The Rhubarb Patch by Deanna Wadsworth: New Release Blast, Release Day Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed whacker away from the rhubarb patch.

Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.

Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.

Title: The Rhubarb Patch
Author: Deanna Wadsworth
Release Date: July 24, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 284

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Chapter One

“What the…?”

A big, bald man in nothing but orange rubber boots and tighty-whities streaked across the yard toward Scott Howe, waving his hands and shouting.

The high-pitched whir of the weedwacker shredding through the grass and thick, leafy weeds growing along the edge of the small barn went silent when Scott released the handle. Popping out his earbuds, he blinked hard, unable to believe his eyes.

“Stop! Stop!” the man in his underwear shouted. “You’re killing the rhubarb!”

Instinctively, Scott placed the weedwacker in front of him, wielding it like a knight brandishing a sword against an attacking dragon.

At five eight, Scott wasn’t exactly a small guy, but he wasn’t taking any chances.

“Stop, dammit!” The man flailed his arms above his head.

Then Scott registered his words.

Keeping the weedwacker in front of him with one arm, he raised the other in truce. “I stopped!”

Scott divided glances between the crazy man and the bits of grass and dark green leaves. All kinds of weeds grew around his late grandmother’s property, making the yard look like crap. Whether he decided to stay or sell the place, it needed a major spring cleanup.

 

“What the hell are you doing?” The man came to a halt, all but shoving Scott out of the way. He knelt on the ground and began pushing aside the grass. “Dammit, you probably killed this one!”

What’s he talking about?

Scott took a step away as the man in his underwear and orange garden boots hopelessly muttered under his breath, gently picking up the curly green weeds.

“Hey, man, I’m sorry.” Scott brushed his arm across his forehead before sweat ran into his eyes. “I didn’t know this was your property. The realtor told me my property line was five feet past this barn.”

The man stared, bright blue eyes scrunched with incredulity. “It’s not my property, but it is my rhubarb. Nancy and I’ve been growing it for years.”

Scott flinched. “Oh, you knew my grandmother?”

“Yes, she was my best friend, and you just killed some of our rhubarb.” His voice hitched, a twinge of desperation in his eyes.Not in anger but a deep, profound sadness that a hot wash of shame down Scott’s back.

“I’m sorry, but….” He paused, not wanting to sound like a stupid city boy coming out to the country. “But what’s rhubarb?”

Still on his knees, the peculiar man sat back on his haunches. Scott glanced at the guy’s lap, then darted his gaze back up before he noticed the faux pas—but not before taking note the guy was packing some real heat in those less-than-brand-new underwear.

The man gestured to the shredded weeds. “That’s rhubarb. Well….” He pursed his lips. “It was rhubarb.” His broad shoulders slumped, the golden hairs of his chest sparkling a little in the morning sunshine.

“I’m sorry,” Scott said again. “Are you sure I killed it?”

He shook his head and flicked at the plant waste. He straightened a few curly leaves hidden among the shredded ones, but they collapsed. “This one’s done for.” He glanced down the twenty-foot length of the barn. “Thank God I saw you before you killed all of it.”

Getting a little annoyed at this hulk of a man, Scott leaned on the weedwacker, his other hand on his hip. “Hey, I’m sorry you planted stuff on Nancy’s property. But how was I supposed to know? I just inherited this place, and I don’t even know what rhubarb is.”

Those piercing blue eyes scoured Scott from head to toe, then back again. “I suspect you’re Scott.”

He knows my name? “Yes, I am.”

“Well, Scott, I’m Phineas Robertson.” He flipped a thumb over his big shoulder. “That’s my house, and this here’s my rhubarb patch.”

“Hello, Phineas.” He gave the man a courteous nod, wondering if he should’ve called him Mr. Robertson, though he couldn’t be much older. But the guy had a big presence, an authority about him—even in his underwear—that could not be denied.

When Phineas remained quiet, Scott grew awkward. “I’m sorry I weedwacked your rhubarb. Are there any other plants of yours growing on my property?”

Shit, that sounded kinda snotty.

Phineas put his hands on his hips, his fur-dusted belly rounding out. “No, just the rhubarb.”

Feeling bad for sounding like a jerk, because Phineas was clearly distraught about the plants, Scott nodded. “Okay, so maybe you could show me what I can and can’t trim out of this section.”

Hopefully the offer would create a neighborly truce.

“Yeah, that’s a good idea.” Phineas fixed his gaze on the shredded rhubarb, though to Scott it all looked like weeds.

I’m gonna have to google rhubarb.

Phineas climbed to his feet. “Here, let me show you what parts you can pull. I haven’t gotten around here to trim it up, what with the funeral and everything.”

So Phineas had attended Nancy’s funeral. Well, that was more than could be said for Scott.

Phineas towered a good six inches over Scott, and almost all of that burly frame was bare and exposed. Scott gestured to his state of dress—or lack thereof. “You sure you don’t wanna put on some pants first?”

Awareness of being clad only in underwear and orange garden boots dawned bright across Phineas’s face. Glancing down, he gave a rather sheepish smile, which made him very appealing all of a sudden. “Yeah, I should probably do that.” He stood there for another moment before taking a few steps away. Then he paused, pointing at Scott. “Don’t cut anything until I get back.”

“I won’t.”

Then he stomped off rather proudly in his underwear and boots, tossing out over his shoulder, “If you weedwack the asparagus along the fence, you’ll regret it.”

Scott shook his head and laughed.

While Phineas walked away, Scott surveyed the three-acre property that had literally fallen into his lap.

Feathery clouds streaked the pristine sky as if an artist’s brush had smeared a blue canvas with a wash of white. Everything was greening up with spring. The cute white farmhouse he’d inherited looked cheery, though it needed some work. It was connected to a one-car garage by an overhang, and the peaked roof with two dormers gave the two bedrooms upstairs odd slanted ceilings. Not in the best shape, nor the worst. Flowers already popped up in the mulched beds around the house and garage—a sign of brighter things coming my way, maybe?

Smiling to himself, Scott flipped over a dirty old five-gallon pail by the corner of the barn. He took his iPhone out of his pocket and sat down. After unlocking the screen, he opened the Facebook app.

Nobody will believe this.

Since moving into the house three days ago, he’d been entertaining his Facebook friends and fans online with Country Updates. That was the only writing he was getting done these days, much to his editor’s chagrin.

Country Update #4: You guys will never believe what just happened! I was weedwacking at the farm and suddenly I see this big, bald guy wearing nothing but his white skivvies and big rubber orange garden boots barreling towards me! LOL I guess he’s my neighbor. He’s been growing rhubarb along the barn, but I just weed whacked some. Whoops! LOL Now will somebody tell me what the hell rhubarb is? #truthisstrangerthanfiction #cityboyinthecountry

This was actually my first Deanna Wadsworth read, and I didn’t realize it until midway through the book. I’d been following her on twitter, etc for a while, but for whatever reason hadn’t quite gotten to read one yet, so I was excited to read this one.

