Shape of you by Felice Stevens: Release Day Review

Too big. Too fat.

All his life Eric Sontag has judged himself on his size, believing love and friendship aren’t in the cards for someone like him. Tired of being alone and scared of his doctor’s warnings, he enrolls in a nutrition support group, determined to change his life. When a beautiful thin man sits next to him, he can’t believe they have anything in common, but conversation between the two soon proves first impressions aren’t always what they seem.

Drifter. Loner.

Corey DeSantis has always been the scrawny waif; he’s tired of struggling with his art and with life. Scarred by the disappearance and death of his drug-addicted mother, he doesn’t wish for love, believing it will bring him nothing but pain in the end. Now his only hunger in life is his desire to paint…until a health scare and his mentor force him to attend a nutrition class where he meets a man who piques his interest. One drunken kiss later, Eric is all Corey can think about.

The same, yet different.

An unlikely friendship is born with both men wanting more but afraid to listen to their well-guarded hearts. When Corey receives shocking news leaving him angry and helpless, it’s Eric he leans on, to help see him through, while a surprising career opportunity finds Eric leaning on Corey for advice. One night of explosive passion leads to a second and soon neither man can imagine a life without the other. Life is shaped by the challenges accepted and roads not taken but as Corey and Eric walk the path together, they’ll discover the most beautiful destination of all. Love.

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Okay, So…first we have Corey; told by his doctor that if he didn’t lose weight, he was facing health problems that could be life threatening if he didn’t get his weight under control. It scared him enough to join a nutrition class to make some changes in his diet and help himself.

That’s where he meets Corey. Corey has the opposite problem, the life he’s lived hasn’t been easy and it’s affected him in a different way. He “forgets” to eat and when he does manage to force himself to eat something, it’s nothing substantial and he’s recently been to the hospital with a legitimate scare about his health as well. Modeling for his artist boss, he tells him he’s going to have to start taking better care of himself, or he can’t let him model anymore. So, these two guys agree to help each other out.

I liked the opposites attract vibe. They both had major things going on in their lives and it was great that they had each other there as a support system. I thought both of them could’ve benefited in talking to a professional, but they seemed to be okay when they weren’t trying to out-hurt each other. Neither of them had a good opinion of themselves and both of them had terrible self-esteem and self worth. It was hard to listen to them go back and forth over who’d been hurt worse and who had the more terrible life. I was glad they had each other though. I really felt like Eric helped Corey find himself a little bit, as well as pushed him to do some things that he’d been dreading for a while. He helped him heal.

Another thing I didn’t like, was…okay, I’m a big girl…always have been, always will be. Never in my life have I been treated so terribly by literally everyone I came in contact with like these two did. 6’3 and 240lbs, is not morbidly obese, yet seems like Eric can’t leave his house without someone calling him fat. That’s ridiculous. I know people are jerks, believe me I get that…this was waaaay too much. Like, we already feel sorry for him, you don’t have to make every single person he makes eye contact with go out of their way to tell him he’s fat. It was overkill and eventually had I thought of it sooner, I wanted to keep a counter of how many ridiculous times someone called him fat or treated him badly because he was minding his own business on a subway, being fat, or taking a class while fat. I wish I had, now.

Other than that though, I did enjoy these two finding someone to stand by you, loving you, even when you thought it was impossible for someone else to…when it was impossible for you to love yourself. I was glad these two found each other.

3 pieces of eye candy for 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.

A New Way to Dance by Sean Michael: Exclusive Guest Post and Excerpt, Blog Tour, Giveaway

Dancer Seth Avery has it all. He’s at the top of his game as a dancer and he’s in love with famous dance director Fayden DelMonaco, the man who is his sub. Seth’s whole world is turned upside down when Fayden dumps him in the nastiest and most public way possible. To compound matters, he’s in near fatal car crash shortly thereafter that leaves him severely injured.

Brook Turner is an ex-lawyer turned micro-brewer, baby-brother of Seth’s best friend Lizzie. The two met briefly before Seth’s accident, but it’s when they meet again six years later that they get a chance to act on the attraction they’d initially felt.

With Brook’s help, Seth begins to heal not only from his residual physical injuries, but also from the emotional ones inflicted by Fayden. Will it be enough to keep the two of them together?

Join Seth and Brooke as they find a new way to dance together.

Title:  A New Way to Dance

Author: Sean Michael

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: June 20, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 65,000 Words | 262 Pages

Genre: Contemporary Gay Romance, M/M Romance, BDSM

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Evil Plot Bunny

 

Thank you to Two Chicks Obsessed for hosting me today.

How do you keep things fresh after so many books?

That’s a good question. I think it helps that my favorite thing in the world is to write. I just love it. So, it’s not very often that I’m feeling blocked or ‘stale’. Still, it does happen.

When it does, it’s often because I’m tired, so a few hours or a day away from everything, and a good night’s sleep make a huge difference. I try and get downtown to walk around, or something like that, once a week – usually on the weekend. Getting out of the house and away from the computer even just for a couple hours is a great way to feel refreshed.

I also work on several stories at the same time, so if I’m not feeling one, I can go to a different one. Or I can start something new that’s not like any of the others I’m working on.

Another strategy is changing up the stories. For instance, if I’m writing BDSM, I might put two Doms together. Or have a character who thinks he’s a Dom, but really isn’t. This is what happens to Seth in A New Way to Dance.

Sean Michael

smut fixes everything

 

 

It was like making out, but without the weirdness, the awkwardness.

He pulled Seth against him, liking the way Seth felt.

“I’m not in the headspace to be naked with someone. You need to know that.”

