Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

Riptide Publishing

Amazon

Hi! This is Piper Vaughn and Avon Gale and we’re here today to talk about our sexy new contemporary romance, Permanent Ink, in which the worlds of street art and tattooing collide when a silver-fox tattoo artist falls for his much younger apprentice – who also happens to be his best friend’s son.

Co-writing: How to work through the disagreements

I’m very happy to report that writing Permanent Ink was smooth sailing all the way! Piper and I are very good at talking through things, and we spent a lot of time initially just hammering out the details before we started writing the narrative. We came up with a pretty extensive outline for each chapter, making sure we knew what would happen and how each character would react. Then, when we were writing our individual scenes, we could consult the document – or each other. We’d send more than a few messages that would say things like, “Hey, if Jericho did this, what would Poe say?” Or, we’d leave notes in the document with that line highlighted and “Feel free to change if this doesn’t work for you.”

I think the most important thing is that we both had a really good understanding of our characters right at the outset. Also, neither one of us are bothered by constructive criticism, so if Piper said something like, “Hey, I don’t think this works here because x,” I had no problem rethinking the scene – and vice versa. You sort of know going in, I think, that there’s going to be a lot of discourse and tweaking things as you adjust to writing someone else’s character!

Another thing we did that was super helpful was have writing weekends together. This meant that we could hole ourselves up somewhere (in this case, the Country Inn and Suites in Springfield, IL) and write, which allowed us to get through a large chunk of the narrative. It wasn’t always perfect (okay, lies – Piper’s scenes are always perfect, mine are messy af) but it was there, and we could build off each chapter and just keep going. It made finishing up the last few chapters separately a breeze, and by then we were in our characters’ heads enough to start editing and making sure the voices/depictions matched.

I think the thing we had to talk through the most was the title! I remember we went out for sushi after we signed the contract with Riptide to celebrate (Piper was at my house visiting and to start the project), and I’m pretty sure all my suggestions were terrible pun names. We wanted the name of the book to be the name of the tattoo shop, so you can imagine where I went with that. Eventually Piper suggested “Permanent Ink” and it was so perfect, that pun or no, we knew it was the title.

Also she let me name that coffee shop Perkatory, so I was happy 😊

 

I took another pull from my beer, letting my tongue linger on the lip of the bottle.

Jericho’s eyes darkened. He stared for a second before making a noticeable effort to tear his attention away. His gaze slid to the side, and his brows knitted together. I wouldn’t let him ignore me, though. I stepped closer, invading his personal space, and he met my stare again.

“That means a lot coming from you. I know how good you are.” I meant the words, even if my motivation for saying them wasn’t entirely pure. I smiled at him, peering up through the dark fall of my hair, letting my interest show.

His lips quirked.

This close, I could feel his heat through the thin material of his navy T-shirt. This close, I could see the green striations in his hazel irises. This close, I could smell soap and musk and the faint scent of beer on his breath.

I wanted to touch him so bad it was as if my hands had turned to iron and his skin had suddenly been magnetized. It felt like a fucking compulsion.

Without thinking, I kissed him.

Jericho froze at the contact. But I surged forward, crowding him back against the counter and licking at the seam of his lips, inviting his tongue out to play. Jericho gave into me with a quiet sound, a muffled groan that made my cock stiffen.

I got enough of his taste to make me crave more, enough time to think “hell yeah” and start to consider humping his hard thigh—before a loud, shattering noise broke the silence and made us jump apart.

I realized I’d dropped the beer bottle and a puddle of golden liquid was spreading across the linoleum at our feet. “Oh shit.”

Jericho stared at me, his mouth still wet from mine. “Fuck.” His gaze went from me to the broken glass on the floor. “Fuck. That should not have happened.” He snatched the roll of paper towels from the holder on the counter and started spreading a few on the floor to sop up the beer.

I watched him, trying to swallow past the sudden tightness in my throat. He was so focused on the mess it was obvious he didn’t want to look at me.

“I’ll go get the cleaning stuff,” I announced.

Jericho’s jerky nod was my only answer.

I went to the small utility closet across the hall and briefly thudded my forehead against the wood.

“Shit.”

I hoped I hadn’t just fucked up my apprenticeship.

I hoped I hadn’t made things super fucking awkward.

And more than that, in spite of knowing it was probably wrong to want him—he was my boss, my mentor, my dad’s best friend—I wished I hadn’t dropped that stupid bottle.

So this was my first foray into “daddy kink”. And really, it is a good training wheels still on intro to it. And while it was fairly vanilla and pretty well done- I don’t think this particular kink is for me. BUT, I still really enjoyed the book.

Poe is a brat. Straight up early 20’s brat. I have nightmares about my own teen becoming Poe. Oy. But I would say that he is what every Gen X and above refer to as a spoiled Millenial. And he really isn’t spoiled, he just wants to paint graffiti murals with his best friend, work as little as possible and skate. Too bad he keeps getting busted for the graffiti,

Jericho- Poe’s dad’s best friend- has an offer. Poe can work for him and move up to interning as a tattoo artist. A pay it forward deal after someone helped Jericho years ago. And so it begins.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this book- watching Poe slowly shed his brat shell and become more and more interested in tattooing. Seeing how it is art; how it is unique and personal to every person. Watching him grow that was was my favorite part.

The chemistry between Poe and Jericho was pretty hot. They danced around each other for a bit, which I always like. I’m not a big fan when they immediately jump into bed or there is insta love. Jericho really struggled with his attraction to Poe.

The secondary characters fit in really well with the story. Especially Blue, Poe’s best friend. After finishing the book I cannot wait for his story! I won’t say with whom, because I am not a spoiler.

3 1/2 pieces of eye candy 

About Avon Gale

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon:

 

About Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.

As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.

Connect with Piper:

 

To celebrate the release of Permanent Ink, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card and a “Poe” coffee mug! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 12, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine: Blog Tour, Review and Excerpt

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A Little Bit Like Love, an all-new sexy STANDALONE MM romance from Brooke Blaine is available NOW!

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A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine

Publication Date: July 27th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance/MM Romance

What if you had everything in the world you wanted…except the man you’d left behind?

Jackson Davenport, the charismatic, strait-laced heir to the Davenport fortune, has a secret. One he’s been hiding since he graduated from South Haven all-boys academy—and that secret’s name is Lucas.

When a work trip takes Jackson back to his old stomping grounds, memories of the year he shared with Lucas come crashing to the surface. With growing pressure from his father to settle down and take over the family business, Jackson knows he’s on borrowed time, and sets out to find the free-spirited daredevil he once knew.

But Lucas isn’t the same man he was eight years ago.

One night. A shattered heart. And an endless parade of nameless faces. Lucas Sullivan is South Haven’s ultimate playboy, a reputation he’s honed since the only boy he ever loved left without a trace. To the world, he’s brash and confident, an in-demand artist who spends his days designing one-of-a-kind pieces and his nights as king of the downtown scene.

Many have tried and failed to get past the barrier he’s carefully constructed, but it’s the shy, studious boy he once coaxed out of his shell who still haunts him.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was lust. Or maybe…it was a little bit like love.

