Finding New Life: AHAVA IS LOVE–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Or, perhaps I should say: Shalom! and wish all my readers a Happy Hanukkah. As I’ve mentioned before, I have a bi-faith family. With in-laws who are Jews, and having Christian upbringing myself, I have enjoyed learning about Judaism and sharing my faith, too! I’m a sucker for a fab Hanukkah story, and I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a sweet contemporary M/M romance from new-to-me author Avery Duran. AHAVA IS LOVE took me to the Holy Land and made me wish to walk those paths.

Drop down to catch my review and enter to win a $20 GC in the giveaway!
About the book:
Brooklyn Realtor Josh Perlman desperately wants to settle down. Unfortunately he can’t find a man who wants the same. Tired of disastrous dates, he travels to explore his heritage.

Yaron is an Israeli security guard and medic charged with looking after Josh and his pilgrimage group. For Yaron, the need to protect has become more a duty than an honor since he lost his long-term boyfriend to a terrorist attack—a loss that continues to haunt him.

As they embark on their journey through the Holy Land, it’s hard to deny the attraction that sparks between Josh and Yaron. Yet with America calling Josh home, and Israel, and the death of his lover holding Yaron prisoner, it seems only a miracle can keep them together.

But Israel is an ancient land, one that has seen miracles before. Surrounded by structures that have been destroyed and rebuilt time after time, Josh and Yaron might just learn that their futures can be found in the wisdom of the past.
World of Love: Stories of romance that span every corner of the globe.

My Review:
Josh is done with men. He’s been dumped for the last time, and absolutely won’t fall for another alpha male wanting his brand of youthful-looking arm candy. To change his outlook on life he accepts a one-time opportunity to be a tour guide on a pilgrimage through Israel for college students. The trip spans Hanukkah, and bodes to be a rebirth of Josh’s commitment to himself to find what he needs within.

On the tour, Josh is paired up with Yaron, a big, strapping guard, who also works as a medic. Yaron is attractive, and attracted, but he doesn’t want any strings…he lost the love of his life several years ago to a suicide bomber and won’t risk his heart again. Not that Josh is looking for strings. Or a man. He’s done with them, after all. At least, until he works out his inner tangles. That said, the attraction is keen, and the nights are sweltering. Josh isn’t really a one-nighter type of guy, but he and Yaron have many nights in their future…and man are they steamy. Once Yaron gets over his guilt at finding Josh attractive and engaging enough for more than a brief tryst.

This book is a sweet story, with hurt-comfort in store for both Josh and Yaron. They know their time is limited, but their minds can’t stop their hearts from falling. I loved the cultural references, and how Josh’s trip is in many ways defined by the food he devours. Typical American!! The touchstones of the trip are interesting, and reach beyond typical Judaica, which makes the story very approachable. I liked how the college students really gained a lot of personal insight that helped them grow, as did Josh. He’s been a doormat for a lot of people, but he learned his worth on this adventure. There isn’t a sweet happy ending for Josh at the end of his trip, but he and Yaron have built a stronger connection than even he realized, and their story is still beginning. Expect a happy ending for this new couple, and some steamy bits and pieces as Josh and Yaron make all the motions toward building a new life together.

Interested? You can find AHAVA IS LOVE on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Parent Association President by day, Romance Author by night, Avery Duran (www.averyduran.com) enjoys the best of all worlds. She’s a minivan-driving, cupcake-baking, soccer mom, who works outside the home while raising three rambunctious boys. Easily distracted by shiny things, Avery found making up stories in her head was an effective way to fool people into thinking she was paying attention. Eventually, she decided to write down one of those stories, and her alter-ego was born.

A native New Yorker, she often incorporates her favorite city into what she writes. During the day, while driving, watching endless YouTube videos, or animated shows with her offspring, she plots her stories. At night, when her husband and children go to sleep, Avery sits in a quiet house and puts those words on paper. She loves spending her downtime creating a world filled with people loving and laughing their way to happily-ever-after.

Catch up with Avery on Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, and BookBub or sign-up for her newsletter.

Out Today! THE ONE NIGHT STAND–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance out today from the writing team of Elizabeth Hayley. THE ONE NIGHT STAND features an ex-MLB star keeping his new life secret and the journalist who falls for him…even as it complicates her job.

