Rank and File by L.A. Witt: Blog Tour, 5 Good Questions, Review and Giveaway

Senior Chief Will Curtis is as straitlaced as they come. While his fellow Sailors have partied their way through their enlistments, he’s had his eye on the prize—making master chief and retiring after thirty years of service.

Lieutenant Brent Jameson is a Navy brat turned Annapolis grad. He’s lived and breathed the military his whole life, and he knows he’s destined for great things—once he’s done paying his dues at the bottom of the ladder.

When their paths cross, both men know better than to give in to temptation, but that doesn’t stop them. It also doesn’t keep them from coming back for more, even though being discovered would sink their careers. Something has to give—Will can retire, Brent can resign, or they’ll both face court-martial.

But there’s also the option neither wants to acknowledge: jump ship and walk away from each other instead of ending their careers over a fledgling relationship. And they should probably decide before they fall in love.

Except—too late.

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  1. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write? – I’ve been writing for years and could spend twenty pages listing every author who’s ever influenced or inspired me. For the sake of not going on and on, I’ll keep it to the more recent authors within our own genre who I’ve found incredibly inspiring – Anna Zabo, Santino Hassell, JA Rock, Lisa Henry, Jordan Castillo Price, to name a few. I’m pretty sure they’re collectively occupying about half of my Audible account!.
  2. How important are names to you in the books you write? Do you choose the names based on the way it sounds or how it fits the story you are writing? – Sometimes a name falls out of the sky, and sometimes I have to work to find one. I usually google baby naming sites or lists of names by decade (i.e., popular boys’ names from the 1980 census) to get ideas. The names themselves don’t tend to influence the story or the character’s personality.

  1. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy? – Sex scenes and car chases. I’ve written hundreds if not thousands of the former, but they will always be one of the hardest for me to write. Car chases are just hard. They’re jerks. I hate car chases. But I write suspense, so… car chases happen. Huff.

 

  1. What book do you wish you could have written? Do you get to read books for pleasure? – Probably the entire PsyCop series by Jordan Castillo Price. It’s just SO good. I listen to audiobooks for pleasure, and will usually spend an hour or two each night listening to something. I’ve actually started hating air travel a little less because flying is the perfect opportunity for an audiobook. In fact, I listened to Abi Roux’s Fish & Chips in one sitting during a transatlantic flight. Passes the time with no eye strain and no motion sickness!

 

  1. Always the fun one: Grab the nearest book, open it to page 48 and look for the fourth word in the second sentence. Now, write a line that starts with that word. (Please include the name of the book!) Say, why am I doing this before I’ve had caffeine? (The book is Sutphin Boulevard by Santino Hassell.)

I love this series, seriously just love it! So when Rank & File came up, I was stalking Net Galley waiting for this book, and as is so often the case with any L.A. Witt book, it did not disappoint.

First, if you like to read “on paper”, steamy, sweaty, graphic man/man sex, this is the book for you (conversely if you do not, you may want to skim those scenes). And there are a lot of them. These two men want each other…a lot…so there is quite a bit of on screen sex. But if that normally scares you, the sex scenes are very well done. They aren’t raunchy scenes, but scenes that are appropriate for their story. These two men have a one-night stand that turns into more, and the sex scenes completely tell that story. As their relationship grows and changes, so does their sex. It is still super hot, don’t get me wrong, but they become infused with little bits of humor, revelations, as well as learning and acknowledging their partners needs and wants. These were not sex scenes merely for the sake of making it an erotic book, but for advancing their relationship from f**k buddies to “this is the man I need in my life”, which made them all the more satisfying as a reader.

One thing I love about L.A. Witt’s stories is that she brings realism into her stories, no matter what environment her main characters are in, and telling the story of these men and their different experiences with the Navy, and all that goes along with it shows that she researches heavily before she writes. Myself, as a civilian, I would have never guessed that an enlisted man could not date an officer, even if they do not have any interaction at work. It seems to be an arcane regulation, yet could have caused one or both men to be ushered out of the Navy without a care to their career history. And her resolution to this issue could have been a fiction one that would have never happened in a real life Navy situation. Instead, she creates a resolution that isn’t perfect, but real for where these characters are in their lives and careers.

There are other things I appreciated about how this book was written. Like the fact that there was an age difference of about 10 years between the two MC’s, and yet it was little more than a blip on the screen. It doesn’t have to be an issue for RL people, and the author doesn’t use it to create another conflict for these men. It is mentioned (admittedly more than once) but not with anything other than the mention, and then the characters move on.

My heart broke for these men when they had to try to figure a way to live without each other, but merely existed on a day to day level. Finding their way back to each other took thoughtful work on their part, in their lives, and even how they presented themselves to others.

I really loved this book, probably my favorite in the series, so far, and I will fan girl enough to say that I would love to see more of this series. I can’t seem to get enough!

4.5 pieces of eye candy

About the Anchor Point Series

Welcome to Anchor Point!

Nestled on the northern coast of Oregon, this small town is home to Naval Air Station Adams. On base, you’ll find freshly minted Sailors who’ve just graduated boot camp, salty officers counting down till retirement, grounded pilots who’ve landed behind desks, and everyone in between—and they’re all looking for love. Well, not all of them, but that won’t stop love from finding them.

So pull up a barstool, grab a beer, and get ready for some sea stories as these men in uniform—or not—navigate the waters of love and life in the military.

