A Lila Release Day Review: Hearts and Flour by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

Can a raw food enthusiast find love with a guy who bakes cupcakes?

When Micah Truveen’s devoted health-food customers start showing up with white flour, Micah wants to chew nails! To make his misery worse, he finds his yoga teacher boyfriend in bed with another guy the day before Valentine’s Day. Micah decides to drown his misery at a friend’s anti-Valentine’s Day orgiastic hookup party—and meets the beautiful Queen, a gorgeous cross-dresser who’s got Southern sugah in his mouth and the right equipment under the dress. But when the hookup turns serious, Micah has to compromise to protect Queen’s secrets from his beloved grandmother. With everything against them, can two hearts rise above the flour?

Hearts and Flour is a non-traditional anti-Valentine’s day story and the main characters have non-traditional jobs to go with the story. It has a cross-dressing baker and a grumpy raw vegan in need of loving.

This is a lite-hearted sweet short with several funny moments and some interesting characters. It’s an opposites-attract romance with two men finding something they didn’t know they were looking for. Queen’s grandma adds the comedic relief to the story and a group of helpful friends is perfect for such a short story.

There are several miscommunication moments that took away from the story and some of the wording needed updating; especially since this is a second edition. Overall, this is a typical Tara Lain story; quirky, sweet, and hot.

The cover by Reese Dante follows the style of other books by the author. It goes with the theme and the Laguna Beach stories.

Sale Links: DreamspinnerAmazon | NOOK

ebook, 87 pages
Published: February 14, 2018, by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN: 9781640805170
Edition Language: English

 

A Jeri Release Day Review: Bleu Balls (Balls to the Wall #7) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

I was looking forward to this book. Bobby and Robin aka “Double Trouble” have been fun background characters in several of the books in this series. Twin brothers equals twice the fun, romance and sex right? Not so much.
When Robin and Bobby are in the running to paint a huge mural in an office, they really want the job. But one of the men has an instant disliking for Robin and insists that Bobby do the painting. This bugged me, because that is so utterly unrealistic. And then they agree to it and assume the 3rd grade tactic of taking each other’s places. Just silly.
Enter Micah- the son of their doctor who is taking over the practice. More confusion ensues as to who he is really attracted to and what he should do about it. Well, he just won’t be their doctor anymore! Simple! Again, just silly.
The charade of the brothers pretending to be each other were just a little too much. Because of that I didn’t feel like the romance between either couple was genuine.
As with the others, there are lots of appearances by previous book couples which is always nice. Much like the book. It was just….nice. I was hoping for and expecting a bit more.
Cover Art by Reese Dante is adorable and works for both the story and series.
Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon
Book Details:
Expected publication: January 9th 2018 by Dreamspinner Press
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBalls to the Wall #7, Balls to the Walls (DSP) #7

A Lila Audiobook Review: Fool of Main Beach (Love in Laguna #5) by Tara Lain and K.C. Kelly (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Merle Justice wants to reach for the stars, but it’s tough to get respect when playing a teenybopper vampire on TV. Then he meets a famous director anxious to give him all he thinks he wants—and maybe a bit more. Everything’s looking up until a life-threatening encounter with some homophobes on Main Beach puts Merle face-to-face with a Sasquatch-sized hero in a pink puffer coat.

Tom Henry defies description. As unsophisticated and simple as an angel, he walks through life content with who he is and asking for very little except to care for his sister, Lily, and the dogs he loves. Then he meets Merle, the embodiment of dreams he barely knows he has. Merle knows the people who hold his future in their hands might love Tom—but they’ll never understand Merle and Tom together. Tom knows it too. With lives this far apart, who’s really the fool of Main Beach?

Fool of Main Beach is a sweet story about simple love and friendship. As with the rest of the books in this series, it’s also sexy and interesting. It takes a minute to get reacquainted with Merle and to remember him from previous books, but after that, it’s easy to follow his story.

This is a hurt/comfort book and Tom and Justice complemented each other with all their differences. Tom’s truthful ways are refreshing in comparison to Justice’s jaded views. In their case, taking the time to talk helped their relationship and allowed them to recognize what they needed from each other.

