Coming Clean OFF BASE–Review and Giveaway!

off-base-blitz-bannerHi there! Today I’m sharing a review and giveaway for a new contemporary M/M military romance from Annabeth Albert. OFF BASE is the first in a new military romance series and features spin-off characters from her #gaymers series. Let’s get ready to meet a closeted Navy SEAL, and the brash math prof who renovates his heart. Also, expect significant input from Josiah and Ryan from CONNECTION ERROR.

Catch the excerpt and review below and be sure to enter the giveaway for a $20 Amazon GC.
off-baseAbout the book:
After trading the barracks for a fixer-upper rental, Navy SEAL Zack Nelson wants peace, not a roommate—especially not Pike, who sees things about Zack he most wants to hide. Pike’s flirting puts virgin Zack on edge. And the questions Pike’s arrival would spark from Zack’s teammates about his own sexuality? Nope. Not going there. But Zack can’t refuse.

Pike Reynolds knows there won’t be a warm welcome in his new home. What can he say? He’s an acquired taste. But he needs this chance to get his life together. Also, teasing the uptight SEAL will be hella fun. Still, Pike has to tread carefully; he’s had his fill of tourists in the past, and he can’t risk his heart on another, not even one as hot, as built—and, okay, yeah, as adorable—as Zack.

Living with Pike crumbles Zack’s restraint and fuels his curiosity. He discovers how well they fit together in bed…in the shower…in the hallway… He needs Pike more than he could have imagined, yet he doesn’t know how to be the man Pike deserves.

How about a little taste?

“What do you mean they’re not coming?” Zack tried hard to sound like the badass navy SEAL he was now. He’d passed all sorts of interrogation training—there was no reason he couldn’t hide that he didn’t particularly like this guy. Or this fancy bar where he and his nontrendy clothes and military haircut were out of place. He’d agreed to go out for drinks with a group. His friend Ryan had promised him a drink for finishing his SEAL qualification training and getting his trident, and Zack had figured dealing with the rest of Ryan’s crowd wouldn’t be horrible. But tolerable was a far cry from being stranded alone with Pike freaking Reynolds without Ryan as a buffer.

“They blew two tires getting out of Santa Monica and are waiting on a repair truck now. Ryan said to have fun without them.” Pike looked harmless enough—shorter than Zack with a lean build and bright red hair and freckles that made him look too young to drink—but Zack knew from experience he was anything but benign. Pike was the type of guy who would flirt with wallpaper, but he seemed to have singled Zack out for special attention ever since their first meeting at a LAN party.

Which was all well and good, but unlike a lot of Ryan’s crowd, Zack wasn’t openly gay. And what Zack hated was that Pike seemed to see through all his “no, really I’m straight” protests and see things Zack refused to even think about. And a whole night with Pike? Torture. And that was coming from someone who’d been tossed into frigid water with his arms and legs bound. Repeatedly.

But he’d happily endure another round of drownproof training if it meant an easy out of this situation.

“Is Landon coming?” Please say it’s not just us. Surely, Pike’s omnipresent sidekick would be there to bail Zack out.

“Nope. He’s doing research at the Hadron Collider for the next few months. Just us, I think.” Pike grinned at him. “Alone at last, right?”

Zack guessed that the Hadron was one of those supersmart things Pike’s crowd just assumed everyone else knew about. He certainly wasn’t about to appear dumb and ask. “You don’t have to stick around on my account,” he said instead.

“Dude.” Pike smacked him on the shoulder. “I’ve had a shit week. Another three interviews for jobs for the fall, another three fuckups on my part. Don’t make me drink alone.”

“I guess I could do a beer.”

“On me, right? We’re all super stoked that you passed SQT.” Pike gave him another of those disarming smiles.

Ba-deep-deep. Zack’s phone chimed. Sure enough, there was a message from Ryan apologizing for bailing. Have fun with Pike, Ryan ended. But whatever you do, don’t let him talk you into shots. He looks scrawny, but he can drink you under the table. Trust me.

Zack shoved his phone away. Nope, no way was he doing shots with Pike. Last thing he needed was to get drunk and forget himself around the guy.

“So what’ll it be? They have a whole selection of craft beers here.” Pike offered him one of the little bar menus artfully strewn around on the huge antique wood bar.

