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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Appearances Deceive: FIRE BALLS–Review and Giveaway

banner-blogtour-fire-balls-by-tara-lainHi there! Today I’m sharing a release day review and giveaway for a new M/M romance coming soon from Tara Lain. FIRE BALLS is the second book in her Balls to the Wall series and features a subdued fireman fighting the heat he feels for a flamboyant artist. I really enjoyed VOLLEY BALLS, the first book in this series, though FIRE BALLS can be enjoyed on its own.

Catch the excerpt and enter to win a $10 GC and book giveaway below!
bk-cover-fire-ballAbout the book:
Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter.

As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

How about a little taste?

Jerry leaned back on the couch. “Anyway, he’s dreamy, straight-up divine. Sweet and nice and smart. Shit, man, have you ever seen anything so beautiful?”

Too much. Rod got up and went back to the easel. At least he didn’t have to stare into Jerry’s smitten face. Crap, he wanted to be happy for the guy. He really did. “He’s beautiful, all right.”

“And guess what? He asked about you.”

No breath. “He, uh, did?”

“Yeah. Said you were so talented. See, I told you not to leave.”

“Didn’t want to be a third wheel.”

“Hey, my man, you’re my brother from another mother. What I got, you got. So I’m going on another date with him, and he loves to read and shit. Could you tell me some stuff to talk about?”

Oh dear God. “So what have you read, Jerry?”

He looked at his hands. “I, uh, read a few romance novels.”

“I think it’s okay to talk about those, but you have to know some other writers too. So think. What did you read in high school?”

“Comic books.”

“Graphic novels?”

“Yeah. Man, I love Watchmen and X-Men and Batman.”

“Comic books.” He walked over to a bookshelf he kept tucked away in the corner of the studio. When he rested on the couch, he loved to read himself to sleep. “Have you ever heard of Lord Byron?”

Jerry shook his head. “Sounds like a rock star.”

“He kind of was for his time. He was a poet.” He took out a slim volume and began to read from Childe Harold’s Pilgrimage. “Roll on, thou deep and dark blue ocean—roll! Ten thousand fleets sweep over thee in vain; man marks the earth with ruin—his control stops with the shore.” When he got to “unknelled, uncoffined, and unknown” he looked up.

Jerry’s big blue eyes shone with tears. “Hey, man, that’s awesome. Probably not a surfer, I guess. All the ‘thees’ and ‘thous’ sound kind of old. But that dude knew what a surfer feels, man. We ride on top of the—what did he call it?—deep and dark blue ocean. And we know we can sink and never be heard from again, man. Axed. It’s how we want to go if we gotta.”

He had to stop underestimating this man. Rod walked over to the couch and handed the book to Jerry. “Just be yourself. He’s got to love you.”

“Wow, thanks. But I’ll read this, man. Every word, or at least the words I understand, okay?”

He smiled. “Okay.”

“I sure do like the way you read it, though.”

Rod laughed, took back the book, and began to read.

My Review:Rodney Mansfield is a flamboyant and fierce artist living in Laguna Beach, California. His stunning nudes of sexy men are selling like crazy in the summer arts fair the city holds, and draws the object of Rodney’s affection to his gallery’s booth: Hunter, a big and burly fireman. Rodney’s hopelessly tongue-tied around Hunter though his good friend, Jerry, is equally smitten and has the gumption to actually ask Hunter out.

Rod doesn’t get the vibe that Hunter would enjoy being around him–he’s too alpha and Rod’s too flashy, and that’s mostly the truth. Hunter has built his life to please his disabled father, toning down his sexuality and even behaving in the bedroom in a way that he imagines his fellow firefighters might not find objectionable–essentially topping, when he isn’t as personally satisfied by that role. Still, Jerry–Rod’s friend–fits the image that Hunter wants to project, that of a pretty-much big, straight dude, who also happens to be gay.

