An Ali Review: Starting from Zero (Starting From #1) by Lane Hayes

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Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Justin Cuevas is going through a rough patch. A broken relationship, a scandal, and the demise of his band have shaken the aspiring rock star’s confidence. Working two jobs and sleeping on his friend’s sofa isn’t ideal, but Justin isn’t ready to give up yet. With a little luck, he’s hoping to re-launch his music career in LA with his new band, Zero. The key is to stay focused, and not get distracted by his past…or the sexy songwriter he can’t get out of his head.

Gray Robertson has written dozens of hits and worked with some of the biggest names in the industry. But he’s never met anyone like Justin. The younger man is fiery, passionate, and smart. A powerful voice for a new generation. Other than an unforgettable one-night stand and a passion for music, the two men have nothing in common. Or do they? Justin knows the out-of-the-blue challenge to write a quintessential love song is a huge opportunity. And it’s the ultimate test for someone who’s doesn’t believe in happily ever after. When sparks fly, Justin and Gray realize they have a shot something special if they start from zero together. Maybe even love.

This was one of the best books I’ve read in awhile. I always enjoy this author’s work but this one really stood out to me. The writing here was gorgeous. In addition to being a very good book, it was also very romantic. One of those that makes you do a happy sigh when you’re done reading it.
The story revolves around two men who on the surface seem very different. They meet at a club after Justin performs and they are immediately attracted to each other. They agree to go somewhere to talk but they neither thinks it will go anywhere and neither is looking for a relationship anyways. Their chemistry jumps off the pages and they find they are so attracted to each other they can’t stop at just talking. After a scorching scene public bathroom sex, they go their separate ways. Fate has different ideas and brings them back together a short time later when they end up working together.
I liked both of the MC’s very much and I especially liked them together. I’m not generally a big fan of age gaps but I thought it was really well done here. I found their relationship believable despite the differences in their life experiences. I rarely comment on sex scenes in my reviews because I can take or leave them depending on the overall plot. Here though they really stood out. These two were smoking hot together. I think this author did a great job of not only showing their chemistry but also used the scenes to show their overall relationship development.
If you’ve read this author’s Out In College series you will recognize Justin. He is the older brother of Rory from book three. Both Rory and Christian makes some appearances in this. If you have not read that book though it will not matter. This book is totally a standalone.
There was nothing about this book that I disliked. I thought it was really well done and I highly recommend this. I can’t wait for the next book in the series.
Cover:  I like the cover. It’s is eye catching and visually appealing. I also feel the model on the cover fits the main character.

Sales LInks:  Amazon |

Book Details:

ebook, 1st edition, 215 pages
Published April 19th 2019 by Lane Hayes (first published April 16th 2019)
Edition Language English
Series Starting From #1

A Free Dreamer Review: Destructive Forces (The Galactic Captains #4) by Harry F. Rey

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

In the far reaches of the Kyleri Empire, young Captain Mahnoor travels around the system to escape the cultural pressures to marry. But his infatuation with a handsome imperial pilot leads him into a galactic war.

On Jiwani, Viscamon is attempting to consolidate his power, by blaming the Ingvar for the royal massacre and calling armies from across the Empire to track down the missing prince, and achieve his dream of destroying the Galactic Balance. However, Antari knows the truth about Osvai and must find the courage to stand up to the prince’s enemies, and his own, no matter the risk.

Meanwhile on Aldegar, Daeron is being held prisoner by the few remaining Ingvar forces and must find a way to break free to rescue his mother and the crew of the Daring Huntress once again, as well as the missing Prince Osvai, before the Kyleri come to take back what’s theirs.

Sallah, no longer the last Tevian, returns to Aldegar with no choice but to enlist the help of the man she hates and the woman she once loved to see her son again.

As the Galactic Balance tips ever more towards chaos, time is running out to save Ales from the destructive forces he has unleashed.

First things first. “Destructive Forces” is part 4 of “The Galactic Captains” series and doesn’t work as a standalone at all. You have to read the previous three books in order to fully understand and appreciate this book. My review will also contain spoilers for the previous books.

I really liked the previous three installments of the series, so I was looking forward to this latest part. Sadly, I was rather disappointed.

