Dangerous Allies? CERVENA–Exclusive Excerpt and Giveaway!

BannerTemplateHi there! Today I’m excited to share an exclusive excerpt and giveaway in support of a new contemporary M/M romantic thriller from Louise Lyons. CERVENA is the story of a man who finds love, only to get caught in the crossfire between gangsters and his business partner.

Check out the little taste below, and be sure to enter the giveaway for a $10 GC or a backlist book!

Cervena-HighResAbout the book:
When Joel Jones finds a homeless Russian, Sasha, outside his gay nightclub in Prague, he cannot find it in his heart to turn him away, so he offers him a home and a job as a dancer and stripper.

Despite a fifteen-year age gap, romance develops between them, but is interrupted when Joel has to return to England for many weeks to deal with a death in the family.
Upon Joel’s return, he is horrified to discover his business partner, Karel, has gambled away the club’s money and put them all at risk. Joel buys him out of the club, but when Karel continues to gamble, the people he owes pursue Joel for the debt instead—and they’ll stop at nothing to get paid.

Suddenly Joel and those he cares about—especially Sasha—are in danger, and Joel finds himself with no choice but to seek the help of known criminal, Vincenc Jankovic. Ensuring a happy future for himself and Sasha will mean a struggle and some difficult decisions, but Joel is determined to protect what they’ve built together.

How about a taste?

The sound of my cellphone ringing penetrated my sleep and I jerked awake, heart pounding. I sat up and grabbed my phone from the bedside table.

Rosalyn Calling.

“Shit!” There was only one reason my sister would call at—I glanced at the luminous hands on my clock—four thirty in the morning. I touched the green button and held the phone to my ear. “Ros, what happened?”

“Joe, you have to come home.” Her voice was thick with tears and I jumped out of bed, groping for the light switch. “We’re at the hospital. Mum’s bad.” She broke off on a sob. Panic filled me and my stomach turned over.

“All right, Ros, I’m getting dressed now.”

“Give me the phone, love.” Steve spoke in the background, and after a muffled sound, he came on the line. “Joel, Marie had a heart attack about an hour ago. They brought her in by ambulance. They had to shock her, but we don’t know yet how she’s doing.”

“I’ll be there as soon as I can.” I dragged on a pair of boxer briefs and struggled one-handed with a sock. “I’ll get a taxi to the airport and book a seat from my iPad. Where’s Rachael?”

“We left her with Andy and Clare next door. Their little girl, Emma, is her best friend.”

“Yeah, I know. Go take care of Rosalyn. I’m on my way.”

“Safe trip.” Steve hung up and I dropped my phone onto the bed. Within ten minutes I’d dressed in jeans, a warm sweater, boots, and coat, and had a large piece of hand luggage packed. I dug my passport out of a drawer, slipped my iPad into its case and my phone into my pocket, and rushed to the door.

Luckily I found a taxi in Wenceslas Square. The driver had just dropped off a customer and I hurried toward the car, waving my arm. He waited and I dived into the back seat.

“Airport,” I panted. “Quick as you can.”

Wow! This book sounds packed with feels and action. I’ve heard great things in the reviews already!

Interested? You can find CERVENA on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon (US or UK), Barnes & Noble and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click this Rafflecopter giveaway libk for your chance to win a backlist book from Louise and a $10 Amazon gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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

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

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

You can find Louise online on her website, Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.

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Recognizing Love ON THE OUTSIDE–Review & Giveaway!

BannerTemplate-15Hi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review for a new contemporary M/M romance novella from Louise Lyons. ON THE OUTSIDE recounts the developing love between two former cell mates, now that they’re out of prison.

Catch the excerpt, my review and enter to win a book and $5 gc below.

On The Outside 400 x 600About the book:
When Craig Ferguson is released from prison after a year’s sentence for fighting, he returns home to his father and brother, and the family business. Throwing himself back into the life he left, with family, work, and women, Craig tries to forget his time on the inside, but there’s one thing he just can’t get out of his mind.

Cell mate, Rocky Kirk, still has six months of his sentence to go, and after a year together in a tiny cell, Craig misses him more than he cares to admit. He does his best to forget, but when Rocky is released, and arrives on Craig’s doorstep, homeless and hurt, everything that happened between them comes flooding back.

