A MelanieM Review: A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy (Tales of the Forest #1-3) by Blaine D. Arden

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

A Triad in Three Acts“Your Path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don’t think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel.”
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.

The guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.
Then a stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.

“I have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.”
Later, when several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter Atèn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.

“There is always a way.”
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he can’t see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Ma’terra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.

I read The Forester, the first book in The Tales of the Forest series by Blaine D. Arden when it first came out and promptly  fell in love. Drawn to the story by the lush, incredible cover by Simone’ and then by the tale of fae, a thwarted love and a triad, other elements in these tales drew me in and made me a complete adoring follower of the series.  The second book, Lost and Found: Forester Triad Act Two (Tales of the Forest, #2), just cemented that place in my mind and heart.  Now I got the final book in the trilogy and in a complete volume.  What a joy for me and those who have never read the series. So what were those elements you ask?

One, the use of a mystery or mysteries as a major plot point that Kelnaht, a truth seeker must solve  in each story, that brings out a truth or past histories about himself, or the other elves that he loves.  That would be his former lover Ianys and the shunner forester, Taruif.  Each of which is such an intriguing character that you are as drawn to them as Kelnaht is and these books let you see what it is he finds to love about each. Arden brings out the depths of character, the rage, the grief,  the flaws and you see them as Kelnaht sees them as his is the point of view of the stories.

Kalnaht is also such a mainstay as well as weaver of the tales and the triad here.  A cloud elf, he demonstrates incredible strengths…of character, of magic, and endurance and yet he too has his moments of fragility.  He is just a stunning main character and, for me at least,  the soul of these stories.

But Arden has surrounded Kalnaht with a  richness of culture. His village, his elders and village guide.  Its healers and its children.  They all play a huge part here and the author has imagined them brilliantly.  They live, work, laugh, and to our heartbreak, sometimes die and we feel everything that happens as though it is real.

And that  brings me to the last story in the series.  Its outstanding.  Full Circle: Forester Triad Act Three (Tales of the Forest, #3) starts off with first one, then another of the village’s children falling ill.  A heartbreaking scenario, especially true when the village has lost their children in the not too distant past. Then it sweeps up our triad, newly back together but keeping it a secret when Ianys’ daughter falls ill as well.  Yes, another mystery to solve, one so close to the heart for all three lovers that it threatens to tear them apart once more.

Arden makes us feel every bit of the direness of the situation, the pain of the parents, the building anxiety of the village as they wait to see whose children will fall next and the mystery as to where the illness is coming from.  You will be there in the square with them as the fear and anger builds, the hopelessness too.  Its such an incredible story because it also is where all the answers to the triad’s problems will arrive and all the history will be finally revealed.  Really, its one of those page turners I just couldn’t put down once I started.  I just love this series. Its amazing.

Love stories about fae and  romance?  How about ones with a mystery thrown in as well?  Here is a trilogy you just shouldn’t pass up.  I highly recommend  A Triad in Three Acts: The Complete Forester Trilogy (Tales of the Forest #1-3) by Blaine D. Arden.  All three stories are  amazing.  So are the covers.  Grab this 3 in 1 volume up and prepare to fall in love three times over.

Cover art by Simone is one of the best covers of the year as are all three of the other  covers of the trilogy.

Sales Links

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Book Details:

ebook, 1st Edition, 309 pages
Published August 15th 2016 by Cayendi Press
ISBN139789082296686
Edition LanguageEnglish
URLhttp://www.cayendi.nl/?page_id=199
Series Tales of the Forest #1-3, The Forester Trilogy #1-3
CharactersKelnaht, Taruif, Ianys

The ForesterLost and FoundFull Circle

 

A Free Dreamer Review: The Cop and the Drifter by Christiane France

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

The cop and the DrifterWhen they first meet in the woods and Brad takes in Davie’s small stature and pretty-boy looks, he assumes the kid is just another runaway. As a cop, Brad has learned to recognize the signs. But Brad is already in trouble with his superiors, getting suspended for “assuming” something on another case, so now he knows better than to assume anything.

Davie, actually in his early twenties and far from being a child, escaped a horrible past and now lives each day living from hand to mouth as a drifter. Homeless and starving, he meets Brad in the woods, and despite their differences, can’t fight the immediate attraction he shares with the older man.

But with both men still trying to deal with their troubled pasts, they quickly realize it’s just not the right time to begin a long-term relationship. When they meet a year later, however, and they feel the same attraction to each other, will they be able to follow their hearts without their pasts coming back to haunt them?