First of all, I loathe cliffhangers. “Horizon Points” ended with one hell of a cliffhanger and it made me really mad that it didn’t get resolved. We still don’t know if Ales survived and what happened to him. For story telling reasons it’s probably safe to assume he’s alive, but I don’t like being kept in the dark about such things.

Overall, I was surprised at how tame this book was. The other books were pretty porny, but this time, it took quite a long time for the first sex scene to happen. I liked that there was more of a focus on the main plot, but the second half more than made up for the rather tame first half. Once again, the male MCs were thinking with their cock and seemed to be in a state of constant horniness. There’s also a lesbian couple and they obviously have sex at least once. I was disappointed that it wasn’t explicit and we only got to see the “aftermath”. The author sure is never shy about very explicitly depicting the m/m sex.

During the sex-less first half, we learn a lot about Turo and his past. That was actually really interesting, since his motives were a bit of a mystery so far.

The cast of main characters gets yet more additions and at times it got a little bit confusing. It’s all getting very complex and yet the books are quite short. I think it would be easier to keep track of everything, if I didn’t have to wait months between each book. You could half the number of books in the series and combine two books into one. That would also take care of the cliffhangers I hate so very much.

While the multitude of MCs makes everything very complicated, it does also offer an opportunity to see even more societies and cultures. The author is really good at world-building and creates some very interesting cultures. I always enjoy discovering what Rey comes up with.

Sloppy editing is a major pet peeve of mine and there’s absolutely no excuse for it. Needless to say, I was super annoyed by the bad spelling and grammar of this book. I can forgive a typo or two, but not when there’s at least one stupid mistake on every page. I don’t want to read a book where the author can’t tell the difference between you’re/your.

Book four ends pretty much like book three did and yet again we’re left with a major cliffhanger. Yet again, we don’t know if anybody survived. And yet again, I’m annoyed. The next book will probably focus on Ales again and the fate of this set of MCs will probably be left unclear for the whole next book.

The story itself was 3.5 stars for me. But the sloppy editing really spoiled my enjoyment of the story, so I had to knock it down to 3 stars. Despite this rather disappointing book, I do still want to read the next part of the series. I just hope it will be as good as the previous ones.

The cover by Natasha Snow is gorgeous and fits the rest of the series and the story itself.

Sales Links:  NineStar Press | Amazon

Book details:

ebook
Published April 22nd 2019 by NineStar Press
ISBN 139781950412471
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review :717 miles by Sophia Soames

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

The calculated flying distance from Oslo to London is equal to 717 miles which is equal to 1153 km. If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Oslo and London is 1732.79 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometres/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 15 hours 28 minutes.

Adam Vik Solheim should not be in London. He’s not supposed to be anywhere near the British capital, because Adam Vik Solheim, age 19, is supposed to be on a beach in Bali. He is supposed to be on the first stop on an Asian backpacking trip of a lifetime. That was the plan. That is where he is supposed to be. Not here. Alone in a weird house in a strange city, being paid to look after some troubled 17-year-old.

Felix Haugland has to survive the final 3 weeks of school. Make it through 21 more days of hell. Then he is going to hide out in his room for the rest of the summer until he can figure out how to get his life back on track. Find a school far far away, where he can start over and not make mistakes.
He doesn’t need a flipping babysitter. He just doesn’t. His life is messed up enough as it is.

This is a New Adult story and is set in the UK where the age of consent is 16. Trigger warnings: Severe bullying and mature content.

Several things intrigued me about this novel when I first heard about it.  It mentioned a discussion about the age of consent in Europe, the disparity in school systems from the US, an odd family dynamic, and of course, two countries (England and Norway) that it’s primarily set in.  Plus to top it all off it deals seriously with the issue of bullying.  All from a author I had never read before.  With an absolutely stunning cover to boot!  Yes, I grabbed it up and will forever be grateful I did.

717 miles by Sophia Soames is that not to be missed novel that you want to review.  Unexpected, beautifully written, that carries such an emotional impact with it’s characters and storyline that days later they and it are still with you, lingering in your mind and heart, scenes and phrases tumbling over and over.

The title from from the distance from Adam’s home in Oslo to his new temporary position as an au pair in London, England.  It’s exactly 717 miles and as he leaves home for the first time he is feeling every bit of it.  It’s not a place he thought he would be but extremely poor decisions from both himself and his long-time group of childhood friends has cost him and them dearly.  I won’t go into it here, it’s a tale for the story and Adam to tell, and it will unfold in the novel.  It too has both it’s heartbreakingly funny and deadly serious moments.  Just like everything in this book.  So human, so real, and young.

