Cover Reveal for Under Pressure (Love and Football #1) by Lauren Ashley

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Under Pressure by Lauren Ashley

Series (name + # in series):  Love and Football, Book 1

Publisher:  Self-Published

Release Date (Print & Ebook):  October 1st, 2019

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 50,000

Subgenre:  Contemporary Romance; LGBT romance, sports romance

Warnings: Brief mentions of religious upbringing/unsupportive parents, past sibling death from car accident.

Link:  Amazon US: http://shorturl.at/apqyE

Universal Link: http://books2read.com/u/38EPWB

 

Book synopsis:

Rookie quarterback, Drew Carmichael, is under pressure like never before.

When Drew abruptly and unexpectedly comes out of the closet, his life is upended. The media is hounding him. Fans and haters are scrutinizing him nonstop. Worst of all, team management is wary of him, unsure if he’s worth all the hassle.

He’ll do anything to stay on his homestate’s NFL team, including pretending to be in a serious and committed relationship. The only problem is his fake boyfriend is Scott Hunter-the irresistible pop-country music star and his secret teenage crush.

Scott Hunter is used to being under pressure. He’s dealt with it his whole life, handling it all with grace and an unwavering smile on his face.

When his manager presents him with the long-awaited opportunity to come out of the closet, he jumps on it, no questions asked. Pretending to be Drew Carmichael’s boyfriend should be easy. Simple. Fun.

He never expected or wanted to start caring about the golden boy of football. That’s definitely not part of the plan. Neither is fooling around with him on a football field…

Touchdown.

Exclusive excerpt for book reveal:

An idea suddenly pops into my head and before I’ve even had time to think it through, I’m pushing Drew up against a nearby tree, the element of surprise working in my favor.

His mouth falls open in shock, but there’s an unmistakable blaze of desire in his eyes.

“What are you doing?” he asks.

“Do you trust me?” I ask instead of answering his question. It’s a loaded question, but for some reason I really need to know before I go any further with this.

He’s silent for a moment, but then nods his head yes.

Thank God.

“So,” I say in a low, playful voice. “Let’s give them something to talk about.”

Connect with Lauren Ashley:

Lauren Ashley discovered her love for books at an early age. She is a hopeless romantic at heart and believes that everyone deserves their happily ever after. An East Coast native hailing from the Tri-State area, Lauren hates the cold weather, but loves her chunky sweaters and cups of coffee. When she’s not writing, she can be found traveling, binge-watching TV, spending time with loved ones, and obsessing over all things Harry Potter.

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/authorlaurenashley

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/authorlashley

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/100794438-lauren-ashley

A MelanieM Review: Romancing the Rough Diamond (Romancing the… #4) by Clare London

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Trust is the most precious jewel of all.

When Mayfair jewelers Starsmith Stones wins the commission for a gay royal wedding, CEO Joel Sterling is recommended to the brilliant young designer Matt Barth—only to discover Matt’s the man with whom he shared an anonymous and passionate kiss on the celebration night.

Disenchanted with the commercial jewelry industry, Matt nowadays prefers muddy archaeological digs to designing. Openly resentful of Starsmith’s hostile takeover of his family’s firm, he is horrified at the realization he’ll be working with the man who engineered that deal—but the opportunity to create something fabulous and unique for the royal couple is too tempting to refuse.

Working as a team reignites the spark between Joel and Matt. But when betrayal from within Starsmith threatens both the project and Joel’s confidence, will they have built enough trust to keep their newfound love as precious as the royal jewels?

I’m thoroughly enjoying Clare London’s Romancing The series and that extends to her latest release Romancing the Rough Diamond (Romancing the… #4). A wonderful combination of entertaining subject matter and romance plus great location, it was easy to read, the romance and relationship made all the more  interesting because of the main character’s professions and the jewelry at the heart of the story.

