Suspicious Behavior by LA Witt and Cari Z: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt/Cari Z blog tour for Suspicious Behavior, the second Bad Behavior book!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of an eBooks off each of our backlists (excluding Suspicious Behavior) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 26th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

 

Five things I (L.A.) learned while researching for this series (about the subject matter or each other!)

When you’re writing a thriller, research happens. It’s just part of the game. Fortunately for me, I live with a cop, so a lot of the research is really just: “(turns head) Hey, what would happen if…?”

So what did I learn while writing the Bad Behavior books?

  1. About serial killers… They’re not all geniuses. In fact, they’re largely average or even below average intelligence.
  2. About cops… All that stuff where the cops are turning on Darren and Andreas? Backstabbing? Pettiness? It happens. For real. Okay, so I knew that, but researching and writing this book meant diving deeper into it, and… yeah. It can get ugly when cops turn on other cops.
  3. About early onset Alzheimers… Man, that stuff is heartbreaking. Cari knows much more about it than I do, so I followed her lead, and… wow. The ferocity of the disease and the speed at which someone deteriorates is so much worse than I ever knew.
  4. About HIV… I honestly had no idea just how many advances had been made in treating and managing the disease. Between this series and my upcoming Bluewater Bay book, New Hand, I’ve spent a lot of time this year researching HIV, and it’s been amazing to see how many strides have been made since the 1980s.
  5. About my co-author… Y’all, she seems nice and sweet and all, but don’t be fooled. When it comes to characters, Cari is as sadistic as I am. Maybe more so. Evil. Evil, I tell you! AND SHE’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!

 

Detective Darren Corliss is hanging by a thread. In between recovering from a near-fatal wound and returning to work at a hostile precinct, he’s struggling to help care for his ailing brother. His partner and boyfriend, Detective Andreas Ruffner, wants to help, but doesn’t know how. And with his own family crises brewing, Andreas is spread almost as thin as Darren.

For cops, though, life takes a backseat to the job. When a stack of unsolved homicides drops into their laps, Andreas and Darren think they’re unrelated cold cases. But when a connection surfaces, they find themselves on the tail of a prolific serial killer who’s about to strike again.

Except they’ve got nothing. No leads. No suspects. Just a pile of circumstantial evidence and a whole lot of hunches. Time is running out to stop the next murder—and to pull themselves back from their breaking points.

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Suspicious Behavior is the second in the Bad Behavior series by LA Witt and Cari Z, and I have to say I am glad to see that there will be a book 3, Reckless Behavior in 2018. I’m enjoying this series on multiple levels.

I really love the relationship between Andreas and Darren. They are great offsets for each other. In book 1, so much was about how Andreas was dealing with the issues in his life, leading up to the culmination of the book where…well, I don’t want to give that part away in case you haven’t read this series, but if you have, you know what happens. 🙂

In book 2, we see more of their relationship blooming from a support level. Darren is crumbling inside, as more and more stressors build for him. Throughout the story, they are working to catch a serial killer, yet real life doesn’t give them even a moments break. Seeing how heart-wrenching it is for Darren to deal with Asher’s debilitating disease, knowing he can only be supportive is tough for Andreas, but he works hard to be whatever Darren needs him to be. We see that these two men are not merely F-buddies (and in fact there really is only one sex scene in book 2), but a growing relationship that they are building to last.

Andreas, of course, has his own issues…mostly of his own making…to deal with, but manages to muddle through with only a minimum amount of pain to himself and his children. And seeing how he reacts to his children, allows the reader to see that he isn’t just a hardened detective, who scowls and growls, and doesn’t care what anyone thinks. He is a man who loves his children, despite not seeing them often, and having tried to shut them out of his personal life on many levels. His daughter Erin doesn’t allow it, and he learns that maybe opening up isn’t going to carve him to pieces.

Although much of the focus of this book was working through all the circumstantial evidence to find the killer, and seeing how cops can easily turn their backs on other cops, it still manages to make these two men, who realize how much they need each other, a priority to each other. Finding stolen moments together may be all they have, but they know that time is precious and will take whatever they can.

Looking forward to book 3!

4 pieces of eye candy

It’s “hell no” at first sight for newly partnered detectives Andreas Ruffner and Darren Corliss. Darren is too chipper, Andreas is too gruff, and that whole “IA wants me to prove you’re a dirty cop” thing really doesn’t get them off on the right foot.

It doesn’t matter if they like each other. They’re partners and that’s final. Though Andreas is easy on the eyes. And Darren is kind of cute. And . . . okay, maybe they can make this work.

They’d better, because as their cases get more horrifying—and more personal—they’ll have to trust each other with their lives, and with their hearts.

Check out Bad Behavior!

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About Cari Z.

Cari Z was a bookworm as a child and remains one to this day. In an effort to combat her antisocial reading behavior, 

she did all sorts of crazy things, from competitive gymnastics to alligator wresting (who even knew that was legal!) to finally joining the Peace Corps, which promptly sent her and her husband to the wilds of West Africa, stuck them in a hut, and said, “See ya!” She also started writing, because some things she just thought she could do better. She’s still climbing that ladder, but can’t stop herself from writing, or from sharing what she creates.

Cari enjoys a wide range of literary genres, from the classics (get ‘im, Ahab) to science fiction and fantasy of all types, to historical fiction and reference materials (no, seriously, there are so many great encyclopedias out there). She writes in a wide range of genres as well, but somehow 90% of what she produces ends up falling into the broad and exciting category of m/m erotica. There’s a sprinkling of f/m and f/f and even m/f/m in her repertoire, but her true love is man love. And there’s a lot of love to go around.

Cari has published short stories, novellas, and novels with numerous print and e-presses, and she also offers up a tremendous amount of free content on Literotica.com, under the name Carizabeth.

