Making Friends With A BOY WORTH KNOWING–Review and Giveaway

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a YA M/M supernatural romance from Jennifer Cosgrove. A BOY WORTH KNOWING features a socially-isolated clairvoyant high school senior, and the new boy in school who befriends him.

Catch the excerpt below and enter to win a free book in the giveaway, too!
About the book:
Ghosts can’t seem to keep their opinions to themselves.

Seventeen-year-old Nate Shaw should know; he’s been talking to them since he was twelve. But they aren’t the only ones making his high school years a living hell. All Nate wants is to keep his secret and keep his head down until he can graduate. That is, until the new boy, James Powell, takes a seat next to him in homeroom. James not only notices him, he manages to work his way into Nate’s life. But James has issues of his own.

Between dead grandmother and living aunt, Nate has to navigate the fact that he’s falling in love with his only friend, all while getting advice from the most unusual places.

Ghosts, bullies, first love: it’s a lot to deal with when you’re just trying to survive senior year.

How about a little taste?

James didn’t bail in the upcoming week. Or the one after. And Horror Movie Sunday seemed to be well on its way to becoming a thing. I’d gotten better at ignoring the ever-present shade of James’s brother, mostly because all of my attention was on James. Yeah, it was bad. Really bad. I was setting myself up for disappointment, but my heart didn’t seem to give a damn what my head said.

That was unbelievably sappy. I had a huge crush on my only friend, and I didn’t know what to do about it except ignore it. Sounded like a plan.

At least at first. I calmed down a bit and kept the awkward at bay as we spent more time together. It became a regular thing to text each other stupid stuff before bedtime, when we’d talk about anything and everything. The regularity of it made the butterflies calm down when I saw him in person during the day.

Then one Saturday, he asked if he could stay over. I didn’t ask why, but I got the impression something had happened at home, and he wasn’t ready to tell me. And I had no idea if I should ask. Was it really my business?

James walked in without knocking—that had gone by the wayside a few weeks before—and plopped down in a kitchen chair. He looked utterly miserable.

“Hey.” God, what had happened? His voice was flat and even his hair looked dejected. Should I say something or let it go? I just wanted to be a good friend.

“Um. Hey.” Very eloquent, Nate. You suck.

James looked up, smiling weakly. The reflection off his glasses made it hard to see his eyes, but they seemed to look okay. Maybe they weren’t as sad as they were a moment before. The smile fell away, but he didn’t look quite as bad as when he’d walked through the door. “Sorry, not having a good day.”

Ask. Don’t ask. Ask. Don’t— Oh, the hell with it. “What’s going on? You want to talk about it?” God, I was terrible at these kinds of situations.

He looked up at me, and for one horrifying moment, I thought he was going to cry. His mouth did a weird crinkly thing that I never wanted to see again. James looked away

and took a few deep breaths, obviously trying to get himself back under control. He took his glasses off and swiped at his eyes with his sleeve. “Sorry.”

I wavered for a few seconds before pulling out the chair across from him and sitting down. Deep breath. “Look, there’s obviously something going on. You don’t have to tell me, but I just want you to know that you can. If you want to.” Where did that come from?

“Nate, I—” He looked down at his hands, picking at the edge of a thumbnail.

A movement out of the corner of my eye caught my attention; his brother’s ghost was standing there, looking at me. Expectantly. Like I was supposed to know what to do. I blew out a breath and waited. I wasn’t going to push.

Finally, James gave me a small smile. I breathed a sigh of relief; he wasn’t ready to talk about it, and I wasn’t quite prepared to help him. “No, I’m—I’m good. Thanks again for letting me stay here tonight.”

Relief washed over me. “So, what do you want to do?”

My Review:
Nate Shaw is a high school outcast, ostracized by his schoolmates and his own mother–all because he sees and speaks with ghosts. It’s a lonely life for Nate, living with his aunt and having no friends in his small Ohio town. He’s got a good sense of humor and he’s endearingly sweet, despite his busted heart.

James is a new student and immediately turns to Nate for friendship; the mean girls want a piece of James, but he’s not interested. His family relocated from Cincinnati after James’ brother David was killed in a car wreck. Nate’s intrigued by James, and wary of David’s ghost who clings to James like a glowing shadow. James is a kind boy, who seems to want friendship with Nate, for reasons Nate cannot fathom, but he’s eager to make the most of this opportunity. And it doesn’t hurt that James is good looking, smart and loves old school slasher flicks just like Nate.

Over time, James spends more time at Nate’s home than his own, and he begins to confide in Nate regarding David’s death. Nate feigns surprise, mostly because David had already told him the sordid tale, trying to get Nate to dissuade James from searching for motives and a possible cover-up. He’s a grief-stricken kid, wishing someone besides David was responsible for David’s death. Nate is a great friend to James, and harbors a quiet crush. It’s rather deflating when James starts dating a girl, though. Well, until James learns that Nate is interested.

This is a sweet and mostly innocent YA romance with lots of supernatural elements, because Nate meets several ghosts in the story. I really enjoyed the snappy prose and self-deprecation. Nate’s a survivor of sorts, and totally admirable. James makes some missteps, mostly because he’s oblivious–according to David’s ghost. The characters all come off as decent people, excepting the mean girls and Nate’s ridiculous mother. It was an interesting twist that Nate’s mom kicked him out for speaking with the dead, not his sexuality. That said, it’s a good read with a very happy ending. It’s “mostly” innocent, because James and Nate spend a little bit of time making out, and a very little bit of time exploring each other sexually–like a page or two. It’s all teen appropriate, and the respectful way they treat each other–and the adults treat them–will be appealing for all readers. I really liked this one, and would definitely recommend it for readers who enjoy teen romance, and positive diverse books.

