Changing Tides by Alex Standish: Release Day Review and Giveaway

While most pirates sail in search of riches, Captain Devon Hall, the infamous Phantom of the Caribbean, is driven by vengeance. Devon has sworn to put an end to the corrupt governor of Jamaica and break the ruthless man’s stranglehold in the Caribbean.

When Devon is wounded and stranded on land, an unlikely rescuer comes to his aid. Brett Campbell is nothing like his uncle, the governor, and his goals are not so different from Devon’s. Brett longs for freedom, but his obligations to protect those under his uncle’s control keep him from fleeing. Throwing in with Devon might increase both their chances of success—and survival.

When the governor’s attempts to destroy Devon escalate and place Brett in danger and in the hands of the ruthless and depraved pirate Captain Blackburn, Devon must risk everything to save the man he loves and repay his enemies.

All Devon’s ever wanted is his ship, his freedom, friends who stand by his side through thick and thin, and someone to love. But facing dangers at sea and on land, Devon wonders if they will live to enjoy it all.

Title: Changing Tides
Author: Alex Standish
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Category: Historical: Americas
Pages: TBD (Novella)

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

 

Changing Tides tells the tale of Devon, a notorious pirate known as the Phantom of the Caribbean who’s the captain of The Flying Horse. He and his crew do what pirates do, that is sail around looking for ships to commandeer and plunder. In between pirating, he’s got it in for the governor of Jamaica, Rupert Campbell, who Devon responsible for his father’s death, and is always looking for opportunity to take the guy down. The book opens with Devon wounded but stumbling his way to the Governor’s mansion where he is found by Brett, the Governor’s nephew. Brett nurses Devon back to health and during his recovery, he and Brett grow fond of each other. Naturally these two are going to have a bit of a hard time getting this thing off the ground, and before they can do much, the governor returns and Devon must flee. What follows is a pirating adventure that sort of reminded me of the classic Treasure Island: hidden treasure, an old map, adventure, ship battles, kidnappings, revenge, the high seas.

There were so many elements that would make me like this book: Pirates, romance, fights, rescue, bad guys getting their comeuppance…but I did not love this. The writing is a bit stilted and the details are kind of bland. I didn’t really feel anything for the characters or the romance. There’s a lot of tell, not show, here and conversations just don’t feel quite natural. There are a few love scenes, but at one point, Brett is half dead and it feels kind of icky for them to be attempting sexy times. This feels like an early writing attempt as far as dialogue and writing style go, but the plot wasn’t horrible. In fact, thinking back to Treasure Island, the style of writing is similar in that there’s lots of action and plot, and it’s much less character driven — not my favorite thing. Still, the good parts were okay and the less good parts really weren’t the worst I’ve read. I’d give the author another try in the future.

2.75 pieces of eye candy


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

The Foxling Soldati by Charlie Cochet: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Foxling Toka has served the Soldati king for centuries, and now he attends to the kingdom’s cherished Soldati prince. It’s a position of honor, and as Toka helps the once-human prince adapt to their magical realm, he finds joy in their friendship. He also grows bolder in his encounters with Rayner, Soldati warrior and the king’s second. But the laws are clear: servants and Soldati are not permitted to mate. It doesn’t matter that Toka lost his heart to the dashing cad long ago.

Rayner never imagined he would fall in love with a servant, but the clever and beautiful foxling has ensnared him, and he resents the regulations keeping them apart. When an arrogant and spiteful king visits from a neighboring realm, Rayner is in danger of losing everything. But Soldati warriors don’t surrender, and he intends to fight all the harder to keep Toka where he belongs—in Rayner’s arms.

Title: The Foxling Soldati
Series: Soldati Hearts: Book Two
Author: Charlie Cochet
Release Date: August 16, 2017
Category: Fantasy: Urban Fantasy; Paranomal: Angels & Demons; Paranormal: Werewolves/Shapeshifters
Pages: TBD (Novella)

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

Welp, that didn’t turn out like I thought it would.

Let me explain. I tend to shy away from fantasy books in general and shifter stories specifically. I’m not sure why. But this is an m/m and has a historical feel, so I gave it a try. What’s the worst that can happen?

Toka is a playful shape-shifting foxling who lives in the Soldati realm which is ruled by tiger shifters. It’s a nice place, actually: everyone seems to be happy and gets along, the king, Khalon, is easy going with a sense of humor, humility and since finding his fated mate, Riley, is pretty much in honeymoon mode 24/7. Toka’s lot in life is to be a servant, but the Soldati treat their servants (though let’s be honest, they’re slaves) kindly and respectfully. Rayner is the king’s sexy, tiger-shifting right-hand man whose (mutual) interest in Toka goes from flirtation in Book 1 (The Soldati Prince) to physical almost right away here. Pair up a tiger-shifting warrior with a lean twink-like foxling and you’re going to have some sexy times.

Toka and Rayner’s flirtations grow more heated and draw them closer together, physically and emotionally. Toka is just… so sweet, and I always like to see a big, tough alpha like Rayner show his soft, gooey center trying to please his little fox. There’s a bit of angst about whether this coupling is a fun distraction or true love — but it hardly matters because there’s a stupid ancient rule on the books that forbids Soldati and servants to mate. So, while the two can fool around all they want, they can never legally, officially, or openly pledge themselves to each other. Doesn’t that make you so mad? Me too.

The real trouble starts when the Soldati are visited by the king of a neighboring realm who is, essentially, a bear-shifting bully whose desire for revenge against Rayner fuels an uproar amongst the Soldatis and pits long-time friends — and new lovers — against each other. Toka finds himself in an intolerable situation and Rayner has to decide how far he will go, how much he will give up to keep Toka with him.

This is a short, sweet read and the short format naturally requires a sped-up lust-to-love-to-angst-to-resolution timeline and that may not be for everyone. Cochet’s writing is quick and to the point, and the plot flows smoothly. There are light hearted moments, the characters are drawn well and I’m mad, sad and a bit angsty along with them at times. There’s threat of rape and a couple of beatings that take place. Still, things may be a little too happy-happy for some, but I think it worked here for me because of the short-length format (Do not give me 800 pages of happy-happy). I liked Riley, the king’s husband, a lot and while you don’t need to read his book (The Soldati Prince) first, you do need to read it. DO IT. I knew I would get an HEA (because otherwise I would break things) but a little detail at the end made me even happier. So, while I shy away from shape shifting books in general, I was pleasantly surprised in how much I enjoyed this book and the series. Looking forward to reading more Charlie Cochet.

3.75 pieces of eye candy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Under the Boardwalk by Felice Stevens: Blog Tour and Excerpt

SBPRBanner-UTB-BT.jpg

Under the Boardwalk an all-new, heart-warming MM romance by Felice Stevens is available NOW!