Connect with Cari at http://cari-z.net/  or via her blog, http://carizerotica.blogspot.com/

About L.A. Witt

L.A. Witt is an abnormal M/M romance writer who has finally been released from the purgatorial corn maze of Omaha, Nebraska, and now spends her time on the southwestern coast of Spain. In between wondering how she didn’t lose her mind in Omaha, she explores the country with her husband, several clairvoyant hamsters, and an ever-growing herd of rabid plot bunnies. She also has substantially more time on her hands these days, as she has recruited a small army of mercenaries to search South America for her nemesis, romance author Lauren Gallagher, but don’t tell Lauren. And definitely don’t tell Lori A. Witt or Ann Gallagher. Neither of those twits can keep their mouths shut . . .

L.A.’s backlist is available on her website, and updates (as well as random thoughts and the odd snarky comment) can be found on her blog or on Twitter (@GallagherWitt).

To celebrate the release of Suspicious Behavior, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit and their choice in an ebook from each of Cari and L.A.’s backlist! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 26, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

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

Pins and Needles by A.J. Thomas: Release Day Review with Giveaway

The truth is rarely seen on the surface, and getting to it might mean digging deep….

After a devastating accident and a long stay in the hospital, the last thing petroleum engineer Sean Wilkinson wants to deal with is the settlement the oil company tries to force on him. He’ll never be able to work in his field again, his education is all but useless, and his surgeons are pessimistic about whether he’ll ever walk again. He needs someone in his corner, but most lawyers take one look at his tattoo-covered foster father and turn their backs. It’s just Sean’s luck that the one attorney willing to give him a chance is also the hottest guy he’s ever seen.

As a trial lawyer, Nate Delany has a lot to prove—to his father, the world, and himself. Sean intrigues Nate, and he struggles to reconcile the gifted tattoo artist he can’t stop fantasizing about with the quiet, brilliant engineer. His investigation reveals facts left out of the accident report—including an illicit affair, greedy coworkers, and a vicious corporation that will do anything to protect its bottom line. When Sean’s life is threatened, winning Sean’s case, and his heart, becomes a lot more dangerous.

Title: Pins and Needles
Author: A.J. Thomas
Release Date: August 25, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 300

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This was a good story. A bit different in that most books I have read with a main character who loses a limb or has an accident is usually in the military. Not so with this. Instead, a seemingly freak accident. So points for originality.

Nate is the typical gay son of a powerful lawyer who can’t live up to his father’s expectations at all. So he walks out. His first client is one his father’s firm wouldn’t represent- Sean.

Now, I normally like reading about law in books as I feel that it educates me. But I definitely had some eye rolling that Nate, newly minted lawyer knew far more than seasoned lawyers. And there was a lot of law talk in the book.

There was also a lot of technical talk about what Sean did on the ship. My eyes glazed over a bit honestly.

Ultimately, the story is one of hope. If you live your life for you and no one else, you can be happy. Sean enjoyed what he did on the ship- but his real passion was tattooing. Quite a polar opposite. Sean did a lot of poor pitiful me pouting, but that is to be expected when the guys life is pretty much torn apart and everything he has worked for is gone.

Together Sean and Nate had a very slow burn. Which they needed as they were lawyer and client. And they had a sneaky little way of getting around that at the end.

Hawk- the man who raised Sean after he was kicked out- was great. I loved just about every scene he was in. Gruff on the outside, teddy bear on the inside.

So while this was slightly predictable, there was a bit that wasn’t. Well, I mostly figured it out but I always try to do that when there is a mystery involved.

So twists, some turns, lots of technical talk, slow burn romance, hot sex and tattooing. Not bad.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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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.

Men of London by Susan Mac Nicol: Flashback Blog Tour with Giveaway

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With the release of Survival Game, book #9 in Susan Mac Nicol’s contemporary MM Romance Men of London series, fast approaching, Embrace the Rainbow Book Promotions and the supporting bloggers would like to take you on a flashback tour through the Men of London series so far . . . . . . . . .

Men of London Book One **LOVE YOU SENSELESS**

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One of London’s up-and-coming chefs, Eddie Tripp has just the right recipe to drive tragedy from the mind of Gideon Kent—and leave him senselesswith desire.

THE MEN OF LONDON
From Soho to Norwich, there’s no escaping love.

A TASTE OF FOREVER
An award-winning chef with his own restaurant and an inexhaustible passion, Gideon Kent once had everything. Then came tragedy. It stole more than Gideon’s home. He hasn’t cooked since.

Until Eddie Tripp. Fun-loving and vivacious, the Norfolk redhead’s a real up-and-comer in Gideon’s kitchen—and other places. Slim where Gideon’s broad, easy-going where Gideon is growly, he and Gideon seem polar opposites, and yet Eddie conjures flavors that would tempt anyone with a taste for perfection. The sauce of love is already simmering, and this pair is about to dine on the most delicious dish they’ve ever prepared. Because Eddie’s been Gideon’s missing ingredient all along.

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Gideon tapped the pen on the desk in nervousness at having Eddie so close. Not for the first time he wished he could smell him, see if the man’s scent was sweat or cologne, or soap or sweet-scented sugar from the creations he made.

“She did, did she? She can be a really interfering biddy. And how many times have I told you to call me Gideon? Mr. Kent was my dad. And I don’t see him here.”

He bit his lip as his snark returned in Eddie’s presence. It was as if his mouth had no other way to react when Eddie was near.

Eddie seemed to be suppressing a smile. “It’s a little difficult to be on first-name terms with a man who’s always growling at me,” he said, faint amusement in his tone. “I thought perhaps I should keep it professional.”

Oh, Eddie bites does he? Not such a whippersnapper after all. I quite like that. The idea of him biting is definitely something I’d like to pursue.

Gideon shifted in the chair, trying to stave off the erection forming in his jeans.

Christ, that would be all I need, physical evidence of how he turns me on. I don’t even know if the man is gay or straight and he’d probably deck me. They say redheads have tempers, don’t they?

Men of London book two **SIGHT AND SINNERS**

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The murder of a shared friend leads a high-profile investigator and a psychic into a mystery involving lies, blackmail, BDSM—and into each other’s arms.

From Charing Cross to Waterloo, there’s no escaping love.

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SEEING THROUGH…

28-year-old Draven Samuels has a tragic past, but as an investigator with a high-profile London company he now gets what he wants. Tough, sarcastic, and sceptical, he has no patience for lies and even less for people who waste his time. Even if they’re as beautiful as the wild and dark-haired Taylor Abelard. Especially when they’re talking over the body of a murder victim.

