Count the Shells by Charlie Cochrane: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, and Giveaway

Michael Gray returned from World War One injured, but at least he returned. Others were not so fortunate, including his first and greatest love, Thomas Carter-Clemence, with whom Michael had parted bitterly before the conflict began.

Broch, the Carter-Clemence home in Porthkennack, was an integral part of pre-war holidays for the Grays, the two families drawn together in the wake of their sons’ friendship. Returning to the once-beloved Cornish coast for a break with his sister and her family, Michael has to find the courage to face old memories . . . and dare new relationships.

When Thomas’s brother Harry makes an unexpected appearance, Michael is surprised to find himself deeply attracted to Harry for his own sake. But as their relationship heats up, it unearths startling revelations and bitter truths. Michael must decide whether Harry is the answer to his prayers or the last straw to break an old soldier’s back.​

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Count the Shells is the story which completely astounded its author in the telling. I had no idea when I sat down to write it that the straightforward historical romance I’d envisaged would turn out to have a plot twist which transformed the story into possibly the best tale I’ve ever crafted.

 

The Great War – where do I start to research it?

If you were to say to me, “Charlie, old thing, I’m interested in finding out more about World War One. Where should I begin?” I’d respond, “Whatever you do, don’t start with a history text book!” Not unless you’re really interested in what battle took place where and which regiments were involved or which governments did what and when. That may be precisely your cup of tea, but I can’t say it’s mine. For me, the bigger picture is just the setting for the characters, and those details are only relevant when they impact on part of an individual’s life story. It’s the people who interest me: what they did, the experiences they lived through, and the effect these things had on them.

When it comes to finding those things out, there are a wealth of resources and some of the very best get as close to the source material as possible. All history is clearly seen at one or more removes, and as it reaches us it’ll have gone through one or more filters, as people relate the things they want us to hear and which support whichever view they’re taking. You have to remember this with whatever material you look at or listen to, but the fewer steps between you and the “eye witness”, the better.

So, here are some of my top resources:

  • War poetry. All of it from the jingoistic to the deeply cynical, and other poems written by notable poets of the era. (When we studied Wilfred Owen at school, nobody mentioned his homoerotic works, some of which are stunning and which put a new context on his more famous war poetry.)
  • The “Voices from…” series of books which uses testimonies from men and woman who lived/fought/sailed/flew in the era. The detais this provides is staggering.
  • Biographies, but not just of the big political or military names of the era. There are some great books about army chaplains, ordinary soldiers, even real war horses!
  • Diaries, letters, artwork from the era. One of the most moving books I’ve read is “Scrimgeour’s Scribbling Diary” which are the wartime writings (made strictly against protocol) of a midshipman. The abrupt end of entries is the most poignant reminder of the terrible loss of young lives.

 

About Porthkennack

Welcome to Porthkennack, a charming Cornish seaside town with a long and sometimes sinister history. Legend says King Arthur’s Black Knight built the fort on the headland here, and it’s a certainty that the town was founded on the proceeds of smuggling, piracy on the high seas, and the deliberate wrecking of cargo ships on the rocky shore. Nowadays it draws in the tourists with sunshine and surfing, but locals know that the ghosts of its Gothic past are never far below the surface.

This collaborative story world is brought to you by five award-winning, best-selling British LGBTQ romance authors: Alex Beecroft, Joanna Chambers, Charlie Cochrane, Garrett Leigh, and JL Merrow. Follow Porthkennack and its inhabitants through the centuries and through the full rainbow spectrum with historical and contemporary stand-alone titles.

Check out Porthkennack! http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/porthkennack

 

As Charlie Cochrane couldn’t be trusted to do any of her jobs of choice—like managing a rugby team—she writes, with titles published by Carina, Samhain, Bold Strokes, MLR and Cheyenne.

Charlie’s Cambridge Fellows Series of Edwardian romantic mysteries was instrumental in her being named Author of the Year 2009 by the review site Speak Its Name. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association, Mystery People, International Thriller Writers Inc and is on the organising team for UK Meet for readers/writers of GLBT fiction. She regularly appears with The Deadly Dames.

Connect with Charlie:

To celebrate the release of Count the Shells, one lucky winner will receive a goodie bag from Charlie Cochrane, including postcards (new and vintage), a recipe book, bookmark, pencils, a fridge magnet and various other doodahs! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 21, 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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Safe and Sound by Caitlin Ricci: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Twenty-one-year-old Mason has to get out of his mother’s house, where her boyfriend subjects him to unwanted advances—and won’t take no for an answer. Since she didn’t believe Mason when he told her about his uncle’s sexual abuse, Mason knows he’s on his own, and it’s up to him to raise the money he needs. He thinks he’s in luck when he takes a modeling job.

Oliver is a photographer, and getting guys and sex has always been easy for him. His current open relationship is no exception: more friendship and fun than anything. But when Oliver meets Mason, he can see the younger man is fragile and desperately in need of help. Before anything can develop between them, Mason needs to free himself of his terrible living situation and start on the road to healing. Oliver wants to stand beside him as he does. What surprises him is the discovery that he might need Mason as much as Mason needs him.