Under the Boardwalk
by Felice Stevens
Publication Date: August 10th, 2017
Genre: Contemporary MM Romance

20205562_1930301097249331_643220376_o

Beneath the famous Brooklyn landmark, love is hidden but not denied:

All his life, Alexi Kharpov has dreamed of traveling to unknown exciting places instead of working at his family’s frozen custard stand on the famous Coney Island boardwalk. Every year is the same until a gorgeous man picks a spot in front of his stand to sing, captivating him with his beautiful voice. After two summers of listening, it might finally be the time for him to cross that boardwalk and take a chance.

Opera singer Cameron Maxwell has traveled the world, but the sight of the beautiful man serving custard to tourists touches his heart like nothing ever has before. A summer fling might be exactly what he needs to put his problems out of his mind, but the last thing Cam expects is to want the summer to last forever.

It’s a season of discovery for both men who learn to dig deep within their heads and hearts to decide whether secrets old and new should remain buried, or if love is too important to keep hidden under the boardwalk.

“I didn’t mean to shut you out before.” Cam faced him and held him around the waist. Their bodies meshed perfectly, and Alexi felt the weight of Cam’s chest and thighs press into his body.

“I hate talking about the past. You can’t change it, so what’s the point of rehashing things? I’m all about the present and the future.”

Cam’s mouth covered his, and Alexi held on to Cam’s hips as their tongues played against each other. He lost touch with the sound of the ocean; all he could hear was the furious pounding of his heart and Cam’s heavy breathing.

“All the time I watched you this summer, thinking you were cute and fun, never once imagining how much I’d like you.”

“I thought about you all summer too.” No longer shy about admitting it, Alexi nuzzled into the crook of Cam’s neck. “I guess it was a good thing we finally decided to say hello.”

“A good thing?” Cam took his face between the palms of his hands, and Alexi’s heart burst with happiness; he tried not to smile but failed.

“I think so, don’t you?”

“Yeah. The best.”

UTB-NL

Amazon US

Amazon UK

iBooks

Nook

Kobo

Add to GoodReads

 

UTB-Teaser3

FeliceStevensLogo

I have always been a romantic at heart. I believe that while life is tough, there is always a happy ending around the corner, My characters have to work for it, however. Like life in NYC, nothing comes easy and that includes love, but getting there is oh so fun and oh so sexy.

I live in New York City with my husband and two children. My day begins with a lot of caffeine and ends with a glass (or two of red wine). I practice law but daydream of a time when I can sit by a beach somewhere and write beautiful stories of men falling in love. Although there are bound to be a few bumps along the way, a Happily Ever After is always guaranteed.

Connect with Felice:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/felicestevensauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FeliceStevens1

Blog: http://caferisque.blogspot.com/?zx=e071df0101ec6c96

Stay up to date with Felice by signing up for her newsletter here:

http://www.felicestevens.com/en/about

Join her Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1449289332021166/

http://www.felicestevens.com/en

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

Out of the Shadows by K.C. Wells: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Can he step out of the shadows and into love’s light?

Eight years ago, Christian Hernandez moved to Jamaica Plain in southern Boston, took refuge in his apartment, and cut himself off from the outside world. And that’s how he’d like it to stay.

Josh Wendell has heard his coworkers gossip about the occupant of apartment #1. No one sees the mystery man, and Josh loves a mystery. So when he is hired to refurbish the apartment’s kitchen and bathrooms, Josh is eager to discover the truth behind the rumors.

When he comes face-to-face with Christian, Josh understands why Christian hides from prying eyes. As the two men bond, Josh sees past his exterior to the man within, and he likes what he sees. But can Christian find the courage to emerge from the darkness of his lonely existence for the man who has claimed his heart?

Title: Out of the Shadows
Author: K.C. Wells
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Category: Contemporary, Dreamspun Desires
Pages: 250

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

Josh, residential handy-man and gardener for a set of apartment buildings, has a new job to do. Instead of working in the garden, he’s been asked to do some remodeling in these outdated apartments. New bathrooms and kitchen cabinets, and tiles, it’s going to be hard work. I didn’t understand why he was expected to do it all himself, but he seemed up for it and enjoyed the work. His first day on the job, he thought he was alone, nobody seemed to be home, though after a full day of working, he found the tenant was actually just locked in his room and preferred to talk through doors or texts. He knew something was wrong, but didn’t know what. People had been talking about the elusive tenant, giving him idea’s of the kind of person he might be. How wrong they were.

Christian’s life is in his apartment. He never leaves, he never sees people. It’s just him and the insurance job he does from home. An accident from almost a decade ago has left him scarred and disfigured and naturally, he’s pushed everyone away and stayed hidden. Even when he checks out the hot gardener that works in his garden. Little does he know, the man who’s been hired to redo his apartment, IS the hot gardener. Talking through the door seems silly, but he wouldn’t dare let the man see what he looks like.

Until one day, he does. Josh is amazing. He’s patient and kind and everything Christian needs him to be. He doesn’t pretend to not see the scars, but they don’t bother him a bit. I like how he didn’t pretend to not see them, or try to downplay what I’m sure is a serious thing for Christian. He didn’t brush off his anxiety about going out and about, he just worked around it. He nudged him instead of pushed and was so understanding when Christian was uncomfortable. He was really very sweet and of course Christian fell for him, who wouldn’t? Little did he know, the time he spent with Christian, he was falling for him too.

I love hurt/comfort stories. I love the realness of stories like these that have obstacles that aren’t arbitrary or baseless. This one was sweet and slow burning and when these two came together, from friends to lovers, it wasn’t forced or rushed. I loved that.

Although I thought the dialogue was often times cheesy, and I’ve never seen any straight friends act like teenage girls gossiping like Josh’s friends. I liked them as well. I wouldn’t mind reading stories about all of them as well. Overall, it was a very sweet read and I’m glad I didn’t pass it up.

4 pieces of eye candy for me.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

The Charlatan’s Conquest by Vivien Dean: Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

With love and ghosts, the challenge is figuring out what’s real.

Software engineer Cruz Guthrie needs money for his sister’s cancer treatments. He needs it so badly he’s willing to stand in for a ghost hunter friend and investigate a millionaire’s supposed specters. It should be an easy gig—after all, nobody thinks the haunting is real.

Neurological researcher Brody Weber is furious that Cruz would take advantage of Brody’s father. But his mind changes when spirits manifest—and he realizes Cruz genuinely wants to help. When they learn the paranormal activity centers on Brody, Cruz is willing to fight to free Brody from the entities determined to make his life miserable. With a little help from friends and family—both living and dead—they must figure out why Brody is attracting spirits and how to banish them. Only then can they pursue a future together.