“You have to be in a headspace to get off?”

Seth shrugged. “I don’t know.”

“Why don’t we just do what feels good?”

Seth’s answer was another kiss, sweet and heady.

Groaning, he opened up to Seth and slid his hand along the man’s side, his back. The heavy sweatshirt stymied his need to learn Seth’s shape. He found the bottom of it, pushing under it to search for skin. Then Brook touched that flat, concave belly, Seth sucking in.

Ropy and strong, Seth was skin and bone and sharp muscles.

He’d never touched a man that was so hard, so controlled. It was fascinating.

He let his fingers slide up towards Seth’s nipples as they continued to kiss. Seth’s body was smooth—the man had to wax. Had to. No one was this hairless.

He tugged gently at Seth’s lower lip, his fingertips finding the little nipples. The tiny nips drew up, reacting to his touch. Brook loved the responsiveness, and he kept playing with them.

He could feel the growing hunger in Seth’s kisses in the way Seth’s breath went ragged. He encouraged each kiss, each deepening of the pleasure they shared.

Often referred to as “Space Cowboy” and “Gangsta of Love” while still striving for the moniker of “Maurice,” Sean Michael spends his days surfing, smutting, organizing his immense gourd collection and fantasizing about one day retiring on a small secluded island peopled entirely by horseshoe crabs. While collecting vast amounts of vintage gay pulp novels and mood rings, Sean whiles away the hours between dropping the f-bomb and pursuing the kama sutra by channeling the long lost spirit of John Wayne and singing along with the soundtrack to “Chicago.”

A long-time writer of complicated haiku, currently Sean is attempting to learn the advanced arts of plate spinning and soap carving sex toys.

Barring any of that? He’ll stick with writing his stories, thanks, and rubbing pretty bodies together to see if they spark.

Sean’s available for interviews, by the way. He can always be talked into, well talking about himself. Just drop him an email.

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Tour Schedule

June 26 – Sue Brown’s Stories |  MillsyLovesBooks | Because Two Men Are Better Than One

June 27 – BFD Book Blog | Stories That Make You Smile

June 28 – The Really Naughty Corner | Happily Ever Chapter | Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

June 29 – MM Good Book Reviews | Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words | Boy Meets Boy Reviews | Divine Magazine

June 30 – SiK Reviews | Dawn’s Reading Nook | Two Chicks Obsessed

 

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Lying Eyes by Robert Winter: Cover Reveal and Excerpt

 

Title:  Lying Eyes

Author: Robert Winter

Publisher:  Robert Winter Books (self-published)

Release Date: July 7, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 84300

Genre: Romance, Mystery, BDSM

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This bartender’s art lies in more than mixing drinks …

Randy Vaughan is a six-foot-three mass of mysteries to his customers and his friends. Why does a former Secret Service agent now own Mata Hari, a successful piano bar? Where did a muscle daddy get his passion for collecting fine art? If he’s as much a loner as his friends believe, why does he crave weekly sessions at an exclusive leather club?

Randy’s carefully private life unravels when Jack Fraser, a handsome art historian from England, walks into his bar, anxious to get his hands on a painting Randy owns. The desperation Randy glimpses in whiskey-colored eyes draws him in, as does the desire to submit that he senses beneath Jack’s elegant, driven exterior.

While wrestling with his attraction to Jack, Randy has to deal with a homeless teenager, a break-in at Mata Hari, and Jack’s relentless pursuit of the painting called Sunrise. It becomes clear someone’s lying to Randy. Unless he can figure out who and why, he may miss his chance at the love he’s dreamed about in the hidden places of his heart.

Note: Lying Eyes is a standalone gay romance novel with consensual bondage and a strong happy ending. It contains potential spoilers for Robert Winter’s prior novel, Every Breath You Take.

 

Saturday rolled around, and Randy headed to town early to make sure everything was ready for Mata Hari’s busiest evening of the week. Although the bar officially opened at five-thirty, it was rare for anyone to wander in much before seven o’clock. Randy was surprised when the front door opened at six to admit a good-looking man.

The stranger was probably about five foot nine or ten, and wore a three-piece suit that seemed tailored to accentuate a lean build. His dark hair was cut stylishly short on the sides but thick and swept back on the top, and his mustache and full beard were closely trimmed. A brightly colored necktie contrasted with the somber gray of his suit. Randy had trouble assessing the man’s age, but he would go with thirty. European, though—Randy would stake the bar on that guess.

The newcomer contemplated the walls of Mata Hari, passing almost dismissively over the art on display. He studied each piece for no more than a second before moving to the next, but Randy had a distinct impression the man sought something in particular. As he completed his survey, he kept turning and eventually met Randy’s eyes across the bar.

Immediately desire flared in the man’s face as his hungry gaze drifted over Randy’s tight white shirt and up to his face, lingering on his mouth. Shoulders tightened almost imperceptibly as he drew himself to his full height, yet Randy recognized a softening of hard edges. He lazily ran his own eyes to the stranger’s luxurious beard, and he imagined stroking the softness there. He sensed something accommodating. Something potentially submissive, yet more subtle than the wanton displays of obedience and posing he was used to on Mondays at his private club.

Something he would enjoy channeling and rewarding, in the right circumstance.

The man started toward the bar. As he moved, Randy had the odd sense that the suit he wore was ill-fitting, even though it seemed perfectly tailored. A step away from the bar, his face just—closed. That was the only word for it. One instant he was cruising Randy; the next he was stone.

Randy sighed to himself. The guy was probably a closet case on his first night at a gay bar. That usually meant an unsatisfying encounter, even if the newbie didn’t rabbit. In any case, it wasn’t Randy’s thing. He’d had plenty of virgin ass over the years, and preferred his men experienced.