About the book:
Gabriel Torres thought his life after Major League Baseball would be simple and quiet, or at least quieter. However, as he takes over running the exclusive Players Club, he finds himself continually embroiled in scandal and drama. Surely nothing, and no one could make his life any crazier…Right?

Rachel Adler is a blast from Gabe’s past who crashed back into his life with the finesse of a freight train. But she’s a welcome distraction. At least for a night.

Rachel has been working hard to become one of the top sports journalists in the country. She doesn’t have time for a long-term romance or irresistibly charming baseball players. A one-night-stand with the man who she knew would hit it out of the park was all she wanted.

But when she gets a tip that Gabe could have ties to one of the biggest sports stories in history, a story that could make her career, Rachel decides that maybe she has a little time for the sexy baseball player after all. As she gets in deeper with both her story and Gabe, Rachel begins to question who she is, what she wants, and what exactly she’s willing to sacrifice for her career.

Will the potential grand-slam romance be stopped short or will Rachel and Gabe be able to go the distance?

Check out this excerpt for Chapter 1!

Rachel hustled through the newsroom, her brown hair bouncing against her shoulders as her mind whirled with all of the different things her boss Rick Hartnett may want to talk to her about. None of them were good.

She’d been a reporter with All Access Sports Magazine practically since she’d graduated college, but as she let her eyes roam around the room, she noticed the thrill wasn’t as strong as it used to be. It wasn’t that she didn’t like her job or had much of a desire to move on to a different publication. Moreso it was that she felt stagnant. Every day there was a reminder that she hadn’t reached the kind of success she’d hoped she would have after nearly a decade in the industry.

Reaching the door of Rick’s office, she gave it a few raps. “You wanted to see me?” she asked after he looked up from his computer.

“Yeah,” he replied, gesturing to the chair on the other side of his desk. Though All Access Sports was on the twenty-second floor of a building that was less than twenty years old, their space was anything but sleek. Stacks of old newspapers and magazines littered Rick’s floor, and Rachel had to step around them to make it to the chair.

Rachel took a seat without closing the door, since Rick always preferred it stay open. She and Rick engaged in some sort of odd staring contest before he finally picked up the next edition of their print magazine and dropped it on the desk in front of her.

“You want to tell me why you don’t have an article in there?”

No, actually she didn’t want to tell him. “I didn’t have anything solid to contribute.”

Rick steepled his hands and let his chin rest atop them. “Hmm. That’s interesting. Because when I looked into our budget analytics for last month, I see that you flew across the goddamn country to chase a story. But,” Rick slapped a finger onto the magazine, “I don’t see a story.”

“The lead didn’t pan out.”

“I didn’t even approve that trip. How’d you get the go ahead?”

Rachel shrugged in an overly casual way that was an attempt to pretend she wasn’t about to get reamed out by her boss. And what was worse, she deserved it. “You weren’t here when the story came up so I asked Cal.”

“You asked Cal, a junior editor with no actual authority to make this decision?”

“Accounting thinks he has authority.” It was not the brightest thing Rachel could have said in that moment, but it was at the very least true.

“But you know he doesn’t. What was the story anyway? At our last pitch meeting you said you were going to do a piece on the inflation of prices at ballparks. Pretty sure you didn’t need to go to California for that.”

Rachel looked down and studied her nails. She really needed to get a manicure. Her nail beds looked disastrous. “I heard some grumblings about the club so I thought I’d check it out.”

“Jesus Christ. Not this again.”

Rachel let her hands drop into her lap. “Yes, this again. You know this is an ongoing investigation for me. If I can figure out the truth behind the rumors, it would make my whole career.”

Sighing, Rick crossed his arms on his desk. “How long have you been looking into this club?”

“I’m not exactly sure,” she hedged.

“Too long is the answer. You gotta drop this thing, Rach. If there was any truth to it, you’d have found out by now.”

“Not necessarily. It’s extremely exclusive. Only the best of the best get asked to join, so obviously they’re going to be tight-lipped about it. I just have to find the right angle.”

“Rachel.”

