Swept Away by DANCE OFF–Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for DANCE OFF by Ariel Tachna and Nessa L. Warin. This was a super fun read, sure to appeal to fans of those dance competition shows all over the TV. It’s a very sweet contemporary M/M romance with some nice steamy bits, too!
Check out the Excerpt and Giveaway below.
About the book:

On the reality show Dance Off, pro rugby player Olivier Gautier and Olympic swimmer JC Webster each have one goal in mind: to stay on the show as long as possible to earn his charity of choice maximum exposure and a larger donation. As the competition heats up, their goals expand to catching each other’s interest, but Olivier is firmly in the closet and plans to stay there. JC is willing to be discreet, but not to hide forever.

Starting a romance with another man is challenge enough for any celebrity, but doing it under the microscope of reality TV—and one majorly intolerant costar—is even harder. Add in meddling dance pros, JC’s overbearing family, and the need to play up chemistry with dance partners to win America’s hearts, and JC and Olivier’s time together is looking more and more like a recipe for disaster.

As the pressure to stay in the competition mounts, JC and Olivier must face their inevitable separation at the end of the show as well as decide whether a relationship as complicated as theirs can survive in the real world, outside the bubble of the set and practice studios.

How about a little taste?
JC stretched up on his toes in the doorway to the old
restaurant that had been converted to a dining room for the cast, hooked his
fingers over the molding at the top, and leaned forward a little to stretch his
chest muscles. It hurt with the good kind of pain, and he stayed on his toes
until Chelsea came up behind him.
“Move,” she said, smacking him lightly on the ass and
knocking him off balance. “Some of us want to eat.”
“Some of us don’t want cramps later,” JC countered as he
stumbled forward. “I forgot to stretch my arms before coming up.”
“Well, you’ve stretched. Now let’s eat. We need to get back
downstairs.” Chelsea grinned and started making a sandwich from the deli meat
platter on the island. “The more we practice, the better you’ll be.”
“Not if I’m so stiff I can’t move.”
The sight of JC’s strong, compact body in a full stretch was,
as far as Olivier was concerned, the perfect anodyne for four hours of dancing
in shoes that felt like they were solid steel. He figured whatever Chelsea had
spent the morning doing to her partner, she needed to keep doing for another
several hours so Olivier could get another such view at the end of the day. “What’s
this about being stiff?” he asked as he took a plate for himself and prepared a
sandwich.
“Chelsea seems to think I should scarf down lunch and head
straight back to work.” JC took four bottles of water out of the refrigerator
and handed them around to Chelsea, Olivier, and Tricia. “I think I should take
time to stretch so I can move in the morning.”
“Worry about tomorrow in the morning,” Tricia said. “You’ve
still got four hours of rehearsal this afternoon. Everyone will be exhausted by
the end of the first week. It’s just the way it goes.”
“It can’t possibly be worse than the start of off-season
training after we’ve had a break post championships,” Olivier said. “Yes, it’s
eight hour days, but we aren’t lifting weights or running drills.”
“I’m just worried about using muscles I’m not used to using.
Swimming is very repetitive once you learn the right way to move. This is
different.” JC pulled his arms across his chest one at a time, stretching them.
The pull of muscle felt good and let him relax a little as he took a long
swallow of water and picked up his sandwich.
“You’ll be fine,” Chelsea said with a wink. “Though I would
like it if you could move in the morning.”
Olivier took another moment to appreciate the play of JC’s
muscles beneath his T-shirt and then forced himself to concentrate on lunch. He
still didn’t think it would be worse than the start of off-season training, but
that didn’t mean he intended to let anyone get the best of him. “You didn’t
stay here at the house last night,” he said to JC after a few minutes. “Do you
live nearby?”
JC swallowed the last of his sandwich and grinned. “No. I
live in Texas when I’m not training. My aunt has a house here in LA, though, so
Mama and I are staying with her.” He ducked his head as he realized he’d just
admitted he’d brought his mother with
him, and he tried not to think about whether he was more embarrassed because it
was Olivier or not. “She’s a huge fan of the show and insisted. My aunt said
she could stay too, and, well….” He shrugged, trying to play it off.
“And well, you love your Mama, and that’s as it should be,”
Olivier replied. “Don’t disappear every night, though. We had a good time
sitting around playing cards last night. Tyler says tonight he will teach me to
play rummy.”
“Tonight is family dinner. Mama, my aunt, all my cousins….”
JC chuckled ruefully. “There’s no way I can stay around tonight. If I miss it,
I’ll never live it down. You, uh—” He bit back the urge to invite Olivier over,
though he knew his mama would love it. “Let me know how the rummy goes. Maybe I’ll
stick around later in the week, and we can play.”
“Yes, another night,” Olivier said. This way he could learn
the game without JC present to see him embarrass himself. “You should bring
your mama to watch a rehearsal. I’m sure other couples would let her watch as
well.”
“Maybe once we’ve had a few more days to practice. I don’t
think Chelsea would appreciate Mama trying to give advice when I’m just
learning the moves.”
“I would be happy to meet your mother, but maybe not just
yet,” Chelsea said. “I’d hate for you to be embarrassed.”
“She’s more likely to embarrass you. I’m used to her.” JC
grinned. “She loves dancing, and she’s watched every episode of Dance Off. She’ll probably try to give
you advice about what the judges like and what gets audience votes. I wouldn’t dare let her watch other couples yet.”
“Maybe we should get her to come give us advice too,” Olivier
said with a wink for Tricia. “I could use all the help I can get.”
“Don’t you worry about that,” Tricia said. “We’ll make sure
to give the audience what they want. I already have an idea for your costume.”
“Nothing too over-the-top,” Olivier insisted.
JC smirked. “Oh please, Tricia, over-the-top. I want to see
Olivier shirtless. It’ll make all the girls swoon.”
No one would be swooning if they saw the burn scars on his
back, but he’d worry about convincing Tricia of that if it actually came up
with the costume department.
“Careful or I’ll get you shirtless too, JC,” Chelsea warned
as she bumped her shoulder against his. “I’m sure all the girls would love to
see your abs as well.”
“I’ve competed in a Speedo,” JC pointed out, trying to hide
his amusement and failing. Dance Off
was different from swimming, but shirtless was shirtless, and on the ballroom
floor, he’d still have on pants and shoes. “Dripping
wet
in a Speedo, mind you. No outfit you put me in could possibly be more
revealing than that.”
“Don’t tempt her,” Tricia said. “I saw some of the outfits
her partners wore in previous seasons.”
Don’t
tempt me,
Olivier thought, but he wasn’t quite ready to share with
everyone else just yet. He didn’t know Tricia and Chelsea that well, and while
he knew JC was bi, he didn’t know how JC would react to anything more than the
light flirting they had done so far. Olivier was willing to find out, but not
when they had an audience.
“I thought this was a family show,” Olivier said instead. “Doesn’t
everything have to be appropriate for children?”
“Swim meets are generally considered family friendly.” JC had
definitely gotten some well-concealed enjoyment out of watching some of his
teammates climb out of the pool at the end of practice or after swimming in a
meet, but there was no doubt that families of all sorts had watched them in
competition. “No one objected to the Speedo when I won races.”
“Swimming pools and dance floors are a little different,”
Chelsea said. “People expect you to be mostly naked and soaking wet at a pool.
Not while you’re dancing.”
“The costume designers know the guidelines,” Tricia added. “They’ll
keep everything in line. They do a fabulous job with fitting everything. We’ll
probably have the first meetings with them tomorrow so they can take
measurements.”
“It will be interesting to see what they come up with,”
Olivier said. He finished his sandwich and his bottle of water. “But now it is
time for more practice, yes?”
“Yes.” Chelsea finished her water and tossed the bottle in
the recycling bin under the counter. “Come on, JC. Time’s a-wastin’.”
“Slave driver,” JC muttered fondly, but he tossed his water
bottle in the bin and followed Chelsea out of the dining room, pausing to touch
the top of the doorframe as he passed through. “Don’t work too hard, Olivier.”
Olivier narrowed his eyes as JC disappeared down the hallway.
If they had known each other better, Olivier would have sworn that last little
stretch was for his benefit. As it was, he was left hot and bothered thinking
about it without any way to do anything about it.
“Don’t work too hard, mon
oeil
,” Olivier muttered. “We will show them how to do the cha-cha, n’est-ce pas, Tricia?”
She smiled at him. “Believe me—you have advantages in this he
doesn’t. Come on. Let’s get back to work.”