Anchor Point stories can be enjoyed in any order. Hop in wherever you’d like!

http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/series/anchor-point

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

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

To celebrate the release of Rank & File, one lucky winner will receive their choice of two eBooks off L. A. Witt’s backlist (excluding Rank & File) and a $10 Riptide Publishing store credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 30, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Monthly Author Column: Victoria Sue talks GRL

 

Victoria Sue asked to make her monthly post this month a GRL post, and really who am I to argue? As a featured blogger for GRL, I am happy to spread the love about GRL, and anything Victoria Sue wants, she gets from me! And boy, does she have a lot coming up in the next few months!!!

 

Liar, Liar, Bad Boys on Fire!

I guess I should make this post all about GRL or Gay Rom Lit for those of you who haven’t heard of the acronym. Anyway, for the uninitiated, GRL is a conference celebrating gay romance literature that takes place in October every year at different locations around the country.

This year it’s in Denver and I’m beyond excited to be going there.

Authors get the chance to choose between either a book reading, a place on a discussion panel, or (and there are only a few of these) getting together with two other authors to plot something different.

And that’s what I’m doing this year. I was lucky enough to team up with Charlie Cochet and Alexa Land to do a game called Liar, Liar, Bad Boys on Fire.

The idea is each author is going to make statements or quote storyline facts about their books and the audience will have to choose whether the author is telling the truth or lying.

Everyone who comes will win something! We have a freebie for everyone, but there are many big prizes including a massive gift basket from each author which will contain a Kindle Fire and many other goodies!

You really don’t want to miss this!

And I am planning a little extra gift for any members of Victoria’s Secrets that will be attending. So make sure you join 😉 https://www.facebook.com/groups/1182647028418709/

Onto Book News:

The third in my series The Kingdom of Askara – The Alpha Prince – will hopefully be released just before GRL.

The next in my Enhanced series – Beneath This Mask (Gael’s story) is coming out in January.

Then the first in my new contemporary series will be released – Rainbow Key. Think wedding destination, white sandy beaches, lurve… except at the moment Joshua is struggling to pay the electric bill, they’ve no paying customers, and even if they had they cannot pay for the repairs from the devastating hurricane three years ago – and to top it off they have to take in a grumpy businessman who has been ordered by his doctor to take some time off before he has a heart attack from too much stress.
Funnily enough, the businessman happens to own a very expensive hotel chain and has been trying to buy this particular island for years. Not that Joshua knows that yet – and boy are sparks gonna fly when he thinks he’s been set up.
Then there’s Matt who has just been let out of prison, Cy who has escaped an abusive relationship, and Ben who used to be a model until a devastating house fire destroyed his face.

Rainbow Key – coming to a kindle near you in February <3

 

Check out all of Victoria Sue’s work here.

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

Why I Love Bodyguards by T.A. Chase: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Hilton Burke might be one of the most powerful men in the world, but he can’t get what he wants the most. Every time he sees Cathal McKinley, his head of security, Hilton wishes they could be more than just employer and employee. In fact, he might be in love with Cathal, even though they’ve never slept together.

Cathal McKinley accepts how much he wants his boss, but he’s pretty sure Hilton will never date him. They come from two different worlds. Now that he has to return to Sunburst, Montana, to deal with family problems, Cathal knows there is no chance for them to get together.

Hilton and Cathal spent years dancing around each other, but when Cathal needs help the most, Hilton comes to Montana to support him. Soon they’re struggling with children and an old friend who won’t take no for an answer. Finally admitting their love out loud might be the least of their worries.

First Edition published by Amber Quill Press/Amber Allure, 2014.

Title: Why I Love Bodyguards
Series: Why I Love…: Book Three
Author: T.A. Chase
Release Date: September 22, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Dreamspinner Press

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I’ve loved T.A. Chase’s covers for a long time, but haven’t read any of her books yet, so I grabbed this one when I read the synopsis. What a great story!

There was so much to love about this book. The first was the relationships, and not just with the two MC’s. In fact, I never did quite figure out why these two MC’s had been avoiding each other in the years that Cathal had worked for Hilton. They seemed to almost not be friends, then Hilton goes to help Cathal out, not giving him much choice really, and they move from friends to finally that kiss that was worth waiting for.

The other relationships was probably one of the best parts of this book for me. Cathal with his sisters kids that he took guardianship from his father for. Cathal and his father’s relationship, which ended up somewhat unresolved, but still seemed to be a guiding force in everyone’s life. Even Hilton’s relationship with the children. It all was so organic. The children were told that when the time came, their uncle would be there for them, and they “mostly” trusted that, but you could see some hesitation in their actions, as they had been burned a few times from their absentee mother.

Dealing with the errant “old friend” who just would not give up, despite being married was somewhat hilarious. Hilton made no bones about it, stood up for what he saw as his family, and didn’t allow that person anywhere near any of them.

Cathal and Hilton made such a great team of parents, it’s hard to understand why they hesitated at all to be together. It was so very satisfying when the entire family was able to finally be together in one place, and begin their lives. It brought a great big smile to this readers face! And now I want to read the others!

4.5 pieces of eye candy


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The Next Competitor by Keira Andrews: Quick Review

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

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

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

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

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You have to like figure skating to like this book. And I do like figure skating, and the behind the scenes training was interesting to read. But I felt like the book focused on the skating more than the romance. And I wanted more romance.

