Happy Book Birthday WELL-TAILORED Book Blast and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m spreading the word on a new contemporary M/M romance from Silvia Violet. WELL-TAILORED is a spin-off from her Thorne and Dash series, but easily enjoyed on its own. Having read all three Thorne & Dash novels, I’m really looking forward to diving into this one!

I’ll be sharing my review in a couple weeks, but you can get in on the release week giveaway below.

About the book:
Marc longs for a grand romance, but he doubts he’ll ever be that lucky. Then he meets Darius, an arrogant tailor who pushes all his buttons. When Darius offers him a job, Marc hesitates—he needs a direction for the future, not another man who doesn’t believe in relationships.

Darius lives by a few unbreakable rules: never sleep with employees, fashion should be simple, and romance is for fools. Marc, with his shimmery-sweaters collection, makes him want to break every single one.

They quickly give in to desire, but Darius wants to protect himself and Marc refuses to repeat past mistakes. It’s only when they let go of assumptions, that love has a chance to take hold.

Well-Tailored is a companion novel to the Thorne and Dash series. It can be read as a standalone.

Interested? You can find WELL-TAILORED on Goodreads, Amazon (US and UK), Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win one of three audiobooks of PROFESSIONAL DISTANCE or PERSONAL ENTANGLEMENT.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Silvia Violet writes fun, sexy stories that will leave you smiling and satisfied. She has a thing for characters who are in need of comfort and enjoys helping them surrender to love even when they doubt it exists. Silvia’s stories include sizzling contemporaries, paranormals, and historicals. When she needs a break from listening to the voices in her head, she spends time baking, taking long walks, curling up with her favorite books, and spending time with her family.

Catch up with Sylvia on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, or sign up for her Newsletter.
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Gaining Power and Love: BRUSH WITH CATASTROPHE–Review and Giveaway!

Hit there! I’m so excited to share a review and giveaway for a recently re-released paranormal M/M romance from Tara Lain. BRUSH WITH CATASTROPHE is the second book in her Aloysius tales series about witches (and more) living among us. This one features Sam, a young witch who thinks his paintings of the future are a rather crummy ability. Until his art becomes the ultimate weapon against evil.

Catch an excerpt below, and enter the giveaway, too!

About the book:
Sammy Raphael is a crappy witch, and on top of that, he can’t seem to get a boyfriend. Where other supernaturals can bring down lightning and manifest wealth, Sammy can paint. Granted, the “prophetic” paintings he creates at night always come true, but they never predict anything important. Sammy feels like a total loser with a worthless ability.
One night he paints a gorgeous guy who turns out to be his secret crush, the human

Ryder, but Ryder’s changed so much he’s almost unrecognizably beautiful. Then Sammy paints an angel who turns out to be a witch. But is that witch also a devil—a devil who can bring down Sammy’s whole community and everyone he loves? And why the hell does Ryder keep changing? Aloysius, the black cat familiar, always backs a winner. So why is he backing Sammy?

How about a little taste?

Sammy looked down into the soup. “That’s the only kind of guy who would ever be interested in me. A cheating rat.”

“Sam, that’s not so.”

His voice shook. “Why the hell do you think he even bothered with me to begin with? What would he want with a stupid loser if he was planning on cheating with half the fucking college?” The tears squeezed out and started to drip down his cheeks.

Ryder put the tray on the dresser and wrapped Sammy in his arms. “You’re not a loser at all. You’re one of the finest people I’ve ever known. You’re kind and funny and so smart. You paint like a master. Even if you do pick strange subject matter sometimes.” Ryder chuckled and nodded toward the painting of himself on Sammy’s easel.

“You saw that?” Sammy snuffled. Maybe if he didn’t move too much Ryder would forget to let him go.

“Hard to miss that painting in a room the size of most closets.”

Pretty embarrassing. But compared to having had your energy drained by a cheating pig and your neck chained by the selfsame bastard while you were blacked out, painting a picture of your best friend you had a secret crush on was small potatoes in the shame department.

