Love that Single Dad story? Chek out the Release Blitz for I’ve Got You by Becca Seymour (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: I’ve Got You

Author: Becca Seymour

Publisher: Rainbow Tree Publishing

Cover Artist: Booksmith Design

Release Date: July 2, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Single dad romance

Themes: Coming out, forgiveness

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  69 000 words/240 approx. pages

It is a standalone story. It is the same world with different characters as Let Me Show You.

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Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU  |  Amazon CA

iTunes  |  Kobo  |   Nook 

 

 

Blurb

When a single dad and a newly outed veterinarian meet by chance, it takes red-cheeked conversations, a tentative friendship, and the willingness to put their hearts on the line to show these men they’re made for each other.  

Single dad Davis Jackson is busy balancing his coffee shop and being the best dad he can be. That doesn’t mean he’s not lonely. After a fumbling encounter with a man who looks as gorgeous as he does unhappy, Davis is left wondering who the mystery man is.  

All Davis knows is that he has never felt such an instant attraction to anyone before, but when he discovers the brown-eyed man’s identity, it’s clear the recently out-of-the-closet veterinarian is lost and quite possibly broken.  

A swoon-worthy low-angst stand-alone contemporary M/M romance featuring characters from LET ME SHOW YOU. 

 

Excerpt

I cleared my throat, suddenly aware I’d stayed quiet for a few seconds too long. “Hey.” My voice was gravelly and sounded unnaturally deep.

The guy paused in front of me, his hands dipping into his jeans pockets. He was quiet for a beat, seeming to contemplate what to say.

“You know Rex then?”

I nodded and then took a glance at the large head resting on my lap. With a small nod, I smiled. “Yeah. He finally likes me, so I’m taking it as a win that we’re friends.”

The brown-eyed man’s head tilted slightly, his gaze scanning my face a moment before his eyes returned to mine. “So you’re a friend of Carter’s?”

A humorless snort burst free, not enough to startle Rex, but enough for the guy to raise his brows. I cleared my throat again, not especially liking the fact that it seemed to be closing up and becoming uncomfortably dry in front of this guy. “Well, sort of. We used to work together.”

“Not anymore?”

I bit back the bitter retort dancing on my tongue, tempted to ask if that wasn’t what “used to” explicitly meant. There was no need for me to be so defensive or any bigger of an asshole than I already had a reputation for being.

“Nope. Just trying to figure out my next move.” I clamped my mouth shut, wondering why I’d shared so much. He sat on the lounger beside me, stopping my analysis. “Please, take a seat.” Damn, I really needed to learn to keep my mouth shut and stop being a dickhead. “Sorry.” I threw him a small grimace, noticing both of his perfectly arched brows were lifted, his attention solely on me. There was also a small smile on his lips. I was positive I saw it twitch.

“Hey, I can leave.”

Though, he stayed put, making no indication he planned on moving. He didn’t even shrug or twitch as he spoke.

While solitude had been what I’d craved, I was smart enough to recognize that just maybe not being alone was a good thing. Being alone, I was discovering, was not helpful at all. All it did was give me too much time with my thoughts. And that had a habit of screwing with my head. While I’d sought the quiet, especially since my blowout with Carter a while back, I recognized how dangerous isolation could be. Loneliness was a slippery slope.

 

About the Author

Becca Seymour lives and breathes all things book related. Usually with at least three books being read and two WiPs being written at the same time, life is merrily hectic. She tends to do nothing by halves so happily seeks the craziness and busyness life offers.  

Living on her small property in Queensland with her human family as well as her animal family of cows, chooks, and dogs, Becca appreciates the beauty of the world around her and is a believer that love truly is love.   

 

 

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Twitter: @beccaseymour_ 

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Giveaway

Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win  1 x I’ve Got You paperback or a $5 Amazon gift card.

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Release Blitz for Bernard’s Diary by S. L. Danielson (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Bernard’s Diary

Author: S. L. Danielson

Publisher: Self-Published

Cover Artist: Diana TC (triumphcovers.com)

Release Date: June 28, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Themes: Coming out, suicide attempt, forgiveness

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length: 44 000 words/142 pages

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Can a suicidal bellhop find true love?

Blurb

Bernard Covington, suicidal and not the most-handsome man in the world would be happy to leave the world behind altogether. That is until he meets Dr. Jack Larson. The physician takes his wounded heart and soul and patches them back together, but is he Mr.Perfect?

Bernard and Jack develop a romance, but soon the tide begins to shift as Jack’s past is revealed and it becomes a game-changer for the couple to deal with.

Will Bernard and Jack have a happy ending or will he succumb to his desire to end it all or will dealing with Jack’s phantoms keep him going? Only Bernard’s diary knows what secrets lurk in his soul…

Excerpt

Prologue

Bernard sat on his bed after another long day at the hotel just a few miles away. He was a bellhop.

Not the most glamorous profession, but the only one he could get years ago when his life plans changed drastically. He raked his fingers through his thick salt-n-pepper hair and yawned wide. He reached down and opened up his nightstand drawer and pulled out his journal. He flipped to an open page and plucked off the pen that was attached to the outside and clicked the point down.

I can’t hold this in much longer. Jeremy makes me want to explode every time I get near that incredible body of his! He’s such a good customer, tips well, and never has much luggage. I love bringing up room service to him…I wish it were me that was staying behind in the room with him. I have to tell him how I feel; he must suspect something by now. I’d give anything to have a real man in my life for once, just once! Something’s gotta change in a big way or…shit. I’ve just, I’ve got to do this before I fall apart and die a 46-yr-old virgin. Wishing myself luck!

Chapter 1: Fateful Night

August 8th. 10 p.m. The blinding red and blue strobing from the ambulance lights lit up the dark street. It’d been a silent evening until its arrival. Two paramedics rushed up the concrete steps to the midnight blue steel entry door on the far side of the long, rectangular apartment building. The lights from the ambulance painted a brilliant hue onto the otherwise dull, gray brick building. Even the trim was gray and all of it was rusted and falling apart.

Another medic followed after, steering a gurney down the steps. Their patient was out cold and

stripped from the waist up. He had all kinds of medical apparatus on him; IVs, a breathing mask,

and a defibrillator on standby. Finally, the two medics maneuvered their patient down and into the waiting ambulance.

“Ok, what’ve we got?” barked the voice over the radio.

“Heart attack and attempted suicide,” the medic replied in a professional, matter-of-fact tone.

“Any defib?”

“Shocked him twice. 46-year-old male, obese, two bad wrist lacerations, and ingestion of pills.”

“10-4, we’ll be ready.”

The ambulance pulled into the emergency department at Adams County hospital. It wasn’t a fully-equipped center, but it would have to do. The patient was near death. The doors on the ambulance flew open and the stat team ran out to greet them. In charge was a tall, handsome young doctor named Jack Larson. They ran with the gurney inside and to a treatment room. There were four people working on him at once, but Jack kept order to the chaos.

“Nurse, type and cross-match his blood and start him on Narcan.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

“What’re his vitals?” he demanded.