Interested? You can find A BOY WORTH KNOWING on Goodreads, NineStar Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a book of your choice from Nine Star Press.
Good luck, and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jennifer Cosgrove has always been a voracious reader and a well-established geek from an early age. She loves comics, movies, and anything that tells a compelling story. When not writing, she likes knitting, dissecting/arguing about movies with her husband, and enjoying the general chaos that comes with having kids.

Catch up with Jennifer online on her website, twitter, and Goodreads.

Simple Math of LEANING INTO THE FALL–Review, Interview and Giveaway!

Hi there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a new M/M romance from Lane Hayes. LEANING INTO THE FALL is the second book in her Leaning In series, and pairs an awkward computer genius with an older, discriminating vintner. I really enjoyed watching these guys get together.

Scroll down for an interview, excerpt and to enter to win a $25 GC.
About the book:
Nick Jorgensen is a quirky genius. He’s made a fortune in the competitive high tech field with his quick mind and attention to detail. He believes in hard work and trusting his gut. And he believes in karma. It’s the only thing that makes sense. People are difficult, but numbers never lie. In the disastrous wake of a broken engagement to an investor’s daughter, Nick is more certain than ever he isn’t relationship material.

Wes Conrad owns a thriving winery in Napa Valley. The relaxed atmosphere is a welcome departure from his former career as a high-rolling businessman. Wes’s laid-back nature is laced with a fierceness that appeals to Nick. In spite of his best intention to steer clear of complications, Nick can’t fight his growing attraction to the sexy older man who seems to understand him. Even the broken parts he doesn’t get himself. However, when Wes’s past collides with Nick’s present, both men will have to have to decide if they’re ready to lean into the ultimate fall.

Random fun bits from author Lane Hayes!

Leaning Into the Fall is book 2 in my new series set in San Francisco. This story belongs to Nick and Wes, the uptight genius and the laid-back businessman. Or the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and a Napa Valley winery owner, respectively. If you’ve read my short story, Leaning Into Love, you may remember Nick as Eric’s best friend. He’s a little brash and unpredictable, but ultimately he’s a very special guy with a very unique perspective on life.

And speaking of unique perspectives, here’s a quick Q&A with some exciting topics to give you a little insight about me. LOL! Enjoy!

1. On a scale of 1 to 10 how “cool” are you?
2…LOL. No, I’ll myself a 5. Depending upon whom you ask, the answer would vary. I’m not into trends but I try to stay informed. But I’ve given up keeping my “cool”-ness on point. I am who I am.

2. How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
15 minutes tops! I can do it in 5 if necessary. ☺

3. What is the one thing you have always wanted to do?
Write a book. Done! Now I’d like to write 50 books and make a movie or ten out of them. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

4. What TV sitcom family would you be a member of?
I always wished I could be an honorary member of the Brady Bunch. *sigh

5. What store do you shop at the most?
Trader Joe’s! Gotta feed my peeps!

6. What is the most delightful word you can think of?
Serendipity.

7. What is your least favorite beverage?
Any carbonated drink. I’m not a fan of soda at all.

8. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex?
I notice how people carry themselves, regardless of whether they’re male or female. You can tell so much from the set of someone’s shoulders and whether they’re willing to make eye contact. And if they smile, they’ve generally made a good impression on me. ☺

9. What was your favorite book growing up?
Nancy Drew books. I’m a proud owner of the first sixty books of the series!

Thank you for having me on your blog today! Happy Reading!
Lane Hayes xo

How about a little taste?

Wes led me to a small room at the opposite end of the building filled with barrels. The temperature dipped at least ten degrees here and the strong scent of fermenting wine was offset by the smell of oak. I moved toward the round table in the middle and glanced up at the tower of barrels. Each was labeled and dated, but as far as I could tell, the order wasn’t chronological. I categorized and filed the numbers in my mind in an attempt to solve a mystery that probably wasn’t so mysterious after all.

“These are special reserve wines. The best of the best. Theoretically anyway,” Wes said, picking up the long-sleeved plaid shirt draped over one of the chairs at the table.

“What do the numbers mean?” I asked, running my fingers over the printed tag on the barrel.

“It’s an internal code that basically tells us exactly which vines yielded the harvest. Some have information about soil disruption or weather flux. Of course, once the wine is fermenting that information is no longer significant but—”

“Where are the dates on these labels? Isn’t timing everything in the wine business?”

“Some might argue timing is everything in every facet of life.” Wes regarded me curiously before pointing out the dates in the middle of the tag. “It’s all here. See?”

“I don’t understand your system,” I said, stuffing my hands in my back pocket and staring up at the barrels.

“It’s an internal system. You’re not meant to understand. It’s for us only. The same way you wouldn’t explain the science behind how an advanced operating system works to one of your clients. They might say they’re fascinated but they aren’t really interested in the details. Same goes for wine. People come to tour the winery every day. They want to know about grape varietals and blends and some even ask about topography, weather and the fermentation process. But the true science of wine making confounds them. At the end of the day, truth is in the bottle.”

In vino veritas.

