Switching Plans ANALOG TO DIGITAL–Review & Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new Christmas-themed M/M romance novella from Posy Roberts. ANALOG TO DIGITAL is a sweet tale of one man getting his heart’s desire right when he thinks he’s losing it all.

a-to-dAbout the book:
All Ethan wants for Christmas, and the rest of his life, is Toby.
For years, Ethan and Toby have said they’ll never marry, despite Ethan’s secret wishes. So leaving sunny California for snowy Minnesota to witness his sister’s vow renewal is not how he wants to spend his Christmas Eve. It’s the second time she’ll say “I do” in less than a year, when Ethan saying those words to Toby even once is hopeless.

In the run-up to the ceremony, Toby seems to avoid Ethan, and doubts grow in his absence. Ethan can’t help noticing Toby spends more time with Ethan’s family than with him. Little does Ethan know, Toby has desires of his own. But if Toby doesn’t find a way to reveal them, Ethan could leave for home without him.

How about a little taste?

LOOKING UP from the doodle I’d started on a cocktail napkin, I ordered. “Surly Furious. Two, please.” It was the beer I’d begged my sister to ship to me from back home. I wanted to give my employees a taste of Minnesota, even if they relentlessly teased me about my accent and “unfathomable” work ethic. I didn’t end up owner of a top-rated design house by the time I was in my midtwenties by phoning it in, so I never let their jibes bother me much.

The server reached for glasses after cracking each large can with a pfft and pfft, but I waved him off. “We’ll drink ’em right from the can, thanks.”

“Certainly.”

I slipped a ten in his tip jar and turned to the center of the distinctive ballroom, where people were dancing. His thanks trailed after me as I made my way over to Toby, who looked ready to blend into the leather couch while the room buzzed around him.

I pressed the chilled beer into his warm palm. “Here. This is the one I told you about.”

He took a sip and looked at me with dark eyes before taking another few swallows. He smiled when he finally set the can down. “It’s good. Real good.”

“Told ya.” I leaned in and kissed the beer foam that clung to his mustache. His beard brushed my chin, and as much as I wanted to get lost in his kisses, I was there as the boss tonight and couldn’t really let go like I wanted.

“Look at you two! So in love.” Stella, my right-hand and necessary coconspirator in most projects, plopped herself in the chair next to me and sipped at a neon-pink drink garnished with at least three fruit kabobs. Her eclectic style, mostly latent punk rocker meets Vargas pinup girl, was in full bloom. She would’ve fit perfectly on the nose of an Air Force plane or at any dance club in the city.

I smiled at her as I leaned against Toby’s shoulder. The sparkle in her lined eyes made what she was about to ask obvious.

“When are you two going to finally tie the knot?”

“We’re not,” Toby said without a second’s hesitation.

I crossed my feet at the ankles to ward off any evil as I lied through my teeth. “It’s not something either of us has ever wanted. No need to be tied down to a person. God knows I’m tied down by enough strings to this business, which grows busier by the day.”

Stella studied me out of the corner of her eye, skeptical. I talked shop to shake her focus.

My Review:
Ethan and Toby have been together for several years, and Ethan’s feeling a little bitter that Toby refuses to get married. They live together, and Ethan wants Toby to be his forever man, but feels as if Toby will never make it official. This insecurity is fanned by Ethan’s sister’s impending vow renewal. She’d gotten married to her hubs while visiting Ethan and Toby just that summer, but now she’s planning a big reception on Christmas Eve back home in Minnesota. Ethan wants to skip it, but Toby buys them plane tickets.

Then, over the several days leading up to the reception and holiday, Toby’s off helping Ethan’s family get the arrangements set for the wedding. Meanwhile, Ethan’s left behind to complete his projects remotely. It’s a huge frustration for Ethan, who hardly takes time off from work, to have all this loose time with no one in the home. he feels as if Toby’s slipping away, and their relationship is fizzling out–and it’s only that much harder for him to be even close to cheerful for his sister, or Christmas, in general. He’s so overwrought that he’s about to book a flight home for himself, on Christmas Day.

There’s a happy, happy ending, though. Toby had grand plans for the days that extend from the holiday, and he sweeps Ethan completely off his feet. I really felt Ethan’s pain and isolation on the page, and I ached for him. He’s so in love with Toby, and no one likes to feel that they’re more invested than their partner. Ethan did come off as a bit petulant, but I could forgive it under the circumstances. The end is wholly beautiful, and Ethan’s joy is electric. A very sweet read.

Interested? You can find ANALOG TO DIGITAL on GoodreadsDreamspinner, Amazon (US or Amazon UKBarnes & Noble, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Posy Roberts writes about the realistic struggles of men looking for love. Whether her characters are family men, drag queens, or lonely men searching for connections, they all find a home in her stories.

