A Stella Review: A Boyfriend For Christmas by Jay Northcote

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

Archie’s posh parents want him to meet a nice girl–how can he tell them he’s fallen for a bad boy instead?

Closeted, innocent and lonely, Archie Arandale longs for someone special in his life. A Christmas party organised by his wealth management company is the last place he expects to meet the man of his dreams.

With his leather jacket, tattoos, and piercings, Cal Turner turns heads the moment he walks through the door. He definitely isn’t looking for a boyfriend, but Archie’s hesitant charm captures his attention, and sneaking off during the party to have a little fun can only make a dull evening more interesting.

After their reckless and thrilling encounter, Archie is keen for more experience and Cal is happy to oblige. The need for secrecy means this can only be a casual fling, yet as they spend time together in the run up to Christmas, their feelings become more intense than either of them had bargained for. How can Archie find the courage to tell his family about Cal, when Cal’s the exact opposite of the ‘nice girl’ they’ve been hoping for?

Contains: A closeted virgin, a tattooed biker, class differences, a dramatic coming out, a very inappropriate Christmas gift, and a happy ending (of course).

It was actually some time since I read a Jay Northcote title, not sure why, so I jumped at the chance of having this new release on my hands and as every other book I read from this author, I enjoyed A Boyfriend for Christmas a lot.

The story between Archie and Cal is nothing special, the plot is simple and surely alread seen and read around in the mm genre and not only. That said what truly make a difference were the writing and the characters cast. Jay is an awesome writer, I always found his stories easy to read and well developed, sometimes more complicate, others more easy, every time with well delined characters, hard to not love. In this new novel I have to say I fell in love with both Cal and Archie, sure they are like day and night, on the apparence they have nothing in common, it doesn’t seem to be a shared ground to build a solid relationship. Still these two young men are so simil, their souls are so aliked they are almost destined to be together. Cal and Archie took their time to know each other well and the time they spent was truly memorable.

If you’re a fan like me of holiday stories, you can’t miss A Boyfriend for Christmas, it’s sweet and sexy, with a couple of very hot scenes that I adored. Don’t miss it!

The cover art by Garrett Leigh is well done, I like this artist style a lot.

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 218 pages

Published November 26th 2019 by Jaybird Press Ltd

ASIN B081S7RK42

Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Boys of Summer (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 5 stars out  of 5

Teammates, roommates, friends with benefits. What could go wrong?

Boys of Summer is a book about finding the perfect person to ride shotgun with on the crazy road trip called life. It contains a Dolly Parton lookalike, an unfortunate deer versus car incident, and poorly-timed epiphanies.

Everybody leaves. That was the first lesson Thunder goalie James McVicker ever learned. The second lesson was that if you don’t want to hurt, don’t let yourself get attached. Patrick O’Reilly is the best friend Vicky’s ever had. So obviously when Vicky finds himself possibly, maybe stupidly, falling in love with the guy, it only makes sense for him to leave first, right? So why does it feel like he’s just made the biggest mistake of his life?

Patrick O’Reilly loves being in love. He loves the romance and hearts and flowers of it all, but he hates the way it always seems to end. Friends are simpler. Friends don’t break your heart. Luckily, he has the greatest best-friend-slash-teammate-slash-roommate in the world. Hanging out with Vicky is as easy as breathing, and despite Paddy’s initial fears, adding some epic benefits of the sexual kind to their friendship only makes it better. He’s certainly not going to ruin things by doing something as stupid as falling in love. Obviously, Vicky isn’t in love with him. He’s just confused by all these stupid weddings. If Paddy can get him to talk, they can work all this out and get back to being friends again.

The course of true love never did run smoothly, but maybe with the help of their friends and family and some last-minute divine intervention, what started as a road trip could turn into the adventure of a lifetime.

I am desperately hoping that this is not the end of the series for our boys of summer because I am hopelessly addicted to this cast of characters, this team, and this series.  With  each story and couple, A.E. Wasp has kept this series fresh, lively, and invigorating. Wasp beautifully combines her love and ability to write the fast paced, complex game of hockey with a gift for capturing the believable dynamics of a wide range of developing relationships and lay them out before her readers in such a way as to pull us in and make us love these people.

And with each story I declare the men and their relationship my favorite novel.

Boys of Summer (Hot Off the Ice #5) by A.E. Wasp with Vicky and Paddy is my favorite story and they are my favorite couple.  Of course.

