Snowcroft Restoration by Christi Snow: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Two years ago, Law Wyman went undercover for an FBI investigation that went sideways. It cost him both the love of his life and his sanity. The nightmare still haunts him, and so does some unfinished business…Ian Mayne, the son of the man who ruined his life.

Two years ago, Ian had to face the truth about how his father spent a lifetime torturing and trafficking LGBTQ teens. Ever since, Ian has done everything he can to make up for his dead father’s many sins through his law enforcement job. Too many paid in horrific, horrible ways at his father’s hands while Ian kept the truth about his own sexuality hidden.

Law is doing all he can to save Ian, but Ian doesn’t necessarily want to be saved.

Two men…both horrifically haunted by what happened. Is it possible they can find healing together? Only if they have the courage to face their demons and each other…

Trigger Warning: This is a hot story about two men who have both survived past abuse.

All the details…
Title: Snowcroft Restoration
Series: Book #4 in the Snowcroft Men series
Genre: male/male romantic suspense
Book length: ~94,268 words
Release date: November 15, 2017

1. Snowcroft Lost

2. Snowcroft Safehouse

3. Intertwined Hearts

4. Snowcroft Restoration

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Everywhere else

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I think every reader goes through phases in their reading. You may go through a stretch where all you want are sweet stories, with puppies, ice cream and rainbows. Other times you want some kink, and you read everything you can get your hands on. Lately, I have been on a mystery/suspense kick (Thanks C.S. Poe!), and anything in this sub-genre has been voraciously read by this reviewer. And then you add in that Christi Snow wrote it, well, you didn’t need to ask me twice. This even though I knew at some point I would be curled in a fetal position on the couch, freezing to death cause I didn’t want to leave to get a blanket. (It’s happened more than once…). I snatched up Snowcroft Lost the very first day it came out, and have loved Christi’s stuff ever since. Waiting for Law’s book was a little bit of torture for me.

Law had been through so much, it was tough to read again just how much he had been through. He definitely needed some time to heal, learn to deal with his PTSD and grief, and how to recover mentally and physically from the torture and loss he endured for week’s as a result of his FBI undercover operation. The man he had loved had given his own life to save Law’s. That is a sacrifice that is beyond loving, and yet can leave survivor’s guilt. Taking the time he needed, and not rushing himself back to work, or whatever his next steps would be, allowed him to work through as much as he could with his therapist. However, even from the beginning of the book, you could see that he was ready to come back to the world of the living, to step into what would be his new life.

Ian, meanwhile, had been through many similar situations as Law, from his father’s extreme punishments to finally finding out what his father truly did with the camp that he kept in Snowcroft. He had his own form of PTSD, and had managed to work through most of it on his own. Ian came through the torture and the pain of growing up with his horrific father with such a positive personality. He spent his entire life trying to make up for what his father did, by trying to save his friend, working for the Forestry Service, even his choices with regards to the camp he inherited.

These two men didn’t just work on solving the case that brought them together in the first place, but really tried to connect with each other to find what they needed to make their relationship work. Even when the unthinkable would happen (and it did several times-one of those times ended with me in that fetal position spoken of previously), rather than hiding, or running away, they connected back to their bonds and found what they needed to move forward.

This author knows how to write suspense so well. There were a few times in the book that I swore I knew what was going to happen next…until it happened, and I looked up from kindle wondering where that came from, why didn’t I see it? Then two chapters later, something else happens, and I am shocked once more. She weaves in the mystery, some guns, maybe a bomb or two throughout this series, and you never quite know what to expect. As a reader, that is exactly what I want. I want to walk in knowing I am going to have a great story, and have no freaking idea where it will lead to. Small spoiler...what she did with the house…the visuals I had…that is some fantastic writing to get me there, cause houses are not supposed to do that-ever. (That’s all I’m saying…you will know what I mean when you read this book).

There’s definitely some hotness with these two, although very carefully written considering the traumas Law been through. So well done here, too. The reader got some smoking hot scenes, yet intertwined with the caring and the necessity to acknowledge how difficult this was for Law. It helped to bring Law and Ian closer, even as they had to use some additional therapy options to find a way to not let each other go. Great research on the part of the author.

Few characters deserved a happy ending more than these two men, and I am so glad I finally got to read it. And now…now I am looking forward to seeing what Christi does with _ and _ (I can’t tell you, but when you read it, you will know who…), because how do you redeem a character when you have seen them _ someone’s _ with a _. 😉

Without question another 5 pieces of eye candy read for me, from the amazing Christi Snow. How she has time to write with all her reading, I will never know, but I am thankful she does! Bring on Snowcroft Book 5!!!!

