Life as the KNAVE OF BROKEN HEARTS–Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for Tara Lain’s KNAVE OF BROKEN HEARTS, a contemporary M/M Romance. While this is the second series in the Love in Laguna series, it can be easily enjoyed as a standalone book. I really liked the KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE and looked forward to this story. Jim is a construction worker with a dark past and Ken is a Japanese-American physician with willful parents. Can they make it work?

Don’t forget to enter the $25 Amazon GC giveaway below.

About the book:Jim Carney has a full time job—running from himself. Since he walked out on his wealthy family at sixteen because he’d wrecked his best friend’s life over some yaoi graphic novels, Jim has lived a macho, blue-collar existence of too much booze and too little responsibility. Then Billy Ballew, the man Jim most admires, gives Jim a chance to come through as his construction supervisor. For once, Jim is determined to make someone proud. Then Jim goes in for a physical for his new job and his yaoi dream comes to life in the form of cardiologist Ken Tanaka. Jim discovers he has two heart problems—a wonky mitral valve and a serious attraction to his doctor. But Ken is a major player, and Jim might be just a notch on the doc’s stethoscope. To Ken, Jim is unforgettable—but the living embodiment of his traditional family’s worst nightmares.

How come the minute Jim decides to be responsible, he finds himself taking care of his kid brother, getting a proposal from a wealthy woman, making a deal with the devil, and winding up in the hospital—when all he really wants is the Knave of Broken Hearts?

How about a little taste?


He looked up at Ken Tanaka standing in the door to the inner office. The doc came to get Jim

“Are you okay? You look upset?”

“Oh no, not exactly.”

“Want to come in?”


He stood and walked through the door, inhaling Tanaka’s spicy/sweet scent that filled his head like smoke. God, he felt disoriented, like he didn’t know which world he lived in—one where he went out on dates with a rich woman, or one in which he gazed into the beautiful eyes of Yaoi Man and got a hard-on. Hell, both of them had to be fantasyland.

Ken motioned him into a private office that wasn’t an examining room. “Please, take a seat.”

Jim sat in a guest chair in front of Ken’s desk, and the doc walked all the way around to
sit in his big leather chair. Very professional. Very distant. Very not a good
sign. “So I got back the results of your echocardiogram.”

“Yeah?” Shit, they should take another test right now. The way his heart hammered in his ears, he’d sure as fuck fail.

“Your mitral valve prolapse is what I would call moderate to severe. It’s difficult to tell exactly without doing surgery.”

“Surgery?” Close your mouth, idiot.

“Yes, that’s how a severely, shall we say, floppy valve is corrected.”

“Floppy?” It came out like a squeak.

“I’m not recommending surgery now. We’re going to observe over the next few months. I want you to let me know any problems, arrhythmic heartbeats, racing heart, chest pains, anything irregular that might occur, okay?”

Shit, all of that was so regular for him, and he was so not going to tell Tanaka that. He nodded.

“Don’t worry. Mitral valve prolapse is quite common. Most people never have any real difficulty. Just follow my directions. Don’t drink excessively, eat healthy food, even organic would be advisable, and avoid stress.”

Jim’s mouth opened, then closed. He was okay on the drinking thing so far, although this news made him want to down a bottle of Jack. Still, on the other stuff, the doc might as well say fly to the moon and bring back some green cheese. Hell, even being around Tanaka could give him a fucking heart attack. Sitting here thinking he might die any moment, and his cock still wanted to escape his jeans just from looking at the doctor’s lips. Maybe that’s how he’d go out. Lean over and kiss Ken Tanaka. Bye-bye, Charlie.

“Does that all seem doable?”

Jim nodded. “Does, uh, that mean I don’t get the insurance?” Jesus, that would be bad.

“No. As I told you, mitral valve prolapse is common. I’ve signed the papers and turned them in. You should get the approval with no problem. You’re officially no longer a patient.”

That felt both good and bad. “Thanks, man.”

“My pleasure. As I say, it’s not an inherently worrisome diagnosis.” Ken sat back in his chair. “So you’re hooking up with our sexy landlord, huh?” He smiled, but something seemed phony about it.

“Uh, no. She was just talking to me about how to build out her suites. And she, uh, has some
more work for us.”

Ken stood and walked toward the door of his office. “I don’t know, buddy. I’d look out for her. You could find yourself hooked.”

Buddy? Seriously? “I won’t worry too much. You told me to avoid stress.” He walked over to the door, looked at Ken, then glanced away. “You seem to have a new boyfriend. Cute guy.”

He frowned. “My mother fixed us up.”

“Seriously?” Jim snorted a laugh.

“You, my friend, are not Japanese, or you’d understand.”

“You were born in Japan?” Ken had no accent at all.

“No, I was born in Costa Mesa, but—well, it’s complicated. So don’t worry about your heart. My office manager is gone, but she’ll call you to make an appointment in about two months. Meanwhile, I’m serious about contacting me if anything unusual occurs.”


“With your health, crazy man.” He smiled, and this time it reached his eyes.

Two months. He had no excuse to see Ken Tanaka for two months. Hell, that was good news. Maybe
he’d get his feet back under him, if he didn’t die of a heart attack first. “Thanks again for
helping me with the architect thing.”

Ken raised an eyebrow. “Is it working out with Willings?”

“Yeah. He assigned one of the young guys in his office to handle the drawings, and he’s
great. He’s really saved my ass.”

“Good. See, I helped relieve your stress.” He sounded sad.

“Yeah.” He stuck out his hand. Ken took it, and heat traveled up Jim’s arm all the way to his heart. “Guess I’ll see you in two months.”


“Don’t marry any guys you don’t want to marry.” He tried to grin.

Ken didn’t grin. “I’ll try.”

My Review:
Jim has many issues–he’s an alcoholic and just coming to terms with his sexuality, at age 27. He’s pretty sure that he’s not into women. Because, while he’s always dated women, he can only get off sexually while imagining yaoi–a type of Japanese erotic comic. Essentially, yaoi is gay graphic art, and Jim has been hooked on it since he was a teen.

Jim was raised in an affluent home, but he walked away after his homophobic  father, a powerful cardiovascular physician, learned of his yaoi interests. Now, eleven years later, Jim is finally getting his life together. His best work pal, Billy, has hired him on as stie manager for a tenant improvement project while Billy and his new husband go on their honeymoon.  All Jim must do is complete the physical–which brings him close to Dr. Ken Tanaka, the living embodiment of Jim yaoi fantasies. Dr. Tanaka is a young, brilliant cardiologist who is investigating the severity of Jim’s newly diagnosed heart murmur.

Teaser #3 - Knave Of Broken HeartsAnd that’s a big problem because being anywhere close to Dr. Tanaka makes Jim’s heart pound.

Ken Tanaka is the dutiful son of Japanese immigrants. His mother has finally stopped trying to convince Ken to marry a suitable Japanese girl, but Ken’s not sure that he’s able to appease his mother by dating the gay men she arranges for him, either. See, Ken’s totally, unethically drawn to his patient, Jim. He practically pants for Jim’s burliness and honesty, and is frustrated that (ha, ha!) all the good ones are straight.