“BP is 90 over 50, pulse 135,” the lead nurse replied.“Damn, too high. What’s our patient’s name?”

“Bernard Covington.” The other nurse read it from the report.

He touched the patient’s shoulder and leaned over him. “Mr. Covington? Can you hear me?” He pulled out his exam flashlight and pulled up the man’s eyelids one at a time to check the dilation.

“He’s out cold, doc. Cops said they found him like this, pills were right next to him.” One of the medics chimed in.

“How many and what kind?” Dr. Larson asked.

“Effexor, 50 mg. Had 30 pills filled, only 20 were found, and it was just filled.” The nurse drew the necessary blood and labeled it for the lab.

The doctor groaned. He hated seeing suicide cases. “All right, let’s pump his stomach, suture these wrists too. They’re pretty deep.”

“Yes, sir.” The nurse prepared the needle, cleansed the wounds, and very skillfully sewed up the wounds. He wrapped them in a thick, cushy layer of gauze and laid them at the patient’s side.

“Good job, Higgins.” Dr. Larson nodded at him.

“Damn, Dr. Jack; that’s the worst I’ve seen. Cops found a butcher knife with blood on it.”

Jack looked at the nurse in surprise. “A butcher knife? Damn, Bernard, you’d cut your hand off.”

He pursed his lips and shook his head.

“He’s stabilizing, Dr. Larson,” the nurse reported.

“Alright, go prep him and pump his stomach. Keep him on constant watch.”

“Yes, Doctor.”

About the Author

S. L. (Stephanie) Danielson began writing at the tender age of five. She knew it was her calling from the moment she put pen to paper. In her teens she began writing alternative works and the genre stuck. She created ever more elaborate tales and finally in her early 20’s years began to create works with her new love; male/male romance. She has since written more than 30 works both solo and collaborations).

Stephanie is classically trained in business, accounting, and HR/training, possessing both an undergrad and graduate degree. She also owned and operated Romance First Publishing where the ultimate goal was to help other unknown, as well as known authors get their start in the publishing world.

Beyond writing, her other hobbies include: painting, gaming, and spending time with her husband and two cherished cats.

Her blog is www.sldanielsoncom.wordpress.com and email is ladyauthorsld@gmail.com

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A MelanieM Review: Bombs and Guacamole (Border Crossing #1) by BA Tortuga

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

ER doctor Dusty Lowry grew up in a conservative rural Texas family that has never quite forgiven him for staying in New Mexico after his stint in the Army. Paramedic Nate Miller, Dusty’s best friend since their early Army days, has a hippie momma, a tiny apartment, and is in lust with his buddy. When their other Army friend, Kyle, gets married, they start thinking about settling down. In fact, they both know what they want: each other. Too bad they’ve never shared that goofy little fact.

A trip to visit Dusty’s family in Texas changes everything, and Dusty and Nate aren’t sure where to go from there. Good thing they’re smart guys, and between a series of bombings that target first responders, their friend Kyle’s wife getting pregnant, and more than one bowl of guacamole, they begin to figure out how to have a relationship.

But as the bombings get closer to home, Nate and Dusty must navigate love and commitment before they lose their chance.

Friends to lovers is a staple in BA Tortuga’s contemporary romance fiction  and Bombs and Guacamole (Border Crossing #1) is another action packed example. Sexy, fun, and full of the Texas warmth and chili pepper hotness I’ve come to expect and need in my BA Toturta stories, it features paramedic Nate Miller and ER doc Dusty Lowry, best friends since the Army who are about to get much closer.

Neither has found true love, probably because that’s what they feel for each other, although never voiced or, precisely admitted.  There is a third Army buddy who has recently married and whose wife is now pregnant with their first child who will also figure heavily in the story.

Both Dusty and Nate have been afraid to keep their relationship as anything more than friendship, not knowing how the other feels and not willing to risk it. The author brings us into both men’s torn emotions and deep love for each other.  We see their history and just how perfect their are for each other.

It takes a blast to knock them out of the stasis they’ve been in.

The rest of the novel is a scary rollercoaster of explosions, suspense, acknowledgement of feelings, and the hunt for the terrorist setting off the blasts.

It’s one wild ride every way you look at it.

The men and their relationship (and families) are easy to connect to, the drama full of suspense even if you pinpoint the bommer early on, and the ending just the right amount of sex, hot spcy food, and HEA you need in your contemporary romance from this author.

And I can see who might be getting the next romance.  Bring it on!

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza,  Simple and eye catching.  It really works.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 214 pages
Published May 6th 2016 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN 1632168057 (ISBN13: 9781632168054)
Edition Language English

Series Border Crossing

Bombs and Guacamole

Ammo and Enchiladas coming June 11th

Check Out the Release Blitz for Under the Jasmine Flowers by W.S. Long (excerpt)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Under the Jasmine Flowers

Author: W.S. Long

Publisher:  JMS Books

Cover Artist: Written Ink Design

Release Date: May 18, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Forced in the closet until he realizes he has to be out

Themes:  Coming out, forgiveness

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length:  73 321 words/154 pages

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

 

 

Blurb

Jojo Arias, a Spanish-Filipino mestizo, didn’t expect to meet a U.S. Marine in a swank bar in the Philippines. But, Jojo can’t deny the electricity they have once he meets Adam. Although they come from different worlds, they struggle to keep their relationship private to protect Jojo’s status, and position as part of one of wealthiest and powerful in Filipino society.  Billions of dollars could be easily lost if his family business was jeopardized by Jojo’s secret. Jojo is pressured to abandon Adam and live a life in the closet. When the struggle to maintain their secret romance unravels, Jojo is left with a life-changing decision to leave his family, or to pursue his love.

 

Excerpt

James Joseph Garcia Arias savored the last few drops, then set the now empty pilsner down, right next to two other empty bottles of San Miguel beer. Despite the thick glass windows in the swank Makati bar that should have offered some soundproofing, Saturday Manila traffic passed noisily one floor below. The rumble of buses, cars honking, and steady stream of headlights never bored him. He preferred the noise of the city to the quiet stillness that his parents called home.

He glanced at his Patek Phillipe Nautilus watch his grandmother had given him. He texted Erwin. Ready. Barely a second or two passed, when his phone received the reply text. Be right there, boss. He sighed. He’d asked Erwin not to call him that for the longest time, but Erwin insisted. Jojo stood, fished out the right amount of pesos, plus a slightly larger gratuity than what was expected, then headed for the men’s room. A large group of Americans sat around the glass-tiled bar, laughing loudly. He guessed they were military, based on their crew cuts, hanging out to blow off steam. When he returned a few minutes later, after peeing an hour’s worth of beer, one of the military guys glanced up, and smiled at him. The man’s eyes followed Jojo.

Walk on by. Don’t stop.

He wanted to listen to the voice inside his head but he couldn’t. Maybe the alcohol made him less inhibited, maybe he was still reeling from the breakup with his fiancee and maybe he wanted to talk to someone who wasn’t an employee or a family member, or maybe because no one left in the bar knew him because the next thing he did was he stopped, inches away from the blond.

