Paradise Investigations to take a job helping Edwin Biers search for a treasure he promises will be worth their while. Gabe has a knack for finding trouble, though, and find it, he does.

Chapter One

I was drowning.

Salt water burned my nose as I flailed my arms and legs in the ocean, trying desperately to reorient myself. Every time I started to surface, the ocean waves broke over me again and again. I was done for.

When I finally surfaced and the water drained from my ears, I could hear my companions laughing at my expense—my best friend, Grace Park, sounded like she was going to asphyxiate herself from laughing too hard. My boyfriend, Maka Kekoa, at least had the decency to attempt to hide his laughter from me.

“I’m glad my near-death causes you such amusement,” I growled, glaring at them as best I could with salt water from the Pacific Ocean stinging my eyes. “I knew surfing lessons from you two was a bad idea.”

The three of us were floating in the ocean a ways off from the shore of Waikiki Beach in Honolulu, Hawaii, the city I now called home. Well, I was floating in the ocean, which was where I seemed to spend all my time in these lessons. Maka and Grace effortlessly straddled surfboards, Maka also keeping a tight grip on mine so it didn’t get swept away by the waves.

“Don’t get frustrated,” Maka told me supportively once he’d schooled his face to mask his laughter. “No one does it well on their first try. It’s kind of like sex.”

I didn’t take much comfort from his words.

“How about the four-hundredth time?” I grumbled, swimming to the surfboard. I managed to heave my body onto it, feeling the sun warm my skin. I’d gotten tan in my month of being out and about in the constant sunshine of Hawaii, and my hair had gotten longer, almost enough to give me the surfer image. Now if I could just stay on the damn board.

“Don’t be grouchy, Gabe,” Grace chided, splashing water my way. She looked beautiful in the morning sunlight, her dark skin glistening. She wore a teal bikini that showed off her trim, fit form, toned from a lifetime of exercise and the surfing she’d taken up in Hawaii. She was half Hawaiian and half Korean, which is what drew her to Hawaii after we both graduated college in Washington.

“We’ve been at this for two weeks, and I have improved exactly zero percent.” I probably sounded like a whiny kid complaining to them, but I couldn’t help it. I hated not being good at something. “I think I’m just not meant to be a surfer.”

“Everybody’s meant to be a surfer,” Maka said, as if I’d made the most ridiculous remark ever. Grace nodded her head in emphatic agreement.

“Easy for you to say,” I scoffed, flailing my arms wildly as a wave nearly displaced me from my board again. “You were a professional surfer, remember? And you,” I rounded on Grace, “were basically born incapable of being bad at something. Me… I’m just me.”

It felt strange having a pity party in the ocean on a beautiful mid-October morning. Hawaii was paradise in a lot of ways—the sunshine seemed constant, and at a time when Seattle would already be plunging into a chill that heralded winter, it was warm and pleasant in Hawaii. I wasn’t a morning person, though, and Maka and Grace insisted we have these lessons before work. That meant we were usually in the ocean by a quarter to seven.

“You’re more than ‘just you’ to me, babe,” Maka assured me with a wink, making me blush.

Maka was full-blooded native Hawaiian, and he had the complexion to prove it, bronzed by a life spent frolicking in the sun and waves. He had broad shoulders and narrow hips and was taller than my five foot eight, with perfect black hair and lush, full lips that were utterly kissable. His deep brown eyes always seemed to twinkle, as if a powerful light danced behind them.

“Ugh.” Grace rolled her eyes and pretended to gag.

“You’re jealous,” I teased, sticking my tongue out at her.

“Jealous of you having to eat the same meal every night, so to speak? I don’t think so.”

“Hey, if I could eat prime rib every night, I would,” I said.

“Did you really just compare me to ribs?” Maka asked flatly.

“Huh? What? No—I was referring to eating the same meal every night…” I trailed off, realizing how it must have sounded to Maka, even though I didn’t mean it that way.

“If I’m anything,” Maka went on firmly, “I’m loco moco.”

I gaped at him for a moment. He had a problem with being called prime rib, but wanted to be a rice bowl topped with a hamburger, a fried egg, and gravy.

“Actually,” I said after a moment, “I can see that.” And I could. Loco moco was something you wanted to splurge on, something that was decadent, almost sinful. That description fit Maka to the letter.

I tried to give him a smoldering look, but a rogue wave rocked under me, catching me off guard and dumping me once more into the sea.

“Can we please call it a day now?” I pleaded once I was back on my board.