That said, personality-wise, Jerry and Hunter aren’t a solid match, while Hunter and Rod are kindred spirits. Not only that, Rod knows how to speak to Hunter’s heart, and get through to his head, as well. This is a non-traditional romance, because Rob and Hunter get together only because Jerry pushes Hunter into sitting for Rod. Rod’s hating that he can’t be more than an acquaintance to Hunter, but that changes, rather abruptly, in their second sitting. This reminded me, a bit, of an updated Cyrano de Bergerac, with Rod giving the beautiful, but dim, Jerry all the right words to catch Hunter’s attention.

There isn’t a drawn-out charade, because Hunter respects Rod’s artistic skill and vision from the outset. He fears anything that might make him seem effeminate, or emasculated, in front of his fellow fireman–particularly one who’s become a stalker-y bully. It’s a big shift for Hunter to stand up for himself against the heavy weight of expectation that he’s adopted for himself. Rod and Hunter have this pseudo-adversarial, pseudo-teacher dynamic going on. Rod steps out-of-line a couple times, taking Hunter well in-hand when it didn’t seem as if the timing was right. That cut the romance-factor, for me. I was frustrated for the scenes with Hunter’s bully, because that level of unprofessionalism seemed unconscionable, especially as it was witnessed by others. The time frame also seemed a bit odd, if only because oil painting is a process that usually takes days to weeks, and the arts festival supposedly extended over that period, if we’re to believe the plot. For me, a summer-long art fest seemed unlikely, and I wondered how Rod’s painting of Hunter could have been a highlight of the show.

There’s a near-tragic incident that really brings Hunter and Rod together, and it’s all amiable with Jerry. There’s a lot of good here, even if I didn’t love every single bit. I loved how Hunter found his confidence, and his own happiness, and I loved that Rod set aside his crush to put his friend’s feelings first.

Interested? You can find FIRE BALLS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, 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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Coming Out On Top–VOLLEY BALLS Review & Giveaway!

banner-blogtour-volley-ball-by-tara-lainHi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M/M sports menage romance out today from Tara Lain. VOLLEY BALLS is the first book in her new series, and absolutely steams–but also has some real heart, too.

Catch the excerpt below and be sure to enter the giveaway too!

volleyballs400x600About the Book:
A double dose of alpha male might be better than one. Tara Lain’s popular novella, Volley Balls, is now expanded and revised.
Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

How about a little taste?

David buried his head in Gareth’s broad chest and, much to his disgust, started to cry. The feelings didn’t even make sense. Anger, jealousy, lust, and—yes, fear. At the heart of it all. He started to shake. Gareth pulled him tighter, but it wouldn’t stop. Phil’s angry face stared at him. Screamed at him. His fist descended—again and again. Pain and anger and shame. “Oh God!”

“What, love?” Gareth kissed his hair.

“I was so afraid.”

“Nothing to fear, love.”

“Phil. Oh God. He said he wanted to kill me. I think he would have if Edge hadn’t come.” He burrowed into Gareth’s arms.

“We’re here now, love. Nothing more to fear. You took care of that bastard. He won’t bother you again.”

Edge’s deep voice came from behind him. “If he comes near you, I’ll kill the asshole.”

David sucked in breath and turned in Gareth’s arms. He saw Gareth shake his head, warning Edge. “David took care of him, Edge. He got the police and had him thrown in jail.”

David wiped at his eyes. “Thank you, Gareth. I know I said I could take care of myself, but I lied. I’ve been alone so long. I only got involved with Phil because I was lonely and wanted someone to care about me. Instead, he hit me and abused me. I’m so grateful to Edge for saving me today. I’m so grateful to both of you for not being the kind of man that Phil is. So grateful.” The tears ran down his cheeks again and dripped off his chin.

Edge stepped closer and tipped up David’s chin with his finger. He did something David hardly ever saw him do. He smiled. “I know I’m a big Neanderthal with no fucking manners, but sometimes that’s a handy kind of guy to have around.” Funny how David hadn’t noticed those dimples in Edge’s cheeks before. Like you could sharpen pencils in them.