“Is this seat taken?” Jojo asked.

The stranger smiled more broadly and shook his head. “No.”

Jojo waited a second to see if the handsome man would say something else, but all the blond man did was smile even more. “American right?” Jojo asked.

“Yes.”

“I’m guessing you guys are U.S. military?”

“Marines, yeah. We’re sending one of our guys off, rotating from the Embassy here. My name’s Adam, by the way.” Adam offered his hand, which Jojo shook.

“James Arias, but my friends call me ‘Jojo’.”

Adam opened his mouth to say something but was interrupted by his friends who came over to meet Jojo. It didn’t take Jojo long to figure that Adam was probably the only sober one in the group, as the four other guys slurred their words, and often laughed uncontrollably at each other’s jokes. When Adam’s friends returned to their seats at the bar, Adam leaned in. “Your English is perfect, no trace of an accent, so I’m guessing you’re American too?”

“You’re partly right. I was born in America. My mother was a medical student in the U.S., and we lived in San Francisco but we moved back here after she got her degree.”

“So your mom’s a doctor?”

Jojo smiled. He wanted to tell Adam the whole long story of why his mother had never practiced medicine after she completed medical school because the family had seen no need of her working at a hospital or a clinic, and that these days her mother was busy hosting, or attending social and charitable events, but he thought the better of it and just answered simply. “Yeah, she is.”

“So you live here. . . I mean the Philippines?” Adam asked.

“Yes, I do.”

“I’m sorry I’m asking stupid questions because you don’t look Filipino. I hope I’m not offending you by saying that. Most Filipinos are short and very Asian looking. You look more like my Latino friends from Southern California and in a good way.”

Jojo laughed. “It’s probably the lighting, but my father and mother are both parts Spanish and Filipino so maybe that’s why my features are different than most.” Jojo’s cell phone vibrated. I’m downstairs, boss. Jojo palmed the phone for a second, aware that Adam was studying him. Erwin, something’s come up. Head back to the garage until I text you again.

“Girlfriend?”

Jojo shook his head without looking up from his phone.

“Boyfriend then?”

Jojo raised his head and laughed at the handsome man’s brazenness. He liked how Adam’s strong jawline, full lips and dark eyebrows peered at him, waiting on every word. Maybe it was the alcohol. He moved within earshot so that only the Marine could hear. “No, I haven’t had a boyfriend in a long time. But, I did just break up with my fiancée.”

“Is that why you were nursing several beers over in that corner after your friends left you?”

Jojo narrowed his eyes. “You’re very perceptive, Adam. Except they weren’t my friends, they were . . . co-workers.” Jojo almost said employees, but stopped himself. Maybe it was the Arias family tendency to be secretive, and not give out too much information, but here he was on a Saturday night in a bar, drinking, when he was usually still in the office poring over engineering details, building plans, and contract proposals.

“I’m sorry about the break up. You look torn up about it. I couldn’t help but notice earlier when we first arrived. Can I buy you a beer?”

Jojo smiled, then laughed without meaning to. The last time a guy had bought him a beer was in a dive bar right outside CalPoly, after an engineering final.

“What’s so funny?” Adam asked, as he chuckled along.

“It’s been a while since another guy offered to buy me a beer.”

“No worries. It looked like earlier you needed it. Did she break your heart?” Jojo faced toward the bar, away from Adam. Jojo didn’t say anything, but he wanted to respond.

Adam spoke again. “You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to.”

Jojo pondered Adam’s question as Adam’s friends got louder and louder on their end of the bar.

“Don’t worry about them,” Adam said as he pointed to his friends. “I’m the designated driver, and in about an hour they’ll all be sound asleep snoring in the government issued van I’m driving.”

So he’s brazen without alcohol.

Jojo faced Adam and breathed deeply. He couldn’t tell the color of Adam’s piercing eyes but Jojo couldn’t deny his own intense interest in the serviceman. Adam leaned in and prolonged his gaze. Jojo was mesmerized. Adam seemed genuinely concerned. And maybe he was wrong, but Adam appeared compassionate. “She asked me if I was ever going to marry her. If I loved her, and if we were only together because both our families wanted it. I had to tell her the truth, and that as much as I had feelings for her, I didn’t love her.”

“Ouch!” Then Adam smiled, his voice took on a tone of playfulness. “And you’re here, living and breathing with no scratch on you.”

“She is a very logical, rational person. That’s why I liked her when we first met. She was so completely different from the other girls my parents tried to set me up with.”

“You have a picture of her? I’m curious.”

Jojo nodded, fished out his phone, and scrolled through some pictures before showing a good one of his ex, Lani.

“Wow. She’s hot. Your parents had good taste if they thought she would be a good wife.”

One of Adam’s friends sauntered over and peered at Lani’s photo. “Dude, your girlfriend?”

“Ex,” Adam said. “That’s his ex.”

“How about giving me her number? She’s pretty.”

Jojo shook his head. If Lani, a black belt in tae kwon do, found out he’d ever given her number to someone, she’d probably roundhouse kick him in the head before he knew anything about it. “Sorry, I can’t do that.”

“Well, at least I tried,” the Marine said. “Hey, Adam, we’re thinking we should head on over to the bars downtown.”

“Downtown?” Adam asked.

“Ermita,” the man said.

Adam turned away so that only Jojo could see his face as he rolled his eyes.

“What do you say? For old time’s sake?” his friend asked. “You’re welcome to come along––’’

“––Jojo, my name’s, Jojo,” as they both shook hands.

“Mine’s Nate. Yeah, come along with us, I’m sure Adam won’t mind,” the Marine continued. “It’ll keep him company, and his mind off his ex-boyfriend he’s probably still pining after.”

Adam slouched. Adam’s reaction to his Marine buddy’s comment must have hit a chord and Jojo was compelled to find out more about Adam. Jojo hesitated for a moment. He wasn’t used to spontaneously accepting strangers offers to hang out, but Adam’s eyes beckoned him to say yes. Besides, maybe a few more hours out on the town would make him feel better for breaking up with Lani.

“If you’re sure I won’t be a fifth wheel, yeah, I’ll join you.”

Adam smiled. “Nate’s a little bit of a douche bag. So sorry about that.”

“Well, your friend’s had a little too much to drink.” Jojo leaned closer, sticking a hand in his pants pocket, his lips almost touching Adam’s ear, and whispered. “But to be honest, that scene is a little too, I’m trying to find the right words to say it––”

“––Red light? Yeah, I hate going down there.” Adam put his hand on top of Jojo’s wrist, squeezed it, and then removed it. The quick touch happened in a blink of an eye. “Do you have any other suggestions?”

Jojo didn’t say anything. He was shocked that Adam had just placed his hand on him, so casually, so friendly like. He couldn’t deny the electricity he felt when Adam touched him either. “If they’re looking for dancing women, there’s a club two blocks from here, more upscale but not so red light, as you say.”