Fine. Nothing for me here. He waited at the bar, vaguely disappointed.

“Sir, good evening.” The man’s accent was English, his words precise and elegant like his hair and his clothes and his beard. Probably from London. Up close, Randy could see his eyes were a deep shade of brown graced with streaks of gold around the pupils that caught the lights over the bar. “I’m looking for a Mr. Randall Vaughan.”

Despite forswearing his immediate attraction to the stranger, that honeyed voice caused Randy to smile slowly and show his teeth. He registered the slight widening of the eyes behind the stranger’s mask as he focused on Randy’s mouth.

“I’m Randy Vaughan. And you are…?”

The man blinked in surprise. “Oh. The Mr. Vaughan I was seeking is an art collector.”

Shit. Just another jerkwad, making assumptions right away. Randy was a big man so he couldn’t possibly be knowledgeable about art, could he? Well, fuck that noise. One more chance.

“I wouldn’t use the term collector, but…” Randy gestured at the walls.

“Quite so,” the man said distantly, and turned to sweep his gaze over the works on the nearest wall. “Neither would I.”

Randy’s back stiffened immediately. The stranger—no, the asshole—turned his attention back to Randy and held out a hand. He seemed oblivious to the fact that he’d just royally pissed Randy off. “My name is Jack Fraser. I’m from the Kensington Museum in London.” Fraser paused as if waiting for Randy to be impressed. “I sent you a letter recently.”

Randy willed himself not to think further about Fraser’s whiskey-colored eyes or the luxuriousness of his beard, and he didn’t take the offered hand. Instead, he wiped a small spill on the counter before him. “You did,” he agreed in a bored tone.

Fraser dropped his hand. “Ah, yes.” A pause. “My secretary didn’t hear from you to set up an appointment.”

“Which was my answer to your request,” Randy said, letting some snarl appear as he met Fraser’s eyes. They were still guarded and closed off, but Randy could see embers burning deep inside. In the right setting, and with proper motivation, he could imagine making those embers flare and ignite in the slender man before him. For the moment, though, the eyes just narrowed in calculation.

Before Fraser could say anything, Randy turned away. “If you’ll excuse me, I have work to do.”

“May I buy a pint?” Fraser asked, desperation shading his smooth accent.

Randy considered calling Malcolm over to deal with it, but stopped in front of the beer taps. He was annoyed at his lingering attraction, and he decided to push back on this prick a bit. “Fine. What’s your pleasure?”

“Guinness. If you have it.”

“Of course you’d drink Guinness.” A little scorn curled Randy’s lip. “Well, the closest beer I have is a stout from Flying Dog.” He let his sneer turn feral. “It’s called Pearl Necklace.” He dropped his eyes to Fraser’s necktie, as if he could picture that very thing replacing the colorful silk.

Fraser blinked nervously. Probably he could picture it too. Maybe he even imagined Randy’s hot jizz splattering his chest and neck as his reward. Well, he shouldn’t have been a condescending shit out of the gate then. Randy waited, one hand on the tap, the other idly scratching his ear to make his bicep flex under his white shirt. Fraser focused on his arm and swallowed audibly.

“That’ll be fine,” he said. “A, uh, Flying Dog then.” Randy drew the pint to set before Fraser on a coaster. He didn’t wait for the man to take a sip or comment, but headed to the other end of the bar to check inventory.

He stayed busy but somehow noticed that Fraser lingered at the bar for several minutes, apparently hoping Randy would come back and let him ask again about the piece Randy had purchased from the Gates Gallery. When Randy deliberately kept his distance, Fraser took his beer (which, Randy was pleased to note, was more than half gone) and wandered around the room to examine more carefully each painting displayed. Sometimes he moved on quickly to the next piece of art. Other times, he gave a slight shake of his head.

Randy’s ears burned, and he considered throwing the guy out. Since he’d opened Mata Hari no one had given him grief about his collection. To be honest, no one had studied it the way Fraser did, but still. Each piece had been acquired because Randy connected to something in it. To have this handsome English stuffed shirt look down his nose offended Randy in a way he couldn’t even articulate. He seethed inside the longer Fraser spent on his dismissive tour of the room.

When Fraser reached a landscape that was hung over a small settee, he gave a distinct snort. He set his empty beer glass on a nearby table and Randy swooped over to pick it up, ostentatiously swiping the wood as if it had left a ring. “Another Pearl Necklace?” he snarled.

“Ah, no. Thank you.” Fraser seemed surprised to find Randy standing so close, though his eyes remained closed off and stony. “But it was a quite nice stout after all. Thank you for the recommendation.”

Randy gestured at the landscape with his chin. “Is that painting offensive to you for some reason? You’re practically laughing at it.”

“What? Oh no, it’s…fine. Competent. It’s the presentation, the arrangement of the art, that I find amusing.”

Randy ran his gaze over the pieces arranged on that wall of the bar. He’d decided where to hang each and every work over a long stretch of time as he’d readied Mata Hari for opening. He revisited the collection frequently and rotated different pieces in and out of prominent positions. Most of his customers were oblivious but Randy took great satisfaction in presenting something unique in the atmosphere of his bar.

“What’s amusing about it?”

“Well, there’s no story, is there?” Fraser answered him.

“What do you mean?”

“Individually each piece is presentable. A few are even intriguing. But see here,” he gestured at the landscape, “this is a nicely executed pastoral, yet it’s positioned between a Japanese scroll and a watercolor of a monarch butterfly. The pieces say nothing about each other, and have no intrinsic relationship.

