My Omega’s Baby by S.C. Wynne: Quick Review

Enemies to Lovers.

Blade Carr and Wyatt Smith are bodyguards from rival agencies who can’t stand each other.
Blade is a younger omega who thinks, Wyatt, a slightly older alpha, is arrogant and disrespectful. Wyatt believes Blade is nothing but a cocky punk. But when Wyatt receives a death threat, his boss decides the last place anyone will look for him is at Blade’s house.

Both men dread spending time together and are shocked when, despite their dislike of one another, they are suddenly physically attracted to each other. When they give into their lust one night, Blade just wants to pretend the perplexing night of passion never happened, but when the younger omega discovers he’s pregnant, the two men are forced to form a closer bond as they try to find a way to come together for the child.

This is a heartwarming, but steamy, 55,000 word story featuring a non-shifter Alpha/Omega world and contains mpreg (male pregnancy). This is a standalone fated-mate, gay for you story and Book One in the: Bodyguards and Babies mpreg series.

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If you are hesitant about the “omegaverse” or mpreg, this is a good one to get you started. It is fairly light on the omegaverse, with only some history thrown in by the mother of one of the main characters, and the mpreg is super rare in this world. So rare that the main characters had no idea that it could happen. SURPRISE!

And to add another trope in- it’s an enemy to lovers story. One body guard tasked with protecting another bodyguard from a rival agency when it is believed that his life is in danger. They’ve had a long held dislike for each other and neither are happy with the arrangement. Both are also straight. Another surprise!

After one night of purely lust driven sex, the omega of the two winds up immediately pregnant. How they navigate that as a sort-of-but-not-really-but-maybe couple drives most of the story.

So while it was a good story, some parts were a little cringy,like when Blade, the man who is pregnant, sounds like a stereotypical whiny pregnant woman that I read about in all of the books before I left traditional MF romance. And I’d like to know more about the history of the alpha and omega wolves that no longer shift. There is more to the story I’d like to delve into.

But overall, it was an interesting read and even though none of this could happen in real life, it still didn’t seem too out there.

3 pieces of eye candy

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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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You can also find her young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth FacebookTwitter

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

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Regret by Christina Lee: Quick Review

When Brian “Brin” Schubert’s condo floods, he takes his co-worker up on the offer to stay on his crappy futon for a while. The last thing he expects is for his friend’s roommate to be the one guy he despises the most. The same guy who stomped on his heart senior year of high school. And by the looks of the girl on his arm, the same man who’s still deep inside the closet.

Nicholas Dell never predicted that eleven years later, one of his greatest regrets would show up on his doorstep down on his luck. Nick has made some terrible mistakes—story of his life—and he’s been paying for them ever since. And if the guilt and shame aren’t enough, his first crush had to turn into one of the sexiest men he’s ever laid eyes on.

Nick and Brin have weeks to steer clear of each other. Weeks to avoid strangling each other. But when stubbornness leads to skyrocketing sexual tension, hate-sex doesn’t seem like such an awful way to work through their frustration. Except hate is a powerful emotion, especially when it’s turned inward. And in Nick’s case he’s been drowning in a sea of self-loathing for so long, he can’t see his way out.

As Brin reconnects with Nick, his perception of what really happened in their past begins to change. He’s finally ready to forgive him and take a second chance on the one guy who stirs him like no other. But Nick’s demons are complicated, heart-wrenching…demanding. So devastating, he might never allow himself true happiness—even with the one man who’s always owned his heart.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

I can pick up a Christina Lee book and know that it will be a good book. Enjoyable, sexy, not a ton of angst. I liken them to comfort reads. They are kind of a safe place, good stories that probably won’t make me cry and that is ok. And they will give me a happily ever after.

All of the above is true for Regret. A sort of second chance love but maybe more of an enemies to lovers story.

I started out really liking Brin. He seemed like a good guy. And faced with the guy from high school who not only blew him off, but set him up for ridicule, I felt badly for him. But then he became kind of bratty. Nick is who I really ended up feeling sorry for. He seemed contrite and wanting to make things right with Brin- but couldn’t get him to crack at all.

What I couldn’t understand was why Nick hated himself so much. Until the truth came out. Ugh, my heart. It was broken. And then Brin totally redeemed himself to me by being there for Nick. That was a twist I wasn’t expecting. I want to say more, but I don’t want to give anything away.

Ms Lee writes 20-something guys really well. They are current without being caricatures or stereotypes. They are just guys living life the best they can.

