A Stella Review: How Not to Sin (Lovestrong #2) by Susan Hawke

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RATING 2,5 out of 5 stars

 

One regular guy who happens to be a preacher… Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly. Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy… Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift? Equals a pair of men who click from the start. The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.

 

Let’s be honest, How Not To Sin wasn’t a success as the first title in the Lovestrong series. Although I liked the plot and all the characters I met, something obviously didn’t work out since it was a huge struggle for me to finish the novel. I loved Gabe and Seth, I followed their lives and saw how great they were, with their families, with their works. I felt the good in them and I was gone for them. And later when they were together, it was pretty clear how they were attracted to each other and that things were going to be serious.

That said, my problem with this new release stayed in the dialogues and banters, it was really too much. The way the MCs talked was a mix of too sweet, too corny and too simple. It got on my nerves and I wasn’t able to enjoy the reading anymore, I lost the magic I felt with the story. It was almost like I was reading a book written by a different author.

Still, I am surely going to read the next installment in the series, hoping it will be better.

I don’t like the cover art by Ana J Phoenix, I would have preferred something else for these characters.

Sales Link: Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 228 pages

Published February 19th 2019

ASIN B07P46QJWL

Edition Language English

Release Blitz for How Not to Break (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke (excerpt)

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How Not to Break

A LOVESTRONG NOVEL

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 03.09.19

getbook.at/HNTBreak

Blurb:

 

Take one former SEAL with a healthy dose of regret…

 

Nick St. Cloud is living with shame from the one time he let his lust override his sense of honor. He’s haunted by the memory of when he made love to his best friend’s eighteen-year-old son. The tragic accident that happened that same night has only compounded his guilt. A decade later, he’s doing his best to be there for Charlie’s son, but anything more than that just wouldn’t be right… would it?

 

Plus the younger guy who he’s tried to forget…

 

It’s been ten years. Ten long years. Does Shaw Michaelson feel bad about having seduced his dad’s best friend? Umm, maybe? Although he could’ve done things differently, Shaw can’t find it within himself to be sorry for the hottest night of his life with the one man he’s never been able to forget. The man he’s patterned every subsequent relationship after… yeah, Shaw totally has a type.

 

Equals a pair of men who deserve a second chance at a first time.

 

The two men are living in an uneasy peace within the same small town and circle of friends, being careful not to let the other get close enough to open old wounds. All their walls fall when a stalker begins terrorizing Shaw, sending him running to the one man he knows will keep him safe.

 

This is the fourth book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

 

Note: Possible trigger warning for the mention of an animal being harmed off-page and the psychological trauma of being stalked.

 

Excerpt

 

Rising from my chair, I got right up in his space and glared up at him. “I know it’s hard for you to wrap your brain around this, but I’m a man. A grown-ass man. I don’t need a keeper, a savior, a knight in shining armor, or a master. Get it through your skull, and pass the memo along to any and all interested parties.”

I was so angry at this point that I was shaking. And he wasn’t the only one I was pissed at. I turned and pointed at Rick. “And as for you… you can wipe that smug shit off your face, because that goes for you too. If you want to help me, then go find whoever’s behind all this crap. I’m leaving, Rick. If you follow me, I swear to God I will kick you in the nuts. Seth, give me a five-minute head start, okay? Make sure Rick doesn’t try to follow me, because I don’t want to get arrested for assaulting an officer.”

Seth was laughing his ass off as I stormed out of the bar. I hadn’t made it even half a step over the threshold before Nick came rushing up after me.

“Goddammit, Shaw. Walk off in a huff on your own time, not when you have a stalker. Seriously, you can’t be an idiot when you have someone stalking you. At least let me walk you to your car if you won’t let me do anything else for you.”

Instead of commenting, I merely pulled my key fob out of my pocket and clicked the button to unlock my car. Headlights flashed from where it was parked two spaces from the door. I waited for him to notice that before I spoke. “See? Not an idiot. I actually thought ahead and parked by the door. Go me!”

Nick groaned, rubbing a hand over the top of his head as if I frustrated him so much that he couldn’t even deal. Good. That made two of us because I couldn’t deal with him right now either. “I don’t think you’re an idiot. I think you’re vulnerable—there’s a difference. You’re a small guy, Shaw. You could be easily overpowered.”

