A MelanieM Review: Fade In (Tales of Bryant #3) by V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4,5  stars out of 5

Will Devon and Caiden discover that their new love is a wrap after the filming ends?

Weddings, champagne, and slow dancing. It’s a lethal combination and one that has led film student Devon Maxwell into one awkward predicament. Brought in at the last minute to help his friends Isamu and Brian during their Bryant Park wedding, Devon was not prepared for Caiden Dell to sweep into his life. The spark of attraction between him and the hip film executive was instantaneous. That spark led them right into Caiden’s big bed for a night of pleasure that Devon will never be able to duplicate no matter how many takes life gives him.

To make things even more complicated, Caiden offers the recently vacated job of office intern to him. He’d be a fool to turn down an offer to work at Budgie in the Dell, the hottest LGBT film production company in the Big Apple. Looks as if Devon’s hopes of working in film are about to come true. He’s ready for days filled with tiring shoots, long hours, and irate actors. He just never dreamed his nights would overflow with passion, laughter, and whispers shared with a gorgeous, older lover.

V.L. Locey’s series,  Tales of Bryant,  is one of those that I wish could have concurrent stories running together.  The author has managed to create such a splendid group of complex, layered characters, each so different from each other, then based their lovers also in opposite “worlds” before bringing the two together, hooked by a delicious confectionary of a bakery near Bryant Park.

Two are poor film students, the others older, richer, although not always wiser in love.    Here I am missing the magical chemistry of Brian Gilles and Isamu Taylor who I followed through two stories (Tales of Bryant, Nine Small Sips).  Their relationship, past histories, and love were something I couldn’t get enough of, and only get glimpses of here.  Yes, I want more of them.

But Devon Maxwell and Caiden Dell are a lovely new couple to obsess over in Fade In, the next installment in Tales of Bryant.  Both characters are people we have met previously in Brian and Isamu’s stories and now we see them after that couple’s wedding.

Although Fade In is a novella, Locey makes it feel like a full length novel.  Her characters are well developed, their intense attraction and love for each other realistic and heartfelt. As was their pain and doubts.  I was with them every bit of their faltering way here and loved it.  As with the others, my only issue is the length because I wanted more at the end.

That romantic resolution needed more of a follow up for me, a better peek into their future.  Where Brian and Isamu got a second story, the next doesn’t belong to Devon and Caiden but another familiar character so I felt a bit let down.  I wanted a continuation here for them as well.

Perhaps that’s down the line.  I certainly hope so.

This is a wonderful series.  Layered, vivid, full of life, rich with location and characters.  One I highly recommend.

Cover Art: Meredith Russell is wonderful.  Love it.

Book Details:
Author: V.L. Locey
Series: TALES OF BRYANT, Book 3
Tag: Age Gap
ASIN: B08429CR84
ISBN: 9781393414315
Length: 34,000 words approx.
 
 
Tales Of Bryant Series 



Book #1 – Tales of Bryant – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link
Book #2 – Nine Small Sips – Amazon US | Amazon UK | Universal Link

 

Blog Tour with Excerpt for Rules to Obey (Davey’s Rules #5) by Susan Hawke

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Rules to Obey

Davey’s Rules Series Book 5

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance, Daddy/boy

Release Date: 12.12.19

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Blurb

Davey’s Rule #83: Daddy will encourage his boy to be the best he can be and be supportive of his boy’s career choices.

Marcus Alves has waited most of his adult life to find the perfect match. A sweetheart who will love cuddles, need a Daddy to help him thrive, and most importantly… be the type of boy that might want to use the binky that Marcus keeps hidden in his pocket. Now in his forties, he’s refusing to give up on his dream—or the unused playroom that’s waiting for someone to enjoy.

Jeff Robustelli has had a rough life. Growing up in a commune with absent parents was hard for a rule-following straitlaced guy with a genius IQ. When the uncle who saved him died, Jeff did what he does best—buried his head in the sand and pretended life wasn’t changing. Working in a Daddy club has shown him what he really wants, but Jeff is too afraid to take a chance on something new.

When Jeff has a sudden need for a fake fiancé, he strikes a deal with the older man who always seems to be there when his world is crumbling and makes him feel safe. In exchange, he agrees to a fake Daddy/boy experiment designed to let him try out being little without any pressure.

While Marcus and Jeff navigate their “deal” and the unexpected new feelings that begin to emerge, Marcus also must help the younger man through a series of life changes that put him on the road to being the adult he’s been too afraid to be. When everything in Jeff’s life is in turmoil, Marcus is his one stability. But can Jeff trust his own heart when nothing else in his life is making sense anymore?

This is the fifth book in a series about not-so-perfect Daddies, adorable “boys,” and one sassy brat with an insane list of rules. Grab your fan and tissues because this series comes with both a high heat advisory and all the squishy feels you’d want from a Susan Hawke book.

getbook.at/RulesToObey

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Excerpt

My heart raced with excitement as I thought about the surprise I’d left for him among the coloring books. “How about we start easy? First off, I would like to call you Jeffy when we’re together like this. Is that okay?”