We get enough time with each main character to understand the decisions they take and how they move forward. All the individual events and conversations are important to understand the MCs’ reservations. Overall, they work as a couple.

There’s a lot happening and the plot goes beyond the main romance. It ties the series together and shows Tom’s and Justice’s family relationships. In Justice case, he learns more about himself and what he needs. And Tom finally sees all his positive qualities. Plus, we can’t forget how all the characters from the previous stories helped guide the new couple.

K.C. Kelly has done a nice job keeping all the characters from previous books up to par and adding new ones. It’s easy to hear the differences between them, bringing all the stories together. Plus, we get to learn more about the main character through his interpretation.

As always, the cover by Reese Dante fits the book. It’s simple but interesting enough. And it makes more sense after reading the story.

Sale Links: Dreamspinner | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Narrator: K.C. Kelly
Length: 9 hours and 17 minutes

Published: November 4, 2016 (Audio Edition) by Dreamspinner Press
ASIN: B0774TGFHW
Edition Language: English

Series: Love in Laguna
Book #1: Knight of Ocean Avenue
Book #2: Knave of Broken Heart
Book #3: Prince of the Playhouse
Book #4: Lord of a Thousand Steps
Book #5: Fool of Main Beach

A Jeri Release Day Review: ​Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Another in the Balls to the Wall series by Tara Lain. While it was an ok read, it definitely wasn’t my favorite.
Ultimately it had a good message: be true to yourself and who you are. And that went for BOTH of the main characters.
Even though his friends warned him not to, JJ pretended to be who he wasn’t. The big football player type guy was really a queen who loves pink and is deathly afraid of spiders. But he doesn’t think that newly transplanted cop Ryan went for femme guys. So he gets a crash course on football, does everything not to flail his arms around when he is talking and tries to act super masculine. And Ryan falls for it.
But Ryan has his own secret. He doesn’t want his coworkers to know that he is gay. And while he had a reason for this, this still kind of bugged me. They were in Laguna which is kind of known as a having a large gay community. If you are going to move from NYC to Laguna, be yourself! But alas, he wanted to stay in the closet.
Inevitably the truth comes out for both. And both men need to learn to love and accept themselves so that others will love and accept them as well.
Fairly fluffy with a couple of dark points- mainly the past rearing it’s ugly head for both characters- it was an ok read. It felt like it jumped around a bit and for Ryan who was determined to stay in the closet, he rationalizes hanging out with JJ in public. Even going away for the weekend.
They were a cute couple who reversed the “norms” (big guy alpha, smaller guy beta) and we got to see most of the previous characters in the series which was nice. Ultimately I am glad it was a short book.
Cover art by Reese Dante is cute and fits in with the rest of the series.
Sales Links:GoodreadsDreamspinner Kindle  | iTunes  | Kobo  | Nook
Book Details:
ebook, 2nd Edition, 121 pages
Published December 6th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published December 5th 2012)
ISBN139781634773669
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesBalls to the Wall #4, Balls to the Walls (DSP) #6

Tara Lain on Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) and her Series (author guest post and giveaway)

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Snow Balls (Balls to the Wall #4) by Tara Lain
Dreamspinner Press

Cover Art by Reese Dante

Book Links: 

GoodreadsDreamspinner Kindle  | iTunes  | Kobo  | Nook  |  

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to host Tara Lain here today on her tour for Snow Balls

 

Hi everyone. Welcome to the holidays and the celebration of my re-release of Snow Balls, one of my most popular stories.

Recently someone asked me if I base my books on myself or my own life. And, of course, the answer is yes, great pieces of me are transmitted in my books. My belief in true love, my quest for authenticity, my enjoyment of humor is all in there big time. And, of course, actual events also make it onto the page. Bits of people I know, places I’ve been. A lot of details about the town where I lived for 28 years, Laguna Beach, CA, are included in many of my books. And —, oh yes, my hatred of skiing! This latter detail has occupied a complete scene in my brand new re-release, Snow Balls. My hero, JJ LaRousse, who is pretending to be more alpha male than he is, goes cross country skiing with the man he has a passion for. He’s never been skiing, but keeps hoping it can’t be too hard. HA!

