Regret by Christina Lee: Release Day Blitz, Excerpt and Review

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REGRET

CHRISTINA LEE

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 06.26.17

COVER DESIGN: KANAXA

 

Regret Cover

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.

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

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Regret Teaser 1

3 Regret Teaser

Tally pawed at the pillow for a few seconds before finally sinking down, apparently resigned to her position. I straightened to back out of the room, only then allowing my gaze to slide over Brin’s sleeping form. My pulse spiked when I noticed his eyes on me.

“Not sure Tally will want to sleep without you,” he rasped out. The words were like a thunderbolt to my chest. As if he was referring to more than the dog finding her way to my bed.

“Not sure I’ll want to sleep without her,” I replied in a hoarse voice, attempting to get my emotions under control.

Without you. Because you’ve taken up residence inside my heart once again. But maybe you’ve always been there, winding inside my rib cage, coiling around my lungs. Making it impossible to breathe, to think, to stop wanting.

As I turned to leave, his warm fingers curled around my wrist, searing into my skin. My breath caught in my throat. It was the first time he made the first move and my heart bloomed into an impossibly large bouquet of hope and aching desire inside my chest.

Our gazes snagged and held as his other hand slowly reached for the edge of the blanket and pulled it aside.

Regret (Under My Skin, Book #1) Christina Lee

This is a second chance kind of story between Nick and Brin, who went to high school together and crushed pretty hard on one another. Brin was the smart one and Nick a jock, which in high school, as we all know, doesn’t go so well…Also, Nick was closeted, but not because of typical reason’s… just trust me, it all makes sense.

My heart broke for Nick; for all he’d been through in his life. I couldn’t imagine such tragedy and to be honest, the few times I got frustrated with him, it was impossible not to understand where he was coming from, because… you could see the hurt in him, every second. He carried such guilt with him, it was impossible for him to see passed anything else. He knew he hurt Brin, he’d thought about him often over the years, but never seen him again, until his roommate Elijah offered their guest room to his friend from work…Who just happened to be Brin.

It’s rough at first, because like I said…Brin was hurt and angry at Nick and Nick, had such a low self-worth and he was hurting too. Brin didn’t make it easy on him, which hurt to read because you could see how remorseful Nick was. Brin didn’t know the facts though, he didn’t know what Nick was living with, then and now. Had he given him a chance to explain all those years ago, he might’ve but I feel like, it wasn’t their time then. I feel like Brin came back into Nick’s life at a time he really needed him and I was so happy when he finally confided in Brin.

This story was hard…I definitely shed a few tears during their journey, which isn’t really saying much because I’m a crier…but, it was so heartfelt and raw and heartbreaking and hopeful that you can’t help but to feel for both of these guys and their families. Similar in a way.

 

I loved seeing Brin’s family being so accepting, even though I saw the reservations his dad had, I was so glad that got worked out by the end. I loved Nick’s mom, being a mom myself, I couldn’t imagine seeing my kid in so much pain all the time, I felt like Nick needed her to set him free from everything he was carrying…And while she done what she could, Brin done the rest.

I don’t want to spoil too much of it and it’s so hard, especially when all I want to do is gush about it.

If you like second-chance romances with heartbreaking storylines and happy endings… you’ll love this one, as did I. I can’t wait to see what happens next for these guys and I’m really hoping for more about Elijah, and him getting away from his controlling boyfriend. Overall, it’s a great start to a really good series, I can’t wait to read more.

4 pieces of eye candy from me!

CL Pic

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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FB FAN GROUP: THE SWOON ROOM

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

The Play of His Life by Amy Aslin: Exclusive Excerpt and Review

Former best friends turned lovers Christian and Riley haven’t seen or spoken to each other in six years…is there a better time than the holiday season to reconnect with your favorite person?

The last person Christian wants to run into on a visit home to spend time with his mom over the holidays is his former best friend-turned-lover-turned-ex. But there Riley is, in all his tall, chiseled, blondness. The same guy who walked out on him six years ago, breaking his heart in the process. Who knew he’s still in love with the jerk? (Oh yeah, he did. What? Who says denial isn’t healthy?)

Two years ago, Riley was injured out of the NHL, but he’s got his own bakery now and a quiet life selling quiches and cupcakes to his customers. Then Christian unexpectedly walks back into his life, forcing Riley to question his choices. Especially that one choice he made six years ago that walked him out of Christian’s life. Now if only he had the courage to tell a boy how he really feels about him…

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Riley woke up in Christian’s bed on Christmas morning.

Alone.

For a brief moment, he thought Christian was getting his revenge by abandoning him after an awesome night. A sex-free night, but an awesome one just the same. But that idea didn’t hold because, one: This was Christian’s house. And two: Christian might be a grumpy motherfucker, but he wasn’t an asshole. Not to Riley. Even when he’d broken up with Riley, Christian had been the nicest guy ever. Unstoppable tears dripping down his face, apologetic. Constantly reassuring Riley that this wasn’t his fault, that it was him, Christian, who couldn’t handle the separation.