 

My Review:
What a fun story! I am not a big reality TV fan, and have never watched DWTS, but this book is absolutely enjoyable…and makes me curious to indulge!

Olivier is a pro rugby player whose dashing good looks and sultry French accent is sure to be catnip for the female viewership, despite his relative anonymity. Thing is, Olivier’s gay. And, in the closet. He doesn’t know how being out will affect his opportunities in his sport, and he really doesn’t want to become the poster boy for gay rugby, either. He’s private…and very much attracted to his fellow co-star, Javier “JC”, an Olympic-medalist swimmer.

JC is out publicly at a bisexual, has been since he was in high school. He has kept a low profile on his relationships–he doesn’t want anyone else to have their privacy invaded due to his own celebrity. He’s drawn to Olivier form the start, and it’s a huge issue. He doesn’t know if Olivier would welcome his attention, and there’s another co-star who is a well-known conservative radio host, renown for his homophobia and hate speech. JC really doesn’t want to end up as a subject on that show.

The mutual attraction simmers, each man suffering in silence as they each prepare for the competition. I know there’s a reason some locales have banned dancing–whoa, boy it can really get hot in there!

JC, Olivier and their pro partners wow in the first week. Each is happy to return for more, and to have the chance to earn money for their charities. But each is also happy to figure out that, yes, the other is “into” him. They still keep everything on the down-low, but their partners quickly find out.

I loved how supportive the side characters are in this. Olivier is really intent on staying publicly quiet, but wants to share some of his joy of being with JC, of having not to hide his looks, or to be able to share even a casual embrace. Seeing how supportive the rest of the cast is with a gay pro, once the radio host is booted, gives Olivier the push to begin dropping his walls.