Grace looked like she was in no hurry to bring my suffering to an end, but Maka took pity and checked his watch.

“Actually, we should call it a day. I still need to shower and get to work. It’s going on nine, now; I can only justify going in so late a few times a week, or the chief gets pissy.”

“We also have office hours,” I reminded Grace for what felt like the tenth time that week. She was really good at what she did—we were private investigators—but she didn’t have the mindset necessary to run a business. That had been handled by her partner before me, and Grace was still getting the hang of being in charge of both sides of the business. Well, partially, since we equally shared ownership and those responsibilities.

“This is what we have a secretary for,” Grace pointed out, though she reluctantly began paddling to shore, Maka and I following suit.

“Poor Hayley’s only been with us for a week,” I panted, tired from the lesson and making it back to shore. “Give her a break.”

“Best way for her to learn is to just throw her into the pool,” Grace said once we were back ashore.

I didn’t respond immediately; I was too busy sucking in sweet, sweet oxygen and hoping my wobbly legs didn’t give out as I trudged through the hot, sun-baked sand to the place we’d left our towels.

“I guess it doesn’t matter so much,” I said when I could. “Business has been pretty slow since we hired her. Not good, considering the office we’ve got now. Rent’s a bitch.”

When I’d agreed to be Grace’s partner at the private investigation firm she’d been co-partner in, Paradise Investigations, I helped finance a move to a new building, worlds nicer than the one she’d been in before.

We’d had a keen interest in us the first week or so after the move, considering how we were constantly in the news regarding the murder mystery I’d solved to get Grace off a murder charge. The interest had died down in the following weeks; as it stood now, we hadn’t taken on a new client in five days, and we’d finished the current projects three days before, which meant three days of no billable hours, and thus no money coming in.

“We could always fire her,” Grace suggested, tossing me my towel. “It’d be one less salary we needed to pay.”

“That doesn’t seem right,” I said, though I’d probably consider it after another week of no income being earned. “I’m sure we’ll get by.”

“We could always take an ad out on TV,” Grace suggested suddenly.

“Isn’t that tacky?” Maka wrinkled his nose a bit.

Grace shielded her eyes from the sun, squinting at Maka. “It’s not like we’re lawyers.”

“Even if it isn’t tacky, we can’t afford it,” I reminded her as I wrapped my towel around my waist and gathered my board under my arm for the trek back to our cars. “We’re going to have to pray someone comes in and offers us a job that isn’t finding a lost cat or staking out seedy motels—something we can get some money out of.”

Grace grunted, her spirits somewhat dampened by my pragmatism, but I knew she would get over it. This was our relationship, often consisting of her being flighty and dreamy and me being the cord that pulled her—sometimes forcefully—back down to earth.

“Okay, I’ve got to go,” Maka said when we reached his car. “Already running late.”

“See,” I said, pausing long enough to take a quick kiss on the lips—though I wanted much, much more than a quick kiss—before continuing. “This is yet another good reason we should just stop these morning surfing lessons.”

“Not gonna happen. Seeing you dripping wet is worth being late to work.”

And again, in the space of ten minutes, I blushed.

“You two are disgusting,” Grace muttered.

“Shut up, Grace.”

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J.C. Long is an American expat living in Japan, though he’s also lived stints in Seoul, South Korea—no, he’s not an army brat; he’s an English teacher. He is also quite passionate about Welsh corgis and is convinced that anyone who does not like them is evil incarnate. His dramatic streak comes from his life-long involvement in theater. After living in several countries aside from the United States J. C. is convinced that love is love, no matter where you are, and is determined to write stories that demonstrate exactly that. J. C. Long’s favorite things in the world are pictures of corgis, writing and Korean food (not in that order…okay, in that order). J. C. spends his time not writing thinking about writing, coming up with new characters, attending Big Bang concerts and wishing he was writing. The best way to get him to write faster is to motivate him with corgi pictures. Yes, that is a veiled hint.

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Wheels Up by Annabeth Albert: Release Blitz, Excerpt (NSFW), Giveaway and Release Day Review

Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations…

Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO—and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semi-anonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction—they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

Title: Wheels Up

Series: Out of Uniform #4

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date (Print & Ebook): November 6th, 2017

Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Military Romance

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He’d seen Wes’s chest before on camera, but the camera was fuzzy, missing key details like how Wes’s nipples were the exact color of Dustin’s favorite butterscotch toffee and how his collar bones looked made for biting. And the camera had never captured the force of Wes’s stare, the way he seemed to see past Dustin’s soul to his most secret of desires.

