A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Plaid versus Paisley (Fabric Hearts #2) by K.C. Burn

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Will Dawson is working himself to death. Totally paranoid and freaked out that his boss at Idyll Fling will hire help for him—workers who might be better than he is or who could possibly usurp his position as IT Manager—he refuses help, and instead, works both on the job and at home to keep his company’s technology running. He lost his last management job to a beautiful, but apparently devious, young man and if not for being offered this one, he might never have kept his self-respect. Working for a porn studio might seem down and dirty to some people, but Will knows better and has the utmost respect for his boss, Stefan. He also helps his best friend, Raven, with the IT for his new company, Tartan Candy (see book one in this series). So there’s not much time left in his day for any kind of social life.

Enter Dallas Greene, hired by Stefan to assist Will—without Will’s knowledge or agreement! It shocks Will when he spies the same gorgeous young man who was responsible for Will losing his last job. The dirty usurper of his position has followed him to Florida! At least that’s what Will thinks. The reality is that Dallas is Stefan’s brother and is here because his company folded after Dallas, who was at that point their only IT staff person, was hospitalized for migraine headaches and a perforated ulcer.

Not knowing Dallas is Stefan’s brother, Will tries everything he can think of to get Dallas fired, including withholding important work—for which Dallas is eminently qualified—that Will wants to keep to himself. Dallas is surprised to be met by such a hostile work environment since he’s totally unaware of Will’s resentments, and as it happens, those resentments are unfounded.

A true enemies-to-lovers story, I thoroughly enjoyed the battles played out both intellectually, and eventually, between the sheets. A slow-burn romance that once lit becomes an out-of-control fire.

Readers who enjoyed Tartan Candy will also appreciate the revisits with both Raven and Caleb and will get to know Raven’s cousin Jamie who will apparently be the featured MC in Just Add Argyle, the next book in the series.

I have to admit I was beginning to get ready to find a way to sneak in between the pages to smack Will in the head for being so stubborn and obtuse about his attraction to Dallas and for continuing his resentment, even after he admitted his attraction to the sweet young man. Fortunately, the author redeemed him, but he remains one of those characters I loved to hate. Dallas, on the other hand, is really a sweetie. Charming, open, honest, and gorgeous, he sees the best in people, and I’m so glad he got his heart’s desire by the end of the story. It was a long haul to get there, but so worth it. This book is definitely one I will recommend to all my friends.

~~~~~

The cover by L.C. Chase features a handsome man in a conservative, well-fitted dark suit wearing a paisley tie—Dallas—against a plaid background—representing Will. Very attractive and totally fits the story.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Published December 12th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
Original TitlePlaid versus Paisley
ISBN 1634778960 (ISBN13: 9781634778961)
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesFabric Hearts #2

Release Blitz for Who I am When I’m with You by Tamryn Eradani (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  Who I Am When I’m With You

Series: Daniel & Ryan, Book 3

Author: Tamryn Eradani

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 3

Heat Level: 5 – Erotica

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 13300

Genre: Erotica, BDSM, Businessmen, Friends to Lovers, gay, LGBT

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Synopsis

Daniel and Ryan have fallen into a routine, carefully keeping work and play separate. In the office, they’re co-workers, people who sometimes meet in the break room, but in the bedroom they’re different. Daniel likes being someone different. He likes being Ryan’s Daniel for a little bit every night.

Excerpt

Who I Am When I’m With You
Tamryn Eradani © 2017
All Rights Reserved

“Hey,” Ryan says, easily sidestepping Daniel. He doesn’t even spill his coffee. The full mug must be why he’s out of his office, and Daniel gets caught staring at it. He wishes a desire for caffeine was the only thing that could pull him from his office.

He adjusts his tie, loosening it just so he can tighten it again, and it’s when he looks back up that he sees Ryan’s lips moving. “Sorry,” Daniel says. “Can you say that again?”

Ryan puts a hand to the small of Daniel’s back and ushers him toward the break room. “I said you looked like you needed a cup of coffee.”

“I need a lot more than that,” Daniel says but he lets himself be led into the break room anyway.

He doesn’t, however, let Ryan pour him a cup of coffee. He settles for a mug of extra-hot water. He’s got a personal stash of tea in his office—non-caffeinated and much better quality than any of the beverages in this room.

Ryan eyes the mug of hot water with a critical eye. “That’s less than coffee.”

“I’ve got tea in my office.”