“And I’ve found enough details to support its existence. I just don’t have anything solid enough to base a story on.”

“Rachel.”

“But it’s only a matter of time. The source in San Diego didn’t pan out, but something else will. I just need to keep my ear to the ground.”

“Rachel!” Rick yelled.

Taking a deep breath, she focused on him, even though she knew she wasn’t going to like what he had to say.

“It’s time to give it up. You’re out there chasing a unicorn when there are more pressing things we need you to cover.”

“It’s not a unicorn. It’s a Triple Crown winner.”

“A hypothetical Triple Crown winner. That’s not good enough to waste resources.”

“I’ve spent years on this story. I can’t–”

“You’ve spent years on it and have absolutely nothing to show for it. I’m sorry, but you need to drop it. We can’t allocate any more resources toward it.”

“I’ll work it on my own time.”

“We consider your time our resource. We pay you for it. We need your head to be in the game.”

“You can’t forbid me from working on something when I have nothing else going on.”

“No. But I can fire you if you don’t start providing usable material on a regular basis.”

Rachel’s eyes shot to his, hers widening in surprise. He’d never threatened to fire her before. Nothing even close.

Under her scrutiny, Rick’s face softened. “Look, I’m not trying to scare you. But I do have to be honest. I can’t have a reporter going rogue whenever she feels like it. We’re a team here, and you used to be one of our most integral players. But it’s like you’ve put yourself on the disabled list and refuse to do any more than take a few practice swings.”

“That was…a really involved metaphor.”

Rick rolled his eyes, but some of the good-natured vibes they normally had between them returned, which encouraged Rachel to be completely honest.

“This story is going to be epic, Rick. And it may not happen this month, or this year, but it’s going to happen. And I’ll be damned if it happens for someone else after I’ve spent so many years on it. I refuse to lose out because I was forced to give up.”

“Listen. If something comes over the wire that even so much as hints at the club, you’ll be the first one to know. But as far as using All Access time and resources to investigate it…those days are over. When you’re here, you’re to work the assignments we give you. And for Christ’s sake, next time you use company money to travel somewhere, you’d better go through the proper channels. I don’t give a shit if you’re riding a subway to Brooklyn. You clear it with me first.”

Figuring this was the closest to a compromise as she was going to get, Rachel nodded. “Got it.”

“Good. Now get out of here and pack.”

Rachel startled. “Pack? I thought you’d just finished grounding me for the foreseeable future.”

“Stop being a smartass or I won’t send you anywhere.”

Rachel stood and smoothed out her black slacks. “Where am I going?”

Rick reached across his desk to retrieve the magazine. “The Super Bowl.”

My Review:
This is the third book in a series, but fully enjoyable on its own.

Gabriel Torres met Rachel Adler nearly a decade ago, when they were both in college. She was a writer for the school paper and he was a rising star on the baseball team. Fast forward…Gabe has just retired from the big leagues and Rachel writes for an all-access sports journal. She’s spent years tracking leads on an elusive players-only club that might be the biggest story of her career, and is always on the lookout for the hard dirt. On assignment to cover the Super Bowl, Rachel reconnects with Gabe, and his desire for her is intoxicating, just like it was in college.

Gabe had a mini-crush on Rachel back in the day–she’s the one girl who consistently turned him down. And, seeing her now as a gown woman only intensifies his desire. They have a heated night, and Gabe wants more, but he lives in Philly and she’s in NYC. It doesn’t seem like a big distance, especially as he has so much free time, but he spends a lot of it managing The Player’s Club, a super-secret club for current and former professional athletes to simply chill and not be thronged by hordes of fans. Gabe’s actually excited to learn that Rachel has been sent to Philly to do some work for whatever paper she writes for. He’s never asked directly about that…and Rachel hasn’t volunteered. Because, well, it might be that Gabe is one of the club members, and she doesn’t want to tip him off to her investigation…

Okay, so you can see where this is going, right? It was an interesting take on the investigative reporter trope, and I liked it. One thing troubled me, however. The secrecy about the club seemed a mite unwarranted. I mean, it’s really just a private bar. I thought maybe it was some sort of kink club, or something embarrassing, but that didn’t seem to be the case. For me, that was a little deflating, because I struggled to relate to Gabe’s insistence on secrecy. I get that the club had been a secret for decades, and he was the new manager in charge of it, but it seemed kinda false, as a situation. That said, Rachel and Gabe understood the gravity of their interests andhow it would affect their budding relationship if Rachel spilled the beans. In fact, the closer Rachel comes to learning Gabe’s secrets, the more she wants to turn back time. On account of building something precious with Gabe. There are moments of heat, and moments of laughter, especially with Gabe pretending to be into a whole bunch of community service projects–which he wasn’t–in order to impress Rachel, and build a new persona for her to write about.