“Think you could get your cock out for me?” Wes’s voice was as seductive as a kiss, and his eyes never left Dustin.

Using his left hand, Dustin got an awkward grip on his cock, drew it out, waited for the next command.

“You’re doing so good for me,” Wes praised. “Pinch a nipple for me, nice and hard, and I might let you touch your cock.”

“Oh fuck.” Dustin absolutely loved when Wes played like his, and being able to look at his intense face while he made such dirty commands was the best head trip ever. Following orders, he used his left hand to pinch his right nipple, hard enough to make himself gasp.

“Twist it. More.” Wes leaned forward, arms resting on his knees.

“Hurts,” Dustin panted. He’d had worse pain, of course, but somehow deliberate pain like this was a far different beast than the ordinary wear and tear he took over the course of training or a mission.

“That’s right. Doing good.” Wes’s blue eyes were almost black now. “You’ve earned a stroke, but slowly.”

“Yes. Thank you.” Dustin’s eyes squished shut as his hand connected with his throbbing cock.

“No, look at me,” Wes commanded, and Dustin’s eyes snapped back open.

He stroked himself with a firm grip, but slowly like Wes wanted. He had to squeeze hard on the base because he was that close to the edge. “Oh God.” His voice broke.

“Yeah? Tell me what you want.” Wes was breathing hard, the only sign that he wasn’t immune to Dustin’s show.

“I’m close.” Dustin’s whole body trembled as he repeated the slow stroke upward on his cock.

“No, you’re not.” Wes’s voice was stern, his eyes like granite chunks. “Tell me. Tell me what you want.”

Usually this was where Dustin would start begging to come, admitting to progressively kinkier fantasies, but instead the truth tumbled out. “Touch me. Oh, God, touch me please.”

Hey hot cover!

Okay, first things first… if there isn’t an APP like Joe4Joe… there should be…

In this one, Dustin (Dylan’s brother, remember him? From At Attention? Gorgeous and Broody? Yeah, this is him.) Anyway, I didn’t understand his hesitation with everybody knowing his ‘’orientation’’ because his hello, remember the brother?? But, whatevs, to each their own personal journey, and I do not judge, I felt for him immensely.

Wes, is also on the app and he and Dustin had been talking for several long months. Being from different sides of the country, what could it hurt, right?? That’s how Dustin viewed it, anyway… Until both of them were supposed to be in the same place at the same time and agreed to meet. Of course, after months of getting to know each other and…..doing other things via video chat… of course they hit it off and had chemistry… lots of it.

All things considered though, as tough as it might be…. It was only a one timer, or it was supposed to be… but what happens when Wes gets transferred and SURPRISE… of anywhere in the world, guess where he gets sent to?….. Yep, same place Dustin is…. (A bit far fetched?? Yeah, okay… but it kinda works, so…just go with it)….. Now, I’m not sure all the rules of the military, but apparently, with some such ranking, you’re not even allowed to be friends with people of different rank… seems silly, but… I’m sure there’s reason’s…. so if theres no friendship possibility, you can guess how a relationship would be tolerated…. It wouldn’t! But, these guys… they cant seem to help themselves… their time together and continued conversations, I would’ve risked it too!

I loved them together, they were hot and Wes was endlessly patient and all the things that Dustin didn’t feel he could be. Wes…sigh…hi Wes!

What I didn’t love was the back and forth…the forbidden sense of it all made them getting together a bad idea and they’d promise this time was the last time, because their careers were in jeopardy if anyone found out…but then, they’d do it again and then feel bad about it. It was angsty and unfair the situation that tried to keep these two apart and then you throw in some dangerous situations and it had me in a near panic attack a time or two…I got very invested, and I love stories like that!!

I will say, that Dylan and Apollo continue to be my favorite in this series, but I did enjoy these two’s back and forth. While I feel like the HEA was a little…HFN, I’m looking forward to maybe hearing about them in future books.

Overall, 4 pieces of eye candy from me.

 

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.  The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ  romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

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 active children.

