Coming Out Soon DOWN BY CONTACT-A Review

Hi there! Continuing my Sports Week theme I’m sharing a pre-release review of a steamy new contemporary M/M romance from Santino Hassell. DOWN BY CONTACT is the second book in his The Barons series and features a quarterback making contact with a former teammate-turned-hater. It’s a standalone, though it features return characters from ILLEGAL CONTACT, the first book in the series. I’ve loved the gritty romances I’ve read by Mr. Hassell, including SUNSET PARK, INTERBOROUGH and CITYWIDE. DOWN BY CONTACT releases Jan 16th, and preorder links are below.

About the book:
Two rival football players begin a game with higher stakes than the Super Bowl in this steamy romance from the author of Illegal Contact.
Simeon Boudreaux, the New York Barons’ golden-armed quarterback, is blessed with irresistible New Orleans charm and a face to melt your mama’s heart. He’s universally adored by fans and the media. Coming out as gay in solidarity with his teammate hasn’t harmed his reputation in the least—except for some social media taunting from rival linebacker Adrián Bravo.

Though they were once teammates, Adrián views Simeon as a traitor and the number-one name on the New Jersey Predators’ shit list. When animosity between the two NFL players reaches a boiling point on the field, culminating in a dirty fist fight, they’re both benched for six games and sentenced to joint community service teaching sullen, Brooklyn teens how to play ball.

At first, they can barely stand to be in the same room, but running the camp forces them to shape up. With no choice but to work together, Simeon realizes Adrián is more than his alpha-jerk persona, and Adrián begins to question why he’s always had such strong feelings for the gorgeous QB…

My Review:
Simeon Boudreaux and Adrián Bravo were teammates and friends on the Predators for a short stretch a few years back, but Simeon got cut, and picked up by the Barons. Adrián blames the Baron’s success against his Predators on Simeon knowing their playbook, but deep inside he’s really angry that he lost his friend. And, he’s using that anger to fuel some anti-gay slurs he makes once Simeon comes out. Adrián’s Predators are all about toxic machismo, and homophobia; Simeon’s glad he left that behind and found a team where he could be himself–and support a fellow out player. He lives his truth and loves his life.

Of course, he’s not happy with Adrián’s trash talk, or with Adrián’s late hit that lands him on the disabled list for eight weeks. Adrián’s suspended, and their PR teams work out a deal to get both players some positive press: have them use their time off to volunteer at a LGBTQ kids outreach center running the sports recreation. Neither Simeon nor Adrián is wild about this arrangement, and the tension is rough. They have outbursts and power trips, and cause more fuss than help. And, somewhere in the hurt they generate, a kernel of desire is born. As neither man is dating anyone, the taunts they let fly turns the tension up to eleven. Adrián is especially struggling with the recognition that Simeon is such a great guy, and soon he’s also seeing his former adversary as a desirable man.

Not that Adrián can act on his impulses. His old school folks would never accept him coming out as bisexual, nor would he find the Predators to be welcoming. But, Simeon is patient even with all the hate sex Adrián is offering. He definitely likes turning Adrián inside-out; his main mission is to turn Adrián into an ally, even if he’s undercover. The press gets wind of their developing relationship, when one of the kids leaks an incriminating photo, and Simeon tries to shield Adrián from the fall-out, but Adrián wants to write his own story. Especially if it includes Simeon.

I always love the gritty, filthy talking, hot-and-dirty sexytimes Mr. Hassell writes. There’s no shortage of those moments here, and the sweet way Adrián comes around to accepting his sexuality is a bonus. I love the urbanity of the writing, and the ethnic dialect and experiences. Both Simeon and Adrián are men of color and they feel culturally authentic and interesting. I liked the football setting, though there are lots of off-the-field scenes, as both players are sidelined temporarily. The banter between Simeon and Adrián is amusing, and filled with athletic trash talk, amidst the flirtatious challenges. Their physical relationship begins with little more than a dare, but it grows more tender the longer they go at each other. Adrián’s fledgling steps into sex with Simeon are a revelation he didn’t expect to find, but the companionship they share fills a void neither man anticipated. It’s unexpectedly sweet. And, the end leaves the reader wondering if the league’s biggest homophobe, Adrián’s friend and teammate, Rocky Swoops, might be protesting just a bit too much. Looking forward to the next book in this series.

