12 Days of Kissmas: Charlie Cochet

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TCO is so excited to bring you 12 Days of Kissmas. We have 12 of your favorite authors ahead over the coming days, bringing you beautiful pictures of men kissing that the authors have chosen themselves, along with exclusive posts, excerpts, and giveaways. The idea sprang from a conversation with an author that just turned into a “what if…”, and when I started asking a few authors, they immediately said they were in. Make sure you enter the giveaways, as there are lots of them! Thanks for stopping by, and a HUGE thank you to all the authors for their generosity, and loving spirit. Happy Holidays to everyone!

 

Guest Post

ccochetjackrudyHello, all! Hope you’re having a wonderful holiday season! I’m so happy to be here joining in on the 12 Days of Kissmas event! For my picture, I decided to doodle a little something myself. Back for the release of The Heart of Frost, I drew a holiday kiss between Jack and Rudy. I had so much fun with it that I decided this would be a great opportunity to draw another one. This year we have Calder and Donner’s story: Disarming Donner, so I decided to draw their kiss.

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Kisses in the North Pole City Tales series range from innocent and sweet, to explosive and passionate. Hey, even Christmas elves need a little lovin’. There’s nothing I love more than writing that first kiss between characters who’ve been trying so darn hard to stay away from each other, whether they’re enemies to lovers, second chances, or friends to lovers, there’s always some hesitancy, some reason why they shouldn’t, and when they do, ready the fire extinguishers!

In Disarming Donner, Calder is a Dockalfar—dark elf. He’s dangerous, wields dark magic, and is feared. The Dockalfar are not romantic by nature. The males don’t couple with other males, and the majority have no interest in being loved. Calder is not like most Dockalfar. He has no desire to be feared. Ever since he was a tiny elfling, he’s wanted nothing more than to be loved, but who outside his own kind could possibly love a Dockalfar? He’s resigned to living his life without love. And then he meets Donner, a prim and proper Christmas elf with lavender eyes who plays beautiful music and finds Calder absolutely scandalous. What could possibly go right?

 

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As a beloved Rein Dear and Christmas elf for Mayor Kringle, Donner prides himself on his flawless reputation, good sense, and wise decisions. Donner never does anything until he’s thought it through properly. He’s certainly not one to get flustered, infuriated, or fall prey to romantic nonsense. At least not until the most unlikely of elves begins chipping away at Donner’s defenses.

Calder is a Dockalfar—a dark elf. He’s wicked, untrustworthy, and armed with lethal magic. At least that’s what everyone thinks. It’s easy for them to believe the worst and mistrust him before they’ve even spoken to him, but Calder is out to prove that he’s more than his Dockalfar blood, especially to a certain Rein Dear who has caught his eye. But it will take more than sweet words for Donner to admit what’s in his heart.

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denise review

So, I have read most of Charlie Cochet’s work (in some cases, MULTIPLE times) and yet, I realized I haven’t read even one of her holiday novellas, so Disarming Donner was the first. And, as I expected, I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Donner tried so hard to be stand-offish and proper, looking down on Calder, because he was a Dockalfar, and Calder’s brother hurt his good friend. However, as he saw the softer side, the romantic and loving side of Calder, his heart melted (which may or may not be a good thing in North Pole City! J). And when Calder needed help, Donner stepped right up to help him, and found a little more reason to appreciate Calder.

Calder meanwhile, a sweet, romantic Dockalfar immediately found a connection with Donner, and pressed his romantic attention gently and sweetly. He was gentle and loving to Donner, as well as all the reactions he received from the townspeople, showing how much he merely wanted to be accepted and loved.

Another winner by Charlie, and now I can’t wait to go back and read all the others in this series.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

charlie_cochet_by_madison_parkerCharlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

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The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews: Quick Review and Excerpt

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synopsis

If he risks his heart, can he keep his head in the game?

To win gold, figure skater Alex Grady must train harder than the competition morning, noon, and night. He’s obsessed with mastering another quadruple jump, and due to the lack of filter between his mouth and brain, doesn’t have a lot of friends. As for a boyfriend, forget it. So what if he’s still a virgin at twenty? The Olympics are only every four years—everything else can wait. Relationships are messy and complicated anyway, and he has zero room in his life for romance.

So it’s ridiculous when Alex finds himself checking out his boring new training mate Matt Savelli. Calm, collected “Captain Cardboard” is a nice guy, but even if Alex had time to date, Matt’s so not his type. Yet beneath Matt’s wholesome surface, there’s a dirty, sexy man who awakens a desire Alex has never experienced and can’t deny…

Note: This gay romance from Keira Andrews features opposites attracting, new adult angst, sexual discovery, and of course a happy ending.

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Heather's Review

When I saw Keira Andrews had a new book coming out, and it was a pair of figure skaters, I might’ve gotten just a little excited! And for the most part, my expectations were met or exceeded.

What worked:
Two very different personalities. While Alex is laser-focused on winning Olympic gold, Matt has a much more laid-back approach, even before a horrible accident forces him to change his track. In the end, the two of them balanced each other well.

The journey. As I was reading, I found myself turning the pages, not only to see the men fall in love, but also to see if their dreams would come true.

The chemistry. These men didn’t instantly fall into bed together. They had to work for it. It was especially intriguing to see Alex go from a socially inept, self-centered elite athlete to giving a damn about other people.

The sex. What was there was awesome. It was hot enough you can feel the connection between these men. Matt managed to get Alex to relax, he proved to be as domineering in the bedroom as he was demure outside of it. The only problem was…

What didn’t work:

The sex. Of course, this is only my opinion, but there was a huge missed opportunity in the sex. Alex is strung as tight as he could be, so focused on the sport that he doesn’t know how to let go and live. When he gave into his own desires and Matt started in with the dirty talk, he was putty. It would’ve been great to see more of Matt being a centering force in Alex’s life, starting with forcing him to relax and live out his wildest dreams.

The jargon. Sadly, if The Next Competitor had been written by a new-to-me author, I’d have likely given up on it in the first two chapters. Yes, I was eager to read about two figure skaters falling in love, but at least for a while, that took a back seat to a primer in figure skating. It almost felt like she was trying to put in as much as she could about skating to show that she’d done her research.

Too many moving pieces. If I’d tried keeping up with all the different side characters, I’d have gotten a headache. Don’t get me wrong, it’s understandable that there are more than just the two main characters in the book, but there was too much back story about a lot of the side characters and I gave up on trying to remember who went where.

Overall, The Next Competitor was a fun little read. Part of me hopes we might get to see more of Alex and Matt’s story, because when the book ended, their journey was just beginning.

4 pieces of eye candy

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excerpt

After the group finishes dinner, Matt says goodbye as we leave the restaurant. “Where are you going?” I ask before I can stop myself.

“It’s my first time in Philly, and there’s one thing I’ve got to see.”

My mouth opens and out plops, “I want to go with you.”

Matt’s eyebrows shoot up. “You do?”

“Just don’t feel like going back to my room yet.” I shrug, my cheeks hot as all eyes land on me again. “But if you want to go by yourself, it’s totally fine.” Why did I say anything at all?