“Ready to sleep?”

No. “Yeah.” Sammy pulled the pillows out from behind him and lay back down. Al crawled up next to him. His eyelids felt weighted. “Thank you so much for taking care of me. I’ll rest tomorrow, and I should be able to go to school on Monday.”

“Yes, you’ll rest tomorrow, and I’ll see that you do. I’m not going anywhere. I want to make sure that asshole doesn’t come back. I’ll sleep on your couch and be here to take care of you in the morning.”

Sammy shook his head. “No way a human can sleep on that couch. Aloysius won’t even do it. It has lumps the size of Everest. I’ll be fine. Really.”

“Not leaving, so forget about it.”

Sweeter words were never spoken. I don’t want to be alone. He opened his eyes a slit. Ryder gazed down at him. That expression. He remembered it—from the painting. His deep eyes. So soft. So much like love.

A thick fog of exhaustion rolled over Sam, and his eyes wouldn’t stay open. “Sleep in the bed with me and Al. We don’t move much. Sleep here… prommmmissse….”

My Review:
Sam is a young witch finishing his final year of college and trying to discern his true powers. So far, he can’t cast spells, or divine when someone nearby has magic, but he is an accomplished artist. Lately, he’s had many episodes of waking in the morning with work on his easel that he painted in his sleep, images which come true in the near future. It’s always been more of a nuisance than anything, but his new paintings now illustrate key figures coming into his life.

First is his best friend, Ryder, who’s had a dramatic transformation over the summer holiday. Ryder’s taller, fitter and sexier than Sam can stand. He’s long crushed on his human bestie, and the new-improved Ryder is so so tempting. Then he draws am image of himself with Aloysius, his Witch Master’s familiar (a cat), on his own shoulder. From then on, Sam and Al are nearly inseparable. Which is puzzling, because Al’s known to associate with only the most powerful witches, and Sam’s essentially powerless–he thinks. Still, it’s not until paints Lucien that things get creepy.

Lucien is a newly-transferred witch from Prague. He’s beautiful in a deadly way, and his sights are set on capturing Sam, his power, and the whole of the Witch community, if he can…

This story has many points of view, but the most prominent are Sam and Ryder’s. Sam’s a good guy,and has many friends–a perfect target for Lucien’s attentions. Lucien uses his money and wiles to try and win Sam over, but Sam’s crush on Ryder puts the brakes on that seduction. When Ryder’s overcome seeing Sam out-and-about with Lucien, it sparks him taking a stand against his own powerful father. Throughout there were hints that Ryder isn’t exactly human, though I didn’t quite guess his heritage until the end. I did like the push and pull of the story, and the plot twists kept me guessing as to the outcome. Al, the familiar, has a great personality, and cat lovers will surely be intrigued by a series that winds a cat through all the magic. The love story for Sam and Ryder is sweet, and sexy–with both of them finally revealing their true selves to one another. Lucien and his dastardly plans are put to rest by Sam finally learning the extent of his own unique abilities. All ended well, despite the magic, mayhem and murderous intent. Expect and HEA, and to find a new series to enjoy.

Interested? You can find BRUSH WITH CATASTROPHE on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 gift card or an ebook.
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:

Thanks for popping in and keep reading my friends!

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New Love STARTING FROM SCRATCH–A Review

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a newly-released contemporary M/M romance from Jay Northcote. STARTING FROM SCRATCH is the fifth book in the Housemates series of New Adult romances set in Bristol, England. I’ve read and enjoyed every one of them, and am always ecstatic when a new one comes out. STARTING FROM SCRATCH is more poignant to me, as a reader, because it features a transgender male character–very well informed by the author’s life experiences. In a time when TG issues are being wholesale discarded by legislators in the US, it’s fantastic to get authentic stories about everyday characters who are trans.

About the book:
Starting over isn’t easy, but Ben is ready to live his life as the man he was always meant to be.

