A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Milo (Finding Home #2) by Lily Morton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Milo and his author, Lily Morton, delivered me right to the door of a very satisfying, feel-good Happy Ever After. No disappointment knocking on my door, for sure.

The prologue tells us Milo’s story in a nutshell.  He’s in an abusive relationship, at first emotional, and now physical, which brings out the stutter that he’s worked years to overcome. Feeling unworthy, painfully inadequate, and most definitely awkward, he’s about to be abused yet again by his domineering artist lover when his brother’s best friend Niall shows up to rescue him and literally carry him away to a new life. That new life is at Chi an Mor, the beautiful ancient estate owned by Silas, the sweet man whom we first met in Oz.

Five years later, the story opens to show us Milo has adapted to his new life as an art restoration expert in Silas’s employ and is best friend to Silas’s husband, Oz. Pause for a moment here—Oz and Silas are exactly as I’d hope they’d be at this point in time. Parents of a beautiful 7-month-old girl, Cora is the love of their lives. I was thrilled to have this glimpse of their future because Oz remains one of my all-time favorites. So when the couple has to rush off to London to help Oz’s mom, who better to watch Cora than Milo? Well, add Niall to that because the heat in the mansion has failed and as estate manager, he lives nearby so offers his home to Milo and Cora. Not because Niall has the hots for Milo. Oh, no. Certainly not. {smirks}

The author took the time to make each of these men very real. Their backstory—individually and together—and the interactions with one another were spot-on. Each was different and yet so complementary to one another it’s a wonder there aren’t bookends or salt and pepper shakers in their image. The beauty of this story is in the details that allow us to get to really know each man. Niall’s past relationship with Gideon, Milo’s brother, causes some upset for all three men as it becomes known. But accepting Niall’s maturity and his devotion to Milo is fairly easy in the long run as deeds speak louder than words. The author’s writing style and unique sense of humor carry us forward so quickly I was shocked when I reached the end. I wanted more. I need more, and I certainly hope more will come with Gideon finding his own love at the hand of Lily Morton in the near future. 

The scenes involving the group who went on the ski trip were priceless. Milo’s quiet acceptance of the quirky group was taken in stride “when to anyone else this would have had more disaster written over it than getting a ticket on the Titanic.” Witnessing Niall’s realization that he’s no longer interested in hookups and is far past scoffing at those who claim love is wonderful was delightful to behold. “Emotion fills me all of a sudden, like I’ve inhaled happiness helium.” Need I say more? Lily Morton is highly talented and Milo and Niall reap the benefit of that talent.

When I open one of this author’s books, I know I’m in for a treat. I highly recommend this story and the one before because this can be read as a standalone but it’s so much better after reading Oz. Reading it alone would be like having an ice cream sundae without the sprinkles and cherry on top.

The cover by Natasha Snow features a close-up of a handsome young man, long hair blowing in the breeze. Done in a purple tone, the cover grabbed my attention immediately.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published February 15th 2019
ASINB07NN13TCW
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series Finding Home #2
Characters Niall Fawcett, Milo Ramsay

Release Blitz for Milo (A Finding Home Novel) by Lily Morton (excerpt)

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Mile RDB Banner

MILO

A FINDING HOME NOVEL

LILY MORTON

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 02.15.19

Milo Cover 

COVER DESIGN: Natasha Snow Designs 

BLURB

Once upon a time a brave knight rescued a young man. Unfortunately, he then spent the next few years bossing the young man around and treating him like a child.

Milo has been burying himself at Chi an Mor, hiding from the wreckage of his once promising career and running from a bad relationship that destroyed what little confidence he had. Niall, his big brother’s best friend, has been there for him that entire time. An arrogant and funny man, Niall couldn’t be any more different from the shy and occasionally stuttering Milo, which has never stopped Milo from crushing wildly on the man who saved him.

However, just as Milo makes the decision to move on from his hopeless crush, he and Niall are thrown into close contact, and for the first time ever Niall seems to be returning his interest. But it can never work. How can it when Milo always needs rescuing?

From the bestselling author of the Mixed Messages series comes a story about a man who needs to write his own happily ever after.

