Lucy Review : Dances Long Forgotten by Ruby Moone

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

On Christmas Eve, Dylan, the man of James Pell-Charnley’s dreams, is on the point of walking out. Then they hear the faint strains of a waltz in the library of the empty abbey. The music is said to be heard only by those truly in love, and it gives James the courage to tell Dylan the story.
In December 1841, Lord Hugo Pell-Charnley is in a terrible mess. The youngest son of the late Marquis, youngest brother of the incumbent, never felt to fit. When his life comes crashing down, and his life and his family are threatened, he is forced to face his elder brother and confess his deepest secret. When he arrives at Winsford Abbey he finds he must also confront the shame from his past in the form of Lyndon Cross. The boy he’d loved but betrayed in school.
As they clear the ghosts from the past, they dance in each other’s arms in the library to the soft strains of the waltz, but long buried secrets threaten to destroy their happiness.
Two hundred years later, can those dances long forgotten give James and Dylan the courage to hold on to love? 

This is a story within a story.  James, the current Marquis, must tell the story of Hugo and Lyndon to his own love, Dylan, in order for Dylan to understand how James feels about him.  So we have the modern beginning and end sandwiching the historical story and that worked very well for me.

Hugo is the youngest of the Pell-Charnley family and he believes himself to be nothing spectacular.  He had a terrible time at school, can’t do the one thing he really wants to with his life (own a bookstore) because it is beneath people of his class, and now is being blackmailed.  Things just go from bad to worse when he shows up at his family estate for Christmas only to find three of the bullies from school present, as well as someone he used to like at school, someone who he didn’t treat well because of the bullies.  Lyndon Cross.

It’s funny how people assume things.  Winston, Hugo’s older brother, believes Hugo to have an unencumbered life in London.  “You seemed perfectly happy as you were…” while never realizing “I hated every moment of school.  I never fit in.  I was bullied, beaten, terrified…”  He was bullied to an extreme degree, as was Lyndon.  Now they may have a chance to be together, if only short term.  Of course nothing is that easy.

No secret that I am a huge fan of historical romance but I need it to be believable.  This one hit all my switches.  Sympathetic characters, plot that made sense and with twists that I completely didn’t see coming, and an ending I felt was plausible.

I was thinking four stars for this story until another plot twist showed up, one that I wasn’t expecting yet again, and I had to raise it up.  My heart was breaking for Hugo at that point. “…had talked about him, speculated about him, made him queasy inside.”  I so understood that feeling.  I was angry at people for him – more than he was even! Hugo is a good person and handles things so much better than he believes he does.

“Every Christmas we should definitely waltz in the library.”  “Until we are too old to move….I’ll hold your hand and we’ll sway in time.”  That made me happy, as did the sweetness of the epilogue.

This was so interesting, so sweet and so wonderful.  I especially appreciated a bisexual character in a historical, which may be the first time I’ve read of one in this genre.

The cover, showing Dylan and James dancing against the backdrop of Hugo, is perfect.

Sales Links:   Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 145 pages
Published December 19th 2019
ASINB082QQ7QGF
Edition LanguageEnglish
Other Editions
None found

Release Blitz with Excerpt for Served with a Twist by Jet Lupin

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Served with a Twist

Author: Jet Lupin

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: December 28, 2019

Genre/s: Sci-Fi D/s M/M Romance

Trope/s: Clash of Backgrounds, Opposites attract, Man in Peril, Meet My Dysfunctional Family, Size Difference

Themes: Kink, light BDSM, light D/s themes, collaring

Heat Rating: 4 flames 

Length:  74 000 words

It is a standalone story.

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Buy Links

Universal Amazon Link 

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

The pretty ones were always trouble…

Blurb

Cut Jones knows Samson from his work, but not really. He knows he’s got money, that he likes his whiskey sours extra sweet, but that’s where his knowledge ends. Samson’s come into the bar every few days for a year but has hardly said more than five words at a time, but Cut didn’t mind. Samson was out of his league. So imagine his surprise when Samson asks for his help with a very personal issue.