TCO is giving away an ebook of Christi’s (even Snowcroft Restoration), in honor of her release day. Just respond with which of her books is my (Denise’s) favorite. (pppsssstttt…it’s a trick question, because I love all her books and I couldn’t possibly pick one). Anyway, name any one of them, and you’re entered. 🙂

 

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

Wrapped with Love RDB Banner

WRAPPED WITH LOVE

A FIVE POINTS NOVEL

BETH BOLDEN

M/M ROMACE

RELEASE DATE: 11.14.17

Silhouetted of coconut tree

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

Flash forward two years . . .

Jordan isn’t a football player anymore.

Reed sold his restaurant.

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

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

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

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

improbable love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Reed doesn’t have an ego.”

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

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

“Is that true?” he asked.

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

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

Reed flushed.

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

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

“A butchering class,” Reed said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Beth Bolden Logo

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

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/beth_bolden

Website: www.bethbolden.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

A very short little Christmas read…

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

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

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

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

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

3 pieces of eye candy from me.

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

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Twitter: @CCastleAuthor

Email: Clairecastle_author@yahoo.com

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

Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows by Ari McKay: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review with Giveaway

Successful attorneys Dane Coulter and Cal Monroe are rivals in the courtroom and friends behind the scenes. But can they be more?

Cal’s always carried a torch for Dane, but Dane is so deep in the closet, he can’t even admit that he might be gay. His father, a raging homophobe who rules the family with an iron fist, forces Dane into an engagement—to a woman. Dane goes along with it to keep the peace and protect his mother, but for Cal, it’s the last straw.

He can’t let Dane make a mistake that could ruin the rest of his life, and he only knows one surefire way to make Dane admit what’s in his heart. But confessing his feelings to his friend could backfire, driving a wedge between them. And even then, the choice must be Dane’s—to live the life his father wants, or to give up everything he has for a chance at happiness in Cal’s arms.

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Dreamspinner Press

Barnes & Noble

Kobo Books

 

Greetings, everyone! Ari here, the red-haired half of Ari McKay. I’d like to thank Two Chicks Obsessed for having me here on the blog today to promote our re-release of Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows, book two in the Lawyers in Love trilogy!

Even though this is a re-release, we wanted to bring attention to the story because we have rewritten it almost completely from its original form. We were never completely satisfied with the original story, but it took some time and distance — as well as some growth as writers — for us to be able to put our fingers on exactly what it was that didn’t sit right with us. It’s always interesting as a writer to look back at early works and see how we’ve changed and evolved over time. When Dreamspinner offered us the chance to revisit our Lawyers in Love stories, it seemed like fate was stepping in to tell us that we needed to give Cal and Dane’s story new life, to fix what we’d sensed was wrong but had never been able to fully identify. We tossed around several ideas, but it was McKay who was able to finally pinpoint the moment in the story where things started to go wrong. It turns out that when we shifted one of the first scenes from Cal’s POV to Dane’s, everything just sort of fell into place the way it should have from the first.

At it’s heart, this is a story about lawyer Dane Coulter finding the strength to break free of the mold his father has forced him into and begin to live life on his own terms. But it’s also about Cal Monroe, who is in love with Dane, and the strength Cal has to find within himself to take a step back and give Dane room grow at his own pace. Cal recognizes that in his own way he’s just as strong willed as Dane’s father, and he’s aware that Dane might feel that he’s stepping out of his father’s shadow and into Cal’s. When you love someone, doing the thing that is right and best for them is easy when it’s also what you want to do; it says a lot about a person, I think, if they can do what’s right for the person they love, even if they know they might end up with a broken heart in the end.

I don’t want to give away too much, especially since the story is a novella rather than a novel, but both McKay and I hope that if you like stories about someone breaking free of the bonds of obligation and making their own path, you’ll find Dane and Cal’s journey to be worth your time.

The premise for Fortune’s Slings and Cupid’s Arrows roped me in. Dane’s the rich kid whose daddy controls his life. Cal’s the man who’s in love with him, determined to help keep Dane from making a huge mistake.

Now, before I get into everything, let me say this was an enjoyable book. There was nothing that made me think about putting it down. Unfortunately, I did wind up eye rolling a fair bit. The scenario felt forced. The dialogue, at times, too over the top to be believed.