Before I decide if I’m interested in a book, I normally always check the page count. I don’t like short stories, so I rule out books with less than 100 pages. But somehow I managed to overlook the page count for “The Cop and the Drifter” and only realized it was a short story when I started reading.

As with most short stories, this book lacked depth. The plot idea would have been enough for a full novel and 63 pages just weren’t enough to do it justice.

Davie has suffered horrific sexual abuse. He was raped countless times for many years and even spent several years as a sex slave. Davie tells Brad about his horrible past on the very first night they meet. Brad is a complete stranger to him and yet Davie has no trouble talking about the abuse he has suffered. That’s the first thing that bothered me. It just doesn’t seem realistic.

The author didn’t manage to make me care for Davie. His story left me cold. It all seemed very emotionless to me, as if it happened to some unimportant minor character and not one of the MCs.

Brad remained colourless as well. He’s grieving, but once again, the author didn’t manage to make me care about his pain.

The whole story felt a little hurried. Brad and Davie don’t see each other for months after that first night and yet it’s essentially love at first sight. And then they have sex again, and Davie’s history of sexual abuse doesn’t come up even once. He seemed to have made a full recovery within a few months, all without a single hour of therapy.

Overall, “The Cop and the Drifter” had enough going on to fill a full novel. But rather than give the MCs time to heal and for the romance to slowly unfold, Christiane France pressed it all into a short story that just didn’t do her ideas justice. It could have been great, but turned out just okay.

Cover: The cover by Fiona Jade is sweet, but a little generic. There are plenty of similar covers out there.

Sales Links:   Loose Id LLC |  ARe |   Amazon

Book details:

ebook, 2nd Edition, 68 pages
Published June 28th 2016 by Loose Id (first published May 29th 2010)
Original TitleThe Cop and the Drifter
ISBN139781682521649
Edition LanguageEnglish

Note: This book was previously released by another publisher. It has been revised, lengthened and reedited in this version.

Barb, A Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Moment of Truth (Moments in Time #2) by Karen Stivali ~ Audiobook narrated by Robert Neiman

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

moment-of-truth audioCollin expected to spend another summer fixing cars and working at the college pizzeria. Instead, he’s living in a beach house on Fire Island, waiting tables at a hip seaside restaurant and, for the first time since he and Tanner got together, they can publicly be known as boyfriends. Being “out” takes some getting used to, but with the help of new and old friends, Collin is happier than he ever imagined. And more in love. But newfound freedom brings unexpected challenges, and when friends get flirty, old insecurities arise. Moments of doubt and jealousy threaten their happiness, and Collin and Tanner must confront the truth or risk losing it all.

This story picks up where Moment of Impact leaves off as Collin joins Tanner for a good summer job, complete with beach house living on Fire Island. When they arrive, Collin is disappointed to learn that Tanner is being transferred to the bar business owned by the same woman who owns the restaurant where Collin will be assigned. Collin is still not 21 so he can’t even hope to work with his boyfriend; all he can do is observe from a distance as some of the female summer crowd continually hit on Tanner—especially a hot little number named Amy.

Most of the story takes place at various locations around the island and involves Tanner and Collin having sex. There are a few times when they aren’t having sex, but while listening to the audio, I felt as if I was perpetually eavesdropping on their private time. Things run smooth until the last half hour of the book when jealousy rears its ugly head, and the guys have a major falling out. To be honest, I found it quite trite and totally expected, so it didn’t feel like anything more than self-inflicted unnecessary drama.

The narrator was good in that he gave the MCs young voices, but on the other hand, it was difficult to differentiate between the two. Overall, the narration didn’t add or detract from the story, but to be honest, if I had the e-book, I may have skipped some of the sex scenes. It pretty quickly became boring to listen to the repetitive action.

Those who enjoyed Moment of Impact will likely enjoy this as well as it continues the story of the couple who first fell in love as college roommates. I understand there is a third book that will pick up where this leaves off, so it should definitely be read for those who plan to complete the series.

Cover by Anna Sikorska is a headshot of a very handsome young man, likely Tanner, since the first featured Collin, the blond. It’s attractive and links the series by the similar background and style.