Title: The Charlatan’s Conquest
Series: Phantom Fixers
Author: Vivien Dean
Release Date: August 15, 2017
Category: Paranormal: Ghosts/Spirits, Dreamspun Beyond
Pages: 216

Amazon US

Amazon CA

Amazon UK

Dreamspinner Press ebook

Dreamspinner Press paperback: (buy the paperback and get the ebook for FREE!)

Kobo Books

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

By Vivien Dean

Thank you so much for letting me stop by today! My name is Vivien Dean, and I’m excited to have a release in the debut month of Dreamspinner’s new line, Dreamspun Beyond. It’s nerve-wracking, I’ll admit. I’ve wanted to have a solo title with Dreamspinner for over three years now. The reports from my author friends who published with DSP were nothing but glowing, and I itched to be a part of it. Plus, the covers were gorgeous, and who doesn’t love getting graced with pretty art? So when Dreamspun Beyond was announced, I jumped at the chance. I had been lucky enough to collaborate with Rick Reed on the Dreamspun Desires line, but this would be all on my own, without any filters, without Rick to help me along. Now, I’m not exactly a newbie. I’ve been writing and publishing romance for over a decade. But first impressions only happen once, and I always strive to present the best I can, especially in my work.

First impressions also play vital roles in our stories. It doesn’t matter if characters haven’t met before the story starts or if they’ve known each other for years. Those initial thoughts on the other person, as well as the interactions, can shape how the relationship progresses. Two strangers bumping into each other in a coffee shop have a specific dynamic. Two men who’ve been best friends since kindergarten will bring a completely different perspective to a budding romance. Those first moments matter, whether we see them on the page or not.

In “The Charlatan’s Conquest,” my two heroes, Cruz and Brody, don’t even know the other exists when the story starts. Cruz first meets Brody when Brody storms into a meeting Cruz has with Brody’s father about getting rid of the ghosts haunting the family house. Cruz is already on edge because he feels like a bit of a faker since he’s not a real ghost hunter, so his first instinct is to keep everybody calm so he can stay in control of the situation.

But crashing the meeting and finding this gorgeous guy sitting on the couch with his dad isn’t Brody’s first impression of Cruz. Actually, he’s already formed an opinion before he steps foot in the house. He’s convinced Cruz is a scam artist, which is why he raced to intervene, but when he arrived, this was what greeted him:

Another car was in the circular drive in front of the three-story brick house. Brody pulled up behind it with a frown, his gaze fixed on the vehicle as he got out of his own. It was a dark blue Volvo station wagon, at least twenty years old, with a dozen stickers on its rear bumper. A yellow ribbon for children’s cancer with words of support surrounding it. A rainbow-colored peace symbol. A variety of slogans like I’m not speeding. I’m qualifying and My other car is the Batmobile and Sometimes I wrestle with my demons. Sometimes we just snuggle.

Brody snorted at the last one. He could tell this gay-rights supporter/speed freak/comics-loving ghost hunter a thing or two about demons.

I wanted Brody’s first impression to be very distinct. It’s also fairly accurate in a purely superficial way. Cruz decorated his bumper in stickers that meant something to him, and the chaos of all the messages and colors is perfectly on point with the vibrancy and diversity in Cruz’s life. Brody learned a lot in a single glance, even though he didn’t understand the importance of all of it. It subverted his expectations, which ultimately made it easier for Cruz to gain his trust.

If I had bumper stickers on my car—and the fact that I don’t says something about me, too, whether I like it or not, haha—mine would probably be as diverse as Cruz’s. One for my kids being honors students. Some type of pride emblem. One that says, “Hostile 17 owes me kittens.” The list would likely be huge. My Flex would look like a Nascar car covered in ads. Except not, because, well, it’s a Flex.

What first impression would people get from your (real or imaginary) bumper stickers?

Paranormal stories are not usually my books of choice. With just a few exceptions, I have always been more of a contemporary romance, life in the current plane of reality kind of reader. But The Charlatan’s Conquest intrigued me from the second I read the blurb. Not just because it was part of a new line by Dreamspinner Press, but also because the ghost part, that has always been a bit of a fascination for me, and within the gay romance genre, those books are few and far between.

I immediately liked Cruz. He was a responsible guy, with a family that was strange, but helped to create him into the person he was. His connection to his family made him even more likable, especially his younger sister, who even while she was sick couldn’t help but try to find Cruz the right boyfriend.

Brody, well, he took a little getting used to. The reader could see that his concern was that his father was being swindled, and having spent so much of his life on the other side of things with his father, he wanted to make sure there was not one more thing that would go bad. Brody for years didn’t realize that all the hauntings that he refused to acknowledge were actually brought through him.

Once these two connected and worked through how the hauntings were happening, and what was the root cause, it was easy to see how these two men could work together to try to find the right way to get rid of them, and allow Brody to find a happy place for the first time in his life. Seeing a man who spent his years from the time his mother died until he was able to rid himself of these demons in a terribly unhappy place was tragic, and explained so much about his life, and even his skepticism.

Brody and Cruz fit well together, but even more, they were able to be strengths for each other, as both had their own demons (literally and figuratively) to work through, but needed each other to balance everything out. They were definitely ying to yang for one another. Giving and taking as needed to deal with the enormous and frightening tasks that they had to deal with.

What a satisfying ending, not just to the story, but to how it was dealt with. With ghost and paranormal stories, whatever the author dreams up could be somewhat realistic, or it could be so off the charts out there that the reader has a hard time believing that it “could” happen in a parallel universe. In this case, it felt like something that really could happen in that alternate world.

I really enjoyed this one, and highly recommend! 4.5 pieces of eye candy

 

VIVIEN DEAN is a firm believer that love doesn’t care about gender. That’s why her titles encompass both GLBT and het, erotic and sweet, as well as a wide variety of genres. After growing up in the snowy and isolated Midwest, she went off in search of her creative muse. She performed on stage, wrote and directed indie films in Orlando, then met her British soulmate online. One wedding, two children, and ten addresses later, she resides in the Bay Area where it’s easy to indulge in her favorite pastimes—good theater, great movies, and amazing food.

Vivien is a four-time EPIC eBook Award winner and collaborated with Pepper Espinoza to write as Jamie Craig for five years.

CONTACT VIVIEN

Website: www.viviendean.com

E-mail: vivien_dean@yahoo.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/vivien.dean.3

Twitter: @VivienDean

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

The Long and Winding Road by TJ Klune: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Family is not always defined by blood. It’s defined by those who make us whole—those who make us who we are.

And here, at the end, Bear and Otter will be tested like they’ve never been before.