WITH THE NOTE from Principal Stewart crumpled in my fist, I stalked away from his office, away from the words I knew would haunt me forever.

“I’m sorry, Jackson. Your father is quite…insistent you return to Connecticut immediately.”

Immediately…immediately… With every echo of that word through my mind, my heart battered my chest, the ache to rip itself free of my body a plea I was helpless to honor.

There was only one reason he would’ve demanded I leave South Haven before the end of classes next week. My father had been adamant I receive the best education his money afforded, choosing to ship me down to south Georgia to attend the most prestigious all-boys academy in the country. I’d done him proud, rising to the top of my class, and I’d been practicing my salutatorian speech for days. Skipping out on graduation and the pomp and circumstance and recognition that came with it? Out of the question. Which could only mean one thing.

He knew. Somehow he knew.

That was the only explanation for the letter in my hand, for the abrupt dismissal this late in the evening and this close to the end of the school year. My father hadn’t gotten to where he was by being stupid or blind, and I’d seriously underestimated how many eyes and ears had been watching me during my four years. Although it would’ve only been the whispers over the last few months that piqued his interest, only the last eight that he would’ve had any reason to give me a second thought.

And that reason wasn’t a what—it was a who.

The halls of the St. John’s dormitory were silent when I entered, all the students down at the mess hall for dinner, followed by the final bonfire of the year. So there wouldn’t be anyone around to see me sneak down the hall to where I knew I shouldn’t be going but couldn’t help myself. My feet seemed to move of their own accord, the countdown to my utter devastation causing me to pick up the pace. The private plane would arrive in a handful of hours, giving me just enough time to pack my things, but there was no way I could leave without a goodbye. Not going to happen.

I wasn’t ready. I was supposed to have more time. As a cold sweat of panic seized me, I balled the letter tighter in my fist and chucked it into one of the trash bins as I passed.

Screw my father. Screw the life he’d set out for me, the one I was destined to live and hate with every fiber of my being. I wanted to bottle up every one of his expectations and throw the blasted thing out at an angry sea to swallow up and tear apart instead.

I wished it could be as easy as that. I’d been able to fool myself into a sense of freedom, but the cell door was about to smash shut on every dream I’d let myself have these past few months.

His private dorm was at the end of the long hall, last one on the right, and I rapped on it twice fast, waited a moment, and then repeated the pattern that we used for each other. A few seconds later, the door swung open, and seeing the sole object of my daily and nightly thoughts standing there in front of me with a mixture of surprise and delight in his eyes made me think that coming here had been a mistake. It was only going to sink the dagger in farther.

“Hey…I thought we were meeting la—” Lucas’s words cut off and the smile curling his lips fell as he got a good look at my face. “What’s wrong?”

You should tell him. Tell him what’s going on and that it isn’t your fault. Look him in the eye when you tell him you can never see him again.

A shooting pain tore through my chest as I realized what this goodbye actually meant. I wasn’t saying I wouldn’t be seeing him for the next couple of days or weeks. When I left South Haven’s campus in the early hours of the morning, I wouldn’t be seeing him again…ever.

God, can I do this? Break his heart as well as mine?

No…no, I couldn’t tell him. He’d look for me, find me, and there was no telling what my father would do if that happened. The letter had been my old man’s warning. Disobeying his orders would mean consequences neither of us were prepared for.

“Jackson?” Lucas’s voice dropped low, and then he looked past me out into the deserted hall. When he didn’t see anyone to blame on my current state, he frowned and waited for an answer.

The words didn’t come, though, so I stood there staring at him, taking a mental snapshot that I’d store away in a place no one could find and destroy. His black hair was casually tousled, and I knew him well enough to know he’d worried his hands through it, maybe wondering if I wouldn’t follow through on our plans tonight. He wore a simple grey t-shirt and low-slung jeans on his long and lean frame, and the swirl of black tattoos he’d recently inked on his tanned skin could be seen peeking around his right bicep before disappearing from view behind the thin material of his shirt. He was striking, both in looks and personality, and to say I hadn’t been expecting the force that was Lucas Sullivan when he’d transferred to the academy eight months ago was an understatement.

Quite simply, I’d been lost to him the first time I laid eyes on him.

Forcing myself to shake off my dread, I said, “I’m okay,” and tried to believe it for his sake.

“Well, you look like hell.” He leaned against the doorway, one of those charming half-grins cocking up one side of his lips. “Hell on wheels, anyway. What’d you do, run all the way here?”

Not too far off there. I didn’t even remember crossing campus to get to his dorm until I was in front of the building.

When I didn’t laugh at his teasing, Lucas’s expression fell again and his brows pulled down, a crease forming between them as his eyes, the color of a stormy sky, gave me a thorough once-over, looking for the source of my pain. He was silent for a long moment, but he must’ve seen something he didn’t like, because he stiffened and his jaw clenched. Then he took a deep breath and let it out in a rush.

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?” I asked.

Lucas shook his head, his arms going over his chest. “I’m not helping you out here. If you came here for a reason, get out with it.”

Did he know? He couldn’t. I’d only just found out myself, and… No. There was no way. “It’s…complicated.”

“Complicated?”

“Yes.”

Lucas gave a humorless chuckle. “Jackson Davenport, I knew you were scared, but I never took you for a coward. If you don’t want to do this, you can man the hell up and tell me to my face.”

“What are you… I’m not…” I ran my hand over my face, struggling to understand the conclusion he’d come to for why I was standing at his door. My lack of a poker face had put him on the defensive. He thought I was here to reject him. An idea so completely unfathomable to me that it made my stomach turn thinking about it. “Lucas…you’ve got this all wrong.”

“Do I?”

“Yes. I’m not here to—“ I almost said “end things with you,” but I didn’t want to lie to him. I never had and I never would. Instead, I said, “Fight with you. I don’t want to fight.”

“Then why are you here, Jackson?” he asked, and my gaze fell to his lips. I’d tasted those lips only a few times, not nearly enough to quench a starving man’s hunger. All these months I’d wasted, warring with myself in my head, never letting myself have the thing I wanted most. And now I was down to a matter of hours. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough. But it was all I had, and I wasn’t wasting another second.

If I couldn’t tell Lucas how I felt about him, then I’d show him.

Finally.

Irrevocably.

And starting now.

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A Little Bit Like Love is a good read beach type read (especially because of where it’s located…oh and that hot scene IN the water). Fairly low on angst, it allows the reader to enjoy some time with a second chance love, lost through no fault of their own.

These two men found each other in high school, then forced apart, find each other again 8 years later. Very different men, they still clearly have strong feelings towards each other. The issues between them were fairly predictable for the story, but still enjoyable to see how the unpredictable Lucas reacted to having the very predictable Jackson come back into his life.

The scene at Gram’s grave hit me hard in the feels. Lucas’ love and respect for his Gram was so obvious, and to have Jackson be there and appreciate that time, and have them come away from it better was very satisfying. As well, as the scene with Jackson’s father, that was more than satisfying.