I liked the characters. CEO Joel Sterling, extremely capable, intelligent, with a love of the jewelry and the art behind it  Jewelry designer Matt Barth, artistic, hot headed, loyal, and highly moral, if judgemental.  A pair where the chemistry is calculated to burn hot.  Which it did.  I love the passages where they worked as a team to achieve the special commission.  That worked so well, highlighting the group dynamics and the entire process which I found fascinating. It broke down somewhat  later on over the whole “betrayal” element because that never seemed so  realistic

The lack of security measures, followup, etc. The accusations that occured never felt more than a unrealistic plot device unfortunately.  I could see it happening, just not that way.

What I was terribly interested in?  Another highly born couple.  I wanted their story and much, much , more of them.  They intrigued me and almost stole the story away.

As did Matt’s family and the archaeological dig at the farm.  I could have had more of that as well.  Especially Joel sloshing about in the mud in the fields and the excitement it drew from Matt.

So many great elements here.  The jewelry industry, another high couple, an archaeological dig, Matt’s family, and, Matt and Joel.   I just think they all sort of fought against each other because each needed more time and perhaps more of the story or another story altogether.  Not sure what I’m saying other than there was a feast of elements here that added to to being too much of a good thing.

Still a lovely romance to read.

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza. It has some of the right elements and a great model for Matt. Still it’s lacking something.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Dreamspinner Press

Book Details:

ebook, 244 pages
Expected publication: September 17th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644056370
Edition Language English
Series Romancing the… #4

An Alisa Review: Love You So Sweetly (Love You So Stories #4) by Tara Lain

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Reading his future in a glass of sweet tea.

The youngest son of one of America’s richest families, Remy Merced is so busy trying to save his family company from collapse, he’s never taken time to figure out if he’s gay, much less if he’s happy. Then his meddling mama hires him an assistant who’s everything Remy thinks he doesn’t want. Cute Harper Treadwell, from rural Arkansas, is a brilliant business prodigy… and openly gay. His wit and charm could confirm Remy’s suspicions about his own sexuality almost instantly—if they weren’t both already partnered.

When Remy’s girlfriend and Harper’s boyfriend get a little too friendly, Remy finds that the path to happiness requires a long drive in an old Prius, a growing appreciation for small towns, and a whole lot of sweet tea. But before they can forge a future—they have to let go of the past.

I love how sweet these stories are and how they aren’t all so closely connected.  Remy keeps himself so busy that he hasn’t actually been able to spend the time to contemplate his life and if he is even happy with how it’s going, let along if he really wants women or not.  Harper was taken in by a smooth talking man and while it pushed him away from his hometown it did bring him into Remy’s life for the better.

I liked both of these characters, both of them were so innocent in different ways.  Harper was just so trusting and when that trust is broken I hated that he felt he had to run away.  Remy wants his family’s company to succeed and it was hard to see him re-evaluate his life when he meets Harper.  I liked that when the time came Remy was able to step up and then their brilliant minds were able to come up with the solution to both of their problems.

The cover art by Reese Dante is great and I love the visual of Harper and the sweet tea that was a bit of a catalyst for Remy.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 161 pages

Published: September 13, 2019 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64405-568-7

Edition Language: English

Series: A Love You So Story

Love Historical Romance with a Twist? Check Out the Release Blitz Ride the Whirlwind by Jackie North (excerpt)

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Ride the Whirlwind

Jackie North

M/M Romance, Time travel, Historical

Release Date: 09.17.19

Ride the Whirlwind-ebook

Cover Designer – Jay Aheer

Blurb

Soulmates across time. Two hearts, stronger together.

In present day, Maxton is good at finding trouble and bad at everything else. Then he receives a letter from his friend Laurie, who went missing. The letter is dated over one hundred years in the past.

In 1892, Trent Harrington, sheriff of Trinidad, Colorado, cast off by his family, lives a respectable but lonely life, devoid of any closeness. He knows he will be alone forever.

Trying to escape a past that keeps chasing him, Maxton drives south to Mexico. When his car spins off the road, he is swept up in a desert whirlwind, which takes him back in time to the year 1892. There, unused to the laws of the wild west, Maxton gets arrested, and is subject to the terrifying whims of two deputies who can do whatever they want to him.