Here is a novel that has friends to lovers, awakening sexuality, deep friendships, layered characters, familial and found families, and a game that combines, no demands the best of the men playing it.  That’s intellectually understanding it’s demands at a high rate of speed, a flexibility of mind and body, the ability to endure its exhausting schedule and indignities inflicted upon bod and soul, all the while keeping the passion for the game burning.  It’s rare and Wasp highlights the game in all its facets through the eyes of its players and coaches, and sometimes their SO’s.

The series has started with a veteran retiring to here, two of the youngest players on a team.  We’ve effectively gone backwards in perspective in what it means to be gay or bi or LGBTQIA+ and playing on a NHL or NHL associated hockey team.  From coming out to still figuring out who you are sexually, and the journey in between.

One of the many elements that has always drawn me to the stories of AE Wasp is the author’s characters.  They are so well constructed, multidimensional and real.  But more than that it’s the dialog that accompanies them.  It sings of personalities so full of life that the Kindle can barely contain them!  I laugh and sometimes cry with them, I see them so clearly as the words flow out of their mouths.  I know these men, and love them.

It’s why I want to see more of them and want this series to continue so I can see them, all of them once more.  Hear them smash up against the boards, the swoosh of skates across the ice, and the love of one player for the game, his team, and the love of his life.  Whoever that may be.

Boys of Summer was everything, Hot Off the Ice is incredible, and author AE Wasp one of my favorite authors.  Pick up the entire series and find out why I am recommending all three so highly.

Cover art is lovely and still working to brand the series.

Sales Link:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 544 pages
Published September 28th 2019 by Kelpie Press
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Edition LanguageEnglish
Series I Hot Off the Ice #5

Hot Off the Ice Series

City Boy

Country Boy

Boy Toys

Skater Boy

Boy Next Door

Boys of Summer

Hot Off the Ice Boxed Set: Books 1-3

A Chaps Moondrawn Review: Captivating (Elite Protection Services #2) by Onley James

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

This is the second book in this bodyguard series, written like the first with alternating points of view for each chapter. You could read it as a standalone or read it first, and then go back and read the first one if you want to know more about Linc and Wyatt’s story, even though this happens afterward. Elijah is damaged by past abuse and a Hollywood stage mom. Luckily his grandfather helps shield him for a few years before his death. The studio hires the security agency to protect Elijah after he’s attacked by a fan at a red carpet event. Enter Shepard as Elijah’s new bodyguard.

The book has something to say about actors as commodities, powerful people who act above the law, and mental health–although please know Shep’s diagnosis as a sociopath is a fictionalized version and not true to life. A conversation between Mac and Shep really illustrates how wrong in the head Shep is…so is it bad that I am on team Shep? Both of them are actors trying to blend in for their own survival, but the key to knowing why they work is that Elijah is a narcissist and hates uncertainty; once they are together, Shep makes sure he is certain of everything and is the center of his attention. I liked that the reader is never allowed to forget Shep is a sociopath. His pretending to be normal is always there. Elijah is sometimes surprised to be reminded life isn’t all about him and his dramas. He’s lucky to have Wyatt and Charlie as friends, but I wonder how well they really know him.

What I liked the least was the premise that Shep had to extract information from Elijah in order to help him. They are already exploring their sexuality together to find out what they like and don’t like. There seemed no need to make up this type of scenario just for the sake of a kinky scene with a child victim of rape. Doesn’t mean it wasn’t super hot though. The secondary characters didn’t add much here except for Lucifer, who though used as a foil, could have been more nuanced. I would like to see more of Shep’s twin brother. What I liked the best was Elijah taking back his agency and moving on with his life, letting the expectations of others go to do what he wants to do. Be prepared that this security agency all of the sudden turns into a vigilante group, so if you like your heroes wearing white hats, this might not be the book for you. This sets up the couple needed for the next book. There are many tropes here to enjoy: age gap, voyeurism, first time, and hints of Daddy with some topping from the bottom. Really it’s more that Shep runs everything except the bedroom, which is left to Elijah. This is an entertaining, over the top, revenge story that has sexy, albeit dark moments.