“Well, lead the way, Jojo.” Adam smiled. “I’ll rustle them from the bar and we’ll follow you.” Adam stood and moved to where Nate and the other guys were huddled.

Jojo motioned to the bartender. “I’ll pay their tab.”

“Thanks, Mr. Arias. Shall I add it to your monthly bill?”

Jojo nodded. Before he could say anything else, Adam appeared at his elbow. Standing, he towered over Jojo by a few inches.

“The boys are cool checking out a new place. Thanks for the offer.”

“So who’s leaving that you’re having this party for?” Jojo asked.

“His name’s John.” Adam pointed him out. “He’s been stationed at the Embassy for more than three years now. Overdue for his new assignment back to San Diego.”

Jojo signed the chit the bartender handed him without even looking at the total bill.

“Hey, is that our bill? You shouldn’t have done that. What do we owe you?”

Jojo shook his head. “Don’t worry about it. I come here often enough that they actually give me a discount, and I’m glad to pay. Thanks for your service. All of you.”

Adam walked to where Nate stood, clapped him on the shoulder, and shouted something in his ear. All the guys around Nate, including John turned to Jojo and raised their glasses and beer bottles, some empty and others not so empty. “Thanks!” they shouted in unison.

Adam took two steps back to Jojo. “Now, they’ll follow you to the ends of the earth. Buying their drinks bought you some loyalty. Lead the way, fine sir!” Adam gestured with a bow, holding an invisible cap in his hands as his head followed the gesture.

Jojo laughed at the dramatic flourish and walked out of the bar, Adam right next to him as the other Marines followed them. As they took the steps down one level to the street, Jojo recognized the SUV parked on the side. “Hold on,” he said to Adam.

Jojo approached the Lexus with dark tinted windows. The whir of the window revealed Erwin’s face. “I didn’t go back to the garage, boss. They said I could just wait here until you were done, however long it lasted.”

“Well, we’re headed to my cousin’s VIP club down the block. You know the one. If you want to meet me there, that’s fine.” Jojo ignored his driver’s raised eyebrow. Jojo’s cousin, Tiny, owned a lounge with a rooftop bar.

Jojo hadn’t talked to Tiny in a week or so, since Tiny asked for a loan from Arias Holdings to help his deep in the red bar.

Tiny’s club had boxing on one floor, Ukrainian and Russian models on the second floor, and Filipino women, working as cocktail waitresses, dressed in Vietnamese ao dais whose skirts were mini-skirts rather than full length dresses. The male bartenders were all selectively picked for the discreet crowd. Cousin Tiny interviewed the entire bar and wait staff himself, making sure that they were attractive. The truth was, if they could flirt with Tiny and the head waitress, they were hired if they had a pretty face. Jojo didn’t care for the little people fighting in a small area that took up most of the dance floor, but his cousin assured him that he never exploited them, and that they were being paid handsomely to pretend to hit each other very hard.

The walk to the building where the lounge was didn’t take long. Security at the front recognized Jojo immediately. “They’re with me,” Jojo pointed to Adam and the Marines. The large security guard at the front, who Jojo guessed was probably part Samoan and part Filipino, was dressed in a heavy wool jacket and pants, nodded and then radioed the two equally large security guards by the door. They were shown to the marbled main floor of the building. As soon as they took the elevators, again escorted by another security guard, Adam and the Marines were quiet and didn’t say much. When they arrived at the final floor, loud music greeted them before the elevator doors opened.

 

About the Author

A military brat, who joined the military himself, W.S. Long now practices law during the day, but at night reads and writes male-male romance. When he’s not writing, W.S. Long travels and dreams of traveling far off distant lands with his mild-mannered college professor husband.

 

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Looking for New Contemporary Romances? Check Out the Release Blitz for The #lovehim Series Box Set by S. M. James (excerpt and giveaway)

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 RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: The #lovehim Series Box Set

Author: S. M. James

Publisher: May Books

Cover Artist: Story Styling Cover Designs

Release Date: May 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s:  Friends to lovers, mild hurt/comfort

Themes:  Coming out, friendship, family, chronic illness, internalised homophobia

Heat Rating:  1-2 flames

Length: 290 000 words/ 1,000 pages

Box Set of three books and three short stories

Add on Goodreads

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

Six stories. Three couples. One perfect kind of love.

Blurb

Read the first three books in the #lovehim series and their short stories. 

That Feeling When 

A summer camp romance where a bi actor and a closeted ballet dancer are blackmailed into keeping their relationship a secret.

No Big Deal 

In the meet cute to To Be Honest, Angus finally gets a roommate … and a big, fat crush.

To Be Honest 

Angus and his adorkable roommate Tyler, embark on a cross country road trip to confront Angus’s catfisher. 

For The Win 

The meet cute for In Case You Missed It, Brooks agrees to one non-date with Darien because they’ll never see each other again … right?

In Case You Missed It 

Love is supposed to be simple, but Brook’s secret will put their relationship to the test. 

PLUS A BONUS NOVELLA NOT YET RELEASED

In Real Life 

The sequel to That Feeling When, where Archie and Landon visit Australia and try to make their relationship work amidst judgmental family and pushy exes.

Excerpt (From No Big Deal)

I groan and give him a playful shove, not able to resist touching him, but it just makes the urge to do it again worse. “I think I’ll manage.”

I’ll manage because I don’t even watch the end. I watch Tyler from the corner of my eye. The way his chest expands with each breath, the way he scratches his nose, or rubs his arm. I catch everything.

I really need to get out of here, to put some distance between us, but I can’t. I don’t want to, which is the really messed up part.

The movie ends with that same song that’s played through the whole thing and instead of choosing another, or returning to his own side of the room, Tyler rolls onto his side, legs hanging off the bed, and tucks a pillow up under his arm.

“Okay, if you could go anywhere in the world right now, where would it be?”

I shift around so I’m facing him and try to be subtle about putting distance between us again. I lean back on my hands, my knees filling the void between us. “Tokyo.”

“Huh. I didn’t picture you for a big city guy.”

I shrug and nod at him. “Same question.”

“The Central Library in Vancouver. Reason one.” He holds up his thumb. “I get to visit another country without having to fly, reason two.” He holds up his forefinger. “I could spend my life there and never read all the books they have. Plus it looks like the Colosseum. Which I’ll never see. Because I hate planes.”

“You’re afraid of flying?” It’s my turn to try and hold back a laugh.

“I happen to have a healthy appreciation for how much it would hurt to plummet to my death.”

“Okay so what do you like?”

He considers the question for a moment. “Quesadillas, marine life, old school computer games … and you.” He shrugs like what he said was no big deal. Just a random list.

I try not to hide how awkwardly I swallow. “I guess you’re pretty cool too.”

He lets my lame reciprocation go. “So football … do you actually love it? Or is it one of those things where you tried it, you were good, and Mom and Dad were so proud you couldn’t give it up for fear of disappointing them?”

“Wow. That was oddly specific. Umm … no. It’s one of the ‘I’m an only child and my mom’s dead so Dad is proud of anything I do’ things.”