Sheriff Trent Harrington of Trinidad is tasked with escorting Maxton to Trinidad. The request isn’t unusual, but the young miscreant is. Maxton draws Trent’s heart out of its shell with his flashing green eyes and lush head of hair. It isn’t right. It isn’t natural. It’s illegal. Yet Trent cannot resist the impetuous young man.

As the two men travel through the dry, lonely desert to their destination, will they find in each other the love and companionship they never thought they’d have?

A male/male time travel romance, complete with the scent of desert roses, brilliantly colored sunsets, starlit nights, roast rabbit over an open fire, growing honesty and trust, and true love across time.

Buy Link: http://mybook.to/RideTheWhirlwind

Contains references to Honey From the Lion and Wild as the West Texas Wind but can be read on its own.

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Excerpt

Though he very well knew that pride went before a fall, Trent felt quite pleased with himself. He’d managed to purchase two sturdy mounts: Old Sue, a calm-eyed mare who looked pleased to be saddled up and given something to do, and Lathalad, a pinto with remarkable blue eyes, an even more remarkable mostly white coat with a narrow black streak running down the center of his long tail.

He was a beauty for sure, but carried a scar across his breast, which might be the reason he was a tad skittish when he was brought out and trotted around. Trent worried until the man at the stables convinced him the horse could carry a man and supplies easily, that he was built for long rides. As well, Trent caught Maxton looking at the horses, and thought that the gelding was of the appropriate size.

They’d bought supplies of beans, packets of jerky, and, of course, ground coffee. He purchased a coffee pot, two tin cups and bowls, two tin spoons, and a used cutting knife, which he strapped to his right thigh below his gun belt. Whatever meat they needed Trent would shoot along the way.

Trent packed the saddlebags on each horse, showing Maxton how it was done, how to tighten the girth on a saddle, how to adjust the stirrups. How to fasten a pair of canteens across the cantle and tie them tight so they wouldn’t knock about and startle the horse. Then he tied his carpetbag behind the saddle on Old Sue, and the two bedrolls behind the saddle on Lathalad.

Maxton followed along with only half of his attention, as his other half seemed to be scanning the horizon on the edge of town where the stable was located. As well, he was making an expression that Trent couldn’t quite define, but he thought Maxton felt he was being treated like a fool who didn’t know any better. Maybe he did and maybe he didn’t, but it was better safe than sorry.

“It’s just past noon,” said Trent. He took his hat off, wiped his forehead with the back of his sleeve, then settled his hat on his head again. “But we can head out now and make our way out into the wild.”

Trent smiled, and wondered if he should actually share what he was thinking, but why not? He and Maxton would be together for several days, what harm would it to do admit this one little thing.

“I do love sleeping beneath the stars,” he said, now, looking at Maxton as he said it. Testing the waters. “Which is a little foolish, seeing as how if we waited a few days and taken the stage, we’d sleep in a hotel every night.”

“I don’t mind sleeping under the stars,” said Maxton. “Took a class on the constellations once, so I know a lot of them.”

Maxton stopped himself from saying more, and shrugged as if it was of no consequence to him. It was the same devil-may-care attitude that he’d carried with him from the moment Trent had laid eyes on him in the cell in Dilia.

Someone had taught Maxton not to care or, if he did, not to let on. Someone had taught him to hide every thought, whether foolish or wise. Someone had taught him to carry himself as though he might be under attack at any given moment.

Trent knew the feeling. Knew what it was like to hide what you were and what you thought. Knew what it was like to be wary and to dance beneath the surface of your own life until you forgot what it was like to breathe fresh air, to hold your head high and be exactly who you were.

Though, as to what Maxton was hiding, Trent didn’t know. He wanted to know, though, because there was a fire in that young man’s eyes. A soft shy tenderness, which Trent saw as Maxton looked out at the horizon and chewed his lower lip, like he was expecting something to come blasting at him from out of the desert.