They find themselves in close quarters more than once, and the chemistry is off the charts. Jim, despite his fantasies, has not had a gay encounter since his first sexual partner at 16 and Ken is a desirable man–one other men and women find very attractive. How can he, a high school dropout and self-taught construction supervisor be a catch for his sexy cardiologist? Also, Jim’s distracted by his new roommate–his 18 y/o younger brother whose been kicked out for coming out as gay. Ian’s a sweet boy, eager to please and get on with his interrupted life, and becomes a fantastic confidant to his sexually-confused elder brother.

I so loved the interplay between expectation and reality, here. Both Ken and Jim want each other, but neither will take the first step on account of believing that it will go nowhere. Plus, Jim isn’t sure he can be with a man–at first. But life takes a strange turn when friends of the boy Ken is set up with turn out to have criminal intent and Jim is called to rescue Ken from some pretty dire circumstances. Their proximity is too much for Jim to resist–especially when Ken wants him so openly.

Still,it’s a tricky business, this coming together. Jim and Ken have professional and personal responsibilities that aren’t going away, and at least one man’s heart is set for breaking. I really enjoyed the slow burn, and struggled with the complications of this love story. Jim is a closet case, with lucrative reasons for staying so, and Ken has a lot of family pressure to accept his mom’s hand-picked husband candidate. There’s a good bit of bitter to go with the sweet here, as both men figure out the way to make their plans and their attractions work in concert. I loved the steamy bits and only wished it was a bit rosier of a story–but appreciated the honest issues that plagued both Ken and Jim. Jim has to choose to come out, and Ken has to choose to stand up to his parents–neither are easy choices for them to make.  The HEA was excellent after all that turmoil.

Available for purchase at 
Paperback from Dreamspinner


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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:

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Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for Brent Hartinger’s BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS, the sequel to THE THING I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW and it’s really a quiet, engaging advancing love story. Russel and Kevin are two 20-something high school sweethearts who are finding their way through this kooky life.

Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams (Russel Middlebrook The Futon Years, #2)About the book:
“There was no way moving to Los Angeles was going to make me give up my soul. After all, I’d already seen all the movies about Hollywood. I knew how things worked.”

Twenty-four year-old Russel Middlebrook and his boyfriend have moved to Los Angeles so Russel can try to make it as a screenwriter. Almost right away, in a forgotten old house off of Sunset Boulevard, Russel meets Isaac Brander, a once-famous film producer who is convinced he can turn Russel’s screenplay into a movie.

Russel knows that success can’t possibly come this easy. After all, most of Russel’s Los Angeles friends are so desperate to make it that it’s downright scary. His ex-boyfriend, Otto, is trying everything to become an actor, and Daniel, the sexy neighbor, doesn’t even need a casting couch to get naked.

So what’s the catch with Mr. Brander? Could it be that movies about Hollywood don’t tell the whole truth? But what does that mean for Russel’s soul?

Barefoot in the City of Broken Dreams, a companion book to Brent Hartinger’s The Thing I Didn’t Know I Didn’t Know, is a fast-paced, funny story about the price of fame in Hollywood: the hilarious lengths people will go to achieve it, and the touching secret to survival when things don’t work out exactly as planned.

My Review:
This is the second book in the Futon Years series, and follows a longer YA series surrounding Russel Middlebrook. It is probably best enjoyed reading this series in order, but it is not essential.
4.5 stars.

Russel is 24 and dating his high school flame, Kevin, seriously. They have moved to LA so that Russel can get into the screenwriting business. He has one contact, Otto, a former summer camp boyfriend, who is an actor–struggling to get work because he has a burn scar on his otherwise beautiful face.

Russel is not prepared for the culture shock that is the LA scene. Otto schools him a bit, but Russel is dumbfounded often by his naïveté. He is offered a contract on his screenplay, Cup of Joe, and really becomes blind to a lot of issues that crop up around the pre-production meetings, and he especially takes Kevin for granted. Kevin had a stable job which he gave up for a lesser paying gig in LA, land of traffic.

Their one bedroom apartment is worn and awful, and inhabited by only a few friendly neighbors and perhaps the ghost of a dead screenwriter. Russel reaches out to Regina, a fellow screenwriter, whose girlfriend Gina is a struggling comedienne. They are good sounding boards, and become good friends, though not without problems. And Daniel, the barely 18, clearly questioning Latino boy who has no issues trying to con Russel, or Kevin, or both into some compromising situations is an interesting barometer for the heat between Kevin and Russel.

Thing is, this book moves rather quickly through several months and several large changes for Russel. He has this movie deal, or does he? He has Kevin, or does he? Otto is his friend, but does he want more? I loved the voice here, and Russel is a comfortable head case to try on now and again. He is snarky, but honest. He steps into big messes and doesn’t know how to fix them–because he is young and naïve and trying hard to figure life out without sharing to anyone how inexperienced he truly is.

I was honestly taken by surprise at the end. Russel doesn’t spend a lot of time talking about his feelings for Kevin. He’s a rather self-involved man, but not in a mean way. He’s mostly oblivious, which is where he got into trouble with the screenplay. He wants, so much, to be doing the right thing that he doesn’t always see how all the wrong things are happening. He doesn’t see Otto coming on to him. He doesn’t see Daniel playing him for a fool. Because he wants to trust that his worldview is shared by the few people he lets into his confidence, even when it isn’t.

And, he does so much better in the end that I really liked him that much more. His taking responsibility and stepping into a more adult role, both as a partner and a professional, was enjoyable–I only wished to have had more of that.

Interested? You can find BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble. I received an advanced copy of this book via NetGalley.

About Brent Hartinger:
I am Brent Hartinger, and I live to write.

For the last twenty years, I have made my living writing just about everything that involves words.

My most famous book is probably my 2003 gay teen novel, Geography Club, which has been adapted into a feature film starring Scott Bakula, Marin Hinkle, Ana Gasteyer, Justin Deeley, and Nikki Blonsky. It was released in selected theaters and on VOD on November 15, 2013.

You can find Brent on his website, Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

More Than Trust–BUILDING BONDS–Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for Morticia Knight’s new novel, BUILDING BONDS. This contemporary M/M BDSM romance features a shy man who learns of the BDSM scene from his friend, and finds a lover he never imagined. Kyle and Gavin are a sexy, sweet couple with a heart-felt love story. Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the book and $25 GC giveaway!

BB-CoverAbout the book:
Kyle’s a natural sub who builds dungeon furniture, yet has no interest in BDSM. It takes a hunky Dom to show him just what he’s been missing.

After Kyle’s partner of five years leaves him for another man on the night of their housewarming party, the shy early thirties carpenter needs to do a serious reassessment of his life in addition to raising some serious cash. With no one else to help him pay the lease on his Los Angeles condo, he worries how he’ll survive. His best friend sets up a meeting with one of the Doms and partners at Kiss of Leather, a gay BDSM Club being built as a premiere destination for those who want the best of the best.

Master Gavin not only wants the best – he demands it. When he meets Kyle, he assumes that part of the builder’s reticence to share anything personal with him must be due to his experiences with an abusive former Master. Not one to back down from a challenge, Gavin determines to break through the walls surrounding the beautiful man he can’t get out of his mind. He’s certain that once he convinces Kyle to sign an initial contract, Kyle might be the first sub to open up his heart.

