A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Expeditions, Estimation, and Other Dangerous Pastimes (Claimings #4) by Lyn Gala

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

This is the fourth book in the Claimings series with an overarching plot, so these should be read in order. There are also alien words used without context, which you would need to be aware of beforehand. This is the continuation of Liam and Ondry’s journey aboard the Rownt ship Calti, to seek trade with the Imshee.

One of the things I like about this series, like all good science fiction, is viewing the absurdities of humanity, when trying to explain them to an alien race. I always enjoy the discussions of linguistics and psychology. The fact that this happens after a rousing bout of alien sex, made me laugh. Quite a lot of this book made me laugh and appeals to my dry sense of humor, although be warned the depictions of sex and biological functions are a bit graphic and crude. Anyway, if you have been following this series and like those linguistics discussions, those are increased in this book due to Zach and Liam both being in the linguist field, them both learning from each other aboard ship, and meeting a new alien species.

In the last book, Zach came aboard as a palteia to a Grandmother who is now his chilta. The nearest translation in English to palteia seems to be submissive (although these relationships are not sexual in Rownt culture.) A chilta would have the “dom” role of protecting and helping a palteia, who are a highly regarded in Rownt culture. This opportunity gives the Rownt a way to learn about humanity without all of that burden remaining on Liam. It’s also intriguing to see a higher ranked human than Liam, but someone with less experience with the Rownt, navigate the complexities of the society, culture, and language. The change in dynamics is a way to show us Liam’s place in the world, in both cultures.

The author shows Liam and Ondry established in their relationship of mutual trust and love. Liam’s confidence has grown and as Liam has become more Rownt in his thinking, Ondry has also become more human in his. Ondry has also gotten even more overprotective the more he reads human medical texts. If fact, the whole reason for this book is fear of human physiology and aging–Ondry wanting Liam’s lifespan to be more compatible with his and for Liam to be less breakable. I love how Liam asserts himself to be an equal partner in decisions that affect their lives and status in a way he never would have earlier in the series. But while Liam seems more confident, in some ways Ondry seems less so.

There is a bit of repetition in Ondry’s thoughts and on the obsession with palteia throughout the book, but that is a minor niggle. Overall, this is a good contribution to the series, although not my favorite. The Cy, a race that traded with the Rownt thousands of years ago, are mentioned as how they learned folded space technology. I do hope this goes somewhere in a story, whether set in the past or the present. Of course, the Imshee contact with humans is a frightening prospect. I understand why Liam would want what the Imshee offer as he will live out the rest of his life with Ondry; I am unsure of why Zach would consent when he has a five year contract, especially since if he were to go back to Earth, I would expect the military to experiment on him. I would be happy for the author to pick any of these plot bunnies that she seeded in this story.

The cover artist is Anna Sikorska. It’s in keeping with the series in style and color palette and I think represents the story well.

Sales Links:  Amazon link coming
Book Details:
ebook, Patreon edition
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018
Edition Language English
URLhttp://www.patreon.com/lyngala
Series Claimings #4

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Hiding the Moon (Fish Out of Water #4) by Amy Lane

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Though this is the fourth book in the Fish Out of Water series featuring Ellery Cramer and Jackson Rivers, this could also be considered Racing for the Sun #2 as Sonny and Ace figure prominently in the story. In fact, Ellery and Jackson’s page time is mostly a repeat of their previous conversations and activities as they raced to bring down Karl Lacey, renegade colonel in A Few Good Fish. The difference is that we mostly hear them via the bugs planted by Lacey’s team and monitored by Lee Burton, friend of Ace Atchison and Sonny Daye (Racing for the Sun) and special ops division covert operator.

Only Amy Lane could get away with having characters named Burt and Ernie, or in this case, Lee Burton and Ernie Caulfield. When Lee takes an assignment to “hit” Ernie, he’s cautioned by his manager that the target doesn’t seem to fit the usual mold and he tells Lee to back off if he agrees. Not only does Lee agree after a few days of watching Ernie, he saves the young man’s life when Lacey’s team of hit men arrive to finish Ernie off. Sending five guys seems like overkill to Lee, and he quickly dispatches the three who have Ernie pinned in an alley. He gets Ernie to a safe place before beginning a new job—covert, of course—working for Corduroy, the organization housed with Lacey and his deranged group of “special” soldiers who Lacey is training as assassins. His job is to monitor the activities of a lawyer (Ellery) and his partner (Jackson) and to let Lacey know if they get further in their investigation of him.