Content to laze around in bed for a little while longer, he rolled onto his stomach and wished Christian was there so they could snuggle. The bedsheets smelled like him, a sort of woodsy scent Riley would forever associate with Christian.

Riley felt freer this morning. Like their talk last night had cleared the air between them and he could finally breathe without it feeling like he was trying to do so with a noose tied around his neck.

But seriously, where was Christian? Why wasn’t he snuggled up to Riley so they could rub one off on each other before they had to start their days?

“’Morning.”

Riley raised his head. His eyes were blurry with sleep but he could make Christian out, sitting in a wingback chair next to the closet, feet on a matching ottoman, laptop on his thighs. Wearing nothing but his boxer briefs and a scowl. Riley knuckled the sleep out of his eyes.

“Time’s it?” he asked, admiring the way the dark hair on Christian’s thighs and arms made them look so muscly. The size of those shoulders he could see over the laptop. His pouty mouth pursed in a frown. The disheveled dark hair that was, sadly, out of its pompadour style and hanging half in Christian’s face and half straight up in the air. He looked like the character with the crazy hair from Dragon Ball Z. Riley’s morning wood tried to convince him to make his way over there and straddle Christian’s lap. But mostly he was happy to lay here and admire him. He went all mushy inside when he realized that, at some point, Christian had put on his T necklace.

“Seven thirty.”

Oh, hell no. They’d spent hours talking after Christian’s mom interrupted what would’ve been a stupendous fucking blowjob, finally falling asleep at, like, three in the morning. Seven thirty was way too early. Riley let his head drop onto the pillow and closed his eyes.

“Come back to bed,” he said.

Christian grunted. “In a bit.”

Riley’s chest rumbled with annoyance. “What’re you doing?”

Come cuddle with me!

“Fixing your website.”

“Huh?” Riley popped an eye open. “What? Why?”

“Because it’s a piece of crap,” came the honest reply. Maybe Riley ought to rethink the whole not-an-asshole thing.

“Hey! I paid good money for that.”

Christian just looked at him.

“Fine,” Riley grumbled. “I did it myself.”

The tap-tap-tap of the keyboard reached his ears. It should’ve been annoying, but he found it oddly soothing. Maybe because he knew it meant Christian was right there, within reach. And he could finally relax and stop dwelling on the past.

“How’d you get my login info, anyway?”

“Please. You’ve had the same username and password since high school.”

And Christian remembered it. All these years later. Awww. Riley’s heart swam with affection.

Christian and Riley are exes, broken up 5-6 years ago, because they didn’t talk to each other.
This whole story was a big… WILL YOU JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER! lol, it was frustrating.
But also cute, because as best friends turned boyfriends’, I love the friendship and banter between the two, where they’re friends first and everything else second. The way they talk to each other and pick on each other is adorable…. especially about Christians fear of ghosts. Totally relatable, by the way.

Life happens when you’re young and trying to figure things out and it just didn’t work out for them the first time around, luckily, Christian is back in town and with some scheming from his Mom, who is hilarious, by the way…. he runs into Riley…. the love of his life and best friend.
These guys tripped me up because little things kept popping up to remind them of how much they’d loved each other and never stopped. The necklaces, the nicknames, the tattoo, the scrapbook and ticket stubs. I just wanted to cry for them and all their wasted time apart when they so obviously belonged together.

It wasn’t angsty, though I about threw my kindle towards the end when I thought one things that turned about to be another….. but it got worked out quickly. It was cute, and sweet and entertaining and this is the first read for me by this author and although it seemed a little too young adulty for me, for late 20s year olds, it was still well worth the read.
And a very happy ever after. I wouldn’t mind reading more about these two as they finally start their lives together as adults!

4 pieces of eye candy from me

Amy Aislin started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in Oakville, Ontario, she’s a marketer at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including traveling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. Amy loves live theatre (especially musicals), CW’s DC comic shows, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, Scotland (yes, the country), and her hometown of Oakville.

Connect with Amy:

Website: www.amyaislin.com

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/AmyAislinAuthor

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/amyaislinauthor/

Tumblr: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/amyaislin

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

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16693566.Amy_Aislin

Twitter: https://twitter.com/amy_aislin

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

Unsettled by Zach Jenkins: Quick Review

He’s a cop who looks like a cowboy and I just have to see his gun.

I’ve refused second dates for years because I’m too much of a mess to hope for any relationship to work out. After one wild, impulsive, and let’s face it, pleasantly filling night with James, I’m ready to throw all of that out the window.

Men are for drinking buddies and dirty jokes… and now, so much more.

Evan is the first man I’ve ever slept with. If I get my way, he’ll be the one I’m with forever. I’m not sure how I’ll tell the other guys at the police station, but I’ve got bigger problems to worry about.

Someone is attacking people on The Strip in August, GA, and they are working way too close to the club where Evan is a DJ. I’ve got to catch whoever is responsible so that I can protect Evan, the man who taught me everything about love.

Unsettled is a steamy, standalone, first time with a man, romantic thriller novel with no cliffhangers.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

The prequel to the book is out on insta-freebie, if you want to grab it.

Where to start….