The ending is a sweet reconciliation and brings several of the couples in this series back in to celebrate. If you’re a fan of the series, I think you’ll be very satisfied.

Interested? You can find THE ONE NIGHT STAND on Goodreads Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo.

About the Authors:
Elizabeth Hayley is actually “Elizabeth” and “Hayley,” two friends who love reading romance novels to obsessive levels. This mutual love prompted them to put their English degrees to good use by penning their own. The product is Pieces of Perfect, their debut novel. They learned a ton about one another through the process, like how they clearly share a brain and have a persistent need to text each other constantly (much to their husbands’ chagrin).

They live with their husbands and kids in a suburb of Philadelphia. Thankfully, their children are still too young to read.

Elizabeth Hayley’s writing motto is best captured by the words of Patrick Dennis: “I always start with a clean piece of paper and a dirty mind.”

Catch up with them on their website, Goodreads, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

Instigating a TORRID LITTLE AFFAIR–A Release Week Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary romance from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Kendall Ryan. TORRID LITTLE AFFAIR is the third book in her Forbidden Desires series, but able to be enjoyed as a standalone. I really enjoyed THE BED MATE, so I was excited to pick up this new office romance!

About the book:
The best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. And I have the perfect candidate all picked out.

My new assistant is tempting beyond belief with her curvy body and take-no-shit attitude. All those luscious curves, and a juicy ass I’m already in love with. God, the things that I would do to that ass…

But it’s the haunted look in her eyes that speaks to me. Like she’s taken just as much shit in her past as I have—maybe more. We both deserve a little fun.

Love can’t fix everything. Mind-blowing sex and a few killer orgasms, on the other hand?

I have a feeling those might do the trick.

My Review:
Brothers Quinn, Gavin and Cooper Kinsley own an escort agency, Forbidden Desires, in Boston. Semi-spoiler that Gavin and Cooper fell for the same woman in a previous title, but Cooper’s licking his wounds at the beginning of this book, because that love didn’t pan out. And, he desperately wants love. Growing up, their single mother had to resort to lots of unsavory activity to keep the lights on and three growing boys fed–which is why none of them think running a high-end escort agency is an issue. Still, Cooper has had a desire to be the love of a woman’s life, and take good care of her for some time now.

He’s called back from his self-imposed sabbatical to find a beautiful new assistant, Corinne in his office. He thinks she’s a “get back in the swing of things” sexy set-up, and he makes a very inappropriate introduction… Corinne is stunned, and bursts into tears. And that’s when Cooper falls hard. He was attracted on sight; Corinne is a lush, petite woman. But his protective hackles are now raised and he wants more than a quick tumble. Not that Corinne’s ready for anything of the sort…

Corinne isn’t ready for another man in her life. She’s still responsible for her dearest childhood friend–Aaron–who’s in a wheelchair and needs daily medical attention. The medical benefits she’s getting from Forbidden Desires are too good to pass up, and soon she realizes that Cooper’s more personal offer: to he her strings-free sexytimes assistant, is also too good to resist. That said, Corinne has not had good experiences in the sexy department. Growing up through the foster care system, Corinne suffered physical abuse and molestation, and it’s left her scarred. Cooper’s patient and attentive, and the more time they spend the more each of them find they want strings! It’s complicated by Corinne’s attachment to Aaron. But, it’s not insurmountable. And, if there’s one thing that Cooper is good at, it’s getting on top of…things.

