A Stella Review: In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames

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RATING 3 out of 5 stars

Oskar Høiland hides from life. It just makes things easier that way, not having to face all the fears and drama of living. He especially hides from other people, because Oskar has grown up fearing the snide remarks and the quick glances that strip him of the tiny scraps of confidence he still has left. He is just going to keep existing. Work hard to complete his medical degree and perhaps watch a few more series on Netflix in peace and quiet over Christmas.

Erik Nøst Hansen should be an almost fully-fledged adult. He should be able to sort out the mess that festers in his head and stop lying. It’s just hard. And it’s bloody terrifying to even acknowledge the thoughts that swirl around in his head at night when he can’t sleep. He also needs to figure out how to talk to the boy downstairs. The one with the golden curls and the crooked smile. The boy who is completely monopolising Erik’s messed-up heart.

A story of falling in love and being brave. A Christmas tale with a difference, set in the university dorms of central Oslo, where lies are uncovered, snowflakes are falling all over the place, and beds are made to lie in. There is a slightly unconventional family. A mess of animal onesies. Too much food and a very Merry Christmas.

In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie is the first book I read by Sophia Soames, I was very enthusiastic about it, the blurb sounded fabolous and for once I was happy to read a book set in a country different from USA or UK. The plot is simple but the story is well built with interesting characters, young but mature at the same time. I obviously fell in love with Oskar from the beginning, how could I resist his sweet and brave soul? Truly without realizing it he found in Erik not just a boyfriend, but a beautiful person, head over heels in love with Oskar and finally ready to approach him and literally take him home for Christmas.

That said I have to admit although I very much enjoyed the novel, perhaps during the second part of the story I started to realize something in the writing wasn’t working well with me. I want to premise I’m not usually so strict with the writing style, since English is not my first language, I tend to ignore the writing and just focus on the emotions I get from the book. Still here I noticed how the author used  too many short sentences, there were plenty of them, so many that I became annoyed and found hard to go on with the reading in a lovely way. I’m not saying the book isn’t well written, absolutely not, just that this particular trait of the author’s writing style bothered me a little. Otherwise this new release would have been a winner to me.

The cover art by Miriam Latu is lovely and sweet, I like it.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 217 pages

Published November 14th 2019

ASIN B07ZS1MDNS

Edition Language English

Scattered November Thoughts and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

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Scattered November Thoughts

November is a month of many things…to many people.  Some are busy writing away as it’s still NaNoWriMo and those words and stories won’t write themselves as the deadline nears.   For those of us in the US and expats abroad its Thanksgiving next week so travel plans are being made, menus being planned, and for those well organized individuals, early holiday shopping lists coming into play for the sales that will be launched right after Thanksgiving is over and the turkey leftovers are handed out.

For us Hockey fans, we are enjoying our teams games, at home and on the road, Ditto for all you football fans.  Tis the season for our sports teams to go forth and rise and fall and for us to cheer them on regardless.  And because I wallow in my boys on the ice, I’m diving back into STRW hockey recommendations and those stories I missed the first time around.  One of those is the Hot Off The Ice series by A.E. Wasp, which I am enjoying immensely.  Look for my reviews of some of those stories starting this week.  I have also returned to one of my all time comfort series, NR Walker’s Red Dirt Heart stories, this time in audio format.  Oh my Joel Leslie has that Aussie accent down perfect!  And yes, more holiday stories are coming your way from all our reviewers here, including from Sophia Soames, a author on my must read list.

At any rate, things are hectic here, schedule are full, I have one small dog who has gotten very good at dodging her pills, and there is still so much to plan for as Thanksgiving looms large.  And yes, we saw our first glimpses of snow too.  Tis the season for so many things and it seems so little time to take it all in.

So it’s brief today…but here is our schedule for the coming week.  Lovely books ahead and great tours too.  Something for everyone.  Happy reading and listening.  Now I have some lists to make.

