Tied to You by Riley Hart: Release Blitz, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

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TIED TO YOU

WILD SIDE BOOK 2

RILEY HART

M/M ROMANCE

COVER DESIGN: X-Potion Designs

COVER PHOTO: John Karrer

ARTWORK: Sarah Jo Chreene

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Miles Sorenson prides himself on his brutal honesty. Facts and logic are a hell of a lot easier to deal with than emotions. He’s got his career and a small, close-knit group of friends, and he doesn’t need nor want anything else. The total opposite of Quinn Barker, who doesn’t take life too seriously and thinks a good laugh can cure anything.

When Quinn takes Miles home, it’s supposed to be a one-time deal. Except they really click in the sack and end up spending the weekend together, enjoying each other’s bodies as much as their company…to Miles’s dismay. Matters get even more muddled when, months later, they run into each other at the popular West Hollywood bar, Wild Side, and pick up right where they left off.

On the surface, Quinn and Miles are like oil and water, but the draw between them is undeniable. As their lives further entwine, they realize there’s more to their connection than the way they singe the sheets together.

But demons from the past have a way of catching up, and no matter how strong the link is tying Miles and Quinn together, the pressure may be enough to make it snap.

 

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3 tied teaser 3

Miles still held him by the back of the head. Their lips were inches apart now, breaths heavy, Miles panting as he looked at Quinn.

He breathed in, Miles out, Miles in, Quinn out.

“You gonna fuck me or what, Counselor?” he finally asked, and then they were stumbling out of the shower—teeth clanking, tongues slashing, lips searching.

He felt like Miles was going to devour him, take him whole, and in this moment, he would welcome it.

Miles kissed him until they got to the sink. “Bend over it,” he said, and goose bumps shot across Quinn’s skin at the command.

He did as Miles said. Miles’s hand brushed down his back, his finger tracing each rise and fall of Quinn’s spine. “Perfect arch.”

Quinn looked up, met Miles’s eyes in the mirror and replied, “I know.” Because he did. He was fucking good at this.

“Mouthy little bottom, aren’t you?” Miles teased.

“Realistically confident.”

“You’re killing me.” Miles looked away, and Quinn knew it was because this was a lot. Because just fucking before he’d admitted that Quinn intrigued him was one thing, but now they both knew this was about more than just a piece of ass. What? They hadn’t gotten that far yet and didn’t know each other well enough to figure it out either, but it was a truth between them that hadn’t been there the first weekend they’d shared.

Or maybe they had known it but hadn’t been able to admit it.

“Get in me,” Quinn told him.

“Mouthy,” Miles said again. “Going to have to do something about that.”

It’s so hard to write a review for a book that that you adore without coming out looking like a crazy stalker or making you look like you are trying too hard to convince someone, who is reading this, to give the book a chance.

Riley Hart is an auto buy for me no matter what she writes or who she co-authors with.  Some of my favorite books and book boyfriends have come from the genius mind of Riley.  I love how each book/series is nothing like her previous books – always evolving into something new.   The Wild Series is about 4 friends, Oliver, Matt, Miles and Chance, who have been best friends since they were kids.    Tied to You is book 2 in the series where we meet the enigmatic Miles, who has taken over my heart.

Back when Quinn was introduced in Jumpstart (Christian & Beckett, Crossroads Book 4) the first thing I did was message Hart and immediately asked if Quinn was getting a book.  Of course I loved the book but there was something with Quinn, despite being a secondary character that drew me to know more about him.  To have him finally get his book and for it to be with Miles has the stars aligning and me being exceedingly happy.

Hart’s writing is remarkable with the book flowing with simplicity.   Both Miles and Quinn each have a past that have made them the way they are….distance, closed off, only looking for some fun.  Their connection is off the charts which you could feel from the start of the book.   Reading this made me think Hart was inside my head while writing their story – I got all the feels.   Here are my exact thoughts…

“I’m in love with Miles and Quinn’s banter.  Gah…When he calls him Baby Boy….I’m Done….HOOK…LINE AND SINKER.  I was not expecting to feel like I was punched in the heart when Miles & Quinn (((took spoiler out))).   JFC….I haven’t read something that felt that intense in such a long time.”

I just love everything about this book – the writing, the characters, the secondary characters, the banter, the miscommunication, the walls that take a while to come done, the romance – **sigh** – Just everything.

If you haven’t started the series yet you should.  Start with Dare You To (novella), than Gone For You.

If you didn’t care for either of those books and are reluctant to try this one….PLEASE TRY – This is one of best from Hart.

If you are a newbie to Hart’s work you should give it a go.  I promise you will not be disappointed.

Another fantastic read by Riley Hart.  I can’t wait to see what comes next.

FAVORITE QUOTE

“I got you, baby boy,” Miles said as Quinn wrapped his arms around Mile’s neck.  “I got you. I’m here.”  He kissed Quinn’s forehead. Held him tight. In this moment, nothing else mattered…”

Pieces of Eye Candy: 5

 

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Riley Hart is the girl who wears her heart on her sleeve. She’s a hopeless romantic, a lover of sexy stories, passionate men, and writing about all the trouble they can get into together.

She loves reading, flawed characters, and hanging out with her husband and children, who she adores. She and her family live in Southern California, soaking up the sunshine while also missing seasons. Not a day goes by that she isn’t thankful she gets to wake up and do what she loves.

Life is good. Riley also writes young adult and new adult under the name Nyrae Dawn.

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A Day Makes by Mary Calmes: Release Day Review with Giveaway

34568448synopsisMob enforcer Ceaton Mercer has killed a lot of people in a lot of different ways – he stashed the last two bodies in a toolshed belonging to a sweetheart marine researcher in an idyllic island community – but he’s really not such a bad guy. Over time he’s found a home of sorts, and he even learns he’s found a place in the hearts of the people he works with…at least enough so that they won’t put a bullet in his head because he’s outlived his usefulness to the boss.

But he never thought he’d find one day could change his life, and he’s about to discover how wrong he is.

Because in a single day, he meets the man who looks to be the one, the love of his life. It’s an improbable idea – a man who deals in death finding love – but it’s like it’s meant to be. That single day gets weirder and troubles pile up, forcing Ceaton to take a hard look at his dreary life and accept that one day can change everything, especially himself. His future might be brighter than he expects – if he can stay alive long enough to find out.

Title: A Day Makes
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense
Pages: 200

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First… I just gotta say that I would’ve begged for this book without knowing anything about it. I knew who wrote it and that was enough for me. I have read and re-read every book by Mary Calmes and there are even a few that I’m obsessed with… Okay, more than a few, a lot… a whole lot.
In saying all that, let’s get into why this one was amazing.

First, we have Ceaton. Former Marine, now hired “enforcer” for a pretty scary dude. He, along with the three guys he works with, are technically bad guys… but are they really bad guys if they only go after bad guys? It’s easy to overlook the morally questionable things that they do because, it’s for the greater good, right?