“A Bud’s fine,” Zack said. He’d never developed a taste for the fancy stuff. This whole place was fancier than he was used to, what with the exposed hardwoods everywhere, the prettified bar food emerging from the kitchen, and the painted inspirational quotes behind the bar. Even the name, Mellow, was a far cry from the hole-in-the-wall places he’d drunk at in college or even Big Ted’s, the little sports bar right off base that his fellow SEALs favored.

Pike signaled the burly bartender, who frowned at them after Pike gave their order for a Bud and some fancy-ass beer Zack had never heard of. “Hand stamps, please. Both of you.”

Zack stuck his hand out, showing that the bouncer had indeed checked his ID. Pike put his arm right next to Zack’s—way too close for comfort. “See, look at us, finding things in common.”

“Getting carded is hardly something to be proud of,” Zack mumbled as he pulled his arm away. Back in San Diego, when he went to the bars with his friends, they never got carded anymore. And he liked that—he was twenty-three now, for crying out loud.

“Of course it’s not for you, Muscles.” Pike did that whole standing-too-close thing again, moving over so others could get to the bar.

Zack really shouldn’t like that Pike noticed what the past few months of training had done for his physique. He’d always been lean, but days of log- and boat-carry drills had carved out muscles he hadn’t even been aware he had. Zack accepted his beer from the bartender, then followed Pike to one of the little high-top tables ringing the bar area.

“Seriously, you are jacked now.” Pike winked at him, giving him the sort of once-over Zack’s buddies gave girls in bikinis. “Look at those shoulders. It even makes you look taller.”

Flattery was not going to work on Zack. Not even a bit. Besides, Pike was the short one, probably five seven or so. But Zack was a perfectly respectable five ten. In your boots.

“Truth, man. I just call it like I see it.” Pike shrugged. And that right there was the whole problem with Pike—he had absolutely no filter and a way too keen sense of observation.

My Review:
Navy SEAL Zach Nelson is a closeted gay man being tormented by one of his teammates, Cobb. He’s trying to pass, and mostly does, but he fears even experimenting with a man–because he knows his family will never accept him. And, he’s assured by Cobb that none of the guys in the squad will protect him if they find out he’s gay. Vulnerable, he looks for off-base housing so he can escape Cobb’s relentless haranguing. The senior chief of Zach’s squad has a small three-bedroom house he wants to renovate, and offers Zach free rent if he’ll do the work.

Zach struggles, however, as he’s not a handy guy. His good friends Ryan and Josiah recommend a mutual friend, Pike, to stay and help. Pike had struggled to find a job out of grad school, and has accepted a visiting prof job at a community college in San Diego. He knows Zach’s a sexually-confused man, but he’s not really prepared to teach him the secrets of gay life–no matter how attracted he is to “Muscles,” er, Zach. No. See, Pike got burned falling for a guy who wouldn’t come out before, and he’s not interested in repeating the experience.

Thing is, the more Zach and Pike live together, the more these guys fill needs for the other. Zach cares for Pike’s deranged cats. Pike is the handiest math genius in (perhaps) seventeen states. They get along far better than they had expected. And, there’s sexytimes. Pike stands-in as gay Yoda to Zach, who’s a frustrated, self-loathing virgin. I liked how they progressed from roommates to more, because it happened over the course of weeks-to-months. Zach’s frustration with Cobb’s bullying is palpable and gut-wrenching. His realization that he needs to be a better partner to Pike, when he finally accepts that they are more-than-friends, is really sweet. This is a good man, who’s lived under very constrained personal relationships. His parents are very Southern, and very religious, and very disapproving.

Pike, on the other hand, does all he can to live his truth, without bringing any harm to Zach personally or professionally. He’s a rock and a sweetheart, and a man who volunteers his heart for breaking, because Zach needs him. I really liked these guys, especially when Zach opened up about all the crap he was struggling with, not only to Pike, but to Ryan, and eventually to senior officers. There was some quelling of the homophobic comments on the squad once one of Zach’s teammates suspected his sexuality, and the handling of the bullying seemed to fit the situation. In the end, we get Pike and Zach out as a super solid couple, and I’m expecting gorgeous Lt. Apollo to find new love in one of the coming books. #Swoon.