Jackie-logo1

Jackie North has been writing stories since grade school and spent years absorbing the mainstream romances that she found at her local grocery store. Her dream was to someday leave her corporate day job behind and travel the world. She also wanted to put her English degree to good use and write romance novels, because for years she’s had a never-ending movie of made-up love stories in her head that simply wouldn’t leave her alone.

As fate would have it, she discovered m/m romance and decided that men falling in love with other men was exactly what she wanted to write books about. In this dazzling new world, she turned her grocery-store romance ideas around and is now putting them to paper as fast as her fingers can type. She creates characters who are a bit flawed and broken, who find themselves on the edge of society, and maybe a few who are a little bit lost, but who all deserve a happily ever after. (And she makes sure they get it!)

She likes long walks on the beach, the smell of lavender and rainstorms, and enjoys sleeping in on snowy mornings. She is especially fond of pizza and beer and, when time allows, long road trips with soda fountain drinks and rock and roll music. In her heart, there is peace to be found everywhere, but since in the real world this isn’t always true, Jackie writes for love.

Website – http://www.jackienorth.com/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/jackienorthMM

Pintrest – https://www.pinterest.com/jackienorthauthor/

Twitter – https://twitter.com/JackieNorthMM

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18128460.Jackie_North

Queeromance Ink Author Page –

https://www.queeromanceink.com/mbm-book-author/jackie-north/

Sign Up For My Newsletter – http://eepurl.com/drakS1

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Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for Hot Potato (A Seacroft Novel #3) by Allison Temple

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow With Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 80,000 words approx.



Cover Design: Cate Ashwood Designs

 
Seacroft Series
 

Book #1 – Top Shelf – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Cold Pressed – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

As Seacroft’s resident weirdo, Avery proudly flies a lot of freak flags. It’s a constant battle to be taken seriously when everything, from his red hair to his sexuality, makes him stand out in this small town.


Small towns are also a terrible place to keep secrets, and Lincoln has a bunch of them. But his demons aren’t going to hold him back from his dream job at the Seacroft Fire Department. His life is finally coming together, until the red-haired twink with the big smile and fast mouth calls in an emergency.


Pining for the hot firefighter is Avery’s newest flag, even if he agrees to be “just friends.” For Linc, every minute with Avery is a temptation. He needs to let go of his fear and admit the truth. Linc doesn’t want to be Avery’s friend; he wants to be his everything. But just as Linc is ready to risk it all, Avery gets an unexpected offer to spread his colorful wings and fly away.


Hot Potato is an 80k slow burn friends-to-lovers contemporary MM romance. It features a fast-talking accountant who’s cooler than he thinks, the closeted firefighter who loves him more than he should, and a great big happy-sigh HEA.

Allison Temple has been a writer since the second grade, when she wrote a short story about a girl and her horse. Her grandmother typed it out for her and said she’s never seen so many quotation marks from a seven-year-old before. Allison took that as a challenge and has gone on to try to break her previous record in all her subsequent works.


Allison lives in Toronto with her very patient husband and the world’s neediest cat. She splits her free time between writing, community theater stage management, and traveling anywhere that has good wine. Tragically, this leaves no time to clean her house.


Newsletter (get two free shorts right now): https://allisontemplebooks.com/newsletter
Facebook Reader group: https://facebook.com/groups/allisonsalist
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B07B7P5591
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/allison-temple
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17490635.Allison_Temple
Twitter: https://twitter.com/allitemplebooks
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/allisontemplebooks/

 
 

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A Stella Review: Noah’s Bane (Lormount City #1) by Wulf Francú Godgluck

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RATING 4,5 out of 5 stars

Finding his very own Daddy is harder than finding Prince Charming.

Noah Lavoie isn’t anyone special, an average guy working as a veterinarian with a few kinks and fetishes. For too many years he explored the BDSM lifestyle, but consistently felt something remained missing. In a world of black and white, Noah struggles to understand where to find the gray.

Then…
A mysterious contract.
No strings attached.
Never to know the Dominant’s identity.
Noah clings onto his only hope, a man he can call Daddy.