He seemed to consider that for a moment, his lips silently forming the little name a few times before finally nodding. “Jeffy. I like that because it’s not too different from normal but sets me apart when I’m being…” He paused, lowering his voice to a whisper as he finished his sentence. “Little. It sets me apart when I’m little.” He was so earnest and sweet that I wanted to eat him up.

“Good boy. Thank you. The name suits you, Jeffy. Now, why don’t you look down on the bottom shelf and choose a coloring book? There is also a plastic box filled with crayons that you’ll want to use.”

Jeffy licked his lips and hesitated for half a second before crouching and carefully examining the stack of coloring books. I held my breath as I waited for him to get to the bottom. Somehow, I thought I was safe ignoring Davey’s advice about not having Jeff make choices when I’d hidden the perfect surprise for him. It only took a few moments as he neatly slid each book from the top of the stack and moved it to the bottom while he carefully examined each one. I knew when he found it because he blew out his breath so fast that it whistled through his front teeth.

He looked up at me with shining eyes and held the coloring book high like a trophy. “Transformers? You have a Transformers coloring book? And I can use it?”

I couldn’t help but chuckle. “Not only can you use it, but I got it especially for you. Why don’t you look at the plastic box beside them now? That was also chosen just for you.”

He picked up the blue box with the metallic logo, and the smile I got was worth the time I’d spent searching online for the Transformers pencil box. After he put the other coloring books back on the shelf—taking a moment to meticulously straighten them first—Jeffy stood, hugging his prizes to his chest. He still looked like he had half a mind to take off at the slightest provocation, but he wasn’t looking quite as overwhelmed as he had a few minutes ago.

Susan Hawke Logo

As 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/

Catch up with the series here:

Rules to Follow: getbook.at/RulesToFollow

Rules to Break: getbook.at/RulesToBreak

Rules for Santa: getbook.at/RulesForSanta

Rules for Growing: getbook.at/RulesForGrowing

Love a Cozy Mystery? Check Out the New Release Tour for Boiling Over (The Caro Mysteries #2) by Thea McAlistair (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Boiling Over

Series: The Caro Mysteries, Book Two

Author: Thea McAlistair

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: January 6, 2019

Heat Level: 2 – Fade to Black Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 73800

Genre: Historical LGBT, gay, historical mystery, cozy mystery, age gap, established couple, mental illness, anxiety, PTSD, private detective, New England

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

On the run from trumped-up murder charges, Alex Dawson and his boyfriend Sev settle in a small town in Vermont on the recommendation of Sev’s mob-boss cousin Bella. Chickadee is so tiny that it has only one major employer in the depths of the Great Depression: Trask & Co. Maple Sugar Mill. It’s a quiet place. That is, until Walter Trask is found in his own maple grove with his head smashed in.

Alex doesn’t want to have anything to do with the death, but things get much more personal when Bella is falsely arrested. Determined to free her and even the scales, Alex scours the town for clues as to what really happened. He quickly learns that small towns have big secrets that people may be willing to kill for. And if that weren’t bad enough, Alex and Sev’s once-sweet relationship is turning bitter under the combined pressures of isolation, anxiety, and jealousy. Alex needs to find the true murderer quickly before Bella is turned over to the feds, or worse, Sev walks out of his life forever.

Excerpt

Boiling Over
Thea McAlistair © 2020
All Rights Reserved

When Sev first asked me to run away with him, he’d mentioned exotic places like India and Australia, warm countries far away from the seedy city we were living in. It had sounded romantic and wonderful, and when we finally left—well, fled—I had hopes of going somewhere like that. Instead, we ended up in Chickadee, Vermont.

Chickadee was a small town, about a half-hour drive from the Canadian border and about a six-hour drive from our old home in Connecticut. In all my twenty-three years, I’d never set foot in the countryside, and now there was all this empty space. Blue sky. Trees. Cows.

“Bella wants us to stay here?” I asked as I gaped at the maple forest flashing by the car window. “It’s so…rustic.”

“Well, just think, Alex,” grumbled Sev, his faint Italian accent tinged with unease as he guided the rickety borrowed Oldsmobile over bumps on the dirt road, “it’s better than the alternatives, yes?”

Considering the alternatives were dead and arrested for murder, he was right. Less than a month ago, I’d been living my dull life, writing during the day and serving as a bodyguard for the mayor in the evenings, and then all hell broke loose. Now nine people were dead, including my friends Martin and Donnie, and the corrupt cops wouldn’t even think of hearing my side of the story. Targeting the big guy with a chip on his shoulder the size of New England was almost too easy for them.

“It’s pretty here!” chimed Pearl from the back.

I twisted to look at her. She perched on the edge of the seat, her already-large eyes expanded in wonder. Her cat, Daisy, sulked in a metal cage next to her. I still wasn’t sure it’d been the brightest idea to take a six-year-old on the lam with us, but it was too late now. At least she seemed to be enjoying the trip. And why wouldn’t she? She wasn’t the one running from murder charges.

“Bit different from the city, huh?” I asked, careful to keep my voice cheerful for her.