The story is told from both Adam’s and Felix’ perspective, a format that works so well here.  Their initial impressions of each other is important as is their descriptions, so we see them through each others eyes.  And it’s how we see Felix’s relationship with his unusual mother, Birgit, an expressive wonderful single mother whose style of parenting is not everyone idea of parenting but as Adam comes to realize it works for Felix.

I don’t think I can even begin to do justice to the incredible characterizations here.  Not just the two young men but all the families, and friends.  Each and everyone is an exquisite portrait of a real person, oozing with life and vitality.  You want to crawl inside this book and meet each and everyone.  Be a part of this unique circle of people in both countries.

Which makes one of the major elements here all the more realistic and frightening.  You see Felix is being badly bullied in school.  Physically beaten bullied. There is violence.  So if this is a trigger be warned.  It also marks such a major difference in my understanding of the school systems in the way it was treated.  I do understand some of  the difference between the UK systems and their as a good friend of the families was a headmaster but here the lawyers would have been outside the door, the headmaster held accountable the first time a student landed in the hospital and the culprit identified.  The inaction by the school and headmaster, however, realistic, frustrated me and made my heart hurt not only for Felix but for all those existing outside the story if true.  Adam is there to be his friend and Felix need a friend and more.  This entire thread, especially when told from Felix’s side, will make you weep.  It will get worse, and then get better.  Just know that.

Then there is the slow burn relationship between Adam and Felix.  Slow to develop because at first Felix sees Adam as an adversary, someone to drive away as he had all the other “babysitters” his mother has employed.  But Adam has younger brothers he loves and he knows how to deal with someone who clearly needed him.  It’s wonderful watching it unfold before you.  The dialog, the scenes, they alternate from hilarious (Adam learning to navigate the London traffic) to the serious (pulling out exactly what’s happening to Felix) to the amazing (all the cooking and baking that Adam does.  We  watch the transition from both pov and we start to cherish both the relationship and the  young men.

And oh that ending!  Sob.  Yes, I loved that ending too.  This book!  I’m already itching to reread it soon.

When you finish a book you love, you sort of bask in the glow of a story and characters so well done that you are just so happy.  Happy for them, happy you found the story, and in this case happy I found this remarkable author. Yes, I highly recommend this story to everyone! Go, go, go, grab it up and start reading immediately.  It will be on my Best of 2019 list.

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu. The cover artist is a Norwegian artist who works in charcoal on paper.  That’s the unusual beauty behind the cover and it’s Norwegian models that fit the story so perfectly.  Honestly this novel just continues to give starting with the cover and a link to the artist’s studio.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Details:

ebook, 371 pages
Published April 30th 2019
ISBN139781092506168

Love Romance with a Murder Mystery Involved? Check out Murder Most Lovely (Lacetown Murder Mysteries #1) by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth (guest author interviews and giveaway)

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Murder Most Lovely (Lacetown Murder Mysteries #1) by Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth

Dreamspinner Press

Published April 30th 2019
Cover Artist: Bree Archer

Sales Links:

AmazonDreamspinneriTunesGooglePlayKoboNookBookbubgoodreads

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth here today on tour for their new novel,Murder Most Lovely. The first in a new series, Lacetown Murder Mysteries.  Welcome both of you.

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Interviews Hank Edwards and Deanna Wadsworth….

 

 

Does research play a role into choosing which genre you write?  Do you enjoy research or prefer making up your worlds and cultures?

DEANNA: Research is a HUGE part of all writing. Fortunately for Hank, with our book MURDER MOST LOVELY, he got to skip all the research on Jazz’s hairstylist profession because I’ve been in the beauty biz since 1992. While we had that ace in the hole, however, both of us had to do a lot of research on funeral parlors, and the Michigan laws on coroner work for Michael’s character.

For a while, Google thought I wanted to be a mortician and I saw ads for Cadillac coach packages (that’s what they call the upgrade from sedan to hearse) everywhere I looked LOL.

Hank and I keep a series bible for our Lacetown Mysteries too, because when you create a fictional world you need to keep track of many tiny details

Who do you think is your major influence as a writer?  Now and growing up?