“But over there,” he indicated the wall opposite, “is a modern landscape. Change the frames to something complementary, place them side by side, and the two landscapes together suggest a conversation in, oh, quite a lot actually. Painting techniques, the subject and tonal changes in works separated by two artistic traditions. You see?”

Randy did see, but he’d be damned if he’d admit it. “Two landscapes here wouldn’t fit,” he said stubbornly.

“Ah. Art as furniture. Of course,” Fraser said with a smirk, and that did it.

“No charge for the Pearl Necklace,” Randy barked. “Since you made the trip for nothing.”

 

Robert Winter lives and writes in Provincetown. He is a recovering lawyer who prefers writing about hot men in love much more than drafting a legal brief. He left behind the (allegedly) glamorous world of an international law firm to sit in his home office and dream up ways to torment his characters until they realize they are perfect for each other.

When he isn’t writing, Robert likes to cook Indian food and explore new restaurants. He splits his attention between Andy, his partner of sixteen years, and Ling the Adventure Cat, who likes to fly in airplanes and explore the backyard jungle as long as the temperature and humidity are just right.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

 

 

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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.

Something’s Brewing at Joe’s by SJD Peterson: Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

The promise of a dream job lures Murphy to Tampa, but he arrives to the rude awakening that the offer is on hold. Now he’s got two choices: slink back to Michigan with his tail between his legs or stay and look for work. Things perk up when he goes into a coffee shop and learns the owner is looking for someone to renovate the apartment above it. He happily takes the job, only later realizing he’s met Joe Sterling, Kaffeinate’s proprietor, before… when they hooked up at a club Murphy’s first night in Tampa.

Murphy and Joe are both proud, passionate, and outspoken. Neither is looking for a relationship, though they can’t deny they go together as well as coffee and doughnuts, in spite of their tempers. But that’s before Joe learns Murphy will be working for the corporation he believes is harming local businesses and the environment—and if Murphy will be supporting it, Joe will want nothing to do with him, dooming any possibility of an unexpected happy ending.

Title: Something’s Brewing at Joe’s
Author: SJD Peterson
Release Date: June 30, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Dreamspinner Press

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Undeniable and Uncontrollable

I’m often asked how I can have so many books in just six years. The answer, lots and lots of hours at the computer and a magnitude of voices in my head. The Second question I’m asked a lot is what do I think makes a good romance. That’s difficult to answer , because I truly believe it depends on the story and the audience. Everyone has their own definition of romantic. However, if I have to narrow it down to one thing, I’d have to say, the chemistry between the characters must be undeniable and uncontrollable. For this to happen, the attraction must be both physical and emotional. So how is realistic attraction between love interests created?

Each person has to lack a quality that the other can fulfill. It’s important to have two people (or more) who have characteristics which balance the other. Notice I said balance not fit together like two connecting puzzle pieces. Personally, when I read a story where the couple is annoyingly perfect, I get irritated and more importantly, bored. Great Chemistry is created by having a character with an emotional hole and another character to fill that hole. (Get your mind out of the gutter)

That being said, good character interaction, in general, depends not only on what a character lacks and makes up for in the other but also their differences, strengths, and how they come together to resolve the conflict.

In Something’s Brewing at Joe’s, there is an instant physical attraction between Murphy and Joe. However, their emotional connection makes their love undeniable and uncontrollable.

Okay, first thing…I have to giggle that Joe owns a coffee shop, and Murphy is almost dead without his coffee, because if you follow SJD Peterson on twitter like we do, you would know how much Jo LOOOOOVVVVVVEEEEEESSSSSS her coffee. Recent tweets included the hashtag #coffeeaddict and that she was making a fresh pot at 9pm to get writing. So, of course, it makes complete sense that she would write a story centered around the local coffee house, where the owner is beloved by most everyone in Tampa. 🙂

Anyway, onto the book. Poor Murphy. He just couldn’t catch a break when he first got to Florida. He thought he had a great job ahead of him having just finished school, and ready to begin his career in heating (well likely not a lot of that in Florida) and air conditioning (TONS of that in Florida), and getting himself on his feet after his ex left him with next to nothing. He finds a friend in one of the employees at Joe’s, and finds a job, as well.

Meanwhile, he meets up with Joe again, only realizing later that he would be working for him. And to say these men were passionate is putting it mildly. They are passionate about their beliefs, and they tear up the sheets! (Jo can write some great sex scenes, and this book is no different).

What I enjoyed about these two was that despite some of their huge differences in beliefs, they stuck to their guns, and did not back down from the other merely because they didn’t agree. They could compromise, or they could just not talk about it…which these two men did very, very well…not talking. But in the end, they were strong in their beliefs, yet were willing to work with each other to find common ground.

The biggest conflict for them was the fact that would not talk, which in reality is how many men can be. These two jumped into bed together, or in the office, or on a mattress on the floor for that matter, before they would talk to each other about how they felt, despite all the times they said they were going to talk. If sex was on the table (not literally…) then they would do that long before they focused on building a relationship that each of them believed they didn’t want when they started.

I loved how they worked together at the end to get the bad guy, although it did seem a bit unrealistic initially. However, the way they got around the legalities of it was creative, as well as very relative to current events.

Another book of Jo’s that will go on my “to read again” list. Oh…and did I say there were hot sex scenes? Cause, there are…of course! Whew!

4 pieces of eye candy

 

SJD Peterson, better known as Jo, hails from Michigan. Not the best place to live for someone who hates the cold and snow. When not reading or writing, Jo can be found close to the heater checking out NHL stats and watching the Red Wings kick a little butt. Can’t cook, misses the clothes hamper nine out of ten tries, but is handy with power tools.