She nodded and returned to staring at the trees.

I slumped back into my seat, grateful she didn’t seem to share my unease.

Sev nudged my arm. “Which road do I take?”

I straightened and peered out the windshield. We were coming up on an intersection, if a split of one dirt track into two could be called that. I scrambled to unfold the map I’d crumpled in my distraction. Sev’s cousin Bella—the most notorious gangster in Westwick—had given us these directions and all our fake identification papers first thing that morning.

Why Bella had chosen Chickadee to hide us from the cops was a mystery. She hadn’t given me a straight answer when I asked, only that she had friends there and Sev would be working with one of them. Most likely the location had something to do with the rum-running routes she’d controlled until about six months ago. While the end of Prohibition had cut the bottom out from under her main moneymaker, there were many other ways to make an illegal living, and why leave when she already had a foot in the door?

“Left,” I said, tracing the hand-drawn line with my finger. “Looks like another mile and we reach town.”

Sev obeyed, taking the left fork. The car turned in a wide arc around yet more trees. Both sides of the road were obscured by underbrush and shadow. Sev swore under his breath in Italian and slowed even more.

“They should clear this,” he muttered. “Someone’s going to get hit one day.”

“Who’s going to get hit?” I answered. “There’s no one out he—”

Sev slammed the brakes as a figure darted from between the trunks. I jolted forward and got the wind knocked out of me as I smacked into the dashboard. Pearl screamed, tumbling into the back of my seat. The rattle of the cat cage almost drowned out Daisy’s yowls.

Blinded by pain, I groped for Sev. “Everyone okay?” I gasped.

He grabbed my hand and squeezed. “Fine,” he said.

Pearl wailed. I turned, ignoring the objections of my bruised ribs. She huddled in the space between the back bench and the front seat, clutching her wrist. My already-pitching stomach dropped. I’d brought her with us to get her away from all the pain in her past, and now here was more. I scrambled out the door and around the back to get her.

“You’re all right; you’re all right,” I mumbled in an effort to convince myself my assurance was true. “Can I see?”

Pearl snuffled and presented her arm. Already her wrist was red and swelling. I held back the curses bubbling in my mind. In a flash of anger, I whipped around to see what jackass had done this.

To my surprise, I only saw a girl straddling a sturdy bike. She was maybe sixteen or seventeen, wearing men’s dungarees and a gingham shirt. Freckles were splattered across her face, and ash-blonde braids draped down her back. She gnawed on her lip, her eyes huge with fear.

“I’m so sorry,” she squeaked. “There’s almost never anyone out here—”

“Alex?” Sev called. He sounded muffled. I looked at the driver’s side door. He had gotten out and had one hand curled around the lower half of his face while the other scrambled in a pocket. “I think I might have been mistaken when I said I was fine.” He pulled out a handkerchief, and I saw both his nose and his upper lip were bleeding.

Fear, anger, and unbidden memories tangled up in my mind, freezing my mouth in one slack-jawed position, keeping me mute.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Don’t miss Book #1 in the Caro Mysteries series, No Good Men, available from NineStar Press

In 1934, almost everyone struggles to pay the rent, and Alex Dawson is no exception. To support his writing habit, he moonlights with his mentor Donnie as a bodyguard for the mayor. It’s dull work, until the night a handsome, golden-eyed stranger catches his eye–and both his boss and his mentor are killed when his back is turned.

Jobless and emotionally adrift, Alex vows to find the murderer before the corrupt police can pin the blame on him. But he soon discovers he’s in over his head. The golden-eyed stranger turns out to be a mob boss’s cousin, and a suspicious stack of money in Donnie’s dresser leads Alex to discover that his mentor and the mayor were involved in something more crooked than fundraising dinners and campaign speeches. As the death count rises amid corruption, mob politics, and anarchist plots, Alex realizes that the murders aren’t political or even business. This is the work of a spree killer, and Alex and his new boyfriend are the only ones who can stop them.

Meet the Author

Thea McAlistair is the pseudonym of an otherwise terribly boring office worker from New Jersey. She studied archaeology, anthropology, history, architecture, and public policy, but none of those panned out, so she decided to go back to an early love – writing. She can often be found muttering to herself about her latest draft at completely inappropriate times.

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

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

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

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

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

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

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

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

Check Out the Release Blitz with Excerpt for What Works For Us by Colette Davison

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: What Works For Us

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date:  December 17, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Age-gap, role-playing, Daddy kink, out for you

Themes:  Self-discovery; sexual awakening

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length: 57 000 words

It is a standalone story.

Add on Goodreads 

 

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

and  only 99c until December 22

Universal Amazon Link

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

 

An elf costume, a pair of lacy knickers, and a Christmas charity auction might make Sam’s Christmas wish come true.

 

Blurb

When sweet barista, Sam, agrees to be a ‘slave’ in a Christmas charity auction, he’s thrilled to be bought by the man he’s had a crush on for the last three months.