This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

Sunday, November 17:

  • November Thoughts and This Week at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words
  • A Stella Review: In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames

Monday, November 18:

  • Review Tour – Across The Pond (Raptors #2) – RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • Release Blitz The Mysterious and Amazing Blue Billings by Lily Morton
  • A MelanieM Review : Across The Pond (Arizona Raptors #2) by RJ Scott & VL Locey
  • A Lucy Audio Review: Finders Keepers by N.R. Walker, Joel Leslie (Narrator)
  • An Alisa Review: Slow Birth (Heat of Love #2.5) by Leta Blake

Tuesday, November 19:

  • Release Blitz – A Christmas Wedding by A E Ryecart
  • A Stella Review The Desire for Dearborne by V.B. Kildaire
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red Dirt Heart 1 by NR Walker and Joel Leslie Narrator
  • A Free Dreamer Review: For Sam, times infinity by Suki Fleet
  • A Lucy Review: A Christmas Wedding: A snowy London love story (Rory & Jack #3) by A.E. Ryecart

Wednesday, November 20:

  • Review Tour – Nothing Special V – AE Via
  • A MelanieM Review: 717 miles Christmas Special by Sophia Soames
  • A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Mr. Naughty List (Home for the Holidays #2) by Leta Blake
  • A MelanieM Audio Review: Red Dirt Heart 2 by NR Walker and Joel Leslie Narrator
  • An Alisa Audio Review Nothing Special V (Nothing Special #5) by A.E. Via and Aiden Snow (Narrator)

Thursday, November 21:

  • Release Blitz Roxy’s Recovery by Kim Breyon
  • Release Blitz – Against All Odds (Eternal Soulmates, Book 2) by Elle W Silver
  • BLOG TOUR Soft Limits: A Deviations Novel by Jodi Payne
  • A MelanieM Review A New Empire (Fog City #3) by Layla Reyne
  • A Lucy Review Inn Love by Lucy Lennox

Friday, November 22:

  • COVER REVEAL Ablaze by Elvira Bell
  • Release Blitz – Promise (Single Dads #3) – RJ Scott
  • Release Blitz for Garrett Leigh – Hometown Christmas
  • A MelanieM Review: Country Boy (Hot Off the Ice #2) by A.E. Wasp
  • A Stella Review:  Twice Shy (A New Milton Novel) by  Sally Malcolm

Saturday, November 23:

  • A MelanieM Review: Boy Toys (Hot Off the Ice #2.5) by A.E. Wasp

A MelanieM Review: In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames

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Rating:  5 stars plus out of 5

Oskar Høiland hides from life. It just makes things easier that way, not having to face all the fears and drama of living. He especially hides from other people, because Oskar has grown up fearing the snide remarks and the quick glances that strip him of the tiny scraps of confidence he still has left. He is just going to keep existing. Work hard to complete his medical degree and perhaps watch a few more series on Netflix in peace and quiet over Christmas.

Erik Nøst Hansen should be an almost fully-fledged adult. He should be able to sort out the mess that festers in his head and stop lying. It’s just hard. And it’s bloody terrifying to even acknowledge the thoughts that swirl around in his head at night when he can’t sleep. He also needs to figure out how to talk to the boy downstairs. The one with the golden curls and the crooked smile. The boy who is completely monopolising Erik’s messed-up heart.

A story of falling in love and being brave. A Christmas tale with a difference, set in the university dorms of central Oslo, where lies are uncovered, snowflakes are falling all over the place, and beds are made to lie in. There is a slightly unconventional family. A mess of animal onesies. Too much food and a very Merry Christmas.

Sophia Soames became one of my favorite authors based on one book alone.  That would be 717 Miles, a touching, amazing, utterly human journey of love and recovery by two young men in London.  Trust me,  i wanted more, so much more.

Here is the story (along with the 717 Christmas short) that I have been waiting on.  Sophia Soames manages to write these microcosm of humanity, in this case, two flights of dorms on a campus in Norway.  Then ushers up such incredible portraits of human fragility, unknowing strength, unbelievable kindness, bravery, and , yes, the sheer being of youth…in Norway and all that entails.  And she does so with characters and a narrative that takes your breath away.

In This Bed of Snowflakes We Lie by Sophia Soames is full of Norwegian Christmas customs and all things bakery and sweetness.  I had no idea and I absolutely wallowed in it all the while looking up those names and goodness.  She folds them into a story where two young men are finding out who they are, how they can be their best selves (whatever they are), all the while helping several  or one traumatized friend in their dorms manage the holiday.