The cover design by We Got You Covered Book Design matches the first in the series. It shares the shattered glass image, signaling the books are about damaged lead characters, but adds the film to be a representation of Elijah and the industry he works in. The colors are bright and eye-catching.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published December 4th 2019
Original TitleCaptivating
Series Elite Protection Services #2

An Alisa Eeview: Forbidden Omega (Omegas Book 1) by Caitlin Ricci

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Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5

 

Logan is worried about his mate, Sebastian. For months now Sebastian hasn’t been sleeping well, is barely eating, and is becoming increasingly distant. Logan has no idea what’s wrong with him, but his last hope is to bring an omega into their home. It’s an unconventional choice, but Logan will do anything to help Sebastian.

 

Logan’s uncle, an alpha who lives a few hours away, has an omega who isn’t fitting in well with his large pack. Connor isn’t good in crowds and he’s lost in Allen’s pack. When Logan offers him a new life with just the two of them, he wants the change, but he’s not sure what to expect.

 

Life with Logan and Sebastian is quiet and Connor loves seeing the two of them together. As he grows closer to them both, Connor knows he’ll do anything to help the two of them mend their relationship. And, slowly, that relationship begins to include him as well.

 

This was an interesting concept for how wolf shifters live and mate, unfortunately I’m not sure how I feel about it.  I mean seriously in order for Sebastian to tell Logan how he was feeling it took a Connor coming and staying for a whole two days for them to work everything out, which was completely unrealistic.

 

I wasn’t able to connect with these characters or their thought processes, it was all about what they wanted and after so much resistance Sebastian had a complete change of heart and wanted to bring Connor back to them.  It just didn’t add up for me.

 

The cover art by Martine Jardin is nice and gives visuals of the characters.

 

Sales Links: eXtasy Books | Amazon | B&N

 

Book Details:

ebook, 90 pages

Published: November 1, 2019 by eXtasy Books

ISBN: 978-1-4874-2715-3

Edition Language: English

Series: Omegas #1

Join Us for the New Release Blitz for Wounded Martyr by Courtney Maguire (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Wounded Martyr

Author: Courtney Maguire

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 16, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 54300

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT Contemporary, gay, rock star, musicians, tour, drug/alcohol use, addiction, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Ice is an asshole, but he’s working on it. He’s two years sober, no small feat when you front a heavy metal band facing waning popularity and dismal ticket sales. But the pieces of a life torn apart by alcoholism are finally coming back together. His band, Wounded Martyr, has written a great album with the potential to launch them back into relevancy. And Ricky, probably the biggest, most important piece, has finally forgiven him for the wreck he made of their relationship. There’s only one problem.

Ashton.

It was to be expected. As his best friend and bandmate for almost twenty years, it’s only natural they should find each other in the loneliness of the road. Ricky knows about their one night together, but he doesn’t know that Ice can’t stop thinking about it, about his long body and whiskey-flavored lips, and the guilt of it has him on the brink of backslide. Now that Wounded Martyr is poised for a long tour, Ice must find a way to resist temptation or risk blowing their last chance and destroying his relationship with the two most important men in his life.

Excerpt

Wounded Martyr
Courtney Maguire © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Everything hurt.

Hiding in our dingy dressing room toilet, back pressed against the wall between the sink and the urinal, I read wall graffiti to take my mind off my sore joints. Black Sharpie marker slander tucked between worn band stickers. Jake is a pussy. For a good time, call. Someone had scrawled SUX over a Wounded Martyr sticker in the corner. An old one. Apparently, we’d played here before. I couldn’t remember.

House music vibrated through the wall, and I pressed my shoulder blades into it. I gave a no-smoking sign the finger and pulled a pack of cigarettes out of my pocket. This used to be my favorite part, the anticipation in the moments before we hit the stage. Now, I shook with a mix of adrenaline and dread that made me queasy.

“Ice!” A familiar voice cut through the din followed by a rapid knock on the door. “Dude, you in there?”

I popped a cigarette between my lips. “Fuck off, I’m taking a shit.”

The door opened anyway, and in slipped Ashton. Ash. Hair in his face and dark liner around his eyes. Deep lines framed his mouth, but his too-long limbs made him appear perpetually boyish. The way I would always see him. The sixteen-year-old kid playing bass in his garage.

“You can’t smoke in here.”

I scowled and shoved the cig back in the pack.

“Dante is going to lose his shit if you don’t get out there,” he said, closing the door behind him. Dante, our self-appointed fearless leader. If he wasn’t such a goddamned great guitarist, I’d kick him in the teeth.

“Dante can suck my cock.”

“Pretty sure he’s not into that.” We shared a laugh before his eyes pinched in concern. “How’s the voice?”

“Tired,” I answered on the tail end of an exhale.