I definitely had mixed emotions with this book. I loved the storyline. Scott moving to the tiny village of Gilead, Ohio to start his life over after inheriting his, previously unknown to him, grandmother’s house. With that idea, he needed to work on becoming a new person. Someone who didn’t give over his entire personality to the man he was with, re-creating the pattern every time, the one he learned from his mother.

Meanwhile, Phin was such a generous man, a true heart of gold who had lost so many loved ones in his life, and just wanted to spend his days in his garden with his sweet Sister Mary Katherine (cutest name for a dog ever!). Yet, he didn’t hesitate to develop a friendship with the City “Mouse” who moved in next door.

This story was a very slow burn. These two men developed a good strong friendship, long before anything romantic actually took place. And that was exactly what they needed, for both of them. Scott, so he could learn more about himself, what he wanted, what he needed, and what he liked. Phin because he needed to finish morning the loss of his partner, as well as his best friend. By the time, they actually kissed (and so much more that night!), there was no doubt they were in love.

One of the issues that I had with the story was the length. I found myself skimming more than once. There were some very long descriptions of places, canning processes, etc that seemed to lengthen the story unnecessarily. Although it was a critical part of Phin’s life, even a cathartic process for him as he grieved, it felt like it was dragging the story in places. At 4700 locations, it was a long book anyway, with a lot of story to tell with these two men, so it felt a bit forced.

Also, there were a few unresolved issues that I would have liked to have had follow up on. (I won’t give them because it would be a spoiler.) However, that being said, sometimes life doesn’t always resolve all the issues, and that is one of the things that I did really enjoy about the book. Sometimes life gives you differences that are unresolved and you have to learn to incorporate those into your life.

If you are looking for a sweet love story (with some definite HOT spots), I think you will enjoy it.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and a couple adorable cocker spaniels. She has been spinning tales and penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010. She has served multiple board positions at her local RWA chapter and is the current President 2017 for Rainbow Romance Writers of America. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. She loves music and dancing, and can often be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

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Buy Deanna’s books at Dreamspinner Press, Decadent Publishing or at any reputable eBook seller like Amazon

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Who We Truly Are by Victoria Sue: EXCLUSIVE Deleted Scene, Excerpt (NSFW) and Giveway

Talon’s deadly abilities are spiraling out of control. Desperate to keep Finn safe, Talon struggles to protect the man he loves with all his heart, and not become the greatest risk to Finn’s life.

Finn has no choice but to offer himself as bait for the evil forces kidnapping enhanced children, facing danger he is untrained and unprepared for, and he is having to do it alone.

Does Talon have one last fight in him? Will he slay everyone who wants to destroy Finn and the team, or will he finally discover that to defeat their enemy and the ultimate threat, the biggest battle he has to face is one with himself?

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Talon sighed and pushed himself up, secretly loving the small, needy sound Finn made as his cock slipped out. He automatically went for the cloth and carefully cleaned Finn up. He glanced up because Finn was quiet and met Finn’s deep green eyes. The most beautiful fucking eyes he’d ever seen, not that he’d ever say. Talon swallowed down the words before they escaped his lips. Finn was watching him carefully, waiting for him to speak, and Talon quickly glanced back down as if they had an insurmountable wall between them. Talon knew Finn loved him. The phrase wearing his heart on his sleeve was made with Finn in mind. They were never demonstrative in public usually, even off duty, and he knew Finn was okay with that. Gregory and the rest of the team were okay with them. Gregory wanted Finn to stay any way he could have him and ignored their relationship.

No, Finn wasn’t the problem. Their boss wasn’t the problem, not even the rest of the team.

It was him.

Sometimes Talon wished he’d never met Finn. Sometimes he just wanted to run away and hide him to keep him safe. Somewhere remote…. Greenland had possibilities. Talon stared into Finn’s gorgeous eyes as his breathing slowed. Deep green, almost black when he was aroused, lighter when he was angry. Talon could watch them change color all day, but watching them darken just before Talon kissed him, or if they touched unobtrusively, was his favorite. Sometimes their hands touched under the desks at work. Sometimes while Talon was correcting Finn’s grip on his gun. Especially while Finn was being fucked into oblivion, or like now, when he was sated. Finn looked at him like he hung the stars. It was so easy to forget he was a killer when that green-eyed stare rested on his. When the most beautiful smile he’d ever seen lit Finn’s face, directed at him. But he could kill with a thought, and the nightmare that he might do that to Finn didn’t just come during the night; it was around him all the time. Every second of every day, and he simply didn’t know if he could live with it any longer.

Because the emptiness of living without Finn was better than the soul-destroying thought of Finn not living at all.

Deleted scene : Who We Truly Are

Finn pulled up at the local deli on his way home, a few minutes before it closed. He was enjoying learning to cook, and while he’d mostly been responsible for it when he’d lived with his entitled mom and his lazy slob of a brother, they’d been firmly in the burgers and fries department, and Finn loved experimenting.

Last night they’d had vegetable curry, and tonight he was going to do chicken milanese. Vance’s mom, who fed them all even more than they ate at Betty’s, had been giving him recipes and instructions. Finn loved food, and Talon was happy to eat anything Finn put in front of him. He would always clean up afterward, though, sending Finn for a shower or to put his feet up for a few minutes. It was all Suzy Homemaker, and Finn loved every second of it. In fact, as far as compatibility went, the only time they clashed so far was at work… or specifically if Talon thought Finn was at risk. Which, unfortunately, because of the job they did, meant pretty much all the time.

The bell didn’t ring above the door as Finn walked in, which he didn’t think about until he saw the terrified look on Mr. Adeila’s face as he walked toward the deli counter. Finn had a split second to register something was wrong, and for the second time that day, he felt the barrel of a gun in his back. Shit. And surprisingly, it wasn’t the thought of whoever was holding the gun that terrified him; it was the reaction Talon would have, knowing Finn had managed to get himself in a situation again.

“Hands where I can see them,” the low growl said.

Finn immediately put his hands up, and the robber came around from behind him. Finn took in the skinny body, the ripped jeans, filthy T-shirt, and the black mask. He also recognized the Sig SP2022 the guy was clutching as if his life depended on it.

“I have a gun,” Finn said evenly. Being shot, especially accidentally, wasn’t on his to do list today.

The man stiffened, and Finn lifted his arms higher, showing the holster clipped to his belt that had been hidden by his shirt. The robber lunged and fumbled to get Finn’s Glock. Finn didn’t move. He was nervous, but the gunman seemed completely terrified. The guy needed to calm the fuck down before the gun went off.

“You a cop?”

Finn shook his head. “No. I just want us all to walk out of here safely. I didn’t want to surprise you.”

The guy grunted and waved his gun with a shaky hand to indicate Finn should move. “Get over there.”

Finn walked around the counter to stand with Mr. Adeila. The old shopkeeper looked terrified. Finn was glad neither his wife or daughter, who helped in the shop, were here.

The gunman took two steps back and locked the door. “Empty the register.” He fished a small canvas bag out of his pocket and threw it at Finn.