Interested? You can find OFF BASE on Goodreads, 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.
IndiGo

Happy Book Birthday to PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT!

Hi there! I’m so excited to get the word out on a new contemporary M/M New Adult romance from Jay Northcote. PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT is the third book in her Housemates series, and can be enjoyed as a standalone. Though, to be honest, I’m sure you’ll enjoy HELPING HAND and LIKE A LOVER, too.

HousematesI’ll be sharing a review for this one in a couple weeks, but you can check out the tasty tidbit, and get in on the giveaway, below.

Practice Makes Perfect (Housemates, #3)About the book:
Getting experience with the guy next door seems like a great idea—until the lines blur.
Dev, a geeky first year physics student, has zero sexual experience and he’s determined to change that ASAP. After a bad time in halls of residence, he’s starting the summer term with different housemates and a new plan of action.

Ewan lives in the house next door to Dev. He’s young, free and single, and isn’t looking to change that anytime soon. When awkward circumstances throw them together, Ewan offers to help Dev out in the bedroom in return for maths tutoring, and Dev jumps at the chance.

They work their way through Dev’s sex-to-do list, but what starts as a perfect no-strings arrangement gets more complicated as their feelings for each other begin to grow. If they’re going to turn their lessons in lovemaking into something more permanent, they need to work out how they feel about each other—before they get to the end of Dev’s list.

How about a little taste?

Sitting on his bed, Dev yawned, his full stomach making him sleepy. He stared at his phone as he contemplated calling home but decided he couldn’t face it tonight. He loved his mum, but she did tend to bang on. Once she got him on the line, she’d end up talking for ages and asking him a million questions he was too tired to answer. Instead, he sent his mum a quick text.
All moved in, everything’s good. I’m shattered now so I’m going to have an early night. I’ll call you tomorrow.
She replied within seconds as though she’d been waiting for him to call.
Okay sweetie, glad you’re settled. Sleep well xxx
He picked up his notepad and crossed off phone home. Texting counted. He also crossed off everything else on his list for today.
That was Saturday done. Dev set his notepad aside, opened his laptop, and pulled up his lists app. He liked his notepad for day-to- day organisation; it gave him a certain satisfaction to cross out the things he’d done and to get to the end of the day with all the tasks completed. But for longer-term planning, he kept his lists on his Mac, synced to his phone.

For the first time in six months, Dev could breathe again. Finally he had a safe place where he could get back on track and look to the future. He began to type.
Things To Do This Term
Make some friends
Learn to cook
Research sex stuff
Join Grindr
Get some experience
Find a boyfriend

He stared at the words on the screen and sighed. That seemed like a lot of things to aim for. But it was good to have goals, right? Jez and Mac seemed really nice, so hopefully Dev was already on his way to achieving the first objective. And that bloke Ewan… Dev’s mind conjured up the image of the flame-haired hunk who lived next door. Ewan had been friendly.
Maybe there was potential there too.

I can tell you this is a sweet and sexy read! I devoured it…and look forward to sharing my review soon.

Interested? You can find PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT on Goodreads, and Amazon.

****GIVEAWAY****
Click on this Rafflecopter giveaway link for your chance to win a $10 gift card.
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Jay lives just outside Bristol in the West of England, with her husband, two children, and two cats. She comes from a family of writers, but she always used to believe that the gene for fiction writing had passed her by. She spent years only ever writing emails, articles, or website content. One day, she decided to try and write a short story–just to see if she could–and found it rather addictive. She hasn’t stopped writing since.

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

signal boost

Being His FIRST–Review and Giveaway

First-Banner
Hi there! Today I’m so excited to share my review for KC Well’s newest release, FIRST, which releases tomorrow, 9/21. This is a fascinating M/M odd-couple romance between an aging porn star and a newly-out virgin college student. I really enjoyed it!

Make sure to pop down and check out the excerpt and enter the giveaway below.

FirstAbout the book:
It’s taken Tommy Newsome a while to get his head around being gay.

Growing up in a small town in Georgia, hasn’t prepared him for the more liberal life of a student at the university in Athens. Add to that the teachings of his parents and his church, and you have one shy young man who feels out of his depth. Working on his daddy’s farm hasn’t given him any chance of a social life, certainly not one like the clubs of Atlanta have on offer. Not that Tommy feels comfortable when he gets to sample it—Momma’s lectures still ring loudly inside his head.