The pressures of owning his own company and the expectations of his father had Samson Ba walking a razor’s edge. It was only a matter of time before he tried to find a release, but when he does it’s in the worst way. And he’s found by the last person he wanted to see him this way. But things aren’t all bad. Cut offers to help him relieve his stress, and Samson’s sure he’s just being nice, but some opportunities are too good to pass up. 

 

 

Excerpt 

Samson shifted his gaze to Cut, scanning him from boots to the dark blue locs on the crown of his head. Cut shifted, smoothing out invisible creases in his jeans before Samson said, “You look good to me.”  

He seemed so sure; Cut felt he had to trust him on this. At least, if he was wrong, they’d get thrown out together. Nothing took the sting out of embarrassment quite like sharing it.

Samson stood aside and Cut preceded him into the restaurant, but then he scampered on ahead to talk to the host, making the whole exercise useless. They whispered among themselves, giving Cut ample time to verify that his ass was just as amazing in jeans as dress pants, before the host escorted them to a secluded corner meant for a party of six or more. The other patrons had enough class to pretend that their meals and conversations were more engrossing than the out of place strangers getting a whole section to themselves.

His anxiety subsiding as they took their seats allowed Cut to take things in properly. He saw the wire brush marks on the metal of the sconces that illuminated the room. When he flicked his gaze up, he saw the hand turned wires on the ornaments hanging from the chandeliers. On the glasses, the stems were so delicate and thin, yet when he picked up his to test that theory, it didn’t feel fragile in the hand. Everything was so refined and well-made in a way that made him feel small and cheap. But he’d push through it for now. 

Cut claimed the bench against the wall, preferring to see anything coming his way, while Samson took the chair across from him, his back to the rest of the dining room. He shrugged out of his jacket and set it beside him. Cut took Samson’s when he divested himself of it and did the same. Samson picked up the thin tablet that served as the menu and swiped through it. Cut gave an appreciative glance to those wide shoulders and the bit of collarbone peeking out from the open neck of Samson’s shirt before turning his gaze down to his own menu.

“I recommend anything but the fish. Issues with the suppliers. The beef is very good, though.”

“You really know your stuff.” Of course someone like Samson came here regularly. A high class spot for a high class guy. Cut carefully sipped water from an elegant crystal glass.  

Samson put down the tablet, grinned. “I should. I own the place.” 

Water dribble down Cut’s chin when he nearly choked on it. He quickly mopped it up with his sleeve. It was better his stubble got a little wet than spraying Samson’s face. 

“You own this whole place? By yourself?”

“I hope you don’t mind me showing off a little. Everything you get will be gratis, of course. So go nuts. I needed you to know that I really can pay whatever you ask. I’m serious about this.” 

Cut moved to the edge of his seat. Just because no one was blatantly watching didn’t mean they weren’t listening. “Explain what you mean by this? I have an idea, but we’ve got to be on the same page.” 

“O-of course.” Samson wet his own lips with a little water. 

He seemed a little flustered. That was the last thing Cut wanted.

“Why don’t you start from the beginning?”

 “It’s a bit much to say over the table.” But it had to be said. If they didn’t have honest, open communication from the beginning, there was no point in starting at all. 

But if Samson had concerns about being overheard, Cut had a simple solution. He scooted over on the bench. “Join me. There’s plenty of room on this side.”

Samson froze and swallowed so hard Cut swore he heard it. He thought that might have been a step too far, but Samson came around to his side of the table, and they sat hip-to-hip. The cushion was wide enough to accommodate both of them with room to spare. A server rushed over and repositioned Samson’s place setting before disappearing as quickly as they came. 

There was that scent again, sweet and thickened by Samson’s natural aroma. Cut was suddenly aroused and uncomfortable. He shifted to adjust his cock into a more comfortable position, and his thigh brushed against Samson’s. The bigger man snapped his leg away for an instant before he relaxed again. Somehow, knowing he was nervous too helped Cut relax. Maybe too much. 

He rested a hand on Samson’s knee and squeezed. When he realized what he’d done, Cut pulled away and set both his hands on the table.