THE DARKNESS

Psychic Taylor Abelard is used to people calling him a freak. He can see past events and feel the ghostly vibrations of people close to him who’ve passed on. It’s why he doesn’t get too close to the living. But this time, against his better judgment, despite Draven’s mocking rejoinders, Taylor will get closer than ever before. The mystery of a dead friend will lead the two men down a dark and seedy trail of blackmail and lies. Add in the heartbreak of a family tragedy, and events lead them straight into each other’s arms. By the end of this night, all their demons will have risen—and been banished with the dawn.

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Men of London book three **SUIT YOURSELF**

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Scarred both physically and emotionally after a motorcycle accident, twenty-five year old ex fashion model and porn star Oliver Brown is about to be stripped bare by flamboyant twink Leslie Scott—and they’ll rebuild love from the bottom up.

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BARING THE BEAST

Twenty-five year old Oliver Brown is addicted. Two years ago, he was at the height of his career as “Nikki Star,” fashion model, porn actor, partier without peer. Then came the accident. Hiding his scars, both emotional and physical, he’s gone into hiding. But fine clothing is some solace. A new suit by Debussy? Better even than a ride on his motorcycle Hulk or all the things he used to give and take on camera.

Enter Leslie Scott, the flamboyant, dark-haired, heel-and-tiny-short-wearing twink sent to deliver Oliver’s newest fix. A firecracker, Leslie is dapper, generous, in touch with his feminine side but all man, and as gorgeous as any garment ever made. He makes Oliver dream of ending his reclusion, of recapturing a future forever denied him. But for that to happen, Leslie would have to strip him to the bone. Only then will they rebuild life from the bottom up.

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Men of London book four **FEAT OF CLAY**

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TWO MEN.
TORN. TORTURED. LOVED.
Though they went their separate ways, Tate Williams and Clay Mortimer have been crazy about each other since their school days. Clay went into the SAS. Tate became a cop. Neither mentioned their attraction to the other. Both sought out danger. Both found it.

Imprisoned and shot in an undercover assignment gone wrong, Tate somehow survived…and found his way back into Clay’s arms. His old friend is now the owner of an elite investigation agency and everything any man could want: patient, handsome, commanding. And Clay knows what it takes to survive. But Tate can’t bring himself to share all his secrets, nightmares that force him to rebel against everything. He finds solace from his past as a graffiti artist, a childhood passion, but his demons drive away all who might care for him. Only when he faces that past—and learns that everyone has tasted despair—can the two men truly be brothers-in-arms…and more.

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Men of London book five **CROSS TO BARE**

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TWO OF A KIND Cross To Bare teaser 1 It’s amazing what a little mascara and lipstick, a blonde wig, false boobs, and top-notch female fashion can hide. Not that Lenny James is hiding his masculinity. He uses his normal voice when he’s Laverne, and he’s not particularly camp as a man. His reasons for creating his alter ego are locked deep in his past

. He is who he is: tough in business, and a romantic at heart. What he’s hiding is vulnerability. He wants a man to accept both sides of him.
Gorgeous, commanding, and dark as sin, Brook Hunter meets Lenny and knows nothing about Laverne until fate pushes her into his path. Cross-dressing is as far from Brook’s reality as fashion is from his world of diplomacy and high finance. Understanding and truth take time, and trust doesn’t come easy. But Brook is about to show Lenny that there are no sides to true love, just the place where they meet in the middle.

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Men of London book six **FLYING SOLO**

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Flight attendant Maxwell Lewis has spent years cultivating a bon vivant image only to find he finally wants something more—and that something more includes the never-does-repeats game designer Gibson Henry.
ABOVE AND BEYOND
Maxwell Lewis is proud of the life he’s made. Having turned tragedy into triumph, he’s now a beloved member of a Target Airlines cabin crew with more than his fair share of attention both in the air and on the ground. But lately he’s wanted something more than the occasional hook-up or sometime sex buddy—particularly after meeting game designer and passenger Gibson Henry.
Talented and driven, Gibson has built a company ready to be the next big thing in gaming. Devoted to his work, he takes onetime pleasures where he finds them and never does repeats…which is what he tells handsome, sexy Maxwell Lewis after a little mile-high flight attendance. But a chance encounter in a London club is about to change things forever. Two men, one who’s flown solo and another who’s only ever played alone, are about to find that at some point all games come to end, it’s time to bare your heart and try for love.

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Men of London book seven **DAMAGED GOODS**

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Touched by tragedy, love is an elusive dream never to be realised by eighteen-year-old Jax Grady–until he discovers his secret admirer and receives the sweetest gift he could ever desire.

THE SWEETEST GIFT

Tragedy and horror shaped Jackson Grady’s life, leaving him orphaned and scarred. At eighteen he’s ready to claim his future, but who could love his disfigured face and damaged soul? Definitely not a big, burly, beautiful Irish Traveller who is entirely the stuff of dreams.

Dare Rowan didn’t mean to become obsessed with the blue-eyed man he first saw across a field, but that porcelain skin and innocent air demanded another meeting. Jax has the face of a wounded angel, and the rest of the young man is as heart-breakingly perfect. Jax is beautiful in every way and teaching him about love and life will be something Dare will embrace. Like unwrapping and savouring the candy at the shop where he works, Dare will show this young man everything Jax desired but never thought he’d have, and take Jax to new highs while he holds him through the lows. Between them, they’ll find out just how sweet life can be.

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Men of London book eight **HARD CLIMATE**

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Eco-warrior Mango Manning must shake the demons of his past to win back London nightclub owner Ryan Bishop, who is suddenly facing issues of his own.

WITH BOTH HANDS

Brawny, beautiful, complicated and sexy as hell, eco-warrior Mango Manning is everything performer and London n

ightclub owner Ryan Bishop wants in a life-partner. But Mango has been loving and leaving Ryan for the past two years, and Ryan’s had enough. That’s why he’s moving on. Ryan’s the monogamous type—which means now he’ll be alone at the worst possible time.