Cold, ruthless, charismatic. Bane Rozek believes himself impenetrable. He built his empire, fabricated from lies, blackmail, and extortion. Dark secrets he holds in his palm could cripple the most powerful of people and organizations. It’s all a lie, a simple illusion to hide his truth.

He did it all, built his fortress and claimed his power and sovereignty, for her. But Bane knows Death’s chaste kiss intimately. What Bane wants is a connection.

This time on his terms…
An innocent boy offering the purest submission.
A contract holding them both at a distance.
A boy that tugs fiercely at Bane’s dark heart.
If only Bane could believe himself worthy to be the Daddy Noah proclaims to love.

Finally a new release from one of my favorite author and finally he wrote a happy ending.  Noah’s Bane is an interesting story, I think I never read about a contract between  a sub and a dom where the sub couldn’t known the dom’s identity. Still, Noah easily falls in love with his dom, but then he ruins everything when he shares his feelings with the other man. Noah can’t take it anymore, his heart is too full to be quiet and respect the contract.

Bane is a mess, he thinks he’s not worthy of the sweet sub love, his life is too dangerous, too dark, to be mixed with Noah’s. But then things changed and he’s now too weak to stay away, he needs his boy and he’s ready to show who he really is.

This story is beautifully done, Wulf wrote about a lot of emotions, love, grief, loyalty, friendship and so many more. I have to say I cried a little cause in a couple of moments the plot cut deep in my soul. It was clear from the beginning how the main characters were connected, how much they cared for each other, and even when reality took a bad turn (I don’t want to spoiler anything), the author did an amazing job at showing me how awful they were alone. Of course we’re talking about Wulf’s stories, so don’t expect flowers and candies, but if you’re familiar with his other works, this new release is surely within everyone’s reach, for everyone who’s not to comfortable with really dark themes, here you’ll find just a tiny bit.

I thought this was going to be a standalone book but I see it’s instead part of the Lormount City series, I can’t wait to learn where the author will take me with the next installment

The cover art by Book Cover by Design is awesome, I love it, it’s eye catching!

SALE LINKS: Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 193 pages

Published September 14th 2019 by Selfpub

ASIN B07XDC4FTX

Series Lormount City #1

Edition Language English

An Alisa Review: Murder in the Condo Next Door by Edward Kendrick

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When the crazy woman from hell, as he thinks of her, moves in next door to Michael, he isn’t happy about it. When she’s murdered, he’s even less ecstatic, especially when he has to deal with a detective’s suspicions and a nosy reporter.

Reid Hanson is a good reporter with a nose for a story. When he tries, and fails, to interview Michael, he’s intrigued by the man’s resistance. It takes all his persuasive powers to get Michael to open up to him about the murder … and his past.

When Michael does, the two men set out to try and learn more about the woman’s murder … and a related one a week later. In the process they begin to fall for each other. Will their attraction come to fruition or will the killer manage to eliminate Michael, the only witness to his existence, before that happens?

This story was alright but didn’t connect we me.  Reid meets Michael after his neighbor’s murder and Reid’s investigating brings them closer together.

Okay, so Michael’s neighbor from hell hadn’t even been there a month and he was already making a big deal out of it that just seemed a bit preemptive.  And I don’t know I didn’t connect with Michael or Reid and their relationship felt forced with Reid trying to figure out the murder even more than them actually having anything in common.  In the end this story just didn’t work for me.

The cover art by Written Ink Designs works well for this story

Sales Links: JMS Books | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 100 pages

Published: August 10, 2019 by JMS Books

ISBN: 9781646560240

Edition Language: English

Adore a Little Kink with Your Romance Story? Check Out the Blog Tour Dominated but not Subdued by JP Sayles (excerpt and giveaway)

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Dominated But Not Subdued

La Trattoria Di Amore series

JP Sayle

Genre: M/M Romance/BDSM/Daddy Kink/Age Gap

Release Date: 08.30.19

ebook cover

Blurb

Why does he want to be a “boy” to a man twenty years his senior? A man who is so much more than big and burly. Is he a Daddy or a Dom?

