Steamy!! THE JOCK SCRIPT–Audiobook Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new contemporary M/M romance audiobook from Lane Hayes. THE JOCK SCRIPT is the third book in her new The Script Club series, and features a genius astrophysicist who inexplicably ends up tutoring a bicurious lacrosse coach in gay sex. You can catch my review for earlier books in the series, FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY, but this one is fine read as a standalone, too. I loved the audiobook, which is sooo steamy.

Drop down to catch my review and enter for a chance to win a $25 Amazon GC.

About the book:

The nerd, the coach, and the hookup…

Asher-

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe left. Sure, the idea of a quick, no-strings intimate rendezvous via hookup app sounds oddly thrilling, but it’s simply not me. Or maybe it is me, because it happened…and I liked it. Until I realized he looked familiar for a reason. A bad reason. Now I’ve made a faux pas with the sexiest man on planet Earth, and my internal karma system requires me to fix it. Help!

Blake-

I may seem like I have it together, but the truth is, I’m a hot mess. I’m so deep in the closet that I can’t remember my real name some days. That’s okay. The benefit of one-night stands is anonymity. Until Asher. Not a total surprise. I’ve always had a thing for geeks, but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s a pint-sized dynamo on a quest for perfection who can help me come out…if I follow his script.

Hmm. I’m in.

The Jock Script is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance starring a bowtie wearing nerd, a sexy lacrosse coach, and a shenanigan inducing script!

How about a little taste?

Asher closed his mouth in a tight line and sighed. “We should change the topic. Every time I’m with you, I secure my spot in Hades.”

I threw my head back and laughed. “What’s with you and the guilty conscience? I admire your commitment to honesty, Ash, but I don’t think it’s healthy to punish yourself after the fact. Not to mention, your rules seem arbitrary. They don’t make sense.”

“Sure, they do.”

“Hmph. You say sex is a part of nature, and you’re happy to discuss it until your internal sex-o-meter overloads and you decide you’ve overstepped some invisible boundary. It’s like you want to punish yourself for no good reason.”

Asher opened and closed his mouth. “I don’t do that.”

I polished off my salad, pushed my plate aside, and reached for my wineglass. “Yeah, you do. You should give yourself a break once in a while.”

“Says the devil incarnate.”

“Who me?” I flashed a roguish grin. “I’m not so bad, and you don’t have to be so good. Is this the remnants of a super religious upbringing or—”

“Oh, gosh, no. My mother is a hippie. She’s not judgmental at all.”

“Then why—”

“I’m just weird, Blake.”

His tone was firm rather than sharp and sent a strong message that he’d prefer to drop the subject. In fact, he looked suspiciously eager to greet the waiter when he returned to clear our salad dishes and set dinner plates on the table. I observed his animated hand gestures, his starched collar, and perfectly straight bow tie, wondering what he was hiding under all that armor.

Asher wasn’t weird, he was—okay, fine…he was totally weird. But I had a feeling he was compensating too. Making up for something or glossing over an unseen flaw. Sort of like a kid standing guard over a lamp he’d busted by accident. No one would notice as long as he made sure the unblemished side was never shown.

Call me crazy, but that got me. Yes, I was very attracted to him and definitely wanted to get naked and horizontal with him ASAP. But I wanted to know him too. I wanted to peel away his protective layers and study his quirks. His internal system of checks and balances fascinated me.

I twirled my fork around my pasta and smiled. “You know, I’m no devil and anyone who sucks dick like you cannot be an angel. There’s got to be a good middle ground for us.”

“Yes. As friends.”

“Right,” I agreed, shifting in my seat to adjust my cock when he hummed around a mouthful of pasta. No joke, my dick woke up at the mention of alien sex and was now stretching the seam of my zipper. I sipped my wine and willed my body to get the “friend” memo. “So, buddy…since we’re supposed to be spending time together now, I think you should come to my game next weekend.”

“Game,” he repeated, drawing out the single syllable into two. “The one you coach? Or do you play also?”

“I play with a club team, but our season ended a couple of weeks ago. We’re on a break till summer, which is fine ’cause my kids have finals and my girls’ team is in the last stretch before CIFs.”

“I don’t understand that acronym, but I’ll come to your game and maybe afterward we can do power tool…things.”

“Sounds like a date. The game is at ten at Westgate. I’ll text you the address.”

“Okay. I have questions, like…where do I sit and what should I wear? Also, what are the rules?”

I smiled. “Sit wherever you want and wear whatever you want. The idea is to have fun. Well…and to kick OC Lutheran’s ass. As for the rules…the goal is to put the ball in the net more times than our opponent. You’ll be able to follow along.”

He didn’t look convinced. “I’ll do some research. Now, what about us? Do you want me to be there and not speak or…are you going to introduce me? And if so, what will you say? I need to rehearse my lines.”

“Lines? This isn’t a play, Ash. We’re friends.”

“No, we’re not. We hardly know each other.”

I frowned. “Then we need to fix that ’cause I’m going to introduce you as my friend. It’s less complicated that way.”

“And if someone asks where we met, I’m allowed to improvise, correct?” he teased. taking a big bite of pasta.

Too big of a bite. He slurped a rogue piece of tagliatelle with wide eyes, then covered his mouth with his napkin. It was pretty freaking cute. I pointed at the sauce on his cheek.

When he swiped at the wrong side, I hooked my finger and motioned for him to lean in. I wiped his cheek with my thumb, underestimating the intimacy of the gesture. The strong current of heat and desire sizzling between us threw me off guard, rendering me speechless.

My Review:

Asher and Blake are an odd couple matched up out of lust. They find each other on a hook up app, because Asher needs some release, and Blake is exploring his closeted bi side. Blake is a jock. a lacrosse coach and Asher is am astrophysicist. They shouldn’t work, but Blake is so intrigued by Asher’s fearless knowing of himself, and his quest for “perfection”. Blake feels like a bad guy because he’s always had issues settling with a person, while questioning his sexuality. And, Asher’s attitude is so refreshing that he asks him for tips on coming out. While they have lots and lots of sex, developing a friendship though hooking up and then getting more invested in their emotions as the time progresses

This story is really fun and upbeat, and the audiobook brings that same energy. Narrator Alexander Cendese renders clear voices, with plenty of range for the few female parts as well. Asher sounds a little pompous, snarky and stuffy, while Blake is a bit jock-dude-bro sounding. In the moments of passion, it’s just as steamy as anyone could hope for, and the urgency and release is palpable. At just under 6 hours, the pacing is just right and the book kept me company for a few longer car rides and some pre-bedtime stories. I liked the novel and I really thought the narration brought all the characters to life that made me like it even more.

Interested? You can find THE JOCK SCRIPT on Goodreads, Amazon, and Audible.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

You can reach out to Lane on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.


Rebound Love THE JOCK SCRIPT– Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new contemporary M/M romance from Lane Hayes. THE JOCK SCRIPT is the third book in her new The Script Club series, and features a genius astrophysicist who inexplicably ends up tutoring a bicurious lacrosse coach in gay sex. You can catch my review for earlier books in the series, FOLLOWING THE RULES and RULES OF PLAY, but this one is fine read as a standalone, too.

Drop down to catch my review and enter for a chance to win a $25 GC.

