Patron by C.B. Lewis: Release Day Review with Giveaway

Theodore Wentworth, who possesses little more than a sharp and well-educated mind, is trying to solicit a sponsor for his studies of Greek antiquity by performing recitations at gatherings of collectors. Desperate for luck and better skills in oratory, in jest, he places a coin at the feet of a statue of Hermes. It seems like coincidence when his fortune turns and a gentleman calling himself Alexander becomes his benefactor. Despite his friend John teasing him about it, Theodore continues to offer tokens to Hermes and sinks himself into his study of the classics.

Alexander encourages Theodore’s interest, prompting Theodore to face desires he tried to put aside years before. As Theodore embraces the knowledge, he must also resist his attraction to Alexander—knowing his feelings are a serious crime in Victorian England.

But the secret Alexander keeps will change everything in a love story for the ages, steeped in taboo, temptation, history, and myth.

Title: Patron
Author: C.B. Lewis
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Category: Historical: World, Fantasy: Mythology
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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The second I saw this cover (TCO was fortunate enough to do the cover reveal of this amazing cover) and the blurb, I knew I had to read it. It combined a few of my favorite things. I love Greek and Roman mythology and I also love books based in Victorian England. And it is so clear that C.B. Lewis loves, and researched these things very well, in order to write this novella.

Whether you believe in mythology or not, there is no denying that both of those times still have an impact even in today’s society. Just the other day, I used the word “herculean” to describe something. The world is full of words and phrases from that time period. Especially in the medical field. Achilles tendon anyone? 🙂

This was a very well done blend of old (the mythology) and “new” (the MC’s meet in Victorian England) with some mystery tacked on for additional interest. The stress that Theodore endures personally from realizing he is gay in a period of time that could have resulted in his death was very real. He moves through many stages, until he reaches the stage where he accepts it, and accepts that Alexander wants to be with him. All of this while trying to find a way to continue his education in Greek mythology.

I won’t give away the ending, although you can definitely see it coming. I don’t think it was meant to be a surprise ending, merely one that everyone could be happy with. I liked how it wrapped around Theodore, and his love of antiquities. It made it that much stronger a story.

This one has a good mix of all the things that I love: mythology, Victorian England, romance, and an HEA.

4 pieces of eye candy

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

Sunset at Pencarrow by Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell: Release Day Review and Giveaway

Kiwi Nathaniel Dunn is in a fighting mood, but how does a man fight Wellington’s famous fog? In the last year, Nate’s lost his longtime lover to boredom and his ten-year job to the economy. Now he’s found a golden opportunity for employment where he can even use his artistic talent, but to get the job, he has to get to Christchurch today. Heavy fog means no flight, and the ticket agent is ignoring him to fawn over a beautiful but annoying, overly polite American man.

Rusty Beaumont can deal with a canceled flight, but the pushy Kiwi at the ticket counter is making it difficult for him to stay cool. The guy rubs him all the wrong ways despite his sexy working-man look, which Rusty notices even though he’s not looking for a man to replace the fiancé who died two years ago. Yet when they’re forced to share a table at the crowded airport café, Nate reveals the kind heart behind his grumpy façade. An earthquake, sex in the bush, and visits from Nate’s belligerent ex turn a day of sightseeing into a slippery slope that just might land them in love.

World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

Title: Sunset at Pencarrow
Authors: Lou Sylvre and Anne Barwell
Release Date: June 7, 2017
Category: Contemporary, World of Love
Pages: TBC (Novella)

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I couldn’t wait to read this one. I love New Zealand. Having been there, and enjoyed the beauty of the country, and the lovely, diverse people, I was excited to get another glimpse of it. And I really did enjoy all the little pieces of the culture, the landscape, and the beautiful landmarks of the country. It was a spectacular reminder that I can’t wait to get back for a second visit.

Now, I will say that Nate…I didn’t like him a whole lot most of the time. He was grumpy, moody, and mercurial. He certainly had reasons with an ex who was fairly abusive, at least verbally. However, it is hard to like a character when he is trying to be kind, and maybe start a relationship, yet can’t get out of his own issues.

Rusty, on the other hand, was a sweetheart that you had to love the second the reader met him. He was sweet, and easy-going, willing to find adventure in a land he didn’t think he would be coming back to. He was kind and strong, and willing to stick up for those who couldn’t do it themselves, but only if they actually needed him.

Once these two men began to show each other their feelings, I felt better about Nate, and saw his growth as a person. However, I was glad that the authors kept them apart for some time, so that Nate could continue to grow away from Rusty, and become a person who he could be on his own.

3.5 pieces of eye candy

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

Hijacked Love by Ethan Stone: Quick Review

It’s the winter of 1971 and FBI Agent Zack Pomeroy is hoping to make a name for himself when he’s assigned the case of the century—the hijacking of an airplane by D.B. Cooper. Zack’s used to hiding his sexuality but working with Duke Magruder is even more of a challenge. Not only do they do have vastly different personalities but also contrasting opinions on how to work the case. Nonetheless, Zack is able to earn Duke’s begrudging respect.

Until Duke learns Zack’s secret.

When Zack finds a lead on the case Duke not only refuses to listen, he also refuses to work with Zack any longer. Zack’s career and his assignment are at jeopardy but that doesn’t mean he’s about to give up on finding Cooper, no matter how many years it takes.