This is the second book in the Finding Home series, but it can be read as a standalone.

Content warning: There are descriptions of domestic abuse in this book.

 

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2SwBnPz

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2ImhlCy

 

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EXCERPT

“Bloody hell, is that a relation of my husband or a suspect in the Jack the Ripper case?”

I laugh and Cora startles slightly. I shush her and kiss the tiny fingers she holds up to my face. Moving next to him, I stare down at the picture. “He is a bit grim, isn’t he?”

“Grim? Caligula was grim. This is a new and previously undiscovered level of malevolence.” He cocks his head to one side. “Is it my imagination or do his eyes follow you when you move?”

I shake my head. “My remit isn’t to judge. Instead, I reveal what has been previously hidden.”

“While I’m sure that sounds romantic in your head, let’s be realistic. You’ve actually just wiped dirt off a grumpy old git’s face.”

I laugh. “I’m so glad my time at art college wasn’t wasted.”

He looks searchingly at me and opens his mouth but then closes it again. I stare at him. “Oh my God, what were you going to say? It must be bad if it’s made Oz Gallagher shut up.”

He laughs, and I look affectionately at him. I know he’s going to tell me the truth. Oz doesn’t ever shy away from that. He’s my best friend in the world and it comes as a shock to realise that I’ve only known him for a couple of years. He came here to Chi an Mor in all his wisecracking, sassy glory and proceeded to turn everyone’s lives upside down. Footloose and fancy-free, he only intended to stay for a few months and ease the old house into opening to the general public. The best-laid plans always go wrong – or right – and now he’s settled with his husband Silas, the current earl, and they have a beautiful seven-month-old daughter.

He clears his throat and looks at me, and I straighten from kissing Cora’s forehead. “What?”

“I just think that you’re actually a bit wasted here, Milo.”

“Why?”

“Because you’re so bloody talented. People from all over the country are starting to come here to consult with you, and rather than enjoying it you’re stuck in a small, cold room wearing ugly gloves and hunched over a hideous painting. It’s like something from a Dickens novel.”

He pauses for breath and I try to relax my instinctive defensive shield. I don’t need it with him.

He rubs my arm affectionately. “You’re so clever and talented and no one sees it here apart from us, and you need more than that. You should be living it up and going to exotic parties. Mixing with artists and the bohemian crowd.”

I swallow hard at the thought of the people that used to surround Thomas. “I don’t think I’m cut out for a bohemian crowd. They sound quite noisy and tiring,” I manage to say.

“Well, maybe look for a sub-branch. The whispering bohemians or something.”

Lily Morton Logo

Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review : Oz (Finding Home #1) by Lily Morton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 5

Oz Gallagher is bored with his life and decides to leave London to take on a temp job in Cornwall as an estate manager. He has some experience and his degree in Art History should be invaluable but it’s not so much that he wants the job as that he wants out of London.

When he meets Silas, the earl who happens to be a veterinarian and is fully invested in getting the country estate he’s inherited out of debt, Oz is gobsmacked. Silas is nothing like he pictured and everything he’d want. Silas has all of Oz’s requisite kryptonite: a hairy chest on a guy who’s earnest and adorable. When asked about running an estate, Oz quips that being house manager at Ashworth House will be “like being a tour manager, only with less drugs and hookers,” and that’s when I knew I was in for a treat.

Oz figures it will be easy to keep his distance from the cute earl because they are from two different worlds but the men are drawn to one another and quickly become friends and companions—long before they become lovers.

In the future if someone asks me for the perfect example of a slow burn romance that has all the elements of humor, snark, sweetness, and incredible characterization, I’m going to suggest Oz.

One of my favorite moments in the story occurs in their tour of the neighboring estate—their competition, so to speak. Oz’s humorous quips and Silas’s reactions were delightfully funny.

The author’s ability to show the depth of emotion the men develop for one another is outstanding. Describing Oz at one point in the story, Silas says: “My Oz is like a hedgehog. Bright eyes, prickly and fierce on the outside with a soft underbelly that he’ll roll into a ball to hide.”