Ben is transgender and back at university after hormone treatment and chest surgery. His new housemates have no idea about his history and Ben would prefer to keep it that way. He’s starting from scratch and his life is finally on track, except in the romance department. The idea of dating guys as a guy is exhilarating but terrifying, because if Ben wants a boyfriend he’ll have to disclose his secret.

Sid is drawn to Ben from the moment they meet. He normally gets what he wants—in the short term at least. Ben’s guarded at first, and Sid’s not used to guys rejecting his advances. He eventually charms his way through Ben’s defences and helps Ben on his journey of sexual awakening.

It doesn’t matter to Sid that Ben is trans. He’s attracted to the whole person, and isn’t worried about what is—or isn’t—in Ben’s pants. They’re good together, and both of them are falling hard and fast, but Ben’s insecurities keep getting in the way. If Sid can convince Ben he’s committed, will Ben finally be able to put his heart on the line?

Although this book is part of the Housemates series, it has new main characters, a satisfying happy ending, and can be read as a standalone.

My Review:
Ben is a twenty-five year old transman returning to uni following three years off to undergo trans treatment and surgery. He shares a house with five other guys–out-gay and bisexual men from earlier book in the series–but hides his trans identity, living as a man. It’s fascinating being inside Ben’s head–his fear that he’s not being honest, but also fearing that revealing his history will cause more trouble than he can manage.

Sid is a man wishing for a steady boyfriend. He’s not had any lasting relationships and wonders if he ever will. Meeting Ben while out with mutual friends seems like a perfect opportunity, but Ben rebuffs his overtures. Ben’s not down for a quickie, and doesn’t think he measures up to the standards Sid surely has. Thing is, Jude, their mutual friend, vouches for Sid–and that prompts Ben to reach out and build a friendship. That’s one of Ben’s big goals for the year, be more social and get over his insecurities. So they chat and text and get together for coffee. The more time they spend, the more invested they become. Ben’s nervous about revealing his chest scars–from top surgery–and his manbits are quite different from that of a cismale, but Sid’s not only compassionate, he’s intrigued with Ben for who he is–and their relationship grows openly and honestly.

I was floored by the detail and delicacy of the book. I’ve read a few trans novels and am always happy to learn more about this experience and the triumphs and challenges. The Housemates books are have lots of sexytimes–and there’s no exception here. The author does a great job of bringing Ben to life, and writing a love story that feels sensitive and sexy at the same time. It was easy to feel Ben’s insecurities–and those of Sid as well. He’s a wonderful character, who really investigates his own prejudices and if they pose a risk to Ben’s emotional well-being. I loved the vulnerability of both men, and how Sid doesn’t allow Ben to push him away when he makes a mistake or three. These guys are really interesting on their own, and their interactions with their housemates is as fun as always. Oh, Ben! He wasn’t a trusting sort, but Sid did win him over completely by the end.

Interested? You can find STARTING FROM SCRATCH on Goodreads and Amazon (US or UK).

The whole housemates series is fantastic–and all can be enjoyed as standalones.
Helping Hand (Book #1) Amazon (US or UK)
Like A Lover (Book #2) Amazon (US or UK)
Practice Makes Perfect (Book #3) Amazon (US or UK)
Watching and Wanting (Book 4) Amazon (US or UK)

About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England. He comes from a family of writers, but always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed him by. He spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content.

One day, Jay decided to try and write a short story—just to see if he could—and found it rather addictive. He hasn’t stopped writing since.

Jay writes contemporary romance about men who fall in love with other men. He has five books published by Dreamspinner Press, and also self-publishes under the imprint Jaybird Press. Many of his books are now available as audiobooks.

Jay is transgender and was formerly known as she/her.

You can find Jay on his website, Twitter, Facebook Author Page, and Amazon.

Thanks for popping in, and keep reading my friends!