Interested? You can find DOWN BY CONTACT on Goodreads, and pre-order it before it’s Jan 16th release on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Santino Hassell was raised by a conservative family, but he was anything but traditional. He grew up to be a smart-mouthed, school cutting grunge kid, then a transient twenty-something, and eventually transformed into an unlikely romance author.

Santino writes queer romance that is heavily influenced by the gritty, urban landscape of New York City, his belief that human relationships are complex and flawed, and his own life experiences.

You can find Santino online on his website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

The Thrills Continue FIVE DARES–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share a review for a new contemporary M/M romance from Eli Easton. FIVE DARES is not a sports romance, per se, but the two main characters are athletes and daredevils, and their predicament makes them nearly acrobatic in the bedroom. I have loved all the Eli Easton books I’ve read, including MERRY CHRISTMAS MR. MIGGLES, her HOWL AT MOON books and most recently DESPERATELY SEEKING SANTA. FIVE DARES is another new adult romance, this time between two best friends who secretly love each other, but have to go through hell to connect physically.

About the book:
Andy Tyler has been the class daredevil since middle school. Over the years, he’s convinced his best friend, Jake Masterson, to perform some dangerous-looking stunts with him. But the dare they attempt on the night of their college graduation goes sideways. The firecrackers explode too soon and both of them end up with badly burned palms.

But hey, nothing gets the “terrible two-o” down for long, and they recuperate in style at Andy’s family cottage in Cape Cod. As the weeks go by, both Andy and Jake grow frustrated over the inability to use their hands for all sorts of daily activities—including getting off. So Andy begins a new series of dares that don’t just cross the friendship line, they obliterate it.

But what might be mere sexual relief to Andy is serious business to Jake, who only recently got over years of secret pining for his straight best friend. Inevitably, the burns heal, summer ends, and hearts are broken. To fix things, Andy will have to face the greatest dare of all.

My Review:
Andy and Jake have been best friends for a decade or more. They grew up together in the Boston area, went to school together and have been roommates for four years now at NYU, from which they’ve just graduated. As kids and adults, Jake has had a secret crush on Andy, the wild and charismatic son of an esteemed lawyer and a financial planner. Andy has a penchant for planning outrageous dares that Jake has been a part of as well, either as the front man egging him on and ginning up the crowd (at Andy’s behest) or as a co-participant. Jake gets a thrill out of being Andy’s closest confidant, but he’s wanted more for a long time now. Jake’s anxious to move to the west coast, knowing that he’ll leave Andy behind, so that he can maybe get the space he needs to find a boyfriend who can love him, unlike Andy who he believes is happily heterosexual.

Andy plans a spectacular dare for a big graduation party–and for once it goes horribly wrong. Andy and Jake end up with second degree burns on their palms, and Jake’s unable to leave for his new job; they both need eight weeks of rest to allow their skin to heal. Andy’s father is frustrated that Andy pulled another stunt, one that sabotaged his summer internship before he starts Harvard Law school in the fall, but Andy’s somewhat thrilled. He gets his father to let him and Jake their family cabin on Cape Cod in which to recuperate. They have daily nurse visits, and the cabin caretaker’s willing to make some meals for them while they both remain bandaged and a bit surly through recovery. Andy didn’t want to see his best friend leave, and this affords them a chance to have some uninterrupted time together before the next phase of their lives begins. Andy’s known that Jake is bisexual, at the very least, for more than a year, and he doesn’t understand why Jake never told him. Doesn’t Jake trust him? Doesn’t Jake want him? Should Andy want Jake to want him? It’s a hornet’s nest of jealousy, in Andy’s mind.

As the days and weeks pass and the boredom sets in, Andy comes up with a new dare, one that will scratch his itch for Jake’s undivided attention: that they combine forces to get each other off. They have no other sexual outlet, and can’t use their own hands to do the deed, not with all the bandages in the way, but some careful positioning might just allow for physical release. Jake’s not down with it, though, because he’s already too in love with Andy, and doesn’t want his heart smashed just for some experimental fling. The thing is, Jake’s been well-trained to go along with Andy’s dares, and this time he’s going to get more than a rush out of it. They only have a handful of weeks left together. And they make the most of it…until the next dare: falling head over heels in love.