An enjoyable read, although likely not a re-read. The secondary characters of Shaw and Bash were very well written and fleshed out.  I am definitely looking forward to the more gritty feeling book 2, which is Shaw’s book. That one is probably going to be a man who butts heads hard with his future man.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2h40Ltx

Amazon International: myBook.to/ALBLLebook

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/ShbNqD

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You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Ella Frank

Connect with Brooke:

Newsletter-http://eepurl.com/brxPkP

Website- http://www.brookeblaine.com/home

Twitter- @BrookeBlaine1

FB- https://www.facebook.com/BrookeBlaine.Writer/

FB Street Team- www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/

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

Trust With A Chaser by Annabeth Albert: Release Blitz, Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleTrust with a Chaser

Series: Rainbow Cove, Book 1

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Annabeth Albert

Release Date: 08-01-2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 75,000

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Law Enforcement, Small Town, May/December

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One hot cop. One bar owner out for redemption. One smoking-hot summer fling destined to leave scorch marks…

Mason Hanks has returned to Rainbow Cove, Oregon with one goal in mind: turn the struggling coastal community into a thriving LGBTQ tourism destination. Step one is transforming an old bar and grill into a gay-friendly eatery. Step two? Don’t piss off Nash Flint, the very hot, very stern chief of police who’s not so sure he’s on board with Mason’s big plans.

Nash Flint just wants to keep his community safe and enjoy the occasional burger in peace. He’s not big on change nor is he a fan of Mason’s troublemaking family, especially his rowdy older brothers. But Mason slowly wins him over with fantastic cooking and the sort of friendship Nash has been starving for.

When their unlikely friendship takes a turn for the sexy, both men try to steer clear of trouble. Nash believes he’s too set in his ways for Mason, and Mason worries that his family’s reputation will ruin any future with Nash. Burning up the sheets in secret is a surefire way to crash and burn, and discovery forces a heart-wrenching decision—is love worth the risk of losing everything?

Trust with a Chaser is a 75,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, a hot law-enforcement hero, opposites attract, plenty of sexy times, and one hard-fought, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

Chapter One

Mason

When Adam stepped inside the glorified closet I was using as an office, eyes all twitchy and hands wringing a bar towel, I knew I wasn’t going to like what came out of his mouth.

“Sheriff Sexy just walked in. He’s your problem.”

Fuck. I squeezed my eyes shut and took a deep breath. “Please don’t call Police Chief Flint that. He might hear, and I’m pretty sure he’d find a citation for you. And I am not bailing your ass out.”

“You’re just worried that one of these days you’re going to slip up and call him that.” Adam grinned at me. This was an old argument—he’d been calling Flint that stupid nickname since we were in high school. The hard-nosed cop wasn’t one to cut teen drivers any slack—especially if they were in any way associated with the name “Hanks.” “Anyway, you know he freaks me out. I’ve got no idea what he wants—all our permits are in order, right?”

“Of course.” Standing, I grabbed the folder with the permitting paperwork. I prided myself in the organization I was bringing to the bar and grill that I co-owned with Adam and our friend, Logan. Flint wouldn’t find anything to complain about, not with me in charge. “I’ll go deal with him. You go back to the bar in case we get a rush.”

Adam snorted. Despite it being opening weekend, traffic had been embarrassingly light. We’d worked for weeks transforming the old tavern—a Rainbow Cove institution for decades—into the newly renamed Rainbow Tavern. The gay-friendly bar and grill was our vision for pulling our sleepy little coastal town into the twenty-first century. Logan had crafted a new menu of upscale bar food ready to go, and Adam had innovative drinks specials at the ready. All we needed were customers. And to not run afoul of Nash Flint on our first day of operation.

Flint was a Rainbow Cove institution himself—born and raised here, same as Adam and me, but unlike me, he’d never left, sliding into his father’s shoes as police chief and apparently fitting the role as easily as a pair of broken-in jeans. He’d been Officer Flint last time I’d seen him, almost ten years prior.

Guess I could have seen him had I come down for Freddy’s trial, something I still felt niggles of guilt over, and I told myself that was why my stomach fluttered on my way out to the tavern’s dining room. Unlike Adam, I’d never found Flint particularly…

Sexy. All my thoughts fled as I took in the man sitting in front of the plate-glass window. He dwarfed the small wooden chair, one of dozens that Adam and I had painted bright colors. Broad shoulders stretched the confines of his uniform shirt, biceps bulging under the short sleeves. His cut-glass jaw was firm as ever, as were those hard hazel eyes. But what had been frankly terrifying to my teenaged self made my twenty-seven-year-old libido sit up and take serious notice.

Flint blinked as I approached, head tilting to one side. I’d been getting a lot of that since I’d been back in town. “Mason…Hanks?”

“The one and only.” I stuck out my hand. “What can I do for you, Chief Flint?”

He returned my handshake with a sure grip, only a moment’s hesitation. I guessed he wasn’t all that used to shaking hands with a Hanks. Oh well. I was out to prove to the whole damn town that I wasn’t like my father and brothers, and if I had to start with Flint, so be it.

“Nice place you’ve got here.” His eyes swept around the renovated room—restored antique bar on the far wall where Adam wasn’t bothering to conceal his nosiness, dance floor beyond that, colorful tables and chairs in the front of the bar, only a handful occupied despite the dinner hour.

“Thanks. Our permits are all in order.” I held out my folder. “Liquor license is on top.”

He waved the folder off. “Not worried about that.”

No? Then why the heck was Flint in my establishment? “Good. We’re on the up-and-up. You won’t have trouble from us—”

“Glad to hear it,” he said levelly, eyes skeptical, reminding me that I was, after all, nothing more than a Hanks. “Cheeseburger?”

“Pardon?”

“That Ringer kid didn’t see fit to give me a menu, but I’m trusting you all offer something approximating a burger? Salad, no fries, and an iced tea.”

“You want to order?” I was still struggling to keep up with him.

“This is a food establishment, right?” He shook his head as if he hadn’t expected more from me, and that rankled.

“Of course.” I crossed the room in long strides, grabbed an order pad from the bar, ignoring Adam’s gaping. As soon as I returned to Flint’s table, I added, “Anything you want. On the house.”

“None of that.” He sighed like my very existence was tiring. “Got my meals from the old tavern for years. They kept a tab open for me.”

“We can do the same—”

“Let’s see if you can cook first,” he said, voice drier than yesterday’s toast. “I thought I’d come by, check the place out.”

“Appreciated,” I said and meant it. Business, any business, was good, but people in Rainbow Cove trusted Flint. If he gave us the seal of approval, more locals might give us a try, make us less dependent on the tourist trade that we were going after. Tourism took a while to build, and our grand plans of making Rainbow Cove an LGBTQ travel destination weren’t going to happen overnight. We needed every customer we could get, Flint included, even if he was the unlikeliest of allies.

“You still haven’t brought me a menu.” He shook his head. “But whatever you’ve got passing for a burger is fine. Nothing vegan though.”