Alex is focused solely on getting to the Olympics. All of the time, training and money are for that moment. So even though he is gay, he has never acted on it. Training takes first place in his life always.

Matt is a pairs figure skater and Alex hates him. For pretty much no reason. They aren’t in competition with each other. They simply train at the same rink.

Matt and Alex are about polar opposites. Matt is Mr nice guy, Alex runs his mouth without filter and is definitely more average than hot. Naturally, a romance begins.

And the romance is nice and it is sweet. But I wanted more. There were a lot of side characters with stories that detracted a bit from the main story so that at times, although I did really enjoy Matt’s partner.

There were parts that I really really enjoyed. When Matt soothes the prickly Alex. When Alex comforts Matt. And when Alex so awkardly invites himself to do some brief sight seeing with Matt.

I am generally a fan of Ms Andrew’s work, but this wasn’t my favorite. But that is not saying I didn’t enjoy it because I did. You would probably enjoy it as well.

 

Pieces of Candy: 3 1/2

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

Someone to Call My Own by Aimee Nicole Walker: Blog Tour, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

SMTCMO Blog Tour Banner

SOMEONE TO CALL MY OWN

Road to Blissville Series, Book 2

AIMEE NICOLE WALKER

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 09.05.17

Someone-to-Call-My-Own-customdesign-JayAheer2017-eBook-cover

PHOTOGRAPHER: Wander Aguiar

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

SMTCMO 3D Cover

Psychic Emory Jackson and former black ops specialist Jonathon Silver are men from two completely different worlds with one thing in common: heartbreak. Emory still mourns the loss of his husband five years prior, and Jon is reeling with grief from the recent death of his twin brother.

Sparks fly when mutual friends introduce them, but it’s so much more than basic attraction. There’s an undeniable awareness and a sense of belonging that neither man can deny. Despite Emory’s premonition of a future with Jon, he has vowed never to love again. Jon is convinced that his tainted soul is the reason he will never have someone to call his own. What if they’re both wrong?

Maybe these broken men with their jagged edges could somehow align perfectly to form something whole and beautiful. But will that realization come too late for them?

AMAZON US

AMAZON UK

 

Someone To Call My Own is the 2nd book in a spin off of the Curl Up and Dye Mysteries. And while this can be read as a stand alone, reading the other books will give you a better understanding of all of the characters. Plus, the other books are really fun.

So let’s start with that. The Curl Up and Dye mysteries were fun books. I enjoyed them a lot, and although they were definitely high on the cute meter, they didn’t tip the edge into sugary sweet. All of the characters were fun and held their own in the stories.

Book 1 in the Road to Blissville series was a little bit more mature, but still really fun. How can Dr Dimples and Chaz not be fun really?

Book 2 is definitely more serious and mature. And that is a good thing. These particular characters needed that. They needed to be more “grown up”, more serious, more angsty. Emory himself called for that seriousness and Jonathan fit right in.

We get a lot more back story from Emory. Exactly what happened to bring him to Blissville in the first place. There is quite a bit of story telling overlap-which is a big plus if you are reading this as a stand alone, but got slightly tedious at times. After that bit, the story really rolled along.

And poor Emory. I just wanted to hug him. He was so broken. Jonathan didn’t give up though. He gives him space at times and invades his space at other times. The romance was a slow build- but that was what these guys needed.

We see all of our favorite characters again- always a favorite of mine- and we get a few new characters as well. Perfect set up for the next book.

An easy 4 pieces of eye candy for me because of how effortlessly Ms Walker is able to write each character and book with their own voice.

 

SMTCMO teaser1

“I think we need to clear the air,” Jonathon said in a calm, rational voice.

“There’s nothing to clear,” I countered. “I’m nothing to you; you’re nothing to me.”

“You think it’s that simple?” Jonathon took two steps toward me. I took three steps back. Jon jerked to a stop when he saw my reaction. “Emory…” He broke off and ran both his hands through his hair. “I know you felt it the night we met. I saw your eyes widen in surprise when the electricity shot through our bodies.”

“So.” Denying it existed wasn’t working. It was time to change tactics. “That doesn’t mean I want or will act on it.” I ran my hand over the infinity tattoo I had inked over my heart. It felt like River’s name was burning my skin like he knew the truth and was calling me a liar. Or, maybe it was anxiety that gripped my heart in its tight fist. Whatever the reason, I felt lightheaded and dizzy. Suddenly, my body felt cold and hot at the same time, and tiny little needles pricked my skin from head to toe. I licked my lips that had suddenly gone dry and numb.

“Emory?” I heard Jonathon’s voice, but it sounded like he was calling to me at the end of a very long tunnel instead of five feet away. He walked toward me, but I kept backing away. I hoped he would stop, but I saw the determination in his eyes. “Emory, I just want to help you.”

“Then leave,” I wheezed between gasps.

“I’d never leave anyone alone in this condition,” Jonathon said angrily. “Now be quiet and let me help you.” He gripped my bicep firmly, but not painfully, and guided me to a kitchen chair. He gently set me in the chair then placed his hand on my stomach beneath the center of my ribs and the other on my chest. I burned beneath his touch. I wrapped my hands around his thick wrists and tried to push his hands off of me. “Stop it, Emory,” he said firmly. “You’re hyperventilating, and I can help you. I. Will. Not. Hurt. You.”

SMTCMO teaser6

Hot tears of humiliation flowed freely down my face. No one had ever seen me in the midst of a panic attack and I’d always been able to pull myself out of them on my own. That one was different, and I knew I needed help.