In the meantime, he’s installed Ernie with Ace and Sonny. Ernie is a psychic and a beautiful character. Sweet and loveable, the guy wants the best for those around him but he can read their emotions like a book and Sonny is one explosive book. Over time, he comes to value Ace’s role in Sonny’s life and vice versa as he sees how one completes the other. He’s also growing to care for Burton who comes to see Ernie during the night, make love with him under the star-filled desert skies, and then head back into insanity to try to foil Lacey’s plans.

Amy Lane has given new life to Sonny and Ace with this story. I loved them when I first met them years ago, but I adore them now—even with the chaos that is Sonny’s brain. Ace is strong, inside and out, and loves his man wholeheartedly and that strength of character and love shines through. His ability to think on his feet, when he and Ellery have their adventure, just adds to the enjoyment of the story. Ellery and Jackson are just as sharp and fun to read as they always are. In Ernie, the author gives us a very different character. He’s sweet and innocent on the outside, but strong and complex on the inside. His ability to “see” the future or “read” others before the actual events occur and his acceptance of his gift make him totally endearing. And Lee, perhaps the strongest character of all, has great depth of character with a strength and fortitude to keep moving forward toward his objective, despite the odds. He’s intelligent, resourceful, and comes to love Ernie with all his heart. His quiet, soul-searching moments reveal more of his personality, adding to readers’ enjoyment.

Honestly, how Amy Lane juggled all those balls in the air at one time, without dropping any, and then gave us an outstanding and complex story is beyond my imagination. But she most definitely did it!

The cover by Reese Dante features a gorgeous black man staring at the night sky. This, of course, is Lee Burton, and it’s a wonderful representation of the core of the story as he and Ernie generally get their time together at night in the desert.

Sales Links:   Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 216 pages
Expected publication: October 23rd 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Hiding the Moon
ISBN139781640809369
Edition Language English
Series Fish Out of Water #4

An Alisa Release Day Review: Every Other Weekend by TA Moore

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

Divorce lawyer Clayton Reynolds is a happy cynic who believes in hard work and one-night stands. He also believes that being an excellent lawyer means he never has to go home to the miserable trailer park where he grew up and that volunteering at a women’s shelter will buy off the conscience that occasionally plagues him. So when Nadine Graham comes in with a broken arm and a son she desperately wants to protect, Clayton can’t turn down their plea for help.

Taking the case means appealing to investigator “Just Call Me Kelly” for help. That wouldn’t be so bad if Kelly weren’t a hopeless romantic… and the hottest man Clayton’s ever met.

Kelly has always had a crush on the unobtainable Clayton Reynolds. He agrees to help, even though he has enough on his plate with the motherless baby his widowed brother left him to care for.

As Nadine’s case turns dangerous and the two seemingly opposite men are forced to work together, they discover they have a great deal in common—but solving the case and saving Nadine’s life might cost Kelly everything.

I really liked this story.  Clayton has worked hard to get away from his past and lives his life for himself.  Kelly has a large family who are always interfering and they don’t seem to have the right priorities.  Nadine’s connection to Kelly was huge and it threw quite a curveball into the story.

Clayton thought he was a mess but, good lord, was Kelly’s family a mess, despite outward appearances.  His mother never says anything bad about her kids and lives in rose colored glasses.  I felt his pain when he tried to get through to her but she just didn’t see it and how she just ignored his problems or brushed over what was going on.  I couldn’t believe how much of a psycho his brother ended up being.  At least his father seems to come around at the end of the book.

I loved watching these two interact with each other and seeing both of their viewpoints was a big help to understand them.  I loved that no matter how much Clayton said he wasn’t going to get attached that he kept coming back to Kelly and supporting him.  I felt the most for Kelly with everything that was going on with his family, he had to be such a strong person.  I loved that Kelly found the love he has been longing for and that Clayton found the family he never really had.

The cover art by Bree Archer is great and I love the visual of Clayton.

Sales Links: Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | B&N

Book Details:

ebook, 230 pages

Published: October 23, 2018 by Dreamspinner Press

ISBN-13: 978-1-64080-750-1

Edition Language: English

New Releases Tour for Shadow Voice (Blackwood Pack #5) by Mary Rundle (excerpt and giveaway)

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Shadow Voice

Mary Rundle has a new MM paranormal mpreg book out: Shadow Voice.