“We’ve got local grass-fed beef, third-pound patty on a brioche bun with a pesto mayo and local gouda. Or—”

“I reckon that will do fine.” Flint always had a bit more country than coastal in his voice. Not Southern, but you could tell he was rural Oregon through and through, and I liked the slow, deep rumble of his words. What I didn’t like, however, was the implication in his tone that he wasn’t expecting much from us.

“Sure you don’t want fries? We have hand-cut sweet potato as an option with a chipotle dipping sauce. As far as salads, I’ve got side, Caesar, spring berry and pecan—”

“I’m on duty here. Kind of pressed for time. The burger and a side salad are fine. I don’t need anything fancy.”

Yeah, well, maybe I want to give it to you. I quashed that thought, same as I had the one about how hot he looked in his uniform. Wanting to impress Nash Flint wasn’t going to get me anywhere.

“I’ll put a rush on it.” I made a note on the order pad, not that it was really needed since Logan hardly had a packed house to worry about.

As I walked over to the window to put in Flint’s order, I noticed more than one table giving him curious glances. Hell, maybe I was wrong about any business being good business. Last thing I needed was Flint scaring away what few customers we had. Not that he was known as a gossip or anything like that, but he was awfully…old school. Traditional. The last kind of guy you’d expect to find at a gay bar, that was for sure, and even though we were attempting to attract a mixed clientele, he stood out.

Annabeth Albert never fails to hit me in the feels, and in the case of Trust with a Chaser, she sure did it. Not quite as I expected though, sometimes. 😉

Mason…what a sassy man. At first, I thought he was just a sweet guy with a messed up family (which he absolutely was), but he was also confident and brash, and didn’t take no for an answer. I loved that about him. He was okay with taking the lead and pushing some of Nash’s limits, always knowing when exactly to stop pushing and sit back and wait.

Nash, meanwhile, he was a tough nut to crack. I found myself wanting to yell at him quite a bit throughout the book (see? definitely feels!). He was so focused on his job, and how his deceased father would have reacted to him having an out relationship with a man, that he had been miserable for nearly 40 years, rather than living his own life. I definitely could see where the author was going with this, and I can imagine that someone in that situation would have been so challenged! But it was hard for me sometimes to read how much it must have hurt Mason to have Nash keep turning away from him, sneak out the door, not acknowledge their relationship.

There are so many ways that an author can make you feel things, sometimes in ways you don’t necessarily want to feel. So much of the relationship with these two was spent in hiding, and deeply in the closet, that a part of me wanted to tell Mason “go find someone who will love you!”. And yet, I could see how much pain it caused Nash to turn away every single time. So she made me feel: love, anger, a little throat punch-ey 🙂 but in the end, I was rooting for these two. Nash came through in such a wonderful way, and really worked to win the love of his man, and it made for a very satisfying HEA.

4 pieces of eye candy

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.

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The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth: New Release Blast, Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed whacker away from the rhubarb patch.

Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.

Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.

Title: The Rhubarb Patch
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 284

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Chapter One

“What the…?”

A big, bald man in nothing but orange rubber boots and tighty-whities streaked across the yard toward Scott Howe, waving his hands and shouting.

The high-pitched whir of the weedwacker shredding through the grass and thick, leafy weeds growing along the edge of the small barn went silent when Scott released the handle. Popping out his earbuds, he blinked hard, unable to believe his eyes.

“Stop! Stop!” the man in his underwear shouted. “You’re killing the rhubarb!”

Instinctively, Scott placed the weedwacker in front of him, wielding it like a knight brandishing a sword against an attacking dragon.

At five eight, Scott wasn’t exactly a small guy, but he wasn’t taking any chances.

“Stop, dammit!” The man flailed his arms above his head.

Then Scott registered his words.

Keeping the weedwacker in front of him with one arm, he raised the other in truce. “I stopped!”

Scott divided glances between the crazy man and the bits of grass and dark green leaves. All kinds of weeds grew around his late grandmother’s property, making the yard look like crap. Whether he decided to stay or sell the place, it needed a major spring cleanup.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” The man came to a halt, all but shoving Scott out of the way. He knelt on the ground and began pushing aside the grass. “Dammit, you probably killed this one!”

What’s he talking about?

Scott took a step away as the man in his underwear and orange garden boots hopelessly muttered under his breath, gently picking up the curly green weeds.

“Hey, man, I’m sorry.” Scott brushed his arm across his forehead before sweat ran into his eyes. “I didn’t know this was your property. The realtor told me my property line was five feet past this barn.”

The man stared, bright blue eyes scrunched with incredulity. “It’s not my property, but it is my rhubarb. Nancy and I’ve been growing it for years.”

Scott flinched. “Oh, you knew my grandmother?”

“Yes, she was my best friend, and you just killed some of our rhubarb.” His voice hitched, a twinge of desperation in his eyes.Not in anger but a deep, profound sadness that a hot wash of shame down Scott’s back.

“I’m sorry, but….” He paused, not wanting to sound like a stupid city boy coming out to the country. “But what’s rhubarb?”

Still on his knees, the peculiar man sat back on his haunches. Scott glanced at the guy’s lap, then darted his gaze back up before he noticed the faux pas—but not before taking note the guy was packing some real heat in those less-than-brand-new underwear.

The man gestured to the shredded weeds. “That’s rhubarb. Well….” He pursed his lips. “It was rhubarb.” His broad shoulders slumped, the golden hairs of his chest sparkling a little in the morning sunshine.

“I’m sorry,” Scott said again. “Are you sure I killed it?”

He shook his head and flicked at the plant waste. He straightened a few curly leaves hidden among the shredded ones, but they collapsed. “This one’s done for.” He glanced down the twenty-foot length of the barn. “Thank God I saw you before you killed all of it.”

Getting a little annoyed at this hulk of a man, Scott leaned on the weedwacker, his other hand on his hip. “Hey, I’m sorry you planted stuff on Nancy’s property. But how was I supposed to know? I just inherited this place, and I don’t even know what rhubarb is.”

Those piercing blue eyes scoured Scott from head to toe, then back again. “I suspect you’re Scott.”

He knows my name? “Yes, I am.”

“Well, Scott, I’m Phineas Robertson.” He flipped a thumb over his big shoulder. “That’s my house, and this here’s my rhubarb patch.”

“Hello, Phineas.” He gave the man a courteous nod, wondering if he should’ve called him Mr. Robertson, though he couldn’t be much older. But the guy had a big presence, an authority about him—even in his underwear—that could not be denied.

When Phineas remained quiet, Scott grew awkward. “I’m sorry I weedwacked your rhubarb. Are there any other plants of yours growing on my property?”

Shit, that sounded kinda snotty.

Phineas put his hands on his hips, his fur-dusted belly rounding out. “No, just the rhubarb.”

Feeling bad for sounding like a jerk, because Phineas was clearly distraught about the plants, Scott nodded. “Okay, so maybe you could show me what I can and can’t trim out of this section.”

Hopefully the offer would create a neighborly truce.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Phineas fixed his gaze on the shredded rhubarb, though to Scott it all looked like weeds.

I’m gonna have to google rhubarb.

Phineas climbed to his feet. “Here, let me show you what parts you can pull. I haven’t gotten around here to trim it up, what with the funeral and everything.”