Title: Safe and Sound
Author: Caitlin Ricci
Release Date: October 18, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 84

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Mason seemed so young to me. Not like 21, but more like 17-18. He was so innocent and the way his mom and her boyfriend treated him…made me think of him more as a kid, in the beginning. Working for his friend Eli at a horse sanctuary was his get away from the advances from the weird boyfriend of his mom, helped; though I suspect Eli is from another story, but I didn’t know this was a spin off, so I didn’t know much about him. My heart hurt for Mason though, there was a reason he was the way he was and it wasn’t just the mom’s boyfriend… he was just another one…

Oliver…I didn’t get the best first impression from him. He seemed kinda skeevy and I didn’t like the relationship he and his boyfriend had or what they wanted from Mason. It didn’t seem like the thing Mason would be into from the very beginning and I almost stopped reading. Not that I’m against ménage’s or poly relationships, I guess I just hoped for more for Mason. He seemed so unsure of himself and other people, and for good reason; but, I didn’t like the thought of anyone taking advantage of him or using him for something, because he wanted and deserved more than that. I liked the way Oliver was there for him and wanted to keep him safe, but when it came to Mason, but even breaking up with the boyfriend so he could try something with Mason, wasn’t Oliver’s idea. It was the boyfriends…I just thought Mason deserved more. Then, it just ended…

Not really a HEA, more like a HFN beginning.

3 pieces of eye candy for me.


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The Fireman’s Pole by Sue Brown: Release Day Review with Giveaway

The flames of passion rise for the lord of the manor.

It’s springtime in Calminster village, but things are already heating up. Sexy firefighter Dale Maloney is new to the local station. When Dale backs the company fire engine into the village maypole, he attracts the ire—and attention—of Benedict Raleigh, the Baron Calminster.

Soon after meeting Dale, Ben breaks off his relationship with his girlfriend, and the sparks between Ben and Dale are quickly fanned into flames.

Unfortunately the passion between the two men isn’t the only blaze in the village. An arsonist’s crimes are escalating, and it’s up to Dale and his crew to stop them. Meanwhile, as they investigate, an unscrupulous business partner attempts to coerce Ben into marrying his daughter. The May Day parade is around the corner, but they have plenty of fires to put out before Ben can finally slide down the fireman’s pole.

Title: The Fireman’s Pole
Author: Sue Brown
Release Date: October 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 220

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I just love the Dreamspun Desires series. Every time I read one, I go away happy. Sue Brown‘s The Fireman’s Pole is no exception, in fact this is one I will definitely read again.

So much dichotomy going on with Ben and Dale, and it made for a fun book to read.

With Ben, it was interesting how people liked him, yet he really had no clue. He often left events early, or tried to stay away, not realizing that people actually appreciated him as a person, and not just as “lord of the manor”.

Meanwhile, Dale, when he meets Ben, has some issues with trying to not look like an incompetent. Once he establishes himself though, and begins a relationship with Ben, his dominant side comes out, and Ben is putting in his hands. He didn’t care that Ben was a baron. He cared that he wanted Ben, and Ben wanted him right back.

There was some mystery added in, for extra spice, but not anything that was too tough to figure out. I loved some of the funny parts (the May Pole incident was so funny, and poor Dale never seemed to live it down). And a few parts that tore your heartstrings up a bit. All in all, just and enjoyable read.

4 pieces of eye candy


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His Convenient Husband by Robin Covington: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

TitleHis Convenient Husband

Series: Love and Sports, Book One

Author: Robin Covington

Publisher:  Entangled Publishing

Release Date: October 9, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 50,000

Genre: Romance, marriage of convenience, interracial romance, sports romance, LGBTQ

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NFL football player Isaiah Blackwell lost his husband three years ago and is raising their teen son alone. He lives his life as quietly as his job allows, playing ball to support his family but trying not to draw unwanted attention. His quiet life is shaken up when a mutual friend introduces him to Victor, a visiting principal ballet dancer who is everything Isaiah is not.

Brash and loud, Victor Aleksandrov has applied for political asylum to avoid returning to Russia, where gay men are targeted and persecuted. He’s been outspoken about gay rights in his home country, and if he doesn’t get asylum, going back to Russia is a death sentence.

Their one-night stand turns into a tentative friendship, a relationship they both agree is temporary…until Victor’s denied asylum. Isaiah can’t offer Victor a happily ever after, but he can propose something that’ll keep Victor in the US and safe. . .marriage He just doesn’t expect his new husband to dance away with his heart.

I love it when a plan works out . . .

Hey y’all!  I’m so excited to be here to talk about my latest romance, HIS CONVENIENT HUSBAND.  I love writing  and I’ve done it since I was a kid and with every book, it gets easier and it gets harder. I also have discovered that some things I always like and some . . . well, they aren’t my favorites.

I find that I never like slowing down at the beginning and spending the necessary time to do the pre-work and plotting correctly. I get an idea and I just want to jump in and start writing but I know from experience that it never ends well if I skip my plotting.

But I LOVE casting the characters in the book once I’ve figured out who they are. I mean who wouldn’t love scoping out Pinterest for the perfect hot dude to be my latest hero. That part of the job does not suck. And I love building the inspiration board and gathering the photos and ideas that fill in all the gaps in the story. You can take a look at the board for HIS CONVENIENT HUSBAND  to see who I dreamcast as Victor and Isaiah (anyone else love Morris Chesnut?): https://www.pinterest.com/robincovington1/his-convenient-husband-love-and-sports-1/

And – I’ve paired up with an amazing artist, Shirin, to have desktop wallpaper made for my readers to enjoy. Check it out and if you love it, you can download it here: http://robincovingtonromance.com/books/love-sports-series/his-convenient-husband/

Do you dreamcast the heroes when you read? Share pics of your faves.