Mango Manning knows he’s screwed up and has commitment issues. That’s why he’s been so on-and-off with Ryan these past two years. He’d thought he found a safe haven, a place to hide from the losses of his past, but there are other demons you just can’t escape. Like Ryan’s health. If Mango is to put things right, he must man up and discover a way back into Club Delish and the heart of its owner. Only then can they look to the future together, come what may. True happiness will slip through their fingers…unless they both grab on and hold tight.

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Men of London book nine **SURVIVAL GAME** releases September 2017

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Since his true love died, paramedic Eric Kirby has been living a half life, but when he meets purple-haired Kyle Tripper, Eric’s heart is jolted into a whole new rhythm.

HANDLE…

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Kyle Tripper has led an interesting life. Currently the manager of London’s famous Club Delish, he used to be a croupier extraordinaire in Las Vegas. But not everything in that life was so glamorous; his ex was a piece of work. Now gun-shy, Kyle hopes there is someone special out there for him, and secretly wishes it’s luscious paramedic, Eric Kirby.

WITH CARE

Every day Eric Kirby goes through the motions. Yeah, he saves lives, and, sure, he makes a difference, but he doesn’t feel it anymore – not since he lost his one true. But, when he meets wild, flamboyant Kyle Tripper and learns there’s a skittish, apprehensive man beneath the bold façade, the best of Eric’s protective nature kicks in, and opens his heart to a new love.

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Susan bio pic

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

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

Sue is a PAN member of Romance Writers of America and is a member of the Romantic Novelists Association in the UK. She’s also Editorial Manager at http://www.divinemagazine.biz, an online LGBTQ e-zine, and she’s a Charity Board trustee at http://wwwbeingmecampaign.com in London.

She’s passionate about research for her books and has stayed in a circus, taken lessons from a blind person on how it feels to be non-sighted, and travelled to a lighthouse with m

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aintenance crew to see first-hand what it’s like inside. She’s also writing a screen play with a Hollywood actor named Nicholas Downs, with a view to taking her latest release, Sight Unseen, to the big screen.

All in all, she’s happy with her lot and loves that you love to read her books.

You do, right?

 

Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads

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

Rule Breaker by Lily Morton: New Release Review with Giveaway

Is it really wrong to want to murder your boss?

Dylan has worked for Gabe for two years. Two long years of sarcastic comments. Two long years of insults, and having to redo the coffee pot four times in the mornings to meet his exacting standards. Not surprisingly he has devoted a lot of time to increasingly inventive ways to murder Gabe. From stabbing him with a cake fork, to garrotting him with his expensive tie, Dylan has thought of everything.

However, a chance encounter opens his eyes to the attraction that has always lain between them, concealed by the layers of antipathy. There are only two problems – Gabe is still a bastard, and he makes wedding planners look like hardened pessimists.

But what happens when Dylan starts to see the real Gabe? What happens when he starts to fall in love with the warm, wary man that he sees glimpses of as the days pass?

Because Gabe is still the same commitment shy, cold man that he’s always been, or is he? Has Dylan had the same effect on Gabe, and has his solid gold rule of no commitment finally been broken? With his heart taken Dylan desperately needs to know, but will he get hurt trying to find the answers?

From the author of ‘The Summer of Us’ comes another scorchingly hot romantic comedy, showing what happens between two men when rules get broken.

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Okay, you know a book really hit you when you are still talking about it, still posting on social media about it, and still posting quotes from it days after you read it. And that is how I feel about

Rule Breaker by Lily Morton. I haven’t read anything by her, and received a review request on it. I thought, “looks kind of funny, and I need that right now…sure.”

 

Wow! Was I wrong. It made me giggle out loud (on an airplane no less!). I highlighted multiple passages (if I highlight, and I don’t often, it might be one or two passages). And I savored it, by taking a couple days to read it, because I didn’t want it to end.

These two men bring the snark. The emails at the beginning of each chapter are hilarious. Here’s one example:

To: Gabe Foster

From: Dylan Mitchell

Due to your temper tantrum over my spilling coffee on your laptop, I am taking an early lunch. Would you like me to bring you something back? Maybe the blood of a virgin, or eye of newt?

Dylan and Gabe are hilarious throughout the book, and that just made it so much better for me as a reader.

However, there were also a lot of feels. I cried at more than one part. (Lily, I do not like crying when I am reading, just saying…it’s okay, I will forgive you this time.) Dylan had such a soft heart, and it was so obvious how much he loved Gabe, while Gabe was so stand-offish, with good reason, and just would not allow anyone close to him. Pushing Dylan away more than once with his hurtful actions and words. It was hard to see these two butt up against each other, and both walk away practically bleeding, yet you knew they were perfect for each other, once they got their heads out of their arses (it is set in London, so have to use ‘arse’).

The second half of the book was more painful than humorous, but still had plenty of spots of humor. In the end though, this book worked so well for me, on so many levels. I don’t often mark things as a re-read, and I haven’t given a 5 pieces of eye candy rating in months. Both of these are happening with Rule Breaker, and I am glad for it. Now, I will have to sneak back and read Lily’s other romantic comedy, The Summer of Us.

Lily Morton has offered up a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card to a commenter on this blog post. So, tell us, do you enjoy reading romantic comedy books?

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 Shore Thing by A. R. Barley: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Sunburned Delaware native Dale Seward spends his summers wrangling lifeguards and cracking crabs. His winters are a whole lot colder.

Nico Travelli’s never even seen the ocean, but when his family’s plans for him get derailed, he realizes his future in their upscale Italian restaurants might be over, and it’s time for something new. He’s hypnotized by his first look at the Atlantic—until a wave takes him out. Luckily, Dale’s there to pull him to safety.

Dale knows better than to fall for a summer person, but that doesn’t mean he can’t show Nico a good time. Between the ice cream cones and the put-put golf, these two lonely hearts soon find themselves in over their heads.