Finn pressed the cash button, and the register drawer shot open. Bar some loose change, it was completely empty. Finn hesitated a brief second, and then he understood the abject terror on Mr. Adeila’s face. His wife and daughter would be upstairs in their apartment, and the last thing he wanted was the gunman thinking the money was up there.

Finn glanced at the gunman. “It’s empty.” He stepped back as the gunman stiffened. He knew if he could see his face, it would be incredulous.

The man leaned over. “Where’s the fucking money?” he shouted.

“My wife already went to drop it in the bank,” Mr. Adeila stammered. “We never keep any on the premises overnight.”

Finn started talking. “Look, I have my debit card on me. I can withdraw five hundred in cash, now. There’s an ATM just outside on the wall next to the dry cleaners. Let me put my hand in my back pocket and get my card out?” Finn sounded reasonable, which quite frankly shocked the fuck out of him.

The gun waved precariously between them.

“Let Mr. Adeila go,” Finn urged. “It will take us seconds to just step outside, and then you can go.”

The man leaned over the counter to the old man. “Where’s your phone?” Mr. Adeila gestured to a small cell phone on the counter. The guy grabbed it and threw it to the floor, stamping on it. Finn took a breath. That was good. If he intended on shooting them, he wouldn’t care about the phone. “Sit down, hands on your head,” he shouted to Mr. Adeila. “If I see you move, I’ll put a bullet in you, and then I’ll go looking for your wife.”

Mr. Adeila whimpered but sank to the floor, cowering. Finn didn’t dare take his eyes off the gunman.

“Outside… now.” The man gave Finn a push and then stopped. Finn realized instantly the second his plan wasn’t gonna work as a black-and-white pulled up to the dry cleaners. “Fuck,” the man spat out, and then suddenly the gun wasn’t in Finn’s back—it was pointed at his face.

Finn had a second to see the right side of the pistol before he dropped and did the move Vance had been teaching him for weeks. He punched the guy right in the balls just as he heard the small click from the useless weapon before it was dropped. The guy screamed, turned, and staggered to the door. Finn followed, and in another second, the guy was sprawled on the ground in the shop doorway with Finn kneeling in his back.

Unfortunately Finn was likewise sprawled out by the cops in the mad rush when they saw what was happening. It took some hurried explaining, and Finn showing his ID before he was allowed to his feet.

“Ballsy but dumb,” the officer from district three pronounced as Finn and Mr. Adeila were checked out by the paramedics. “You feds think you can pull some superhero stunts. Other people might get hurt.”

Finn appreciated the irony, especially when it didn’t say anywhere on Finn’s ID which unit he belonged to. “The safety was on.”

The officer paused as he was writing. “What?”

“It was a Sig Sauer SP2022. Some of them have manual safeties, but they’re not common. I’m pretty sure he knew nothing about guns, and I only noticed when he shoved it near my face,” Finn said matter-of-factly. The cop regarded Finn carefully, and Finn shrugged. He wasn’t going to explain the years he’d spent with his dad, pouring over the old gun magazines when Finn had told him he wanted to join the FBI. That was private.

Mr. Adeila had been incredibly grateful, and Mrs. Adeila came running down stairs. “Finn,” she had exclaimed when her husband had explained what had happened, and she had cried all over Finn’s shirt and then tried to give Finn his weight in food. Finn grinned. Maybe Vance’s weight in food would be a more accurate description. “Policemen need to eat,” she insisted, patting Finn’s arm.

“I do,” he protested, not correcting her, as the plastic sack was pressed into his arms, but it was nice. The gratitude, the appreciation. When he got an invitation to Mr. Adeila’s daughter’s wedding next month, Finn knew it was time to leave.

 

Victoria Sue:

Wrote her first book on a dare from her hubby two years ago and he says he has regretted it every day since. Loves writing about gorgeous boys loving each other the best, and especially with either a paranormal or a historical twist. Had a try at writing contemporary but failed spectacularly when it grew four legs and a tail.

Is an English northern lass but is currently serving twenty to life in Florida – unfortunately, she spends more time chained at her computer than on a beach.

Loves to hear from her readers and can be found most days lurking on facebook.

www.victoriasue.com

@vickysuewrites

https://www.facebook.com/victoriasueauthor/– sign up for my newsletter and download a free story The Wrong Alpha


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Runner by Parker Williams: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

Matt Bowers’s life ended at sixteen, when a vicious betrayal by someone who he should have been able to trust left him a shell of himself, fighting OCD and PTSD, living in constant fear and always running. When he buys a remote tract of land, he thinks he’s found the perfect place to hide from the world and attempt to establish some peace. For ten years he believes he’s found a measure of comfort, until the day a stranger begins to run on Matt’s road.

He returns every day, an unwelcome intrusion into Matt’s carefully structured life. Matt appeals to the local sheriff, who cannot help him since the jogger is doing nothing wrong. Gradually, after tentatively breaking the ice, Matt begins to accept the man’s presence—

But when the runner doesn’t show up one day, it throws Matt’s world into chaos and he must make the hardest decision of his life.

Title: Runner
Author: Parker Williams
Release Date: July 28, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

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Building New Worlds: How to do it authentically

I’m going to admit, building new worlds in a single book isn’t all that hard. Look at your setting. What motivates you to put your character in that locale?

Example: Runner takes place in a remote town. The main character, Matt, lives far out of town, where he feels safe. Why? He can build a life here. He has his garden, his greenhouse, a stream to fish from, animals that he can hunt. He wants for nothing. Or so he thinks.

Your character: What affects him? What motivates and drives him? How does this affect the people around him?

Example: Matt cuts himself off from his family for the most part. He talks to his brother on the phone occasionally, but he can’t be a part of his family’s life. It just won’t work for him with his issues. So how does this affect others? What impact does it have on his family? The people who know him? Does it have a ripple effect on others? How does your character—and those around him—deal with the situation?

The problems: And here is what’s swirling around, affecting everyone. In a single book, the problem—and resolution—are handled pretty easily.

Example: Matt’s abuse at sixteen by someone he should have been able to trust. Matt assumes that this affects only him, but as time goes by, he realizes how it impacts those around him as well.

But… And here’s where we get into the fun of world building… what happens when your book is actually a series?

When K.C. Wells and I did Collars & Cuffs—and Secrets—all the rules above are in full force, but now the problem comes in that you have to determine if there is an overall story arc and how one event will flow into another book.

Example: Peter from Collars & Cuffs (Trusting Thomas). His abuse at the hands of his tormentor ripples throughout the series. In Someone to Keep Me, it shakes Scott to his core, but it also gives him a friend. Peter’s issues continue to resonate, and touch many lives such as

Jarod in Dom of Ages and JJ in Endings and Beginnings. Peter’s problem becomes a focal point that affects everyone in this world. And this is a good thing. It’s part of your world and it needs to be addressed from time to time so people don’t think you’ve forgotten about it.

In fact, Peter’s mentioned in An Unlocked Mind (book two of the Secrets series), because he does have such an impact on this world.