“Oh.” Tyler’s eyebrows jump up and it’s weird to see him caught by surprise. “I shouldn’t have pried.”

“Don’t worry about it. I was young, I barely remember her.”

“Do you want to talk about it?”

“No. Trust me, if I do, I won’t be much fun for the rest of the day. I mean … it’s hard to miss something you never had. And, well, it makes me feel a bit guilty.”

Tyler’s looking at me with so much sympathy it’s kind of hard to look away from. He reaches out and gives the spot just above my knee a squeeze. I feel it all the way up my leg.

“Okay, how many guys have you hooked up with?” He’s trying to take my mind off it and I’m so grateful.

“Umm … two. The first was the summer before I came out. It was kind of a confirmation, I guess. Sloppy and rushed. The second …” I rub at my mouth to try and hide the smile. “The second was last Christmas break. Dad and I went to a Christmas party with some of his work friends. I didn’t know the guy, and I know I’ll never see him again, and I think that’s what made it so hot.” I nod at him again. “Same question.”

“How many guys have I hooked up with? I can honestly say zero.” He catches my eye with a grin. “Sorry, Angus.”

He gets a laugh from me. “If you ever want to try it, you know where to find me.” I don’t know what makes me say the words but I immediately regret it. Maybe repressing my sexuality for so long isn’t the best idea.

“Noted.”

“Obviously I meant girls, you idiot.”

“In that case.” He frowns as he thinks. “Also zero.”

“No way.”

“I know. I struggle to believe it myself.”

“Do you ever get lonely?” I’m not sure where the question comes from.

Tyler’s serious when he answers. “Only all of the time. Mom and Dad are super busy, and I don’t really have any friends.”

“Except me.”

He lets loose his smile, all teeth and squinty eyes. “Except you.”

“It’s very possible you’re my only actual guy friend too. At least, the only one who doesn’t see me as the gay kid.”

“What do you mean?”

“I just have so be so careful around people. Honestly, it gets pretty exhausting, but it’s safer. Like, I can’t joke around with my teammates in case they think I’m coming on to them or something. I mean, I’m not an idiot, I wouldn’t set myself up to fail by falling for a straight guy.”

“Yet you just offered to hook up with me.”

My stomach clenches and he starts to laugh but I’m kind of uneasy about it. I’d meant it as a joke—obviously—but to him … it had been too easy to say.

About the Author

S. M. James writes books for teens about squishy sweet characters.

While not writing, SM is a readaholic and Netflix addict who regularly lives on a sustainable diet of chocolate and coffee.

​​Unapologetically dishing out HEAs for LGBTQ characters.

Author Links

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Facebook

Instagram

BookBub

Goodreads

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A MelanieM Review:The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Six years ago, an ultimatum forced Dan Greyson to make a choice that cost him everything he loved most. One of those things? His boyfriend, hockey player Ashton Yager. Now that they’ve crossed paths again, Dan isn’t about to let the opportunity slip away. Ash’s reappearance in his life is just the catalyst Dan needs to escape the rut he’s fallen into…and win back Ash’s trust and love.

Ashton Yager, once burned and now a little bit shy, didn’t mean to publicly come out as bisexual. But now that he has, he’s got to deal with the consequences, including the fact that it might’ve cost him his NHL contract. With his job on the line, he needs to keep his head down, work hard, and play the best hockey of his life. Rekindling things with Dan? That’s not exactly keeping a low profile. It’s also never going to happen, not after Dan walked away once without an explanation.

When a hurricane forces Ash to seek shelter out-of-state, he and Dan find themselves in the same B&B, where old feelings resurface. But with everything Ash has on the line, does he dare play with fire again?

This story had so many things going for it before I even started it.  It’s a second chance at love novel, one of my favorite tropes, it happens to be from a series about a hockey team and LGBT hockey players, so score!  That’s always high on my list!  And then there’s the author Amy Aislin who I have followed for a while and and always enjoyed her stories.  So I anticipated a good time and heartwarming romance and the author delivered that and more.

The Nature of the Game (Stick Side #2) by Amy Aislin slides into events that happen shortly after the ending of the first book in the series,  On The Ice.  While you don’t have to read that first because the exposition here helps to fill in all the gaps you will miss out by excluding that tale, reading it first gives you a firmer foundation for all the characters and a real sense of who these people are by letting you into the dynamics in the interlocking relationships you are diving into here.

The first story features Dan Greyson’s brother, Mitch, and Alex Dean, best friend and fellow hockey teammate to Ashton Yager, one of the other main characters in this book  So you begin to see how tight the threads to each couple are from story to story.  Yes, they make important appearances as you would expect.

The format here is both that the story is told from two points of view as well as in flashbacks.  We get present day Dan and Ash, and then back to their past bright first relationship and the future they thought they had together.  If you read the first story and from Dan’s pov, you are aware of what broke them apart.  But Ashton doesn’t so his ignorance and, in part, seeing the trainwreck that we know is coming is part of the heartbreak of this story.

How it all gets put back together is the charm, the hope, and the true joy here.

I liked that the author didn’t make any of it easy.  Years of pain, hurt, and poor decisions can’t be put aside overnight and they aren’t.  Both men  work to regain trust and a relationship even as major events happen in each others lives.

I really sank myself into the lives of these hockey players, the outreach program they were running for LGBT youth in Tampa, and the stress of even thinking about coming out to your team and the NHL, the possibility of what it could do to your career.  Again, I thought the author handled it realistically and authentically.

I loved the first two stories and can’t wait to see who’s next, although I have an inkling.  Hockey romances are such an addition for me and this series is just another reason why I love them so.

Cover art is pretty typical, has some hockey elements and a half naked torso.  Wish it was more specific to the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Expected publication: May 7th 2019
ASINB07QN1FNJ3
Edition Language English
Series Stick Side #2

Stick Side Series:

On the Ice

The Nature of the Game

Love Recent Murder Mysteries? Check Out the Release Blitz for Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1) by T.S. Hunter (Excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Tainted Love (Soho Noir #1)

Author: T.S. Hunter

Publisher:  Red Dog Press

Cover Artist: Red Dog Press

Release Date: April 18, 2019

Genre/s: Cosy Crime, Noir, Novella, Amateur Sleuths

Trope/s: Historical discrimination, burgeoning gay scene in London in the 80s, friendship among queers, solidarity, community.

Themes: 1980s murder mystery, coming together, coming out, discrimination.

Heat Rating:  1 flame – It’s all murder and crime solving, though there is a love interest.

Length: 125 pages

It is a standalone story.  The first of a series of 6.

Add on Goodreads 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

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Direct from publisher

Some relationships are just murder

Blurb

It’s 1985, and Joe Stone is excited to be joining his old school friend, and lifelong crush, Chris, for a long weekend in London’s Soho—home to a vibrant, developing gay scene, and a million miles from the small town Joe and Chris grew up in.

When Chris is found brutally murdered, the police write his death off as another rent boy fallen foul of a bad hook up. But Joe knows his best friend was killed deliberately, and joins forces with former police detective, Russell Dixon—Chris’s flatmate—to find out why.

