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

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

That Darn Muse Blog

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Deviant Art

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

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

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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meet the author

cjanephoto

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 |
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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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On Fire by Alicia Nordwell: Blog Tour, Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

onfirefs_v1synopsis

Nothing beats getting out of the concrete jungle and into the quiet of the forest. Website designer Scottie Ness is taking a well-deserved vacation from the grindstone, and he plans to spend it in the solitude of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest around Mt. Adams. He’s prepared for everything—except the lightning storm that traps him in a wildfire.

The firefighter who rescues him sustains serious injuries and ends up in the hospital. Jax Quintero might be abrasive, but the guy saved his life, and Scottie wants to thank him. As they spend time together during Jax’s recovery and exploring the state’s landmarks when he’s released from the hospital, Scottie discovers there’s more to Jax than a smart-ass adrenaline junkie. Jax reassesses his opinion of Scottie as an arrogant city boy who has no business in the mountains. Though Jax’s wounds prevent them from taking things as far as they’d like for a while, they can’t deny the heat building between them—and this is one fire they don’t want to put out.

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Exclusive Excerpt  

Two days later, Scottie had done all the hikes close to his base camp, and he was ready to go farther afield. He went over his backpack once more, grabbing a few small bottles of water and two tubs of noodle soup. All his emergency supplies were still packed neatly, and he made sure to pack extra batteries for his camera and his GPS.

He tossed his bag and stove in the SUV, but left the rest of his camping gear. He hadn’t seen a soul since he left Trout Lake, so he wasn’t too worried about anyone coming across his camp and stealing his stuff. Right before he left, he remembered to toss the empty water container in the backpack to fill up on his way to the trailhead.

When he stopped to fill up the jug, nothing came out of the spigot in the turnoff. There was a white truck—not really white anymore—parked next to the bathroom. A guy in a pair of shorts and a polo came out. He held up one hand. “Hey.”

“Hi! Camping at the lake?” It was a pretty safe bet with the flip-flops he was wearing.

“Yeah. Not much lake to enjoy this year, though. Still busy enough I had to run the wife down here to this bathroom.”on-fire-pine-tree-ee1

Scottie nodded. “I stopped on my way up, and it looked pretty low. Still saw a fewpeople out on float tubes with trout poles.”

“I caught a six-inch rainbow this morning.”

“Nice.” Scottie kept his amusement to himself. He patted the water pipe. “Hey, do you know when they shut off the water?”

“Yesterday, I think.”

Damn. “Okay, thanks.” Good thing he always kept a filter in his gear. With the bottles he had and his full CamelBak, he should be fine for a few days. Scottie climbed in and started his car, waiting for the guy’s wife to come out and get in their truck before he drove off. No one liked choking on dust.

It took forty minutes to drive around to the base of the trail. There was a van already parked at the turnout. That type of vehicle usually meant berry or mushroom pickers. He’d probably have plenty of solitude once he got a good distance down the track. This hike had a big climb in elevation, so he also dug out his extendable walking stick.

He was right. About ten minutes up the trail, he found a large group of people spread out over the slope. They were yammering to each other, hands busily stripping the bushes of ripe berries. Scottie waved back when they waved at him, but he didn’t stop to chat.

The hike took the rest of the afternoon, but he stopped for several breaks as well as taking pictures. He drained his CamelBak, but luckily he’d found a flowing stream to refill it with his filter. He stopped for a snack on the top of one ridge, turning in a full circle. The path had become nearly nonexistent after it stopped at a meadow, victim to the lack of grooming. He spotted his stopping point and chose some landmarks to help him once he was back in the trees.

When he finally made his way out of the trees and into the meadow he’d chosen, Scottie was eager to get his pack off his back. There were a few different kinds of scat and a good-sized wallow along with scrapings about shoulder height on the saplings. If he was lucky, the elk would come in sometime during the late evening or morning. The scrape was high and fresh, and only elk would be rubbing off their velvet that early.

