Loving a MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from the writing team of KA Merican. MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY is a rock romance between a bisexual rock frontman and the sexy eye-candy he meets at a remote gas station in nowhere. I’ve really enjoyed books by this writing team in the past, including THE BLACK SHEEP AND THE ROTTEN APPLE, so I was eager to read this one.

Catch the epic meet-cute excerpt, my review and enter the book giveaway below.

About the book:
You can’t hide the cracks under the spotlight
Dusk. Leader of The Underdogs. Destined for greatness. Lives in the now.
Abe. AKA Lolly. Iridescent. Unicorn.
All Dusk wants out of life is for his band to become world famous. He also wants to have a lot of fun along the way. And to get his rocks off. When he wants something, he goes for it, consequences be damned. So when he sees a gorgeous pink-haired guy who is the human equivalent of tattooed cotton candy, he can’t help but have a taste. But it’s when Lolly ends up on their tour bus that Dusk knows their meeting was destiny.

Abe is the kind of guy who goes with the flow. He was hitchhiking anyway, so why not spend the week with a hot piece of rocker beefcake, getting smothered by his sexy long hair? And why not play the part of the supportive cutie while he’s at it? It’s not like he’d be sticking around for long anyway.

All plans hit a wall when photos of Abe and Dusk emerge online, suddenly pushing the band into the spotlight. To take advantage of the sudden popularity, the band offers Abe money for staying.

Which means money for being in a fake relationship with Dusk.

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

How about a little taste?

The sun hit him like a red-hot hammer, and he squinted, rushing through the courtyard and into the shadow of the roof. His mouth was already smiling when he saw the logo of an ice cream manufacturer in the window. Since they’d already stopped, he might as well have something sweet to go with the savory. Or, possibly-maybe get peanut butter ice cream and win at breakfast?

The store greeted him with fresh, cool air that he inhaled with pleasure, delving between the shelves to find his prize. He could already see it from afar, next to a few jams, and coffee, and—who the fuck was that?

Dusk stopped breathing and just watched the dreamy, pink-haired creature move along the aisle, headbanging gently to music he was listening to through his mint-colored headphones. There was a lightness to his step, and Dusk followed the guy as if he were a rabbit leading Dusk to Wonderland.

The guy’s hair was styled into two thick, messy boxer braids tied with glittery bands. A pair of rollerblades swung from the guy’s large backpack. With each hypnotizing movement of slim hips clad in well-fitting denim shorts that ended just above the knees, Dusk was beckoned closer to the creature who was so at odds with the coarse surroundings, he must had stepped out of a fairytale and gotten lost in the New Mexican desert. His bare calves were nicely toned and dusted with blond hair, twitching slightly as the angel of a guy danced his way through the aisles.

He only stopped once he approached a newspaper stand and pulled out a music magazine. Leaning slightly against the wall, he finally allowed Dusk a good look on the profile of his boyish yet angular face. Working his way through the pages, he seemed completely immersed in his own little world.

One arm, tattooed in pastel-colored shapes that Dusk could not discern from afar, rose, and the guy pulled on a little white stick that peeked out of his mouth, revealing a shocking pink lollipop that he must have been sucking on all along.

Dusk licked his lips, wishing he could be that lollipop. He checked himself out in a mirror next to a stand with hats, just to make sure he didn’t have anything stuck to his face, and he moved closer to the pastel-hued poisonous butterfly. The guy was cute, colorful, but there was an edge to his look. His neck was inked, and his septum pierced. Oh, how Dusk craved to put his hand against the guy’s Adam’s apple.

He couldn’t recall the last time he was rendered speechless, since he was anything but shy. This guy though, casually sucking on a pink lollipop at this gas station in the middle of nowhere, was making Dusk’s throat dry, his palms sweat, and his dick beg for action.

Lolly blinked and gave a short laugh, staring at something in the magazine. Still gently moving his body to the music coming from his headphones, he rhythmically tapped the lollipop against his lips, only to greedily suck it back in. Every time he smiled, a little black star under his eye moved. At first Dusk had assumed it was painted-on, but as he stared more intently, he recognized it as a tattoo.

That was it. Dusk needed to get himself a piece of that.

He took a few steps closer and reached for a magazine off a shelf above Lolly’s head to get an opportunity to stretch in front of the guy, and when their eyes met, he smiled.

Lolly’s eyes were big and so blue they fit right in with his image. He leaned his head back to look at Dusk more comfortably and pushed the headphones to rest around his neck, revealing flesh plugs of the same minty color. Score.

He moved the lollipop in his mouth with his tongue so that the stick was at the side and wouldn’t prevent him from speaking. “What’s up?”

“What’s the flavor?” Dusk pointed to Lolly’s mouth. He bet it now tasted of wet hot sin.

Lolly pulled on the lollipop so that it slid halfway out of his mouth, only to suck it back in, loudly and without shame. “What flavor do you like?”

“I like fruity. And my manager only allows me one sweet thing a day, so I gotta choose wisely.” It was utter bullshit, but did it matter when their gazes met so intensely neither of them blinked? “Can I try yours to see if I wanna buy it?”

Lolly pulled on the stick, so tantalizingly slow, teasing Dusk with his blue eyes and long lashes, with his perfect tanned skin, with his toned arms that were tattooed into various landmarks and animals. Lolly was not only hot. He wasdesire.

“What do I get in return?”