“So,” he coughed. “Let’s start with the alley and why you were there.”

 

About the Author 

Stories longing to have words put to them were in Jet’s heart from an early age. Jet enjoys exploring the connections and similarities between people whether they be shifters, vampires, or aliens, rendering the unknowable very knowable indeed.

Jet’s days are spent toiling away at a keyboard, slumped over a pen and paper hunting for those words, or playing around on twitter with a partner, and two rambunctious cats for company in the temperamental North Eastern US.

 

Social Media Links

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Check Out the New Release The Empress of Xytae by Effie Calvin *excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: The Empress of Xytae

Series: Tales of Inthya, Book Four

Author: Effie Calvin

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: December 30, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Female/Female

Length: 83500

Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy, LGBT, royalty, new adult, magic, paladins, gods, goddesses

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Crown Princess Ioanna of Xytae has kept her truthsayer blessing a secret for twenty years. In any other nation, her powerful magic would be cause for celebration. But Xytae’s patron is the war goddess Reygmadra, and the future empress is expected to be a brutal warrior.

Reserved and peaceful by nature, Ioanna knows the court sees her as a disappointment. She does her best to assuage their worries every day, working quietly beside her mother to keep the empire running while her father is away at war. But when news of the emperor’s untimely death reaches the capital, Ioanna finds herself ousted by her younger sister Netheia, who has the war magic Ioanna lacks.

Princess Vitaliya of Vesolda has come to Xytae to avoid her father’s upcoming wedding, which she sees as an affront to her mother’s memory. Vitaliya has absolutely no interest in politics or power struggles and intends to spend her time attending parties and embarrassing her family. But when she saves Ioanna’s life during Netheia’s coup, the two are forced to flee the capital together.

Despite their circumstances, Vitaliya enjoys travelling with Ioanna and realizes that the future empress’s shy and secretive nature is the result of her unhappy childhood. Ioanna is equally unaccustomed to being in the company of one as earnest and straightforward as Vitaliya, for she has spent her life surrounded by ambitious and cutthroat nobles.

Ioanna cannot allow her sister to continue their father’s legacy, and plots to rally supporters to her side so she can interrupt Netheia’s coronation. Vitaliya knows she ought to leave Xytae before the nation is ripped apart by civil war but finds she is unwilling to abandon Ioanna. But Ioanna’s enemies are always watching…and they’ve realized that Vitaliya is a weakness to be exploited.

Excerpt

The Empress of Xytae
Effie Calvin © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Reygmadra

The Imperial Palace at Xyuluthe buzzed with anticipation. Empress Enessa had finally gone into labor, and the heir to the Xytan Empire would be born within a few hours. The archpriest of Adranus and the archpriestess of Pemele were both there to aid with the birth along with countless members of the imperial court who would bear witness to the historic event.

Reygmadra, Goddess of Warfare and Eighth of the Ten, waited just outside the empress’s chambers, unseen by all who passed. She would not deny she was beginning to grow impatient. She was only here to bless the child, the future empress. Then she would be on her way.

If the child ever arrived.

Reygmadra had no tolerance for children, nor for the tedious conversations that always surrounded a birth—discussions of size, weight, and bodily functions. She had left the empress’s room because she had grown tired of the pointless hysterical screaming, but this was undoubtably worse.

Unfortunately, she could not grant a blessing to a mortal until after it had taken its first breath. This was one of the rules she and her fellow gods had agreed upon when they’d first set out to create Inthya. Even Reygmadra could see the value in this one, for if babies could use magic in the womb, nobody would ever risk giving birth ever again.

Emperor Ionnes was occupied, as always, by his campaign in Masim. He would not return to meet his new daughter for several months. Some of the members of the court were muttering about this, but Reygmadra did not see the trouble. What help could Ionnes be right now? He would only be in the way if he tried to help. At least in Masim, he was serving his nation by leading the army.