Theodore is everything Sam is looking for in a man: older, authoritative, and caring. Unfortunately, Sam isn’t the most forward person when it comes to telling men he likes them. Wearing a sexy costume allows him to be a much flirtier version of himself, but can a naughty elf tempt Theodore into bed?

As their relationship intensifies, Sam finds something in Theodore he didn’t realise he needed: a man he wants to call his Daddy.

But Theodore isn’t out of the closet, and whilst Sam is happy existing in a bubble over Christmas, he knows that can’t last forever.

Can Sam risk giving his heart to a Daddy who might not ever be able to hold his hand in public, let alone commit to him?

What Works For Us is a Christmas romance with an age-gap relationship, lacy underwear, role-play, Daddy kink, and a guaranteed happy ending.

 

Excerpt

He stood and opened the door, and his heart leapt into his throat. His whole body tingled as he found himself unable to tear his gaze away from what the young man was wearing.
Sam didn’t have the boxer shorts on. Instead, he wore a woman’s elf costume, which comprised of a short dress with a green lace-up bodice and bright red skirt. Due to Sam’s height, the skirt barely covered the top third of his thighs. The skirt was filled out with netting, like a tutu, making it even shorter. Sam was wearing candy cane-striped stockings. Theodore knew they were stockings because he could see the top of the suspenders peeking out beneath the white fake fur trim on the hem of the skirt. In his head, Sam wore a floppy hat—like the Santa ones that had been flooding the shops for the last three months—but in green to match the bodice. Theodore managed to drag his gaze down to Sam’s feet long enough to note that he was wearing black pumps.
“I didn’t think I’d be able to clean in high heels,” Sam said in a confidential whisper. He sounded and looked more confident than he had minutes before.
Theodore’s mind had turned to goo. He’d seen men in drag before, but this was different. Sam’s festive costume was tapping into desires that Theodore hadn’t realised he had. He could feel his blood pumping through his veins, racing to get to his dick rather than his heart. He had a sudden desire to pull Sam into his arms and kiss him. Hard.
Dear God, don’t let me get an erection.
Just when he thought things couldn’t get any worse, Sam did a slow twirl. At the back, the skirt barely covered his bottom, giving Theodore the tiniest glimpse of white lace. A shiver ran through him, and he let out a little gasp of desire.
“Do you like it?” Sam asked.

 

 

About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

 

 

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub

Goodreads

Instagram

Mailing List

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

Follow the tour and check out the other blog posts and reviews here

 

 

An Alisa Review: Rules for Santa (Davey’s Rules #3) by Susan Hawke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

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.

Oh gosh, this story was all sweetness between Scott and Cameron and throw in the Christmas excitement it was just a perfect combination.  Scott has thought he was too old to find that special someone but Cameron just makes him want to hold him and give him everything he could wish for.  Cameron just needs someone or something to help him get back on his feet and Scott gives him more than he could ever hope for.

I loved how Scott was even protective of Cameron when they had barely met in the restaurant but went full bore when he found him out back.  It was refreshing to see him break away from his crazy work hours and embrace Christmas so much more than usual.  I was happy that Cameron gave him a reason to but also someone to take care of and Cameron wanted to take care of and love him just as much in return.  I was glad that they were able to figure their own stuff out and at times wanted to knock Davey in the head because he was being a hypocritical brat more than usual.

The cover art by Cate Ashwood is great once again and I think the visual of Scott is perfect.

Sales Links: Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 169 pages

Published: November 1, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Davey’s Rules #3

Cover Reveal for What Works For Us by Colette Davison

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: What Works For Us

Author: Colette Davison

Publisher: Independently published

Cover Artist: Colette Davison

Release Date:  December 17, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Age-gap, role-playing, Daddy kink, out for you

Themes:  Self-discovery; sexual awakening

Heat Rating:  4 flames  

Length: 57 000 words

It is a standalone story.

 

An elf costume, a pair of lacy knickers, and a Christmas charity auction might make Sam’s Christmas wish come true.

 

Blurb

When sweet barista, Sam, agrees to be a ‘slave’ in a Christmas charity auction, he’s thrilled to be bought by the man he’s had a crush on for the last three months.

Theodore is everything Sam is looking for in a man: older, authoritative, and caring. Unfortunately, Sam isn’t the most forward person when it comes to telling men he likes them. Wearing a sexy costume allows him to be a much flirtier version of himself, but can a naughty elf tempt Theodore into bed?

As their relationship intensifies, Sam finds something in Theodore he didn’t realise he needed: a man he wants to call his Daddy.

But Theodore isn’t out of the closet, and whilst Sam is happy existing in a bubble over Christmas, he knows that can’t last forever.

Can Sam risk giving his heart to a Daddy who might not ever be able to hold his hand in public, let alone commit to him?

What Works For Us is a Christmas romance with an age-gap relationship, lacy underwear, role-play, Daddy kink, and a guaranteed happy ending.

 

Excerpt

As Theodore was paying, the barista approached him. The young man was now fully dressed in a casual T-shirt, faded black jeans, and dirty trainers. His straight dark brown hair had been made to look messy with gel. A few strands flopped forward, brushing against dark eyelashes which framed dark blue eyes. Was it wrong that Theodore knew that was how he normally styled it?