Sink or swim. Dusk would either get a kick in the nuts or a laugh. He leaned down to whisper into Lolly’s ear. Worst case scenario, he could play it down into a joke and continue from there. “You give me something sweet, I give you something salty.”

Dusk’s skin tingled where they almost touched, and he closed his eyes when the soft, frizzy hair brushed against his cheek. Lolly smelled of something sweet, and yet a bit bitter, in a delicious masculine way that made Dusk want to savor him all the more. Cotton candy made of seaweed? No. That made no sense.

Lolly gave a short laugh, and his fingers briefly rubbed Dusk’s chest. “I’m intrigued.”

Dusk pulled back just enough to look into Lolly’s eyes, and the spot on Dusk’s chest where he’d been touched seemed to tingle as if invisible unicorns galloped along his pecs. How far could he push his luck? The guy wasn’t offended by the dirty joke. Sparks of attraction shone between them as if they’d been glitter bombed, and Dusk found it hard to focus on anything but the pretty lips and blue eyes.

“Intrigued enough to follow me outside and risk that I’m a total psycho serial killer?”

Lolly pulled the candy out of his mouth and slowly moved it along the pink line of his tempting lips, leaving behind a sticky sheen. “Maybe you could taste my lollipop in the restrooms?”

“Fuck yes…” Dusk thought it, but then realized he’d also said it out loud. Oh, who cared? His dick was already filling at the thought of all the things Dusk wanted to do with the sweet lips of this heavenly creature. Was the restroom here actually big enough to fuck in? It better be, because one way or another, he would be scoring soon.

My Review:
Dusk Hill is the frontman and lead guitarist of The Underdogs, a rock band he’s formed with his brother Dawn, his bestie Mage and Sid, an experienced drummer. Sid and Dawn are gay, but quiet about it, and Dusk is bisexual, but only out to friends and family. He meets a slender, pink-haired tattooed man in a gas station convenience store–and the attraction is instant.

They actually have to make a run for it, after Dusk and the sucker-licking man he calls ‘Lolly’ in his head make a giant mess of the bathroom they use for a tryst. Lolly was hitchhiking his way to LA and he’s more than happy for the ride(s) Dusk offers by way of their jerry-rigged tour bus…and his narrow cot.

Abe is a drifter wanting to make art, but willing to take his chances with Dusk and his Underdogs. It’s a lark, right? Until it seems like more. Not that Abe’s really prepared for more, or to fall hard for Dusk. An inadvertent photo outs Dusk as bi, and the band wants Lolly to stick around to turn the fallout into a publicity opportunity. Abe isn’t sure this is cool, getting paid a little to cozy up to Dusk in public seems to cross some lines, but Dusk is persuasive, and hawt. They get it on an on and on…

But, as the weeks wear on and Abe isn’t getting any farther with his art dreams, it makes him more uncomfortable. It’s only more frustrating that Dusk doesn’t even know his true name. Dusk is content to play his way through life, and it upsets Abe in ways he didn’t expect. This comes to a meltdown that ruins just about everything between them but Dusk is unwilling to let Abe just walk away. He offers friendship, and a real job managing social media and fan relations for the band–with the sheets-burning sex they’d shared previously now off the menu. And that’s equally rough on both of them.

I loved how these guys transitioned from the hot and horny hook up to the unrequited lovers-turned-friends. It’s bittersweet, knowing how intense their feelings remain, but heartening to see how hard they work to build something awesome between them. Abe’s art is helping the band get noticed, and raise his own visibility, to the point that he’s offered his own freelance gigs that will take him away from the tour. Can Dusk manage to make his true feelings known before Abe walks away? The tension is high and the sex is frequent and dirty. Expect public options to abound, and an epic HEA that brings the audience to its feet. I’m really excited to read on in this new series.

Interested? You can find MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY on Goodreads and Amazon US | Amazon UK.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from KA Merikan!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Authors:
K.A. Merikan is the pen name for Kat and Agnes Merikan, a team of writers, who are mistaken for sisters with surprising regularity. Kat’s the mean sergeant and survival specialist of the duo, never hesitating to kick Agnes’s ass when she’s slacking off. Her memory works like an easy-access catalogue, which allows her to keep up with both book details and social media. Also works as the emergency GPS. Agnes is the Merikan nitpicker, usually found busy with formatting and research. Her attention tends to be scattered, and despite being over thirty, she needs to apply makeup to buy alcohol. Self-proclaimed queen of the roads.

They love the weird and wonderful, stepping out of the box, and bending stereotypes both in life and books. When you pick up a Merikan book, there’s one thing you can be sure of – it will be full of surprises.

Catch up with this duo on their website, Facebook, Twitter (run by Kat), Agnes Merikan’s Twitter, Goodreads or Pinterest.

IndiGo

Writing a New Life Story in PERMANENT INK–A Review

Hi there! Today, I’m featuring a review for a new M/M contemporary romance form the writing team of Avon Gale and Piper Vaughn. PERMANENT INK is the first book in a new Art & Soul series and features an older-younger romance that’s hot enough to burn up the pages. I’ve loved solo reads like BREAKAWAY and WOOD, SCREWS AND NAILS from these authors in the past, so I was eager to read this new collaboration.

About the book:
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.

