Review Tour – RJ Scott’s Love Happens Anyway (excerpt and giveaway)

Standard

 

 
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 42,500 words approx.
 
Blurb
 

Hiring a boyfriend for Christmas; what could possibly go wrong?

Derek is facing yet another Christmas where his life feels out of control. He has a new career that doesn’t feel like his, and parents who would just love to see him settled down. All he needs is a temporary buffer for the parties he has to attend, and for his parents to leave him alone. Enter, Luke.

Luke is twenty-thousand dollars short for the renovations on Halligans; his family’s bar in New York’s Financial District. A favor for a buddy has him agreeing to play the part of boyfriend to a guy with more money than sense.

But when the spirit of Christmas works its magic on the two men, and they begin to fall for each other, Derek runs scared, and Luke needs space.

It doesn’t matter what obstacles you throw in the way of love, or how much you run in the other direction, because, when you’re least expecting it, whether you want it or not, love happens anyway.



December 6 – Xtreme Delusions, Valerie Ullmer, The Way She Reads, Gay Media Reviews
December 8 – Lelyana’s Book Blog
December 11 – Hearts On Fire Reviews, Millsy Loves Books, My Fiction Nook
December 13 – Mirrigold:Mutterings & Musings, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, BFD Book Blog, Nicole’s Book Musings, MM Good Book Reviews
December 15 – Jim’s Reading Room, Making It Happen, Padme’s Library, Sexy Erotic Xciting, Wicked Faerie’s Tales & Reviews
December 20 – Dog-Eared Daydreams, Book Lovers 4Ever, Au Boudoir Ecarlate, Wicked Reads
December 22 – A Book Lover’s Dream, Bayou Book Junkie

Read Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words Review here.  We absolutely recommend it!

Excerpt

I knew Marcus was six-two, just a little taller than me. I knew he had blue eyes, and dark hair with red tones in certain light. He had a brother, but they didn’t see each other much, being that his brother was in the Navy. His parents were retired in Florida, but they’d had Marcus and his brother Adam late in life. Marcus was twenty-nine, same as me with only a few months separating our birthdays, and he was a firefighter. Oh, and he was a good, kind man who was thoughtful all the time and treated me like a prince.

“That’s such a shame. Anyway, how are Marcus’ kittens?” Mom asked. I pulled myself back to what she was saying. It was never good to not pay full attention to anything Mom said, otherwise you’d end up agreeing to all kinds of things she’d throw at you when your defenses are down. I loved her dearly but she was sneaky like that.

Which is how I got myself into this mess with Marcus in the first place.

“They’re fine.”

“Did he find good homes for them?”

“Absolutely, the last of them went to a widowed grandmother in his apartment block.”

“Socks? The dark one?”

I glanced at my notes. “No, you remember Socks went to his uncle; Spider went to the old lady.”

“Oh yes, of course, although why someone would name a kitten Spider I don’t know.”

“There were spiders in the house where Marcus found the kittens.”

“I still don’t understand how there could be spiders in a burned-out house.”

Shit. “Spiders are hardy.”

“You said the house was razed to the ground, dear.”

Now I was losing the will to live. “Well, maybe the spider was outside. Mom, I need to go, Moira is at the door and she needs me to sign off on the new AbbaLister raisins account.”

“Of course dear, just, please tell Marcus he is welcome at any time. We so want to meet him and thought it’d be better at the house.”

“I will, I know he’s keen to meet you.”

“Oh good,” she said, and I knew I’d fucked up and somehow given her an opening. I’d never mentioned once that Marcus wanted to meet them, because that would just give them the impetus to take matters into their own hands. My worst fears were confirmed. “Oh, I’ve had the most wonderful idea.”

Oh God, what?

“Your dad and I are coming into the city on Monday; book us dinner on any night, or lunch, breakfast, anything. I want to meet this young man of yours and if it has to be in a restaurant then so be it.”

“I’m not sure—”

“Derek, he can’t be busy every night next week, and every lunchtime, goodness me, we’ll even take a quick coffee if that is all he can manage.”

Shit. Shit. And double shit.

“I’ll see what I can organize.” I kept my tone regretful, to at least give the impression I would try to organize them meeting Marcus, but that it would be unlikely.

We finished the call, and I replaced the handset in the cradle, fighting the urge to throw it against the wall, sit and cry at my desk, or maybe, less drastically, move to Montana and become a cowboy.

So many lies.

There was no Moira standing at my door. It was still closed and I’d lied to my mom.

There were no kittens, I made those up, and the spider story. The word spider came about because when I’d been talking to my mom about Marcus and the kittens, a tiny spider had crawled over my notes.

I closed the notebook in which I had the names of five kittens with their various characteristics listed.

Mom wanted to meet Marcus, any night, any lunch, anytime.

Which sucked big hairy balls.

Because that was another thing I had made up.

There was no Marcus either.

 

RJ Scott is the bestselling romance author of over 100 romance books. She writes emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men and women 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.

mailto:rj@rjscott.co.uk
Website
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter
LibraryThing

Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

Amy Lane on The Holiday Crafter’s Blues, and her release Regret Me Not (author guest blog and excerpt)

Standard

Regret Me Not by Amy Lane
Dreamspinner Press
Cover art: Reese Dante

Buy Links:Dreamspinner PressAmazon  | Kobo iBooks  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Amy Lane here talking about the holiday crafter’s blue and her new release Regret Me Not.  Welcome, Amy!

✒︎

The Holiday Crafter’s Blues

By Amy Lane

One of my first blogging idols was The Yarn Harlot, and she was one of the first people I know who put a name to this.

She called it IT.

As in, IT starts in September, if you’re lucky. For some people, the chosen few, IT starts in June.

Took me a few blogs to figure out what she was talking about, but when I did… oh, it hit me hard.

I’ve been a part of IT.

IT of course is the misbegotten idea that, hey! I can craft! I can knit/crochet/cross-stitch/quilt/sew! I shall make something for EVERY family member for EVERY holiday, and I will be known as the knitting/crocheting/crafting cousin/aunt/mother and nobody will ever be able to doubt my place in the holidays again!

Before any of you get any ideas about this, IT can only end in tears.

And terrible, terrible guilt on all sides.

I used to try to craft toys/clothes/whathaveyou for the kids, as well as knit or crochet something for all the members of my family every year. I would start in August, work feverishly for months, and still end up, shotgunning Supernatural for three nights straight while living on coffee and Christmas cookies so I could sustain the holiday pace needed to frolic with four children through on until blissful, peaceful December 26th.

The day we traditionally sit in the rubble of wrapping paper, play with our gifts and sleep like the dead.

One Christmas, I was really into it. I made the little kids these ADORABLE mittens, and my aunts and mom all got these really cool “Impossible yarn” wraps (easiest thing in the world involving Lion Brand Homespun and Dead Muppet of Your Choice—people loved them!) and there were hats and fingerless mitts in between.