Wes smiled as he pulled his shirt on. “’In wine, truth’,” he translated. “Different context, but yes… truth. Are you going to tell me why you’re here or do I have to break out a bottle of Pinot to get the real story?”

Wes’s wolfish grin spread slowly across his handsome face as he closed the distance between us. He tilted my chin with his forefinger and stared deep into my eyes as though he was trying to read my mind. Or devour me whole.

“You look like you want to eat me,” I said before I could stop myself.

“I do. I want to do lots of things to you. Is that why you’re here? You want me to eat you, Nicky?”

“You invited me.” My eyes drifted shut when he ran his fingers along my jaw then splayed his hand behind my head and tugged my hair.

“I did. I’m glad you came.”

“Well, we were in the middle of listing our all-time favorite bands or artists by decade. That’s not the kind of thing you can leave for a whole week. It’s important.”

“You’re right. What were we thinking?” He licked my bottom lip in a sensual line from one corner of my mouth to the other. “We’ll have to continue that discussion later. I want to do other things first.”

My Review:
Nick Jorgenson is a 30 y/o computer programmer, and CEO of a tech security firm he started out of college with his best-friend and once-boyfriend Eric. Eric is president of the company, and they are really doing great. The business is booming, and Nick’s on the edge of a breakthrough in his new cybersecurity algorithm. Personally, however, Nick’s a bit of a mess.

He’s quietly jealous of Eric’s happy-shiny marriage to one of their college buddies, and he’s disgruntled that his own engagement to the daughter of one of his financial backers fell through. He’s got ten cases of very expensive personalized wine in his office that he’s tried, unsuccessfully, to return to the Conrad Winery–where Nick had made his ill-fated proposal. The bottles were meant to be favors for the wedding that wasn’t, and Nick thinks they are bringing bad ju-ju to his creative process. Nick is a socially-awkward, borderline Asperger’s, superstitious man, who’s edge of brilliance is sometimes overshadowed by his inability to relate to “normal” humans. He knows and owns this, and yet it still gets him tearing off to Napa with his pristine Range Rover filled with pinot bottles.

Wes Conrad isn’t amused at his wine being returned for the fourth time. He’s not going to accept it back, re-label it, and re-sell it, no matter what nonsense the sexy younger man is spouting about “starting over with a clean slate.” When Nick’s car is wrecked and the bottles are a total loss, however, Wes does help him out with clean clothes, and well, a little bit of masculine affection.

Nick’s turned on and turned inside out by Wes’ tough loving. He’s never been with a man bigger, or stronger, than himself. And, he finds that he likes a little bit of rough play. Not that it’ll happen again. Except, they run into each other at a private benefit in San Francisco and it’s even better. So much so that Nick takes Wes’ invitation to visit the winery again to heart. And he does. They’re “friends with benefits” relationship seems to overtake Nick’s progress on his algorithm, and there’s a lot of paranoia building regarding competitors and their proximity to Nick, Wes and other players in their business. It turns out that Wes had a tech firm a decade before and one of Nick’s biggest competitors had made it a hard row to hoe–so much that Wes sold out and bought the winery with his best friend and former lover.

There is a whole lot going on in the book, but the center of it is always Nick and his struggles to be who he is. Wes is excellent at accepting Nick and his idiosyncrasies–even when Nick is intolerant of himself. Nick really struggles with balance; he’s impulsive and manic and all-in on things before he even knows what he’s agreed to. He has a dedicated set of friends, who care a great deal for him, and Wes is a patient and tender man, who guides Nick into seeing that he can have a good, satisfying life, if he just backs away from his blind ambition a little.

I didn’t read the first book in this series, but it wasn’t necessary to enjoy this one. There is a sweet collection of college friends, including Eric and Nick, who each seem to find the man of their dreams–so I expect that’s what’s going to happen going forward. I loved falling with Wes and Nick, and I look forward to watching the next romance unfold.

Interested? You can find LEANING INTO THE FALL on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and were winners in the 2016 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in an almost empty nest.

Catch up with Lane on her website, Facebook, twitter, and Goodreads.

Coming Together: HERE FOR US–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M/M menage romance from A. M. Arthur. HERE FOR US is a new spin off from her Perspectives series, but can be fully enjoyed on it’s own.

Like THE WORLD AS HE SEES IT, THE TRUTH AS HE KNOWS IT, and THE HEART AS HE HEARS IT, this book features a small-time gay porn actor finding a new life and a true love–but this time he finds two!

Catch the excerpt and enter to win a $25 GC to Amaonz or Barnes & Noble in the giveaway below.

About the book:
Cris Sable doesn’t walk into popular gay bar Big Dick’s expecting to find more than a casual hookup, so he’s surprised by his instant attraction and intense chemistry with go-go dancer Jake. Jake’s sexy as hell and a firecracker in bed. The sparks between them are undeniable, and what starts as a hookup evolves into something deeper, possibly permanent—until Jake dumps Cris flat on his ass for no good reason.

Angry and confused, Cris finds comfort with his longtime friend and employer Charles “Chet” Greenwood. Cris’s emotional state stirs up Charles’s long-buried feelings for Cris. Feelings he’s denied for eight years, because Cris is his employee and therefore off limits—not to mention two decades younger than Charles. Cris admits he has feelings for Charles, too, but he’s still getting over Jake and both men agree nothing can happen between them while Charles is still Cris’s boss.