Connect with Annabeth: Twitter | Facebook  | Facebook Group | Newsletter | Instagram | Website

 

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Reawaken by Christina Lee: Release Day Review and Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

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REAWAKEN

UNDER MY SKIN SERIES, BOOK 2

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.02.17

Cover Designer: KANAXA

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2gtg143

Reawaken_DIGITAL_HighRes

Losing his adoring husband shattered Tristan Rogers world. For the past few years, he’s been going through the motions, running their dog grooming business while hiding the loneliness he feels down to his bones. When he witnesses an ugly breakup between a pretentious customer and his boyfriend, Tristan can’t help but intervene. Something about the unassuming younger man calls to him, and he can’t help wondering if he’s experienced some heartache of his own.

Life took a tragic turn for Jonas “West” Hollis as a teen, and he’s felt indebted to his overbearing lover ever since. Tristan’s kindness draws him from the start, but with his dreams finally in reach, West can’t risk getting close to someone else. Not now that he can live his life and stand on his own merit.

From innocent texts to companionable rides on Tristan’s boat, what starts as an unexpected friendship between the men sparks into undeniable attraction. Neither are ready for anything deeper than a couple of passionate nights wrapped in each other’s arms but their connection becomes too intense for either to ignore. If Tristan and West want to heal their broken hearts, they’ll need a considerable amount of trust and courage—not only in themselves but also each other.

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I’m emotionally drained….this one was a tough one.

First, we have Tristan, who owns Doggy Styles (how cute is that), doggie grooming place. He’s content just going through life after losing him husband a few years back. He’s not really living, just going through the motions, but he still has his husband’s family, and some good friends; Brin and Elijah, you might remember from book 1.

So, content with how things are, he’s surprised when he finds himself interested in West, the hooded guy that comes in with the stuffy suit that talks to everyone like their beneath him. After helping him out one evening and giving him a place to crash, and a bike….they form a sort of much needed phone relationship. They both have so much in common and I think they needed a semblance of friendship that both could offer.

Tristan was endlessly patient and understanding. He let West come to him when he needed him, without any expectations or strings attached to their friendship. Because West’s last relationship with the suit was suffocating and suppressing, he needed the option to go at his own pace.Reawaken Teaser 2

Michael- that’s the suit and you’ll not like him, I’ll tell you that right now. He’s condescending and petty, and I hated that he just never seemed to understand how ugly his personality and character was. I can’t stand people like that. He was so gross. I don’t blame West for needing to get away from him, their relationship wasn’t a healthy one and I feel like the suit more than took advantage of him, no matter which way the author tried to spin it. It wasn’t right. But, whatever… I was glad he got away.

What I didn’t really like (other than Michael) was that I just didn’t feel like West had romantic feelings for Tristan…. I think he needed him and liked the comfort he gave him, but when he popped up out of nowhere and confessed his love to Tristan at the end, I didn’t feel it. Not even a little bit…. I thought Tristan deserved more… Not that West was a bad guy, he wasn’t… not at all, I understood where he was coming from and why he was the way he was… He’d lost so much in his life, he was just trying to find himself… I just don’t like he did and in return, Tristan would just be another co-dependency that he didn’t need. Their relationship just felt a bit one sided to me, I guess…
Maybe I’m wrong… maybe I read too much into it and had too high of hopes for Tristan, I dunno. I did like West, I genuinely felt for him and wanted him to find his happy and if Tristan is that, then I truly think there would be no one better for him…. I just wished I felt that way about West FOR Tristan…

ANYWAY… overall, it was a really good addition to the series and if you like low angst and slow progression… this is your story!

I’m still hoping for Elijah to pull his head out and find him some happy…. Maybe next book??

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

“Take yourself out so I can see you,” West suggested with a devilish gleam, and I did a double-take, marveling at the contradiction. Gone was the moody, unsure kid, only to be replaced by the liberated, playful man filled with hope and mischievousness.

“What—right now?” I looked along the shoreline, and outside of a couple of faraway boats, we were virtually alone. Still, I shook my head. “I can’t—”

“Sure you can,” he replied with a smirk. “You look so impressive manning this boat. Distinguished, even. It would be hot to see you holding your cock while your other hand grips the wheel.”

“Goddamn, West,” I ground out as our eyes met briefly. “Haven’t you come into your own… What happened to my quiet and shy companion?”

He laughed and then shrugged. “Guess he finally went after what he needed. And who he wanted.”

When he curved his eyebrow in challenge, I shivered. My gaze panning the shoreline, I already knew I planned on doing precisely what he asked. Fuck, he knew exactly how to light me up and appeal to my whims—all of which seemed to include him in one fashion or another.

I jerked the throttle and reduced to a slower speed before my hand drifted to my shorts. I tugged them just far enough down that the head of my cock was exposed above the waistband as I gripped my shaft.