I absolutely adored the family loyalty between Ceaton and the men who stood at his side. Their banter was cute and familial and I loved them all. I was a little upset that some people were able to turn on each other at the drop of a hat, but his brothers… they were ride or die. Ceaton needed that, he deserved it.

 
So, okay, once his boss has little use for him; he sends him on a dummy mission to protect a family member of someone he does dealings with. That’s where he meets Brin. You will fall in love with Brin, just accept it now. Like, Jory Harcourt or Ian and Miro, or Stefan, or Aaron, or Landry or Professor Quells… or any of the adorable men that these badasses fall for… It’s inevitable. He’s smitten immediately, has been since the day he laid eyes on Ceaton. He’s sure and confident and although this is the insta-type love that Mrs. Calmes has perfected, it really doesn’t feel rushed, because we go through so much with Ceaton before we even get to meet Brin.

I was flipping through pages of this book so fast, I was sucked into the action of it. The betrayl and heartache and hopefulness. I gasped and EFFED and whaaaaaat… several times… I was that on edge. It all played out like a movie and I feel like I need a cigarette after finishing and I quit almost 2 years ago! It was that intense. Intense but amazing and the ending was beautiful and something I DID NOT see coming at all but was fist bumping as it all played out….

What an amazing read. No spoilers, no cliffhangers and the cutest HEA. I would love, love, love to read more about these two and their extended family. Fingers crossed.

5 well deserved pieces of eye candy from me!5-pieces-eye-candy1giveaway
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An Officer’s Submission by Christa Tomlinson: Blog Tour, Author Interview, Reviews and Giveaway

TitleAn Officer’s Submission

Series: Cuffs, Collars, and Love #4

Author: Christa Tomlinson

Publisher:  Self- Torlina Publishing

Release Date: March 15

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 67,000

Genre: Romance, erotic romance, contemporary, D/S, established couples

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synopsis

“You don’t ever have to keep anything you feel locked up, Clay. I’m your Dom, and whatever you need from me, I’ll gladly give to you.”
– Sergeant Logan Pierce

Police Officer Clay Foster is finally at peace and happy with his life. He enjoys his career as a member of Houston’s SWAT team, and he loves submitting to his Dom in the bedroom. His life is perfect, until one cruel act destroys Clay’s bubble of happiness. Shattered trust forces Clay to reevaluate his career, his relationship, and himself.

Sergeant Logan Pierce is the leader of Houston’s elite SWAT team. On the force, he’s the best at what he does. In private, the most important thing in his life is taking care of his submissive, Clay. Clay is his whole world, and Logan will do whatever is necessary to keep him safe. Even if that means going up against Clay’s stubbornness in order to help him heal.

Can Logan and Clay work together to rebuild their happiness? Can they find their way back to the shared passion of Dominance and submission? Or will their love and relationship end before it’s truly begun?

An Officer’s Submission is Book Four in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. If you love romance that is epic, emotional and erotic, you’ll want to give this series a read!

 

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Christa Tomlinson Author Interview

Hello, I’m Christa! I’m originally from St. Louis, Missouri and I currently live in Houston, Texas. I have two dogs, I’m a former teacher and I’m a retired roller derby player. I’ve been reading romance novels since I was eleven! My big sister let me read hers as long as I promised to skip the “grown up” parts. I always said I would skip them but read them anyway. I was a rebel. My current book is An Officer’s Submission. It’s an erotic BDSM romance, featuring characters from my fictional version of the Houston Police Department SWAT team. This story is about Officer Clay Foster, who loves being a submissive, but still struggles with that part of himself. And his Dom, Sergeant Logan Pierce, who will do anything for his submissive.

  1. What misconceptions do people have about your genre?

That it’s all sex. My books may be heavy on the erotic side, but there are many authors who have books that aren’t. Also, there’s so much more to them than sex. Emotion, friendship and action play a part as well.

  1. How do you choose names for your characters?

I normally start with The Writer’s Digest Character Naming Sourcebook. That way I can search by region or ethnicity, etc. But I always end up picking a name that matches the character. For example, I wouldn’t name a soft, kittenish character Ace Steel, unless I was trying to flip a book trope.

  1. What else do you use to immerse yourself in the story (music, visuals, etc.)?

Definitely music. I choose songs based on the mood of the scene I’m writing. And I play that song on repeat until I’m finished with the scene. It helps get my head in the right space, but also serves as white noise to block out any distractions.

  1. What’s your favorite movie?

Gladiator. Russell Crowe is amazing in that movie. Totally believable as the general Maximus. Plus he’s gorgeous and full of muscles. Joaquin Phoenix did an excellent job as Commodus – so evil! And the action and fighting scenes were very well done.

  1. What do you hope people say about you after you’re gone?

I loved her books!

  1. What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future?

I’m currently writing the next and probably last book in the Cuffs, Collars, and Love series. Officer Hector Castillo, the sniper from the team, is getting his own story next! I’ve already finished the rough draft and I’m planning for a June or July release. After that, I’ll be making a sub-genre shift. I’ve wanted to write historical fantasy for a long time now, and I’m in the planning stages for my first project. I’m very excited about it!

Thank you for having me on your blog today! I appreciate the opportunity to discuss my work and look forward to chatting with your readers. Readers, feel free to drop any questions you have for me in the comments. Have a wonderful week!

Love,

Christa

deanna review

Love this series and always love catching up with the guys. This book was no exception.

Logan and Clay have settled into a happy life. They work together, they almost live together and they spend all their time off together. Then Captain Hayden has the brilliant idea to split up Logan’s team sending Logan to Narcotics, Tiffany to the bomb squad, and Carlos to lead another team. This brings new team members Harmon and Nelson and new leader Dunlap.
When Clay is blindsided on a training exercise, realizing he can’t count on his new team he retreats within himself to figure out how to move on. He shuts everyone out, including Logan. Logan will need to figure out what happened fast if he has any hope of helping Clay move past what happened.

Captain Hayden has never been my favorite character, I really didn’t like him after he split the team up. However, I do feel like he was firmly in Clay’s corner after everything went down. I thought it was impossible, but he may have redeemed himself. I’m cautiously optimistic.

Harmon, ugh even his name sounds douchey (is that a word? I’m rolling with it.). He was a great villain, but that is the only nice thing I can say about him. I was praying he would get stuck somewhere with Tiffany and one of her bombs.

I loved reading about the old characters that I love and meeting new characters. As always, the character development is impeccable, they are rich in detail, interesting and fit into the story perfectly.

The story…. frustrating at times because Clay was being stubborn but so worth the read. It was a roller coaster of emotion that I would gladly ride again and again. I was furious for Clay, I was mad at Logan for giving him space, I was so grateful when they both pulled their heads out. There were times I had to put the Kindle down for fear I would throw it in my frustration, but Clay got it together in the end.