The Blackwood Pack saga continues…

This is part of an on-going series and reading the previous titles is advised. Readers of the past books will enjoy meeting old friends once more as the pack does what it does best ̶ caring for each other.

Slate, one of the last Dire Wolves, has carved out a life which suits him fine—plenty of traveling to exotic locations and an abundance of one night stands to handle his needs. While he’s happy for his brother, who has found his Fated Mate, Slate isn’t interested in finding his—at least not for a long time. That is, until his body betrays him. Seeking his mother’s help—who is an Oracle—Slate pays a visit to the Blackwood Pack where he finds the Fates have once again, messed with his life.

Dakota, the chef for the Blackwood Pack, fell in love with cooking as a young child and ultimately the kitchen became a place of refuge for him. Suffering with a ‘curse’ through much of his childhood, he relied heavily on his mother’s help to deal with it. After the massacre of his mother and siblings by their greedy uncle, Dakota barely survives, but finally forges a life for himself, content to stay home and take care of the people he loves.

About the Series:

Blackwood Pack

Join the journey of the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates – stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure. Each book has two main characters who meet, fall in love, mate and achieve an HEA but the stories also chronicle the continuing saga of the Blackwood Pack. The series is best appreciated by reading the books in order.

A long-hidden secret, rejection of a mate, acceptance of rare gifts, and a brutal kidnapping are just some of the obstacles Dakota and Slate must battle together to save their relationship. As the pack rallies around them, both must learn to trust the other before they can find the happiness that the Fates have ordained for them…

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Amazon UK | QueeRomance Ink | Goodreads


Giveaway

Mary is giving away a $25 Amazon gift card with this tour. Enter via Rafflecopter:

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http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/b60e8d4733/?


Excerpt

Meme - Shadow Voice

Slate ran down the hall, scenting his mate’s cum, determined to find him. Fuck! I don’t even know his name.Down the stairs he went, into the great room, then to the front door. Nearly tearing it off its hinges, Slate stepped out on the porch and saw the torn clothes scattered about. Just as he was about to shift and follow his mate, his father took hold of his arm and using his Alpha voice, forced Slate to stop.

“Dad, let go…my mate ran off and I have to find him!”

“Son, your mother wants to speak to you first.”

Slate fought his wolf, finally gaining control and, as the tension left his body, he slumped against the house. He stared into the woods, hoping to see his mate and when that didn’t happen, he shifted his gaze to his father. “Why did he run off? I thought a mate would rather die than abandon the one the Fates had chosen. I don’t understand it. Why didn’t he like me?”

“Slate, your mate is safe. Talk to your mother. She can help you.” Maximus gently pushed his son into the house to see his mother.

Exhausted, Slate walked to his parents’ suite. He was numb, unable to comprehend what happened and how it went wrong. Never expecting to find his mate so soon after the onset of his first toirchigh, he was confused at his need—the overpowering drive to claim his mate. All Slate knew as he entered the sitting room was that somehow he had fucked up badly. Even his wolf knew it as he keened for his mate.

The man who walked in was in pain, that much Oracle could see. But it was going to get worse before it got better. How much worse depended on her son and what he decided to do. Taking his hand, Oracle led Slate over to a chair, pushed him down in it, then sat beside him. Holding his hand, she began. “Sweetie, tell me what happened.”

Sitting next to Oracle, Slate, remembered all the times during his childhood when his mother was there for him, comforting him when he fell, and chasing the demons in his nightmares away. Drawing in her sweet scent, he confided that he’d found his mate but had been rejected. Rubbing his heart, Slate hated even saying those words, because it made the pain there more intense, so much so, he was sure it was breaking in half. Finally, when he admitted he didn’t even know his mate’s name, the tears began to flow.

Oracle put her arms around her son, gently rubbing his back as he cried. She could feel the sadness enveloping Slate, but she had no quick fixes to make it better for him. Only he could do that and she wondered, for the thousandth time, why her youngest son always had to travel such a hard road in his life. Together they sat, one trying to find the strength to continue, the other giving love and support.

When the tears had finally stopped, Slate took stock of himself, trying to find the hidden well of strength he always seemed to have. Wiping the remnants of his tears away, he looked at his mother. “Mom, I fucked up big time but I don’t know what I did wrong or how to make it right.”

“Let’s see if we can sort it out, okay, sweetie?”