I was into it, yes, but late. So late. So late that when Mate took three of the four kids into my aunt’s house to start the revels, I opted to finish a shawl in the minivan while ZoomBoy finished his nap. (It was a rule back then—let sleeping ZoomBoys lie. In fact, we have lots and lots of pictures on the blog of that kid asleep while dangling upside down from six different furniture items, because that’s just where he decided to nap.)

But oh, it would be worth it, I thought. Because I had done my filial duty, and I had showered all of my relatives with love and they would love me and they would appreciate me and they would…

Forget my gift at the gift exchange?

Well, apparently grandma had drawn my name, and she was right at that place where she went from Machiavellian manipulator of family (as are all good Italian grandmothers) to slightly confused elderly woman—and we were not ready for that. Grandma always dealt with her Christmas duties using grace and aplomb.

Except this time when she forgot her exchange gift, and I was the exhausted, addled recipient.

Who, embarrassingly enough couldn’t stop crying.

Yes, I know. It was stupid. I still maintain I didn’t do all that work for a great gift back—it’s not what I was thinking as I was working on stuff, and it’s not how I give gifts now. (Okay—when I was younger, yes, but sometime around the third kid I finally grew the hell up.)

But something about, oh, I don’t know, not sleeping for several weeks and stressing out over the deadline and, you know, four kids, full time job, writing…

Just caught up to me. I spent about an hour feeling like an idiot and trying to explain to everyone that I really wasn’t that fragile a snowflake while falling apart. My aunt ran and grabbed one of her presents—a very pretty green scarf that I still have today—and gave it to me, hoping I would calm down.

I did eventually—and I mean “calm down” in the broadest sense of the phrase. I stopped trying to make everybody all the things—in fact, I started making myself some as well. And I stopped trying to make them by a deadline. Now I just make them and send them to the recipient when they are done. Because a gift from the heart doesn’t have a deadline and it doesn’t have an obligation attached and it doesn’t have expectation of reciprocation.

It’s one of the crafter’s most important lessons.

It’s one of the gift giver’s most important lessons.

And it’s what I wanted for my boys, Pierce and Hal. That they give gifts from the heart. That what they say they mean. And that, if they love each other, their gifts don’t come from obligation, they come from wanting to see the other person happy, the end.

It’s one of my favorite holiday feelings – and it’s a lot harder to achieve than the perfect pair of mittens. 

Blurb

Pierce Atwater used to think he was a knight in shining armor, but then his life fell to crap. Now he has no job, no wife, no life—and is so full of self-pity he can’t even be decent to the one family member he’s still speaking to. He heads for Florida, where he’s got a month to pull his head out of his ass before he ruins his little sister’s Christmas.

Harold Justice Lombard the Fifth is at his own crossroads—he can keep being Hal, massage therapist in training, flamboyant and irrepressible to the bones, or he can let his parents rule his life. Hal takes one look at Pierce and decides they’re fellow unicorns out to make the world a better place. Pierce can’t reject Hal’s overtures of friendship, in spite of his misgivings about being too old and too pissed off to make a good friend.

As they experience everything from existential Looney Tunes to eternal trips to Target, Pierce becomes more dependent on Hal’s optimism to get him through the day. When Hal starts getting him through the nights too, Pierce must look inside for the knight he used to be—before Christmas becomes a doomsday deadline of heartbreak instead of a celebration of love.

Excerpt

The Morning After….

 

THE EVER-PRESENT shush of the sea echoed in his ears. Even before he was awake, Pierce Atwater knew that sound had haunted him in his dreams.

He yawned and stretched, the familiar aches of healing injuries pulling at his skin and muscles and the unfamiliar ache in his backside waking him up fully. Oh, hey. It had been a while since that happened.

With a heave, Pierce sat up entirely, getting his bearings. The beach house he’d lived in since Thanksgiving glowed as bright and gold as he remembered—too beautiful. Almost pristine.

His body, on the other hand—that felt well-used.

He turned and looked at the bed he’d just vacated, noting that it was rumpled and sex stained; lovemaking and sweat permeated the room.

Oh wow. Oh damn. What had he done?

A piece of paper—the ripped-off corner of a brown grocery bag—caught his attention on the other pillow of the king-sized bed.

 

Please don’t leave without saying goodbye—

 

—H

 

Pierce stared at the note, only marginally prepared for the giant ache that bloomed in his chest.

Aw, Hal—you deserve so very much more.

He looked around the room again, eyes falling on the clock radio. He was supposed to leave in an hour—he’d told his sister specifically that he’d be in Orlando by lunch so he could bake cookies with her kids.

He looked at the note again and tried hard to breathe.

 

 

 

The Month Before

 

“SO YOU have the Lyft app, right?”

“Yeah, Sasha—don’t worry about me, okay?” Pierce regarded his younger sister fondly. She was made to be a mother—even if she came into being one a little young.

Sasha bit her lip, trying not to argue. She’d been such a sweet kid growing up—never saying boo to either of their rather domineering parents. She’d gotten pregnant right out of high school, and even though Marshall had stepped up and married her and they’d both managed to get their degrees, their parents… well, they’d never let Sasha live down what a disappointment she’d been. Or—their words—what a slut either.

Pierce had hated them long before Sasha got pregnant, but the way they’d tried to destroy her for a simple human failing had sort of sealed the deal.

But parenthood had made Sasha—and Marshall—a great deal stronger than they’d been as feckless teenagers, and while Sasha wouldn’t argue with her beloved older brother, she would discuss things she disagreed with.

“Pierce, you almost died,” she said quietly, her thin face suddenly lost in the pallor of anxiety and the cloud of fine dark hair she could never keep back in a ponytail. “I mean… I refuse to see Mom and Dad over the holidays because they’re just… just….”

“Awful,” he supplied with feeling. Yeah. He’d resolved not to put up with awful anymore.

“Toxic,” she agreed, leaning back against her aging SUV. Darius and Abigail were sleeping in the back seat after playing out in the surf under Pierce’s supervision while Marshall and Sasha moved Pierce into the condo. Pierce had worried—he couldn’t move very well without the cane these days, and what did he know about kids and water?

But mostly what they’d wanted to do was run away from the waves and collect shells, and the one time Abigail had been knocked on her ass into the surf, Pierce had bent down and picked her up by the hand before the pain even registered.

The move had hurt—but it had given him some hope. His doctors kept assuring him that he could get most of his mobility back if he kept active and remembered his aqua regimen. Picking Abigail up and reassuring her that Uncle Pierce wouldn’t let her drown gave him some confidence that his body might someday be back up to par. And the condo had a pool, which was why he’d taken his best friend Derrick’s offer to let him use it over the winter months while Pierce got his life together. Pierce was definitely in a position to follow his doctor’s advice.