Okay, first, the epilogue really confused me… I kinda got it, after a little bit, but I was wondering why and when it would come into relevance. James is a cop, a beat cop, actually… just figuring out that he’s not so straight when he goes to a gay club and see’s Trey…. you’re probably not gonna like him, I didn’t from the very beginning, even though Evan seemed to.

Evan is a DJ at the club who has a not so great run-in with James at first, but knows who he is, because he’s his neighbor. That opens the door for something to happen between them, which seeed to happen at warp speed. Like, one night together, Evan was set on it being a one nighter and then BAM… relationship without even talking about it.

Now, people are dying left and right, people from around the club, meaning gay people, but some how, even being on the force… James seemed really out of the loop about… Seems like he would’ve been better informed, especially being that it’s somewhere he hung out with his boyfriend and they all knew and then at work, they all knew… especially his best friend O’Brien.. who I was mad that I liked in the beginning because from the first time he “chased two perps down the alley” …. that he wasn’t to be trusted either. It all seemed a bit predictable and I hated that it too so long for it to be known… Though I still don’t know what the motives were and I’m aggravated that nothing happened to Trey… nobody even busted him in his mouth for being so mouthy.. we couldn’t at least get that kind of karmic justice? He just kinda disappeared…. I didn’t like that.

Other than that, I really liked Evan and James together. It was cute and corny and I liked the way they were together. I liked the mechanic friends, I wish we would’ve seen more of them… I liked that James’ family was so supportive, though I hated that Evans wasn’t. I’m not sure if I’d ready anymore in this series…. I have a thing about bad guys getting away with being terrible and although one gets caught in this one, nothing is explained and I didn’t get any closure…. sigh….
I also found myself liking Rick, kind of… which also aggravated me lol I hope, if he’s mentioned in other books he gets himself together for his son.
Alls well that ends well for Evan and James though… I was happy about that. Good for them 🙂

Overall, 3 pieces of eye candy from me!

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

The Palisade by Rosalind Abel: Release Day Review

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business transaction and a final stepping-stone to the position he’s been working towards his entire life. It was supposed to be nothing more than one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun. Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so, that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day. Both Andrew and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure gets extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t be a big deal. You can’t fall in love in such a short time, that isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, destiny may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

 

I was not prepared for this story… I think it came at a time when I needed the romance of it, the sweetness. It was so incredibly sweet.

Joel needed to go to Lavender Shores to secure some property for his father’s business that he’s trying to get ahead in. When you think of a pompous, egomaniacal, selfish, jerk… that’s Joel’s father. I hated it for him so bad because he seemed like a genuine person. Not in the beginning, he was your typical fly-by-night, workohoic, player type. Nothing was important but his career and getting ahead. That ended when at the bar of the B&B he was staying at, he made eyes with Andrew

Andrew is one of the descendants of the founding families in Lavender Shores. Content with the life he has, he was always hopeful of someone moving to town and giving him his happily ever after, but… it just wasn’t likely to happen. That is, until he makes eyes with Joel. Everything happens in warp speed with them and although, I don’t mind an insta-love story… this one was so much more than that. This was like destiny or fate shoved them together and it’s just the way things were supposed to be. Nothing felt forced or too fast, it all felt amazingly right and romantic. Isn’t that ridiculous? (in the best way)

Of course, I knew what Joel was hiding from Andrew and every time he was forced to change the subject or omit the truth, my heart broke for the inevitable. Because I wanted Andrew to have all that he wished for and I knew how much he loved Joel, even in such a short time; this author’s way of making you believe it, was unreal. I cried for him and hoped for him and it killed when things didn’t work out the way he wanted.

I also felt so sorry for Joel. I couldn’t even imagine and I hated his dad. I wish we’d have gotten to see him put his dad in his place, though we did get the cliffnotes, so it was almost as good.

I loved Andrew’s family, especially his dad. His brothers and best friend though, were also amazing. I can’t say this was low angst, because it was a little bit, only because I was constantly waiting for that other shoe to drop. But, we get our happy ending, and more importantly, so does Andrew and Joel and it’s perfect. Sickeningly sweet and perfect and I loved every second of it. I cannot wait for Gilbert’s story, I just know it’s going to be just as heartbreaking.

5 definitely deserved pieces of eye candy from me on this one.

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

Aftercare by Tanya Chris: Quick 5* Review

Aayan Denir knows Garrett Hillier was once a high-powered defense attorney, and—thanks to a leaked photograph—he knows Garrett is sexually submissive, which makes him ideally qualified to defend Aayan’s brother from the charge of murdering his sub. Aayan would do anything to protect Syed, even if he doesn’t understand how Syed could hurt someone he loves. He could never hurt Garrett. He only wants to take care of him—love him, serve him, cherish him. And maybe torture him. Just a little.

Garrett probably shouldn’t be dating his client’s brother. Right? And what’s the use in a confirmed sub dating a guy who doesn’t want to be a Dom anyway? The important thing is to get Syed cleared of the discriminatory murder charge he’s facing. Aayan is a distraction. But for the first time in the three lonely years since Garrett’s husband died, he’s feeling hope, ambition, and desire. Can he give up the pain he craves to find the love he needs?