“No, it’s cool.” Matt smiles, his eyes crinkling. “Come on.”

We turn in the other direction from the hotel after Mylene, who is giggling delightedly for some reason, waves goodbye. Night has fallen and the air has a frosty bite to it that reminds me winter isn’t far away, which means the Olympics aren’t far away either. We walk along in silence for a bit until I have to say something to break it.

“So, which sight is it?”

Matt zips up his jacket and puts his hands in his pockets. “You can’t guess?”

I think about what Philly is famous for. “The Liberty Bell?”

“Nope.”

“Some memorial to Ben Franklin?”

“Guess again.”

“The cheesesteak museum?”

Matt laughs. “Seriously? They have a cheesesteak museum?”

I laugh too, warmth flowing through me. “I have no idea. If they don’t, they should.”

We pass a big fountain, walking through a park in the center of a wide, looping street, an imposing building in the distance. As we get closer, it hits me. “Wait, wait. Is this the Rocky thing?”

Grinning, Matt nods and points to the building. “Philadelphia Museum of Art, featuring the famous seventy-two steps Rocky Balboa ran up in the movie.”

“You a big Stallone fan?” I’m a bit surprised.

“Not really, but who doesn’t love that moment? Come on, it’s classic.”

“I’ll give you that.”

We keep walking toward the museum, which is lit dramatically. I hardly ever visit any sights when I’m traveling for competitions, so it’s a nice change seeing some of Philadelphia. A little voice still nags, saying that I should be resting and getting ready for my long program tomorrow.

Matt says, “My dad loves that movie. We used to watch it together when I was a kid, and it was like… I don’t know. Like it helped us relate to each other. He’s a plumber from a big conservative Italian family in Richmond Hill—you know, a bit north of the rink? Anyway, we don’t really have that much in common. It’s tough these days.”

He sounds forlorn, and I have to shove my hands in my pockets to keep from reaching out to touch his arm. Maybe things aren’t as perfect in Matt’s life as I thought.

I clear my throat. “I got lucky with my father. He’s always been pretty liberal. He was a hippie or whatever back in the day. We can talk about anything.”

“How does he feel about you skating?”

“Aside from not loving how expensive it is, he’s all for it.”

“My dad didn’t like me skating when I was younger. At all. I actually only started to improve my hockey skills, but soon hockey fell by the wayside. I don’t know if he’s ever forgiven me.” Matt’s laugh is strained.

“I’m sorry he’s not more supportive. That must be so hard.”

Looking both ways, we jog across the street to the museum, and Matt shakes his head. “Now that I’m doing so well, I think he’s happy. I’m sure he is. Well, I hope so. Besides, he’s worked his ass off for years to pay for it, so it’s not that he wasn’t supportive in that way. He totally was.”

“Totally,” I agree. Clearly Matt’s got a few conflicting feelings about his dear old dad.

“Still, I think deep down he’d much rather have some stereotypically macho, hockey-playing son rather than a figure skater.”

I’m not sure what to say, so I make an “mmm” noise to show I’m listening. I didn’t know Matt could talk this much in a row.

“I just wish he could love me for who I am. I’ve always tried so hard to make him proud, but I don’t know if he’ll ever accept a gay son.” Matt shakes his head and laughs. “God, sorry. I don’t know how this became a therapy session.”

“No, it’s okay. I don’t mind.” Wow, Matt Savelli has angst. He always seems so together and unruffled, but perhaps he’s not made of cardboard after all. And I knew my trusty gaydar was on the money. It shouldn’t send a thrill down my spine to hear Matt confirm it, but…

“You’re a surprisingly good listener.”

“Thank you? I think?”

His eyes crinkle in the glow of the street lamps. “No, no, I didn’t mean it like that. What I meant was… It’s been nice getting to know you better.”

“Yeah, you too.” My stomach somersaults again, my fingers tingling.

At the middle of the wide, empty stairway we stand at the bottom of the steps, peering up. I whistle. “Wow. That’s a lot of stairs.”

“Bet I can beat you up there.”

I do love a challenge. “No way, no day.”

Suddenly, Matt’s off and running, and I curse under my breath as I launch after him. He’s faster than I thought, and although I close most of the distance, he remains a stride above me as we power our way up the steps. My breath comes in bursts that fog up the chilly air, and I strain to catch up with him. We pass a few people who are coming down, and they applaud as we race by.

I manage to pull up, and we’re neck and neck as we take the last steps. We reach the top in stride, and Matt lets out a whoop of joy, raising his arms in the air and dancing in a circle. I join in, because that’s what you do when you run up the Rocky steps. I’ve never seen him so animated. Well, except for when he’s irritated with me.

We take in the amazing view of the city. Skyscrapers rise in the distance, and before us is the huge oval area we walked across surrounded by the road, with trees and grass and a statue of a guy on a horse I barely noticed passing because Matt was talking.

We jump around like idiots, working up more of a sweat than we did on the stairs, which weren’t actually that hard. Matt leans his hands on his knees, and I reach out to give his shoulder a friendly punch, but my palm just rests there instead.

A shock bolts through me, like I’ve just touched a metal doorknob in winter. We’re both breathing a little hard, and Matt gives me this long look that makes me want to throw him down right here and now and do things that would get us arrested and kicked off our national teams.

He stands up straight and my hand falls away as he steps closer. His voice is low. “Thanks for coming up here with me. It was way more fun than doing it by myself.”

All I can think of is something else that is way more fun to do with someone else—not that I’d know from personal experience—and I swallow hard, my throat suddenly dry. I manage to get out, “Sure.” My pulse thrums in my ears, and it’s not because of the running and jumping.

We lean toward each other. I’m staring at his thick lips as he licks them, and I am so turned on right now, imagining what those lips will feel like on mine, and how Matt’s hands and body—

“Hurry up!”

Matt and I leap apart as a little boy hurtles over the top of the steps. His parents and a few siblings follow, huffing and puffing from their climb. The parents say hello to us and we reply, and I’m glad it’s dark, because I know I’m blushing like crazy.

The father asks us to take their photo, and Matt does, telling them to smile. He gives the phone back, and we stand there awkwardly for a few moments. I clear my throat. “Actually, want to take a pic of me so I can Instagram it?”

“Sure.” He takes my phone, and I raise my hands over my head triumphantly with a big competition smile. It’s dark, but hopefully there’s enough ambient light since a flash will just make it look like shit.

I reach for my phone back, but he says, “Wait a sec.” Coming close, he puts a big hand on my shoulder, spinning me to face away from the museum as my heart thumps. He says, “I’ll get you from behind.”

Of course I practically choke on my tongue, my balls tightening at the thought as I gaze out at the city and try desperately to clear my dirty mind. Matt laughs awkwardly. “Um, you know what I mean.”

“Uh-huh.” I raise my arms. “Is this good?”

“Yep!” He sounds too cheerful now.

Once he’s got the picture, I take a few for him. “I guess we should…” I motion to the steps.
Matt nods. “Yeah, it’s getting late.”