So now, looking at his sister and thinking about how much self-assurance she’d had to grow to push a little into Pierce’s state of mind, he couldn’t be mad at her.

And he had to be honest.

“I’ll be grumpy and pissed off and bitter,” he said, letting his mouth twist into a scowl of disdain for the land of the living. He’d been fighting it off since Sasha picked him up at the airport. “It’s a good thing you made me get the car app, because seriously, I may have let myself starve to death. As it is, the groceries are going to keep me going for a good long time.”

Sasha’s eyes grew big and bright, and he took her hand and squeezed.

“Don’t worry, sweetie. None of it is your fault. You would have let me stay at your place forever, and I was getting in your way. This is good. I’ll hang out here, find a little peace, and when I go back to Orlando, I’ll be up for getting my own apartment and getting out of your hair, okay?”

“I’d never kick you out, Pierce,” she said miserably. “You know that.” She wiped the back of her hand across her big brown eyes. “You just… you got out of the hospital and—”

“And I was an awful fucking bastard,” he said with feeling. Oh God. The defining moment for calling up Derrick to take him up on his offer was when he’d heard his father’s words coming out of his mouth, telling his sister she was useless because she couldn’t help him off the couch without pain. “Sasha, you deserve better than me. You deserve better, period. I’m not going to hang around you and get in your way again until I’m decent company for human beings, okay?”

Sasha shook her head, still crying. “You were in pain,” she whispered. “And you were sorry right after. And you’ve done so much for me, Pierce. I can forgive you for being mean once when you did so much for me….”

He remembered the night she’d shown up at his apartment, in tears, practically hysterical, because she’d told the parents about an impending Darius and had been read the riot act about what a fuckup she was.

He’d taken her in—let her stay with him for a couple of months until she and Marshall scraped up enough money for rent and a car. She’d gotten a job, and Pierce had paid her tuition as she made her way through school. She had a career now—one she could work from home as a developmental editor of a small press. Marshall had his degree in software engineering, and together they made a good living—good enough to afford a guest bedroom and to put Pierce up for a month after the accident.

Pierce squeezed her hand now. “You listen to me,” he said gruffly. “You don’t owe me a thing. You’re the only family I want to see—pretty much ever. So just let me work shit out in my own head, and I’ll come back for Christmas a whole new man, okay?”

“I like the one you are right now!” she said staunchly, and then she threw herself in his arms and held on tight. “Love you, big brother,” she whispered, and Marshall stood behind her, guiding her away.

“Love you too,” he said belatedly, and Marshall turned and shook his hand firmly.

“Come back when you promised, okay?” Marshall was just as slight as Sasha—two small, mild-mannered people getting along in a bright, brash world. Pierce had always fancied himself their champion knight—he couldn’t be that as he was.

He had to make himself better.

“Christmas Eve,” Pierce vowed. “Don’t worry, Marshall. Nobody likes being alone on Christmas.”

Marshall shrugged. “We wouldn’t be alone, Pierce. We just don’t want you to be.”

With that, the guy Pierce and Sasha’s parents had driven off their property with a baseball bat guided a disconsolate Sasha into the old vehicle and piloted it away.

As soon as they’d left the parking lot, Pierce allowed his shoulders to sag and dragged his sorry ass to the back door of the condo.

He crawled into bed and stayed there until he absolutely had to get up and pee the next morning.

 

 

STAYING IN bed for sixteen hours had consequences—he almost didn’t make it to the bathroom, he was so sore. After he’d taken care of business and washed down a granola bar, he realized he was going to have to be serious about that pool thing, or he really could end up curling into a ball and dying in a beach condo in Florida.

For a moment he contemplated it—he’d always been the kind of guy to consider all the angles—but eventually he decided he wouldn’t go quickly enough and managed a pair of board shorts and a T-shirt. As he walked through the tiled hall of the condo, he realized the tile was going to destroy his body almost as quickly as the inactivity, and made a mental note to buy some rubber mats at the very least, so he’d have some padding for his joints. Derrick had said to make himself at home—ergonomic home decorating was a go!

Just as soon as he got into the… ahhh… pool.

Heated, of course, and a perfect counterpoint to a cool day in the high fifties/low sixties. He’d set his phone on a lounge chair, playing something disgustingly upbeat and perky, and went about doing the exercises he and his physical therapist had worked on.

Actual physical motor activity really did have magical properties—it must have. He was working up a head of steam, the resistance and buoyancy of the water supporting his body as he used active stretching techniques, when a voice cut into his workout Zen.

“If you don’t straighten your back, you’ll be in a world of hurt!”

Crap. Whoever that was, he was right.

Pierce adjusted his form and then looked over his right shoulder, from whence the voice—deep and sharp and young—had issued.

“Thanks,” he said briefly, taking in the sprawled form of what looked to be a teenager wearing board shorts, a leopard-print bathrobe, and giant aviator sunglasses, lounging in one of the chaises. Dark hair, faintly sun streaked, was cut almost Boy Scout short around an adorable frat boy face. His hands were sort of a mess, loosely wrapped in gauze, but other than that, he was as untouched as a virgin’s dreams.

“Dude, what in the hell are you listening to? This shit.” The boy shuddered. “I’m saying. I bet you could work up a sweat if you had decent music.”

“It’s a mix,” Pierce said weakly, feeling old and slow. “I just hit an easy button, you kn—”

“I’ll get you a better sound,” the kid said, picking up the phone. “What’s your password?”

Pierce gave it to him and then stopped dead in the water and almost drowned. He was in the deep end, and he had to work to stay afloat and—

“Don’t spaz,” the kid said on a note of deep disgust. “My phone’s in the condo, and I could give a shit about your passwords. Jesus, if I was a hacker genius, I’d be someplace warm, you think?”

Pierce took a deep breath, and suddenly Katy Perry came blaring out of his phone. Well, okay, so everybody had heard this song; it did make him want to work harder. Pierce was calling it a win.

“Thanks,” he said again, panting now because he was moving faster.

The kid shrugged. “Don’t worry about it. You gonna be here tomorrow?”

“Yeah, but—”

“Same time?”

“Yeah.” ’Cause why not. Nothing better to do, right? No job, no wife, no life?

“Good. I’ll see you here with better music. Now stop doing that water walk thing and do a mountain climber—come on—I know you can.”

Pierce glared at him—and switched the move.

“There you go. Now follow my pace. You can go faster.” The kid started clapping, and Pierce struggled to keep up.

“I can’t… do… that…,” he gasped. He expected attitude back, because the kid had given him nothing but, and he was surprised when the clapping slowed.

“Sorry. You just look younger than this pace.”

Pierce had his back to the kid, but he had the sensation of a thorough visual once-over. He adjusted to the new pace and found his wind again. “Car accident,” he managed, trying not to be offended.

“Aw… aw hell. I’m sorry. I’m being an ass. I should just leave you to your workout.”