So Phineas had attended Nancy’s funeral. Well, that was more than could be said for Scott.

Phineas towered a good six inches over Scott, and almost all of that burly frame was bare and exposed. Scott gestured to his state of dress—or lack thereof. “You sure you don’t wanna put on some pants first?”

Awareness of being clad only in underwear and orange garden boots dawned bright across Phineas’s face. Glancing down, he gave a rather sheepish smile, which made him very appealing all of a sudden. “Yeah, I should probably do that.” He stood there for another moment before taking a few steps away. Then he paused, pointing at Scott. “Don’t cut anything until I get back.”

“I won’t.”

Then he stomped off rather proudly in his underwear and boots, tossing out over his shoulder, “If you weedwack the asparagus along the fence, you’ll regret it.”

Scott shook his head and laughed.

While Phineas walked away, Scott surveyed the three-acre property that had literally fallen into his lap.

Feathery clouds streaked the pristine sky as if an artist’s brush had smeared a blue canvas with a wash of white. Everything was greening up with spring. The cute white farmhouse he’d inherited looked cheery, though it needed some work. It was connected to a one-car garage by an overhang, and the peaked roof with two dormers gave the two bedrooms upstairs odd slanted ceilings. Not in the best shape, nor the worst. Flowers already popped up in the mulched beds around the house and garage—a sign of brighter things coming my way, maybe?

Smiling to himself, Scott flipped over a dirty old five-gallon pail by the corner of the barn. He took his iPhone out of his pocket and sat down. After unlocking the screen, he opened the Facebook app.

Nobody will believe this.

Since moving into the house three days ago, he’d been entertaining his Facebook friends and fans online with Country Updates. That was the only writing he was getting done these days, much to his editor’s chagrin.

Country Update #4: You guys will never believe what just happened! I was weedwacking at the farm and suddenly I see this big, bald guy wearing nothing but his white skivvies and big rubber orange garden boots barreling towards me! LOL I guess he’s my neighbor. He’s been growing rhubarb along the barn, but I just weed whacked some. Whoops! LOL Now will somebody tell me what the hell rhubarb is? #truthisstrangerthanfiction #cityboyinthecountry

This was actually my first Deanna Wadsworth read, and I didn’t realize it until midway through the book. I’d been following her on twitter, etc for a while, but for whatever reason hadn’t quite gotten to read one yet, so I was excited to read this one.

I definitely had mixed emotions with this book. I loved the storyline. Scott moving to the tiny village of Gilead, Ohio to start his life over after inheriting his, previously unknown to him, grandmother’s house. With that idea, he needed to work on becoming a new person. Someone who didn’t give over his entire personality to the man he was with, re-creating the pattern every time, the one he learned from his mother.

Meanwhile, Phin was such a generous man, a true heart of gold who had lost so many loved ones in his life, and just wanted to spend his days in his garden with his sweet Sister Mary Katherine (cutest name for a dog ever!). Yet, he didn’t hesitate to develop a friendship with the City “Mouse” who moved in next door.

This story was a very slow burn. These two men developed a good strong friendship, long before anything romantic actually took place. And that was exactly what they needed, for both of them. Scott, so he could learn more about himself, what he wanted, what he needed, and what he liked. Phin because he needed to finish morning the loss of his partner, as well as his best friend. By the time, they actually kissed (and so much more that night!), there was no doubt they were in love.

One of the issues that I had with the story was the length. I found myself skimming more than once. There were some very long descriptions of places, canning processes, etc that seemed to lengthen the story unnecessarily. Although it was a critical part of Phin’s life, even a cathartic process for him as he grieved, it felt like it was dragging the story in places. At 4700 locations, it was a long book anyway, with a lot of story to tell with these two men, so it felt a bit forced.

Also, there were a few unresolved issues that I would have liked to have had follow up on. (I won’t give them because it would be a spoiler.) However, that being said, sometimes life doesn’t always resolve all the issues, and that is one of the things that I did really enjoy about the book. Sometimes life gives you differences that are unresolved and you have to learn to incorporate those into your life.

If you are looking for a sweet love story (with some definite HOT spots), I think you will enjoy it.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

Social Media Links:

Website: http://deannawadsworth.com

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/deanna.wadsworth.9

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Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4264579.Deanna_Wadsworth

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/deannawads/

Amazon Author Central: http://.www.amazon.com/author/deannawadsworth


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Losing My Religion by A.S. Tucker: Pre-order Blitz and Giveaway

Author: A.S. Tucker
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2017
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Jaden Barker is a good boy.

For as long as he can remember, he’s been preparing for the day he’ll be called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He’s ready. He’s more than willing. And he can’t wait to spend the next two years serving the Lord and his church. But when a new proclamation from the church is announced, it leaves him questioning everything.

Quinn Owens is trouble with a capital T.

An aspiring actor living in the bowels of Los Angeles, he’s fought long and hard to get where he is, and he’s not willing to give it up for anything. Working for a homophobic boss presents quite a challenge when you’re a gay man, but Quinn knows losing this job means losing his dream.

Jaden is lost and confused.

Quinn won’t let anything stand in his way.

But when Jaden finds himself living downstairs from the enticing Quinn, neither are prepared for what happens next.

Will Jaden be able to resist Quinn’s charms and remain a devoted Mormon missionary? Or will he fall, finding himself face to face with losing his religion?

 

A military brat growing up, A.S. Tucker now resides in Utah with her loving husband. When not writing, you’ll find her reading, binge watching Netflix, or drinking wine. Her three favorite things are animals, coffee, and Harry Potter, not necessarily in that order. She is the author of three other novels, published under a different pen name. She loves hearing from her readers, so please drop her a line!

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Treading Water by Jessie G: Release Day Blitz, Fundraising Campaign and Giveaway

Series: Forgotten Soldier #2
Author: Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017

After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.

Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.

On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.

NOTE: The first story in this series is a 6K word short story originally written for an anthology. While it’s a different couple, I’m happy to provide that to reviewers as they have a brief appearance in the new book and are central characters to this benefit series.

 

10% of royalties earned from this and future books in the Forgotten Soldier series will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I’m not content to stop there. I’ve set up a fundraising page directly on the Foundation’s website and I’m asking for your help in reaching (and maybe surpassing) my goal. Every donation of $10 equals 1 entry to win signed books. If you donate more than that, every multiple of 10 will be an additional entry (so $20 = 2 entries and so forth).

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all my paperbacks signed (8 books) 
4 Runner Up Winners will win a signed copy of Treading Water

Two Chicks Obsessed believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation, and thanks Jessie for her continued support of the organization.

In addition, to sending a donation directly from TCO to Jessie’s fundraising campaign, all affiliate income associated from sales of Treading Water will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation as well.


 

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. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. 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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All In by A.T. Brennan: Release Blitz, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

All In banner

Title: All In
Author: A.T. Brennan
Series: Den Boys #1
Release Date: July 11th 2017
Genre: MM Erotic Contemporary Romance

 

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“I learned a long time ago that nothing is free, not even help.” ~ Blaze

Almost getting killed in a gay bashing should have been one of the worst moments of my life, but with everything I’ve been through, it was just another day, except for the gorgeous man who stepped in to save me. There is something about Galen that draws me in and makes me want know him, and the more time I spend with him, the more I feel free to be myself. Galen doesn’t seem to know what he wants, but I’m a man who stays true to himself, and Galen seems to be someone worth taking a chance on.