My Review:
Poe Montgomery is wearing his father’s patience very thin. He’s 23, virtually jobless, and just got picked up, again, for making graffiti art–criminal mischief, in this case. His father, Landon, pours out his woes over Poe’s aimless life to his best friend, Jericho McAslan and Jericho feels a kinship to Poe’s situation. Jericho had been a handful, and far more trouble to his caregivers at a younger age than Poe is now, but he’d been given the opportunity to learn the trade of tattooing and it saved his life. Now, twenty years later, Jericho’s in position to pay it forward, and offers to take Poe on as a receptionist at his tattoo parlor, with the bonus that if he is diligent Jericho will offer him an apprenticeship as a tattoo artist.

Poe is a little sulky about the prospect, but he soon is intrigued by the art happening all around him. And, it helps that Jericho is exactly as sexy up-close and personal as Poe had found him when Jericho would pop over for beers with his dad. In fact, Jericho thinks nothing of the age gap between them, and he’s not shy of his interest. Jericho’s undeniably turned on, but he’s also put off by the prospect of damaging his friendship with Landon, and also with the power imbalance in their work relationship. He turns Poe away again and again, but Poe’s attitude only gets worse, and he’s soon in trouble again with his tagging pals–mot notably Blue. Blue wants all of Poe’s attention and he’s not afraid to demand it, which makes their friendship uncomfortable for the first time in years. Blue doesn’t want Poe to learn how to tattoo, or to find a job where he can be supported by his art–because Blue thinks they ought to suffer for it, and it’s all a little off-kilter. Poe hadn’t seen how out-there Blue was until he stepped away and got perspective. He wants a good life, with a good man, and Jericho finally comprehends how good he and Poe could be together. And, it’s super-duper hot, folks. The best of Daddy porn on the page.

I don’t want to give away too much more, but I will say that Blue messes things up for Poe and Jericho big time, and it surely ties into the next book in this series. I’ve read a few tattoo-artist romances this summer and this ones just delightful. The age difference was fun to observe, and the relationships between Poe and his dad, Landon, and Landon and Jericho are really awesome. Landon became a father at a young age and raised Poe without help for nearly all his life. The lack of maternal coddling in their youth is a bonding point for Jericho and Poe, and the way Landon manages to not punch Jericho in the face for “exploiting” his boy is charming. I liked all these characters and felt like they were real enough I’d go have a beer with them anytime. I look forward to the next book where I expect Blue will get a strong lesson in adulting, and love.

Interested? You can find PERMANENT INK on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

About the Authors:
Avon Gale was once the mayor on Foursquare of Jazzercise and Lollicup, which should tell you all you need to know about her as a person. She likes road trips, rock concerts, drinking Kentucky bourbon and yelling at hockey. She’s a displaced southerner living in a liberal midwestern college town, and when she’s not writing you can find her at the salon, making her clients look and feel fabulous. She never gets tired of people and their stories — either real or the ones she makes up in her head.

You can find Avon on Facebook, twitter, Pinterest or sign up for her newsletter.

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, she loves them all (and has a two-thousand-book library to prove it!). She grew up in Chicago, in an ethnically diverse neighborhood, and loves to put faces and characters of every ethnicity in her stories, so her fictional worlds are as colorful as the real one. Above all, she believes that everyone needs a little true love in their life…even if it’s only in a book.

You can find Piper online on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Changing Perspectives MAYBE THIS TIME–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M contemporary romance from Annabelle Jacobs. MAYBE THIS TIME is a sweet unexpected romance for a 38 year old silver fox and his new slightly younger neighbor. I’ve loved other romances from this author, like A CASUAL THING, A CHRISTMAS KISS, and BITTEN BY DESIGN, so I thought I’d check it out.

Catch my review and enter the book giveaway below!
About the book:
Moving into a new home starts with a bang when Ryan Blackwell celebrates turning thirty. Being hungover means he’s bleary-eyed and clumsy the next day, but even in that state, he can appreciate how sexy and fit his neighbour is.

Matt Thomas isn’t looking for anything long-term—one and done is usually his life rule. Why settle down early, like his sister, when casual relationships are so easy? With Ryan living in the same building, chance encounters are inevitable. When one night together becomes two, a friends-with-benefits deal seems a natural progression.

There’s only one problem: sex with no strings relies on matching expectations, so Ryan can’t help worrying. His huge heart always wants more, but Matt’s been clear about his limits. As passion leads to caring, they’ll have to make some tough decisions—maybe this time, breaking some rules will be worth it if that means they’ll get to share a future.

My Review:
Ryan Blackwell notices his sexy silver fox neighbor when he moves into his new flat, but he doesn’t think Matt returns his interest. And, it’s kinda true. Matt thinks Ryan is dead sexy, but he’s not a guy who wants more than no-strings, and striking up with a guy in his own building seems fraught with potential complications.

At first.

Once Matt makes it clear he’d like one night, and Ryan agrees, they both get it on, and get along. It’s a good night and a great morning, and they go back to their lives. But they do run into one another around the building, and their one nighter soon turns into a repeat. And, it’s still good. Matt’s close friends warn him that this sounds like the beginning of something…more. More than friends with benefits, and Matt’s not sure how he feels about it. He’s felt averse to relationships for half his life, and it’s ingrained for him to deny any semblance of attachment, but he really likes how he feels with Ryan, and he’s grateful for the support Ryan gave him at a rough time. They have a good time hanging out and running together, as well as burning up the sheets. Would it be so bad to see where this could lead?