Hijacked Love is a blend of mystery and historical fiction with a bit of romance thrown in.

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The story of D.B. Cooper and his complete disappearance has always been one of those mysteries that has fascinated me. To have someone hijack a plan, and a ton of money, and just disappear with little more than a trace has always been just so interesting, so when I got the chance to read this, I grabbed it.

This isn’t really a romance, although there is a romantic element in it. And the author kept true to the real-life story, and the mystery is not solved. However, I still enjoyed it. I haven’t ever read much on the story, other than how they think he escaped, so I don’t know how many of the “facts of the case” are true to the real-life story, but it seemed real to me! The author did a great job of bringing all the information to the table in an enthralling manner. I read it beginning to end in one sitting, because I was so fascinated.

I did like that Zack had a man he’d been with for many years, and yet they still needed to come to terms with the changes in their relationship. It added an extra piece to the story, knowing that Zack had someone to come home to, and someone he didn’t want to disappoint.

A good quick read.

4 pieces of eye candy

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

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch by L.A. Merrill: Release Day Review, Exclusive Guest Post and Giveaway

David Marks is looking for the perfect place to film his new web series and recover from his latest failed relationship. When reclusive writer Michael Sharp opens his Montana ranch to paying guests, David knows he’s found the right place—but he doesn’t expect to find Mr. Right too.

Forty years ago Michael Sharp’s father was murdered in front of him. No one believed a six-year-old boy’s testimony against the powerful Carver brothers. For years Michael has lived in self-imposed exile, the only living witness who can bring down the Carver criminal empire. But now the money is running out, and he’s forced to play host to a troupe of temperamental web actors and their energetically attractive director in order to stay alive.

The Carvers aren’t about to stand for rebellion. Michael has outlived his usefulness. Now Michael and David have to find a way to end this fight once and for all, finding justice for Michael’s father and meeting David’s funding deadline—all before one or both of them ends up dead.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch
Author: L.A. Merrill
Release Date: May 31, 2017
Category: Mystery/Suspense, States of Love
Pages: 74

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MEANWHILE, BACK AT THE RANCH RELEASE DAY GIVEAWAY!

It’s Monday, May 29th, which means it must be… Memorial Day! (In America, at least.) And also… release day for my new novella! Take a time out from your pool-side, burger-flipping, summer kickoff parties (and whatever else y’all are up to on this last Monday in May) to read about unexpected romance in Montana and enter for a chance to win a free e-book!

         

Shakespeare and Bronte and Poe, Oh My: Literary Web Series and New Storytelling

My love affair with literary web series started with one little three-minute episode. After dinner one night, my sister dragged me upstairs to her room, sat me down in front of her laptop and said, “You have to watch this.”

This was Episode One of The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. Ashely Clements, Mary Kate Wiles, and Hank Green and Bernie Su’s hilarious script hooked me in under a minute. My sister and I devoured the series together every Saturday night in tiny, laughter-filled binges. After we’d seen every episode and spin-off available, we branched out into adaptations of Emma and Jane Eyre, discovering a whole online and IRL culture of web-based filmmakers and production companies, professional actors and groups of college friends staging Shakespeare in their dorm rooms.

Sean and Sinead Persaud spoofing Edgar Allen Poe and Lenore the Lady Ghost. Yulin Kuang’s lyrical I Didn’t Write This series. The campy fun of Carmilla and the blisteringly recognizable humor and despair in Whatever this is. YouTube’s “Watch Next Video” button was my answer to Netflix’s “Are you still watching?” check-in, and I was always ready to press “Yes!”

I always loved watching any “Behind the Scenes” videos, too, eager to see how the stories were made. When I started writing Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch, those were the videos I returned to, seeing how tiny teams of actors and crew members banded together on a ridiculously short shooting schedule to create highly detailed serial stories. In my novella, David Marks and his best friend Ronni Oberfeldt run Mark of Cain Productions, a company using its last chance at funding to film a classic Western version of Lorna Doone. When I was younger I was almost ready to drop everything and run away to Vancouver or California to join a web series production company as a writer. I never did end up going, but I channeled my passion for retellings of classic stories into Meanwhile—and if you read closely, you can find more than one allusion to R. D. Blackmore’s story hidden inside mine!

(I did end up writing a sketch script for one episode of The Blank Scene, Maxwell Glick’s acting-exercise-comedy series. It’s called “Have You Seen My Car” if you want to look it up!)

Now for the giveaway! I’m always on the lookout for new things to watch, so leave a comment with your favorite web series and an email you feel comfortable leaving in public, and one person will be randomly selected to receive a FREE copy of my Hanukkah-centric romantic short story Don’t Let the Light Go Out. Leave a comment by June 1st, and we will contact the winner by the end of June! Happy reading, y’all!

Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is available now! Follow the link to buy it today—and be sure to check out L.A. Merrill’s other stories and the rest of the States of Love novella series! 

I wasn’t sure what to expect with this novella. I hadn’t read anything by L.A. Merrill before, and with it being in the States of Love line, you could find all kinds of options as to what it was. I enjoyed this one a lot! The  synopsis led me to believe it might be serious, with some guys with guns charging after a guy who’d been hiding out for years. That wasn’t what I got at all. 🙂

One thing I wasn’t expecting in it was to laugh out loud. There were lots of moments of just pure laugh out loud funny. Here are just a few that I marked:

“I had to sign a release form via email before I even got to reserve or rooms. I’m pretty sure I signed away our right to sue over wolverine-related incidents.”