So when you build a world, you have to look at all of the pieces and see how they slot together. Some may be like an IKEA set, where you’ve got little things that don’t really need to be checked up on each book, but if it’s the main thrust of your story, you need to keep it in the reader’s eye from book to book, especially if there is a long gap between each issue.

Example: In Before You Break, Ellis is injured on the job. Will his injury have an impact on the series as a whole? Maybe not, but it’s still going to ripple from time to time. He’s going to appear in book two when he gets to deal with Rob (poor Ellis).

In closing, remember that in the worlds you create, you’re the god. What you say goes. But you’ve got to make it believable. Or not. That’s the fun thing about creating them. Oh, and because you get to tear them apart, too. That’s always fun.

After suffering an attack at 16, Matt suffers from extreme OCD and PTSD. He has locked himself away from the world in a cabin miles from town. He has turned his land into a self-sustaining oasis. He grows his own food, he fishes and hunts on his land and has almost no contact with the outside world. Then one day his world is turned upside down when someone starts jogging past his house everyday. The first sighting sent Matt into a panic attack to rival all panic attacks. Matt tried calling the sheriff to see if he could stop him, but the runner isn’t breaking any laws. Slowly, Matt comes to expect the runner at the same time everyday. One day when he doesn’t show up Matt’s world tips again. Can he leave his carefully constructed world to find out what happened to his runner?

This was a great read. My heart broke for Matt so many times throughout this story. His reaction to the attack was extreme, but how could it not be? He was 16, with very little if any coping skills. His mom did his a great disservice, she wan’t strong enough to get him the help he needed and so he retreated into himself where he knew he was safe and then eventually to his compound.

The runner, Charlie was an intriguing character. I love that he pushed Matt’s boundaries without being pushy or mean. He knew when to push and when to back off. He was so caring and understanding.

I loved the amount of detail in Matt’s compound. When Parker Williams described it I could actually visualize it, and I really have no imagination. From the greenhouse to the lake and all the gardens.

The thing that made me love this story was that Matt fell in love with Charlie and that made him want to get help to fix his issues, but Charlie made his see that he loved him issues and all and if he was getting help it was for himself. That he was loved either way, warts and all.

The story line was not at all predictable, as soon as I thought I knew what was going to happen something else would. I love that. The characters and the setting were well developed and rich with detail. This is the first time I have read anything from Parker Williams but it won’t be the last.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Uncomplicated Choices by Cara Dee: Random Review

When life gave you lemons, you learned who stayed and made lemonade with you. Or something to that effect. And the day Ellis Hayes kidnapped me—or, he borrowed a yacht and didn’t know I was on board—he’d definitely been handed too many lemons.

We faced a dilemma when I woke up hungover in the middle of the ocean. He needed to get the hell out of town to do some soul searching and decide whether or not to divorce his wife, and I needed to get back on land because humans didn’t belong on the water. There was also better cell service on land, and I had my four-year-old daughter on vacation in Paris to check in with.

Then I remembered I wasn’t a complete tool. Ellis wasn’t doing all right, and we were practically family. I had to stay and make lemonade with him. Of course, me being me, seemingly un-dateable and complicated, I had to develop feelings for him, too.

 

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The first book I ever read by Cara Dee was Aftermath, a book about two men who survive a five month kidnapping, only to find that they need and want only each other. (If you haven’t read that book, I highly encourage you to. It is truly amazing. In fact, I may need to go re-read it now that I am reminding myself of it. 🙂 )

Anyway, since that was my first book of Cara’s, I had some idea how strongly she writes from a character’s perspective. The character’s are not often living their “normal” lives, but some sort of different existence that makes falling in love, possibly with the “wrong” person a challenge, yet it feels so right.

Uncomplicated Choices is another such book. I’ll put this right out front, and this could be a spoiler…Ellis is married, to a woman, at t the time that he and Casey begin their relationship. However, it works in this book. I didn’t AT ALL feel like Ellis was cheating on his wife. It worked in this story, because Ellis is trying to find himself, outside of a marriage that went sour so long ago.

Casey was really a fantastic character. First, he was snarky AF. I loved that. He was snarky when he was speaking to Ellis (or anyone else for that matter), and he was snarky in his head. It worked for him. He was able to find the humor in so many situations that others would not, and I absolutely loved that about him. He was a great father, and it was as obvious how much he loved his daughter. She was the light of his life, and didn’t care who knew that, or if that was a stereotype that didn’t match what he “should” be doing.

Both men work on themselves throughout the book, even as they work on finding a relationship that works together. Ellis began the book being “elusive”, yet along the way was able to learn to talk through his feelings, and communicate with Casey as their connection grew. Casey, meanwhile, needed to learn that he was loveable, despite all the bad experiences he’d had with people thinking he was not worthy. Seeing these two men connect with each other, while connecting with their own thoughts and feelings made for a reader experience that went above “falling in love with someone else”. They were able to fall back in love with themselves, as well.

My one issue with the book was that although it was “mostly” a stand alone book, there were periods where I was lost. People were introduced or mentioned that likely had a previous book in this series, or possibly a book ahead that I had no knowledge of, and there was little explanation. This left me wondering if this was a necessary mention, or just a one off comment that would not come up again. Several people I had to infer who they were based on the people who were in the room, and still wasn’t sure I knew who they were. Although this happens often in books in a series, usually there are some descriptions as to how they fit in to the situation to help the reader understand in the event they hadn’t read the previous books. This didn’t happen with several of the characters who were not even in place in the book, but merely brought up in conversation. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the story of Casey and Ellis, however, it did leave me wondering if I was missing a big piece of a story.

All in all a well done book, by an author that I just love to read. 4 pieces of eye candy.

 

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

You Never Know by Mary Calmes: Release Day Reviews with Giveaway

Hagen Wylie has it all figured out. He’s going to live in his hometown, be everybody’s friend, explore new relationships, and rebuild his life after the horrors of war. No muss, no fuss is the plan. He’s well on his way—until he finds out his first love has come home too. Hagen says it’s no big deal, but a chance encounter with Mitch Thayer’s two cute sons puts him directly in the path of the only guy he’s never gotten out of his head.

Mitch returned for three reasons: to raise his sons where he grew up, to move his furniture business and encourage it to thrive, and to win Hagen back. Years away made it perfectly clear the young man he loved in high school is the only one for him. The problem? He left town and they have not talked since.

If Hagen’s going to trust him again, Mitch needs to show him how he’s grown up and isn’t going to let go. They could have a new chance at love… but Hagen is insistent he’s not reviving a relationship with Mitch. Then again, you never know.

Title: You Never Know
Author: Mary Calmes
Release Date: July 21, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 200

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

Hagen Wiley… knew he had the love of his life when he was sixteen years old.

Unfortunately, life happens, especially when you’re young and stupid and I hate so badly that he got hurt like he did. The phone call between the two guys, just about gutted me. But here it is, 17 years later, and the love of his life is back, with his adorable two kids and they’ve come to claim Hagen.