Sales Links

Audiobook Details:

Dreamspinner Press

Release Date Jul 11, 2016
Type Novellas
Length 3:47

Release Blitz – Blaine D. Arden – Full Circle (Forester Triad Act #3) & A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Edition)

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Release Blitz – Blaine D. Arden – Full Circle (Forester Triad Act #3) & A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Edition)

 
Author: Blaine D. Arden
 
Release: August 15 2016
The Forester (Act #1) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
 
Lost And Found (Act #2) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
 
Full Circle (Act #3) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
 
A Triad In Three Acts (Complete Trilogy) Amazon US Amazon UK KOBO ARe
Blurb
 
Full Circle (Act #3)
 
‘I have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.’
With forester Taruif freed, Kelnaht has claimed him openly at Solstice before tribe and Maíterra as his partner, but with their third, Ianys, bound by an old promise, their triad is still incomplete. Sneaking around puts the most strain on Ianys. He and Kelnaht must keep their relationship a secret or he will lose his daughter, AtËn.
When several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned once more to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including AtËn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.
With Taruif and his apprentice on the hunt for a cure, Kelnaht focusses on the attacks, but the clues are few and more children are infected. Nothing seems to connect until both the traveller and AtËn dream of the same grey-haired elf. Driven by fear for his daughter, Ianys pulls away from his lovers. Kelnaht can only pray Maíterra will guide him to a solution that brings them all together and keeps AtËn safe from harm.
 
A Triad In Three Acts (The Complete Trilogy)
 
“Your Path is muddy, Kelnaht, but don’t think avoiding the puddles will make it easier to travel.”
Kelnaht, a cloud elf, is a truth seeker caught between love and faith, when a murder reveals an illicit affair between two tree elves he desires more than he can admit. Kelnaht’s former lover Ianys once betrayed him, and the shunned forester Taruif is not allowed to talk to anyone but the guide, their spiritual pathfinder.
The guide mentioned puddles, but I envisioned lakes, deep treacherous lakes, and I was drowning.
Then a stripling goes missing from the tribe, and heavy rainfall hides all traces of his whereabouts. With days creeping by without a lead, it’s hard to keep the tribe’s spirits up, more so when Kelnaht’s own future depends on the elders. Taruif has been shunned for almost twenty turns, but now that a possible forester’s apprentice is coming of age, the elders consider reducing his sentence. Taruif could be set free.
ìI have great responsibilities, but my path ahead is as foggy and blurred as the path behind me.î
Later, when several children fall ill with more than a summer bug, truth seeker Kelnaht is assigned to investigate. What he finds is deadly and threatens the life of every underage child in the tribe, including Ianys’ daughter AtËn. Then a wounded traveller is found in the forest, left to die after a vicious attack.
“There is always a way.”
Kelnaht, Taruif, and Ianys are meant to be together, but old promises and the decree of the elders prevent them from claiming each other openly at Solstice. Kelnaht can investigate murder and foul play, but he canít see how he can keep both his lovers without breaking the rules. But if he believes in the guide’s words and trusts his faith in Maíterra, they will find a way to clear the fog and puddles from their paths.
 
Author Bio
Blaine D. Arden is a purple-haired, forty-something author of queer romance mixed with fantasy, mystery, and magic who sings her way through life in platform boots.
Born and raised in Zutphen, the Netherlands, Blaine spent many hours of her sheltered youth reading, day dreaming, making up stories and acting them out with her Barbies. After seeing the film ‘An Early Frost’ as a teen in the mid-eighties, an idealistic Blaine wanted to do away with the negativity surrounding homosexuality and strove to show the world how beautiful love between men could be. Our difference is our strength, is Blaine’s motto, and her stories are often set in worlds where gender fluidity and sexual diversity are accepted as is.
When not writing or reading, Blaine has singing lessons and hopes to be in a band someday. Supporting Blaine in pursuing her dreams and all matters regarding household, sons, and cairn terrier, is her long-suffering husband for over twenty years.

Blaine is an EPIC Award winning author and has been published by Storm Moon Press, Less Than Three Press, and Wilde City Press. Her scifi romance ‘Aliens, Smith and Jones’ received an Honourable Mention in the Best Gay Sci-Fi/Fantasy category of the Rainbow Awards 2012.

 

In the Spotlight: Burning Tracks (Spotlight Series #2) by Lilah Suzanne (author blog, excerpt and giveaway)

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Burning Tracks (Spotlight Series #2) by Lilah Suzanne
Can be read as a standalone
Release Date: August 11, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Interlude Press
Cover Artist: Victoria S.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words has invited Lilah Suzanne here today to share a little bit about herself with our readers.  Welcome, Lilah. Describe your favorite rainy day activity.

