Its Release Day for Louise Lyons’ ‘Favorite Toy’ (excerpt and giveaway)

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Favorite Toy cover


Release Date: January 31, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Louise Lyons
Cover Artist: Simon Searle

Blurb

Determined to stay single, Dean Simpson and his best friend Ryan have been playing a game, where each man chooses a potential hook-up for the other, usually someone nothing like their usual type. But with Ryan now off the market, Dean agrees to one final round of the game and allows his friend to choose his toy for the evening.

Casper Mancuso is about as far from Dean’s type as he can get. Casper is pretty, flamboyant, and attention-seeking, but sexy with it. Dean decides one night can’t hurt, but when Casper makes it clear his aim is the same as Dean’s – to have one bit of fun and then move on – Dean finds himself surprisingly disappointed.

With both men keen to avoid a relationship at all costs, it seems there can be no chance for anything between them. And yet the pair are drawn to each other and despite some hurtful comments and a very public argument, they just can’t stay away from each other. Eventually Dean is forced to admit that the very antithesis of what he usually likes is exactly what he’s been waiting for.

 

Pages or Words: 35,600 words
Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance

Excerpt

My heart sank as one of the other trainers from the gym caught up to me. “Wait up, Dean. I’ll go with you.”

I glanced at Mark and nodded. “Okay.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Not sure yet. I just wanted some fresh air. Maybe Subway.” It was the first thing that came into my head, although I really didn’t fancy a sandwich.

“I could go for that. Meatball marinara. Mmm.”

“I like the tuna.”

“I always have cheese and slather it in ranch dressing, and get a cookie.” Casper’s words made me smile and I wondered if he’d be having Subway today. Shit.

“Are we eating in, or taking it back to work?” Mark pushed open the door and walked inside.

“Um, maybe sit outside here?” I followed him to the counter, lining up behind a family ordering an early lunch. Most of the tables both inside and outside were empty and I stared up at the menu board as I waited, even though I knew I’d order tuna. Mark bought a foot-long meatball marinara with cheese and salad and I requested a six inch with cheese, salad, and ranch dressing. As we sat down at a table outside the window, I looked around and caught sight of Casper, just yards away and heading right for us. Automatically I ducked my head and unwrapped my sandwich, hoping he wouldn’t see me. My heart thumped wildly and my dry mouth made me wish I’d ordered a drink.

“Are you okay?” Mark raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah.”

Casper entered Subway, apparently not having noticed me. I’d kick myself if I didn’t speak to him. I might not get another chance. The fact that he’d happened to turn up at this exact moment, when he could have gone anywhere, or not even taken a break at this time, was too much of a coincidence for me to throw away. Hesitating, I debated going into the shop to speak to him, or waiting for him to come out where Mark might hear. While I thought about it, Casper got his sandwich and came out again and then I had no choice. I jumped up quickly, scraping my chair noisily on the pavement, and his eyes immediately met mine. He halted, half in and half out of the door, then shuffled forward to get out of the way of someone trying to enter.

Mark looked up at me and frowned. “Dean?”

“I’ll be back in a minute.” I moved away from the table toward Casper, aware that only about six feet separated us from Mark. “Can I speak to you for a minute?”

“What about?” His eyes narrowed.

“I wanted to say sorry. I─”

“Don’t bother. Like we both said, it was a hook up.” His voice was much too clear and I glanced anxiously at Mark, who stared back at me with wide eyes.

“Casper…shh. Can we just…?”

“Don’t shush me!” Clutching his wrapped sandwich fiercely in one hand, he planted the other hand on his hip and glared. “I don’t know why you even bothered speaking to me! You slept with me for a bet, and we all know what your real type is. Don’t think I didn’t see you with that blond guy on Friday.”

“Fuck.” Grabbing his arm, I tugged him a few steps along the street until he wrenched free. “Thanks a fucking bunch. You just outed me to one of my workmates.”

“Oh!” His scowl vanished and his cheeks flushed. “Shit. I didn’t know. I’m sorry, Dean.”

“Forget it. Like you said, I shouldn’t have bothered.” Mortified, I turned away and went back to the table. Mark’s expression said it all. I didn’t need to hear anything he might have to say, but I listened anyway. Casper had already disappeared.

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Meet the Author

Louise Lyons comes from a family of writers. Her mother has a number of poems published in poetry anthologies, her aunt wrote poems for the church, and her grandmother sparked her inspiration with tales of fantasy. Louise first ventured into writing short stories at the grand old age of 8, mostly about little girls and ponies. She branched into romance in her teens, and MM romance a few years later, but none of her work saw the light of day until she discovered FanFiction in her late 20s.

Posting stories based on some of her favorite movies, provoked a surprisingly positive response from readers. This gave Louise the confidence to submit some of her work to publishers, and made her take her writing “hobby” more seriously.

Louise lives in the UK, about an hour north of London, with a mad Dobermann, and a collection of tropical fish and tarantulas. She works in the insurance industry by day, and spends every spare minute writing. She is a keen horse-rider, and loves to run long-distance. Some of her best writing inspiration comes to her, when her feet are pounding the open road. She often races into the house afterward, and grabs pen and paper to make notes.

Louise has always been a bit of a tomboy, and one of her other great loves is cars and motorcycles. Her car and bike are her pride and joy, and she loves to exhibit the car at shows, and take off for long days out on the bike, with no one for company but herself.