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Jo is giving away an ebook of any of her backlist items. Let her know what you think about her upcoming release!

 

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

Oversight by Santino Hassell: Spotlight with Giveaway

Holden Payne has it all . . . or so he thinks. As heir to the founder of the Community—an organization that finds, protects, and manages psychics—he’s rich, powerful, and treated like royalty. But after a series of disappearances and murders rock the Community, he’s branded the fall guy for the scandal and saddled with a babysitter.

Sixtus Rossi is a broad-shouldered, tattooed lumbersexual with a man bun and a steely gaze. He’s also an invulnerable—supposedly impervious to both psychic abilities and Holden’s charms. It’s a claim Holden takes as a challenge. Especially if sleeping with Six may help him learn whether the Community had more to do with the disappearances than they claimed.

As Holden uncovers the truth, he also finds himself getting in deep with the man sent to watch him. His plan to seduce Six for information leads to a connection so intense that some of Six’s shields come crashing down. And with that comes a frightening realization: Holden has to either stand by the Community that has given him everything, or abandon his old life to protect the people he loves.

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Riptide Publishing

 

About The Community Series

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

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

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

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

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

Book 1: Insight

Book 2: Oversight

 

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

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

Connect with Santino:

 

To celebrate the release of Oversight, one lucky winner will receive a $15 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on July 1, 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.

Texting, Autocorrect and a Prius by M.A. Church: Release Day Review, Exclusive Guest Post, and Giveaway

Clay McDonald finds the perfect car on Craigslist and is quick to send the seller a text:

Is your penis still for sale?

AutoCorrect strikes again. Damn—he should’ve proofread. How embarrassing.

Luckily Darrell Anderson, a mechanic and the owner of the Prius, is more amused than offended, and the two men agree to meet. When they do, the attraction is instant, and a date is arranged. But a series of mishaps, misunderstandings, and misplaced assumptions sorely test the new relationship.

In a contemporary romantic comedy about the perils of technology and dating in the modern world, a text that went so wrong might just lead to something so right—but only if Clay can refrain from jumping to conclusions and give love the benefit of the doubt.

Title: Texting, AutoCorrect, and a Prius
Author: M.A. Church
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Humor
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Dreamspinner Press

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Some Fun Facts About Cell Phones

  1. First mobile phone was Motorola Dyan TAC 8000X and was invented in 1983 by Martin Copper. It could only store thirty contacts and weighed 1.1kg. You could only talk for thirty minutes and cost close to four thousand dollars. And ya’ll thought cell phone were high dollar now, lol.

 

  1. The first smart phone was made by IBM and was launched August 16, 1994. It was the first commercially available touchtone screen and came pre-installed with functions like a calendar, calculator, address book, and Note Pad. Oh sooo many options! (And I remember this too lol.)

 

  1. Apple sold million iPhones in 2012 in fourteen weeks—or 262 phones per minute. I can’t even wrap my head around that.

 

  1. And speaking of iPhones, there was an iPhone5 fully coated with 26 carat black diamonds. For a measly $15.3 million you can own one too. Who’s with me???

 

  1. The highest mobile phone bill was $201,000. 00. Someone’s gonna be grounded for a looooong time. Well, they would be after I picked myself off the floor after passing smooth out. Then they better run.

 

Cell phones, lol. Gotta love them. And most of us can’t live without them… me included!

He got out, locked his truck, and walked over to the ’Vette. The car was a thing of beauty, there was no doubt about that. Regrettably he didn’t get close enough last night to tell a whole lot about it, but it certainly looked like the one he’d seen before.

“Well, I’ll be damned.”

Clay jerked his head up. Holy shit. There in the garage, standing next to the Prius, was a man. A man who looked like the guy he saw the night before at Milo’s and earlier in the day in town.

“Oh my God,” Clay said again. He seemed to be stuck on repeat. “It’s you.”

The guy smirked. “Funny, I was thinking the exact same thing. You’re the guy who was eye-fucking my car last night.”

Clay’s ears began to burn. He was pretty sure he was turning red in the face. “Hey, it’s a nice-looking car.” So was the owner. “I’m Clay McDonald.”

The guy who owned the Prius walked from the garage, hand held out. “Nice to meet you, Clay. My name is Darrell Anderson. You’re interested in driving a Prius, right?”

Well, if Clay wasn’t red before, he sure was now. That damn message was going to haunt him forever.

I haven’t read this author before Texting, Autocorrect, and a Prius but just the title intrigued me, mostly because autocorrect gets me every time, and it can be a super hilarious mistake. It is also something that comes back to haunt me sometimes, which I expected for poor Clay. It does, but only one time, which I won’t lie, disappointed me slightly, cause, well, penis is a great autocorrect! 🙂

These two had quite a few misunderstandings to deal with, but they seemed to clear all those up fairly efficiently. I was definitely looking for some of those issues to linger, but they didn’t. It was an issue, then once they fixed it, they moved on (which is good for a relationship of course, but not as much for building tension).

I just felt that there were things that could have been expanded upon, or otherwise left out because there wasn’t really a need for it. E.g. Clay’s sister wanting to set him up on a blind date with, as it turned out, Darrell. It was brought up, then later it was revealed, and there was a very quick conversation on it, but it was as if the drama came much more from what caused the initial conversation (Darrell’s friend) than anything else.

In the end, I needed more. More laughs behind the jokes, more tension behind their issues, just a bit more of what I thought was a fantastic story idea. I enjoyed it, but wanted more.