So yes, this was the comfort read I expected, with a bit of a twist that I didn’t expect and a happily ever after that left a smile on my face.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

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Palisade by Rosalind Abel: Quick Review

Confident businessman Joel Rhodes sees the small California town of Lavender Shores as nothing more than a business transaction and a final stepping-stone to the position he’s been working towards his entire life. It was supposed to be nothing more than one night in town to close the deal, and sleeping with one of the local men, no matter how gorgeous, meant nothing more than a few hours of fun.
Andrew Kelly is perfectly content with the life he has in his hometown. So much so, that the only thing missing is someone to share it with. Going to bed with a tourist was never meant to be the answer to his dreams, just a beautiful distraction. He could get back to looking for Mr. Right the next day.
Both Andrew and Joel’s worlds are turned upside down when a few hours of pleasure gets extended to a couple of days. Even that shouldn’t be a big deal. You can’t fall in love in such a short time, that isn’t how it works. However, if destinies collide, a few short days may be all it takes to find your soul mate. Even so, when secrets and motivations get tangled, destiny may do nothing more than leave two hearts in pieces.

Amazon – Kindle Unlimited

Cute, fluffy and fun. This is a new series by a new author, Rosalind Abel. Lavender Shores is a fictional town in an area of California I know fairly well. So although it is fictional, it would fit right into the northern California landscape it inhabits. A quirky little town known as a safe haven for LGBTQ, with founding families who want to keep it that way.

From the first couple of pages you can tell how the book is going to play out. There were no real twists or surprises. But that is ok. What we did get is a couple who fell for each other rather quickly, a small town that can be a character itself and fun supporting players that I think will pop up often. At least I really hope that Andrew’s dad makes repeat appearances!

I will say that I liked that the conflict wasn’t immediately resolved. Time went by, each were able to think about things, resolve issues on their own, then come back together to try to resolve things. That was a nice switch.

If you need a palate cleanser after a tough read, or a beach read that doesn’t require you to remember a zillion details- this is it. Like I said, cute, fluffy and fun. And I will definitely read the follow ups.

3 pieces of eye candy

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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

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Smitty’s Sheriff by Cardeno C: Blog Tour

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Smitty’s Sheriff, a sexy, heart-warming MM romance by Cardeno C. is available now!

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Todd is too flakey. Richard is too stubborn. Together, they’re perfect. A May-December couple get a second chance at love.

Retired soldier Richard Davis wants a stable life in a quiet town with a forever man. Becoming the sheriff of Hope, Arizona, accomplishes two of his three goals, but instead of finding a serious partner, he falls for too-young-to-be-committed and too-flakey-to-be-serious Todd Smitty. Richard won’t find the right man if he’s obsessed with the wrong one, so he walks away from Todd.

It’s lust at first sight when Todd meets his sister’s army friend. He sets his sights on the worldly, strong, stable older man, and the more time he spends with Richard, the harder he falls. But after three years together, Richard cuts off all contact with no explanation.

When a mutual obligation requires Todd to move into Richard’s house, he’s thrilled at the opportunity to earn a second chance. Ignoring Todd from across town was hard enough. Can Richard resist temptation under his own roof?

“Todd.” Leanne snapped her gaze toward him. “You’re not too young to know the nickname people used to call guys named Richard, are you?

“Uh.” Todd blinked and darted his gaze between Rich and Leanne. They were finally paying attention to him and all he wanted was to go back to being invisible.

Dick,” she said. “Big D got his nickname before we met, but some of us in my squad figured it wasn’t just about his last name being Davis. So we had a bet going.”

She flicked her gaze to Rich again, as if expecting him to interrupt.

He didn’t.

“Problem is, we couldn’t agree on which side won because we couldn’t get solid evidence.” She focused on Todd. “But now I have an eyewitness.”

“I, uh, I don’t—” Todd stammered, hating being in the middle of what felt like an argument.

“Don’t let Sparky get to you,” Rich said, still completely unbothered.

“Some of the guys saw Big D in the latrines, and they said he’s big all over, but when they tried to collect on the bet, the other side made a good point.” She narrowed her eyes menacingly at Rich. “If the man’s a show-er, that means he isn’t grow-er, so he doesn’t actually have a big D, now does he? That means the other side should win.”

Todd drew his eyebrows together and tried to follow Leanne’s question. “Are you saying you guys have a bet going on the size of Rich’s dick?”

“Yep.” Leanne leaned against the chairback, looking smug. “And you, little brother, are going to settle that bet.”