“Which one of these is to the gun cabinet?” I asked aiming for nonchalant. (Pro tip: there’s no way you can ask that question nonchalantly.)”

And this conversation is my favorite!

“What about costumes?” Jen asked momentarily distracted.

“That’s me,” Enzo said, raising a hand.

“Makeup?”

“Also me.”

“Running sound–“

“You know what, I’m just going to leave my hand up.”

There were actually more that I highlighted, but you’ll need to buy and read yourself. 😉

David and Michael were cute together. Getting together at night and working on the script that David was terrible at writing, and Michael could write so easily. They worked together, along with the band of misfits that showed up as the first guests at the new hotel.

One of the things I enjoyed about this novella was that the people were not perfect. I won’t give away what I mean like that completely, other than to say that sometimes what we believe to be real turns out to be completely different than reality.

David’s creativity with the dog that hated him at the end was pretty darn good!

For a short novella, it had action, it had romance, lots of humor and a storyline that you wanted to see come to a happy ending. All of that, and still a couple surprises you didn’t see coming.

Completely my idea of a fun time!

4 pieces of eye candy


        L.A. Merrill is a tiny blonde woman who loves a good story. She has worked as a tour guide and an assistant stage director, and spent one memorable summer as a camp counselor. After five years in vocal performance, production work, and arts education, she now writes full-time. Her work has appeared in Kansas City Voices magazine, on the YouTube series The Blank Scene, and online. Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch is L.A.’s fourth story with Dreamspinner Press, and her first published novella. (There’s an unpublished novella, about murderous husbands and Scottish ghosts, written when she was thirteen, that is sitting in a file at home. It will likely never see the light of day.)

An avid knitter, she has yet to follow a pattern and has made some interestingly shaped hats as a result. L.A. makes handknit and crocheted blankets and hats for local charities, as well as leading a LGBT+ writers group in her hometown. She lives with her family in the Midwest, where she can usually be found reading, writing, and making things up as she goes along. Follow her on Twitter for feminism and fangirling at @la_mer92

 

Next Stops On The Blog Tour!

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words (May 30)

Tammy’s Two Cents (May 31)

The Novel Approach (June 1)

Love Bytes (June 2)

Divine Magazine (June 5)

On Top Down Under (June 6)

Dreamspinner Press (June 8)

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

Somewhere on Mackinac by Jeff Adams: Exclusive Guest Post, Quick Review, Excerpt and Giveaway

How far would you go for the man of your dreams?

Now that he’s single, Chicago businessman Jordan Monroe can finally take his long-desired trip to Mackinac Island for the Somewhere In Time fan celebration weekend. On the first day, Jordan finds himself attracted to Miles Colter, a handsome local stable owner who is giving horseback tours of film locations.

Jordan is surprised and charmed that Miles pursues him. When Jordan learns the stable is in trouble, he wants to help despite Miles’s resistance. As their relationship grows personally and professionally, Jordan dreads the issues that face them—an ex who won’t let him go, the complications of a long-distance relationship, and a secret he knows he shouldn’t be keeping.

Can Jordan and Miles find a way to forge a love as timeless as the romance in their favorite film?

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Somewhere on Mackinac
Author: Jeff Adams
Release Date: May 3, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: 113

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I’m happy to close out the blog tour for “Somewhere on Mackinac” here at Two Chick Obsessed.

Somewhere on Mackinac is part of Dreamspinner’s States of Love series, which sets romances in each of the fifty U.S. States. The book is set on Mackinac Island, Michigan and is the story of Jordan, a visitor from Chicago, a Miles, an Island native who runs his family’s horse stable. They meet because of the Somewhere in Time fan celebration weekend taking place at the Grand Hotel. They both love the 1980 film starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour and it’s what initially draws them together.

Of course, even in the early stages of love there are obstacles to overcome. As you might have guessed, the fact these two live apart will be an issue. Chicago isn’t all that far from Mackinac, but it takes some effort to get there. It’s about seven hours with a car/ferry trip or three by plane. It’s not exactly a trip you’d make on a whim. For both guys, the distance factor is a significant one for a number of reasons.

As if distance weren’t enough, each of them at least one other thing going on that makes starting a relationship more difficult.

For Jordan, he’s also got ex-boyfriend baggage. Drake is suddenly makes moves about wanting him back and he’s going to some extraordinary lengths to try to get Jordan back. It’s the last thing Jordan needs as he’s thinking about starting something new. Plus, the reasons he broke it off with Drake haven’t gone away.

There’s also trouble with Miles’s business. The family stable is in trouble and while Miles doesn’t know what to do about it he’s also one of those men who doesn’t want to ask for help. Jordan, however, has the skills to help but getting Miles to accept assistance might be more difficult than actually saving the business.

Love can be a minefield of so many different issues, and yet it can be so worth it in the end. I hope you’ll pick up Somewhere on Mackinac and see how the magical place, combined with the guys’ favorite movie, work to help them see past the problems they run into.

The excerpt below gives you a glimpse of how Jordan discovers Miles needs help.