Ryan’s not made for flings, but he’s so attracted to Matt he’s willing to try. Each time they connect, he has to remind himself they are friends and nothing more, but when Matt seems to change his mind, can Ryan catch up to speed? I liked how they talked through this, and how Matt wasn’t too impatient to give Ryan a little time to digest his confession. There’s a lot going on with their close friends, and even some work drama, so I expect we’ll see some of the secondary characters find love in later books. One thing I noticed, and perhaps it’s because I’m a Yank, but these folks seem to have tea all the time. I’d be in the toilets all the time if I had half as much tea as these characters… It made me chuckle to consider it. Also, lots of delicious sexytimes, if that’s your cuppa.

Interested? You can find MAYBE THIS TIME on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Ms. Jacobs.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Catch up with Annabelle online on her website, Facebook, twitter or email at ajacobsfiction (at) gmail (dot) com.
signal boost

Sold Short? FULL DISCLOSURE–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from DJ Jamison. FULL DISCLOSURE is a bit rom-com bit police romance and a fun read.

Drop down to read an excerpt, my review and enter to win a $20 GC in the giveaway!

About the book:
A new real estate agent gets more than he bargained with his first client ….
Camden
I’m desperate to make a fresh start as a real estate agent after leaving my alcoholic boyfriend of way too long. Getting a call to list a house while parading as a hot dog for a few bucks seems like my lucky break. Then things go sideways. My apartment is broken into and burglarized. Getting caught half-naked while squatting in my own listing is a low point. Seeing the sexy-voiced stranger who is now my client — and his gorgeous, cold boyfriend? — major bummer. But hey! I might sell a house … if we can ever get it in decent shape for the market and all the odd questions surfacing about my client don’t get in the way.

Reid
I’m a washed up US marshal turned bodyguard, and even that’s lost its appeal. A leave of absence to deal with a house I inherited from my great-uncle seems like a good opportunity to get my head straight. But then my boss pulls me aside and asks me to take on a witness in danger. We’d be off the grid, so to speak. The guy is a criminal, but he’s young and gay, so we set up a cover as a couple. Might seem risky in Kansas, but all the gossip about those gay guys will make a great smokescreen to our true secret: Lee is a target of the Dragon Boyz gang, and I have to keep him safe until trial. Of course, I wasn’t counting on the gorgeous blond, blue-eyed Realtor who makes me want something more in my life. When he starts asking questions, do I set him straight or risk losing him for good? And then there’s still those gang members to think about.

FULL DISCLOSURE: includes inappropriate attire, gunfights, flirting while in a fake relationship and male/male naughtiness.

How about a little taste?

I shimmied my hips, which in turn shook my moneymaker.

Sadly, I wasn’t on the dance floor, swishing for attention. I was wiggling and jiggling to reach my phone, which was inconveniently positioned in the waistband of my briefs.

The phone rang — and vibrated — turning my shimmy into a spastic hop.

People stared. Though that might have been caused by the hot dog costume encasing me in a sweaty, straining mess rather than the bun action going on. (See what I did there? Bun action. Ha, ha. No, seriously. My life is a joke.)

The sidewalk baked under my feet, and the thick, humid heat of Kansas summer hung heavy in the air. A fan inside the costume kept me from heat stroke, but sweat still poured from my body. The phone slipped and slid against my skin, evading my grasp.

My shoulder twinged with pain, but I managed to pull the dang phone free.

“You’ve reached Camden Lewis,” I answered breathlessly.

With luck, I sounded at least a bit professional. I didn’t intend to be the hot dog in Dogs N Stuff’s marketing campaign a minute longer than necessary.

I had already launched my new venture, as a real estate agent, but business was a little slower getting off the ground than I’d hoped. And my safety net — i.e. my well-paid boyfriend, Austin — was no longer a viable option.

Thus, the humiliating, poorly paid work.

“You’re the real estate agent?”

“Yes!” I responded with a little too much excitement. Clearing my throat, I tried to rein myself in. “Yes, sir, I am. How might I help you today?”

“My name is Reid Bishop. I inherited the place on Ivy Lane, owned by my great-uncle, Robert Winters? Have you heard of it?”

Nope. “Yes, sir. Are you looking to sell then?”

Please please please!

“I am. I live out of state, and I have no idea what condition the property is in presently. I need an agent I can trust to go check out the place and advise me on any steps I need to take to prepare it for market. I will be coming to town in a week or two. I’m not sure of the timetable just yet.”

Score!

“I can absolutely help you with that, Mr. Bishop. There’s some paperwork to get the process started, even if you’re not ready to go on market. I could fax that to your office?”

A loud, nasally voice interrupted my surprise sales call.

“Cam! I’m not paying you to talk on the phone!”

Damn. Dogs N Stuff’s manager, Mike White, who thought supervising a fast-food restaurant made him hot shit, was crossing the street at a jog.

“Fax works. Should I give you the number now?” Reid Bishop asked, his deep baritone smooth ­­­­­as coffee in my ear.

I could listen to that voice all day. But I didn’t have all day, or even all of a minute. Edging down the sidewalk, I put more distance between me and Mike while talking fast.

“Actually, Mr. Bishop, I’m driving. On my way to a showing. You know how it is, all work for us busy real estate agents! But if you want to text the info, I’d be happy to get everything started when I get back to the office.”

“Sure, sounds good. I normally do more homework and check reviews, but I’ve got my hands full.”

“Don’t worry, Mr. Bishop. If you’re not satisfied with my work, you can withdraw the listing and work with another agent. There’s very little risk.”

“Well, you sound like you know what you’re talking about. Thank you.”