Scottie’s pack tent was low to the ground, just big enough for him and his backpack. He pulled out his pocketknife and cut several low-hanging pine branches. He rested them against the sides of his tent to help camouflage it.

After pulling up a patch of grass to make a small dirt circle, Scottie got out his pack stove, balancing it carefully as he filled the cup with water. He used a lighter to start the fuel, turning it up full blast to bring it to a boil. The sun was fading and the wind had picked up, so the cup of soup was welcome for warmth as well as filling the hole in his stomach. He made sure to bag his trash and put it all away.

The light left some interesting patterns of shadows, and he walked around the edges of the trees, trying to capture them. He found a stump and sat down, listening and waiting. Finally, he grew too cold sitting there, and it was gettinglate enough he needed to get back to the tent before it was too dark to see since he’d forgotten to grab his headlight.

Yipping coyotes didn’t sound too far off, but he wasn’t afraid of them. He rolled up his flannel for a makeshift pillow and stared out the mesh front of his tent, enjoying the shining stars between the gathering clouds. The moon hadn’t cleared the trees, but it had been full the night before, prompting him to spend the time to get shots of it over the span of several hours.

The combination of the short night’s sleep and the long hike wore him out, even though it was barely past nine. He blinked sleepily, taking a deep breath and letting it out long and slow. Not even the lump of dirt under his hip was enough to keep him awake.

Lightning flashed, and thunder rolled over the landscape. Scottie blinked, squinting when the lightning lit up the thick clouds again. There were only a few seconds between that and the boom and rumble, but it wasn’t raining.

A dry storm. Scottie debated getting up, but he wasn’t really set up to get lightning shots with his camera. Instead, he got out and covered the top of his tent with a tarp hung from the large trees surrounding him just in case it began raining. He hunkered down in his sleeping bag, squirming to get away from the lump, and enjoyed listening to nature’s display of violence.onfire_releasetourbanner

jennifer

Okay, first we have Scottie; businessman, city boy who gets a week vacation from work and decides to do what his family has always done and spend some time out in the wilderness. Hiking and camping and just getting away to the quiet of nature and take some pictures of the mountains, that’s his hobby and he’s quite good at it. He’s responsible about it as well, he leaves daily reports and checks in with park rangers and safety spots so that if he runs into any trouble, the correct people will know where he’s at and where he’s headed. Just in case.

What he wasn’t anticipating is a wild brush fire and it gets out of hand fast and he ends up getting injured. Meanwhile, Jax, firefighter and dude with a bad attitude thinks Scottie is just another amateur out on the mountains and he’s got to risk his life to try to save him…. And come on, dude… it’s your job… I didn’t care much for Jax in the beginning; I didn’t like the attitude he had or the way he treated Scottie, especially because, like I said, it’s his job and he takes great pride in it; so what’s the deal?

Scottie feels bad enough and takes it upon himself to visit Jax often in the hospital after he gets hurt during Scottie’s rescue and brings him gifts and finds ways to entertain him during his timely hospital stay. They get to know each other that way and then more and more as time goes on. I don’t wanna spoil too much of it, but their relationship progresses in a natural friends to lovers kind of way. It doesn’t take long because they’re attracted to each other from the beginning, there’s little to no angst and I liked that, I’m not big on angsty reads so this one was a good, light read with a few steamy encounters thrown in. It ends on a sweet note and it’s just the beginning for these two, I’m curious to see if there’s more in store for these two sometime in the future. This is the first book I’ve read from this author and it was just the kind of story I needed at the moment. Light, sweet and low angst.

4 pieces of eye candy for me

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meet the author

The number one question folks ask Alicia when she shares she’s a MM romance author: “Why gay fiction? Why write men when you’re a woman?” and her answer is: “Why the hell not!” Alicia Nordwell is one of those not so rare creatures, a reader turned writer. Striving to find an interesting story one day, she decided to write what she wanted instead. Then the voices started… Yep, not only does she talk about herself in the third person for bios, she has voices in her head constantly clamoring to get out. Fortunately, with the encouragement of her family and friends, she decided for her own sanity to keep writing.