There’s also a Rafflecopter below where you can enter for the chance to win a free copy of the book. Feel free to leave question and comments as well. I’ll stop back over the coming days to leave responses. Thanks for stopping to check out Somewhere on Mackinac!

Suddenly, Miles’s voice was in the distance, and he didn’t sound happy. I couldn’t make out everything he was saying, but it was a heated discussion. Hopefully I could sit here, since I was off the road, and he’d ride by so there wouldn’t need to be an awkward moment.

“You realize this could be the end of our family business, right?” he asked.

The soft clip-clop of his horse was all I heard for a few moments.

“I bought you out because it was the right thing to do. Can’t you reinvest some of that money to help clean up your mistakes?”

He was right behind me.

“You may have left, but I still live here. It’s not my fault you got bored. I would’ve taken over everything and you know it.”

I willed myself to become one with the bench as the horse stopped.

“I gotta go.”

I held my breath, hoping he’d nudge the horse into moving. Silence prevailed. Maybe Miles was considering the conversation. Maybe he had a way to make horses go stealth. Maybe he was staring at the back of my head.

“How much did you hear?”

Option three was right.

I pivoted on the bench to look at him atop Wildfire. Of course, Miles looked great in a red plaid shirt and blue jeans along with the denim jacket I’d first seen him in. What I didn’t like were the worry lines around his eyes, or the way his forehead was deeply furrowed.

“Enough.” There was no reason for me to lie. “Anything I can do to help?”

“Not unless you’ve got a way to make my brother stop being a self-obsessed ass.”

I shrugged. “’Fraid I don’t have a fix for that.”

“Well, I’m sorry I disturbed you. I should get going, but hopefully I’ll see you later.”

Before Wildfire could even get a couple of steps, I got up and approached. He pulled back on Wildfire’s reins and the animal obediently stopped.

“Sounded like you’re having business problems.” I approached Wildfire so I could rub his nose. “Maybe I could help with that?”

“I’m not sure anyone can.” Miles tensed in the saddle.

“Business strategy is what I do.” I looked up at him. “I’ve never worked with a stable, but I’m happy to offer any guidance if I can.”

His sigh sounded like a breath he’d held for years.

“Honestly, it’d be good to talk to someone who doesn’t live here. Trying to keep it under wraps to keep the gossip down isn’t easy. Luckily, Mr. Walker at the bank maintains discretion.”

“Tight cash flow?”

“That’s part of it.” The tension in his voice implied there was a lot more to the story. “You really think you could help?”

“Maybe. Whether I can or can’t, I’ll certainly keep your confidence.”

Miles dismounted, and the horse gave a sound of protest while cocking his head to look at his rider.

“It’s okay, boy. I got something for you.” He pulled an apple from his jacket pocket, which the horse eagerly snatched. “See, it’s all good.”

The smile Miles had for the horse was unburdened and reminded me of the one I’d received from him just yesterday. He talked quietly to the animal as he led him to a tree to tie him up.

“You sure you want to hear this? You’re on vacation after all.”

“Tell me.” I gestured back to the bench.

 

As a teenager, I remember watching Somewhere in Time over and over. (It’s been many years since I’ve watched it, but I have it on order now! 🙂 ) I loved the tragic, but happily ever after story. So getting the chance to be reminded of that with Somewhere on Mackinac was not something I was going to pass up, and Jeff did a fantastic job interweaving Richard and Elise’s story gently throughout. He didn’t retell the story, he simply impressed upon the reader how important this movie was to both the MC’s.

I’ve been enjoying the States of Love series with Dreamspinner Press, because it is low angst, with the inevitable HEA, but also stretches out to find the little known pieces of the states we know and love. With this story, Jeff shows us all the little things about Mackinac Island, Michigan that most readers weren’t aware of: cars still not allowed, the Grand Hotel, even the tree from the movie.

Jordan and Miles are sweet together, as they venture into a short term relationship. As Jordan hides a secret, they find they are becoming more, and that adds stress to that new relationship. Finding a way through the secrets, and into a life together is a bit of a challenge for them, but all good relationships come with time, compromise and a willingness to try.

Of course there is an HEA, because all love stories must have one (even Richard and Elise’s), but my absolute favorite part of this was just reliving the joy from the movie from an entirely new angle. What a joy to bring these two things together.

4 pieces of eye candy

Jeff’s written stories since he was in middle school and became a gay romance writer in 2009 when his first short stories were published.

Jeff lives in rural Northern California with his husband of twenty years, Will. Some of his favorite things include the musicals Rent and [title of show], the Detroit Red Wings and Pittsburgh Penguins hockey teams, and the reality TV competition So You Think You Can Dance. If forced to pick his favorite book it would be a tie between Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay and David Levithan’s Every Day.

 

He also co-hosts the weekly show Jeff & Will’s Big Gay Fiction Podcast with his husband. You can learn more at BigGayFictionPodcast.com.

Links:

Website: http://jeffadamswrites.com

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/WriterJeffAdams

 

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

Vodka & Handcuffs by Brandon Witt: Exclusive Guest Post, Release Day Review and Giveaway

Vahin Arora, Hamburger Mary’s sexy bartender, plays the flirtatious role so well even his closest friends—his chosen family at Mary’s—don’t realize Vahin hasn’t had a hookup in months. Then Tall, Dark, and Handsome steps through the door, and Vahin’s libido races back to life.