JC is loving and supportive throughout. He also knows his large, exuberant Mexican-American family will be quick to embrace Olivier as their own, if that’s a possibility. The main tension in the story comes from waiting to see who will be eliminated from the show, and when. Soon, JC and Olivier are not simply competing for the big prize, but for their fledgling relationship to stay cocooned in the guise of the show. They are always careful to hide their secret from the camera, but the promise of more time together becomes the biggest reason to make it to the finals.

I really, really liked this. It was a bit light on the heat factor, but emotionally I was right there the whole time. The judges were so fun, and the commentary was constantly humorous. The men and women swoon for both JC and Olivier–who swooned for each other just as much! The end was spot-on, and won’t leave the reader hanging on.

Interested? You can find DANCE OFF on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press (eBook and Paperback), Amazon, AllRomance and Barnes & Noble.


About the Authors:
Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

You can find Ariel online on her websiteFacebooktwitter and Goodreads.


Nessa L. Warin lives in a fantasy world that’s mostly inside her head, though her physical address is in southwestern Ohio. Her two cats kindly play along with her fantasies and graciously let her pay all the bills, but they do require her to provide pampering on a regular basis. Nessa enjoys exploring the wonders of this world through travel—something her cats strongly disapprove of as it cuts into their pampering time—and can find whimsy in the most mundane places. When the real world becomes too much, Nessa enjoys dressing in costume and going to Renaissance Festivals and fantasy conventions. A short trip to either does wonders for her state of mind, so she makes sure to attend at least one of each a year. These trips help Nessa add to her collection of faerie and dragon art, and she swears she will frame and hang all the prints she’s collected some time soon.

When she’s not living in a fantasy world, Nessa enjoys tasting and learning about wine, particularly since it’s one of the few things she and the rest of her family agree on. She’s a regular at the wine tastings held by her local wine shop, and considers it a sin for her wine rack to have more empty spots than full ones. She’d prefer her wine rack to be filled with Pinot Noir, Malbec, and Syrah, but one of her favorite things about wine is the way it can always surprise her. More than once she’s been taken aback by which wine she likes best at a tasting, and she loves the way her wine rack illustrates the joys of trying new things.

You can find Nessa online on her websiteFacebooktwitter and Goodreads.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win one of 3 signed copies of DANCE OFF and a backlist book from Ariel and Nessa!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Conflict and Compassion in A CLEAN BREAK–A Review

Hi there! Today I want to share a review for a contemporary M/M romance by Kiera Andrews. A CLEAN BREAK is the sequel to A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA, and it’s just as honest and conflicted as the first book. Issac and David are two young men raised in a very sheltered, xenophobic Amish community, and they have fled because they found love with each other, a love they knew their families would never accept…

A Clean Break (Gay Amish Romance #2)About the Book:
David and Isaac have found happiness in each other’s arms. In faraway San Francisco, Isaac’s brother Aaron helps them explore confusing “English” life and move beyond the looming shadow of their Amish roots. For the first time, David and Isaac can be openly gay, yet they struggle to reconcile their sexuality with their faith. At least they don’t have to hide their relationship, which should make everything easier. Right?

But while Isaac thrives at school and makes new friends, David wrestles to come to terms with the reality of the outside world. Haunted by guilt at leaving his mother and sisters behind in Zebulon, he’s overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle of the city as he works to get his carpentry business off the ground.

While David and Isaac finally sleep side by side each night, fear and insecurity could drive them miles apart.

This is the second chapter in a trilogy of forbidden Amish love. This book features explicit sex and is not an inspirational/Christian novel.

My Review:
This is the second book in a series, and I think it’s best to read these books in order.

Isaac and David have fled their Amish community in Zebulon, Minnesota, and are living with Isaac’s brother Aaron. Aaron had left Amish life ten years ago, and has completely adapted to the ‘English’ life. He got a college degree and is now a teacher, and married to a Filipino woman who is a physician. They live in San Francisco, and are fully willing to support a David and Isaac until they can support themselves. They also fully accept Isaac and David being gay.

This book is told from David’s POV, and David is truly struggling. By leaving he abandoned his mother and four younger sisters. He was the only man of the family and he fears that they are struggling. He is too scared to write and find out however. Adjusting to English life is difficult in some ways, and not in others…

Isaac smiled sadly. “It’s amazing, isn’t it? How quickly we get used to breaking the Ordnung. Practically everything we do here is against the rules. But once you start, it’s easy.”

“Easy not to think about it, at least.” For when he thought about it, David remembered how hard things were in Zebulon. His chest tightened as he imagined how Mother and the girls would be struggling without him. Who would break the ice in the well, or chop the wood for the stove? Or—

As the cable car dropped off its passengers and did a loop around the turntable to face the way it had come, David shook his head as if he could shake free his thoughts. He could never go back. Only forward with Isaac.

Being in San Francisco and seeing openly gay people is a huge culture shock. Isaac and David have believed their love is a sin, but witnessing other men embracing and even kissing helps them to better accept each other.