3.5 pieces of eye candy


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M.A. Church is a true Southern belle who spent many years in the elementary education sector. Now she spends her days lost in fantasy worlds, arguing with hardheaded aliens on far-off planets, herding her numerous shifters, or trying to tempt her country boys away from their fishing poles. It’s a full time job, but hey, someone’s gotta do it!

When not writing, she’s on the back porch tending to the demanding wildlife around the pond in the backyard. The ducks are very outspoken. She’s married to her high school sweetheart, and they have two grown children.

She is a member of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America.

 

 

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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.

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

Regret RDB Banner

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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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.

Slim Chance by Jeff Erno: Exclusive Guest Post, Pre-Release Review and Giveaway


Can a man improve his appearance without losing everything good inside him?

Oliver has always been obese and suffered from a negative body image. He’s tried diets before, failing time after time, but he vows this time will be different. As he begins an exercise program, his confidence increases—and so does his interest in his friend and coworker Benjy. Though they bonded long ago over a love of online gaming, it takes a lot of courage for Oliver to share his new body and be intimate with another man.

A passionate romance blooms, but as Oliver nears his goal, it seems he doesn’t need Benjy—with his chronic anxiety and troubled past—now that he’s made attractive new friends at the gym. But not all relationships are equal, and Oliver realizes that Benjy, who loved and supported him when no one else did, is more than a reminder of his old life.

A pleasing appearance means nothing when it hides a lonely, empty heart, and if Oliver cannot decide what’s truly important, he’ll lose what he cherishes most.

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Dreamspinner Press

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Thanks so much, TCO, for hosting me on your blog. I’m thrilled to be at it again, promoting another new release, and this time I’m especially excited to share something a little different than any of my other stories. As I’ve hopped around the blogosphere launching this release, I’ve tried to offer unique topics on each of my posts (which isn’t exactly easy when you have ten or more different blogs to write, all about the same book).

So I want to talk about something that relates to my new release, Slim Chance, but that can be applied much more holistically to a lot of my books. I want to discuss two things, actually—empathy and perspective.

In a perfect world where there are only perfect stories with perfect characters, there’s no need for empathy. In such an imaginary place, authors wouldn’t have to hope that readers would view their characters sympathetically. Characters wouldn’t think negative thoughts or do selfish things. They wouldn’t say anything offensive. They wouldn’t belittle themselves or lose their temper with their loved ones. They’d be perfect.

My world isn’t perfect, and neither are my characters, so I do rely upon the empathy of the reader. I hope they are capable of putting themselves into the shoes of this less-than-perfect character. I hope they can get beyond disliking him and set aside their judgment long enough to feel what he’s likely feeling.

If I were to ask what the biggest difference between reading a story in a book and seeing that same story in a movie, what would you think it would be? I think the biggest difference is that in a book we not only see outside the character, but also inside his head and heart. Granted, there is some debate about exactly how much a storyteller should “tell” the reader. If the author belabors the thought process of the characters, it sounds like he/she’s doing way too much explaining and not enough showing. Stories are supposed to be shown more than told, so when a particular event or conversation occurs in the story, ideally you want to show the reader by actions and words how that character is likely feeling.

That’s what they do in movies. Very seldom does a movie have a narrator cutting in to explain how devastated, angry, or upset a character is. You can see it, and as a viewer you’re smart enough to understand. But in literature, there is kind of a fine line. Because unlike movies, a written story is told from a specific point of view. That point of view might be first person, third-person limited, or third person alternating, but in all cases it is told from one perspective at a time. So a lot of the visual cues a viewer might see in a movie—things like body language, blushing, scowling, etc.—are not described in a novel. The author sometimes has to do some “telling.”

And believe me, if an author doesn’t do enough telling, he’ll hear about it from his content editor. “Don’t you think this would have hurt the character’s feelings?” “Perhaps you should discuss how this made him feel.” And when I get those kinds of editorial notes, my knee-jerk reaction is to scream back at my computer monitor and say, “Of course, it hurt his feelings! Of course, he was angry and scared! But the reader can already see this! The reader does not need to be told every single feeling, especially if you want me to SHOW this damn story rather than tell it!”

And a lot of times I literally do shout similar things at my computer monitor. But when I calm down, I go back and do exactly what that content editor has suggested to me.

Usually.

In this book, Slim Chance, I rejected a lot of advice offered to me by my content editors (intentionally plural). They didn’t think Oliver was likable enough. They didn’t think he showed enough empathy. I respectfully disagreed with them, and I’ll go on record as saying that from an m/m romance point of view, they’re probably right. Many readers are not going to fall in love with Oliver.

I did not write Oliver to be a sympathetic character. I wrote him to be real. He’s been abused, ridiculed, mocked, and more or less tortured his entire life. Of course he is cynical. Of course he doesn’t trust people who are nice to him. A million times previously he’s had people say very sweet things to his face and then make fun of him for being a blimp behind his back. Of course he looks in the mirror and feels disgusted by his reflection. He’s a gay man living within a culture where beauty is worshiped.

If you the reader were to immediately fall head over heels in love with Oliver Paxton, I’d say I pretty much failed at portraying an accurate story. Oliver made me uncomfortable, and I wrote him. I wanted to feel that way, though. I wanted to walk a mile in the man’s shoes. But Oliver arcs, and I hope by the end of the story, the reader walks away really liking him, if not loving him like I do.