“Nice,” he murmured in appreciation as he gazed fixedly at my dick. He stood, sidled next to me, and dragged his fingers along my shoulder blades, making the hairs on my neck stand up. Thankfully there was a glass partition that extended along the sides of the steering wheel, so unless you had a direct view, you wouldn’t realize that I held my cock in my fist.

West’s fingers slid beneath the waistband and into my crease.

“So hot,” he whispered in my ear.

“Fuck,” I groaned, arching my back.

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Mother, wife, reader, dreamer. Christina lives in the Midwest with her husband and son–her two favorite guys. She’s addicted to lip balm, coffee, and kissing. Because everything is better with kissing.

She writes MM Contemporary as well as Adult and New Adult Romance. She believes in happily-ever-afters for all, so reading and writing romance for everybody under the rainbow helps quench her soul.

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Our Reason by Jessie G: Blog Tour, Exclusive Friday Five-ish Q’s and Excerpt

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AUTHOR: Jessie G

TITLE: Our Reason

SERIES: Sizzling Miami #8 (Red & Bull #3)

COVER ARTIST: Andrew Reyna

PHOTOGRAPHER: Randy RLS Images

COVER MODEL: Alfie Gordillo

CATEGORIES: Gay Romance, Contemporary Romance

RELEASE DATE: October 22, 2017

Our Reason CoverMarried life is everything Bull and Red could have hoped for. It’s not something they’d ever take for granted and the need to pay it forward is a trait the husbands happily share. When the new director of the Bennett House asks Red to teach an art class, he isn’t entirely sure how it will help, but he’s more than willing to try. Before Bull, he used his art to purge his demons and sharing that with those in need of an outlet for their own pain was a gift he never considered giving. Each week he is rocked by the artful outpouring of emotion and the gratitude of his students. One by one, they burrow into his heart…but none more so than Dillon Young.

Always holding himself apart from the others, the wisp of a boy keeps his head down and hides behind a mangy, overgrown length of dark hair like a shield. Despite his best attempts not to see himself in all the young men that come through the center, everything about Dillon calls out to Red. Needing to share their encounters, and maybe hoping for a little perspective, he turns to the one man he knows he can always count on. Expecting Bull to be the voice of reason had been a fool’s mission from the start and soon they’re both invested in helping Dillon.

There’s no doubt they have an abundance of love to share and if ever there was someone who needed it, Dillon was the one. Between Bull’s strength and Red’s patience, they’ll help Dillon learn to trust again, and in the process, create a family that none of them intended. Though they never envisioned themselves as parents, Bull and Red will find room in their happily ever after to save the child they didn’t know lived in their hearts.

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ABOUT THE CHARITY: The Zebra Coalition® is a network of organizations which provide services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and all youth (LGBT+) ages 13 – 24. The Coalition assists young people facing homelessness, bullying, isolation from their families, and physical, sexual and drug abuse with individualized programs to guide them to recovery and stability. A portion of the royalties from Our Reason will be donated by the author, but you can donate now at http://www.zebrayouth.org/donate/

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  1. Bull and Red were adamant that they were never going to have kids in previous books. What “made” you choose to have them bring a child into their life? Over a year ago, I was stopped at a light when I saw a group of kids holding a car wash at gas station to raise money for baseball uniforms. The little kernel of an idea hovered in the background until I went to a book signing in Dallas and saw Alfie Gordillo, the model on the cover of Our Reason. He was as close to what I envisioned Bull to be and I suppose I could have just repackaged For a Reason, but what fun would that be? I don’t have any logical reason why these two things intersected and I’m thrilled with the result.
  2. There is a lot of legalities addressed in Our Reason (and in several other books in this series). How do you ensure that you won’t get those pieces incorrect? First, I don’t claim that those details are to the letter of the law. My bestie is an attorney and she’s happy to answer all my questions, but I always reserve creative license. Yes, I want to be as close as possible for believability, but I also need it to work with the story.
  3. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Uh, I can’t write if there’s clutter on my desk. It makes me itchy. I write several books at once, but then when I hit that sweet spot in a book when it becomes my focus (and therefore, next release), I have to switch from my desktop to my laptop. I can’t finish a book in my office, it has to be anywhere else.
  4. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? Not anymore. That’s why I write multiple stories at once. For me, if I’m not feeling it and it’s hard to write, then it’s because the characters aren’t talking to me. So I switch to the ones that are.
  5. A penguin walks through that door right now wearing a sombrero. What does he say and why is he here? Salt or sugar? He’s there to bring the margaritas for Taco Thursday, of course.