There’s a knock at the door from a little girl who has nowhere else to go.

There’s a phone ringing, bringing news they do not expect.

There’s a brother returning home after learning how to stand on his own.

As these moments converge, all of their lives will change forever.

Beginning in Bear, Otter, and the Kid and continuing in Who We Are and The Art of Breathing, TJ Klune has told a saga of family and brotherhood, of love and sacrifice. In this final chapter, the events of the past pave the long and winding road toward a future no one could have imagined.

Title: The Long and Winding Road
Series: Bear, Otter, and the Kid Chronicles: Book Four
Author: TJ Klune
Release Date: August 11, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 346

Amazon

Dreamspinner Press

Kobo Books

I feel like I knew this was coming and I still wasn’t prepared for it. How do you? How do you prepare for the end of something you’ve felt so invested in for so long? Something that impacted your life a great deal, even though they were fictional people in a fictional world ? I wasn’t ready… I’m still not.

Probably be mild spoilers, though I’ll try not to… Beware of that now ….that was your warning!

In this one, we start out looking in the past… we see a lot that went on in the time gaps, from Bear’s POV. Ty’s addiction, man, that was a tough one. It was so very well written and explained. My heart broke for both of them, but Tyson…reliving it all from Bear and Otter… I just loved the realness of it all. The reality of it and how much it hurts the people who love you. I wasn’t expecting that. Then, we go on another journey we didn’t get to see in other books. How they decided and how it affected each of them. There’s so much I could, and that I wanna say here. I wanna gush and ramble and cry, because I did a lot of all of that, while reading it… And I’m not being dramatic; especially if you’ve followed this imaginary family from the beginning, you can’t not help but get invested in their fictional little lives and want the absolute best for them, always. All of them, even Creed, who I gotta be honest, drives me a little crazy.

Then, we get to the present…. Izzy… I worried about her after Ty left her last book. That effing cliffhanger… I mean, spoiler if you haven’t read it.. sorry, but if you haven’t then why are you jumping ahead? Go back and read it!

So, Izzie…and Bear and Otter and their amazing news. Then Ty and Dom and Anna and Creed, and everyone is all here. Ty is getting settled into his life where we left him, Dom and Ben… things are good with everyone finally, and we’re on the road to preparing for their future and the greatness they’re getting. It’s a hard road… hard and funny and taxing and emotional… everything you’d expect with this family. But through everything, they always have each other…They’re one giant team, right? Bear and Otter, there isn’t anyone alive that loves as much as those two do… they have an endless amount and it’s so fun to read about. I loved every single second…. Even if I did wanna throttle Otter for just a split second. I love how everything was handled and how Bear can be the serious one when he needs to be. His heart to heart with Izzie had me a mess….I was happy to see him be the calm one, when it counted. When he needed to be, he had several heart to hearts in here….They were even coherent…mostly 😛

And then everything that they’d worked so hard for, everything that had been leading up to this moment…. Happened…. And F if I didn’t fall in love with all of them even more all over again….

Now, the future…the future is perfect. Although I hated to see it end… it ended perfectly… in the best place. Everyone was in the best place. Happy and healthy and together. Kids and family, love and extended hippy family. It couldn’t have ended better. I’m sad, really that it’s over… I’ve been following this series for what seems like ever and we’ve been through a lot with them… a whole lot. But we got everything we needed by the end. Everything to make it okay to say goodbye to. I hope we do get a glimpse at everyone later, maybe in brief cameo in a Paul and Vince book, or possibly if Kori/Corey gets a book, which I beg to all that is Holy that, that will happen.

Although it’s time to say goodbye to everyone, I feel better knowing I can come back and revisit them any time I want to….I give this series AND this story… ALL the sunshine points!

5 stars from me. And even though I may be a little biased, I was given this story with the promise of an honest review… If you follow my reviews at all,  I am nothing but honest… perhaps a little dramatic at times too, but always honest. If you loved any part of this entire series. You won’t want to pass this one up. It’s perfect.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Hear Me Out by Lila Rose: Blog Tour and Review

Series: Hawks MC: Caroline Springs Charter #5
Author: Lila Rose
Genre: M/M MC Romance

Release Date: August 8, 2017 

Fear keeps the truth away from his brothers. Fear and pain keeps him away from the man he loves.
Hawks MC member Maddox “Beast” Lawson had a difficult time growing up. Tired of being ridiculed because of his effed-up brain-to-mouth connection, it was easier to say nothing at all. Living in silence worked out just fine until that b*tch called Fate took his hearing, not only that, but she also threw him into the arms of the man who refuses to acknowledge that one hot night they shared.Jay Conger, Knife to his brothers, loves pussy. Licking, fingering, screwing, he’ll take it any way it’s offered. After one surprising night with Beast, to say he’s freaked out is an understatement. Hell, even bananas have taken on a new meaning, and thinking about a certain someone’s body is too much. Unable to think straight, Knife is at an impasse, not only with his traitorous desire but with his heart.Both lives are going to change. Only will it be for the better?

Lila was born in Brisbane Australia, her step-dad was in the Army which caused them to move around a lot. They finally settled in country Victoria, Australia. Being the youngest of four children she admits she was spoilt a bit. Even drove her mum crazy when she refused to eat meat at a young age.

Now, Lila lives with her husband and two children.

She started writing in 2013 and self-published the first of the Hawks MC: Ballarat Charter series- Holding Out. Since then, she has published eleven other titles, which range from erotica, humorous romance, YA and paranormal.

 

 

:

HOSTED BY:

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

Barrel Proof by Layla Reyne: Blog Tour, Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

FBI agents Aidan “Irish” Talley and Jameson “Whiskey” Walker can’t get a moment’s peace. Their hunt for the terrorist Renaud seems to be nearing an end, until a fire allows him to slip through their fingers—and puts Jamie’s life in danger. When Jamie is nearly killed, Aidan learns how many forms loss can take.

Aidan says I love you just moments before learning that Jamie’s been keeping a devastating secret about Aidan’s late husband. How quickly trust and love can go up in flames. When Aidan requests a solo undercover assignment, Jamie hopes Aidan will find a way to forgive him.

But the explosions are far from over. Aidan’s cover lands him in the heart of the terrorist’s conspiracy, and Jamie will have to put his life, his career and his freedom on the line to save the man who has become his entire world. Partners, always is a promise he intends to keep.

A heart-pounding, romantic conclusion to the Agents Irish and Whiskey series.”