As Syed’s trial date looms, Aayan and Garrett explore what a BDSM relationship means for them, and what they mean to each other.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

First, I have to say… I’m not a big fan of D/s… Nothing wrong with it, of course, it’s just not my thing. In saying that, I really, really enjoyed this story!
Aayan’s brother Syed is being accused of murdering his long-time partner, Jamie. Nobody is listening to his plea’s of innocence because he’s also a Dom and Jamie was his sub. To the police and the prosecutor, they only see that Syed hurt his lover, nothing else… I can see where people would see that, but… people form their own opinions that they nothing about… I do it too, so… I could see the reality of it. Meanwhile, Aayan is fighting the attraction he and Garret have to one another, because Garret is also a submissive and Aayan has a problem with that due to his religion and personal morals, I guess. I could also see where he was coming from… Wanting something but not believing it was okay to have.

I loved how Aayan loved Garret and how he wanted to take care of him, even from the beginning. He wanted to be everything to him, because he’d fallen in love with Garret, before he’d even met him. It makes sense….just read it and you’ll see. I’ve seen some reviews call it, creepy. I thought it was romantic LOL maybe I’m creepy, too!

So, in this story, we have Syed maintaining his innocence, because he loved his partner.
Aayan trying to be what Garret needs him to be.
Garret trying to be okay with moving on from the husband he lost from cancer a few years prior and getting back into dating and then being thrust into this intense, lust-filled relationship with Aayan… sigh… there’s a lot going on, but I promise it’s worth it! Once I picked it up, I honestly couldn’t put it down. Really, REALLY good read!

And the ending… for those HEA seekers, like myself… I loved that ending. I’d love to read more about these two, or even a couple of the side characters… Like Syed or the other attorney Dashiell… maybe even together 😛

5 pieces of eye candy from me… 5 well deserved pieces!

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

On Point by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleON POINT

Series: Out of Uniform, Book 3, but each book is a stand-alone HEA w/ a new couple in each book

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Carina Press

Release Date: June 5, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 78,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary romance, military romance, SEALS

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Never fall for your best friend…

Pushing thirty, with his reenlistment looming, decorated navy sniper Maddox Horvat is taking a long look at what he really wants in life. And what he wants is Ben Tovey. It isn’t smart, falling for his best friend and fellow SEAL, but ten years with Ben has forged a bond so intimate Maddox can’t ignore it. He needs Ben by his side forever—heart and soul.

Ben admits he likes what he’s seen—his friend’s full lower lip and the perfect muscles of his ass have proved distracting more than once. But Ben’s still reeling from a relationship gone to hell, and he’s not about to screw up his friendship with Maddox, too.

Until their next mission throws Ben and Maddox closer together than ever before, with only each other to depend on.

Now, in the lonely, desperate hours awaiting rescue, the real challenge—confronting themselves, their future and their desires—begins. Man to man, friend to friend, lover to lover.

The rain pelted down as he made his way up the ridge, thick sheets that obscured his vision and made the terrain slippery and treacherous. Overhead, a large black bird with a colorful beak swooped in, almost sending Ben skidding into a ravine.

He whistled low, a deliberate pattern, one of the team’s signals. He repeated the sound as he approached where Maddox was supposed to be. An answering signal came from a dense thicket of green vegetation.

“It’s me. Hold your fire,” Ben called as he slipped into the mass of trees and roots. The plants here were nothing like the ones back home—giant heart-shaped leaves and bright rubbery flowers that almost looked bird- or insect-like. The trees had massive, visible roots covered with moss, and were connected by thick vines that could easily be mistaken for a deadly snake.

Below him, he could see the encampment, SEALs scurrying around. The injured hostage and Issacson, their wounded radio man, were carried out, which had to mean the chopper was close. Time to haul ass. “Maddox?”

“Here.” Maddox slid out of the shadows, rifle at the ready, just as Ben had expected. “Com’s down for you guys too?”

“Yup. Chopper’s coming in. LT sent me to bring you in. No time to waste. Issacson took a bullet, but he’s stable, and one of the hostages is in bad shape. Possible hostiles escaped, but Rogers and company are hunting them down.”

“Got it. Lead the way.” Maddox let Ben take point as they made their way down the ridge. They had to skirt the edge of a steep drop, every muddy step cautious even as they needed to make haste.

Crack.

Whoosh.

Two things happened at the same instant—gunfire broke out above them and a chopper approached, engine noise making it hard to track the source of the shots. But Maddox was already on it, crouching low, rifle ready. Another shot whistled over their heads and Maddox returned fire. They both left the trail and headed into the brush, intent on finding the hostiles.

The chopper circled low, then went back up. Fuck. The chopper was struggling to land in the encampment clearing, which meant the next pass was critical. Still staying low and gun ready, he inched forward. No more gunfire had followed Maddox’s, but that didn’t mean he could let his guard down for a second.

The chopper circled again, but the terrain had shifted and Ben could no longer see the encampment beneath them.

Fuck.” Maddox never cursed, so Ben whipped his head around just in time to see Maddox slipping off the poor excuse for a trail.