Jake Bowden knows he doesn’t have anything to offer a guy. He’s a go-go dancer with no degree and no real career aspirations. He’s also used to everyone who loves him leaving, so it makes sense to cut Cris loose before things get too serious. Cris is kind, passionate and totally deserves a guy like Charles—wealthy, owns a home, successful businessman. Jake can’t compete so why bother? They’re better off together. But when Jake has a serious personal crisis, Cris and Charles unite to pull him back together, and the three men discover it’s possible—maybe even inevitable—to fall in love with more than one person at a time.

How about a little taste?

I need to fucking get laid.
The thought followed Cris Sable through the heavy industrial door that hid the throbbing interior of Big Dick’s, the most popular gay nightclub in Harrisburg. The place was hard to find if you didn’t know where it was, or if you didn’t know the big muscle bear sitting by the entrance was a bouncer. Cris hadn’t been to the club in over a year, mostly by choice, but tonight he needed something.
Definitely a drink, although he’d have to limit himself now that he was functioning with one kidney. And, if possible, he wanted to leave with a willing ass to fuck. It had been a long dry spell.
A dry spell of his own making, but still, a guy had needs, and he wasn’t looking to get his needs met by a woman tonight. Tonight he needed dick.
He eased his way over to the bar and ordered a margarita on the rocks. Something he could work his way through slowly. The club was in full swing, bodies gyrating on the dance floor, men dry humping their way through the evening. Soon early morning. At the rear of the dance floor, six go-go dancers were on risers, each decked out in one color of the rainbow. Barely-there briefs in a solid color, sparkle body paint all over their chests and legs, and some dancers even had colorful streaks in their hair. Monday was theme night for the go-go dancers, which explained why there were so many. On the other nights of the week that Cris had visited, the club usually only had three dancers.
Cris zeroed in on the dancer in blue. He loved the color blue, and this kid was pretty fucking hot in a royal blue thong, with blue swirls across his pecs and shoulders. Something kind of tribal and arty. He spun around to shake his ass, showing off very taut blue-painted cheeks. Even from the distance, he was cute. The kind of cute Cris liked to wrangle around in bed and fuck through the mattress.
Occasionally, a hand would rise from the crowd with money in it, and the blue dancer squatted low enough for the money to be tucked away in their underwear. Very strip club-esque, but Big Dick’s had a strict policy about not touching the dancers for longer than it took to tip them.
He scanned the other dancers’ faces and froze solid at the guy at the end. Despite the yellow paint, Cris knew that nearly naked body intimately enough to see past the costume and recognize Colby. Not his real name, and Cris didn’t know what it was, but they’d filmed together at Mean Green Boys roughly two years ago. Colby was only with the company for a few months before he quit to be with his boyfriend.
Cris had been intensely jealous at the time. At twenty-eight years old, he’d failed to find and maintain a serious relationship for longer than six months. And even that relationship had imploded when she found out he did gay porn. Okay, so he shouldn’t have kept that a secret for so long. He’d been so damned happy to find someone who understood and accepted he was bisexual that he’d been scared to destroy it too soon by admitting to the porn.
But secrets never did a relationship any good, and Lily had dumped his ass hard.
He’d taken a two year hiatus from porn after that, hoping to try and rebuild his flailing love life, before returning to Mean Green. The studio owner, Chet Green, was one of his closest friends—hence the very secret reason for his single remaining kidney.
“Hello, gorgeous.” A slinky number in leather pants and a silver mesh shirt slid up to Cris at the bar. Cute, kohl-lined eyes, plump lips that promised they knew how to suck a dick.
Cris grinned. “Who, me?”
“Oh, honey, we both know you’re the sexiest thing in the club tonight.” A warm arm draped over his shoulders. “Name’s Luke.”
“Cris.”
“Hmm, I think you look more like a Vincent.”
Cris tensed. No fucking way could this random guy know who he was. There was no hint of malice in his easy grin, no sign the name was anything other than a really good guess. Cris came from an Italian family from Long Island, and the genes were pretty strong. He’d rid himself of his identifying accent years ago, though, thank Christ.
“Or Vincenzo, or Anthony,” the kid said, oblivious to Cris’s racing thoughts.
“Well, it’s Cris.” Rude, fine, but he’d lost any interest in Luke. Cristian Sable was his identity now. “See you around.”
Cris pushed away from the bar and eased his way into the crowd occupying the fringes of the dance floor. A few blatant offers came his way, but Cris turned them all down. He didn’t realize he’d inched closer to the risers and his blue dancer until the guy was less than ten feet away.
Blue had a face that was both easygoing and sharp. He was enjoying himself without totally letting his guard down. And he was hella cute. Fuckable for sure.
Bodies danced frenetically all around him, allowing Cris to stay close to the wall and shift nearer to Blue. Someone held up a bill between two fingers. Blue wiggled his hips and squatted low so the money could be tucked into his g-string. The triangle of blue material held a very promising package for a smaller guy.
Blue blew a kiss to his patron, then spun in an ass-wiggling circle. His dark gaze roamed the crowd, then paused on Cris. An unexpected thrill shot through him. Some sort of instinctive acknowledgement of the man on the stage, as if they’d been waiting to meet. Blue held eye contact; Cris drew out a long, lazy smile. Blue cocked his head, winked, and then kept dancing. Cris stayed in his spot. Every few minutes, Blue glanced his way. Right into his eyes.
Target acquired.
The dancers came and went from the risers, likely taking breaks in between sets. When Blue winked again and disappeared, Cris had half a mind to try and find him. Except he didn’t work at the club, and he had no real excuse to get backstage. Cris sipped his watered-down margarita and watched the eye candy on display. The gorgeous men, the throbbing music, and the heady scents of sweat and sex worked their magic on Cris, and he was half-hard by the time a brown-haired kid with a smear of blue under both eyes sidled up next to him.
Cris studied the familiar face, now scrubbed clean except for those two very appealing smudges. His hair maintained hints of blue glitter. He’d covered that amazing body with jeans and a white sleeveless tee, but this was Cris’s dancer. Blue.
“You off the clock?” Cris asked.
“Yup.” He grabbed Cris’s glass and finished it off with a smirk that did funny things to Cris’s balls. “Damn, I think I owe you a drink.”
He laughed. “Cris.”
“Jake.” He snagged Cris’s belt and tugged him toward the bar.
The forwardness was a huge fucking turn on, and Cris’s cock was at full mast by the time they reached the bar. An older man in a sparkly vest smiled at them.
“Two margaritas on the rocks,” Jake said. “My tab.”
“On it,” the bartender said.
Cris rested one hand on Jake’s lower back, and he was surprised by the tiny thrill that vibrated up his arm. Jake pressed into his touch, eyelids fluttering as if he’d felt something similar. Cris leaned in to whisper in his ear, “Blue is my favorite color.”
Jake looked up, big brown eyes glimmering with mischief. “Oh yeah?”
“Definitely. It looks good on you.”
“Know what else would look good on me?”
Cris saw the flirty line coming, but he played along. “What’s that?”
“You.”
He nuzzled Jake’s ear with his nose. “I agree.”
The bartender slid their drinks over. Jake gulped his, while Cris only sipped. And studied his future sex partner. A good six inches shorter than him, and slimmer all over. Dance-honed muscles. Tight jeans that did nothing to hide his erection. A very One Direction boyish hotness about him that made Cris want to fuck him senseless.
“I’d ask if you want to dance,” Jake said, “but you didn’t bust a move all night.”
“Not much of a dancer.”
“No good?”
“I’m plenty good.” Cris put a little leer into those words. “But I don’t like using dancing as foreplay. I’d rather play in private.”