I love the smell of petrichor right before rain, and I do love a good rainy day, but I lived in Seattle for a while and I have to say, the constant rain got old pretty fast. So, depending on how many days it’s been raining, my favorite rainy day activity ranges from watching movies and reading books, to getting increasingly annoyed and desperate for sunshine. The thing about rainy days in Seattle is that you can’t get cozy and wait it out or you’ll never leave the house. Even though I’m in North Carolina again, I still sometimes have the Seattle mentality of dealing with rain: suck it up and carry on as usual, or a slightly grumpier than usual.

I’ll share one of my favorite rainy day memories also:

I lived in Florida until I was eight, when we moved to North Carolina. And in the summer of North Carolina or the eternal summer of Florida, my siblings and I loved going out and playing in the rain. We’d put on our swimsuits and grab buckets and jump in puddles and have a blast. Our favorite though, was when it would rain when we were swimming in our grandparent’s pool. I don’t know why it was so exciting to get rained on when were already wet, but it just felt magical somehow, this intermingling of rain and pool water and breaking sensibility to play out in it.

On one of our last family vacations before we all grew up and moved away and got married and had kids and all that was a trip to New Orleans, staying in the French Quarter in this old hotel in an even older building with very few windows and thick walls and narrow, twisting hallways. Our room was on the first floor in a courtyard with a pool in the center. Usually we were out and about seeing the sights (two out of four of us were old enough to see the nighttime sights) but one day it rained all day. Bored and listless, we all decided to go swimming in the rain. We have a picture, and it’s one of my absolute favorites, the four of us in the pool, the rain just pouring on us. It looks magical. And even though we were all teenagers and young adults, it felt just as magical as it used it.

Thank you, Lilah!  Now more about Burning Tracks by Lilah Suzanne.

Blurb

In the sequel to Broken Records, Gwen Pasternak has it all: a job she loves as a celebrity stylist and a beautiful wife, Flora. But as her excitement in working with country music superstar Clementine Campbell grows, Gwen second-guesses her quiet domestic bliss. Meanwhile, her business partner, Nico Takahashi and his partner, reformed bad-boy musician Grady Dawson, face uncertainties of their own.

 

Pages or Words: 224 pages, 62,000 words
Categories: Contemporary, Fiction, Lesbian Romance, Romance Rom-Com

 

Excerpt

“There’s a reason you two aren’t allowed to hang out alone.” Arms crossed, one impeccable eyebrow raised, lips twisted, hair artfully tousled, and dressed to the nines: Alexander Wang black-on-black tropical-printed board shorts, a slim fit black-and-white chino and matching black lapel jacket, black boots, and a black and white scarf to tie it all together. “Nico,” Gwen says.

“Nico?” Grady is up in a flash. “You came?”

Nico’s face softens into his Grady look. “Of course I came. Did you really think you were getting rid of me that easily?” Grady comes closer, and Nico brushes a spiraled lock of hair from his face. “I’m sorry it took me so long. There were storms over Dallas, and I got stuck on the tarmac with a dead phone. I barely made my connection, and the clusterfuck of morons known as the United gate at JFK could not get its shit together, and I may be banned outright from Charlotte-Douglas International, can you believe they flag you as a security risk and hold you in a room with no phone signal or Wi-Fi just for threatening one person with shoving that goddam intercom up their—” He opens his arms for Grady; his look of annoyance slips away the moment they touch. “Anyway, I’m here.”

Grady sighs, crowds into Nico’s space, and tucks himself into Nico’s body. Much better, a perfect fit. “God, I love you.”

“I love you, too.” Nico sinks one hand into his hair, strokes the nape of his neck with other, breathes him in, and closes his eyes. “I’m so sorry. About the apartment and taking off and not being here yesterday, I tried to so hard to make it because I know how difficult it is for you. You shouldn’t have been alone.”

Grady sniffs and holds him tighter. “It’s okay. We’re okay. I’m sorry, too.”

Still ensnared in the sheets and duvet and barely awake, Gwen presses her hands to her cheeks and awws. “You guys,” she coos.

Grady lifts his head from Nico’s neck to smile at Gwen. “I wasn’t alone, though.”

“Mmm” Nico says. “And how much trouble did she get you into?”