Barrel Proof

Layla Reyne

Series: Agents Irish and Whiskey #3

Publisher: Carina Press (HQN)

Release Date (Print & Ebook): August 7, 2017 (Ebook and Audiobook)

(Audiobooks of Single Malt (AIW1) and Cask Strength (AIW2) also releasing August 7, 2017)

Length (Print & Ebook): 189 Pages (Ebook); 6hr, 30mins (Audio)

Subgenre: M/M Romantic Suspense 

This book features: Book 3/Trilogy Conclusion. Angst, Action, Romance, HEA

Carina

Amazon

Nook/B&N

iBooks

Google Play

Kobo

Audiobooks

 

Quotes about the book (or others in the series):

From Single Malt:

“Sexy, smart and suspenseful – this book has it all.” –HelenKay Dimon, author of Mr. & Mr. Smith

“With sharp writing, compelling characters, and an engaging plot, Single Malt is the M/M romantic suspense series I’ve been waiting for.” – Santino Hassell, award-winning author of the FIVE BOROUGHS series

“Single Malt is full of explosive chemistry, captivating characters, and edge-of-your-seat suspense. A must read for any romantic suspense fan!” — Megan Erickson, USA Today Bestselling author

Early reviews about Barrel Proof:

RT Magazine – 4.5 Stars, Top Pick:

Barrel Proof is the third and final book in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series. After two books that follow the formation of a heated M/M romantic relationship, Barrel Proof starts off with a climax as secrets are revealed and the romance is tested. … Fans of the series will be equally challenged and delighted by the twists and turns Reyne takes. The book flows into a more action-oriented focus as the plot progresses, but Reyne ends the romance with just the right amount of heft to keep any reader of romantic suspense and M/M romance delighted. 

Night Owl Reviews – 4.5 Stars, Top Pick:

Layla Reyne finishes her trilogy with an absolute bang! As sorry as I am to say goodbye to this fabulous pair I couldn’t have enjoyed their ending more.

The Romance Reviews – 5 Stars, Top Pick:

BARREL PROOF is the emotional, high impact, AMAZING finale to the Agents Irish and Whiskey series.

Heart-breaking and heart-fulfilling, this book is the perfect finale to the series, and Layla Reyne now has a brand new reader completely addicted to her work. Without a doubt, absolutely recommended by me.

 

Aidan put one knee to the bed, swung the other over Jamie’s lap, and cupped his cheeks in his hands, drawing him in. It wasn’t the lip smashing, teeth clashing kiss Jamie was used to from Aidan. It was slow, devouring, and tinged with the unmistakable taste of goodbye.

Afraid ratcheted up to terrified.

“Baby,” he murmured against Aidan’s lips, the one word trembling.

“Shh, Whiskey.” Aidan pulled back enough to yank off his shirt, then started back in for another kiss. Jamie stopped him, holding his face slightly away and forcing his gaze.

Goodbye was in his eyes too.

Jamie shot past terrified to devastated. “No,” he breathed, barely a whisper.

Aidan shook off the hold and drove a hand into his hair, pulling Jamie in for another melancholy-laced kiss. So little light, so much darkness, and as Jamie ran his tongue along Aidan’s, the tang of tequila and whiskey.

Slow, like the kiss, Aidan’s hands began to rove, as if he were memorizing the texture of his hair, the scruff covering his jaw, the breadth and width of his shoulders. A cool palm flattened over his tattoo, over his heart. The touch was gentle, not the usual digging pressure of Aidan’s fingers.

Bidding farewell.

A whimper escaped Jamie’s lips. His heart was at war with itself. He needed to retreat, to beg and plead with Aidan to stay and give him another chance, but if his partner’s mind was made up, there’d be no changing it now. And if he tried, if he argued, he might not get this last kiss, this last chance to make love to the man who would forever carry his heart, wherever his life went.

Without him.

Conceding the inevitable and accepting the disaster of his own creation, Jamie admitted defeat and surrendered.

Barrel Proof is the final installment in the Agents Irish and Whiskey series by Layla Reyne. This is not a standalone book, so you’ll forgive me if I delve a bit into the first two books, Single Malt and Cask Strength. You can’t read book 3 without having read books 1 & 2 and only a sadist would read 1 & 2 and not read this — amirite?

Book 1 establishes a bit of the background of Irish and Whiskey themselves, their mutual, growing attraction and the subsequent consummation of their relationship as they work on their first case together. I love when two heroes cannot stop thinking about each other and succumb to their out-of-control physical desire. Book 2 continues their FBI partnership and romance as Irish insists on them being “casual” as he tries to fend off his growing feelings for his partner. They’re both concerned with breaking Bureau rules by entering into a romantic relationship, but Irish in particular is afraid of falling in love and being widowed again, something he doesn’t think he could live through a second time. But a case involving Whiskey’s past as a college basketball star brings up jealousies on both hero’s parts. I know, I know. “Jealousy”, as a rule is, yanno, bad, but … love me some angst — and its resolution! To see Irish come around from their status as casual is very *sigh* worthy.

There’s also the overall arc of the action part of the series, that being terrorist Renaud whose anger at being thwarted in Book 1 has put Irish and his friends, family and coworkers in the cross hairs as Renaud takes his revenge. But there’s more, isn’t there? Irish and Whiskey’s boss, Mel, has discovered that Renaud’s plans started long before any of them ever thought, and his list of victims — past, present, and future — grows. Mel has also enlisted Whiskey’s help in uncovering details of the death of Irish’s husband (Mel’s brother) and his partner, an investigation that is being kept from Irish.  I’m sure that won’t come to bite him in the ass anytime soon.

Book 3 continues the action just about where Book 2 left off, with the guys heading to retrieve their boss Mel from a secret mission she’s on in Cuba. A mission which ultimately leads back to Renaud and, that secret I mentioned before? Yea, that gets out of the bag and throws another road block in the still-budding relationship between our two heroes. Can our guys work this out? Probably… Assuming they can live out the week because in the meantime, Renaud is upping his game: Bombs, kidnappings, destruction of world markets, systems hacking, mistrust and betrayal — it’s all on tap here.

This book does not drag, it’s action, action, action — of all kinds. The financial and tech plots are satisfying and thorough; Layla Reyne did some research that’s for sure. For me, though, it’s always about the ‘ship! At this point in the series, our guys are established and we know how they feel about each other. While the revelation of the secret does take our guys down different paths for a while, they don’t hurt each other with cruel words or actions. They own how they feel about each other and I never doubt these feelings, even if they have to step away from each other for a while. I feel very satisfied at leaving these two at the end on the new path their personal and professional lives have taken.