And that’s why I mentioned perspective. I hope readers will try to understand my perspective…and Oliver’s. And with Oliver, I think I did spend a lot of time in his head. In fact, I actually had to cut out some of the exposition pieces of the story. But what you won’t get is anything from Benjy’s point of view. Benjy is Oliver’s boyfriend. I do plan to talk a little more in my blog posts about Benjy and who he is—why he put up with Oliver as long as he did. I’d have loved to have talked about it more in the book, but this was Oliver’s story and told 100% from Oliver’s point of view.

Of all the stories I’ve written, this has been one of the most meaningful to me personally. I’m thrilled with Dreamspinner Press for giving me the chance to share it, and I’m incredibly thankful to the readers who take a chance on reading it.

Hopefully, you read Jeff’s blog post carefully, because then you will understand what I am about to say about this book.

I did NOT like Oliver…not for a very long time. (I am guessing Jeff will be happy about that!) Let’s face it, he was a jerk. He was a jerk when he was fat, he was a jerk as he was losing weight, and he was a jerk when he got skinny. Although, I will give him a pass on the part where he got skinny, because the man had a complete overhaul in his world and anybody in that situation would not have any clue what is right or wrong in lots of those situations.

But he was just a jerk to Benjy, a man who was faithful, supportive, loving and a fantastic friend, despite all the reasons why he could have told Ollie to take a flying leap. He was positive, helpful and so supportive of what Ollie wanted to do, not necessarily what Benjy wanted. It gave a bit of an impression that Benjy was a pushover, and would let Ollie do whatever he wanted, and hurt Benjy without consequences. Ollie finds out that Benjy isn’t a pushover, but someone who truly just wants to do what he can to be there.

These two men both had huge issues to overcome, and Ollie’s weight was just one of them. His self-esteem was awful (this cover is freaking perfect for what this book touches on), and even as he lost weight, he couldn’t see how he would ever be lovable. Meanwhile, Benjy had such horrible anxiety it was a wonder that he was able to go to work on a daily basis. Neither of these things can be overcome with an HEA, and I love that Jeff did not make that their salvation. Their road to their success was lead by themselves.

This was a very personal book to me. I actually had a hard time reading some of it. I have been overweight most of my life (like Ollie, although not nearly that size), and being female the criticism tends to be much more harsh than it is for me (which Jeff even touches on in the book). Knowing the pain that comes with living in a society that values the size of your waist more than the size of your love, it was hard to see how he would react to hateful things that happened to him. However, it was heartening to read that it doesn’t have to be that way, and it isn’t necessarily because you lose the weight, but that you learn to love yourself.

Thank you Jeff for stepping outside so many comfort zones and creating characters that are flawed inside, because they are seen as flawed outside.

I have to give this book two ratings.

As a reader: 4 pieces of eye candy

As a human being: 5+ pieces of eye candy

Social Media:
website: http://www.jefferno.com
facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jefferno
twitter: https://twitter.com/JeffErno
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Chief’s Mess by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Anthony Talbot is in Anchor Point to visit family, but after two days of strife, he needs a break. A local gay bar is calling his name.

When Chief Noah Jackson sees that red head stroll into the club, he immediately wants him. They’re perfectly matched, and before long, they’re burning up the sheets. Noah can’t get enough. Anthony can’t stay in Oregon for long, but as soon as he leaves, he’s counting down the days until he can fly back for more. And between his increasingly frequent visits, there’s always phone sex, sexting, webcams . . . anything they can get.

But Noah’s got a carefully crafted façade, and Anthony can’t help noticing the slowly forming cracks. The scent of alcohol in the middle of the day. The extra drinks at dinner. The hint of red in his eyes. Anthony knows what it means. He doesn’t want to believe it, but he’s seen this before, and there’s no denying it. If Noah doesn’t get his downward spiral under control, he’s going to lose both his career and the first man he’s ever really loved.

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Welcome to the Riptide Publishing/L. A. Witt blog tour for Chief’s Mess, the third book in the Anchor Point series!

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for a choice of two eBooks off my backlist (excluding Chief’s Mess) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 24th, and winners will be announced on June 25th.  Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries.

Chief’s Mess Exclusive Excerpt

I could not sit still.

I’d been in baggage claim for a good half an hour already, and Noah’s plane hadn’t even touched down yet. I’d paced and squirmed all over the house forever before I’d left. After all, there could be traffic. Or it might take me a while to find a place to park. Or his flight could come in early.

Yeah, right. There was no traffic. I found a parking space in seconds. And his flight was delayed ten minutes because the world was a giant bag of dicks.

Now we were in that ten-minute window. When, in a parallel universe, Noah was already wheels down and on his way to me. But no, I had to wait a few more minutes. Fuck.

I was so excited I couldn’t see straight. Screwing off on my phone couldn’t hold my attention. There was no one around who looked like they wanted a stranger to strike up a conversation. Nothing to do but wait. Wait. Wait. I didn’t wait well. The more I was looking forward to something—or someone—the less patient I was. The more I needed to do something to occupy my hands, brain, feet. Hell, I’d even checked the restrooms near baggage claim in case one might be suitable to . . . get reacquainted. After all, a lot of the restrooms in this airport doubled as tornado shelters. Seemed like they were sturdy enough to handle a Noah-Anthony reunion.

The thought made me chuckle. I was so tired I was almost slap happy. Not that I’d been awake half the night or anything. Or practically ping-ponging off the walls until I’d finally decided to leave early in case I couldn’t find a place to park. My roommate had laughed at my impatience and all my rationalizing about leaving early. At least he’d probably be gone by the time I came home. Jay was smart like that—if I was this excited about a man I was going to bang, things were going to be loud.

Rocking on my feet to expend some nervous energy, I stared at the screen. It refreshed, and when Delayed turned to Arrived, I almost spontaneously combusted.