“I want to worship you,” he whispered. Isaac was beautiful and good, and David wanted him to know it.

Groaning, Isaac dragged David’s head down for a hard kiss as he spread his legs and wrapped them around David’s hips. Isaac gasped, “It doesn’t feel wrong. Does it?”

David could only shake his head, desperate for them to be naked so he could experience the heat and sweat of Isaac’s body against him. Since that first night among the trees with loyal Kaffi standing guard, touching Isaac—loving Isaac—had only ever felt right despite everything.

Not only because of how good it made David’s body feel, but in the way it reached into his soul through every pore. In every shared moan and smile, in every tremble of limbs and press of lips, he was whole.

Their love is strong, but distance does begin to grow. Isaac decides to go to school, and David is nervous to begin a carpentry business on his own. Everything in this place, this new life, is foreign, and David is embarrassed about how little he knows and understands.

“I’m so glad you’re here. If you’d stayed, I don’t know what I’d do. I’d miss you so much I wouldn’t be able to stand it.”

“I’ll never leave you, Eechel. I’m right here. Go back to sleep.” He kissed Isaac’s head.

David stared at the faint pattern of the street lamps through the blinds, shadows and light spreading over the walls and ceiling. His earlier resolve grew stronger with each little shuddering breath Isaac took.

No more procrastination and naps. He’d get his business up and running so he could take proper care of Isaac. He would keep him safe and happy. He wouldn’t disappoint him. As Isaac burrowed close, David petted him and murmured a lullaby he hadn’t heard in years.

David’s struggle is intense and silent. He’s afraid to confide in anyone, to reveal his fears which leads to panic attacks, and further separation from Isaac. Isaac wants David to meet his friends from school, but David is ashamed that he will appear stupid to them, and continually puts it off. Plus, other men are showing too keen an interest in David, and Isaac suspects David wants someone else. There are lots of hurt feelings, lots of empty liquor bottles and lots of tears, but things end on a strained (but POSITIVE!!!!) note.

I can’t believe I love gay Amish romance, but I totally do. This series has me hooked. The feelings are so raw, and there’s a good amount of sexytimes. I am anxious to see how David and Isaac move forward, together, in the next book.

Interested? You can find A CLEAN BREAK on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

A Forbidden Rumspringa (Gay Amish Romance #1)As for the first book–A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA–it is a story of many firsts, told by Isaac. Isaac is the “new” eldest son of his house. I say “new” in quotes, because his eldest brother, Aaron, was excommunicated when he left the Amish community several years before. Isaac is uncomfortable in his Amish home because he doesn’t feel attracted to girls. He’s actually quite attracted to David, an Amish carpenter who takes Isaac on as an apprentice.

Together, they find out about love, and life, during their forays into each other, and the “English” world just outside their settlement. Isaac knows he can never watch David marry, but he never suspects how deep David loves only him. It is a touching story that really got to me. Check out my review for more details.

Interested? You can find A FORBIDDEN RUMSPRINGA on Goodreads, All Romance, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Keira AndrewsAbout the Author:
After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, paranormal and fantasy fiction, and—although she loves delicious angst along the way—Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said, “The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

You can catch up with Keira on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Their Love was INDELIBLE–Review

10488071_816176168417691_8746734945318429889_nHi there! Today I’m sharing in the book blitz for INDELIBLE, a contemporary romance from Shae Scott. INDELIBLE is the sequel to UNFINISHED, and follows the reconnection of Owen and Ally, two people who broke up for all the wrong reasons, and struggle to reconnect for all the right ones…

1About the book:
in•del•i•ble (adjective): making marks that cannot be removed. Not able to be forgotten or removed. Permanent, lasting, ingrained, enduring, unforgettable, haunting

Some people stay with you. Sometimes love won’t let go. Some marks on the heart cannot be erased.

When Owen walked away from Ally he thought he was doing what was best for her. That’s what he told himself. It was a decision that he regretted instantly. Now, he has to figure out how too change his ways and win her back. This will be the hardest fight of his life. But she is worth it. She is everything.

Ally isn’t the same girl that Owen left six months ago. She shut down. It was survival. She can’t go back. She can’t let him back in. Losing him was too hard to go through the first time. But he keeps showing up, saying all the right words, doing all the right things. Will she be able to resist him? Can a person really change? Is he worth the risk to find out?

2My Review:

This is a good reconnection story. Why? Because Owen finally gets it. He and Ally had a rocky relationship, mostly because he was so busy working that he didn’t notice Ally suffering, wishing he loved her like she loved him.

So, he did what he thought was best: he gave her the freedom she begged for, and broke off their relationship. He immediately regretted it.

Six months have passed, and during that time Owen has relocated to Nashville, and bought the perfect house to share with Ally. He’s taken a new job that is satisfying without being consuming. And now, he’s looking to prove to Ally just how right he can be for her.

Problem? She’s dating someone else.

Ally wants to get over Owen, really, but everything in Nashville reminds her of her heartbreak. She starts dating, but can’t commit. Then, she’s not just seeing ghosts of her and Owen in Nashville, she’s seeing OWEN in Nashville.