But when Nico is tempted by a second chance at the life he always thought he wanted, will he be brave enough to give it up for the possibility of true love with Dale? And what does the sexy lifeguard do during the winter? In a state as small as Delaware, secrets are bound to come out.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: The Shore Thing
Author: A. R. Barley
Release Date: August 23, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 104

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This short novella from an author that I had not read before, was a quick but enjoyable read. Nico was a little naive, while Dale had spent his life in the area, and consequently knew everyone in town, and they knew him. I really enjoyed Dale showing Nico (and me) around his great state of Delaware. That was one of the best aspects of this story. Seeing all the different areas of a small state, and all the fun things that someone visiting could do. It also allowed the reader to get to know Dale, who kept himself a bit at a distance, since he knew better than to fall for someone who was just there for the beautiful summers, but would be gone as soon as the cold winters came.

I loved seeing how the conclusion came about, with Nico’s family and how he would address finding the life he wanted to lead. It was a cute short story with lots of side characters dropping in and out, and seeing how two people decide what they really want to do with their lives, as separate people, and as a couple.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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King of the Fire Dancers by S.T. Sterlings: New Release Review and Excerpt


When he’s propositioned by a wealthy stranger, it seems Coy Conlin’s impoverished life is about to be upgraded. But before he can share the news with his family, he comes home to find his grandmother murdered and his little brother missing. To make matters worse, he’s thrown in prison along with every other shifter under the Sovereign’s orders.
August Seaton left his laboratory job at the Asuda Registry to become a Registry officer. But after a mission with his partner goes horribly wrong, August ends up with Coy’s dead grandmother on his hands, and Coy thinks he’s the murderer. Worst of all, his partner discovers his secret.
August is a shifter. And now he’s Coy’s cellmate. Coy and August must survive each other, abusive guards, and a scientist hell-bent on forcing Coy into a breeding program.
Teamed up, the pair escape prison and journey across the country. With the Registry hot on their trail, they have enough things to worry about. Falling for each other wasn’t supposed to be one of them.

King of the Fire Dancers
Author: S.T. Sterlings
Series: Shift Happens
Release Date: August 14, 2017
ISBN: 978-1-947139-59-6
Format: ePub, Mobi, PDF
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow
Category: Romance
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy
Word Count: 89700
Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Bisexual, Gay
Identity: Cisgender


NineStar Press
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
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Chapter One Excerpt

King of the Fire Dancers
S.T. Sterlings © 2017
All Rights Reserved

There were two things that Coy Conlin was exceptionally skilled at. The first was dancing. The second, and more unconventional, was turning into a dragon. Both were in his blood and took years of trial and error to perfect, but the former wasn’t a danger to those around him. It wasn’t easy maneuvering a dragon body, especially not one as big as his. Dragons had claws, scales, and fangs. He even had the misfortune of retaining his proneness to seasonal allergies, which sure as hell took explosive sneezing to a whole new level. Still, thanks to his grandmother—a dragon shifter like him—he’d mastered shifting and everything that it entailed from a young age.
Like hunting.
His prey was a slender boy with white skin and blue eyes. The boy raced past, auburn hair catching the wind and blowing about his head. He scurried through the dried grass, his pale, gangly legs kicking up dirt as he rushed to hide behind a large tree. Laughter disguised as a growl escaped Coy’s mouth. As if a mere tree would provide the boy sanctuary.
Coy hated flying. Dragon or not, he preferred to keep his feet—and claws—securely grounded. But, humans were often smarter than they looked, and he knew that if he continued to creep along the ground, the boy would feel the vibrations caused by his heavy footsteps. And so, he pushed off, sharp talons grazing earth as he hovered above the coarse ground. His wings, as wide as sails on a cutter, pierced the air and sent forward a powerful gust of windblown, dusty dirt. He flapped them again, creating a mini dirt storm between himself and the tree and, most importantly, his prey.
A shower of prickly leaves and thin, brittle branches fell to the ground. Seconds later, the boy emerged from behind the tree, arms up and over his head, shielding himself from the downpour. Amidst the cascading debris, Coy caught the look of determination on the boy’s face. Wedged tightly in the boy’s grip was a rock, jagged and angled, the tip pointing toward the sky. A rock? Really? A puny, misshapen hunk of slate? What good would that do against a ninety-foot-long dragon with scales as black as onyx and five times as hard?
A rock.
The little idiot.
The boy let out a wail of a battle cry and charged forward, gripping the rock in his hand like a warrior wielding a sword. There were hundreds of ways Coy could have reacted, and most would have ended with the boy dead on his feet. Instead, he stood there, a beacon of massive power and pride, and allowed the boy to attack. He didn’t feel the impact of the rock smashing against his leg, though he did see the resulting blood. It wasn’t his. It would have taken much more than a rock to puncture his scales.
It was the boy’s.
The force behind the thrust of his hand had caused the rock to ricochet off a section of scales and created a shallow cut in the center of his reddened palm.
Coy had been specific with the rules—no blacking out, no crying, and no bloodletting. If any of those happened, the game ended immediately. And, although the human tried to hide it, he was definitely bleeding.
“No, wait. I’m okay. I swear it. I’m fine. Look. It barely—”
The protest fell on deaf ears—literally. Coy couldn’t hear—or see—anything during the transformation. It was as if he were alone in a black, soundproof room, nothing but darkness and depth and the feeling of endless falling. His heart rate quickened, slamming against his chest like a musician’s calloused hands pounding against a hand drum. He inhaled through his nose, focusing on the rhythm and physically and mentally controlling the pace of his heartbeat. He calmed his mind, grasping at emotions pulsing like lightning, smoothing them out until his vision began to return. First, blurs of colors: reds and browns and a single blob of white standing directly in front of him.
Then, all at once, everything returned.
“It’s barely a scratch,” the boy muttered, folding his pale arms over his chest.
“Too bad,” Coy replied, rubbing at his jaw. It felt good to use his vocal cords again. He was incapable of speech as a dragon, just limited to snarls and hisses…and fire breathing. That last one came in handy. “Rules are rules, Ari.”
Ari—Coy’s adopted brother—frowned. “You didn’t even give me a chance.”
“A chance to what?” Coy rolled his shoulders in an attempt to relax some of the tension in his muscles that came from shifting. “Find another rock? What was that supposed to do?”
He trudged away from his younger brother, crushing dead grass beneath his bare soles. He spotted his discarded sarong lying by a fragment of slate, the latter’s golden-brown surface highlighted with speckles of fiery red. The color was reminiscent of his own skin, warm brown with red undertones—the exact opposite of Ari’s. Even if Ari had somehow managed to slightly injure him with his dumb rock, the bruise would have been difficult to see. One of the many perks of having brown skin was that it didn’t display bruises well. Growing up, that played to his advantage with the number of fights he got into.
Ari pouted. “It was the only thing I could think of.”
“Yeah, well.” Nude, Coy bent down to retrieve his sarong. “That type of thinking is going to get you killed. Or worse, you’ll get your ass kicked.”
Ari rubbed his bloody hand against his sweat-soaked tunic. “How can getting beat up be worse than dying?”
Coy watched as the blood stained the faded fabric. Ari had already outgrown most of his clothes. What he had left was either tainted or torn. Coy would have to take up private performances at this rate just to make sure he could afford to buy Ari clothes.
“If you’re dead, you won’t have me around to rub it in.” He grinned at Ari and then motioned toward the open wound on his hand. “Better not let Dinina see that. You know how she gets.”
He wrapped the thin, cobalt-colored sarong around his waist, securing the two ends into a knot. They’d spent half the morning outside, which meant he’d spent just as long in his dragon form. He’d be exhausted later, but it was worth it. He always had fun hanging out with his little brother. Still, he felt like he was forgetting something.
And then he remembered.
“Shit!” he shouted, the sound so loud and sudden that it startled an unkindness of ravens perched in a nearby tree.
“What is it? What’s wrong?” Ari asked, blue eyes wide with concern.
There were several things wrong, and all of them could be summed up with two words.
“The Registry.”