“You can make it, man.” He stepped toward me. “Just three more shows, and we’re home.”

“Have you seen the house?”

“Yeah.”

“Is it full?”

He pressed his lips together, and those lines around his mouth deepened.

“Shit.”

“Don’t sweat it.” He squeezed my arm. “It’s a big house. It would be hard for anyone to fill. Besides, we’ve played smaller.”

I nodded, but my stomach dropped into my toes. Sure, we’d played smaller. I remembered playing crowds of twenty people, ten of whom hated us. But we were eighteen with nowhere to go but up, and nothing to lose. It felt different now.

Ash’s expression softened. “What do you need?”

A drink.

“A blow job from John Stamos.”

“You and me both.” He hooked his hand around the back of my neck and pressed our foreheads together. “You’ll be great,” he said. “You are great. Just another day at the office, man, you got this.”

I leaned into him and released a long breath. Just another day. Another day I got to play rock and roll. Living the dream, most would say. But even dreams didn’t last forever.

“What the fuck are you two doing in there? Put your dicks away, and let’s go,” Dante’s gruff voice shouted from the other side of the door. Ash shot me a mischievous grin and dropped to his knees just as the door swung open. “What the fu—”

“Be right out, Boss,” I said, but he’d already stomped off, spitting and cursing the whole way back to the dressing room, his bright copper skin dark with an angry flush. I gave Ash a kick with my heel, and he rolled over backward, tangled in his own legs and howling.

“Homophobes are fun,” he said between gasps.

“You’re a prick,” I said, but I was smiling, my earlier dread carried away in the stream of his laughter. Dante had left the door open, and the house music pounded through me, ringing the tuning fork inside. It was still there, thank God. I offered Ash a hand and hauled him up.

“Ready to go?” he asked, his hand still wrapped in mine.

“Let’s get to work.”

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble

Meet the Author

Courtney Maguire is a University of Texas graduate from Corpus Christi, Texas. Drawn to Austin by a voracious appetite for music, she spent most of her young adult life in dark, divey venues nursing a love for the sublimely weird. A self-proclaimed fangirl with a press pass, she combined her love of music and writing as the primary contributor for Japanese music and culture blog, Project: Lixx, interviewing Japanese rock and roll icons and providing live event coverage for appearances across the country. Her first novel, Wounded Martyr, is a 2019 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in the Contemporary Romance: Short Category.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

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Don’t Miss OUt the on the Release Blitz with Excerpt for Nicki’s Fight (Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance #2) by Mellanie Rourke

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Nicki’s Fight

Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance Book 2

Mellanie Rourke

M/M Romance

Release Date 12.09.19

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Blurb

KAINE

A lifetime of abandonment leaves its mark on a person. So much so that when Nicki left, it made a twisted sort of sense. After all, everyone else I had loved in this world had left me, why should he be any different?

Six years later and he’s back in my life. He’s still the same Nicki. Still the same sensitive, intelligent, loving and compassionate man he was years ago. Except…there are shadows in his eyes that were never there before. How do I love him again, trust him again? If he disappears now, there’s no way I’d survive.

NICKI

I love Kaine Devereaux. I always have. But sometimes love just isn’t enough. When my family moved thousands of miles away to chase the dream of a cure for my mysterious illness, Kaine and I had no idea that more than distance would end up separating us.

How do I ask Kaine to trust me again when I almost destroyed him? How do I ask him to love me again, when I’m still haunted by the specter of my past?

Nicki’s Fight is a M/M Romance with danger, heat, and a snarky cat who saves a life. This story does include explicit sex scenes and descriptive domestic abuse. Please pay heed to the Trigger Warning: Scenes of domestic violence and abuse

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/35FoTHW

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2MbgpR0

NicksFight-teaser2-1200x900NicksFight-teaser1-1200x900

Excerpt

“Do you want to talk about it?” Mom asked softly, her voice gentle as she took in the sight of me glaring angrily at the ceiling.

I rolled over, turning my back to her. She shut the door and climbed up on the bed, lying next to me on top of the old quilt.

“Nicki? Talk to me, sweetheart,” she whispered.

I sighed and rolled to my side, mirroring her posture. I knew we were equally stubborn, and there was no way she would leave without knowing the story.

“It’s stupid,” I said, sniffling and angrily scrubbing at my face.

She reached up and wiped a stray tear from my cheek with her thumb. Her red hair glowed in the fall sunlight, her dark-grey eyes as reflective as silver coins.