“Ignore my hands on your body, but look into my eyes and listen to me.” His demanding, deep voice was nearly hypnotic. “Inhale deeply through yo

ur nose, Emory. Hold it for a count of three and release it slowly. When you do, you’ll feel my hands moving up and down with your lungs, and your brain will recognize you’re breathing even before the fresh oxygen pushes the carbon dioxide out of your body. Do it with me, Emory.”

I breathed in slowly, held it for three seconds, and released it. I focused on the way his hands moved up and down with my breathing and pretended that I expelled all the bad energy with every exhale. I repeated the process ten or twelve times before I was completely calm again.

Jonathon pulled his hands off of me and balled them into fists. He didn’t look angry or like he wanted to hit me. It looked like he needed to do something with his hands but wasn’t sure what. He lowered himself into a chair beside me.

“What caused your panic attack?”

“You,” I replied sullenly.

“Emory, I haven’t done anything to you so why would the sight of me cause you to panic?” Jonathon sounded truly baffled and a little insulted.

I knew it would take drastic measures to push him away, so I let him have it with both barrels. “I had a psychic vision about you—well. Us.”

Aimee Logo

I am a wife and mother to three kids, three dogs, and a cat. When I’m not dreaming up stories, I like to lose myself in a good book, cook or bake. I’m a girly tomboy

who paints her fingernails while watching sports and yelling at the referees.

I will always choose the book over the movie. I believe in happily-ever-after. Love inspires everything that I do. Music keeps me sane.

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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.

Fate Heats Things Up by Sarah Hadley Brook: Release Day Review

Scott Dwyer meets hot, new fireman Adrian Campbell in an embarrassing incident one evening and can’t stop thinking about him. While bartending at the local hangout for Station 39, he sees Adrian with his colleagues about once a week. He thinks Adrian might be interested in him, too, but every time they find a chance to talk, something gets in their way.

When a rash of arson fires begins the same week Adrian starts at the station, the rumors fly about whether or not he is responsible for them.

Things are heating up in town, but will they heat up between the two men as well? Will Fate ever allow them to be together?

Release Date: September 18, 2017
Category: Erotica
Genre: Contemporary
Word Count: 15600
Sex Content: Explicit
Pairing: MM
Orientation: Gay
Identity: Cisgender

Amazon

Nine Star Press

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This was a short novella, you could almost have called it a short story, but it did have a good amount of story in it. Scott and Adrian seem to spend weeks eyeing each other, considering talking to each other, maybe asking each other on a date, but then never do. In fact, I found myself wondering why Adrian-who seemed to be the more dominant of the two-never asked Scott for his phone number. He kept having to leave for a fire call, and yet didn’t stop and say, let me get your number, and I’ll text you. But it definitely increased the tension between the two, seeing if the other was genuinely interested.

In the meantime, the backstory of Adrian being new to the area, and people starting to wonder if he was responsible for the string of arson fires that had begun the same week he started was a big conflict for Scott to deal with. Scott kept “forgetting” to tell Adrian that he had overheard someone say they thought it was him. In fact, I’m not sure if he ever actually told him he’d overheard that conversation.

For a short story/very short novella length book, it was worth the time invested. I wouldn’t call it erotica, per the category, but definitely had sexy scenes in it. All in all a satisfying story.

3 pieces of eye candy

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

Covet by Yolande Kleinn: Spotlight Tour and Giveaway

Hi everybody! I’m Yolande Kleinn, and I’m thrilled to welcome you to the Covet blog tour. I’m giddy to be here myself, and I hope you’re looking forward to my kinky contemporary M/M/M love story. I had a terrific time writing this book—getting to know Jack and Colin and Peter—and I can’t wait for you to meet them too. Follow along for the chance to win a $30 Riptide Publishing gift card!

Jack Mason—graphic designer and unrepentant player—has never been interested in monogamy. He certainly isn’t looking for romance when he meets Professor Colin Sloan.

Newly single and not looking for anything serious, Colin is intrigued by Jack’s offer of a physical affair with no strings attached. Becoming friends wasn’t part of the plan, but as accidents go, this one’s pretty great.

Peter Mason is Jack’s identical twin. In a long-term relationship himself, Peter tells no one that he’s falling for his brother’s newest favorite, even as the secret creates tension with his girlfriend.

When Peter’s relationship falls apart, he seduces Colin, fully expecting Jack to forgive his transgression. But Jack is keeping secrets too—he hasn’t told even Colin that he’s fallen in love. Suddenly the twins are feuding, and Colin is caught in the middle, blindsided by the revelation that he doesn’t want to choose between them.

Now all three must find a way to share, or they’ll tear each other apart.

 

Amazon

Riptide Publishing

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Yolande Kleinn may be a shameless dreamer and a stubborn optimist, but she is also a proud purveyor of erotic romance. Excitable, fastidious, and a little eclectic, she spends every spare moment as far away from reality as possible.

A Minnesotan by both heart and geography, Yolande has plenty of experience weathering tough winters. Her favorite method: distracting herself with warm beverages and even warmer stories. A night spent with a good book is heaven. A morning free to write, with a hot cup of coffee close at hand, is even better.