**SPOILER ALERT** I really liked this.

Coy Conlin is a dragon shifter who enjoys a career as a popular fire dancer at a circus, and recently acquired a wealthy, ah, patron. He makes enough money from their dalliance to quit dancing (if he chooses) and live quietly with his grandmother (also a dragon shifter) and his adopted brother Ari, a human. They live in the kingdom of Asuda, where shifters are the minority and are monitored by the Registry, who perform regular and kind of demoralizing interrogations and bodily inspections of all the shifters in the kingdom. Shifting is tightly regulated, and shifters are chipped.

Registry officer August Seaton is a new recruit and while Coy is appreciative of the guy’s looks, you might guess that these two will embark first upon an adversarial relationship before anything else fun and sexy can happen. That’s okay, I can wait! Coy is justifiably resentful towards the Registry, but his instincts lean towards a teasing and sarcastic nature. Despite Coy being a part-time dragon, and a large human to begin with, he’s more likely to verbally spar and bait his opponents than resort to violence or physical resistance. Coy has some family-related trauma from his youth that still haunt his dreams and while we know August’s childhood caused him to grow into a friendless near-recluse, we don’t find out why right away. August, like many humans, believe that shifters are sub-humans, but he also feels compassion for them.

The king experiences a tragedy that results in all shifters being imprisoned indefinitely. During the sweep Coy’s grandmother is killed and August allows Coy to believe that August killed her (he didn’t because that? Would be unforgivable). Until roughly the midway point of the book, we see Coy in prison, how he and the other shifters are mistreated and further dehumanized, and his hatred for the Registry — and August in particular — fester and grow. The two are then thrown together and the remainder of the book involves an escape attempt and the two men learning to trust each other as they grow closer.

I won’t say the first half is dull or moves slow. It’s necessary and we learn about the attitudes towards shifters, and how Coy and August interact with the world, themselves and each other. Coy’s not simply an angry guy, he’s a bit of a tease and a flirt and knows how to charm people for what he wants. August keeps to himself and being a lonely shut in, it’s easy to see how he is manipulated by his partner, Fate, and others. Their initial interactions are understandably tense and it’s not until the second half that the action really takes off. Once they spend time together, August loosens up just a bit, and he and Coy have an easy and fun bantering relationship. I laughed a lot and just really enjoyed how they were with each other. It wasn’t until I was 80% in that I realized this is actually part of a series — which is good because it was nowhere near getting wrapped up at that point. As you might suspect, these two really start to care for each other, throwing them into confusion as they each deal with their preconceptions about the other and of course their own personal traumas keeping them from wanting to give themselves to another person. This is a slow burn and we only get a teasing amount of gratification before it ends and we’re left waiting, wondering when the next book will be out. Talk about angst! I can’t wait to see what happens next.

3 pieces of eye candy, with the caveat that I think I might be a bit stingy considering the smile on my face when I finished. I’m wary of committing when I don’t know when I’ll get the next fix, er, book. Basically I’m holding this review hostage until I get the next installment and I can make a more informed decision!


S.T. Sterlings is a university librarian, a part-time instructor, and a full-time fangirl. She is originally from Virginia but currently lives in Southern California with her two sons and her maniac of a dog.

Website: http://www.ststerlings.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/ststerlings

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

Monthly Guest Post: Victoria Sue

 

As always, we are so excited to have Victoria Sue here to talk about…well, anything she wants. Check out what Sue’s been up to…and how it will benefit you as the reader!

Imagine my delight when I found out that there is actually a course for writers you can go on where you learn what it feels like to be a cop, or to be a SWAT team member, or to be a handler in the K9 unit, or to learn how to identify bloodstain patterns.

Last weekend I attended the Writer’s Police Academy in Green Bay, Wisconsin and got to choose from over forty different courses teaching you to do just that and a whole lot more.

Just to put it into perspective – they didn’t actually let me shoot anyone or arrest anybody, but I guess you can’t have everything (sigh)

The instructors were incredible. Some were the actual police instructors who train the officers that are out doing the job right now. Some—like the secret service instructor—had just retired after protecting many US Presidents for over thirty years.

The main problem a lot of authors have is making your story realistic. The next story I’m writing features Vance in the Enhanced series. Vance gets in deep trouble with a new drug synthesized from Enhanced DNA. I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the drug identification course I attended at this weekend was amazingly helpful.

