Believe in the Wish by Christi Snow: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

TitleBelieve in the Wish

Author: Christi Snow

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date: May 11, 2017

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: ~55,000 words

Genre: New Adult, enemies to lovers, forbidden love, twins, contemporary romance, mourning death

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I buried my twin sister six months after she found out she had cancer. Her funeral was three months ago. Today is our birthday and it started with delivery of letters from her.

It seems she didn’t trust me to move on after her death. She knows me too well. But how can I go on when my other half is just…gone? That’s not something I can recover from with a snap of my fingers. But I also can’t ignore her instructions even though I’d be perfectly content to cuddle up with my buddy, Johnnie Walker, and call it a year.

She has a list of things for me to do and there are rules attached.

There’s one major problem besides the fact it’s been three months since I left the house. I have to do all these things with her jerk of an ex, Hawk Simmons. He abandoned her shortly after she found out she was sick. If that wasn’t enough to make this a really bad idea, the fact that he makes an appearance in all my nighttime fantasies probably does.

I don’t think I can do this, but I owe it to my sister’s memory to try.

This is a stand-alone male/male contemporary romance novel.

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Building suspense without danger

The very nature of the style means that the reader is always wondering what’s going to happen around the next corner.

But when it came to this book I wanted to try my hand at suspense of a different sort.

No, there’s no danger or hidden attacker in this book.

What there is instead…*author cocks an eyebrow*…are some unanswered mysteries about how these two characters ended up in this situation.

Emma loved her twin brother Ethan.

That was never in question, so he just assumed that when she died he would inherit her half of their home and business.

That wasn’t the case.

Why would she require him to jump through all these hoops?

Impossible hoops.

Hoops like having to play nice with her asshole of an ex, Hawk.

Hawk is another mystery in this story.

The book is told from both Hawk and Ethan’s point of view, but it takes a while for the reader to see things from Hawk’s side of things. That was done on purpose.

I want the reader to question what exactly Emma was thinking here.

Emma knew she was dying.

She knew Ethan wouldn’t handle that well.

In the months leading up to her death, she made a plan.

A plan to make sure Ethan lived even when she didn’t.

 

 

And that’s all I’m going to say…

Happy reading.

Beware! The review ahead may just sound like a commercial for Believe in the Wish or for Christi Snow or for both. And I don’t care.

Let’s start with Christi. She is an author that definitely writes from her heart. She is an avid reader (one of the two or three blogs I watch religiously), and writes her characters with heart. AND, she doesn’t write the same character, just in a slightly different situation. She writes complex characters, that you have to invest time, and emotions into figuring out their motivations, their wants and needs, and where they will be going next. I love the depth of her writing, and I soak it up every single time one of her books hits my e-reader. (Example, she sent me this arc…I forced myself to finish what I was reading, then dropped everything to read this next). Read anything and everything from Christi and you will have a happy ending, and enjoy yourself along the way.

Now, the book. I read the blurb, and knew immediately that my heart was going to be ripped out. How could you not? And right from the first paragraph you see what a mess Ethan’s life has become since Emma died. They were everything to each other, and when she died, well Ethan felt he should have died instead. Watching his struggle, even in the first chapter, was difficult. He had taken grief to a level that is difficult to fathom, and the reader couldn’t help but bleed along with him. Then to find out that his sister had “betrayed” him and hadn’t really left him the house and business without stipulations. That’s a pain that can’t be measured.

As we move through the book, we find, of course, that Emma has a plan, and if Ethan and Hawk go along with her plan, Ethan will get what he had expected at the end. However, first Ethan has to walk through the fires with Hawk, and learn that maybe not everything with Emma was as open as Ethan had thought. The bitterness Ethan experiences with Hawk is what one would expect in that situation, and even when they have fun times, Ethan feels guilty because he has always wanted the man than Emma loved.

There was so much guilt tied up in Ethan’s feelings, and the author portrays is so beautifully. Guilt is a complicated emotion, and when Ethan enjoys himself with Hawk, he feels guilty. When he realizes that Emma is dead, and he is alive, he feels guilty. All these emotions that are wrapped up in how he feels about the two people he cared about the most, and getting past that isn’t easy. It takes time and patience, and maybe some smoldering hot kisses from a sexy man. 😉

The rawness of all the emotions Ethan portrays was difficult to read sometimes. You will cry. Grab tissues, and keep them handy. Christi does an amazing job of giving the reader just enough information and emotion to catch you and drag you in, while forcing you to hold on to all that, and wait to see what comes next in Emma’s plan.

I absolutely loved this book. If a book can make me cry, smile, laugh, and give me a happy ending, it is going to be a thumbs up. But when the author can make me believe that all these emotions are coming from a living, breathing human being, that’s a keeper and a re-read. Without question, one of the best reads I’ve had this year. The book hangover was worth every precious second. (And there was a bonus happy little note in there about Found At the Library, another Christi Snow fave of mine, that made me giddy!)

5 pieces of eye candy

Katya ended her call and promptly pushed the ‘away’ button for receiving phone calls. “I’m sorry. No more calls. They may not think so, but they can survive without me for an hour or so while we have our chat.”

Ethan’s stomach rolled over. That brought them to the question of the hour…chat about what? But he was almost afraid to ask at this point. Instead, he redirected. “Do you have your own firm, or do you work for someone else?”

She raised an eyebrow at him, but with a slight tilt of her head she must have seen something in his expression because she answered, “I own my own firm. When I graduated from law school, I went into a partnership that was later dissolved when I bought my partner out. It’s all mine now, which keeps me very busy.”

He grimaced. “And that’s further complicated by hermits like me who refuse to answer phone calls or mail deliveries. Sorry about that.”

“No.” She shook her head. “It’s time for you to stop apologizing. This is a hard time for you and that’s okay. To a certain extent, that’s the way it should be…”

She hesitated for a moment. “At least for a little while. You’re allowed to grieve. But Emma knew this would be an issue for you, so she made plans.”

“What kind of plans?”

Katya reached into her briefcase and pulled out a file. She reached inside and pulled out an envelope that she handed to him. On the front was his name, written in Emma’s handwriting. Suddenly it was hard to breathe.

“What is this?” he whispered.

“The first of your instructions. You need to open and read it.”

He didn’t want to. He didn’t know why, but he really didn’t want to. “I’d rather wait until I’m at home.” At his house, if he fell apart, he could do it without witnesses.

She shook her head kindly. “No, that won’t work. She was very specific in how she wanted this all to go. I need you to open it now.”

Ethan swallowed against the huge lump in his throat as he tried to find air to breathe. His heart pounded in his chest. Surely, everyone around them could hear that.

“It’s okay,” she said softly. “I promise.”

“That’s where you’re wrong.” He glanced up at her. “It’s never going to be okay again.” His voice cracked.

She lowered her lids, and her lips compressed into a tight line as if his grief was too much for her.

His hands shook as he turned the envelope over, lifting the sealed flap. It had to be his imagination, but he could have sworn that he smelled a faint whiff of the strawberry lotion Emma always liked to wear.

For just a moment, he shut his eyes and tried to calm down his emotions going haywire. He didn’t know whether to be angry that she’d done this to him, sad that she wasn’t here to tell him whatever information this letter held, or scared at whatever Emma had cooked up for him.

Throughout her life, she’d kept him hopping. As the exuberant, outgoing twin, she’d always dragged him into trouble when all he’d wanted to do was stay home. In that regard, this whole scheme of hers was very apropos.

He took a deep breath and pulled out the single sheet of paper and unfolded it. At the very first words on the paper, his eyes filled with tears.

Happy Birthday, baby brother.

He glanced up in disbelief at Katya. “It’s May fifteenth?”

At her silent nod, he gazed down at the paper in his hands, his eyes filling with tears. It was their twenty-fifth birthday. The first birthday he’d ever celebrated without her. She’d only been twenty-four when she’d died. How unfair was that? To her. To him. To the world that missed out on everything she had to offer it.
Emma’s handwriting wavered in front of his eyes, but he continued to read, not knowing what else to do. His other option—sobbing in the middle of the restaurant—would be mortifying.

I’m sorry I’m not there to go out partying with you. Remember when we were little and you didn’t want to share your birthday with me? Now you get your wish.

He’d been a horrible person. The tears overflowed his eyes. He’d made that wish more years than he even wanted to remember. How selfish was that? How could he have wished for a life without her in any way? She’d been his light.

Katya shoved a tissue into his hand.

Right. He was in public. Time to get it together.

My bad. It was probably too soon for a joke like that.

I love you, Ethan.

I know I didn’t say that enough—you know emotional displays and I didn’t mix—but beyond anything else that happens over the next few weeks, KNOW THAT. I love you, and if I could have figured out a way to stay, I would have…for you.

But God obviously had different plans for me, so now I’ll just have to content myself with being your guardian angel for the next seventy-five years. I’ll have your back, bro. I promise.

And in the interest of having your back, that’s why Katya is here.

I know you. You’re stubborn, and right now, I imagine that you’re more than a little sad. I get that, but that doesn’t mean you stop living. My death means you have to live twice as much because you have to do it enough for both of us. I’m counting on you.