Yesss. Score 1 for the art of bullshitting.

“Thank you. Talk to you again soon, sir.”

I ended the call not a second too soon.

“Cam!” Mike bellowed as he grabbed my arm. “I pay you to work, not take calls. Hot dogs don’t have cell phones!”

I turned an irritated look on him. “Hot dogs don’t have legs. Do you want me to cut off my legs?”

“What? No—”

“It was an emergency call. It won’t happen again.”

God, please let it happen again.

If someone else called, maybe I’d finally have enough clients to leave the hot dog business.

My Review:
Camden Lewis is a little down on his luck. His long-time boyfriend is an alcoholic, and borderline physically abusive, so Cam took off, first staying with his best friend, Miguel. But that only made Miguel’s boyfriend upset, so he took a dump of an apartment he’s about to get evicted from, if he can’t get a commission soon in his new line of work: realty. He has one set of clients looking for a home, and one house listed for sale, and no new leads.

Reid Bishop was a US Marshal, but politics and problems drove him out of the service. He’s been doing personal security, but that gig’s about to dry up now that he let some C-List actor get swarmed at an outing. He’s just about to take an extended leave to Kansas to investigate the house his great-uncle left him when his former boss calls with a personal favor. One of their trial witnesses is in jeopardy, and a leak in the Marshals service has them rattled. They want Reid to take the witness–a Vietnamese young man they are calling Lee–out of California and into a safe, unknown space. Kansas it is. Now, Reid and Lee are pretending to be boyfriends, because they are both gay, while Reid takes his time cleaning up his new property and preparing it for sale.

Cam’s ecstatic about listing Reid’s home, until he walks in. It’s in a state of disrepair that ensures it won’t sell fast enough for Cam to get a quick commission. Still, he’s willing to give it a serious go, and even takes Reid up on an offer to work hourly to clear up the house. Lee isn’t happy that Cam’s around so much, because he sees how attracted Reid is to the lithe, upbeat man, and Cam feels awkward about his own attraction to Reid.

They have some stellar missteps, like Reid and Lee meeting Cam in a most revealing way–stepping out of their shower. And there’s strangeness afoot, with shadowy folks checking out the property, digging holes in the yard and breaking in. Reid’s worried it’s hitmen come for Lee, and nearly scares the pants off Cam and others as he totes that gun of his all around. Reid’s jumpiness sets Cam’s wheels a-turning. Are they really boyfriends on an extended leave? Or, are they criminals? Reid’s attraction to Cam is hard to mistake. He’s throwing out come-ons like they’re going out of fashion. It’s highly inappropriate, and Cam’s confused by the mixed signals. That said, Cam’s intrigued to investigate more, and almost afraid to get his heart’s desire.

For me, this was a cute and sweet odd-couple romance. Reid’s near-complacency regarding his and Lee’s welfare didn’t quite jibe with the clear and present danger they were in, so that was a miss for me, but the romance aspect was fun. The story was a bit of a caper, and reminded me of rom-coms that I’ve loved. Lee’s a snot, and he learns some valuable lessons, as do all the characters. Cam learns to stand on his own feet, and respect himself, which was really awesome to see; he’d survived years of emotional abuse from his former partner. Reid’s effusive compliments really help boost Cam’s spirit, and Reid’s time in Kansas limbo help him to sort out his own path–which doesn’t seem to lie in security or law enforcement. There’s a little bit of sexytimes, and they’re yummy, too. Expect an HEA, and a lead-in to a sequel.

Interested? You can find FULL DISCLOSURE on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
DJ Jamison grew up in the Midwest and worked in newsrooms for more than 10 years before trying her hand at romance writing. Her first m/m romance stories focused on a series of love connections between small-town Kansas newspaper staffers, their sources and their readers before she expanded into novels venturing into emergency rooms and other settings. She lives in Kansas with her husband, two sons and three glow-in-the-dark fish who are miraculously still alive. The same can’t be said for the hamster she got in college. RIP Bogie.

Catch up with DJ on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Strangers Connect BE MY BEST MAN–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m happy to share a review and giveaway for a newly published M/M contemporary romance from Con Riley. BE MY BEST MAN links a jaded older man with a struggling refugee, and it’s a charming blend of cultures.

About the book:
Will Jason’s third time as a best man lead to first-time love for Vanya?
After fleeing violence in Moscow, student teacher Vanya Petrov winds up lonely in a run-down London hostel. At least visiting the Bond Street store where his roommate works lets him practice his English, but as Vanya’s vocabulary expands, so does his isolation, especially when he sees happy couples planning their perfect weddings.

According to Jason Balfour, weddings are a waste of time and money. After all, he’s been best man for his brother twice already. Saying that a third marriage will end in divorce too leads to an angry ultimatum: to save his relationship with his brother, Jason must meet his fiancée, at last, and make a good first impression.

Jason’s need to dress to impress brings him and Vanya together. Language is no barrier to falling in love with the young and fragile Russian, and neither is their age difference. But Vanya’s bruised soul carries secrets that could rip them apart. As the wedding draws near, Vanya must confess, and soon, or risk losing Jason—his own best man in Britain.

My Review:
Vanya Petrov survived a targeted attack in Moscow for being gay. His appeal to the UK for asylum is still under review and he suffers from PTSD though his life-threatening injuries are now healed. As a petitioner for asylum, he’s unable to earn any money and must subsist on a meager welfare allowance. It’s barely enough to keep him housed in a miserable hostel and fed. It’s been nearly nine months of waiting, with monthly immigration check-ins, and collecting evidence that demonstrates he will be in grave danger should he return to Russia. He develops a friendship with two people at the hostel, Kaspar and Anna, and they band together against thieves and attackers.

