Cover Reveal for First Priority by Este Holland (excerpt)

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COVER REVEAL

Book Title: First Priority

Author: Este Holland

Cover Artist: The Write Designer – Lisa Messegee

Release Date: October 17, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Alpha, nerd

Themes: Overcoming anxiety

Heat Rating: 3.5 flames 

Blurb 

Adam:

Meeting an A-list movie star like Truman James wasn’t part of my life plan, but neither was temporarily living with my bully of a stepbrother. Being hit on by said celebrity definitely hadn’t been planned.

I wasn’t up for wild parties or talking in front of cameras, so why did I find myself answering Truman’s phone calls and texts? Even more confusing, why did I go on a date with the man? 

Beating my social anxiety wasn’t going to happen anytime soon, and avoiding the stubborn actor was even harder, so when I was thrust into the spotlight, there was only one thing I could do…

Run.

Truman:

From the moment I set eyes on Adam Hendrix at my Oscar party, I was enraptured. His sweet demeanor and pretty-boy looks captured my heart from the start, and I refused to let Adam get away. 

I never intended to out Adam to the media, but that’s exactly what I did. So, when the paparazzi began to swarm, I did the only thing I could to protect Adam… I whisked him away to a place no one could get to him.

Safe on the little island I loved, I let my guard down and showed Adam the real me. The one only a few people in the world know.

But will it be enough to make him stay? Will I be enough to make him happy? 

This is a m/m contemporary romance; alpha/nerd; low angst novel. Trigger warning for some bullying. 

Excerpt 

I was in Truman James’s car, driving west to Malibu. I’d only been there twice in my life to go to the beach with some people in college. It was a nice place, and nowhere near my stratosphere of everyday life.

What the hell was I doing there? Was Truman really that pigheaded that he couldn’t take no for an answer? If I thought for one second I’d be able to handle the media or his rich lifestyle, I’d feel like a million bucks. As it was, I felt like a little kid sitting on plastic furniture in Grandma’s formal parlor, not allowed to touch a thing. Truman hadn’t told me not to touch anything; I’d imposed that rule upon myself because I was terrified I’d break some priceless work of art or some expensive piece of electronics.

Stomach aching with nerves, I blurted, “Let’s go somewhere else.”

Truman started at my outburst. “Like where? I’m not exactly inconspicuous.”

I took our general location into consideration. “Turn off at the next exit and head toward Pasadena.”

Truman glanced over at me with a pensive frown.

“What?” I asked.

“It just occurred to me that I really don’t know you very well. Are you planning on putting me in some compromising situation, taking photos, and selling them to the tabloids?” He waited a beat, then gave me a shit-eating grin.

I smacked his arm with the back of my hand. “Very funny.” Although it kind of wasn’t. It wasn’t hard to imagine people doing that to him, and it almost made me feel sorry for him. Almost.

About the Author 

Este Holland is a writer and reader of all things Romance. She’s also a treasure hunter, a word wizard, a lover, and a fighter. She was born and raised in WV, and now lives in Virginia. She works in marketing during the day. She began writing novels in 2012.

Social Media Links

Blog/Website  |  Facebook  |  Instagram: @este.holland.writer  

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Check Out the Book Blast for Last Loose End by K R Allen (excerpt)

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BOOK BLAST

Book Title: Last Loose End

Author: K R Allen

Publisher: Self-published

Cover Artist: Fiverr

Release Date: May 6, 2018

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance, Action/Adventure/Spies

Themes: Authenticity, acceptance

Heat Rating:  3 flames

Length: 122 917 words/ 296 pages

Add on Goodreads

 

Blurb

Australian secret agent Cole Pearson never could stay out of it.

Now he is AWOL and on the run with Sean Trammel, analyst for mining giant ARBUS dodging killers and cut off from help as he never is overseas. As they try to uncover the reasons behind the attack on Sean, Cole unexpectedly realises that he has reasons purely personal  and increasingly physical for wanting to keep this man safe. And as they discover the stakes for their hunters they know that it is going to take more than Cole’s charm, guns and wits to keep Sean alive and out of their clutches.