David stepped forward and wrapped his arms around Edge in a huge hug. “Thank you. I’m so glad you were there. I’m so grateful.”

Edge chuckled, and the vibration zipped straight to David’s cock. Down, boy.

Another pair of strong arms wrapped around him from behind and made it a group hug.

David giggled. “I’m the filling in an Aussie sandwich. If I’d known, it would have been my lifetime aspiration.”

My Review:
David Underwood just got out of an abusive relationship with a closeted gay man. He’s always fancied big athletic men, and he’s captivated by the sexy Australian volleyball players practicing on Laguna Beach. Of course, when he gets called out by one of the players with decidedly homophobic slurs, he skedaddles. Quick. David’s all about non-confrontation.

So, he’s rather upset when one of the volleyballers follows him to a bar. Sure, David’s blind date was going nowhere, but boring is better than beaten, right? Except Gareth isn’t like his outspoken mate, Edge. No, Gareth, though big and burly and sexy, is a closeted man himself. And, David’s not going down that path either. Well, not without Gareth considering coming out, anyway. Actually, Gareth is fed up with Edge and his father’s aggressive homophobia. He’s even made plans to transfer colleges to the LA area–his mother lives in San Diego and she’s a PFLAG-gal. She only wants Gareth happy. Meeting her reassures David that Gareth has a path to being true to himself.

And, meeting Edge after their game? Volcanic. Edge is panicked and freaks out when Gareth shuts down his slurs and comes out.

Thing is, Edge can’t comprehend how Gareth is gay. It’s a mystery to him, one he wants to untangle. And he does so by following Gareth and David around. Yeah, he’s a creeper. Good thing for David, actually. Because David’s ex is a real piece of work, and none-too-pleased to have been served with a restraining order. Connecting as protectors of David, Gareth and Edge soon realize that they have more than friendship between them–and somehow David’s able to link their desires into more than a brief tryst.

The menage was a little quick, but I did enjoy it. The book’s written from all three characters’ point-of-view, so we get a little deeper insight into Gareth and Edge, and their deeply homophobic upbringing. David’s acceptance of both of them is a balm for each. And, he’s a sweet guy. I guess I would have liked a little more development of the romance, because it seemed to wrap up really quickly. That said, it’s a mostly-fun read that has some dark moments.

Interested? You can find VOLLEY BALLS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Kobo.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $15 GC to Amazon.
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!

Cover Reveal for FIRE BALLS!

banner-crb-fire-balls-by-tara-lainHi there! Just sharing a quick cover reveal for a new M/M romance coming soon from Tara Lain. FIRE BALLS is the second book in her Balls to the Wall series and the newly revised edition will be released Feb 8th.

bk-cover-fire-ballAbout the book:
Renowned artist Rodney Mansfield stands five foot six, has pink hair, six earrings, a black belt in karate—and a desperate yearning for firefighter Hunter Fallon. But Rod, the Runtback of Notre Dame, knows he’ll never land the beautiful “straight gay” guy, so Rod musters his altruism and helps his more masculine friend Jerry attract Hunter.

As if a broken heart wasn’t enough, Rod saves Hunter from a firehouse homophobe—humiliating Hunter in front of his dad!

Hunter lives a dream life—his father’s dream. While he’d like to teach literature in college, read poetry in the sun, and find a strong guy to top him, he fights fires for his dad. Hunter hates flamboyant guys like Rodney. So why can’t he resist him? Maybe it’s time to admit this is one flame he has no desire to put out.

How about a little taste?

Jerry jerked his head frantically toward the back of the restaurant. He mouthed some words. What? Oh, men’s room. Shit. He’d never give up. “Bill, I’ve got to go to the little boys’. If the waiter comes, just order me the halibut, okay?”

Bill looked up, nodded, and went back to his culinary study. Rod scooted through the crowd to the men’s room in the back of the restaurant. He loved Jerry, but really.

He ripped open the door and found Jerry huddled—yes, that was the word—huddled against the back wall.