Oskar Høiland and Erik Nøst Hansen are two such endearing young men, confused at times about themselves and how they appear to others.  Also about their sexual appeal, and who they appeal to.  It’s a lovely, natural, sexual journey for them both, without major outside angst, as this is a very accepting society, at least within this circle of people.   And what a circle of people it is.  From the warm, quirky, and oh please, please adopt me too family of Erik’s (yes, I wanted to be there, that’s how all embracing and incredible those scenes are), to the dormates on floors one and two, these are all characters that will sing to your heart.  You, the reader, will want to know them, want to be their friends, hug on them, and follow each and every one of their paths through life, to make sure its a safe and happy one.  That’s how deeply you will connect to each and everyone.

In the end, what you will also remember is the analogy that brings  you back to the title.  In This Bed of Snowflakes and the imagery it brings up.  Of the two in love young men, lying on their backs, as the snowflakes swirl down around them, and Erik, talking about how individually snowflakes are so delicate but together, formed into a whole, they are so strong.  And now I’m sniffling again.

Read this book, discover this author.  Both are amazing and unforgettable.   And yes, I highly recommend them both.

 

Cover Artist: Miriam Latu. I love this artist and this cover.  Perfection and so different than the usual covers.  Draws you in just as it should.  Yes, that’s Oskar.

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 217 pages
Published November 14th 2019
ASINB07ZS1MDNS
Edition Language English

 

 

A MelanieM Review: City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Follow the money or follow your heart?

All Bryce Lowery knows how to do is play hockey. He’s been playing professionally since he was fifteen. Twenty years later, he’s rich, famous, tired, and alone. And possibly gay according to his ex-wife.

When a blown tire leads directly to mind-blowing sex with a motorcycle-riding white knight named Dakota, Bryce discovers he is most definitely gay. Now Bryce has a tough choice to make, follow the money to a new multimillion dollar contract, or follow his heart into the unknown?

All Dakota Ryan knows how to do is grow apples. Now at twenty-four, he faces losing both his home and his livelihood in one cruel twist of fate.

Then Bryce Lowery crashes into his life like the answer to all of Dakota’s prayers. He’s whispering promises to make all of Dakota’s wildest dreams come true. But Dakota knows better than to give his heart to someone who could leave, and if life has taught him anything, it’s that everyone leaves.

Dakota has a choice, sit back and wait for Bryce to decide his fate, or for the first time in his life, chose what he wants his future to be.

City Boy is a first time gay, fish out of water, May/December love story with a happy ending. It features snarky siblings, a dirty-talking farmer, lots of food, and big choices. (No poultry was harmed in the making of this book.)

Because I made a vow to go through STRW’s Hockey Romance list and read all the stories I missed and also because It’s now hockey season once more, I’ve started to read AE Wasp’s Hot Off the Ice series and I’ll tell you I’m loving it. City Boy (Hot Off the Ice #1) by A.E. Wasp is our introduction to the  boys of Thunder, the Seattle NHL Hockey team.  Actually, one of them who is in flux. That would be hockey all star Bryce Lowery, currently on the injured reserve list until he recuperates from his recent leg injury. But he’s fighting more than just a injury, and a  deceased relative, a will, and a road trip to Colorado might give him the change of direction he needs.

Dakota is a farmer, orchard farmer to be exact, one in danger of losing everything due to mislaid trust, naivete, and a crushing loss   .  And now he faces an uncertain future and nowhere to go.

This is one of those many trope story’s.  We have age gap, coming out, sexual discovery, as well as HEA.  And it all works because of Wasp’s wonderful charizations that allows us into the mindsets of each man as they make their journey towards each other and work their way through their individual issues.  City Boy is relatively low on angst, high on sweetness.  There are great dogs, wonderful sisters (on both sides), friends that appear, and, of course, teammates to gather round at Thanksgiving…all that start to form a “found family”.

Characters that form a foundation for the rest of the series.

This story is sweet, engaging, and really sets the stage for the rest of the series.  I love it and recommend it .

Cover art is perfect with the orchard at the bottom and Bryce at the top.  Love it.