Yep, hatred is a good word. I have only been skiing once. It was plenty. Like JJ, I pictured myself shushing along the frozen pathways enjoying the beautiful scenery and the crisp air. Oh so wrong. I spent more time in a heap on the snow with skis tangled like pickup sticks. I could not stay upright for more than a few minutes before I would fly once again into a giant pile of Tara. Painful and humiliating. Not surprising, however. While I am moderately athletic — hiking, walking, Pilates, Yoga — I have always been terrible with anything attached to my feet more challenging than a pair of Jimmy Choos. Even as a kid, roller skating and I were only on passable terms and I never learned to ice skate. Give me a bike and I could go anywhere. On skates, I barely made it down the sidewalk. And skis were even more miserable.

Now, I’ve inflicted this calamity on my poor hero from Snow Balls. And he, like me, has to face the skiing instructor who stares down at his tangled mess of a body and says, “Let’s get organized!”  LOL.

I hope you enjoy Snow Balls and, despite the humiliation I put him through, enjoy rooting for JJ and his happy ever after.

Blurb

JJ LaRousse looks like a quarterback but acts like a queen. He’s trying to be proud of who he is—until a robbery at the famous Laguna Winter Fantasy brings JJ face-to-face with tough cop Ryan Star. JJ hears Ryan likes manly men, so he drops his voice an octave, colors his pink hair, and tries to pass as a football fan.

Ryan Star may be tough, but he keeps his sexuality to himself at work. He learned in New York that being a gay cop can be deadly. His attraction to JJ threatens his secret, but he’s finding it hard to back away from a guy who’s so totally his type. Then, during a ski trip and a confrontation with JJ’s biggest nemesis, all the façades come crashing down. In the aftermath, can Ryan love JJ for who he really is? More importantly, can JJ?

Excerpt

JJ stuck out his fist. Ryan looked a little startled, then bumped it. “So maybe I’ll see you Sunday.”

Ryan nodded. “Yeah. Yeah.”

Star turned and walked a couple of steps. He stopped and looked over his shoulder. “Hope so.” And he walked away toward the entrance to the grounds.

O. M. G. JJ wanted to sit down in the middle of the sawdust. Did he really see that look in Ryan Star’s eyes when the guy said those two words “Hope so”? Something that looked like he cared if he saw JJ again?

JJ certainly cared if he saw Ryan again. But what the hell? A Chargers game? How could he ever fake his way through that?

He took off at a run and made it to the booth in seconds. Rodney was talking to a few customers and David was on his cell, fingering the twinkle lights in JJ’s display. JJ took a deep breath. Finally, David hung up and JJ pounced. “Oh my god of the last kid chosen for kickball, Ryan Star asked me out.”

David grinned. “Of course, I’m a champion matchmaker.”

But what if…. “Actually, I’m not sure it’s a date. I mean, he asked me to go with him, but it could be just a guy thing, you know?”

“Tell me what he said.”

“He said he could pick me up, or we could meet somewhere.”

David screwed up his smooth forehead. “Hmm. That’s too neutral to tell. What else? Where’s he taking you?”

JJ’s grin defined sheepish. “A Chargers game.” JJ grinned anxiously. “That’s football, right?”

“You’re joking, darling?”

“It’s not football?”

“Yes, it’s football, but you’re seriously considering going to a football game?”

“Yes.” JJ’s hands started to flutter. “Oh God, David, what am I going to do? I don’t know anything about it at all.”

“About what?” Rodney stepped up next to David.

David glanced at his miniature friend. “Football. Somehow JJ has managed to get himself invited to a football game.”

JJ wailed. “And I don’t know the first thing!”

Rodney shrugged. “Simple.”

JJ frowned. “What’s simple?”

“Just ask Jerry. He’s the magical knower of all things boringly athletic. He will be your guru of football. Mick might help too.”

Of course, their good friends Jerry and Mick could cram some facts into JJ’s head.

David threw an arm around Rodney’s shoulder. “Brilliant. You’re brilliant, my dear.”