Rod peeked around. Nobody. He put both hands on his hips. “Darling, what the fuck?”

“I ran out of shit to say.” Jerry’s voice was small and shaky.

Well, hell, how could he be mad? “Did you talk about the poem?”

“Yeah, I did. I read it and even memorized some of it. He got so excited, man. He started asking about all these other dudes I never heard of and shit. Walt somebody. I thought maybe he meant Disney or something so I started talking about Space Mountain. Then I knew that was wrong, so I just went back to asking him questions. So I asked, ‘What other poets do you like?’ And he says some name I never heard of, like some Indian dude like Tager or something.”

“Tagore?”

“Yeah, that’s it. But I had to say I had never read anything by the guy. So he recited a little, and it was really nice, but I didn’t have any more to recite back to him. So can we come and have dinner with you?”

“What?” Well, shit. He’d been focusing on how to push a little more poetry into Jerry’s head, not expecting a damned double date. A piece of his brain—well, actually another more southern part of the anatomy—leaped at the idea of having dinner with Hunter. Get over it. He’d just be tongue-tied and awkward. Not his fave condition. “I don’t think so, Jerry. This is my first date with Bill. You’ll do fine with Hun… the fireman.”

A man walked in and used the urinal. Rod sauntered over and rinsed his hands, but Jerry kept holding up the wall. The guy washed up and left.

Jerry pushed off the ceramic tile and put his hands together, prayerful. “Puh-leez, Rod. Help me, man. Your date has to love you. You’re, you know, you. But I’d feel so much better if I had someone to help me talk to Hunter.”

And Rod would feel so much worse. Hell. “Okay, bring him over.”

“Thanks, man. You’re rad. I can’t wait for you to get to know him.” Jerry ran out of the bathroom.

Yeah, and Rod wanted to run too. Away from here. Away from a beautiful friend who owned the man he wanted. Who had earned him just by being gorgeous. Shoot. He better get to Bill before Jerry did.

Interested? You can find FIRE BALLS on Goodreads and pre-order it in advance of its Feb 8th release at Dreamspinner Press

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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Getting Real: COWBOYS DON’T COME OUT–Review & Giveaway!

banner-cowboys-dont-come-outHi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a contemporary interracial romance from Tara Lain. COWBOYS DON’T COME OUT is a standalone cowboy romance set in Maui, of all places!

Catch the excerpt and get in on the $20 GC giveaway below!

cowboysdontcomeout400x600About the book:
Rand McIntyre settles for good enough. He loves his small California ranch, raising horses, and teaching riding to the kids he adores—but having kids of his own and someone to love means coming out, and that would jeopardize everything he’s built. Then, despite his terror of flying, he goes on a holiday to Hana, Hawaii with his parents and meets the dark and mysterious Kai Kealoha, a genuine Hawaiian cowboy. Rand takes to Kai’s kid brother and sister as much as he drools over Kai, but the guy sports more prickles than a horned toad, and more secrets than the exotic land he comes from.

Kai’s earned his privacy and lives to protect his “kids.” He ought to stay away from the big, handsome cowboy for everyone’s sake—but since the guy’s just a haole on a short vacation, how much damage can he do? When all of Kai’s worst fears and Rand’s darkest nightmares come true at once, there’s not much chance for two cowboys who can’t—or won’t—come out.

How about a little taste?

He stopped and tried to hear over the rushing of the surf out beyond the reef if anyone else hid in the dark. No sounds. Fortunately, no big water hit this beach, so he didn’t have to worry about getting swamped. Actually, between the lapping waves and the brilliant moonlight, the scene resembled some fairy-tale romance. Fuck that.

Right where the dry sand verged on the wet, he flopped on his butt. What she’d said—that he settled for a good-enough life. That he wasn’t happy. Don’t I get to decide that?

He leaned back on his elbows. Yeah, but she’s right. I created a whole life—as if I was somebody else. Most people find “the one” and build a future so it suits them both. I imagined a cowboy and slid into his boots—Rand McIntyre. Say that with a drawl, son. Just one problem. I’m gay—always have been—and cowboys don’t come out. Where does that leave me? A-fucking-lone, pardner. Always will be.