Misunderstandings and accusations almost destroy everything between them before it has a chance to begin. However, the true obstacle becomes not only whether Kyle will embrace BDSM as a lifestyle, but whether he can handle a fulltime D/s relationship with a big bad scary Dom who’s as sexy as hell.

How about a little taste?

“I don’t have to be naked, right? You’re sure I won’t have to be naked?” Kyle sucked in a gulp of air. “Of course, if everyone else is and I’m not…Oh God, they’ll all be staring at me. Maybe I should be naked.”

Gavin stepped from the shower and the sight of his stunning frame with his semi-erect cock swaying, rivulets of water trailing down his beautiful skin over his rock hard abs – it made him want to…

“Kyle. Did you hear what I said?”


Gavin chuckled then advanced on him. He grabbed Kyle by his nape then pulled him in for a deep kiss. He broke their connection, except he kept his hand circled around Kyle’s neck, holding him there, safe.

“No one expects you to be naked, least of all me. You have a wonderful body that I hope you’ll someday allow others to see, but tonight isn’t about pushing your boundaries.”

“Are you kidding me? They’re not being pushed, they’re being trampled.”

“Kyle. Now would be a good time to remember that you need to address me properly at all times.”

“Oh. Sorry. Are you kidding me, Master?”

Gavin narrowed his eyes at him. “We’ll revisit the tone of your voice later. I don’t want to be late.”

Kyle’s eyes widened. He was such a mass of jangled nerves about going to the dungeon owned and run by Gavin’s friend, he hadn’t noticed how his words might’ve come across.

“I am sorry. I’m just a little freaked out, that’s all.”

Gavin placed another light kiss on his lips. “All right. I’ll let it go this time. I’ll also acknowledge that I might be on the verge of trampling your boundaries. But I think you can handle it and I believe you’ll do very, very well. Focus on your desire to make me proud and let everything else fall away.” Gavin stroked Kyle’s cheek with the back of his hand. “Your safewords always apply, no matter where we are, boy.”

Kyle took in another deep breath. “Okay. Thank you. That helped. I just don’t want to, I mean, of course I want to make you proud, but won’t people be expecting you to have someone more, uh, not only experienced, but either super pretty and twinky or hot and-“

“Stop it. Don’t say another word or there will be a punishment and it’ll involve the cock cage with the penis plug I showed you.”

Oh shit.

“Please. Not that.”

“Then remember how stunning I think you are and how angry it makes me that you would denigrate my beautiful boy.” Gavin pulled him close, nuzzling him behind his ear, placing soft kisses on his skin. “I want only you.”

My Review:
I enjoyed this one! I know BDSM isn’t for everyone, but I really liked the interplay here between Kyle–a talented furniture builder and complete BDSM novice with a low self-esteem–and Gavin, a Dom who has one thing on his mind: building Kyle back up. Kyle’s never been the object of anyone’s affection before. His most recent boyfriend was a self-centered jerk, and Kyle’s desire to find a man to love him seems almost too high a goal–for Kyle. Gavin is a sexy, wealthy professional–think a kinky Denzel Washington–and Kyle’s shyness and willingness to please is pure catnip.

I loved how sweet Gavin was to Kyle, how patient and how reassuring. It is also Gavin’s dream to find a full-time sub with whom to share his life. He’s had many opportunities, but no one has quite met his high standards. He had a boy he loved some years back, but that man couldn’t stay in the D/s lifestyle. Kyle’s spirit is willing, but he’s so new to the scene that Gavin is afraid he’ll lose him.

They agree on a 6 month full time contract, with Kyle moving in straightaway, and the training begins. As with the scene above, Kyle’s naive and unsure, and Gavin works within his limits to mold Kyle into a stronger, more confident man. He sees to Kyle’s every need, emotional and physical. Which has unintended consequences when Kyle realizes that he truly loved Gavin.

For all the BDSM action, this really is a sweet story. I liked both Gavin and Kyle a bunch, and the growth they experience together is charming. There are some intense sexytimes, so be prepared!

Interested? You can find BUILDING BONDS on Goodreads, Pride Publishing, and Amazon (US and UK).


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Morticia KnightAbout the Author:

Author Morticia Knight spends most of her nights writing about men loving men forever after. If there happens to be some friendly bondage or floggings involved, she doesn’t begrudge her characters whatever their filthy little heart’s desire. Even though she’s been crafting her naughty tales for more years than she’d like to share – her adventures as a published author began in 2011. Once upon a time she was the lead singer in an indie rock band that toured the West Coast and charted on U.S. college radio. She currently resides on the northern Oregon coast and when she’s not fantasizing about hot men she takes walks along the ocean and annoys the local Karaoke bar patrons.

You can find Morticia online on her website, Goodreads, Totally Bound, Amazon, Twitter and Facebook.



Hi there! Just sharing in the blog blast for Aria Grave’s novella release: LOOKING FOR HOME. It looks to be a sweet, sexy read! Don’t forget to scroll down for the $25 Amazon GC giveaway. 😉

imageAbout the book:
Evan spends half the week on the road, literally, and the rest of his time sitting around in an empty house. Killing time and drowning his hopes of ever finding someone to share his life with. Someone to come home to.

When he meets Georgie at a New Year’s Eve, Evan’s entire perspective changes.

How about a little taste?

Bill, bill, coupon, coupon, bill, and a big black envelope addressed to me. An invite, maybe? I don’t see my name in calligraphy very often but it looks good.

Mr. Georgie Kelton

Most of the mail that comes to the penthouse is not for me so I rarely look through it. I mostly toss it in a pile for Spencer or Dylan to take care of when they’re in town. But for the past two weeks I’ve been checking every day for something important. Not just something. The one thing that could get me pointed in the right direction for a real career in fashion.
The Bijou Design Summit for Fashion in New York accepts six up-and-comers with no experience or schooling into their Page program for the week of the event. It’s not glamourous work but if I get accepted as a page, it’ll be worth a few years of practical experience right there. Fast-tracking my fashion aspirations from a ten year plan to a five year plan would be huge.
I’ve had dreams of starting my own fashion line since I was a kid but I couldn’t risk anyone catching me with a sketch pad full of wedding gowns so I put those dreams on hold.

Once I ran away and started dancing, I all but forgot about the goal. It wasn’t until Spencer and Dylan encouraged me to start sketching again that I even considered a career in fashion was possible.

But here I am, waiting for a letter from New York that will tell me if my dreams are more than fantasy. If I have what it takes to even stand in the same room as the people I’ve idolized since the day I thumbed through my mom’s Cosmopolitan magazine.

And as much as I want to say getting to New York is all about fashion, I know that’s a lie. It’s about more. I want more.

My friends are all beginning to couple up around me and it’s becoming harder to ignore the lack of a better half in my own life. I have fun with my tricks and I’m physically satisfied but watching them get dressed and go home to their wives or kids or wherever they go after they get their rocks off with me is starting to wear me down.