Spiralling debt, illicit sex, blackmail, spurned lovers and hard-nosed gangsters all play their part, but who among the celebrities, fashionistas, drag queens, ex-lovers and so-called friends is Chris’s killer?

A noirish whodunit set in 1980s London, with all the big hair, electro-pop, shoulder pads, police discrimination and lethal killers that the era had to offer.

Tainted Love is the first book in the Soho Noir series of cozy crime novellas.

About the series

The Soho Noir series is set in the decade of big hair, shoulder pads, pastel suits and bright, cheesy pop, in a part of London which, on the surface at least, seemed to accept and adore people from all walks of life—a melting pot of gender, sexuality, colour and race, where celebrities rubbed up against the average Joe in cafes, bars and hair salons on every street.

But the 1980s had a darker underbelly, even in Soho. This was a time when gay rights were hard fought, where the police actively targeted gay men as easy victims for arrest and extortion, the government deliberately restricted gay rights and the tabloids screamed about The Gay Plague—the AIDS epidemic. And yet, gay icons who would go on to endure lasting fame and success were springing up all over the pop and fashion world.

The 1980s forms a strangely fitting, sometimes nostalgic, always entertaining backdrop to this colourful series of cozy crime stories.

Noirish, sexy and delicious.

Excerpt

Chapter 1

SOHO, LONDON. 1985.

THE DANK WINTERY STREETS outside were a distant memory now. Tonight, this hot, sweaty, neon-lit club was Joe’s whole universe. Music pulsed through his body like a brand new heartbeat. London was already changing him.

Sweat sticking his T-shirt to his ribs, arms raised high above his head, grinning wildly, hips pumping to Frankie’s repetitive calls to “Relax”. Joe hardly recognised himself and he was happier than he’d ever been.

It had been a night of Bronski Beat, Sister Sledge, Culture Club and Madonna—the kind of upbeat pop Joe usually hated. He was into more brooding, melancholic stuff—miserable shite, according to his friend Chris—and yet these pulsing, happy beats felt like they defined him right now. The new him. His new start.

This whole weekend had been like none Joe had ever known. He’d always been the quiet one, never even daring to come down to London on his own. Not confident enough to admit who he really was. This year was different already.

His oldest friend from school, Chris Sexton, had called him out of the blue to invite Joe to join him in London for a long weekend. A friend is having a party, he’d said. It’s going to be wild. You should come.

Chris had been the only person Joe had stayed in touch with from his school days. His first and only love, though he knew that particular accolade was one-sided, and Joe had long since given up hope of anything happening between them, even if he was still—and always would be—a little besotted with Chris.

Chris wasn’t the kind of guy who went around falling in love, though. Handsome, confident, reckless, funny and the bravest man Joe knew—Chris had left a trail of broken hearts behind him of those who’d fallen for him before they realised he’d never settle down.

So Joe and Chris had stayed friends, meeting up less frequently now that they had both left their respective universities, and Joe had secured a boring but well paid job with the council back in their old home town.

Chris, on the other hand, had moved to London seven years ago to study Fashion at St Martin’s College. Two fingers up to his father, who’d wanted him to join the family accountancy firm. Maybe he’d go back to it, when he’d settled down a bit. Though there was no sign of that happening any time soon.

After college, Chris had hooked himself up in a partnership with a couple of other young designers, and had been making a name for himself on the fashion scene ever since.

He was renting a flat in the heart of Soho and seemed to have a wide circle of friends of all shapes and ages. Joe wished he had Chris’s life. Or his talent. Or his looks. Any one of those would do.

Joe laughed as his friend bounced across the floor in a series of typically ostentatious dance moves, deliberately bumping into a tall, skinny, blonde guy—exactly Chris’s type—and planting a sly kiss on his cheek before sashaying away again. Oh, for that confidence.

Joe hadn’t even come out to his family yet. In fact, Chris was the only person he’d ever confided in, though he was sure others knew.

His oldest sister suspected. She’d asked him outright once, but he’d just changed the subject. It was none of her business. She was like the mirror of their mother. She wouldn’t understand. She would just worry.

All of that felt a lifetime away right now. Here in this club, Joe had found his spiritual home. This was living. This was who he really was. “Like a Virgin” by Madonna blasting out of the speakers, bodies bouncing and writhing together, very few of them remotely like a virgin.

About the Author

Claiming to be only half-Welsh, T.S. Hunter lived in South Wales for much of his latter teens, moving to London as soon as confidence and finances allowed. He never looked back.

He has variously been a teacher, a cocktail waiter, a podium dancer and a removal man, but his passion for writing has been the only constant.

He’s a confident and engaging speaker and guest, who is as passionate about writing and storytelling as he is about promoting mainstream LGBT fiction.

He now lives with his husband in the country, and is active on social media as @TSHunter5.

Author Links

Blog/Website

Facebook

Twitter: Red Dog  or  TS Hunter

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one of five ebook copies of Tainted Love.

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An Ashlez Review: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker

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Rating : 4 stars out of 5
There are moments in your life that become part of you. They become so ingrained in your memory that you can’t let them go, no matter how hard you try. Some may seem small and insignificant when they happen. Others are so big and important that you know, even while you’re in the moment, that your life will be forever changed. For me, almost all those moments—both the small and insignificant as well as the big and important—were moments I shared with Chance Wyrick.

If I were in a support group for hopelessly pathetic gays, I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Andy Michaelson and I can’t stop myself from thinking about Chance Wyrick.”
From the time we met, when we were only six years old, and for the next twelve years, he was my best friend. I fell in love with him along the way. I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, only that it happened.

Words of advice:

Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.
But most of all…

Never, I repeat never, fall in love with your best friend if he’s straight. Nothing good can come of it. Trust me.

Our friendship was over before we finished our last year of high school. My best friend became my ex-best friend. I hoped to forget about him when I went off to college. But Chance followed me there. So did all the memories.

I tried to forget him. I did. But he was more beautiful than ever. He was the starting quarterback for Gilcrest University. He was larger than life. He was impossible to ignore. We hadn’t spoken in years, but the memories still hit me out of nowhere, and they still hurt.

By the time I started my third year at Gilcrest, I was beginning to think I’d never be over him.

As it turns out, I was right…

Chasing Chance is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. Chasing Chance is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, Catching Chance, to come out next month!
You know what, I’m super excited about these Gilcrest boys!  Dying to see what comes from all of his friends, I love books like this that set up the next story in the series so well that you just can’t seem to wait for it.
At first this story started off a bit sad, honestly, I kind of thought the formatting was a bit off, I get that you need flashbacks for this story 100% but I prefer the flashbacks to be their own chapters for some reason, I know it was in different formatting but I get distracted when I’m reading one portion then it jumps to another within the same chapter – but that’s personal preference.
Andy was adorable and knew what he wanted from day 1 – there was a bit of drama and unneeded tension between the mains/friends but alas, it’s a book right .. every book needs a little drama!
Where Chance came in was a bit more of a time – he has a hard time throughout the whole book – but the end more than makes up for his behaviour – you honestly can’t help but feel for both of these guys.