About the book:

The nerd, the coach, and the hookup…

Asher-

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe left. Sure, the idea of a quick, no-strings intimate rendezvous via hookup app sounds oddly thrilling, but it’s simply not me. Or maybe it is me, because it happened…and I liked it. Until I realized he looked familiar for a reason. A bad reason. Now I’ve made a faux pas with the sexiest man on planet Earth, and my internal karma system requires me to fix it. Help!

Blake-

I may seem like I have it together, but the truth is, I’m a hot mess. I’m so deep in the closet that I can’t remember my real name some days. That’s okay. The benefit of one-night stands is anonymity. Until Asher. Not a total surprise. I’ve always had a thing for geeks, but I’ve never met anyone like him. He’s a pint-sized dynamo on a quest for perfection who can help me come out…if I follow his script.

Hmm. I’m in.

The Jock Script is an MM bisexual, geek/jock romance starring a bowtie wearing nerd, a sexy lacrosse coach, and a shenanigan inducing script!

How about a little taste?

Asher closed his mouth in a tight line and sighed. “We should change the topic. Every time I’m with you, I secure my spot in Hades.”

I threw my head back and laughed. “What’s with you and the guilty conscience? I admire your commitment to honesty, Ash, but I don’t think it’s healthy to punish yourself after the fact. Not to mention, your rules seem arbitrary. They don’t make sense.”

“Sure, they do.”

“Hmph. You say sex is a part of nature, and you’re happy to discuss it until your internal sex-o-meter overloads and you decide you’ve overstepped some invisible boundary. It’s like you want to punish yourself for no good reason.”

Asher opened and closed his mouth. “I don’t do that.”

I polished off my salad, pushed my plate aside, and reached for my wineglass. “Yeah, you do. You should give yourself a break once in a while.”

“Says the devil incarnate.”

“Who me?” I flashed a roguish grin. “I’m not so bad, and you don’t have to be so good. Is this the remnants of a super religious upbringing or—”

“Oh, gosh, no. My mother is a hippie. She’s not judgmental at all.”

“Then why—”

“I’m just weird, Blake.”

His tone was firm rather than sharp and sent a strong message that he’d prefer to drop the subject. In fact, he looked suspiciously eager to greet the waiter when he returned to clear our salad dishes and set dinner plates on the table. I observed his animated hand gestures, his starched collar, and perfectly straight bow tie, wondering what he was hiding under all that armor.

Asher wasn’t weird, he was—okay, fine…he was totally weird. But I had a feeling he was compensating too. Making up for something or glossing over an unseen flaw. Sort of like a kid standing guard over a lamp he’d busted by accident. No one would notice as long as he made sure the unblemished side was never shown.

Call me crazy, but that got me. Yes, I was very attracted to him and definitely wanted to get naked and horizontal with him ASAP. But I wanted to know him too. I wanted to peel away his protective layers and study his quirks. His internal system of checks and balances fascinated me.

I twirled my fork around my pasta and smiled. “You know, I’m no devil and anyone who sucks dick like you cannot be an angel. There’s got to be a good middle ground for us.”

“Yes. As friends.”

“Right,” I agreed, shifting in my seat to adjust my cock when he hummed around a mouthful of pasta. No joke, my dick woke up at the mention of alien sex and was now stretching the seam of my zipper. I sipped my wine and willed my body to get the “friend” memo. “So, buddy…since we’re supposed to be spending time together now, I think you should come to my game next weekend.”

“Game,” he repeated, drawing out the single syllable into two. “The one you coach? Or do you play also?”

“I play with a club team, but our season ended a couple of weeks ago. We’re on a break till summer, which is fine ’cause my kids have finals and my girls’ team is in the last stretch before CIFs.”

“I don’t understand that acronym, but I’ll come to your game and maybe afterward we can do power tool…things.”

“Sounds like a date. The game is at ten at Westgate. I’ll text you the address.”

“Okay. I have questions, like…where do I sit and what should I wear? Also, what are the rules?”

I smiled. “Sit wherever you want and wear whatever you want. The idea is to have fun. Well…and to kick OC Lutheran’s ass. As for the rules…the goal is to put the ball in the net more times than our opponent. You’ll be able to follow along.”

He didn’t look convinced. “I’ll do some research. Now, what about us? Do you want me to be there and not speak or…are you going to introduce me? And if so, what will you say? I need to rehearse my lines.”

“Lines? This isn’t a play, Ash. We’re friends.”

“No, we’re not. We hardly know each other.”

I frowned. “Then we need to fix that ’cause I’m going to introduce you as my friend. It’s less complicated that way.”

“And if someone asks where we met, I’m allowed to improvise, correct?” he teased. taking a big bite of pasta.

Too big of a bite. He slurped a rogue piece of tagliatelle with wide eyes, then covered his mouth with his napkin. It was pretty freaking cute. I pointed at the sauce on his cheek.

When he swiped at the wrong side, I hooked my finger and motioned for him to lean in. I wiped his cheek with my thumb, underestimating the intimacy of the gesture. The strong current of heat and desire sizzling between us threw me off guard, rendering me speechless.

My Review:
Asher is an out-gay astrophysicist with a physical need and a healthy sex drive. He may be a nerd, but he’s definitely got skills, honed by years and years of sexual exploration. He’s never had shame or fear, accepted by his mother, a psychologist, from before he really recognized his attraction. While looking for a no-strings hook-up partner, Asher connects with Blake, a tall, built athletic bed partner, with whom he shares some awesome sexytimes. He’s not sure why he looks so familiar, even if they’d never met before.

He’s not really about repeats, but Blake, a stalwart Star Wars fan and closeted bisexual lacrosse coach, reaches out for a Round 2 and that’s when Asher connects the sense of deja vu with horror: Blake was the closet-case his good friend and housemate Topher fell hard for a year before, only Toph thought his name was Jake… And, boy does Asher give Blake what-for, defending Topher’s honor. But Blake won’t let Asher disappear without explaining his misunderstanding, and well, asking for a big favor.

Blake sees how natural and genuine Asher is, unafraid to live an out life. He wants to learn how to come out, and thinks that Asher can coach him, and they can keep exploring their intense chemistry. Asher’s temper might be a supernova, but Blake has tickled his organization bone, and he’s swiftly assembling a plan, with the help of his mother’s counsel, for Balke to come out. If not for himself, to give support to his goalie who’s recently come out as lesbian. Blake has some struggles with an old female ex, only because he’s not sure how to trust her with his truth–or anyone for that matter. But Asher’s continued coaching is helping him turn the tide. Having a sexy-nerd boyfriend can do that for you.

Expect sweet and sexy moments, with Asher getting way more in deep than he’d anticipated, and Blake loving Asher’s struggle for perfection. They each have a great backstory, and loving families. Their journey into couplehood is swift and engaging. I really liked it and look forward to the next book in the series.

Interested? You can find THE JOCK SCRIPT on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Lane Hayes loves a good romance! An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016, 2017, and 2018-2019 Rainbow Awards.

She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a not quite empty nest.

You can reach out to Lane on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, and Amazon.


Final Challenge Month Review and Giveaway–ONE TRICK PONY

Hi there! Challenge month is drawing to a close, and I’m excited to share the last of the weekly challenges: Judge a Book by its Cover. I chose ONE TRICK PONY, a recently released M/M cowboy romance from Eli Easton.

One Trick Pony coverAbout the book:Forgiving yourself is the first step toward finding true love.