This is such a sweet friends-to-lovers story. They history is carefully added in a series of vignette flashbacks that really demonstrate the bond between Andy and Jake, a bond Andy didn’t recognize was love until he’d almost lost Jake, and himself, in his new and lonely future. Andy’s father is a stern taskmaster and Andy can’t see veering of the path they outlined years ago, when Andy was still just a teen. But he’s not happy, and he misses Jake terribly. Their summer of love ended too soon, and his heart can’t take the thought that Jake will move on without him. Andy hadn’t considered himself bisexual, at all, until their summer together, but he’s miserable when Jake moves on to his new job. Jake isn’t doing much better, even though he likes his job and reconnecting with his sister, with whom he now lives. That said, he’s moping over the separation, and had to cut all contact with Jake in order to heal his busted heart. Naturally another dare brings them back together–not a good one, actually, but the more they chat the more Andy recognizes the reason for all his dares, stemming for the very first one, was gaining Jake’s attention and admiration. From then it’s just some career-plan gymnastics to reunite this couple for real.

There’s so much tenderness on the page, and some really steamy bits, too. We get both Andy and Jake’s point of view, so we can see all the internal anguish they manage as their relationship morphs. It was cool how Andy reached out to his mom for help, and advice, and how their conversation allowed Andy to re-evaluate his life goals and tailor them to his current dreams. He’s always been super athletic, and the branch of law he’d initially chosen wasn’t suitable to his outgoing and active personality. Plus, what’s the point of playing it safe all the time? For a dare-master like Andy it’s go big, or go home. And he’s never just gone home. It’s probably why he and Jake fit so well; their mutual love of the thrills in life. It’s a happy ending all around.

Interested? You can find FIVE DARES on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes and Kobo. I read a review copy provided by NetGalley.

Eli EastonAbout the Author:
Eli Easton has 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, an organic farmer, and a long-distance walker. She began writing m/m romance in 2013 and has published 27 books since then. She hopes to write many more.

As an avid reader of such, she is tickled pink when an author manages to combine literary merit, vast stores of 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, two bulldogs, several cows, and a cat. All of them (except for the husband) are female, hence explaining the naked men that have taken up residence in her latest fiction writing.

Eli currently publishes with Dreamspinner Press and has a few self-pubbed titles as well. She also publishes thrillers under the pen name: Jane Jensen.

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

THanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Mission Possible: OPERATION GREEN CARD-Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing my review for a new contemporary M/M romance from GB Gordon. OPERATION GREEN CARD is a new book in the Bluewater Bay universe–which is loosely connected to the other books in the series (including WHEN TO HOLD THEM also by this author) but fully enjoyable as a standalone. I’ve loved other GB Gordon books, SANTUARIO and THE OTHER SIDE OF WINTER, so I was excited to read this one!

Check out my review below and head out to a pal’s blog to enter the $10 GC giveaway!
About the book:
Arkady Izmaylov is a family man. He’s also gay. In Russia. His sister Natalya has been telling him to get out for years, but it’s only after an attack in the street that he finally concedes and says yes to her desperate plan of him marrying a stranger for a green card.

Jason Cooley was taught from birth that he’s no good to anyone. Then the military taught him he was good enough to save other lives, but that purpose got amputated along with his leg. He’s now working security at Wolf’s Landing and sending monthly checks to his ex for their daughter’s education. When Natalya asks him to marry her brother, Jason knows right away he’ll do it more for the mission than the money she’s offering. But when he actually meets Arkady, his mission turns complicated.

Jason quickly discovers he’s not as straight as he thought. He’s also the man of Arkady’s dreams. Arkady must convince Jason that he’s worth loving, and that Arkady won’t disappear from his life like everyone else. Because Arkady has always wanted a family of his own, and he’s not letting go of this one.