Rod smiled, then looked up at JJ’s head. “And speaking of football, where on earth did you get that ridiculous cap?”

JJ shrugged. “Ryan Star bought it for me.”

David whooped. “That’s it. In answer to your question, Detective Star is taking you on a date.”

 

 

Giveaway

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Series Info:

Series’s Name: Balls To The Wall

Books: http://amzn.to/2p4bQgd

Bk #1 Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33349613-volley-balls

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2imkfqv
B&N: http://bit.ly/HighBallsNookTL
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/volley-balls-1

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/volley-balls/id1189190904?mt=11

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/volley-balls-by-tara-lain-8014-b

Bk #2 Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33796355-fire-balls

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2k5WIuf
B&N: http://bit.ly/FireBallsNookTL

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fire-balls-1
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fire-balls/id1193306447?mt=11

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fire-balls-by-tara-lain-8126-b

Bk #3 Links

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34774527-beach-balls

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2q5BXlp

iBooks:  https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/beach-balls/id1218355957?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo:  https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/beach-balls-1

B&N:  http://bit.ly/BeachBallsNookTL   

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/beach-balls-by-tara-lain-8440-b

Bk #5 Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35214758-f-a-s-t-balls

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2sFwv94

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/fast-balls/id1231549302?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/fast-balls-1

B&N: http://bit.ly/FASTBallsNookTL

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/fast-balls-by-tara-lain-8651-b

Bk #6 Links:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36098493-high-balls

Dreamspinner: https://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/books/high-balls-by-tara-lain-8904-b

Kindle: http://amzn.to/2fNezpg

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/high-balls/id1275142177?mt=11

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/high-balls

Nook: http://bit.ly/HighBallsTLBN

Paperback

Paperback  bk 1 & bk2

Volley Balls & Fire Balls

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2rD3VoU

B&N: http://bit.ly/VollyAndFireBallsPbTLBN

About the Author

 

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in gay romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 40. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, Best Romantic Suspense, and more. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft. She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books. Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

Author Links:

Website:  http://taralain.com/

Blog: http://www.taralain.com/blog

Twitter: https://twitter.com/taralain

FB Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/taralain

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4541791.Tara_Lain

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/taralain/


Sign Up here: http://eepurl.com/ceU1nj

Social Media Posts

Is it always wrong to pretend to be Mr. Right? Snow Balls @taralain http://amzn.to/2jIN5SP

Blog Tour for Never (The Pennymaker Tales #4) by Tara Lain (excerpt and giveaway)

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When your dreams come to life, do you fall in love — or send them back to Neverland?
Never

(The Pennymaker Tales, #4)
By Tara Lain

Blurb:
Wendell “Wen” Darling lives in a world of shoulds and musts. Left to care for his brother and sister by his dull drudge of a father and wacko irresponsible mother, he suppresses his creativity, slaving in an ad agency seventy hours a week, letting his no-talent supervisor take the credit.

Then his bosses blow the campaign for their biggest client and Wen gets a chance to shine—but only if he can find the artist who painted a wild, glorious wall of graffiti in the subway. Hiding behind a pillar at 2:00 a.m., Wen comes face-to-face with the scarlet-haired, elven-faced embodiment of his divergent opposite—Peter Panachek, the flighty, live-for-today painter, singer, and leader of the rock group the Lost Boys. Everything Wen takes seriously, Peter laughs off, but opposites attract, even if their kisses always lead to battles. Peter’s devil-may-care persona hides a world of secrets, self-protection, and hidden fears, until the day a drug dealer, Vadon Hooker, threatens everything Wen holds dear. Guided by the mysterious Mr. Pennymaker, Peter has to choose between facing responsibility or burrowing even deeper into Neverland.

Available to order at
Excerpt

He sighed loudly as he pulled a green T-shirt over his head with his back turned to Tink. The T-shirt was just like the others except it proclaimed in brilliant sparkles Underthrow the Overground. He stared in the wavy mirror on the back of the closet door. She’s right. Wen upsets me. Why the fuck can’t I stay away from him? “Let’s just go play music, okay?”