 

Our Reason by Jessie G - Teaser #2

They stopped at a light and Bull glanced at him thoughtfully. “Did Dillon show up for Thursday’s art class?”

There was no denying that the troubled teen was at least partly responsible for his need to give more or that Bull knew his interest far exceeded his role in the boy’s life. “Yeah. He was a few minutes late and he looked rough, but he was there. Even stayed for the food the center brought in afterward.”

Rail thin and tall for his age, Dillon Young slumped like life had already beaten him into submission. He always kept his head down and his dark hair long enough to cover his eyes, but Red had glimpsed at them once and the familiarity had grabbed him by the throat. The feeling was so strong that he reached for Dillon, needing to just hug him as tight as he could, but the boy flinched back and took off.

Dillon disappeared for a few days after that and Red had been beside himself until director called to say he’d come around again. After that, Red kept his approach cautious. He wouldn’t avoid him because he needed to know how to help him, but he never got too close and made sure there was no physical contact even in passing. Months later, he thought they were making headway, but then Dillon disappeared again and Red didn’t know why. Like before, he returned with little fanfare and zero desire to explain his absence. With his own past acting as a reminder of all the possible shit Dillon could be dealing with, it was a cycle that Red wasn’t sure he could continue to live with.

“I know the center has rules it has to follow, but there’s no reason we can’t find out more information about his home life, is there?” They had been trying not to go around the center because he didn’t want to cause them any issues, but the fear of something happening to Dillon was forcing his hand. Red wasn’t scared and destitute anymore. He was a grown man with resources and friends who could help this kid. They had to help because the alternative was unacceptable.

“None at all,” Bull agreed as he reached for his hand. “I’ll talk to Ric. If it’s a conflict of interest for him, I’m sure he can point me in the direction of someone who can help.”

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.

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Shattered Pieces by K.M. Neuhold: Release Day Blitz, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

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SHATTERED PIECES

HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 4

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 10.31.17

SP Cover

“I was sure my heart had withered away years ago, but then you smiled at me and I felt it beat again.” ~Gage

Years ago, I fell in love with my best friend’s little brother. Then, he took his own life, leaving me shattered and unable to piece my heart back together. I’ve been a zombie for nine long years. Until a crazy, gorgeous man walked into Heathens Ink and injected color back into my world of gray. No matter how hard I try to resist Beck he just won’t give up on me. I would need steel willpower to withstand his gorgeous long legs in his high heels, and his drawer full of lacy lingerie. But is this just a kinky hook up or does it have the possibility for more?

“We’re both broken, but our jagged edges fit together well” ~ Beck

When you’re half of a whole you never contemplate what life would be like without your matching piece. Since my twin sister, Brianna, died last year, nothing I do seems to quiet my soul. I know there has to be some way for me to feel happy and whole again. And, when I look into the pained eyes of the tattoo artist at Heathens Ink I feel like I have a purpose. I can’t explain it, but I feel like I have to find a way to put him back together.

Shattered Pieces is book 4 in The Heathens Ink Series and can be read as a standalone.

COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold

COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto

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Scattered Pieces Teaser 1

Scattered Pieces Teaser 2

“Dance with me.” Beck holds his hand out to me. His eyes spark with amusement at what I’m sure is the obvious horror in my expression.

“I don’t dance.”

“Come on, you’re supposed to be trying fun, new things. I’m not expecting Fred Astaire, just stand in my general vicinity and nod your head to the beat.”

I sigh in resignation and take Beck’s hand, refusing to notice how soft his skin is or how good it feels to touch someone, however casually.

Still clutching my hand, Beck starts to dance. He starts out tame, simply swaying to the music. But, before long he’s spinning and shimmying like a ballerina on crack. Even being goofy and over the top he’s utterly graceful. And the joy in his expression is heartbreaking in its beauty.

When he spins out and then into my arms like a tango dancer, a laugh escapes from my chest, too full of a warmth to contain it.

“You have a really nice laugh,” Beck says, smiling up at me.

My heart thuds violently against my ribcage. Some long-forgotten place in my brain wakes up from its long slumber and starts to make irrational demands like kiss him and make Beck mine.

I pull my arms back, forcing a smile as blood rushes in my ears. Beck isn’t mine. He can never be mine. I had someone who was mine and I broke him beyond repair.