 

Connect with Yolande:

To celebrate the release of Covet, one lucky winner will receive a $30 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 23, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

Silken by Isobel Starling: Audiobook Review and Excerpt

Matthew Fisher loved being a dancer, but his ten-year ballet career came to an abrupt end with a knee injury. He had to find a new way to make a living, and luckily, his sister was friends with Annabelle Ramsay-Aiken, only daughter of property magnate Sir James Aiken. She arranged an interview, and six months on the job training saw Matthew stepping out as a real estate agent for Aiken Luxury Lettings. Now, instead of stretching at the barre, Matthew spends his days inspecting the vacant London homes of their rich and famous clients.

Losing his dance career had left a huge hole in Matthew’s heart, and to fill it Matthew began a Tumblr blog dedicated to his fetish for wearing lingerie. He wanted to give his followers the impression he lived a charmed life, so decided to use A.L.L properties as locations for erotic photo shoots.

One of his online followers presses all of Matthew’s buttons, and a long distance, online Dom/sub relationship develops between them. But when the relationship suddenly moves from online fantasy to real life… can Matthew really submit?

N.B – This story contains graphic descriptions of gay sex, BDSM, and cross-dressing

Amazon

Audible

 

Matthew sauntered into the large open plan lounge of the corner apartment, overlooking West India Docks.  The tip-tap of his footfalls on polished marble echoed in the clinical, white-walled expanse of the room.  West India Quay was in the redeveloped dockland area of Canary Wharf, in the Borough of Tower Hamlets, East London.  The area was renowned worldwide as the new financial heart of London, populated by big business and luxury high-rise living.  The lower twelve floors of the block at West India Quay were a Marriot Hotel, and upper twenty-one floors were privately owned apartments.

Bright afternoon sunlight threw darts of blinding illumination across the rectangular lounge room.  To Matthew’s left, there was a seating area that would not look out of place on the set of Mad Men—a low-slung retro black leather Carluccio suite consisting of a couch and two imposing armchairs bisected by a dark teak coffee table.  Natural timber side dressers and occasional tables hugged the interior walls, adorned with modernist stone sculptures, empty vases, and an array of framed pictures charting the growth progression of a man who went from baby to child, to teen and then to his graduation in the images.  Matthew wondered who he was… he was kinda cute!  A series of ostentatiously large, colorful, Damien Hirst splatter canvases were displayed on the walls, and on the opposite side of the room, the dining area faced a view that, on a good day, would lead the eye down river to the majesty of Tower Bridge.

Matthew stepped through the sunlight shafts and shadows on the floor, unbuttoning the gray suit jacket that hugged his torso as he walked.  He pushed the jacket aside, placed his hands on narrow hips, and paused by the window.  He took in the view over the River Thames to the white bulbous tent of the O2 Arena on the opposite bank of the river.  The Thames, as per usual, looked like dirty dishwater yet the expanse of London from high-up in the Docklands skyscraper was surreal.

Matthew let out a long, tired sigh, and then absently stretched his arms above his head, enjoying the feeling of his tight muscles burning and relaxing.  He folded his body and gripped his ankles, stretching his spine.  Then, he straightened, and as naturally as taking a breath he moved into the fifth ballet position.  The bare expanse of marble floor was so seductive.  It invited him to leap and travel sinuously across it.  He turned in a graceful arc on the ball of his right foot, and then took a gazelle leap forward, grimacing as he landed feeling the sharp twinge in his left knee.  “FUUUCK” his loud, frustrated roar echoed in against the high ceiling.  As he bent over and rubbed at his knee he wished he’d worn his knee brace, he knew he was just deluding himself by not wearing it, but sometimes his knee felt okay, and it was good to feel ordinary again.

Matthew felt so betrayed by his body.  It had taken more than a year for him to come to terms with his decision to stop dancing but his heart still yearned, ached for it, and he supposed it would until he took his final breath.  But he couldn’t live on broken dreams with empty pockets.  He knew how lucky he was not to have to walk with the aid of a stick.

Matthew continued, his limp a little more pronounced until the twinge subsided.  He inspected the open plan lounge, noting that thankfully, none of the sculptures or wall artworks had been stolen or damaged since Mr. Martinez signed the tenancy agreement.  A.L.L had been experiencing a few problems with security and the cleaning contractor for this particular building.  It began with below standard domestic cleaning service and then escalated to a series of art thefts.  His boss believed the two things were linked, and so Sir James had found a new security contractor, but the cleaning contractor had a second and final chance.  The cleanliness of the apartment was therefore on top of Matthew’s checklist.

He strode into the bright, streamlined kitchen, removed his suit jacket, and then hung it over a high back stool at the breakfast bar.  He palmed his iphone and logged into the A.L.L. website app to begin his status report.  Matthew took a peek in the refrigerator in case there were any nasty surprises, but the scent of detergent hit his nose, and it was empty, not even a bottle of Evian in the chiller cabinet.  The cupboards contained only dried foods and a couple of cans of soup.  The dustbin was clean, and there was nothing unpleasant lurking in the waste disposal.  Tick.

Matthew headed down the hallway and perused the first double bedroom which had that untouched hotel room vibe about it.  He didn’t believe anyone had even slept there, so nothing to report.  He went to the next room on his list, the master bedroom.  Now, this room did smell like it had been lived in.  The subtle aroma of masculine musk and floral perfume in the air a week after the tenant had departed proved that the cleaner had not aired the bedroom as per instruction.  Further evidence that corners were cut was found in the en-suite bathroom.  Dried toothpaste in the sink, and hair in the shower plug hole.  Tut, tut, tut.  Matthew shook his head.  He would indeed have words with the domestic services manager about this oversight.