It’s barely eight, but I murmur in agreement and start down. We descend side by side, not talking. It would seem weird to try and kiss him now. Or maybe I should stop overanalyzing and kiss him anyway. But wait, do I really want to kiss Matt? I’m not supposed to kiss anyone right now with the Olympics coming up, especially not Captain Cardboard.

But now that I’m actually talking to him, Matt’s different than I thought he was. He’s cool, actually. We haven’t even argued the whole night, and he wanted me to come out with him.

Well, he didn’t argue, and it’s not like I gave him a choice. He would have had to be totally rude to stop me from coming, and he’s too Canadian for that.

My palms sweat. Maybe he doesn’t like me at all. I think he’s cool now that I’ve given him a chance, but what if he thinks I’m a bigger jerk than he did before? And why should I even care?

“Is your family coming this weekend?” Matt’s voice sounds completely calm and normal. Maybe he didn’t really want to kiss me, but was swept up in the whole moment, or something. Or it was all in my imagination and there wasn’t a “moment” at all. I need to get a grip.

“Alex?”

I realize he’s waiting for an answer. “Yeah. They’re driving here tomorrow.”

“What does your mom do?”

I tell him about my mom’s work as an HR consultant, which I’m sure is fascinating for him. His mom’s a teacher, and we talk about that for a while, and before I know it, we’re back in the hotel.

In the elevator, Matt presses the eleventh floor. His hand hovers by the bank of buttons, and he looks at me expectantly. “Fifteen,” I answer.

Matt smiles as he steps off on his floor. “See you around tomorrow. Good luck.”

“See ya. You too.” I’m going for a casual tone and am moderately successful.

The doors close, and that’s it, like nothing happened. Which I guess is true.

Copyright © Keira Andrews

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Wrapped Together by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Review and Blitz, Excerpt and Giveaway

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Title: Wrapped Together

Series: Portland Heat #5

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher: Kensington Books

Release Date: December 6

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 35,000 words

Genre: Romance, contemporary, friends-to-lovers

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synopsis

In the bustling restaurants, shops, and cafés of Portland, Oregon, things really heat up for the hard-working men behind the scenes when the holidays come into town . . .

For a stationery store owner, the holidays are great for business. But for Hollis Alcott, Christmas reminds him of the tragic events of three years past, and the last thing he wants to do is take part in Portland’s over-abundance of festive cheer. But Sawyer Murphy, a hunky gift shop owner whose brother is married to Hollis’s sister, has made it his mission to pluck Hollis out of his holiday blues. And his plan is beginning to work. Wrapped in the warm glow of newfound passion, the former business rivals hit up Portland’s finest holiday traditions—and Hollis’s icy attitude begins to melt like snowflakes on his tongue. But he isn’t sure he can trust anyone with the only gift he has—his heart—without breaking it like an antique ornament. Unless he can find the courage to take a leap with the one lover he never expected . . .

excerpt

This excerpt comes from chapter one of WRAPPED TOGETHER, when Hollis and his long-time frenemy Sawyer engage in a friendly bet sure to put their holiday cheer to the test!

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I took a sip of my now tepid, almost-gone tea. Ugh. The good barista was on duty, the one who went with Ev from the knitting store and who always happily made my tea with the same care he did the fancy coffee drinks. I left the group, happy to have the excuse of needing a refill, but as I stood in line, Mary Anne joined me.

“Hollis Alcott, we almost never see you at these things!” Her voice seemed to ring out above the din. “Will you be participating in the contest this year?”

“I doubt it. My fall display is already set.” I tried not to sound too dour—she always had the best houseplants and had custom-ordered the rare fern I’d wanted.

“Ah, well, that’s too bad. You let me know if you change your mind. I’d be happy to lend you some poinsettias or other decor. I know you could do a splendid, tasteful window.”

It was my turn to order, so I gave her a smile as a reply before handing Brady my stainless-steel tumbler for tea and ordering a scone to go. I had to wait down at the other end of the bar for my order, and as I was waiting, Sawyer came loping over, a smile on his boyish face. His wide shoulders stretched the hoodie in distracting ways.

“Hollis! Did I hear you say you’re not decorating?”

“You did.”

He frowned. “I know how much you hate the holidays, but I bet you’d get an uptick in sales if you decorated. I heard Mary Anne offer to help. I could, too. I’ve got gobs of lights.”

“Thank you but no.” Truth be told, I could use the increase in sales, but it wasn’t enough of a motivator to get me ready for the onslaught of red and green.

Sawyer’s head tilted, considering. Oh no. I knew that look too well. A Sawyer who was scheming was downright dangerous. “We should bet, you and I.”

“No,” I said firmly. I stepped away from the coffee bar to let Mary Anne and others wait for their orders, but Sawyer kept step with me, effectively pinning me in between two tables on my path to the door. I sighed and repeated my objection. “No. The last time we bet, I believe you cracked a wrist.”

Sawyer waved a hand, dismissing my concern. “We were fifteen. We’ve had other bets since then.”

We had, but there was one in particular I was determined not to remember right at that moment. This was the peril of having known someone for almost two decades. “How precisely would one even bet on this?”

I let my inner musings escape before I could rein them in, and Sawyer smiled. He knew he had me. Whatever nervousness and shyness captured my tongue around large groups did not, unfortunately, extend to Sawyer. “Well, I was thinking whichever of us makes it into the top three is the winner of our bet, and then the loser has to do whatever the winner wants for an evening.”

Oh, I did not like this. “Anything?”

“That wasn’t a no.” Sawyer’s grin showed the sort of charm that made him so darn popular. “And I wasn’t thinking of something kinky. Trust me here, Hols.”

“Don’t call me that.” And I most certainly did not trust him. I was pretty sure the always-affable Sawyer didn’t have a kinky bone in his body, but that didn’t mean he wasn’t up to something. “But I could get you to do any task of my choosing?”

See, the thing about me that Sawyer knew was that I have a very hard time resisting a bet. Always have, hence the aforementioned bet freshman year of high school about jumping over auditorium seats during drama class. I’m also notoriously cheap. And as it turned out, I did have a job for him.

He nodded. “Anything.”

“I have a bathroom I want painted at my store. Including the trim.”

Sawyer, to his credit, didn’t look remotely pained. “That’s fine. I’m good at painting.”

“And you? What would you want?” I had no idea why I was asking. I certainly wasn’t planning on agreeing to this ridiculous plan.

“A surprise.” He winked at me.

“I don’t like those.”

“I know. Which is why you need one. But if it makes you feel better, I’ll specify no sex or nudity involved.” Sawyer had mercifully dropped his deep, clear voice to softer tones. I still bristled at the thought of anyone overhearing this.

“Or humiliation, public or otherwise.”

“Oh, Hollis, you know me better than that.” He held up his hands. They were big, capable hands, and I had to blink to get my eyes to look away. “Now, come on. I dare you. Bet me.”

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jennifer
Sawyer and Hollis…. Let’s chat about them, shall we?