5 pieces of eye candy

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erin

Book 4 in the series brings us back to the original couple of Clay and Logan. Full disclosure- I read book 1, but did not read books 2 and 3. But they are definitely on my to be read list. I don’t know how I missed them really.

Back to the book. Clay and Logan are both still in the honeymoon stage of a relationship and the happily ever after. They don’t live together yet, but that is a technicality. Everything is going great- until the boss decides to break up the SWAT team. After learning to work together, now they need to learn to work apart.

When Clay is attacked, he retreats. Instead of leaning on his Dom, he holds it all in and distances himself. Logan has no idea what has happened and no idea what went wrong. Now they have to work their way back to where they were.

Watching Clay and Logan rebuild the trust and relationship they once had was like getting two of your favorite characters in a whole new book. Seeing Logan willing to give up a huge part of himself in order to get Clay back. He struggles, but ultimately his love for Clay beats anything he needs or wants for himself.

Ultimately, I think it made them stronger. Not only as a couple, but as individuals. Coming to terms with what has happened to Clay, to them as a couple, and to them in their careers is difficult. Seeing these two, big, tough, strong men being lost and trying to find their way back to each other makes for a great story.

My biggest complaint is how easy Clay’s attackers seem to have gotten off. I wanted blood.

4 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Christa Tomlinson is an exciting up and coming author in erotic romance. Her first self-published novel, The Sergeant, was an Amazon Best Seller for Gay and Lesbian Erotica for seven weeks straight.

Christa graduated from The University of Missouri-St. Louis with a degree in History. She loves to create stories that are emotional and lovely with sex that is integral to the characters’ romantic arc. Her books include straight couples, curvy couples, gay, and multicultural couples. Love is love and everyone should have their story told.

Christa lives in Houston, Texas with her two dogs, and is a retired roller derby player.

 

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Tour Schedule

April 13thTwo Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

April 14th –  Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 15th MM Good Book Reviews

April 16thBoy Meets Boy Reviews

April 17thMy Fiction Nook

April 18th Love Bytes Reviews

April 19thErotica For All

April 20th Nerdy Dirty & Flirty

April 21st – Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews

April 22nd – Booklover Sue

 

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At Attention by Annabeth Albert: Release Day Blitz, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

TitleAT ATTENTION

Series: Out of Uniform, book 2 (but stands alone well–different couple for each book)

Author: Annabeth Albert

Publisher:  Carina Press

Release Date: April 10, 2017

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 73,000

Genre: Romance, Military romance, contemporary, age difference, may/december, SEALS

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synopsis

Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

Book Two of the Out of Uniform series

This book is approximately 73,000 words

excerpt

**This is from the first chapter**

Hamburger. Onions. Pickles. Ketchup. Buns. Buns.

Well, hello, there. Possibly the most perfect specimen Apollo had ever seen was bent over in the bakery aisle at Sprouts, looking at a rack of organic cookies. High. Tight. Round. Attached to muscular legs poking out of board shorts, the kind of legs that suggested a serious investment in a sport or fitness. He wasn’t going to do more than look, but even when he’d been with Neal, he hadn’t been blind, and it was nice to know perfection like this guy existed in the world.

It was like swimming by a perfect coral reef on a dive or the blue of a cloudless sky right before a jump—

Wink. Fuck. The guy straightened before Apollo could look away and caught Apollo staring, and instead of blushing or serving him with the angry glare he deserved, he gave Apollo a saucy wink. It was the sort of wink that a decade ago would have had Apollo crossing the shiny linoleum and getting the guy’s number, but those days were long gone.

Instead he grabbed the closest twelve pack of hamburger buns and one of hot dog buns and headed to the next aisle. Those were the only kind of buns he had any business letting himself be distracted by. He was a father for crying out loud, not some single guy out treating the natural grocery store like his own personal pickup joint. Reflexively, he rubbed his ring with the side of his pinky, making it spin on his ring finger. Yeah. No more looking.

“Apollo! How are you?” Bridget from down the street almost ran her cart into his as he navigated the aisles. Her red-haired toddler waved at him from the basket.

Hell. He knew he should have brought at least one of the girls shopping. Then Bridget could have focused on the kids, and not his least favorite question in the universe.

“Hanging in there.” Apollo gave her a practiced a smile. “Good” would be a lie and no one wanted to hear “same as yesterday,” which was closer to the truth. But what the Bridgets of the world all wanted to hear was that Apollo was moving on—like time was the magic cure for the hole in his heart. “Having some people over for a barbecue later. Apologies if anyone parks in front of your place.”

“Oh, no worries.” Bridget patted his arm. “Having friends is so important.”

“Yeah, it is,” Apollo agreed because Bridget was a nice person, but inwardly his teeth gnashed together. He was so tired of well-meaning people telling him what was good for him when not a damn one of their suggestions would bring Neal back. “I better get on with my list.”

“You do that. And be sure and let us know if you need anything.

Apollo nodded. Two years. It had been two years of neighbors and friends stopping him like this, making kind offers, but none of them able to do the one thing he wanted more than anything.

Fuck. Snap out of it, Lieutenant. No one wants your mopey ass around on this sunny May weekend. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for playing with the girls outside and kicking back a few beers with his friends. He wasn’t on duty and had three consecutive days off for the first time in a long time. No sense dwelling on sad shit. Time to get stuff done.

Find something else to focus on.

Like that perfect ass?

No. Absolutely not that. Like…pickles. Lots and lots of pickles.

He saw Mr. Perfect Butt again in the juice aisle, and it was damn hard to keep his resolution to stick to shopping. The guy was model cute—curly hair falling just so over his forehead, sparkling eyes, chiseled jaw, and a tight T-shirt advertising a British soccer team showing off a defined chest and tight stomach. The guy smiled at him again and looked like he might want to speak, so Apollo grabbed the juice boxes for the girls and got out of there like he’d just launched a flash bang in the guy’s direction.

At the checkout, Mr. Perfect Butt was ahead of him in the only line that seemed to be moving. Apollo very carefully did not look at his butt again and busied himself grabbing some gum and trying to give off “don’t talk to me” vibes.

But those vibes seemed to be an utter failure as the guy turned, offering another movie-star-worthy grin. “You want to go first?” His voice was husky, like every word was a secret.

“I’m good,” Apollo said.

The man nodded, shy smile teasing the edges of his mouth, making his blue eyes dance. “You know—”

“ID please.” The cashier interrupted whatever flirtation the guy had planned as his six pack of beer went across the scanner.

“Oh, yeah.” A faint red flush spread up the guy’s neck. Oh hell. He wasn’t just younger than Apollo. He was a kid. A kid who still got carded, and rightfully so with that baby face. What the hell had Apollo been thinking, admiring his body?