Vanya meets Jason at the store where Kaspar works. Jason mistakes him for a personal shopper, and he’s desperate to make himself look better in the eyes of his foster brother, Andrew. Jason’s been a jerk for the past six months, ever since Andrew asked Jason to be best man at his third wedding to a much younger woman, Chantel, whom Jason is sure is a gold digger. Jason’s also sure there’s no such thing as true love and doesn’t want to help Andrew find his way toward another divorce, but he’s also unwilling to let Andrew walk out of his life. So, he attempts to hire the exotic young man he’s not sure is even of legal age to help transform him from a gruff builder into someone presentable. Vanya, having been seduced into trauma before, is wary of Jason’s motives for hiring him, but he’s also desperate. All of their savings has been stolen and he and his friends don’t feel safe living in the hostel. In fact, being near Jason–a home restorer–gives Vanya an inside track on a vacant property where they can squat in safety.

But being near Jason also turns on both fear and attraction, in equal measure, for Vanya. He’s afraid to get caught accepting money for work, to have Jason learn where he’s living, to have Jason learn he’s a fraud and not a personal shopper, to not be granted asylum…there are so many worries in Vanya’s precarious position as an asylum-seeker and he misses his family who have cut all ties. He’s adrift, and sees that same loneliness in Jason–with whom he builds a rapport. In fact, Jason’s life has been lonely, and he and Vanya unexpectedly hit it off. Vanya gives Jason good counsel about the situation with Andrew and Chantel, and Jason recognizes his instincts there have been rotten. Their camaraderie soon builds into a mutual attraction, and turns cautiously physical. Jason doesn’t know much about Vanya, and what he thinks he knows is off the mark, too. So there be struggles, but there also be admiration. Jason very much admires Vanya’s resiliency, his tenacity, and his willingness to help out Chantel with wedding plans pro bono. Though, when he finds out why Vanya won’t take any money for his work, well, it leads to some fireworks. And, some remorse. And, some big apologies.

I loved the interplay between the characters. Kaspar, Anna, Andrew and Chantel are all fantastic supports to Vanya and Jason. Each man is cautious, with his heart and with his words. Jason has a problem with age differences–between himself and Vanya, and between Andrew and Chantal. It takes him a while to come around, but he’s not afraid to make amends when he gets it. Vanya is an amazing character. I haven’t read many stories from the POV of a desperate would-be immigrant, but this felt so very genuine, and the terror, trauma, and anxiety of that situation came through loud and clear. I ached for Vanya to find a full life in London, and with a man he could trust. Jason seems as if he can be that man, but the lies between them are large and dangerous. How they worked through this was good, though I wondered how Vanya could move on so fast to set his plans into motion. Still, the end is beautiful, and a totally happy resolution. I’d read another three books with these guys at the center, that’s how much I adored this one.

Interested? You can find BE MY BEST MAN on Goodreads and Amazon (US & UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Con Riley.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Con Riley lives on the wild and rugged Devonshire coast, with her head in the clouds, and her feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

Injury curtailed her enjoyment of outdoor pursuits, so writing fiction now fills her free time. Love, loss, and redemption shape her romance stories, and her characters are flawed in ways that makes them live and breathe.

When not people watching, or wrangling her own boy band of teen sons, she spends time staring at the sea from her kitchen window. If you see her, don’t disturb her—she’s probably thinking up new plots.

Catch up with Con on her website, Twitter, Tumblr, and Goodreads.

Rough Love in SAVED–Review and Giveaway!!

Hi there! Today I”m sharing a review, excerpt and giveaway for a new M/M urban fantasy from AM Arthur. SAVED is the first book in the Breaking Free series, and features a world where only males exist. Three genders: alpha, beta and omega, and some rough sexual politics have led to bad relations between breeding pairs…where love isn’t necessarily a given. I’ve liked contemporary and new adult romances from this author (HERE FOR US, THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, FINDING THEIR WAY) so I was eager to check out this new series.

Drop down to enter the giveaway for an eBook of SAVED and an ARC of book two in the series!

About the book:
He didn’t want an alpha to save him, but fate had other ideas…

Braun Etting was raised to know his place as an omega by his alpha father’s cruel words and fast fists, and he expects nothing but violence from the alpha who may one day mate him. His older brother Kell mated a cruel alpha who abuses him daily, and Braun is terrified of that seemingly inevitable future. When Braun’s father dies in a car crash, leaving Braun an orphan, he’s sent to a halfway house for omegas. But on his fourth night there, he witnesses a horrifying crime that sends him fleeing to the streets alone—and edging into his first heat.

Tarek Bloom is settled in his workaholic, single lifestyle, even if it is somewhat embarrassing to be a twenty-eight year-old unmated alpha. He enjoys his job as a constable, helping people and solving problems, so he isn’t prepared for his life to flip upside-down when he walks into his beta friend Dex’s apartment to help with “a problem.”