“I’m afraid I’m a bit rusty,” I admit with chagrin.

“Never too late to pick it back up again,” Beck reasons, stepping close again but not so close to warrant another retreat on my part.

His lips are rosy pink and so soft, slightly parted and unbelievably tempting. I can’t remember if we were discussing laughing or kissing and I don’t really care.

“For the first time in a long time I’m starting to wonder if that’s true.” The hope my statement sparks in Beck’s eyes forces me to backpedal as guilt washes over me. “It feels wrong to imagine happiness is possible, even in some vague, future way.”

“I’m not going to give you any trite bullshit like saying Johnny would’ve wanted you to be happy. I didn’t know Johnny and even if I had there’s no way to know what he would’ve wanted because he’s gone. But you’re still here. You still have a life, a heart, and the right to be happy whether now or in a vague future.” The way Beck holds my gaze is like a cobra ensnaring a mouse. “You don’t need Johnny’s permission to move on and be happy. You only need to give yourself permission.”

I am a huge fan of this series so I was equal parts super excited and hesitant about this book. Don’t get me wrong, I fell in love with Gage in the first book but I was so afraid this book was going to break me. It totally did, but my god was it worth it. Kyleen was able to shatter my heart and knit it back together. I did cry reading it, but she didn’t leave me a sobbing mess.

Gage runs Heathen’s Ink with his best friend Adam. Gage is in love with Adam’s brother Johnny, who they lost to suicide 9 years earlier. Gage goes through life in a fog, going through the motions but never engaging in anything or with anyone. The amount of guilt he carries over Johnny’s death is staggering. Then a hottie walks into the tattoo shop for a tattoo and tilts Gage’s world on it’s axis.

Beck, short for Becket not Beckham is sassy, smart and gorgeous. The brooding tattoo artist just pushes all of his buttons. Beck is no stranger to loss himself, he is their to get a memorial tattoo for his twin sister who died suddenly a year ago of a brain aneurysm. While both are still grieving, Beck can’t get Gage to engage in conversation, or much of anything. He walks away thinking he will never see the enigmatic man again.

Then one night the guys from the tattoo shop drag Gage along to a club where Beck is unknowingly a dancer in a burlesque show. The two strike up an friendship and Beck makes it his mission to show Gage what he’s missing in life. Determined to find new hobbies that Gage will enjoy so he stops walking through life in a fog.

If his sister’s death taught him anything, it’s that life is too short for regrets and he’s going to make sure he doesn’t have any. As their friendship evolves into something stronger than either intended they must decide if they can take a chance on love or if the risk is too great.

Gage- I fell in love with Gage in the first book, I love a dark, broody character. The ones with painful pasts usually tend to fall harder and love fiercely, as long as you can get them to see past the pain. I just wanted to hold Gage, it was so hard to see him hang on to Beck so tight only to push him away at the same time. You could feel his fear and need like it was your own.

Beck- No matter what he has been through, Beck is a bright light. He shines for all to see, and that is exactly what Gage needs. From the lacy underwear, to the high heels, and the makeup, Beck let Gage see the real him, and Gage fell hard and fast. While he helps Gage wade through his own grief, he allows Gage to see his as well. He never lets his needs be pushed aside which allows their relationship to develop on equal ground. He let Gage see how unhappy he was in his professional life which was a stark contrast to the persona he lets everyone see.

While I was a tad bit afraid to read this one, I am so glad I did. Gage and Beck’s story was every bit as amazing as they deserved and I thought it would be. I’m glad Gage got the closure he needed with Johnny, which allowed him to move on with Beck.

Kyleen has come to be one of my go-to authors. Her work is amazing and you can tell she loves what she writes.

5 pieces of eye candy

KM Neuhold Graphic

I’m an author of m/m and new adult romance. I have a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well.

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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.

The Librarian’s Rake by Z. Allora: Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, and Giveaway

Opposites might attract, but is acting on that attraction wise?

Librarian Tristan Cooper can’t steer clear of sexy, motorcycle-riding bad boy Phillip—the man is hot—but Phillip is bound to and quiet, bookish Tristan boring, like all Tristan’s boyfriends. Tristan yearns to explore his wild side, the part of himself he’s only allowed into his fantasies, and maybe rakish Phillip is just what he needs to feel free.