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Open Skye Book Reviews, Dawn’s Reading Nook, Caraway Carter, Gay Media Reviews, MM Good Book Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, BFD Book Blog, The Jena Wade, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Foxylutely Book Reviews, Three Books Over The Rainbow, Fangirl Moments and My Two Cents, Jessie G. Books, Happily Ever Chapter, Elisa – My Reviews and Ramblings, Making It Happen, Multitasking Mommas, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Charley Descoteaux, 3 Chicks After Dark, Unquietly Me, Molly Lolly, Divine Magazine, Nephy Hart, Elin Gregory, Mikky’s World of Books, V’s Reads, Alpha Book Club, Velvet Panic

Final

Giveaway

Enter to win a Rafflecopter Prize: An e-book from Louise’s backlist.  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter. Link and prizes provided by the author and Pride Promotions.
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A MelanieM Review: Danny’s Dragon (Tao of Love #1) by Sedonia Guillone

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Rating:     3.75 stars out of 5

Danny's DragonA rugged, muscular cop.

A sexy computer genius.

Secret desires.

Brought together by a crime committed on a cold dark night.

From the moment they meet, their lives can never be the same again…

Wild and rugged Dave Pearce is haunted by the demons of his past. He’s done his best to make a life for himself after the devastation of his lover’s suicide years earlier, but the trauma has left its mark on his soul.

Danny Wong is what Dave considers a “nerdy Bruce Lee.” Handsome, refined, out of his league.

But that doesn’t matter.

Dave believes himself to be dangerous for any man who would love him. So he stays back in the shadows, letting the desire he harbors for the hot grad student remain unrequited.

Danny has demons of his own. Duty-bound to his family’s goals for him, he remains shy and closeted, contenting himself with his secret fantasies about the sexy Irish cop who patrols the campus building where Danny does his graduate work.

Until one freezing winter night…

Leaving the building, fate steps in and their paths cross in a new…deeper way. Neither man can turn back. Danny and Dave must face the demons rearing their heads with full force, or lose their chance at an epic love…

Years  ago I found Sedonia Guillone and read as many books of hers as I could find at the time.  Whether it was the Yakuzas of her White Tigers series or the Samurai in her historic m/m Flying Fish (Sword and Silk Trilogy 1), her stories, steeped in Japanese culture and lore, always enraptured me as did the complicated men and their romances.   Then recently, I was asked to be a part of a tour for a new book of hers and I was thrilled to see a novel of hers back in release.  Turns out there are several.  Long story short, I found Danny’s Dragon, the first story that Guillone wrote in 2006 in the m/m genre.  I wondered how it would hold up against the stories I remembered and the recent book just released.

The answer is surprisingly well.

Each chapter starts with a quotation from The Way of Life According to Lao Tzu, an important focus or thread that runs through the story.  Danny uses the poems as a way to center his life and as a shelter from his mother, someone we might call a “Tiger mom”, controlling, cold, who sees only one path for Danny, hers.  His father, who Danny loves, is sick and while not standing up for Danny directly, does so by redirection and other methods of bending but not yielding, a family trait he has passed on to his son.  Each new quotation points towards a new path to growth for David and Danny, if one or both choose to take it.

I have to admit, that for some readers, they might find the philosophy behind the Tao a bit obtuse at times (or like Dave sometimes just going “huh?”) but the quotations as well as the format grows on you as does the relationship between these two unlikely men.  Dave Pearce does have a haunted past, part of which is very much alive in his abusive drunk of a father.  But even more differently is their approach to life.  One has been taught to battle it out with his fists, the other to give and bend, seeing other paths.  How that disparity in outlook is handled fascinated me because I found it believable, even as Dave was giving voice to his frustrations and inability to understand Danny’s actions and perspective at the time (I got that perfectly).  But the beauty of the quotations and philosophy is such an integral part of their relationship and story that I found myself looking for more quotations after the story was done.  I’ll share a few of what I found at the end.

There are a few issues here, I have a hard time with insta love, although I could see these two men needing each other and fitting together perfectly.  I just wished it had been more of a HFN, it seemed to resolve a little too smoothly considering all their issues.  But for a first m/m  novel, the rough edges are much smoother than some I’ve seen and that storyline and all the surrounding elements (which come to be a trademark of hers) pulled me in and kept me glued to the story until it was completed.

It was also fascinating to see the love/relationships of abused, haunted men and Japanese themes get their start in an author’s career, to be able to trace back the men of ‘Acts of Passion’ and ‘Flying Fish’ back to ‘Danny’s Dragon’, their foundation couple in a narrative manner.  Its a great start.

I highly recommend this author and yes, this story.  Seek out her other books, especially if you are a fan of Japanese culture, the Yakuza or Samurai in love.   I am a fan of all three and will be revisiting those stories and the new ones coming out.

 

Cover Art by: Jay Aheer: Covers by Design.  Jay Aheer did a great job with the design.  Danny’s Dragon is an important part of the story, the tattoo and the face are terrific elements.  Great job.

Sales Links:  Wayward Ink Publishing | All Romance (ARe) | Amazon | Buy It Here

Book Details:

Published August 7th 2015 by Wayward Ink Publishing (first published July 2006)
Original TitleTao of Love 1 : Danny’s Dragon

SeriesTao of Love #1
CharactersDanny Wong, Dave Pearce settingCambridge, Massachusetts (United States)
Massachusetts (United States)
each book in the series is a standalone.

Lao Tzu poemLao Tzu