My Review:
Jason Cooley is a war veteran and amputee. He lost his lower leg and foot in his last rescue mission as an Army Ranger. It crushed the fledgling sense of purpose he’d gained from joining the armed services, following in the footsteps of his grandfather, father and late mother–who was killed in action when Jason was two. His father had little to do with him from then on, and he was raised in the love-bereft home of his mother’s parents, who treated him as a burden. He joined up straight out of high school, and now works as a security guard on the set of Wolf’s Landing, a long-running TV show filmed in his home town of Bluewater Bay. He still lives in that childhood home, though his grandparents are gone, and it’s cramped and run-down. Jason has a five year old daughter, Lily, conceived literally on the eve of his deployment, with his high school bestie, but they were never truly romantically linked. She’s married and her hard-working husband has formally adopted Lily. Jason sends whatever money he can to support Lily, but he’s not really involved in her life; he’s sure that’s for the best. Only, even after working double shifts, and hardly spending any money on himself, Jason still can’t afford the gifted school Lily’s being recommended for enrollment.

Arkady is living on borrowed time. The situation in Russia is grave, with men accused of homosexuality being literally disappeared to prison or shallow graves. No matter how circumspect he is about his sexuality, he’s a target. He’s been attacked before, and saw his best friend murdered years ago for their “crime”. His sister, Natalya, has been trying to get him a job in security–or whatever–at Wolf’s Landing, but the work visa is not coming. Hearing that Jason needs money, Natalya proposes a solution that could benefit her beloved brother: green card marriage.

The idea seems preposterous on its face, but the more Jason ruminates, the more he envisions this scheme as a new mission in his life. He can pay for Lily’s school, and save Arkady from a death sentence. It appeals to his latent hero complex, and it’s not as if he’s never shared intimacy with a man; it was a down-low practice on some of his deployments. When he says he’s down, Arkady makes plans for a “trip” to visit Natalya. His whole family knows this is code for his defection. Arkady had thought he would never have a loving relationship or family, but coming to the States ignites these desires. He finds Jason incredibly attractive, and that feeling, well, it’s mutual. Jason is stunned at Arkady’s masculine beauty and his growing desire for his “roomie” is confusing. They have a real role to play in convincing all their witnesses that they are having a whirlwind romance, but neither of them expected to get so caught up in it themselves.

Jason’s frustrated that Arkady might not even care about him beyond getting his paperwork managed, and Arkady’s heart is so open to Jason that whenever he perceives Jason pulling back, it hurts, and hurts bad. They do find a way to become intimate, and again, the reality is far brighter than the fantasy—but it crashes and burns when they adhere to the idea that this is a temporary situation, to simply get Arkady’s permanent residency card. For both men, this relationship has become important, and breaking up is unthinkable, so they guard themselves against further vulnerability, until they can’t bear it any longer and the honesty bursts forth.

I loved the tenderness and commitment each man showed for each other’s well-being. It was so fun to watch this marriage of convenience to grow into a passionate romance. Arkady’s joy over building a real family, with Lily and her parents, is immeasurable. The HEA is fantastic! And yummy sexytimes as Jason and Arkady learn to share themselves more and more. Expect a wedding that’s somewhat bittersweet, and a love that is built to last.

Interested? You can find OPERATION GREEN CARD on Goodreads, Riptide Books, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Go Over to my pals at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to leave a comment and be entered to win a $10 Riptide book credit!
Good luck and thanks for popping in!

About the Author:
G.B. Gordon worked as a packer, landscaper, waiter, and coach before going back to school to major in linguistics and, at 35, switch to less backbreaking monetary pursuits like translating, editing, and writing. Having lived in various parts of the world, Gordon is now happily ensconced in suburban Ontario with the best of all husbands.

You can reach GB online here: website, Goodreads, Twitter and Facebook.

Heard Great Things! SMOKY MOUNTAIN DREAMS Audiobook review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for an audiobook written by Leta Blake and performed by John Solo. SMOKY MOUNTAIN DREAMS is a bittersweet heartbreak of a book, with a solid love story and intriguing plot. I enjoyed every minute of Mr. Solo’s rendering of this complicated love story. I’ve always loved Leta’s stories, because they feature hardships and big choices. Check out THE RIVER LEITH, WILL & PATRICK GET MARRIED, and PICTURES OF YOU for more hard-won love stories by Leta Blake.