But, again, I know you, so I’ve enlisted some help from my friends just to get you going.

Make a Wish, Ethan. Believe in it. It’s time to live.

~Emma

When Ethan finished reading, he took several deep breaths. The sobs had welled in his throat, and it was all he could just to hold them inside.

“You okay?” Katya asked.

“Yeah.” His voice sounded husky, but he’d managed to say the word, so he figured that for a win.

“Then it’s time for step two.”

He looked up just as she held a flaming lighter to the candle on top of a cupcake. She pushed it in front of him. “Make a wish and blow. All you have to do is believe.”

As he sat there, looking at the flickering candle, it occurred to him at just how sad this was. His twin was dead, and he was at some bizarre birthday celebration with someone he’d never even met before. Even from the grave, Emma was working to pull him out of his shell.

So he closed his eyes and blew as he made his wish.

I wish I wasn’t so alone.

But when he opened them, nothing had changed. He was still sitting in a restaurant with a woman he didn’t know, mourning the twin sister who’d died. Not that he expected a miracle, but Emma wanted him to believe.

Believe.

How was that even possible? She’d been the one who believed in the magic of things like wishes and fairy tales. What had that gotten her? She’d died before she’d even had the chance to live. What kind of magic could he possibly believe in with that kind of reality?


As an avid reader her entire life, Christi Snow always dreamed of writing books that brought to others the kind of joy she felt when she read. But…she never did anything about it besides jot down a few ideas and sparse scenes.

When she turned 41, she decided it was time to go after her dream and started writing. Within four months, she’d written over 150,000 words and hasn’t stopped since.

She’s found her calling by writing about sexy, alpha heroes and smart, tough heroines falling in love and finding their passion. She’s truly living the dream and loving every minute of it.

Her tagline is… Passion and adventure on the road to Happily Ever After. She’s loving this adventure!

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Google+ | Instagram

Tour Schedule

5/11 ~ Hearts on Fire Reviews

5/11 ~ Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

5/12 ~ MM Good Book Reviews

5/13 ~ Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents

5/14 ~ Dog-Eared Daydreams

5/15 ~ Happily Ever Chapter

5/16 ~ Two Chicks Obsessed with Books and Eye Candy

5/16 ~ MM Book Escape

5/17 ~ Book Reviews Janisf & Leisha

5/17 ~ BFD Book Blog

5/18 ~ Dirty Books Obsession

5/19 ~ Reviews for Book Lovers

5/19 ~ Love Bytes Reviews

5/20 ~ Bayou Book Junkie

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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.

Monthly Author Column: Victoria Sue Talks MPreg includes Excerpt and Giveaway

Another fun monthly author column with Victoria Sue!

TCO side note: Victoria Sue made me read my first mpreg, so I read The Alpha King, expecting a baby to pop out of the omega around every corner. (I’ve been in the “NOPE” category for years). Surprisingly, I enjoyed the entire book, including the mpreg. I don’t think they will become my go-to books ever, but I definitely had a good time reading, and am now waiting for the next book in the series…but don’t tell Victoria or she will gloat. 😀

“Call the Midwife” 😉

 

I unashamedly admit I wrote Alpha King for me. I’ve heard the term “book crack,” and that pretty much sums up my love for this book. Bossy, handsome Alpha with wall to wall muscles and a protective streak a mile wide. Smaller, but fierce omega who saves his Alpha’s life only to put his own in mortal peril.

And then to complete the package with a big red bow – it had to be MPreg.

Men having babies or MPreg as its often called in books is one of those love it or hate it subjects – but whichever side of the fence you fall on, and there are definitely more and more people climbing over it, it’s here to stay.

There is a discussion forum called Mpreg Central which has over eleven and a half thousand members! It’s associated face book page has a thousand, and the small group on facebook I belong to “MPreg Book Rec” started in 2015, is over 600 members strong and new people are joining all the time. I’m not going to even start on the thousands of fanfics dedicated to the phenomenon.

Makes you think?

Well, how about this – last year surgeons in the US performed the first uterine transplant surgery on a 26-year-old woman. The process is nine hours long, and then approximately one year later doctors will implant embryos that were created using in vitro fertilization. The lady will have to take anti-rejection drugs throughout the pregnancy and then either the uterus will be removed, or it will be allowed to disintegrate.

The same fertility clinic that has done this procedure states they are less than five years away from being able to perform this surgery on a man. And before you wonder why they should – think about trans women. Many women are desperate to have their own child and having chatted to some transgender ladies in this position; they understandably feel the same way.

The science is there. Unfortunately the money is not. To give you an idea; a heart transplant—something successfully undertaken for years—currently costs over a million dollars.

Can you imagine how much a pioneering operation would be?

Luca swore succinctly.

“Sire, Kit also saved your life in the arena,” Sam said flatly.

“What? No, that was you,” Luca insisted.

“Kit warned me. I don’t know how, but he shouted to me. He saw something before I did and I was already running and had my knife out before I saw Malik’s blade. If he hadn’t, I wouldn’t have been fast enough, and you, Sire, would be dead.”

Luca drew in a harsh breath.

“Sire, I’m worried because I think he’s unwell,” Molly put in.

“W-what do you mean?” Luca’s heart pounded so hard it threatened to escape his chest.

“He’s eating hardly anything. A lot of foods are upsetting him…”

Luca nearly closed his eyes in despair. Surya take my heart. How could he have been so blind? It was him. He was the one Kit had spoken of. Kit didn’t have any confidence in Luca’s love because he had been so busy lording it around being Alpha King he had forgotten about the one person who was responsible for making him the King in the first place. Kit had been left alone for days and this was all Luca’s fault. Kit had done nothing wrong, and Luca had treated him appallingly. He didn’t deserve him, and Luca should be whipped for how he had treated him. Surya didn’t need to take his heart, he had lost it a long time ago to a much bigger one.

“Sam, we shift and search. I want Asher to follow with weapons and blankets.” He looked at Asher. “Choose two men and follow the best you can with supplies. Get water, also.” Asher nodded and stepped away. Luca followed Sam towards the woods, Sam stripping as he walked.

“Sire.” Luca paused as Gabriel shouted urgently. “Sire I have been trying to speak to you for days. There is something you need to know.”

“Not now, Gabriel. I promise as soon as I have Kit safe we will talk.”

“No, Sire,” Gabriel took a close step in determination, “this is important and has to do with Kit.”

Luca stopped, the urgency in Gabriel’s voice finally making him pause, and at the same time he remembered putting Gabriel off before. “What is it?”

“You know I have been going through the old texts on pure omega matings. You asked me.” Luca nodded. Worry settled like stone in his gut.

“The thing is, Sire, I don’t think Kit is ill.”

Luca shook his head in exasperation. He had thought Gabriel had urgent news, not just something comforting. “We can argue that when I get him home.”

“Sire, I don’t think Kit is ill. I think he is pregnant.”

No one spoke. No one moved. Luca swallowed. “What did you say?” He had misheard. Gabriel didn’t—

“According to the old scrolls, Alpha Kings never used breeders, ever, and it didn’t matter which sex their omega was. Look.” Gabriel got a sheet of old paper from his pocket. “I found this tucked in one of the old books. It’s a likeness of Aristaad and Oliver, the first Alpha King and his pure omega. Oliver was definitely male.”

Luca nodded. He knew the history.

Gabriel unfolded the piece of paper. It was a drawing of a couple. The likeness of the Alpha King and his omega was clear. They were both turned sideways and their tattoos were visible. It was the appearance of Oliver, the omega, that was so shocking. He leaned back into his King as if Aristaad were supporting him. Aristaad’s hands were both circled around his omega’s body. What was completely stunning was the huge round belly on Oliver, and Aristaad’s hands laid on it protectively.

“Oliver was pregnant, Sire.”

Luca closed his eyes in desperation. What the hell had he done?

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What do you think? Could it happen? Leave a comment and you could win an ebook of any of Victoria Sue’s backlist.

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

False Start by Sloan Johnson: Exclusive Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

Title: False Start

Author: Sloan Johnson

Series: Wilmington Breakers Book 2

Cover Artist: Cover Me DarlingMarisa-rose Shor

 

Nixon Cross isn’t wired to share his life with anyone. He’d considered a relationship once, but after the one man patient enough to put up with all his quirks shut him down, he committed all of his energy to football and helping his players. Now, one of his players need more help than Nixon can provide and his former flame is the one man who will know what to do.
Retired NAFL player Lincoln Sims had no choice but to stay in the closet; he was a professional athlete at a time when it was impossible to be honest about his sexuality. After retiring, he confessed his secret to his wife and son because he was tired of living a lie. Now, he’s ready to live his life. Nixon Cross is the man he left behind but could never forget.
Can these men find a way to recover from their false start years earlier?

“Nixon, you can tell me it’s none of my business if you want—”

“It’s none of your business,” I deadpanned. If he was starting off like that, I was sure he was getting ready to dive into a topic he had no place talking about.

“Not going to stop me,” he shot back, taking a sip of his own drink. “What really happened between you and Lincoln Sims?”