Craig’s family takes in Rocky, now known as Kirk, and gives him a home and a job, but he’s reluctant to join in with their partying, and never seems entirely comfortable in their home. A few months later Kirk announces he has to leave, and when Craig presses him for an explanation, Kirk blurts out that his unwanted feelings for his friend are hurting him too much to stay. His admission changes everything, but Craig’s uncertainty, and fears of his father discovering their secret, threatens to ruin anything that could develop between them.

How about a little taste?

I turned away from him, barged past Dad, and took the stairs two at a time. The bathroom door shook in its frame when I kicked it shut behind me. My temper rapidly subsided, and I risked a peek at myself in the mirror above the sink. The color in my face faded, leaving me pale and wild-eyed, breathing hard. What the hell just happened?

I replayed the scene in my head, starting with the almost-kiss between Stuart and Catherine. Was there something between them? Was it really nothing? Was I pissed off because she was supposed to be dating me, or was I actually hurt? I didn’t feel hurt. It didn’t seem that important anymore. She probably wouldn’t want to see me again after my outburst and I wasn’t convinced I minded all that much. What the fuck did that say about us? The more I thought about it, the more I realized I was only angry with myself, mostly because when I’d finally got what I wanted, I didn’t want it that much anymore.

“Craig?” A gentle tap came on the door. Kirk.

My rapid heartrate escalated, and I scowled at my reflection. “Leave me alone.”

“Come on, that hand needs looking at.”

Sighing, I sat on the edge of the bath. “Come in.”

Kirk slipped into the room and closed the door behind him. “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, just fucking brilliant.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You didn’t do anything.”

“You know what I mean. Do you think there’s anything going on with her and Stuart?”

“How the fuck should I know? It looked like it, didn’t it?” I shrugged and blew my breath out hard. “I don’t fucking care anyway.”

“I thought you liked her.”

“Yeah, well. Maybe I should have stuck with the one-nighters.”

“You don’t mean that. I thought you wanted a relationship.”

“I don’t wanna talk about it.” I didn’t want to think about it anymore either. My hand stung like a bastard, and I noticed for the first time that blood was dripping all over the tiles under my feet. Before I could move, Kirk grabbed a folded towel, placed it on my knee and laid my hand on it, palm down.

“There’s a lot of glass in there.”

“You reckon you can get it out?”

“I’ll try.” He found tweezers and tissues in the bathroom cabinet, and dropped to his knees at my feet. Some of the droplets of blood soaked into his jeans and I grimaced.

“You’re getting blood on you.”

“It’ll wash.” He dabbed carefully at the back of my hand, and the tissues turned red. “This looks bad. You might need stitches.”

“I’ll be all right.” I clenched my teeth as he plucked out the first glass splinter and looked around for somewhere to put it. I reached for Dad’s can of shaving foam and flipped off the lid. “Put them in there.”

Kirk dropped each tiny piece of glass into the lid, and I counted eighteen pieces before Dad spoke from outside the door.

“Do you need to go to the hospital?”

“No. Thanks. Kirk’s fixing it.”

“Right. Good.” His feet thudded on the stairs as he returned to the football match.

“I’m missing the match.”

Kirk looked up at me and grinned, his brown eyes twinkling. “You’d rather bleed to death than miss the football?”

“Yeah, probably.”

“I think I got it all.”

“What?”

“The glass. I think I got it all out.” I dropped my gaze as he dabbed at the myriad tiny wounds with the wad of tissue. “Does it feel like there’s anything still in there?”

“No.”

“I think I saw some bandages in the cabinet.” Kirk got up and rifled through the cupboard. I stayed where I was until he kneeled down again and placed a dressing on the back of my hand. “Hold that there a minute.”

“Were you a paramedic in a previous life?”

“I did a first aid course a few years ago. I can remember most of it.” He wrapped a bandage around my hand, binding the dressing in place and making a surprisingly neat job of it. When it was done he stayed where he was, and I realized he was holding my bandaged hand in both of his and stroking my palm with one thumb. A few strands of hair had escaped the knot on the back of his head, and I had a sudden urge to tuck them behind his ear. I held my breath, staring at the top of his bent head. The only sound in the room was his breathing, and the intermittent drip from the bath tap that had needed fixing for a while.

“Thanks.” The word came out croaky, my mouth so dry I could barely speak at all.