Henry Atkins is determined to turn around his no-good, sorry life and prove to the residents of Clyde’s Corner that he’s not the town bad boy anymore. If going to church every Sunday with the Ladies Society is what it takes to polish his reputation, he’s all in. But when every secret fantasy in his head walks into the stables at Muddy River Ranch, the straight and narrow path he’s on takes a wild detour. It never felt so good to be so bad.

Micah has been one of the biggest porn stars in the world for five years, but he’s burned out. His body won’t cooperate to film even one more scene. A month’s vacation with his old friend Ben in Montana is just what his jaded heart needs. He wants rest, fresh air, and to not be recognized by a living soul. He sure as hell isn’t looking for a fling, and he wants nothing to do with Henry, the fanboy who works at Ben’s ranch.

The two men are both seeking a fresh start, an escape from the demons of their past. Fly fishing lessons on the river uncover the surprising number of things they have in common and forms a heartfelt bond that might save their weary souls. Only Micah’s past isn’t through with him yet.

This was such a sweet and fun story, with Henry rebuilding his life and reputation, while finally experiencing love from another person and with another person. And Micah, is savvy and adorable as a young porn star rethinking his life plan.

This is the FINAL WEEK to enter in the Joyfully Jay Challenge Month sweepstakes. Please take a field trip over to my post on Joyfully Jay and make a comment in order to be entered. This week there is special prize to win one of five $20 JMS store gift cards from JMS Books, commenters will also be entered to win our amazing Challenge Month Grand Prize sponsored by NineStar Press: a Kindle Paperwhite loaded with 50 NineStar Press books. Again you must comment on the Joyfully Jay post before Friday to get entered.

Interested? You can find ONE TRICK PONY on Goodreads or Amazon.

Eli EastonAbout the Author:
Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.

Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.

In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.

Catch up with Eli on her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Three Make it Hot TANGLED WARRIORS–Review and Giveaway!

Tangled Warriors BannerHi there! Today I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a M/M/M paranormal romance from the writing team of Jocelyn Drake and Rinda Elliot. TANGLED WARRIORS is the fourth book in the Weaver’s Circle series and I was excited to read on in this paranormal romance/adventure series. Check out my reviews for BROKEN WARRIOR, WILD WARRIOR and BLIND WARRIOR to catch up on the series developments.

Scroll down to catch an excerpt and enter the $25 Amazon GC giveaway below!
TangledWarriors_Digital_500About the book:

Lucien Cummings
The pestilents are trying to kill him.

He’s pretty sure the Water Weaver wants to kill him as well.

But after two months of fighting an attraction for a man who couldn’t possibly be his mate, Lucien cracks when he’s pulled into an impulsive threesome with Calder and a sexy man they picked up in a bar.

That night was earth shattering. And now he needs to figure out how to keep both men safe and his.

Calder Saito
Calder doesn’t want to fight his attraction for the Fire Weaver any longer, but they can’t really be soul mates, right?

And what about Gio? The sexy man gives him such a feeling of completeness and peace. Could one man really have two soul mates?

Gio Russo
Can’t he just have them both?

Tangled Warriors is the fourth book in the Weavers Circle series. This MMM paranormal romance includes fast-paced action, running through Savannah, secrets, shapeshifting, kidnapping, deadly Girl Scouts,

How about a little taste?

“Shots!” Gio suddenly proclaimed. “I think we could all use a round of shots. What do you say?” He looked up at Lucien and smiled. “Join me in a round of shots. Break the ice.”

“Nothing feels icy to me,” Lucien murmured, while the fingers on Calder’s waist tightened.

He suddenly felt bad. He was intruding like an annoying little brother. Yes, his intention had been to stop Lucien from hitting on this guy, but now that he was standing there, he felt how wrong it was. What Lucien did and who he slept with was none of his business. He was supposed to be working on getting rid of the bad blood between him and Lucien, not making matters worse.

“None for me,” Calder said softly. “I’ll grab the drinks and get out of your way.”

Gio surprised him by cupping the side of his face with a warm calloused hand. “Oh no, sweetness. We don’t want you going anywhere. You’ve got to stay.” Gio looked over Calder’s shoulder at Lucien. “We want him to stay, right?”

Calder tensed, waiting for the rejection, but Lucien shocked him even more by pulling him in tighter so that he could feel Lucien’s groin against the small of his back. Those long fingers slipped down from his waist to caress his hip bone, sending the most delicious tingles all over his body. “Stay. Have a shot with us,” Lucian pressed. His voice was warm and so very tempting. Calder couldn’t remember ever hearing Lucien talk to him like that. He wanted to live in that voice. Just curl up in it like a warm, handmade quilt.

Releasing him, Gio turned to the bartender as she delivered Lucien’s and Calder’s mix of drinks and ordered a round of shots. Calder didn’t hear what he’d ordered exactly because Gio had also slotted himself better against Calder, causing his brain to short out. He was now in the one place he’d never thought he’d be—a Gio-Lucien sammich. Even with all their clothes on, it was now his favorite kind of sandwich. He would happily eat it every day for the rest of his life.

Calder was too tongue-tied to manage words. He nodded. At least he thought he nodded. He must have done something, because Gio’s smile grew wider. A second hand landed on his hip right where Lucien’s

The shots arrived, and Gio slid one over to Lucien before physically placing one in Calder’s hand as if he knew that his brain wasn’t in control of his body any longer. He watched as Gio clicked his shot glass on Lucien’s and then Calder’s. Tipping his head back, he sent the amber liquid down his long, sexy throat. Calder did the same without a thought. The burn was enough to wake him out of his stupor.

Sucking in a harsh breath, he coughed several times while slamming his shot glass on the bar. Gio grabbed his hand again and shoved a drink into it. Without thinking, Calder sipped it, relieved that it was his gin and tonic. The addition of more alcohol to his system probably wasn’t the smartest, but at least it had gotten rid of his coughing.

When he could breathe, he took a deep drink and set the glass on the bar to find Gio smiling at him while Lucien’s hand continued to dig possessively into his hip.

You okay?” Lucien inquired. For once, the question didn’t sound spiteful or mean. There was genuine concern in his tone.

Calder managed a small nod and Gio laughed.

Of course he’s okay. What are you drinking, sweetness?” Before Calder could answer, Gio leaned in and licked his bottom lip, sucking it into his mouth for a second, then releasing it with a wet pop. “Mmm…gin and tonic. Not bad.”

Calder barely heard the words. It was just a rush of blood past his ears as it raced to his steadily hardening dick.

As Gio moved away, he reached past Calder and pulled Lucien close. “And what are you drinking?” Calder watched as Gio licked his way into Lucien’s slack, welcoming mouth. He didn’t know what turned him on more—actually kissing Gio or watching Gio kiss Lucien. It defied all logic, but it was clear that his libido had zero interest in logic. He only wanted to know all the wonderful things Gio could do with his mouth.

Gio released Lucien and licked his own lips slowly. His dark eyes had turned black as his pupils dilated with desire. “I can tell this is going to be a fun night already. I suggest we head to my place so we can get more comfortable and less likely to be arrested.”

“We?” Calder croaked out.

My Review:
This is the fourth book in the Weavers Circle series and is best enjoyed when read in order.

Lucien Cummings and Calder Saito are the newest members of the Weavers Circle They have been given paranormal gifts to weave the powers of fire, Lucien, and water, Calder, in an epic battle for humanity. See, the Weavers protect Earth from an alien invading force called pestilents who seek to drain our world of its energy. The pestilents are humanoid warriors that can’t usually survive in our atmosphere long, so their flesh begins to rot and stink–that’s how the Weavers can sense them. The pestilents also have sorcerers on their side, helping to sometimes bewitch humans to try an attack the Weavers by ambush.