All that changes when he goes to his first gay bar and sets eyes on Mike Scott.

When Mike’s not behind the bar at Woofs, he’s busy with his life as adult entertainer Scott Masters. Twenty years in the industry and the times, they are a-changing. Mike’s not had much luck in the relationship department, but as his mom is fond of telling him, you keep fishing in the same pond, you’re gonna reel in the same kind of fish. Maybe it’s time for a change.

And then a beautiful young man asks Mike to be his first….

How about a little taste?

“I see your stalker’s here again.”

“Huh?” Mike frowned. “What are you talking about now, Kev?” He concentrated on the drink order for Dave and his friends over in the corner.

Kevin grinned and flicked his head toward the rear of the bar. “You know exactly who I’m talking ’bout. Mr. Cutie Pie over there with the muscles. Y’know, the one who’s been sitting on that barstool every Saturday night for the last five weeks?” He arched his eyebrows. “Don’t give me that ‘butter wouldn’t melt’ act. I seen you looking.” His grin widened. “G’on, tell me I’m wrong.”

Mike wasn’t about to give him the satisfaction. “You’re wrong,” he stated emphatically.

Kevin stared. “Hell, you’re a poor liar.” Then his eyes gleamed. “In that case, you can take him his burger, tater tots, and Cherry Coke. Maybe you could even get him to say a few words beyond ‘Hey.’ ’Cause I swear that’s all I’ve ever heard out of that pretty little mouth of his.”

Mike snickered. “I think if I spoke to him, he’d piss his pants.”

Kevin guffawed and went off to the back of the bar. Inside Mike was cursing himself. He’d been careful not to glance too openly at the guy. Those queens he worked with were too damn good at spotting when one of them was taking an interest in a customer. And fuck it, he was interested in the painfully shy but so sexy young man who hadn’t said a word.

“And then there’s the fact that every time he comes in here,” Kevin continued, appearing beside him as if there hadn’t been a break in conversation, “I watch him look ’round the bar ’til he sees you.” That grin was still in place.

“Are you still going on about him?” Mike demanded. “Sure you’re not the one here who’s fixating?”

Kevin held up his hands. “I just call it like I see it. I think he’s only here to ogle you.”

“Well, he’s gonna be disappointed if he turns up in a couple week’s time, isn’t he, ’cause I won’t be here.”

Kevin’s brow furrowed. “Since when do you not work on weekends?”

“Since I’ll be in LA, that’s when.” Mike returned his grin. “Remember?”

“Oh, yeah, you’ve got a shoot. I’d clean forgotten.” He faked a sad face. “Aw, how you gonna cope without seeing that gorgeous bod?” He leered. “Then again, don’t worry your head about it. I’m sure me or Patrick can take care of him.” He waggled his eyebrows.

Mike groaned. “For fuck’s sake, just leave the kid alone, okay? He’s not hurting anyone.” Mike had seen enough to know the guy wasn’t going to be a problem. He preferred this quiet observation to the occasional gropings of fans when he made appearances at Hustlaball or Southern Decadence. The kid appeared to have good manners.

“Here’s his order.” Kevin handed him the tray containing the Angus burger, tater tots, and Cherry Coke. “I’m sure he’ll be delighted to get it from you.” That shit-eating grin just wouldn’t quit.

Mike shook his head and took the tray. He walked over to where the young guy sat, his eyes widening as Mike approached. “Here you go,” Mike said cheerfully, setting the food down in front of him.

The young guy blushed furiously. “Th-thanks.” He lowered his gaze and commenced picking at his tots.

Mike retreated to a safe distance and watched him while he ate. He liked the look of those wide shoulders, the reddish-brown hair, not too short, the barest hint of scruff on his jawline and those striking green eyes. His skin was creamy where it showed, which spoke of a lot of time spent covered up. With his coloring, that was understandable. But that body was speaking even louder to Mike’s dick, which was definitely interested, judging by the way it filled as he feasted on the delectable view before him.

His attention was forcibly drawn away when someone pinched his ass, good and hard.

“You are so busted.”

Fucking Kevin.

My Review:
4.5 Stars for this contemporary M/M romance between an aging porn superstar and a blushing virgin.