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Making it Permanent–BITTEN BY DESIGN Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new paranormal M/M romance from Annabelle Jacobs. BITTEN BY DESIGN is the second book in her series, and features an alternate universe, where werewolves are very much a part of everyday life, and one man doesn’t want to risk his heart by falling for a were. I really enjoyed BITTEN BY MISTAKE, and stay tuned for a review on that one in the near future. BITTEN BY DESIGN can be enjoyed as a standalone.

Catch the teaser excerpt and enter the giveaway below.

About the book:
When the last thing you want, is everything you need….

Seb Calloway isn’t interested in shifters. After his best friend bonded with one, he avoids getting involved with them—no matter how hot they are—to prevent the same thing from happening to him. Why take the risk for a few hours of fun?

Tim Walters is the pack doctor. Considered to be mild-mannered and non-threatening by pack standards, he prides himself on being able to stay calm and maintain his control at all times. Desperate for a bond of his own, he knows his interest in Seb is an exercise in futility, but he can’t seem to help himself.

When news emerges that threatens Seb’s safety, he and Tim need to fake a relationship to keep Seb safe. Despite Seb’s refusal to be anything other than friends with benefits, what starts out as pretend, quickly becomes more—for Tim at least. If Tim doesn’t want to end up heartbroken, he needs to prove to Seb that loving a shifter doesn’t mean losing himself.

My Review:
Seb Calloway is a young single gay man who’s not going to fall for a werewolf, unlike his best friend, Jared–who went and mated his wolf, Nathan. Nope, Seb wants his free will, even if it means never finding a true and fulfilling love…like Jared.

Jared, now park of the Regent’s Park Pack, is under their protection, and Seb counts as Jared’s family–so he’s protected even if he’s not interested. Thing is, Seb’s apartment seems to be the site of some low-level activity by other packs, notably the Primrose Hill pack, or a rogue shifter pack–and Seb is in danger. Plus, he gets injured and needs medical attention which brings Regent’s Park pack Doctor, Tim to the scene. Tim has been infatuated by Seb for awhile, and he’s ready to stand in and pretend to be Seb’s boyfriend. Because, well, he hopes that Seb will grow to love him enough to choose to become his mate.

This is a sometimes-bittersweet love story that mostly revolves around Tim and Seb, with lots of input from Jared and Nathan. The trouble stems from plot threads that occurred in the first book in the series, where Nathan and Jared fell in love. Nathan had broken some big laws, and important people want him punished. Seb recognizes he’s a vulnerable pawn in this pack intrigue, and he relies on Tim more and more to secure his safety. Their bond develops naturally, and is a sexy experience, for sure. I liked the character and world development, and look forward to spending more time with these London werewolves.

Interested? You can find BITTEN BY DESIGN on Goodreads and Amazon (US and UK).

****GIVEAWAY****

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

About the Author:
Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They’re usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.

Catch up with Annabelle online on her website, Facebook, twitter or email at ajacobsfiction (at) gmail (dot) com.
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Finding Love AT ATTENTION–Review and Giveaway!

Hi there! Wow, long time no see! Busy busy back to school, even when I had a break… Still, I really excited to share a review and giveaway for a new contemporary military M/M romance from Annabeth Albert. AT ATTENTION is the second book in her Out of Uniform series, and really enjoyed OFF BASE, so I couldn’t wait to read this one. It’s a new romance that pairs a younger man with the heartbroken widower he’d fallen for years before–when he comes to help out with childcare over the summer.

Catch an excerpt below, and be sure to enter the $20 Amazon GC giveaway, too!
About the book:
Lieutenant Apollo Floros can ace tactical training missions, but being a single dad to his twin daughters is more than he can handle. He needs live-in help, and he’s lucky a friend’s younger brother needs a place to stay. He’s surprised to see Dylan all grown up with a college degree…and a college athlete’s body. Apollo’s widowed heart may still be broken, but Dylan has his blood heating up.