“No problem.” Kirk jerked away, dropping my hand as if it had burnt him. Snatching up the wad of tissues, he tossed them into the toilet, and used the bloody towel to mop the floor. I stayed where I was until he opened the door and left me alone. His bedroom door opened and closed, and I made my way downstairs. I felt less concerned about my likely imminent break-up with Catherine, than I was about the moment in the bathroom.

What the hell happened? Maybe nothing. Maybe something. Did he still think about what happened between us and try not to? Jerk off and try not to remember me fucking him? Did he feel anything when he held my hand and stroked my palm, then jumped away? Jesus Christ. My heart hammered, and this time when I told myself it didn’t mean anything, and that I just kept remembering the person I’d been close to on the inside, it didn’t work.

My Review:
Craig and Kirk were cell mates in prison for a year. During that time they developed an escalating level of physical intimacy, which included sex. Craig is released six month ahead of Kirk, and struggles little on his re-entry to society. His father owns his own construction company, and Craig returns home to live with his father and younger brother, Stuart. They want Craig to go out and party on the weekends, bringing home a different gal every time, as they do. Craig would much rather find a steady girl, and struggles with the memory of his intimacy with Kirk.

Then Kirk turns up on his doorstep–friendless, homeless, and penniless. Craig’s dad accepts Craig’s recommendation to conditionally hire Kirk, and even gives him the spare room in their home until he can save up for his own flat. It seems as if everything is going well, weeks go by and Kirk fits right in, except Kirk doesn’t like to go out pulling for women. Craig meets a gal he really likes, and the friendship with Kirk suffers. Even when Craig is single, things with Kirk are strained. That is, until Kirk reveals his complete crush on Craig.

I really understood Craig’s confusion. He’s always considered himself straight, and his “bent” time in the pokey, well, that was circumstances, wasn’t it? If so, why has Craig struggled to exclude Kirk from his thoughts, and fantasies? Craig admits to himself and Kirk that he must be bisexual, and they decide to see if they can make a go of it, under cover, though. They spend some sexytime holidays, but it’s not enough, and the only way to make it work is for Craig to come out–and that is not a pleasant prospect, or experience. I kinds wanted to kick Craig in the wobbly bits, for a few moments. Good thing Stuart is a level-headed brother; his support was fantastic!

The book ends with an HEA, one given a bit of time to develop, which I appreciate. The book is about half romance, half making life work after prison. Seeing the reality side of it–the unfairness of hiring and housing practices, which are prejudiced against ex-cons, was enlightening, and poignant. It made reconciliation with Craig and his father so very important. I was glad his father didn’t allow his initial prejudice to make life harder for Craig or Kirk.

Interested? You can find ON THE OUTSIDE on Goodreads, Amazon (US or UK), AllRomance, and Smashwords.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a backlist book from Louise and a $5 gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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

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

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

You can find Louise online on her website, Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.

pride

New Love in FAVORITE TOY–Review and Giveaway!

FT-BannerTemplateHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for Louise Lyons’ FAVORITE TOY, a contemporary New Adult M/M romance released today. This one’s heart-tugger, due to injury and loss, but the love shines through.

Favorite Toy coverAbout the book:
Determined to stay single, Dean Simpson and his best friend Ryan have been playing a game, where each man chooses a potential hook-up for the other, usually someone nothing like their usual type. But with Ryan now off the market, Dean agrees to one final round of the game and allows his friend to choose his toy for the evening.

Casper Mancuso is about as far from Dean’s type as he can get. Casper is pretty, flamboyant, and attention-seeking, but sexy with it. Dean decides one night can’t hurt, but when Casper makes it clear his aim is the same as Dean’s – to have one bit of fun and then move on – Dean finds himself surprisingly disappointed.

With both men keen to avoid a relationship at all costs, it seems there can be no chance for anything between them. And yet the pair are drawn to each other and despite some hurtful comments and a very public argument, they just can’t stay away from each other. Eventually Dean is forced to admit that the very antithesis of what he usually likes is exactly what he’s been waiting for.

How about a little taste?

My heart sank as one of the other trainers from the gym caught up to me. “Wait up, Dean. I’ll go with you.”

I glanced at Mark and nodded. “Okay.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Not sure yet. I just wanted some fresh air. Maybe Subway.” It was the first thing that came into my head, although I really didn’t fancy a sandwich.