Now you can find her stories both free and e-published. When she’s not on the computer typing away, she’s a wife and a mom of two in the dreary, yet ideal for her redhead complexion, Pacific Northwest. Except for when she disappears into one of the many worlds in her head, of course! She can also be found quite often at her blog, where she has a lot of free fiction for readers to enjoy or working hard, or maybe hardly working, as an admin on GayAuthors.org under her online nickname, Cia.

Social media:

Cia’s Stories: http://www.ciasstories.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/alicia.nordwell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AliciaNordwell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4479520.Alicia_Nordwell

 

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Honeymoon Their Way by Morticia Knight: Release Day Review

honeymoonsynopsis

Chad has pined for Raudel since high school, but he’s been avoiding him ever since Raudel caught him in an excruciatingly embarrassing moment. So when Chad’s sister invites Raudel to join them for her weeklong prewedding celebration at Lake Tahoe, Chad is horrified. He brainstorms his escape, until reality crashes down and he discovers he’s bunking with Raudel in the last available bedroom at the lakeside retreat.

Thrown together by the bridal party from hell, Chad and Raudel unite and attempt to survive Chad’s bridezilla sister, a crazy grandmother, an overbearing mother, and the search for the perfect chocolate fountain. Despite the little time they have together, they reconnect when unexpected discoveries come to light. Love may find a way amid the nuptial chaos, but it’s unlikely to be exactly the way they expect.

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

Title: Honeymoon Their Way
Author: Morticia Knight
Release Date: November 2, 2016
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 113

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deanna review

I love stories like this! Your high school crush comes back to town after a few years and the sparks fly.

Chad has had a crush on Raudel for years, YEARS!!! Raudel is best friends with Chad’s sister Lindsey. Lindsey is getting married and driving her whole family crazy. The only bright spot for Chad is that Raudel can’t make it to the wedding. After their last disastrous encounter Chad would rather die that have to face Raudel again.

Raudel has rearranged his schedule to be able to make it to Lindsey’s wedding and on the top of his list is working things out with Chad. Raudel hasn’t been able get him out of his head, even through they haven’t seen each other in 7 years.

When Lindsey drops the bomb that Raudel will be coming to the wedding, Chad is already working on an escape plan. There is no way he can be trapped under the same roof with Raudel for two weeks and not die of unrequited love. Raudel heads to Lake Tahoe with one goal in mind, making Chad his.

Super cute, light and easy read. It’s really entertaining and I laughed quite a bit.

4 pieces of eye candy

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Will You Be My Escort by Meg Harding: Release Day Review, Guest Post, Excl Excerpt, and Giveaway

willyoubemyescort_postcard_front_dspsynopsisJackson Carlisle has rotten luck with men and women, and after an especially bad situation, he takes a step back from romance. But with a two-week family reunion in Hawaii looming, his mom is determined to set him up with one of the sweet singles she knows would be perfect for him. A normal person would tell her no and be done with it. Instead, Jackson tells her he has a boyfriend. The only problem? He doesn’t.

Aaron Wilkes is an escort. He’s a little surprised when a friend’s girlfriend hires him to date her brother, but he’s had stranger jobs. Jackson is cute, and he thinks a fling with Aaron might be just the kind of no-strings-attached fun he needs to get over his dry spell. As they explore the islands together, their carefully laid plans begin to get away from them. Feelings aren’t supposed to come into play, but that shouldn’t be a problem. After all, you can’t fall in love in two weeks….

Title: Will You Be My Escort
Series: The Carlisles: Book Two
Author: Meg Harding
Release Date: October 14, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Guest Post

Thanks for having me today! Will You Be My Escort is the second novel in a series of four. It’s the sequel to Dinner for One, and focuses on James’s younger brother Jackson—a bisexual makeup artist—and Aaron, an escort.