A five-year plan is perfect. Just enough time for me to put together a decent portfolio, make some contacts in the industry, and work my way out of whoring. It’s a good gig while you can get it but I can’t do this forever. And I won’t try. Wouldn’t want to even if I could.

Dropping all the junk mail on the counter, I take the invitation with me as I flop on the white leather couch. The Christmas tree is still standing in the corner but the unusually sunny day drowns out all the holiday cheer that filled the penthouse just twenty four hours ago.

With Dylan and Spencer back in California to spend time with Andre and his new boyfriend, Frankie, the penthouse is more lonely than ever.
Pulling open the corner of the black envelope with my teeth, I shake it sideways until the single notecard falls into my lap.

You’re Invited
Ring in the New Year with Chance and Vinnie
Black Tie Attire
Private Mezzanine at The Heathman Hotel

A party at The Heathman? Are Chance and Vinnie going all 50 Shades on us? I haven’t spent much time with those guys but what I do know about them is all good. It sounds like just the kind of party I love but I have other plans.

Theo promised to ditch his wife on New Year’s and spend the evening with me. The tyrant he’s married to keeps his holiday schedule locked up during the entire month of December but he’s already given her an excuse about having to entertain some colleagues from the United Arab Emirates.

If all goes well, that ball in New York won’t be the only one getting some action on Saturday night. Being a high-end rent boy guarantees I have sex nightly when I’m working, but Theo will cuddle.


If he doesn’t have to rush out, he’ll hold me until I fall asleep. But it’s been too long since he hasn’t had to rush out so Saturday can’t come soon enough.
While I’m thinking of him, I can’t resist a quick text.

I’ve sent the proposal.

Because his wife is always monitoring his phone when she’s around, I have to start every text with an innocuous phrase that won’t raise any suspicions.

Thanks. In a meeting. Will review tonight.

Tonight? I wasn’t expecting him to come over tonight. I quickly thumb through my scheduling app to make sure I’m free. I have one client at 7:00 but will be free by 9:00 so I send him a coded reply.

I’ll be offline until 9. Will look for your comments then.


Confirmed! He’s coming tonight.

I toss the invite onto the coffee table and jump out of my seat. If I’m going to see my sugar daddy tonight, I need to do some prep work. I haven’t waxed in a week and I could use a pedicure.

Theo also likes lace so I spend the next hour trying on lingerie until I find a pair of panties that displays my package the best. The red lace against my pale skin has the same classic thing that my girl Taylor rocks.

The best part is they’re assless. The straps that hold the front together fit snugly under my cheeks, giving me a bit more of a bubble butt than nature intended. Again, exactly how Theo likes me.

Personally, my style is more about beauty and comfort than purely being femme. But, Theo has a thing for princesses. His wife is a princess but more beast than beauty.

So I give him what he wants. He doesn’t pay me anymore, not in terms of my nightly rates. He gives me something far more valuable than the cash I get from every other trick. Theo gives me affection. It’s not a perfect relationship right now, but as soon as he leaves the ice queen, we can be together.

Of course, if the page job in NYC comes through, I may have to reevaluate everything, including my patience with Theo.

Interested? You can find LOOKING FOR HOME available for preorder on Amazon, Nook, and iTunes.


Click the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC and a copy of LOOKING FOR HOME, or another Aria Grace title.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Aria enjoys the year round sunshine and laid back environment of the west coast. She lives with her husband and two children on a quiet hill that gives her lots of time to read and write. Once she ventured into the exciting world of gay romance, she never looked back. She loves to hear from readers so please feel free to drop her a note or visit her at

Find Aria online on her Facebook, Amazon Author Page, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Soothing Two LONELY HEARTS–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for the long-awaited third book in the Love Lessons series from Heidi Cullinan. I have previously reviewed the very excellent NOWHERE RANCH, CARRY THE OCEAN, and SLEIGH RIDE from Ms. Cullinan, who I should mention is a veritable Auto-Buy for me at this point. The Love Lessons series is a New Adult M/M contemporary romance series that centers around students who perform with the a cappella chorales at (fictional) Saint Timothy’s college near Minneapolis, Minnesota. In LONELY HEARTS, Baz Acher and Elijah Prince–who have been side characters in previous stories–find the kind of love the fans have surely wanted to see these broken men find.

Lonely Hearts (Love Lessons, #3)About the book:
Even hot messes need a happily ever after…

With the quiet help of his wealthy family, Sebastian “Baz” Acker has successfully kept his painful past at bay. But as the end of college draws near, his friends—his buffer zone—are preparing to move on, while his own life is at a crippling standstill.With loneliness bearing down on him, Baz hooks up—then opens up—with Elijah Prince, the guy Baz took a bullet for last year. The aftershocks of their one-night stand leave giant cracks in Baz’s carefully constructed armor. For the first time, the prospect isn’t terrifying.

Accustomed to escaping his demons by withdrawing into his imagination, Elijah isn’t used to having a happy herd of friends. He’s even less comfortable as the object of a notorious playboy’s affections. Yet all signs seem to indicate this time happiness might be within his grasp. When Baz’s mother runs for a highly sought-after public office, the media hounds drag Baz’s and Elijah’s pasts into the light. In the blinding glare, Baz and Elijah face the ultimate test: discovering if they’re stronger together…or apart.

Warning: Contains sex in a Tesla, sex in a cupboard, sex under a piano, kinky role play, and a cappella RuPaul songs. Just a couple of boys groping, battling, then finally loving their way to becoming men.

My Review:
This is the third book in the Love Lessons series and can be fully enjoyed as a standalone.

Welcome to the love story between Sebastian “Baz” Acker and Elijah Prince. Their lives have intersected in brief and dangerous ways: Baz found Elijah living on the Mineapolis streets and sent him back home, with all his cash, years before. Baz might not have if he knew the home Elijah had fled from was abusive, with parents brimming with radical ideas of how to “fix” their gay son. On campus at Saint Timothy’s, just a few months before, Elijah’s parents learned he lied about his conversion, and drove to the university to kill him–failing only because Baz jumped in front of the bullet.

Baz had been gay bashed as a teen and still deals with both the physical and emotional fallout–he has chronic pain, many titanium parts, and photophobia due to damage to his retinas. He must wear dark colored contacts and sunglasses In any kind of light, except when he’s at home and his red lamps don’t hurt. He suffers migraines and loneliness–he’s stinking rich and prime marriage bait, but Baz doesn’t want to be coddled, and he doesn’t want to feel fragile despite his many infirmities. He’s watching all his friends graduate college and feels aimless, and decides to hit on the one guy he should stay miles away from: Elijah.

Elijah’s abusive family is one thing; surviving and having a huge outreach of help is a totally different mind bender. He’s used to taking car of himself, so, even though his friends raised a ton of money for his schooling and living expenses, Elijah works menial jobs to keep his sense of self. He is a throwaway child, in his own mind, and cannot fathom what Baz Acker would want except to use him and throw him away–and Elijah is fully warned this will likely be the case. But the sense of connection from heir one night runs deep, and it’s doubly humiliating when he hears nothing from Baz for WEEKS after–especially knowing that Elijah is supposed to move into a house Baz shares with several other students.