But, Cal did what he set out to do. Not because he waged war against Dane’s dad (which he did), but because Dane realized he couldn’t go through with a marriage out of obligation.

At this point, I still would’ve given the book 3.5 pieces of candy. But then…

The whole book felt like this huge build up, like there should’ve been a massive conflict with dear old dad. But it never happened. Once Dane goes after what he wants, we jump forward in time and they all live happily ever after.

I suppose, that’s the whole point of reading a romance, but in the end, I had  more questions than answers. I was left wanting more, not because I was so in love with Dane and Cal, but because the story felt unfinished.

3 pieces of candy

 

Ari McKay is the professional pseudonym for Arionrhod and McKay, who have been writing together for over a decade. Their collaborations encompass a wide variety of romance genres, including contemporary, fantasy, science fiction, gothic, and action/adventure. Their work includes the Blood Bathory series of paranormal novels, the Herc’s Mercs series, as well as two historical Westerns: Heart of Stone and Finding Forgiveness. When not writing, they can often be found scheming over costume designs or binge watching TV shows together.

Arionrhod is a systems engineer by day who is eagerly looking forward to (hopefully) becoming a full time writer in the not-too-distant future. Now that she is an empty-nester, she has turned her attentions to finding the perfect piece of land to build a fortress in preparation for the zombie apocalypse, and baking (and eating) far too many cakes.

McKay is an English teacher who has been writing for one reason or another most of her life. She also enjoys knitting, reading, cooking, and playing video games. She has been known to knit in public. Given she has the survival skills of a gnat, she’s relying on Arionrhod to help her survive the zombie apocalypse.

Website: http://arimckay.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Ari-Mckay/266185570179748

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/ari.mckay.7

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AriMcKay1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6153630.Ari_McKay


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A Sniper’s Devotion by Christa Tomlinson: Release Day Review

Officer Hector Castillo, a sniper on Houston’s elite SWAT team, is content living alone as a perpetual bachelor. But when he opens up his small apartment to a friend in need, their close quarters awaken long suppressed desires Hector can’t help but acknowledge.

Miguel Delgado’s unfortunate detour down a road he never intended to travel ends in a big wake up call, but he vows to get himself back on track. Though he’s always looked up to Hector, Miguel isn’t a kid with hero-worship anymore, and his schoolyard protector has matured into a strong and caring man – who happens to look damn sexy in his SWAT uniform.

Though their physical attraction to each other is undeniable, Hector and Miguel try hard to resist and protect their friendship. Until one night changes everything…

A Sniper’s Devotion is a loving and sexy, friends to lovers erotic romance. Hector and Miguel’s story is part of the Cuffs, Collars and Love series, but it is a stand-alone novel.

Title: A Sniper’s Devotion
Series: Cuffs, Collars and Love #5
Author: Christa Tomlinson
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 77,500
Genre: Romance, Friends to Lovers, Multicultural Romance, Hispanic Main Characters, Spanking, Stand Alone

Amazon

Kobo Books

 

Oh, how I’m in love with this series!

For me, I didn’t think there was any topping Logan and Clay, but I think Hector and Miguel might be my new favorite! Hector, we remember from the other books, is part of the SWAT team, with Clay and Ryan. I always thought he was hilarious, but never expected him to have his own story, really surprised me in this one…I felt like he was so different once we got to know him more. Oh yeah, he’s not as straight as we thought either! That was made apparent when his mom and her best friend, showed up at his place with his childhood friend Miguel.

Miguel had run out after getting knocked around, again, by an abusive boyfriend. Needing a place to hide out where the now ex wouldn’t find him, their mother’s’ brought him to Hector, knowing he’d protect him and look out for him while Miguel tried to start over with only a few hundred dollars in the bank and a small sack of clothes he thought to grab. After being cut off from friends and a job and anything else that might lose him the strong hold he had on the control of Miguels’ life, it was going to be a tough road for him… Luckily, he had Hector.

Now, sidenote, when they were growing up, the two had always crushed on each other, but their friendship was most important and for all intents and purposes, Hector was straight, so that’s all they stayed. However, Hector never stopped taking care of him, and protecting him, always wanting the best for him…. Not until they’d lost touch, but now he was back.