Shoot/Don’t shoot – how do cops make that split-second decision? It isn’t something I envy at all, but listening to the instructors who teach such life altering decisions was eye-opening. And then, of course, I had to sign up for the SWAT explosive entry session. I mean all those guys in uniform? Whew (fans herself) Who was going to turn that one down?

One of the best sessions was listening to a veteran LAPD investigator explain interrogation techniques and how with his departments 94% clearance rate, how most TV shows get it wrong. Only 7% of all communication is verbal, and a lot of suspects can show recognizable deceptive behaviors if you know what you’re looking for.

Do you know how to tell a fake suicide note from a real one? Nope – me neither. What about prison gangs? What about the real and terrifying link between animal abuse and serial killers? Did you know Ted Bundy, Jeffrey Dahmer, David Berkowitz and quite a few more serial killers all got prosecuted for animal cruelty years earlier than they started killing humans? Makes you think. It’s also strongly linked to domestic violence, and there’s a lot of cops trying to develop techniques to spot these killers before they get to the double-digit victims that seem to happen.

The guest-of-honor at the evening reception was a guy called Craig Johnson. For those of you that don’t know he is the New York Times bestselling author of the Walt Longmire series. And for those budding writers out there who despair of ever finishing that first book – he wrote two chapters of his first Longmire story and then put it away in a drawer because he had some chores to do on his ranch.

Nine and a half years later he decided to finish it! The sixth season is just being recorded.

I’m going to do two give-a-ways this month. One is any e-book of mine and the second is a T-shirt and matching baseball cap from the Writer’s Police Academy. Both are open internationally.

And for those of you that love regular competitions, freebies, and exclusive excerpts – check out my facebook group, Victoria’s secrets. https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182647028418709/

 

Man and wolf. Sworn enemies in the battle for Askara. Can hate and betrayal ever lead to love?

Caleb Harken has spent six years wrongfully imprisoned for his father’s treachery. Tortured and reviled by the very wolf pack he should have been leading as Alpha, he is not surprised to learn he’s finally to meet his death at the hands of the human rebel leader, Taegan Callan.

Taegan gave up his dreams of a life-mate and a family after seeing too many humans butchered at the hands of the wolves—even if Caleb doesn’t seem to be the bloodthirsty savage he expects, and even if he starts to long for a different kind of future with the wolf.

Can Caleb become the Alpha he was always meant to be and lead his pack, or will he finally realize that winning his freedom means nothing when he has already lost his heart?

Amazon-Kindle Unlimited

 

Check out all of Victoria Sue’s books here.

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

Textual Relations by Cate Ashwood: Quick Review


Evolutionary psychology professor Henry Hathaway is ready to spend his birthday the same way he does every year: a good teeth cleaning followed by lunch with his brother. But when he receives a wrong-number text confirming the details of a date, he does what any considerate person would—he goes to meet them and explain why they’ve been stood up.

Asher Wescott hadn’t expected his blind date to go well, because when do they ever? Henry shows up instead, and things are suddenly looking up. Socially awkward and attached to his routines, Henry is nevertheless one of the most charming and kind men Asher has met in a long time.

Too bad he’s not Henry’s type.

An accidental date, an impulsive kiss, and a few conflicted feelings later, can Asher get Henry to see the world—and him—in a different light?

Release Date: August 10th, 2017

Title: Textual Relations
Author: Cate Ashwood
Publisher: Cate Ashwood
Genre: Contemporary m/m romance (GFY)
Length: Novella – 32,500 words
Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35668308-textual-relations

Amazon-Kindle Unlimited

This is a super sweet, quick read. But it doesn’t skimp on the hotness factor either!

A wrong number, total opposites and someone discovering they weren’t as straight as they thought. This could have been a very formulaic romance. But it was really well written.

Often times a shorter book doesn’t have character development and relies quite heavily on sex scenes to move through the story. And while there are sex scenes- both characters were really great. Henry is completely “adorkable”  and Ash is a bit of a wild child. They complement each other really well. This definitely wasn’t a forced opposites attract story.

Ash teaches Henry to go off script sometimes. To have adventures- big or small. Once Henry realizes that taking a risk brought him to Ash, he understands that letting go of structure sometimes is fine. And Henry does the same for Ash- shows him that sometimes structure is good.

I chuckled with Henry researching his newfound attraction to men (or at least Ash) as completely scientific. It just made perfect sense to him.

It was the perfect palate cleanser after reading a big heavy novel and gearing up for another.

Definitely give this a read. I will absolutely add this author to my list of books to look for.

4 pieces of eye candy

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

I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Cover Reveal: I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed

I Heart Boston Terriers by Rick R. Reed, published by Dreamspinner Press

Publication date: September 20, 2107 Available for pre-order: August 21, 2017

Cover art design: Reese Dante https://www.reesedante.com/

Cover Model: Lily, the Boston terrier (owned by Rick R. Reed and Bruce Moynagh)

 

When Aaron finds Mavis, an emaciated and shy Boston terrier, at a pet adoption fair, his heart goes out to her—completely.

When Christian, manning the adoption fair for the Humane Society that autumn Saturday, finds Aaron, his heart goes out to him—completely.

This is a story about embracing love, whether it’s for someone who walks on four legs or on two. Mavis’s journey back to wholeness and finding her forever home parallels the story of two men discovering each other at the perfect moment—a moment that defies logic, propriety, and common sense. But when did love ever follow a rational course?

 

Dreamspinner Press

 

 

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE STORY AND AN EXCERPT

With lots of panting and tail wagging, I give you the re-release of my dog-uniting-two-men-in-love story, “I Heart Boston Terriers.” This story is nearer and dearer to my heart than most others because, if you know me, you know I have a Boston terrier (Lily) and she’s our little princess.

It’s only fitting that Lily’s the cover model for the story. I am a proud papa! I took the picture of Lily featured on the cover last fall, just as we were waking up in our cabin at Washington state’s Orcas Island, where we were staying for a long weekend. I’m so glad the phone was nearby that morning!

Thanks to amazing cover artist, Reese Dante, who was able to incorporate Lily into the beautiful face for the story. I’m very blessed to be able to work with her on almost all of my books.