My Review:
Cris has been a on-again/off-again porn star working for Chet Green of Mean Green Boys producions for eight years. He’s really loved working with Chet. Their relationship is cordial and caring, without ever being intimate–despite how attracted both men feel for the other. Chet is 48, and doesn’t want to be a letch. Cris is 28, and has a complicated family history–so much so that he’s had plastic surgery to change his appearance and changed his name before ever meeting Chet.

Cris and Chet think they have no way forward, and Cris is determined to find someone to start a life with; now that he’s accepted his bisexuality, he wants a partner. His last girlfriend left because of the porn–and that hurt bad. Cris meets Jake, a go-go dancer at a popular gay bar and they hit it off immediately, but Jake’s a troubled young man, who’s been abandoned enough to fiercely guard his heart. He makes mistakes that Cris forgives, but Jake soon recognizes that Chet is likely a better match for Cris than a 23 year old soon-to-be-homeless go-go dancer.

For Cris, he’s amazed to realize he’s got a strong connection to Chet and Jake, and he agonizes on how to reconcile this. It’s not fair to him that Chet and Jake both decide for him that he should pursue the other man–and Cris only barely forges a connection with Chet before everything explodes again, and Jake needs more TLC than Cris alone can provide. This is a menage, but it doesn’t start that way. There is a physical connection with Cris and Jake, and an emotional connection with Cris and Chet, but both Chet and Jake recognize they aren’t being fair to Cris, and they develop a rapport, as well.

The relationship building isn’t instinctive, but these guys–toward the very end–decide to see if they can tolerate being together, for each other, in ways they hadn’t considered before. It’s a bit fun and exciting sexually, for all of them, but there’s also a lot of emotional investment. I liked how that developed, and I can see there is more to come for these guys in another story. We still don’t know enough about Cris’ dark past, and these guys have only begun their journey of intimacy, so I look forward to seeing all that play out. This is a new spin-off series from previous books the author has written. There are plenty of appearances from previous characters, which is rather nice, and soothing.

Interested? You can find HERE FOR US on Goodreads and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
A.M. Arthur was born and raised in the same kind of small town that she likes to write about, a stone’s throw from both beach resorts and generational farmland. She’s been creating stories in her head since she was a child and scribbling them down nearly as long, in a losing battle to make the fictional voices stop. She credits an early fascination with male friendships (bromance hadn’t been coined yet back then) with her later discovery of and subsequent love affair with m/m romance stories. A.M. Arthur’s work is available from Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, Dreamspinner Press, and SMP Swerve.
When not exorcising the voices in her head, she toils away in a retail job that tests her patience and gives her lots of story fodder. She can also be found in her kitchen, pretending she’s an amateur chef and trying to not poison herself or others with her cuisine experiments.

Catch up with Ms. Arthur on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr.

Together the MISFITS are Love–Retro Review & Giveaway!

misfits-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a “retro” review and giveaway for a menage M/M/M romance from Garrett Leigh. I’ve really loved WHAT REMAINS and RENTED HEART, but the first book I ever read by Ms. Leigh was MISFITS. I honestly hadn’t read many M/M/M menage love stories, to that point, and I found it sweet and charming. A recent re-read confirmed my initial impression.