Thanks for reading! If you love my guys as much as I do, drop me a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com

xoRobin

Victor didn’t even think. If he had thought about it, he would have talked himself out of it, but his body took over, and before he knew it he’d pulled Isaiah into his arms. Nothing sexual, nothing calculated, just an embrace for a man who’d lost something precious and who’d carried the weight of his grief, and the grief of his son, on his shoulders.

Isaiah didn’t fight him, just melted against him, his large arms wrapping around Victor’s body as he allowed the moment to spool out naturally. Victor slowly released the breath he was holding, afraid that any sudden movement would spook Isaiah back into his previous arm’s length regimentation.

The house was quiet, soft music drifting out from the docking station, Evan’s muffled footfalls overhead as he undoubtedly chattered away with his best friend. He curbed his desire to make this more than it was, ignoring the voice in his head that whispered that this was what he always thought having a family would be like. A warm, safe home, children, and a man who loved him, and building a life together.

This wasn’t it, but it was as close to perfect as he was likely to get, so he’d take it. For as long as he could have it. They’d never discussed an end, but the natural end date was when he gained his citizenship. So, three years. Not long, but he’d take it, because Isaiah was quickly getting to him, taking up residence in the part of his heart he’d never thought would be filled.

Pathetic? He didn’t care. Victor was a romantic, something he had in common with Stephen. And look how Stephen had fallen. Victor didn’t have a chance.

The music switched, shifting down into a slower rhythm, not a Latin beat by any measure, but sultry. They began to move together. Victor didn’t make a conscious decision to dance, but it was the language that came most easily to him, and he responded to the natural sway of the embrace.

Isaiah followed his lead, the shuffle of their feet falling easily into a modified variation of the bachata. Limbs pressed against each other, muscles flexing as they moved slowly, finding their own pace. Victor sucked in a breath when Isaiah’s hands ran across the bare skin of his back, callouses dragging and igniting sparks of arousal in their wake. He made a sound, low but audible, and somewhere between a gasp and a moan, prompting his husband to pull back, eyes locked on his own.

Victor was relieved when he didn’t end the exquisite torture, but instead continued to maintain eye contact as they swayed together in the honey-glazed light of the kitchen. He was hard, sure that Isaiah could feel it through the thin material of his sweatpants, because he felt Isaiah’s erection through his dress pants. They shifted against each other, cocks aligning in a way that made the most of the lazy friction, sending ripples of pleasure over his skin and up his spine.

And then Isaiah pulled him closer, and Victor buried his face in the sweet dip of his shoulder, inhaling the scent of laundry detergent, cologne, and the intoxicating smell of his man. Isaiah’s hands dipped lower on his back, fingertips skimming the waistband, the occasional slip below the edge ratcheting his heartbeat up to the point where he knew it could be felt by the man holding him.

“So beautiful.” The words coasted across Victor’s skin, barely above a whisper. “Such a temptation.”

“I’m here for the taking,” Victor replied, his fingers coasting over the nape of Isaiah’s neck just to satisfy the urge to feel skin.

The moment was cloaked in madness, which was the only explanation for his mistake, and he knew it was the last thing he should have said when Isaiah went still, his fingers unconsciously digging into Victor’s hips.

They both pulled back, slowly, stubbled cheek against stubbled cheek, until their mouths were touching. Victor licked against his husband’s soft lips, begging for entrance and diving in when he was granted admission. Spice and sweet lemon and heat were everything in this kiss, more exploration than demand as they held on to each other and gave in.

The remains of dinner were around them, but this was another kind of hunger, and he’d waited too long to have it satisfied. Victor knew how good they could be together, and while he knew they would walk the razor’s edge between emotion and pure physical indulgence, he was willing to risk it. If he fell, then he’d embrace it.

But he knew he’d be falling alone.

“Fake” marriage, or marriage of convenience is not a trope you see often in the MM romance world. But you should. After marriage was finally declared legal by the Supreme Court, it opened up a whole new world! So this was my first book with the trope and I hope it won’t be my last.

Isaiah is a widower with a teenage son. He is also an NFL player in his off season. His incredibly artistic son gets to meet a world renowned ballet star from Russia. Sparks fly but neither can or want to commit. So after one night, they move on. Until Victor is denied political aslyum for his outspoken views on how gay men are treated in Chechnya. On a whim, Isaiah proposes, but says they have to stay platonic so that he doesn’t risk getting hurt again.

We all know how that goes. So, yes, it was predictable there. But the story and leading up to the HEA were still a good read.

Even though both Isaiah and Victor have high profile, demanding careers, the focus is on them as a couple and on Isaiah’s son. While this could have been a much longer book by adding more story to their careers, I liked that they didn’t. That way more of the story could focus on them and be character driven.

I expected more angst, and it would have been welcome. I didn’t really feel Isaiah’s pain at being a widower, but that is just me. I expected backlash from his son Evan about the relationship, but he was totally welcoming. And while Victor was outspoken, again I thought there would be more immediate repercussions.

So while there was a lot of “could have beens” in the story, I still really enjoyed it. The subject could have been dark but the author kept it light. Seeing Isaiah and Victor live together while dancing around their feelings was fun. And I really loved Evan- Isaiah’s gender fluid son.