Posy is a Jill of all trades and master of the drill and paintbrush. She’s married to a partner who makes sure she doesn’t forget to eat or sleep during her writing frenzies. Her daughter, a budding author and cinematographer, helps her come up with character names. For fun, Posy enjoys crafting, hiking, and singing spontaneously about the mundane, just to make regular life more interesting.

You can find Posy on line on Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.
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Cephalopod Coffeehouse Oct 2016–BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONIES-A Review

0ed81-coffeehouseHi there! Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month. Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.

This month I’ve read a wide variety of books, from paranormal, to YA to erotic to gay, and mostly those were all romance. It’s my comfort zone, and I like to be comfortable. Who doesn’t, right? Well, I’ll be honest, I’ve been pretty uncomfortable about the elections coming up. If you haven’t guessed, I’m a liberal. That’s my prerogative. I’m a college educated woman with two degrees in science. My family wasn’t wealthy; neither of my parents completed college, and really only had a handful of courses between them–all taken later in life. Despite having seriously awesome need-based financial aid, I just had my twenty year reunion, and I’m still paying back student loans.

As a woman in science, I’ve seen some great and not-so-great things, but I’ve been in a professional role that is generally more egalitarian and merit-based than most other professions. I’m also trained to gather evidence and make measured judgments. When all the “revelations” regarding Donald Trump began coming to light–that he’s essentially lecherous and likely a sexual predator–I was drawn back to the writings of Chris Kluwe. You may remember his impassioned essays in the days before marriage equality, invoking a juggernaut of rational, honest and logical arguments in favor. His piece on Locker room talk reminded me how much I enjoyed his straight-talking sense-making pieces, and so I picked up his BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONIES. It’s not necessarily a political book, but it certainly has a lot to say regarding…well, everything.

busMy Review:
I hardly review non-fiction. It’s not my thing. But I do love thoughtful, insightful essays which I tend to pick up in my daily quest for “What’s happening outside of my house?” information. BUS is a large collection of essays ‘on myths, morons, free speech, football and assorted absurdities.’ In short it’s a hodgepodge of really fascinating topics that were immediately relevant a few years ago, yet still provoke thought today–mostly because they are still part of the big mix of ideas and activities we know exist, but don’t focus on day-to-day.

There are a number of essays about the need for marriage equality. Court victories have brought this to pass, but with the rumblings of Republican candidates talking about instituting new bans, and overturning recent court decisions, it’s still important to focus on the underpinnings and moral conflicts inherent in disenfranchising a significant portion of our population based on their sexuality. I echo his sentiments here, and hope that we can work toward gender/sex equality forthwith. No reason men should get paid more than me for doing the same work after all. I have a family to support, too, folks.

Further, there’s lots of discourse on privacy, chiefly the illusion of it, our collective laziness as a society, and building ourselves echo chambers that amplify and reinforce our beliefs. I’ve certainly seen this in several venues this election cycle, with people clamoring over (non-existent) election fraud–evidenced because everyone they know and speak with is voting for a particular candidate, ergo that person must win. If not, it’s rigged I tellz ya!! Being a scientist, and having friends and family in both camps, I see more than one side, even if I don’t agree with both sides equally. And, I think that’s a big part of Kluwe’s book: being open to many facets of experience in life. Being empathetic, and just. Making learned, informed decisions. Being active in life, not simply reactive.

There’s also some ‘assorted absurdities’ which are entertaining and fun. He’s a quick wit, and doesn’t hesitate to self-deprecate. Kluwe’s candid about his nerd life, his obsessive reading, and his cluelessness regarding girls as a younger man. He also readily questions his role in society, how he–as a pro football player–lived in a rarefied space, and why? There’s a lot about religion, and the guiding principles that don’t apply to people who do not ascribe. I felt a lot of resonance there.

While non-fiction isn’t my bag, per se, I’m super glad I finally picked this one up. It gave my brain some excellent gymnastics, and ironic ‘entertainment’ to ponder. Kluwe’s brand of creative swearing is a hoot, but even when he’s not profane he makes a shit-ton of sense. Fans of George Carlin, Louis Black, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, and Samantha Bee will certainly find this book to be worth their time. If nothing else, I’ll always remember Kluwe when I consider reclining my airplane seat.

Interested? You can find BEAUTIFULLY UNIQUE SPARKLEPONIES on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and libraries everywhere.

Thanks for popping in, and be sure to check out my fellow Coffeehouse reviewers as they share thoughts regarding their fave book for October.

DANIEL & ERIK’S SUPER FAB ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST–Excerpt & Giveaway!