Without fail I’m awkward at doing these posts (for which I’m deeply sorry, readers) so I’m going to try something new for this one in an effort to make things less boring. Normally I don’t create playlists for my characters—I don’t even listen to music when writing (I will start typing the lyrics to the song my attention is so bad.) But Jackson and Aaron are definitely the kind of guys that have a soundtrack for their relationship.

Different ones, because they’re not the type to agree on everything.

Jackson thinks their relationship sounds like:

  • Wheel of Fortune – Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack
  • Jinx – DNCE
  • The Anchor – Bastille
  • Geronimo – Sheppard
  • You Light My Fire – Nate Ruess

Aaron thinks it sounds like this:

  • Science & Faith – The Script
  • Black and White Movies – Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness
  • Riptide – Vance Joy
  • T-Shirt – Thomas Rhett
  • Adrenaline – Matt Nathanson

 

excerpt

Part of being in a large family means everyone knows everything. And it’s never forgotten, because inevitably someone remembers it. So Jackson doesn’t know how he hasn’t heard about the family reunion until he’s staring at the ridiculous card on his dark-cream tiled counter. Someone has taken the time to make a collage of the entire family’s faces and merge them into lettering that reads “You’re invited to the Carlisle Family Reunion.” He’s not sure whether to be impressed or appalled.

His phone starts to trill. He picks it up without looking. “Are you seeing this?” asks James. “I think I’m hallucinating it.”

“No,” says Jackson. “I’ve got it in front of me. It’s painfully real.”

The last thing in the world he wants to do is attend a family reunion. It’s a two-week-long affair at a resort in Hawaii (which would be lovely if the family reunion aspect was removed), occurring in three weeks’ time, during which they’re going to be surrounded by obnoxious extended family. It’s like something from a horror film.

“I don’t know why you’re complaining,” he says to James. “You’ve got a boyfriend.” He thinks about it. “Can Bastien not come?” He runs two businesses and works a lot, but he’s got a partner who can probably take things over.

“Bastien can come,” grumbles James. “He’s annoyingly excited for it.”will-you-be-my-escort-_postcard_back_dsp

“He’s in for a rude awakening,” mutters Jackson. Bastien hasn’t met anyone outside of their immediate close-knit group yet—he wasn’t around for the last reunion. He’s probably expecting everyone to be like their particular branch of Carlisles. The extended family isn’t like them. Well, in some ways they are, but in others… no. They’re an eclectic group of people who mostly only bother to get together and converse for a period longer than a two-word holiday or birthday card every five years.

There’s a reason for that.

His call waiting goes off. He pulls the phone from his ear. “Mom’s calling,” he says on a sigh. “I’ll call you back.”

“Don’t bother,” says James. “I’m coming over, and we’re going to drink till we forget we’ve been invited.”

Jackson rolls his eyes. “You’re a drama queen.” He drops the call in the middle of James’s indignant squawks. “Hello,” he says to his mom.

“Hello, sweetie,” she says. “Did you get the invitation?”

He glares at their obnoxious collaged faces. “I did.” He looks closer. Someone has photoshopped a curled mustache onto James’s face. He holds the phone away from him as he snickers. Their cousin Bobby must have made the card. He hates James. “James has a mustache in the picture,” he tells his mom. “Did you see that?”

Her sigh is long and pained. “I did. I’m calling to let you know you have to go. You can’t get out of this.” She goes silent, but there’s something about it that makes Jackson feel like there’s more coming. He has a feeling he’s not going to like it. “I know things have been rough, since you had to move and all….”

And he called that.

“But I have a friend, she has a delightful daughter, and I think you two would really get along. She might take some of the pressure off the reunion? And I think it’ll be good for you. I don’t mean to worry, but you haven’t dated anyone since Angel.” He winces at the name. “It’s time to try again, don’t you think? Move on? We’re all worried about you, dear. I have a friend with a son too, he’s a bit older than you, but he’s got a nice job.”