There was tons of representation- which is a very cool thing. Victor is described as gender fluid, but I didn’t see that. Wearing a bit of make up doesn’t gender fluid make.

Ultimately, this was a nice story to read. I probably won’t remember it in a few weeks, but I don’t regret reading it.

3 pieces of eye candy

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A USAToday bestseller, Robin Covington loves to explore the theme of fooling around and falling in love in her books. Her stories burn up the sheets. . .one page at a time. When she’s not writing she’s collecting tasty man candy, indulging in a little comic book geek love, hoarding red nail polish and stalking Chris Evans.

A 2016 RITA® Award finalist, Robin’s books have won the National Reader’s Choice and Golden Leaf Awards and finaled in the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice, and the Book Seller’s Best.

She lives in Maryland with her handsome husband, her two brilliant children (they get it from her, of course!), and her beloved furbabies, Dutch and Dixie Joan Wilder (Yes – THE Joan Wilder)

Drop her a line at robin@robincovingtonromance.com – she always writes back.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail | Instagram

 

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Taming the Beast by Andrew Grey: New Release Review with Giveaway

The suspicious death of Dante Bartholomew’s wife changed him, especially in the eyes of the residents of St. Giles. They no longer see a successful businessman… only a monster they believe was involved. Dante’s horrific reputation eclipses the truth to the point that he sees no choice but to isolate himself and his heart.
The plan backfires when he meets counselor Beau Clarity and the children he works with. Beau and the kids see beyond the beastly reputation to the beautiful soul inside Dante, and Dante’s cold heart begins to thaw as they slip past his defenses. The warmth and hope Beau brings to Dante’s life help him see his entire existence—his trials and sorrows—in a brighter light.
But Dante’s secrets could rip happiness from their grasp… especially since someone isn’t above hurting those Dante has grown to love in order to bring him down.

Title: Taming the Beast
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: October 13, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Andrew Grey writes so prolifically that I think he must write a book a week. And where he gets his plot bunnies is only known to him. However, this book seems to have come from the Beauty and the Beast storyline, with a much more modern (and of course m/m) feel.

Dante’s past still haunted him even after meeting and falling for Beau. The guilt he carried for the death of his wife was so self inflicted that the town picked up on it, treating him as he felt he should be treated, as a killer. Moving past it would take more than the love of a single man, but forgiveness of himself.

I really liked that though Beau was the “Beauty” in this mix, he wasn’t a man to just sit there and do as his Beast told him. He was determined to make the situation work, as well as wanting to see beyond the distant exterior of Dante. He accepted that Dante could do things in the town he couldn’t but wanted to make sure that he didn’t take advantage of that.

They fell in love quickly but it did feel organic simply because Beau wouldn’t let Dante keep pushing him back. They worked together to figure out how to deal with the crises that came to them, yet didn’t try to solve the problem for the other (well okay Dante wanted to but he respected Beau’s wish to not have him solve it)

The epilogue worked well to complete their story, and gave the reader a glimpse into the full transition of Dante back into the world he had cut himself off from. I would have liked a little more informations on how his deceased wife’s parents handled everything but that wasn’t critical to the story. These two men with such distinct tragedies in their lives found a love and life together, bringing their HEA full circle. Definitely a book I enjoyed.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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My Forever, My Always (Men of Crooked Bend) by Taylor Rylan: Book Blast, Excerpt and Review

 

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MY FOREVER, MY ALWAYS

MEN OF CROOKED BEND SERIES, BOOK 1

TAYLOR RYLAN

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.15.17

My Forever My Always Cover

COVER DESIGN: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

Growing up on a ranch in the middle of nowhere Wyoming did not provide Simon Redfeather with a whole lot of opportunities to explore his sexuality. From a young age he’d known he was interested in men but wondered if he’d ever find someone to settle down with. Though he wanted to stretch his wings, he knew the ranch was his life and he’d inevitably follow his heart back home. Would he be able to find love with someone that could give as good as they get and love the land as much as he did?

Sean Welsh considered himself lucky that he’d grown up with two dads because coming out had been a breeze. Never wanting to trade in on the privilege of their last name, Sean and his identical twin wanted to forge their own path and open their own architectural firm in Jackson, Wyoming. He never expected Simon Redfeather, one of his new clients, to be a gorgeous, sexy, honest to god cowboy. With Simon pushing all his hot buttons, he finds himself wishing he wasn’t the shy twin and yearns to be daring, like his older brother.

The attraction is instant but are Simon and Sean willing to risk everything in order to find their other half?

My Forever, My Always is the first book in the Men of Crooked Bend series. Each book in the series will focus on a different couple but will be better enjoyed as a series as the couples all make appearances in each book. Each book contains sexually explicit material between two men and are intended for adults over 18.

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My Forever, My Always Teaser 3

“Okay so here goes. I once jerked off to thoughts of Jasper.”

“What the fuck, Simon!” Sean shouted while getting out of bed.

“That came out absolutely wrong. Please, Sean, get back in bed and let me explain. I promise you it was before I knew either of you and I honestly have absolutely no feelings for Jasper what-so-ever. Please, baby. You’re it for me and only you. Seriously that came out so very wrong.”

I must have said something right because Sean crawled back in bed with me and rolled towards me so we were lying face to face. “Okay speak. And this had better be good.”