3Totally unprepared for the kind and compassionate man who’s eager to drop in for a quick visit or scoop Ally up for a puppy-buying afternoon, Ally is reluctant to trust that Owen will be the man she hoped for once upon a time. Plus, she’s kinda pissed that he’d make all these changes, now, when they can’t make a difference for her and Owen. So she thinks. While Ally’s busy building walls to protect her heart, Owen’s sneakily pulling them down brick by brick.

I liked Owen’s determination, and I respected Ally’s reluctance. I’m a ‘once bitten twice shy’ kinda gal myself, but even I got melted a bit by Owen’s patient and relentless attack on her fears. At times I struggled with the angsty pace of the book, wishing we could get to the action already, but I did enjoy.

Interested? You can find INDELIBLE on Goodreads, Amazon (US and UK), Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

4About Unfinished (Book 1):
Sometimes life begins with a second chance.

On graduation night, Ally Montgomery walked away from her best friend, Owen. One night changed them forever. One night, one decision to cross the line of friendship, one decision to walk away.

She never forgot him.

Ten years later, Owen finds her.
And this time, they’re not letting anything go unfinished.
10401953_816176285084346_8569687657536581855_nInterested? You can find UNFINISHED on Goodreads, Amazon (US and UK) Barnes & Noble and iBooks.

5About the Author:
Growing up an only child, Shae Scott fell in love with words at an early age, learning the best friends in the world can be found among the pages of a book.

Born in Oklahoma, she fell in love on vacation in San Francisco and ended up with a happily ever after in Missouri. Her first book, Unfinished, was released in 2014. She currently lives outside Kansas City with a bearded man, a Pomeranian and a cat formally known as Tinkerbell Waffles. She loves rainy days, the month of February and the Kansas City Royals.

You can catch up with Shae online on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Tsu.
SBB Promotions Banner

They Were Just FEEDING THE FIRE–A Review & Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a contemporary romance from Andrea Laurence. FEEDING THE FIRE is the second book in her Rosewood series, but it’s cool as a standalone.

Feeding the Fire (Rosewood, #2)About the book:
Pepper has no interest in Grant Chamberlain…until she accidentally wins him at a school auction and finds the mega-hot firefighter impossible to ignore. Find out what happens next in the second playful and sexy ebook romance in the Rosewood series!

Living in the small town of Rosewood, Alabama, hairdresser Pepper Anthony has one rule—never date a Chamberlain. She’s always said, “the only thing worse than being ignored by a Chamberlain is being dumped by one.” But Grant Chamberlain, town fireman, isn’t used to rejection, and Pepper has consistently turned him down since high school. She isn’t intimidated by his family; she’s one of the few who refuses to take their crap.

When Grant volunteers at the charity bachelor auction, to his surprise, Pepper buys him. She hadn’t meant to, but Adelia Chamberlain dropped a cold drink in her lap, sending her leaping into the air at precisely the wrong moment. Suddenly she had a massive bill to the town and Grant at her disposal. Since the money has to come from her “restore the house” fund, she decides to use Grant for manual labor instead of romantic dinners. Grant is happy to help, sweaty and shirtless, because one way or another, he’s going to get Pepper to admit she’s attracted to him. All it takes is a small spark, and soon they’ll be fanning the flames.

My Review:
This book is part of a series, but can be read as a standalone.

Pepper Anthony grew up poor in a small Alabama town. She and her older brother Logan were occasionally tormented by kids with more wealth and popularity. Their mother always told them to hate the richest family in town, the Chamberlains, and so they have done…mostly.

Well, Pepper did turn down Grant Chamberlain’s advances many a time–not on this past Halloween, but she swore him to secrecy. And, she left his bed before dawn, leaving the local biker, fire-fighting, bad boy with a taste for more.

See, Grant never got hung up on being ‘better than’ anybody just ’cause his daddy was a wealthy attorney. Nope. His daddy was a no-good cheater, and Grant stopped idolizing him early in his youth. He does fancy Pepper bunches, however. And he’s so happy that Pepper outbid every woman at the charity Bachelor Auction. Until he realizes Pepper had no intention on bidding on him. She was devastated by a poorly-timed ambush that cost her $4000 of hard-earned cash she’d saved for house renovations.

Grant, ever the playboy, doesn’t know how to deal with Pepper’s heartache, but some well-timed advice clues him in on a strategy which might could win him this fiery bombshell’s affection. Instead of the big to-do date he’d planned, he spends his week of vacation crossing off the ‘Honey-do’ list on Pepper’s fixer-upper. And the results are incendiary. (<–this is literal and figurative).

Pepper still can’t find herself able to trust what’s developing between herself and Grant, but it’s strong and sure to leave her brokenhearted if she let’s him work his way in. Add to this, her brother’s simmering hate for all things Chamberlain, a Peeping Tom, and family skeletons that could cause a giant scandal in their tiny town, and Pepper’s all too willing to call quits before they even get started.

This is a quick read, and I liked the small-town setting. It did get a bit soap-opera-y, and, while I wished Pepper could have trusted Grant more, I was glad to see members of both Pepper’s and Grant’s family step in and settle the last part of the conflict. I got that Pepper didn’t want to betray another’s confidence, but she deserved to have happiness, even if the secret she kept only obliquely involved Grant. Glad they worked it out.