Scroll down to catch my review and enter to win a backlist book from Leta Blake in the giveaway!
About the book:
After giving up on his career as a country singer in Nashville, Christopher Ryder is happy enough performing at the Smoky Mountain Dreams theme park in Tennessee. But while his beloved Gran loves him the way he is, Christopher feels painfully invisible to everyone else. Even when he’s center stage he aches for someone to see the real him.

Bisexual Jesse Birch has no room in his life for dating. Raising two kids and fighting with family after a tragic accident took his children’s mother, he doesn’t want more than an occasional hook-up. He sure as hell doesn’t want to fall hard for his favorite local singer, but when Christopher walks into his jewelry studio, Jesse hears a new song in his heart.

The audiobook is 14 hours and 47 minutes long. You can catch a snippet of it here:  SMD Sample from Leta Blake on Vimeo.

My Review:
Christopher Ryder is an out-gay country singer working at Smoky Mountain Dreams, a family-friendly resort in the Tennessee mountains. He’s happy there, but wishing he could find a forever man to share his life with, even though he knows this will cause strife with his family–dysfunctional as they are. Wanting to create a special Christmas gift for his beloved gran, he reaches out to Jesse Birch, a local jeweler who does custom work. Jesse is a sexy man, and Christopher is stunned to learn he’s an actual fan of Jesse’s performances. Christopher’s mostly the understudy to a regular at SMD, who also happens to be a solid drunk and often needs Christopher to stand in for him. Growing up making himself invisible to stay out of his zealot step-father’s ire, Christopher feels seen by Jesse and basks in his admiration.

Jesse is a hard-working father of two who is raising his kids with the help of his in-laws. His wife had a tragic car wreck several years ago and is in a chronic vegetative state. He’s wanted to pull the medical care for years, to let her go naturally, but her sister holds an old Power of Attorney papers and refuses to let her sister go. The legal battle was decided years ago, and mediation is going nowhere, so Jesse visits each week, dutifully, though their children haven’t seen her since the last brain scan showed no signs of activity.

Jesse’s more than attracted to Christopher; and that feeling is mutual. Learning that Jesse is bisexual turns Christopher on, and they begin a tentative courtship–not that it’s easy. Kids, in laws, and Jesse’s wife all make it complicated. But mostly it’s the kids. Jesse’s daughter, who’s 12 and awkward, is struggling with the idea that her dad could love anyone besides her mama, and has a creative plan to bring their family back together. Still, Christopher is patient, and Jesse is learning that loving someone is more than just caring for their physical needs. He recognizes the tremendous guilt he harbors for the way his marriage soured, and allows Christopher to be the bright spot in his rather bland life to this point.

These guys have a penchant for risky sex–mostly in places that are out in the open. That made for some fun and “better you than me” moments. There are also some really intense moments, like Christopher standing up to his bigoted relations and holding Jesse to task over not telling him the whole truth regarding his marriage–and how it’s not legally over… The audio is fantastic, and had me engaged throughout. I almost didn’t mind my commutes, knowing I’d spend more time with that textured voice relating Christopher and Jesse’s mutual heartbreaks and mutual passion. I cried, y’all! They go through a lot in the several months together, but the end is happy, and Christopher finds a loving home, with Jesse and his family, for the first time in his life.

Interested? You can find SMOKY MOUNTAIN DREAMS on Goodreads and Amazon (US or UK) or Audible (US or UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Author of the best-selling book Smoky Mountain Dreams and the fan favorite Training Season, Leta Blake’s educational and professional background is in psychology and finance, respectively. However, her passion has always been for writing. She enjoys crafting romance stories and exploring the psyches of made up people. At home in the Southern U.S., Leta works hard at achieving balance between her day job, her writing, and her family.

You can find out more on her website, Facebook, twitter and Patreon.

Forbidden Fraternization in WHEELS UP-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M military romance from Annabeth Albert. WHEELS UP is the fourth book in her Out of Uniform series that features romances for SEALS stationed in Coronado, California. Having read and loved OFF BASE, AT ATTENTION and ON POINT I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into this new one–and what a bittersweet love story it was!