“Then you happened and all you have to do is touch me and I lose myself.” ~ Galen

I never thought I’d stumble on an attempted murder, but that’s exactly what happened one night while I was trying to get home. After chasing away the assailants and helping the enigmatic young victim home I tried to put the incident out of my mind, but I couldn’t get him out of my head. I might not have ever thought about being with a man before, but the more time I spend with Blaze, the more I learn about who I really am. Blaze has scars that run deep, but as he opens up to me I find myself questioning everything I thought I wanted, and wondering if I’m a good enough man to give him what he needs.

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Bk1_DenBoys.jpg

Blaze

The alarm on my phone was going off and I’d reached up to silence it while half asleep. That move had sent a wave of pain through my body that was so sharp it felt like a cinder block had been dropped on me.

It took me almost thirty seconds to get myself close enough to the phone to silence the alarm, and then a full minute to sit up.

My entire body hurt from my ankles to the tips of my fingers. I felt like death warmed over, but I had to get up.

Last night had been buckets of fucked up, and not just because I’d almost had my head stomped.

Getting jumped sucked, almost getting killed was sobering, but it was meeting Galen that had my head spinning.

Who would have thought my Good Samaritan would be the hottest man I’d ever seen, and he’d been nice.

I had no idea why he’d wanted to help me, why he’d insisted on taking care of me. Other than my makeshift family at the bar no one had ever shown me that kind of concern, and it was a little unnerving.

The weirdest part was how he hadn’t wanted anything in return, and he’d actually given me his card and offered his legal services for free. What the actual fuck? Nothing was free, but he was straight so I was guessing he didn’t want the type of repayment that was normally demanded from me.

Hey hot cover!

I’m not going to tell you that I don’t judge books by their covers, because I very much, do. This one, paired with that blurb that you knew was going to be heartbreaking…I didn’t want to pass this one up. I’m so glad I didn’t. Blaze…I just wanted to hug him. Maybe just follow him around all day and hug him every time he looked sad.which would be often, the dude had a lot to be sad about. Everyone, except for his work family, treated him like crap. He had the worst parents and family who not only done him so much harm, but they cast him out when he was only 15. He spent years on the street, doing what he had to, to survive. We don’t see those years, but he talks about them some…

Getting into some trouble one night leaving a club has him running into Galen. (how hot is that name), Galen saves his life, point blank, he saves him from a gay bashing… He’s gorgeous, but straight, so Blaze lets him help him back to his place, but that’s all that happens. Galen does something nice for someone and Blaze has a hard time accepting it, but he does. Then he spends the next three weeks thinking about him. Another problem has Blaze calling Galen again, needing his help. Galen helps, but I wanted to throat punch him for the way he treated Blaze afterward! The man just bared his soul and…it was just all wrong from beginning to end.

It was a bit of a back and forth after that…Galen because he’d never been in a relationship before, not just with a man, but not at all. His family was all about appearances and everyone was so cold and calculated, he just didn’t have much reason for personal relationships. It made it hard in the beginning for him and Blaze, but he learned quickly and he was so incredibly sweet.

Blaze was used to getting the crap ends in life. He was constantly waiting for the other shoe to drop because they always did for him. He had incredibly low self-esteem and almost no self-worth. He thought himself tainted because of what he had to do in order to survive, being a kid on the streets. I hated the way people treated him, even police and I hated that he just kind of seemed to take all the bad in his life and keep going. I mean, I guess there was no other choice was there, but I hated that he got treated so unfairly and he seemed to just be okay with that. Like it was inevitable. My heart broke for him time after time and I was so glad that he got his happily ever after. I’m going to love this series, I can already tell because I’m already looking forward to Cody’s story. It’s going to be another heart breaker…and I can’t wait for it.

I do wish that these people who ended up being terrible people would’ve gotten their karmic justice…I hate when bad people get away with being bad people…but I guess in this instance, I was just glad Blaze and Galen came out happy and in love and together.

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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AT Brennan Profile

A.T. Brennan, who also writes under the name Mandie Mills, is a romance and erotica author. A native of Ottawa, Canada, she enjoys picking up and moving from city to city every few years. A former member of the Canadian Armed Forces, current entrepreneur and freelance writer, she enjoys spending her days working on her many projects and her nights writing and not getting enough sleep. Currently she lives on Canada’s East Coast with her family, both two- and four-legged. She enjoys collecting books and exploring the different sides of romance and romantic expression in her works.

Links: Website | Facebook | Facebook Group | Twitter | Amazon

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Unscripted Love by Aimee Nicole Walker: Release Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

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UNSCRIPTED LOVE

Road to Blissville Series, Book 1

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.11.17

 PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

AMAZON US: http://amzn.to/2tXysST

AMAZON UK: http://amzn.to/2tzosN1

UL Cover

Kyle Vaughn had three goals in life: become a vet, find the man of his dreams, and start a family. He easily checked off the first item on the list when he took over his grandfather’s veterinary practice. Too bad he wasn’t as lucky in love.

Chaz Hamilton took a leap of faith when he decided to pursue a career in writing, but one best seller didn’t mean he could quit his day job. All work and no play threatened to make Chaz a very dull man when the only romantic action he saw was in the pages of his manuscript. Too bad he couldn’t write his own happily every after.

Circumstances pushed the two men together, and one magical kiss beneath fireworks and stars changed everything. Kyle knew his luck had finally turned around and Chaz found a man far better than any book boyfriend ever written. There was just one problem. Chaz has kept a secret from Kyle that could ruin their chance at a beautiful life together.

Kyle and Chaz learn that the best-laid plans often go awry, the heart has a mind of its own, and the greatest love is unscripted.

The books in the Road to Blissville series can be read either as standalone books or as part of the series. This book contains sexually explicit material and is intended for mature adults 18 and older.

UL Teaser 1

Chaz stared unblinkingly into my eyes for several awkward moments when I arrived. Our connection broke when he took a deep breath and shifted his features into a mask of cool professionalism, but not before I saw the hurt in his eyes. Hurt? What the hell did he have to feel hurt about? I was the one who put myself out there, and he ignored me.

If asked, I would tell you that my greatest personality trait was my patience and my laid-back attitude was a close second. I rarely lost my temper, but I felt my blood simmering beneath the surface that day. My heart pounded in my chest as fury rose inside me. I had half a mind to toss him over my shoulder and carry him off so I could kiss a confession out of him. I hadn’t mistaken the desire in his eyes when he looked at me nor had I imagined the sparks that flew between us when our lips first touched. I just needed to find out why Chaz turned cold on me so suddenly.

“Jazz is running a few minutes behind,” Chaz coolly said as if he spoke to someone who hadn’t experienced the pleasure of his tongue in their mouth. “Please help yourself to a beverage and a magazine while you wait in the reception area.”