Their meet-cute never happens, because life happens. They have old and new scars that keep them separate, and yet when Baz is on the spot to provide a date for himself to one of his mother’s political functions it to Elijah that Baz turns. Their chemistry is off the chart, but maybe it was just their chemical activity that enhanced an otherwise unspecial encounter. See, Baz and Elijah are skilled in the Pharma dabbling. Expect a lot of highly questionable self-medicating events.

The love story grows slowly, and only under Baz’s gale force front of keeping Elijah in exactly the place he needs: beside him. I absolutely adored the Miyazaki references, and how Baz and Elijah modeled themselves after Howl and Sophie, (Howl’s Moving Castle). The music references were to be expected, because Baz and many of the series characters are acapella singers for Saint Timothy’s choral ensembles. I truly appreciated how Baz dealt with his mother’s machinations, and how fiercely he loved Elijah.

As he snuggled deeper into the delicious cocoon of their bed, Elijah made himself acknowledge how hard Baz had pursued him not only tonight but also every other time Elijah had tried to withdraw. Tonight he’d found Elijah when everyone else kept walking right past him—Baz seemed to zero in, as if he’d known exactly where to look. He with the shit vision. Baz had found him, swept him away in his moving castle and talked him into sanity. Confessed that he loved Elijah, loved taking care of him. Baz wasn’t a little bit of affection. He wasn’t a flame like Aaron or Giles or Mina or Lejla. He was a goddamned lighthouse calling Elijah’s moth-eaten soul home.


This book doesn’t have as much external conflict as I expect other books in this series have had, but it’s a sucker punch of feels and a romance that any reader could applaud. Two men, broken both body and soul, finding real love.

Can I get a Hallelujah?

I really like the Pastor in this series, and his wife! They are some prime examples of God’s unfailing love. I also enjoyed many a secondary character in this story. I know most of them have their own stories, and I’ll likely check those out.

Interested? You can find LONELY HEARTS on Goodreads, Amazon, Samhain Publishing, AllRomance and Barnes & Noble. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Heidi CullinanAbout the Author:
Heidi Cullinan has always loved a good love story, provided it has a happy ending. She enjoys writing across many genres but loves above all to write happy, romantic endings for LGBT characters because there just aren’t enough of those stories out there. When Heidi isn’t writing, she enjoys cooking, reading, knitting, listening to music, and watching television with her husband and teenaged daughter. Heidi is a vocal advocate for LGBT rights and is proud to be from the first Midwestern state with full marriage equality. Find out more about Heidi, including her social networks, at her websiteTwitter, and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Death Has Momentum–A Review of JUGGERNAUT

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for JUGGERNAUT, by Amelia Gormley. This is the “prequel” book to STRAIN, a post-apocalyptic dystopian future story about survivors of a virus that killed billions. In Juggernaut we see the world before and immediately after the viral outbreak. If you have read STRAIN (published a year ago), there are no spoilers below. If you haven’t, well, I don’t think I give away more than the blurb will tell you….

Juggernaut (Strain, #0.5)About the book:
They helped destroy the world. Now they have to survive the new one.

For rentboy Nico Fernández, it’s a simple job: seduce a presidential advisor to help cement approval to launch Project Juggernaut. He’s done similar work for General Logan McClosky before, and manipulating people for his favorite client beats the hell out of being trafficked for slave wages in some corporate brothel.

Zach Houtman feels called to work with the most vulnerable outcasts of society. But his father, the Reverend Maurice Houtman, insists that Zach work for him instead as he runs for Senate. Zach reluctantly agrees, but is horrified to see his father leave behind Christ’s mandate of love and mercy to preach malicious zealotry and violence instead. Zach even starts to suspect his father is working with fundamentalist terrorists.

When Project Juggernaut accidentally unleashes a deadly plague that claims billions of lives, Nico and Zach are thrown together, each bearing a burden of guilt. With only each other for safety and solace, they must make their way through a new world, one where the handful of people left alive are willing to do anything—and kill anyone—to survive.

My Review:
This story is set approximately 100 years into the future, when long military campaigns had decimated the recruitment of soldiers. In this brave new world, wealth is highly concentrated, and poverty is likewise concentrated–in corporate-owned slums. The ways out are not plentiful, but soldiers could get their families out, and people could take up prostitution, legally, if they worked for a corporate brothel. Education was only for the wealthy, because who else could afford to download their digital lessons?

Nico is a rentboy in a special place–his mother broke away from her corporate brothel and opened a boutique business in providing educated, charming companions to the upper echelon of society. He has all the advantages of his courtesan education, including the regular clientele of Gen McClosky. Nico steps in and accepts a job for McClosky to ‘entertain’ a high ranking advisor: Secretary Littlewood. The night goes according to Littlewood’s sadistic plan, leaving Nico wrecked–and especially so when he learns what his efforts enabled: green lighting Project Juggernaut, infection of several army battalions with the Bane Alpha virus to give them super strength, super agility, advanced stamina and healing power–but also turning their blood into a chemical weapon. When cut, any non-Alpha immune person would contract Bane Beta and become violently ill with a terrible flu. Only, something goes epically wrong. (PS, this is not a spoiler if you have read STRAIN)

Zack Houtmann is a former divinity student working on his father’s, Reverend Maurice Houtmann, political campaign, and he’s not happy about it. He struggles with the anti-homosexuality message being touted by his father and also the lack of compassion he sees displayed by his father and younger brother, Jacob. It’s not a small thing that Zack seemingly overhears plans of a terrorist hate-crime to coincide with his father’s campaign kick-off. As the virus is unleashed on American soil, Zack is forced to hole up with his increasingly paranoid and zealous father and Jacob.

Nico is saved from the virus by the guilty hand of Gen McClosky–who also sets Nico on his way once the worst of the outbreak has happened. Nico and Zack cross paths in America’s crossroads–Indiana, en route to the survivors’ camp in Colorado Springs. Getting there is quite the battle, but surviving quarantine and staying is even more dangerous.

This is a fantastic post-apocalyptic story with great characterization and incredibly well-crafted plot tie-ins to STRAIN. We meet the Jugs (infected soldiers) and witness the crippling issues of starting society over. Zack and Nico develop a love story, but it is one of mutual self-sacrifice. Expect more bitter than sweet in this book, and expect to immediately want to jump into STRAIN if you have not read it–or BANE, STRAIN’s sequel–if you have. The book has the typical zombie-like menace, marauding revenants who are just as deadly as the Jug’s toxic blood, but it is the uninfected humans who provide more terror. Their justifiable paranoia leads to inhumane action–it’s a cruel, cruel world for real.

I couldn’t stop reading this book. Just excellent.

Interested? You can find JUGGERNAUT on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.


Amelia C. Gormley may seem like anyone else. But the truth is she sings in the shower, dances doing laundry, and writes blisteringly hot m/m erotic romance while her son is at school. When she’s not writing in her Pacific Northwest home, Amelia single-handedly juggles her husband, her son, their home, and the obstacles of life by turning into an everyday superhero. And that, she supposes, is just like anyone else.