 

Buy Links

Smashwords

Amazon US 

Amazon UK

 

Excerpt

It was the skulking action that first caught his eye. Even without the dark grey fatigues, not couture de rigueur for urban Brisbane, the light step and hurried, almost sneaking motion was deeply suspicious. Cole sat up straighter in his car, the boredom from sitting for five straight hours disappearing in an instant. The skulker slid along the side of the office building heading towards the back. Any legitimate visitor to the building would go through the front door, check in at the counter maybe. It wasn’t the building Cole was supposed to be watching and it was extremely unlikely that the skulker was the Indonesian intelligence officer he was looking out for but he was intrigued nonetheless.

“Now what are you up to buddy?” he muttered. A moment later he saw the man wasn’t alone. Two more men dressed in similar dark grey fatigues followed his path. Cole looked up and down the Spring Hill street. People were coming and going and not paying the slightest attention to him or the men moving into the building across the road from him.

Cole tapped his fingers against the vinyl of the steering wheel. He knew he should mind his own business. It wasn’t what he was there for and he knew he’d only been given this surveillance detail as punishment for his latest misdemeanour. He didn’t think his career could stand many more infractions. Anyway, it was warm in the car and while it was a sunny day out and midday, outside the air was chilly in typical Brisbane May weather. Still…he caught sight of another two figures and pursed his lips. Someone’s day was about to go to crap, he thought reasoning with himself. And really he could do with some movement. For an hour he had sketched passersby and played license plate poker on and off but mental stimulation didn’t keep the blood pumping. A moment more of internal debate and he grabbed his gun from under his jacket on the passenger seat and slipped out of the car. He was just going to take a look he told himself.

On this street the buildings were actually accessed at road level half way up the building with at least four floors below due to the way a hill had been cut into years before. The skulkers had wound their way from street level up the maintenance gangways which wrapped around the sides and presumably the back of the building like a mesh exoskeleton, up two floors so Cole followed at a distance. He saw the lead man jimmy open a door and the whole string of them, bar one who stayed by the door as look out, slipped inside pulling on ski masks as they did so.

‘Just taking a look’ would end now, Cole thought. No matter how he spun it. He’d clearly seen them go into a building he wasn’t supposed to be monitoring. At most he should call the Police. Instead, he double checked the magazine in his pistol and set to finding another way into the building.

Cole went back down one floor and used a fire extinguisher to break open a door and found himself in a back hallway near a couple of storerooms and the toilets. He slipped his gun into the back of his pants pulling the buttoned shirt free of his waistband so it could hang over the top to hide the gun. Following the hallway he entered an open area with a kitchenette along one wall and an open eating area with a floor to ceiling window looking out onto a courtyard type arrangement. When he encountered a couple of people, he adopted his best ‘yep, I’m meant to be here’ countenance and kept steadily on. He’d had a lot of practice blending in and it did not fail him here. Pretty much everyone ignored him. Just beyond the kitchen was a void through at least five levels with stairs to the next level up and down. The timber stairs squeaked slightly at his steps but still no one gave him a second glance. It was the usual thing, he thought. If you were in everyone just assumed that you were supposed to be.

 

About the Author   

Kathryn Allen is an Australian cross-genre author of magic realism romance Ever Man and male/male action thriller Last Loose End along with a frankly ridiculous number of in-the-works fantasy, action and drama novels. For added confusion, she also writes under the names K R Allen and Kathryn R Allen. She enjoys writing about characters taller, bolder, quicker with the comebacks and infinitely better shots than she is.

Find out more about Kathryn at: https://www.kathrynallen.com.au/

 

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A Jeri Review: Damaged by Tricia Owens