“I could go for that. Meatball marinara. Mmm.”

“I like the tuna.”

“I always have cheese and slather it in ranch dressing, and get a cookie.” Casper’s words made me smile and I wondered if he’d be having Subway today. Shit.

“Are we eating in, or taking it back to work?” Mark pushed open the door and walked inside.

“Um, maybe sit outside here?” I followed him to the counter, lining up behind a family ordering an early lunch. Most of the tables both inside and outside were empty and I stared up at the menu board as I waited, even though I knew I’d order tuna. Mark bought a foot-long meatball marinara with cheese and salad and I requested a six inch with cheese, salad, and ranch dressing. As we sat down at a table outside the window, I looked around and caught sight of Casper, just yards away and heading right for us. Automatically I ducked my head and unwrapped my sandwich, hoping he wouldn’t see me. My heart thumped wildly and my dry mouth made me wish I’d ordered a drink.

“Are you okay?” Mark raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah.”

Casper entered Subway, apparently not having noticed me. I’d kick myself if I didn’t speak to him. I might not get another chance. The fact that he’d happened to turn up at this exact moment, when he could have gone anywhere, or not even taken a break at this time, was too much of a coincidence for me to throw away. Hesitating, I debated going into the shop to speak to him, or waiting for him to come out where Mark might hear. While I thought about it, Casper got his sandwich and came out again and then I had no choice. I jumped up quickly, scraping my chair noisily on the pavement, and his eyes immediately met mine. He halted, half in and half out of the door, then shuffled forward to get out of the way of someone trying to enter.

Mark looked up at me and frowned. “Dean?”

“I’ll be back in a minute.” I moved away from the table toward Casper, aware that only about six feet separated us from Mark. “Can I speak to you for a minute?”

“What about?” His eyes narrowed.

“I wanted to say sorry. I─”

“Don’t bother. Like we both said, it was a hook up.” His voice was much too clear and I glanced anxiously at Mark, who stared back at me with wide eyes.

“Casper…shh. Can we just…?”

“Don’t shush me!” Clutching his wrapped sandwich fiercely in one hand, he planted the other hand on his hip and glared. “I don’t know why you even bothered speaking to me! You slept with me for a bet, and we all know what your real type is. Don’t think I didn’t see you with that blond guy on Friday.”

“Fuck.” Grabbing his arm, I tugged him a few steps along the street until he wrenched free. “Thanks a fucking bunch. You just outed me to one of my workmates.”

“Oh!” His scowl vanished and his cheeks flushed. “Shit. I didn’t know. I’m sorry, Dean.”

“Forget it. Like you said, I shouldn’t have bothered.” Mortified, I turned away and went back to the table. Mark’s expression said it all. I didn’t need to hear anything he might have to say, but I listened anyway. Casper had already disappeared.

My Review:
Dean is a messed up dude. He’s out to his family and close friends, but still a bit self-loathing and closeted at work. His parents, particularly his father, are really angry about his sexuality, and he’s had rocky relations with them for the past decade though his younger brother David is supportive. Dean is King of the One Nighter, often giving hook-ups the wrong personal details so they can’t track him down, and he hasn’t taken a guy to his own apartment since his uni boyfriend broke his heart five years ago.

As a bet, he and his roommate Ryan pick out guys for the other to “pick up” on the first Friday of every month, though Ryan’s getting serious with his new boyfriend, so he simply picks out lithe and femme Casper for Dean. Casper is as far from the tall, broad, muscle-bound men he usually picks up as one can get, but that doesn’t mean Casper’s eye shadow, mascara and pink tank top don’t turn him on. They do. And Dean’s also aroused by Casper’s backbone–and strangely–not turned off by Casper’s non-stop prattle. It’s as if Dean sees the mirror image of his insecure self in Casper. Not only do they go to Dean’s, Casper spends the night.

Morning after is total shite, however. Thanks Dean! Guy can barely say three words in a sentence and unwittingly makes a fool of himself trying to wave off the uncommon tenderness he felt with Casper. He’s haunted by those coarse words, however, and does what he’s always feared one of his hook-ups would do: tracks Casper down.

I really liked how Dean owned up for his BS. And, Casper’s a strong guy. He doesn’t swoon for Dean, at first. They have some further conversation, and sexytimes, and work out the kinks. Thing is, neither of these guys has ever had a relationship before. Dean was his first BF’s dirty secret, and Casper admits most guys get tired of his chatty personality rather quickly. Together, though, they are good.