Ben scrambled on his stomach, stretching out an arm, trying to catch Maddox. “Grab on.”

“No. Don’t—” Maddox didn’t get the sentence out before they were both tumbling down the muddy incline, heading straight for the ravine that lay between them and the encampment. Ben tried to slow their descent but his attempt to grab at some vines only resulted in the foliage following them down.

Maddox screamed, a legitimate yell that chilled Ben to his boots because Maddox never lost composure. Ever. Ben had once watched Wizard put sutures in Maddox’s scalp while Maddox hummed, never dropping his tune.

Ben grabbed for him again and— Pop. Ben’s arm pulled at an unnatural angle, caught up in a tree root and not Maddox’s strong grip as he’d intended. He wrenched loose but the damage was already done, and still he slid, mud carrying him faster, rocks and vegetation raining down after them.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.” Ben’s arm and shoulder were on fire and he was still moving, sliding, nothing working—

Boom. The bottom of the ravine arrived without warning, a muddy bog that sucked him down, but it was hardly a soft landing, rocks and plants poking at him. His arm had him cursing, eyes watering. He’d seen Rogers dislocate a shoulder last year in the grinder obstacle course, and at the time he’d rolled his eyes at how Rogers had carried on. He had a sick feeling that he’d done the same or worse to his shoulder, and he got the urge to cry and howl.

“Oh fuck.” His stomach heaved and he barely made it to his side before he threw up from the pain. He turned his head and almost lost his guts again. Maddox lay a few feet from him, leg at an unnatural angle, blood dripping from his head, helmet nowhere to be seen. Not talking or cursing.

Clawing at the rocks with his good arm, Ben pulled himself closer, looking for the telltale rise and fall of Maddox’s chest—and not seeing it.

“You are not fucking with me,” Ben growled. “Mad? Come on, man.”

Still nothing, not even a ghost of movement across Maddox’s pale lips. Terror, nothing Ben had ever known before, froze his veins, made him lightheaded from more than just the fall. He refused, utterly refused to live in a world where Maddox wasn’t okay.

“Maddox. Horvat.” He shook his shoulder, cursing under his breath. No, no, no.

Whoosh. A chopper—the chopper—flew overhead, much too far to spot them down this ravine, and heading away from them.

Sputter. Maddox let out a mighty cough. It might have been the most beautiful sound Ben had ever heard, because it meant Maddox was here, that he was fighting, and Ben started to laugh with relief until Maddox spoke. “Heck. They’re leaving us.”

Sigh… Maddox and Ben…
I knew I would love them… I mean, the falling for your best friend thing? It’s confusing and heartbreaking and stressful, especially when you’re living together like these two were.
Ben, after a terrible breakup and the effect that his mother leaving him when he was a child, had one him; wasn’t in a place where he thought he’d ever settle down. He had his career, his best friend and any pick of a willing guy. He was set right? But, a few threesome type-not quite threesomes with his best friend had things weird between them and it was rough….Cut to something terrible happening in the field, leaving them both near death… it put things into perspective for both of them.
For Maddox, he was tired of living to make everyone else happy. His family didn’t accept him, and man were they terrible. My heart truly broke for him, it seemed like nobody stuck around for him… Nobody but Ben… With Ben, he was faced with almost losing Maddox and he just couldn’t have that… thus, an experiment ensues.
I hated that Maddox felt like all the time that the other shoe was going to drop….and I hate that for the same, but different reasons, Ben did too and he used that to push Maddox away. I just wanted Maddox to have someone there and love him for how great he was. Watching him get hurt over and over again was excruciating and I just wanted him to find his happy and I knew it was going to be with Ben… I was just waiting for Ben to pull his head out…
Of course, if you’ve read any book in this series… of course, he does and we get the most beautiful ending. I almost cried there at the end, with Ben… He wasn’t always good with words or emotions, but he hit the nail on the head at the end. All the angst and back and forth is well worth it in the end.
I loved Ben’s family… well, his dad and step-mom that is. I loved their friends and getting to catch up with Apollo and Zach… I love how this series portrays the military branches being so accepting of its LGBT members and I just love seeing someone like Maddox finally get his happy.
It was truly another amazing addition to an already amazing series. I loved it so much and I can’t wait for more… I really hope there’s more!
5 pieces of eye candy from me!

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

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

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

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Sex Ed by Z.B. Heller: Pre-Release Review

Jaxson Dane is harboring a secret.

Not the fact that he’s a geeky comic book lover, or that he secretly draws his own comic, Bunny Fu Ninja Warrior. It’s not even classified information that he’s out and proud!

His secret is the shame that he’s a twenty-three-year-old virgin.

Jaxson isn’t waiting for marriage or even afraid of taking that step, he just hasn’t found the one guy who will accept all of his adorkable qualities. Due to an unfortunate mishap with a self-pleasuring apparatus and his favorite appendage, Jaxson meets Tyler Mason. The emerald-green-eyed nurse is a witness to the mortifying incident, leaving Jaxon both grateful and disappointed in their one-time meeting.

And then Tyler somehow shows up at Jaxon’s family dinner.