Things between the two were fine, with Miguel trying to find work and trying not to be a burdon on Hector, though Hector saw him as anything but,. He was happy to take care of him, do things for him to help him get on his feet, that’s the kind of person he is. I loved that about him. But, Miguel, who’d just got out of a relationship where he had no control over anything, it caused some problems between them, and I could see how. Theyre relationship also progressed into something that was much more confusing than the both of them knew what to do with, and I understood Miguel’s hesitation…

What I loved, so much, was once Hector came to terms with the fact that he had romantic feelings for his best friend, who was a man…that never wavered. He never questioned it, well, okay… I mean, he did in the beginning, but it still never wavered. He never once lost that devotion to Miguel, even when he was confused or working things out. Sure, he put his foot in it a time or two and made Miguel mad a time or two, but all of his intentions always came from the best place. He cared about Miguel, always had. I loved, loved, loved that!

And of course, things with exes are never easy, Miguel’s didn’t like to lose, so he caused some trouble, forcing some strong feelings from both men, that differed on how they both reacted, and I wanted to shake Miguel, but I also understood. He needed to find himself, and still…Hector never wavered…

Can you see how one might love these two?? I really really did! It’ll be hard to top them for me, no matter who’s next! Though I did enjoy Clays smart mouth in this one and wouldn’t mind some more of him and Logan! This one also wasn’t as heavily BDSM’y and I really liked that too.

Overall, this one was one, very well deserved 5 pieces of eye candy from me! I loved it!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Title: Wheels Up

Series: Out of Uniform #4

Publisher: Carina Press

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

Subgenre: M/M Contemporary Military Romance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hey hot cover!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Overall, 4 pieces of eye candy from me.

 

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.  The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ  romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series.

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

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter.  In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

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

 

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

Reawaken RDB Banner

REAWAKEN

UNDER MY SKIN SERIES, BOOK 2

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.02.17

Cover Designer: KANAXA

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

Reawaken_DIGITAL_HighRes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So hot,” he whispered in my ear.

“Fuck,” I groaned, arching my back.

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

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

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Tender Mercies by Eli Easton: Exclusive Guest Post incl Recipes, Review and Giveaway

A Men of Lancaster County Novel

Eddie Graber’s dream of a sanctuary for rescued farm animals was about to come true when his partner backed out at the last minute. Now Eddie risks losing the twenty-five acre property in Lancaster County—and all the hopes he held for it—before the project even gets off the ground. He needs help, he needs money, but most importantly, he needs to rediscover the belief in a higher purpose that brought him here in the first place.

Samuel Miller worked hard to fit into his Amish community despite his clubfoot. But when his father learns Samuel is gay, he is whipped and shunned. With just a few hundred dollars to his name, Samuel responds to an ad for a farmhand and finds himself employed by a city guy who has strange ideas about animals, no clue how to run his small farm, and a gentle heart.

Samuel isn’t the only lost soul to serendipitously find his way to Meadow Lake Farm. There’s Fred and Ginger, two cows who’d been living in a garage, a gang of sheep, and a little black pig named Benny who might be the key to life, love, money—and even a happily ever after for two castoffs.

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Exploring Eddie’s Veganism (with recipes!)

By Eli Easton

I’m celebrating the release of TENDER MERCIES, the second book in the “Men of Lancaster County” series.  It features a new couple and can be read as a stand-alone. What the books in this series have in common is being set in Lancaster County, a rural area of Pennsylvania where there are a lot of Amish and Mennonite. It also happens to be where my husband and I have a farm.

In TENDER MERCIES, the protagonists are a tender-hearted city vegan who bought a farm in the country to start a farm sanctuary, and a young Amish man kicked out of his community for being gay.  My husband and I have dreamed about having a farm sanctuary. It’s fun as an author to be able to live your dreams vicariously as I did in TENDER MERCIES.

Part of our personal journey has been going vegetarian and then vegan. When we bought our farm seven years ago, we were both lifelong carnivores. But having our own chickens, cows, and even a pig taught us that these animals are just as personable and “aware” as our beloved dogs. Eventually we got to the place where it felt too hypocritical to dote on our own cows, pig, and chickens, and still buy meat at the market. We also went vegan for health reasons after watching documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” and “What the Health”.

I don’t talk about this a lot in my books because I don’t want to come off as preachy or offensive with my personal beliefs. I myself couldn’t imagine going vegan most of my life, so I get it. However, in the case of TENDER MERCIES it was critical to the farm sanctuary theme of the book that Eddie be a vegan. Samuel, the other main character, is Amish and grew up with, of course, lots of meat at every meal. He learns to eat vegan living with Eddie, but he does miss meat. 😊

Since going vegan I’ve found a lot of terrific recipes and meals that we love. We eat a lot of whole grains, beans, starches like potatoes and squash, veggies and fruit. I love carbs, so I’ve enjoyed eating this way and I lost 90 pounds as well!