Expect lots of sexytimes that are yummy, but they aren’t all happy endings. Corinne’s struggles to be at peace with herself and her arousal are difficult to overcome, and her big secret about Aaron is nearly a deal-breaker. Good thing Gavin and Quinn won’t let Cooper give up on the best relationship he’s ever had. And, Corinne’s confidante Mauve makes sure that Cooper knows how best to care for both Corinne and Aaron. It ends with a very happy ending, and a teaser for the next book in the series that will feature Quinn getting his girl.

Interested? You can find TORRID LITTLE AFFAIR on Goodreads and Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

About the Author:
A New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today bestselling author of more than two dozen titles, Kendall Ryan has sold over 1.5 million books and her books have been translated into several languages in countries around the world. She’s a traditionally published author with Simon & Schuster and Harper Collins UK, as well as an independently published author. Since she first began self-publishing in 2012, she’s appeared at #1 on Barnes & Noble and iBooks charts around the world. Her books have also appeared on the New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists more than three dozen times. Ryan has been featured in such publications as USA Today, Newsweek, and InTouch Magazine.

Visit Kendall on her website, Facebook, twitter, for the latest book news, and fun extras.

Sharing Love With THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE–Review and Giveaway!

Today I’m sharing a review for a menage M/M/M Christmas romance from Silvia Violet. THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE features a settled, but open, couple who find their perfect third. Expect the sexytimes to steam your ereader screen… O.O I’ve loved me a lot of Ms. Violet’s sexy romances, including WELL-TAILORED, DOWN ON THE FARM, and all the Thorne & Dash romances.

Scroll down for my review and the enter the book giveaway below!
About the book:
Ace and Gavin haven’t had a threesome in far too long. When Ace meets the perfect guy to join them, he can’t think of a better way to kick off the holiday season.

Jonathan is charmed by the sexy couple, and he quickly realizes that what started as a fling has the potential to be a whole lot more.

Gavin feels their connection just as strongly, but even after weeks of the three of them hanging out, he’s afraid to suggest they turn their friends-with-benefits arrangement into a serious relationship.

The joy and shared experiences of the season have a way of making magic happen, if only all three men could find the courage to ask for what they want.

My Review:
Ace and Gavin have been a committed couple for nearly a decade. That doesn’t mean they don’t see other people on occassion, because they do, and sometimes they share those partners with each other. It’s fun, and keeps them happy. Ace is planning some sexytimes with a younger man he wants to share with Gavin, and Gavin’s keen. They meet Jonathan for coffee, and they all hit if off. Immediately.

The sexytimes are off the charts, and Jonathan struggles to keep in mind that it’s a one-off. Of course, that plan gets derailed when Ace calls him again, and again, and Gavin invites him to just hang out, and to join them at a holiday play. Is this turning into a real relationship? While Jonathan is afraid to hope his dream of a stable relationship is coming true, Gavin’s afraid to admit he’s like Jonathan to be a more permanent part of their lives. Ace is more than willing to bring Jonathan in with him and Gavin, but one of his loud-mouth buddies nearly ruins everything at their big Christmas party.

Still, Ace is not willing to let Jonathan disappear from their lives, and he and Gavin work together to ensure their fragile beginnings have a solid footing. It’s a sweet and very sexy novella that ends with lots and lots of happy endings. Expect a short interlude of bruised hearts before the gift-giving begins.

Interested? You can find THREE UNDER THE CHRISTMAS TREE on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Catch up with Sylvia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or sign up for her Newsletter.

Reclaiming a JUNKYARD HEART–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a recently released M/M romance from Garrett Leigh. JUNKYARD HEART is a new book in the Porthkennack series that features romances set in a quiet seaside town in Cornwall. It’s the second book in this series by Ms. Leigh, and shares characters with HOUSE OF CARDS, her previous title. JUNKYARD HEART features a recovering addict and a jilted man finding a passion neither expected. I’ve really liked MISFITS, WHAT REMAINS, and HOUSE OF CARDS, so I was eager to read this one.

About the book:
Tired of the London rat race and the heartbreak that comes with it, photographer Jas Manning returns to Porthkennack, the Cornish seaside town where he spent every childhood summer on his father’s farm. Resigned to year-round rain, wind, and homemade jam, he’s sorely unprepared for the impact that artsy carpenter Kim Penrose has on his heart.