Aww, hell. I could lie or I could tell the truth; both options were equally unappealing. I wasn’t a liar, unless you counted carefully avoiding topics I’d rather stay buried as lying. But if I told the truth, there was a chance I’d be outing Lincoln, and that broke the second rule I lived by: never make a promise you can’t keep and never break a promise made. I chose to do what I did best; go for the vague response. “You know how it is. Life gets complicated and sometimes you drift apart.”

“Look, I’m not trying to upset you, but I need to know if him being here is going to do just that. I’m already dealing with the show, rookies who don’t think they should have to play by the rules now that they’re out of college, vets who’re certain we’d never cut them because they’re invaluable to the team, the league’s coming down on me about the situation with Zach, Zach trying to pretend he’s not waiting for the world to crash down around him, and the list goes on,” Teddy rambled, leaning in close enough to speak without fear of being overheard. “While it’s not healthy for you to do the very thing we’re trying to break Zach of, I’m willing to act as a buffer if there’s a reason you don’t want to see or talk to Lincoln while he’s in town. I need you focused on getting those boys ready, and right now, I’m pretty sure the only reason they’re busting ass in the gym is fear.”

“Nothing wrong with that,” I quipped. I often wondered if Teddy got sick of having to act as a buffer between me and the rest of the world. He’d been doing it for years now, and it definitely wasn’t something he’d counted on when I was hired.

“There is when they’re all pushing so hard,” Teddy countered. “It’s not just Zach I’m worried about. A few of the veterans have come to me, asking what’s been going on with you for the past week. And the only thing I can think of that’s changed is I asked you to talk to Lincoln. So, I’m going to ask you one more time; are you capable of being around him without it fucking you up more than it already has? You don’t have to tell me why talking to him affected you the way it did, just assure me you’ll work on pulling your head out of your ass.”

“You have my word,” I promised. And speak of the devil, Lincoln chose that exact moment to walk onto the patio. Our eyes met and what felt like a jolt of electricity zinged through my body. I could feel Teddy watching for any sign of discomfort, ready to kick me out if he thought it was best for my emotional stability or current lack thereof. Shrugging him off as I stood, I took the first step towards reconciling my past. At least for the next few days, Linc was going to be in town and I’d do everything in my power to keep my promise to Teddy.

And now, the hotness of this cover…

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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.

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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The Perils of Intimacy by Rick R. Reed: Exclusive Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

We are so excited to have Rick R. Reed here with the cover reveal for The Perils of Intimacy! Oh my goodness, what an amazing cover by Reese Dante!

Guest Post

FROM RICK R. REED, THE AUTHOR OF THE PERILS OF INTIMACY

Covers are something I have a thing for. It’s the face of my book. It’s very important, so there’s a lot invested. There’s the old saw about not judging a book by its cover, but it’s not true—not with people and certainly not with books. People, myself included, judge books by their covers all the time. And why shouldn’t they? It’s the “face” of the book, it’s that all-important first impression. I know I’ve bought books based on the cover art alone.

And, being perfectly honest, I’d buy The Perils of Intimacy based on the amazingly talented artist Reese Dante’s cover. I’m very blessed, fortunate, lucky, whatever you want to call it to be able to work with Reese almost exclusively on my Dreamspinner Press books. I thing Reese outdid herself with The Perils of Intimacy. Working with her on this one was a mind-meld between author and cover artist. She got the mood I was going for, she got the mystery, she got my main character, Jimmy, and, most of all, she created a cover that truly stands out in the genre. I think it’s beautiful, provocative, and definitely outside the box.

I hope it catches your eye. I hope it makes you want to read the blurb and—once you’ve read that—will decide you simply must read The Perils of Intimacy.

 

synopsis

Jimmy and Mark make an adorable couple. Jimmy’s kindness (and clean-cut cuteness) radiates out of him like light. Mark, although a bit older, complements Jimmy with his humor and his openness to love.

But between them, a dark secret lurks, one that has the power to destroy.

See, when Mark believes he’s meeting Jimmy for the first time in the diner where he works, he’s wrong.

Mark has no recollection of their original encounter because the wholesome Jimmy of today couldn’t be more different than he was two years ago. Back then, Jimmy sported multiple piercings, had long bleached dreadlocks, facial hair, and was painfully skinny. And he was a meth addict. The drug transformed him into a different person—a lying, conniving thief who robbed Mark blind during their one-night stand.

Mark doesn’t associate the memory of a hookup gone horribly wrong with this fresh-faced, smiling twenty-something… but Jimmy knows. As they begin a dance of love and attraction, will Jimmy be brave enough to reveal the truth? And if he does, will Mark be able to forgive him? Can he see Jimmy for the man he is now and not the addict he was? The answers will depend on whether true love holds enough light to shine through the darkness of past mistakes.

Length: Approximately 63,000 words

Here comes the cover….

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Dreamspinner Press eBook

Dreamspinner Press Paperback

 

 excerpt

I watch from the corner of my eye as Cinnamon Roll, as I’ve dubbed him, downs his low-carb breakfast. How someone can eat poached eggs without any toast is beyond me, but it takes all kinds.

“You got a thing for him or what?” Matilda Blake, the other server on duty, whispers to me. She pauses just behind me with three plates balanced on two arms. I smell pancakes, bacon, and the sage aroma of sausage.

I turn a little to grin. “What?”

“Ah, don’t play innocent with me, Mister. I could see the lust in your eyes from fifty paces.”

I shrug. “Guilty. Maybe. A little.”

She laughs, and it’s a sound like a bell tinkling. Matilda doesn’t even reach five feet and probably doesn’t top ninety pounds, but she’s a workhorse like you wouldn’t believe. She has short, spiked blonde hair and numerous tattoos. On the weekends, she plays in an all-girl metal band called Two Spirit. And in my head, I call her Tinker Bell, because that’s who she looks like to me. She takes off to serve her customers, but not without prompting me to “Go over and talk to him.”

I busy myself filling ketchup bottles and the salt and pepper shakers I’ve removed from empty tables, but I keep an eye on Cinnamon Roll. His food is gone and the newspaper’s been abandoned and he’s staring off into space. I shudder because I wonder if he’s recognized me and is thinking about our last encounter, a little over two years ago, at his place on Dexter Avenue.

But no, that couldn’t be possible, could it? I’m a different person now, inside and out. Back then I was twenty, twenty-five pounds lighter than my current one hundred and sixty-five. I had a septum piercing like Ferdinand the Bull. My hair, which is now cut high and tight and is reddish brown, was long back then, bleached blond, dirty, and tangled up in dreadlocks that reached down almost to my waist. My skin had, I’m sure, a pasty and unhealthy pallor.

That person doesn’t even exist anymore, and even though it’s only been two years, I look completely different today. He’s probably just thinking about his day or something.

Right?

I walk over to his table, a little nervous that he’d come to and look at me with an accusing glare. There’d be a scene. And maybe I’d end up getting fired or something. Thinking back to what I did to him, I deserve it.

But when I approach his table, all he does is smile. And that smile melts my heart. It did back then too. Just not enough to keep me from my desperate and dark ways.

“You need anything else?”

He looks down at his paper and back up at me. A blush rises to his cheeks, and I gotta say it—there’s nothing more adorable than this face staring up at me right now.

RickRReed2BW-500x749meet the author

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love.

He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a three-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Caregiver, Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). He is also a Rainbow Award Winner for both Caregiver and Raining Men. Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.”

Rick lives in Seattle with his husband and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

STALK RICK

Facebook Page: www.facebook.com/rickrreedbooks

Twitter: www.twitter.com/rickrreed

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RickReedWRITER

Blog: http://rickrreedreality.blogspot.com/

Website: www.rickrreed.com

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/rick-r-reed

Email: rickrreedbooks@gmail.com

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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.

Talking in Code by Ariel Tachna: Exclusive Ficlet and Giveaway

TalkinginCodeFS_v1synopsis

Some things crumble under pressure. Others are tempered by it instead. For three former soldiers, a tragedy might be the catalyst that binds them together—stronger than ever.

Richard Horn and Timothy Davenport met in the SEALs twenty years ago and have been lovers ever since. Now running their own paramilitary organization, Strike Force Omega, they work in the shadows to protect their country and its people. When Tim falls for Eric Newton, a deadly sniper and strategist on their team, Richard accepts that Tim’s heart is big enough for two men. He respects, admires, and even desires Eric enough to accept him into their relationship—and their bed—but he’s never been fully a part of what Eric and Tim share.

Then Eric is captured by terrorists and Tim is gravely injured in an op gone wrong, bringing Richard’s world crashing down around his ears. Even if he gets his men out alive, Eric must face the aftermath of months of physical and psychological torture—and without Tim to lean on, Eric’s PTSD is tearing him apart. Richard has to figure out the third leg of their triangle fast, or Tim won’t have a life to come back to.

tco exclusive

Talking in Code starts in media res. Eric, Tim, and Richard are already well and truly involved with each other, but the story includes references to moments before the book begins, moments that are not fully explored in the novel itself.

This is the fifth of those moments.