“Hi,” the barista said.

“Hello.” Theodore kept his eyes down, not wanting to be caught staring.

“You won me?”

“Umm… yes.” Theodore glanced up long enough to see a smile light up the young man’s face, revealing deep dimples.

“I’m glad.” An adorable pink blush crept over the barista’s cheeks and nose, illuminating his freckles.

Theodore’s jaw became slack as he realised the young man was blushing because of him. With a sharp turn of his head, Theodore moved his attention back to the woman who was taking his payment as she handed him back his card and a receipt. He couldn’t deny that those two words had quelled the queasiness in his stomach, replacing it with a soft fluttering sensation. It was a ridiculous reaction.

“Do you have a business card?” the barista asked. His voice was just as soft and sweet as it was every morning.

“Yes.” Theodore took one out of his breast pocket and handed it over, careful not to let their fingertips brush in the process.

The barista borrowed a pen and scribbled something down on the plain side of the card before handing it back to Theodore. “Let me know when you want me to come and be your slave.”

Theodore risked another look, catching sight of an impish grin before the young man hurried away. He looked down at the card, where the barista had scrawled his phone number and his name: Sam.

 

 

About the Author 

Colette’s personal love story began at university, where she met her future husband. An evening of flirting, in the shadow of Lancaster castle, eventually led to a fairytale wedding. She’s enjoying her own ‘happy ever after’ in the north of England with her husband, two beautiful children and her writing.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter

Facebook Group: Colette’s Cosy Corner

BookBub

Goodreads

Instagram

Mailing List

 

 

Hosted by Gay Book Promotions

 

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

Ready for a Holiday Treat? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Holiday Gridlock (Cruised #2) by Gretchen Evans (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Holiday Gridlock

Series: Cruised, Book Two

Author: Gretchen Evans

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 11, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 18600

Genre: Contemporary Holiday, LGBT, contemporary, holiday, Christmas, age-gap, interracial

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Synopsis

Gabe is way too happy. Mark is as close to a perfect boyfriend as you can get. He’s smart, good-looking, successful, and he cares about Gabe. He’s also way more serious about their relationship than Gabe’s ready for. He wants them to move in together.

The closest Gabe’s ever gotten to living with a boyfriend is accidentally leaving his boxers behind. But he and Mark are way past that. It’s terrifying.

Mark invites Gabe home for the holidays where Gabe gets an intimate look at Mark’s family, his childhood, and how different their Christmas traditions are. It’s loud, overwhelming, messy, and…really nice. Homey in a way Gabe’s never experienced.

But Mark wants more than for Gabe to just have a peek at this part of his life. He wants Gabe to become part of the family, to go to bed with him every night, and wake up with him every morning. He wants all their Christmases to be together. Moving in may be just the start.

It might take a Christmas miracle for Gabe to figure himself out and overcome his fears. Or maybe a little familial intervention.

Will Gabe and Mark take the next step, or will they get stuck in holiday gridlock?

Excerpt

Holiday Gridlock
Gretchen Evans © 2019
All Rights Reserved

DECEMBER 17TH
Pressure squeezed Gabe’s sinuses like a vice. A vice might be too extreme. More like he’d walked into a wall repeatedly, and now his entire face ached.

He blew his nose for the hundredth time. It wasn’t much relief. The best he could do was snuggle deeper into the nest of blankets he’d assembled on his couch and pray for the sweet release of death.

The scratch of a key turning the old, cheap lock on his front door roused him. The light coming through the blinds had dimmed a lot, and the Netflix “Are you still watching?” glared at him from the TV. He must have dozed off watching Planet Earth. Thank God for Nyquil.

No point in getting up. Only one person had a key to his apartment: Mark. If it wasn’t Mark, that meant someone was picking his lock and planned to rob him. Good. They could take whatever they wanted as long as they took this damn cold too.

“Hello!” Mark called from the hall.

Gabe managed to sit up, sort of. “In here,” he called out, voice cracking.

Mark appeared in the living room doorway wearing a devastatingly handsome three-piece gray suit. Gabe was sick, not dead. He could appreciate his sexy his boyfriend in almost any state. Mark gripped a brown paper Whole Foods bag in his hand.

His boyfriend. It was a thrill to think about. How often did a gorgeous, successful man you met on a hookup app turn out to actually be gorgeous and successful? And then be as interested in you as you were in him? Their early days of hooking up in public bathrooms—and one memorable time, a parking lot—were behind them. But those were some nice memories.

They had gone from an awkward “hey, let’s try this” to practically living in each other’s back pockets in only a few months. Gabe hadn’t had many relationships and sometimes felt a little lost at sea. But when Mark was with him, that didn’t seem to matter.

Mark’s legs were long, and Gabe’s apartment was small, so it only took a couple steps for Mark to reach him. He dropped the groceries on the battered coffee table and bent to kiss the top of Gabe’s curls.

“How are you feeling?”

Gabe pulled himself up to sit a little higher. “Like shit.”