 
Okay, Hollis, I wasn’t so sure about in the beginning. He’s a real “glass-half-empty” kind of guy. It was kind of annoying in the beginning because I just wanted to be like… NOT EVERYTHING IS TERRIBLE! Knock it off! Lol but, he great on me, once he started opening up a bit more and not taking everything so seriously.

 
Sawyer was his exact opposite, he’s more of a glass-half-full, kind of guy and he just wanted to break Hollis out of that tough nut that was so hard to crack. However, to get Hollis out of his “Bah-Humbug” type tude for the holiday’s, Sawyer drums up a bet that ends up getting pretty steamy when it comes to collecting on it. The kicker? Even though Hollis never recovered from losing important people in his life, he seems to keep his feelings all wrapped up tight, he’s been in love with Sawyer.

 
Doesn’t that just suck? Unrequited love or not so unrequited in this case, but secret love? Sigh…. I found myself rootin for them the whole time. Especially once we get to see a more vulnerable side to Hollis. I will say that, this is the first book of this series that I’ve read and I can’t believe I started out with the 5th one; it didn’t take anything away from anything though, I wasn’t lost or confused, so I’m assuming it’s okay to be a standalone.
And even more happy to report that there is no cliffhanger and it has a cute little HEA.

 
I really enjoyed this one and it’s right on time for the holidays.

 
I was given a copy of this book by the publisher for the promise of an honest and unbiased review. Anyone who knows me or reads my reviews, knows that all my reviews/rant are honest and unbiased, so take my word for it; if you want a little feel good, Christmassy read; don’t pass this one up.
If you’ve read anything by this author, you know you won’t be disappointed.

 
4 pieces of eye candy for me

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meet the author

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

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

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Catching Heir by Julia Talbot: Guest Post & Release Day Review

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Is he in love with an old hotel—or its new owner?

Professional snowboarder Cullen Patrick is successful and kinda famous. So when he inherits an old Colorado hotel from an unknown relative, he really should leave well enough alone.

Matt Nathanson has been managing the Treeline Estates since college. He loved the elderly former owner, and he stands to inherit the place if no one claims it in the next week. Of course, Cullen shows up, and Matt thinks it’s time to move on. He doesn’t want to like Cullen, no matter how engaging the guy is, or how hunky.

Cullen has grand ideas for the Treeline, but he doesn’t want to implement them without Matt, and he’s not sure he’s ready to give up snowboarding. Can Matt convince Cullen that putting down roots is worth it… and maybe catch his heir at the same time?

Title: Catching Heir
Author: Julia Talbot
Release Date: December 1, 2016
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 220

Guest Post

The Snowboarder in My Past

Hey, y’all! I’m Julia Talbot, and I here to talk about my newest release with Dreamspinner Press, Catching Heir.

The novel is about a professional snowboarder who inherits an old hotel in Colorado. When Cullen gets there, the manager, a hot, if stodgy, man from Texas, thinks he’s about to inherit the hotel, instead. Matt is surprised and angry when he realizes Cullen intends to stay, but we all know hope isn’t lost! This is romance, darn it!

So, when I decided to write a snowboarder, I knew I would have to do some research to see what and who was current in the world of extreme sports, but I also knew some things never change, so I could call upon personal experience.

I lived in Colorado for ten years, and in most of that time, I was a circulation manager at a college library, a small university on the Western Slope, which is what they call the area west of the continental divide. In Grand Junction, you have very few entertainment choices unless you’re “outdoorsy”. Hiking, mountain biking, skiing, rafting, snowboardng… These kinds of activities are super available, and to a man or a woman, most of the eighteen to twenty-one year old kids who worked for me were totally into them.

I had one student in particular, let’s call him Braden, who was a snowboarder. A damned good one from what I could tell, mainly from what the girls said about him. He was obsessed with snowboarding, and when he wasn’t shredding out there in the snow, he was thinking about it, or talking about it, or practicing for it on his skateboard. Braden was the laziest worker I had, and he was never embarrassed to call in sick if there was fresh powder.

If I let Braden work nights, as we were open until eleven pm, I would come in the next morning to security footage of him sliding down the handrail of the atrium stairs standing up or flying past the camera at the front desk on a rolling office chair, feet together, knees bent, hands out for balance.

He made me laugh all the time. The neat thing about Braden was how he knew everything there was about snow and ice. He knew that the closer you were to the coast, the better the snow, so ski areas in Idaho and Nevada, then Utah, then Colorado were preferable. He knew what local slopes, which in Grand Junction could be everything from Vail to Telluride, including the tiny Powderhorn just up the road on Grand Mesa, would be like in any given conditions: wet snow, dry snow, sheet ice. All of it. He was quick to tell me that it was the lift ticket that cost so darned much, and when I gave him one I won to Telluride from a vending machine, attached to a bottle of diet Coke, he was ecstatic, and he brought me back a t-shirt that read: If you can read this, flip my Jeep back over.

When I needed to write Cullen, my snowboarder, I put a lot of Braden in him. The humor and the snow knowledge, the slang like “asspass” and “Shred”. (Asspass is when you fall on your butt and slide.) I also played the what if game. What if Braden had been a child prodigy at his sport. What would he be like if that was all he’d ever done.

I hope I did him justice in the little parts of Braden that I used to build Cullen. And wherever Braden is right now, I hope he’s well on his way to a righteous snow dump so he can bust it down the hill.

Find Cullen and Matt in Catching Heir, my new Dreamspun Desire from Dreamspinner Press.

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deanna review

What a great read. Julia Talbot is a new author to me and I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Matt is just days away from claiming ownership of The Treeline, a hotel he has worked hard to maintain for years when Cullen, the deceased owners grandson is found and ownership reverts to him. Cullen is a professional snowboarder and never wanted to own a hotel.

Ben, the previous owner wrote a clause in the hotel trust that Matt could never be fired for any reason. His job was and always would be secure at The Treeline. Cullen and Matt will have to work together to ensure the success of The Treeline while Cullen still has his snowboarder’s life to contend with. Along the way feelings are developed and both want to make their arrangement a little more permanent.

I loved his! It was a sweet, low angst read. I loved the progression of the relationship between Cullen and Matt. It felt real, with everyday obstacles and little to no drama.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Julia Talbot lives in the great Southwest, where there is hot and cold running rodeo, cowboys, and everything from meat and potatoes to the best Tex-Mex. A full time author, Julia has been published by Samhain Publishing, Dreamspinner Press, and Changeling Press. She believes that everyone deserves a happy ending, so she writes about love without limits, where boys love boys, girls love girls, and boys and girls get together to get wild, especially when her crazy paranormal characters are involved. Find Julia at @juliatalbot on Twitter, or at www.juliatalbot.com

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The Soldati Prince by Charlie Cochet: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

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Character Interview

Hello, all! Thank you so much for joining me for the last stop of The Soldati Prince blog tour. Today we have a special treat. We have Riley Murrough, our Soldati prince, and instead of me asking him a few questions, I decided I’d let Khalon’s best friend and second in command, Rayner, do the honors. Take it away fellas.