“Okay as I was saying I once jerked off to thoughts of Jasper. Only at the time I didn’t know it was Jasper. I didn’t know either of you yet. But what I did know was that I had seen Jasper at a club one night and I was instantly attracted to him. Don’t give me that look, Sean. You two are identical. But anyway I saw him at the club and was attracted to him. And I even was going to go over and offer to buy him a drink. But as I started toward him a little blond twink sidled up to him and he just reached down and grabbed his ass. When that happened I left the club. But when I got home I was still incredibly worked up and when I got into the shower and went to take care of business it was Jasper’s face I saw and it was Jasper that I imagined sucking my cock. Like I said I didn’t know either of you at the time. And this was all the night before I actually met either of you. I didn’t meet either of you until the next day when you both came out to the ranch. But I felt that you should probably know that at one point before I even met you or your brother I rubbed one out to the image of Jasper on his knees in front of me.”

At that point I was just hoping that he would forgive me. When I felt the bed shaking I was worried that I had blown any chance of a permanent relationship with Sean. Especially if he was lying there crying because of the story I just told him. But what I didn’t expect was to find out that Sean wasn’t crying, he was actually laughing! Laughing! Like a loon! And he had clearly been holding back for a while because his face was red and there were tears running down his cheeks.

“Do you want to share with me what exactly it is that you find so funny about that story?” I asked.

“You do realize that I already know about that night right?”

“No I didn’t know. How did you know? I never said anything and as far as I know Jasper didn’t see me at the club and I left right after I saw him.”

“See that is where you are wrong. Jasper actually did see you that night and he told me about seeing you. I was so attracted to you that first day and I wondered if you were gay or not because apparently your family seems to have broken my gaydar and he let me know that he had seen you the night before at the club. So he saw you and he let me know that you were at the club and so we came to the conclusion that you were gay.”

First.. Hello hot cover!!

Simon is a rancher with a law degree at 30 and is ready to settle down. While he works with his family, they all seem to have degrees in something else as well as run their ranch and I assume they’ll all get a story, but this one is Simon’s. While this is a cute story and a bit long it’s still cutesy given that these boys both take to one another right away.

Sean is a well known architect, in business with his brother Jasper. Jasper, I wasn’t a fan of in the beginning… he seemed douchey and had no respect for Sean in their shared living space. That put me off immediately… I also found it a bit unbelievable that with two dads, all three sons turned out gay. I’m sure it happens, don’t get me wrong and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it…obviously… but, it’s just not something that you find happening, normally. I dunno, I’m being too critical, I know.

While I’m being that way, I’ll also mention the overuse of one’s name in this, drove me bananas! “Hello, Simon, how are you Simon? I’m well Sean, thank you, Sean. How are you today, Sean?” Why? Just, why? Am I being too irritable? Perhaps, but man, did it drive me crazy!!
Then we hit the halfway mark and I expected the cute story to end with a nice little HEA and maybe a hint of the next story, but then a bunch of random stuff got thrown in…. kidnapping and blackmail? It was all a big stretch and was just so unnecessary, in my opinion. Also, if anyone follows my reviews at all, it’s no secret that I HATE when the bad guy gets away with being the bad guy. I need karmic justice!

Overall though, even though this seems kind of ranty… the story between Sean and Simon was a cute one and I’m glad they ended up happy and together. This is my first by this author and I’m not sure about the second one, because like I said, I’m wasn’t a fan of Jasper, but…. I’ll admit, I’m curious enough to check it out.

3 pieces of eye candy

After several years of daydreaming about sexy men in her head, Taylor decided to finally start writing about them! That’s where the Men of Crooked Bend came from, although at the time, she had no idea as to what she would name the town, nor what state it would be even be in. She quickly learned that even though she had ideas in her head, it was her characters that ultimately decided what would happen in each story. She goes into each adventure with a set plan but already knows that in the end, things will change and that her characters are going to get their way.

When she’s not writing about sexy men, she loves to read about them. Even if, her reading time has become less frequent since she started writing, she still tries to find time to read at least once a week.

She is a busy mom of three and one kitten named Lucky. If she’s not writing or reading about sexy men, she’s either running to some band function or another or is busy cheering from the stands at basketball games or marital arts functions.

Her Men of Crooked Bend Series is her first series but she already has two spin-off series planned!

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Sightlines (The Community #3) by Santino Hassell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Interview, Review and Giveaway

Chase Payne is a walking contradiction. He’s the most powerful psychic in the Community, but the least respected. He’s the son of the Community’s founder, but with his tattoo sleeves and abrasive attitude, he’s nothing like his charismatic family. No one knows what to make of him, which is how he wound up locked in a cell on the Farm yet again. But this time, the only man he’s ever loved is there too.

Elijah Estrella was used to being the sassy sidekick who fooled around with Chase for fun. But that was before he realized the Community wasn’t the haven he’d believed in and Chase was the only person who’d ever truly tried to protect him. Now they’re surrounded by people who want to turn them against their friends, and the only way out is to pretend the brainwashing works.

With Chase playing the role of a tyrant’s second-in-command, and Elijah acting like Chase’s mindless sex toy, they risk everything by plotting a daring escape. In the end, it’s only their psychic abilities, fueled by their growing love for each other, that will allow them to take the Community down once and for all.