Her self-published novel-in-three-parts, Impulse (Inertia, Book One; Acceleration, Book Two; and Velocity, Book Three) can be found at most major ebook retailers, and be sure to check for her latest releases, including her Highland historical, The Laird’s Forbidden Lover, the The Professor’s Rule series of erotic novelettes (co-written with Heidi Belleau), and her upcoming post-apocalyptic romance, Strain.

You can contact Amelia on Twitter, Facebook, GoodReads.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Sexytimes in CROSS MY HEART–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for CROSS MY HEART, a New Adult ménage romance from AM Hartnett. It’s a steamy read, with a good bit of heart.

imageAbout the book:
Dangerous, but worth the risk?

Evie and Ryan are selective. Not just any man will do. After weeks of trying to make a connection online they finally extend an invitation that outs their sinful search to their widowed landlord, Seth. And then Seth reveals a secret of his own: he’s more than eager to become his young tenants’ playmate.

In spite of the explosive dynamic the threesome find in bed, Ryan’s insecurities bubble to the surface. He wanted a lover who wouldn’t hurt Evie, but as he watches his woman writhe with the ecstasy another man gives her, it becomes clear that Seth isn’t the one Evie needs to worry about leaving with a bruised heart. Sharing the control in bed was the easy part. Losing control of his emotions could destroy what he has with Evie.

My Review:
Evie and Ryan are two 20-somethings who met in their apartment building. Over the course of several months they developed a friendship, and then more. They are currently an exclusive couple who enjoy some light kink, including bondage, but Ryan has recently revealed that he is bisexual and has desires to have relations with men. Evie’s on board, if she can be a mutually-pleasured party–Ryan thinks he’s the luckiest man evah.

He kinda is.

Thing is neither he, nor Evie, can find a suitable third. They have some feelers out on the kink webforums, but the leads aren’t good. Most of the respondents don’t want to play equally with Evie or Ryan.

A disastrous tryst ends with a mortifying rescue by their landlord, Seth, who isn’t exactly averse to a bit of kinky fun with his tenants.

I like the emotional and sexual landscape of this book. It is told by Evie and Ryan, and we get the full sense of their experience, which is both good and bad. Expect some seriously hot sexytimes and some low points–especially when Ryan blows the whole thing up. Honestly, I need to know Seth has his own book coming, because this dude stole the story.

This is a story set in London, so expect the Briticisms to be strong and loverly. It made my Anglophile heart swoon. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

Interested?  You can find CROSS MY HEART on Goodreads, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

About the Author:
A.M. Hartnett began writing erotica upon receiving what, at the time, she considered very bad advice from a career counselor. Since 2006, her short stories have appeared on the web and in various anthologies, including Kristina Wright’s Best Erotic Romance series and Rachel Kramer Bussel’s Curvy Girls.

Find AM on her website, twitter, and Facebook.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends.

Learning to Love BEYOND THE SCARS–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for Louise Lyons’ new contemporary M/M romance BEYOND THE SCARS. I really enjoyed her novella, IN DARKEST PERU, so I jumped at the chance to read her latest novel. I definitely enjoyed the emotional ups and downs of a man finding his footing after suffering an abusive relationship.

imageAbout the book:
After years of physical and mental abuse, Tommy Chadwick finally finds the strength to leave Colin, his tormentor. But Tommy soon finds that escaping his violent boyfriend was only the first step on his path to recovery.

Now he must overcome feelings of worthlessness in order to rebuild his battered self-esteem.

Tommy’s lack of self-confidence prevents him from going out… at first, but then has him ricocheting from one man to another, desperately trying to please them in his search for love and acceptance.

After being rejected on New Year’s Eve, and then beaten after leaving the gay bar, he agrees to accompany his best friend, Sarah, to a martial arts club. There Tommy meets Marcus, a strong older man, who at first becomes his friend, introducing Tommy to new interests, and later, tentatively asks him on a date.

Will Marcus be the man to help Tommy put his past behind him and fall in love for real?

how about a little taste?

Two years, ten months, nineteen days. That was how long I’d been here. But today was different. Today I was leaving. My life was no longer worth living, and if I didn’t change it, I thought I might die, whether by his hand or my own.

I’d met Colin Woods in June 2004 on MySpace. I’d been nineteen then and reasonably happy in my own skin. But the fishing port of Grimsby wasn’t the best place in the world to try meeting other men. It didn’t have much to offer the GLBT community, and most people either went out of town or used online dating and chatrooms. I’d opened an account on MySpace, and within a few weeks I’d connected with Colin. He lived close to Grimsby, too, in one of the villages not far from the outskirts, and we met just days after our online introduction. He’d seemed so different then.

I jumped and glanced over my shoulder as I heard a sound outside. Our neighbor, slamming his car door. I let out a shaky sigh of relief and continued stuffing my clothes into a bag. My hands trembled, and I tried talking to myself in my head. You’ve got time. He won’t be back for hours. Calm down. Don’t forget anything important.

I fastened the bag and grabbed another smaller one which I took into the bathroom to collect my meager amount of toiletries. Then back to the bedroom for my CDs. Half an hour at the most and I’d be out of here. Free. Safe.

A few more minutes passed. I thought I had everything, but I took another look around to make sure. If I left my wallet or car keys, I’d be in trouble. I patted my pockets and found the keys in my right, front, jeans pocket and my wallet in the back pocket on the same side.
I picked up the smaller bag again and shoved in a few odd socks which were on the floor next to the bed. Every moment that passed was a moment too long, and I tried to hurry up. The silence in the flat was so loud my head pounded with it. Then in an instant it was shattered by the front door flying open and crashing against the wall. The bag I was holding fell from my hands, and items scattered across the floor. I took a step back as Colin appeared in the doorway, eyebrows raised.

“I… um… I thought you were g-going fishing,” I stammered.

“I was, but you have to ruin everything as usual,” he growled. “I rang you at work. You know, your place of work where you went two hours ago. Only you didn’t go there, did you? They said you booked time off!” He bellowed out the last sentence, and I flinched. “So tell me, Tommy. Why would you take time off work and not tell me? Why are you here, packing stuff into a bag, ruining my day, when I should be out fishing with my mate?”

“I’m leaving,” I said in a small voice. Maybe he’d let me go. Just maybe he’d be mad enough to think it wasn’t worth it anymore. I’d ruined his day, after all. I could imagine the words coming out of his mouth, and I prayed silently he’d say them. Go then, Tommy. I’ve had enough. Get out of my sight, and take all your shit with you.

“The hell you are. Get that stuff unpacked right now.” He clenched his fists at his sides, and his jaw twitched. I was impressed he hadn’t hit me yet. “Actually, I changed my mind. Leave that. First you can tell me exactly what you thought you were doing. Haven’t I said a hundred times you’ll never leave me? I won’t let you leave. You have nothing without me, anyway. No one else would want you, useless waste of space that you are.”

“I… I’m sorry. I thought I’d….” I racked my brains desperately for the right words—words which might not result in me being forced to take more time off until the bruises faded. Usually he avoided my face, but if he was really mad he seemed to want to pummel the features he repeatedly told me were a turn off to everyone except him.