You’re not the only gay cowboy.

Have you seen Brokeback Mountain? Shit.

Phosphorescence sparkled on the tops of the waves farther out. Pretty. Guess there could be all kinds of weird man-eating shit in that water.

Do you think more sharks and barracudas swim at night than during the day?

Yeah, right.

He sprang up, stripped his Hawaiian shirt off and tossed it on the sand, then pulled off the shorts his mom had given him. Commando. What would it feel like to have fishes nibbling at his balls? Not like anybody else was doing any nibbling. He strode into the water. Whoa! Not cold, just startling.

When he waded out past his thighs, his penis and balls started to float. He chuckled. Kind of like being a kid in the bathtub. Endless hours of fun playing with your own built-in toys. A few more steps, and he submerged to his shoulders. He gave a tiny shiver. Weird being sunk in inky blackness. Still, the water felt good. He kicked off and swam a few yards out, turned, and stroked back towards shore. He wasn’t a good enough swimmer to push his luck alone at night.

After treading water a couple of minutes, he pulled himself back into the shallows and sat on the hard wet beach. He glanced down. Some shrinkage, but his balls still lay on the sand. Remember to rinse them off or you’ll itch. Slowly he released his breath. What was he going to do? Answer? Same as always. Nothing. He couldn’t risk all the great shit he’d made to try to make it better.

My Review:
Rand McIntyre is a closeted cowboy running his own small ranch and B & B near Chico, California. He’s 26 and wishing he could build a family, but he won’t come out, fearing it would harm his business. He’s pulled along on a trip with is parents to Maui for Christmas, where he’s hounded by his well-meaning mother for not getting a girlfriend/wife and settling down.

It’s a problem when he meets a girl his parents love, and a sexy Hawaiian cowboy he wants to get to know better, Kai, on the very first day. Rand’s firm with his mother that Julie will ever only be a friend, no matter how much matchmaking she tries. I liked that. Obviously, closeted characters face a lot of internal conflict, and Rand is no exception. He really wants more, and he berates himself for not reaching out. Not taking a stand. We don’t learn until much later how a childhood incident has fed this desire to stay quiet, and to isolate himself from further injury. I wished I had seen a bit more of the foreshadowing on that, because–while I suspected there was a trauma–at times the clues seemed non sequitur and jarring.

Kai is taking care of his younger half-siblings, lying to all and sundry about his age, his abilities, and his home life in order to protect Aliki and Lani. They are sweet kids who’ve all had it rough. Kai works hard, but he can’t keep everyone out, and especially not Rand, who’s a great guy and eager to help. Besides, he’s so sexy, and Kai’s never had a boyfriend before. I loved the kids, and how cool they were. They have very distinct personalities, and Lani’s no joke a “little mother,” at twelve. She’s had to grow up too fast, but she’s got great instincts and she wants Rand to be a part of Kai’s life however they can work it out.

There’s a sweet bit of interracial loving, which I wished was explored a little more, but the sense of Hawaiian culture was always there. I loved how Rand put himself into really uncomfortable places to be the rock Kai needed. There were some great elements of family being the people who love you–not just your blood relations, which were sweet. The connection Kai and Rand felt from the beginning turned from attraction in to companionship pretty quickly, but there’s that moment of conflict that pushes them apart, too. There are lots of differences between Kai and Rand, and no matter what Kai won’t sacrifice the kids. The end is a huge grand gesture, with more than Rand riding to the rescue. As much as it seemed too much too soon, I still found it endearing, and lovely.

Interested? You can find COWBOYS DON’T COME OUT on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and AllRomance.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $20 GC.
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!

Cover Reveal for VOLLEY BALLS by Tara Lain

banner-crb-volley-balls-by-tara-lain
Hi there! Today I’m sharing a cover reveal for a new contemporary M/M sports romance coming soon from Tara Lain. VOLLEY BALLS is the first book in her new series, and looks to be a yummy, competitive, sexy book!