Smiling, Mark smoothed back Gabe’s hair. Gabe stretched into it like a cat begging to be petted. It didn’t make his nightmare of a cold go away any faster, but it certainly made him feel better. He didn’t want Mark to stop but… “You’re going to get sick.”

“Maybe, but I take my vitamins.” Mark pulled away, picking up the grocery bag as he walked toward the kitchen. “I brought you dinner.”

Food sounded unappealing. He couldn’t taste anything. Couldn’t smell anything. It was like putting cardboard in his mouth.

Mark slung his jacket over the top of the lonely stool Gabe had at his breakfast bar, leaving him in white shirtsleeves and a vest that hugged his waist perfectly. He propped himself against the counter, rolling up his sleeves. Gabe could see the bulge of the veins in Mark’s forearms from the couch.

“I’m cheating a little.” He pulled a plastic tub with something gross-looking sloshing against its sides and a shrink-wrapped pack of chicken cut into bite-size pieces from the bag. “Premade stock and precooked chicken. Good chicken soup takes time, so we’ll make do with this. Add some fresh vegetables and noodles and it’s almost like the real thing.”

There was nothing like seeing a man who made your heart pound, dressed like that, proposing to make nearly homemade chicken soup just because you were sick. How could Gabe say no to dinner now?

He watched through the tiny opening between the breakfast bar and the kitchen as Mark quietly went about his business. Mark knew where the pots and pans were, where the cutting board and sharpest knife were kept. He knew to use the front left burner because the others were bent and the pot would wobble. Gabe hadn’t realized Mark paid so much attention to his dingy little kitchen.

They cooked dinner together often, but usually at Mark’s much nicer condo. His kitchen had granite countertops and an oven that didn’t burn things. Watching Mark move so effortlessly around Gabe’s space settled something warm and heavy in Gabe’s chest. Something that wasn’t congestion.

He must have dozed off again because suddenly Mark nudged his elbow with one hand and held out a steaming bowl of soup with the other.

“Here. Eat some soup and drink some water; then you can go back to sleep.”

Gabe sat up, his back against the armrest and legs stretched out in front of him, and took the bowl. The steam felt good against his face as he tried to smell it. “You gonna tuck me in?”

Mark balanced his own bowl of soup as he lifted Gabe’s legs to sit on the couch. He lowered Gabe’s legs back to his lap and made sure Gabe’s feet were covered before picking up his spoon. “You are far too sick to be lascivious.”

“Nice SAT word. And anyway, I read an article about how regular sex can help fight off colds.”

Taking a long moment to bring the spoon to his lips, Mark delayed answering. He shot a wicked grin at Gabe after he swallowed. “I thought you were worried about getting me sick.”

Touché.

“How do you feel about sex with hospital masks?”

“Decidedly unsexy.”

“Spoil sport.”

Gabe turned back to his soup. He couldn’t taste it, but it was warm and made his throat feel better. He managed most of it but left a lot of the noodles behind before Mark took the bowl from him.

Sounds of running water and clinking dishes came from the kitchen as Gabe snuggled down in his blankets. He found the remote wedged between the back of the couch and the cushion and clicked on the Antarctica episode of Planet Earth. That was a good one.

He hummed as Mark settled on the couch, putting Gabe’s legs in his lap again.

“This the one with the whales?”

Gabe hummed again, his eyelids sliding closed.

“Do you want me to wake you up before I go so you can go to bed? Or do you want to sleep on the couch?” Mark’s voice was quiet, and his palm rubbed circles on Gabe’s calf, which was not going to help him stay awake.

“How long are you staying?”

“At least until I see some whales. That’s the only reason I came over.”

Gabe tried for a playful kick, but even that took too much energy. It looked more like an uncoordinated leg spasm. Mark laughed at him anyway. Gabe refused to rise to the bait. Instead, he purposefully shut his eyes and went to sleep.

The next time he came to, it was dark outside, but a soft glow filled his apartment. Mark must have turned on a lamp. Gabe stretched his legs. Mark wasn’t on the couch with him anymore. He must have gone home.

There was a little dip of sadness in Gabe’s chest at the thought.

The dip didn’t last long. Mark’s legs came into view next to the couch. Gabe had to crane his neck to see the rest of him.

“Here.” Mark held out a glass of water and two green pills.

Gabe didn’t bother to sit up. He could swallow lying down. It was one of his hidden talents. He popped the pills and tilted the glass back. He spilled some on his shirt but couldn’t bring himself to care.

“How did you know I needed more medicine?”

Mark perched on the coffee table, resting his elbows on his knees and searching Gabe’s face. “Because I love you, and I pay attention. I’ve been here more than four hours and you haven’t had any. I figured it was time. Are you sure you don’t need to go to a doctor?”

Mark had been the first to say I love you, but Gabe had said it right back. Since then, Mark dropped casual I love yous every day. Gabe was more reserved, but Mark didn’t seem to mind. Gabe thought Mark knew even though he didn’t say it all the time, he still felt it.