The very dinner at which Jaxson’s hidden virginity is revealed to everyone, including the captivating nurse.

Even though he secretly found the ER situation hilarious, Tyler is also able to look past it to see Jaxson’s genuine nature and is drawn to the charming and hapless comic book artist. He’s tempted to pursue the inexperienced Jaxson, but a recent and life-altering decision puts a damper on his wants and desires. However, the more time they spent together, the more willing he is to take the risk of juggling his new commitments and winning Jaxon’s affections.

A large, insane, and meddlesome family, two prying co-workers, and a sexy nurse are all trying to give Jaxson a crash course in Sex Ed. Will he pass?

Title: Sex Ed
Author: Z.B. Heller
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publishing Date: May 31st

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Okay, so first…We meet Jaxson. He’s ridiculously awkward and given the first impression we have of his family…I wasn’t surprised. Jaxson gets himself in a predicament while trying to take himself to pound town. Seems the toy he was using needed lube, because if you’re gonna stick it anywhere, why wouldn’t you? So, what does he do? He calls his best friend Ethan to come help him out…Which would be funny I guess but I was weirded out by the twin sister…. Now, I have a twin brother, love him to death… I would never…not ever pull the blanket off him if I saw he was doing something with his “area”… I don’t care what it is or what it looked like… I’d have just gone on to the bathroom and took my dump like she needed to…Why were they both so comfortable with her seeing his…predicament? And then she touched it! Weird. They also get into some other weird situations, like learning how to do things that require the lesson of sucking bananas…. Seriously? With your sister? Is that a thing?

I’m also pretty sure their mom should be medicated… I think they were trying to be funny, but  it was more cringy to me. Anyway… they head to the ER, and that’s where they meet Tyler.

Tyler’s a nurse at the ER where Jaxson went with his problem. I liked his story, it was sad, but he really stepped up in taking care of his nephew after the death of his brother…and we all know how I feel about hot guys with kids. I thought he was adorable and I liked that he liked Jaxson so much. He was patient with him and goodness knows he had to be. He was clumsy and clueless and bordered on obnoxious the majority of the time. Anything that could go wrong with him, did go wrong. I can’t say I was a fan of him…or the dialogue between anyone in his family….It was just like they were trying too hard to be “out there” and in “in your face, hilarious” and it really missed the mark for me. What made the story, for me, was Tyler. I just loved him. And we get a really cute, HFN.

Overall, good story. 3.5 pieces of eye candy from me.

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Linchpin by Jodi Payne: Exclusive Author Interview and Release Day Review

He’s sent in to clean up and is left with one very hot mess.

Randall Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for over ten years, but a particularly violent scene sets him to drinking alone and contemplating his options.

At thirty-nine, it’s possible this is just a mid-life crisis so he tries buying himself a flashy car to satisfy the itch, and agrees to take another job to test his conviction.

He’s expecting easy money when he arrives at a seedy motel to clean up after what the Boss told him was supposed to have been a simple execution.

But what he discovers in that motel room is anything but simple, and from that moment on, every decision he makes for himself makes his life more and more complicated.

General Release Date: 2nd May 2017

ISBN: 978-1-78651-569-8 Date: 4th April 2017
Pairing: MM Book Length: Novella
Genre: Gay, Erotic Romance, Contemporary

Amazon

Why Romantic Suspense?

Largely because I hadn’t done one before. I do love my alpha men, the ones that always take charge in the bedroom. I really like the idea of the alpha that has all the right qualities in bed, but sometimes – outside the bedroom – he’s got the swagger but doesn’t always have the cred to back it up. I got a chuckle out of the idea of a really confident, experienced mobster going in to dispose of a body and finding the “body” wasn’t dead and gets completely flustered by it. I couldn’t resist the humor in that, and I brought a lot of it to the story.

Why short form?

I love short stories and novellas. I love how we get dropped into the middle of something, have to get up to speed quickly and the story moves along with a purpose. There isn’t room for much that isn’t directly related to the drama and romance at hand, so a novella length romantic suspense means that the story starts in the middle of a situation and it never has the luxury of slowing down. The ball starts rolling and it just gains speed, gathering up all the issues as it barrels toward the HEA.

What kind of research did you have to do?

For this one I did all kinds of crazy research. I needed to learn about the newest model BMWs, how a Beretta works, whether it was possible to put a 1990s era pick up truck into four-wheel drive on the fly. I needed to understand the difference between a mob cleaner and a fixer, and they are not the same thing. I needed to learn about really old farm houses and how their storm windows used to work. I researched crazy, random things that leant the book authenticity. It’s one of my favorite things about writing – everything you can learn along the way when you challenge yourself to try something new or different.

How do you set yourself up to make sure you capture all the issues?