“No,” Pierce called out, stopping to tread water and cool down enough to talk. “Sorry—just… I was getting a workout. I suck doing this alone.” He kept his arms and legs moving and found the kid on the side of the pool again—he’d moved from where Pierce had first spotted him to stand right in front of the line Pierce was using to go back and forth.

“Yeah, well, being alone sort of sucks on all fronts,” the kid said philosophically. “I’ll try not to be an ass if you try to do a hard workout, how’s that?”

Pierce found himself nodding, even though he’d only come out to the pool out of what he deemed necessity. “Deal,” he panted.

“Okay, now back to mountain climbers. I’ll set the pace, and if it’s too fast, cry uncle.”

“Groovy,” Pierce breathed, positioning himself to go. “Now shoot.”

The kid put him through a decently difficult workout, adjusting for the things Pierce couldn’t do yet and pushing him hard in the stuff he could. After forty-five minutes, Pierce was starting to cramp up, though, and the kid had him stretch out.

Good stuff, really—the blue freedom of the water, the structure of the workout, and the congeniality of dealing with another human being without bitterness or backstory served as sort of a purge—some of the self-pity Pierce had wallowed in for the past sixteen hours was rinsed away.

But not all of it.

He was getting out of the pool when the damage in his calf and thigh screamed protest, and he groaned and grabbed on to the rail. The kid was right there, though, stepping into the water regardless of his pricey flip-flops and the hem of his leopard-print bathrobe.

“Uh-oh—overdid it. C’mon, let me help you to the hot tub. I’ll give you a rubdown, okay?”

“No,” Pierce grunted, suddenly aware of this kid. Lean and narrow but defined practically by muscle group, his body was a work of art, and Pierce didn’t even know if he was of age. And even if he was of age, he was too damned young for Pierce.

“No hot tub?” the kid asked sharply. “Or no gay guy touching you?”

Pierce’s face heated. “No hot teenager touching me?” he mumbled, limping toward the steamy goodness of the little spa and trying not to lean too much into the kid’s strong arms.

The youngster’s throaty chuckle didn’t reassure him in the least. “I’m twenty-three, old man, so cool your jets. Besides, I’m”—his voice dropped sadly, and the suddenly vulnerable look on his frat boy face made him look even younger—“well, I’d like to become a massage therapist, but I’ve only got half the coursework and hours done. Seriously, though, I’m halfway a professional, and I’m pretty good, so maybe let me work out the cramp in your leg?” He smiled winningly and used his free hand to lift his shades so he could bat a pair of admittedly limpid and arresting amber-brown eyes. “After all, I did work you over pretty hard.”

Pierce rolled his eyes at the double entendre, but as he reached for the rail of the hot tub, he had to concede that having his leg worked on would make the whole working-out thing feel like less of a mistake.

“Yeah, sure,” he muttered, taking the steps creakily one at a time. “Sure, you can squeeze my muscles till I scream.”

The kid chuckled again, inviting Pierce in on the laugh. “So you’re happy to let me rub one out on you?”

Pierce groaned. “God, kid, I can hardly walk. No sex jokes until I can make it out of the pool without collapsing.”

“So there can be sex jokes. Eventually. I just want to make sure.” Very gingerly the kid lowered Pierce until he was sitting. After he straightened, he scampered up the steps and pulled off his sodden robe, laying it out on the chaise to dry, and kicked off his ruined leather sandals.

“Oh geez.” Pierce thought of the massacre of perfectly good shoes and robe and was attacked by his conscience, which he’d assumed was dormant or dead. “Kid, I’m sorry about the clothes—”

“Don’t be.” He shrugged. “They’re my old man’s, and since he kicked me out of the house for Christmas, he can pretty much kiss off his super classy robe and huaraches, you hear me?”

Pierce wasn’t sure whether to chuckle or be horrified. “Just for Christmas?” he asked, making sure.

He lowered the sunglasses over his eyes again, probably to help him look insouciant when he was—in all likelihood—wounded. “Folks were having important political friends over. I’m a gay embarrassment, so I got the beach house. Last year they were in Europe, and I got the beach house with my boyfriend and we fucked like lemmings. No boyfriend this year.”

“The lemmings are safe?” Pierce asked, sympathies reluctantly stirred. Parents who judged their kids for sexual activity? He knew those assholes! Pierce and Sasha had grown up with their very own set.

Kid laughed, sounding young and happy instead of casual and cynical. Pierce liked the sound. “Here, let me rub your leg down—I promised.”

Pierce grunted. “Kid—”

“Hal—”

“Like the computer?”

Hal stared at him, unimpressed. “Oh dear, a Space Odyssey joke. I’ve never heard one of those, given that I’ve had this stupid name since birth. Now give me your leg.”

Pierce complied, startled by the venom. “Well, I could call you ‘Prince Hal,’ like—”

“King Henry the Fifth? Like in the Branagh movie?”

Pierce racked his brains, trying to remember. “I thought Branagh just did Hamlet,” he said, confused.

Hal gasped and wrapped his hands around Pierce’s ankle. “Heathen! How could you not know about the Branagh King Henry? He was young and still faithful and downright adorable!”

As he spoke, Hal worked his capable, agile fingers up Pierce’s leg—between that and the hot, bubbling water, Pierce’s entire body was melting like chocolate in the sun.

About the Author

Amy Lane has two grown children, two half-grown children, two cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance–and if you accidentally make eye contact, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

A MelanieM Review: Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Welcome to Brawlers Bar…

They said men only get better with age, distinguished and all that BS, but Archer “Bulletproof” Woods hadn’t gotten better. At fifty-six he was still as much an asshole as he’d been in his twenties and thirties, hell, maybe he was worse. Being a bouncer at a bar called Brawlers suited him just fine and he even tolerated the rest of the crew who’d taken up residence in his house when they’d had nowhere else to go. He was big, growly and homely that kept the parade of men passing through Brawlers at arm’s length for the past decade. One night changed all that.

What he’d thought was happily ever after turned into a nearly five year nightmare. Gregory Charles appeared to have it all, a successful business, sophistication, and a perfect marriage. His friend and best employee, Landon, begged him to come out to a friend’s bar to celebrate Landon’s anniversary. What could it hurt? A night without contemplating the hell that would come down on him the moment he served his husband with divorce papers would do him good. That is until he met the brooding older man staring into a whiskey straight ignoring everyone around him.

Watching for trouble was his job and Gregory screamed mistake as soon as the long, lean and handsome man sat down beside him. But he also knew when someone was in over their head and Gregory needed someone to watch his back. That someone was Bull, only time would tell if he’d have to fight Gregory as much as the man after him.