Of course the plane still had to taxi, attach to the gate, and wait for God knew what to happen in that interim before someone finally opened the fucking door. And because no one had invented teleportation, Noah had to hoof it off the plane and through the terminal, and the Denver Airport was fucking massive, so it took forever to make that walk.

Six hours later—or maybe like ten minutes; I’d kind of lost track—he appeared, dressed in jeans and a T-shirt and looking as fuckable as ever. I couldn’t help grinning like an idiot.

“Hey,” he said when he was in earshot, and held his arms out.

“Hey, you.” I hugged him tight, wishing like hell we could do more than that in public. “So good to see you.”

“You too.”

I took a breath to say something else, but caught the faintly pungent scent of alcohol. I figured he must’ve just had a drink, and ignored it.

At least, until we started toward short-term parking, and his gait wobbled slightly.

What the hell?

“You okay?”

“Yeah. Yeah.” He laughed, adjusting the bag’s strap again, though it seemed pretty well seated on his shoulder.

The scent of alcohol still lingered in my nose. “You’re not . . . drunk, are you?”

“No!” He chuckled. “I had a few on the plane, but I’m good.”

I eyed him dubiously.

“I’m a nervous flyer,” he said. “Sometimes it takes a couple of drinks to calm my nerves.”

“Oh. I guess I can understand that.” I paused. “You should’ve told me. I’m fine with flying, so I could’ve come to Anchor—”

“It’s fine. Like you said, my neighbors don’t get to hog the noise complaints.” He glanced at me and winked.

I hesitated but then chuckled. “Fair enough. To the car?”

“Lead the way.”

Aside from that slight wobble, his gait was perfectly steady. So maybe I’d imagined the whole thing, or my brain was exaggerating it. I didn’t like flying either—I could totally see why someone would drink to bring down the anxiety. Thanks to Clint, though, I automatically assumed any drinking was a red flag, especially once someone showed signs of actual intoxication.

Get a grip. He was nervous about flying. You’re projecting, plain and simple.

So, I put it out of my mind, and we continued toward short-term parking.

Noah hadn’t brought much with him, so he didn’t bother putting it in the trunk, and set it at his feet as he dropped into the passenger seat and exhaled. “God, I am so glad to be off that plane.”

“Rough flight?” I buckled my seat belt. “Or just not a fan?”

“Little of both. We hit some turbulence, and that was about the time I started begging for a drink.”

“Eh, can’t blame you.”

He fussed with some papers for a second—his boarding passes, I thought—and stuffed them into his bag. As he leaned back, he said, “Also doesn’t help that one time when I flew into a base on a cargo jet, I swear our pilot was a fighter pilot before.”

“Oh yeah? Why’s that?”

“Fucker was banking like he was in a Super Hornet.” He made a gesture like his hand was a plane taking a sharp curve, the imaginary wings almost vertical. “Dude was crazy.”

“Wow.” I laughed. “I don’t think I’d enjoy that.”

“I sure as hell didn’t.” He shuddered. “When you’re already kind of nervous about being in the air, that shit is obnoxious.”

“I believe it.”

He looked out at the scenery. Not that there was much, considering the Denver Airport was surrounded by basically nothing. “They really built this place in the middle of nowhere, didn’t they?”

“Well yeah,” I deadpanned. “You don’t build the headquarters for the New World Order in downtown Los Angeles.”

He eyed me. “Come again?”

“Oh come on. You’ve never heard the conspiracy theories about the Denver Airport?”

“I have, but do people actually buy in to that shit?”

I nodded. “They do. My ex-wife’s brother totally thought they—”

Noah did a double take. “Wait, you were married before?”

I glanced at him and smirked. “Yes. The Illuminati built an airport in the middle of nowhere because God knows the center of the New World Order needs to have a Quiznos and a Hudson News, and I was married before.” I sighed dramatically, patting his thigh. “You’ve had quite a few big shocks today, Noah. If you need to take a breather, let me—”

“Shut up.” He laughed and squeezed my hand. Sobering a bit, he said, “But . . . seriously? You were married?

I’ve been a fan of the Anchor Point series since book one. Okay, so if I’m being honest, I love just about anything LA Witt writes, and I love her ability to tell military stories. I’ll fully admit, I went into Chief’s Mess with high expectations. Unfortunately, this one fell a bit short.

From the very first chapter, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Anthony. Yes, I understand why he wasn’t his ex-brother-in-law’s BFF, but he was just a bit too much of a prick for my liking. He did redeem himself a bit, but never quite enough for my liking. He has issues with Noah’s drinking because of what he watched his sister go through in her marriage, but it felt forced. While later in the book there were incidents that’d be red flags to anyone, there were also times when he was creating an issue where there wouldn’t have been on. As an example, at one point, they’re on Skype and Noah has a drink in his hand. ONE drink. After work. In the evening. That, to most people, wouldn’t be a red flag. And if he had an issue with alcohol in any circumstances, his reaction would’ve been warranted, but he didn’t. He only seems to have issues with people he’s dating drinking.

Noah could’ve been an amazing, broken character. Sadly, other than his drinking, there was very little character development. We never learned why he lost himself in the bottle, never had a reason to cheer for him to get better, other than to hold onto some hot sex.

The story wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t amazing, either. It was a lot of sex, which for once didn’t annoy me because that fit the story, but not a lot of plot. I’m not sure what they built their relationship on beyond the chemistry in bed.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

Also check out Just Drive and Afraid to Fly, the first two titles in the Anchor Point series!

 

 

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…

LA.’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 Chief’s Mess, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Chief’s Mess) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on June 24, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

 

 

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