 

Reward

The minute the door to their quarters closed, Tim and Horn were all over him again. Eric wasn’t sure he’d ever been stripped so fast, no matter how motivated he was. He tried to strip Tim in return, but he couldn’t get a hand on either of them. They had him too wrapped up in their arms. Somehow they managed to strip themselves or each other, though, because that was definitely bare skin against his back and chest. They kept him between them as they moved toward the bedroom, like they were worried he might try to escape. He’d have told them they had nothing to worry about—he wasn’t going anywhere—but between Tim’s tongue in his mouth and Horn’s mouth on his neck, words weren’t happening.

Moans, though… he could handle moans, because fuck, Horn knew just how to bite at the curve of his shoulder to make his whole body light up. And the brush of his goatee only added to it.

They toppled him onto the bed. Tim followed him down immediately, but Horn took a moment to watch them. Eric’s nerve almost broke at the unreadable expression on Horn’s face. Yes, Horn had said he was okay with this, had explicitly invited Eric to join them, but he’d made it clear he was doing it because Tim wanted it. If Horn had changed his mind, they’d never find his body.

Horn ran a hand up Tim’s bare back—shit, he was in bed naked with Tim Davenport—drawing Tim’s attention momentarily. Tim was already smiling before he turned his head out of the line of Eric’s vision, a smile like nothing Eric had ever seen on his face before. He wanted Tim to look at him that way, as impossible as that was. If anyone ever looked at Eric with half the devotion on his face as was on Tim’s, Eric would count himself a lucky man. Horn cocked an eyebrow at Tim, a silent question Eric didn’t know how to read. Eric didn’t see whatever gesture or expression Tim made in return, but Tim turned back to Eric, the expression on his face never changing, as Horn stretched out on the bed next to Eric.

“How do we do this?” Eric asked hesitantly.

“How do you want to do this?” Tim replied.

Eric shrugged. “I’m up for anything that doesn’t involve blood or tying me up. He… um, Horn—”

“Richard,” Tim prompted.

Eric swallowed hard. He couldn’t call the commander by his first name, but they were naked, in bed, about to fuck each other’s brains out. He couldn’t keep calling him commander. “Richard said you’d talked about this, that you had… fantasies.”

“More than a few,” Tim said, making Eric groan softly. “But the only part of them that really matters is that they involve you. Anything we do will be better than empty dreams.”

“How about you do what you want, and I’ll tell you if there’s something I don’t like?” Eric said. Anything more than that was already beyond him. Sure, he’d imagined being with Tim, but it had never included Horn, and that had him totally off-balance.

“We can do that,” Horn said and rolled onto his elbow so he could kiss Eric. The kiss was deep and thorough, a siege of his mouth and mind. If he hadn’t known Horn was only here because Tim wanted him, he would have believed Horn was fully invested in this.

When Horn lifted his head, Eric’s senses were spinning, but before he could put any order to his thoughts, Tim was there, stealing what was left of his brain. Someone’s hands—Horn’s, he thought, but he couldn’t be sure—moved over his arms, stroking along the dips and curves of muscle. Eric knew he had buff arms, but he’d never viewed them as anything other than what he needed to draw the bows he collected and restored in his spare time. Now, with Tim kissing him and Horn lingering over them like they were the best thing he’d ever seen, he was suddenly tempted to flex them. Would it make Horn interested enough to let him come back to their bed another time?

“Fucking gorgeous,” Horn murmured near his ear. “I’m never going to be able to watch you train again without getting a hard-on.”

Eric wasn’t ever going to be able to sit through a briefing again without one, but that was a personal problem. He reached for Horn with one hand, seeking whatever contact he could find. He cupped the other around Tim’s nape and tried to make Tim as breathless as he was. He wasn’t sure it worked, but Tim moaned into his mouth and rutted against his side. Eric rocked back against him as best he could with Horn on his other side. If it had been just him and Tim, he would have pulled Tim on top of him, but he was there by Horn’s good grace. He couldn’t ignore him completely.

Tim released Eric’s mouth and kissed his way down Eric’s neck. Eric took a deep breath to steady himself, only to have Horn lean down and latch on to his nipple. Eric arched into their mouths, already desperate for more contact. Tim must have noticed his reaction to Horn’s mouth because he mimicked the gesture, leaving Eric thrashing on the bed.

“Easy,” Tim murmured against his skin. “We won’t leave you hanging.”

“The rate you’re going, it won’t come to that.”

Horn lifted his head. “That sounds like a challenge. You’re young. You can take it.”

Eric wasn’t so sure, not when he was already out of his mind with lust. Then again, maybe if he came now, he’d actually be able to relax and enjoy the rest.

“Is that what you want?” Tim asked “A quick orgasm now and then something more drawn out? Or can you wait long enough for us to fuck you?”

Eric moaned. He’d never last long enough for one of them to fuck him, much less both. “Make me come now. Then you can fuck me as long and hard as you want.”

“Told you he could take it,” Horn drawled, and it didn’t feel like he was just referring to his recent comment, but like he and Tim had discussed him, had planned this seduction. Before Eric could ask for more details, Tim slid a hand down Eric’s belly to encircle his cock. He bucked into the touch with a hoarse shout, and only years of self-denial kept him from coming on the spot. He’d told them to make him come, but he had a little self-respect.

Tim jacked him too well, though, and then Horn reached between his legs and cupped his balls, and Eric was lost. He shot all over his stomach and collapsed back on the bed, panting.

“Now,” Tim drawled, “you said something about fucking you….”

Eric made to roll over, but Horn caught him before he got to his stomach and pulled him back into the curve of his body. He reached down and draped Eric’s top leg over his thigh.

“Richard, have some patience. Just because I relax automatically at your touch doesn’t mean he will. Let him roll over so we can open him up properly.”

“You can’t kiss him if he’s on his stomach,” Horn replied. “You enjoy him. I’ll stretch him. I wasn’t going to take him dry.”

Eric shuddered, but at the rate they were going, he would probably have accepted even that. Tim stretched out along the front of his body, pressing against him from chest to knee and running his hands over Eric’s skin like he couldn’t get enough. Eric fell eagerly into the embrace, barely even flinching at the bite of cold lube against his hole.

“He forgot to warm up the lube, didn’t he?” Tim murmured as he reached around Eric and spread his cheeks for Horn. “He always forgets.”

Eric moaned a little at the thought of being between two lovers who knew each other so well. What would it be like to be a part of that not just for the night, but to have all that knowledge for himself too? He wouldn’t have said he wanted it if someone had asked, but now that he was here….

“Just wait until he gets inside you,” Tim continued. “He’s got magic fingers. He’ll make you feel so good.”

Horn suited actions to Tim’s words and slid a finger past Eric’s sphincter. Eric tensed automatically, but Horn didn’t push deeper, giving Eric time to adjust. “He needs a distraction,” Horn said behind him.

“Did you have something in mind?” Tim asked.

“All that skin in front of you, not to mention his dick, and you have to ask for suggestions?”

“No, but since you seem to want to run things, I thought I’d check.”

“It’s your fantasy, Dav. I’m just helping you act it out.”

The reminder soured in Eric’s stomach. Tim wanted him, yes, but Horn was just here because he loved Tim. This wasn’t the start of something more. It was one lover indulging another with him as the treat shared between them. He might have pulled away if Tim hadn’t kissed him right then, tangling his tongue with Eric’s so Eric couldn’t do anything but moan and rock against him, which rocked him right back onto Horn’s finger. It went deeper, enough to remind him how long it had been since he’d done this. He’d found the occasional willing partner to trade blow jobs or to let Eric fuck him, but it had been years since he’d bottomed for anyone. That he had offered so immediately spoke volumes about how gone he was over Tim.

Then Horn leaned forward and kissed the back of Eric’s neck, right at his hairline, a lover’s gesture if ever he’d felt one, and his world tipped on its axis. Horn twitched his finger inside Eric, and his breath hitched. “So responsive,” Horn murmured against his skin, his goatee adding another layer of sensation to his breath, raising goose bumps. “Going to make you feel so good.”

Eric didn’t need to be told that. They had already made him feel amazing, and it was only getting better. Horn pressed deeper, finding Eric’s prostate. Eric let out a hoarse shout as he tossed his head back. Tim took that in stride, transferring his attention to Eric’s chest instead.

“Did you like that?” Horn asked as he pressed against Eric’s sweet spot.

“Y-yes,” Eric gasped out between jolts to his system from Horn’s teasing.

“Enough to take another finger?” Horn prompted.

Eric moaned and rocked back against him as Tim sucked hard on one of his nipples. Eric cried out again and grabbed Tim’s head, holding him in place. He carded his fingers through Tim’s blond hair, trying to imprint the memory of this night on as many of his senses as possible since this would probably be his one chance to experience it.

Everything swirled together around him—Tim’s mouth and hands on him, Horn’s fingers stretching him while he kissed his way along Eric’s neck and shoulders. The burn of Horn adding a third finger cleared his head for a moment, but then Horn went back to milking his prostate, and Eric went under again, a drowning man going down for the third time.

“Condom,” he heard Horn say, followed by the ripping of a package. He blinked a couple of times to see Tim rolling the latex on.

“Come here,” Tim said. Eric moved toward him, but Tim gestured for him to flip around. That made sense. Easier for Tim to fuck him from behind. It took a bit of awkward fumbling to get him arranged the way Tim wanted, but they eventually settled on their sides with Eric’s top leg over Horn’s hip and his bottom leg sandwiched straight between their bodies.