Rayner: *waves at Riley* Your highness, I’ll do my best to make this as painless as possible.

Riley: *narrows eyes* I don’t believe you for a second.

Rayner: *laughs* Why don’t we start off with an easy question? Who do you think is more handsome, me or Khalon?

Riley: Who do I think is more of a pain in the ass? The answer would be both. You are definitely both a pain in the ass.

Rayner: *looks amused* That’s not what I asked.

Riley: *arches an eyebrow* Really? Because that’s what I heard.

Rayner: I’ll admit, I can be a challenge, but as far as a pain in your backside, from what I heard coming from your bedchamber the other evening, I would say that Khalon—

Riley: Oh my God, shut up! *goes red in the face*

Rayner: *laughs* Very well. What was the first thought that crossed your mind when you saw Khalon?

Riley: I’m hallucinating.

Rayner: The second?

Riley: That’s a lot of leather.

Rayner: *chuckles* And when you were told who you were?

Riley: What did I think when I was told I was the intended mate and prince of some magical dude who changes into a tiger that lives in another world? Hm, let me think about that. *pretends to think* That someone is out of their damn minds, and it’s probably me. As you will recall, I was a little freaked out.

Rayner: *smiles* Perhaps a tad.

Riley: Sure. If a tad means flipping one’s mind. Then yes, a tad.

Rayner: And at precisely what point did you decide Khalon was not, in fact, a bastard?

Riley: I believe the word you’re looking for is “asshole”, and that took some time. *blushes* I don’t know exactly at what point. There was so much going on, what with the demons out to tear at my mortal flesh and harvest my soul, but at some point I realized that maybe he wasn’t such a jerk. That he was actually a good guy underneath all the growling and scowling.

Rayner: Are all humans that grumpy and inarticulate before coffee?

Riley: Yes. You have your magic, we have ours.

Rayner: *blinks* Coffee is magic?

Riley: Are you kidding? You yourself have witnessed its power to transform a zombie into a functioning human being. *points at himself*

Rayner: *laughs* Of course. And how do you feel about our illustrious king now?

Riley: *blushes* Um, he’s hot. Like, really hot. And his smile is pretty amazing. He’s pretty amazing. *shifts uncomfortably* He’s caring, and gentle, and sexy. Why am I telling you all this? Things are good between us. We’ve been through a lot together, and I’m looking forward to what happens next.

Rayner: As am I. *winks at Riley*

Riley: *rolls his eyes* I should get going.

Rayner: Left Khalon alone in bed, did you?

Riley: *stands up and narrows his eyes at Rayner* You know what, Rayner?

Rayner: Shut up?

Riley: *grumbles under his breath as he stalks away*

Rayner: *laughs* He is almost as easy to wind up as Khalon. *smiles wickedly* Almost.

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synopsis

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Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal Gay Romance, Shifters, Demons
Series: Soldati Hearts
Length: Novella, 97 pages
Published: Nov 23rd, 2016
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781634775809

One moment, Riley Murrough is living a normal life working in a coffee shop, and the next, he’s running for his life from demons, learns he bears the mark of a shape-shifter king from a magical realm, and—worst of all—he’s destined to become the mated prince to the arrogant tiger-shifter he would rather strangle.

Khalon, the shifter king, is equally distraught at the idea of being bound to a human prince, and along with his Soldati warriors, he sets out to return Riley to his own world, where he belongs. On their journey, they might discover why the goddess brought them together—if they can escape the demons and make it to her alive.

First Edition short story published as The Soldati Prince in Charmed & Dangerous by JCP Books LLC, 2015. Second Edition has been re-edited and extended to novella length with new content.

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READ CHAPTER ONE

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denise review

I’ve always said that it is harder to write a novella than a full length novel. With a novella, the author has to make you care about the characters almost immediately, get to know them, and do all that in a limited amount of works. Charlie Cochet is a master at that, and The Soldati Prince is a perfect example of that.

I really enjoyed the storyline for this novella, even though as I’ve said many times before, I rarely read shifter books. But of course, when it is Charlie, I don’t hesitate. She has made me love shifters so much more than I ever expected (I’ll probably still never be a vampire or werewolf girl, but hey, its a start!), and she did that by creating characters with heart, and soul, and men that may be slightly broken in some way, but are made whole by the finding of their other half.

This novella does all that, and then adds in a ton of humor, which I was not expecting at all! Riley made me laugh out loud more than once. He did not take any crap from Khalon, no matter that he was King or not. The scene at the breakfast table, with the coffee (read it and you will get it) had me laughing and highlighting, and even going right back at the end of the scene and re-reading it. So funny!

These two circle each other, trying to figure out what being a mate with someone they didn’t expect (or even want) actually will mean for them, and its fun to see that Riley is Khalon’s equal in every way, despite Khalon’s best efforts to keep it from being so.

Another winner by Charlie, and of course, leaves me wanting more for a certain second in command. 😉

4.5 pieces of eye candy, for humor alone, not to mention the rest of the story!

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meet the author

Charlie_Cochet_by_madison_parker150Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From adventurous agents and sexy shifters, to society gentlemen and hardboiled detectives, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in Central Florida, Charlie is at the beck and call of a rascally Doxiepoo bent on world domination. When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website | THIRDS HQ | Facebook | Facebook Author Page | Twitter | Pinterest | Tumblr | Instagram | Newsletter | DSP |Amazon |Goodreads

 

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BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Nov 21st – The Novel Approach
Nov 22nd – Joyfully Jay
Nov 23rd – Man2Mantastic
Nov 24th – Dreamspinner Press Blog
Nov 25th – Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

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Check out the Soldati Hearts inspiration board on Pinterest.

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Dirk Tales, The Book by Dan Skinner: Author Guest Post, Blog Tour, Review and Giveaway

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synopsis

Dirk Tales, The Book includes previously released Misadventures of Doc & Dirk volumes, available now for the first time in paperback, an additional episode, and more!

He’s a middle-aged, newly single, gay photographer starting life over. Along comes a freshly out nineteen-year-old, irreverent free spirit who wants to be his apprentice. Mismatched by more than a generation, what could possibly go wrong? Everything! And it’s AWESOME!

Dirk’s First Time: Every gay boy has his first experience. Usually it’s a memorable, exciting personal time of discovery and intimacy between two young people. But two comic book characters? Is it horseplay or Cosplay?

The Boy At The Gym: First impressions can be deceiving. Sometimes that boy in the baggy clothes, talking to himself in the gym isn’t as shy as he appears. Sometimes there’s a deviant imp lurking beneath that freckled mask of innocence. Beware the Trojan Nerd!

A “Muse” ing: Most authors struggle with the voices or “muses” in their head when writing. Tuning that voice out becomes a little more challenging when your muse is a real-life nineteen-year-old who inhales espresso and turns out ideas at light speed. Danger Will Robinson!

Daddy and The Rent Boy: In sales, advertising is half the battle. That can become hazardous when you’re in the company of an irreverent walking billboard.

Sex Dolls and Bad Dates: We’ve all had one of those dates where we think we’ve bitten off more than we can chew. The trick to know is Bite or Flight?