Adam Grainger learnt the hard way that coming from an affluent family does not guarantee love or affection. It makes him doubt anyone could ever love him.

That is until Carl.

Carl showing him the darker pleasures in life leaves Adam revelling in the true meaning of letting go.

Carl standing up for him allows Adam’s need for a “Daddy” to surface.

But too many secrets and a driving force to not submit might prevent Adam from gaining what he never knew he craved: a Dom Daddy.

Dominated but not Subdued is the second book in the La Trattoria Di Amore series and can be read as a standalone. It is M/M romance with Daddy kink, aspects of BDSM play, an age gap, and a Dom Daddy who needs a strong boy to keep him on his toes.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07W6Z8Q7R

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07W6Z8Q7R

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Excerpt

When Adam stopped complaining, Carl hopped off the bed. “Come on, we’re a mess, and I’m starving. I hope you bought something good at the shops.” He halted, his face aghast, sure he hadn’t heard what he thought he’d heard. “What did you say?” he asked.

“I said I’ve got tinned ravioli. That should do, with some toast,” Adam replied, shrugging at him as he walked towards him, bowlegged and stiff.

To see if he was serious Carl checked Adam’s face. His eyes widened as he spluttered indignantly. “You can’t seriously be considering giving me tinned, fucking ravioli. Me! An Italian-trained chef. You’ve gotta be having a fucking laugh.”

His boy stepped into him, his small hands pulling his sweaty head down. “Nope.” Adam giggled, laying a soft kiss against his mouth before lifting his head, smirking.

Frozen to the spot, Carl’s mouth gaped open. He couldn’t believe his boy thought he was ever going to eat pasta from a fucking tin. Whoever the fuck thought pasta even went in a tin needed bloody shooting. Shit, pasta in a tin. Carl shuddered. Whatever fucking next?

He grumbled at his boy, who had already disappeared out the door. He followed, complaining with every step he took. “Fucking pasta in a tin. Seriously, who thinks up this shit?”

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My name is Jayne and I recently decided that writing was going to be my new career. I have spent most st of my life in the caring profession and I currently work as a nurse manager out of hours, managing a hospital site at night. I have always wanted to write and as I got more disheartened by my role at the time it gave me the impetus to change and live my dream. I am happily married and have been for 25 years. I have a beautiful daughter and currently one grandchild. I’m an identical twin, so if you see me, check first it’s me. I live on a small island in the middle of the Irish Sea and I’m what is known as a amand person. I love reading as much as writing and am an avid yoga fan

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Don’t Miss Out on the Release Blitz for Dine With Me by Layla Reyne (excerpt and giveaway)

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Dine with Me by Layla Reyne

Release Date (e-book and audio):

September 16, 2019

Blurb:

Life never tasted so good.

Miller Sykes’s meteoric rise to award-winning chef is the stuff of culinary dreams, but it’s all crashing down around him. He’s been given a diagnosis that could cost him something even more precious than his life: his sense of taste. Rather than risk the very thing that defines him, Miller embarks on a last tour of his favorite meals while he still can.

But there’s a catch: he needs a financial backer to make it happen, and he doesn’t want anyone to know he’s sick.

Dr. Clancy Rhodes has two weeks to come to terms with putting aside oncology to work at his father’s thriving plastic surgery practice. When the opportunity to travel with a Michelin-starred chef presents itself, the foodie in him can’t believe it. It doesn’t hurt that Miller’s rugged good looks are exactly Clancy’s cuppa joe.

As Clancy and Miller travel from coast to coast and indulge in everything from dive bars to the most decadent of culinary experiences, they’re suddenly sharing a lot more than delicious meals. Sparks fly as they bond over their love of flavors and the pressures of great expectations. But when Miller’s health takes a turn for the worse, Clancy must convince him he’s more—so much more—than just his taste buds. And that together, they can win a battle that once seemed hopeless.

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!