BannerTemplate(26)Hi there! I’m so excited to highlight a new contemporary M/M romance from K.E. Belledonne. DANIEL & ERIK’S SUPER FAB ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST is sure to charm.

Be sure to drop down and check out the excerpt and get in on the giveaway for a $25 Interlude Press gift card, or one of 5 first prizes of an e-copy of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist!.

Checklist 1600px (Smashwords, Amazon)About the book:
When Daniel gets caught up in the demands of a cheeky wedding planning app, his fiancé Erik grows frustrated with his preoccupation with adhering to heterosexual traditions. Will Daniel’s groomzilla ways give them the wedding of their dreams, or ultimately lead to their relationship’s demise?

How about a little taste?

“I think Aurora is disappointed in me.”

“What?” Erik rubbed at his eye. It wasn’t even early morning, judging by the weak light coming through the blinds from the streetlights. “Who?”

“Aurora. The wedding planning app.” Daniel lay on his back, wide awake and staring up at the ceiling.

“The wedding planning app is not a sentient being. It has no feelings or opinions.”

“I feel like she’s judging me. I’m sorry if I woke you up.”

“Oh my god, go to sleep.”

“I can’t. I’m never going to sleep ever again.” Daniel tugged the blanket higher up his chest, folding his arms over it and exhaling heavily.

“You’re being dramatic.”

“I’ve got too many things buzzing in my head. There’s too many things I’m going to forget to do.”

“I thought that’s why you had that damn app, so you don’t have to remember anything; it’s all right there saved on your tablet.”

“Yes, but I have to remember to put everything in it.″ Daniel rolled over. ″She doesn’t just know everything—”

“A: She is not a she. It is an it. B: What are we doing tomorrow?”

“Oh my god, what is the point of sharing the app calendar if you’re never going to look at it?” Daniel wailed.

“I look at it. It’s just crammed so full of everything that I have no idea what’s going on when.”

Daniel blew out his breath. ”Look, I know you don’t like the calendar. We’ve been over that, but I don’t know how else to keep track of all of these appointments and deadlines.”

“I told you, we could color-code them, or something,” Erik rolled to his side and punched at his pillow.

“Aurora doesn’t give you that option.”

“Well, it should.”

“I agree, but there’s nothing I can do about that.” Daniel bunched his pillow up under his head. “Tomorrow, we have four appointments to meet with caterers: two in the morning, two in the afternoon.”

“Why so many in one day?”

“It’s the only day we both have available this week, and I am not going to make any decisions about the food at our reception without you there to discuss it.”

“Seriously, you could just make a choice, and I’ll live with it.” Erik rolled over.

“I don’t want you to just ‘live with it,’ Erik.″ Daniel tried to keep his voice neutral, but failed. ″This is our wedding. I don’t want you to just ‘live with it.’”

“Why are you getting so worked up about it?”

“We only get one chance at this. Everything needs to be perfect.”

“You’re going to drive us both crazy, you know that, right?” Erik tugged the blankets back up over his shoulder.

“Well, then, we’ll both be crazy.” Daniel squinted up at the ceiling. He was so tired of making these decisions. Why were there so many options? Why were there so many decisions? The planning was getting on Erik’s nerves; he was getting on Erik’s nerves. Erik was getting on his nerves. They were both just a pile of irritated nerves because the to-do list didn’t seem to be getting any smaller.

Daniel’s phone chimed with another notification from Aurora.

New Private Message from: MommyMargie.

His mother probably had another ludicrous suggestion for the reception, or a passive-aggressive reminder of the hymn that she and his father had had played at their wedding, that their grandparents had had played at their wedding and that she expected to hear at his wedding. Or maybe his parents had decided to paint the living room green. Who knew?

Oh, wow! These guys!

Some thoughts from Ms. Belledonne…

Is there a character in your books that you can’t stand? And what makes them someone you don’t like?

Honestly, I don’t write characters that I don’t genuinely like in one way or another. The antagonist in this story is a Swedish woman named Annika, and she’s not an awful person – she’s just more abrupt with her opinions than Daniel (and his friends) are used to, and she doesn’t really care if you agree with her or not. She’s difficult for the Americans to get to know and to appreciate, but she’s not a “bad guy”.

I love Annika just as much as I love all the other characters.

Is there message in your novel that you hope readers grasp?

One theme that I hope come through, but that I tried not to beat my readers over the head with was that of identity – how much do we let other people influence what we, ourselves, define as our own identity, and whom do we allow, or choose, to do so. Daniel thinks that he’s been forging his own path and identity, but it becomes clear that he has been doing many things that he feels are “expected” of him, even as he thinks he’s been rebelling the conventions he grew up with.