Dirk’s Quirks: Everyone has idiosyncrasies; that’s what makes us interesting. If you’re lucky, you get a heaping helping and can share them with everyone.

Make it Naked: Teaching a nineteen-year-old walking hormone photography apprentice to shoot nudes is more than an adventure… It’s a human obstacle course.

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Guest Post

Don’t Fight Magic – Dirk Tales Blog Tour Post

I’m not a superstitious person. I’m not even a religious person. I’ve always been a realist, a pragmatist. I sincerely subscribe to the assertion that hard work equals success, to never half-ass anything you do and you can attain your goals.

I’m also a person who sets goals… firmly and works toward them fiercely because, like everyone else, I would like to attain a modicum of success. Not fame… but fortune wouldn’t hurt. I hate bills as much as the next guy and struggling to pay them is a bitch.

A few years ago, I felt like I was almost there. And then events beyond my control ripped the rug out from under me. I had to start all over again, but what made it more difficult was that I was no longer a youngster with grand ideals. I was older and the idea of having been pushed from nearly the top floor back to the basement was a bit… well… traumatic.

I had to re-evaluate, and what I saw in myself actually surprised me. As close as I’d been to being a success before the fall, I had become someone I didn’t recognize or much like. I’d grown tired and lazy and out of shape. I was going through the motions with my job as a photographer and putting off the things I’d always wanted to write as an author. The close proximity of financial success had made me into someone less than who I wanted to be. And strangely, I didn’t see that until the fall to the bottom.

Oddly, at this desperate point, when I hated looking in the mirror the most, I’d been hired to photograph a personal trainer and his boyfriend. He was a Buddhist and had a calming influence on me, but also an inspirational one and we became friends in that dire period of my life. Without my asking, he took me under his wing and said, “Let’s get you back in shape! Let’s get you fired up again. Let’s see what’s really left burning inside you.”

He started me out walking and then running and I became addicted to it. As we ran, we talked about the stories I’d always wanted to write and he encouraged me, and before I knew it my first full-length novel, Memorizing You was written and lo and behold, I was in shape again. I could look in the mirror without feeling that angst of self-loathing. Something… well… magical had happened. From the midst of pain and trauma… I had self-recreated.

As I moved on with my life the next two years, more books came spilling out of me. The Bible Boys, the book I’d always wanted to write about my painful childhood being raised in a repressed Evangelical household and discovering I was one of their “abominable” gays. The Art of the Heart, a gay fairy tale paying tribute to period films like The Last Picture Show. The Price of Dick, a cautionary tale to help all of us avoid making poor romantic choices. I had become wildly productive again.

So I tackled the biggest project I’d ever wanted to do. A dystopian science fiction novel, Xperiment. A projection of our future if crazy people took over the country and how a scientist, using evolution, could produce a new species, which would save the planet. The undertaking was daunting and the book would end up being over 700 pages of an intense rollercoaster thrill ride. It consumed me, and almost all my time. I didn’t think I had room for much more of anything.

In the middle of this, I ran into a teenager named Dirk who wanted to apprentice photography with me. I didn’t want to do it. I didn’t have time to deal with the quirks and annoyances of a young person when I had so many things I wanted to accomplish… I didn’t think it was worth the bother.

I look at those thoughts I had when I first met him and smile, because by fluke of nature – or magic – this “annoying” young man… this apprentice who became a friend and then a muse, did something remarkable. He “magically” changed my life again. He touched me, and my friends who said, “Dan, write about yourselves… we’d love to read it.” And again, I said, “No… No… No,” until my arm was bent by my editor, Dirk’s mother, Dirk himself, and all of you… and here we are.

The first book of our “Misadventures” hit the number one bestseller list in a matter of hours and I sat there… stunned… because this realist had just learned to believe in….

Magic! You are all a part of this. That’s what makes it so wonderful!

deanna reviewI really enjoyed this installment in the series. This one digs a little deeper, there are fewer laugh out loud moments but that doesn’t make it any less enjoyable.

In this installment Dan and Dirk each regale us with a story of someone they met that was super hot and really weird at the same time. The stories are witty and entertaining.

This is a super short read, but well worth the price of admission.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

I’m a single gay man living in the Midwest. I write because I consider myself to be an old-fashioned storyteller. I’ve been a photographer for half my life, specializing in male romance cover art. My dream is to one day live on the beach with my dog and continue to tell tales that inspire and entertain.

Social Media Links

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Deviant Art

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The Little Things by Jay Northcote: Quick Review

little-thingssynopsisThere are lots of things that brighten Joel’s life. His three-year-old daughter, Evie, is one. His close relationship with her mother, his best friend from university, is another. Joel’s boyfriend, Dan, adds spice to his child-free nights, and Joel is pretty happy with how things are.

Then one cold and rainy night, everything changes. Joel’s life is turned upside down when he becomes a full-time dad to Evie, and his previously carefree relationship with Dan cracks under the strain.

Meeting Liam, who acts as if getting hurt isn’t a foregone conclusion, shakes Joel to the core. Their attraction is mutual, and Liam makes no secret of how serious he is about Joel. But Joel is wary. He tells himself he’s keeping Liam at a distance for Evie’s sake, when really he’s protecting his own heart. Taking a chance on this new relationship with Liam may seem a small step—a little thing—but is it one Joel can take after losing so much already?

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jennifer

Okay, so, first we have Joel; he’s sharing custody with his best friend of their three-year old daughter Evie. Even though he’s young, he’s already well established, he has a career as a teacher, a nice home for his daughter and he’s dating a slightly younger man named Dan. Even though I knew he wouldn’t end up with Dan; I liked the amicable way they ended. It wasn’t bitter and Dan didn’t turn out to be a petty, angry ex that caused problems or anything. He cared a great deal for Joel and Evie both; he was just in a different place in his life than Joel. Where Joel had to grow up quickly and had responsibilities, Dan was still 19, didn’t have kids and wanted to do kid stuff like party and stay out all night having fun….and be with other guys…It wasn’t a big deal, they weren’t exclusive and it wasn’t talked about; but it was sad when they ended because you could tell they really cared for each other. I liked that; well, not that they broke up of course, but that it was mature and amicable.

Then, as we gather from the blurb, Joel’s bestfriend and Evie’s mummy, passes away. I really like how it was perceived by Evie, a three-year old. Death is so hard to explain to a child and while I’ve had to do it myself with my own kids and their Grandma, I used Heaven and Angels and all that as explination; it kind of bothered me that Joel was all …. “She’s dead”….. I mean, she’s three, even if you don’t believe in Heaven and angels and all that, make it a little less blunt for a kid….. I mean, everyone does things differently and I understand that, but I was like… wow… okay….
Still, the way Evie handled it was spot on and I was glad for it.

Okay, so now we get to meet Liam. We run into him a couple times without anything happens; Liam is sweet and understanding, he’s honest and sincere, he was there for Joel when he needed him all of the three times they’d bumped into each other. But the last time, since Joel said he’d broken up with Dan, they agree to meet and hang out. It was slow going because of course Joel has Evie and a fulltime job, but they made it work.