About the book:
Their love is forbidden, but their hearts aren’t listening to rules and regulations.
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss is a reformed man. No longer a twentysomething hell-raiser, he’s his SEAL team’s new XO-and a man with a secret. Or seven. He’s kept his bisexual identity under wraps for years, along with his kinky side and a fondness for the military-themed semianonymous hookup website Joe4Joe. His latest chat buddy is more than a sexy online distraction-they’re taking their very not-safe-for-work relationship into real time.

Petty Officer Wes Lowe has a smart mouth, a take-charge attitude and an uncanny ability for making things go boom. The life of an enlisted man isn’t always enough to satisfy him, but one wild, no-questions-asked weekend with his online love comes close. When a transfer order comes in, Wes feels ready and centered. He’ll make a good impression on his new SEAL team and keep his growing feelings for Dustin on the down low.

But as they log more time online and some very real emotions surface, Dustin and Wes struggle to pretend they’re just a harmless fling. And when his commander introduces Dustin to his team’s newest member, they’re in for the shock of a lifetime…and a crushing disappointment: their difference in ranks means even a friendship without sexual contact could end their navy careers for good.

With their hearts on the line, Dustin and Wes may not survive their next mission, let alone find a way toward a future together.

My Review:
Lieutenant Dustin Strauss has known for a long time that he’s attracted to men. He’s never been with a man, though he knows his family likely won’t be too upset if he were to come out–his younger brother Dylan is about to marry Dustin’s best friend Apollo–you may remember them from book two AT ATTENTION. Still, Dustin’s father has been fixated on Dustin marrying a woman and having kids, neither of which truly appeals. The idea of remaining a lone appeals even less–all his friends are coupled up and Dustin feels very much like a third wheel. Not only is he nervous about his sexuality, he’s ashamed that he’s really turned on by submission. Yet, he’s found a cyber pal via the Joe4Joe app that has filled his long lonely nights with exactly the kind of interactions that push his buttons.

They meet one night when Dustin is visiting the DC area. And it’s the best night of Dustin’s adult life. He and Wes really get along, and their sex is amazeballs–for each. Wes is especially adept at getting into Dustin’s headspace and working through his insecurities. Neither Wes nor Dustin has confided that they are SEALs, and they expect this is only one night. Until Petty Officer Wes Lowe is shipped out to Coronado to fill the demolitions expert position open on Dustin’s 16 man team, of which he’s the second in command.

Now, Wes is under Dustin’s direct command, and it’s wholly awkward. Not to mention completely prohibited. If anyone discovers that they’ve been intimate both Dustin and Wes could be subject to court martial.

They know this. And yet their connection is so strong, so necessary. Wes has a stressful life, constantly awaiting for bad news about his young sister’s failing heart. He’s plagued by insomnia, and finds comfort in his time with Dustin–virtual or in person. Wes is also the only person with whom Dustin can be his whole self, gay and kinky, and feel safe. No matter how many times they say they need to stop, they just can’t quit one another. And, they want more. They want the whole package of companionship and comfort–not just sex. It’s quite telling that neither of them really sought out partners before, and would remain celibate before looking for a suitable partner.

In the course of duty, Dustin and Wes both know their connection is too strong to be healthy, or safe. Dustin feels as if he’s constantly distracted, and this adds to his general dissatisfaction with his commission. He doesn’t get along with his commanding officer, and he’s less and less enthused with command. He’s got friends who’ve left the service, and are all the happier. Could he be? Would he and Wes be able to make a true life together if Dustin made this choice?

This was a really compassionate and bittersweet look into this complex world of military rules and regs. Both Dustin and Wes are great guys who want to be loved for who they are, and have the joy of open companionship. They have real struggles, and it’s heartbreaking to see them leave each other time and time again believing this is the “last time” or “never again.” I found myself wanting to yell at the book, tell the navy to make things better, dang it! And that was telling, for me, how very invested I got into these guys and their developing love story. The end is quiet, but lovely. No giant grand gestures here, because doing so could upset the very complex plan they have in place for eventual forever love. Their patience and understanding was enormous, and I found that to be engaging too. Likewise, their considerate treatment in the steamy bits–the vulnerability and the dirtiness were magic together, and I loved how in-tune both Dustin and Wes were with their needs, and those of the other. It’s a book I won’t soon forget.