I loved the resolution of the Peeping Tom storyline, and it underscored the trust issues/infidelity themes that ran throughout his book. The sexytimes are a bit rushed, but, you can’t win them all. I liked how Pepper fought back her youthful prejudices, and how Grant was candid with everyone…well, excepting his father. I expect there will be more news on that front in the next book.

Interested? You can find FEEDING THE FIRE on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $100 Amex GC and books from the Rosewood series!

A Rafflecopter Giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Andrea LaurenceAbout the Author:

Andrea Laurence has been a lover of reading and writing stories since she learned to read at a young age. She always dreamed of seeing her work in print and is thrilled to finally be able to share her special blend of sensuality and dry, sarcastic humor with the world. A dedicated West Coast girl transplanted into the Deep South, she’s working on her own “happily ever after” with her boyfriend and their collection of animals including a Siberian Husky that sheds like nobody’s business.

You can catch up with Andrea on her website, Goodreads twitter and Facebook.

Magic and Mayhem in WINTER’S WOLF–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for WINTER’S WOLF a contemporary M/M shifter romance from Tara Lain. I reviewed the first two books in this series not long ago, and though Winter’s Wolf is the third book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

About the book:
Winter Thane was raised on the two cardinal rules of werewolf existence: don’t reveal yourself to humans under penalty of death, and there’s no such thing as a gay werewolf. It’s no surprise when his father drags him from his wild life in remote Canada back to Connecticut to meet his old pack in hopes it will persuade Winter to abandon his love of sex with human males. Of course Dad’s hopes are dashed when they come face-to-face with the gay werewolves in the Harker pack.

Winter takes one look at FBI agent, Matt Partridge, and decides bird is his favorite food. Partridge is embroiled in an investigation into drug dealing and the death of a fellow agent. He can’t let himself get distracted by the young, platinum-haired beast, but then Winter proves invaluable in the search for clues, a move that winds them both up in chains and facing imminent death. Winter quickly learns his father’s motives are questionable, the pack alphas are a bunch of pussies, humans aren’t quite what they seem, and nothing in the forests of Connecticut is pure except love.

Excerpt

Walk slowly. Look casual. Matt left the way he’d come—out the back door. When his feet hit dirt, he jogged away from the club and ducked behind the shed that had been built on the edge of the forest.
Going to die. Heart can’t beat this hard and survive.
He leaned against the shed and gasped for breath, but his cock had grown to the size of a monster, stealing all his oxygen. Think. What the fuck are you doing? No reasonable human being could believe that Winter Thane wanted Matt Partridge, so there had to be an ulterior motive. The dude had asked the marshal about him. For all Matt knew, Winter could be involved in the disappearance of the agent. Maybe he wanted to discredit Matt or—maybe he had something to do with the weird wolf stories. Jesus, the only man he’d ever seen who looked more like a wolf than Cole Harker had to be Winter Thane. Those eyes. Even his teeth were sharp. All the better to eat you with. He closed his eyes and banged his head against the metal siding. Those teeth scraping his cock—
“Dreaming of me?”
Matt’s eyes flew open. “Shit! How did you get here?”
He looked over his shoulder. “Like you said. Out the front, around the side.”
“But I didn’t hear you.”
He grinned. Oh yes, those teeth glistened. “I’m sneaky.”
Matt took a breath, pushed away from the shed, and walked a couple of steps toward the trees. Need distance. “Look. I don’t mean to lead you on, but I’m with the FBI and this isn’t a good idea—”
The hand that gripped his shoulder must have been iron. In one move, Winter grabbed him, pulled him against a body so hard and hot it penetrated Matt’s jacket on contact, hauled Matt’s head back, and covered his mouth in a devouring kiss.
Tongue. Teeth. Perfection.
Winter held Matt’s head both hard and gentle, like he wanted to control him but didn’t want to hurt him. Oh God, so nice. He tasted like beer and smelled like—what? Musky and clean at the same time, like Matt’s dog Buster when he was freshly washed. Man, he wanted to bury his nose in Winter’s neck like he did with Buster.

 

Winter reduced the speed and intensity of the kiss from fast food to a gourmet meal. He licked and nibbled, tasted and savored, his tongue a finely tuned instrument exploring every cranny of Matt’s mouth. He’d never been so completely kissed. So much so that even the screaming pressure of his cock couldn’t make him want Winter to move on. Matt twined his arms around Winter’s neck. Standing only six feet, he couldn’t get his cock to meet Winter’s, but the prod of that big rod against his belly made him want to beg. He pulled his mouth away an inch. “I should arrest you for carrying a lethal weapon.”

My Review:
Winter Thane is a gay werewolf, no matter how much his father, Damon, insists there is no such beast. His is also an alphanta, or second to Damon, with pure werewolf blood. They have lived in the wilds of Canada for Winter’s whole life (20 years), but are returning to Damon’s home pack–the Marketo Pack–in Connecticut. The reason: Damon wants Winter mated to a proper she-wolf. Winter thinks Damon’s nuts, but he goes along because Winter does not truly wish to be left behind, alone.