Catch my review and enter a book giveaway below.

misfitsAbout the book:
LAMBDA FINALIST 2015

Restaurant owner Tom Fearnes has loved his partner Cass for as long as he can remember, but their work often keeps them apart. When he meets a striking young man named Jake on the vibrant streets of Camden Town, their heady first encounter takes an unexpected turn.

Jake Thompson can hardly believe his luck when he wakes up in Tom’s bed. Tom is gorgeous, kind, and . . . taken. Tom’s explanation of his open relationship leaves Jake cold, but Tom is too tempting, and when hard times force Jake to accept Tom’s helping hand, he finds himself between two men who’ve lost their way.

Cass Pearson is a troubled soul. He loves Tom with all he has, but some days it feels like he hasn’t much to give. Jake seems like the perfect solution. Cass risks everything to push Jake and Tom together, but Jake resists, wary, until the darkness of Cass’s past comes to call. Then Jake finds himself the last man standing, and it’s time to dig deep and shine a light for the men he’s grown to love.

Because MISFITS was published a few years back, it’s had time to receive a couple of notable awards, including being a Lambda Literary finalist.
awardsgrahpic

My Review:
This is a contemporary M/M/M romance set in/around London. Everybody knows I’m an Anglophile, and a book about three sexy Brits building a relationship was too intriguing to resist.

Tom and his long-time partner, Cass, own five restaurants together. Cass is the head chef and creative force, while Tom minds the business end and helps scout new locations/concepts for their uniquely developed eateries. They have been together 9 years and are in a stable, committed relationship…that is open. See, Tom and Cass work long, long hours and–with schedules like ships passing–don’t spent many nights together so they are cool with each finding a bit of companionship when necessary. They have also sometimes shared a lover, but this has been rare.

Tom meets Jake one night while scouting a potential new location. Jake is his especially candid waiter whose tics are curious. The meal is a disaster, but Tom and Jake make an impression on each other. Tom isn’t even put off by Jake’s many tics and outbursts, finding his Tourette’s syndrome oddly endearing. Tom takes Jake to his nearby flat for a good time, and Jake wakes the next morning to find Cass offering him a cup of tea. Eep!

Okay, so the thing is, Tom is a wealthy guy–has been his whole life. He’s what Cass calls a ‘fixer’–and Cass should know; Tom loved Cass back from a history of poverty, drugs, theft and incarceration. Cass figures Jake caught Tom’s eye not only because he’s attractive, but because he could sense Jake’s need for a bit of TLC. Cass encourages Tom to find Jake again, and help him if warranted.

It’s not a conscious search–Tom and Jake encounter each other randomly a few weeks later. Jake is angry, and embarrassed that Tom never mentioned Cass. He doesn’t understand Tom and Cass’s open relationship, and his attraction to Tom is frustrating. It brings out all the tics. Tom offers Jake a job, but Jake is too proud to accept it. He does offer to do some work for Tom–without pay. So, Tom takes Jake under his wing on his latest restaurant venture. They work well together, though the touchy-feely bits are not happening because Jake doesn’t want to get between Tom and Cass.

Over the course of a few months Tom, Jake and Cass interact regularly and become very close. There is a lot of relationship building here–not a short seduction moving into a whole lotta three-way sex. Nope. This book is really about relationships and I loved that. Jake is initially attracted to Tom, and feels so guilty about his feelings when he sees the deep love between Tom and Cass, but Cass makes heroic efforts to develop a friendship with Jake. Cass knows he’s distant with Tom–he has always felt inadequate to Tom’s love–and wants Tom to have a partner who really loves him and who can be around more than Cass. Not that Cass wants to leave-he doesn’t–he just wants to know that Tom has a stable lover that can see him more than one or two nights a week.

The POV shifts between Tom and Jake for the bulk of the book, though the end is all Cass. It was interesting to get Jake’s POV, because he is, quite literally, the man in the middle. Enfolding him in Tom and Cass’s relationship is platonic for a good bit of the story, and there are only a few key sex scenes that hit the page. Jake is a very compelling character due to his emotional issues, and how hard he works to have a normal life. He is unsettled by Cass–how can Cass accept him knowing how he feels for Tom?–but comes to depend upon Cass’s efforts at friendship. Cass isn’t delicate about Jake’s TS, he is blunt and Jake appreciates the freedom in talking about this condition that has been a stigma for so long. The love that Tom and Cass lavish on Jake sparks his growth into a more confidant person–and an equal partner in their developing relationship.

I really enjoyed how these men worked cooperatively for the benefit of all. A menage story is always susceptible to issues of inadequacy and dominance, but this book felt tender and compassionate. I would have read the whole book in one sitting, but I (foolishly) began it 11:30pm and had to get SOME sleep in that night.

Interested? You can find MISFITS on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon (US, or UKBarnes & Noble, Kobo, and Smashwords. I received a review copy of this book via NetGalley.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win an ebook of MISFITS.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

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

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

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

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

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

Getting Wicked in FASCINATED-A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new M/M historical romance by Jess Michaels. Set in her Wicked Woodleys series, FASCINATED brings two solitary gentlemen together, under the guise of a country house party planned by a scheming sister.

fascinatedAbout the book:
A sexy M/M historical romance in the Wicked Woodleys universe from USA Today bestselling author Jess Michaels

It’s been over a decade since Aaron Condit’s lover, Viscount Noah Seagate died. While he has had temporary diversions, he hasn’t had a real relationship since. But now he’s been invited to the home of his best friend, Leticia Blackwood and he’ll be faced with deep temptation in the form of her brother, Griffin Merrick.