Kim’s free-loving reputation precedes him, and he’s as generous with his inked-up body as he is with his time. The sex is hot, the easy friendship even better, and Jas’s time with him building his family’s new farmhouse canteen is everything Jas was missing in his empty city life.

But Kim’s carefree existence isn’t as simple as it appears. He’s worked hard to vanquish his demons and build his dreams, but the devil on his shoulder is ruthless, and when it comes to call, their happy bubble bursts like it was never there at all. The canteen opening looms, but Kim is gone in more ways than one, and it’s down to Jas to shore up Kim’s soul and convince him that he deserves his place in Jas’s heart.

My Review:
This is a contemporary M/M romance set on the Cornish coast town of Porthkennack.

Jas Manning has returned to his father’s farm in Porthkennack, to sort himself out, now that he’s discovered the man he’d been “exclusively” dating for the past five years is married with children. Jas wasn’t an exclusive type, but there was something special about that guy, and having tried, and failed, monogamy Jas is done with men. Full stop.

And then he meets Kim. Kim’s lanky frame and smoldering eyes turn Jas inside out. And, it’s not long–truly–before they can’t keep their hands off one another. But it’s a one-off, right? Hard to avoid one another in such a small town, though. And why should Jas avoid Kim? Well, there’s Kim’s off-again long-time lover, Lena, and his alcoholism. Those are two reasons Jas finds to keep himself from getting romantically entangled with Kim, but they do develop a rapport, a tentative friendship, that keeps them close. Plus, Jas’ is commissioning Kim’s designs and furniture for their new organic eatery. They are bound to each other, even if Jas is loathe to acknowledge it.

I really liked how this story developed. It’s sweet and steamy, with fun elements, like reconnecting with Brix and Calum from HOUSE OF CARDS, and Kim’s straight-shooting discussion of his disease, and his sexuality. He’s pansexual for anyone keeping score, and this is part of what keeps Jas holding him at arm’s length: the idea that Kim can’t be exclusive to him. It’s wild though, how hot their sexytimes get, and Lena’s a happy witness to some of their passion. That said, these guys are hard on the revelations and long on the stubbornness. It was sweet how Jas’s stepmother (they have an odd relationship as Jas was the product of a swingers party and he feels less-than compared to his half-brothers) steps in to correct his idea of what love truly is. That sets Jas on a mission to define and expand their connection into a relationship that fulfills them both.

Interested? You can find JUNKYARD HEART on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link and comment on my gal Joyfully Jay’s blog for your chance to win a $20 Riptide gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett’s debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.

Otherwise you can find her on her website, twitter or Facebook.

Mazel Tov! EIGHT NIGHTS IN DECEMBER is Here! Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today, I’m sharing a review for a new Hanukkah M/M romance from author Keira Andrews. I just reviewed IN CASE OF EMERGENCY but I couldn’t resist a Hanukkah romance. EIGHT NIGHTS IN DECEMBER pairs a shy virgin with his brash roommate’s “geeky” younger brother. We celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas in my bi-faith family, and I could almost taste the latkes and sufganiyot as I devoured this New Adult romance.

Scroll down to read my review and enter to win a backlist book for Keira Andrews in the giveaway!
About the book:
A geek. A virgin. One sexy holiday.
Orphaned Lucas figures spending the holidays with his obnoxious roommate’s family in New York City is better than staying alone on campus upstate. He ends up sharing a room again, this time with his roommate’s brother, Nate. Geeky photographer Nate isn’t at all what Lucas expects. In fact, he’s incredibly sexy—especially when he invites Lucas into his darkroom…

They hide their attraction during Hanukkah celebrations, but behind closed doors, Lucas and Nate can’t keep their hands (or mouths) off each other. Nate’s only looking for a bit of holiday fun, and amazing sex with a hot virgin definitely fits the bill. Yet as the candles burn, Nate and Lucas begin to realize eight nights will never be enough.

This gay holiday romance from Keira Andrews features secret trysts, new adult angst, spinning the dreidel, and of course a happy ending.