Tim steadied him with a hand to his hip and pushed against Eric’s hole. He relaxed his muscles consciously as Tim rocked against him, going deeper with each thrust until he was fully seated in Eric’s ass. “So tight,” Tim murmured. “You feel so good, even better than I imagined.”

Horn reached over them and poked Tim’s hip. “My turn. I want a piece of the action too.”

Tim withdrew, but before Eric could protest, Horn pushed into him from in front. The angle was different, dragging against his inner walls in other places. He couldn’t have said which he preferred, only that the change turned him on even more. Horn fucked him backward against Tim with eager snaps of his hips, so that his ass rubbed against Tim’s cock. Tim moaned, a sound Eric echoed. After a few thrusts, Horn withdrew, only for Tim to return, pushing Eric forward so their cocks rubbed together.

Oh fuck, they weren’t going to take him one at a time. They really were going to share him.

They fell into a rhythm—thrust, retreat, thrust, retreat, switch—that left Eric flying. He’d had some wild sex in his life, but nothing had ever turned him on like being caught between these two powerful, sexy men who kissed him, touched him, fucked him like they’d never get enough. He already knew he was addicted. He’d never have another lover like either of them, much less like the two of them combined.

He reached blindly for Horn, needing a kiss to ground him. It didn’t even matter that Horn was the one to give it to him. He just needed something.

Tim withdrew and Horn took his place, but instead of thrusting a few times and letting Tim have his turn, Horn kept going, pegging Eric’s prostate with every pass as he kissed him so deeply Eric’s vision started to white out. He came with a sharp cry, lost in Horn’s mouth, and felt Horn follow a moment later. They lay there panting until Tim swatted Horn’s hip loud enough that the smack roused Eric from his stupor. “My turn.”

Tim nudged Eric forward, but he had nowhere to roll except on top of Horn. Horn didn’t seem to care, pulling Eric on top of him and taking his mouth in another torrid kiss. Tim moved between their spread legs and ran his hands over Eric’s back and down to his ass. “So damn beautiful.” He spread Eric’s cheeks. “Look at you, all slick and open from Richard fucking you.” He brushed his thumb over Eric’s hole. “I don’t want to hurt you. Can you take me?”

“Yes, please,” Eric begged. He spread his legs wider, or tried to, anyway. He was already nearly as spread-eagled as he could get. Tim fell on him like a starving man, rutting into him, forcing him down against Horn’s body. Holy hell, that was hot! It only took a few thrusts for Tim to come. He collapsed along Eric’s back. Horn grunted but didn’t push them off him, so Eric stayed where he was, basking in the afterglow.

He’d have to get up soon. He didn’t want to spoil an otherwise amazing night by overstaying his welcome. Right at the moment, though, he couldn’t have moved if he wanted to, with Tim’s weight on him and Horn’s arms around both of them. It took him a moment to realize that one of the hands on his hips was Horn’s, not Tim still holding both hips.

Had he misread the situation?

Tim rolled to the side, taking Eric with him, and Horn followed so that Eric was still tucked snugly between them. Eric wasn’t an expert on threesomes or adding a one-night extra to an existing relationship, but he’d had enough one-night stands to know that cuddling was generally not on offer, yet neither Horn nor Tim seemed in any hurry to move away.

Finally Horn rolled to his back to deal with the condom. Eric figured that was his cue to make himself scarce, but when he started to sit up, Tim tightened his arms around him, and before he could question that, Horn had rolled back into place, adding his arm to keep Eric in place.

“Lie still,” Tim murmured against his skin. “We don’t have anywhere to be before morning and neither do you. Don’t fuck this up.”

The words might have stung in another situation, but Eric was too blissed out to hear them now as any kind of criticism, especially since they implied that leaving would be what would mess things up.

Horn kept him in a tight embrace and kissed him when Tim rolled away for a moment to clean himself up, but Eric had learned his lesson and made no attempt to pull away. And then Tim was back, a line of sturdy heat along his spine. Eric gave up fighting and let them snuggle around and get comfortable. It wouldn’t take much and he’d be asleep.

Tim stroked up and down his arm, such a soothing touch that Eric drifted closer to unconsciousness.

“Dav?” Richard’s voice was pitched low, clearly intended not to disturb him.

“Yeah?”

“We’re gonna need a bigger bed.”

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Dreamspinner Press

 

ariel bio picmeet the author

When Ariel Tachna was twelve years old, she discovered two things: the French language and romance novels. Those two loves have defined her ever since. By the time she finished high school, she’d written four novels, none of which anyone would want to read now, featuring a young woman who was—you guessed it—bilingual. That girl was everything Ariel wanted to be at age twelve and wasn’t.

She now lives on the outskirts of Houston with her husband (who also speaks French), her kids (who understand French even when they’re too lazy to speak it back), and their two dogs (who steadfastly refuse to answer any French commands). The cat pretends they’re all beneath her, no matter what language they’re speaking.

Visit Ariel:

Website: www.arieltachna.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ArielTachna

E-mail: arieltachna@gmail.com

giveaway

I’m offering a signed copy of Talking in Code to two winners who share posts from the blog tour. I’m also offering an ebook copy of any of my backlist to someone who comments on each individual post.

 

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

TCO Exclusive Guest Post: Victoria Sue – A Five-Minute Valentine

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TCO is so excited!!!! Victoria Sue has offered to do a monthly guest column on Two Chicks Obsessed, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. First, because we absolutely adore this woman…and if and when you meet her, we guarantee you will too. Second, because she always brings the fun, sexy and delicious times. And third…because she is British, and you know that at some point, we will be doing some sort of audio interview. 😉

So, without further ado, Victoria Sue is here with her first guest column, which is a fantastic little bite out of her fantastic new series. Book 1 is called Five Minutes Longer, and if you haven’t read it, grab it now, because you will want to read it as soon as you read her Five-Minute Valentine short.

Enjoy!

 

tco exclusive

A Five-Minute Valentine

 

“So, are you going with the traditional flowers and chocolates, or are you being a bit more creative?”

Talon blinked at Gael, having no earthly idea what he was talking about. “Please don’t tell me you forgot,” Gael said flatly.

Talon paused, his mind going a mile a minute. It wasn’t Finn’s birthday. “Fuck,” he swore succinctly. Fucking Valentine’s day was tomorrow. Gael slapped him on the back, grinning.

“He’s a guy,” Talon said defensively after a few seconds.

“Who’s a guy?” They both glanced up as Vance came down the corridor toward where they were standing outside the medical bay.

“Finn, apparently,” Gael drawled.

“Huh?” Vance looked from one of them to the other in confusion.

“I mean he’s not going to be into all that stuff, flowers and shit,” but even as Talon spoke the words, he knew it was a lie. Gael just raised an eyebrow. Vance barked out a laugh.

“You forgot Valentine’s day.”

“You could just take him out for dinner,” Gael suggested.

“When?” Talon nearly wailed not even attempting to disguise his I know and freely admit I’ve fucked up voice. It was nearly ten p.m. They had just finished up a really long day and they’d all eaten take-out earlier. “He’s going on that crime scene forensics course tomorrow, and I have no idea what time he’s gonna be done.”

“There are one or two places that will be open late in Ybor,” Gael mused. “Although, Friday and Valentine’s Day? It’ll be a zoo.”

Talon nearly growled in frustration. He hated eating out. Hated the stares, the whispers when they saw the mark on his face. The fear and mistrust many didn’t bother to hide. “Gianelli’s,” Vance pronounced naming their favorite Italian restaurant. Gianelli’s had a private back room, and they had originally gone to celebrate Doctor Natalie’s engagement. The doc had gotten Gael the private help he had needed when he was diagnosed with skin cancer and had kept it away from the bureau. When she’d asked them to come, they couldn’t say no. They’d all been eating and suddenly heard the sound of raised voices in the main dining room. It had turned out there was a birthday party going on, except the boyfriend of the birthday girl had objected to her ex thinking he could turn up and it had quickly become a fight. Talon and Vance had just grabbed a man each by the collar and hauled them outside. It had been over and done with in a few seconds, and the owner was so grateful his restaurant hadn’t got wrecked, they’d all drunk complimentary champagne. It was the only place the team ever went to eat out, not including Betty’s Diner.

Talon pulled his phone from his pocket and started dialing the number. Three restaurants later he gave up in disgust. Everywhere was slammed. The others didn’t take bookings but were expecting wait periods of at least an hour and the thought that he had no idea what time Finn was going to be back made the two early slots he was offered impossible to accept.

“Can’t you stop and get him something on the way home?” Vance asked.

“The truck’s in for service. We’re both in Finn’s.” In fact, any second his boyfriend was going to come out of the locker rooms looking for him. As if Finn had heard him, the door opened at the end of the corridor and Finn came out with Sawyer. Finn was laughing, and Sawyer was shaking his head in amusement. Finn looked up, and Talon met his green eyes. Everything in him soothed instantly. He wanted to do something special. He didn’t want to do chocolates and flowers, and yeah, he’d stuffed up the chance of both because he’d forgotten. Forgot Finn was normal, and he was anything but. Forgot his boyfriend was and would always be the very best thing that had ever happened to him. Forgot he wasn’t supposed to take him for granted. His lips curled upwards in the answering smile to Finn’s soft one.