I was almost to my driver’s door when Nick decided to prove his point. He pulled a slick move that had me bent backward over my hood and gaping into his face where it hovered just above mine. I was beyond pissed… and more than a little bit turned on.

The fucker had the nerve to wink. “See how easy it was to overpower you? Tell me, Shaw—do you have any idea how to turn the tables and get free of my hold? Sure, this is me right now, but if it was someone else? This is why you need protection.”

Without stopping to think it through, I acted on impulse. Grabbing his head, I pulled him forward as I leaned in to close the distance and kissed him hard. My cock came to full attention when the kiss got away from me. Frustration turned to passion somewhere along the way and I forgot what I was doing for a few. While our tongues danced against each other, Nick eased up on his hold to run a hand lightly along my side. Despite my racing heart and aching cock, the moment I felt the touch of his hand, I remembered my half-assed idea that had gotten me here.

Gotcha.

Breaking the kiss, I quickly ducked under his arm and whipped open my driver’s door, slipping into the car while he stood there with a dumbfounded look on his face. I started the car, then cracked the window just enough to slip my hand out to flip him off.

I followed the gesture with a little taunting. “Tell me, Nick. Was that distraction a good enough tool to get free? Piss off. I’m neither your charity case nor your ward to protect. I’m a man, Nick. A man who can take care of his own shit. Have a good evening!”

I glanced into the rearview mirror and grinned when I saw that he stood gaping after me as I drove off. I would call the points Shaw: one, Nick: zero—except for the fact that I was driving away with tingling lips and a throbbing cock. Talk about a plan backfiring.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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/

 

Release Blitz How Not To Sin (Lovestrong #3) by Susan Hawke (excerpt and giveaway)

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How Not To Sin RDB Banner

How Not To Sin

LOVESTRONG Series, Book 3

Susan Hawke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 02.20.19

SinCover

BLURB


One regular guy who happens to be a preacher…


Reverend Dr. Gabe Samson doesn’t think he’s better than any of the people in his church, so please don’t put him on a pedestal. While he’s never hidden the fact that he identifies as bisexual, he’s never acted on it either. Gabe isn’t happy to learn that the sole reason he was hired to pastor the LGBT-friendly church was that the ruling elders wanted a safe poster child for inclusivity—in other words, they wanted the rainbow flag without letting it fly.


Plus one easygoing, new age kinda guy…


Seth Thomas owns Holistic Healing, a metaphysical shop and yoga studio. He’s never really been a relationship kinda guy, but only because he hasn’t met the right man yet. Seth is laid back and goes with the flow. When fate drops a hot preacher in his lap, why wouldn’t he accept the gift?


Equals a pair of men who click from the start.


The two men find it almost too easy to get together, especially Gabe, who is fully embracing his bi side for the first time. Nothing in life is simple though. While Gabe and Seth are busy falling in love, they face an anti-gay hate group, a divided church, and a ruling elder who is hell-bent on sowing discord. Between Gabe’s patient wisdom and Seth’s snark, the pair fight the growing drama with the strongest weapons in their arsenal: love and humor.


This is the third book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town, and the third in series. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance full of all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.


Note: This isn’t a trigger warning, but please be prepared for a few instances of ignorance and hate speech, and mentions of violence. This is a romance, not a sermon—but please keep in mind that the main character is a pastor dealing with real-life issues in his church and these truths are reflected in Gabe.

 


mybook.to/HowNotToSin

HNTS

HNTS-2

EXCERPT

“Come on, you know you want to try it.” Gabe’s eyes danced as he tried to get me to take a bite of his Rocky Mountain oysters. “Are you really going to sit there and pretend you’re not adventurous enough to take just one itsy bitsy taste?” His fork danced in front of my mouth, as if he were trying to tempt a baby into taking a bite.

“It’s not a matter of being adventurous so much as solidarity. A bro just doesn’t eat another dude’s balls—at least, not like this. Trust me, preach. There are far more fun and less gory ways to enjoy your ball-eating fetish.” I shuddered dramatically as I leaned my head back and to the side while I batted at his hand to push it away.

Gabe snorted then brought the fork to his mouth and made a big show of pulling the meat from the fork with his teeth. His moans were almost pornographic, especially when combined with the total sex face he was making—complete with his eyes rolling back into his head while his lashes fluttered like crazy.