Links:

AMZ: https://amzn.to/2CNDzbA

Universal: https://books2read.com/DineWithMe

Excerpt:

By the time they were on the ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, all of Clancy’s thoughts and words were fighting to get out. He watched through the windshield as Miller stood by the ferry’s rail, a lone figure seemingly oblivious to the blowing snow flurries as he stared straight ahead.

To the island where they would be stuck together for the weekend.

Fuck. Clancy had to say something or else this was going to be the most awkward Christmas Eve weekend ever.

He tossed his empty coffee cup aside, grabbed his scarf from the back seat, wrapped it around his neck, zipped up his hoodie, and buttoned his coat over everything. Bundled, as well as an LA boy could be, he shoved open the car door, took one step out, and had to cling to the door to avoid wiping out. Steadying himself, he carefully made his way to the rail where Miller stood. And just as carefully, he approached the conversation, starting with something easy. “Thank you for the coffee and beignets this morning.”

“I promised you,” Miller answered flatly, not giving him a glance.

Careful and easy took a flying leap off the side of the boat. “Do you still want to be here?” The next second, Clancy registered how that question could be taken, beyond just this trip, and he wanted to jump over the rail himself. “On this trip,” he clarified. “Because if you’re just here because you promised, we can call it off. You can keep the money—”

“It’s not about the money.”

“Fine, but Miller…” He leaned a hip and hand against the rail, trying to get Miller to look his way, to no avail. “If this trip is making you miserable, if you don’t want to be around me, if you—”

Miller’s hand over his silenced the rest of Clancy’s words. “I want to continue, and I don’t want to do it alone.”

“But do you want to do it with me?”

Miller finally gave Clancy his eyes, and they were red-rimmed and bloodshot. Clancy sucked in a sharp breath, fearing the worst.

“Yes,” Miller said softly.

Clancy didn’t hide his huge exhale, and Miller’s answering smile was worth it. The world steadied below Clancy’s feet even as the boat rocked over the waves. He drew his hand back and shoved both of them into his coat pockets. “Where are we going, then? On Martha’s Vineyard?”

Miller glanced back out over the water, toward the island that was growing nearer. “The first place I chef’ed.”

“I thought that was in New York, with Greg.”

He shook his head, a strange mix of pain and longing streaking across his face. “When Sloan and I left home, we came here first. A friend of Ma’s ran a B and B in Edgartown. It was the summer season and she needed the extra help. She rented us a dingy little basement apartment for cheap, Sloan cleaned and helped manage the inn, and I was the on-site handyman and landscaper. But I still needed to get out and make some extra cash.”

“So you found a restaurant to work in?”

“The kitchens in New York and San Francisco might have refined my skills, but Oscar M’Raihi gave them to me.”

“I can’t wait to meet him.”

About Layla Reyne:

RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Fog City, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.

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New Release Blitz for Clueless Cabot by André D. Michaels (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Clueless Cabot
Author: André D. Michaels
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: September 16, 2019
Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 25900
Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, friends to lovers, first time, hurt-comfort, gay, bi, family drama

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Synopsis

Young gay professional Cabot MacCrae has been in love with his sexy best friend, Lloyd, since high school. They’re in perfect sync on almost everything. The only problem is that Lloyd is straight.

Cabot resigned himself long ago to pining hopelessly. Then Lloyd, a roofer, takes a bad fall and injures his collarbone. When he needs some TLC, there’s no question that Cabot will be the one to nurse his friend back to health. But Lloyd’s scantily clad presence in Cabot’s house brings out Cabot’s old longings.

But when Lloyd’s well-meaning mother and aunt fix Cabot up with a blind date, Lloyd reacts like a jealous boyfriend. Lloyd’s reaction makes Cabot wonder if those longings are as unrequited as he’s always assumed. What if Lloyd has been pining for him all these years? Has Cabot just been clueless all along?

Excerpt

Clueless Cabot
André D. Michaels © 2019
All Rights Reserved

DISH

Half an hour before Club Sandwich closed, Cabot McCrae knew he wasn’t going home with anybody. Once again, he’d sat in the corner, nursing his two drinks, eyeing the crowd for someone, anyone, who might be worth pursuing. And once again, as the ice cubes melted in the glass, he sat and did nothing while the few who drew his interest paired up with others and went off into the night. One or two drinks were sent his way, but the guys who sent them seemed creepy and stalkerish, and Cabot declined as politely as he could.