Sexperienced hairdresser Phillip is more of a believer in happy endings than happily ever afters. Experience has taught him not to hope for more— until he meets sweet, vulnerable Tristan, who seems genuinely interested in his heart. But Phillip can’t trust enough to see himself as a man Tristan might want for more than a night.

With the help of a pair of matchmaking grandfathers, Tristan and Phillip might and the courage to step beyond their comfort zones and discover what has been missing from their lives….

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Greetings! Thank you, Two Chicks Obsessed for the opportunity to share information about my new book The Librarian’s Rake with your readers.                  

To celebrate the release of The Librarian’s Rake I’ll be giving away 3 e-books of Secured and Free, (Book #2 of Entwined Dreams) and a $20 gift card to Dreamspinner Press. Details below.

Tristan is a shy librarian, who may have fantasies of swinging from the rafters but he’s never had the guts to be sexually daring. Phillip, who believes more in happy endings that require a swallow than in happily ever after. After they meet it seems to Tristan everyone seems to be having wild sexy times but him and he’s tired of it. This excerpt is right after he parts company from Phillip. Tristan’s home alone as usual and even his television seems to mock his meek nature.

When the quiet got too loud, he flicked on the TV to hear someone talking to him as he devoured his takeout chicken sandwich.

“I’m Todd Jones, reporting on dogging in America.”

Turning toward the TV—where were the puppies?

The partially blocked-out picture showed a couple having car sex while people stood around in a semicircle watching. A voiceover boomed, “It’s called dogging. People watch a couple have sex or go to participate in some way themselves and to be watched.”

What in the world was this?

The handsome interviewer started chatting with a couple who could be Tristan’s next-door neighbors—for all he knew they might be! They calmly discussed the vast number of websites available for people to find out where others are having sex in public places.

“How long have you two been doing this?” Todd asked.

Not why, which would have been Tristan’s first question. Why would you take a risk? Why would you want others to watch you? Why—

Tristan forced himself to swallow the last bites of his sandwich while the middle-aged woman on TV smiled. “For several years. The kids graduated college and moved across the country, and, well, we wanted to add spice back into our relationship.”

The disembodied voice droned on as various censored encounters played out. “The term dogging originally came from someone walking a dog and stumbling across people having sex. But now the practice has turned into what some consider a sport. Usually the meetups happen in parking lots, but with the use of the internet….”

The man smugly stated, “The wife and I have dogged in a junkyard, mall parking lots, the back of an ice cream parlor, near several drive-thru windows, the drive-ins—”

“My favorite was in long-term parking at the airport.” His wife grinned.

The interviewer cleared his throat and asked, “Do others participate when you…?”

The wife giggled. “Only if we want them to.”

The husband added, “And only a little bit. They can lay their hands on her, but—”

“Oh you! You’re so jealous. I love you.” The women blushed.

“I love you too, Mary Jean.” The husband appeared stupidly in love with the woman.

Tristan sighed and turned off the television.

Was that what Frederick wanted? Was everyone in the world into wild sex? Why was it so amiss to want to have sex in a bed?

As he put the last pots and pans away and shut the dishwasher, his mind beelined to Phillip. He pulled out the card in his pocket and stared at it. Phillip probably used hookup sites on a regular basis. Did he order “oral sex to go” on a recurring schedule?

Tristan wanted to deny the appeal of the straightforward ease but couldn’t. It had to be wrong just having sex with strangers. Didn’t it? Maybe he was too straitlaced and hemmed in by societal norms, but he found the whole thing sordid.

Why even think about the sites he’d never use? The idea of Phillip ordering a blowjob like fast food made Tristan’s cock harden… again. The dirtiness, which had never had appeal, now seemed arousing.

Allora believes in happily ever after for everyone. She met her own true love through the personals and has traveled to over thirty countries with him. She’s lived in Singapore, Israel and China. Now back home to the USA she’s an active member of PFLAG and a strong supporter of those on the rainbow in her community. She wants to promote understanding and acceptance through her actions and words. Writing rainbow romance allows her the opportunity to open hearts and change minds.

To contact Z. Allora:

E-mail: Z.AlloraHappyEndings@gmail.com

FACEBOOK:   Z Allora Allora

Website: www.zallorabooks.com

Twitter: @ZAllora

Blog: http://zallora.blogspot.com

Queer Romance Ink: www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/z-allora

Dreamspinner: www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/z-allora-637-a

 

To enter the giveaway tell us if you’ve ever heard of “dogging” before. Winners will be contacted Nov 8th.

Hugs, Z. Allora

 

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