Unfortunately, again, Hagen’s had a lifetime of heartbreak and getting hurt that he doesn’t just not trust Mitch, but he doesn’t trust any guy.. Which is a good thing, because we see him with a FWB, who all the sudden wants more…. Even though he’s a liar and kinda douche, I did kind of feel sorry for him before I knew all that. I’ve known what it’s like to lose the love of your life and then I’ve been on Ash’s side where I wanted someone to want me but they couldn’t, because of the love they had for someone else. I wouldn’t want to be in either of those positions, ever!

I loved Hagen, he’s so forgiving, much more so than I would be, ever….especially with how badly Mitch hurt him and how many times Ash lied to him… he just forgave… they said sorry, he said, okay. With Mitch, it was a little harder for him to win back his trust… not as hard as it should’ve been, because I think he needed to have to prove himself…. But, there was no denying that he loved Hagen… no doubt at all. It was in everything he did. I loved that for Hagen.

So, overall, this is just another amazing story from Mrs. Calmes; one that I couldn’t wait to read and now I’m sad that I’m finished with it. I get so sucked in to each of her stories to a point where, I want to wish them so hard to be real so I can see such amazing love between two people. I feel that way about all the guys in her stories, every single one.

So, I’ll end this with 5, well, well, well deserved stars and I’ll go ahead and declare my impatience for literally anything else she writes, ever!

Don’t skip it, you’ll love it.

I love the idea of high school sweethearts reuniting after they have experienced life a little. They’re not as naive and they know who they are and what they want from life. So, with that story line and the added bonus of Mary Calmes being the author, I knew going in this was going to be a great story.

Hagen and Mitch dated in high school. They had plans to go to the same college and see where Mitch’s promised NFL career took them. Life got in the way, Mitch went to college and Hagen joined the Army. Hagen has returned home needing to heal both his body and mind from the war. His leg needs mending and he needs to get a grip on his PTSD. Mitch has lived his whole adult life in the closet due to his football career. He married a woman and had two children, but after a hip replacement and a trip to rehab he can’t continue to lie to himself. Armed with a divorce and two small children, Mitch heads back to his hometown to raise his boys and to win back the love of his life.

Hagen has long since forgiven Mitch for changing their plans. What he has no intention of doing is picking up where they left off all those years ago. Hagen is just getting his life back to normal and he doesn’t want to disrupt that with bringing Mitch back into his life. It seems that fate has something to say about that and throws Mitch and his adorable boys right into Hagen’s path. Hagen stands no chance again Mitch’s boys and before you know it Hagen is spending time with Mitch and his family. Hagen needs to decide whether he can trust Mitch with his heart a second time or if he needs to tuck tail and run before he gets too attached to all three of them.

Love, love, love! I love stories with kids, especially when the kids are as cute as Brandon and Ryder Thayer. The kids play an important part in the story, making Hagen realize that he wants to be a father. The kids are well adjusted and make Hagen realize that by trusting his heart to Mitch he gets a chance at fatherhood that may not have been a possibility before.

The town of Benson is a great setting for this story and I am hoping that there are a few more stories in this setting. I would love for Ash to get his happily ever after and remain friends with Hagen.

The characters are well developed, their backstories are perfect; no too vague and definitely not too over the top. Hagen was cautious without being whiny and Mitch pursued him with confidence that didn’t come off as cocky or entitled.

There isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. It was everything I have come to love and expect from Mary Calmes.

5 pieces of eye candy

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Losing My Religion by A.S. Tucker: Pre-order Blitz and Giveaway

Author: A.S. Tucker
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 27, 2017
Only 99 Pennies

Jaden Barker is a good boy.

For as long as he can remember, he’s been preparing for the day he’ll be called as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. He’s ready. He’s more than willing. And he can’t wait to spend the next two years serving the Lord and his church. But when a new proclamation from the church is announced, it leaves him questioning everything.

Quinn Owens is trouble with a capital T.

An aspiring actor living in the bowels of Los Angeles, he’s fought long and hard to get where he is, and he’s not willing to give it up for anything. Working for a homophobic boss presents quite a challenge when you’re a gay man, but Quinn knows losing this job means losing his dream.

Jaden is lost and confused.

Quinn won’t let anything stand in his way.

But when Jaden finds himself living downstairs from the enticing Quinn, neither are prepared for what happens next.

Will Jaden be able to resist Quinn’s charms and remain a devoted Mormon missionary? Or will he fall, finding himself face to face with losing his religion?

 

A military brat growing up, A.S. Tucker now resides in Utah with her loving husband. When not writing, you’ll find her reading, binge watching Netflix, or drinking wine. Her three favorite things are animals, coffee, and Harry Potter, not necessarily in that order. She is the author of three other novels, published under a different pen name. She loves hearing from her readers, so please drop her a line!

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GRL 2017 Featured Blogger Post: J. Scott Coatsworth

**TCO is so excited to be back as a Featured Blogger with the 2017 GayRomLit Conference, to be held in Denver, CO in October. We will be hosting quite a few GRL authors here over the next few months with what they have to say on GRL. Also, we’ve set up a giveaway for all the GRL Featured Posts, so make sure you enter, there are some fantastic prizes ahead!!!**

Welcome to J. Scott Coatsworth!!!!

 

Surviving Your First GRL

by J. Scott Coatsworth

I am a GRL survivor.

I attended GRL last year, and I learned a few things, a few bits of knowledge I hope to impart to you, my future GRL virgin friend. So here it goes:

 

  • Whore Yourself Out Early: If you are a sponsored or featured author, find out who wants to buy your books at the con before you go. Contact your mailing list, and use the GRL Denver Facebook page. This will create some presales, get your fans excited about meeting you, and give you an idea what and how many to bring.
  • Save Your Babies: There’s nothing worse than having to make those end-of-con choices – which of your new books to leave behind when you fly home. So save some room in your bag or take a spare, or plan to ship those books back via UPS. You can probably steal an empty box from one of the publisher tables. 😉
  • Plan Your Costume: Think about your costume for the big party ahead of time – watch for the theme announcement. Seriously. I didn’t pay much attention to the fact that there was a Wizard of Oz-themed party at GRL, and ended up having a great costume idea – Flying Monkey Repairman – come to me on the night of the con. So instead of having an awesome costume to wear, like Angel’s head-to-toe-green wicked witch, I went with a badge sign that said “Flying Monkey Repairman”. Less than inspiring.
  • Be a Local Foodie: It’s easy to spend a lot of money on food at these cons – hotel restaurants aren’t cheap. So when you first get to the Marriott, chat up the concierge about local places to eat, and check out the menus of the on-site eateries early to figure out where you can shave off a few bucks. You’ll seem like a restaurant whiz to your new GRL friends.
  • Network Network Network: Make plans early for lunches, coffees and dinners with the folks you want to spend time with. Most of them will want to spend time with you too – that’s what the weekend is all about. Don’t know anyone? Not a problem. Hang out in the lobby at dinner time and pounce on author groups as they head to dinner. A sad, hungry face works really well for this – practice it at home until your kids/spouse/live-in parents can’t see it without bringing you food. 😛
  • Closet Therapy: Most of us writer folk are introverts by nature who force ourselves to be extroverts at cons. This is sustainable for a few days, but if you find yourself wearing a bit thin, take your desk chair, your laptop or tablet, and one of those little hotel bottles of rum or vodka and make yourself a dark little writer cave in your hotel room closet. Write your brains out for an hour (or until you run out of rum). Then return to the con a little saner and more centered. Rinse and repeat as needed.
  • Be Warped and Wonderful! You spent a lot of money and time to be at GRL. For many of us, this is one of our two or three chances during the year to spend time with others who are as warped and wonderful as we are. Go to the Cock Walk (if there is one this year) and bid on some wonderful penis art. Engage in as many conversations as you can with other writers and readers. And soak it all up like sunshine to last you until your next hit.