Interested? You can find WHEELS UP on Goodreads and , Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, iBooks, GooglePlay, Kobo.

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

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

Find Annabeth online on her website, Goodreads, twitter and Facebook.

Out Today! THEIRS TO TAKE–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a BDSM erotic romance from Laura Kaye! THEIRS TO TAKE is a menage romance featuring two Masters who search for a woman to satisfy them both. O.O It’s the third novel in her Blasphemy series, which got a great start with the erotic novella HARD TO SERVE and the first novel, BOUND TO SUBMIT and secondly MASTERING HER SENSES. I really enjoyed this erotic new read!

Catch an excerpt, my review and enter the books and swag giveaway below.
About the book:
From the ruins of an abandoned church comes Baltimore’s hottest and most exclusive BDSM club. Twelve Masters. Infinite fantasies. Welcome to Blasphemy.

She’s the fantasy they’ve always wanted to share…
Best friends Jonathan Allen and Cruz Ramos share almost everything—a history in the Navy, their sailboat building and restoration business, and the desire to dominate a woman together, which they do at Baltimore’s exclusive club, Blasphemy. Now if they could find someone who wants to play for keeps…

All Hartley Farren has in the world is the charter sailing business she inherited from her beloved father. So when a storm damages her boat, she throws herself on the mercy of business acquaintances to do the repairs—stat. She never expected to find herself desiring the sexy, hard-bodied builders, but being around Jonathan and Cruz reminds Hartley of how much she longs for connection. If only she could decide which man she wants to pursue more…

As their attraction flashes hot, Jonathan and Cruz determine to have Hartley for their own. But the men’s erotic world is new and overwhelming, and Hartley’s unsure if she could really submit to being both of theirs to take…forever.

How about a yummy taste?

“Are they like you?” Hartley asked her friend, Scarlett, who’d recently joined the club called Blasphemy that she’d learned Jonathan and Cruz owned.

“A submissive, you mean?” When Hartley nodded, Scarlett said, “No. They’re Dominants. They like to control the scenes and their partners’ pleasure. Master Jonathan and Master Cruz are alphas through and through.” Scarlett gave her a teasing smirk.

“Master…” Hartley murmured, trying out the word. Aided by her friend’s commentary, her brain offered up all kinds of unhelpful imaginings. Her, on her knees, Jonathan standing over her. Or would it be Cruz? Being pulled over one of their laps, her ass in the air, hands stroking her. But whose hand? Gah. This was a full-on trip to crazytown. “Um, okay.”

Just then, the waiter arrived with their appetizer, but Hartley was too gobsmacked to think about food. As Scarlett forked a piece of mozzarella onto her plate, she looked like the cat that ate the canary. “There’s more.”

“How can there be more?” She almost didn’t want to know. No, scratch that, she really wanted to know. “What kind of more?”

“Take another sip,” Scarlett said, chuckling and tapping at the rim of her wine glass.

Hartley didn’t resist. She took a big drink, her heart racing, her head spinning, just a little, because she’d skipped breakfast this morning.

“Hartley, Jonathan and Cruz do scenes together.”

“Oh.” Her shoulders fell. “So they’re a couple?” Man, that was…kinda disappointing. She totally got it, though. They were beautiful men. Best friends. Had served in the military together and now were business partners. It made sense that they could be together romantically. But, damn, she’d read that flirtation all wrong, hadn’t she?

And hell if that disappointment she was feeling didn’t reveal a thing or two…

Scarlett shook her head. “No, well, maybe. I don’t know. There’s some speculation around the club that there might be something romantic between them. But what I mean is, they do scenes together. Both of them with the same submissive. At one time. You know, like, ménage à trois.”

It was a good thing Hartley had just swallowed, because otherwise she might’ve done a cartoon-like spit take. Heat roared through her body. Because those imaginings she’d just done…that question she’d just asked herself about which one would be starring in those fantasies with her…now she had her answer. They might not make her choose.