He retraced his steps out the dressing room door and went to drown himself in lyrics.

Two hours later he knew it wasn’t working. All he could see was Wen’s face. John’s face. I don’t want to see them. He snorted. I don’t want to want to see them. That’s different.

When they took their break, Wen walked off the stage straight into Mr. Pennymaker. Somehow he’d changed to a black jacket with floral collar and cuffs. Seriously? And somehow he’d gotten past the guards to hang out backstage. He pressed his hands together. “Splendid, Peter.”

“You kidding?” Peter frowned. “I can barely get my head out of my ass.”

“Yes, but sometimes that’s precisely the view we need.”

Peter spewed a laugh. “What do you want with me, really?”

“Why must I want something?”

“Because people don’t usually bother with people unless they want things.”

He rubbed his chin with two fingers. “All right. I want you to be happy.”

“Why me, for God’s sake? You don’t even know me.”

He smiled softly. “I want everyone to be happy, Peter. I just happen to be speaking with you.”

“Jesus!” Peter wiped a hand over the back of his neck. “You’re too smart for me, old man.”

“Not at all. I simply want you to be smart for you.”

“What does that look like?”

“Getting your head out of your ass and paying attention to what you want instead of what you think you should want.” He yawned behind his hand. “I’m a bit tired, so I’ll say good night. Thank all the Lost Boys for such a splendid show.”

Mr. Pennymaker turned, walked out through the stage door, and was gone.

Peter’s mouth hung open. Hit by a five-foot-one-inch truck.

 

The Pennymaker Tales Series
Sinders and Ash
(The Pennymaker Tales Series, #1)
by Tara Lain
Available for order at
Kindle | Audible | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press
Driven Snow
(The Pennymaker Tales, #2)
by Tara Lain


Available for purchase at

Beauty, Inc.
(The Pennymaker Tales #3) 

 

Available for purchase at
Want to get these lovelies in paperback? Sinders and Ash and Beauty, Inc. (Pennymaker Tales)

Available for purchase at
Amazon | Barnes & Noble

 

 

About the Author
Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

 

You can find Tara at Lain
 
 
Giveaway
Presented By

A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audiobook Review: Return of the Chauffeur’s Son by Tara Lain and Greg Tremblay (Narrator)

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

This was a highly enjoyable and entertaining audiobook. In fact, I enjoyed this Tara Lain story more than any of her other stories in the past few years. I don’t know whether she changed her writing style, or whether it was simply the added boost by the narration of talented voice actor Greg Tremblay, but I simply couldn’t turn the audiobook off. I listened as often as possible, even facing teasing from my family who were surprised that I’d rather listen to the audio than to them. Imagine that!

Seriously though, this story about young Luca McGrath, a graduate chef who returns to the Napa Valley to take a position with a prestigious restaurant—while at the same time reuniting with his father and the wealthy Armstrong family for whom he works as a chauffeur—was delightful. Luca is a sweetheart, as well as being intelligent, a gifted chef, a loving son, and he’s held an unrequited love for James Armstrong ever since they were children. Even now, it doesn’t matter to Luca that James is heterosexual—he’s still stunning, sexy, and flirty with Luca—leading Luca to believe he might not be 100% straight.

In the meantime, James’s older brother, Dylan, is equally stunning, but quieter, more introspective, more of the tycoon-type businessman, and better able to hide his feelings for Luca. He’s out to prove James is not really interested in Luca, and yet he wants to protect Luca’s feelings. There are also complications related to James’s upcoming marriage to a woman whose company is about to merge with the Armstrong family holdings and a messy breakup will mess up the merger plans.

And to make matters even more complex, Luca becomes unintentionally involved in intrigue involving a local food contest that is the highlight of the local cuisine industry. Unknown to him, he’s set up to take the fall for theft of a recipe from his boss’s competitor, and when that happens, he throws in the towel and escapes back to New York. He’s done with all the Armstrongs, and with the Napa Valley as a whole. Will Dylan let him stay in New York, or will the strong-willed, quiet man finally take a risk and tell Luca how he feels?