Griffin has seen Aaron at certain clubs for a long time and he cannot deny that he wants the handsome solicitor. But secrets from far in the past and a desire not to hurt someone they both love stand between them. Time spent alone leads to a passionate affair, but only time will tell if they can overcome all that keeps them apart. And if they’re willing to risk losing everything in order to find love.

My Review:
I haven’t read any of the five preceding M/F novels in this series, and that was just fine because this M/M novella can handle being a standalone. Many of the characters are in the fifth book, so it might be enjoyable to start there, but it wasn’t necessary.

It’s the 1820s in western England and Letty Blackwood’s house party is about to get hot. Letty’s fond of her younger brother Griffin Merrick. She’s also great friends with, wait for it, her late husband’s former lover, Aaron Condit. That’s why she invites both of them to the country estate at Woodley for a large houseparty that’s set to span two weeks. Griffin and Letty’s mother can’t wait to see Griffin settled, and continues to push him to meet the women who come to the house for balls and tea, but Griffin’s desired Aaron for several years now–ever since he’d seen Aaron at risque clubs for men of their ilk–those who find other men attractive.

Aaron’s more than attracted to Griffin, but he’d hurt Letty once–her willingness to forgive both her late husband Noah and himself for their covert love affair is one thing. Falling for her only brother? Unthinkable. He won’t hurt her again. Still Griffin’s determined to spend as much time together as possible, and Aaron hasn’t had a stead lover since Noah died. Griffin’s sure that Aaron’s the man for him, and he’s got a plan to keep him close in a way that gentlemen of their station can–if only Aaron will give over his apprehensions about Letty’s sensibilities. Learning of Aaron and Noah’s love, and hearing how open his sister was to their relationship gives Griffin pause…and ideas.

This is a short and sweet love story that has a good bit of tension and a satisfying ending. I honestly could have spent a whole novel with these two! Letty is great, and her little machinations to put Aaron and Griffin together were heartfelt and charming. I’m used to reading English historical fiction written by British English speakers, so I kind of missed the more staid and quaint grammar and syntax, but that’s a small quibble.

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

About the Author:
USA Today Bestselling author Jess Michaels likes geeky stuff, Vanilla Coke Zero, anything coconut, cheese, fluffy cats, smooth cats, any cats, many dogs and people who care about the welfare of their fellow humans. She watches too much daytime court shows, but just enough Once Upon a Time (Captain Swan FOR LIFE). She is lucky enough to be married to her favorite person in the world and live in a beautiful home on a golf course lake in Northern Arizona.

When she’s not obsessively checking her steps on Fitbit or trying out new flavors of Greek yogurt, she writes erotic historical romances with smoking hot alpha males and sassy ladies who do anything but wait to get what they want. She has written for numerous publishers and is now fully indie and loving every moment of it (well, almost every moment).

Jess always loves to hear from readers! You can find her on her website, Facebook and twitter.

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

A Whole New World: IMAGO–Review & Giveaway!

imago-bannerHi there! Today I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a brand-new contemporary M/M romance from N.R. Walker. You know how much I adored Ms. Walker’s Aussie cowboy Red Dirt Heart series, so there was no chance I was missing IMAGO. Set in Tasmania, IMAGO pairs an awkward lepidopterist with a gung-ho forestry ranger.

Catch my review below, and be sure to enter the giveaway for a $20 Amazon GC.
imago-400x600About the book:
Nerdy, introverted genius lepidopterist, Lawson Gale, is an expert on butterflies. He finds himself in a small town in Tasmania on a quest from an old professor to find an elusive species that may or may not even exist.

Local Parks and Wildlife officer, Jack Brighton, is an ordinary guy who loves his life in the sleepy town of Scottsdale. Along with his Border collie dog, Rosemary, his job, and good friends, he has enough to keep from being lonely.

But then he meets Lawson, and he knows he’s met someone special. There’s more to catching butterflies, Jack realises. Sometimes the most elusive creatures wear bowties, and sometimes they can’t be caught at all.

Lawson soon learns there are butterflies he can’t learn about it in books. They exist only in a touch, in a kiss, in a smile. He just has to let go first, so these butterflies can fly.

Imago is the story of finding love, bowties, and butterflies.

My Review:
Jack Brighton is a forestry officer in remote Tasmania. He loves his quiet life, but would love to find a man to share it with. He certainly didn’t expect the shy, awkward, bow-tie-clad Lawson Gale to fall right into his path. Butterfly expert Lawson is out on Tasmania to help a colleague find a figment. An aging lepidopterist clams to have found a small copper-colored butterfly decades ago, and has tasked Lawson with his fruitless hunt.

Lawson’s upset that his car reservation has been lost, but he’s desperate to meet with his colleague, and accepts an offer of a ride from the burly forest agent he’d noticed on his flight. They hit it off, especially when Jack learns Lawson will be staying near his home–a small community known as Scottsdale–and searching for this elusive butterfly in the forest area Jack manages.

Over the course of the next several days, these two find ways to be together, on the hunt for the copper butterfly, and in more personal settings. It’s absolutely sweet how Jack woos Lawson with charming date nights that lead to more and more steam. I really enjoyed the science-y bits, too, as I’m a nerd. It seems that Jack’s more than a burly tote-hauler; his research, coupled with decades of stored data, provide real clues to where Lawson’s butterfly might possible exist.