“I’d appreciate it.”

“What are your intentions? Do you want him?”

Slate thought it over and much to his surprise—considering his feelings just a few hours ago—said, “Yes, I do, but I don’t even know who he is.”

“His name is Dakota and he is Jackson’s brother.”

Dakota…Dakota…oh I know him.“He’s the chef, right? Colton told me about his cooking when we were in Mexico.”

“Yes, he is and he loves it. Right now, he is teaching Theo.”

“Maybe I can share some of my recipes with him. Colton said Dakota is always looking for new recipes.”

“That might be a good way for you to get to know him.”

“Good idea, Mom,” Slate exclaimed, but then his face fell. “But first I have to find him and see if he wants me. He ran away from me. What did I do wrong?”

“May I give you some advice?”

“Sure. As you can see, I need all the help I can get.”

“Before you claim Dakota, take some time to know him and let him learn about you, Slate. His story is the key to who he is and will help you understand why he ran.”

“Okay,” Slate said, “I promise I’ll talk to my mate before throwing him down and biting him.”

“That would be a good thing to do sweetie,” Oracle said, smiling gently. “One other thing. I must talk to Dakota before you claim him to explain the gift the Fates have for him.”

“I understand, but first I have to find my mate, Mom, and I’ll bring him back here so you can tell him what you need to.” Slate stood, extending his hand to his mother and helped her up. “I don’t think we’ll make it back for lunch, so will you make my excuses to Jackson?”

“You can do that after you tell him Dakota is your Fated Mate.”


Author Bio

The first book I ever wrote was Dire Warning in 2017 and, much to my delight, it became an Amazon Best Seller. Readers loved it and I was on my way to chronicling the Blackwood Pack, seven brothers who are gay wolf shifters in search of their fated mates– stories about love at first sight with twists and turns, angst and humor, romance and adventure and, of course, happy endings.

Now, five books later, Shadow Voice, another Best Seller, has just been released to critical acclaim. I love the M/M paranormal genre because it gives my imagination a lot of territory in which to roam. My mind can really run wild and come up with some amazing stuff when it doesn’t have to stay inside the box.

My readers tell me they feel like they’re a member of the pack as the stories unfold. As if they’re right there in the middle of the action. Others tell me it’s like watching a fast-paced movie. My writing style pulls no punches– readers love it and are always clamoring for the next book.

Stories come to me as if they were being channeled by my characters, all of whom I love (except for a few villains). They are eager to recount their lives, loves and adventures and are not inhibited when it comes to revealing steamy details.

I currently live in the Northeast and love the beautiful change of seasons, my husband, and our quirky calico cat, though not necessarily in that order. I’m always happy to hear from my readers throughmy website or on Facebook!

Author Website: www.maryrundle.com

Author Facebook (Personal): www.facebook.com/maryrundle69

Author Facebook (Author Page): https://www.facebook.com/mar

LOGO - Other Worlds Ink

Book Blast – Omega Challenge (Pine Creek Lake Den #4) by Quinn Michaels (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Omega Challenge

Series: Pine Creek Lake Den,  Book 4

Author: Quinn Michaels

Publisher: Global Grafx Press

Cover Artist: Pebbles Davis

Genre/s: Genre/s: gay romance, MMM, menage, omegaverse, mpreg, paranormal, wereshifters

 Length: 35,920 words

Release Date: September 26, 2018          

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Link to chapters and all platforms

Blurb

One is forsworn. One is forsaken. One will pay.

Noah and Luther are in love. The problem, Luther is a beta, Noah is an omega, and their mating is forbidden. Worse, if Noah can’t find an acceptable alpha in the next three days, he will have no choice but to mate with Raymond, an alpha he despises.

Then Arthur arrives, and everything falls apart.

Arthur is an alpha with a secret. He and his mother were betrayed, and both wear the mark of it. Now, Arthur will stop at nothing to make the alpha who cursed them pay. Now, with revenge in his teeth, Arthur’s own body betrays him. Twice. Will Arthur sacrifice love and happiness for vengeance? Or will he choose another path?

Find out in Omega Challenge an action-packed Omegaverse romance. This is a short book set prior to the events of the other three books of the Pine Creek Lake series.

If you love shifters, mmm menage, alpha, omega, and beta dynamics, adventure, magic, and a touch of mpreg, grab Omega Challenge now!