If anything goes wrong, don’t sweat it. Just remember—next year you’ll be a GRL pro.

 


J. Scott Coatsworth

Scott was first indoctrinated into the worlds of science fiction and fantasy by his mother at the young age of nine. He devoured her Science Fiction Book Club library, but as he grew up, he wondered where all the people like him were in the stories he was reading.

He decided that if there weren’t enough gay characters in his favorite genres, he would write them himself.

He runs two community websites—Queer Sci Fi and QueeRomance Ink—with his husband Mark. Both sites celebrate authors and fiction that reflect queer reality.

Check out all of Scott’s works here:

Amazon US

Amazon Canada

Amazon UK


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Promises Part 3 by A.E. Via: Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

A bounty hunter’s partners to lovers’ story.
The hunt is on… and he’s the prey.

Bradford (Ford) King was sure he had the rest of his life mapped out. Though he was no longer a SEAL Lieutenant, his brother was home safe and he had a job that still allowed him to satisfy his hunger for hunting bad guys. Life was simple, no distractions or complications – at age forty-six – that’s all Ford wanted. What he didn’t want was his work partner, sniper/watchman, Dana, giving him s**t all the time.

Dana Cadby had grown up labeled a roughneck from the wrong side of the tracks. He’d fought, scrounged, and survived despite a father that constantly told him he couldn’t. Dana pulled himself up by his own boot straps and made a name for himself in the marksman community. He’d been Duke’s bounty watchman for five years. It was his job to ensure their safety, watch their backs. At thirty-three, he was trusted, well respected by his peers, his bosses, his friends… so why couldn’t he earn the same respect from his partner?

Dana knew he was bisexual before he graduated high school. He also knew he was attracted to the huge, 6’3”, SEAL from the moment he and his brother came to join their team. It wasn’t easy for him to tamp down his immediate reaction to Ford’s thick muscles, full beard, and dark eyes. Still, Dana exhibited nothing but professionalism towards him, not wanting to make his ‘straight’ partner uncomfortable. So why did Ford constantly give him hell?

After Dana took back his ex-girlfriend, he’d noticed an intensification in Ford’s bad attitude. One that turned aggressive and downright antagonistic, and Dana was damned if he’d just lay down and take it. He was gonna make that man respect him if it was the last thing he did.

When Duke sends Dana and Ford out to track down their most dangerous bounty yet, they both embrace the fact that they make one hell of a team… but they fight tooth and nail against the powerful intimacy brewing between them.
Beware: If Ford and Dana connect completely, god help the fugitive who’s in the sights of the hunter and his watchman.

This story is a part of a series but can stand alone. It does not end on a cliffhanger and has a HEA.

Author A.E. Via

Title:  Promises Part 3

M/M GAY CONTEMPORARY/ACTION

Edited by: Tina Adamski

Cover Artist – Jay Aheer

PAGE COUNT – 222

Release Date: June 30, 2017

Goodreads Link: https://goo.gl/AbfTzJ

Amazon

Ford

Ford was in the office earlier than scheduled. He’d woken up with another hard-on after one of the most erotic dreams he’d ever had. And it was about a person whose name he didn’t want to voice out loud or even in his head. This was doing a number on him. It’d irritated him when Dan

a used to complain about how his girlfriend didn’t understand him and no matter what he did he couldn’t please her selfish ass, but they’d broken up and everyone – not just him – was relieved to have the old, light-hearted Dana back. Then, like all good things, it came to an end when she popped back up with tears and a sob story. That she’d made a big mistake.

Ford stirred his coffee so hard, part of it sloshed over the edge of the cup. He felt pissed when spineless Dana had reared his ugly head again and taken her back. Too decent to turn her down. Gritting his teeth, Ford demanded Dana act like the man he truly was. Strong, determined, spirited, and a ton of other great qualities Ford had taken for granted until someone else started stealing them.

He just wished he was sure that he could go the relationship route with a man. Ford wasn’t scared of dating the opposite sex, he was too old, too damn grown to worry about what anyone would think. He’d had experiences with men and women in the past. Had had his fun. He’d eyed a few guys when he was in the service, even patted a few bottoms, but nothing had stirred him this hard in years. He thought he was content in his life. He had his brother, his work, he was good now. He’d lived complications before, wasn’t interested in them again. Relationships, lust, pining, dates, romantic expectations, sex, all equaled the same thing to him… complications.

I have to say I was intrigued with the King brothers since book 1 in this series. The quiet, dark, brooding ex military brothers, I couldn’t wait for their stories. And after reading Ford’s story I *really* can’t wait for Brian’s story! Anyway….

Yes, this is book 3. Yes, you really need to read the first two. Technically you don’t have to, but honestly- if you are interested in this one you will be interested in the others. And I’ve never met an AE Via book that I didn’t like.

Her men are strong without being jerks, fragile without being too vulnerable and unapologetic in what they want. And I love them.

I loved seeing the background of Ford and Dana in previous books, so to watch it continue-the sexual tension between them almost lit my kindle on fire.Dancing around each other and forced to work together (I did mention they were work partners, right?) until one of them finally makes the leap.

Ford’s brother Brian plays a big role in the storyline and I will admit that I really REALLY want his story. Especially since we find out who his love interest is. That was a bit of a distraction for me. Not necessarily in a bad way but in a “omg I want more NOW” way.

There is a good storyline throughout and the author doesn’t rely on sex as a filler in her books. Big big plus for me. Yes I want a hot book, but I also want story or I get bored. Trust me, there is no way this book is boring.

I am going to add that there is a M/F sex scene only because many who read this genre don’t want that. To me it just showed how not into the woman he was and cemented that he really did want to break up with her.

And I am left salivating for the next book…..

4 pieces of eye candy

Promises Part 1

Promises Part 2

A.E. Via is an author in the beautiful gay romance genre and also founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books. Her writing embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.

When she’s not clicking away at her laptop, she devotes herself to her family—a husband and four children.

Adrienne has tons of more stories to tell, so be sure to visit her site to learn more! Go to A.E. Via’s official website http://authoraevia.com  for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peak on upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.