The book releases January 11th, so catch the excerpt below and see if it piques your interest!

volleyballs400x600About the Book:
A double dose of alpha male might be better than one. Tara Lain’s popular novella, Volley Balls, is now expanded and revised.
Despite just getting out of an abusive relationship with an asshole alpha, David Underwood’s wandering glance lands on two hot members of the Australian volleyball team on Laguna Beach and gets him harassed again. Still, when the delicious Gareth Marshall proves his interest by coming out to his team, David succumbs to his attraction. But Gareth’s volleyball partner, Edge, who’s equally hot, makes the lovers’ lives miserable.

For Gareth, a lifetime of hiding his orientation—and his attraction—from his best friend, Edge, as well as everyone else around him, adds up to hurt and frustration. David’s the first man to ever compete with Edge for Gareth’s passion. But Edge has secrets of his own, and David’s ex-lover will never be happy without David under his fist. With everything stacked against him, can a gay Laguna man find happiness with an alpha male–or two?

How about a little taste?

As he approached the gallery, a figure stepped away from the building. He sucked wind, stopped, and slapped a hand over his heart. Shit.Not Phil. Not Phil. He swallowed hard.

The Aussie stepped closer. “Sorry to scare you. Are you okay?”

Couldn’t quite catch his breath. He nodded, but his inhale sounded in his ears.

“Jesus, I’m sorry, David. I keep fucking this up. I should just leave you alone like you asked me.” He shook his head, turned, and started walking away down Forest.

“Wait!” Shit, did he just say that?

The guy stopped and turned. “Yeh?” The word turned up on the end—hopefully.

“I have to give you points for not giving up. After me being such a shit and all.”

“I deserved it. I just—” He shrugged. “—don’t have much experience. None with guys, you know? I’m pretty bad at it.”

“You guarantee you’re not an ax murderer?”

The guy’s perfect lips in his perfect face turned up. “Do American ax murderers admit their profession? Must make policing damned easy.”

“Yep. All the cops are busy eating donuts as we speak.”

“So no, I’m not an ax murderer.” His face sobered. “Or anyone who means you harm.” He extended his hand. “Hello. I’m Gareth Marshall.”

David shook his hand. Big. Very callused. Very warm. “Okay, Gareth.” David crossed his arms. “What’s a nice guy like you doing with a homophobic asshole like that big blond?”

All kinds of emotions flashed across his face—anger, hurt, and embarrassment seemed uppermost. “He’s my volleyball partner.” He took a breath. “And actually my best friend.”

David frowned. “So he harasses every other gay guy, but not you?”

“He doesn’t know I’m gay.”

“Uh, sorry to tell you, but in the dictionary where it says ‘best friend,’ it says ‘guy who you tell all your secrets to.’”

“I know. But we’ve been friends since we were kids. He thinks he knows everything about me.”

“He’s missed a few sucked cocks, I gather.”

Gareth did that shrug thing. “A few.”

“So where do we go from here?”

He flashed a slightly saucy smile. “Where do you want to go, mate?”

“You’re the one lurking in doorways.”

I’m intrigued, to say the least! Gareth sounds like he’s got some big secrets and problems to resolve.

Interested? You can find VOLLEY BALLS on Goodreads, and pre-order it on Dreamspinner Press. The book releases January 11th.

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!

Falling For the LORD OF A THOUSAND STEPS–Excerpt, Review and Giveaway!

Lord of a Thousand Steps Blog Tour BannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review for a new contemporary M/M romance from Tara Lain. LORD OF A THOUSAND STEPS is the fourth book in her Love in Laguna series. I really enjoyed KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE, and PRINCE OF THE PLAYHOUSE, so I couldn’t wait to read this one! It features Ian, younger brother of Jim–star of KNAVE OF BROKEN HEARTS–and so we get to follow Jim and Ken all the way to the alter, through Ian’s eyes.