Excerpt

The rock was red and rust-brown with fallen blood when the stranger approached.

He was large, blonde with a scruffy beard and a patch over his left eye. His right eye was gray. He wore a wide-brimmed cowboy hat, riding shirt and dungarees. Even from a distance, even through the smell of blood, this alpha’s scent was powerful. Noah felt something inside of him stir, like a vibrating banjo string only he could hear. To his embarrassment, his cock thickened.

Noah quickly averted his gaze. He took a gulp from a glass of lemonade he had been holding, and then, still feeling thirsty, he drank the last of it down.

Luther grazed his fingers over Noah’s neck, a seemingly absent touch, but one that grounded Noah. He didn’t dare look at the beta. His face was hot. He loved Luther, and this sudden attraction was a betrayal of the promises he’d made himself.

If only the alpha would leave. But no, he took his place in line behind another pair of alphas preparing to shed their blood and enter the Cluiche.

The stranger had a scar running from his hairline down his temple and beneath the eyepatch to the center of his cheek. Noah’s sight flashed. He saw a young, female omega wolf snapping her teeth. The edges of her muzzle were splattered with blood.

Noah blinked. In his moon vision, the alpha’s scar was a shimmering silver line.

Noah swallowed, wishing he had more lemonade.

The alpha approached the rock. “This is where I bleed for the challenge?”

Horace was quiet, and Noah scented fear on him.

Fear?

“Yes,” Noah said. The vision was beginning to fade, thankfully, but he couldn’t push away his attraction.

In one fluid motion, the stranger swiped a silver dagger over his palm. Squeezing his hand tight, he let three drops fall on to the stone. “I am Arthur, son of Marion,” he said, giving his family line and no pack affiliation.

A mutt.

Odd considering his youth and obvious physical strength. A small pack would have wanted an alpha and accepted him unless he had some deeper problem of disposition or character. Or maybe he was entering the Cluiche with the intention of proving himself so that he might join one of the packs here?  

The stranger, Arthur turned to leave.

Horace said, “Wait.”

The stranger turned back around. He cocked his head. “Yes?”

“Show us your eye. Under the patch.”

Horace didn’t have the sight. He hadn’t seen the scar shimmer, had he?

“The Cluiche is open to all,” Arthur said. “Pack or no.”

Noah leaned towards Horace and whispered, “He’s right. There’s no reason to embarrass him this way.”

Horace said, “Show us your eye, mutt.”

Arthur reached up and, taking the patch in a tight, almost white-knuckled grip, yanked it down. Where Noah had expected to see a hollow space, scarred and sewn over, the eye was amber. A wolf’s eye with the pupil rimmed in red and a line of white through the center, following the path of his scar.

Noah’s breath caught. Around him, the others went silent.

About the Author

Pennsylvania native, Quinn Michaels loves fantasy, werewolves and M/M mpreg romance! Her goal is to write action-packed adventures of romance, self-discovery, and second chances, all served up with a hefty helping of sweet, sexy Omegas and hot, determined Alphas who will do anything to cherish, love, and protect them. She is ecstatic to share her characters and worlds, and she hopes you enjoy them (and the sexy times!)

Her books are available on Kindle, via Gumroad directly, and also on Nook, iBooks, Kobo & Google Play.

Author Links

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Blog

BOOK BLAST SCHEDULE

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

New Release Blitz for One Step Back by Edie Danford (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: One Step Back

Author: Edie Danford

Publisher: Edie Danford

Release Date: October 23, 2018

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 85,000 words

Genre: Romance, Enemies-to-lovers, coworkers, workplace, stepbrothers

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

When you fall for a guy who’s about to become your stepbrother—do you listen to your heart and risk everything? Or listen to your head…and take one step back?

In high school I had a hundred reasons to steer clear of my soon-to-be-stepbrother, Joe Beneventi. He was a hothead, and I was reserved. His life was football,
mine was academics. He wanted to be out and proud, and I desperately needed to keep my orientation secret.

But when we fell in love, my heart took the wheel, and I took every risk to be with Joe. Then one horrible night our secrets shattered. Joe disappeared—wrecking our
families and breaking my heart.

Eleven years later, I landed a challenging job at a premier PR firm. And the hotshot publicist who’s been assigned to my first big account? Yep. It’s Joe.