And Oz, speaking of falling for Silas: “I’d thought the moment when I fell in love would be dramatic and full of noise and energy. Instead, it’s in a quiet bedroom where a soft song plays and the light dances on the man’s hair and the planes of his face as he makes me back into me. The only man who’s ever valued that person.”

I’m deeply in love with both Silas and Oz. There’s not much more I can say than that. I invite all my fellow MM romance lovers to share this beautiful love story with me. It’s absolutely amazing!

The cover by Natasha Snow features a gorgeous young man—the perfect representation of Oz Gallagher.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published November 20th 2018
ASINB07KKN5JFB
Edition Language English
Series Finding Home #1 setting Cornwall

Release Blitz- Oz by Lily Morton (excerpt and giveaway)

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OZ

A FINDING HOME NOVEL

LILY MORTON

M/M ROMANCE

RELEASE DATE: 11.20.18

COVER DESIGN: Natasha Snow Designs

 

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What happens when temporary becomes forever?

Oz Gallagher does not do relationships well. Bored and jobless after another disastrous hook up, he decides to leave London for a temporary job in the wilds of Cornwall. Surely managing a stately home on a country estate will be easier than navigating the detritus of his relationships at home. Six months there will alleviate a bit of his wanderlust and then he can come back to London as footloose and fancy-free as the day he left it.

However, when he gets there he finds a house in danger of crumbling to the ground and a man who is completely unlike anyone he’s ever met. An earl belonging to a family whose roots go back hundreds of years, Silas is the living embodiment of duty and sacrifice. Two things that Oz has never wanted. He’s also warm and funny and he draws Oz to him like a magnet.

Oz banks on the fact that they’re from two very different worlds to stop himself falling for Silas. But what will he do when he realises that these differences are actually part of the pull to one another? Will falling in love be enough to make him stop moving at last and realise that he’s finally home?

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Oz-LM-Teaser3

EXCERPT

That night at midnight I sit at the kitchen table looking over the mass of papers and plans and sheets of paper covered with my sprawling handwriting. I lift my glasses and rub my eyes and look again. No, still there.

I look down at my current huge shadow who is sitting by my chair and watching me with mournful brown eyes. “Are you waiting for me to start screaming, Chewwy, or just bored?”I ask conversationally. He stares at me for a long second and then gives a huge yawn which shows off his massive teeth. I shrug. “Okay, just bored.”

“I didn’t know you wore glasses.”

The deep voice coming from the kitchen door makes me jump. “Shit, you startled me.” I take my black-framed glasses off, feeling slightly self-conscious at being found talking to the dog. “I took my contact lenses out.”

Silas gives me an exhausted smile. “They suit you.”

He comes into the room fully and I look at the tired slump of his shoulders. “Have you been out on a call?”

He gives a jaw-cracking yawn that almost sets me off. “Horse birth that looked like it was about to go pear shaped.”

“Bugger. Was everything okay?”

He nods and grins. “One very pretty filly called Moonshine.”

“Aw, that’s pretty.” I pause. “So, while we had dinner you’ve had your hand up a horse’s vagina.” He nods, biting his lip in an attempt not to smile, and I grin. “After the dinner we had, I have to say your evening looks like it might have been better.”

A burst of laughter comes from him and I smile as he sinks into the chair opposite me. I can’t help the warm feeling I’m getting in my chest at making him laugh. Why, oh why, does he have to be so nice and sleepy looking?

His voice breaks into my thoughts. “How bad was it?”

I shudder. “We had beef casserole.”

He grimaces. “God, I feel your pain. Last time I forced that down I was ten and I had to eat it because my father believed in serving up leftovers until they were eaten.” I stare at him and he nods. “I had it for breakfast, lunch and supper.”

“Oh my God. Did you eat it in the end?”

“Did I, fuck. I gave it to Cyclops, our old bulldog. It made him sick, though, so I spent a whole night nursing him and mopping up vomit.” He pauses. “Which was still better than eating that shit.”

I laugh. “Is that where the desire to be a vet came from?”

He stares at the wall, deep in thought. “No. I just think that animals are better than humans for the most part. They’re simple. You love them and they love you back, and no matter how you fuck up they still love you. That’s loyalty for you.” He seems to come to and gives me an embarrassed look.