How the hell do guys find each other?

People talked about what a meat market this bar was, but if so, then Cabot was definitely not USDA Choice beef. Maybe not even leftover bologna.

“Thanks, Hank.” He dropped a five on the bar. Hank gave him a casual salute.

The cute Italian busboy didn’t even meet Cabot’s eye. The burly bouncer barely grunted as Cabot left the club. The darkness and cold, relative silence outside brought relief from the flashing lights, steamy heat, and pounding bass inside.

Cabot got in his car and checked his phone. Ring me, said the text from Lloyd.

At 1:45 in the morning, Cabot wasn’t about to call his best friend. He texted back: In the a.m. Beat, dude.

Immediately, Lloyd texted back. Understood. Hope you made out.

Cabot smiled grimly and started the car to head home. No, I didn’t make out. I never make out. Nobody wants to make out. But he wasn’t going to text that to Lloyd, either.

Lloyd always got lucky at the drop of a hat. He’d slept with more women than Cabot could count. He even juggled several girlfriends at a time, managing somehow to keep them all happy and coming back for more.

Not Cabot. He hadn’t gone on a date in—how many months? And he and good ol’ Rosie Palm were better acquainted than ever before.

The lights of the warehouse district behind him, he pulled into the garage below his apartment complex and parked the car. He sat there for several minutes, running his hands over his face. People tell me I’m cute, he kept repeating in his head. But he sure didn’t feel cute after one of these nights. No one talked to him. No one approached him.

No one wanted him.

His phone buzzed. Another text from Lloyd: Sweet dreams dude.

Back in his apartment, Cabot showered and padded naked into the kitchen. The blue calla lilies he’d bought himself were withered in the vase on the table.

He could have another drink. And unlike drinking at the bar, getting drunk at home wouldn’t make him go home with somebody he’d be embarrassed to wake up next to. Well, unless you counted waking up with yourself.

He virtually never wore clothes around the apartment. Nobody could see in. Nobody came to visit except Lloyd, and Cabot usually remembered to pull on some shorts or sweats when Lloyd visited. And when he didn’t remember, Lloyd didn’t care. Why would he? Lloyd was straight.

And besides, since he didn’t get much sex with anybody else, being a nudist at home gave him easy access to the one man who always enjoyed his lovemaking: himself.

His phone by the door buzzed again. Jesus, Lloyd, give it a rest already.

The text read: Yo dude, call me, man. Really.

Okay, that was scary. Cabot hit the call button.

“Hey,” said Lloyd’s sleepy voice.

“Hey. You okay, bro?”

“Sure. Kinda. No.”

“Okay, that’s three answers. What’s going on?”

“Just flirting with the nurse, man. He says I have to talk to you later.”

“Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa. You’re flirting with a male nurse? What the hell is going on, Lloyd?”

“What? He’s cute.”

“Uh…you’re straight. What kind of drugs do they have you on?”

Lloyd sighed. “Just c’mon to the ER, man. Central MC. They’ll release me if I have a ride.”

“ER? What the fuck happened?”

“Tell you later. You gonna be my ride?”

“You got it, man. Be there in like five seconds. Four point nine.”

“Thanks, Cab.”

Cabot grabbed his keys and wallet and headed for the door, and then remembered he should probably put on pants. He pulled on a pair of basketball shorts and shoes and grabbed a clean shirt out of the drawer. No waiting for the elevator; he took the stairs.

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Meet the Author

Having held jobs as varied as wedding caterer, IT guru, nanny, construction worker, librarian, historical reenactor, screenplay consultant, and birthday party clown, André now writes poetry, plays, and romances and erotic fiction about men loving men. A lifelong bibliophile, André lives in a renovated 1800s parsonage in Ohio, with a variable number of cats and an invariable number of husband.

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