Sales: Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 318 pages
Published June 29th 2017
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review: Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

When one society fell, assaulted by natural disaster, in its place rose another, molded into something entirely different. Protectorates were divided by beliefs and distance. Slavery was accepted and threats both natural and supernatural were commonplace.

This became a world where sentries were needed. Trained almost from infanthood, these tough men and women lived in a society within a society. They were warriors and protectors, ferreting out evil and defending the citizens of New Colorado Protectorate from inhuman terrors and, on occasion, human ones.

Todd Ruger was born into life as a sentry. Raised by a hard father into a hard life, Todd becomes the consummate sentry, tough, dangerous, and good at what he does. When he wasn’t quite into his teen years, he was bonded to a special young slave named Nick. For years their only interaction was through letters. Friendship turned to a sort of courtship between them. Todd lived for the day Nick became of age and Todd’s ownership would take effect. That was the day Nick would leave the village with Todd. They’d begin a life together. They’d make a difference.

Raised as a slave, Nick never wanted to be special, but nature had other ideas for him. He grew up in a village with other slave children and was taught to be useful to his future master because he a gift … or curse. The tutors responsible for his upbringing didn’t understand what Nick could do, what he was; they were afraid of him. If sentries hadn’t bought him, it was likely he’d never have lived to see the age of five. All that changes the day Nick leaves the village with Todd. He’s cared for and shown a new, better life with a man who loves him honestly and wholly.

But after being together barely a day, Nick is brutally attacked and injured. Though he recovers without incident, Todd’s heart fills with revenge. The guardian in him turns into a dangerous, driven assassin, a wolf on the hunt.

Todd’s obsession with tracking down the men who hurt Nick and making them pay could very well get them both killed. Can they survive and build the life together they’ve both dreamed of for years?

NOTE: This is the third edition of Marked Yours. The first and second editions were released by another publishing house. This story has been revised and re-edited with the end result being a better, stronger story

I am a fan of this author’s stories so I was eager to see what Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble contained as far as characters and worldbuilding from this author I admire so.  And while I did enjoy many elements, I also found myself questions that many more, more than I would have normally expected to find in one of her novels.  Some I will chalk up to my distaste for slavery stories.  I read this one because of the author and you never know exactly what take each writer will have on a master/slave relationship and world building.  So I was curious as to what I would find here, which was a mixed bag at best.

The characters here were very well defined and layered within the restrictions of the world they lived in and the relationship as it developed.  I think my issue here is honestly with the world building, less with the characters.  Perhaps.

They exist within a state with depends upon, recognizes a Master/slaves economy.  Treatment of those slaves vary from master to master, but those slaves are still considered a product, not a being.  A tool as it were and are raised as such from childhood.  They are bought and sold as commodities.  Now, and here I have a problem.  Nick has special abilities which are recognized early.  He was given special training as a child slave which makes him an incredibly valuable tool/slave.  In this society and economy, it should follow that his price and value should rise as well.  Also for all that training, he’s curiously inept.  It’s like making a knife incredibly sharp and then leaving it in a draw for 15 years.  In this case a sentient one.  Why all that training and then not showing him why or how to use it?  It makes no sense, even as a slave.  Here let’s make you great with weapons but you can’t ever use them. SMH.  So no, that’s not working here for me.

I got the writing and letters.  Cute but again.  Slave/master and not realistic.  Especially given the Sentinel society, Todd Ruger’s father’s attitude towards slaves, and Nick’s own status.    Plus whatever anti slavery feelings that develop are never acted on, just voiced here.  Again, this is just the only story in this series I read so maybe that changes in other books.  But the acceptance of the  extreme inequality in their relationship here, that they will be “ok” as long as they are in private …well no.  That if anything happens to Todd , well Nick will just be “willed” to a nice person….not freed mind you, willed away.  For me, that is never a solution that works, here or in any story that I could recommend.

Also in a semi spoilery sort of way.  The only  anti slavery country is treated in a less than favorable light..  So wth.  We are supposed to go all in for the slavery government because these two are happy?  Ah no.  There’s just a ton of mixed messages here, most of which just don’t work for me no matter the romance or characterizations.