It’s been eight years since the teenage Dylan followed Apollo around like a lovesick puppy, and it’s time he showed Lieutenant Hard-to-Please that he’s all man now—an adult who’s fully capable of choosing responsibility over lust. He can handle Apollo’s muscular sex appeal, but Apollo the caring father? Dylan can’t afford to fall for that guy. He’s determined to hold out for someone who’s able to love him back, not someone who only sees him as a kid brother.

Apollo is shocked by the intensity of his attraction to Dylan. Maybe some no-strings summer fun will bring this former SEAL back to life. But the combination of scorching desire and warm affection is more than he’d expected, and the emotion between them scares him senseless. No fling lasts forever, and Apollo will need to decide what’s more important—his past or his future—if he wants to keep Dylan in his life.

How about a little taste?

Hamburger. Onions. Pickles. Ketchup. Buns. Buns.

Well, hello, there. Possibly the most perfect specimen Apollo had ever seen was bent over in the bakery aisle at Sprouts, looking at a rack of organic cookies. High. Tight. Round. Attached to muscular legs poking out of board shorts, the kind of legs that suggested a serious investment in a sport or fitness. He wasn’t going to do more than look, but even when he’d been with Neal, he hadn’t been blind, and it was nice to know perfection like this guy existed in the world.

It was like swimming by a perfect coral reef on a dive or the blue of a cloudless sky right before a jump—

Wink. Fuck. The guy straightened before Apollo could look away and caught Apollo staring, and instead of blushing or serving him with the angry glare he deserved, he gave Apollo a saucy wink. It was the sort of wink that a decade ago would have had Apollo crossing the shiny linoleum and getting the guy’s number, but those days were long gone.

Instead he grabbed the closest twelve pack of hamburger buns and one of hot dog buns and headed to the next aisle. Those were the only kind of buns he had any business letting himself be distracted by. He was a father for crying out loud, not some single guy out treating the natural grocery store like his own personal pickup joint. Reflexively, he rubbed his ring with the side of his pinky, making it spin on his ring finger. Yeah. No more looking.

“Apollo! How are you?” Bridget from down the street almost ran her cart into his as he navigated the aisles. Her red-haired toddler waved at him from the basket.

Hell. He knew he should have brought at least one of the girls shopping. Then Bridget could have focused on the kids, and not his least favorite question in the universe.

“Hanging in there.” Apollo gave her a practiced a smile. “Good” would be a lie and no one wanted to hear “same as yesterday,” which was closer to the truth. But what the Bridgets of the world all wanted to hear was that Apollo was moving on—like time was the magic cure for the hole in his heart. “Having some people over for a barbecue later. Apologies if anyone parks in front of your place.”

“Oh, no worries.” Bridget patted his arm. “Having friends is so important.”

“Yeah, it is,” Apollo agreed because Bridget was a nice person, but inwardly his teeth gnashed together. He was so tired of well-meaning people telling him what was good for him when not a damn one of their suggestions would bring Neal back. “I better get on with my list.”

“You do that. And be sure and let us know if you need anything.”

Apollo nodded. Two years. It had been two years of neighbors and friends stopping him like this, making kind offers, but none of them able to do the one thing he wanted more than anything.

Fuck. Snap out of it, Lieutenant. No one wants your mopey ass around on this sunny May weekend. And it was an absolutely gorgeous day, perfect for playing with the girls outside and kicking back a few beers with his friends. He wasn’t on duty and had three consecutive days off for the first time in a long time. No sense dwelling on sad shit. Time to get stuff done.

Find something else to focus on.

Like that perfect ass?

No. Absolutely not that. Like…pickles. Lots and lots of pickles.

He saw Mr. Perfect Butt again in the juice aisle, and it was damn hard to keep his resolution to stick to shopping. The guy was model cute—curly hair falling just so over his forehead, sparkling eyes, chiseled jaw, and a tight T-shirt advertising a British soccer team showing off a defined chest and tight stomach. The guy smiled at him again and looked like he might want to speak, so Apollo grabbed the juice boxes for the girls and got out of there like he’d just launched a flash bang in the guy’s direction.