My Review:
Lucas is a 20-year old college freshman after spending his last two years assisting his father through terminal cancer. HE showed up to his college late in the term, and got roomed with a party-hard senior, Sam Kramer. Lucas really wants to make some friends, but he’s shy, and especially lonely now that his father–who he was very close to–has passed. His mother died when he was a child. Hearing that Lucas is planning to spend his holiday season alone in the dorms, Sam’s mother insists that Lucas join their family for the break–which begins with the first night of Hanukkah that evening.

Caught up in the whirlwind Kramer family, Lucas tries to adjust to rooming with Sam’s younger, “geeky” brother. With Sam being a gregarious athletic person, he dramatically outshines Nate–on the surface. But Lucas isn’t attracted to brash Sam the way he is to broody Nate. And, it makes Lucas all the more uncomfortable as he tries to fit in. So, he’s really caught off guard when Nate reveals that he’s down for some sexy fun…if Lucas wants to keep that on the super down-low; Nate isn’t out to his parents.

Lucas has never been with a man, though he knows that’s where his attractions lay. He’d come out to his father before the end, and he’s sad that Nate won’t be honest with his own family, which clearly loves him. That said, Lucas is eager to find some comfort with Nate, who is a passionate man behind his cool facade. And, well, it’s hard for Lucas to be free-and-easy the way Nate seems to be. Nate insists it’s just going to be a holiday fling, but they each need shelter, Lucas from his grief and Nate from his feelings of inadequacy. While Nate has no plans to come out, his family is ready for that eventuality. What begins as a temporary tryst of convenience grows into a sweet and tender romance made to last. I really enjoyed it, and loved being along for the ride with Lucas as he learns all the many, many ways he and Nate can find pleasure with each other. Talk about steamy! A delightful Hanukkah novella.

Interested? You can find EIGHT NIGHTS IN DECEMBER on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

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

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.

Out Now! Loving One’s Self Amid SNOW BALLS–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M romance from Tara Lain. SNOW BALLS is the sixth book in her Balls to the Walls series which I have devoured. While they are all standalones, you can check out my reviews for VOLLEY BALLS, FIRE BALLS, BEACH BALLS, FAST BALLS, and HIGH BALLS, to see if any of these mancandy books tickle your fancy. SNOW BALLS features an out-femme falling for a butch detective…who needs to be more observant!

Scroll down for an excerpt, my review and to enter the $10 Amazon GC giveaway!
About the book:
JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

How about a little taste?

The announcer’s voice sounded, and they both faced front. The teams were going to come in now, JJ was pretty sure.

The guys in blue-and-white started to run onto the field. Oh my, the way those narrow butts looked in the tight pants was positively appetizing.

Ryan leaned over. “Who do you like? Any favorites?”

Okay, JJ was prepared. He took a deep breath. “Rivers, of course. He’s a great leader. Bound to make it to 5000 yards this year.” Oh sweet god of boys who like to sew, what did any of that mean?

Ryan nodded. “Amen. What about Gates?”

JJ sipped his beer to sort through his memory banks. “Best tight end to ever play the game.” He held his breath.

“You said it.”

Whew. JJ stared at the field. “Of course, quite a few of those guys look like tight ends.”

Ryan looked at him with his mouth open and then started to laugh. “Yeah. You got that right.”

The coin toss. The kickoff. Wow. That ball went all the way to the end, and a guy caught it. Cool. They all went farther down the field. Yep, just like Jerry had said. The guy in the center—the quarterback, probably—threw the ball. It soared through the air and some lean player caught it and started running like a son of a bitch. Holy shit. Two guys slammed him to the ground. That looked painful. JJ resisted the urge to close his eyes. He’d seen football on TV, of course. His dad had loved it. But JJ’d never paid much attention. In these good seats, the game was in his face.

Somebody came out and measured the field. A lot of people, including Ryan, moaned. He leaned over to JJ. “That was close.”

“Yeah.” Close to getting killed?

The players got back into lines. JJ could hear the cute one, the quarterback, calling out numbers. Some big guy in the front line moved. A yellow cloth flew through the air.

JJ whispered, “Offside.”

Ryan glanced over at him and smiled.

The announcer’s voice rang out, “Flag on the play. Offside.”

Holy shit. He’d gotten it right. Thank God for Jerry.