He took another swig of water, managing not to spill that time. “Nah, it’s only a cold. Give it a couple of days, and I’ll be fine.”

A deep V creased the skin between Mark’s dark eyebrows, and the small lines around his eyes deepened. Gabe wanted to kiss him. Badly. He started to pull himself up, unsure if he’d actually kiss Mark or not, but at least wanting to be on eye level with him.

Mark cupped Gabe’s elbow and helped him sit. He didn’t look relieved by Gabe’s change of position. “I’ll take you to the doctor if you need to go. Whenever you need to go.”

Gabe smiled, but that didn’t seem to convince Mark either. “I’ll be fine. Promise. I already feel better than I did yesterday.”

He rose slowly as Mark pulled on the blankets wrapped around Gabe, keeping them away from Gabe’s feet so he wouldn’t trip. Mark was good at small things like that. Mark was good at everything.

He waited, shoulder propped against the bathroom doorway, while Gabe brushed his teeth. Gabe didn’t have the energy to shower or change from one set of sweats to another to sleep in. He wanted to collapse, face first, on the bed. Instead, Gabe let Mark pull back the covers and usher him in. Like he was a child.

It didn’t feel patronizing or condescending. It was comforting.

“You know, I could do this every night if you’d move in with me,” Mark teased.

Bringing up an ongoing argument with one party sick was unfair.

“You’re taking advantage of my weakened state.” Gabe rolled on his side and hugged a pillow to his chest. “Besides, you could do this every night if you moved in here too.”

Mark sat on the bed, tucked up against the bend in Gabe’s knees. “My place is closer to work.”

Gabe snorted. “You don’t seem to mind the drive anymore.”

“Yeah, but I’d rather have you at home, in a nice big bed on clean sheets, than in a bathroom.” He rubbed his broad palm from Gabe’s knee to his hip. The heat of it soaked through straight to Gabe’s skin.

Join Us for the New Release Book Blitz for Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Sons of Rome

Author: Karrie Roman

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: October 28, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77300

Genre: Historical, LGBT, PTSD, soldiers, military, age gap, disabilities, war, ancient Rome, virgins

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Synopsis

9CE Germania

Battle weary and fearless Centurion Drusus Tuscus has only three more years in the Roman Legions and then he can return home to the mother and young brother he was forced to leave behind seventeen summers ago. Drusus has suffered much during his years in the Legions: defeats, fallen comrades and excruciating wounds, but this time the stakes are so much higher. As he prepares to lead his warriors from the safety of their winter base, across the Rhine into the wilds of Germania, he awaits the arrival of new recruits to bolster his century. With these men he will face the ferocious barbarian tribes, many still chafing under the yoke of Roman subjugation.

When his friend and Optio returns with the new men, two faces in the crowd change everything for Drusus. His brother, long lost to him and now a man, stands before him and he brings with him a friend, a man named Caius. A man who stirs the long dead fires of Drusus’s heart. Two men, neither of whom Drusus is willing to lose to a barbarian blade.

As the campaign begins, whispers of betrayal and rebellion stoke a fear in Drusus, especially as his arrogant commander refuses to take heed of the warnings. As catastrophe stalks their footsteps Drusus must balance his duty to Rome with his love for Caius. He will give everything he has to save his beloved brother, and Caius, the man who has stolen his heart.

Two lives that mean more to Drusus than his own.

Excerpt

Sons of Rome
Karrie Roman © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
8 BCE

Of the many things he would miss about his life, Drusus could not decide which he would yearn for most—his mother’s sweet smiles or his baby brother’s happy babbling. Of course, he loved the land around his family’s farm and would miss the beasts as well as the hard, honest work he toiled at day after day. But his family? Oh gods, how he would miss them.

Only two years ago, having barely reached his eighteenth summer, Drusus had become head of his family after the death of his father. Little Calpurnius, his brother, was barely two summers into his life then, having come along as a great surprise to his parents after many years of failed attempts at a second child. With his loveable nature and adorable face, Calpurnius had easily become the light of the Tuscus family. The time between Calpurnius’s birth and the death of his father had been a happy time for Drusus’s family.

“Drusus, you take too much time,” his mother called.

Agrippina Tuscus was devastated by the loss of her husband, and now, so soon after, she was losing her eldest son to the Emperor’s legions. Drusus had been conscripted. They’d always known it a possibility—more of a certainty—but, nonetheless, Drusus and his mother felt the blow when they finally came for him.

Drusus was not a coward, and he had little fear of battle. He dreaded leaving his mother and little Calpurnius though. They had slaves to tend the farm, and he knew each of them to be loyal. But there was no man of blood here, no Roman man left behind to defend what was left of his family should the need arise. And his family in danger scared him more than any battle could.

“I am taking the land into memory, Mother, so I will not forget what I am fighting for,” he answered as his mother came to stand beside him. Drusus was an unusually tall man who stood above most but towered over his diminutive mother. She looked so fragile beside him, and yet he’d seen her turn into the lioness when the need arose, especially in the care of her children.

“You fight for Roma, son. For Roma’s glory and honour. For Emperor Augustus.”