“You do know that people are staring, right? You’re like that chick in that movie, you know the one… where that chick’s faking an orgasm in the middle of a crowded diner?” I thought for a second, trying to remember. Once I got Meg Ryan’s face in my mind, I was able to recall the movie. “When Harry Met Sally. Yeah, you’re totally pulling a Sally.”

He took a moment to casually blot his lips with a napkin before leaning forward with a raised brow. “Were they staring at me, though? Really? Or was it maybe the look on your face while you watched that caught their eyes, hmm?”

I shifted in my seat, trying to ignore the sudden tightness in my pants. “Definitely you. I guarantee you that I wasn’t looking turned on while I watched you nosh on testicles.” I pointed to the side of his mouth. “You’ve got a little sauce right there that your napkin missed.”

My pants grew a little tighter when that tongue darted from the side of his mouth to lick it away. I shook my head. “Nope, a little down and to the left.” I couldn’t help but grin at the facial contortions he was making as he tried to get rid of it. Shaking my head, I reached over the table with my own napkin and wiped his cheek.

Gabe caught my hand as I started to pull it away. Turning it over, he kissed the pulse point of my wrist while gazing up at me from under his ridiculously long lashes. When he spoke in a low rumble, I could swear that deep voice was liquid sex. “Will you promise to wipe me clean every time I get messy?” I blinked away a vision of me licking splatters of cum from his bare chest, then feeding it back to him as we kissed. Yeah, that imagery didn’t help the tight pants issue at all.

Note to self: don’t wear skinny jeans when going on a date with a sexy clergyman.

Pulling my hand back, I made a show of rolling my eyes. “I hope you enjoyed that, Pastor Babe. After watching you eat that foul food, I’m pretty sure that’s the only part of my body you’ll be kissing tonight.”

A corner of Gabe’s mouth twitched as his eyebrows shot up. “Are you really talking about kissing body parts in the middle of dinner? Shame, shame, Seth. I’m starting to think I can’t take you anywhere. Although, as first dates go? This is definitely one for the record books.”

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/

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A Stella Review: How Not to Blend (Lovestrong #1) by Susan Hawke

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RATING 4 out of 5 stars

One clueless single dad…

Dr. Corbin Davis is a busy guy just trying to do his best as a single parent. He may be oblivious to a lot of things, but surely he would’ve noticed something as important as his fifteen-year-old son, Grayson, being bullied, right? And what the heck is non-binary, and why hasn’t Gray shared this all-important part of himself with his own dad?

Plus one sassy Southerner…

Andy Ferguson, or Kandi as the Thursday night drag community knows him, is just trying to get along in a small town and hold things together while he takes care of his beloved Gam-Gam. If she’d just get off his back about finding himself a man, that would be fantastic, thank you very much. He’ll get around to love… one of these days.

Equals a pair of fake-boyfriends who will keep you in stitches.

When Corb gets the wild idea to ask Andy to pose as his boyfriend to let Gray know that his dad is bisexual and open-minded enough to talk to about his nonbinary status, Andy is amused and just intrigued enough to say yes… especially since he seems to be in the market for a fake boyfriend himself, if it will get Gam-Gam to quit nagging.

This is the first book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance fill with all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

How Not To Blend is the first book I read by this author (considering the other name too). I like the “fake boyfriend” trope, I like stories where the main character is a father, I like characters that carry heavy background on their shoulders. I found these elements in this new release so I took a chance and picked it up. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. In my opinion the plot was well developed and delivered. It was not a boring reading, cause things happened, I was often waiting for the next shoe to drop. Sure, a couple of scenes were over the top, sometimes facts were too simple. But what I look for in my books are escaping and good times, here I got them. Plus a lot of laughs, some tears, a lovely happy ending. And I met quite a lot of second characters I’d like to read their own HEAs. Moreover, for a very personal reason, I felt a deep connection with Andy and Corbin and that’s the main reason why I ignored the faults the story has and easily enjoyed the journey.

The cover art by Ana J Phoenix is well done but I can’t see the MCs in the model and so not fitting at all.