Mike Scott is 44 and a bartender at a gay sports bar in Altlanta, with a 20 year career in gay porn. He’s well known by his trade name, Scott Masters, and isn’t that keen on relationships since his last ex left. Too many guys have a problem with his porn work, it seems. Not that Mike does. It’s a job, and it’s getting to be a drag. Studios are pressuring the guys to do more bareback (unprotected) scenes and new gay-for-pay actors are more hassle than they are worth, in Mike’s opinion. He’s getting jaded, really.

Tommy is a 19 y/o gay college student trying to step out of his closet. He grew up in a tiny, God-fearing town with parents who took him to church all the time. He has never watched porn, and has no interest in it, in drinking, or in casual sex. Still, he knows his urges are homosexual, and he fears his family’s reaction. (With good reason!) His roommate, Ben, is bisexual, but hasn’t told his parents, either. Still, Ben spends his Saturday nights in the gay bars hooking up as often as possible. He hooked Tommy up with a fake ID so he could go clubbing too, but Tommy’s more into the quiet life. So he goes to Woofs, a gay sports bar—where he’s stunned by the beauty that is Mike.

Mike can’t miss the Cherry Coke drinking corn-fed farm boy who takes the last stool at his bar every Saturday night for weeks on end. He’s mighty polite, and darn quiet, but he is an eye-catcher. Mike’s fellow bartenders, Kevin and Patrick, all want a piece of Tommy, but they can see he only has eyes for Mike. And, they work a bit of magic to keep Mike from making serious mistakes–like letting Tommy walk away.

When these two finally connect, it is so sweet. Tommy has confessed that he’s a virgin, and that he’s like Mike to be his first. He has no knowledge of Mike’s porn career, and that’s probably the only reason Mike agrees. Mike’s been propositioned uncountable times by fans, and he doesn’t need that pressure. Plus, there is something so absolutely irresistible about Tommy’s freshness. He’s been so sheltered in his life–his parents controlled his TV, radio and literature choices, in the meantime shaping a quiet, conscientious and compassionate man. He is nothing like the men Mike usually chooses, and that’s also refreshing.

The biggest part of the conflict is Mike’s porn career, because Mike doesn’t want to reveal it. As he and Tommy spend more time together, Mike realizes that he doesn’t want to lose Tommy in his life, and that’s happened too often once he reveals his career. So he keeps it quiet, but it is giant, hairy problem, especially once Tommy finds out.

The way this is dealt with is really excellent, however. Love had bloomed, and Tommy’s not sure what to do now. Can he deal with it? Should he have to? Expect a lot of tears, and some well-placed advice from seasoned bartenders.

The entire book is a fantastic journey. I really dug being in these guys brains. Mike has a real “Come-to-Tommy” moment and it made all his other decisions easier. The issues of being a career porn actor were so clearly described, I thought I was on set. I’ve read a few porn star books, and the “business” end of it is less glamorous that the normals (like me) imagine. Tommy has some family issues that were devastating, and, yet, uplifting. Ben and his family are the most awesome folk–and the end is so HEA it’ll rip the tears right out of your eyes.

Or maybe that was just me.

I gotta have more of these peeps, so I’m hoping to see a Ben book, or even a Kevin + Patrick book down the pike… Just sayin’!

Interested? You can find FIRST on Goodreads, Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, AllRomance, and Barnes & Noble. It releases tomorrow, 9/21!

****GIVEAWAY****

Click the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a signed copy of FIRST.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Good luck and keep reading my friends!

About the Author:
Born and raised in the north-west of England, K.C. WELLS always loved writing. Words were important. Full stop. However, when childhood gave way to adulthood, the writing ceased, as life got in the way. K.C. discovered erotic fiction in 2009, when the purchase of a ménage storyline led to the startling discovery that reading about men in love was damn hot. In 2012, arriving at a really low point in life led to the desperate need to do something creative. An even bigger discovery waited in the wings—writing about men in love was even hotter….

K.C. now writes full-time and is loving every minute of her new career. The laptop still has no idea of what hit it… it only knows that it wants a rest, please. And it now has to get used to the idea that where K.C goes, it goes.

And as for those men in love that she writes about? The list of stories just waiting to be written is getting longer… and longer….

You can find K. C. online on her website, Facebook and twitter.

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