Apollo focused on unloading his own groceries, making neat rows for the cashier, and making sure the buns wouldn’t get squished.

Buns. Nope. Not going there. The kid hung around after paying for his groceries, mouth moving as if he were debating speaking, but Apollo kept his attention squarely on the cashier.

No more looking. Remember who—what—you are now. When he finally looked up, perfect butt guy was gone, and if Apollo felt a twinge of regret for being a bit on the rude side, he squashed it quickly. Wasn’t like he’d ever see the guy again anyway.

****

What will Apollo do when he discovers that Perfect Butt guy is his best friend’s little brother? Find out in AT ATTENTION!

Heather's Review

How do I love Annabeth Albert, let me count the ways… seriously, I have never read a book written by her that I haven’t devoured. As a matter of fact, I read At Attention a while ago and just read it again now so I could write this review. That’s really telling, because reading a second time was almost as amazing as the first. Sure, there were things I remembered from my first time with Apollo and Dylan, but overall, I enjoyed it as much as most new-to-me reads.

As soon as we met Apollo in Off Base, I knew I needed his story. There was pain that needed to be healed and I wanted to know he’d be okay. And boy, was he ever!

Dylan has some big tasks ahead of him if he wants to win Apollo’s heart. He needs to show Apollo he’s no longer Apollo’s buddy’s little brother. Heck, I’m pretty sure he needs to remind everyone he’s not a kid anymore. On top of that, he has to get past the double-thick wall Apollo’s built around his heart.

Every interaction, every progression of their relationship felt natural. It was the way two men, one of whom has a long list of responsibilities, would go from a convenient arrangement to help Apollo with his daughters to men in love with one another as equals.

Today, I’ll be picking up the audiobook so I can listen to their story again. There’s one scene in particular, right at the end of the book, that I’m dying to know if the narrator does justice. After that, it’ll be time to start hounding Annabeth for the next book in the series, because the Out of Uniform series is a bit like Lay’s chips: you can’t eat just one.

5 pieces of eye candy

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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.

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Swift for the Sun by Karen Bovenmyer: Exclusive Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

swift for the sunsynopsisBenjamin Lector imagines himself a smuggler, a gun runner, and an all-around scoundrel. A preacher’s son turned criminal, first and foremost, he is a survivor.

When Benjamin is shipwrecked on Dread Island, fortune sends an unlikely savior—a blond savage who is everything Benjamin didn’t know he needed. Falling in love with Sun is easy. But pirates have come looking for the remains of Benjamin’s cargo, and they find their former slave, Sun, instead.

Held captive by the pirates, Benjamin learns the depths of Sun’s past and the horrors he endured and was forced to perpetrate. Together, they must not only escape, but prevent a shipment of weapons from making its way to rebellious colonists. Benjamin is determined to save the man he loves and ensure that a peaceful future together is never threatened again. To succeed might require the unthinkable—an altruistic sacrifice.

Title: Swift for the Sun
Author: Karen Bovenmyer
Release Date: March 27, 2017
Category: Historical: Americas
Pages: 230

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excerpt

SWIFT FOR THE SUN Exclusive Excerpt from Chapter 12: Sacrifice

Hours later I woke in the dark alone, and a terrible feeling of foreboding made breathing hard. I felt my way over to the corner. Sun’s spear was still there. I felt better for a moment, until I thought things through, and the realization made my skin prickle. He was gone. And he’d left his weapon behind.

Oh no. Oh God no.

I don’t remember the trip from the tree house to the beach. I only remember the bottom dropping out of my world as I stood holding his spear, then the utter blackness of the night jungle, and then crouching where the tree line ended at the band of sand surrounding our island like a shackle.

The Portuguese had a fire going again.

The smell of roast pig filled the night. I felt nauseous when I realized the source must be Ernest.

The big man, Martio, loomed by the fire. He stood looking into the night while everyone else ate and drank. I almost yelled a warning when I saw what Martio was staring at.

Sun stepped out of the forest shadows, his lean body bathed in the flickering light of the fire. He looked naked in his loincloth compared to the pirates, and the fire lit up his golden skin and braids like the Greek’s Helios or Rome’s Sol Invictus. His hands were empty, arms at his sides with palms facing out to show he had no weapons.

Two sentries at the edge of the light pointed their guns at him, but Martio held up his hand.

“Come,” the big man said in his native tongue, and Sun walked with fluid grace into the camp. There was no trace of the trembling fear I’d seen in him when we’d hidden in the bushes together. It was as though making up his mind to come to the fireside of his former masters had also banished his terror.

The other pirates gathered around, the more drunk glaring through squinted eyes, as if working hard to figure out who the newcomer was.

“Sóli,” Martio said. I watched open surprise and recognition mingle on his face. It was quickly replaced by a narrowing that spoke of both greed and desire. Clearly Sun was someone, something, he valued.

Martio sunk into a fighter’s crouch as Sun approached, and Sun mirrored him. The big man was more than twice Sun’s bulk, but he moved with a grace that looked just as deadly. I held my breath and imagined them fighting, Sun would be quicker, but I had the feeling Martio would be tireless as well as stronger.

“You remember well.” Martio stopped circling, straightened, and laughed, the sound booming across the beach. Sun straightened too, but he didn’t laugh. He watched Martio like a snake watches a boot, ready to strike if a man steps too close. This didn’t escape Martio’s notice. In fact, he seemed to expect it, like it, a smile curving his full, cruel lips. He stepped away from the roast hog with a chuckle, leaving a wide space.

“Join us.” He sat and indicated a place by the fire next to him—I didn’t like how long his reach was. Sun’s eyes flicked to the sentries, who still stared, mouths gaping. Martio waved their muskets down. The men obeyed without argument, but I noticed they didn’t sling their weapons. Everyone in the camp watched Sun as he crossed the short distance and crouched by the fire.

Martio gave him a generous piece of hog off the spit, and Sun took the steaming meat from him and tore into it with his straight, white teeth. For reasons unknown to me, Martio found this gladsome and laughed again. He touched one of the braids tailing down Sun’s back and ran it through his fingers. It reminded me of someone inspecting a horse for soundness. There was a look in Martio’s eyes I didn’t like, and for a moment I fantasized skewering him with Sun’s spear.

Sun casually took his braid back and rotated on the balls of his feet so he faced Martio directly. I couldn’t see the expression on his face from where I was, but Martio stopped laughing and instead watched him eat for long moments.

“Why are you here?” Martio’s voice was low but rumbled through the clearing.

“I want you to leave.” Sun’s voice was steady, easy to hear. His Portuguese was perfect, his accent very slight.

“Why would we do that?” Martio grinned at him like Sun was a child asking for an indulgence.

Sun chewed and didn’t answer him.