“I fight for you and Calpurnius too. I fight to keep you safe. I fight for this.” He spread his arms wide and cast them over the panorama of their land: the rolling green hills heavy with wandering sheep, snow-peaked mountains far in the distance, cypress trees swaying gently in the breeze. The wildflowers were due to bloom soon, bringing with them their honeyed fragrance as well as the chirps of a thousand cicadas.

He’d miss it all. The aroma of Cassia’s bread as it baked on the hearth, and even the dry dirt that needed tilling for seeding—and got everywhere—would be missed. The melodious banter of slaves as they worked at the jobs he should be doing were it not for his conscription, the bleat of the sheep, the low calls of the cattle in the field: he’d miss everything. Wherever he went, he’d experience similar sights and sounds, but they wouldn’t be home.

“I would have you stay, Drusus.”

“I cannot, Mother. It is a citizen’s duty to fight with the legions for Roma.” He pressed a tender kiss into her hair, the scent of olive oil and farm life potent in the strands.

“I know, son. I speak selfishly. I will miss you though. It will be many years before you return. Little Cal will not know his brother.” For twenty years, his life would belong to Roma; he’d be nothing more than another body in the cog keeping the Roman war machine turning.

Drusus saw his mother turn her gaze to where Calpurnius was playing with one of his kittens—exactly as he did—at the mention of his beloved brother. He watched the boy’s cherubic face light up in fits of giggles as the kitten rolled playfully all over him. With Cal’s white curls framing his pinked cheeks, he had the look of a god. All who met Calpurnius fell for his charms.

“Pray the gods I make it home before he is sent to the legions.” Drusus flinched at his thoughtless words, knowing they would cause his mother more pain.

As a true Roman woman, his mother ignored his insensitive words, stoically bearing Drusus’s departure instead. “Be safe, Drusus. And do not fear for those of us left behind.”

His mother wrapped her arms around him and held tight. Drusus mirrored her actions, doing his best not to think this may be the last time he held her—saw her. His sweet, kind mother.

He eventually pulled away and took her face in his hands, his gaze intent on her as he did his best to brand her image into his memory. Her dark curls and gentle eyes, the crinkles at the corner of them from years of laughter, her sun-kissed skin. She was still a beauty, even though youth had passed her. He had hopes she would find a good man to marry her one day soon, but he knew his father held her heart even from the afterlife.

Calpurnius was playing with his kitten when Drusus took leave of his mother and went in search of him for their goodbyes. He wasn’t sure Cal comprehended what was happening. The little boy understood Drusus was going away, but the idea of twenty years meant nothing to a child of four. Drusus wondered how long it might take for Cal to stop thinking every day maybe this would be the one his brother returned. How long before Cal forgot him entirely?

“Dru, kitten scratched my arm.” Calpurnius thrust his arm out to show him the offending wound as he approached. His little lip quivered as he looked at the tiny knots of blood left in the wake of the little cat’s sharp claws.

Drusus kneeled before his brother and scooped him into his arms. He kissed the scratch repeatedly until Calpurnius finally giggled and pushed him away.

“Kitten was only playing, Cal. He did not realise how sharp his claws are or how fragile your skin is.”

“You go now?”

“Yes, Cal. It is time for me to go.” He pressed a kiss into soft curls. “I want you to remember you are a Roman man. Earn your honour through your duty to Roma and your family. Treat others well, Calpurnius, and you will make our father proud.”

Calpurnius nodded, clearly intuiting this was an important moment but not understanding why. Drusus seared his mind with this image, too, as his little brother watched him with large blue eyes burning with trust and love.

“I will miss you, little one. Always remember somewhere in the world you have a brother who loves you.”

“You come back?” Calpurnius’s tiny hands rested on his cheeks, pushing them and pursing Drusus’s lips as Cal loved to do. Drusus was willing to give anything right then not to have to go. He understood his obligation to Roma, but the ache in his chest was making leaving to complete his duty so difficult. He’d be gone for so long.

“One day, Cal. Give your brother a kiss before I go,” he requested. Calpurnius dutifully delivered a sloppy kiss to each cheek before Drusus leaned forward and blew into the side of his neck, making the noise that so amused the little ones. He set his brother on his feet and patted his bottom. “Off you go now, and find your kitten. Be good to our mother, Cal. Her heart aches today.”

Drusus watched him for a moment before he turned and walked away from everyone and everything he’d ever known without looking back. He feared if he did so his feet would stop carrying him to the road he must now travel. He didn’t know which legion he’d be sent to or what part of the world he’d be shedding blood and tears in. All he knew was the ache in his own chest at leaving was so painful and crippling that surely no wound he might suffer in battle could ever be worse.

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Meet the Author

Karrie lives in Australia’s sunshine state with her husband and two sons, though she hates the sun with a passion. She dreams of one day living in the wettest and coldest habitable place she can find. She has been writing stories in her head for years but has finally managed to pull the words out of her head and share them with others. She spends her days trying to type her stories on the computer without disturbing her beloved cat Lu curled up on the keyboard. She probably reads far too much.

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