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

 

  1. What are five words that describe your writing process?

Precise, brisk, web-like, harried, coffee.

  1. Picture your favorite writing space. What are three objects you would find there?

A whiteboard! When I say my creative process is web-like, it’s because I tend to weave the story over time even when I start with a pretty precise outline. I build a little more to a section here or there then go back and figure out more ways to connect them. That is so much easier with my whiteboard.

I also picture a giant coffee mug and my phone. Why my phone? Because I’m constantly messaging and texting with my writer friends while writing so we can encourage and motivate each other.

  1. What is your least favorite part of the publishing/writing process?

Honestly, it’s writing that first draft. That’s when the magic happens and that vague idea or skeleton of an outline comes together. It’s also where I get to know my characters and their voices.

  1. If you could ask one author one question, what would the question be and who would you ask?

I think I’d ask one of romance’s stars, like Beverly Jenkins, how she’s written for so long and has been so prolific and still manages to have amazing ideas. My one big fear is that one day this creative well will dry up, and there won’t be any more books or ideas.

  1. Always the fun question: You wouldn’t be caught where?

At anything that requires a suit and tie! Seriously, uninvite me to all future weddings or formal parties. I go nowhere without the hat.

Sightlines is book 3 in The Community series by Santino Hassell. You absolutely have to read the first two. Now assuming you read the first two…..

Overall, it was a decent conclusion to the series. This book really focused on breaking up the Community- or at least shutting down The Farm- and the budding relationship between Chase and Elijah.

So while everything was wrapped up pretty neatly, it was….okay. Not great, not terrible. It was ok. I wanted more. More of what happened at The Farm. More of Chase and Elijah falling in love. More of Chase opening up and accepting love. More of Elijah discovering his gift. Just more.

The relationship between Chase and Elijah had been blooming since book 1. And when they finally got together, seemingly under false pretenses at The Farm, it was anticlimatic. I don’t know what I was expecting, but again, I expected more.

This band of ex Community members are attempting to infiltrate The Farm to rescue people. But there wasn’t a lot of planning. Just kind of, ok, we’re here. Take these night vision goggles and go. These were smart people. It didn’t have to be a Mission Impossible type rescue, but maybe a bit more than “you go in there, we will go in here…”.

It was an enjoyable read. I don’t regret it, the ending was satisfying. Book two was my favorite of the three by far. But after putting this down and reading a few more books, it won’t be very memorable.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

What lies beneath the surface of the world you thought you knew?

Secrets and lies have twisted an underground community founded by psychics escaping persecution. Blackmail, sex, and social climbing in the name of power has created an irreparable rift.

In the eyes of the founders, there are two sides: loyalists and everyone else. Surely no one would emerge from their tightly woven webs. And they certainly wouldn’t sow the seeds of rebellion within the heart of the Community’s only queer night club.

Now an outcast, a scion, and a runaway are leading a revolution to save not only the men they love, but the entire Community.

Check out The Community series! https://riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/community

Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family but grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into a grumpy introvert and unlikely romance author with an affinity for baseball caps. His novels are heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, and his desire to write relationships fueled by intensity and passion.

He’s been a finalist in both the Bisexual Book Awards and the EPIC Awards, and was nominated for a prestigious RITA award in 2017. His work has been featured in BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Washington Post, RT Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Connect with Santino:

 

To celebrate the release of Sightlines, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 14, 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.

Tender With A Twist by Annabeth Albert: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post & Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

One kinky wood carver. One younger chef looking to try new things. A series of lessons that bring both men more than they bargained for…

Curtis Hunt has made a name for himself as a chainsaw wood carver, winning national competitions and operating a small business in Rainbow Cove, Oregon. As winter whittles away his tourist traffic, his goal is just to survive the season and try to not get lost in grief for his dead lover. It’s been two years, but he’s sure he’ll never be over the love of a lifetime. However, his body has a certain restlessness that he doesn’t quite know how to calm.

Logan Rosner knows a thing or two about restlessness. It’s what drove him to Rainbow Cove to be a chef at a bar and grill run by his friends. And it’s what drives him to a single sizzling encounter with the local legendary lumberjack. Both men get far more than they expected and learn that first impressions aren’t always accurate…

But when Logan proposes a series of sexy lessons, Curtis must decide how much he’s willing to risk. He knows he can’t afford to get attached to Logan’s good cooking, his easy smiles, or his caretaking, but he keeps going back for more, even as deeper emotions become involved. Soon, Curtis must decide whether to risk his heart again or risk losing Logan for good.

Tender with a Twist is a 79,000 word stand-alone gay romance with a May/December theme, featuring a second chance at love, opposites attract, loads of sexy times with mild BDSM elements, and one emotionally-charged, guaranteed happy ending with no cliffhangers.

TitleTender with a Twist

Series: Rainbow Cove #2, but stands alone well

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Annabeth Albert

Release Date: October 2, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 79,000 words

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, May-December, BDSM (light), Small Town

Goodreads

Amazon

Greetings! Thank you so much for having me today! I’m celebrating the release of my latest book, TENDER WITH A TWIST, which features a kinky wood carver and a much younger chef. This is probably my sexiest book to date, and I just loved the journey of these two. And I’ve brought an excerpt today from one of my favorite scenes in the book when they first decide to hook up. This is in Curtis’s POV (the carver):

***

I had better come-on lines in my arsenal, but that one just slipped out. And judging by Logan’s slack jack and wide eyes, he was just as shocked as me. Hell, I didn’t even know exactly why I was still there, why I’d waited around to talk to him. Up until he’d flattened Leroy, I hadn’t particularly liked the kid, but something about the way he’d handled the situation had earned my respect—and my dick’s notice. I’d liked his commanding tone, his hard stares and regal posture, all things that really did it for me.