I liked the secondary characters a lot here: Mel, Danny, Irish’s brother, Whiskey’s best friend Cam and even an ex from Irish’s casual period in Book 2 turns out to be a good, likable guy. The writing is solid, action packed and the romance is a nice balance of angst, feels and hot, hot, hot. I hadn’t read the first two books when I decided to review this book, so I did a mini-marathon read. These books are about 62,000 words, so novella length. For fans of the Cut & Run series by Abigail Roux and Madeleine Urban, you’ll feel at home in this series; it’s what drew me to these books in the first place. There were similarities between Irish and Whiskey’s world and Ty and Zane’s. FBI agents, check. Two alphas, one slightly older, check, check. Widower, check. A cyber guy, check. Little bit of a rocky start. But is that all a turn off? No way. These two guys, their histories and the trouble they find themselves in are unique and really only once in a while did I make a note and go “Aww…Ty!” So, if you love T&Z (me!) you might find a new book boyfriend couple to hang out with for a spell.

4 pieces of eye candy for this book and the series.

 

Author Layla Reyne was raised in North Carolina and now calls San Francisco home. She enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart pounding romance. When she’s not writing stories to excite her readers, she downloads too many books, watches too much television, and cooks too much food with her scientist husband, much to the delight of their smushed-face, leftover-loving dogs.

Author Tagline:

Adrenaline-Fueled Romance

Author links:

Twitter: http://bit.ly/2oqoS7q

FB: http://bit.ly/2o2IbjJ

FB Group: http://bit.ly/2oxovZf

Pinterest: http://bit.ly/2nCu49M

Tumblr: http://bit.ly/2p3pQYl

Instagram: http://bit.ly/2ufSQvc

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2o2Doz1

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/2oxjdgu

 

Prizes: (2) HUGE Agents Irish & Whiskey Gift Packs including: 1 Kindle Fire Tablet, 1 Agents Irish & Whiskey mug, and surprise swag! (Ships to US/Canada only; international winners will receive Amazon Gift Card: $35)

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Permanent Ink by Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Excerpt, Review and Giveaway

At twenty-three, Poe Montgomery is going nowhere. He still lives in his father’s basement and spends most of his time tagging with his friends. When an arrest lands him in debt, Poe accepts the front desk job at Permanent Ink, the tattoo shop owned by his father’s best friend, Jericho McAslan. Jericho is nearly twice Poe’s age, but with his ink and prematurely graying hair, he quickly takes the starring role in Poe’s hottest fantasies.

Jericho is known for his ability to transform poorly designed tattoos into works of art, but he was once as aimless and misdirected as Poe. Wanting to pay it forward the way someone once did for him, Jericho makes Poe his apprentice and is determined to keep things strictly professional. Easier said than done when Poe makes his interest—and his daddy kink—abundantly clear.

Jericho can’t resist Poe or their intense chemistry for long. But between the age gap, tension with Poe’s father, and Poe’s best friend calling him a sellout, they’ll need to ensure they’re both on the same page before they can rewrite their rocky start into something permanent.

Riptide Publishing

Amazon

Hi! This is Piper Vaughn and Avon Gale and we’re here today to talk about our sexy new contemporary romance, Permanent Ink, in which the worlds of street art and tattooing collide when a silver-fox tattoo artist falls for his much younger apprentice – who also happens to be his best friend’s son.

Co-writing: How to work through the disagreements

I’m very happy to report that writing Permanent Ink was smooth sailing all the way! Piper and I are very good at talking through things, and we spent a lot of time initially just hammering out the details before we started writing the narrative. We came up with a pretty extensive outline for each chapter, making sure we knew what would happen and how each character would react. Then, when we were writing our individual scenes, we could consult the document – or each other. We’d send more than a few messages that would say things like, “Hey, if Jericho did this, what would Poe say?” Or, we’d leave notes in the document with that line highlighted and “Feel free to change if this doesn’t work for you.”

I think the most important thing is that we both had a really good understanding of our characters right at the outset. Also, neither one of us are bothered by constructive criticism, so if Piper said something like, “Hey, I don’t think this works here because x,” I had no problem rethinking the scene – and vice versa. You sort of know going in, I think, that there’s going to be a lot of discourse and tweaking things as you adjust to writing someone else’s character!

Another thing we did that was super helpful was have writing weekends together. This meant that we could hole ourselves up somewhere (in this case, the Country Inn and Suites in Springfield, IL) and write, which allowed us to get through a large chunk of the narrative. It wasn’t always perfect (okay, lies – Piper’s scenes are always perfect, mine are messy af) but it was there, and we could build off each chapter and just keep going. It made finishing up the last few chapters separately a breeze, and by then we were in our characters’ heads enough to start editing and making sure the voices/depictions matched.

I think the thing we had to talk through the most was the title! I remember we went out for sushi after we signed the contract with Riptide to celebrate (Piper was at my house visiting and to start the project), and I’m pretty sure all my suggestions were terrible pun names. We wanted the name of the book to be the name of the tattoo shop, so you can imagine where I went with that. Eventually Piper suggested “Permanent Ink” and it was so perfect, that pun or no, we knew it was the title.

Also she let me name that coffee shop Perkatory, so I was happy 😊

 

I took another pull from my beer, letting my tongue linger on the lip of the bottle.

Jericho’s eyes darkened. He stared for a second before making a noticeable effort to tear his attention away. His gaze slid to the side, and his brows knitted together. I wouldn’t let him ignore me, though. I stepped closer, invading his personal space, and he met my stare again.

“That means a lot coming from you. I know how good you are.” I meant the words, even if my motivation for saying them wasn’t entirely pure. I smiled at him, peering up through the dark fall of my hair, letting my interest show.

His lips quirked.

This close, I could feel his heat through the thin material of his navy T-shirt. This close, I could see the green striations in his hazel irises. This close, I could smell soap and musk and the faint scent of beer on his breath.

I wanted to touch him so bad it was as if my hands had turned to iron and his skin had suddenly been magnetized. It felt like a fucking compulsion.

Without thinking, I kissed him.

Jericho froze at the contact. But I surged forward, crowding him back against the counter and licking at the seam of his lips, inviting his tongue out to play. Jericho gave into me with a quiet sound, a muffled groan that made my cock stiffen.

I got enough of his taste to make me crave more, enough time to think “hell yeah” and start to consider humping his hard thigh—before a loud, shattering noise broke the silence and made us jump apart.

I realized I’d dropped the beer bottle and a puddle of golden liquid was spreading across the linoleum at our feet. “Oh shit.”

Jericho stared at me, his mouth still wet from mine. “Fuck.” His gaze went from me to the broken glass on the floor. “Fuck. That should not have happened.” He snatched the roll of paper towels from the holder on the counter and started spreading a few on the floor to sop up the beer.

I watched him, trying to swallow past the sudden tightness in my throat. He was so focused on the mess it was obvious he didn’t want to look at me.

“I’ll go get the cleaning stuff,” I announced.