Being a black cop on the Denver police force is no easy job—Marlon Barton can’t imagine adding being gay to the equation. And while Marlon loves his work as an officer, his life has taken a turn for the hellish because of his new partner, the nephew of a senator.

Fleeing his partner’s company one night, Marlon stumbles into Mary’s for the first time… and wakes up with a hangover in the bartender’s bed. The one-night stand heats up into a budding romance, but not without stress as Marlon’s partner’s actions threaten Vahin’s livelihood and Marlon’s future on the force. Can Vahin and Marlon face the challenges and hold on to the love, friendship, and family they’ve found?

Title: Vodka & Handcuffs
Author: Brandon Witt
Release Date: April 26, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 112

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There are moments in life that change your trajectory.   That is most definitely true in the case of love.  For me, it was my friend insisting I get a beer with him in the middle of the day.  For my boyfriend, it was going to lunch with his friend and then grabbing a drink in the middle of the day.  Our paths collided, and we’ve been together ever since. I am not a bar person at all.  Nor am I a beer person.  It still seems strange to me that had I not broken my normal patter than day, I’d be living a very different life six years later.

I wanted to share an excerpt that highlights that very quality for my two lovers in Vodka & Handcuffs.

The same is true for how Marlon and Vahin meet.  Marlon had a shit day of traffic patrol.  His partner, Andrew, is a racists jerk, and annoying too boot.  Marlon just needs some time away from him.  That’s all he needs, really.  Well, he needed it more than he knew…

He needed to cool down before meeting the guys at Brother’s Bar. It would be nothing but talking shop, and at the moment, he wouldn’t be able to keep his tongue in check when it came to Andrew. Not that the others wouldn’t understand. They all pretty much hated Andrew, which was one of the main reasons Marlon had the privilege of being his partner. Marlon was about as difficult to rile up as a bushel of frozen cucumbers, at least that was how Chief Schmidt worded it. Still, if Marlon said too much, it was sure to get back to Andrew somehow, and he would make Marlon’s life even more miserable.

Part of him almost wished he’d let Andrew do something. Something that would be big enough to negate Andrew’s ties to his senator uncle and former police chief grandfather. Although, that big enough something would’ve come at the cost to an innocent family who’d had the misfortune of a bike accident.”

The possibilities that flooded his mind the past few months rushed through him like a hurricane. Thirty-eight wasn’t too old to start a new career. He’d been on the force for fifteen years. That was a good amount of time, for anyone. A life change could be what he needed.

Except it hadn’t even been a thought until Andrew started occupying the passenger seat. Andrew had been a pain in the ass since day one, but he was steadily getting worse. It was only a matter of time. And Marlon didn’t want to be anywhere near when that time came. But he didn’t want to stop being a cop either. He loved being a cop.

At least he used to.

He could move. California had always been alluring. But he was too much of a family guy to want to leave Denver.

Marlon pulled his car into Brother’s Bar parking lot, slammed it into park, and smacked his open palm onto the steering wheel, imagining it was Andrew’s face. He’d have to talk to the chief, again. One of these times, he’d listen. And screw cooling down. He needed a drink, and if he happened to spout off too much about Andrew, then so be it. He turned off the engine, got out of the car, and halted.

“Oh. No fucking way.”

He narrowed his eyes and glared at the red sports car glowing directly under the street lamp illuminating the parking lot. He didn’t need to inspect. Didn’t even need to see the vanity license plate to know it was Andrew’s. Just his damned luck. Andrew hated the guys as much as they hated him. It only made sense Andrew would choose this night—the night when Marlon was more fed up than he’d ever been—to try to be one of the boys.

Marlon slipped right back into his car and peeled out of the lot, cursing under his breath. He drove for a bit longer, then realized he was cruising up 17th Street—the old gay section of 17th Street.

He’d spent many an hour at JR’s when he was younger and at the Wrangler after that. Both were now gone, making way for upper-class, straight, yuppieville.

The new Hamburger Mary’s caught his eye; at least a bit of the old gayborhood was left, refurbished or not. He drove past it without a second thought. Drag queens weren’t his thing. Although… he’d heard the new location had more of a sports bar feel to it. It didn’t sound as relaxing as unwinding with the guys, but if he couldn’t be with other cops, at least he’d be around gays. And most importantly, Andrew wasn’t there.

He made it about another half mile before he turned around.

 

On the 8th of May, please pop on over to Boy Meets Boy for the final Vodka & Handcuffs blog tour, where I’ll give you a sneak peak at what’s to come.

Blog Tour Schedule:

April 19 – MM Good Book Reviews

April 24 – Joyfully Jay

April 25 – Open Skye Book Reviews

April 26- The Novel Approach

April 26 – Alpha Book Reviews

April 27 – Love Bytes

April 28 – Divine Magazine

April 28 – My Fiction Nook

May 1 – Two Chicks Obsessed

May 8 – Boy Meets Boy

One of the things that I enjoy most about Brandon Witt’s books is that there are always aspects of the books that you just don’t find in many other m/m romance books. Vodka and Handcuffs is a perfect example of that type of book.