“You done?” Finn said softly and gasped as Talon drew him in close to his body. Finn looked around, alarmed.

“Everyone’s gone home,” Talon murmured desperately wanting a kiss.

“Well, we haven’t,” Sawyer groaned, turning and following a chuckling Vance. Gael threw him a pointed look and then ruffled Finn’s hair.

“Knock ‘em dead, tomorrow, kid.”

Finn’s eyes sparkled, all eager. “I can’t wait.”.

Talon smiled indulgently. He couldn’t imagine anything more boring than discussing the nuances of directional blood-spatter, but he knew Finn had just bought a book by a famous forensics scientist in preparation for the course and Talon had already been lectured by his boyfriend on the value of it. Apparently, the book – Forensics for Fiction – had been written for authors, but Finn had raved about it and had even gotten their boss Gregory interested. Their team didn’t have the experience to handle murders in any way, and to be honest, they were having enough problems with the living, but Gregory was trying as hard as he could to plug all the numerous gaps in their training.

And Finn was an asset Gregory had recognized when he had been too stupid to. No, he had to get Finn something special…

 

 

Talon was fairly pleased with how things were going so far. He’d deliberately turned off Finn’s alarm and woken him up with breakfast in bed. Just a little too late to have Finn worrying about anything other than ramming down his chocolate chip muffin and racing in and out of the shower. He’d arranged for Gael to pick him up as he was still without the truck and after Finn had disappeared in an eager blur, he was showered and ready for Gael when he showed. Gael quizzed him immediately when he’d arrived, but Talon had just said everything was in hand. Gael had grinned and called him a lucky bastard. Which he knew. He had a dozen stops to make when he got his truck back but was waiting outside the training area next to the Tampa PD building when Finn came out of the door. Finn looked in surprise when Gael took his keys from him and promised Finn his “baby” would be safe and sound in their parking garage when he needed it tomorrow. Talon steered a bemused Finn to his truck and got him settled in there.

He started the truck and turned around. “You thought I’d forgotten, didn’t you?”

Finn opened his mouth, then closed it, and Talon smiled at the pink flush that started in his neck. He leaned over and pressed his lips to Finn’s, satisfied when he felt Finn’s hands creep around his back. He pulled back and then nearly—for a split second—thought to hell with the plan and wanted just to drive Finn home and carry him to bed, but he didn’t.

“I hope you’re hungry.”

Fifteen minutes later they pulled up outside Betty’s Diner. “What are we doing here?” Finn asked in astonishment. Talon grinned and jumped down from the truck and was at Finn’s door before he’d recovered from his shock enough to open it. Betty served breakfast and lunch six days a week, closed at 3 p.m., and it was the first place Talon had ever taken Finn to. To be honest, the diner looked closed. All the shutters were down, and it looked like the usual emergency lighting was on when you glanced at the door.

Talon just smiled and clasped Finn’s hand which he almost never did. He led Finn solemnly to the door and opened it. “I screwed up and forgot to book anywhere early enough.”

But Finn didn’t answer. He was too busy staring at the setting inside. Betty stood beaming, but even Talon was impressed at the table. All the smaller tables usually in the middle had been pushed to the side against the booths. The only table left was set up in the middle of the now empty floor. Talon blinked at the snowy white tablecloth and napkins, and the two candles flickering gently. The bottle of champagne he had dropped off earlier was chilling in the ice bucket. There were rose petals sprinkled over the table, and a single rose in a vase next to the candles.

Finn’s hand tightened in his, and he glanced at him quickly. The green eyes he loved shimmered as he stared, and then Finn gazed back at Talon and swallowed.

“It’s beautiful, Betty. Thank you,” Talon said, quietly.

“How?” Finn swallowed, and Talon guided him to the table. Talon didn’t answer because Betty was busy serving the soup. Finn inhaled. “My favorite.”

Betty beamed. “Of course,” and then she sniffed in that what did you expect kind of way. Talon’s belly growled as he smelled Betty’s homemade tomato soup. He’d spent all day worrying about making tonight perfect and hadn’t even thought about eating anything.

“How was your day?” Talon said.

Finn’s face lit up, and Talon listened as Finn eagerly told him what he had learned. They finished their steak and Betty pulled over a cart with some tiny deserts for them to share, and pressed a set of keys into Talon’s hand. “You just lock up when you’re done.” Finn stood up and threw his arms around her, and she chuckled and left them alone.

It was immediately quiet, and Talon swallowed down his suddenly dry throat. “You would be right thinking I forgot about Valentine’s day…I did.” Talon watched the green eyes he loved widen a little at his pronouncement, but then Finn’s face softened, and his smile was back. Gentle, forgiving and sexy as all hell. He was crap at sharing, but Finn deserved the truth and so much more.

“Normal life stopped for me the day I woke up with this.” Talon gestured to his face, then took Finn’s slim hands in his because he needed the touch. “Grandma and Grandad tried, but after Grandad died I stopped bothering.” He shrugged. “I never saw anything worth celebrating.” Finn’s hand tightened in his. “No, that’s not even strictly true. It…” Talon swallowed again, searching for the right words. “It was as if normal life didn’t involve me. Other people had lives. Went to ball games, hell – even dated. So, I didn’t forget exactly. I knew it was Valentine’s day. I just stopped thinking anything like that applied to me.”

Finn’s eyes glittered, and Talon brought Finn’s hand up to his mouth and kissed Finn’s palm. He needed a few seconds to cover his own eyes becoming suspiciously bright. Talon slid a hand into his back pocket and brought out an envelope. He squeezed Finn’s hand before he let go and straightened the envelope a little before handing it over. Finn’s lips parted soundlessly. “Yours is at home.”

Talon understood immediately. “And I bet you would never have said a word about it if I hadn’t.” Finn would never try and make him feel bad. Finn’s lips curled up into the shy smile he loved. “Open it.”

Finn tore the envelope and grinned when he saw the card. He arched an eyebrow. “This is a valentine card?”

Talon chuckled. “I think it’s a birthday card, but I managed to find one with nothing written on it. He watched as Finn read the words Talon had written and saw the lump travel down Finn’s throat.

super hero with heart

“I think this is you, not me,” Finn said quietly. “You’re the one with the super abilities.”

“Come here,” Talon ordered quietly, and Finn got up, and Talon drew him close until he was sitting on his lap. Talon gently raised Finn’s chin with his finger until their eyes met and held. “Every day. Every day you make me a better person. Every day when I can’t love myself, you do it for me. You have the biggest heart of anyone I know, and I don’t know how the hell I ever got so lucky that you make room in it for me.” Talon thumbed the moisture from under Finn’s eyes and captured his lips with his own.

He had gone to five stores before he had found the card he wanted. It had a picture of Superman on it, and Talon could hear the words as he had written them.

“You are my hero. Love is your superpower, and you save me with it every day.”

 

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Cross My Heart by Catt Ford: Exclusive Cover Reveal and Excerpt

Guest PostBecause this is a story about a man who likes to dress and live as a woman, creating a cover presented a challenge. As an artist, I can certainly take a photograph of a man and apply believable makeup in Photoshop, but at the postage-stamp size, the cover would just look like a story about a woman.

By cropping the model to leave most of his/her appearance to the imagination of the reader, but providing feminine clues, such as the dress, shoes and even the room, I hope to intrigue people enough to investigate further.

I realize that the subject matter will not appeal to everyone, but the essential theme of the book, as in all romances, is acceptance. Being loved for who you are, something I think we all yearn for.

I always find it difficult to decide what to include as an excerpt, but I hope you will like this one:

excerpt

When Dom finally pried himself away, Lana bolted the door after him in relief.

She really hadn’t needed that added little bit of drama Dom always seemed to stir up. She went back to the window. The man had apparently given up. He was walking west to the end of the block. Then he turned right. Lana waited. After a minute she spied Dom following the man in a suitably surreptitious manner, skulking as he’d promised. Lana rolled her eyes when she saw Dom flatten himself against a building and then sneak around the corner. She drew the curtains, hoping Dom would not call her tonight with the results of his playing detective. If the phone did ring, she would feel obligated to answer to prevent Dom rushing back over here to make sure she was alive.

Lana picked up her shoes and carried them to the bedroom. It was tucked behind a partial wall and furnished with furniture she’d found at the flea market.

The headboard was upholstered in velvet, and a silk duvet covered the bed, lending a bit of luxury to the secondhand pieces. Lana stored her shoes neatly away in the mirrored wardrobe. Early on she’d discovered living in such limited space required organization and constant policing, difficult when paired with an addiction to clothes. She took off her suit and hung it on a padded hanger. Lingerie went into the hamper.

She went down the narrow hall leading to the bathroom. A pedestal sink shared the microscopic space with the toilet and shower, but a bathtub had been sacrificed for the practicality of a washer. The frosted glass window let in light while still guarding her privacy.