“That is the…hottest, craziest thing I’ve ever heard in my whole life,” Hartley managed, her brain possibly shorting out at the thought. Both of them. Together. At the same time. Jonathan’s golden-boy good looks. Cruz’s dark, intensity. At. The. Same. Time.

My Review:
Hartley Farren is a emotionally devastated when her catamaran is damaged following a hurricane. She’d done all she could to batten it all down, but another boat broke free of its moorings and crashed into the hull. The extensive damage is going to be expensive and time-consuming to repair, and insurance won’t pay for her lost charters.

Jonathan Allen meets Hartley at the harbor master’s office. He sees her frustration over the delays in even getting an estimate on the repair, so he volunteers to take a look. Jonathan and his long-time friend, Cruz Ramos, own a repair and restoration business that rather new in the area. They are also Master Dominants at the BDSM club, Blasphemy, and they have a kink for sharing their women.

Cruz knows the look he’ll see on Jonathan’s face when he’s called for an impromptu inspection of Hartley’s boat. Jonathan always did love to rescue a lady–and Cruz fair aches to have that look of interest directed at himself…even if he can’t voice that desire to his best friend. Coming out as bi would cause his parents to shun him, and might make Jonathan pull away too. If the only way Cruz can be intimate with Jonathan is through Hartley, well, he’d take that option anytime, anyplace.

In order to make Hartley’s schedule deadline Jonathan and Cruz take on the job immediately, and pour in extra hours on the repair. Hartley’s got nothing else to do, and she’s attracted to both men–and thoroughly grateful for their willingness to help her–so she spends long hours in the cramped confines of the boat sweating out the work. And, teasing them, and being teased in return. Through a mutual friend Hartley learns about Jonathan and Cruz’s sexual kink, and she’s not averse. In fact, once they make their desire to take her between them known, she’s down for it. They don’t let fun get in the way of work, however there’s a christening of the repaired boat that might melt the touched up paint… O.O

The story is told from alternating points of view, with all three sharing the page. Its an erotic read, but a quick one; I wished to have a little more time with all the characters, and not just between the sheets, though that was some fun sexytimes. This is a MMF read, so expect Jonathan and Cruz to have some close encounters of the male kind with Hartley’s full consent and avid interest. It all goes pretty quickly, and a little more hesitation or scenes that involved Cruz’s struggle would have nicely rounded things out. We do get a little bit of Blasphemy here, and a set-up for another erotic romance–a tie-in to anther author’s (Jennifer Probst’s Steele Brothers) series, if that floats your catamaran.

For me, I liked it bunches, and if my only complaint is “I Want More!” well, that’s hardly a knock. Definitely a book that can be enjoyed one-handed. 😉

Interested? You can find THEIRS TO TAKE on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

Decadent… Sensual… Forbidden…

12 Masters. 12 Desires. 12 Fantasies Come to Life.
Meet the Masters of Blasphemy…

“A searingly sexy story with some of the hottest scenes I’ve read in a long, long time. Laura Kaye shows her mastery of the BDSM world. I’m eagerly anticipating more in this bold new series!”
~ Cherise Sinclair, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters of the Shadowlands Series

“Smoldering and sexy, Laura Kaye’s Blasphemy series is everything I look for in a romance. Haunted heroes and strong heroines populate this one of a kind club and I can’t wait to see the big bad Doms fall one by one.”
~ Lexi Blake, NYT Bestselling Author of the Masters and Mercenaries Series

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a gift box filled with the first three books in the series and book swag.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

Laura Kaye - author picAbout the Author:
Laura Kaye is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over twenty books in contemporary and paranormal romance and romantic suspense, including the Hard Ink and upcoming Raven Riders series. Growing up, Laura’s large extended family believed in the supernatural, and family lore involving angels, ghosts, and evil-eye curses cemented in Laura a life-long fascination with storytelling and all things paranormal. She lives in Maryland with her husband, two daughters, and cute-but-bad dog, and appreciates her view of the Chesapeake Bay every day.

Catch up with Laura on her website, Facebook, Twitter, or her newsletter.

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Loving a MANIC PIXIE DREAM BOY–Review and Giveaway!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Which isn’t even fake.

Or is it?

How about a little taste?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What do I get in return?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

****GIVEAWAY****

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

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

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

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

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