Interested? You can find DANIEL & ERIK’S SUPER FAB ULTIMATE WEDDING CHECKLIST on Goodreads, Interlude Press, Amazon, Barnes & NobleiTunes, AllRomance, and Indiebound.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this a Rafflecopter giveaway for your chance to win a $25 Interlude Press gift card, or one of 5 first prizes of an e-copy of Daniel & Erik’s Super Fab Ultimate Wedding Checklist!
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author:

K.E. Belledonne is a writer, editor and translator. A native New Englander, Kat spends her spare time listening to Glenn Miller records, reading history books and cheering on her beloved Red Sox. Her first novel, Right Here Waiting, was published by Interlude Press in 2015.

Catch up to Ms. Belledonne on her blog, Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.
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Figuring Life Out on THE ROAD TO AMAZING–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new book in the Futon Years contemporary M/M romance series from Brent Hartinger. THE ROAD TO AMAZING is a fantastic book, and I think it can even be enjoyed with out reading the two previous books in the series, THE THING I DIDN’T KNOW I DIDN’T KNOW and BAREFOOT IN THE CITY OF BROKEN DREAMS. That said, I know I enjoyed it most because I have read those two books. Russel Middlebrook and Kevin Land are getting MARRIED!

The Road to AmazingAbout the book:
“I think gay guys like weddings more than anyone. And it’s not because we want to destroy marriage, like some people say. It’s because we really, really want to get married!”

Russel Middlebrook is gettin’ hitched!

The wedding is taking place in a remote lodge on an island in Puget Sound. Russel and his husband-to-be have invited all their close friends to spend the whole weekend together beforehand.

And for the first time in his life, Russel is determined to not be neurotic, and not over-think things.

But that’s before things start going wrong. Who expected a dead killer whale to wash up on the beach below the inn? And what’s this about a windstorm approaching? Then there’s the problem of Russel’s anxious fiancé, who is increasingly convinced the whole thing is going to be a disaster.

Meanwhile, the wedding is taking place near the ruins of a small town, Amazing, where, a hundred years earlier, the people supposedly all disappeared overnight. Why does it feel like the secret at the end of the road to Amazing has something to do with Russel’s own future?

Can Russel’s friends Min, Gunnar, Vernie, and Otto somehow help him make it all make sense?

The Road to Amazing, the final book in the Russel Middlebrook Futon Years trilogy, is a story about endings and beginnings, and also about growing up and growing older. But mostly it’s a story about love and friendship—about how it’s not the destination that makes a life amazing, but the people you meet along the way.

My Review:

Sometimes a book just sucks me in so hard that I almost cannot break away to do anything functional, like eat, or use the toilet. This book was close to that status. Russel Middlebrook’s voice is one that can take adjusting to, mostly because he’s a plain talker. He’ll speak his truth all day long, even if that truth is unreliable. And neurotic. I think I have a tiny crush on him.

Okay, enough of the fangirling. Russel and Kevin have known each other since middle school. Their on-again-off-again relationship has been documented in several books but they’ve been full-on for the past few years and are engaged to be married, and this book is all about the wedding weekend, and the zany bits that go totally wrong.

They rent a beautiful house, the Amazing Inn, on Vashon Island, Washington, and invite their closest friends: Min, Gunnar, Otto, Vernie and Nate, plus Min’s girlfriend, to arrive on Friday evening and stay for the whole weekend until the wedding ceremony on Sunday afternoon.

Kevin and Russel have been living in LA for the past couple of years and they really miss their good friends who still all live in Seattle, for the most part. This weekend is all about reconnecting, but soon it becomes calamitous. Like the forecasted storm that’s going to shove the ceremony from the epic deck overlooking the Puget Sound into the living area, or the dead orca that seems to take over the beach with its rotting stink, among other issues that nearly cause cool-headed Kevin to flip his wig.

See, Kevin has always been the grounding force in their relationship. Russel tends to get locked into his head, imagining a million worst-case scenarios, and this book flips that script. Kevin agonizes over each misadventure while Russel becomes the problem solver. And Gunnar. That certified genius expands his out-of-the-box strategy to save the day, literally, time and time again.

I felt like I was on a sun-dappled raft floating along a warm vista-filled river while reading this book. I was so engaged with Russel, and his determination to be positive and productive. His connection to all his friends, Min, Gunnar, Vernie and Otto particularly, was really special. He was in the zone, speaking to them from his heart, and learning about them and himself in the same moment. That’s the cool thing about deep friendship, being able to reveal your insecurities and know that you’ll be taken seriously. Russel had several “movie moments,” as Vernie calls them, of connection in the course of the weekend. Except, not with Kevin.