Catch the excerpt and enter to win a $15 gift card down below!

LordOfAThousandSteps400About the book:
To architecture student Ian Carney, family means everything. Taken in by his brother, Jim, when his father threw him out at eighteen for being gay, Ian yearns to create his own family with his boyfriend, Rico. But Rico’s in Mexico caring for a sick father, Ian hasn’t had sex in a month and a half, and his gorgeous boss, Braden Lord, CEO of the architectural firm Ian interns for, is looking better and better.

Braden’s life is chaos. Just out of the closet and going through an ugly divorce from his wife of fifteen years who’s trying to take custody of his two children, he desperately resolves not to succumb to a completely inappropriate attraction to Ian—even though his kids adore both the man and his crazy cat.

When Rico proves to be a snake in the grass and Ian exercises his powers of seduction, what starts as a “friends with benefits” fling turns into real life real fast. Can Ian give up his romantic dreams for an “old guy” who didn’t come out until he carried a mountain of baggage? It’ll only take a thousand steps.

How about a little taste?

“Daddy! Daddy! Look at the kitty.”

The high-pitched squeal cut through Ian’s foggy brain.

Anderson shifted on his belly, then started to vibrate.

Ian opened an eye and met two gigantic blue ones only a couple of feet away. The little girl squatted down beside him on the sand in her Frozen bathing suit, gently petting Anderson’s head and getting the motorcycle response. Ian grinned. “Hi.”

She eyed him with a grain of suspicion, but the allure of the purr proved too great and she kept petting. “Hello. What’s his name?”

“Anderson.”

“That’s a most unusual name for a cat.”

He snorted, and one of her little brows rose in an expression so far beyond her years—which appeared to be somewhere around five or six—that Ian almost snorted again. Almost. One didn’t face such disdain lightly. “Yes. I suppose it is. Have you ever heard of Anderson Cooper?”

“Uh, I believe so.” She raised her head, looking behind Ian, and said, “Have I heard of Anderson Cooper, Daddy?”

Daddy? Okay, he hadn’t moved so as not to disturb the petting frenzy. Now he scrambled to sitting, getting a yowl from Anderson, and looked behind him. Well, holy shit.

Braden Lord leaned against the rocks, one hip cocked slightly, and Ian knew that because he wore very little on those hips. Just a pair of slim-fitting board shorts that cupped an ass on its way to legend and thighs Ian could only imagine in X-rated postures.

“Hi. I mean, I didn’t see you there. Sorry.” Ian brushed sand from his legs and tried to find some moderately respectable posture that wouldn’t show his half-masted cock.

“Providing a resting place for fifty-pound felines does tend to keep you in one place.” Lord laughed. “Don’t see mountain lions much on the beach.”

“Never know when you might need protection from small angels in Frozen bathing suits.”

The little girl had flopped on her butt and now proceeded to pile sand on top of Anderson, who cooperated by stretching to his full, massive length. She gave Ian that eyebrow again. “Are you referring to me?”

Best sidestep that one. Ian extended a hand. “How do you do. I’m Ian Carney. I work for your—” He glanced up at Braden. “—daddy.”

She took his hand and shook it seriously. “I’m Mireille Lord. And I really like your cat.”

“What a pretty name.” It sounded like Mir-ray. “I’m sure Anderson likes it too.”

“Thank you. My daddy picked it out.” She glanced up at Braden as she piled more sand on the cat. “Have I heard of Anderson Cooper, Daddy?”

Braden replied very seriously, “He’s a news reporter, Mireille. You might remember him because his hair is the same color as the kitty.”

“I see.” She gave Ian an approving grin. “How very clever of you.”

My Review:
4.5 Stars. This is the fourth book in the contemporary M/M romance Love in Laguna series, but can be enjoyed on its own.