This was the hardest part of writing the story for me. For starters, I usually have a rough point-a-to-point-b sort of plan in my head when I write but I don’t usually plot everything out in advance. That was rookie mistake #1. Rookie mistake #2 was knowing I wanted a particular twist toward the end and merrily writing away, not realizing that I had actually lied to the reader, though innocently and by accident, not once, but twice early on in the story. It wasn’t too difficult a fix once I hit on how, but it nearly scuttled the project for me because as a reader I cannot abide being lied to in order to be set up for a later shocker. The tells can be subtle and few, but there need to be tells. I need to be able to go back in the book thinking, “but he said…” and discover than no, he didn’t say that, he said something else that was similar and easily misconstrued. That kind of thing. It’s much harder than I expected it to be and I am glad I chose to try a “romance with suspense” style novella first, before diving into a full-length novel. This rookie has much respect for the “suspense with some romance” style authors out there. It’s requires being able to hold a lot of balls in the air at once and it’s not easy.

Who designed your fabulous website?

I’m so glad you asked. It is fabulous! Visit jodipayne.net and find out!

Jennifer
So, Quinn is a bad guy… Used to be a legal, forensic, clean up guy but made a lot more money doing it for the mob. Being in it for ten years, he was ready to get out, retire. Unfortunately, you don’t just retire from the mob and Quinn knew that… Still, another day on the job, he’s there to clean up a room with a body, except…. The body is very much alive… Having no choice but to kidnap him, per mob boss orders… he takes him to his house and hides out…

Now, Tony doesn’t know who would be after him or who would want him dead, but he doesn’t put up much of a fight to get away from Quinn.. I guess we know why after a night together has them hookin up…. And it’s hot, y’all… it’s really hot. I mean, it’s not your typical romance, that’s for sure… but still… it is….

But then, all you think you know… you don’t know and it flips ya on your head. I was like… whaaaaaat?
I mean, it’s a short read with lots of action and a lot more “action”… but by the end, you’re really rooting for the bad guys… Who knew?

4 pieces of eye candy

Jodi spent many years in the theater in New York and San Francisco presenting classical playwrights such as Shakespeare, Chekhov, and Shaw for large audiences, and more edgy Fringe work in tiny black-box theaters. From these masters, she learned to appreciate and explore the humanity in her characters, and writes believable men with real flaws and strengths, living relatable lives. Her men are imperfect but genuine, strong-willed but likeable; they are characters you can’t help but fall in love with while they stumble along the way to happy ever after.

When writing, Jodi is frequently found wearing a scarf and sock monkey fingerless gloves in the winter, and near the sand with a view of the ocean in the summer. When she’s not writing, Jodi mentors LGBTQ youth, enjoys movies, cop-dramas, attending Broadway shows and will drop everything for live music. She has an eclectic taste in everything from music and books, to movies, to people. Jodi lives and writes near New York City with her wife and family, which includes an enormous polydactyl cat.

Email: jodipaynewrites@gmail.com

Website: https://jodipayne.net

Blog: https://jodipayne.net/blog-2/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/payne.jodi

FB Author Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/jodisgents/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JodiPayne

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jodipayne1800/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/267617.Jodi_Payne

Queeromance Ink: https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jodi-payne/

 

 

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Unsteady by Melissa Collins: Release Day Blitz and Double Review with Giveaway

Micah Hudson and Jude MacMillian were both lonely teenagers. One the new kid and one the target of relentless bullying, they quickly became friends. But when friendship grew into more, the relationship was too much for either to handle. As their tenuous bond was tested, everything tumbled down, leaving them lonely once again.

A decade later, Micah is on the brink of losing his will to live. Beyond exhausted from lying to everyone, including himself, Micah thinks of the one person who knows his deepest secret. Desperate and alone, Micah makes the only decision he feels he has: he must leave. But his need for closure depends on one thing.

Can Jude make room in his Unsteady life for Micah once again?

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I love this series.. I already knew, from the other two stories, that it was going to be a tearjerker for me. It was…

Micha and Jude… let’s discuss.

After losing his mom, Jude and his dad hit a rough patch… one turned to food while the other turned to alcohol and, it just seemed that they both just got so lost that they didn’t know how to find their way back. The bullying in this, made me sick to my stomach and I hated that the bully just got away with being terrible. I hate when that happens… Fortunately, the new kid, Micah, was Jude’s saving grace. Not only did he befriend him and help him in so many ways, he became Jude’s best friend….

Micah had his own baggage, mainly with his father. He was a jerk plain and simple. You won’t like him, I’ll point that out right now. But I feel like, he was the biggest part of why Micah was the way he was. Even though I’m not a fan of the going back and forth from past to present… it worked here. We needed it, for the story to work, but I was broken hearted by the time we made it back to the present.
After losing touch for ten years, knowing that their friendship was well beyond friendship and that they loved each other so much….it was hard to see Micah as anything other than the strong one like he had been when they were younger; but the tables turned and now Micah needed Jude to be the strong one.
And he was….

Things are great with them for a while, though I wanted to reach in and slap Micha upside the head for keeping so much from Jude. I knew it was going to end badly when all the secrets came out, there was no way around it. I did understand why he kept the secrets, but I hated that he did…for everyone involved. (I mean, I have to just leave that there, cuz I don’t wanna spoil it)

This is truly a second chance romance and if I have ever needed two people to work out like they did.. it was these two. Their chemistry and passion and love for each other was evident from the very beginning and it never quit. I wanted to cry for them several times and just say “you have to work out! You just have to!”…. In all fairness, I knew they would… but it was a rough road getting there.