Jericho’s jerky nod was my only answer.

I went to the small utility closet across the hall and briefly thudded my forehead against the wood.

“Shit.”

I hoped I hadn’t just fucked up my apprenticeship.

I hoped I hadn’t made things super fucking awkward.

And more than that, in spite of knowing it was probably wrong to want him—he was my boss, my mentor, my dad’s best friend—I wished I hadn’t dropped that stupid bottle.

So this was my first foray into “daddy kink”. And really, it is a good training wheels still on intro to it. And while it was fairly vanilla and pretty well done- I don’t think this particular kink is for me. BUT, I still really enjoyed the book.

Poe is a brat. Straight up early 20’s brat. I have nightmares about my own teen becoming Poe. Oy. But I would say that he is what every Gen X and above refer to as a spoiled Millenial. And he really isn’t spoiled, he just wants to paint graffiti murals with his best friend, work as little as possible and skate. Too bad he keeps getting busted for the graffiti,

Jericho- Poe’s dad’s best friend- has an offer. Poe can work for him and move up to interning as a tattoo artist. A pay it forward deal after someone helped Jericho years ago. And so it begins.

Some of the things I really enjoyed about this book- watching Poe slowly shed his brat shell and become more and more interested in tattooing. Seeing how it is art; how it is unique and personal to every person. Watching him grow that was was my favorite part.

The chemistry between Poe and Jericho was pretty hot. They danced around each other for a bit, which I always like. I’m not a big fan when they immediately jump into bed or there is insta love. Jericho really struggled with his attraction to Poe.

The secondary characters fit in really well with the story. Especially Blue, Poe’s best friend. After finishing the book I cannot wait for his story! I won’t say with whom, because I am not a spoiler.

3 1/2 pieces of eye candy 

About Avon Gale

Avon grew up in the southern United States, and now lives with her very patient husband in a liberal Midwestern college town. When she’s not writing, she’s either doing some kind of craft project that makes a huge mess, reading, watching horror movies, listening to music or yelling at her favorite hockey team to get it together, already. Avon is always up for a road trip, adores Kentucky bourbon, thinks nothing is as stress relieving as a good rock concert, and will never say no to candy.

At one point, Avon was the mayor of both Jazzercise and Lollicup on Foursquare. This tells you basically all you need to know about her as a person.

Connect with Avon:

 

About Piper Vaughn

Piper Vaughn wrote her first love story at eleven and never looked back. Since then, she’s known that writing in some form was exactly what she wanted to do. A reader at the core, Piper loves nothing more than getting lost in a great book—fantasy, young adult, romance, sci-fi, she loves them all (and has an over-two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She’s an avid tea drinker, a hockey fanatic, a vintage typewriter collector, and loves to travel so much she has “wanderlust” tattooed on her ankle and dozens of countries on her bucket list. Recently, she discovered the world of nail art and realized she’s pretty handy with a paintbrush—as long as it’s a miniature one.

As a bisexual and Latinx person, Piper takes great pride in her heritage. She grew up in an ethnically diverse neighborhood and strives to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago with her husband, son, and a cat that has Piper wrapped around her little paw. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life … even if it’s only in a book.

Connect with Piper:

 

To celebrate the release of Permanent Ink, one lucky winner will receive a $20 Amazon gift card and a “Poe” coffee mug! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on August 12, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

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

A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine: Blog Tour, Review and Excerpt

SBPRBanner-ALBLL-BT

A Little Bit Like Love, an all-new sexy STANDALONE MM romance from Brooke Blaine is available NOW!

ALBLL-PRINT-FOR-WEB

A Little Bit Like Love by Brooke Blaine

Publication Date: July 27th, 2017

Genre: Contemporary Romance/MM Romance

What if you had everything in the world you wanted…except the man you’d left behind?

Jackson Davenport, the charismatic, strait-laced heir to the Davenport fortune, has a secret. One he’s been hiding since he graduated from South Haven all-boys academy—and that secret’s name is Lucas.

When a work trip takes Jackson back to his old stomping grounds, memories of the year he shared with Lucas come crashing to the surface. With growing pressure from his father to settle down and take over the family business, Jackson knows he’s on borrowed time, and sets out to find the free-spirited daredevil he once knew.

But Lucas isn’t the same man he was eight years ago.

One night. A shattered heart. And an endless parade of nameless faces. Lucas Sullivan is South Haven’s ultimate playboy, a reputation he’s honed since the only boy he ever loved left without a trace. To the world, he’s brash and confident, an in-demand artist who spends his days designing one-of-a-kind pieces and his nights as king of the downtown scene.

Many have tried and failed to get past the barrier he’s carefully constructed, but it’s the shy, studious boy he once coaxed out of his shell who still haunts him.

Maybe it was a mistake. Maybe it was lust. Or maybe…it was a little bit like love.

WITH THE NOTE from Principal Stewart crumpled in my fist, I stalked away from his office, away from the words I knew would haunt me forever.

“I’m sorry, Jackson. Your father is quite…insistent you return to Connecticut immediately.”

Immediately…immediately… With every echo of that word through my mind, my heart battered my chest, the ache to rip itself free of my body a plea I was helpless to honor.

There was only one reason he would’ve demanded I leave South Haven before the end of classes next week. My father had been adamant I receive the best education his money afforded, choosing to ship me down to south Georgia to attend the most prestigious all-boys academy in the country. I’d done him proud, rising to the top of my class, and I’d been practicing my salutatorian speech for days. Skipping out on graduation and the pomp and circumstance and recognition that came with it? Out of the question. Which could only mean one thing.

He knew. Somehow he knew.

That was the only explanation for the letter in my hand, for the abrupt dismissal this late in the evening and this close to the end of the school year. My father hadn’t gotten to where he was by being stupid or blind, and I’d seriously underestimated how many eyes and ears had been watching me during my four years. Although it would’ve only been the whispers over the last few months that piqued his interest, only the last eight that he would’ve had any reason to give me a second thought.

And that reason wasn’t a what—it was a who.

The halls of the St. John’s dormitory were silent when I entered, all the students down at the mess hall for dinner, followed by the final bonfire of the year. So there wouldn’t be anyone around to see me sneak down the hall to where I knew I shouldn’t be going but couldn’t help myself. My feet seemed to move of their own accord, the countdown to my utter devastation causing me to pick up the pace. The private plane would arrive in a handful of hours, giving me just enough time to pack my things, but there was no way I could leave without a goodbye. Not going to happen.

I wasn’t ready. I was supposed to have more time. As a cold sweat of panic seized me, I balled the letter tighter in my fist and chucked it into one of the trash bins as I passed.