Lucien, a strong Black man, and Calder, a smaller half-Japanese man, didn’t know their roles in the Weavers battles. While still mortal they were attacked by pestilents, and their fellow Weaver brothers, Clay, Baer and Grey, rescued them–and then the three goddesses who protect the Weavers gave Lucien and Calder their powers over fire and water. And, well, as their powers seem to clash, so do their personalities. Calder is quiet, almost shy, and he’s got an attraction to Lucien, but Lucien’s abrupt with him, almost always teasing him, and not in a nice way. The other Weavers and their soulmates. who share a restored antebellum mansion as living quarters, are about ready to strangle them for their constant mean bickering. As part of a make-nice gesture, these young Weavers go out clubbing and that’s where they meet Gio. Sexy Gio, who isn’t at all troubled by the tension between Lucien and Calder, In fact, he relishes the opportunity to get right in the middle of it–and them. Lucien’s down, and Calder is, too–after a few moment’s thought.

These men enjoy an explosive night, and their passion seems to quell the animosity that had sprouted between them. But, well, now it’s a little awkward. Because Calder still wants Gio, and Lucien as well. Not that he knows how to get in touch with Gio–until Gio turns up at their compound to do his job:  antique furniture restoration. And that’s when both Calder and Lucien begin to believe in the soulmate magic they’d been hearing about from Clay, Grey and Baer. Except, how can they both have Gio as a soulmate? And what about the fact that Gio isn’t interested in getting into another menage relationship permanently? His last boyfriends hurt him real bad, after all.

But the growing battles with the pestilents bring danger literally to the front door more than once, and Gio’s reticence may cost all of the Weavers their lives.

This is a well-paced, action story with a solid menage romance. It dovetails nicely with the on-going story arcs and delivers a 1-2 punch for connecting Weavers with their soulmates. I thought the authors did a great job of demonstrating the conflicts each man felt about their attractions. Gio is once-bitten twice-shy, but he’s drawn to Lucien and Calder, and learning about the dangers of the pestilents lurking in our world really gets him rethinking his position. And, well, their sex is fantastic. It’s enough to turn Lucien’s wandering heart inside-out, and have him actually want to get a soulmate. For Calder, it’s a dream he is afraid to make real, in case it doesn’t turn out. But, their growing love and incendiary passion is strong enough to overcome a lot of hesitance.

I loved how the whole series is building to a climax, and, now that the final weaver has been found, they can complete their circle and finally defeat the pestilents once and for all. It’s all coming to fruition, and I’m excited to get the next (probably last) book in my hands ASAP.

Interested? You can find TANGLED WARRIORS on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $25 Amazon GC.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jocelynn Drake and Rinda Elliott have teamed up to combine their evil genius to create intense gay romantic suspense stories that have car chases, shoot outs, explosions, scorching hot love scenes, and tender, tear-jerking moments. Their first joint books are in the Unbreakable Bonds series.

Catch up with Jocelyn and Rinda on their website, Facebook, and twitter.

BORDER CTRL + ESC-An Under The Rainbow Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a link to my Under the Rainbow and Challenge Month post over on Joyfully Jay for a sweet MF contemporary romance from Ivy L. James. BORDER CTRL + ESC is a Under the Rainbow choice for this week’s challenge because it features a demisexual woman who unexpectedly falls hard for her new husband-of-convenience, a bisexual man from Spain who she’s agreed to marry to facilitate his Green Card status and her inheritance.

Border CRTL + ESC coverAbout the book:

In the United States…

Mariana Mitogo is struggling to make ends meet. Then, out of the blue, she learns she’s to receive a huge inheritance that would erase all her debt. The problem: she has to be married for six months to receive it, and her dating life is nonexistent.

In Spain…

Santiago de los Reyes, Mariana’s Internet friend, has drained his bank account to support his family. Desperate to get his mom the heart surgery she needs, he interviews for a better-paying job that would take him from Madrid to Virginia. When he’s offered the position but can’t get a work visa, Mariana offers a solution that benefits both of them—a fiancé visa and a quick wedding.

If anyone finds out it’s a green-card marriage, Santiago will be deported. Mariana would face a colossal fine and jail time. Good thing they’re committed actors.

But as Santiago and Mariana pretend to build a life together, the lines blur between charade and reality. Will they dare to choose the love that feels more honest every day?

My review for BORDER CTRL + ESC is live over at Joyfully Jay and if you take a field trip over there and make a comment on the post you will be entered to win the weekly prize of a gift set of paperback romances from Carina Press, as well as getting entered in the month-long Kindle Paperwhite giveaway preloaded with 50 e-books sponsored by NineStar Press. Remember to comment on the Joyfully Jay post to be entered to win.

Interested? You can find BORDER CTRL + ESC on Goodreads and Amazon.

About Ivy L. James: (In Her Own Words)

Writing has been part of me since my first story (which I very professionally scrawled on Post-It notes).

 I honed my skills through terrible fanfic and emo poetry, learning through trial and much error. I wrote my first novel in high school, and after that, I couldn’t shake the love for long-form storytelling.

In college I discovered technical communication, creative nonfiction, NaNoWriMo, and romance novels. Now, amidst my career of technical writing and editing, I craft honest, real-talk blogs and feminist romance.

Catch up with Ivy online on her website, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Now Available: IN DEEP-Promo and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing an excerpt and giveaway for a newly released M/M contemporary paranormal romance from Bailey Bradford. IN DEEP is a story about a Texas teacher who finds an irresistible lover, who may not be altogether human. This story was published some years back under the title Across the Tides.

Scroll down for the excerpt and to enter to win a $50 GC in the giveaway.

978-1-83943-150-0_InDeep_500x800About the book:

Titus wanted a summer fling—then he wanted more…

Titus Eisenhower loves his job as an elementary school teacher in a small Texas town. Sure, he has to be careful, but not being out is fine with him since he’s not interested in dating another man after his last relationship went so badly. But now he’s got the career he’s always wanted, a safe place to be and friends. Isn’t that everything he’s dreamed of?

But when he meets a man he can’t resist, Titus realizes he’s stifled a part of himself…and a part of his dream. He can’t trust another man ever again, but he can manage a little summer fling, right? Wrong—everything about the mysterious Draven calls to him, and the two share a connection Titus has never dreamed of.

That’s already mind-blowing, but learning the truth about Draven is world-shattering. With evil threatening, and old enemies closing in, Titus will have to believe in things he didn’t know were possible if he and Draven are to stand a chance…

Reader advisory: This book contains scenes of fighting, reference to murder and abusive relationships and arson.

Publisher’s Note: This book was previously published as Across the Tides. It has been revised and reedited for publication with Pride Publishing.

How about a little taste?

“Come on, kids, let’s see if we can find any shells!” Titus Eisenhower nodded to the parent volunteers forming a human wall between the Pre-K children and the ocean, keeping the kids from getting in past their ankles. The annual field trip to the beach was one of the highlights of the school year for the kids and teachers alike.

Seeing the children’s faces lit up with joy, hearing their shrieks of—mostly—laughter, watching them run and splash in the bit of water they could reach…it made his heart swell every single time he got to take part in this trip, and this was his fifth with one of his classes.