Honestly, this is a very enjoyable story. It’s fast-paced and full of both intrigue and handsome men. There’s also lots of romance and loving—for family and for potential life partners. And Greg Tremblay brings it all to life. Each character has his—or her—own unique voice, adding to the listener’s pleasure. I definitely recommend this to lovers of contemporary MM romance and most definitely recommend it in audio format. Kudos to Ms. Lain and Mr. Tremblay!

~~

The cover by Reese Dante is bright and attractive, featuring a close-up of young, fresh-faced Luca and a darker figure in business suit in the background—most definitely representing Dylan.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon | Audible | iTunes

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audio
Published September 28th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 2nd 2017)
Original TitleReturn of the Chauffeur’s Son
ASINB075XQP614
Edition LanguageEnglish

Love Tara Lain? Contemporary Romance? Check out High Balls (Balls To The Wall Series #6 ) by Tara Lain (Excerpt & Giveaway)

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Sometimes only the wrong guy can bring the 
right happy ever after.

High Balls
(Balls To The Wall Series #6 )
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous.
Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily-ever-after is for real.

Available for purchase at
Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press
Excerpt

Excerpt – High Balls by Tara Lain

“Mr. Walters, please explain the methodology of your research.”

And so it began. The words flowed across his tongue—the thousands of questionnaires and over a hundred personal interviews showing the education, expertise, and experience of romance writers, their use and extension of techniques pioneered by Austen and other major literary figures. He discussed tropes and their application in so called “fine” literature as well as genre fiction. Quoting verbatim from scholars he’d interviewed, he showed how many academics dismissed romance fiction purely because of its association with female readers.

Dr. Willamette said, “How large is the romance market, Mr. Walters?” She actually seemed interested.

“It’s a moving target and difficult to pin down due to the vastness and fluidity of the ebook market, but well over a billion dollars, for sure. It’s the largest book market in the world by double over the next genre.”

“Oh my. Wouldn’t it be nice to bring those people more actively into the field of literature? More teachers and more students?” She smiled.

“My point exactly.”

Ashworth sputtered, “You want to bring these illiterate, uncultured old maids and housewives into the literary tent? You must be joking.”

Dr. Willamette’s face fell, and Theodore worked to ungrit his teeth.

Dr. T. tried to keep the tone upbeat, but every time Mr. Karl or Dr. Willamette asked a good question or seemed to show interest in his research, Ashworth would find a way to belittle their opinions. They practically shrank in their seats. The chances they’d stand up to the chairman? Zilch.

Theodore kept fighting, but he felt like a salmon on a dammed-up stream.

Dr. T. said, “Why did you undertake this research, Mr. Walters? What do you feel it contributes to the future of literature?”

Theodore gazed at the carpet for a minute. “When my wife was dying, I would read to her. Classics and current literary fiction felt so cold and helpless in the face of death. Only love prevailed. So I bought a romance novel, just for diversion. I was amazed at the true literary value the book possessed. I tried another and another. Yes, I found bad ones, but then that can be said of any type of literature. Gradually I came to realize that what I’d been taught about romance fiction was bull. Here were truly gifted writers, more of them than in any other type of fiction, toiling away with not only no recognition, but also actual denigration, and still producing exceptional work. I decided to find out why.”

He looked up at each member of the panel, even the sneering Ashworth. “I think if I can encourage or inspire even one of these excellent authors to persevere and have some of their work recognized, my research will have succeeded.”

Dr. T. said, “Thank you, Theodore. I wish to add that the dissertation reader agrees with Mr. Walters. She states that the paper has done more to legitimize one of the most popular forms of world fiction than anything she’s seen. She highly recommends the paper for publication.” He looked down the panel. “If there are no more questions, Mr. Walters can go and we can determine the time for our deliberation.”

Ashworth said, “I have one more. Walters, do you really expect us to take this dissertation seriously?”

Theodore stood. “Yes, sir, I do.” He looked down the table. “Thank you all for your consideration.” He turned and walked from the room with a straight spine.