Kevin is determined to make the right show of his wedding, to prove that he’s serious about Russel, and his adult life, to all they’ve invited to assemble. Let’s remember that both Kevin and Russel are 25 years old. This is their first super-serious relationship, and they both have a sense of needing to prove themselves. Each issue that erupts to derail Kevin’s perfect wedding plans seems to also erode Kevin’s confidence and makes him a bit prickly. Russel does his best to assuage these concerns, but he’s still figuring life out, too. And his missteps make for delicious make-ups. Public (secluded) sex, anyone?

I’ll be honest, when I read the blurb for this book–after reading the actual book–I felt wistful and melancholy. I’m not ready to be done with Russel and Kevin. The Futon Years may be over, but I’m crossing my fingers for a Pacifier Years series where Russel has an unforeseen and equally dramatic change of heart and perhaps agrees to adopt some shrill and stinky youngins he cares for with his wide and deep love. A girl can dream.

Interested? You can find THE ROAD TO AMAZING on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and iTunes.

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

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

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

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

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

Serial Marriage: WILL & PATRICK-Review, Book Blast And Giveaway

Wake Up Married Banner
Hi there! Sharing a review in the book blast for a new serial from Leta Blake and Alice Griffiths. WILL & PATRICK is a rom-com romp, and sure to be spicy. Each book will come out every three weeks or so, until all six episodes are published. I’ve already read the first one, WAKE UP MARRIED and I’m eager to read more.

Check out the excerpt and be sure to enter the giveaway for your copy!

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00075]About the Book:
Join the wild ride in this vibrant and fun first installment of the new romantic comedy serial by best-selling author Leta Blake and newcomer Alice Griffiths!

After a drunken night of hot sex in Vegas, strangers Will Patterson and Dr. Patrick McCloud wake up married. A quickie divorce is the most obvious way out—unless you’re the heir of a staunchly Catholic mafia boss with a draconian position on the sanctity of marriage.

Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Will and Patrick don’t like it, or each other, but they have to make the best of it until they can find another way out of their marriage. To ensure the trust fund Will’s charitable foundation relies on isn’t revoked by his mobster grandfather, he and Patrick travel to Will’s hometown of Healing, South Dakota, posing as a newlywed couple in the throes of true love at first sight.

Complicating their scheme are Will’s unresolved feelings for his all-too-recent ex-boyfriend Ryan, and Patrick’s desire to get back to the only thing that really matters to him in life: neurosurgery. Will they fool everyone? Or will the mafia get wind that their marriage is a fake? Throw their simmering attraction into the mix and all bets are off!

Episode 1 of 6 in the Wake Up Married Serial.

How about a little taste?

Patrick sits down beside Will and rubs his hands together in anticipation. “So, what did Granny say? Can she free me from the shackles of our loveless union?”

Will puts his head in his hands. “It’s not going to be as easy as I hoped initially. It might take some time.”

“We knew that. How much time? A week? Two?”

“Maybe a month?”

“What?” Patrick’s voice is loud.

“Maybe more than a month? Possibly up to a year?”

Patrick’s eyes grow dark with anger. “Don’t tell me the all-powerful Eleanora Molinaro you were going on about so enthusiastically when you were convincing me of this half-baked scheme can’t make a little inadvertent marriage disappear.”

“Could you hold it down?” Will whispers. “Or do you want someone to hear?”

“Oooh, right, the Molinaro spies. Might have the place bugged. Guess I shouldn’t yell then? I’m not your toy, Will. I want a divorce and I want one now,” Patrick hollers.

Will glares at him. He raises his own voice, saying, “Don’t be so dramatic, baby!”

He stares Patrick down, daring him to say something else. “You know I love you more than life!”

Patrick looks daggers at him. “Who do you think you’re fooling, Will? The bellhops? The maids?” He wipes a hand across his face and rises. “You know, no. I can’t believe I’ve let your paranoia and insanity drag me across the country into this hornet’s nest of absurdity and—”

Patrick rants on, but Will’s not paying attention anymore, because Patrick’s tossing his new clothes onto the bed, and getting out his suitcases.

“Wait,” Will says, putting his hands on Patrick’s arms. “Wait, don’t.”

Patrick throws a shirt into the bag and sighs. “What do you want from me? I gave your plan a chance, but there is no way in hell I’m going to hang around this town for a year. Not when I could be at the Mayo Clinic or Cedars-Sinai or Vandy. Not when I can be honing my skills and expanding my practice. I am not small-town material, Will. I’m the big-time. I have absolutely no desire to play your loving spouse indefinitely and if
your grandmother can’t get us out of this mess? Well, I sure as hell can.”

“Look,” Will says. “I know you can. I just need you…no, no, stop that. You’re not going anywhere.” Will pushes Patrick, trying to move him away from the bags.