The whole crew of men moved and then got back in their line. A bunch of stuff happened at once, and JJ couldn’t follow it until everyone on their side leaped up so he did too. The announcer called “first down,” but it sure looked like about a hundred guys went down getting there.

Ryan leaned over. “I didn’t think they could make that one, after the foul.”

“Me too.” What? Good Lord, pretending was hard.

The whole line reassembled. The cutie stepped back and threw the ball a long way. The lean, fast guy ran out and caught the thing, which was clearly a miracle. He headed down the field like a jackrabbit with a pack of bulldogs on his heels. Shit, one bulldog came out of nowhere and tackled the rabbit, and then five other guys piled on. Whistles and yells sounded from their side and cheers from the other.

Then a groan and the crowd got quieter as the bulldogs pulled off and left the rabbit lying there in a heap. He didn’t get up. Oh no. JJ grabbed Ryan’s arm. “He’s hurt.”

“Yeah. Looks like it. Shame. He’s a great wide receiver.”

Receiver, hell. He was a gorgeous, fast-as-lightning black kid who had just got beaten to a pulp in a stupid game. JJ wanted to jump up and scream.

A stretcher was carried onto the field. Some guy put a collar around the player’s neck, and then they picked him up and put him on the stretcher. Hell, they didn’t look nearly careful enough. The crowd murmured and shifted. JJ looked around. They were uncomfortable with his being hurt, but it didn’t seem like they felt sorry for the player, exactly. It was more like they wanted to get on with cheering, and this moment of required sympathy was an imposition.

He looked at Ryan and found those blue eyes gazing at him. JJ’s hand was still locked on Ryan’s forearm. He loosened his fingers. “Sorry.”

“You okay?”

“He just looks hurt bad.”

“Yeah. But they take a lot of precautions, so he may be up and ready to walk and run by the end of the day.”

“And he may not.”

“Yeah.”

The game continued, but JJ couldn’t stop thinking about the player who got hurt. He jumped up when Ryan did and cheered in the right places, but the game had lost its luster. The fun all came from Ryan being next to him. Having the man so close sent JJ’s dick into a constant state of anticipation. Lean to the left, lean to the right, stand up, sit down, fight, fight, fight. Just like the cheerleaders at halftime—who could have used a costume redesign, by the way.

My Review:
This is the sixth book in the Balls to the Wall series, but easily enjoyed on its own.

JJ LaRousse is a big, out, femme and struggles to find a lasting relationship with a man who will treat him as more than a fancy. He suffered an abusive home as a child, so he’s nervous about dating alpha-masculine men, though he is very much attracted to the new detective on Laguna’s police force. Unfortunately, JJ’s convinced that Detective Ryan Star would only be attracted to him if JJ was more masculine. And, when there’s a spark between them, well, JJ decides to test his hypothesis.

So, JJ hides his sparkly-light under blah hair dye, and a crash course in sports analysis. They seem to really hit it off, but JJ’s nervous that Ryan will see through his facade, and he half wants this to happen. The other half, well, he likes being with Ryan, even if Ryan only takes him on dates that are very far from Laguna. JJ understands that Ryan had bad experiences when he worked for NYPD. As a result, and though his superiors know, Ryan doesn’t want to come out to the whole precinct in case his new comrades are homophobic–like before. It nearly cost Ryan his life, and he’s not recovered emotionally from that betrayal.

There are some sweet bits, here, but a lot of it is bittersweet with JJ being unhappy about his deception, and finding himself generally unlovable. He has great friends, however, who do lift him up and support him just as he is, even if that’s a pink-haired, femme boy who’s nonetheless built like a linebacker. Ryan didn’t catch on to any of this tension, seeing the view that JJ presented as truth. It’s a shame he’s not more observant. And, he’s seems to take a whole lot of risks for a cop–both professionally and personally. That said, he was a compassionate and passionate man, and he did treat JJ well. They are able to patch things up when JJ comes clean, and Ryan realizes that he’s not as fixated on his ideal man, when he has a wonderful partner like JJ whose light is too brilliant to hide. It’s a quick read and a sweet and sexy one, too!

Interested? You can find SNOW BALLS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading friends!

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:

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!