I also didn’t like Joel’s mini freak out that hurt Liam; it was completely unnecessary and random; like, he used the whole thing with Dan and losing Claire, but in the end, he was the one that ended things with Dan and he felt good about it, so why was he so sad about it and freaked out when it came to Liam. I was glad Liam didn’t rush right back into things with him, I’d have wanted to lay more ground rules and be like hey dude, if you mess up again, I won’t be so forgiving….. But, Liam was too understanding for that lol.
Anyway, overall, I really enjoyed this story, I really enjoy Jay’s books and this one was no different; it was sad and sweet and heartbreaking and hopeful. I would definitely recommend it!
4 pieces of eye candy from me!

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All the Way to Shore by CJane Elliott: Release Day Book Blast including Guest Post

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Title: All the Way to Shore

Author: CJane Elliott

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Release Date: 11/23/16

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 56,000

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

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synopsis

AllTheWayToShoreFS_v1Jonathan Vallen has never felt good enough. A gentle musician who loves to garden, he’s woefully unsuited to running Vallen Industries, the family business. When his father hires a hotshot executive, Marco Pellegrini, to save the company, Jonathan moves away and leaves his humiliation behind. A year later and forty pounds lighter, Jonathan runs into Marco on an LGBT cruise. Marco doesn’t recognize him, the sparks fly, and Jonathan pretends to be someone else for the week—Jonah Rutledge—someone good enough to be loved.

Marco Pellegrini has always been driven. He rose from poverty to the pinnacle of business success, and he’ll do anything to protect his reputation—including hiding his bisexuality. Having saved Vallen Industries, he’s weary of the rat race and ready for a more meaningful life. When Marco meets his soul mate for that new life—Jonah Rutledge—on an LGBT cruise, he prepares to stop hiding and start living.

Back on land, the romance crashes when Marco discovers his perfect man is not only a lie but the son of his boss, Frederick Vallen. Jonathan resolves to win Marco back, but Frederick takes vengeful action. Jonathan and Marco must battle their own fears as well as Frederick’s challenge to get to the future that awaits them on the horizon.

Guest Post

Thank you, Two Chicks Obsessed, for hosting me and my newest release, All the Way to Shore. The book features a rags to riches story, an ugly duckling turned swan, a cruise ship romance, and a case of hidden identity that when uncovered threatens to ruin everything. What’s not to love? Especially when our heroes get to their hard-won happy ending! Although I put some external barriers in front of Jonathan and Marco, the biggest battles they face are with themselves. Jonathan has grown up in the shadow of a domineering father and favored older brother, and doubts his own worth. Ironically, he is pretending to be someone else when he and Marco fall for each other on the cruise. Jonathan has to realize he’s worthy of love just being himself. Marco rose from nothing and his reputation means everything to him. In the end, Marco has to decide what’s more important: his reputation or his love for Jonathan.

I hope you enjoy reading All the Way to Shore and finding out how Jonathan and Marco get to their happy ending.

excerpt

Jonathan eyed the moon and waited for Marco, who was getting something from the bar to bring back with them to his stateroom. He smiled up at the stars, heart full, ready to ride the wave of this fairy tale all the way to shore. Then a hand caressed his neck, and he turned to smile at his handsome prince. Marco smiled back, his pendant glimmering on his chest and a bottle in his hand.

“What did you get?”

“Courvoisier.”

“Nice.”

“I thought it’d be nice for an after-dinner drink as we listen to Debussy.”

They strolled along the deck. “We are almost too fancy for words.”

Marco chuckled. “I’ve never been accused of being fancy before.”

Jonathan eyed him, tall and elegant with his black curls and Roman nose. “You seem fancy to me. Or, well, sophisticated is more like it.”

“If only Mama could hear you. She’d know her bambino had made it in the world.”

“You’re funny.”

Jonathan followed Marco into his stateroom, letting his Jonah Persona take the lead lest he pass out from sheer nervousness. “Nice digs.” Digs? Where’d that come from?

“Thanks.” Marco picked up a large envelope that had been shoved under the door, glanced at the front of it, and tossed it to join a pile of others on the desk. “Work faxes. They don’t seem to get I’m on vacation in the middle of the ocean. They can wait.”

A shiver took hold of Jonathan, thinking of Father and how totally like him it was to be bugging his CEO in the middle of his vacation.

“You aren’t cold, are you?” Marco asked.

“No, it’s fine. I’m fine. Everything’s good.” And I’m running off at the mouth. Cool it.

“Oh, okay. Good. Let me get the Debussy up on my iPod. They have a docking station with pretty decent speakers in here.” Marco sounded a little nervous himself.

As Marco fiddled with the iPod, Jonathan opened the Courvoisier and poured each of them a moderate amount, thinking they could both use some loosening up. “Do you want yours over ice?”

Marco turned. “No. That’s okay. There should still be some ice in the bucket if you like it that way. Here we go.” He pushed a button and Debussy’s La Mer started to play.

They sat in two armchairs at one end of the large room, listening to Debussy’s sensual and passionate music while sipping the brandy. The music swelled and crashed down in eerie imitation of the ocean all around them. With the curtains drawn back, they stared out at the real thing, moonlight dappling the midnight waves. Everything about this moment was surreal—a beautiful dream.

After a time, Marco set down his glass, his eyes burning into Jonathan’s. Jonathan gulped down the rest of his drink for courage and put his glass next to Marco’s. Marco held out his hand, and they rose from their chairs. As Jonathan followed Marco to the bed, his palms grew clammy and his heart raced so much he thought he might pass out. Now that his Jonah Persona had been successful in luring Marco to bed, performance anxiety crowded out everything else. God. It had been so long since he’d had sex. Did he even know what he was doing? Anthony’s voice chimed in on the proceedings. Relax, doll! It’s just like riding a bicycle. You never forget. Now, hop on that man and ride!

deanna review

This story had it all; shipboard romance, adventure and just enough angst to make it feel real.

Jonathan Vallen begins working at his family’s company Vallen Industries after the tragic death of his brother. Jonathan is more interested in playing the piano than running a business but he doesn’t want to desert his father so shortly after his mother’s death. Working at the family business is soul crushing for Jonathan. He has put on weight, he’s unhappy, and his is still hiding that he’s gay fro. His homophobic father.

With Vallen Industries operating in the red, Marco Pelligrini is brought in to turn the company around. Marco has a reputation as a strong businessman with the ability and drive to turn around dying companies.

Jonathan sees Marco’s running the company as his way out, he won’t be leaving his father high and dry. With Marco running the company Jonathan leaves Boston and over to his cottage in Cape Cod. Jonathan spends a year on the Cape soul searching, exercising and playing the piano. His cousin Anthony books a LGBT cruise for them to relax, have fun, and meet new people.