The other teachers were at his sides, vigilant, but when it came to children and water, all parents, all adults, needed to be watching the whole group.

This year’s parents were great. He’d only had one pissed-off dad who had refused to let his child go since he couldn’t just hang out with his kid. Other than that, there’d been plenty of parent volunteers, and, wonder of wonders, they got on well, too. Last year, two of the dads had gotten into a fist fight over some perceived insult. That had been a disaster.

“God, I bet we don’t ever get such a great group of parents again,” said Stacy Evans, his best friend and colleague. She’d been hired the same year he had, and they’d become fast friends. Stacy’s bright-orange hair was all over the place as the beach breeze whipped it about. She shoved uselessly at several flapping strands. “Why, oh why don’t hair ties work for me?”

“Honey, that hair can’t be tamed any more than you can,” quipped Michelle Ochoa. She was older than Titus and Stacy, but not by too many years. “You’re as wild and powerful as the wind.”

Michelle was also Stacy’s girlfriend, though no one but Titus knew that.

Stacy laughed. “Whatever. When I’m blinded by my own hair, then what’ll I do?”

“Mr. Eisenhowew, I finded a shell!” Little Bobby Garza hopped in place as he waved a sandy glob in the air. “Wook!”

Titus grinned and jogged over to Bobby before squatting so he could be eye to eye with the boy. “Hey, you did! That’s awesome! Want to dip it in the next wave and see if we can get the sand off?”

“Yes!” Bobby’s delighted shriek made Titus’ ears ache, but the rest of him filled with sheer wonder and delight. He loved his job, and he loved the kids, loved seeing them grow and learn. It made him less cynical every time he saw the world shine in a child’s eyes.

“Then let’s do it.”

Titus got the other kids to show their treasures. A couple were upset that they didn’t find good shells, but, overall, everything was going surprisingly well.

After they’d got the kids lined up—and allowed the parent volunteers to take their kids home in their own vehicles, rather than making them ride the buses—Titus took a moment to look back at the ocean. The waves were slight, which was normal for this area of the coast. It was only one-thirty in the afternoon, so the sun was high and bright, the reflection on the water exquisite in its beauty.

“Just think…next weekend, we’re going to be here in our own beachfront condo, partying—or relaxing, more likely—for a whole seven days,” Stacy said, her soft voice breaking into Titus’ quiet appreciation of the view.

Not that he minded. He grinned at Stacy. “You and me and some margaritas,” he promised.

Stacy nodded. “Darn right. I’m so looking forward to it.”

“Me, too.” Titus and Stacy had started their beach tradition their first year at the school. Michelle and Stacy hadn’t been dating then. They’d fallen for each other a little over two years ago, but Michelle didn’t come to the beach vacations. She had prior commitments with her family in Michigan that took her away.

Titus privately thought Michelle didn’t want to intrude, and he had mixed feelings about that. He didn’t want to be a third wheel, but he hated to think Stacy might regret Michelle not being there.

“Stop brooding,” Stacy said, poking his arm. “You’re going to get wrinkles all over your forehead and around your eyes before you hit thirty if you keep doing that.”

“I wasn’t brooding,” Titus protested, immediately trying to smooth out his features.

“Yeah? Then what were you frowning at?” Stacy asked.

“Y’all need to hurry up—we have to get on the road,” Michelle called out to them.

“Oops, we’re holding everyone up.” Titus grinned, relieved at being saved from having to answer Stacy’s question.

“I’ll keep bugging you until you answer me,” Stacy promised as they rushed to the buses.

Titus could have protested, but he knew better. Besides, all he had to do was tell Stacy the truth—he didn’t want her to feel like Michelle wasn’t welcome.

But he’d keep the other truth to himself—that he was lonely, and when he’d looked out over the water, that sense of loneliness had permeated his happiness, and now, melancholy lingered in the place where joy had been. Yes, I’ll definitely keep that secret.

This one sounds really intriguing!

Interested? You can find IN DEEP on Goodreads, Books2Read, and First For Romance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win a $50 GC from First For Romance.

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:

A native Texan, Bailey spends her days spinning stories around in her head, which has contributed to more than one incident of tripping over her own feet. Evenings are reserved for pounding away at the keyboard, as are early morning hours. Sleep? Doesn’t happen much. Writing is too much fun, and there are too many characters bouncing about, tapping on Bailey’s brain demanding to be let out.

Caffeine and chocolate are permanent fixtures in Bailey’s office and are never far from hand at any given time. Removing either of those necessities from Bailey’s presence can result in what is known as A Very, Very Scary Bailey and is not advised under any circumstances.

Catch up with Bailey on twitter.

Rearranging Lives BOOKENDS–Review and Giveaway

Bookends BannerHi there! Today I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a F/F contemporary romance from Brenda Murphy. BOOKENDS is the third book in her University Square series and features a widow with an autistic child fighting against her attraction to a sweet and submissive plumber. I really enjoyed ON THE SQUARE and LOCKSET and we get a glimpse at some of those characters in this story, too.

Scroll down for an excerpt and to enter the giveaway!
Bookends-f500About the book:

The life of university librarian, Amari Foster, life is neatly cataloged. Work, home, and securing a future for her daughter are her focus. Hard-edged and handsome, she manages her private life with ruthless precision, cutting ties, and maintaining distance to protect her battered heart.

Plumber Thalia Makris has given up her dream of long-term love after a series of bad relationships. Desperate to have her own business, Thalia fills her days working overtime and her nights with fantasy novels.

After a chance encounter leaves both women wanting more than a one-night stand, they find themselves on the precipice of love. Will they take the plunge?

How about a little taste?

“Mama, why do you wear this?” Brianna perched on the end of the bed and turned the scratched dull gold wedding band in her hands.

Amari adjusted her tie, tugging the knot in her bow tie into shape in the mirror. “Because it reminds me of your mommy.” She watched her daughter’s expression in the glass.

“It makes you sad.” Brianna held the ring up between her fingers and looked through it.

Amari turned to her daughter and held out her hand. “Sometimes.”

Brianna deposited the ring in her mother’s palm. “You should flush it.”

“What?” Amari pushed the ring over her knuckle before she slid her vest on.

“That’s what we did in my class when the fish died. I wasn’t as sad when I couldn’t see it anymore.” Her gaze settled on Amari. “If you didn’t see it, maybe you wouldn’t be so sad.”

Amari buttoned her vest from the bottom and held her daughter’s gaze. “I’m not sad.”

Brianna frowned. “You said to always tell the truth.”

“I am. And yes, sometimes it makes me sad. But other times it reminds me that your mommy and I were very much in love.” Amari lifted her suit coat from its hanger and folded it over her arm. She tilted her head at her daughter.

“I don’t remember her.” Brianna drew her hand over the comforter, tracing the pattern of the design with her fingers.

Amari swallowed on the dry ache in her throat and shifted her gaze to her shoes. “We need to go soon. We don’t want to come in after the bride.”

Brianna slid off the bed and spun in a slow circle. “Does my dress sparkle? Like Poppy in Trolls World Tour?”

Amari held the door open and nodded toward the hall. “It does.”

Brianna walked ahead of Amari. “Do you think they’ll have the spring rolls Ms. Mai makes?”

“I don’t know. I’m sure there’ll be something you want to eat at the reception.” Amari followed her daughter down the stairs to the living room.