The Balls to the Wall Series
Volley Balls
Bk #1
Available to purchase at 
 
 
Fire Balls 
Bk #2
Available to purchase at
Beach Balls
Bk #3
Available to purchase at

 

FAST Balls
Bk #5
Available to purchase at
Prefer paperback?
The first and second book are now available in paperback! 
About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at LainWebsite | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest

 

A Jeri Release Day Review: High Balls (Balls to the Wall #6) by Tara Lain

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Rating: 4 Stars out of 5
This has, by far, been my favorite of the series Balls to the Wall. The story, characters and writing were so much more in depth than the previous installments. Each book has gotten better, from book 1 which was kind of meh, to this one which I really enjoyed.
Single gay dads are not new to the genre. But I think this is the first one I have read that he is not the biological father, but married the mother (his best friend) and is on the birth certificate. So while he is trying to be the perfect dad, while working and pursuing his PHD, he immediately drawn to a bartender covered in tattoos, who rides a Harley and is known as Snake.
But looks can be deceiving.
Theodore’s son was really funny and a great additional character who held his own. Which he should, being that Theodore wanted to make the best life for him. He also showed that with his simple acceptance of Snake, that kids really can be great judges of character. They see what is on the inside first, not the outside.
There was a lot that happened in the book- in laws, PhD, new relationships, friends, school politics, bullying…. but it never seemed over loaded. There was a nice twist toward the end that I didn’t necessarily expect and lots of visits by some previous characters.
This can definitely be read as a stand alone, but like I said, they start out as meh and work their way up from there.
Cover Artist: Reese Dante.  The cover is great, has all the right elements and captures the reader’s attention.
Sales Links:  Kindle | Nook | Kobo | iTunes | Dreamspinner Press
Book Details:
ebook, 163 pages
Expected publication: October 4th 2017 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN13 9781635334753
Edition Language English
setting Laguna Beach, California (United States)

Tara Lain on Ten Things About ‘High Balls (Balls To The Wall Series #6 )’ (Excerpt and giveaway)

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Ten Things About High Balls

Hi! I’m so happy to be here to tell you about my new book, High Balls. Here are ten things you might or might not know about my new Balls to the Wall romance.

  1. High Balls is the first entirely new book in the Balls to the Wall series since 2013. Volley Balls was largely rewritten before it was rereleased last January, but it was based on the original story I wrote in 2011. High Balls is a whole new story.
  2. I’m a passionate proponent of the significance of romance novels in literary history – and I get to espouse that position in this book.
  3. My hero, Snake, in High Balls is my first totally tattooed hero—who is human. For a non-human hero with some lovely tattoos, check out Brush with Catastrophe. BTW, I do have several heroes with a few tats, but Snake is my first art project.
  4. Like all the books in the Balls to the Wall series, High Balls takes place in Laguna Beach, CA. This was my first Laguna love series.
  5. High Balls is book 6 in Balls to the Wall. That makes this my longest series so far. Love in Laguna series has 5 books so far, making it my second longest series. Readers do love Laguna!
  6. In January 2018, a seventh book in the Balls to the Wall series will release. It’s called Bleu Balls and it’s a full-length novel.
  7. High Balls appears to be an opposites attract story – one of my favorite tropes – but it has some surprises up its sleeve.
  8. My hero, Theodore, in High Balls is in academia. He’s a teaching assistant working on his PhD. College teaching is one of my favorite professions for my heroes. Maybe it’s not an obvious romance hero job, but I love those sexy geeks!
  9. I’m sure you know, Laguna Beach is a real place on the coast of Southern California. It has beautiful, cove-like beaches, horrific traffic, fun art festivals in the summer, and it’s a great place to set a romance series.
  10. A number of my books have included issues of child custody over the last couple years (Cowboys Don’t Come Out, Lord of a Thousand Steps) and so does this one. I’ve spent a lot of time researching the law in different states.

I hope you enjoy High Balls. Like all the Balls to the Wall books, it’s quite standalone. Feel free to start with it and, if inspired, try some of the other books.

Sometimes only the wrong guy can bring the 
right happy ever after.