Bull‘s story is the one I’ve been waiting for.  I’ve love the huge, hulking father figure ever since I became aware of the Brawlers and their extended family.  It’s Bull and his house whose been the home and focal point of so many of these stories.  And it’s been Bull who’s been such a steadying influence on those around him when everything felt like it was being destroyed for them.  Yet Bull was ever lonely, alpha among alphas, and you wanted to get the know the person called Bull.  In Bull (Brawlers #3) by J.M. Dabney I finally got that story.

The solitary man isn’t the one I was prepared to find.  He’s hardly anywhere close to the men he houses, although he  clearly understands them and the violence that drives them.  Instead Dabney gives us a man full of pain and loneliness, hating it, yet perhaps thinking that his time for something more has passed him by because of his age.  The sadness is overwhelming.  Then Gregory appears at Brawlers, helping to  celebrate Landon’s anniversary and a connection is made that changes everything.

Gregory is a complicated character (they all are here).  Explaining more about Gregory actually gives away too much of the the plot for my comfort, however, let’s just say trying to serve divorce papers to a husband isn’t always the easiest thing when the husband refuses to accept them.  This is a hurt/comfort story and deals with issues of domestic violence and control.

Bull’s situation (he’s divorced with a grown child he hasn’t seen in awhile) plus his age all determines the manner in which he views his actions towards Gregory and any possibility of a relationship.  Gregory’s own demons also need to be dealt with by Gregory himself and others.  Broken, bruised men are the heart of most of Dabney’s stories.  For most, life has made them hard and violent, but for some, it’s left it’s marks in other ways.

The relationship dynamics here make any romance unsure and slow as it should be.  I loved the struggle and the carefulness taken to ensure more pain wasn’t inflicted.   I like that there is an awareness of the age issue, it’s addressed, and they move forward. Was it a little rushed towards the end?  Perhaps, but the whole is darn near perfect.

I think Bull is one of my favorite Brawler books of the series.  Of course, I do love the whole series and the one that follows it.  I have them all listed below.  Check them all out and check them off as I review them.  I highly recommend them all.

Cover design by Winterheart Designs is perfect for Bull, how I love these covers.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 1 edition, 199 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by Hostile Whispers Press, LLC (first published 2017)
ASINB06Y2GHQPH
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBrawlers #3

  • Executioners – third series

A MelanieM Review: The Rhubarb Patch (Men of Gilead #1) by Deanna Wadsworth

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

 

City boy, sci-fi novelist, and recovering pushover Scott Howe doesn’t know what to expect when he inherits his grandmother’s house outside the quaint village of Gilead, Ohio—but it isn’t an enormous bald man in nothing but tighty-whities and orange rubber boots shouting at him to keep his weed whacker away from the rhubarb patch.

Scott has never met anyone like Phineas Robertson: homesteader, recluse… Republican. A tender—if unlikely—friendship grows over the summer while Phin and his schnauzer, Sister Mary Katherine, teach Scott about life in the country and the grandmother he never knew. Opposites attract, but widower Phin worries his secret will send Scott running faster than his politics, and Phin isn’t convinced he deserves a second chance at romance.

Scott is convinced—rural life, and his one-of-a-kind, older neighbor is the future he wants. Before he can settle in, his mother drops a bombshell that strains their already tenuous relationship, and a cousin who believes he is the rightful heir to the property puts Scott in danger. It’ll take a lot of compromises, and even dodging a few bullets before they’re out of the weeds, but nurturing something as special as true love always takes hard work.

I loved The Rhubarb Patch (Men of Gilead #1) by Deanna Wadsworth.  As a fan of the ‘slow burn’ and a narrative paced according to the storyline, this book sang to me like a katydid on a summer country night.  It was sweet, realistic, heartwarming, and loving.  Wadsworth has given us a beautifully written story full of characters with heart, dealing with loss, homophobia, warring relatives, and a mother whose maternal abilities leave much to be desired.  And all the people here feel true and layered, whether we like them or not, two legged or four legged.

And it all starts with a rhubarb patch.

Prepare to fall in love with the country here and the vegetables of the garden along with Scott as Phin educates his “City Mouse” in his newly acquired home and gardens.  As the men tentatively learn about each other (also as Scott learns about the grandmother he never knew, who was adored by Phin and the people of Gilead) and Phin starts to open up to Scott about his past and his loss, the reader is pulled into the growing intimacy of their shared lives and relationship and country living.  We watch and listen as Scott’s affection, then love for this small house/farm and neighbor develops and deepens.  And the same for Phin.  We laugh and are charmed by Sister Mary Katherine, Phin’s aging schnauzer.  And yes, made more than a little crazed by Scott’s dysfunctional mother, her homophobic boyfriend and attitudes towards Scott’s life.  But always the author keeps us actively engaged in the relationships, the town, and especially in Phin and Scott’s relationship as the seasons change and the gardens along with it.

There are several elements here that Wadsworth handles beautifully.  As they aren’t mentioned in the blurb, I won’t reveal them here.  But the manner in which it is revealed, handled as a part of their lives and connected to another character is smooth, intelligent, and believable.

When I finished the story, I was happy knowing I wasn’t done with the town of Gilead, this couple and the person who most likely will be getting their romance next.  You see I’d fallen just as deeply in love with them all as Scott had and now I  can’t wait for my next visit to come around.  I want to check in on them, see how everyone is doing and see how the next romance will develop…slowly….will be my guess.  I highly recommend you pick up this book and get reading before the next one comes out.

Cover Artist: Anne Cain.  What a great cover.  From the men, to the patch to   Sister Mary Katherine over in the corner waiting to steal some vegetables.  It’s perfect!

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 284 pages
Published July 24th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635336627
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMen of Gilead #1 settingOhio (United States

A MelanieM Review: Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor

Standard

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

 

Kulani is “The Orchid,” a young, insecure, pro-surfer who comes from a rough background on the Big Island of Hawai’i. He’s Beau Toyama’s cousin from Hawaiian Lei. But he’s also a healer and has a heart as deep as the ocean he’s part of. Like the great Hawaiians, who have gone before him, warrior Kulani Mahikoa epitomizes the spirit of aloha and love. Kulani’s not only healing his own wounds, but “The Lost Boys”—young, homeless, abandoned and abused gay boys he’s taken under his wing.

Rob Masterson is a wounded psychologist who’s trying to come to terms with his husband Tony’s death. When he died, they were separated but still living together. Can the lone and lonely New Zealand widower reconcile all the pieces of guilt and love, to heal and fall in love again? When he drops anchor in Kona Harbor and meets the exotic islander—young, bolshie Kulani—explosive heat makes sparks fly between them.

Is the age difference between them a barrier or something they’ll get past? Kulani has more layers than Rob ever bargained for. And Rob’s tangled knot of responsibility, grief and guilt with his New Zealand heritage and past life is something he needs to untangle.

Two wounded men have to learn to trust and love one another. Traveling between the South Sea Islands of beautiful New Zealand and the exotic Hawaiian Islands—they forge a sea change, finding a home for their shrapnel laced souls.