“Of course,” Ryan says. He leans against the counter, like he’s planning on staying here a while. “You want to talk about what’s going on?”

“Nothing major,” Daniel says. “Just got called down to HR to frighten some of the juniors.”

“Margot wasn’t up to doing it herself?” Ryan asks. “She was pretty terrifying the one time I met her, and I was just doing entry paperwork.”

Daniel shrugs. His watch tells him he now has twelve minutes before his next call. It should be enough time to make some tea and even get to drink some of it. “I’ve got to go. We still on for tonight?”

He fights the urge to look around, to make sure they’re alone in the break room even as he chastises himself for bringing up their…arrangement at work. He’s the one that wanted to keep their work selves and kink selves separate. Even though they’ve started to blur those lines—talking about their days, texting each other outside of a scene—he’s not sure he’s ready for a complete melding.

Of course, he might be overthinking again. He has a tendency to do that.

“I am,” Ryan says. “Want me to swing by at the end of the day? See where you’re at?”

Daniel’s watch tells him he has under ten minutes now. “Okay,” he says, because he can’t stay and talk about this. He shouldn’t have even brought it up. He needs to be focused. He needs—

“Go,” Ryan says. “Whatever you keep checking your watch for, you’re going to be great. I’ll see you in a few hours.”

“Thank you,” Daniel says. “Got a client call.” He picks up his cup of hot water. “If my door is closed—”

“Don’t come in,” Ryan says with a smile. “I know.”

“Actually, I was going to say you can,” Daniel says, and it’s his turn to smile, because Ryan looks shocked. “If I’m on the phone, obviously don’t start making a lot of noise, but you can come in.”

“Alright,” Ryan says. “And if Tracy comes after me?”

Daniel grins. “I’m sure you can hold your own. She’s not so tough. Unless she’s just got her nails done. Then watch out. She basically gets herself claws.”

He walks out, treasuring the frozen expression on Ryan’s face.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Smashwords

Meet the Author

Tamryn studied English and Creative Writing in school but has been writing since she could first hold a pencil. Recently, she’s turned her focus towards writing erotica. She enjoys writing stories where sex comes first, then feelings, because doing things out of order can be fun.

Tamryn has spent the past few months writing the Daniel and Ryan series with a lovely view of mountains out her window, and she’s now searching for a new mountain range to serve as her backdrop as she begins her next project.

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Release Blitz and Giveaway: An Unexpected Shot by Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus

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Title:  An Unexpected Shot

Author: Caitlin Ricci, A.J. Marcus

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: April 3

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 14700

Genre: Romance, LGBT, gay, bisexual, law enforcement

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Synopsis

Darius has just retired as a police officer and opened his PI business. He expects to help people and continue the exciting life he had while on the force, but most of his cases center around cheating spouses. That is until a young boy comes into his office one afternoon.

Parker insists that his parents are missing, and not believing him, Darius calls the people on the boy’s phone to find one who is willing to pick him up. Rick, a family friend, comes to get him. As a thank you for watching over Parker, Rick invites Darius to his house for dinner. Their connection is instant, but their romantic night together becomes complicated when men break into Rick’s house and start shooting.

Excerpt

An Unexpected Shot
Caitlin Ricci and A.J. Marcus © 2017
All Rights Reserved

I adjusted the sign on my glass office door one more time before stepping through and into the small space. Darius Ware, Private Investigator. That was me. At fifty-two, and a recently retired cop, I had been too bored sitting at home watching the Food Network not to go back to work. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to cook,  when I had the time, but I also loved to work. And retirement had hurt in a way I hadn’t expected.

I’d never been good with downtime. Even the thought of it made my skin crawl with the need to do something. On the force, I’d been the one taking point and tackling suspects. I’d probably drawn more fire than anyone else in the department. I’d also taken down more people than anyone else. A desk job wasn’t for me, and so sitting at home on my couch had been akin to torture. I wanted to be busy and active. There was no one that I was close  to, no one that I could pass the days away with. I had thought about traveling some after I’d retired, but with no one willing to go with me, I hadn’t wanted to travel alone. I wanted to see places and experience things, but not by myself.

In an effort to save my sanity, I’d gone out and found a small office space in an upscale complex off the financial district. A lawyer occupied the office to one side of me and an accountant to the other. They were quiet men about my age. I’d thought maybe drinks with the guys would be in order at some point, but they’d both snubbed me. I was pretty sure it had to do with the fact I was a PI, and therefore in their eyes, likely below them. It didn’t bother me too much; neither one of them was really the sort of guy I was into, and I had better things  to do than just hang out with them.