Links

Amazon Link:  https://goo.gl/KQ32Uz

Kobo:https://goo.gl/qXPIzK

Smashwords:https://goo.gl/tSpzyz

Goodreads: https://goo.gl/AbfTzJ

Author Official Website:http://authoraevia.com

A.E. Amazon Author Pagehttps://goo.gl/AVpOeJ

Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/aeviaauthor

Twitter:https://twitter.com/AuthorAEVia

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Treading Water by Jessie G: Release Day Blitz, Fundraising Campaign and Giveaway

Series: Forgotten Soldier #2
Author: Jessie G
Genre: M/M Romance
Release Date: July 18, 2017

After devoting eighteen years of his life to the US Navy, Petty Officer First Class Shane Parker is struggling with the very real possibility of becoming unnecessary. If he doesn’t make Chief Petty Officer before his twenty—and it doesn’t seem likely that he will—he’ll be retired from active service and placed on the Fleet Reserve list until his mooring lines are officially cut forever. While it would all be very honorable and ceremonial, he simply wasn’t civilian material.

Before even swearing-in, Julian Brand knew he wasn’t cut out to be a soldier, but refusing wasn’t an option. Generations of Brand man made careers in the military and the expectation of every Brand son was to follow in those prestigious footsteps. Though the prospect of being rolled back dodged his every step, somehow he made it through boot camp and did his time. Six years after not reenlisting, Julian still struggles to find familial acceptance as he fights to live life on his terms.

On the surface, they couldn’t be more different, but when Jared Ramos calls, neither are capable of refusing. If they can find a way to work together, they might be able to save a wounded warrior and each other in the process.

NOTE: The first story in this series is a 6K word short story originally written for an anthology. While it’s a different couple, I’m happy to provide that to reviewers as they have a brief appearance in the new book and are central characters to this benefit series.

 

10% of royalties earned from this and future books in the Forgotten Soldier series will benefit the Gary Sinise Foundation, but I’m not content to stop there. I’ve set up a fundraising page directly on the Foundation’s website and I’m asking for your help in reaching (and maybe surpassing) my goal. Every donation of $10 equals 1 entry to win signed books. If you donate more than that, every multiple of 10 will be an additional entry (so $20 = 2 entries and so forth).

1 Grand Prize Winner will receive all my paperbacks signed (8 books) 
4 Runner Up Winners will win a signed copy of Treading Water

Two Chicks Obsessed believes whole-heartedly in the mission of the Gary Sinise Foundation, and thanks Jessie for her continued support of the organization.

In addition, to sending a donation directly from TCO to Jessie’s fundraising campaign, all affiliate income associated from sales of Treading Water will be donated to the Gary Sinise Foundation as well.


 

Like many readers, the dream of being a writer has been with me a long time. After three decades of trying, I’d begun to doubt. Thanks to social media, I followed my favorite authors hoping to glean some words of wisdom as I pounded out half-formed ideas with alarming regularity. Two repetitive themes emerged: to be a great writer you must read a lot and your butt must be in the chair every day like it’s a job. The more you write, the easier it will be to write and the better you will be at writing. I took that advice to heart and write every day. With three series in the works and a full schedule of releases planned for the next two years, it’s been amazing to have made this dream my reality.

I am a firm believer in marriage equality, love at first sight, power dynamics, and happily ever after. I’m a lover of strong secondary characters, and series filled with families—biological or chosen. All are themes you’ll find throughout my books.


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Letting Go by Morningstar Ashley: Release Day Tour, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

Letting Go RDB Banner

LETTING GO

Love by Design, Book 1

MORNINGSTAR ASHLEY

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 07.14.17

COVER ARTIST: Jay Aheer/Simply Defined Art

COVER PHOTO: StockPhoto

GOODREADS: http://bit.ly/2sZFfqC

Letting Go Cover

Years ago, before tragedy struck, Alex made a child’s promise to always protect and care for his little sister, Evie. Then piece by piece, all the good in his life was taken away until Alex was left alone as guardian to his much younger sister. Suffering and loss scarred Alex, causing him to withdraw from the world. Struggling with anxiety and trust issues, Alex attempts to help Evie heal from their shared traumatic past, but each day is harder than the last. To make matters worse, Alex’s best friend, Ben, is pushing him to get out of his rut, confronting him with the fact that what Alex thinks is contentment is just stagnation and fear. The last thing he needs is for an old acquaintance to reappear in his life, making him feel things he hadn’t dealt with in years.

The executive of the marketing department at graphic design firm Vivid, Kelley has his life together. While not perfect, he’s happy with his career and his three best friends. A chance encounter with Alex, the guy he was once attracted to, is icing on the cake. Fighting through Alex’s defenses to find the breathtaking man underneath will be hard, but Kelley is up to the challenge. Kelley believes that the things most worth fighting for never come easy.

To accept all that Kelley is offering means Alex must drop his barriers. Kelley will need to keep trying and prove that Alex can trust him, even when grief and anxiety try to pull him back.

Amazon

 

Alex 2

Kelley 2

Pushing him back on the couch Kelley straddled Alex’s body, using his weight to hold the squirmy man in place, Kelley put his hands on Alex’s abs, fingers at his sides as his possessed Alex’s.

Shoving Alex’s shirt up as Alex lifted to give enough room for Kelley to pull the shirt off, dropping it to the floor. Attacking his nipples with teeth and tongue making Alex whimper and moan. Fuck! Hearing those sounds just turned him inside out. Turning the heat between up to lava level.

Moving back up to his neck Kelley sucked, tasted as he reached down with one hand greedily rubbing Alex’s dick through his pants. Running his hand up and down giving him the same of the pressure that Kelley’s throbbing cock was begging for.

“Oh, God.” Alex groaned with a rough edge to his voice as he arched his neck giving Kelley even more room to explore and mark. He wanted his mark on this man. Wanted everyone to see that he was Kelley’s. Fearing that with all the pain locked inside Alex he would never truly be his.

“Your shirt. Take off your shirt. I need to feel your skin.”

Kelley did exactly that.

He flattened Alex to the couch again, pressing their chest together once again, Alex had spread his thighs, Kelley slotted himself right there. Their groins meet and slide together. And holy fucking hell did that feel good. The pressure of Alex’s steel length against his rock hard cock sending relief and pleasure throughout his body.

Alex scratched his nails down his back making him growl. He had his legs bracketing Kelley’s body holding him in place. Like he would be so fucking stupid as to move.

He can feel Alex’s heart jackhammering through his chest. Their breaths panting out between kisses and moans.

What had started out slow had built and built until Kelley wanted to say fuck it and rip Alex’s clothes off to get at every inch of his skin. To have their bodies, slippery from sweat, sliding together.

And just like that Kelley knew exactly what he was going to do. Oh, sweet jesus the thought alone sending lust hurtling to his aching balls, making him want to shoot.

He was going to drive Alex to the brink over and over. Making him forget anything and everything except the need that would be coursing through his body. The need Kelley would put there. Have Alex begging and pleading Kelley to let him come.

Within minutes they lay back on the couch completely naked, kneeling between Alex’s thighs once again. All of Alex’s gorgeous fucking skin on display. His cock seemingly begging for attention, the crown purple and leaking pre-come onto his stomach. Kelley mouth waters with the thought of sliding it between his lips. But not yet.