I discovered Meg Amor through the first terrific book in this series, Hawaiian Lei. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor cemented the fact that I’ve found something incredibly special, in this series and in this amazing author. From that forward where I learned the author had suffered two losses central to her heart, she brought that pain and loss to this story, making it ours through the character of Rob.  All the way, from the first sentence through to the dictionary at the end, Meg Amor held me captive by a tale layered in the need and search for love in all its aspects, from romantic to familial.  It does so within a deep and encompassing framework of various Pacific Island cultures and religions, the spirituality flowing through the storylines like a healer’s chant.  It takes place not only on the Big Island (BI) of Hawaii but also in New Zealand as Rob searches for closure for himself and a start anew finally with Kulani. For Kulani, he’s looking for acceptance, healing, and love too.  It’s his journey as well. This is a big story, big in heart, big in scale and the author makes this vast narrative intimate in emotion and connectivity for the reader.

Rob Masterson is a complex character. He’s older than Kulani, wounded by the loss of his husband, torn and beaten in ways by the way in which his marriage was ending and the way his husband died. Rob hasn’t healed when he meets Kulani, a gorgeous younger man.  Rob immediately recognizes in Kulani someone with wounds as deep or deeper than his but there’s an attraction between them than neither can resist.  Kulani is a character full of surprises for us and Rob.  That initial meeting of a sullen, young man lays the right superficial impression for the author to blow us away with the depths of pain and beauty awaiting below the surface.  She peels away the first layer slowly for Rob and us as Kulani slowly begins to open up and show his true self, only for Rob to realize how much he’s been holding back himself. Amor makes us believe in each man.  Their pain, sometimes awkwardness (Kulani’s), abruptness (Rob’s), and tenderness to and for each other is vivid, authentic and real.  So is the steps they take, forward and back,  towards a relationship.  It includes help and support from a number of other characters, including Beau and Matt from Hawaiian Lei and even their respective parents.  Again, the relationship dynamics here are complex and real.  And they make the story.

Now this story also contains a third element I won’t go into here.  It sets the stage for the third book in this series, Hawaiian Fragrance (The Hawaiians #3) which I’m going to read and review next.  Going into it here would I believe spoil something wonderful so I’m leaving it out.  But again, this aspect of the story, again just elevates Hawaiian Orchid and this series into another realm for me, that of the comfort read and the story I’ll read again and again.

The mysticism and spiritualism present in the first story is still here, toned down somewhat but it flows through as naturally as breathing air.  So beautifully done you might not even notice how deeply ingrained it is for these men and families.  But it’s there, especially in the reading Rob has done for him, one more important necessary step in the healing process for him.  Plus there are other elements that appear in the story as well, folded in so easily that I believed in them as much as Rob and Kulani.

This is an incredible story.  I highly recommend it as I do the one that starts the series. Hawaiian Orchid (The Hawaiians 2) by Meg Amor will be on my Best of List this year and it’s highly likely the series will as well.  Hawaiian Fragrance is next.  There’s something else you might want to look at! There’s a link here to the Hawaiian Orchid page on Meg Amor’s website. It contains more information on the meaning of the different orchids, the characters, the big island of Hawaii and much more.  Check it out!

Cover artist:  Syneca Featherstone. I just love these covers.  Beautiful and as lush as the islands themselves, the men are perfect!

 

Sales Links:  Amazon |    Loose Id LLC

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 302 pages
Published September 15th 2015 by Loose Id LLC
ASINB015G3F1N6
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Hawaiians :

Cover Reveal for By the Book By Maria Vickers (excerpt)

Standard
Title: By the Book

 

Genre: M/M Romance

 

Author: Maria Vickers
Cover Designer: T.E. Black Designs
Photographer: CJC Photography
Models: Tank Joey and Connor Jay
Release Date: June 14, 2017

Joshua Dayton met the man of his dreams as a sophomore in high school—his mentor and biology teacher, Mr. Cayden. Fearing his love would be considered forbidden and rejected, he ran away to college, determined to move on and forget. Three years later, he is summoned home and comes face to face with the man he tried to leave in the past. The same man he never stopped loving.

Samuel Cayden was looking for a fresh start and an escape. What he was not expecting was to develop feelings for his student, Joshua. Yet when the boy returns home a man, Samuel can no longer pretend the pull between them doesn’t exist.

Will the student become the teacher, showing Samuel how to open his heart? Will Samuel be able to prove to Joshua that things are not always what they appear? Or will the spark fizzle before it has a chance to ignite?

It’s time they got a lesson in love and temptation.

 

 

Amazon US
Amazon CA
Amazon UK
Amazon AU

One more deep breath when I reached the porch, and I opened the door to step inside, and stopped with only one foot in, frozen in my tracks. Across the living room, in the kitchen, leaning against the island, stood the one man I had been trying to get away from.

We stared at each other, both too shocked to move. I pulled my other foot inside and dropped the bag in my hand. It landed with a loud thud. Yes, Imperial was probably one of the smallest towns around. Yes, Sam lived in the same small town and taught at the local high school, but that did not mean I expected to see him in my house, standing in my mother’s kitchen. If I managed to run into him, I would’ve sworn it’d be around town or at a restaurant, not here.

Neither of us broke eye contact. I hadn’t seen him in three years, but right now, it felt as if that time had not separated us. All I could think about was the letter I wrote him, the one I shoved in his hands after graduation had come to a close. I left for Florida the next day. Had he read it? I wanted to know, and yet, at the same time, I wanted to pretend I was never that bold.

Much like the house, he hadn’t changed. His white t-shirt pulled tight across his chest, and I could see his tattoos disappearing underneath his sleeves. The tattoos covered one arm completely, while the other one only had a half-sleeve. I also knew that he had ink that covered his back and one leg. There was something sexy about a man covered in color. Actually, it was only this man. Others with tattoos did nothing for me. It was only Sam.

In my dreams, I could picture it all so clearly. The colorful swirls of pictures flowed over his skin from his upper back to his ankles, his skin alive with vivid color. I’d dreamed of kissing every inch of paint.

Samuel Cayden appeared as if my magic in my life as a sophomore. This was the man I had been thinking about yesterday, the reason I pushed Jacob away. And now he stood less than fifty feet from me.

“I’m…I’m glad you came,” he said, his voice gruff and tight.

I pondered his words for a moment. Had he expected me to abandon my only family, my mother? “My mother needs me, where else would I be?” I swallowed hard and then dismissed him, “Thank you for helping out, you can go now.” I had to get away from him so I could breathe again. Being around him, seeing him again after I left without a backward glance, messed with my equilibrium. My emotions intensified and crashed down upon me with a vengeance. Leave, please leave. I silently prayed. I didn’t know why he was here. I couldn’t occupy the same space as him right now.

“I uh…” he started to say. His lips turned downward and his eyes appeared haunted and sad.