“We’re looking for a man,” Martio said as he held up the charred wing from the Sea Swift’s prow. “Have you seen him?”

. I have seen him.” Again, Sun’s voice was clear. I tensed. Had I been wrong to trust him? Had he only been waiting for the right moment to turn me in? No, I would not believe that.

To a man, the pirates looked out into the night past the circle of light. I felt eyes raking the darkness where I lay.

“Where is he?”

“If I take you to him, will you leave my island?”

Martio’s eyes narrowed as he searched Sun’s face. What he looked for, I couldn’t say.

“This is not your island.” Martio’s voice deepened with the ring of command.

Sun shrugged and tore another piece off the meat. Martio no longer thought this was so amusing.

“He belongs to us. He owes us.”

Sun shrugged again.

“Show us this man.” Martio stood.

“It’s dark.” Sun stood too and reached down to pull a piece of flaming wood from the fire. He turned it slowly in his hands, considering it.

“Torches,” Martio ordered.

I kept as low as I could in the undergrowth. All the men on the beach gathered into a scouting party. The atmosphere turned festive, and the bottles of liquor were brought as well. The men seemed to regard the outing as a hunt. There was no other choice—when they passed, Sun leading them into the forest, I followed.

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denise review

Wow! I’m really not sure where to start with this review. I will qualify it by saying I love historicals as a general rule. It is what I started reading back as a teenager. The true “bodice-rippers” that I got from who knows where, and sometimes would read over and over. I’ve read a few since I’ve started reading exclusively m/m, and they have always been good. This one knocked it out of the park for me, though.

First, I must touch on the research. Now I didn’t follow up to make sure all of Karen Bovenmyer’s historical accuracy was there, but enough of it was what I knew to be true to the history of the time, that I imagine most of the rest of it was. Either the author has a history degree, which it appears from her bio that she does not, or she spent an incredible amount of time researching the locations, the cultures, the people and the time. I was astonished at the level of detail she gave, and yet I didn’t feel overwhelmed with words. I could visualize exactly what I was reading, and with such a beautiful locale to read about, it was a great vacation of the senses. In addition there was quite a cast of characters in this book, all very different, both physically (well except for two 😉 ) and personality-wisse, yet I could almost see each character as a separate person.

I’ll admit there were a few times, I considered taking a break from the book. Not because it wasn’t well-written, but for the exact opposite reason! She wrote situations so real for the time, and with such precision that some of it was tough to read. I knew there was a happy ending at the end of Swift for the Sun, but these characters went through so much to get there that I wondered if I could make it without crying. (Final Answer: No.)

The heartbreak of watching all that Sun went through before he found Benjamin made me wonder how he had any humanity intact by that point. A lesser man would have been the savage that Benjamin thought he was, and later learned he was on the edge of. Yet Benjamin saw the beauty inside Sun, and never let his light be diminished.

This book isn’t an easy book to read in some ways. And in so many others ways, I can’t imagine a love story that would shine brighter than the gemstone this book turned out to be.

5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

 

Bovenmyer_Karen credit Chris Gannon ARCHAuthor Short Bio:

Karen Bovenmyer earned an MFA in Creative Writing: Popular Fiction from the University of Southern Maine. She teaches and mentors students at Iowa State University and serves as the Nonfiction Assistant Editor of Escape Artists’ Mothership Zeta Magazine. She is the 2016 recipient of the Horror Writers Association Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley Scholarship. Her poems, short stories and novellas appear in more than 40 publications and her first novel, SWIFT FOR THE SUN, an LGBT romantic adventure in 1820s Caribbean, will be available from Dreamspinner Press on March 27, 2017. http://karenbovenmyer.com/

Social Media Links:

https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenbovenmyer

https://www.facebook.com/karen.bovenmyer

https://twitter.com/karenbovenmyer

 

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When the Dust Settles by Mary Calmes: Audiobook Review with Giveaway

51mHac376FL._SY346synopsisGlenn Holloway’s predictable life ended the day he confessed his homosexuality to his family. As if that wasn’t enough, he then poured salt in the wound by walking away from the ranch he’d grown up on, to open the restaurant he’d always dreamed of. Without support from his father and brother, and too proud to accept assistance from anyone else, he had to start from scratch. Over time things worked out. Glenn successfully built a strong business, created a new home, and forged a life he could be proud of.
Despite his success, his estrangement from the Holloways is still a sore spot he can’t quite heal, and a called-in favor becomes Glenn’s worst nightmare. Caught in a promise, Glenn returns to his roots to deal with Rand Holloway and comes face-to-face with Mac Gentry, a man far too appealing for Glenn’s own good. It could all lead to disaster – disaster for his tenuous reconnection with his family and for the desire he didn’t know he held in his heart.

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deanna review

This is by far my favorite series by Mary Calmes. There is just something about cowboys. All of your favorite characters from Timing and After the Sunset make an appearance in this one as well. I love when you get to followup with old favorites, and boy is Rand a favorite but I digress.

Mac Gentry is the foreman of the Red Diamond, Rand’s ranch. He comes across as gruff and down right mean, Most people steer clear of the man. He is the ranch and has no need for anyone who doesn’t live the ranch life.

Glen Holloway gave up the ranch life to open a restaurant, The Bronc. Since he doesn’t fit in with his own family he’s created a makeshift family of his own with the strays at The Bronc. He avoids the ranch at every opportunity to stay away from awkward family interactions with his brother and Rand, but mostly to avoid Mac. Mac makes Glen speechless and angry in equal parts.

When Stef calls in a favor, Glen has to go on a four day cattle drive with Rand and Mac. A long day in the saddle and a lonely night on the prairie has Glen and Mac re-evaluating their relationship. If they lay it all on the table will the foundation they build be strong enough to withstand real life or will it crumble to dust out on the prairie?

Love, love, love the book. The characters are familiar, the story is entertaining. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Mary will write another one. I’m not ready to let them go just yet.

Can we talk about Sean Crisden’s voice. Holy Hannah, that is the sexiest cowboy voice I have ever heard. It deep, rich, and just gruff enough to bring the characters to life with panty dropping perfection.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Tied Up In Knots by Mary Calmes: Audiobook Review with Giveaway

51RDgmP2pL._SY346synopsisMiro Jones is living the life; he’s got his exciting, fulfilling job as a US deputy marshal, his gorgeous Greystone in suburban Chicago, his beloved adopted family, and most importantly, the man who captured his heart, Ian Doyle. Problem is, Ian isn’t just his partner at work – Ian’s a soldier through and through. That commitment takes him away from Miro, unexpectedly and often, and it’s casting a shadow over what could be everything Miro could ever dream of.
Work isn’t the same without Ian. Home isn’t the same, either, and Miro’s having to face his fears alone…how to keep it together at the office, how to survive looming threats from the past, and worst of all, how to keep living without Ian’s rock-solid presence at his side. His life is tied up in knots, but what if unknotting them requires something more permanent? What would that mean for him and Ian? Miro’s stuck between two bad choices, and sometimes the only way to get out of the knot is to hold tight to your lifeline and pull.