Patrick lurches toward him, gripping his forearms and shoving him back with surprising strength. “I’ve been pushed around enough in my life, Will. Now, if you’ll excuse me. I’m going to take care of this my way.”

Will breathes in hard. Terror and attraction jolts through him at once. He swallows and backs away from Patrick, his hands shaking, and his throat dry. Blood rushes in his ears.

Patrick picks up his bag and heads for the door. Will tries to block Patrick from getting it open.

“Really? It’s come to this? Holding me against my will?”

Will pushes the barely open door shut with a hard slam. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, Patrick. This is just our first lover’s spat. That’s all. The first of many to come in our long, wonderfully happy marriage.”

Patrick stares at him like he’s kind of impressed by this level of insanity. “Good God, you’re drinking your own Kool-Aid.”

“Yeah, well, it’s a very, very expensive drink.”

“You think you’re so clever don’t you?”

Will shrugs. “I think I don’t know what else to do.”

My Review:
This is the beginning of a serial M/M romantic comedy, but this episode is, uh, not romantic. At all.

Will Patterson is a diabetic and a recovering alcoholic with a lousy (new) ex. He’s also the eldest son of Tony Molinari, incarcerated head of a mobster family. Will’s been raised outside of that syndicate realm in tiny Healing, South Dakota, with his mother, step-siblings and paternal Nonna but he’s in possession of the Molinari trust as the eldest grandchild. He’s using the millions of blood money to fund Good Works, a charitable foundation that provides free and discounted medical care all over the world. He’s just financed the expansion of the Healing Hospital, and is at a medical conference in Las Vegas to recruit neurologists and Neurosurgeons to the hospital when he gets a call from Ryan, his on-again/off-again boyfriend of the past 6 years. Ryan lets Will know, via telephone, that they are through. For good.

We learn all of this when Will wakes up from a killer bender, naked, in a strange hotel room, and married to a man he doesn’t remember. As it all comes back into focus, Will is horrified by his actions. He’d been sober a number of years, and he adores Ryan, and he stands to lose all the monies in the Molinari trust if he divorces the now-surly and soon to be unemployed Dr. Patrick McCloud.

Patrick is a sexy, demanding Neurosurgeon. He’s the epitome of a prima donna surgeon and his ego and big mouth make him zero friends. While freaking out over his newly-married state he supremely pisses off his chief of staff, and is summarily dismissed.

Will convinces Patrick to visit Healing, and help him sort out the possibility of getting the trust amended to allow for a divorce without all the money being given back to the mob.

This predicament is rife with issues, and Will and Patrick are angry with themselves and each other for a good deal of the book. I liked Will, as he’s easily likable. Patrick’s a prickly one. I’m reserving my thoughts on him for the moment, on account of they aren’t especially flattering, and I suspect he’s going to have an epiphany in the very near future. He does show elements of compassion, especially when helping manage Will’s diabetes.

Throughout I was holding out hope for some actual tenderness to pop up between Will and Patrick, but it’s too soon, I think. This episode was truly only the first 36 hours in the aftermath of waking in their debacle. They are both hungover and freaked the heck out. There are some clear elements of Molinari menace in the background, and it’s likely that this will become more prominent in the next episode. Also, I think Patrick’s cockiness is going to get soundly trimmed soon–likely due to having fewer career options than he suspects.

I’m intrigued to read on, and hoping there will be some romantic elements in the near future.

Interested? You can find WILL & PATRICK WAKE UP MARRIED on Goodreads, Amazon, and Amazon UK.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link for your chance to win one of two copies of WILL & PATRICK Episode one.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Authors:
Leta Blake
Author of the bestselling 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 and twitter.

Alice Griffiths
A long-time reader of romance novels, Alice Griffiths finally took the plunge into writing, teaming up with best-selling author Leta Blake for the ‘Woke up Married’ serialized comedy. A lover of tropes, Alice enjoys mining old ideas and putting a fresh, funny spin on them. Formerly working in the newspaper industry, Alice is now an art curator. She lives in Sydney, Australia.

You can find out more about her by following her on Twitter and Facebook.

They Are HOPELESSLY DEVOTED–Review & Giveaway

devoted-fb copyHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for RJ Jones’ contemporary novella HOPELESSLY DEVOTED. It’s the sequel to THE ONE THAT I WANT and a cute Grease-based love tale that really touches all the heartstrings.

Be sure to drop down and enter the gift card giveaway.
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About the book:
One year on from Paul’s proposal, Jason is living a life he never dreamed of. As he fusses with his tie and readies to walk down the aisle, he reminisces about the previous twelve months. It hasn’t all been smooth sailing for the happy couple in the lead up to their wedding, with obstacles big and small thrown in their way.