“Samuel,” a soft, muffled, feminine voice called out from somewhere to my left. I knew that voice: my mother. It sounded weaker than I remembered. And it had called for my old teacher.

“I’ll be right there,” he answered loudly, never taking his eyes off me.

Samuel? I’d like to know when my mother started calling my old teacher by his first name. Up until the point I’d left, it’d always been Mr. Cayden, but then again, I hadn’t been aware that they’d kept in touch.

A soft knock startled us and we finally broke eye contact. Sam cleared his throat. “Why don’t I get that? Your mom will want to see you,” he suggested. His voice still sounded tight and unsure. His forehead was wrinkled slightly from his small frown, and his eyes darted from me to the direction of my mother’s bedroom door.

“You know what my mom wants?” I asked snidely.

“I—” Another knock at the door interrupted him. “Go and check on your mom,” he directed as he came toward the door, his hand raking through his thick hair.

Moving away from the door to give him space, our chests accidentally brushed, and the spark of electricity I tried to forget, ignited, stopping me in my tracks. Three years apart and I still craved him like no other. My breath caught and my skin felt alive as my heart thumped harder and louder. I wanted to reach out and grab him and at the same time, shove him out the door so that I didn’t have to see him, didn’t have to be around him.

His Adam’s apple bobbed and my eyes zeroed in on that part of his body. I wondered what it would be like to lick it, to suck on it until we were both writhing with desire.

 

 

Maria Vickers currently lives in St. Louis, MO with her pug, Spencer Tracy. She has always had a passion for writing and after she became disabled, she decided to use writing as her escape. By the Book is her first MM romance, but she has three other published contemporary romance books.

❤✨ From the Author ✨ ❤

Life is about what you make of it. You have to live it to the fullest no matter the circumstances.

I have always loved books. Not only creating the stories, but reading them as well. Books transport me, and when I was younger, I would run into walls because I refused to put my books down even for a second. Take note, walking with books is not advised. LOL.

With my books, I just want to share my stories with the world. I want others to be transported or to feel the emotions my characters feel. That is my goal with my writing. If I can do that for one person, I succeeded.

Getting sick changed me and my life, but it also opened doors that I thought were closed. Today, even though I cannot do much, I still have my mind and I can write.

Facebook: 
IG: 
@authormariavickers
 
Twitter: 
@mvauthor
Amazon: 
Goodreads: 
Bookbub: 
Newsletter: 

 

 

Release Blitz for Bronze Star (A Veterans Affairs Story) by AE Wasp

Standard
Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Veterans Affairs Series
 
Half-Broke: A Veterans Affairs Short Amazon US | Amazon UK 
Incoming: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
A Christmas Outing: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Hearts: A Veterans Affairs Novel Amazon US | Amazon UK
Paper Roses: A Veterans Affairs Story Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

Chris Dobbs is used to getting what he wants, and what he wants now is his boss.
Everything about the dangerously handsome enigmatic older man drives him to his knees in more ways than one, ways Chris is realizing he’s always craved.

Giving Jay-Cee his body is as simple as breathing, but when Chris smashes through all of Jay-Cee’s hard earned control, he learns Jay-Cee demands more than just his obedience. He wants things Chris can’t give him – his heart, his soul, and his trust.

Jay-Cee offered his brilliant young protégé everything. In return, Chris took only the pieces he wanted and rejected the rest, leaving Jay-Cee reeling.

But the deep connection between them isn’t easily severed, and it promises to heal them both of the scars of their pasts. If they are to build a sanctuary from the rubble of their broken hearts, they’re going to have to risk everything.

 

 

April 1 – Love Bytes
April 3 – Sarandipity
 
Author Bio

After time spent raising children, earning several college degrees, and traveling the world with the U.S. State Department, she is returning to her first love – writing.

A dreamer and an idealist, Amy writes about people finding connection in a world that can seem lonely and magic in a world than can seem all too mundane. She invites readers into her characters’ lives and worlds when they are their most vulnerable, their most human, living with the same hopes and fears we all have. An avid traveler who has lived in big cities and small towns in four different continents, Amy has found that time and distance are no barriers to love. She invites her readers to reach out and share how her characters have touched their lives or how the found families they have gathered around them have shaped their worlds.

Born on Long Island, NY, Amy has lived in Los Angeles, London, and Bangkok. She currently lives in a town suspiciously like Red Deer, Colorado.

VISIT MY BLOG

LIKE MY FACEBOOK PAGE
FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER
SEE INTO MY BRAIN AT PINTEREST
AND GET
HALF-BROKE: A VETERANS AFFAIRS STORY FOR FREE
 

 Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway
https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions

 

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Release Day Review: Lickety Split by Damon Suede

Standard

Rating: 4 stars out of 5

This is one of the strangest love stories I ever read. On the one hand, it felt as if two guys were just getting together for some rough sex mixed in with a lot of down-home talkin’ and good earthy slogans, but under the surface level, when we scratch deep enough, it was really a love story between a 40+ old cowboy/farmer/rodeo rider and a 20+ NYC deejay who comes home to good ol’ Hixville,Texas, after his parents are killed in an accident.

Even blindfolded, I’d know Damon Suede wrote this due to his inimitable way of spitting out rough, tough, rapid-fire dialogue. Add to that the deep Texas accent of the older MC, and the often back-to-his-roots twang of the younger MC, and at times I found the dialogue and narrative difficult to follow.

The story in a nutshell: Patrick “Patch” Hastle, New York City-based international “circuit” deejay, is notified that his estranged parents left their farm to him when they were killed as his dad tried to beat a train through a crossing. Heading back to Hixsville, Texas, is the last thing he wants, but he needs the money from the sale of the farm to invest in a new club that he and his BF are planning to open.

Once there, he runs into good ol’ Tucker Biggs, his father’s BF and his one-time crush. In fact, that crush is still happening and may explain why his one-night stands in the city are always based on his fantasies about Tucker. Long story short, after being caught eavesdropping on a masturbating Tucker, the two fall into a fuck-buddies relationship that takes a turn for the better—or worse, depending on your viewpoint—when Patch realizes he loves the old guy and then later realizes the feeling might be mutual. But too many years of denying any feelings and too many years spent running (for Patch) and going too slow (for Tucker) make for a major communication gap.