The end is more climactic than the quiet romance intimated, and it’s a daring race and rescue that Lawson manages to both instigate and require. This book is a delicious romance with great characters and just enough complications to keep it interesting. I always love to feel transported to a new location, and Tasmania seems an interesting place–at least in THIS book!

Interested? You can find IMAGO on Goodreads and Amazon (US, UK, AUS, and DE)

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the author:
N.R. Walker is an Australian author, who loves her genre of gay romance. She loves writing and spends far too much time doing it, but wouldn’t have it any other way.

She is many things; a mother, a wife, a sister, a writer. She has pretty, pretty boys who live in her head, who don’t let her sleep at night unless she gives them life with words.She likes it when they do dirty, dirty things…but likes it even more when they fall in love.

She used to think having people in her head talking to her was weird, until one day she happened across other writers who told her it was normal. She’s been writing ever since…

Find Ms. Walker online on her website, Facebook, and Twitter.
signal boost

Living Past Being AFRAID TO FLY–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-published M/M romance from L.A. Witt. AFRAID TO FLY is the second book in her Anchor Point Navy-romance series, and features two mature men who’ve had their fair share of hard knocks finding love. I really liked JUST DRIVE, so I couldn’t wait to read this one.

afraid-to-flyAbout the book:
Once a fearless fighter pilot, Commander Travis Wilson is now confined to a desk. It’s been eight years since the near-fatal crash that grounded him, and it still rules his life thanks to relentless back pain.

Lieutenant Commander Clint Fraser almost drowned in a bottle after a highly classified catastrophe while piloting a drone. His downward spiral cost him his marriage and kids, but he’s sober now and getting his life back on track. He’s traded drones for a desk, and he’s determined to reconcile with his kids and navigate the choppy waters of PTSD.

Clint has been on Travis’s radar ever since he transferred to Anchor Point. When Clint comes out to his colleagues, it’s a disaster, but there’s a silver lining: now that Travis knows Clint is into men, the chemistry between them explodes.

It’s all fun and games until emotions get involved. Clint’s never been in love with a man before. Travis has, and a decade later, that tragic ending still haunts him. Clint needs to coax him past his fear of crashing and burning again, or their love will be grounded before takeoff.

My Review:
Commander Travis Wilson pilots a desk instead of fighter jets, ever since the crash and ejection that rattled his spine and left his radio-operator confined to a wheelchair. It was excellent skill that kept them both alive, but Travis’ back and nerve damage takes a constant toll–one he doesn’t want to medicate, or he’ll be relieved of duty. Let’s not forget that Trav’s a proud man, too, and unwilling to relent his position or admit he should be on disability. He’s bisexual, but more attracted to men, than women–and the only person he ever loved was a fellow pilot who couldn’t out himself before he was tragically killed.

Lt. Commander Clint Fraser is rebuilding his life after suffering PTSD over a drone mission gone wrong. Unable to speak about the super-classified mission, he treated his nightmares with liquor until his wife left, and too the kids with her. Clint hasn’t had a drink in two years, but his “coming out” at the Navy Ball is all kinds of messed up when Clint’s date shows up roaring drunk. The up-side? Travis Wilson noticed that Clint’s bisexual.

Travis and Clint work in the same building, but aren’t in the same chain of command. When they recognize that spark building between them, they keep it mostly quiet, so they can see if it builds or fizzles. Trav’s sure it’ll fizzle, as he’s not fit for the kind of sexual activity most gay men enjoy. Clint’s not put-off though, because he likes the rapport they build, and he’s not picky regarding his sexual activity; if everyone is satisfied, it’s fine to keep it a little less physically-challenging.

I liked how Travis’ adult daughter plays a role in the book. She’s got PTSD from being a family member of an actively deployed airman, and I thought that was a unique perspective to experience. Clint’s family situation is a messed up, with Skype visits and supervised visitation, and that seemed excessive. I was glad that Clint started to stand up for himself by the end of the book. Travis and Clint claim to want to keep things light, but they keep reaching out for one another, emotionally and physically. I liked the way their relationship built. The sexytimes are nice and sensual, even if they aren’t filthy-raw, and the accommodations they make to keep Travis from experiencing heightened pain were clearly defined. It felt very realistic, and sweet. The deeper their bond grows, the more Travis begins to freak out. It was good he got some sense smacked into him by his daughter, friends and Clint–who isn’t willing to take a brush-off. The end is an HEA.

Interested? You can find AFRAID TO FLY on Goodreads, Riptide Publishing, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBooks and Kobo. I received a review copy via NetGalley.

About the Author:
Lauren Gallagher is an abnormal romance writer who has recently been exiled from the glittering utopia of Omaha, Nebraska, to an undisclosed location in South America. Along with her husband, a harem of concubines, and a phosphorescent porcupine, she remains, as always, in hiding from the Polynesian Mafia. For the moment, she seems to have eluded her nemesis, M/M romance author L.A. Witt, but figures L.A. will eventually become bored with the wilds of Spain and come looking for her. And when that time comes, Lauren will be ready. Assuming L.A. doesn’t have her hands full keeping track of Lori A. Witt and Ann Gallagher, which she probably will.

Visit her website, Facebook, and twitter.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!