So much has changed about Jonathan’s appearance in the past year that Marco doesn’t recognize him aboard the ship. When Anthony introduces him to Marco as Jonah Rutledge, Jonathan is to flabbergasted to correct him. “Jonah” and Marco hit it off instantly and spend every waking moment on the ship together. They dance, they have dinner, the explore the island together. They have so much in common Jonathan is sure they were made for each other, but now he isn’t sure how Marco will take it when he comes clean about who he is.

Jonathan decides he will tell Marco on the last day of the cruise. He will take him off the ship and to lunch so they can talk, but fate has other plans. As they are disembarking the ship, Jonathan’s father is waiting for Marco to fix some crisis at Vallen Industries. When Marco finds out who Jonathan is he is livid. He storms off to pack without so much as a goodbye.

Jonathan will have his work cut out for him if he wants to show Marco that he has a place in his life. Jonathan’s father won’t accept it and will do anything in his power to separate the two. Will they be strong enough to overcome Fredrick’s scheming?

I don’t usually like instalove because it doesn’t feel real, but even though this took place over 5 days it was almost like a slow burn romance, slowly building to a fever pitch. I loved the way Jonathan chose to woo Marco back to him, with thoughtful gifts. It was adorable.

Anthony, Jonathan’s cousin was one of my favorite characters. He was funny and charming and the life of the party. He never put Jonathan down instead chose to quietly encourage new and exciting adventures and offer support in any way he could.

Great story, great characters, great setting. It makes me want to go on a cruise.

4 pieces of eye candy

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All the Way to Shore Teaser 1

meet the author

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After years of hearing characters chatting away in her head, CJane Elliott finally decided to put them on paper and hasn’t looked back since. A psychotherapist by training, CJane enjoys writing sexy, passionate stories that also explore the human psyche. CJane has traveled all over North America for work and her characters are travelers, too, traveling down into their own depths to find what they need to get to the happy ending.

CJane is an ardent supporter of LGBTQ equality and is particularly fond of coming out stories.

In her spare time, CJane can be found dancing, listening to music, or watching old movies. Her husband and son support her writing habit by staying out of the way when they see her hunched over, staring intensely at her laptop.

Website | eMail | Facebook | Twitter |
Goodreads | Amazon | Dreamspinner

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One lucky winner will receive an ebook of their chose from CJane’s backlist.
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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.

Sunset on Turtle by Carol Lynne Lake: Release Day Review

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Winter isn’t the only chill in the air on Turtle Lake.

When Sam Burgman’s mother, Gloria, nears the end of her battle with cancer, Sam makes the hard decision to leave his job as a corporate lawyer in Miami to take his mom home to Turtle Lake, Minnesota.

Ian Mendoza takes his job as Gloria’s caregiver very seriously, but, unlike the assignments he’s taken in the past, Ian fails to maintain a professional distance when it comes to Sam. Unfortunately for Ian, Sam refuses to open his heart despite their mutual attraction.

Born and raised in Miami, Ian isn’t prepared for the frozen landscape that is Minnesota in the winter, but the chill he wants to erase is the one coming from Sam.

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jennifer
Sam’s mother way dying and he knew it; he just couldn’t bring himself to accept it. After losing his father several years prior, he used It as an excuse to push people away and not let anyone get close enough to hurt him when they had to leave. Sam’s mother Gloria’s care-taker Ian had fallen in love with Sam through the stories told by Sam’s mom, but he knew that he hadn’t been around for a while and even when he was around, refused to accept the fact that his mother had precious little time left.

 
This story was heartbreaking and I wasn’t sure I was going to like Sam in the beginning, but I completely understood where he was coming from. Grief has the ability to change a person and it changed Sam. He never grieved for his father and how he had to come to terms with losing his mother as well?

 
The story between Gloria and her husband and the significance with Turtle Lake was beautiful as well, as I won’t spoil it with explanations, but it really made the story, in my opinion.

 
It was touching and heartbreaking and hopeful at times and I loved that Sam got what I felt like he needed at the end. Acceptance is a hard pill to swallow.

 
I’m also glad for Ian because I know it hurt him to be in the position he was in and I’m glad that Sam got his head out and was able to be what Ian needed him to be; afterall, he cared about Gloria a great deal as well. I wished he’d gotten to be there with her more at the end too instead of leaving Sam alone with her, I felt like he deserved that too, he was the only one there for her for so long, he didn’t even get to say goodbye to her; so that part bothered me a bit, but not enough to take anything away from the story really. He was patient and supportive and endlessly caring for not only his patient but for Sam too.

 
It was a short, touching little read and I’d recommend it, for sure. It’s turned me a bit sappy, in this review… but,it’s well worth it! Great read!

 
4 piece of eye candy for me!

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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.

Why I Love Geeks by T.A. Chase: Release Day Review

why-i-love-geekssynopsis

New York City Homicide Detective Chuck Davidson is a guy’s guy. He likes sports, beer, and classic cars—fancy gadgets, not so much. When yet another high-tech phone goes on the fritz, he knows he needs help, and he meets a man who loves technology as much as he hates it—cute but awkward biochemist Herbert Pommerset.

Herb’s never been with a man—not even on a date. He hides behind his research, daydreaming about what it might be like to find someone special. A malfunctioning phone causes his path to cross with a sexy older detective, and Herb wishes he’d spent less time studying science and more learning how to flirt, because he can think of some experiments he’d like to conduct with Chuck. None of his considerable intelligence is helping him express his desires to the other man.

Just when it seems they might overcome their differences, Herb’s research puts him in danger. He’s made a discovery that could cost him his life, and Chuck must use his very different talents to rescue the geek he’s coming to love.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2011.

Title: Why I Love Geeks
Series: Why I Love…
Author: T.A. Chase
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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deanna review

This book is adorable, funny and entertaining. I love a good story with a super hot, rugged alpha male and a funny, nerdy brainiac.

Chuck hates technology. He’s so frustrated with the new cell phone that he can’t figure out, he’s about to throw it in front of a bus. Chuck is a cop, and his phone is his lifeline. Along comes Herb to the rescue, as a scientist technology is kind of his thing.

Herb shows Chuck how to get his voicemail and as Chuck heads out on a new case he gives Herb a kiss of gratitude. Herb has lived a pretty sheltered life. As a genius he was always in school or doing research. He never really made time for friends. His parents had never been interested in having children so he lived in boarding schools and dorm rooms from the age of ten. Plus his lack of brain to mouth filter usually killed any potential friendships that may have come along.

Chuck’s demanding job usually kills any romance in his life, but he can’t seem to get the sweet scientist out of his head. Herb can’t stop talking to his lab assistant, Jessie about the hot cop that kissed him. With a little scheming, Jessie invites Herb to Sunday family dinner, knowing that Chuck is the hot cop Herb keeps talking about.

Sparks fly and the two are nearly inseparable immediately. When Chuck catches a new case that involves an employee of Herb’s lab Chuck has to find a way to solve the case and keep Herb out of danger.

This book is so much funnier than I anticipated. Herb is a great character, he’s funny, quirky, and absolutely adorable. There are a few secondary storylines that I would love to see play out, especially Chuck’s brother John. I think this is a good start to a new series, I can’t wait to see where it goes.

4 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.