None,” Gwen says, defensive. Here she kept Grady safe and sound, searched all over Nashville and Las Vegas while he was off burying himself in work and what thanks does she get? None.

But then Grady smirks and says, “Kind of a lot.”

“Grady.” Gwen throws a pillow at him. “You’re such a tattletale, gosh.”

He bends to whisper something in Nico’s ear, and Gwen doesn’t miss the way his lips drag and linger on the shell of it, or the way Nico’s breath catches and his eyes roll back. When Nico lifts Grady’s shirt and traces around the tattoos with reverent fingers, Gwen takes that as her cue to extricate herself from the bed, put on some pants and a bra, and go fetch her luggage.

“‘Kay you guys have fun and make sure to change the sheets when you’re finished.”

“Wait.” Nico tugs Grady’s shirt down. Then he goes to the case he always has nearby. “You have trouble of your own, Gwen. Thought you might want to know about this.”

Gwen catches the magazine and folded-up papers he tosses her way: screen grabs from a few entertainment websites printed out in black and white.

Is This Clementine Campbell’s Girlfriend? Our source says, “It wouldn’t surprise me.”

Clementine and Gal Pal Definitely More Than Pals Sunning On Vegas Pool Deck.

Our exclusive source and close confidant of both says: Clementine’s married girlfriend “would cheat for sure. She was always touching her. There’s been an energy between them from the very beginning.”

There are pictures: her rubbing sunscreen on Clementine’s bare back, which looks far steamier in a fuzzy long-range picture than it actually was; a picture of them from the back at the store in the Venetian with their hands clasped and Clementine curled in close and her lips on Gwen’s cheek; and most damning of all, grinding together at the VIP club at the Bellagio just last night.

“I don’t—” Frantic and confused, she flaps the magazine and printouts in the air. “What is this? This isn’t— Nico, I didn’t, I swear.

Nico holds both hands up. “Hey, I am well aware of the slander of tabloids. I get it.” He gives her a sympathetic look. “I’m just not sure Flora is going to.”

 

 

Buy the book:
Interlude Press: http://store.interludepress.com/collections/burning-tracks-by-lilah-suzanne

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2b9OekC

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/burning-tracks-lilah-suzanne/1123818262?ean=9781941530993

Apple iBookstore: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/burning-tracks/id1114833507?mt=11

All Romance eBooks: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-burningtracks-2058729-149.html ?referrer=55feb862851f8

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/637139

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/burning-tracks-book-two-spotlight-series

Indiebound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781941530993&aff=interludepress

Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Burning-Tracks-Lilah-Suzanne/9781941530993/?a_aid=InterludePress

 

 

Meet the author:

 

Lilah Suzanne has been writing actively since the sixth grade, when a literary magazine published her essay about an uncle who lost his life to AIDS. A freelance writer, she has also authored a children’s book and has a devoted following in the fan fiction community. She is also the author of the Interlude Press books Spice, Pivot and Slip, and Broken Records, which was named a Top Pick by RT Book Reviews Magazine.

 

 

Where to find the author:


Tour Dates & Stops:

11-Aug: Havan Fellows, Jessie G. Books, Divine Magazine, 3 Chicks After Dark

12-Aug: BFD Book Blog, Unquietly Me, The Novel Approach

15-Aug: Molly Lolly, Inked Rainbow Reads, Oh My Shelves

16-Aug: Book Reviews and More by Kathy, Alpha Book Club, Bayou Book Junkie

17-Aug: Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Velvet Panic, Prism Book Alliance

18-Aug: Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Kirsty Loves Books, Bonkers About Books

19-Aug: V’s Reads, My Fiction Nook, Happily Ever Chapter

22-Aug: Love Bytes, Foxylutely Book Reviews

23-Aug: Nephy Hart, MM Good Book Reviews

24-Aug: A.M. Leibowitz, Open Skye Book Reviews, Book Lovers 4Ever
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Cover Reveal for Caught Inside By Jamie Deacon (cover reveal, excerpt and giveaway)

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CaughtInside

Author Name: Jamie Deacon

Book Name: Caught Inside (Boys on the Brink #1)
Release Date: September 29, 2016

Goodreads Link
Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing
Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Blurb

Luke believes he has his life figured out…and then he meets Theo.

It should have been simple—a summer spent with his girlfriend Zara at her family’s holiday cottage in Cornwall. Seventeen-year-old Luke Savage jumps at the chance, envisioning endless hours of sunbathing on the private beach and riding the waves on his beloved surfboard. He isn’t interested in love. Though his rugged good looks and lazy charm mean he can have his pick of girls, he has no intention of falling for anyone.