Can the two find their way to much-needed communication? Can Patch possibly make a living down in Texas when his deejay work takes him all over the world? And can Tucker finally acknowledge his own needs, fears, and feelings? That’s what makes this story tick and what left this reader feeling very close to two very unlikely lovers. So despite sometimes being lost and not being a fan of the good ol’ boy twang in the dialogue, I still felt connected with the characters and I can’t seem to ferget ’em as the day goes on—a sure sign that this one needs to be at least a 4 star book.

~~~

The cover by Reese Dante is quite attractive, featuring a close-up of an older cowpoke on a brightly colored background.

Sales Links

Book Details:

ebook, 286 pages
Expected publication: March 13th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781635335736
Edition LanguageEnglish

A MelanieM Release Day Review: Yes, Professor by Renae Kaye

Standard

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

 

yes-professor-by-renae-kayeTwenty-two-year-old Avery Stewart has a crush on his neighbour. Always attracted to older men, Avery is tantalised by Mr Redding’s professorial looks and obvious obsession with perfection.

When he finally gets the courage to speak to Christopher Redding, Avery manages to get invited back that evening on the pretext of bringing a cake for Christopher’s birthday. But things don’t work out how Avery had planned, and he finds himself sent home with the cake and without any intimacy.

Christopher is everything Avery has ever desired—older, self-assured, dominant, and intelligent. Avery needs someone in his life to take charge—in and out of the bedroom. He wants Christopher to be that man. However, Avery must first convince Christopher to take a chance on him.

Renae Kaye is a “must read” author for me.  I adore her stories and The Shearing Gun is among my all-time comfort reads.  So you can image how eagerly I await each new story by her.  Yes, exactly!  With a high degree of anticipation over the type of main male character I will find and the story Kaye has decided to tell for him.  Usually she throws a quirk at her readers and its no different here.

Avery Stewart is has some of the same elements I expect from Renae Kaye.  He’s got his  own brand of quirkiness while Kaye explores yet another ray of the Rainbow sexuality (or any sexuality for that matter) – this time its that of control and older men .  Here it translates into Avery’s obsession on his older neighbor, Mr. Christopher (not Chris, thank you very much) Redding.  Avery’s unable to focus for very long on things like his  studies or goals or anything other than his object of lust, Mr. Redding.  His day is almost planned around how to meet the man next door who he watches trim his hedge row very meticulously in his very trim, neat, meticulous clothing.

I have to admit Kaye almost lost me completely within the first 5 pages of this story.

But it was Kaye so I read on.  Yes, Avery does grow on the reader.  I sympathized with him and almost with his obsession.  Which I never, ever got.  Even after meeting the man.  That’s the crux of my issue with this  story.  I never really got a feel for Christopher Redding or felt any chemistry between him and Avery.  Any real insight into Christopher Redding the man came too late for me and as a reader, that all important connection to him and to them as a couple was never made.  That loss which was so surprising in a Renae Kaye story was one that Yes, Professor never recovered from.  I won’t go into any aspects of insta-love vs obsession, although an argument could certainly made for it here.  That would take up pages.  Lets just bring it all down to super control vs super flighty.

I love the full range of the variety of types of characters Kaye has shown us in her stories.  Whether its Shawn of Shawn’s Law (love, love him) to Jay Bell of Loving Jay to the gruff Hank of The Shearing Gun and the miner Lon Taylor and young Casey of Safe in His Arms, and everything in between.  Twunks, twinks, blind men and their housekeepers.  Kaye’s imagination has ranged magically all over the place so a unfocused Avery and a dom Prof shouldn’t have been a issue but somehow it just never gelled for me.

Maybe I’m overthinking this here.  Its just I look for such high storytelling standards in her novels and I think Yes, Professor didn’t hit them in my opinion.  Others may pick it up and find it a nice  romance with D/s elements (yes, there are  those here).  I will be waiting on the next  Renae Kaye story to arrive.  She always has something different in store for the reader.  Its just that this one wasn’t for me.

Cover art is cute but that guy seems too conservative for Avery.

Sales Link

7104e-waxcreative-amazon-kindle

 

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 121 pages
Expected publication: February 14th 2017
Original TitleYes, Professor
ASINB01MSC4SVM
Edition LanguageEnglish

Return to Lake Lovelace with Rough Road by Vanessa North (contest)

Standard

Rough Road cover

Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2)
by Vanessa North

Published by Riptide Publishing
Cover Art by L. C. Chase

Series: Lake Lovelace

Sales Link:  Riptide Publishing Rough Road Page

RoughRoad_TourBanner

Hi, Welcome to the Rough Road Blog Tour!

I’m Vanessa North, and I’ll be sharing some of my thoughts throughout the week on writing the second book in the Lake Lovelace series, Rough Road. Join the conversation by commenting on the posts and you’ll be entered in the drawing for a $25 Riptide Publishing gift certificate. Thanks for reading!

You can find all of the Rough Road tour stops at http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/rough-road

Blurb

Eddie Russell is many things: A wealthy pillar of the community. An outrageous flirt. A doting best friend. A masochist with a kink for brawling with his bedmates. But he is definitely not a man who invites intimacy. His friends are close but few, his lovers rarer still.

When Eddie runs his Mercedes off the road on a hot July afternoon, Wish Carver comes to his aid—and leaves his number in Eddie’s phone. Wish, a road crew worker half Eddie’s age and sexy as sin, seems fascinated by Eddie’s different sides. Mutual attraction and compatible kinks ignite the sheets, but it’s their connection outside the bedroom that Eddie begins to crave.

When the two come down on opposite sides of a local issue, Eddie finds his growing feelings for Wish at odds with his business interests and his devotion to his best friend, local wakeboarding legend Ben Warren. Torn between old loyalties and his new love, Eddie is reluctant to make a choice. But he knows he can’t make Wish wait too long to make up his mind.

About the Author

Author of over a dozen novels, novellas, and short stories, Vanessa North delights in giving happy-ever-afters to characters who don’t think they deserve them. Relentless curiosity led her to take up knitting and run a few marathons “just to see if she could.” She started writing for the same reason. Her very patient husband pretends not to notice when her hobbies take over the house. Living and writing in Northwest Georgia, she finds her attempts to keep a quiet home are frequently thwarted by twin boy-children and a very, very large dog.

Connect with Vanessa:

Website: vanessanorth.com
Facebook profile page: facebook.com/AuthorVanessaNorth
Twitter: @VanessaNWrites
Goodreads: goodreads.com/VanessaNorth

RoughRoad_TourBanner

Giveaway

Every comment on this blog tour enters you in a drawing for $25 in Riptide Publishing store credit. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 3rd. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Don’t forget to leave your email so we can contact you if you win!  Must be 18 years of age or older to enter.

Lake Lovelace Series

Welcome to Lake Lovelace: a small town that’s big on charm!

Lake Lovelace is famous for its wakeboarding competitions and the local athletes who dominate it. Legends of the sport and stars of the future share the glory, and everyone celebrates. Whether on the water or around town, the men and women of Lake Lovelace collide, clash, and ultimately find love under the scorching Florida sun. – See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/lake-lovelace#sthash.FcS4OefA.dpuf

– See more at: http://www.riptidepublishing.com/titles/universe/lake-lovelace#sthash.FcS4OefA.dpuf

Books in the series to date:

Double Up (Lake Lovelace #1) and Rough Road (Lake Lovelace #2) – see links to our reviews.

Double Up coverRough Road cover