HANK: I would definitely have to say Stephen King is a major influence. I love how he creates a sense of place and believable characters with flaws and heroic moments and, sometimes, really bad luck. I keep working on my craft because of his example. I also love John Sanford’s Lucas Davenport in the Prey series, and really enjoyed Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. There are way too many great writers in the gay romance genre to pick names, but reading and enjoying their stories keeps me striving to make mine better.

Has your choice of childhood or teenage reading genres carried into your own choices for writing?

DEANNA: Well, if I wasn’t reading a historical bodice ripper, I was reading mystery, fantasy, and horror as a teen. So yes, definitely the romantic part has carried over to all of my books. In THE BOYFRIEND CRUISE I got to dabble with dragons and mermaids—which was awesome—and hopefully future books will feature those paranormal beings front and center. And I finally got to play with writing a real mystery with our book MURDER MOST LOVELY, which was much different than writing romance

HANK:  Most definitely! I read a lot of fantasy adventure in my pre-teen and teen years. Stuff from C. S. Lewis and Tolkien and some sci-fi. I read a lot of movie novelizations and suspense/thriller/mysteries. When Stephen King started publishing, I read everything he wrote. Still do, actually. Much of my writing leans toward paranormal or horror, like my CRITTER CATCHERS series in which two best friends find themselves chasing paranormal creatures, or my VENOM VALLEY series with evil vampires and zombies in the American Old West, all with a gay romance at the heart. I also wrote a YA fantasy series, THE TOWN OF SUPERSTITION, under the pen name R. G. Thomas, with wizards and other magical creatures like garden gnomes and a dragon. I’ve written a mystery or two already, my humorous REPOSSESSION IS 9/10THS OF THE LAW and the suspenseful UP TO TROUBLE series are mysteries, but I have to admit I had a great time writing MURDER MOST LOVELY with Deanna. We had a blast!

Have you ever had to put an ‘in progress’ story aside because of the emotional ties with it?  You were hurting with the characters or didn’t know how to proceed?

DEANNA: Yes, I have. I also write YA/NA romance under the pen name KD Worth. My GRIM LIFE series about teen suicide and Christian faith was highly emotional for me to write. It has taken me much longer to complete the trilogy than planned, almost two years between each one. The final book THE LOST SOULS will be out this winter and I’m really excited to share Max and Kody’s well-earned HEA!

HANK: Yes, I have. I’ve been working on a very angst-heavy book for a few years now that deals with one character’s alcoholism and another’s work rescuing feral cats. It’s a very different type of story for me, and it’s really touching on some personal buttons, but I’m determined to work on it at some point in the near future. Fingers crossed!

Have you ever put a story away, thinking it just didn’t work?  Then years/months/whatever later inspiration struck and you loved it?  Is there a title we would recognize if that happened?

DEANNA: Yes, several books in fact. My 1850’s Key West historical romance WRECKED was originally m/f and I could never quite finish it. Then I realized my wrecker Rief’s grief/angst was a longing for a man to love him, which was sadly forbidden in that era. I didn’t just do a pronoun swap, rather, I created an entirely new character Mathew while relegating the original heroine Maggie to Mathew’s fiancé. I’m pretty happy with the end result. ❤

LA FAMIGLIA was the first m/m novel I ever completed but it was rejected when I sought publication. It went through so many rebirths after that because I just loved Forrester and Kyle so much. When I decided to focus on Forrester’s family and made Kyle deaf, everything just fell into place.

How do you feel about the ebook format and where do you see it going?

HANK: I was an early adopter of ebooks. I bought the first version of the Kindle and really loved the reading experience. It’s been amazing to see how it’s changed the reading experience. I could have never imagined the ability for authors to get their stories into reader’s hands so easily. I have no idea where this is all going, but I can’t wait to see what it looks like.

What’s the wildest scene you’ve imagined and did it make it into a story?

DEANNA: The opening scene of THE RHUBARB PATCH when Phineas runs out of his house wearing nothing but his skivvies and a pair of orange rubber boots because his new neighbor—city boy Scott—is weed-wacking his rhubarb patch. It’s still one of my favorites!