“Don’t you look sharp. And, Brianna, you look so pretty in your new dress. Come here, let me fix your hair.” Cora Foster’s voice, filled with love, washed over Amari and pushed back her melancholy.

Brianna took a half step toward her grandmother and stopped. “I like it this way.” She squatted and rubbed her hand over their dog’s back. Lucy, their ever-patient Newfoundland, lifted her head and snuffled Brianna’s hand.

Amari lifted her chin at her mother. “Mom, please, let her be. She’s settled and we don’t have time for a meltdown.”

Cora pressed her mouth together in a thin line. “Fine.”

Amari plucked her keys from the hook by the door. “We won’t be late.”

Cora patted her lap. Lucy ambled over and rested her head on Cora’s knee. “We’ll be here.” She picked up the remote. “I’ve got a date with a Witcher.” She waggled her eyebrows.

Amari snort-laughed. “All right, Mom.”

Brianna crossed the floor, stopped short of her grandmother. She bent from the waist and leaned forward. “Hug?”

Cora scooted forward and pressed her forehead to Brianna’s brow. “Have fun. Bring Grandma a spring roll if they have them.”

“Okay.” Brianna straightened and walked to the door.

Cora’s gaze settled on Amari’s face. “You going to be okay?”

Amari looked away from her mother’s eyes. Her gaze settled on the faded photo of her wedding day on the wall behind the television. “Aren’t I always?”

Cora pursed her lips. “If you say so.”

Brianna shifted from one foot to the other by the door as she pulled her sweater on. “Mama, come on. The spring rolls will be gone.”

My Review:
Amari Foster is a librarian at Langston University in Ohio. She’s an out lesbian Black woman who’s raising her daughter alone since her wife died eight years ago. Brianna, her daughter, is on the autism spectrum, and that’s caused grief at school and at home. One of Amari’s ex-girlfriends took out her frustration with Brianna’s quirks physically, causing a lasting scar. So, Amari doesn’t date anymore–just hooks up for anonymous trysts. That’s how she meets Thalia for the first time.

Thalia Makris is a plumber with plans. She’s longed to open a used bookshop, and has tons of books ready to go, but the money is a little tight. If only she hadn’t given so much to her last girlfriend. And, well, it’s hard to leaver the family business, too, especially so because her dad is pretty self-righteous and doesn’t want to accept that Thalia is a lesbian. Thalia is also a sub, and her one afternoon with Amari dominating her was ah-MAZE-ing. If only they could reconnect. Until they do at the wedding of mutual friends. And, it’s not quite amazing. Amari is flustered, and she’s got a mini-crisis going with Brianna, and dammit! That’s why she goes to Cleveland for hook-ups, so she won’t run into them back near home.

Thalia is peeved, but forgiving, until their next encounter when Amari shows her whole ass–saved by her mother who didn’t raise her daughter to behave so rudely. Thalia’s about the write Amari off for good, but her sympathy and empathy are both engaged, knowing about Amari’s bad track record in love, and well, they both have a book fetish to match their Dom/sub kink. Still, stepping into a ready-made family is a challenge, even if the kids are neurotypical, and Thalia’s got some struggles to overcome there. And Amari has some forgiving to do–of herself. Plus, being way less judgmental regarding Thalia and her motives.

I liked this one, especially because Thalia is determined not to let anyone run her down, not even her dad. And not a new lover, no matter how fantastic the sex is. Amari’s love for her deceased wife, and her daughter, are so palpable on the page. It was definitely bittersweet, especially as she struggled with the idea of replacing her deceased wife. It was so tough for her to trust again, and Thalia weathered the storm as best she could. I loved Amari’s mom, and their relationship was super special.

Interested? You can find BOOKENDS on Goodreads, NineStar Press and Books2Read.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 GC to NineStar Press.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Brenda Murphy (she/her) writes erotic romance. Her most recent novel, Double Six, is the 2020 Golden Crown Literary Society winner for Erotic Novels, and Knotted Legacy, the third book in the Rowan House series, made the 2018 The Lesbian Review’s Top 100 Vacation Reads list. You can catch her musings on writing, books, and living with wicked ADHD on her blog Writing While Distracted. She loves sideshows and tattoos and yes, those are her monkeys. When she is not loitering at her local library, she wrangles twins, one dog, and an unrepentant parrot.

I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it. For a free short story, information on book signings, appearances, work in progress snippets, previews and sneak-peeks, sign up for my email list.

Catch up with Brenda on her website and Facebook and Instagram.

Finding Home TO CATCH A FALLEN LEAF–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a brand new contemporary M/M romance from Fearne Hill. TO CATCH A FALLEN LEAF is the second book in her new Rossingley series. This story features a young wealthy aristocratic model whose boozing ways have him sheltering with the only member of his family who truly cares for him–and finding unexpected love with an ex-con gardener. It’s closely linked with TO HOLD A HIDDEN PEARL, as the MC of these books are cousins, and have a very close relationship. If you are interested in family drama romances, I’d also recommend THE LAST OF THE MOUSSAKAS by this same author.

Drop down to catch an excerpt, my review and enter for a chance to win a $50 GC.

About the book:

Take one shy French gardener, mix in a naughty aristocrat, add a splash of water, a dash of sunshine, and wait for love to grow.

If only it were that easy.

Reuben Costaud counts his blessings daily. His run-in with crime is firmly behind him. He has a wonderful job gardening on the Rossingley estate, a tiny cottage all to himself, an orphaned cat named Obélix, and a friendly bunch of workmates. The last thing he needs is a tall, blond aristocrat strolling across the manicured lawns towards him.

Falling in love is not part of his plan.

Viscount Aloysius Frederick Lloyd Duchamps-Avery, Freddie to his friends, is in big trouble with everyone, from his father and his modelling agency, to his controlling older boyfriend. Seeking solace and refuge, he escapes to Rossingley and his adored cousin Lucien, the sixteenth earl. To take his mind off his woes, Lucien finds him a job with the estate gardening team.

Mutual attraction blossoms amongst the gardening tools, and Freddie charms his way through Reuben’s defences. But as spring turns to summer and Freddie’s London life collides with their Rossingley idyll, Reuben’s trust in him is ruptured. Will their love flourish or is it destined for the compost bin?

How about a yummy taste?

“Oh, baby doll, for goodness’ sake! Please, please, please. Could we ensure this be the last time I have to put up with all of your ridiculousness?”

Disappointment is the inevitable result of a mismatch between expectation and reality. Vincent expects me to never get drunk, never embarrass him in public, and never, ever, ever vomit over his shoes outside a smart London restaurant.

The reality, of course, is that I’m a twenty-five-year-old male model. I like booze, I like to occasionally snort coke, I say stupid things in front of people I shouldn’t, and sometimes, all of those combined, lead to unexpected chundering episodes outside smart London restaurants. So, I can’t be blamed if Vincent chooses to put his burgundy Lobb penny loafers in the path of the contents of my stomach.

I am fully cognisant of the reasons Vincent endures these occasional mishaps. Being a minor member of the aristocracy helps. In addition, my father, a well-known and respected politician, is perfectly placed to further Vincent’s own eventual political ambitions. But, most importantly, Vincent is a sucker for eye-catching arm candy. I’m not the first pretty piece of fluff he’s moved into his Belgravia apartment, but I’ve stayed the longest. While I’m definitely pretty, I also have financial independence and a first-class degree from Cambridge. Thus, he finds my company tolerable.