I thought I’d share a recipe as part of this blog tour. Here’s a simple vegan soup (the beans add lots of protein) and cornbread recipe—perfect for fall!

WHITE CHILI RECIPE

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups (16-oz) vegetable broth
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 tsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4-oz can of diced green chiles
  • 30-oz can white beans (undrained)
  • 3 cups (16-oz) corn, fresh or frozen
  • green onions or cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)

Directions:

  1. Sauté onions and garlic in ¼ cup water or broth (or olive oil if you prefer) until translucent.
  2. Add carrots and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Stir in tomato paste and spices, stirring to coat well.
  4. Continue to cook until carrots are almost tender, adding broth as necessary.
  5. Add green chiles and beans (plus bean liquid).
  6. Using a potato masher or immersion blender, smash some of the beans to

create a thick and creamy chili.

  1. Add remaining broth or water to thin as desired.
  2. Add corn plus salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Garnish with green onions and/or a drizzle of hot sauce.

Vegan Cornbread

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-2 tablespoons minced fresh sage
  • 1 cup plant-based milk (almond, soy, etc)
  • 1/4 cup canned pure pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup agave nectar or pure maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons raw sugar (optional)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat over to 400°F. Use a nonstick 9 inch bread pan, 8 inch square baking pan or shallow glass pie dish and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt together until well combined.
  3. Add sage, plant-based milk, pumpkin puree, liquid sweetener, plus optional sugar if using and anise if using, and stir until combined.
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean and the bread is firm to the touch.

I use these two recipes regularly and our non-vegan friends who have visited have also enjoyed them. The recipes are from Meal Mentor (https://www.getmealplans.com/) which is a great source of vegan recipes that I highly recommend.

I hope you enjoy fall and spending time on the farm with Eddie in Samuel in TENDER MERCIES.

Eli

I was a huge fan of Second Harvest by Eli Easton. I love stories that explore men who are fighting their sexuality based on religion. It’s a storyline that is, and will continue to be, realistic for years to come. So, when I saw Tender Mercies, I knew I had to get it, push back everything else in my life, and read it. And I might have kept on reading it in the car (NOT while driving), at a party with the hubster’s friends, at a chili cookoff, and through pizza night with the fam. Yeah, I’m a horrible person when it comes to a good book.

I wasn’t sure what to think at the start of the book. Eddie is a city boy moving to the country. It felt too similar to the start of Second Harvest. But his reasons were different, so I moved along. I still didn’t understand how a city slicker thought it was a good idea to move to the country without prior planning and research to start an animal sanctuary, but whatever… this is Eli Easton and she won’t let me down.

Samuel’s storyline broke my heart. An Amish man, caught giving in to his nature as a gay man. Beaten. Shunned. Broken. Yeah, he stole my heart and had me ignoring the clock across the room.

I will fully admit there were times I caught myself thinking too hard about the story, trying to figure out if what was happening was realistic, but it didn’t matter. This isn’t real life, it’s a grown-up fairy tale about two men falling in love. And I don’t care where Benedict came from, I just know I want a Benny (and maybe a Carrot) of my own.

In the end, I’d give Tender Mercies 4.5 stars.

 

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

SP banner release blitz

SHATTERED PIECES

HEATHENS INK SERIES, BOOK 4

K.M. NEUHOLD

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 10.31.17

SP Cover

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

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

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

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

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

COVER DESIGN: K.M. Neuhold

COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto

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AMAZON UK

 

Scattered Pieces Teaser 1

Scattered Pieces Teaser 2

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

“I don’t dance.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5 pieces of eye candy

KM Neuhold Graphic

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

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Off the Ice by Avon Gale & Piper Vaughn: Blog Tour, Double Reviews and Giveaway

Tristan Holt is nothing if not pragmatic. Despite a flourishing career as a defenseman for the Atlanta Venom, Tristan knows he can’t play hockey forever. One day he’ll retire—if an injury doesn’t force him to hang up his skates first. His backup plan? Finishing his business degree. But he doesn’t count on a very inappropriate attraction to his standoffish sociology professor, Sebastian Cruz.