SALE LINKS  Amazon

BOOK DETAILS

Kindle Edition, 276 pages

Published January 15th 2019

ASIN B07M5BM89V

Edition Language English

How Not to Blend (Lovestrong #1) by Susan Hawke Release Blitz and Giveaway

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HOW NOT TO BLEND

LOVESTRONG SERIES, BOOK 1

SUSAN HAWKE

GAY ROMANCE – RELEASE DATE: 01.13.19

how not to blend cover

BLURB

One clueless single dad…

Dr. Corbin Davis is a busy guy just trying to do his best as a single parent. He may be oblivious to a lot of things, but surely he would’ve noticed something as important as his fifteen-year-old son, Grayson, being bullied, right? And what the heck is non-binary, and why hasn’t Gray shared this all-important part of himself with his own dad?

Plus one sassy Southerner…

Andy Ferguson, or Kandi as the Thursday night drag community knows him, is just trying to get along in a small town and hold things together while he takes care of his beloved Gam-Gam. If she’d just get off his back about finding himself a man, that would be fantastic, thank you very much. He’ll get around to love… one of these days. 

Equals a pair of fake-boyfriends who will keep you in stitches.

When Corb gets the wild idea to ask Andy to pose as his boyfriend to let Gray know that his dad is bisexual and open-minded enough to talk to about his nonbinary status, Andy is amused and just intrigued enough to say yes… especially since he seems to be in the market for a fake boyfriend himself, if it will get Gam-Gam to quit nagging.

This is the first book in the LOVESTRONG series about finding love and being yourself in a small town. Intended only for 18+ readers, this is an mm romance filled with all the fun, fluff, and feels you’d want from an S. Hawke book.

http://mybook.to/LOVESTRONG-ONE/

how not to blend teaser 1

how not to blend teaser 2 

EXCERPT

I looked around the nearly empty diner, my eyes roaming over the faded artwork on the wall, the cracked Formica tabletop, the scarred linoleum, the selection of pies spinning around inside the rotating display case—yeah, I was pretty much looking at anything other than the delicious specimen of masculinity sitting across from me.

After our waitress dropped off the slices of cherry pie we’d ordered when we’d been seated and filled our cups with a substance resembling coffee, I had no choice but to find my balls and face him. When I looked up, I found Corbin watching me with a bemused smile. I bit my lip almost shyly before speaking. “What? Does it weird you out to be around me now that you know about my alter ego?”

Corbin shook his head as he picked up his fork and cut into his pie. “No, it’s stranger to be sitting here with the guy who serves my morning coffee than it was to watch you in drag. Thank you, by the way, for taking the time to do this with me.”

My nerves faded as we began to talk. “No trouble. If I’m being honest…” I leaned forward with a conspiratorial smile. “I work up quite an appetite when I do my routine. A little pie and coffee will hit the spot right now. If we weren’t here, I would’ve been heading home with a rumbly tummy. Maybe you’re the one doing me the favor, if you think about it. Speaking of favors, what was it you wanted from me? Nick mentioned something about your kid?”

Corbin dropped his fork with a clatter, leaning back in the booth and dropping his hands to his lap. “I feel really stupid now that we’re sitting here. I don’t want you to think that I’m an idiot or something.”

I cocked my head to the side, gazing at him curiously. “Why would you ever think that? Now you have to tell me what’s up; I’ll curl up and die of curiosity if you don’t.”

Puffing his cheeks out, Corbin blew out a breath and gave a slight nod. “You noticed my son’s black eye the other day, remember? So it turns out that he’s being bullied because he identifies as enby—that’s short for nonbinary. Have you heard of that?” He paused and waited while I resisted the urge to say duh and simply nodded instead as I took a bite of pie. Corbin blew out another breath, raking a hand through his short hair. “I don’t know why I thought that a drag queen might have any clue about what an enby might be dealing with, but I was hoping to pick your brain about it and… I don’t know… maybe get some makeup tips or something?”

I resisted the urge to laugh—almost. Corbin chuckled when he saw the suppressed laughter in my eyes and I couldn’t help but laugh along with him. “Yeah, I definitely don’t identify as anything other than masculine. I can see where people might be confused since I do tend to be flamboyant and glamorous in my daily life, but you have to understand me when I tell you that I don’t identify as anything other than a cisgender man. Drag is just a way for me to let my hair down and get into my creative side. I’m sure it could be confusing, from the outside looking in. My drag mama is an old-school gender-bender type of queen. He doesn’t bother to shave his thick stubble or his hairy, manly chest—even when he is in full-on Honey Combover regalia.”

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/