“You thought what? I’d let you go, just like that? You thought you’d sneak off like the little coward you are while I’m not here?” He stepped closer, and I gulped, my mouth dry with fear. I knew it was going to be a lot worse than it had been before. I’d never really done anything before to deserve it. Tiny little mistakes—an item put away in the wrong place, his dinner later than he demanded, something not done quickly enough or the way he wanted. Here I was packing, intending to leave and daring to make my own decision. He’d beat the shit out of me.

I took a step back and came up short when I bumped against the wall. Colin lifted his hand, and in a second he had fastened it around my throat.

“You’ll never leave me, Tommy. Do you hear me? I’ll make sure of it.”

My Review:
Tommy is a 23 y/o man just coming out of an abusive relationship. He moves in with a good friend and her mother. While he’s no longer suffering the physical abuse, it’s still not easy finding his way in his new life. He has very low self-esteem and runs from man to man–whomever finds him sexy at the nearby gay bar.

At first, Tommy is satisfied, feeling attractive and worthwhile, but the anonymous sex soon loses it’s luster. His housemates, Sarah and her mother Shirley, are kind and offer good advice, helping him to take good steps. Sarah encourages Tommy to start Jujitsu classes with her and her boyfriend. Having been a victim of abuse and gay bashing, Tommy thinks it’s a good idea to gain some skills in self-defense. There he meets Marcus, a big burly gay man, who is one of the dojo’s black belt instructors. Marcus and Tommy share more in common than being gay–they like Jujitsu, and both have Mini Coopers, and Marcus is part of a “Mini” club. At first Tommy doesn’t find Marcus attractive. He’s not ugly, just not his type, but the more time they spend together, the better friends they become. Soon, Tommy is very much attracted to Marcus, but neither man is sending out strong signals and a Tommy is too tentative to make his interest plain.

I liked how Tommy worked through his emotional issues, how he took steps to improve his new life and build positive relationships. Marcus is a good man, and has also suffered partner abuse, so he’s an excellent match for Tommy. Their tentative courtship is sweet, and causes the romantic tension to ramp slowly. While Marcus and Tommy take slow steps toward each other, they are able to bring friendship into the relationship–something Tommy didn’t do with any of his previous lovers/partners. I adored how they took it slow and built a solid foundation of affection, respect and desire.

Expect some sexytimes, but the best parts come when Marcus and Tommy are honest with each Other about their true feelings. The book is very sweet, with a decent heat in the final third. I had just a little trouble with pacing–sometimes Tommy overthinks his actions, which is an improvement on his non-thing moments–but repetition over his past slowed the pace, for me. Otherwise, strap in for an HEA.

Interested? You can find BEYOND THE SCARS on Goodreads, Wayward Ink Publishing, Amazon (US and UK) AllRomance, and Barnes & Noble.


Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
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About the Author:
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.
Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Connect with Louise online on her blog, Facebook, and twitter.

Love on the Savannah: MOONFLOWER

Hi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for MOONFLOWER, a newly release contemporary romance from Leigh Archer. This one looks to be a steamer! Don’t forget to scroll down and enter the giveaway.

MoonflowerAbout the book:
Conservationist, Sophie Kyle, takes up a position on a private game farm outside Cape Town in the hopes of paying off her student loans, adding a glowing reference to her resume and indulging her passion for wildlife conservation.

Reuben Manning is a British businessman who has bought a game farm in Africa which he intends to use as a venue to entertain friends and business associates.

With the suddenness and intensity of a bushfire, a powerful attraction ignites between the conservationist and the tycoon, but Sophie has only ever wanted to spend her days in the African bush while Reuben’s life is corporate London.

As the sensuous bond between the two grows, they must find common ground or they are doomed to spend the rest of their lives a continent apart.

Insights from author Leigh Archer:
An aspect I especially enjoyed about writing Moonflower was that it was a feast for the senses. Just a word warning before you begin to read: you just might feel a little peckish by the time you’re through, and may experience a strong urge to travel!

Set off on a game drive just as the sun begins to paint the sky in peach and blue-grey. There’s a crumbly South African buttermilk rusk in one hand and a glass of Amarula in the other.

image001The recipe for traditional buttermilk rusks:

1kg self-raising flour
250g butter
200ml sugar
320ml buttermilk
10ml baking powder
2 eggs
5ml salt
25ml oil

Sift dry ingredients together and rub in butter.
Add eggs and oil, and mix well.
Make a well in the centre of the dough and add the buttermilk.
Knead well then roll into balls about one inch in diameter and pack tightly into a baking dish at least two inches deep or press dough evenly into a baking sheet.

Bake at 180C for 45mins.

image003Amarula is a South African cream liqueur made from the fruit of the African marula tree. It is sweet, creamy and vibrantly fruity on the palate, with notes of caramel, peppery spice and a hint of citrus. Wild animals, especially elephants, adore the fruit and will ram the tree if no fruit has fallen to the ground.

Game drives, whether in the early morning or evening, are an experience for the senses; a blanket tucked around your knees or the feel of late evening sun of your face and a breeze to cool you. The bush is painted in entirely different colours depending on the season or time of day and the same can be said of its sounds and smells.

Eland, baboons and giraffe feature in Moonflower. These animals have been part of the African landscape and its lore for millennia.

The word for God for the oldest people of southern Africa – the San – is ‘/Kaggen’ which can be translated as ‘mantis’. But /Kaggen is not always a praying mantis, only one of God’s manifestations. Others are the eland, hare, snake and vulture.

image011The colours of Moonflower are the cool silvers and blues of moonlight and the warm, fiery tones of copper. Dinner in a boma: good food, the crackle of flames and warmth of firelight as sparks rise into a sky filled to bursting with stars.


After dinner they took a stroll along one of the Lost City’s paved walkways, flanked on either side by lifelike elephants on plinths; each sculpture lit up against the darkness.

As if the setting weren’t spectacular enough, it seemed as if the heavens had decided to put on a pyrotechnics display, treating them to the spectacle of a highveld storm in the distance. They stood side by side as forks of lightning split the night and zigzagged through the valley.

‘We’d better get back,’ Sophie warned, looking up at the gathering clouds. ‘These storms hit out of nowhere and they’re over in ten minutes, but you get really soaked.’

It was after eleven and the walkway was deserted. Reuben was rapt as Sophie pulled the tablecloth-cum-dress further up her thighs and climbed onto the wide ledge of one of the stone flowerbeds set out in front of the elephant plinths. His fingers brushed her hip as he put a hand out to steady her. The only incongruous aspect of the outfit, he noticed, was a pair of sandals that didn’t provide good footing. But nobody had been looking at Sophie’s feet.

At his touch, she tensed and lost her balance. Reuben caught her around the waist. With their gazes locked, he pulled her against him. She slid slowly down along his body. As her feet touched the ground, her lips parted and she kept her arms wound tightly round his neck.

Reuben did what seemed at that moment like the most natural thing in the world: he bent his head and brushed his lips to hers. Sophie didn’t hesitate. Her lips parted and she took his tongue inside her mouth; its heat and moistness sent arousal flashing through him like the shattering forks of lightning cracking and snaking behind them.

Sophie’s body arched against his and he kissed her harder, opening and closing his mouth to the rhythm of her breathing, which grew faster and faster.