Lily Morton Logo

Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Review: Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton

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Rating: 5 stars out of 6

Henry goes through men faster than his friends can count. None of them have been worth an effort to get to know, and he doesn’t need them anyway, because he loves his best friend, Ivo, maybe more than he should. But his other friends (from Rule Breaker and Deal Maker) are so happy together, settled, with plans for children and a long-term future that it makes him yearn for stability. He decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. Of course, his friends are full of suggestions, and so begins a parade of calamity dates that Henry most definitely isn’t interested in.

In the meantime, Ivo has come home, but he’s wounded and knocked down, suffering from nightmares and PTSD and wanting nothing more than comfort from his best friend, Henry, the man he loves. Yes, this is one of those stories with unrequited best friend love. I would normally think, ho-hum, not my cuppa, but the author has injected humor with the angst and provided readers with a heartwarming story of two emotionally damaged, yet sweet and perfect for each other, young men. The characters are well-developed and each has enough unique charm to hold readers’ interest on their own. But together, they make a terrific package deal.

The story progresses through the time Ivo is recuperating at the home they share, and he and Henry are growing closer, yet each still thinks he doesn’t want to ruin their friendship by going one step further. Ivo steams as he awaits Henry’s return each time he goes on a blind date, but he still can’t take the first step to stop him. Though this portion of the story could have dragged, it actually went quickly because some of the dates were hysterically funny.  The author also wove Henry’s and Ivo’s back story in by opening each chapter with a note or letter from one to the other, most from the time they were schoolboys separated by holidays or vacations.

The revisits from characters featured in the earlier stories will be appreciated by those who’ve read the series, but their presence does not take away from this story being a standalone. In fact, the highest praise I can give this story is to say that I am going to purchase the first two books in the series so I can catch up because the author’s writing style, sense of pace, and touches of humor have dug into my subconscious, which is now begging me for more.

This story was, in a nutshell, an unexpected gift, and I highly recommend it to those who love MM romance with a touch of humor and a very happy ending.

The cover by Natasha Snow features a handsome young man wearing a suit coat and glasses with an intense look on his face. The coloration is a faded black and white with some gold and purple splashes. It ties nicely in with other books in the series.

Sales Links:    Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published July 22nd 2018
ASINB07FM48TW5
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesMixed Messages #3

Release Day Blitz for Risk Taker (Mixed Messages #3) by Lily Morton (excerpt and giveaway)

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Risk Taker

Mixed Messages Series, Book 3

Lily Morton

M/M Romance

Release Date: 07.22.18

Risk-Taker-Generic 

Cover Design: Natasha Snow

AMAZON US: https://amzn.to/2Oal9WI

AMAZON UK: https://amzn.to/2LD9u0F

 

BLURB

Being in love with your best friend is hard.

Henry’s the odd man out. All his friends are settling down, and his reputation as the Hook-Up King of London seems more like a curse than a blessing these days. Especially when it keeps photojournalist Ivo, his best friend and the brilliant man he’s loved since they were fifteen, at arm’s length. But that’s where Ivo wants him, right? Putting aside his feelings, Henry decides to give up casual sex and look for the real deal. After all, he has no chance with Ivo – or does he?

Henry is everything to Ivo. Best friend, soul mate, the one person who has never let him down. The one person he is loyal to above everything and everyone. But Henry’s in a box marked best friend and that’s where Ivo’s kept him for nearly twenty years, despite steadily falling in love with the gentle man. And besides, why would Henry want to date Ivo? Burned out and injured, he’s the walking embodiment of damaged.

Distance has helped Henry and Ivo keep a lid on their attraction, but when they find themselves in the same city for a change—Ivo hurt and needing assistance, and Henry more than willing to provide it—the two best friends grow closer than ever, forcing a realization, and a decision. Risk their friendship for their hearts? Or can they have both?

From the bestselling author of Rule Breaker and Deal Maker comes a tender love story about two best friends who are perfect for each other, and always have been – if only they knew it.

This is the third book in the Mixed Messages series, but it can be read as a standalone.