Sebastian is on the bottom rung of the Sociology Department at Georgia State. He has his sights set on tenure, and he can’t afford to be distracted, especially not by a sexy student with a body straight out of Sebastian’s dreams. No matter how much Tristan tempts him, that’s one line Sebastian won’t cross. At least not until summer classes end. After that, everything is fair game.

But Sebastian lives loud and proud, and Tristan is terrified of being the first out player in the NHL. Neither of them can afford to risk their hearts when they can’t imagine a happily ever after. The problem is, unlike hockey, when it comes to love, there are no rules.

Thanks for joining Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn on the OFF THE ICE blog tour. In the Hat Trick series, love and hockey collide—and create enough heat to melt the ice. Join the players as they chase both the Stanley Cup and their own personal happily ever afters.

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Riptide Publishing

I love sports books, but I don’t really know a lot about hockey. Lucky for me, one of the MC’s doesn’t either. The authors took the time to explain the pertinent points of the game while keeping it interesting.

Tristan is a professional hockey player. He’s in the closet with both family and his career. He is going back to school to finish the degree that was interrupted when he was called up to the pros. His sociology professor is a scowly, hard ass that Tristan can’t help but be drawn too.

Sebastian, said scowly professor fights his attraction to Tristan tooth and nail. Its unethical to date a student in your class becomes his mantra. When Sebastian makes an unfair assumption about Tristan he is forced to admit that his feelings for the man aren’t entirely professional and that even a professor in sociology can stand to learn a thing or two.

Once the semester is over Tristan makes his move and Sebastian meets him out for a night of drinks and music. The two begin casually dating until it isn’t casual anymore and they both need to decide what that might mean. Sebastian is out to everyone, even his less than understanding family while Tristan is out to no one

Tristan will need to decide if Sebastian is important enough to turn his whole world upside down and Sebastian will have to decide if he can wait patiently for Tristan to come out on his own terms.

Such a great story. The hockey parts were written to be interesting and understandable even to a novice like myself. I didn’t have Google any mystery hockey terms. It definitely made me relate to Sebastian who isn’t a sports fan at all.

I loved the connection between Seb and Tristan. It never felt forced, the genuine affection hopped off the page at you. I love that Tristan’s family was so supportive and that the MC’s were able to figure it all out with out the big dramatic blow up.

4 pieces of eye candy

 

The story centers around Tristan, a 23-year-old pro hockey player and his 30-something sociology professor Sebastian. The two are immediately attracted to each other but because of the student-teacher thing they don’t pursue it. Oh yea, also? Sebastian makes a huge error in judgement about Tristan based on his looks: blonde jock type with a great ass — how could he possibly have a brain in his head? Yea, yea, Tristan’s heard it all before and after Sebastian puts his foot in his mouth, Tristan tells off the hot professor and wants nothing more to do with him. And yet. They can’t keep their minds and eyes off each other and once they’re clear of the prof/student relationship, they are full steam ahead. While their relationship is great, the two can’t see eye-to-eye on how public they want to be about it. Tristan isn’t out yet to anyone — not his family, not his teammates and not the public and doesn’t want to become the “NHL’s gay ambassador.” Meanwhile, Sebastian’s hard-won openly gay status has him refusing to get back in the closet, even for Tristan, whom he adores.

I like Tristan, he’s a laid back guy with brains to boot. He’s a jock but not a jerk, and wants to pursue his education in case hockey doesn’t work out for some reason. He’s close with his family and is looking for “the one.” Sebastian is a bit of a cranky control freak and he likes for that control to spill over into the bedroom, where Tristan can enjoy the freedom to submit and be bossed around. I’m not going to say Sebastian is my favorite character, but the “scowly, gay Puerto Rican” makes Tristan happy, so I can accept him as he is.  The character’s personalities don’t evolve much from beginning to end, but I liked that because they already are who they are and will figure out how to be together without changing who they are fundamentally. Besides, the real issue here is if they can — or should — compromise about Tristan coming out.

I’m not a big sports fan, but this was still an enjoyable read so don’t let that put you off. There’s quite a bit of sex, which is never a complaint coming from me. The writing is good and since I’m no true hockey fan, I’m sure I even learned a couple things; in fact, I even have a hankering to go to a game now. A cute, sweet, hot quick read; I liked it.

3.5 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.

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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.

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To celebrate the release of Off the Ice, one lucky winner will receive a Venom t-shirt in their size and Venom notebook! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on November 4, 2017. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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