Although small, the flat was the first place she’d ever had all to herself. Lana loved the beauty and tranquility she’d created. The only thing that would have made it better was someone to share it with, but that dream was impossible.

Quickly, Lana removed her makeup and bent over the sink to wash. She buried her face in the towel for a moment and then looked up at the mirror to see herself stripped bare.

“Hello, Roland.” His voice was soft and husky. “Nice to see you again.”

Roland reached for a jar of moisturizer. As he started to smooth the cream onto his skin, he closed his eyes and pretended it was another man’s hands roaming over his body. Not just any man, he realized. The hands Roland wanted to feel on his skin were those of the handsome man who’d followed him. The man might prove to be dangerous, but he was sexy as hell. Roland kept thinking about the man even though there was no point. Roland tried to forget him and concentrate on the usual faceless, nameless hero of his imagination. He wrapped his arms around himself in a tender embrace, but tonight the fantasy of happily ever after wasn’t working. That castle in the air dissolved into his lonely reality. After one last try, Roland opened his eyes to be confronted with the reality of him groping himself. He sneered at himself in the mirror.

“L’amour. Le bullshit. Pathetic.”

He returned to the bedroom, put on a negligée, and went to bed.

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synopsis

Do you believe in love at first sight?

Roland Reynolds—or Lana Renault, as she’s now known—knows that life is no fairy tale. Fortunately she has her trusted friends, nicknamed the dwarfs, to keep her company. She lives her life to the fullest while keeping what’s beneath her skirt to herself.

American painter Daniel Hunter is no stranger to adversity either, and it’s left him with not only strength but secrets. Unlike Lana, he remains aloof, content to observe life and beauty from the sidelines… until the first time their eyes meet on a crowded Paris street.

Cupid’s arrow finds its mark in Daniel, but while Lana longs for romance, she knows there’s no prince in her happy ever after. If their story is to have a fairy-tale ending, Daniel will have to convince Lana to let down her walls—and, in the process, reveal what he fears sharing the most.

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Are you ready to see the gorgeous new cover created by Catt Ford?

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CrossMyHeartFS_v1

meet the author

Catt Ford lives behind the orange curtain in southern California with a partner and two familiars in the form of cats whose fur is as black as their evil little hearts. She is a graphic artist by day and a storyteller by inclination. Catt enjoys the research required for writing a believable story. She is a rabid card-carrying fan of bull riding and also enjoys swing dancing. She gets drunk on words and sometimes over imbibes, but loves to write about love and happy endings.

Blog: catt-ford.livejournal.com

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

12 Days of Kissmas: Jessie G

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

 

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Last Light on Longs Peak from a Frozen Bear Lake

 

Guest Post

A month or so ago, Denise asked if I wanted to host a spot in her 12 Days of Kissmas event and I agreed. Unbeknownst to both of us, Chris and Owen were tired of waiting to get married and determined that I write them a Christmas wedding. Now I know what you’re thinking! This seems like too important an event for a slice of life scene…and you’d be right! I didn’t write a wedding scene for this final post in the #13Months13Scenes tour, I wrote a book.

Still with me? So…that big epic tease in the group, the one where Christina called me a bad word…yeah, she not only knew, she had the book in her hands! Who didn’t know? Poor Denise. I tortured her endlessly about my big project and held off sending the material as long as possible. It’s a wonder she’s still talking to me L Help me earn my way back in her good graces by commenting on how wonderful she is below.

Without further ado, the first chapter of Deciding on Forever, available NOW on Amazon and all retail outlets.

Happy Holidays!

Jessie G

Last Light on Longs Peak from a Frozen Bear Lake

excerpt

What is it about those two words?

“Oh, wow, would you look at that?” The awe in that statement had Owen looking up from his sketch pad.

When they made their plans to fly to Colorado for a pre-Christmas vacation, Owen happily offered to take the aisle seat. He’d visited many times, during all seasons, and knew that first view of the Rockies was something Chris wouldn’t soon forget. Even though he expected it, seeing the wonder on that strong, handsome face infused Owen with a huge sense of accomplishment.

Making Chris happy and helping him experience all the things he’d missed was a purpose he never could have imagined before. Where he once wallowed in his own misery, holding it close while keeping the rest of the world at bay, Owen no longer allowed those thoughts to surface. After more than a year together, there was too much love and pure enjoyment of life that there just wasn’t room for all that negativity.

“It’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Owen asked as he watched Chris carefully.

Prior to their trip to New York, Chris had never been further north than Orlando. As first trips go, dropping him in the heart of Manhattan might have been a little unfair. The crowds, the noise, and constant sensory input had Chris on edge most of their trip. Short of another family gathering, he couldn’t imagine either of them wanting to relive that experience. Colorado couldn’t be more different and Owen really wanted Chris to love it as much as he did.

“The pictures don’t do it justice,” Chris agreed as he turned to look at him, gaze shining bright. “Thank you.”

That heartfelt gratitude made him duck his head. Two simple words shouldn’t embarrass him, but they did. What had he done to deserve them? Nothing. Not really. They’d planned the trip together, paid for it out of their joint bank account, and were equally responsible for making it happen. All he’d done differently was give up the window seat and he already knew Chris would make sure he got it on the return flight, so it wasn’t all that special.

A finger beneath his chin reminded him that hiding wasn’t an option, especially when Chris asked, “What is it about those two words that bothers you so much?”

Back at the start of their relationship, when they were acknowledging their feelings for one another, they agreed to make all their decisions together. That required communication. Chris was usually the one asking the questions and he had this focused way of listening that made Owen say things he would have normally kept inside. Like now.

With those dark eyes assuring him that he was safe and loved, Owen admitted, “I was just thinking…why are you thanking me? We did this together.”

“Exactly, and that’s why I’m thanking you,” Chris agreed as if it were obvious. “Do you think I ever would have done this for myself?”

Owen knew the answer was a resounding no and that it went deeper than the years lost in his step-father’s abuse or the events that followed. Adult Chris, free of the past and working to support himself, didn’t think about such luxuries as traveling or taking in a ballet. He focused on survival and taking care of others, and there was no room for anything else.

“This was the furthest thing from my mind and I know you believe I was missing out, but I like to think I was just waiting to experience it with you.” Chris leaned in for a tender kiss and whispered, “So, thank you.”

The appropriate response wasn’t any easier to get out the second time, though Owen attributed that to the lump in his throat. “You always say the right things.”

“It’s a gift.” Chris grinned and leaned in for another kiss, this time taking a nibble of his lower lip until he groaned.

Owen pushed him away for his own sanity and attempted a glare. It was hard to look stern when your heart was fluttering and your dick was hard, but he tried. “Let’s not get too full of ourselves, big guy. This plane isn’t equipped to handle your massive ego.”

Chris’s full laugh had several heads turning and that attention made Owen frown. Only a year and a half ago they were celebrating the Supreme Court ruling on marriage equality and now, with the new election, they were facing the possibility of another battle to keep the rights they’d only recently won. In the current climate, they’d all noticed a new hostility in the air whenever they expressed even the slightest bit of public affection.

Being conscious of it didn’t mean they were willing to be swept back under the rug. If he wanted to hold Chris’s hand, kiss him on an airplane, or make him laugh like a loon, he damn well had that right. Anyone who had a problem with it could look the other way. If they didn’t, well, he didn’t want to be a fighter, but he would defend his right to love Chris.

“Ah, baby.” Chris sighed, reading his shift in moods easily. “The only one who’s given us a second glance is the brunette across the aisle that’s been making googly eyes at you.”

“Googly eyes?” Owen snorted out a laugh and tried to look, but Chris held him firm. “What the heck are those?”

“You know, batting her lashes and sighing. Can’t you hear the sighing?” Chris cocked his head as if he were listening hard. “There, she just did it again.”

“I don’t hear anything.” Of course, Owen was too busy laughing at Chris to hear beyond their little huddle. “Is she cute?”

Chris made a show of looking past him and shrugged. “Sure, I guess, if I wasn’t gay and engaged to this really hot guy.”

“Oh my god, are you guys here to get married?” The stewardess nearly skidded to a halt beside their row and beamed. “I’ve heard Colorado has some of the most beautiful spots for destination weddings. My fiancé and I were just talking about eloping someplace amazing like the Rocky Mountains. We have a ton of family and every time we try to whittle the guest list down to something we can afford, someone gets insulted.”

Without waiting for a response, she leaned on the seat in front of them, nearly knocking the guy’s hat off in the process, and shared, “We’re paying for the wedding ourselves and when we crunch the numbers, it just makes me sick inside. If you think about it, the money you’d spend on a big wedding could be the down payment on a house. My fiancé is worried I’ll regret it if I don’t get the frilly dress and all the trimmings, but you guys understand, don’t you? It’d be nice, but setting ourselves up right from the start would be nicer.”

“Sounds like you know what you want,” Chris said with an indulgent smile. “If you tell it to him just like that, I bet he’ll understand.”

“You’re sweet.” Again, she beamed that megawatt smile and when she sighed, it was all Owen could do not to laugh aloud. “So are you staying in Denver? Personally, we’d want to drive out to one of the little mountain towns, if we were going to do it.  Something quaint and historic, with great views.”