RiskTaker-Teaser1

RiskTaker-Teaser2
 

EXCERPT

The bell in the shop rings as the door opens, and I smile as I feel his presence behind me.

“Is there a particular reason, Henry, why I am standing in an art supply shop rather than sitting in a perfectly good restaurant eating lunch?”

I shift the basket over my arm and turn to face one of my best friends. “Gabe, you really should be a bit more highbrow. Otherwise, you’ll never keep that pretty totty you’ve got.”

His perfect-looking face scrunches up in disgust. “Totty. What an utterly disgusting word.”

“I know,” I say cheerfully, turning back to the shelf I was perusing and chucking in another tube of Rose Gold oil paint.

“Makes you sound like your father,” he says snippily, and I nudge him.

“Now that’s petty. Anyway, I’m nothing like him. I have all my own teeth, and my complexion is milky-white perfection, if I do say so myself.”

He snorts. “Apart from those freckles.”

I shake my head and touch a finger to my face and my bête noire, the multitude of freckles that span my nose. “I wish that cream I got off the internet at uni had worked,” I say forlornly, and he laughs loudly, making it echo around the shop.

“I did so enjoy the way your face turned that shade of green. Made you look like Grotbags from The Rod Hull and Emu Show.” He reaches over and grabs a tube of paint. “It was this shade precisely. Hmm, Pistachio Green.” He chucks it into my basket, and I patiently remove it and put it back on the shelf.

I toss a couple of tubes of Prussian Blue into the basket while he leans casually against the shelf looking like the perfect picture of a lawyer in his dark grey, hand-tailored suit.

“Why are we here, Henry? Because if you’re thinking of giving up the law and becoming an artist, I really will have to stage an intervention.”

I laugh. “I think I’d make a very good artist.”

“Piss artist, more likely,” he says, poking my arm with one long finger. “So, if we’re not shopping for what would be the shortest career in art history, who are we shopping for?” His gaze sharpens, and I mentally groan because aside from Ivo there is no one who knows me better. “Hmm. Would we be shopping for a six foot four blond photographer who a certain red-headed lawyer has had the hots for, for years?”

“That’s such a non-Gabe expression,” I sneer. “Has Dylan been influencing you?”

He looks startled and shakes his head. “Those fucking phrases of his and Jude’s. They’re messing up my vocabulary. Yesterday one of the senior partners asked me if I was okay and I said I was cool. He went out and asked his assistant to tell maintenance that the building heating needed to be turned up.”

I laugh helplessly, and he gives me a rueful grin. “Don’t distract me, Henry. Is Ivo back?” I nod slowly and his expression darkens. “Is he okay?”

I shrug, picking up a brush and studying it intently so I don’t have to look at him. “Not really. He’s got a hole from a fucking bullet in his side, and broken ribs and bruises all over him from being near a car bomb when it went off.”

“What?” he says instantly. “Is he okay?” Gabe has always had a complicated relationship with Ivo. He loves being with him, and they can talk for hours, but he hates the effect that he unknowingly has on my life.

“He’s fine. Silas checked him over.”

He checks with his hand out to grab the brush from me. “Henry, isn’t Silas a vet?”

I shrug. “He was very good at biology at school.”

“I was good at it too. You don’t see me turning up at St Bart’s Hospital and performing a few appendectomies during my lunch hour though, do you?”

“The only biology you were any good at was the male anatomy kind,” I say tartly, and chuck the brush in the basket.

He smiles. “That I was. I’m a very learned man in that area.”

I snort. “You’re practically PhD material.”


Lily Morton Logo

Lily writes contemporary romance novels, and specialises in hot love stories with a good dose of humour.

Lily lives in sunny England with her husband and two children, all of whom claim that they haven’t had a proper conversation with her since she bought her first Kindle.

She has spent her life with her head full of daydreams and decided one day to just sit down and start writing about them. In the process she discovered that she actually loved writing, because how else could she get to spend her time with hot, funny men!

She loves chocolate and Baileys and the best of all creations – chocolate Baileys! Her lifetime’s ambition is to have a bath in peace without being shouted by one of her family.

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