The problem turns out to be an unmated, nearly in-heat omega orphan who Dex and his husband rescued off the street last night. The even bigger problem is that Tarek feels the mating bond for this terrified omega immediately—and he’s pretty sure the omega feels it, too. But Braun hates alphas as a general rule, and no way is he giving in to the bond. All mating leads to is violence and suffering, so no thank you. But Tarek’s gentle kindness slips under Braun’s emotional shields, and Braun begins to want. To dream. All Braun has ever known is violent alphas, but Tarek is determined to make Braun trust him—and to trust in the idea of their happily ever after.

NOTE: This is a non-shifter Omegaverse story with alpha/omega/beta dynamics, heats, knotting, and mpreg. In this world, omegas are second-class citizens with few civil rights and almost no protections under the law. Trigger warnings for physical, emotional, and sexual abuse.

How about a little taste?

“Would you be able to describe exactly what you saw that night in detail?” Tarek pulled a notepad and pen out of his front pocket.

Braun’s entire body went rigid. “Why? Who are you really?”

“I really am Tarek Bloom.” For a moment, he actually seemed contrite. “What I didn’t tell you is that I’m also a constable.”

“Shit.” Braun bolted out of his chair and toward the front door, fork still in his hand.

In a flurry of movement, Tarek was in front of him, blocking his path to the door, and Braun lashed out with the fork. Dex grabbed his wrist and plucked the fork out of his hand, but that didn’t stop Braun from swinging. He punched Tarek in the chest. Twice. Panic settled in, overriding his common sense, and he tried to push past the brick wall of a man.

“Let me go! I won’t go back, I won’t!”

Arms wrapped around his torso from behind, pinning his arms to his sides. Serge’s comforting scent settled his racing mind a bit, but it was Tarek’s hand on the back of his neck that settled Braun completely.

“Calm down, firecracker,” Tarek said. His deep voice soothed Braun’s frazzled nerves, and his touch sent his pulse racing with delight. “You’re still safe, I promise. No one here wants to hurt you.”

“Why do you care?” Braun snarled. “I’m just some useless omega you’ve known for twenty minutes.”

“You’re far from useless, little one.”

Tarek’s other hand rose, nearing Braun’s face. Braun snapped at his fingers. “I’m only a womb to you.”

“Far from it, my firecracker.” The hand on his neck squeezed. “Far from it.”

The grounding touch made Braun want to roll over and show his belly, but he was done being passed around. Done letting other people control his life. He didn’t want to feel this mating bond to Tarek, but he also couldn’t turn it off. Even with the heat block, Tarek was under his skin, doing funny things to his insides.

Angry and confused, Braun dared look an alpha in the eye.

My Review:
This world is one where no females exist, and a small percentage of males, the omegas, have the ability to become pregnant. Omegas go into heat, an overwhelming physiologic experience, every three months. It is during that 48 hour window that an alpha could impregnate the omega. And, the offspring can be any of the three genders: alpha, beta or omega. In this world. alphas have the best opportunities, best job prospects and best lives. They get their pick of the matable omegas. Betas are second-class citizens who are essentially infertile as they are never allowed to mate an omega. They do form pair bonds, and some adopt discarded beta offspring. Betas have virtually unrestricted lives, though they are considered to be inferior in intellect by alphas.

Omegas are, maybe, fifth-class citizens. They are kept under strict supervision, they have no rights to freedom or autonomy. Their education usually ends int he mid teens and the omeags are sequestered until their first heat–which comes anytime from 15-21, to “protect” them from having an unsupervised heat where they could be raped by any alpha who catches wind of their pheromones. Once mated, it’s up to the omega’s alpha to decide if there will be further education, a job, or the ability to drive one’s self. An Alpha can physically harm or intimidate his omega without repercussion, using the excuse of “discipline”.

Braun Ettings is a nearly 21 year old unmated omega who just survived the car wreck that claimed the life of his abusive father. Unable to be left on his own, he’s sent to a half-way house for unmated omegas. Braun’s not sad his tormentor died, but he’s scared in his new surroundings, and wishes he could go live with his pregnant, elder brother, Kell. Unfortunately, Kell’s abusive husband is a big problem. Braun notices what looks like a kidnapping of one of the residents of his half-way house and decides to flee–which is brave but perilous. He’s accosted and nearly raped, only saved at the last moment by a beta nurse who recognized him from the recent hospital treatment and his alpha husband. Their friend, Tarek Bloom, is an alpha and a constable, and he’s really intrigued by both Braun and his tale of woe in the half-way house. Braun feels the pull to mate with Tarek nearly immediately, but he’s determined not to fall into the same deadly trap that Kell is caught in.

As Tarek investigates the situation, and some other crimes, he arranges to become Braun’s legal protector, and works out a fostering arrangement for his friends who’d saved Braun. These four form a tight unit of friendship, with a deep attraction brewing between Tarek and Braun. Braun’s confused and pleased that Tarek isn’t simply claiming him outright. He can’t trust that it won’t happen, though. Conversations with Kell help to guide him into accepting what appears to be love, but there are lots of complications–the abusive situation Kell is in, the recovery of kidnapped beta youths, the rescue of Braun’s fellow omegas from the half-way house–to name a few. Plus, Braun’s first heat is imminent. Tarek swears he’ll defend Braun and not claim him, but Braun is unsure that Tarek will keep his word. It was good to see Tarek be such a stand-up guy, especially in the face of the deep prejudices and derision he faces by having such an independent omega. They do fall for one another and sexytimes do happen, but not before the friendship and emotional bonding have been built.