Screw my father. Screw the life he’d set out for me, the one I was destined to live and hate with every fiber of my being. I wanted to bottle up every one of his expectations and throw the blasted thing out at an angry sea to swallow up and tear apart instead.

I wished it could be as easy as that. I’d been able to fool myself into a sense of freedom, but the cell door was about to smash shut on every dream I’d let myself have these past few months.

His private dorm was at the end of the long hall, last one on the right, and I rapped on it twice fast, waited a moment, and then repeated the pattern that we used for each other. A few seconds later, the door swung open, and seeing the sole object of my daily and nightly thoughts standing there in front of me with a mixture of surprise and delight in his eyes made me think that coming here had been a mistake. It was only going to sink the dagger in farther.

“Hey…I thought we were meeting la—” Lucas’s words cut off and the smile curling his lips fell as he got a good look at my face. “What’s wrong?”

You should tell him. Tell him what’s going on and that it isn’t your fault. Look him in the eye when you tell him you can never see him again.

A shooting pain tore through my chest as I realized what this goodbye actually meant. I wasn’t saying I wouldn’t be seeing him for the next couple of days or weeks. When I left South Haven’s campus in the early hours of the morning, I wouldn’t be seeing him again…ever.

God, can I do this? Break his heart as well as mine?

No…no, I couldn’t tell him. He’d look for me, find me, and there was no telling what my father would do if that happened. The letter had been my old man’s warning. Disobeying his orders would mean consequences neither of us were prepared for.

“Jackson?” Lucas’s voice dropped low, and then he looked past me out into the deserted hall. When he didn’t see anyone to blame on my current state, he frowned and waited for an answer.

The words didn’t come, though, so I stood there staring at him, taking a mental snapshot that I’d store away in a place no one could find and destroy. His black hair was casually tousled, and I knew him well enough to know he’d worried his hands through it, maybe wondering if I wouldn’t follow through on our plans tonight. He wore a simple grey t-shirt and low-slung jeans on his long and lean frame, and the swirl of black tattoos he’d recently inked on his tanned skin could be seen peeking around his right bicep before disappearing from view behind the thin material of his shirt. He was striking, both in looks and personality, and to say I hadn’t been expecting the force that was Lucas Sullivan when he’d transferred to the academy eight months ago was an understatement.

Quite simply, I’d been lost to him the first time I laid eyes on him.

Forcing myself to shake off my dread, I said, “I’m okay,” and tried to believe it for his sake.

“Well, you look like hell.” He leaned against the doorway, one of those charming half-grins cocking up one side of his lips. “Hell on wheels, anyway. What’d you do, run all the way here?”

Not too far off there. I didn’t even remember crossing campus to get to his dorm until I was in front of the building.

When I didn’t laugh at his teasing, Lucas’s expression fell again and his brows pulled down, a crease forming between them as his eyes, the color of a stormy sky, gave me a thorough once-over, looking for the source of my pain. He was silent for a long moment, but he must’ve seen something he didn’t like, because he stiffened and his jaw clenched. Then he took a deep breath and let it out in a rush.

“Tell me.”

“Tell you what?” I asked.

Lucas shook his head, his arms going over his chest. “I’m not helping you out here. If you came here for a reason, get out with it.”

Did he know? He couldn’t. I’d only just found out myself, and… No. There was no way. “It’s…complicated.”

“Complicated?”

“Yes.”

Lucas gave a humorless chuckle. “Jackson Davenport, I knew you were scared, but I never took you for a coward. If you don’t want to do this, you can man the hell up and tell me to my face.”

“What are you… I’m not…” I ran my hand over my face, struggling to understand the conclusion he’d come to for why I was standing at his door. My lack of a poker face had put him on the defensive. He thought I was here to reject him. An idea so completely unfathomable to me that it made my stomach turn thinking about it. “Lucas…you’ve got this all wrong.”

“Do I?”

“Yes. I’m not here to—“ I almost said “end things with you,” but I didn’t want to lie to him. I never had and I never would. Instead, I said, “Fight with you. I don’t want to fight.”

“Then why are you here, Jackson?” he asked, and my gaze fell to his lips. I’d tasted those lips only a few times, not nearly enough to quench a starving man’s hunger. All these months I’d wasted, warring with myself in my head, never letting myself have the thing I wanted most. And now I was down to a matter of hours. It wasn’t enough, not nearly enough. But it was all I had, and I wasn’t wasting another second.

If I couldn’t tell Lucas how I felt about him, then I’d show him.

Finally.

Irrevocably.

And starting now.

ALBLL-AN

A Little Bit Like Love is a good read beach type read (especially because of where it’s located…oh and that hot scene IN the water). Fairly low on angst, it allows the reader to enjoy some time with a second chance love, lost through no fault of their own.

These two men found each other in high school, then forced apart, find each other again 8 years later. Very different men, they still clearly have strong feelings towards each other. The issues between them were fairly predictable for the story, but still enjoyable to see how the unpredictable Lucas reacted to having the very predictable Jackson come back into his life.

The scene at Gram’s grave hit me hard in the feels. Lucas’ love and respect for his Gram was so obvious, and to have Jackson be there and appreciate that time, and have them come away from it better was very satisfying. As well, as the scene with Jackson’s father, that was more than satisfying.

An enjoyable read, although likely not a re-read. The secondary characters of Shaw and Bash were very well written and fleshed out.  I am definitely looking forward to the more gritty feeling book 2, which is Shaw’s book. That one is probably going to be a man who butts heads hard with his future man.

(Free in Kindle Unlimited)

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2h40Ltx

Amazon International: myBook.to/ALBLLebook

Add to GoodReads: https://goo.gl/ShbNqD

ALBLL-Teaser3.2

You could say Brooke Blaine was a book-a-holic from the time she knew how to read; she used to tell her mother that curling up with one at 4 a.m. before elementary school was her ‘quiet time.’ Not much has changed except for the espresso I.V. pump she now carries around and the size of her onesie pajamas.

She is the author of Flash Point, a romantic suspense standalone, as well as the co-author of the erotic series, A Desperate Man, with Ella Frank. The latter has scarred her conservative southern family for life, bless their hearts. Licked, a romantic comedy, will be released November 11th, 2015 and is the first in the L.A. Liaisons series.

If you’d like to get in touch with her, she’s easy to find – just keep an ear out for the Rick Astley ringtone that’s dominated her cell phone for ten years.

Ella Frank

Connect with Brooke:

Newsletter-http://eepurl.com/brxPkP

Website- http://www.brookeblaine.com/home

Twitter- @BrookeBlaine1

FB- https://www.facebook.com/BrookeBlaine.Writer/

FB Street Team- www.facebook.com/groups/TheBrellas/

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