So, for the characterizations, Marked Yours (Sentries #1) by Elizabeth Noble gets a 3 star rating, for everything else?  A 2.  Honestly not a story or series for me.  Whether you wish to read it, I will leave it up to you.

Cover Art is really a disconnect from the story which has wagons, horses…seems right out of a western, as well as slaves.  That cover could be science fiction.  Are we looking at 2 different stories here?

Sales Links:  AmazonJMS Books LLC

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, Revised and re-edited 3rd edition, 218 pages
Published October 12th 2019 by JMS Books LLC (first published May 23rd 2011)
ASINB07YNZNS1C
Edition Language English
Series Sentries #1
Characters Todd Ruger, Nick Ruger
setting New Colorado
West Caldera
New Colorado City, New Colorado

Check Out the Blog Tour and Giveaway for Rules for Santa (Davey’s Rules #3) by Susan Hawke

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Rules for Santa

Susan Hawke

Davey’s Rules Series Book 3

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance, Daddy/boy

Release Date: 11.01.19

Rules for Santa Cover

Blurb

Rule #18: Daddy’s boy will always believe in his Santa Daddy.

Homeless, alone, and now jobless, Cameron Evans is lost… until he’s found after a prominent local attorney literally trips over him when the boy is passed out from dehydration.

Scott Hendrickson has two things in life: his job as an assistant district attorney, and his son Davey. Other than that, he lives alone in a house that’s too big, too empty, too… lonely.

It’s not just Cameron’s life that might change for the better when Scott takes him in. Scott can provide material things and security, but Cameron returns the favor by breathing fresh air into Scott’s stale life.

Two men who need each other… one magical holiday season. Could a little Christmas magic be all that’s needed to bring the biggest gift of all? Maybe Cameron doesn’t need a Sugar Daddy… because he already has a Santa Daddy.

This is the third book in a series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Get ready for all the squishy holiday feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.

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Excerpt

After a sleepless night spent tossing and turning, I was up with the sun. Cameron came down right as I was pouring the fruit compote over a Belgian waffle. I noticed the backpack on his shoulder right off the bat.

His stomach growled—loudly—but he ignored it as he met my eyes. “I’m going to get out of your hair now. I just wanted to thank you for taking me in last night. I looked out the window and it’s not raining right now, so I should be okay.”

Shaking my head, I pointed to the island. “Drop your bag and come have breakfast. I didn’t cook all this just for me, did I?” My chest fluttered when he instantly obeyed.

His cheeks were pink as he climbed onto the stool. “Sorry, I just didn’t want to assume or impose. I thought you might be sick of me by now. But I suppose it won’t hurt to stick around long enough to have breakfast, especially since you went to so much work.”

“You’re not imposing at all. It’s nice to have a little company in the house.” I figured we would discuss his leaving later. First… food.

“Wow, that’s a beautiful compote. You reduced it perfectly, I won’t even need syrup.” Cameron smiled brightly as he looked at the plate I set in front of him. There were already platters of scrambled eggs and bacon on the counter, along with a container of freshly squeezed orange juice. I might have been a little too busy.

“I just hope you like waffles.” I spoke casually, setting a carafe of coffee on the counter along with a container of cream and cups for each of us. “I wasn’t sure if you drink coffee or not. If not, that just means there’ll be more for me.”

His eyes were closed as he moaned around his first bite of waffle. I wasn’t sure whether to be pleased or turned on. Maybe a bit of both? After he swallowed, his eyes popped open and he reached for the coffee. “I’m not a huge coffee drinker, but I don’t hate it. Especially with a rich breakfast like this, I’ll definitely want coffee today.”

Susan Hawke LogoAs an avid reader and big romance fan myself, I love sharing the stories of the different people who live in my imagination. My stories are filled with humor, a few tears, and the underlying message to not give up hope, even in the darkest of times, because life can change on a dime when you least expect it. This theme comes from a lifetime of lessons learned on my own hard journey through the pains of poverty, the loss of more loved ones than I’d care to count, and the struggles of living through chronic illnesses. Life can be hard, but it can also be good! Through it all I’ve found that love, laughter, and family can make all the difference, and that’s what I try to bring to every tale I tell.