Fate truly hates me because now Joe and I have three days to hole up in a Chicago hotel room and nail down a deal that could make or break our careers. He
keeps distracting me, but I’m too jaded to fall for sexy smiles, bedroom eyes, and his impossible-to-ignore body. Except…

I like being close to him again. A little too much. Working together 24/7 is showing me sides of Joe I’ve never seen before.

And when we touch, being together seems like the only step worth taking.

Excerpt

I take a deep breath. Gotta prepare myself for being up-close and personal with the force of nature that is Joseph Vincent Beneventi.

“Hey, Joe,” I say, my voice cracking. Not how I’d wanted to sound.

His sexy mouth curves, and I get hit with the full impact of his attention-sucking energy. It zaps across the entryway. Through the guesthouse and the five-acre yard. All of Chicagoland. The state of Illinois, the entire Midwest…

Yeah, you get the picture. Joe has <em>it</em>. Chemical hoodoo-voodoo oozes from his pores and makes you forget whatever it is you’re doing, whatever happened to be on your mind. And all you can do is stand there and stare at him. And listen to the ridiculous shit that comes out of his gorgeous mouth.

I’ve had to cope with this Joe-phenomenon for three years now, as long as his mom and my dad have been dating. Weekends and vacations together at first, and then mostly full time as of last year, after Kim and Bernie got engaged and bought this monstrosity of a property together.

Wedding-planning and “a home where we can be a family” was supposed to bring us stability. Wishful thinking, because things between my dad and Joe’s mom—between all of us, really—seem rockier than ever.

“Hey, you.” Joe leans against the door jamb, killer smile flashing.

He’s a big, glossy beast, and he lights up the night that I’ve tried to darken. I look away from his shining eyes, but his jacked chest and abs, his maybe-too-tight board shorts, his legs, his feet, aren’t any easier to ignore.

“Why didn’t you tell me you’d be home tonight?” he asks. His deep voice has a slight throb, like he’s actually hurt. “You didn’t answer my message. Any of my messages. I get why you didn’t want to show for my amazingly fucking boring graduation, but… I was hoping to hear about your plans. For the summer.”

He reaches up to brush damp hair from his face, the movement popping every muscle from shoulder to wrist. Matty actually sighs from behind me. I try not to notice how the longer hair and the scruff on his chin make Joe look hotter than his usual smoking hellfire.

He spent his senior year at a therapeutic high school here in the Chicago area and the place didn’t demand buzz-cuts the way the military school did. The longer black waves do amazing things for his cheekbones, his squared-off chin, his sin-dark eyes.

I’m supposed to be saying something. So I open my mouth and a lame excuse comes out. “I wasn’t sure about flight times. Until the last minute. Storms in New York.”

He nods, head tilting as he scrutinizes my features. He wants to believe me even though it’s obvious I’m lying. The sky had been clear when I’d jetted away from LaGuardia, my freshman year of college complete.

I’d been avoiding all contact with Joe since Christmas break. I’d figured he’d understand why I didn’t respond to any of his messages today. Or at least take the hint. <em>Hey, Joey, after I don’t answer your two-hundredth-and-seventieth voicemail, maybe that means I don’t want to communicate with you. </em>But Joe is thick in more ways than one.

His dark eyes get warmer as they take me in, the dimple in his right cheek popping. His thumb traces the sand-dollar tattoo under his left nipple, a move I’m sure he’s making unconsciously. I do the same thing sometimes. I have a matching tattoo; we’d gotten them in Mexico during Christmas vacation two years ago. The ’rents had been very confused when both of us suddenly wore rash guards 24/7 for the rest of the break. Joe had come up with a BS-but-brilliant excuse about stingray sightings and the angle of the sun and the chemicals in sunscreen lotion killing off coral reefs.

And, okay. I’m not being fair. Joe isn’t thick. He’s probably smarter than me. He just doesn’t know how to rein in a lot of the bad shit that constantly roams his head. I’ve actually tried to help him figure out some stuff, given him some pointers about how to focus and prioritize—

There’s a crashing noise from the pool area. More shit breaking.

“Fuck,” he mutters, looking over his shoulder.

“You better get back there. Broken glass. Blood. Nastiness. It’s all gonna happen.”

He sighs—a shudder wracking his six-five frame. “Should’ve never invited anyone over.” His smile is crooked. “Your fault. I wouldn’t have had to get up to shenanigans with Bran and Troy if I’d known you’d be here tonight.”

And, there it is.