Unable to stop himself he slipped his hands, fingers spread wide, to his ankles, over his thighs, across his chest. Gliding with the lightest touch around Alex’s erect nipples, back down his arms. Over and over he did this, needing to get his fill of this beautiful man. No one should have this effect on another person. He sat there with a naked Alex in front of him in awe of every lean muscle that pushed up to meet his hands, every scar his traced.

“Kelley,” Alex bites out as his body trembled under Kelley’s gentle touches.

“Yeah, baby. You need something?”

“Fuck. Don’t be an ass. You know want I want.”

Kelley sank back down on top of him. Licking a path up his collarbone to his throat and then their mouths meet stifling any more words that Alex was going to say. Their cocks align perfectly, and Kelley begins to thrust his cock against Alex’s as their kisses turn desperate and needy.

Kelley pulled away, and before Alex could utter a protest, he moved, swallowing his cock to the back of his throat. Letting his saliva pool in his mouth, needing all the wetness he could get for the slide of their cocks. With every groan that Alex had let out Kelley’s cock would twitch and throb tightening to epic proportions.

Each time he could feel Alex getting close Kelley would back off. Time and time again bringing him to the brink before pulling his mouth and hand away. Alex would whimper and wiggle, unable to lay still. He was so out of it that he words were reduced to grunts and groans.

When Kelley was satisfied that he had sufficiently teased Alex, he pulled off his cock with a pop. Using the spit that was now covering his hand, he coated his own cock with it before laying on top of Alex, lining their cocks up.

His body fitting tightly to Alex’s. Wrapping one arm around Alex’s shoulders, holding as close to him as he could, both needing the closeness this position gave them. Kelley began thrusting his cock against Alex’s.

“I’ve got you, baby. Just feel.”

Profanities had started to spill from Alex’s mouth. Kelley’s whole body was so overwhelmed by the slide and friction of their cocks he felt like he could’ve blown his load at any moment, hoping that Alex was feeling even a silver of what he was.

Alex had begun to counter thrust, writhing his tight body under Kelley. His head was tipped back, the muscles of his neck corded and straining.

“That’s it, baby. Let go.”

Cute cover!

I was drawn to this book because I’m such a sucker for hot guys with kids. Single dad’s or in this case, single brother raising his eight-year-old sister. After losing his father to cancer a month before his sister was born and losing his mother in a car accident when his sister was just four, he’s dealing with a lot. Evie (his sister) has panic attacks and night terror’s and other residual problems from the accident, making it hard for Alex to do much else besides work and worry about her. He seems like kind of a jerk in the beginning, he’s impatient and short with people, his best friend especially, even though his best friend Ben is there for him and Evie and honestly just wanting him to move on and live again. It doesn’t help that the guy Alex was seeing at the time of the accident that left Alex a single guardian, had left him because it was too much to stick around with a guy who had a kid with psychological problems. Now, don’t blame the ex though, he had his reasons and they were completely understandable. I didn’t blame him a bit. Still, Alex didn’t trust people after that and didn’t get close to anyone. So, when Ben (the best friend) asked him to meet a girl he’d been seeing and was getting serious with, Alex puts on his grown-up pants and agrees, even though he was grumpy about it. That’s where he runs into Kelley.

Kelley is the head of a marketing thing where Alex worked before he lost his mother. Kelley had seen him around and thought he was gorgeous…. Over time, he saw him get sadder and sadder before he up and quit. Knowing at least a little bit of the reason why, he was happily surprised to bump into Alex at restaurant and tried to talk to him to catch up. It didn’t last long, but Kelley didn’t give up….

I thought the way Kelley and Alex talked to each other for the first half of the book was borderline professional and not in any way like “friends”. I understand that Alex was trying to keep him at a distance and Kelley was trying to not be pushy, but especially when Kelley tried an innuendo or a silly jab, it seemed awkward…like trying to tease your lawyer or something. I didn’t get the chemistry between the two at all. Not for a while.

And don’t get me wrong, I understood, TO A POINT, where Alex was coming from, but I couldn’t stand him the majority of the book. I understand panic attacks, I understand pushing people away, I understand doing everything on your own and feeling like if you let your people down, it makes you feel like crap…. But Alex was selfish. Period, he was selfish and his woe is me, nobody understands me, nobody knows what it’s like because nobody else has ever faced tragedy in their lives before, crap was annoying. His whole thing with Ben… although Ben was a jerk and pushy at dinner the ONE TIME, I didn’t see him as being pushy at all any other time. He was concerned for his friend… Man, my best friend after a lifetime together is used to tough love because if you can’t trust your best friends, your family to tell you the truth then who can you trust? Even when it hurts… and that’s all Ben was trying to do… Like I said, he did go overboard, but it came from a good place. Alex flew off the handle and into a fit of rage any time anyone said anything he didn’t like. True or not.

Kelley was patient and understanding and wonderful. He put up with so much from Alex and I honestly thought he deserved so much better. I wanted to be sympathetic towards Alex, I really did and I guess at some points I was… but the majority of the time I just wanted to throat punch him and his attitude.

I loved Evie and I loved all the friends, although I wasn’t so sure about Peter, still not, but I haven’t given him another thought after I closed the book. The story ended on a good note, which I was happy about…I love good endings, especially when they took so long to get there, like I felt this one did. The story itself wasn’t a bad one, it was actually a great storyline. I just don’t feel like I ever got over my annoyance of Alex to enjoy it like I wanted to. I hate when that happens.

3 pieces of eye candy from me on this one

Morningstar Ashley is a transplant from the Yankee-controlled territory of New York, and now finds herself in the heartland of cowboys and longhorns—Texas. Armed with her imagination, wit, and trusty sidekicks in the form of her two crazy kids, devoted dorky husband, big lap dog, and rambunctious cats, Morningstar spends her time reading the books she loves, crafting her own characters, and arguing the merits of hot chocolate over the bitter brew known as coffee (Hot chocolate wins, FYI.).

Morningstar loves graphic design, so much so she returned to school for a degree and regularly tromps her exams and maintains a stellar GPA that occasionally leaves her confounded and pleased. She can while away the hours on new designs, and perfection isn’t too much to hope for when it comes to her art.

Her ideal career would be full-time artist and author, and so far, she hasn’t come up against anything to stop her on her journey. A fierce and devoted friend, Morningstar tries her best to always be kind, always be learning, and always improving. Giving up isn’t an option, and her greatest talent may be in her ability to convince others not to give up, either. After a lifetime of trying to get people to realize her first name wasn’t Ashley, Morningstar decided the best way to settle the debate was to put her name on a book cover. An avid reader and fiction reviewer for the blog and site Diverse Reader, Morningstar harbored a dream to one day join the ranks of her heroes, and she sweeps into the contemporary gay romance genre with her debut novel, LETTING GO. With plans to conquer gay, lesbian and LGBTQA+ romance, Morningstar has her gaze set on the horizon, her determination her own guiding star.

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/morningstar.ashley

TWITTER: @starzehashley

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