Marrying one of New York’s most eligible bachelors has Jason’s stomach in knots. Expectations of their society wedding are high, but out of love for Paul, Jason goes along with the grand plans because he understands Paul’s family has a reputation to maintain. But Paul has a surprise up his sleeve that just may see Jason getting the wedding of his dreams.

Follow Jason on his journey as he prepares to marry one of the most eligible bachelors in New York and find out just how Dave got his name.

My Review:
This is the second book in the series, and really needs to be read in order, I think.

Jason is overwhelmed with love for Paul, but there’s been some issues in the year since they started dating and got engaged. They had to get used to living together, and while Paul wanted to take care of Jason, that’s just not Jason’s style. Nope, he wanted to pay some of his way–though that’s pretty hard considering Paul’s a multi-millionaire.

Part and parcel of Jason’s life is Dave, the kitty he rescued while barely just off the streets himself. Unfortunately. Dave is a jealous cat and takes particular pleasure in soiling Paul’s expensive shoes. Also, Paul’s super romantic and doesn’t want a prenuptial agreement. This is a point of contention.

This society wedding is a huge source of stress, as Jason has few friends and family, and his parents are really horrible. There are a lot of growing pains and mutual sacrifices, which I wished were discussed more in the moment. I am not a fan of extended flashbacks revealing the story, because it cuts all the tension for me, and I would have enjoyed it more if we were along for the ride instead of being told the story. That said, the end was really fun, and demonstrated Paul’s thorough love and hopeless devotion for his bean-counting Jason.

Interested? You can find HOPELESSLY DEVOTED on Goodreads, Wayward Ink, Amazon (US, UK, DE and AU) and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win one of 2 WIP gift cards of $2.99 each.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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Don’t forget to check out my review of THE ONE THAT I WANT which is all about Paul and Jason meeting and finding love on the Broadway Strip. It’s so sweet and tender. I swooned.

Interested? You can find THE ONE THAT I WANT on Wayward Ink Publishing, Amazon (US, UK, AU, and DE) and AllRomance.

About the author:
R.J. Jones started as a reader and eventually made the progression to reviewing. It wasn’t until two men popped into her thoughts, insisting on telling her their story that she started to write.

It started with one scene. A hot and dirty one in the shower…

R.J.’s initial thought was if she could write their scene then they’d shut up and allow her to concentrate on other aspects of her day. Not so. That shower scene ended up being 3000 words long and three hours of work. And still, they didn’t shut up. They told her their entire story and she didn’t sleep for days. Sometimes she couldn’t keep up with what they were telling her and she had to keep a notebook by her bed.

Whilst she was writing their story a side character decided he needed his story told too. Then other characters followed suit. You see the problem? If she ever wants to sleep again then she needs to write. R.J. is a wife and a mother to two boys. She is surrounded by males. Even her dog is a boy.

R.J. can be found online on her website, Facebook, twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

EyesOnBooks

Fairytale Love in SINDERS AND ASH–Excerpt Review & Giveaway

Sinder and Ash Blog Tour BannerHi there! Today I’m sharing my re view for SINDERS AND ASH, a contemporary retelling of Cinderella, with a M/M romance twist. You know I adore Tara Lain’s contemporary romances (Knight of Ocean Avenue and Knave of Broken Hearts) so I jumped at the chance to read this one!

Check out the sexy teaser below, and make sure to enter the $20 Amazon GC giveaway.

SindersAndAsh-400x600About the book:

Housekeeper Mark Sintorella (Sinders) works diligently at a resort hotel while designing clothes anonymously, hoping to get into fashion school. Then his carefully planned life is upended with the arrival of Ashford Armitage, son of the fifth richest man in America—and the most beautiful guy Mark has ever seen. Ash must find a wife or he’ll lose his grandfather’s inheritance, and he settles on Bitsy Fanderel. But secretly Ash is gay, and the guy who cleans the fireplaces sets his heart ablaze.

Further stirring the pot is the little elf of a man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who has Mark wearing his own designs and masquerading as a girl to impress the fashion investors in the hotel. When the clock strikes twelve, two beautiful princesses line up for the wedding—but one isn’t a woman. Will the slipper fit? Only Mr. Pennymaker knows for sure.

How about a sexy little taste?

Ash’s heart hammered. He cradled Mark’s face, his fingers overlapping the knit of the cap. Mark’s breath smelled like coconut, and his lips looked more delicious than the crème brûlée. Okay, be gentle. Don’t scare him. Gently he laid his lips against Mark’s. One second. Sweet. Two seconds. Exploration. Three seconds. Hot! Oh God, heat crept from that soft contact up to Ash’s head and straight down to his cock. Whoa. Down, boy. He pulled back. Needed more control.