Nothing prepares Luke for his reaction to Theo, the sensitive Oxford undergraduate who is Zara’s cousin and closest friend. All at once, he is plunged along a path of desire and discovery that has him questioning everything he thought he knew about himself. No one, especially Zara, must find out; what he and Theo have is too new, too fragile. But as the deceit spirals beyond their control, people are bound to get hurt, Luke most of all.

Pages or Words: 83,000

Categories: Contemporary, M/M Romance, Young Adult

 

Excerpt

I swallow against the dryness in my throat. “We need to talk.”

No response.

Slowly, as though wading through deep sand, I cross the room until I’m standing right behind him. He grips the edge of the worktop.

“Theo?”

Still nothing. Only the convulsive tightening of his fingers shows he even heard me.

“Theo,” my voice cracks, “don’t do this.”

Theo sucks in a breath. When he replies, his tone is even. “Do what?”

“This. Shutting me out.”

“I’m—”

“And don’t say you’re not, because we both know that isn’t true.” I’m aware of my voice rising, and lower it with an effort. “Just…don’t.”

Theo exhales in a long sigh. He turns to me, his expression distant but not unkind. I wish he’d glare at me, shout, whatever. Anything to show he gives a damn.

“Luke, I’m sorry about this morning. It was a mistake. If you got the wrong impression—”

“The wrong impression? You kissed me. What impression was that supposed to give me?”

He casts a nervous glance at the window.

“What’s wrong, Theo? Worried Giles might hear? I don’t blame you. He’d probably make you bathe in disinfectant for a year if he knew you’d kissed scum like me.” Theo starts to protest, but I shake my head. “You know what? Forget it. So sorry I embarrassed you.”

I need to get out of here. Humiliation, hot and clammy, coils like tar through my veins. Still, what did I expect? Theo’s made it perfectly clear how he sees me, that he thinks I’m beneath him. I grab for the nearest glass, intending to pour myself a liver full of whatever’s in that jug, but my hand shakes so much it slips through my fingers. Glass collides with oak in a minor explosion, glittering fragments flying.

“Shit.” I drop to my knees, begin picking up the larger pieces. I fumble, a jagged shard slicing my palm. “Shit.”

“Luke?” Theo crouches beside me.

“I’m fine.” I turn away from the phony concern in his eyes, fist clenched around the cut to hide it from view. Blood trickles through my fingers and onto my jeans. The pain is almost a relief.

“Let me see.” Theo holds out his hand, but I jerk away.

“I said I’m fine.”

He ignores me. With gentle firmness, he takes hold of my wrist, uncurling my fingers to examine the wound. My body stills. I scarcely breathe. Every nerve ending, every particle of my being is aware of him, the pressure of his fingers on my wrist, his warm palm supporting the back of my hand.

Buy the book

Beaten Track Publishing | Amazon UKAmazon USBarnes & Noble

Apple iBookstore |   Kobo  |  ARe | Smashwords

 

Meet the author

Jamie lives in a tranquil spot close to the River Thames in Berkshire, England, and has always been just a little out of place—the only redhead in a family of brunettes; an introvert far more at ease with dogs than with people; a connoisseur of simple pleasures in a society intent on the quest for wealth and fame. Despite an outward cynicism, Jamie is a romantic at heart, and, when not immersed in a book, can mostly be found writing emotional stories where young men from all walks of life are thrust headlong into the breathless, euphoric, often painful whirlwind called love.

 

Where to find the author:

 


Tour Dates & Stops:

Parker Williams, Divine Magazine, Bayou Book Junkie, Making It Happen, Open Skye Book Reviews, Havan Fellows, Happily Ever Chapter, Dawn’s Reading Nook, The Jena Wade, A.M. Leibowitz, Nephy Hart, Boy Meets Boy Reviews, BFD Book Blog, Love Bytes, Up All Night, Read All Day, V’s Reads, Wicked Faerie’s Tales and Reviews, Two Chicks Obsessed With Books and Eye Candy, Molly Lolly, Louise Lyons, Alpha Book Club, MM Book Escape, Wake Up Your Wild Side, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, Unquietly Me, Charley Descoteaux, Kirsty Loves Books, Velvet Panic, MM Good Book Reviews

 

Giveaway

Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

 

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