Upon arrival, Winter is displayed to all the eligible females, and his only attraction? Matt Partridge, a human FBI agent. While Winter has some support for his homosexuality–the Harker and Marketo packs have several prominent gay werewolves–not a one will allow him to break the Cardinal rule: exposure of his werewolf nature to a human.

Well, Matt Partridge isn’t quite sure why Winter is so captivating. And, he doesn’t understand if Winter’s sudden appearance in this locale has to do with either the uptick in drug trafficking or his dead colleague. Matt knows he can’t mess up this assignment because he’s responsible for his father’s care–and dad’s dementia is getting worse. Moving to another locale will undoubtedly make things worse. Of course, on the full moon both Matt and his dad go a little moon-mad, leading Matt to seek out some hot outdoor interludes with a willing Winter.

The story is more complex than the previous books in this series, but involves crooked law enforcement, homophobia, break-up-to-make-up, and shifting power dynamics in the Marketo and Harker packs. Winter is recruited to help Matt. And also the local drug lord. And also factions in the Marketo/Harker pack who don’t care for current alpha politics. He must carefully tread the lines between these competing interests, and his attempt to woo Matt.

Winter is a truly white knight who rescues more than Matt, and the baddies get what’s coming. The book ends with an HEA, and more than puppy love. Expect hot and dirty lovin’ and a lone wolf who finds a true pack home.

Interested? You can find WINTER’S WOLF on Goodreads, Amazon, Dreamspinner Press (eBook or Paperback), AllRomance and Barnes & Noble.

Tales of the Harker Pack Series

Check out my reviews of THE PANTHER OR THE PACK, and WOLF IN GUCCI LOAFERS for more info on the previous two books in the series, and links to buy them. I really enjoyed!

        

 

About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 23. Her best­selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.

She lives with her soul­mate husband and her soul­mate dog in Laguna Beach, California, a pretty seaside town where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at:

               
Giveaway
Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $25 Gift Card!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

 

Compelled to BREATHE YOU IN–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m reviewing a newly re-released contemporary romance from Lily Harlem. BREATHE YOU IN is the grief-recovery story of Katie, a young widow, and Ruben, a man who received a heart-lung transplant. The catch? Ruben’s donor was Katie’s husband.

imageAbout the book:
Soul-aching desire was only the first layer of emotion around a secret I had to keep for all of time.

If the road to Heaven starts in Hell then I was ready to start climbing my way out and Ruben Strong was the man to accompany me. With his devastating good looks, seductively sexy charm and lust for adrenaline he was sure to make it a sensual and erotic experience as well as one to re-awake the passionate, throw-caution-to-the-wind woman I’d once been.

I’d given Ruben something, though, without him realizing, and that gift had come from the man I’d loved before. But I couldn’t tell Ruben. I had to keep that a tight secret even on the nights our naked bodies wound together, sought out pleasure and hit the dizzy heights of ecstasy. Because Ruben had my husband’s heart, literally, and that heart was still in love with me, so it seemed, and now I was in love with Ruben.

Emotions tangled with bliss and fears were locked away as I surrendered to the touch of Ruben’s hands, the taste of his skin and the sounds of his pleasure. I couldn’t deny that Ruben had brought me back to life the same way I had him and there was no way I was giving up that feeling, not for anyone.

My Review:
This is story about second chances in life and love.

Katie has been living a half-life of depression since her husband Matt died. More than a year since the funeral, Katie still has nightmares and struggles to survive in their home surrounded by constant reminders of their deep love and her great loss. Recently, she has become obsessed over the health of the person who received Matt’s heart and lungs as a transplant. Desperate to know if the recipient is healthy and happy–thinking this will give her peace and allow her to move through her grief–she hires a private detective to find the identity of the man with Matt’s organs.

Learning his name (Ruben) and place of work (less than 40 minutes drive) Katie impetuously plans to take a peek–just to confirm that she made the right decision about organ donation. That actually SEEING this Ruben will show her how Matt didn’t die for nothing, but saved someone in the process.

A chance meeting turns into conversation. Ruben is charming and friendly, saving Katie from two awkward moments. This cathartic encounter with Ruben tips off Katie’s new life. In the course of their conversation Katie states that she’s moving to Ruben’s town, and thinks “why not?” She has the financial wherewithal to do so, and starting over somewhere fresh may allow her to stretch her wings again.

She moves and changes jobs. In her new space, Katie isn’t always seen as ‘the widow’ and she can breathe again, releasing some of her deep grief. That Ruben helps her do this, is especially poignant. Ruben befriends Katie, and they get on very well–moving into a romantic relationship. Katie is scared Ruben will learn that she knows he received Matt’s organs, but she feels so free with Ruben. He is so kind and thoughtful, and, around Ruben, she wants to experience life for the first time since Matt died.

This story had the prospect of being gloomy or icky–but instead it was touching and lovely. Taking careful steps into connection, Katie and Ruben find a real love together.