That little imp was dismissing me, and I wasn’t about to… My thoughts were interrupted by the sounds of heavy work boots walking across the polished hardwood floor of the salon. It wasn’t a sound I associated with the classy salon, so I turned to see who was wearing them. My mouth dropped open at the sight of the sexy stud approaching Chaz and me, but I don’t think he even noticed I was alive because he couldn’t seem to tear his eyes off of Chaz. Was this guy the reason Chaz didn’t answer my calls or return my messages.

My eyes raked over the tall, dark stranger with bulging biceps and perfect pecs straining the fabric of his white T-shirt that was three sizes too small. His tool belt hung low over jeans much too tight to wear while constructing anything but wet dreams.

“Hi Andy,” Chaz said cheerfully. “How’s it going?”

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I didn’t care if Andy constructed orphanages in third world countries in his free time; I hated his fucking guts because of the way he looked at Chaz and the way Chaz returned his interest. Andy leaned artfully against the high counter of the reception desk and smiled at Chaz.

 

“It could’ve been better,” Andy said. “A certain someone could’ve joined me for a drink like I asked.”

Chaz laughed uneasily and darted a glance in my direction to judge my reaction. I thought the soft blush that bloomed across his cheeks was adorable and wished that I was the one who put it there. His eyes widened when they met mine, and he licked his bottom lip nervously. Could he sense how angry I was right then? Was anger even the right emotion? It felt more like… jealousy. I could feel that I wasn’t the only one who had ideas what Chaz could do with his sexy tongue. I turned to face my new nemesis.

“I don’t believe we’ve met yet,” I said to the newcomer. “I’m Dr. Kyle Vaughn.” Even to my own ears, I sounded a bit pretentious, but I couldn’t take it back once the words left my mouth. I extended my hand to him, which he accepted in a vice-like grip.

“Andy Mason,” he told me. “Carpenter.” I could tell he wasn’t impressed by my title and didn’t like the possessive gleam he saw in my eyes. I narrowed my eyes as the beefcake squeezed my hand harder instead of releasing it.

“Guys,” Chaz said, trying to interrupt the standoff between us. We ignored his attempts and continued to stare one another down like two MMA fighters at the press conference before fight night. “Andy.” The flirty way Chaz said Andy’s name penetrated the carpenter’s brain and he jerked his attention back to Chaz.

“Yeah?” He asked, sounding hopeful.

“What’s the real reason you came downstairs?” Chaz asked, his flirty tone replaced with a professional one. “As flattering as it would be, I’m pretty sure you’re a man on a mission.”

“I’m a multitasker,” Andy boasted.

 

I was eager to read this new series by Aimee Nicole Walker. It is a spin off of her previous series, Curl up and Dye Mysteries. Almost all of the same characters (a few new ones thrown in here and there) but the focus is on a different couple. Chaz, the loveable receptionist at Curl Up and Dye and Kyle, the town’s veteranarian dubbed Dr Dimples.

Simply stated, I really liked this book. Whereas the previous series was super cute (cutesy nicknames, etc) this one wasn’t nearly as. And that is not a bad thing.

There is quite a bit of repetition from the previous stories, but that is necessary for the author if she wants people to be able to read this without having to read the previous. It was fun to read from a different perspective though.

Navigating the flirtation that they have had for over a year led to a slow burn- which I am a big fan of. I like to see a relationship develop before they jump into bed. We find out more about Kyle and what makes him tick. As always, what you see on the outside isn’t necessarily what is on the inside.

I loved the closeness Chaz has with “The Matrons”. I completely cracked up every time they were on the page!

This was a really good love story of a couple we have been hoping for since the begining. And I was not disappointed at all.

4 pieces of eye candy

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I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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Haven’s War by Parker Williams: New Release Tour, Excerpt and Giveaway

Series: Safe Haven #2
Genre: M/M Dark Romantic Elements
Release Date: June 26, 2017
Buy Now: Universal Link 

With Haven on an extended honeymoon with Sammy, bad guys around the world are breathing a lot easier. No one is better at permanently removing these lowlifes who target children—and the brutal murder of two teenage girls makes clear it’s past time to return to work. Haven’s first assignment back results in a new family member and a renewed sense of urgency to protect and avenge the innocent.There is nothing ‘usual’ about the business of hunting predators, but when several of Haven’s fellow agents are killed, a pattern emerges. The hunters have become the prey, tools in a bitter vendetta for a perceived wrong.Despite years of working alone, when the target shifts to someone unexpected, Haven calls in reinforcements—a friend to stand between the family he loves and a ruthless killer. Teamwork may be the only way to win this fight—unless it’s already too little, too late.Haven tries to approach this as he would any other assignment. Find your enemy and make sure they suffer before you eliminate them. But when a member of his team goes off-book and ends up dead, everything changes. It’s no longer a battle. Now it’s war.


PROLOGUE

He glanced up at the evening sky. A haze enveloped the quarter moon, giving everything an ethereal glow. Though the night would be considered sultry, it lent itself to romance, walking hand in hand with someone you cared for, sharing whispered words, promises that might last an evening or be the foundation for a lifetime commitment. These people had no idea how quickly something like love could be ripped away, how those things said to one another would be worth less than the air you spent on saying them.

He shook his head. Now he needed to focus, not lose himself in memories of what might have been if things had been different. God, how he wished things could have been different.

The street could only be described as quaint. Small houses, each nearly identical to the next, but with a few tweaks that marked them as individual. The place he focused on had a small flowerbed, bursting with a variety of a flower he knew, but couldn’t recall the name. Tulips, maybe?

The slate gray siding, the maroon shutters on the windows, and the solar-powered pathway to the door that lit up in beautiful colors at night. The overall effect could only be described as charming. A lot of love went into making the house something special. It reminded him of what he’d lost.

He’d taken refuge in a house across from the home for six days, getting the lay of the land, taking note of the occupants’ arrival and departure schedule. Then every night, he drifted off, thinking about the place. It had been a dream of theirs, to own a little farm of their own, where no one would send them off to the corners of the world to handle problems. And for one very brief instant, they’d achieved it. But that dream had died in more ways than one. One day it was there, the next it was gone, as ephemeral as if it had never existed.

He tugged the collar of his black jacket and wished for a cool breeze. The earlier rain had sent the humidity soaring, and sweat was building up under his bulletproof vest, matting the sparse hairs. What he wouldn’t give for a tall glass of iced tea about now. He tried again, lifting the bottom of the vest up, hoping to let a little air in to cool him down, but nothing helped. He glanced at his watch. He’d need to make his move tonight. No way could he stand to be in this place any longer. The memories and wistful dreams alone threatened to drown him, but this heat had him sweating to the point where even he could smell himself. When he grabbed a coffee at the convenience store down the street while his target was out, the man behind the counter had a hand on the phone. Probably thought he was a vagrant. He sure as hell looked like one. He hadn’t showered in days, and his dark blond hair felt greasy to the touch. The beard he’d grown over the last year hadn’t seen a razor either. He looked like shit.