What’s in it for me is more complex. Despite occasional debauched one-night forgettables when I’m working abroad—to which Vincent turns a blind eye—I’m a sucker for a steady relationship. Unless I’m travelling for work, I prefer waking up in the same familiar bed each morning. I enjoy the finer things in life, such as sharing good food in decent restaurants and trips to the theatre with an educated partner.

My adorable cousin, Lucien, believes my predilection for older men comes from a deep-seated desire to be cared for, seeing as Father left that responsibility entirely to my boarding school after Mother died. According to his theory, my monogamous tendencies are an unconscious rebellion against Father’s complete lack of fidelity towards my mother. He’s probably right on both accounts, explaining how I muster a coquettish smile as I watch forty-something Vincent, in his pristine white Y-fronts and sock garters, select a double-breasted Hawes & Curtis suit from his walk-in wardrobe. Even though the zipping of his fly and the clack of one wooden coat hanger against another is enough to make my head reel and my guts threaten a repeat performance.

Rolling over in bed, I clamp a goose down pillow over my head in an attempt to shut out the morning sunlight.

“Sorry about last night, Vincent,” I mumble from underneath the pillow. “I possibly overcooked things a little. The end of a busy week, I guess, and I probably didn’t eat enough dinner with my wine. I’m not sure I ate at all yesterday, now I think about it—it was a long photo shoot.”

There’s a slithery sound as he selects a tie. Time stands still; I wish he’d bloody get on with it and clear off, so I can retch over the loo in peace.

“Yes. Well, whatever, baby doll. I have to dash; I’m chairing a meeting of investors at nine, and I can’t have that derailed by your foolish antics.”

He looms over me, all expensive sandalwood and minty freshness. In a bespoke suit, which hides the paunchy bit around his middle, Vincent is a good-looking guy. He still has a full head of dark hair; any flecks of grey only serve to accentuate his air of suave sophistication. Despite himself, he smiles as he pecks my cheek.

“You are going to be the death of me, young man,” he murmurs. “Try to stay out of trouble. Drink plenty of fluids and take an aspirin. You can make it up to me tonight.”

I recall that it’s Tuesday and manage to stifle my groan at least until the front door slams. Oh joy. Deep, deep joy. To say we have a regimented sex life would be affording the military a degree of precision they can only dream of emulating. On Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, at the stroke of twenty-two hundred hours, Vincent switches on the BBC News and swallows down 50 mg of Viagra with a small glass of San Pellegrino (one cube of ice). He doesn’t know that I know about the Viagra. The gravitas of the opening theme tune is my cue to go and “freshen up, baby doll,” which is Vincent doublespeak for reacquainting my arse with the nozzle of the shower hose. I am then expected to drape myself seductively across our enormous bed in the master suite, with a fresh towel under me, and await his presence.

I used to like my sex spontaneous and messy. I still do. Because, occasionally, smelly, sweaty, imprecise, surprising, and even disappointing sex can unexpectedly turn into joyous, forgiving, funny, and tender sex. Not loving sex. I haven’t experienced that yet, although I remain optimistic. I’ll take all of the above over predictable any day. And—not to put too fine a point on it—I quite like topping. Turn and turnabout is okay if the mood takes me, but really? Always bottoming? Not so much. Some guys love it; for some of my friends it’s a race to the bottom, but I’m prepared to share the love around. Unfortunately, Vincent’s arse only opens once a day, around 6:45 a.m., as part of his shit, shower, shave routine. After that, it’s locked tight as an oyster shell, whereas I’m expected to roll over and take it, and take it, and bloody take it. I usually manage to reach orgasm (ejaculating carefully onto the towel, naturally), but only because I’m young, horny, and excellent at conjuring up visions of myself ploughing into some raven-haired, faceless beauty, while Vincent happily labours above me.

The thing is, I could put up with being called baby doll. I could put up with the bad sex. I could even put up with being told what to wear and when to wear it. But there is one thing that really sticks in my craw: My boyfriend’s close friendship with my father. Around once a month, they share lunch at my father’s club, when I imagine, along with plotting world domination and very visible, showy acts of philanthropy, they enumerate my varied shortcomings, sighing wistfully at each other: “If only Aloysius could… If only he would…” etcetera, etcetera. (My real name is Aloysius; thank God, my second name is Frederick.) And then, after a manly handshake, they part ways; my father returns to pontificating in the House of Commons, and Vincent returns to whatever he does in that enormous office of his in Mayfair.

My Review:
Viscount Aloysius Frederick Lloyd Duchamps-Avery–known as Freddie to his friends and family–is having a quarter-life crisis. He’s a college educated aristocrat with intense daddy issues, and he’s spent the last several years as a highly paid print and runway model. He’s also been linked with an older, wealthy man, Vincent, who is rather controlling, but also supportive. And, well, because of his daddy issues Freddie has endured a tense relationship with him for about two years. It’s only more galling that Freddie’s father, the Home Secretary of England (that’s a pretty high up government position reporting directly to the Prime Minister) finds Freddie to be an abject disappointment, and Vincent commiserates with him about Freddie’s “issues” on the regular.

When Freddie goes on a coke-and-vodka bender in NYC that threatens to create a huge scandal back home, Freddie runs off to the family country house, Rossingley, where his cousin Lucien resides. Luce has always picked Freddie up and bolstered him–physically and emotionally. Freddie is quite startled to find that Lucien has a live-in beefcake boyfriend, Jay, who is a fellow physician at the hospital where Lucien is a consultant. Lucien’s also the sixteenth earl of Rossingley and he’s happy to accept Freddie to stay with him forever. However, he wants Freddie to take better care of himself, and he “suggests” that Freddie take up a position with the gardening crew of the Estate, to increase his wellness, and keep him from moping.

The garden staff of Rossingley are exclusively convicts, usually born in the area around the estate, but Reuben is different. He’s French. Still an ex-con, but young. At 28, Reuben has lived a life few could have in twice as many years. Still, he’s determined to make something of himself, now that he’s out of prison and established himself at Rossingley. He is studying for the GCSE’s so he can gain admittance to the local college to study horticulture. He’d love to be the head groundskeeper at Rossingley someday–or another country house. He has a tidy little cottage on the grounds, and he’s made friends with the other keepers on staff. He just hopes they won’t find out why he was imprisoned, or he might not keep their esteem

And, well, Reuben has a tiny crush on the earl, who is all kinds of sexy to him–not that an earl would ever dally with a gardener. But, whoa, Freddie joining their crew pretty much blows Reuben’s mind. He’s as sexy as Lucien, but younger, and super playful. His constant chatter fills the void of Reuben’s intense shyness. And over time they build a friendship, too, with Freddie finally putting his history degree to use, tutoring Reuben for the GCSE’s. Reuben’s pretty shy of men, after having a non-consensual encounter back in prison, but Freddie’s so kind and doting, it’s easier for him to let the viscount into his cottage, and arms, and body–and heart–than Reuben had ever expected.

Expect shenanigans from Daddy Dearest and a bitter Vincent to upset the apple cart that Freddie had carefully assembled to draw Reuben out and convince him that he is worthy. I so enjoyed how these two very different men found fun and companionship and love together. I also loved seeing Lucien and Jay again, and watching how they work together to build a close-knit family for the folks at Rossingley. Reuben and Freddie both have self-esteem issues, and their patience and growing love helps to lift each man into a happiness they had not expected. The end is so sweet, and I am happy to learn there will be another book in the series. Rossingley is a place I’d dearly love to be, myself, and I’m excited to know I’ll be back there soon enough.