“Just wanted to talk a second,” I clarified when he still didn’t speak. “First off, wanted to make sure you were okay.”

“I’m fine.” He continued to look at me critically, like I was some new species of bug, one that was annoying his ankles. And damn, but I hadn’t known he was capable of that stare, and part of me liked it. A lot. “I already told Mason I wouldn’t fight again. Sorry if he was a friend of yours—”

“Leroy? Hell, no. We go way back, but I wouldn’t call that piece of shit a friend. You did what you needed to do, handling yourself. Damn impressive.”

That was the truth. I’d been bored silly all night, drinking a tad more than I should have and waiting it out so I could drive back. Then the kid chef had made old Leroy squeal in pain and my dick had woken the fuck up. But it was also what I’d seen in his eyes. Hardness. Anger. Pride. Enjoyment.

“Thanks.” A muscle worked in his jaw.

“You liked it, didn’t you?” I pitched my voice low, seductive.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” A flush crept up his neck.

“It’s okay. I’m not gonna tell a soul. But you liked putting a hurt on him.”

He nodded sharply. “Not in that way—”

I laughed. “In exactly that way. You like handing out pain? You serious about what you told Leroy? That you’re a Dom?”

“I am. And if you’re here to give me shit—”

“Me? Aw, hell, nah. I’m here to see if you’ve got more in you.”

“More?” Damn it. He really was going to make me spell this out.

“You wanna put a hurt on someone? Still got a head of steam built up? Well, I’m here for that.”

The critical look was back, but it was more thoughtful now. “You want pain?”

“And lots of it.” I nodded. Now we were getting somewhere. It was what I’d been jonesing for hard for two weeks now, what I hadn’t really expected to find tonight. I was damn picky, and I didn’t much feel like playing with someone who’d known Troy and me after the whole Bill thing. Too much baggage. But strangers were dicey business, as I knew all too well. So I’d figured on getting my dick sucked and leaning heavy on my fantasies to get off, but then little dog here had gone all alpha on Leroy, and my senses had perked up. He might do nice. Green and malleable enough that I could keep control of any scene, not be taking any crazy risks, but pumped full of enough adrenaline to dish out what I wanted.

“But you’re…” His eyes narrowed, zeroing in on my arms. Ah. He spoke code enough to notice the placement of my gauntlets. “You’re a sub?”

“I switch. But I’m a pain slut. You can get any master/slave fantasies right out of your brain, because I’m not into that. But pain? Control? Bondage? Bring it on.”

“Now?” Oh, his face was so damn expressive. I loved that about him. I’d be able to tell what he was thinking, which was good. And right then it was like I’d proposed Christmas in July, complete with all the trimmings.

“Well, I’d prefer not in the parking lot.” I laughed, trying to turn on my little-used charm, show him I meant the offer. “Your place?”

He was quiet, but his eyes kept moving, like I could see the wheels turning. Finally, he said, “Thirty minutes? I need to ride home and shower off the stink of the kitchen. I smell like fryer grease. But we can talk more there about what exactly you want.”

I wasn’t too awfully picky about smells myself nor did I fancy much conversation, but I nodded. Best to let him get comfortable with the idea. “You want a ride? We can toss your bike in the back of the truck.”

“No thanks.” His eyes went back to wary, like he didn’t quite trust my offer, like I might be about to pull a big joke on him. And I hated that wariness, wanted to stomp on whatever had put it there.

I held up my hands. “I’m serious about this. I wanna play tonight. One-time thing.” That needed saying, so I put some firmness behind the words. “But I want what you can dish out.”

“Thirty minutes. Be ready.” He skewered me with another of those hard stares before unlocking his bike.

“Will do.” I watched him take off and took my time getting to the truck. He lived on the same sleepy street as Nash and Mason, and, on further consideration, I really didn’t want either of them knowing my business. I’d lost my damn head, and I sure didn’t need Nash’s opinion on that. So I parked behind a vacant house two blocks away and slowly walked over, trying to give him his time without second-guessing myself and calling off the whole deal.

But then I remembered the look he’d leveled on Leroy. Yeah, I wanted me some of that.

***

Want to know what happens at Logan’s place? Find out in TENDER WITH A TWIST! Thanks so much for having me today!

Fun fact: if there is a book by an author I love I tend not to read the blurb. Why? Because I know I am going to read it anyway, so I like to go in clean. So I was very pleasantly surprised to see the BDSM elements in the book. Surprise to me!

Tender with a Twist is book 2 in the Rainbow Cove series. This series started with 3 friends who moved to Rainbow Cove to open a restaurant together. This installment is about the head chef, Logan (the seemingly quiet one of the three) and Curtis, the loner, widowed, chainsaw wood carving, resident grouch. Curtis is still mourning his husband, but he has…..needs.

I absolutely LOVED that quiet Logan is a Dom. Or more like a Dom wanna be. He wants to be a Dom, has studied how to be a Dom, he just hasn’t had the opportunity. Until Curtis. The big, bad chainsaw wielding carver. Flipping the stereotype is one of my favorites.