Matthew had never met the tenants, Mr. Martinez, or his wife, but a silver framed photograph stood beside the bed on a nightstand.  He picked the frame up and stared at a sun-kissed smiley image of a couple, the man standing behind the woman, his arms wrapped tightly around her slim waist.  Matthew’s brows rose in admiration; Jack Martinez was a silver fox.  He appeared to be in his late forties and had white, gray close-cropped hair and silver stubble clinging to the jaw of a disarmingly handsome face.  His skin had a golden tan, and his eyes were azure blue.  A wide wolfish grin spread across Matthew’s face and his brows arched salaciously.

“Well, well, Mrs. M, your husband is quite a catch”, he said out loud.  He stared at the gorgeous, perfect couple for a moment and wondered if the image was of generic models that came with the frame or if this delicious specimen of manhood, Jack Martinez was real.  He must be real; after all, they’d spoken once on the phone the week before when Martinez gave Matthew instructions on what needed to be done at the apartment when he departed.

Matthew wore a wicked smirk as he recalled the man’s whiskey worn American timbre.  It was the kind of voice that made his balls ache with lust.  God, he really did need to get laid, but that would not be happening anytime soon.  Matthew’s Dom had forbidden it.  That was one of the ground rules of their online D/s relationship.  Neither would take other lovers, and Matthew had given control of his orgasms to his Dom.  He would not come unless Austin82 permitted it, and then the man wanted to see the evidence.  Luckily, the message Matthew had received on entering the apartment had been from his Dom, giving him permission to come that day so he would be getting some relief.  The voice and photograph of Jack Martinez meshed together in his mind, making one hell of an alluring image.  Matthew placed the frame back onto the nightstand.  He knew he would put that image to good use later.

Matthew turned to study the bedroom, which had a classy, oriental infused interior design with accents of cream, black, and silver.  He enjoyed fantasizing about the lives of his clients.  On opening the doors of the slide-robes, he saw a small selection of garments.  The lack of clothing was not unusual as this was not a permanent residence by any means.  There were business and casual clothes for him and stylish feminine clothing for her.  Veronica Martinez was slim, her choices were expensive and timelessly classy, as were Jack’s, just as Matthew had expected for the couple in the photograph.

A seamless pane of floor to ceiling, heat reflective glass acted as the outer wall of the room, displaying stunning bird’s eye views of the British capital.  A king–sized bed overloaded with a scatter of designer cushions atop a black silk coverlet dominated the space.  To Matthew’s right, a door led to the en-suite, and then, to the left, his eyes fell on the large ebony, lacquer work, chinoiserie style dresser that sat opposite the bed.  He ran his finger along the top to check that the cleaner had at least dusted and then placed his phone on the surface.  Matthew had chosen to inspect this particular apartment because it was the only one on his list that day where the clients were a couple.  He hoped he was not wrong about Veronica Martinez.  With a mischievous glint in his eye and a sudden flush of covert guilt, Matthew gave a testing tug on the shiny brass ring handles of the top drawer.  It silently slid open.  He peeped inside, and his breath caught as he exclaimed a drawn out “Ohhh.”  Matthew’s heart swelled.  He saw, to his delight a drawer filled with neatly arranged lingerie.

“All that silk, satin and lace.”  He murmured dreamily to himself.  Matthew licked his lips, and his pupils dilated with the excitement of seeing such a wonderful collection of feminine underwear.  His fingers brushed over the lingerie.  It was all purchased from the most expensive designer labels, Fox and Rose, Agent Provocateur, Bourdelle, and Myla.  Matthew was at once head-over-heels in love with what he saw.  The silk and Chantilly lace garments were red, black, dusky pink, emerald green, purple, and turquoise—all of his favorite colors.  It was like they had been chosen just for him, and not for Veronica Martinez.  He picked up a pair of red lacy French knickers and let the fabric fall through his fingers.  He moaned out loud, and his dick throbbed.  His fingers smoothed over the floral lace design and as he stretched it over the back of his hand, he marveled at the beauty of it.  Matthew bought the garment to his cheek and rubbed the knickers against his clean-shaven skin.  It was so sensual.  The feeling of the soft fabric against his flesh made his suit trousers suddenly feel… restrictive.

Matthew’s interest in lingerie began when he was training in Russia.  He’d loved wearing tights since he was a child, and from the moment he started training in classical ballet he was drawn to being around the girls, with all the froufrou, netting, ribbons, and figure-hugging Lycra.  His girlfriends would let him sneak into their dressing room to chat.  They had no idea that he had an alternative agenda for being there—which was to savor the slow sensual drag and stretch of gossamer on shapely calves and thighs as the dancers pulled stockings over taut flesh.  He didn’t want to fuck any of them, oh no, he’d known from his teens he was all for the boys and got pleasure of a different kind from watching them.  But watching the female dancers dress was a near religious experience.  It was the ritual of dressing, the look of the fabric, the way it enhanced the line and shape of their limbs, and way it stretched and clung to the form that he found so very erotic.  He’d known then he’d wanted that silken fabric against his own skin.