At the checkout, Mr. Perfect Butt was ahead of him in the only line that seemed to be moving. Apollo very carefully did not look at his butt again and busied himself grabbing some gum and trying to give off “don’t talk to me” vibes.

But those vibes seemed to be an utter failure as the guy turned, offering another movie-star-worthy grin. “You want to go first?” His voice was husky, like every word was a secret.

“I’m good,” Apollo said.

The man nodded, shy smile teasing the edges of his mouth, making his blue eyes dance. “You know—”

“ID please.” The cashier interrupted whatever flirtation the guy had planned as his six pack of beer went across the scanner.

“Oh, yeah.” A faint red flush spread up the guy’s neck. Oh hell. He wasn’t just younger than Apollo. He was a kid. A kid who still got carded, and rightfully so with that baby face. What the hell had Apollo been thinking, admiring his body?

Apollo focused on unloading his own groceries, making neat rows for the cashier, and making sure the buns wouldn’t get squished.

Buns. Nope. Not going there. The kid hung around after paying for his groceries, mouth moving as if he were debating speaking, but Apollo kept his attention squarely on the cashier.

No more looking. Remember who—what—you are now. When he finally looked up, perfect butt guy was gone, and if Apollo felt a twinge of regret for being a bit on the rude side, he squashed it quickly. Wasn’t like he’d ever see the guy again anyway.

My Review:
Lt Apollo Floros lost his beloved husband Neal two years ago. He’s grieved terribly, while putting up a strong front for his young twin daughters, Chloe and Sophia. His mother lives in his home, and helps with the childcare, but she’s leaving for a two month trip to Greece with her sisters–a lifelong dream she’s saved for years to experience–and Apollo needs help.

His best friend, Dustin, has arranged to get a suitable person to care for Apollo’s girls: his younger brother, Dylan. Dylan’s just graduated college with a degree in childhood education, and wants to manage recreation classes for kids. He’s got a gig teaching at the summer camp Apollo’s girls are attending, and will be an excellent caregiver, if only he can remember not to fall for Apollo. Again. See, Dylan met Apollo years and years ago, when he came to visit Dustin during a leave, and Apollo was the center of all Dylan’s teenaged (and not so teenaged) sexual fantasies. He’s attracted to Apollo the SEAL, but Apollo the Broken-Hearted? Apollo the Loving Father? #GoneBabyGone

Apollo wallows in his burgeoning attraction to Dylan, quelling his lust by reminding himself that Dylan is Dustin’s baby brother–and twelve years younger than himself. Thing is, Dylan is a strong, assertive man who appreciates Apollo’s micromanaging schedules, and does his darnedest to make Apollo’s life easier. Plus he’s fabulous with Chloe and Sophia. Living in Apollo’s home puts Dylan right in the eye of the storm–he hadn’t realized Apollo spent his nights in the guest room where Dylan sleeps–until Apollo confesses how he’s hardly slept in his own bed in the two years since Neal died. It’s a heart wrenching experience, watching Apollo deal–poorly–with his grief, and deny himself any thoughts of finding love again, out of loyalty to the memory of Neal.

Dylan is a great young man. He’s a partner, and a lover, when Apollo needs one desperately. Still, he’s not getting his needs met, not while Apollo insists on keeping Dylan firmly in the role of ‘babysitter’, and Dylan’s smart enough to stand up for himself, especially when Apollo is way out of line.

I loved how tender this was, and how authentically the love story developed. This isn’t an easy love, but it has the possibility of being a great one. Knowing people who never remarried after losing a spouse, I really connected with Apollo’s grief, and I was relieved when he finally connected to it, as well. There’s a lot of healing in the book–some of it sexual healing–and there’s going to be a break up to make up, but it’s really well handled and felt true. Raising twin girls can’t be easy, but they didn’t take over the story.

I loved these guys, and I loved how they found love together.

Interested? You can find AT ATTENTION on Goodreads, Carina Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and iTunes.

****GIVEAWAY****

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

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

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

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