Interested? You can find BREATHE YOU IN on Goodreads, Amazon, Totally Bound, Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
Lily Harlem lives in the UK and is an award-winning author of contemporary erotic romance. She writes for publishers on both sides of the Atlantic including Ellora’s Cave, HarperCollins, Totally Bound, Xcite and Sweetmeats Press. Her HOT ICE series regularly receives high praise and industry nominations.

Before turning her hand to writing Lily Harlem worked as a trauma nurse and her latest HarperCollins release, Confessions of a Naughty Night Nurse, draws on her many experiences while nursing in London. Lily also self-publishes and The Glass Knot, The Silk Tie, Breathe You In (USA Today Reviewer’s Recommended Read of 2013) and Scored have been blessed with many 5* reviews since their release.

Lily also co-authors with Natalie Dae and publishes under the name Harlem Dae – check out the Sexy as Hell Box Set Trilogy available exclusively on Amazon – The Novice, The Player and The Vixen – and That Filthy Book which has been hailed as a novel ‘every woman should read’.

One thing you can be sure of, whatever book you pick up by Ms Harlem, is it will be wildly romantic and down-and-dirty sexy. Enjoy!

You can catch Lily on her website, blog, Twitter, Facebook, Author Page, Pinterest. She’s also got a newsletter, Goodreads and Google +.

Check out her blogs on Raw Talent, BritBabes, and Hockey Romance!

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Learning THE PROBLEM WITH HEARTACHE Together–Review and Giveaway

imageHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly released New Adult contemporary romance. THE PROBLEM WITH HEARTACHE is the third book in a series and follows the developing relationship between a girl whose love recently died, and a man who feels responsible for the destruction of his family.

imageAbout the book:
The problem with heartache is that there’s no one-size-fits-all relief package. You can go to classes; you can try to embrace change. But when you wake up at two in the morning, a smile on your face because you’ve dreamt about the could have—the should have—nothing will console you.

Because seconds later, you remember.
And remembering can rip you apart.

Kate will do anything for her family. It’s why she took the job with Lee. It’s why she’s attempting to forget her pain. But it’s hard to forget, when you’re desperate to hold on. Even if Lee Collins is the perfect package.

Lee will do anything for the ones he cares about. It’s why he hired Kate. It’s why he keeps his secrets; and it’s why he cannot, will not fall in love. Not with Kate—not with anyone.

Ever.

The one thing he can’t forgive.
The one thing she can’t forget.

My Review:
Kate is 19, Australian, and suffering depression ever since her boyfriend Lachlan died six months ago. Her parents are struggling financially because her dad suffers from Huntington’s Disease and his physical deterioration is becoming rapid. Kate met Lee several months before when he sang at a benefit for Lachlan’s funeral. There seemed to be a spark, not that Kate could acknowledge it.

Now Lee’s band, Coal, is on tour and Lee has offered Kate a job assisting with their reservations and transit, in the US, for two months. Kate doesn’t want to go–doesn’t want to do much of anything really–but she can’t turn down the money.

Still, she feels awkward around Lee, who makes it clear to his band mates that she’s not to be messed with. Lee and Kate develop a rapport, unwittingly and unwillingly. Lee has some big secrets of bad coincidences that tore his family apart. For this, he feels the need to continually punish himself. And, one of those punishments is to remain single so he never screws up another girl again.

Okay, as far as the book goes, it’s a decent story. I liked all the characters, even if I felt their emotional landscape was a bit extreme. Lee is a good man who tries hard to atone for his failings. He hires people who need a hand up, and won’t accept a hand-out. This is admirable. He’s not a big lush, and stays off the drugs. He plays with young Jay, son of the band’s stylist, Lottie. He is buried in his misery, however–feeling (wrongly) that he broke up his parent’s marriage and wounded his brother beyond repair. Classic case of taking on the world’s problems as one’s own. Still, forgivable.

Kate’s hung up on Lachlan. Really, really, hung up on him–and I didn’t get it because they hadn’t been together long before he died. Still, I can’t really blame another for grief, I just thought it was a little overblown. My issue, though younger readers will probably not have such an issue with it. I did have an issue with Lee’s ‘voice’. He’s supposed to be an American, but, no…sorry. Lee and everybody else in the book sound like Aussies. Their words and their diction, it’s not American English usage. It confused me, as a reader.

Those are my big hang-ups. The book is interesting. Both Lee and Kate get past their grief and find a new start with each other. Gets a little smexy near the end. Would recommend to people who like New Adult.

Interested? You can find THE PROBLEM WITH HEARTACHE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and iTunes.

****GIVEAWAY***

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to wine books and $5 Amazon gift cards!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and thanks for popping in my friends!

About the Author:
Lauren K. McKellar is an author and editor. Her debut novel, Finding Home, was released through Escape Publishing on October 1, 2013, and her second release, NA Contemporary Romance The Problem With Crazy, is self-published, and is available now. She loves books that evoke emotion, and hope hers make you feel.

Lauren lives by the beach in Australia with her husband and their two dogs. Most of the time, all three of them are well behaved.

You can find Lauren on her website, Facebook and Twitter.