Overall well written, good storyline, good plot, and a good read!  I need more of the Gilcrest boys… I really do.

Cover – football, apt, I don’t think it’s super central to the story – I’d have liked a treehouse!

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 175 pages
Published March 17th 2019
ASIN B07PQ97GR6
Series Gilcrest University Guys #1

Adore Friends to Lovers Romance? Check Out the Book Blast for Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys #1) by M.E. Parker (excerpt and giveaway)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Chasing Chance (Gilcrest University Guys Book One)

Author: M.E. Parker

Publisher:  Self-Published

Genre: Contemporary m/m Romance; Friends to Lovers, Coming Out, First-time gay

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  55 000 words/ 175 pages

Release Date: March 17, 2019

It’s the first book in a series HFN ending—no cliffhanger

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

There are moments in your life that become part of you. They become so ingrained in your memory that you can’t let them go, no matter how hard you try. Some may seem small and insignificant when they happen. Others are so big and important that you know, even while you’re in the moment, that your life will be forever changed. For me, almost all those moments—both the small and insignificant as well as the big and important—were moments I shared with Chance Wyrick.

If I were in a support group for hopelessly pathetic gays, I’d have to introduce myself by saying, “Hi, I’m Andy Michaelson and I can’t stop myself from thinking about Chance Wyrick.”

From the time we met, when we were only six years old, and for the next twelve years, he was my best friend. I fell in love with him along the way. I couldn’t say exactly when it happened, only that it happened.

Words of advice:

Never fall in love with your best friend, especially if he’s one of the most popular kids at school, the best high school quarterback in the state, or if he happens to be your next-door neighbor.

But most of all…

Never, I repeat never, fall in love with your best friend if he’s straight. Nothing good can come of it. Trust me.

Our friendship was over before we finished our last year of high school. My best friend became my ex-best friend. I hoped to forget about him when I went off to college. But Chance followed me there. So did all the memories.

I tried to forget him. I did. But he was more beautiful than ever. He was the starting quarterback for Gilcrest University. He was larger than life. He was impossible to ignore. We hadn’t spoken in years, but the memories still hit me out of nowhere, and they still hurt.

By the time I started my third year at Gilcrest, I was beginning to think I’d never be over him.

As it turns out, I was right…

Chasing Chance is the first book in the Gilcrest University Guys series. It’s a full-length, “friends to lovers” romance novel. It has “coming out” and “first-time gay” themes, is stocked full of STEAM, heartache, and laughter, and it has a guaranteed happy ending. The series will follow the love stories of four college friends. Chasing Chance is the first of two books that will tell Andy and Chance’s love story. Look for book two, Catching Chance, to come out next month!

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK 

 

Excerpt 

As we sat next to one another on the rocky river bank in silence, I watched his wild dark hair ripple in the wind. He looked so much older than me. His shoulders were broad, and he was at least two inches taller than I was. I couldn’t help but notice the curves of his biceps through his fleece pullover. He was the hottest guy I’d ever seen. He was the guy I imagined kissing when I jerked off. Well, it went back and forth between him and the High School Musical version of Zac Efron, but mostly it was Chance.

The truth was, we didn’t have much in common. We both loved riding bikes, running through the woods, and playing video games. But that’s where our similarities ended. I figured out pretty early on that I’d rather be in the kitchen with my mom helping her bake something or working on a craft project, or reading a book, rather than being out in the front yard throwing a football with my dad. I was all about reading and science and Chance Wyrick was all about sports… any sport, really. He was always the best one on the team, and it didn’t matter what kind of team it was.

Our differences didn’t seem to matter for a long time. We were pretty much inseparable until the previous year. It was inevitable that we would eventually separate. He started hanging out with the jocks and I started hanging out with the nerds. But after school on most days, it was like nothing had changed. He would just walk through my front door, go straight up to my bedroom, and we’d start playing video games. We still knew everything about each other’s life, we just stopped acknowledging each other at school.

Chance had his knees pulled up in front of him and was tracing some inconceivable pattern on the massive rock we were sitting on with a stick. I liked to think of it as our rock. It was the first place we came to every year as soon as we were done setting up camp. I wondered what he’d think if he knew how obsessed I was with him. I hadn’t told anyone I was gay. But I knew I was. There wasn’t a chance in hell I’d ever tell him. In fact, he was the last person I’d ever tell. He shook his head and tossed his stick in the water and looked over at me. His cheeks were red from the cold air and his big caramel eyes sparkled with golden flecks in them when he looked at me. I could feel my face turn red and I immediately looked down and started throwing pebbles in the river, hoping he couldn’t read my thoughts.

“You really going to homecoming with Marci Jenkins?” he asked.

I rolled my eyes. It wasn’t something I was excited about, but she made a big deal out of asking me and I felt bad saying no. “Yeah. I guess. Are you going with anyone?”

He cleared his throat. “I asked that new girl, Kara Watkins?”

“Yeah. I know who she is. Blonde, big tits, dance team.”

He laughed. “Yeah, she’s fucking hot, dude.”

I rolled my eyes again and felt a pang of red-hot jealousy hit me in the chest. It was our freshman year of high school and, so far, neither of us had much experience with girls. Chance had been too busy playing every sport known to man and, well, I was just me. I shouldn’t hate a girl I never talked to or met, but I did. That’s why I did my best in that moment to slut-shame her. “Yeah. I heard she made out with two different guys at Jake Holloway’s party. I also heard her parents caught her doing it with some older kid from Wilsonville and that’s why she had to come to school here.” Everything I said to him was pretty much a big lie, except the part about her making out with two guys at Jake’s party (I heard that part from Marci’s friend Shelly, a completely unreliable source). I felt a little sick to my stomach after I said it. It wasn’t like me to do something like that.

I looked over at him. His face was red. He shrugged. “I don’t think that’s true. I was at Jake’s party and she did make out with Matt Hoffner, but that’s it. She told Kerri Sidner that she didn’t like him. Supposedly, she likes me. I don’t know.”

I cleared my throat and kept chucking rocks in the river. “Well, I guess she does or she wouldn’t have said she’d go to the dance with you.”

“Yeah, I guess so. I’m pretty sure she’s gonna want to make out.”

A sarcastic snicker escaped my lips. “Most likely. So what?” I was trying not to be an asshole, but the whole idea of Chance making out with someone else pissed me off. I knew I was being completely irrational, but I couldn’t help it.

“So, I’ve never done it. Have you?”

I rolled my eyes. “What? Made out with someone?”

“Yeah?”

“Chance—this is me we’re talking about. No.”

“Well, do you think Marci will want to?”

I shrugged because I hadn’t really thought about it. “I don’t know. Maybe. Are you really worried about it?”

I looked over at him and his face was still red. “Fuck no.” He ran his fingers through his wild dark hair and sighed. “I don’t know. Maybe. Aren’t you? What if I fuck it up or I don’t know what I’m doin’ or something and she tells people?”