Not going to sugar coat it: there’s dark days ahead. Just when it looks like Dean and Casper are set for a smooth course we have a freak accident that brings Dean’s homophobic family into the mix. It’s not pleasant, but it is true. And a bit sad. Dean and Casper weather this storm, and become stronger as a couple, but readers should expect some grief.

Interested? You can find FAVORITE TOY on Goodreads, Amazon (US or UK), Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

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

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

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

You can find Louise online on her website, Facebook, twitter and Pinterest.

pride

Learning to Love BEYOND THE SCARS–Review and Giveaway

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

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

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

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

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

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

how about a little taste?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

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

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

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

He Found Himself IN DARKEST PERU–Review and Giveaway!

peru-640 copy
Hi there! Today I’m sharing in the blog tour for Louise LyonsIN DARKEST PERU, a contemporary M/M romance novella where one jilted young man must get lost in the wilds of the Peruvian jungle in order to find himself.

IndarkestPeru-WAYWARDINKPUBLISHING-smallpreviewAbout the book:
Shy and geeky Rhys White, has recently been ditched by his boyfriend of five years. On top of that he’s been made redundant from his job as a computer programmer.

Tired of being boring and unadventurous, he throws caution to the winds and buys a plane ticket to Peru.
Rhys’ adventure in Peru starts out well, but then disaster strikes. All of his belongings are stolen. Everything is gone—passport, wallet, phone, clothing, the lot.

Stranded in Cuzco, not too far from the famous Machu Picchu, Rhys tries to find someone to help him. He’s about to give up, when a sexy Brazilian named Rafael, comes to his rescue…

My Review:
Rhys is a newly-single computer programmer who has just been let go by his employer. Rhys has always felt that his ex, Jonathan, was a good guy who loved him, but it turns out Jon was a cheater and a user, and Rhys is a bit shattered over it. His self-confidence is pretty low. He’s super down on his luck, but decides to make lemonade of all his lemons by booking a trip to Peru to explore a bit while waiting for a new job to surface.

Arriving in Peru is exciting. Rhys is finally starting to gain some confidence in his ability to navigate around when his bus to Cuzco is held up and the bandits take his bag containing all his cash and his passport. He’s several days travel from the British Consulate and has nothing to his name. Rhys is In Deepest Despair…

A young man, Rafael, hears of Rhys’ plight and offers to be his guide throughout Cuzco, and to take him to Lima–all in exchange for deferred payment. Rafael is in Peru to make money as a guide, but he isn’t certified–he needs some good recommendations before that can happen.

Thing is, Rafael is GORGEOUS. So lean and well-built, friendly and kind. Rhys is In Deepest Lust. Good thing it’s an attraction returned…

Rhys hadn’t missed the searching looks Rafael had been giving him ever since, whenever they weren’t hiking in single file. He remembered how Rafael had grabbed his hand to assist him on steep parts of the track, and how afterward he had held on a little longer than necessary, as if he enjoyed the contact and wanted an excuse for it to continue. Could this gorgeous, sexy, Latin man actually like Rhys?
“You like girls… or boys?” Rafael whispered.
“Boys,” Rhys answered breathlessly. Oh God, he does like me.
“You have a boyfriend?”
“No. I did have a boyfriend. He broke up with me a few weeks ago.”

The novella is well-paced and has delightful British humor, which always charms me. I was so happy for Rhys’ fortune to change and for him to find the love for himself that he’d lacked. (I did enjoy the steamy bits, too!) Rafael is a good soul, and the kind of guide I’d hope would rescue me if I was stranded In Darkest Peru…. 😉

Interested? You can find IN DARKEST PERU on Goodreads, Amazon (US, UK and AU), Wayward Ink Publishing, AllRomance, and Barnes & Noble.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win
$20 Wayward Ink Publishing Gift Card
$5 Amazon Gift Card
1 x eBook copy of In Darkest Peru
1 x eBook copy of Conflicted or Second Bite of the Cherry (winner’s choice)
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the author
Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the Church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of eight, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered Fan Fiction in her late twenties.

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

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Doberman, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Catch up with Louise online on her website, Twitter and Facebook.

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