When he heard the hum of an engine on the quiet street, he crouched down. Though his patience had long ago come to an end, he needed to see this through. He would wait as he’d been trained, even if every fiber of his being rebelled against the idea. Still, he was an assassin, and he had a job to do.

The woman—Sarah, according facts he’d assembled—slid from the driver’s seat, her blond hair pulled back into a ponytail. She laughed at something the other occupant shouted, then opened the rear door of the van. It took several minutes for her to get set, then she stepped away as a ramp slid down to allow the man in the back to wheel out and be lowered to the ground. She bent over and kissed him, then walked to the passenger side where she took a baby from the car seat. She held the child up, and then blew a raspberry on his belly, which caused the kid to laugh and wiggle. Regret tore through him. He wished there could be another way, but two months ago he’d approached the man—Daniel Tollifson—there had been angry words exchanged, as well as the threat of police involvement. He couldn’t allow that, because there would be no one else to take down his ultimate target.

He forced himself to focus on the here and now. He needed to remain detached. Better to not let facts like these intrude on his mission—a few weeks ago, he’d gone to Daniel, begging for information. He’d been rebuffed. That wouldn’t be the case today.

If the man wouldn’t help him when he asked, then he’d have to find another way to get his message across. He reached into his pocket and pulled out a photo of a man whose smile had never wavered. Terry had been his whole world, and then had been ripped away from him in a matter of moments. All he wanted had been the name of the person responsible. Why couldn’t Daniel see he wasn’t asking for much? How would he feel if it had been his wife? Or his child?

Daniel disengaged himself from the ramp, and Sarah started to come around to the other side. It had to be now.

He’d run out of tears a lifetime ago, but again he wished he had another alternative. He didn’t. He raised the rifle and peered through the sights. The woman and baby had gotten too near the man, and he refused to hurt the innocent. Not like Terry had been. He lowered his weapon.

He waited while the two were engaged in conversation. She touched her husband’s face, then bent down to blow a raspberry on his cheek, which had them both laughing. She held out the baby to him and gestured to the chair. He frowned, shook his head, and waved her off. She laughed and stuck out her tongue, dodging the swat he attempted to lay on her ass, then strode to the house, singing something loud and only slightly off-key. Her husband yelled something about the neighbors, and she merely laughed. He could see the obvious love the two of them shared, and that made what he had to do even more difficult.

Regret tore through him. “I’m sorry,” he whispered, no longer sure who the sympathy was for.

She opened the front door, and her husband began to roll toward the house. Now would be his chance. Despite his misgivings, he had to take it. He again raised the rifle, closed one eye, and locked in on his target. The wheelchair stopped at the curb, and the man tried unsuccessfully to move it. He called out to Sarah, an edge of frustration in his voice. She laughed and took eight steps toward him when the trigger of the M24 he held in slightly trembling hands depressed, and a loud bang split the quiet suburban street. Less than a second passed before Daniel’s head exploded, blood and other materials spattering his wife and child. For a moment, she stood there, eyes wide. She gripped the baby close to her chest, and then screamed.

Before the echo died away, he had already scurried off into the night.

It wasn’t a perfect shot. He could hear Terry cursing at him, making him do it again and again until he got it right. But Terry had died, and though two years had passed, he would finally be avenged.

Daniel Tollifson had been the first, but there was no doubt he wouldn’t be the last. Though he didn’t want to kill anyone, there had to be a penalty for those who refused to help him get justice for Terry. He needed to track down and eliminate the person who’d been responsible.

No matter who had to die in the process.

 


(Warning: This may be considered a trigger for some people. The images used in the video are stock photos and not real pictures of violence against children.)

Parker Williams believes that true love exists, but it always comes with a price. No happily ever after can ever be had without work, sweat, and tears that come with melding lives together.


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Unlikely in Love by Susan Mac Nicol: Release Blitz with Quick Review #UnlikelyInLoveRelease

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Unlikely In Love

by Susan Mac Nicol


Short story trilogy

Genre: contemporary romance

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Unlikely in Love_4

Three delightful short stories about how love begins in the most unexpected ways.

Meet Elliot and Dan in ‘Benchpressed’
City planner Elliot meets personal trainer Dan and between them, they whip the gym into shape…
“I happen to think you have a very nice belly,” Dan murmured. “It makes a change from the usual devotion to keeping a six pack.” His tone went dreamy. “I like a man with a bit of meat on him.”
Oh, fuck me. That sounded a bit awkward, even to me. My body flushed with heat and I cleared my throat.

Meet Davey and Gus in ‘Dear Davey’
Agony Aunt columnist Davey has an unfortunate habit of causing mayhem for fellow worker Gus. He also has no filter. Remind you of someone?
“Oh, and I’m sorry I set fire to your waste bin yesterday,” I muttered.
“Who else would it have been?” he said. “Do I need to take out company hazard pay when I go out with you?”
I huffed, flicking my hair back from my forehead. “Puhleaze. It’d be worth every penny, I promise.”
Behind me, Gus’s cologne invaded my nostrils and I closed my eyes, inhaling his scent.

Meet Cooper and Robbie in ‘Banana Appeal’
An errant gecko brings Graphic artist Cooper meets neighbour Robbie together. There may also be a banana involved.
I took a step forward, brandishing the banana toward him as if entreating him to eat it. Robbie took a step back, a wary look crossing his face. I wondered whether he’d expected me to ask him to fellate it. Because that would have been a complete waste when my dick was willing to be wrapped between those full lips. The banana didn’t stand a fucking chance if I got in there first.

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This short story trilogy is truly short. You just start to get into the meat of the stories and boom, moving to the next one. But what I enjoyed about these was the format that Sue put these in. It wasn’t just a quick story. It was stories about beginnings, and in a way endings. It’s as if she wrote the first chapter, the conflict, and then threw in an epilogue at the end (and this last part she truly did, I loved that creative idea!).

Of course, these couldn’t be angsty, when you are talking a few thousand words a piece. But there was tension, and questioning, some laughs, some sexy times, and of course, the HEA that I always love Sue’s work for. These six men find each other, and find the wherewithal to connect despite having admired from afar, in a short period of time, and it really was a fun ride.

A part of me would love to see these stories fleshed out into a full novel, but I love how perfect they are right where they are. There is a beginning, a middle and an end. And if you mess with what you have there, then you turn the stories completely inside out. This was a fun idea that I enjoyed reading.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

Susan Mac Nicol is a self-confessed bookaholic, an avid watcher of videos of sexy pole dancing men, geek, nerd and in love with her Smartphone. This little treasure is called ‘the boyfriend’ by her long-suffering husband, who says if it vibrated, there’d be no need for him. Susan hasn’t had the heart to tell him there’s an app for that…

In an ideal world, Susan Mac Nicol would be Queen of England and banish all the bad people to the Never Never Lands of Wherever -Who Cares. As that’s never going to happen, she contents herself with writing her HEA stories and pretending, that just for a little while, good things happen to good people.

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editorial Manager at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://wwwbeingmecampaign.com in London. She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be blind, and travelled to a lighthouse with maintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also writing a screen play with a Hollywood actor named Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.

Susan Mac Nicol

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