I’m a happily married mom with one snarky teenage boy, and three grown “kids of my heart.” I’m more widely known for my mpreg writings as Susi Hawke; this new name is a departure from that. Whether written by Susan or Susi, the books are filled with that all-important love, laughter, and family I mentioned; the only difference is that this name has no male pregnancy. I look forward to sharing my stories with you, and to bringing more romance and laughter into this world that needs it so very badly.

Amazon Author: https://amzn.to/2Hdgwvl

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSusanHawke/

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In Need of a Holiday Romance? Check Out the Release Blitz and Giveaway for The Christmas Deal by Keira Andrews

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited

Length: 250 pages

Cover Design: Wicked Smart Design

Blurb

Will fake boyfriends become the real deal this holiday?

It’s the most wonderful time of the year—except ex-Marine Logan is jobless and getting evicted. Worse, he’s a new single dad with a stepson who hates him. A kid needs stability—not to mention presents under the tree—and Logan’s desperate.

Then he meets lonely Seth and makes a deal.

Can Logan temporarily pretend to be live-in boyfriends to increase Seth’s chances at a promotion? If it provides a roof over their heads for the holidays, hell yeah. Logan considers himself straight—he doesn’t count occasional hookups with guys—but he can fake it. Besides, with his shy little smile, Seth is surprisingly sexy.

Make that damn sexy.

Shocked that Seth has only been with one man, Logan can’t resist sweetening their deal to teach him the joys of casual sex. No strings attached. No feelings. No kissing.

No falling for each other.

Easy, right?

The Christmas Deal is a steamy holiday gay romance from Keira Andrews featuring fake boyfriends, bisexual awakening, a clueless single dad with an angry preteen, and of course a happy ending.


Author Bio

After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. For as Oscar Wilde once said:
“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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Join Us for the Release Blitz and Giveaway for For Sam, Times Infinity by Suki Fleet

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal LinkExclusive to Amazon and Available to Borrow with Kindle Unlimited
 
Length: 60,000 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

After growing up in care, all Sam wants is to make a home for him and Tommy, his kid brother by choice. But it’s not as easy as he thought, especially when his social worker finds him a job miles away. And falling for the surprising boy at work only makes things harder.


Evra is different, his past a mystery. Being truly himself is not something he’s ever felt safe enough to be with anyone, not until Sam, the shyest boy ever, saves his life at work and Evra finds himself inexplicably trusting him. Wanting him.


Problem is, Sam is leaving, unable to stand being so far away from Tommy. And Evra can’t leave, not when he has consequences to face.


Making things work might seem complicated, but sometimes falling in love has its own consequences.

 

About The Author


Award Winning Author. Prolific Reader (though less prolific than they’d like). Lover of angst, romance and unexpected love stories.


Suki Fleet’s first novel This is Not a Love Story won Best Gay Debut in the 2014 Rainbow Awards, and was a finalist in the 2015 Lambda Awards. Foxes won Best Gay Young Adult story in the 2016 Rainbow Awards.


You can contact Suki at sukifleet@gmail.com


If you’re interested in hearing about upcoming releases, works in progress, giveaways and freebies, please sign up to Suki’s newsletter.

 
 
 

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A MelanieM Review: Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Mac’s life isn’t perfect, but he likes it the way it is: safe and predictable.

Mac works in a struggling pole dancing club at night, and a gym during the day. He’s tired and cash strapped, but content, until a confident twink walks into the club and turns his life upside down. It’s hard to resist when Russel asks him to be his fake boyfriend for one night, in return for double his normal take-home pay.

One date turns into more, as Mac helps Russell get an exclusive that will secure him the job he’s always wanted. But the rich playboy who holds Russel’s career in his hands isn’t going to give him the scoop so easily.

As Mac and Russel spend more time together, the lines between fake and real begin to get blurred, but can their relationship become strong enough to be unbreakable in the face of adversity?

Unbreakable is a fake boyfriend MM romance, with a buff pole dancer who swears like a trooper, a twink who likes to take charge, some spanking, light bondage, and a happy ever after. It’s a prequel story to Broken, but can be read as a standalone romance.

It had been a while since I had read a Colette Davison story and after reading this, I really have to wonder why it took me so long.  This author (and this series) is definitely back on my radar and on my TBR pile after reading the endearing, very hot, and quite wonderful prequel Unbreakable (Heaven and Hell Club) by Colette Davison.