Interested? You can find TO CATCH A FALLEN LEAF on Goodreads, NineStar Press and Books2Read.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter Giveaway link for your chance to win a $50 NineStar Press gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Fearne Hill lives deep in the southern British countryside with three untamed sons, varying numbers of hens, a few tortoises, and a beautiful cocker spaniel.

When she is not overseeing her small menagerie, she enjoys writing contemporary romantic fiction. And when she is not doing either of those things, she works as an anaesthesiologist.

You can reach out to Fearne on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Teacher Struggles LIFE, LOVE AND OTHER INEQUALITIES–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a link to a review I wrote for Joyfully Jay that’s linked to the big Challenge Month giveaway. LIFE, LOVE AND OTHER INEQUALITIES newly released from Argentina Ryder was my post for New-to-Me author week.

Life Love and other inequalities coverAbout the book:

Matt Ruiz is a man with a plan for professional advancement; he won’t be a teacher forever.

But when he’s asked to help out a new substitute teacher, his already packed schedule is thrown into overload. Even worse, Sawyer Evans, the new substitute, is cute. Really cute. Matt finds himself questioning whether or not his carefully plotted life will bring him happiness. But Sawyer lives by the seat of his pants, and Matt can’t let go of his unbending attitude. Will a chance at romance give him the courage to chase his dreams of love?

As much as Matt loves his life, he’s alone on this journey. If he can’t learn to let love into his heart, what’s the point of pushing himself to be the best?

Mini-review:  This really is a sweet read, and I liked it a lot. It features a Mexican-American math teacher who is quietly gay, afraid to rock any boats in his tiny Texas town. Yet, he’s attracted to a new long-term substitute in his school. And, well, it might be exactly the right time for him to make a life outside of his lofty plans. There was a lot of fun stuff (for me as a teacher anyway) about the behind-the-scenes business of teaching. And, I liked how the love interest was a gourmet cook, and kind of wooed the math teacher with super cupcakes. It was a lot of yumminess.

Interested? You can check out my full review over at Joyfully Jay. If you read it and make a comment on THAT post before Friday night you’ll be entered to win the Week 1 prize of one of 10 book bundles from over 100 authors and also in the huge month-long prize of a Kindle loaded with with 50 ebooks from NineStar Press. Good luck!!

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends.

Coming Out? Or PLAYING IT SAFE? A Review

Hi there! Today I’m excited to share a review for a M/M sports romance from new-to-me author Amy Andrews. PLAYING IT SAFE is this author’s first foray into writing M/M romance, though it’s the 7th book in her Sydney Smoke rugby romance series and she’s a USA bestseller in straight romance.

Playing it safeAbout the book:

Donovan Bane loves playing rugby for the Sydney Smoke. And if that means he has to keep his sexuality a secret, that’s a sacrifice he’s prepared to make. At least until after he retires, anyway. He doesn’t want to be the first pro rugby player in Australia to officially come out while still playing. The team doesn’t need the media shit storm and he’d rather be known for his footy skills. Which means no dating, no relationships, no sex. Nothing but playing ball.

Until one man suddenly changes everything…

Beckett Stanton is out and proud—and not looking for a guy who isn’t. Been there, done that, complete disaster. Unfortunately, on the first day of his new job working for the Sydney Smoke, he locks eyes with Donovan Bane and he’s a goner. Big, gruff, and athletic isn’t usually Beck’s type, but for some reason this man is ticking all his boxes. And it’s clear the feeling is mutual. It’s also clear that Donovan is not out, and doesn’t plan to be anytime soon. Still, Beck can’t resist being the man to show Donovan everything he’s been missing.

For the first time, Donovan doesn’t play it safe and allows himself to indulge in things with Beck he knows he can’t have. But when their relationship gets serious, he knows he has to choose between the career he loves and the man he loves, because how can he possibly have both?

My Review:

Donovan Bane is a stud of an elite rugby player, a star on the Sydney Smoke pro team. He’s a mountain of a man, half-Maori and bearing the tattoos of his lineage. He’s also a closeted gay man, divorced from his best friend, and father of a 14 year old daughter he loves more than life. Afraid that his career would suffer, he married his high school girlfriend, hiding his sexuality in his relationship. He’d pursued his true attraction only once, and it was a disaster. His ex-wife knows his sexuality–now–and she keeps his secret because she’s a good woman. But, she’d expressed issues with him coming out while their daughter is young, in case kids at school torment her because of it. And, well, being a high profile player means that there will be blow-back. Anyway, Donovan has never met a man he wants to come out for, anyway, until he meets Beckett.

Beckett Stanton is freshly out of a relationship and has just taken a new position in the finance division for the Smoke. He’s on the job a week before he meets Donovan, and boy is he impressed–with his body. And then his play. And, well, his kindness. Donovan, despite the dangerous attraction he feels for Beckett, spends time with the man after helping him with a flat bike tire in a rainstorm. The more time they spend together, the more they want one another, yet, Donovan is reticent to even dip his toe into physical intimacy because he recognizes it’s a slippery slope. There has never been an active out rugby player in Australia, and he doesn’t want to be the first. The problem is Beckett’s out. And, being around Beckett–while amazing and fulfilling–could jeopardize Donovan’s carefully curated straight persona.

This was an interesting book for reasons that didn’t necessarily pertain to the romance. First, I love sports romance in general. And, I’m always interested in interracial romances, and other cultures. We got a little peek into his Moari culture, and I loved learning a little more about Australia, through the eyes of both Donovan and Beckett. Their relationship is the focal point of the book, even as Donovan continues to deny himself. Beckett is willing to indulge himself a little, as a gay tutor for Donovan, but they both catch feelings pretty quickly.

For me, there seemed to be a lot of talk around the potential for Donovan to come out, and how that could never ever happen. It took up a lot of page time, and was the basis of conflict. Despite knowing that Donovan’s ex was his best friend we never actually have her on the page counseling him. And Miri, his beloved daughter, is only present in the epilogue on page. Donovan’s most fraught moments around coming out were all off page, and that was disappointing. I liked how Becket and Donovan interacted, especially as they connect in friendly ways, but I felt the pacing could have been better. Instead of mooning about, reflecting on every instance of intense arousal there could have been more moments of actual frank discussion abut their developing friendship, and the implications of their growing attraction.

I did enjoy Donovan’s sexual awakening, and both Donovan and Beckett seem like good guys. They genuinely seem to care about one another, even in the short time they spend. I wished we had more time seeing them do more than just hang out in their homes. It was also good to see the allies come out in force to stand beside Donovan.

Interested? You can find PLAYING IT SAFE on Goodreads, Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I read a review copy courtesy of NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link to enter to win a $15 Amazon GC.

About the Author:

Amy is an award-winning, USA Today best-selling Aussie author who has written seventy plus contemporary romances in both the traditional and digital markets.

Her books bring all the feels from sass, quirk and laughter to emotional grit and panty-melting heat.

She loves good books and great booze although she’ll take mediocre booze if there’s nothing else. For many, many years she was a registered nurse which means she knows things. Anatomical things. And she’s not afraid to use them!

She recently took a sea change and lives by the ocean with her husband of 29 years.

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