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deanna review

I love the Marshalls series. There is just something about Ian and Miro. Their story is a fairytale,.. Kinda… Maybe… If Quentin Tarantino were writing it.

This installment picks up with Ian being away on a four month op and Miro being loaned out to the DEA on the west coast. Of course Miro finds all sorts of trouble to get into out there. As he’s headed home he gets the call that Ian is heading home too. For the first time, Ian asks Miro to pick him up from the airport with his team.

Miro starts hoping for some normalcy when Bam, the military life rears it’s ugly head again. Several people from Ian’s old unit have died and the government brass think that someone is trying to kill the whole team. Ian heads to Washington to try to figure out what’s going on, meanwhile Craig Hartley has escaped from prison again.

Ian and Miro have some tough choices to make. Can Miro stand by Ian when’s he gone for as much time as he’s home? Can Miro live with the anxiety everyday of not knowing whether Ian is going to come home safe? Is Hartley coming after Miro again?

This story wraps up in stunning fashion, as I’ve come to expect from this series. I can’t wait to see where the next story takes us, hopefully their is a wedding involved.

These characters are some of my favorites, the story was entertaining and fast paced. I’m kinda over the Hartley story line, I know the storyline was left open so he could possibly return in a later book, but please Jesus let Miro be. I can’t handle the stress of him being kidnapped and tortured again.

I think Tristan James is perfect for this series. The Chicago accent is great, it’s gritty and tough and perfect for Ian and Miro. I will admit Kage sounds damn good too.

5 pieces of eye candy

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There’s This Guy by Rhys Ford: Release Day Review with Giveaway

there's this guysynopsisHow do you save a drowning man when that drowning man is you?

Jake Moore’s world fits too tightly around him. Every penny he makes as a welder goes to care for his dying father, an abusive, controlling man who’s the only family Jake has left. Because of a promise to his dead mother, Jake resists his desire for other men, but it leaves him consumed by darkness.

It takes all of Dallas Yates’s imagination to see the possibilities in the fatigued art deco building on WeHo’s outskirts, but what seals the deal is a shy smile from the handsome metal worker across the street. Their friendship deepens while Dallas peels back the hardened layers strangling Jake’s soul. It’s easy to love the sweet, artistic man hidden behind Jake’s shattered exterior, but Dallas knows Jake needs to first learn to love himself.

When Jake’s world crumbles, he reaches for Dallas, the man he’s learned to lean on. It’s only a matter of time before he’s left to drift in a life he never wanted to lead and while he wants more, Jake’s past haunts him, making him doubt he’s worth the love Dallas is so desperate to give him.

Title: There’s This Guy
Author: Rhys Ford
Release Date: March 17, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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paula review

Rhys Ford has yet to create a character that hasn’t had me wrapped around their finger.  Jake and Dallas were no exception.  Jake about broke me in this story.  His parents messed him up so bad, it made me cry. As a parent I found myself wondering through a lot of this story how a parent could treat their child this way.  I’m as clueless now as I have ever been.  Jake is an extremely well developed character. I went on this journey with him and I was exhausted by the time I finished(in a good way).  Dallas was perfect for Jake. His lightness was so good for Jake to experience.  He has such a beautiful heart.  And of course it wouldn’t be a Rhys Ford book if it didn’t have a little mystery in it.  Not telling what though, you’ll have to read and find out for yourself.

5 pieces of eye candy

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denise review

The only book I have read by Rhys Ford before was Fish and Ghosts a few years ago, and I recall enjoying the book. So, I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started There’s This Guy.

The opening scene with Jake was powerful, frightening, and grabbed you quickly. The reader can tell that they are in for a hell of a ride from the very beginning. Dallas was light-hearted and was able to slowly take a hold on Jake’s heart, one interaction at a time. You literally saw Jake changing as you read the book. That was awesome to see.

However, where I struggled with the book, and considered putting it down was the descriptions. There were too many metaphors and embellished descriptions for me. It felt overly wordy and unnecessary, especially in the first half of the book. I struggled with really loving the story and the characters, especially Celeste, and feeling as if the book might have been even better with about 1/3 less words.

In the end, I enjoyed the story, and stayed in, happy to see Jake work so hard to find his happy ending with Dallas.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

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Who We Are by Nicola Haken: Blog Tour, Reviews, Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: Who We Are
Author: Nicola Haken
Genre: M/M Contemporary Romance

Release Date: March 13, 2017

synopsis

Since putting his life on hold ten years ago, Oliver Clayton doesn’t know who he is anymore. To his clients at the hair salon, he’s the sassy and confident stylist. To the crowds who come to watch his drag act at the club, he’s the fierce and fabulous Miss Tique. He’s popular. Talented. Out, proud, and self-assured.

He’s also a good actor.

Sebastian Day is content with life’s easy, if not a little monotonous, routine. After several failed relationships, he likes the simplicity of being alone in his truck at his job as a heavy goods driver, spending the weekends with his teenage son, and putting the world to rights with his cat, Marv. He’s not lonely. He isn’t hiding.

At least…he doesn’t think he is until he meets the mesmerising stranger with the red hair and purple lips.

Can Oliver and Sebastian help each other embrace who they are? Or will a cruel twist of fate end their journey before it’s even begun?

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Angie at Wicked Reads ~ “Very heartwarming story, the banter between these guys is so sweet. I can’t say enough about this book to do it justice, just read it, you will love it.”

Beverly at Southern Babes Book Blog ~ “Sebastian and Oliver’s story is beautiful and heartbreaking… These two amazing men are trying to figure out who they really are and together they figure out that they can do anything.”

Jodi at Alpha Book Club ~ “Oliver’s story will make you cry and stand up and cheer for how strong of a human being he is… Loved this story and would recommend to anyone.”

MJ at Alixzia Reading Corner ~ “I ache and bleed with this book for every page turned! Highly recommend!”

Deanna at Two Chicks Obsessed ~ “This might be my new favorite Nicola Haken book. Broken nearly broke me, thus becoming my favorite; but this one left me far more emotional and thoughtful. I think it’s taken the crown.”