Unbreakable is the origin story that sets up the couples and foundation for the series Heaven and Hell, a strip club.  Here we leap into the club at its very seedy beginnings and original name, with three of its exotic dancers.  While how the club gets established is a secondary story thread (although still very important), the main plot here is the meeting, romance, and relationship between exotic dancer Mac and fashion layout designer/reporter Russell.  The characterizations here is where the book just shines.

Characterizations and the D/s relationship that develops between Mac and Russell.  Honestly, I will probably give the story a 5 star review based on Davison’s careful  (and accurate) slow advancement of the bdsm and Dom/submissive aspect of their relationship.  The author demonstrates that you can both show how hot it is, while also threading in for those new to the elements of submission as was Mac, such necessary rules such as aftercare, safe words, respect, and prior discussions of what is expected and what is not allowed by each party.  All the while keeping the scene romantic and very sexy, and yes, vulnerable.  This continues throughout the story, something that just commands my respect and committed me to their relationship and romance.

Additionally, each man had their own demons to fight.  Those were very believable given the backgrounds the author provided for us.  I love the way each man started working, with help from the other, their way through those issues.  The personal growth demonstrated here again just drew me in.  So too the details of each man’s physicality. Mac is big, strong, fluid as a dancer, and yet imposing physically.  Russell is considered a femme with his dress, slight build, and actions.  However, their roles in the bedroom are the opposite of what most ppl have assumed about them.

There is another interesting plot thread here that helps cement their relationship and that carries us into the end of the story.

There is also the wonderful couple of Michael and Edward who will become the owners of Heaven and Hell and hopefully we will get their full story later on.

Unbreakable (a Heaven and Hell Club prequel) by Colette Davison is beautifully written, full of great characters, a hot and very well done D/s relationship, and a great way to launch a series I can’t wait to read.  Do I recommend it?  You betcha!   Grab it up today!

Cover artist: Colette Davison.  This cover says it all.  Love it madly!

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Link  |   Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition
Published November 14th 2019
ASIN B07Z2BWGNB
Edition Language English

Needing a Holiday Romance? Check Out Mr. Right Now by Annabeth Albert Release Blitz (excerpt)

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Mr. Right Now

Annabeth Albert

M/M Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 11.14.19

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Blurb

He’s Mr. Right Now, but for how long?

When Russ suffers a Thanksgiving disaster, his gorgeous neighbor Esteban is there to save the day. And after an innocent mix-up leads to the former Hollywood hottie playing the role of Russ’s date, Russ thinks scoring Esteban as his fake boyfriend is a huge win. The newly discharged marine is healing inside and out and could use some holiday cheer.

For his part, Esteban is intrigued by his big, bad neighbor. He likes how his matchmaking cat brings out an unexpected caring side of Russ. Desire flares as the reasons to continue their ruse pile up for both men.

And pretending feels so good. From chocolaty kisses to late night cuddles, their burgeoning friendship is getting cozier and cozier. But as the end date for their little deception looms, all the real feelings they’ve tried to ignore come tumbling in. Each must decide whether they have what it takes to ring in the New Year as a couple.

Mr. Right Now is a stand-alone holiday novella with sweet, low-angst feels, spicy love scenes, and foodie inspired, quirky Oregon romance with a military flavor. Happy ending guaranteed with no cliffhangers!