Vahin, a man who when disowned by his Muslim family for being gay found a family at Hamburger Mary’s, accepted his life as it was. In his 30s he decided to stop the hookups, enjoying his job at Mary’s. A drunken hookup up with a partially closeted Marlon wasn’t in his plans, but after Marlon’s bad day with an openly racist partner, they ended up in bed. Once they were sober, working their way towards a potential relationship was a challenge.

This novella hit on so many issues that are relevant in today’s society. First, open racism and bigotry (sadly) has become more rampant in recent months, and Brandon hits on this from both Marlon and Vahin’s POVs. Even with the characters being gay, the more challenging  piece was working their way through Marlon’s partners disgusting comments and actions. These are not easy issues to tackle. In the m/m romance genre, often any sort of bigotry is portrayed due to the characters sexuality (which does come into play as well), but the characters’ skin color was just as much a conflict to be addressed. I really appreciated that Brandon used this as conflict in the book. It happens, its realistic. Being gay can be and often is what causes characters to engage in hate crimes. However, the primary conflict here was not merely the characters sexuality, but their race as well.

The love and appreciation between all the side characters in their self-made family was evident. I can’t wait to see where this series continues to move forward. Brandon has done a stellar job with this series so far.

Side note: I think I am going to be hitting Hamburger Mary’s during my time in Denver for GRL. 🙂

4 pieces of eye candy

Brandon is offering up one of his backlist titles (and there are some amazing 5 star reads in that backlist, just saying…) to one of our readers. So give him a big congrats, and let him know what you are looking forward to most about reading Vodka & Handcuffs.

 

Brandon Witt’s outlook on life is greatly impacted by his first eighteen years of growing up gay in a small town in the Ozarks, as well as fifteen years as a counselor and special education teacher for students with severe emotional disabilities. Add to that his obsession with corgis and mermaids, then factor in an unhealthy love affair with cheeseburgers, and you realize that with all those issues, he’s got plenty to write about….

Website:  http://www.brandonwitt.com

Author Facebook Page:  http://bit.ly/2jxsfVu

Dreamspinner Press:  http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/AuthorArcade/brandon-witt

Brandon’s Patreon Support page:  http://bit.ly/2j58PdQ

Twitter: https://twitter.com/wittauthor

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2p7a2lc

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4896623.Brandon_Witt

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCO5cFqYKyNyDCxExAonFPRA

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

Rough Edges by Cardeno C : Audiobook Review

Kyle has an unwelcome crush on his nemesis Brent. Brent has a welcome crush on his friend Kyle. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

Born on the wrong side of the tracks to the wrong family, Kyle Potter has spent his life clawing his way toward a better future. When he gets the perfect job at the perfect firm in perfect Los Angeles, Kyle is sure there are only blue skies ahead. And then he meets perfect Brent Haralson.

Born with a silver spoon to a well-established family, Brent Haralson has never been interested in leveraging his connections. Friends, success, and dates come easily to Brent and rejection isn’t something he has to deal with in life. And then he meets perfect Kyle Potter.

Kyle despises his unwelcome crush on his lazy, arrogant nemesis. Brent welcomes his feelings for his stubborn, brilliant friend. As it turns out, the line between a friend and an enemy doesn’t have to be a line at all.

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Kyle has had to fight tooth and nail for everything he has in life. Nothing has come easy for him and because of that he carries a pretty big chip on his shoulder. He can’t stand people born to money that don’t have to earn it and meeting his buddies friend Brent proves his point.

Brent was born with the proverbial silver spoon in his mouth. He was born to money, raised to enjoy the finer things in life, and spends his days lazing about. At least these are the things Kyle thinks he knows about Brent, and takes an instant dislike to him.

When Kyle’s hard work and dedication at work finally turn into a promotion that allows him to put a down payment on a condo he finally feels like he’s made it. He’s accomplished his goal, then in one second it’s all taken away. When the chips are down Kyle has no one to turn to until Brent offers a helping hand.

Kyle borrows Brent’s spare bedroom until he can find a new job and get back on his feet. Over the first few weeks he’s there Kyle starts to realize that there is more to Brent than he first thought. He might not be the spoil rich kid he thought he was. When Kyle realizes what Brent is doing with his free time each day he finds out that old prejudices can blind you from seeing some great right in front of you.

I love a great enemies to lovers story, even if they were only enemies in Kyle’s head. This is a great story about a man finding that through his narrow and intolerant views of people he could be missing out on something great. The characters were well developed and interesting. The story, as always was perfection.

The narrator was good. This was my first time listening to Kevin Chandler. He infused just enough snark in his voice to bring Kyle to life for me. It was great.

Overall an enjoyable listening experience.

Pieces of Candy: 4

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

Breaking the Ice by Tali Spencer: Exclusive “Driving on Lakes” Guest Post and Giveaway

BreakingTheIce4synopsisFor Matt Wasko, February in Wisconsin is the best time of the year, and ice fishing on Lake Winnebago is his idea of heaven. With shanty villages cropping up, barbeques on the ice, monster sturgeon to spear, and plenty of booze to keep everybody warm, things couldn’t be better—until a surprise storm hits and an uninvited guest shows up at his frozen doorstep.

Matt’s not happy to see John Lutz, a coworker who cracks lame gay jokes at Matt’s expense. But John’s flimsy new ice shelter got blown across the lake, and it wouldn’t be right to leave even a jerk outside to freeze. Would it?