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excerpt
Who We Are
Copyright © Nicola Haken 2017
~ Sebastian~
I WAS JUMPING down from my cab after arriving back from my last drop of the day when my life almost ended. Okay, so maybe I was known for being a tad on the dramatic side, but when Benny – my oldest friend and biggest pain in my arse -jumped out from behind my trailer, I almost choked on my fucking heart.
“Jesus Christ,” I muttered, breathless from the fright. “How the hell did you get in the yard?”
I’d been a heavy goods driver for thirteen years, working here at Patterson Haulage Ltd. for three of those – long enough to know they didn’t let pedestrians wander in off the streets to play hide and seek behind the lorries. Transport was in my genes, I guess. My dad had been a trucker all his life, and he met my mum at work – she worked as a clerk in the office. I never wanted to do anything else. I walked straight into my first warehouse job fresh out of school and stayed there until I was old enough to train for my Class 1 licence and could go out on the road. I loved my job.
“That old lady with the bright orange face let me in. Told her I needed to talk to you about Scott.”
“Scott?” Slamming the door to my cab closed, I fished my phone from the pocket of my Hi-Vis jacket and scanned the screen for missed calls. “What’s wrong with him?”
“Well, he likes Eminem, but hopefully he’ll grow out of that.”

 

“What?” Narrowing my eyes in confusion, I stared at Benny who looked to be admiring his thumbnail. 
“Nothing’s wrong with him. I just knew they’d let me come see your truck if I played the kid card.”
Rolling my eyes, I huffed as I turned and re-opened my cab door. Climbing the steps, I leaned inside to grab my holdall and tacho card before hopping back down. “You’ve seen a wagon before. You shouldn’t use Scott like that. There could be a real emergency one day.”
“And if there is I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be the one anyone’d call about it,” he said, his tone amused as he ran his finger along the curtain of my trailer. “This needs a wash.”
“You offering?” I asked as I locked up the cab and started walking towards the transport office. I found it highly doubtful as I turned my head to the side and eyed up his leather coat, and beige turtleneck that no doubt he’d paid upwards of a hundred pounds for. Benny worked in recruitment. In other words, companies paid him far too much money to find them suitable candidates for their businesses, money which he wasted on overpriced shit he didn’t need. “Or did you come here for another reason?”
“I came because, as you know, it’s my birthday on Friday. The big three-four. I want y…” Pausing mid word, Benny spun on his heels. “Holy hot ginger.”
I didn’t need to turn around to know he’d spotted Rod, seeing as he was the only red-headed bloke who worked at this depot. “Christ, Benny. Keep it down. I have to work with these guys.”
“Chill out. The fact you’re mates with a gay guy won’t give away the big secret that you like cookies and ice cream.”
“It’s not a secret,” I snapped. Or maybe it was, given that I’d never told anyone I worked with that I was bisexual. My last two relationships had been with women, and ‘passing’ as straight was simply…easier. I was a copout and a liar but I was tired of explaining, defending myself.
There are a lot of misconceptions about bisexuality and I’d encountered most of them during my twenties. Now, at thirty-four, I was kind of exhausted with it all. I wanted to fall in love and create a future with another person as much as anyone, but I’d given up on the idea a while ago. Relationships, for me, whether with a man or a woman, seemed to consist of me justifying myself, reassuring my partner, or hiding – as Benny would say – the cookies or ice cream part of my sexuality.
I couldn’t just be me.

 

wasn’t good enough.
Contrary to popular belief, I didn’t want to sleep with everybody, and there weren’t twice as many fish in the sea, because most fish thought I was confused, greedy, unfaithful, trying to be trendy, or afraid to admit I was gay. The last one confused me the most. The number of people who believed bisexuality was a temporary label used to ease the transition to gaytown would never cease to amaze me. It happened, sure, but there were a hell of a lot of bisexuals claiming to be gay, or straight, for no other reason than they couldn’t face the stigma attached to it, too.
I was simply attracted to people. I got turned on by the way someone carried themselves, by their confidence, or even shyness. I felt the same stir in my cock and pull of excitement in my chest when I saw the rugged grooves of a man’s chest as I did the silky curves of a woman’s hips. People are beautiful. I couldn’t help it. It’s just the way I was made.
Thankfully, many people realised these days that being gay or straight wasn’t a choice. Unfortunately, some of these same people believed bisexuals were capable of making a choice, and that they should. Well, I tried that when I was a teenager. I tried to pick a side, to ‘fit’ in somewhere.
Unsurprisingly, it didn’t work out too well.
“Just tell me what you came for,” I added to Benny, pushing open the swinging door that led to the warehouse which, in turn, led to the office.
“Do you have Scott this weekend?”
“No. Lisa’s taking him to see Jenny’s parents in Cornwall. Why?”
“Great! You’re coming to the village for my birthday.”

 

Ugh. “Ah, you know it’s not really my scene.” I had my reasons for not frequenting the village, unlike Benny who spent so much time there it could be considered his second home. Besides, after a day on the road my idea of a good time was Netflix and a takeaway. 
“Yes, Mr Misery, I know having fun isn’t usually on your To Do list but it’s my birthday and you’ll hurt my feelings if you say no.”
We’d reached the office now and I handed my keys over to June through the window partition while raising a sceptical eyebrow at Benny. “Fine,” I said. “But as soon as you’re too drunk to notice whether I’m there or not I’m leaving.”
“I love you.” He turned to June who looked rather amused by my dickhead friend. “I love him, you know.”
“Knock it off, moron,” I said, ramming my shoulder into his.
“Watch the jacket!” he shrieked as he rubbed at the tan leather that made him look like a seventies pimp. “You’re covered in dirt and smell like oil.”
“Please excuse my friend, June. They don’t usually let him out unattended.”
“Don’t mind me, lovey. I’ve seen all sorts in my time.”
I risked a glance at Benny, whose mouth had dropped ever so slightly open. For a man who wasn’t easily offended, the image was priceless.
“You’re on the Midlands run tomorrow, lovey,” June added as she tapped on her keyboard.
Nodding, I told her I’d see her in the morning, swung my holdall over my shoulder and started making my way to the car park, all the while trying not to laugh at Benny’s reaction.
“Did she seriously refer to me as an all sort?” he muttered under his breath when we neared my car. I knew he wouldn’t let it go so easily. “Clearly, out of the all sorts she’s met none of them have been make-up artists.”
“Stop it,” I said, snorting as I clicked open the central locking on my matte black Ford Galaxy. “June’s lovely. A little old-fashioned, but harmless.”
“I’m sure. It just wouldn’t hurt for her to go down a shade or twelve in the foundation department is all I’m saying.”
Opening the rear door, I tossed my bag onto the back seat. “Have you finished being a bitch?”
“God, I hope not.”
Removing my thick, Hi-Vis jacket, I threw that on top of my bag, revealing my dark green uniform polo shirt, before closing the door and getting into the driver’s seat. “Is that all you wanted? You could’ve called or text.”
Benny leaned against my open door, hand on hip. “Told you, I wanted to see your big truck.” He winked at me.
I wanted so badly to roll my eyes, or at least keep a disinterested expression, but I couldn’t help chuckle at him.
“I was in the area, and besides, you’d have said no without my pretty face to seduce you.”