The delicious warm throb of arousal took hold of his body; clouding his mind. Sophie moaned as he ran his hand along her hip, found the bottom of her dress, slid it upwards. His hand slipped lightly over the back of her thigh, found one smooth buttock. He raked his nails lightly over the sensitive skin. Sophie shuddered against him, tightened her grip at the back his neck.

Interested? You can find MOONFLOWER on Tirgearr Publishing, Amazon (US and UK) Smashwords, iBooks, Kobo, and Nook.


Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon card. Make sure to follow the whole tour—the more posts you visit throughout, the more chances you’ll get to enter the giveaway.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Leigh writes romance novels set in her native South Africa. She has always had a love affair with Africa’s wild open spaces, the intensity of its people and sunsets. Her love of storytelling began as a child when she spent every spare moment playing barefoot in golden grass, watching wild creatures, learning to track spoor and dreaming up heroes and heroines dynamic enough to stand out in all the beauty and drama of the African landscape.

Always in search of adventure, Leigh’s journey as a writer has taken her from journalism through communications, to working as a novelist.

You can find Leigh online on her website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Tirgearr Publishing Author Page, Amazon Author Page.


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Hi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for TREBLE MAKER by Annabeth Albert. This contemporary M/M romance is part The Voice, part GLEE, and all good. You know I loved the Portland Heat books, so I jumped at the chance to review this one! Don’t forget to page down and enter the giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card.

Treble Maker (Perfect Harmony, #1)About the book:
On Perfect Harmony, the ambitious competitors heat things up on stage and off…

Cody Rivers is determined to be a rock star, but couch-surfing between bar shows gets old fast. Joining an a cappella group for a new singing competition show could be his last chance at real fame—unless the college boy from the heart of the country messes it up for him. Lucas Norwood is everything gothy, glittery Cody is not—conservative, clean-cut, and virginal. But when a twist in the show forces them together, even the sweetest songs get steamy as the attraction between them lights up the stage. Lucas wants to take it slow, but Cody’s singing a different tune—and this time it may be a love song…

How about a little taste?

The bass singer was gay. Cody wiggled his hips in an exaggerated move that always got him company on dance floors, waited a beat, and … there. Right on cue, the curly-haired singer gave him another sidelong glance.

A straight dude might grant Cody the occasional double take because, yeah, it was damn hard to ignore Cody’s style of fabulousness. Today, for example, the style gods had smiled on him—his hair was the perfect combination of deliberate spikes and casual falls, the silver specks in his eyeliner complemented his studded leather belt, and his red skinny jeans showed off his ass. So when the bass’s double take had turned into something more like a quintuple take, Cody knew what those lingering glances meant. Knew it despite the fact that the bass looked fresh off the farm, all wholesome and rosy-cheeked and wearing a tie/sweater vest combo perfect for performing in a church choir.

Crash. The bass missed a step, sending a speaker skidding across the stage. One of the camera guys groaned. On second thought, maybe the bass hadn’t been checking out Cody. Maybe he had trouble controlling his big blue eyes the same way he had trouble controlling his big-assed feet.

Whatever the dude was, he was screwing up Cody’s big break. Twitchy farmer boy and the rest of his all-boy group had screwed up multiple run-throughs of the opening number for the new season of Perfect Harmony. No one would notice Cody’s singing if the other groups kept crashing into one another and losing the chorus. He’d worked damn hard to earn this solo, and he didn’t need farmer boy messing it up with his clodhopper feet that kept tripping over thin air.

My Review:
4.5 Stars for this contemporary M/M New Adult romance.

Cody is a 23 y/o goth/glam singer trying to make it in LA. He’s barely coasting with a van nearly his own age stuffed full of his belongings, couch-surfing until he can land some more gigs. His newest gig is the lead vocalist of an acapella singing group on the reality show, Perfect Harmony.  He’s already figured out the ins-and-outs of surviving this competition, and it might-could involve some private time with one of the assistant directors. And, no matter what, Cody’s not going to seduce that clod-hopper of a corn-fed Iowa bass who keeps giving him the eye.

Lucas is a 21 y/o out gay man, but he’s a virgin. He’s never even shared a kiss with another man. He attends a conservative college and is the poster boy for his father’s religious writings; essentially, he’s signed on to the school’s morality code–that he will save his virginity for marriage. While his parents accept his sexuality, they want for him to find a sweet, kind gay man to spend his life with; Lucas is attracted to men who are not quite sweet and probably not kind. Being part of the competition puts Lucas in direct contact with all sorts of flamboyant persons, and, unfortunately, Cody is exactly Lucas’ type.

These two are an odd couple, indeed. Cody’s almost horrified at Lucas’ lack of experience. He can’t bear the crap way Lucas’ singing group treats him, however, and he helps Lucas learn the choreography steps he needs. Their interactions are definitely fraught with sexual tension, but they are also filled with misunderstanding, and a bit of prejudice. Lucas really has a lot of trouble accepting himself as gay–as an adult who can and should make his own decisions regarding his sex life. I really loved how Cody called him on this, and also how Lucas didn’t simply dismiss it.

I was raised in a very conservative church environment, and knew many people who committed to abstinence/celibacy. Lucas and his friends reminded me so much of them. He’s got a lot of expectations to be a moral and upstanding gay man, one who indulges in nothing. I could sense that pressure, from his group, friends and parents. Having Cody, the physical embodiment of many of his desires, so close, and so willing to be more than a dancing coach, was the ultimate temptation.

I don’t want to reveal too much of the plot, but it simmers with attraction, desire and self-denial. Cody is willing to play into some of Lucas’ fantasies, but he is a demanding lover, too–and he wants Lucas to grasp what he is missing by shielding himself from experimentation. All Lucas’ friends continue to warn him off Cody–thinking that Cody will corrupt him, but Lucas believes he can’t really be corrupted, having long since understood that he has been corrupting himself for years, assuaging his unhealthy desire with raunchy porn. There are many challenges to Lucas’ morality code–and his broadening experience is crammed with revelation. I loved how Lucas took charge of himself. He more than desires Cody; over the weeks of intense connection he develops love for him, and is shattered when it seems that Cody is willing to prostitute himself for an advantage in the show.

Meanwhile, Cody learns a lot about himself, and his own desires. He has always been a lone wolf, but working with his group, and Lucas, gives him a greater goal outside of his own self. It creates a need for community that he has eschewed since he left home the night of his high school graduation. I really enjoyed how vulnerable he made himself, and also how that dovetailed with Lucas embracing his own path–separate from the promises he made as an untried child.

I also dug how Lucas’ parents reacted to his newly-asserted independence. They could have been obstructive, but it didn’t happen that way. The book doesn’t end with the standard “finale” win, and I liked that, too. I was so glad, actually, that these folks got to live out their new dreams because I think I’d have been sad if it all crumbled and only Lucas and Cody remained. I did enjoy the behind-the-scenes of the TV show, and all the strategy involved.

Interested? You can find TREBLE MAKER on Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble. I received an ARC of this book for review via NetGalley.


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Annabeth AlbertAbout the Author:
Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two toddlers.

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