My eyes were completely focused on Chance’s lips and I don’t know what came over me but before I could stop myself I blurted out, “We could practice.”

His face was bright red and mine felt hot. I was sure I was redder than he was. Why did I just say that? He looked at me like I’d lost my mind. “With each other?” The way he said it sounded less like a legitimate question and more like a “Are you fucking kidding me?” rhetorical question.

But at that point I’d said it and I couldn’t take it back. “Yeah. I mean, who else could we practice with? If we did it first, it wouldn’t be as weird with the girls. It’s just an idea. You don’t have to get all freaked out about it.”

All of the sudden, I felt a stinging punch to my left arm. It hurt like a son-of-a-bitch, but I wasn’t gonna tell Chance that. “Okay. Shit! Chill out. It was just an idea.”

Chance was quiet, and I was busy praying I could invent a time machine and go back to five minutes ago until he spoke again. “If we do this, dude, you can’t tell anybody.”

“Who the fuck am I gonna tell? It’s not exactly something I would want to go around broadcasting.”

The next thing I knew, he had scooted closer to me. “You be the girl. What should I do first?”

My heart was pounding. I kept wondering if the whole thing was really happening. I took a deep breath and took off my glasses and put them down on the rock beside me. “It’s not like I’m an expert or anything, but I think girls like it if you start with a regular kiss first—like soft and gentle.” Chance grabbed the back of my head and pressed his soft lips against mine for a few seconds and then pulled back.

“Like that?”

I swallowed hard. That was the first time I understood what it meant to have butterflies in your stomach. I rasped, “Yeah. Like that.”

His face was still red when he leaned in and kissed me again the same way. That time my lips parted and he slid his tongue inside my mouth. It was slow at first as our tongues explored, and then the kiss grew more urgent. It was the best thing I’d ever felt. At some point, I wrapped my hand around his neck and pulled him closer to me. I don’t know how long we were kissing. It could have been hours. It could have been minutes. All I knew was that I didn’t want to stop. It was better than I had ever imagined.  By the time he pulled away, I was out of breath and he was too. I could feel my dick straining against my jeans and I pulled my knees up to my chest, hoping he couldn’t tell I had a boner.

He wiped his hand over his face. “Do you think we did it right?”

I couldn’t help but grin. “Yeah. I think. I mean, it felt good, right?”

He ran his hands through his incredible dark hair. “Yeah. I mean… yeah, I think it was right.” He backhanded me across the chest. “Remember, nobody hears about this.”

I rolled my eyes and said, “Duh.” I really wanted to ask him to practice again, but I didn’t want to press my luck.

I knew I made the right call as soon as he jumped up. “Race you back to camp!” I watched him take off running and I put my glasses back on, got up, and jogged after him. There was no reason to try. Even if he gave me a thirty-second head start, I never would have beat him.

 

About the Author

Mary Esther Parker, a former attorney, is an up-and-coming new author who lives in Tennessee with her teenage daughter and a grumpy white-haired cat. She loves to read just about anything. When she is not reading, she is writing, painting, making home improvements, or drinking wine with her best friends. She has a B.A. in Political Science and a J.D. from the University of Tennessee. She likes writing sweet love stories that combine a lot of laughs, sometimes a few tears, ooey-gooey romance at its best, and a whole lot of steamy sex, and she believes that when you put those things all together in the right way, you get the perfect feel-good read, guaranteed to leave you smiling in the end. She believes love is love, romance is romance, and gender is irrelevant.  

 

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A MelanieM Release Day Review: The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn

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Rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

Can two men find happiness in a country that doesn’t accept their love?

When Jack Calloway is transferred to his firm’s South Korean branch on Jeju Island, he’s assigned a valet, the beautiful but shy Song Woo-bin. He stirs feelings Jack has rarely experienced for another man, but everything seems to be against them—Jack is older and Song Woo-bin’s supervisor. He is just beginning to understand the new culture surrounding him even as he accepts his own desires for the first time, and Song Woo-bin is closeted, inexperienced, and estranged from his family. Their path to each other is full of obstacles and societal disapproval. Will the two men eventually come together amid the clash and complement of Eastern and Western culture… and find a home among the yuchae blossoms?

I have to say I was very conflicted when it came to writing my review for The Yuchae Blossom (World of Love) by Asher Quinn.  One, this is the author’s debut novel and I thought Quinn did a wonderful job with several elements here.  It’s those sections that really raised this story up for me.  Primarily, the Korean setting, the author’s knowledge of the south Korean culture, use of language and settings which added not only considerable depth but obvious affection to the story and characters.

It made me want to visit several places Quinn mentioned, and I spend time searching out pictures of places and dishes to better familiarize myself with a place that already felt like a destination I needed to fly to.

On top of that?  Amazing secondary Korean and American characters that I seriously treasured, from one grandmother housekeeper to an Assistant who needed to be wearing a cape.  They came off real, personable, and compelling in their own right.

No, unfortunately my struggle here was with the main character of Jack Calloway, who, although supposedly familiar with the region, acted with all the finesse of a bull in a china chop.  Angry, borish, rude, with little regard to the Korean customs and people working for him.  Yes that changed ….mostly.    But here is a man who had a sister in a committed lesbian relationship  but left his son to live with his bigoted parents (they wouldn’t let her partner come for the holidays) for three years while he was going to be living in South Korea getting his “project” underway.  Really? With all those assistants, and you are leaving your son with them?  It was one thing after another that just kept me from connecting with this man.  Even to the end, it was other people keeping him out of jail and suggesting ways to thwart the “evildoers”.  Smh!

Song Woo-bin on the other hand is a wonderful character, easy to relate to and someone who will grab onto your heart.   I wanted more of him, his backhistory, just more him, less Jack. The author never made a case for what Song saw in Jack.  Because all Jack did was yell, bluster, crash over the niceties of their culture.  To mix  national monsters…Jack came across as a bit of a American Godzilla. See?  Mixed bag.    Way too good for Jack.  Had the author been able to make the readers see exactly what made Jack so attractive to Soon Woo-bin I might have bought into the relationship and the “deep love” they said they had for each other.  But I never got it.

The  intolerant attitude towards homosexuality in South Korea is only lightly addressed and considering the role it played here, more  information should have been relayed about the current laws and cultural family framework that holds this society so tightly in reign.   Of course, maybe that’s asking too much of 162 pages and a light contemporary romance.

This is a coming out, sexual discovery story too for two men of two different cultures and that sort of got glossed over in favor of a “love almost at first sight” story.  As I said there is a  lot going on here.

So while I may not have fallen in love with Jack, I did with his household and its surroundings. Asher Quinn did a lovely job of bringing small parts of Southern Koren alive for me, along with several great characters.    I can’t wait to see what this author does next!

Cover Artist: Brooke Albrecht  Lovely cover with the character of Song Woo-bin and of course, the Yuchae Blossom of the title.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 162 pages
Expected publication: April 5th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
ISBN139781644051924
Edition Language English