Ian is a 21 year old architecture student with a prime internship at Lord & Kendrick, a well-regarded firm. His boyfriend of the past three years, Rico, has returned to Mexico to visit his ailing father, and has promised to return so he and Ian can get an apartment together. Currently, Ian lives with his brother Jim and Jim’s fiance, Ken. Their courtship was the topic of Book 2 in this series. Jima nd Ken have a deep love, and are getting ready for their wedding. It’s a great example of the kind of loving bond Ian wants, and the family he’s desperate to build, after his wealthy father cut him off for being gay three years before.

Braden Lord is a 37 year old man, top of his game in architecture, yet struggling to hold onto custody of his two kids now that he’s coming out and divorcing his wife. He deeply loves his children and feels he’s been the emotional connection in their lives–as his wife is a bit bitter and might be more interested in new shoes than caring for her offspring. Braden feels bad about his subterfuge, but he didn’t feel like he had a choice once he accidentally helped conceive Jo-Jo, his 14 y/o son. And 5 year old Mireille is a treasure he’ll never regret…but, Braden’s not had a lot of experience being gay. He was generally abstinent, and he doesn’t know how to be out. Plus, he hasn’t actually come out, exactly. He’s shamefully attracted to young Ian, who is fun and attentive, and a little starry-eyed over Mr. Lord, the famous architect. Add that they live near each other, and Braden’s kids meet and adore both Ian and his cat, Anderson Cooper, and it’s a muddle.

As the weeks go by, Ian’s upset that he rarely hears from Rico, and that he’s attracted to sexy silver fox Braden Lord. It doesn’t help that Rico strings him along for over a month before texting Ian that he won’t be coming back at all. While Ian digs into that mess for understanding and closure, he’s also drawn into a close connection with Braden, due to a client request. Gotta love assertive women! Braden’s uncomfortable spending so much time with Ian, but he can’t get out of the agreement he made with the client for this new design,. That Ian’s actually helpful in the initial concept and CAD drawings makes Braden more uncomfortable in lusting after his new assistant.

Thing is, once Rico cut the cord, Ian’s a free man, and he’s eager to help Braden learn all there is to being a gay single man–plus, the rapport with the kids is deepening, too. I liked the kid dynamic, though I felt Mireille’s speech was (oddly) more formal than a Brit ex-pat at a tea shop. I’ve got precocious kids, and her diction was the wrong side of condescending, for me. That said, I got the flavor of it. She’s a bit bossy and demanding and Braden’s doting permissiveness was beneficial, because giving Mireille her way also meant getting lots of face time with his fave boy candy.

It’s Ian who makes all the moves, though. He knows it’s a bad career move, but he’s also way attracted. Braden, who should know better, does put the brakes on a few times, but not before it causes some trouble for his divorce settlement.

This is a sweet read, that I wished had MORE STEAM. There’s such a wealth of opportunity here, yet, we didn’t experience much of it. The plot’s nice, but there were lots of times I wanted less family drama, and more romance. I was rather shocked at how Ian took charge, that first time, and expected more fall-out in the office politics game. I really enjoyed this family, though, and how Ian made it complete. The divorce drama wasn’t TOO overwhelming; I hate to think that these fictional legal issues and conversations were indicative of real-life proceedings, but I’m sure they are. Which is sad. Braden’s ex’s attorney is a hateful woman, and his ex is no prize, which was odd, considering she was a decent woman back in the day–it seemed. As a woman, I hate reading hateful women. It’s aggravating, so those scenes were always tough, for me.

That said, I love how Braden made the grand gesture, and Ian found a family that really loved him. Not that his brother and ken didn’t–because they really do–but because Ian deserves to be an integral part of a loving family, and he really gets that in Braden’s house. Plus, beach house on the cliff? Yes, please.

Interested? You can find LORD OF A THOUSAND STEPS on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press (eBook and paperback), Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iTunes, Kobo, and AllRomance.

Love in Laguna Series Collage 1-4Don’t forget to check out previous titles in the series!  KNIGHT OF OCEAN AVENUE, KNAVE OF BROKEN HEARTS and PRINCE OF THE PLAYHOUSE are all solid reads in this genre.

****GIVEAWAY****

Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $15 GC.
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!