 

HANK: Oh yes! When I first started writing, I published a funny and erotic series called FLUFFERS, INC. Believe me when I say that it’s a very, very filthy and funny book series. In the first book, our hero, Charlie, the sweetest and most clumsy fluffer-for-hire who ever knelt before a porn star, is at a wild party in California. There’s a man in a leather sling, a lot of lube, and clumsy Charlie. That’s about all I’ll say about it here. Still makes me chuckle when I think about it.

Ever drunk written a chapter and then read it the next day and still been happy with it? Trust me there’s a whole world of us drunk writers dying to know.

DEANNA: Honestly, no I haven’t written much while drinking, but I do a TON of brainstorming while I’m having cocktails. There are scrap papers all over my basement bar where I jot down an epiphany for a plot twist or a great line. Sometimes I even message my favorite author friends and tell them we should write a book together… isn’t that right, Hank? LOL

MURDER MOST LOVELY is a complete product of cocktails inspiring great books. I was imbibing and crocheting a baby blanket while listening to vinyl records (hey, I like to keep myself busy) when I sent this FB message to Hank

MURDER MOST LOVELY

Lacetown Murder Mysteries: Case One Giveaway!

Enter to win 2 FREE ebooks from Hank and Deanna!

HERE: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e33c45758/?

BLURB:

A killer at a small-town literary festival. Bumbling drug dealers. A kidnapped cat. Starting a romance among all this chaos might be the death of them.

Michael Fleishman is excited to meet his favorite mystery writer, Russell Withingham, at Lacetown’s Literary Fest. He is not expecting to cross paths with sexy hairdresser Jasper “Jazz” Dilworth—or become embroiled in a real-life mystery. As Lacetown’s only mortician and the county coroner, Michael is called to his first murder scene and is shocked to recognize the victim—Russell’s young lover.