The thing I loved was being back on the job…in a fashion. It may have been a far cry from my old life as a cop but it was enjoyable. I made my own hours. My desk wasn’t covered in manila envelopes from cases I was looking into, and my coffee machine actually worked. I’d even splurged on one of those ones that made single cups of coffee in a ton of different flavors with the little packs. Until I had clients, I figured I’d enjoy the bit of indulgence. I was ready for anything and looking forward to it, too.

*****

Two months into being a PI, my view of the job had changed dramatically. I’d anticipated looking for missing children. Instead I was investigating cheating spouses, and the news was never good. The money was decent, but I hated charging those crying, raging people money after they’d just found out the person they loved was screwing their neighbor, best friend, or ex. Most often, it was the best friend. I’d grown really distrustful of people after seeing what they were willing to do to the people they were supposed to care about. I’d seen some of that as a cop, but now that I was dealing with it up close and personal, it was harder to ignore.

So when a  boy, who couldn’t have been older than twelve, came right into my office and sat himself down in the chair across from my desk, I was intrigued.

“You lost?” I asked. That was the only explanation of why a kid would be in my office.

He shook his head, and his bright-red hair went flying. “Parker Emmanuel Williamson.” He held out his hand for me to shake it, which I did. “I need you to find my parents for me.”

He had my interest, but I also didn’t work for kids. I wanted that one glamorous case where I found a missing kid and got back into the hero spotlight I missed so much since I retired, but actually getting hired by someone Parker’s age wasn’t something I was interested in.

“Y our family know you’re out of school?” It was noon on a Thursday the week before Halloween. This kid should have been in school.

He shrugged. “I left. Can you find my parents or not? You’re a private investigator, aren’t you?”

I probably could find them, or at least try to, if I was willing to work for this kid. Which I wasn’t. All kids being a no-go aside, this one seemed worse than most. He had a cocky attitude that turned me off. “How old are you anyway?” I asked. He didn’t look much over eight.

“Twelve.”

That surprised me. “You’re small for your age.”

He rolled his eyes. Maybe he was used to hearing that.

“Take out your phone,” I told him. “And unlock it too.”

The kid actually did as he was told and placed it into my outstretched hand. “Are you going to look for clues on it?”

“No. I’m going to call someone to come pick you up.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | KoboSmashwords

Meet the Authors

Caitlin Ricci

Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader, and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. She comes from a military family, and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful husband and their two dogs. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

Website | Facebook | Twitter

A.J. Marcus

A.J. has been writing to pass the time since high school. The stories he wrote helped him deal with life. A few years ago, he started sharing those stories with friends who enjoyed them and he has started sending his works out into the world to share with other people. He lives in the mountains with his extremely supportive husband. They have a lot of critters, including dogs, cats, birds, horses, and rabbits. When not writing, A.J. spends a lot of time hiking, trail riding, or just driving in the mountains. Nature provides a lot of inspiration for his work and keeps him writing. He is also an avid photographer and falconer. Don’t get him started talking about his birds, because he won’t stop for a while.

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Release Blitz for Lillian Francis’ Renaissance (excerpt and giveaway)

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Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2osfjWz

Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/2nNiuWc

Village Love Series
Resonance (Village Love) – Currently FREE! Smashwords | Payhip
Resistance (Village Love #1) – On Sale for 99c/99p Amazon US | Amazon UK | Payhip

Cover: Garrett Leigh

Length: 72,000 words

Blurb

Smudge really needs to get laid, if only to stop himself wondering about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and why he keeps running away.

After his tumultuous teenage years, Smudge has settled into his quiet life in the sleepy English village of Slopy Bottom. He’s his own boss with the time and space to indulge his artistic creativity. And he has friends. He’s happy. Satisfied. Lonely. And the pool of potential soulmates is almost non-existent. His friends, Rick and Mal, flush with their own happy romance, keep trying to set him up with the most incompatible men, and he’s never finding true love on Grindr. Hell, he’s not even going to manage a hook up based on the kinky messages he’s been getting recently. He’ll just have to slake his desire to find his own HEA in the pages of bosom-heaving romance novels.