Normally, Todd had no problem talking about a guy’s package. Hell, in the right situation, dicks were damn near his favorite topic. But he had never spoken to anyone about Rich’s body or, really, anything else related to Rich because he knew that was off limits. Of course, Leanne was asking him the question because she already knew he had the answer.

Flicking his gaze toward Rich, Todd said, “Am I allowed to…”

“It’s a simple question,” Leanne snapped. “Is he a grow-er or a show-er?”

Rich didn’t tell him to stay quiet so Todd figured he had permission to answer. “Both.”

She blinked.

“Seriously.” He bobbed his head. “Length, girth.” He held his hands far apart. “It’s awesome.” As long as he had permission to share, he figured he should be thorough in his explanation. “His balls too.”

Leanne coughed.

“I mean it. They’re huge. Each one’s a mouthful by itself.”

“Ehm.” Leanne cleared her throat. “Thanks.” Looking decidedly uncomfortable, she held her palm up in a stop motion. “I’m good on the details. You don’t need to keep going.”

“Are you sure?” After a lifetime of being the butt of the joke with his siblings, Todd enjoyed turning the table. “I can sketch you a picture, but I’ll need one of those extra-long pieces of paper if you want it to scale.”

“That won’t be necessary.” Leanne actually blushed. “I’m all set.”

Rich threw his head back and laughed. “Thanks, Todd. Eighteen years these jackasses have had the silly bet going and I do believe you just put it to rest.”

Thrilled with the praise and relieved to be playing and flirting with Rich again, Todd smiled broadly. “No problem. When it comes to your big D, I’m always willing to lend a hand.”

He settled into the chair, comfortable for the first time that night, and when the conversation turned back to stories about people he didn’t know, he truly didn’t mind. Eighteen years was a long time. If Rich had cared about putting an end to the bet, he’d probably had a dozen different chances. That he did it now, meant his goal had been less about the bet and more about a point. Todd knew something about Rich that nobody else did, or at least nobody who mattered enough to meet his friends. That meant Todd mattered. Leanne knew that now. And so did he.

SS-ANKU

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This is one of my favorite series by Cardeno C so I was so excited for this one. In fact I re-read McFarland’s Farm and Jesse’s Diner to revisit with everyone before diving into the new one. While Richard and Todd are far from my favorite characters in Hope, the story worked for them.

Todd is a 22 year old flirt who has been in love with Richard, the thirty something sheriff of Hope for some time. The two had a three year fling which Richard ended abruptly and for the past 6 months Todd hasn’t been able to figure out why. Then Todd’s sister, who also happens to be Richard’s best friend has to return to active duty in the armed forces and leaves care of her 6 month old daughter to Richard and Todd. Todd moves into Richard’s guest house to help take care of his niece hoping that he will be able to figure out where he went wrong in their relationship. Richard can’t resist his feelings for Todd with him being so close, the two will need to be honest with each other and see if they can overcome the hurdles to get to their happily ever after.

I’ll be honest, there were a lot issues with these two. I’m not sure how genuine Todd’s feeling were for Richard if he was still hooking up with other people. I get why Richard ended things, but to do it with no communication was a dick move. I also get why Todd was still hooking up, if he felt like a dirty little secret why would he think Richard was serious. So, I can see both sides of the story but I don’t feel like Todd ever expressed his concerns about their relationship.

Todd was a complete contradiction to me. In one sense he was young and immature, and when he was caring for his niece he was the picture of maturity. It was hard to wrap my head around at times. While Richard was strong and stoic, which is what I picture a sheriff to be. He also came across as cold and uncaring.

I was glad to see these two work it out in the end and I loved seeing the characters from the past books popup for a visit.

3 pieces of eye candy

mcfarlandsfarm-1400

McFarland’s Farm

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jessesdiner-Customdesign-JayAheer2015-smallpreview

Jesse’s Diner

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CardenoC.

Cardeno C.—CC to friends—is a hopeless romantic who wants to add a lot of happiness and a few awwws into a reader’s day. Writing is a nice break from real life as a corporate type and volunteer work with gay rights organizations. Cardeno’s stories range from sweet to intense, contemporary to paranormal, long to short, but they always include strong relationships and walks into the happily-ever-after sunset.

Connect with Cardeno C.

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/CardenoC

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CardenoCWrites/

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Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cardenoc/

Tumblr: https://cardenoc.tumblr.com

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com

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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

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

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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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

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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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