Jazz only wanted to confront his ex, Russell, over his cheating. Instead, he meets the adorably awkward Michael and becomes a murder suspect. Soon Jazz is teaming up with Michael to clear his name. Along the way, they are helped and hindered by Michael’s sassy assistant, Kitty, the grumpy Sheriff Musgrave, Russell’s creepy PR rep, Norbert, and Michael’s lothario grandfather, who likes his manhattans strong and his women saucy. And of course, Mr. Pickles Furryton the Third….

~~~~

About the Authors

Hank Edwards has been writing gay fiction for more than twenty years. He has published over thirty novels and dozens of short stories. His writing crosses many sub-genres, including romance, rom-com, contemporary, paranormal, suspense, mystery, and wacky comedy. He has written a number of series such as the suspenseful Up to Trouble, funny and spooky Critter Catchers, Old West historical horror of Venom Valley, and erotic and funny Fluffers, Inc. No matter what genre he writes, Hank likes to keep things steamy and heartfelt. He was born and still lives in a northwest suburb of the Motor City, Detroit, Michigan, where he shares a home with his partner of over 20 years and their two cats.

Join Hank’s Newsletter HERE

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Read about the Town of Superstition, Hank’s YA series written as R.G. Thomas on Amazon

Deanna Wadsworth might be a bestselling erotica author, but she leads a pretty vanilla life in Ohio with her wonderful husband and adorable cocker spaniels. She has been penning stories since childhood, and her first erotic novella was published in 2010 and served multiple as President of the Rainbow Romance Writers in 2017. When she isn’t writing books or brainstorming with friends, you can find her making people gorgeous in a beauty salon. An avid reader, she also loves gardening, cooking, music, and dancing. Often she can be seen hanging out on the sandbar in the muddy Maumee River or chilling with her hubby and a cocktail in their basement bar. In between all that fun, Deanna cherishes the quiet times when she can let her wildly active imagination have the full run of her mind. Her fascination with people and the interworkings of their relationships have always inspired her to write romance with spice and love without boundaries.

Join Deanna’s newsletter HERE

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Check out Deanna’s young adult alter ego, K.D. Worth AmazonTwitterBookBub

MURDER MOST LOVELY

Lacetown Murder Mysteries: Case One

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Enter to win 2 FREE ebooks from Hank and Deanna!

HERE: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/e33c45758/?

Looking for that Heartwarmer that Spans the Globe? Check out the Release Blitz for 717 miles by Sophia Soames (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: 717 miles

Author: Sophia Soames

Publisher: Self published

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu

Release Date:  April 30, 2019

Length: 104 969 words/ 371 pages

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Heat Rating: 4 flames  

Trope/s: New adult

Themes:  Coming of age, Au pair (Manny), Travel, Family, Airline Industry,

London, UK, Oslo, Norway, School. Enemies to lovers. Bisexuality. Gay. Out and Proud.

TRIGGER WARNINGS:

 Deals with serious bullying.

For US readers, this story is set in the UK where the age of consent is 16.

The MC’s are 17 and 19. Mature content.

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal link

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Blurb

The calculated flying distance from Oslo to London is equal to 717 miles which is equal to 1153 km. If you want to go by car, the driving distance between Oslo and London is 1732.79 km. If you ride your car with an average speed of 112 kilometres/hour (70 miles/h), travel time will be 15 hours 28 minutes.

Adam Vik Solheim should not be in London. He’s not supposed to be anywhere near the British capital, because Adam Vik Solheim, age 19, is supposed to be on a beach in Bali. He is supposed to be on the first stop on an Asian backpacking trip of a lifetime. That was the plan. That is where he is supposed to be. Not here. Alone in a weird house in a strange city, being paid to look after some troubled 17-year-old.

Felix Haugland has to survive the final 3 weeks of school. Make it through 21 more days of hell. Then he is going to hide out in his room for the rest of the summer until he can figure out how to get his life back on track. Find a school far far away, where he can start over and not make mistakes.

He doesn’t need a flipping babysitter. He just doesn’t. His life is messed up enough as it is.

Excerpt

I don’t notice him at first, wrapped up in a blanket sitting on the sofa. The house is dark and quiet and if it wasn’t for the light from his phone, I wouldn’t have noticed him at all. He just looks up and meets my eye for a second. Looking a little bit sad.

“Where is your mum? I thought you were going to hang out today?”

“Gone to her boyfriend’s. Not sure when she will be back. Didn’t check. She left you money on the side there.”

“Oh.”

I don’t know what to say. Apart from that I’m sorry she is a bit of a shit mum. I mean she left him here alone, whilst she’s gone off to see her bloke. Then, I kind of think that we are all adults. Well, Felix might be. I am not. I still don’t know what to say.

“Philip went on the group chat. I got bored.” Felix gets up from the sofa. Walking over to the kettle and flicking the switch. At least it fills the silence, the kettle humming quietly as the water heats up.

“I saw that, it was funny. Really good.” I pretend to check my phone.

Felix gets a cup down. Pulls out a teabag. Tilts his head towards the coffeemaker.

I get a coffee pod out and load it whilst Felix gets another cup. Nudging my hand as he places it in the brewer, which makes me jolt back. I don’t know why. I just don’t know how to act around him when we are alone. Like this.