Raleigh is the darling of Slopy Bottom’s blue rinse brigade: church organist, mobile librarian, and apparently wedded to his trademark cardigans. He seems to be the polar opposite of the artistic Smudge, whose brightly coloured mohawk and piercings should be a red flag to Raleigh. Yet he’s yearning for company too. It’s just that Raleigh has less expectation and definitely less courage to chase after it, for reasons that he keeps very close to his chest. Reasons that don’t stop him from being drawn irresistibly to Smudge.

Smudge is sure that the way Raleigh runs from him whenever he sees him is cruelly deliberate. A reflection on his bad boy looks and his disdain for Raleigh’s precious church. So why can’t he stop thinking about the softness of Raleigh’s curls and his delicate body? Then Raleigh offers an olive branch of sugar and caffeine, Smudge’s favourite combination, starting them on a road to an awkward truce. And when they are conned into working together on a community project at the local hospital, the proximity ignites a spark that can’t be ignored. But navigating the murky waters that could take their relationship beyond tentative friendship all depends on whether Raleigh can release his secret fears – and whether Smudge is the man to share and allay them.

 



April 6 – Books Laid Bare Boys, Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words
April 8 – Dog-Eared Daydreams
April 12 – Hearts on Fire Reviews, Bayou Book Junkie, Sarandipity, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, MM Good Book Reviews

Excerpt

“No, no, no! Don’t you dare. Not again.” Smudge tightened his grip on the books in his hand and hastened his pace.

Surely, he wouldn’t? But Smudge knew the exact moment Raleigh clocked him. The way his head shifted between all points of his escape. To Smudge. The door of the mobile library bus. The pull-down steps, currently occupied by Mrs Danridge, one of the frailer members of the Slopy Bottom community. She was Smudge’s only hope that he would make it to the village green car park where the bus was parked.

With the length of the main road of Slopy Bottom stretching before him like a scene out of Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz, Smudge broke into a jog. The plastic covers of the library books slipped in his sweaty clutches and he slowed to tighten his grasp. He should have put the bloody things in a bag. The last thing he wanted was his choice of reading matter to be scattered across the tarmac of Bridge Street.

Satisfied he wasn’t going to lose his latest round of catnip reads, he raised his gaze and refocused on his target. Mrs Danridge had reached the bottom of the stairs—with a helping hand from Raleigh no doubt.

Talk of the devil. That tousled-haired alleged angel of the village looked straight at Smudge, his gaze dropping to the hand that held the books Smudge needed to return, and then leapt back up the steps.

Smudge paused long enough to take a breath and shout, “Don’t you dare leave, Raleigh Fortier.” Then he put on a new burst of speed even as the steps disappeared from view.

The engine of the old bus roared to life and by the time he’d covered the last four hundred metres, the mobile library had disappeared in a shower of gravel leaving nothing but a cloud of dust.

“Don’t expect me to pay late charges on these,” Smudge shouted after the bus. “I should report your skinny arse. You four-eyed, curly-mopped, fuckwad.” He kicked a larger stone in the direction the bus had disappeared and watched it skitter across the now empty car park.

He turned toward the sound of disapproving tsking and shrugged apologetically at Mrs Danridge. “The library was supposed to be here for another hour.” He attempted to explain his irate behaviour to the pensioner. It sounded lame.

“I’m sure Raleigh had his reasons for closing early.”

Yeah, he hates me. And the feeling is more than mutual.

“He’s a good boy and a cherished and loved member of this village. I’m sure he’ll waive the charges if you explain.” She smiled, but it was tight lipped and nothing like the sunshine that she would have bestowed on Raleigh. Gauges, tats, and a purple faux hawk with green streaks would do that. Or maybe she believed the rumour that he was growing marijuana in the workshop behind his print shop. “And I don’t know who you think you plan to report him to. The mobile library is a local service and has always been run by the church. Certainly in my lifetime. I suppose you could speak to the vicar, but as Raleigh is his organist and you barely set foot in church…” She seemed to remember her Christian sentiments, but she still pursed her lips as though sucking on a lemon. “I can vouch you were here at the right time, I suppose.”

Don’t put yourself out, lady. Putting those feelings into words wouldn’t help his cause. Neither would reporting Raleigh, because, as she rightly pointed out, curly-headed organist versus multi-coloured faux-hawked atheist, the odds were stacked against him.

“I guess so.” It wasn’t just about the money, though. He’d hoped to pick up the next book in the series he’d been reading. He’d requested the book as soon as he knew the release date and it was a popular enough series that Raleigh couldn’t refuse to purchase the book for the library. Not that he’d ever turned down one of Smudge’s requests. Apparently if the people of Slopy Bottom and the surrounding villages wanted to read a book, Raleigh did his damndest to get it for them. “Thank you. I’m sure you’re right and Raleigh had his reasons.”