She longed to be there, whispering ideas in his ear as he slept, soaking up the power she received when tens of thousands of warriors prayed to her in unison. Of course, the prayers would find her no matter where she was on the mortal realm of Inthya or in the celestial planes of Asterium. But there was nothing like experiencing it firsthand.

Babies seemed to bring out the stupidest, weakest aspects of mankind. One of the Xytans was now relaying a tale of someone else’s labor, and Reygmadra decided to take a walk before she lost her temper and stabbed someone.

She moved through the palace like a specter, her face unseen and heavy footsteps unheard. She was dressed as she usually did when she manifested on Inthya, as a common soldier with short sword and breastplate. If someone did somehow see her, they would think nothing of her.

One of the rooms led out into a garden, and Reygmadra decided she had been indoors for too long. She stepped out into the sunlight, into the fresh air.

Reygmadra didn’t think much of gardens—they were really just a waste of space—but this one was empty, so she would stay for a while. As she moved, she kept an ear to the palace, hoping she would soon hear distant cheers.

“Still waiting?”

A woman dressed as a Xytan noble stood there among the flowers. She had olive-toned skin and long, wavy ebony hair, and her face was impossibly, supernaturally beautiful. The dress she wore was simple but elegant, all wine-colored silk that perfectly emphasized wide hips and a narrow waist. Despite her disguise as a mortal woman, Reygmadra recognized Dayluue—Goddess of Love and Seventh of the Ten.

“It will be a while yet,” said Reygmadra. “Why are you here?”

“I’m feeling neglected,” Dayluue said. “You haven’t come to see me in ages.”

“I’m busy.”

“You’re always busy.” Crimson lips pressed together in a pout as Dayluue adjusted the neckline of her dress aggressively. “Maybe I should call on someone else. I wonder what Nara is doing.”

Possessive rage seized at Reygmadra, and Dayluue began to laugh. But the sound was cut short when Reygmadra grabbed her by the shoulders. A moment later, she had Dayluue pressed between the garden wall and her own body.

“I love it when you get jealous,” Dayluue said breathlessly. “Kiss me?”

Reygmadra brought her lips to Dayluue’s throat. Dayluue tilted her head back, hands clasping at Reygmadra’s hair, and laughed again. “I have missed you,” she said.

“I don’t believe you,” said Reygmadra because expecting strict monogamy from Dayluue was like expecting a bird to refrain from flight.

“I’ll prove it, then.” Dayluue’s eyes sparkled.

“No. I’m busy.”

“I never took you for the sort to get excited over a birth. Or are you finally realizing what I’ve been saying about the population—”

“No. I’m just giving her a blessing, and then I’m leaving.”

“It might be a while,” warned Dayluue. “Labor can last an entire day.”

Reygmadra shuddered. “Awful.”

“Well, they wouldn’t have to do it so often if you didn’t keep convincing them to kill one another.”

Reygmadra rolled her eyes. “Did you come here just to argue?”

Dayluue pressed her lips to Reygmadra’s. “Only if you really want to,” she murmured into her mouth. The scent of her mortal body, flowers and sweat and pheromones, was intoxicating.

They were antithesis to each other, and yet, there was an undeniable symmetry to their domains. They were two primal forces, mindless impulse given sentience. And sometimes the fiery lust Dayluue elicited from her felt identical to the thrill of battle.

Perhaps that was why Dayluue always returned to her. Perhaps that was why Reygmadra did not object to Dayluue’s wandering.

When they met like this in Asterium, it was a union of selves, of auras and magic, and two becoming one in the way none but their own kind could hope to understand. It was delightful to have Dayluue’s energy surging through her, to feel her own spirit within Dayluue. Reygmadra always came away from these unions feeling softer, lighter. But not weaker. Never weaker.

On Inthya, with warm bodies made of blood and flesh, things were different. On Inthya, Dayluue was in control, and Reygmadra was helpless under her expert fingers.

“Kiss me again,” said Dayluue. “But lower, this time.”

Purchase

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Meet the Author

Effie is definitely a human being with all her own skin, and not a robot. She writes science fiction and fantasy novels and lives with her cat in the greater Philadelphia area.

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