He is leaning back against the counter. Chewing on his bottom lip with his arms crossed over his chest. Wearing joggers that are slung low over his hips, and a hoodie that just doesn’t quite cover the blond fuzz on his stomach.

I am standing there biting my nails and fiddling with the envelope on the counter. I try to catch his eye. Staring at his lips and thinking dirty thoughts. Then, looking away the minute he looks up.

It’s different flirting with girls. If Felix was a girl, I would be all charming and touchy-feely and wink and compliment her and we would both know where things would end up in the end.

With Felix, I haven’t got a clue. I don’t know where he falls, whether he is straight or gay or whatever he defines as. He might just think of me as some big brother figure. Someone who makes him feel safe. Someone who he kisses and clings to and cuddles. He seems as confused as me. His hand shaking a little as he pours the boiling water in the cup. Stirs with a teaspoon. Spills a little on the side.

I try to be helpful. I mean, I try to wipe it up with a tea towel, only to nudge his arm with my elbow which makes us both jump. I spill half of his tea. The cup spinning on the worktop. Felix’s hand touching mine, as we both try to catch the cup before it falls. Me catching it and Felix jolting back like he has been burnt. He is sucking his finger into his mouth. Catching my eye and not looking away. He just looks at me, all eyes and hurt and feelings and… I don’t know. I suppose it’s heat. Desire.

It makes me a bit crazy. I mean, I am already crazy, but I think I must be crazier than should be allowed, because I grab his face with both hands and launch at those lips. Just smashing my mouth on his. Walking him backwards until he is being squashed against the kitchen table that is creaking and scratching along the floor under the weight of us.

I am panting. Hard. Being the worst kisser in the world. There is nothing sensual or soft about me and my kissing. Not like I would kiss a girl. I am kissing Felix because I need to. Because I am desperate and because his hands are fisting the hair on my head, pulling and scratching my scalp whilst he catches his breath. Letting his forehead rest against mine, breathing hard and fast against my lips.

Then, he starts to kiss me. Properly kiss me. The way I should have been kissing him. Lips and tongues and more than a little bit of teeth, hard and hot and making me feel lightheaded. I am not breathing properly. Not getting enough oxygen to my brain. Grinding against him. Rutting and jerking whilst he is whimpering and panting and making all these little sounds that just egg me on.

I don’t know what I am doing. I don’t know what got into me. I let go. I let him go. Pull my hands back and step away from him. Wiping my mouth with the back of my hand. Stumbling backwards and blinking into the light like I have just woken up.

“I shouldn’t have done that.” I mumble. Well I shouldn’t. I wasn’t supposed to do that.

 

About the Author

Sophia Soames should be old enough to know better but has barely grown up. She has been known to fangirl over tv-shows, has fallen in and out of love with more pop stars than she dares to remember, and has a ridiculously high-flying (un)glamourous real-life job.

Her long suffering husband just laughs at her antics. Their children are feral. The Au Pair just sighs.

She lives in a creaky old house in rural London, although her heart is still in Scandinavia.

Discovering that the stories in her head make sense when written down has been part of the most hilarious midlife crisis ever and she hopes it may long continue.

Miriam Latu is a Norway based artist, specializing in hand drawn pencil portraits. She works with old-school pen and paper, and more of her work can be found on Instagram

Author Links

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Giveaway

Little Harbour, my first novel, will be FREE on all Amazon platforms from April 30 until  May 4.

Go grab it if you haven’t already read it!

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Avery Cockburn on Heroes in the Blog Post for Play Hard (Glasgow Lads 4.5) by Avery Cockburn (excerpt and giveaway)

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Thanks so much to Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for hosting me today! I’m Avery Cockburn, author of the Glasgow Lads series, a set of contemporary m/m sports romances set in Scotland. The newest release, Play Hard, is a followup “happier-ever-after” novella featuring Robert and Liam, the heroes of Playing With Fire.

In Play Hard, Robert senses that Liam is starting to feel dissatisfied with their year-long relationship—Liam feels Robert works too much, which is partly a reflection of Liam’s dissatisfaction with his own life. To spice things up, Robert proposes a series of challenges for them to give each other, little games or dares to get them out of their ruts.

His first challenge for Liam is not what you’d expect:

—(Excerpt)

Robert unzipped his kit bag and pulled out a rolled-up piece of A1-size blank poster board, along with a pair of scissors and a glue stick. He arranged the items on the glass coffee table as he spoke. “Remember at school when they’d have us make collages by cutting out photos from magazines and all? Like, what we wanted to be when we grew up, or what we did on summer holiday?”

Liam grunted. “I hated them.” Being the opposite of artistic, he’d always ended up clipping out words instead of pictures.

“I know. I remember the time you pasted together the sentence, ‘When I grow up, I want to not make fucking collages.’”

“In all different typefaces, like a wee ransom note.” Liam smirked. “That stunt got me sent to the headmaster.”

“That stunt made me want to be your friend. Mind, it was the next day I went up to you at the swing park and said—”

“‘Let’s be mates!’ I remember.” Liam had never thought to wonder why Robert had invited himself into his life with such bluntness. To his six-year-old self, it had seemed the most natural thing in the world. He pointed a chopstick at the poster board. “So what am I to do with that now?”