“We’re driving up to Estes Park,” Owen said and could see she never heard of it. “It’s near Rocky Mountain National Park. There’s a quaint little town, an historic hotel, and unparalleled views—just like you wanted.” This produced another sigh and Owen almost felt bad for bursting her bubble. “But we’re not here to get marr…”

Chris took his hand and tugged, cutting off his denial and reminding him, “Someone once told me that Colorado was the perfect place to get married.”

Before Owen could respond, the tone to indicate the captain was about to speak sounded overhead and the stewardess pointed at them. “Get yourselves buckled in. We should be landing soon and I would hate for anything to happen to you before you said your vows.”

With that, she was gone, leaving Owen gaping at Chris. “Why did you let her think we were getting married here?”

“Because we are.” Chris made a point of checking his seat belt and nudged Owen to do the same before he said, “You told me that you always dreamt of getting married in Colorado.”

“Well, yes, but not like…I mean our whole family’s back in…Liam and Maddie would be furious…” Owen knew he was babbling like an idiot and every half-formed idea added another knot in his stomach. Even that wasn’t strong enough to quell the rush of excitement. “You don’t mean this trip, right? Just something to think about for the future. Right?”

Owen wasn’t sure if he wanted Chris to agree or not. Yeah, that was a lie. Now that the thought was in his head, he could absolutely see them eloping. They weren’t big on crowds, on being the center of attention, and neither of them needed the frilly dress or the trimmings. All they needed was each other, a Justice of the Peace, and maybe a snow-capped mountain in the background for it to be perfect.

“I know it’s not fall and we’re not going to your family’s house in Breckenridge, but—” Chris looked at him with so much love and longing that Owen felt his heart flutter all over again. “If the opportunity presented itself tomorrow, would that be far enough in the future?”

“Did you plan this?” Owen had to ask because he certainly wouldn’t put it past Chris to do something this amazingly romantic.

“I planned to convince you,” Chris admitted as he entwined their hands again. A little tug brought them together and Owen just knew whatever Chris said next was going to level him. “It’s been more than a year since we decided on forever, Owen, and I can’t think of a better Christmas gift than to make you my husband.”

The plane was just starting its descent when the first tear fell. As Chris reached up to gently brush them away, Owen grabbed his wrist and said, “Maddie and Liam will get over it.”

“Eventually,” Chris agreed with an unrepentant grin, and just like that, they were getting married.

© 2016 Jessie G Books, Inc. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from the author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jessie G and Jessie G Books, Inc. with the appropriate and specific direction to the original content here at Two Chicks Obsessed with Books.

Author’s Note
I hope you enjoyed the last installment of my #13months13scenes tour. I can’t believe it’s over. Or is it? Starting in January, I’ll be posting scenes based on reader prompts. If there’s something you’ve been wanting to know about my characters or see them do, email your prompt (with picture inspiration) to jessieg@jessiegbooks.com with the subject “Reader Prompt.”

Did you miss a previous installment in the 13Months13Scenes tour?

December 20th KathyMac Reviews Merry Christmas from Ric & Davin
January 20th Book Lovers 4Ever A Sizzling WTF Moment with Saul, Javier & Kyle
February 20th Carly’s Book Reviews Chocolate Hearts & Cuban Sandwiches w/Chris & Owen
March 21st 3 Chicks After Dark Thinking Mushy Thoughts with Ty & Chase
April 20th Sassy Girl Books There Are No Losers in Love with Billy & Liam
May 20th Two Chicks Obsessed Memorial Day with Garrison & Micah
June 21st Foxylutely Books !!Jessie & Greg’s Birthday Surprise!!
July 20th BFD Book Blog Bull & Red’s 1 Year Anniversary
August 20th Molly Lolly Clay & his boys celebrate Romance Awareness Month
September 20th Bike Book Reviews Kyle’s Birthday – Preview of Saving Saul
November 11th Divine Magazine Happy Belated Halloween with Colin & Arnaud
November 21st Joyfully Jay Snake & Greg’s first family Thanksgiving
December 15th Making it Happen BONUS Scene: A Devils Pride Christmas

 

 

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Love Is Heartless by Kim Fielding: Cover Reveal, Excerpt and Giveaway

Guest Post

Hi! I’m Kim Fielding, and I’m so excited to be here today to reveal the cover of my new book, Love Is Heartless!

The cover is by the very talented Brooke Albrecht (http://brookealbrechtstudio.com/), who did a great job capturing the mood. The cover gives a nice sense of the setting—Portland, Oregon. And if you look closely at the wall, you’ll see some relevant graffiti.

This is the second book in the Love Can’t series. If you missed Love Can’t Conquer, the first book, you can easily read this one as a standalone. But if you’re familiar with the first book, I think you’ll be happy to learn that this one stars Nevin Ng, the sharp-dressing, foul-mouthed detective who’s friends with Jeremy Cox. Nevin is generally a confident guy, but some chance encounters with a bow-tied property developer are about to throw Nevin for a loop. Expect a lot of swearing, some mysterious murders, and some surprisingly sweet romance.

Intrigued by that cover? Story sounds like your cup of tea? You can preorder Love Is Heartless now. And you can enter to win an e-copy of Love Can’t Conquer, along with a $10 Dreamspinner gift certificate.

loveisheartless_final

synopsis

Small but mighty—that could be Detective Nevin Ng’s motto. Now a dedicated member of the Portland Police Bureau, he didn’t let a tough start in life stop him from protecting those in need. He doesn’t take crap from anyone, and he doesn’t do relationships. Until he responds to the severe beating of a senior citizen and meets the victim’s bow-tied, wealthy landlord.

Property manager and developer Colin Westwood grew up with all the things Nevin never had, like plenty of money and a supportive, loving family. Too supportive, perhaps, since his childhood illness has left his parents unwilling to admit he’s a strong, grown man. Colin does do relationships, but they never work out. Now he’s thinking maybe he won’t just go with the flow. Maybe it’s time to try something more exciting. But being a witness to a terrible crime—or two—was more than he bargained for.

Despite their differences, Colin and Nevin discover that sparks fly when they’re together. But sparks are short-lived, dampened by the advent of brutal crimes, and Colin and Nevin have seemingly little in common. The question is whether they have the heart to build something lasting.

 

excerpt

Even though Colin had a head start, when he arrived at his building, the purple GTO was already there. In the fire lane. Colin generally stuck pretty close to the speed limit; Nevin, he suspected, did not. Colin pulled alongside Nevin’s car and lowered the passenger window. “You can’t park there,” he said loudly.
Nevin sat behind the wheel, tapping his fingers impatiently. “Nowhere else to park in your fucking neighborhood, is there? Not for the rabble, anyway.” He nodded toward the gated entrance to Colin’s lot.
“But it’s a red zone.”
“And every goddamn meter maid and gorilla in blue knows Julie. I’m not getting ticketed.”
Okay, so being a cop brought privileges. “What if there’s a fire?”
“Then your building goes up in flames, hundreds die, and you get to blame me. Satisfied?”
Colin had never been so tempted to wrap his hands around another person’s neck. It was lucky he couldn’t reach Nevin at the moment. “Fine. Meet me at my car.” He pulled away and into the lot.
Without exchanging more than a few grunts, they wrestled the heavy box across the street and up to Colin’s apartment. They had to put it down while Colin got out his keys and unlocked the door. “Don’t let Legolas out,” he warned as he turned the knob.
“Who?”
“My cat.”
They got the box inside, and Nevin kicked the door closed. “What kind of name is Legolas?”
“You know, the elf.” They set the AC down. “From Tolkien. Orlando Bloom was one of my first crushes.”
Nevin clearly had no idea what he was talking about.
“Lord of the Rings,” Colin explained.
“Never seen it.”
“You should. It wouldn’t wound your masculinity. It’s not Disney, there’s no singing, and no princesses.” He paused and thought for a moment. “Okay, there sort of is one. She’s an elf too. But mostly there’s a lot of fighting. Manly fighting.” He decided to omit the homoerotic undertones of Frodo and Sam’s relationship.
“I don’t watch that shit.”
“What do you watch? Car chases and explosions?”
Nevin shrugged. Then, instead of leaving, he ripped the flaps of the box open. “Gimme a hand.”

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Dreamspinner Press Paperback

 

meet the author

Kim Fielding is the bestselling author of numerous m/m romance novels, novellas, and short stories. Like Kim herself, her work is eclectic, spanning genres such as contemporary, fantasy, paranormal, and historical. Her stories are set in alternate worlds, in 15th century Bosnia, in modern-day Oregon. Her heroes are hipster architect werewolves, housekeepers, maimed giants, and conflicted graduate students. They’re usually flawed, they often encounter terrible obstacles, but they always find love.

After having migrated back and forth across the western two-thirds of the United States, Kim calls the boring part of California home. She lives there with her husband, her two daughters, and her day job as a university professor, but escapes as often as possible via car, train, plane, or boat. This may explain why her characters often seem to be in transit as well. She dreams of traveling and writing full-time.

Website: http://kfieldingwrites.com
Facebook: http://facebook.com/KFieldingWrites
Twitter: @KFieldingWrites

 

giveaway

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