The words stuck in his throat but he could hardly protest that Raleigh was the spawn of the devil and that this wasn’t the first time he’d driven off and left Smudge standing in the street like a fool. Nobody would believe him. Not of Raleigh.

“I’m heading to the church to discuss the flower arrangements for Sunday’s service. I could take your books and leave them at the vicarage with a note, if you can’t get here at the weekend or on Tuesday,” Mrs Danridge offered, already working the zip open on her shopping trolley.

Tuesday. The day Raleigh did story time on the green with the preschoolers if the weather was nice. The long-range forecast predicted traditional August sunshine for the next fortnight and he’d probably be doing something with the older kids as well since the schools were breaking up this week for the summer.

“No. That’s fine. I’ll catch him Tuesday.” By the sodding neck if Raleigh tried to pull that stunt again. Except he couldn’t strangle the local librarian, not with an audience of under-fives hanging on Raleigh’s every word. “Thank you for the kind offer, though.”

Not that he’d take it up in a month of Sundays. Heaven forbid the village busybodies should get a look at his reading matter. The thought was barely formed when he felt plastic slip from his grip. He flailed for the escaping paperback, and ended up just juggling the remaining five in his hands, as the sixth landed on the ground with a thwack and a spray of dust. A swarthy Arab Prince, bare-chested and bronzed, manhandled a veiled maiden in a desert backdrop. Sins of the Seven Veils. Could have been worse. The latest in the Highland Wolfman series was still in his increasingly sweaty clutches. Well, not the latest; the latest was somewhere on that bloody bus. His cheeks burning, Smudge scooped up the book from the dirt and pivoted away from Mrs Danridge with mumbled words of farewell.

Coffee or back to the print shop? He’d told Pete, his apprentice, he’d be about an hour—he liked a leisurely flick through the titles. Even when he picked his six books, he stayed, studying the artwork on the lurid covers. The library soothed him—even with Raleigh’s presence—and he didn’t want Pete to think he’d hurried back because he didn’t trust the lad.

Across the road, the dual scents of caffeine and sweet baked goods emanated from Latte Nights and Earl E Mornings assaulting his senses and making his mouth water. Maybe Adam had made brownies.

Coffee it was then.

  
About the Series 

Renaissance is book 2 in my series, Village Love. Village Love is set in the fictional Sussex village of Slopy Bottom. I’ll let Rick (from Resistance) tell you how Slopy Bottom got its name.

“It’s one p, Slopy Bottom. The village has been there centuries. Local historians think it started life as Slope Bottom since the oldest houses are on the low slope at the bottom of a hill. The rest of the village spread out into the valley as the years went by but the name stuck. At one point the village was all but owned by a French lord, which could account for the mispronunciation, and it appears to have been Slopy Bottom ever since.”

Who’s this Rick you mention? I notice he’s in the blurb for book two, as well. 

Rick is the village gardener/handyman. His story of how he struggles to fit his sexuality and his London-born Pakistani boyfriend in to his life in his sleepy village home is told in Resistance (Village Love #1). Rick and Mal’s meet-cute is told in a short story, Resonance. As Resonance doesn’t take place in the village it has been assigned as Village Love 0.5.

Do I need to read the other books in the series to read this one? 

No. Each book deals with a separate couple. However, in such as small village people bump into each other all the time. So yes, characters will appear that the reader is introduced to in the previous books.

Will there be more books in the series?

Definitely. I’m gearing up to start work on Book 3, Trevor’s tale. I have very brief story lines, if they work out, for at least a Book 4, and maybe a Book 5. If you read a particular character that you like drop me a line and let me know, I’ve undoubtedly got a plan to pair him with someone!


About the Author

Lillian Francis is a self-confessed geek who likes nothing more than settling down with a comic or a good book, except maybe writing. Given a notepad, pen, her Kindle, and an infinite supply of chocolate Hob Nobs and she can lose herself for weeks. Romance was never her reading matter of choice, so it came as a great surprise to all concerned, including herself, to discover a romance was exactly what she’d written, and not the rollicking spy adventure or cosy murder mystery she always assumed she’d write.

http://lillianfrancis.blogspot.co.uk/
Twitter @LillianFrancis_
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Email: lillianfrancis@rocketmail.com
Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/ctnySL

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