 

Probably. 
“And hey, if you want to bring a plus one your red-haired co-worker is more than welcome.”
Shooing him away from the door, I pulled it closed and brought the engine to life before rolling down the electric window. “Let me know when and where during the week,” I said, dismissing the idea of inviting Rod. He’d only been here for three months and I didn’t know the guy well, but the fact he had a wife and three kids told me Rod wouldn’t be interested in the kind of socialising Benny had in mind for him.
“Will do,” he said, tapping the roof of my car before backing away. “Don’t forget I have expensive taste!”
Shaking my head, I bit my lip to suppress the grin that wanted to escape as I reversed out of my space. I already had his present – a bottle of Dior aftershave, same as every year. It was the only thing I knew the fussy bastard wouldn’t return in exchange for store credit.

 

deanna review

I’ve read some of Nicola Haken before and as usual she ripped my heart out of my chest again. In the best way possible. (There’s a compliment in there somewhere.)

Oliver Clayton put his life on hold 10 years ago to raise his little brother after his mother died of leukemia. He works in a hair salon by day and a drag bar by night to make ends meet.

Sebastian Day is a truck driver. He lives alone with his cat Marv and spends weekends with his son, who he’s raising with his best friend and her wife.

The two meet at a bar and exchange numbers. Both of them will need to come out of their comfort zones if they want to see where this goes. Oliver us so used to living for his brother and Sebastian isn’t really living at all, instead choosing to spend down time at home with his cat.

After several weeks of dating things start to get serious. They introduce their families and start planning for the future. When a health scare puts Oliver’s plans on hold Sebastian will need to hold on tight and anchor Oliver to the life they have started creating together. With support from Seb’s friend Benny and Oliver’s friend Rhys, Sebastian and Oliver can’t look anywhere but forward, together.

I’m not sure where to begin. Even knowing Nicola’s writing, when she hit me with the plot twist I was left stunned. I felt like Seb and Oliver had climbed to the top of the mountain together and she just drop kicked Oliver all the way back to the start of the trail. I cried all over myself while he climbed back up, she totally made up for it. The ending was perfection.

The speed of the story was perfect and it was in no way predictable. She shocked my socks off a few times. The characters were lovable and relatable.

I really would like a sequel that tells Rhys and Benny’s story but I’m so afraid of what she will do to them to give them their happily ever after. In order to live up to this book she’s going to have to hit one with a car or something equally shocking and horrific.

This might be my new favorite Nicola Haken book. Broken nearly broke me, thus becoming my favorite; but this one left me far more emotional and thoughtful. I think it’s taken the crown.

5 pieces of eye candy

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erin

Whenever Ms Haken has a new release- I MUST HAVE IT! First the Souls of the Knight trilogy, which was so good. Plus, rock stars. But then she branched out a bit in her next 2 books. Both of them both broke my heart but left me happy. And she did it again.

When I first started reading this book I thought “hmm, maybe this will just be a nice love story romance and she won’t rip the heart right out of my chest and stomp on it”. HA! She did. And I am totally ok with that. Because her writing is so great that you have to feel deeply for her characters. They climb into you and won’t let go.

Oliver is a hair stylist just barely making ends meet while raising his brother. One night a week he goes out and performs as Miss Tique- his drag persona. And although he is in drag, he does it with his beard. And sings his own songs. I loved her.

Sebastian is a single dad, co-parenting with his best friend. And one night he runs into Oliver. Or Oliver runs into him. And he is smitten. The purple lipstick mesmerized him.

They begin to date, slowly. Each hiding the secret of the teenager at home. And while Sebastian is ready to go all in, Oliver isn’t. But fate has a different idea.

Even with everything life throws at them, they have a good slow romance burn. Both teenagers play heavily into the storyline which was nice because they really were integral to the story.

I don’t want to tell you too much about what happens. Because I really want you to read this book. Have tissues handy, but you will also smile and laugh and swoon.

4.5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Nicola Haken lives in Rochdale, England, with her five kids – one of whom is a grown man who many refer to as her husband. She spends her days writing about life, love, and all the beauty and angst that comes with it, and her nights binge watching Netflix or being the household slave. She’s also not very good at referring to herself in the third person, so if you’d like to get to know her your best bet would be to follow her on social media!

Oh, and if the kids ever ask, she moonlights as the Pink Power Ranger while they’re sleeping…



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Hacked Up by Ethan Stone: Quick Review with Giveaway

Hacked Up_Ethan Stone 1600X2500 copysynopsisSeattle is being plagued by a string of gruesome murders. For Detective Peter Tao, it’s a career-making case, but he’s struggling to find a lead. How is the killer choosing his victims? What is he trying to prove?

With a long list of suspects and nothing to connect them, Peter is more determined than ever to apprehend the murderer. Then Peter gets the one vital piece of evidence that ties everything together. Now he’ll have to look beyond the obvious to identify the killer before anyone else is murdered.

Solve the mystery in this fast-moving crime thriller by Ethan Stone.

Title: Hacked Up

Author: Ethan Stone

Publisher: Stone Publishing

Release Date: Feb 6, 2017

 

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deanna review

Ethan Stone is a new author for me and I was really looking for something different than the normal contemporary romance I’ve been reading lately. This book definitely hit the mark, from the first page I was sucked in. So much so, that I woke up at 3 am to read the last half of the book.

Detective Peter Tao and his partner Detective Jamey Nolan pick up a homicide case where the male victim was stabbed in the neck and after he died his genitals were cut off. It takes two victims for the detectives to link the crimes back to the hack of Ashley Madison by the hacker group Anonymous. I don’t want to get into too much detail and give anything away.

I will say there is a small romantic story line but it in no way overshadows the other plot line and really complements the story.

The plot moves at a steady pace with numerous twists and turns. The story was well thought out and well executed. It was incredibly entertaining and I couldn’t find any plot holes or anything I would have changed. The characters were very well developed, the backstories were full of rich detail.

This book was the perfect detour from my normal contemporary read. I thoroughly enjoyed it and can’t wait to read more by Ethan Stone.

5 pieces of eye candy

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meet the author

Romance on the Edge

Ethan Stone doesn’t write your typical boy meets boy stories. With a combination of love and suspense he makes his characters work hard for their HEAs. If they can survive what he puts them through, then they can survive anything. He enjoys Romance with an Edge.

Ethan has been reading mysteries and thrillers since he was young. He’s had a thing for guys in uniform for just as long. That may have influenced the stories he writes.

He’s a native Oregonian with two kids. One of whom has made him a grandfather three times over; even though he is way too young.

Readers can find Ethan online.

www.ethanjstone.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ethan.stone.54

Twitter: @ethanjstone

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ethanjstone/

Tumblr: www.tumblr.com/blog/ethanstone

Email: ethanstone.nv@gmail.com

His books: http://www.ethanjstone.com/my-books

 

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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.