Curtis was willing to try with Logan. He needed to submit, he needed pain. He did not need a relationship or love.

Logan needed to dominate, needed to inflict pain. But he also didn’t need a relationship or love.

So of course I loved watching them discover something together. Something that was more than BDSM scenes. And man, was it hot. And sweet. And romantic. *swoons*

The 180 degree difference from Curtis calling Logan “kid” all of the time to falling to his knees when in a scene was…phew. Ya. That is make you shiver goose bump worthy. And yet, outside of the bedroom (or living room), they begin to act as a couple. Doing things together, getting meals. Even going on a weekend trip. Logan never has the arrogance that so many doms seem to have outside of a scene. He leaves it all in the bedroom.

It’s no secret that I adore Miss Albert’s books.I really think this might be my favorite.

4.5 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.

Author Links

Website: http://www.annabethalbert.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/annabethalbertauthor

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AnnabethAlbert

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6477494.Annabeth_Albert

Annabeth’s Angels Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/annabethsangels/

Sign Up for Annabeth’s Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/Nb9yv

 

Tour Schedule

 

10/3     Gay Book Reviews

10/3     Dawn’s Reading Nook

10/4     Joyfully Jay

10/4     Divine Magazine

10/5     Love Bytes

10/5     Two Chicks Obsessed

10/6     Bayou Book Junkie

10/7     MM Good Book Reviews

10/7     Erotica For All 

10/7     The Novel Approach


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Gummy Bears & Grenades by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review with Giveaway

THIRDS agent Dexter J. Daley can’t wait to marry his fiancé, Team Leader Sloane Brodie, but first he’s looking forward to celebrating his bachelor party—which he intends to be a shenanigans-free evening of getting his groove on with family and friends.

Of course events don’t work out as planned, but for Dex that’s nothing new. One thing is for sure, dodging drug dealers and hired thugs amid booze, dancing—and even a bear costume—will guarantee it’s a night Dex will never forget. Now he just needs to survive all the fun.

Enjoy this bonus story from the THIRDS universe. These events occur between Darkest Hour Before Dawn and Tried & True in the series timeline. While reading this story would enhance your experience of the THIRDS series, it is not essential to read before Tried & True.

Title: Gummy Bears & Grenades
Series: THIRDS: Book 10
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: October 4, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shifters, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 102

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

I’ve been on this enjoyable ride within the THIRDS world, and have winced, cried, worried and laughed right along with the characters. This book though, was just a fun read (okay, especially the bear costume…because Dex and a bear costume…that has got to be nothing but fun). I enjoyed every second of this one.  Anyone who is a fan of the THIRDS universe, and especially Dex and Sloane couldn’t do anything but take a few hours out to read the hilarity that a bachelor party for Dex would bring.

There were no big explosions, no one getting shot, and no one was kidnapped, and that made it all just fine. These men need to have some fun and happy times too. And when they get the chance to do that, they go all out. With some glimpses of future books peeking out at the reader, you definitely want to savor this one, knowing it will prep you for what is sure to be a wild ride in the next book.

Recommend all the fun of this one.

4 pieces of eye candy

 


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Cover Up by L.A. Witt: Release Day Review

After ten years of blissful marriage, Navy Pilot Nate Chandler is divorcing his cheating husband. Single for the first time in years, Nate is numb to all emotion and kisses any chance of another relationship goodbye.

Not only is Nate struggling to get through this divorce, but his body is branded with a permanent reminder of his failed marriage: a matching tattoo with his ex. Searching for a place to cover up his old tattoo, Nate finds himself at the Skin Deep, Inc., where he meets the young and charming cover-up tattoo apprentice, Lucas Brandt.

From just flirty glances to steamy hot encounters, Nate and Lucas dive headfirst into a fling of hookups. But worried that he’ll forever be Nate’s “cover up” rebound relationship, Lucas fears that their love won’t be anything more than just skin deep. What was once just a casual attraction, Lucas now hopes to turn into a real relationship. But will he be able to convince the still tender-hearted Nate to fall in love again?

Third installment of L.A. Witt’s Skin Deep romance series, COVER UP is a story of passion, pleasure, and happily ever after.

Amazon

Kobo Books

 

I really enjoyed this book. Although it is part of a series, I didn’t read the first or second (but I want to now!) and that didn’t hinder my reading experience or the story line.

A lot of times books are one main character or the other unwilling to get into a relationship. For a myriad of reasons. This time it was BOTH main characters who weren’t looking for anything serious. But it snuck up on them and found them anyway.

Instead of one guy chipping away at the proverbial wall around the other’s heart, they are both content to continue as they are. Until they both realize that there is way more to what is happening than a convenient hook up. They enjoy each other, spending time together, hanging out together. Neither was pushing the other away in fear. It was refreshing.

They were romantic without meaning to be and sexy as hell. There is a lot of sex in this book. A LOT. But it wasn’t repetitive or boring.

Naturally there comes conflict. But the conflict was so….mature. Not a big dramatic fight. No giant misunderstanding. It was really well thought out and well written.

A good read that I would absolutely recommend. Both main characters are just so, normal, I guess. But that isn’t a great word for them. One works three jobs to pay the bills, the other is recently divorced. That is life. People have things going on. I appreciate that in a book.

4 pieces of eye candy

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