The last thing he wants is to be set up by his mother. A sane person would tell her to butt out and hang up. Politely of course; this is his mom after all. Jackson has a short supply of sanity, though, and he’s been running on very little sleep for the last month. What comes out of his mouth, instead of “no, thank you” or “I don’t need someone else to be happy,” is “I’m already seeing someone.”

denise review

Will You Be My Escort is all the things you enjoy about a book where one of the main characters is an escort, without the required sex. And to top it off, it’s a fun book, with a family that might just be the definition of insane. Yet they are all supportive and loving of each other. The best of both worlds.

Poor Jackson’s self esteem is shot, so his finding love has been an ongoing issue with him. Meanwhile Aaron is a truly sweet man who is only an escort in order to help people out of binds, not to sleep with people for money. Instantly Aaron realizes that although he wants to help Jackson, he may be headed down a road of pain for himself.

With a two week family reunion in Hawaii, a plastic trophy up for grabs, and potential injuries around ever corner, these two find a way to sweetly discover each other, and then begin a fling that, of course, turns to more.

While the reader had to suspend disbelief in a few areas, and still wondered about a few other things,  this was a sweet love story, with a realistic ending. They didn’t leave Hawaii in love, and wanting to live the rest of their lives together…at least not out loud. They went back to their separate homes, learned to be themselves without the other, before Jackson found the nerve to ago after what he wanted all along.

I was slightly confused with how their chosen professions would continue to factor into their relationship, but all in all I enjoyed this book, and had a good time catching up with James and Bastien as well.

Not at all a heavy ready, so pick it up when you are ready for some fun loving romance.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Meg Harding is a graduate of UCF and Anglia Ruskin University. For as long as she can remember, writing has always been her passion, but she had an inability to ever actually finish anything. She’s immensely happy that her inability has fled and looks forward to where her mind will take her next. She’s a sucker for happy endings, the beach, and superheroes.  In her dream life she owns a wildlife conservation and is surrounded by puppies. She’s a film buff, voracious reader, and a massive geek.

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A Kind of Honesty by Lane Hayes: Release Day Review

a-kind-of-honestysynopsis

Music is drummer Tim Chalmers’s great escape and the one thing that’s never let him down. But his band Spiral’s meteoric rise to fame has made it difficult for him to maintain a low profile. Unwanted press pesters him after a public breakup with a volatile ex-girlfriend who loves the limelight as much as he loathes it. Tim’s main goal is to avoid confrontation. However, when a handsome stranger in a dive bar turns out to be someone he might know, everything changes.

Carter Hamilton-Temple might be a successful financial consultant with more brains, sophistication, and charm than most, but he always falls for the wrong guys: closet cases or men with issues. He can’t fight his attraction to tattooed rock star Tim, but can he trust his own judgment? When the thrill of danger combined with a fierce physical connection proves too strong for either man to resist, a quiet liaison away from the public eye and curious friends seems like a safe bet. But some secrets are hard to keep. When rumors threaten to rock his world, Tim realizes it’s time to confront his fear with his own kind of honesty.

Title: A Kind of Honesty
Author: Lane Hayes
Release Date: October 7, 2016
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 240

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paula review

Tim and Carter were brilliant. Their story was so well told. Lane Hayes did a wonderful job creating two characters that are easy to connect with. Tim’s personal life was such a mess. Between his crazy ex and the family drama, it made me tired. His character was very well developed and all of his issues weren’t overdone. Nothing felt like drama for drama sake. My heart hurt for him and the pain he went through when he was younger. Carter was very realistic to me. I understood him and his feelings. His fears and insecurities made sense with the things that happened to him in his past relationship wise. I really enjoyed seeing the relationship between these two develop and grow. I was rooting for them to make it.

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