High Balls
(Balls To The Wall Series #6 )
by Tara Lain
 
Blurb:
Though only twenty-six, single father Theodore Walters lives with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly planted in reality. At the center of his life is Andy, his seven-year-old son, with whom he shares no DNA, though nobody—including his religious-fanatic in-laws—knows that, and Theodore will do anything to keep them from finding out. Theodore works hard to get his PhD and the tenure and salary that might follow to make a better life for Andy—but the head of his department thinks his dissertation on Jane Austen and romance novels is frivolous.
Theodore’s carefully planned life goes off the rails when he walks into a popular Laguna Beach bar and meets the bartender, “Snake” Erasmo, a pierced and tattooed biker who sends Theodore’s imagination—and libido—soaring. Snake has even more secrets than Theodore and couldn’t be a less “appropriate” match, but he might be the only guy with the skills to show Theodore that happily-ever-after is for real.

Available for purchase at
Excerpt

He flipped on some Chopin and let it seep into his bloodstream like antistress pills. Such a weird feeling he got each month when Andy visited his grandparents. Kind of lost. Aimless. Sure, he had hella studying to do, but he did that every night, curled in his chair, sometimes with Andy sitting on his lap figuring out his homework. When he sat for his orals, he’d probably start quoting second-grade spelling instead of defending his dissertation on the modern romance novel as the inheritor of the tradition of Jane Austen. But that was how life was supposed to be. His life, anyway—all based on one decision made almost on the spur of the moment when he was eighteen years old. A decision made possible by an asshole named JP Rellico.

He stopped at the light at Pacific Coast Highway. The traffic going north wasn’t too bad yet, but the south lane toward Laguna already backed up to Ruby Ridge. The drivers had that Friday afternoon look of combined relief and weariness.

A rumbling roar sounded and Theodore jumped. Threading through traffic came a shiny Harley, moving with more assurance than such a big machine should muster. But the motorcycle definitely took second place to the rider. The guy stopped and put his foot down just yards from where Theodore waited, the booted foot attached to long, long legs with thigh muscles that challenged the black denim covering them. Unlike a lot of Harley drivers, this man had no fat of any kind; his long-sleeved T-shirt hugged a narrow waist and broad shoulders. Theodore strained to see his face, but a dark-visored helmet hid it, although strands of shaggy dark hair escaped the bottom. Most of all, Theodore noticed the tattoos that crawled in beautiful winding patterns up the guy’s forearms where they showed below his pushed-up sleeves. Whoa. Just the energy of the rider screamed free. One of those tats had to say, I don’t give a shit,

It was like Theodore could feel the vibration of the bike all the way across the street and deep in his balls. What would it be like to live so unrestrained? Go and do what you want and not worry about anyone else? His cock rose like sunrise on a summer day.

A beep behind him woke him up. Shit. Quit dreaming, idiot. He stepped on the accelerator and pulled out into the northbound lane just as the rider turned his head toward Theodore. Theodore’s foot faltered, he craned his neck to see the guy’s face—just a glimpse—and got the squeal of tires and another, more pissed-off beep for his trouble.

Hell! He stepped on it and sprang—to the extent the Toyota had any spring left—toward the college.

The Balls to the Wall Series
Volley Balls
Bk #1
Available to purchase at 
 
 
Fire Balls 
Bk #2
Available to purchase at
Beach Balls
Bk #3
Available to purchase at

 

FAST Balls
Bk #5
Available to purchase at
Prefer paperback?
The first and second book are now available in paperback! 
About the Author

Tara Lain writes the Beautiful Boys of Romance in LGBT erotic romance novels that star her unique, charismatic heroes. Her first novel was published in January of 2011 and she’s now somewhere around book 32. Her best-selling novels have garnered awards for Best Series, Best Contemporary Romance, Best Paranormal Romance, Best Ménage, Best LGBT Romance, Best Gay Characters, and Tara has been named Best Writer of the Year in the LRC Awards. In her other job, Tara owns an advertising and public relations firm. She often does workshops on both author promotion and writing craft.  She lives with her soul-mate husband and her soul-mate dog near the sea in California where she sets a lot of her books.  Passionate about diversity, justice, and new experiences, Tara says on her tombstone it will say “Yes”!

You can find Tara at LainWebsite | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Pinterest