This is, to me, a police romance with an urban fantasy laid over it. Getting used to the lack of females and acclimating to the omegaverse constraints took me a little time. I loved the sexual politics, and how stark the divide was between the alphas and omegas, in terms of power, prestige and autonomy. Braun’s a spitfire of an omega, and he’s often caught at the center of controversy, but Tarek loves him steadfastly, and it’s clear they are going to become stronger as a mated pair as the books go forward. The situation between Kell and his husband isn’t fully resolved at the end of this book, so expect that to drive the story line in the sequel. On a different note, it’s pretty shattering to read about the abuse Braun, Kell and others survive, so take that trigger warning seriously. I’m looking forward to reading on!

Interested? You can find SAVED on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an eBook of SAVED and an ARC of book two in the series!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Much to Gain by TURNING BACK–A TBR Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently released MFM menage romance from best-selling author J.A. Huss. TURNING BACK is the second book in the Turning series and features Quin, Bric and Rochelle from TAKING TURNS on an adventure into true love.

About the book:
I lived in the dark for three years. My whole world revolved around the whims and happiness of three men. It was just a trip into the forbidden. A way out of a bad situation and forward into nothingness.

Quin, with his easy smile and charming good looks. He was always there for me… Until he wasn’t.

Smith, and his dispassionate attention. He was never there for me and he never regretted it.

Bric, the one who listened, but only to himself. Self-absorbed, self-obsessed, and self-serving. He was never the one I wanted.

And now he might be the only one I have left.

It was good while it lasted, I guess. But it could’ve been so much more. It could’ve been so much better.

And that’s why I’m turning back.

My Review:
There are some spoilers for the first book, TAKING TURNS, in this review because they are linked stories.

Quin, Bric, Smith are long-time friends who enjoy multiple partner sex, and run an exclusive gentleman’s club in Denver where the wealthy choose to share their wives and mistresses with each other. These guys and Rochelle were involved in a kinky four-way sex game for three years, until Rochelle left another woman in her stead. While these three may have been “with” Rochelle, they all certainly availed themselves of the club’s bounty as well. Rochelle was the tenth girl in this position in more than a decade, and she lied a life of luxury and decadence, but it wasn’t enough in the long run. Rochelle’s replacement, Chella, captivated Smith who fell hard for her and decided to leave their long-running game for an exclusive relationship. Quin was devastated by Rochelle’s disappearance. He had begun to acknowledge his deeper feelings for her. All of this was revealed in TAKING TURNS, the first book in the series.

And, Rochelle got tired of the game. She loved Quin alone, and she expected he wouldn’t drop out of the game to be with her…and she had bigger reasons for wanting an exclusive relationship: a pregnancy. When Quin learns that Bric’s advice to Rochelle regarding the pregnancy was callous, he’s even further upset. Despite their agreement to never try to reconnect with one of their past lovers, Quin wants Bric to find Rochelle and make things right. Bric…is not interested. He’d rather just find a new girl to share with Quin, but Quin’s despondency drives him away from Bric, the club, and the menage lifestyle.

Chella can’t bear to see Quin suffer any longer, and enlists a freelance bounty hunting friend to find Rochelle, and Bric’s the contact. He’s determined to tell Rochelle to stay away, but when he meets her, and her daughter of unknown paternity–she’s only 6 months old and looks much like Rochelle–he sees a new opportunity. Bric’s not been happy with his sex life since Quin stopped playing the game. Rochelle wants Quin, and Bric wants both of them–so he convinces Rochelle to return and make amends so the three of them can pick up a new game, or make a menage of their own. This appeal s to Rochelle, who’s been lonely, and who wants Quin any way she can have him…now. Because this year of self-imposed exile has convinced her that a life sharing the one you love seems better than a life without the one you love.

Quin isn’t ecstatic when Rochelle returns, however. He’s burning mad that she disappeared without telling him about the pregnancy, and how he missed all the changes of her body and birth of his daughter. They’ve agreed, for now, not to do a paternity test so both Quin and Bric can assume fatherhood. Bric moves Rochelle into his own personal penthouse apartment and fawns all over the baby, and Rochelle. Quin’s not fooled, recognizing that Bric’s playing a deeper game than before, but he also wants Rochelle more than ever. And, as the days go by, he’s experiencing his own need for more than a menage–for an exclusive relationship with his lover and their daughter. But, will Rochelle fall for Bric in the meantime?

This was an interesting story with lots of twists, turns, and sex. There’s no denying the sexual tension, but there’s a lot of intrigue, too, with master puppeteer Bric orchestrating his desired outcome: a longstanding menage with Quin and Rochelle, while also maintaining his ‘bachelor-ish’ status. Rochelle can’t trust him, and Quin sees through him, but Rochelle believes she needs Bric to bring Quin closer, and Quin believes he needs Bric to hold Rochelle’s attention. I liked the emotional swings in the book. I liked how these people aren’t near as callous or carefree as they appear on the surface. I like how they think often about each other, when it seems like they are thinking only of themselves. I liked how Rochelle gave Smith what-for, and how he had to make amends in the end. Because he was a big jerk to her, a lot, for no good reason. And, I liked that the ending is happy, for Quin and Rochelle. Bric, well, he has another book to get his life in order. We got a lot more insight on all the players in this game, and Bric, though he seems monstrously self-centered, is clearly not the bad guy we’ve come to expect. Looking forward to wrapping up this series soon!

Interested? You can find TURNING BACK on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

About the Author:
JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who make you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

Catch up with Ms. Huss on Facebook, twitter, her blog and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!