In the close quarters of Matt’s fabulous ice shanty, between stripping off wet clothes, misadventures with bait, and a fighting trophy-sized walleye, the two men discover creative ways to keep the cold at bay. And when John confesses his long-running attraction, Matt must decide if he can believe in John’s change of heart—and crack the ice for a chance at finding love.

States of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the United States.

Title: Breaking the Ice
Author: Tali Spencer
Release Date: April 19, 2017
Category: Contemporary, States of Love
Pages: TBD (Novella)

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Guest Post

Driving on Lakes

My new release, Breaking the Ice, is set in Wisconsin. Better yet, it’s set in Wisconsin in winter. Wisconsin in winter on a lake. A frosty, beautiful, ice-sheathed lake.

The ice on inland lakes in the Upper Great Lakes region can get two feet or more thick. At that thickness, it’s possible to drive large trucks onto the ice. Lake Winnebago, where the story takes place, is 30 miles long and ten miles across. To save the time of driving around the lake, winter commuters sometimes just drive across it—if the ice conditions are right.

Once the ice is thick enough, Lake Winnebago, and many other lakes, evolve a road system. Fishing clubs—ice fishing is a major winter sport—plow roads and line these roads with discarded Christmas trees for greater visibility. They also put out ice bridges to span the inevitable cracks that develop near shore. Knowing how, when, and when not to drive on ice is an essential winter skill.

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Breaking the Ice’s main character Matt Wasko is an old hand when it comes to driving on lakes. His house sits on Lake Winnebago’s shore and he and his friends use his ramp to drive out to their fishing spots. Matt’s such an avid ice fisher he practically lives in his ice shanty out on the lake for much of the winter. His pick-up truck with the unicorn license plate frame is as likely to be parked on an icy lake as asphalt. To catch Matt’s attention, smitten John Lutz decides to venture out on the lake. For John, driving his car onto a sheet of frozen water feels worse than unnatural. It freaks him out.

John clutched the steering wheel with both hands and prayed for solid land. The road he was driving on wasn’t even a real road, just a track plowed across ice. In broad daylight, he’d seen it more or less clearly, but now that the sun had vanished, everything turned shadow blue, and the snow and ice had become indistinguishable. Wasko hadn’t been kidding about the way getting treacherous. Just minutes ago John had nearly missed the ice bridge that spanned the foot-wide crack between the shanties and the shore. Only seeing the shoreline looking robust and near gave him cause to celebrate.

And that’s not even taking refrigerator-sized sturgeon holes into account.

John could have used a few simple tips for safe driving on ice roads:

  • Always have a fully charged cell phone with you in case you get stuck or need help.
  • If you drive in the dark, drive slowly so you don’t run ahead of your headlights.
  • Don’t drive in storms. Wind and snow can create cracks and erase roads.
  • Don’t wear your seatbelt. Easier to escape. If you do wear your seatbelt, carry a knife in easy reach so you can cut yourself free if needed.
  • Carry a ball peen hammer so you can break your window to escape from your vehicle if you fall through.
  • Dress warmly to insulate your body should you fall in. Carry an ice pick or screwdriver in your pocket to help you crawl back onto the ice.

One thing to remember always is that ICE MELTS. As weather gets warmer, ice depth can become unpredictable. Ice melts fastest nearest the shore, so ice drivers need to be alert and vigilant about changing ice conditions. Every year someone gets their vehicle stuck out on the ice or falls through because they overestimated the strength of the ice.

It’s not possible, though, to overestimate the willingness of a man to drive his Hyundai onto the ice in pursuit of the man of his dreams. Which is what Breaking the Ice is all about.

 

 

meet the author

Tali Spencer delights in erotic fantasy and adventure, creating worlds where she can explore the heights and shadows of sexual passion. A hopeful romantic and lover of all things exotic, she also writes high fantasy and science fiction. If you would like to see inspiration pictures for her characters, or glimpse how she envisions her worlds, including works in progress, check out her Pinterest boards.

Visit Tali’s blog at http://talismania-brilliantdisguise.blogspot.com
E-mail: tali.spencer1@gmail.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/tali.spencer

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/talispencer/

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New Lease by B.G. Thomas: Release Day Review

new leasesynopsisWade Porter spent his whole life in the shadow of a lover who doled out snippets of love and time as he saw fit—and who insisted that love stay deep in the closet. But now that man is gone, and Wade finds the oceanside cottage where they spent so many weekends together in the Florida Keys cold and empty. He has come one last time, not even sure he wants to keep living.

To his surprise, the house next door is occupied by another bereaved and lonely man. Kent Walker is an artist of romantic gay paintings who is open to the future—and determinedly interested in Wade. Kent wants to show Wade the beauty in being an openly gay man and the possibilities for a real relationship.

Maybe Kent can help Wade let go of the past and discover a better way to live—and love.