Matthew picked up another pair of emerald green silk panties.  He sniffed the panties, but they smelled of nothing like they had never been worn and never been washed with household detergent.  As he inspected the collection, he discovered that it was, in fact, all brand new, and nothing had been worn.  He found that odd.  Veronica Martinez must be mad to have abandoned this treasure trove of pretties, unworn, unloved.  Whoever she was, Matthew found her lack of respect for the garments a little disappointing, but no matter.  He was in a naughty, dirty mood, he was alone, and there were so many pairs of panties to choose from.

I honestly wasn’t sure what to expect with this one. I had not read anything else by Isobel Starling, so her writing was new to me, and this was a fun surprise!

This novella was a little bit of everything wrapped into one story, and some of those bits were things I hadn’t read in any other book previously.

First, I absolutely LOVED one portion of the story for its realism. I won’t say what the mistake was, but the Dom in this story made a mistake, a big one, and with it, his sub didn’t even use a safeword, he literally just left. And the Dom not only admitted his mistake, but apologized, and said he wasn’t perfect. That was so refreshing to read! How often in BDSM romance novels is the Dom portrayed as someone who doesn’t make mistakes, doesn’t apologize, etc. This was such a great thing to read, and I actually found myself cheering a little…even while I was sad that the MC’s went through it.

Second, an online D/s relationship, although it may be something that is done quite often, it certainly isn’t something I had ever read about, and I found it fascinating. It allowed these two MC’s to explore their own interests, as they learned from and with each other. Again, so refreshing to read, as it was outside of the box of a “normal” BDSM story.

I loved Matthew. I loved that he owned his kinks, and enjoyed every second of it. It made him sexy and allowed the reader to just enjoy him as a person, as well as a sub.

Meanwhile, sexy silver fox Jack, Matthew’s Dom, knew what he wanted, and was confident enough to go after it. Even when he made his mistake, he owned up to it, and did what he could to repair the damage. And oh my, was that a hot scene later. Whew!

My heart just blew up at the end, Jack’s assistance to Matthew was so heartfelt and loving, and I wanted to just stay with these two. I would love to see more of these two sometime. I feel like there is much more to tell about these two…hint hint…

Gomez Pugh’s narration was well done. I really love it when narrators use accents when they are reading a story. It draws me in so much more, and he did a fantastic job with both his American and British accents. Well done!

Story: 4.5 pieces of eye candy

Narration: 4.5 pieces of eye candy

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A Master For Michael by Morticia Knight: Release Day Review

Finding a Master for Michael won’t be easy, but Javier is determined that his boy will have the best—even if it means letting him go.

The Hampton Road Club is a secret gathering place for men of a more sadomasochistic nature. The 1920s might be roaring, but certain practices are still frowned upon in open society. Michael’s job is to greet the club members as they arrive and to report directly to the club manager, Javier. Sometimes, his direct contact with Javier has nothing to do with the club members and everything to do with submitting to the strict Master.

Javier would give anything to keep Michael as his permanent boy, but he owes his boss, Saul a great personal debt for helping him when he was at his lowest. Saul taught him that professionalism is the key to keeping things running smoothly at the club. He knows Saul would be greatly disappointed if he were to ever find out about what goes on between him and the club greeter behind closed doors. That’s why he’s never revealed to Michael how he really feels and why he must do the one thing for which he’d never thought he’d have the courage: Give Michael away to a new Master.

General Release Date: 12th September 2017

Pairing: MM Book Length: Novella

Genre: Bondage and BDSM, Erotic Romance, Gay, Historical

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Michael is the greeter at a secret men’s sex club in 1920s LA. He’s a sweet kid who’s had a harsh upbringing and while down on his luck was befriended by one of the club’s masters, Javier, and given a home and a job. Those parts are told through flashback. I don’t think it’s spoilery to say that in the year and a half that since Michael came to the club, he’s become Javier’s sub on the down low, and has fallen in love with the kind Dom. Javier, trying to sustain a level of professionalism in front of the staff and in particular club owner Saul, keeps Michael and the relationship at arm’s length. Saul is kind of a bright guy and suspects that under Javier’s cool façade run strong feelings for Michael. Saul sets in motion a plan to see if he’s right.

This is a very short story, and being BDSM, it’s not my usual cup of tea. We quickly learn Javier and Michael are in love with each other and Javier’s fear of disappointing Saul keeps him from making his relationship with Michael more official. While this hasn’t made me a fan of BDSM, it certainly didn’t make me hate the genre and it’s a sweet story, really. Morticia Knight fans will probably want to give this one a try.

3 pieces of eye candy

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Never Let You Go by Andrew Grey: Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt and Giveaway

Friends since they met in school, Ashton and Brighton soon become much more. Ash and his aunt are Brighton’s haven away from his mess of a family, and when Ash enlists in the Army, Brighton learns to endure his long absences and eagerly awaits his return from missions.

Until one day Ash doesn’t come back, and Brighton thinks his greatest fear has come true.

Months pass and Brighton grieves for Ash, not knowing that a terrible misunderstanding sent Ash running, unable to cope when he thought Brighton had betrayed him. Even after an emotional reunion, their relationship isn’t the same—Brighton is now responsible for his young niece, and he’s having a hard time rediscovering the trust he once had in Ash. Ash must still tend to his mental health, but before he can, he’ll have to deal with a past secret that puts all their lives at risk. With so many forces determined to tear them apart, can Brighton and Ash hold on to each other and never let go?