Tags: neighbors-to-lovers, fake boyfriend, holiday romance, friends-to-lovers

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48481844-mr-right-now

https://amzn.to/2JTW01L

Mr Right Now Kiss TeaserMr. Right Now Teaser PicsMr. Right Now Cat Teaser

Excerpt

Russ didn’t consider himself an angry guy, but as he carried the blackened and flaking skillet out to the trash, he was seriously considering violence toward the misbehaving onions that had transformed from raw to charred before he could save his pan. The mess was far too gross for pitching into his small under-the-sink can.
Adrenaline pumping more than it needed to be, he heaved the pan into the shared dumpster for his condo community where it landed with a satisfying clang. “Take that, Thanksgiving.”
Now he needed to go back into his place and decide how to cope with the loss of his one large skillet. If he didn’t pass out from the stench first. He sagged against the fence surrounding the dumpster and took some deep breaths.
“Problem?” A familiar, deep voice asked.
Hell. Of course, he wasn’t alone in his humiliation. No, his next-door neighbor was right there, neat white bag of trash in hand. And not the older woman who occupied the condo on the corner. This would have to be the hot neighbor, Esteban.
With his full head of dark hair shot through with silver strands, lush mouth, chiseled features, and lean build, Esteban always managed to look like a magazine spread of forty-something Hollywood heartthrobs. He even looked good taking out the trash. Today he was wearing a black T-shirt advertising last year’s Pride Run, turquoise running shoes, and gray shorts way too short for the dreary November Portland weather.
“Not really.” Russ tried for a casual tone.
“Trying out for the next Olympic shotput team? Or did that pan commit some unpardonable offense?” Esteban laughed lightly, in his usual good humor.
His voice was as Hollywood-worthy as the rest of him, rich and sinful even when teasing. Nothing seemed to faze him, not his escape-artist cat, not the continual parking issues for their condo complex, not mail mix-ups, and not Russ taking his frustrations out on his cookware.
“The second. Ruined my stuffing before it even got started.” He groaned, hating how the explanation sounded, but also not one to lie simply for the sake of looking better. Even if Hot Neighbor Esteban was totally worth a white lie or two.
“There’s a joke there…” A smile teased the edges of Esteban’s full mouth. “Let me guess, your family assigned you a dish you’ve never made before to bring to dinner?”
“Worse.” Might as well confess everything. “I’m supposed to be hosting. And I was supposed to have help, but then my…boyfriend broke up with me last night, and now I’m on my own.”
It still felt weird, that word “boyfriend” on his tongue, even when he was almost certain that Esteban, the guy his Realtor had described as a “hot, gay, former movie star,” wouldn’t care. Heck, if he was honest, that descriptor, plus the convenient single-story layout, had sold him on the condo several months back.
“Oh, man. He seriously left you hanging, didn’t he?” Eyebrows creasing, Esteban shook his head. “Didn’t he even leave you a cookbook or a menu for the meal?”
“Nope. Just me and Chef Google. Tried to make a plan this morning.” Russ tried for an upbeat tone again. “There’s apparently a limit to what cooking videos can teach on the fly.”
“Yeah, there is. Is there anything I could do to help?” Esteban seemed sincere in the offer, voice warm and sympathy clear in his brown eyes.
It was the kind of offer Russ would ordinarily turn down. He was a former marine, and he liked to think he could handle himself in most situations. As a result, he didn’t like relying too much on strangers, or even friends, and he’d gotten a little too good at distancing himself from well-meaning buddies from the military.
But Thanksgiving meant these were not ordinary times. He was well and totally screwed for hosting dinner.
“Do you have a large nonstick skillet I could borrow?” he asked. “Most stores are probably closed, and even for the ones that are open, by the time I go and come back…”
“I’ve got you.” Esteban clapped him on the shoulder, strong grip that belied his lean build.
The rumors were probably right about Esteban’s movie-star career. He was one of those perfectly proportioned people—neither tall nor short, shoulders more in keeping with his running habit than linebacker-wide, slim torso, toned legs, and long, elegant fingers that always made Russ feel that much bulkier and clumsier.
“I…uh… Can I get it now? I’ll bring it back later. And if another disaster happens—”
“It won’t.” Laughing again, Esteban shivered as a breeze whipped through their corner of the courtyard.
“I wouldn’t be so sure,” Russ admitted, trying his best to ignore the impulse to warm up Esteban. Between his electric touch and the adorable way his cheeks went pink in the chilly wind, there was no denying Esteban’s appeal, even if Russ had sworn just last night that he was over attractive guys forever. “But I’ll replace it if it gets ruined.”
“Appreciated, but I’m coming with the pan. I can get you started sautéing without torching anything at least. You need another onion? I’ve got plenty.”
“You want to help me?” Russ blinked. This was…unexpected.
Annabeth Coffee Logo

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Mr. Right Now joins her many other critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series and stand-alone titles. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and particularly loves uncovering unique main characters. In her personal life, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

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