Title: New Lease
Author: B.G. Thomas
Release Date: April 12, 2017
Category: Contemporary
Pages: 46

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jennifer

Okay, I didn’t quite know what to feel about this one. It wasn’t a typical love story, it was a story of one man getting a life. Harshly put, but that’s exactly what it was.
Wade had been the dirty little secret of a married man for nearly half his life. Never being able to go out together or do things together, no; he settled for 2 weeks a YEAR! Why in the world would someone settle for 2 weeks a year, knowing that you were also sharing him with someone else… Knowing that YOU were the “other woman”, so to speak.
Gene was selfish and manipulative. He was a terrible person and I wasn’t sorry at all that he was no longer….of this world.
Kent was a vacationer in the cottage next to Wade. Wade had gotten into a drunken confusion and ran to Wade’s cottage, which is how they met. I’d say that Kent showed him how to open up and live, but he really didn’t. He was just there as Wade was figuring it out. Of course, he did give him things to think about and that’s what really made Wade start thinking but it wasn’t really romantic. Just kind of like, you’re hot, you deserve this and I volunteer!
I dunno, this one really wasn’t for me. It wasn’t bad, not at all, just not my kind of read I reckon.
3 stars for me.

 

3-stars

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Tys That Bind by Jessie G: Blog Tour, Exclusive Guest Post, Review and Giveaway

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Tys That Bind - Final - 400 x 600synopsis

Unprepared, ill-equipped, and with no example to look back on, Ty and Chase embarked on a journey to build a family for Ava and Luc that would far exceed anything they dreamed of for themselves. Two years later, they’ve succeeded beyond their wildest expectations, but there’s still a couple of things missing…and they’re ready to make them happen.

Bad boy biker Trick wouldn’t hesitate to fight for those he loves, but Ty knows it will take more than violence to win this war. Willfully submissive Chase has the utmost faith in his Master, but when he sees Ty struggling with demons from his past, it will be his quiet, unbending support that will see them through. Jumping through the loopholes of family court, they are only one event shy of making it all official and neither are willing to wait another second to check it off the list.

Clearing the path for adoption should reassure them, but it will take their cast of well-meaning friends and the occasional slap upside the head before they realize that the ties that bind them together are forged in a love that can never be taken away.

Author: Jessie G

Book: Tys That Bind

Series: Devils Pride MC #3 (series should be read in order)

Key Words: Gay Romance, Adoptions & Weddings, Contemporary Romance

Cover Artist: Andrew Reyna

Release Date: March 31, 2017

tco exclusive

I asked Denise for a prompt to get this posted started and she asked me to talk about the differences between writing happy stories versus angst/action-driver stories. To be honest, I don’t sit down and think “this book has to be” whatever. I let the characters determine the levels of angst to sweet. Either way, as a firm believer in happily ever after, all my stories come with that guarantee.  But the road to such an ending is rarely easy. Like real life, everyone has a journey, and every couple faces problems. It’s how they deal with them without ever losing each other that makes a real life HEA.

A wedding & adoption book may lend itself to the writing happy, but both occasions are rife with hurdles to overcome. I try to make these sequels about the growth of my couples, not only to see how far they’ve come but to show them taking the next steps in their relationship. For Red and Bull, and Chris and Owen, it made sense to write super sweet, romantic stories that hovered on too sappy.

There was no way that could work for Ty and Chase, thankfully, because I really want each book to be as different as I can make them. In this case, looking forward and taking those next steps comes with some serious introspection that provides the angst that we expect from Ty. From a secret wedding in one of the most people locations in Miami, to officially making it official, all the feelings are there in true non-mushy fashion…mostly. Part of the reconciliation of Trick and Ty, and the growth of his character overall, is the realization that having feelings for isn’t the detriment he once believed it could be.

Does that mean we’ll see a full-on sappy/mushy Ty in the future? Probably only when Ava wants to wear her princess crown.

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denise review

Check out Deanna’s 5 pieces of eye candy review here!

You never know what you are going to get with a Jessie G book. Sometimes she will rip my heart out, make it into mincemeat, and bring me to the other side with an HEA (because she always does that) or sometimes I will read the book and just enjoy having an established couple living their lives, working through all the struggles couples have, but finding more of their HEA.

Tys that Bind is the latter. Ty and Chase had to go through so much to find their HEA in Tricking Chase. When they found Ty’s sister’s children, they became an instant family of four, with all the struggles that must go along with that. This novella was all about completing that family, making it unable to be severed under the law. And it was done in spectacular Ty and Chase fashion. Quiet, with just the two of them there for their wedding-and you will see that it truly is only the two of them for the most important part of their wedding, the vows. A party was thrown in there, as well, because what is a book in the world that Jessie created without the entire family finding a reason to celebrate. 🙂

One of the things that I love about Jessie’s books is that not only do the characters think, introspect and figure out all the reasons WHY they are doing or going to do what they do…but she brings the reader along for the ride. The reader finds that you can’t (and don’t want to) zone out, sometimes reading words and not comprehending. You are fully engaged in intelligent introspection with the character, and that is something special. That is something you will not get with a lot of authors. Jessie provides that in spades.

This family got their true HEA, a hard fought battle from beginning to end, but worth every second, as the characters tell the reader.

4 pieces of eye candy

4-pieces-of-eye-candy

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meet the author

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

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

Where to Find Me

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/jessieg

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jessiegbooks

Website: http://www.jessiegbooks.com

Newsletter Signup: http://eepurl.com/bhuja1

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

Google +: google.com/+Jessiegbooksmm

Instagram: https://instagram.com/jessiegbooks

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jessiegbooks

Pinterest:  http://www.pinterest.com/jessiegbooks/

Tumblr (NSFW 18+):  http://jessiegbooks.tumblr.com/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/JessieGBooks

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