“You’ve got twenty-four hours to illustrate—with pictures cut from wherever—one thing you want from me.”

Liam’s answer to this challenge is as surprising as Robert’s proposition itself! Of course, you’ll have to read Play Hard to find out what it is.

If you could ask one person in your life—a partner, friend, coworker, boss, etc—for one thing, what would it be? Just tell us the first thing that comes to mind in the comments below. And don’t forget to enter to win a copy of the Glasgow Lads Books 1-3 box set, which includes three novels and an essential short story!

You can also sign up for my newsletter at averycockburn.com/signup to download a FREE copy of Glasgow Lads prequel novel Play On, in both its original and author-commentary version.

 
 
Cover Design: Damonza
Length: 32,000 words approx.
 
Glasgow Lads Series
 

The Glasgow Lads series centers around an all-LGBTQ football/soccer team in contemporary Scotland. Though the series has an overarching storyline, each novel features a new couple and a happy ending, so they can be read in any order. The series also includes a prequel novella and two (soon to be three) “happier-ever-after” followup stories.


Book 0.5 – Play On – Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book 1 – Playing For Keeps – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2 – Playing To Win – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 2.5 – Play It Safe – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 3 – Playing With Fire – Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Book 3.5 – Play Dead – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Throwing Stones (A Glasgow Lads On Ice Novella) – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book 4 – Playing In The Dark – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb
 

“I’ll always want more of you.”


Robert McKenzie lives to work. He’s fresh out of university as a video-game entrepreneur, and his new app could actually save lives. But burning the candle at both ends means missing out on the best parts of his own life—including his boyfriend, Liam.


Liam Carroll works to live. His job as a bartender pays the rent—if not always the heating bill—and that’s plenty for now. But Robert’s workaholism reminds Liam his own life is going nowhere, and his own dreams are scaring the pants off him.


To jolt them out of their ruts, Robert invents a new game: He and Liam are to take turns offering each other sexy new challenges with irresistible rewards.


Of course, Robert gets more than he bargained for, as Liam takes their game in one surprising direction after another. Whether it’s in the bedroom, on the football pitch, or at the pub (or even the supermarket?), the things they learn about each other—and themselves—could change their lives forever.


Play Hard is the feel-good, staying-in-love story the world needs right now!


Note: This happier-ever-after novella features the main characters of Playing With Fire but can be read as a stand-alone story.


 

About The Author


Hiya, I’m Avery Cockburn (rhymes with Savory Slow Churn). Under my real name (Jeri Smith-Ready) I wrote over a dozen novels for major publishers. As an indie author, my days are filled with beautiful men who play beautiful games in the most beautiful place in the world. Thanks to my pure awesome readers, it’s pretty much the best job ever.


I live in the United States with one infinitely patient man and two infinitely impatient cats. Join my quarterly-ish newsletter at www.averycockburn.com/signup to receive a free book plus loads of exclusive bonus material. Cheers!

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In the Spotlight Tour and Giveaway: Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes

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Running on Empty (Havoc #3) by S.E. Jakes

Riptide Publishing
Cover Art: L.C. Chase
Published April 29th 2019

Sales Links:  Riptide Publishing | Amazon

About Running on Empty

After years of running wild, Linc might’ve finally run out of road.

After a brutal capture at the hands of the Heathens Motorcycle Club, Linc is just trying to heal, mentally and physically. But he’s got men in his life who are complicating everything. There’s Mercy—a Havoc MC biker and the man he is falling fast for—plus an undercover ATF agent and a rogue Havoc member.

But Mercy’s keeping him at arm’s length, and Linc is spinning. In an attempt to regain his equilibrium, he heads to the bar where he first met Mercy. Night after night, he escapes Havoc bonds and continues down his merry path of mayhem . . . mainly in the hopes that Mercy will give chase.

Since Linc’s capture by his old MC, Mercy’s been dealing with the fallout of his guilt. He’s trying to give Linc space and still watch over him—all without Linc’s knowledge. But with Linc’s old job calling and a threat to Havoc MC heating up, can they make their way back together?

Now available from Riptide Publishing.

 

About the Havoc Series

Welcome to Shades Run, where the notorious Havoc Motorcycle Club runs wild and free. Havoc’s got a long reach and strong community ties, and is always on the lookout for infiltrators like ATF agents, car thieves, and others who might harm their enterprises. Havoc’s community is tough to penetrate, but once these hard-living motorcycle men have taken you in, saved your life (maybe after threatening it a few times), or even fallen in love with you, you’re Havoc MC forever. Unless you’re one of their enemies, in which case you’re completely out of luck.

Check out Havoc today.

 

About SE Jakes

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family, and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

SE Jakes is the alter ego of New York Times bestselling paranormal and romantic suspense author Stephanie Tyler.

Connect with SE:

Giveaway

To celebrate this release, one lucky person will win an ecopy of Running Wild, the first book in the Havoc series! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on May 4, 2019. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!