As a point of interest, my husband Bruce and I got Lily from a breeder when was eight weeks old. She’s now fourteen years old and has slowed down some, but is still the same sweet-tempered girl we brought home from the airport that September day lo these many years ago. She’s been part and parcel of our marriage, so it’s kind of appropriate that I would write a love story revolving around a Boston terrier.

I hope you’ll read “I Heart Boston Terriers” even if you read it in its original Amber Quill Press edition (there are significant changes to the story which, I think, improves it a lot). If you like the story, please drop a line to Lily in care of rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

 

***

NEG UB2. For those of you not familiar, this shorthand, meaning ‘negative; you be too’ has shown up in online personals for years…and it can be kind of hurtful. In the excerpt below, our underdog romantic hero, Ethan Schwartz, comes across the phrase for the first time.

Christian returned to Mavis. “I want to see you make this your forever home, Mavis. It’s a place where you can feel safer and safer with every passing day.”

Aaron loved what he was telling the dog, whether she understood or not. Aaron believed any creature could pick up on the caring in Christian’s voice; he certainly could. But he worried about Becca. He wasn’t sure she had really left the door open for second chances or a “forever home,” and Aaron was doubtful this one visit from Christian could change things so much that she would allow Mavis to stay after all, especially if she became a dreaded “repeat offender.”

One of the last things she had said, before leaving for her internet date, was, “I was going to wear those Jimmy Choos today too. Damn it. Those shoes were mantraps, I tell you.” She had laughed, but Aaron could hear the regret and longing in her voice. He would never understand how someone—his sister, especially—could allow a pair of shoes to take precedence over a living thing.

Christian held Mavis up and out to Aaron. “Here. You try.”

Awkwardly, as if he were taking a newborn from Christian, he took Mavis into his arms, cradling her and letting one arm support her along her soft and warm belly.

“Just talk to her,” Christian said. “Just like I did—let her know you care, but make sure she understands you’re in charge.”

Aaron met Christian’s expectant gaze.

“Go on,” Christian encouraged.

Aaron didn’t know if he was doing the right thing, continuing to build a bond with a dog his sister had first insisted go back to the pound. But Mavis was appealing to his kindness with huge brown eyes, as if she too were waiting for him to make his move. Aaron doubted anyone could resist those eyes; they were perfectly round, a rich deep brown, and stared out of a face that was all at once wise, soulful, and a little melancholy.

He kind of let himself drift into the dog’s deep gaze and almost forgot Christian was there. He certainly forgot about Becca’s wishes as he began to speak, gently stroking Mavis’s head all the while.

“You and me, kid. We’re two of a kind. Alone. A bit unwanted, yes.” He massaged her neck. “But the two of us, we have a lot to offer, don’t we? So we’re not gonna feel sorry for ourselves, are we? We’re both survivors too, and we’re not gonna let this temporary setback get us down permanently. We’re going to remember that life is a series of sunshine and rainy days—and no one escapes either. That’s the thing we have to bear in mind—that the rain does stop falling, the sun does come out again. It happens for all of us.

“It’s happening for you, little stinker. Right now. You’ve found someone who’s decided to give you a home, someone who’s made the most important decision a person can make—to love.” He let himself feel the solidity of Mavis’s compact body against his own and knew, right then, that come hell or high water, sisters or high heels, nothing was going to come between this man and his dog.

“And while you may not love me yet, I think you will. If you get no other sense from my words than this, remember—I am not going to let anything bad happen to you, ever. Not if I can help it.”

He released Mavis, setting her gently down at his feet, where she promptly curled up, calmer than he had ever seen her.

Gradually he came back to reality and realized he’d probably just made an ass of himself in front of Christian. What he had said to the dog was heartfelt, but what if Christian had seen his words as nothing more than Hallmark platitudes? He was lifting his head to give Christian one of his patented sheepish grins, when he noticed Christian already looking at him.

If Aaron didn’t know better, he would say Christian was touched. And not “touched in the head,” either, although he might be that as well, but touched as in something really got through to him.

Christian slowly shook his head. He didn’t say anything for a long while, and then what he said next wasn’t at all what Aaron expected.

“Can I kiss you?”

 

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at www.rickrreed.com or www.rickrreedreality.blogspot.com. Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA with his beloved husband and their Boston terrier.

FIND RICK ONLINE

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.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.

Changing Tides by Alex Standish: Release Day Review and Giveaway

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Title: Changing Tides
Author: Alex Standish
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Category: Historical: Americas
Pages: TBD (Novella)

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

Changing Tides tells the tale of Devon, a notorious pirate known as the Phantom of the Caribbean who’s the captain of The Flying Horse. He and his crew do what pirates do, that is sail around looking for ships to commandeer and plunder. In between pirating, he’s got it in for the governor of Jamaica, Rupert Campbell, who Devon responsible for his father’s death, and is always looking for opportunity to take the guy down. The book opens with Devon wounded but stumbling his way to the Governor’s mansion where he is found by Brett, the Governor’s nephew. Brett nurses Devon back to health and during his recovery, he and Brett grow fond of each other. Naturally these two are going to have a bit of a hard time getting this thing off the ground, and before they can do much, the governor returns and Devon must flee. What follows is a pirating adventure that sort of reminded me of the classic Treasure Island: hidden treasure, an old map, adventure, ship battles, kidnappings, revenge, the high seas.

There were so many elements that would make me like this book: Pirates, romance, fights, rescue, bad guys getting their comeuppance…but I did not love this. The writing is a bit stilted and the details are kind of bland. I didn’t really feel anything for the characters or the romance. There’s a lot of tell, not show, here and conversations just don’t feel quite natural. There are a few love scenes, but at one point, Brett is half dead and it feels kind of icky for them to be attempting sexy times. This feels like an early writing attempt as far as dialogue and writing style go, but the plot wasn’t horrible. In fact, thinking back to Treasure Island, the style of writing is similar in that there’s lots of action and plot, and it’s much less character driven — not my favorite thing. Still, the good parts were okay and the less good parts really weren’t the worst I’ve read. I’d give the author another try in the future.

2.75 pieces of eye candy


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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