Before he got an inch away, Mark grabbed his head and pulled him back until his tongue pressed like a hot intruder into Ash’s mouth. Oh yeah. Ash slid his hands down Mark’s round butt and tugged him close. Hmmm.Got a nice moan on that one. Mark ate at Ash’s mouth, sucking in his lips. His tongue pressed deep. Wow. This guy was not kidding. Had Ash just thought he should go easy?

Mark pulled back a little and sipped at Ash’s lips, then ran his tongue over the bottom one. First outside and then… oh God, he slipped his tongue inside Ash’s lip and caressed that soft, sensitive skin.

Sweet Jesus, he couldn’t stand up. Ash leaned back hard against the counter, but he knew his knees were crumpling. Strong hands reached around and smoothed over his ass, and then a finger pressed against the crack of his butt like Mark was tracing the seam of the denim—up and down. Jesus, Ash’s cock throbbed. Too much blood in there. Too long since that cock had any exercise. He wanted to rip his pants down and let that finger do its business where it belonged.

Like Mark had read his mind, one hand moved to the front and began to unfasten the buttons on Ash’s fly. Shit, he couldn’t help it. His hips pushed forward, forcing his cock against that hand like a puppy looking for milk.

Mark murmured, “Yessss.” He undid the last button, slipped his hand into the top of Ash’s boxer briefs, and found the promised land.

Whoa! Slow down there boys! LOL. Having read that scene, I can tell you, it only heats up from there!

My Review:
This is a cute tale with creative use of the Cinderella trope. Mark Sintorella, “Sinders” is a housekeeper at a posh NY resort known for its privacy and discretion. Mark is a self-trained clothing designer and spends all his spare money and time sewing couture gowns for women, using himself as a model for patterning. Because Mark’s a man, he’s often given the unwelcome task of cleaning the many fireplaces that decorate the hotel. He’s versatile, however,  (yes, pun intended) in that he also works as a server in the dining room when they are short-staffed. Enter a funny little man, Carstairs Pennymaker, who assures Mark that his androgynous physique and face are the ticket to getting his designs noticed, and Pennymaker promises to introduce Mark to prominent fashion designers. Only, when he does so, Mark is identified as “Mariel,” Pennymaker’s “niece.”
Graphic Teaser 1v2 - Sinders and AshMark’s caught up in the hubbub surrounding the arrival of billionaire Ashton Armitage and his impending wedding.

Problem? Ash isn’t engaged.

Nope, not engaged and not even interested in getting married. However, Ash has two weeks to find a spouse or risk losing his trust fund. His grandfather had written a clause into the trust mandating Ash be married by his 25th birthday or his entire trust would be liquidated and given to charity. Ash is the typical playboy, without any of the scandal. He’s got a prime education, but never worked, and he’s a closeted gay man. He’s considering making an ‘arrangement’ with a suitable woman. one who would understand he has no sexual interest in her, and would be a good companion for the ten years the trust proscribes his marriage must last.

Graphic Teaser 3 - Sinders and AshWhile staying in the posh hotel, Ash meets two women, Bitsy, who has no desire to marry him, and Mariel, niece of Mr. Pennymaker. While he’s intrigued by Bitsy, and is sure he could get along with her, Mariel turns him on. And, well, that’s NEVER happened. He’s not sure if Mariel is Pennymaker’s niece, or “piece,” but he wants to know her better. And, finding out that Mariel is Mark is only more appealing.

I liked the fast-paced transitions in this story. We have several points of view, mostly Mark’s but also Ash and even Ash’s BFF Ronnie, who has her eyes on the voluptuous Bitsy.

There are some good mis-directions, here, and a couple indecent proposals. I was glad there was so much candor, actually. I didn’t want to hate any of the characters for being liars, and I didn’t have to. As this is a M/M romance expect Mark and Ash to get to together. And expect it to be sexysexy. The whole drag thing, Mark/Mariel was a little campy and also a little rom-com-y, and I was reminded that this is more of a romantic comedy than a gritty romance. There are preposterous stakes, marrying in two weeks to receive a trust, and an equally preposterous wedding scene, which (after a big switcheroo) was something actually totally endearing when I read it.

I liked Ash and wanted him to grow up, which he did. I thought he was a little clueless regarding the clauses of his trust agreement, but that only made him seem more romantic and lovable for being willing to toss it all away. Mark is a good sport about a lot of stuff, and I was glad to see that his hard labor was appropriately rewarded. Plus, who doesn’t love androgynous fashion models and kitchen sex? Answer: Nobody.

Interested? You can find SINDERS AND ASH on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $20 Amazon gift card.
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Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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

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

You can find Tara at:

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