Title: Never Let You Go
Series: Forever Yours: Book Two
Author: Andrew Grey
Release Date: September 8, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Usually when I start a story, I begin with the characters, a few times it’s the setting or a particular situation.  Never Let You Go started with the prologue.  I had a clear vision for how this story was going to start.  That vision of Ash seeing Brighton and then turning to walk away when he jumps to a conclusion, is what drove the entire idea.  That in turn helped me develop Ash and Brighton.  It told me a great deal about Ash, his history, and just how broken he felt at that moment.   Brighton and the hurt and pain he carried with him came into clear focus as well.  That isn’t how I usually do things, but for this story I think it worked very well.  Though I will confess that I’m not someone to let go of a story idea no matter where it comes from.  Inspiration can be both fleeting and amazing at the same time.   I like to think that the important thing about inspiration is to wrangle it once it strokes and not let go.  I’m certainly glad I didn’t let go of that initial vision for Never Let You Go.

“You know, you need to get out once in a while,” Raymond said as he came out of his bedroom. “Do you realize it’s been eighteen months since they told you about Ash? He’s gone and isn’t coming back, and you need to find someone to share your life.” He leaned closer. “And don’t say that’s what you have me and Violet for. You need someone to love and love you in return.”

“I had that once, and I don’t know if I can ever have that again.” Brighton knew what it felt like to have someone who was the other half of him. “Besides, Violet is still settling in and I need to concentrate on her. Allie asked me to take care of Violet if anything ever happened to her, and I intend to do the very best that I can.” He knew the answer was a cop-out of sorts and that he was hiding behind his niece, but he wasn’t ready to date yet. “So you go on out and have a good time.” He did a double take on Raymond’s outfit. He wore a pair of jeans that had to be two sizes too small and a shirt that showed off his arms. “Where are you going?”

“To Rose’s for coffee.”

“Don’t you think you’re a little overdressed… or underdressed, in this case? God, you don’t want to cut off circulation to your bits. And this is Biglerville.”

“The guy I’m dating is from LA. His name is Ethan, and he’s Justin Hawthorne’s assistant. So he’s used to being around people who are really cool and interesting and….” Raymond shifted his gaze to the floor.

“You are not allowed to be unsure of yourself. Go back in there and change. Let this Ethan see who you really are and he’s sure to like you. And if he doesn’t, I’ll show up at his house and kick his ass.” Brighton pulled Raymond into his arms. “Now go ahead and change. Just be yourself.”

With a smile, Raymond went back into his room while Brighton returned to making dinner.

“Violet, please turn that down a little.”

She lowered the volume, and Brighton cut up some lettuce to make them each a small salad. He was really blessed that Violet loved vegetables, though if he asked her what she wanted to eat she’d tell him bacon. That girl would eat bacon for each and every meal if he let her. He opened the door to the refrigerator and pulled out some chicken he’d already cooked and began cutting it into small pieces, along with a little celery and some herbs, as well as chopped nuts.

“Is this better?” Raymond asked, and Brighton nodded.

“You look great. The slacks are nicer than the tight jeans, and I like that shirt. The green is great on you.” Brighton watched as Raymond pulled on his shoes and got ready to go. “Take an umbrella. You’re going to need it.”

Raymond looked out the front window, groaning as the rain lashed the glass.

Lightning flashed and thunder rumbled, sending Violet off the sofa and into his arms. He set aside what he was doing, lifted her up, and took her back to the sofa. “It’s just thunder. There’s nothing to be afraid of.” He sat down with Violet on his lap and turned to Raymond. “Just wait a little while. This isn’t going to last long. When are you supposed to be there?”

Raymond checked his phone. “Fifteen minutes.” He shoved it back in his pocket. “The one time I’m ready early and I’m stuck waiting until the storm lets up.”

Brighton patted Violet’s knee. “Why don’t you go get the really big umbrella for Uncle Raymond? That way he won’t get wet.” He smiled as Violet hurried to the closet and brought over the black-and-white umbrella. She jumped when the thunder rolled again, but handed it to Raymond and then sat next to Brighton once more. “Do you think you can sit here while I finish making you something to eat?” He tweaked her nose, and she nodded slowly.

The storm was already moving on and the thunder sounded less sharp. Raymond took the umbrella and headed for the door to the stairs. “I’ll see you later.” He waved, and Violet waved back. Raymond closed the door behind him, and Brighton stood to return to the kitchen.

Violet laughed as one of the characters on her show did something funny. He adored that sound. She’d been with him for six months now. His sister had developed cancer, and by the time they diagnosed it, she was beyond help and lasted only a few more weeks. The strain she’d had was nasty and had left none of her untouched. At the end she’d been little more than skin and bones. One of the hardest things Brighton had ever had to do was take Violet home with him as she cried for her mother while he was barely able to hold himself together. Thank God Raymond had come to stay with him the year before.

Just like when Ash walked out of his life for the last time to take his assignment. Ash had promised it would be his last one that his time was up after that. It all turned out to be true, though not in the way either of them had hoped at the time.

Andrew grew up in western Michigan with a father who loved to tell stories and a mother who loved to read them. Since then he has lived throughout the country and traveled throughout the world. He has a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and works in information systems for a large corporation.

Andrew’s hobbies include collecting antiques, gardening, and leaving his dirty dishes anywhere but in the sink (particularly when writing)  He considers himself blessed with an accepting family, fantastic friends, and the world’s most supportive and loving partner. Andrew currently lives in beautiful, historic Carlisle, Pennsylvania.

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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.