“If it’s making you this upset, I doubt it’s stupid,” she said.

I sighed. Mom could read me like a book. I knew I wasn’t going to be able to hide anything from her.

“It’s Kaine…” I said. She raised an eyebrow at me, and I continued. “Kaine… and Vinnie.”

“Ah.” She said, nodding in understanding. “You miss him.”

“It’s so stupid,” I answered. “I mean, it used to be Kaine, Bishop and I hanging out together all the time and it never bothered me. Now Bishop is all wrapped up in his art projects, and it’s just been Kaine and me. But now he’s dating Vinnie. I still see Kaine almost as much as I always did, but it’s… different somehow. How can it feel like I’m missing him, when I see him every day?”

She looked at me a few minutes, her gaze intent.

“Nicki, do you think miss spending time with Kaine, or do you miss spending time with Kaine… alone?” she asked.

I blushed.

“I-I…” I stammered, not sure what to say. I didn’t really know what I felt. I just knew I felt sick when I wasn’t with him. That he made me smile and made my heart race in the best way.

“Dominick,” she said seriously. “Sweetie. Are you trying to tell me you’re gay?”

My heart almost stopped when she said it. The thought had occurred to me before, but in the way of most teenagers, I’d avoided looking at it very closely. I mean, considering how open Kaine and his family were, how could I not have considered the possibility?

Kaine was my best friend. I loved him as a friend… right? I tried to make myself say that what I felt for Kaine was platonic, then I stopped to think back over the last several months. Thought about how just being in Kaine’s presence made me feel physically better. Thought about how my heart raced when I would run into him at school, or the special glow I’d feel after we’d done something together. Not to mention the times I’d had to hide my physical reactions when he’d been around. The last time he’d spent the night, it was all I could do to make it through the evening without embarrassing myself or him with an obvious erection. Or how I’d rubbed one out in the bathroom as soon as he had left.

As per usual, my mom was right.

“I— I think so…” I whispered.

She sighed, her own eyes getting a little watery.

“Are you… are you disappointed in me?” I asked, my eyes searching hers fearfully. I could deal with a lot of things in my life but letting my Mom down was not one of them.

“Oh, baby boy! No! I couldn’t be disappointed in you in a million years,” she said, wrapping her arms around me and squeezing me tight. “I just wish… wish this could be an easier path for you, sweetie. I know you didn’t choose it but being gay is hard.”

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About the Author

Mellanie Rourke lives in Akron, Ohio with her loving (and long-suffering) husband, snarky children, and furry menagerie.

She has been writing since she was a child but never had the impulse to publish until she was introduced to the world of MM Romance.

Now her husband has to put up with a variety of new ways to say “penis”, and her children aren’t allowed to tell their teachers what she writes.

For more information on Mellanie’s upcoming work, join her Facebook group Misfits & Malcontents at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MisfitsandMalcontents/

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Release Blitz and Giveaway for Christmas Lights (An Owatonna U Novella) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

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Length: 26,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
 
Owatonna U Series



Book #1 – Ryker – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Scott – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 
Blurb
 

Under the Christmas lights strung outside a snowy Minnesota cabin, Ryker and Jacob face a future where nothing will be the same again.


Fortunate timing means that Ryker and Jacob can spend a few days together over Christmas in a cabin on the family farm. What’s better is that Scott and Ben are coming as well, with Hayne and Ethan in tow. Ryker can’t imagine a better way to spend time with the man he loves, and the friends he misses, and somehow he knows that this Christmas will be the best one ever. Hockey on a frozen pond, kisses under Christmas lights, and sharing time with Jacob are the best gifts he could ever receive.


Long distance relationships are brutal, Jacob can attest to that fact. So, when Ryker gets a few days off over the Raptors’ Christmas break, the hard-working Minnesota farmer is beyond thrilled. When they find out that their buddies from Owatonna U. are making the trip as well, the holidays are looking to be just about perfect. Jacob has a question for Ryker burning in his heart, and he isn’t asking for much—just a few fun-filled days with old friends and a yes from the man of his dreams.

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.


RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.


The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.


She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

ChristmasLights

USA Today Bestselling Author V.L. Locey – Penning LGBT hockey romance that skates into sinful pleasures.


V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, walking, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, Torchwood and Dr. Who, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, one dog, two cats, a pair of geese, far too many chickens, and two steers.


When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in one hand and a steamy romance novel in the other.

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