The reason why he always, <em>always </em>manages to piss me off. I’m not responsible for him. Not responsible for his feelings, for his actions. I refuse to be.

“Not my fault,” I say, my voice cracking again, damn it. I take a step backward, my hand pulling the door closed.

“Asher, come on. You know I didn’t mean it like that—”

I shut the door in his face. Then I pull the blinds closed, blocking out his beauty, blocking out his hurt expression. Maturity can go fuck itself, because literally closing off Joe from my senses will be the only way I can survive the summer.

“Wow,” Matty says.

“Yeah,” I agree.

#

It’s probably a few hours later when something jolts me awake. It’s Joe looming over me. I must’ve passed out after Matty left. I’m sprawled on the big chaise in the guesthouse’s living room, Joe standing so close his knees are touching the cushion’s edge.

There’s only one light on, a yellow glow coming from the glass-fronted cabinet that displays Joe’s shell collection. It creates weird, streaky shadows across his super-defined chest and abs.

His shorts are dry now, not as tight on his thighs or his package, but I can see he’s erect, a righteous bulge that’s impossible to miss. And, when I look up into his face, my gaze snags on his parted lips, his heavy-lidded eyes .

The house is quiet. No more party outside. When Joe inhales suddenly, I can feel the sharpness of his breath in my own lungs.

I sit, swinging my legs to the side of the chaise, planting my feet on either side of his. He takes my face in his hands. His fingers are warm, familiar, his touch so tender it makes me want to cry.

And, God, when our gazes connect, and I immediately fall into that dark brown and gold I dream about, tears clog my throat, for real.

“Ash,” he whispers, his voice so hoarse I can barely hear it. The pad of his thumb passes over my lower lip. I lick away the taste of him and he sighs. “Damn, I missed you.”

I nod. I can’t speak. It hurts.

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Meet the Author

Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she’s found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.

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Blog Post and Giveaway for Sarah Hadley Brook’s Gateway To Love

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Adulting

Hi! So glad to be here. My name is Sarah Hadley Brook and I’m here to talk about my new release, Gateway to Love, part of the Dreamspinner Press’s States of Love series.

The main characters, Craig and Mitchell, have just graduated college and are facing the prospect of moving to opposite sides of the country. They’ve spent years studying and preparing for their future and it has finally arrived. Both have accepted job offers and have only a short time before they move away from each other.

As I wrote this story, it brought back a lot of memories of that period of transition from teenager and student to a twentysomething adult with all the grown up responsibilities. No matter how much we look forward to the day we’re finally on our own, it can be overwhelming. Exhilarating, but overwhelming. Banking accounts, leases, jobs, and—gasp—cooking for ourselves!

The thing is, the more I thought about it and looked around at the generation starting out in the workforce, the more impressed I was. It seems to me that they are more engaged in the world, the country, the environment. They have goals and have a plan to meet those goals. They are more aware of everything. The biggest change though, is that they have an opinion and aren’t afraid to stand up for what they believe in.

I’m not sure I was ready for all that when I began “adulting” and I know I wasn’t as knowledgeable about our government as they are. No matter your political views, these young adults will be changing the world.

And, wow…now I feel old. I’m only in my forties—I shouldn’t be feeling old! Isn’t forty the new twenty-nine?

I hope you check out Gateway to Love and learn about the state of Missouri while you’re at it! I’ve listed all the ways you can follow or contact me below. And if you sign up for my newsletter on my website, you receive a free ebook!

You can follow me on social media:

Twitter: @SarahHBrook
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSarahHadleyBrook
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/SHadleyBrook
Instagram: Sarah_Hadley_Brook_Author
Website: www.sarahhadleybrookwrites.com


 
 
Length: 32,793 words
 
Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht
 
 
Blurb
 

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.


He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.


As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?



October 19 Two Chicks Obsessed, Xtreme Delusions, October 20Bayou Book Junkie, October 22SSLY, Bookaholic & Kindle, October 23 Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, October 24Cupcakes & Bookshelves, Love Unchained Book Review, Amy’s MM Romance Reviews, MM Midnight Cafe, Mikku-chan, October 25Boy Meets Boy Reviews, October 26Making It Happen, October 27 Mirrigold, October 29 Drops Of Ink, Bayou Book Junkie, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews, Nerdy Dirty & Flirty, Book Review By Virginia Lee, October 30MM Good Book Reviews

 
Author Bio



Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland someday and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words review here.