I loved this story… I loved the hurt/comfort and the realness of each character and… sigh… I just love them as a couple. It’s hands down, an excellent addition to an amazing series, although it’s a standalone and you don’t technically need to read the other two… you just should… just because they’re amazing too. But this one… easy 5 stars….Don’t miss it.

Pieces of Candy: 5

WOW – When the Prologue has you in tears, slightly sobbing, you know you are about to read a book that is going to tear you apart but you’re not sure if you are going to be put back together. Unsteady lived up to its name especially after such a passionate and powerful prologue.

Micah was introduced in On Higher Ground (Dax & Bec). There was something very intriguing and mysterious about him. I squealed when I heard he was getting a story.

Unsteady is somewhat of a 2 part story as Jude and Micah were best friends back in high school. In a previous book of hers (Let Love Live) part one was the past while part two was the present. With Unsteady it is mixed together and I have never seen an author do this with such effortlessness as Collins does. You will never feel lost or feel like it is not part of the story. There are not many “flashbacks” and each one is valid and added at the precise spot it should be. It gives it an endearing quality to see what happened to separate 2 people who were so in love with each.

Micah has secrets….TONS of secrets but he is also feeling dejected so he finds solace with the only person he has ever loved…..Jude. Collins writing is off the charts remarkable and the story flows with simplicity. It’s hard to find a writer than creates such a broken character a
nd does it with dignity and pride.

I fell in love with Collins writing back in 2014. Even though I know her stories will leave me needing tissues and lots of wine I will always read what she writes. Her love of writing shows in the stories she shares with us and they will hit you in the heart and take up residence there – For that alone I adore her.
If you are looking for a well-developed story with 2 broken souls, some sexy romance and a bit of unsteady issues (<- – – see what I did there…lol) – Than this read is for you. If you don’t like to cry or get sentimental while reading than pretend I didn’t state that (I tend to get emotionally over some topics) and give it a try.

A HUGE thank you to Melissa Collins for writing a heartfelt and beautiful story of 2 misplaced souls finding each other again. I am now naming you the QUEEN of prologues – No one has ever made me shed a tear with in the first 3 pages. Kudos to you on such an astounding book.

PS: That is one drool-worthy cover and it represents Micah and Jude to a T

Pieces of Candy: 5

FAVORITE LINE: And with each day, it’s more and more difficult to capture those fleeting seconds of peace. They only come at night when I relive the soldiers dying in my arms. Envious of their peace,eventually the dreams became increasingly morbid. It was no longer a comrade taking his last breath, but me.

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Melissa Collins Author Page

Melissa Collins has always been a book worm. Studying Literature in college ensured that her nose was always stuck in a book. She followed her passion for reading to the most logical career choice: English teacher. Her hope was to share her passion for reading and the escapism of books to her students. Having spent more than a decade in front of a classroom, she can easily say that it’s been a dream.
Her passion for writing didn’t start until more recently. When she was home on maternity leave in early 2012, she read her first romance novel and her head filled with the passion, angst and laughter of the characters who she read about it. It wasn’t long before characters of her own took shape in her mind. Their lives took over Melissa’s brain and The Love Series was born.

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Olive Juice by TJ Klune: Release Day Review with Giveaway

32993007synopsis

It begins with a message that David cannot ignore:

I want to see you.

He agrees, and on a cold winter’s night, David and Phillip will come together to sift through the wreckage of the memory of a life no longer lived.

David is burdened, carrying with him the heavy guilt of the past six years upon his shoulders.

Phillip offers redemption.

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jennifer

What a vague blurb, eh?

I didn’t care… I knew who wrote it so I was like.. of course, I’m gonna read it and of course, I’m gonna love it! I wasn’t disappointed… Surprised? Absolutely, I was not prepared for this book. Not one bit.
I went into it knowing it was about David and Phillip. Knowing that they’d been through something traumatic together and that was about it…And oh, boy, did they. The worst thing imaginable as parents.

This story is the epitome of overwhelming sadness and how one copes with it. How easy it is to be angry when your grief is so profound that you don’t know what else to do but lash out or blame yourself to feel better. Or to feel worse… because you feel as if you deserve it, which is what David did

He carried everything on his shoulders and because he was drowning is his own grief, he forgot that he wasn’t the only one suffering. Pain will make you do that, though, won’t it?

My heart broke for both of these guys. Literally, I was a sobbing lunatic through the majority of this story. I wanted so badly for them to get the answers that they were looking for, but like life, sometimes it isn’t all fairytales and roses. If you’re lucky, you won’t have to go through those hard times alone and I was glad that they had each other and even when they were lost, that they found their way back to each other because they’d already lost so much I didn’t want them to lose anymore.

Sigh… It was a heartbreakingly tragic read, but so well worth it. You’d be a fool to pass this one up.
And even though he made me cry….again… like, ugly, psychotic looking, Farrah from teen mom, ugly face cry… I loved it.

5 pieces of eye candy

5-pieces-eye-candy1

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