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Rating: 2 stars out of 5

I have mixed feelings about this book. It could have been so much better if it had gone in a different direction.
After a bust gone wrong that kills his partner, Jack heads off to an Indian Casino to wait out his suspension while they investigate. He is drawn to the manager of the casino, Taylor (who is constantly referred to by his last name Brandt) even though he only plans to gamble, sleep, and drink.
I couldn’t quite figure out if Jack was gay and suppressed it or was just in the closet or is bi or ?? But this is his first experience with a man.  And, it is definitely an experience.
Taylor, or Brandt, is gay and has had some bad relationships. Of course both of those were with cops so he is wary.  Both of them took BDSM way too far to the point that he almost died. You’d think after the first he would have learned his lesson. He also mentions that he was mostly trying BDSM out. Uh, that is kind of extreme. And if the first time left you almost dead, why try again?
So Damaged these guys definitely are. But they way they come together is not healthy at all. Jack uses Brandt to punish himself. Brandt uses Jack to punish his former Doms. Honestly, it is books like this that give BDSM a bad name. I love broken characters and watching them find love and redemption. But this was not the way to do it.
 I didn’t feel a connection between them at all. More like they were each objects to each other. A ways to a means.
There was a bit of a subplot about Native American lore and the forest surrounding the casino and the inordinate amount of people who seem to commit suicide there. It was mentioned here and there and, again, it could have made a really strong impact at one point but it was kind of just tossed off.
And the pretty rainbow bow at the end was a bit too much after the darkness of the book. I would give this a pass.
Cover art:  Tricia Owens.  The cover aptly indicates parts of the story and gives the reader a major element at a glance.  Great job .

Buy Links – Available on KindleUnlimited

Amazon US

Amazon UK

Book Details:
Kindle Edition, 1st edition, 133 pages
Published February 12th 2018 by Tricia Owens
ASINB07N7F5M4H
Edition Language English

New Release Blitz for Level Up by Annabeth Albert (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title:  LEVEL UP
Series: loosely related to the #gaymers series, but stands alone
Author: Annabeth Albert
Publisher: Annabeth Albert
Release Date: May 17, 2018
Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 40,000 words
Genre: Romance, contemporary m/m romance, gay romance, geeks, nerds, friends-to-lovers, gamers, gaymers

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

 

 

Landon can’t believe he’s let himself get roped into participating in a charity calendar, let alone one that features tastefully photographed nudes. The genius physicist is hardly model material and he’s dreading the nude part of the photoshoot. Amid his reluctance, the one bright spot is his emails back and forth with the photographer.

However, Bailey ends up being not quite what Landon expects, and their first meeting is decidedly awkward. Bailey’s persistent though, and gradually Landon warms to the burly photographer, and they discover they have a shared love of gamer culture.

A tentative friendship is born, but the road from friends to lovers isn’t easy. Landon’s battling past trauma and must decide how much of a risk he’s willing to take. A sexy connection may not be enough to keep them together unless both are willing to put their hearts on the line.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no on-screen violence or flashbacks.

Approximately 40,000 words. Previously
released as part of the EXPOSED anthology, and loosely linked to the #Gaymers
universe, this friends-to-lovers, hurt/comfort story stands alone with a
guaranteed happy ending. Contains a brief mention of a prior assault, but no
on-screen violence or flashbacks.

 

Excerpt

 

 

LEVEL UP EXCERPT—This is their first kiss, because I absolutely love writing first kiss scenes!

***

Bailey was the type who moved a lot as he gamed, biceps flexing, knees wiggling, shoulders jostling. Landon always liked people who got so into gaming, but it was more than a little distracting. His body was quickly coming to associate that orange scent of Bailey’s with good things, and other parts of him apparently liked Bailey’s nearness, which was a novelty because instead of intimidated, as he would have expected, he was more than a little turned on.

“Oh man, that was a rush.” Bailey laughed as both of their health meters dipped to zero. “I’m almost wishing I’d gone into game art, not photography. Amazing how these graphics have held up over the years.”

“Totally. And speaking of art, let me find the Space Villager stuff.” Landon reluctantly stepped away from the game. He headed to the nearby kitchen, where he was pretty the papers were buried with a stack of mail. Paper control was not his strong suit. “You’ll go nuts at the latest screen shots and promo teasers.”

“Cool.” Rather than follow Landon, Bailey went to sit on the couch.

“You want a drink while I’m in here?” Landon called to him after he found the papers under a pile of pizza ads. “I’ve got four flavors of Snapple, soda, and water.”

“Surprise me with a Snapple flavor.” Bailey looked right at home on Landon’s couch, lounging back.

He really did not look at all like any photographer Landon had ever met, and curiosity had him asking, “So why photography? You said you could have done game design?”

“Yeah, I had plenty of friends at the art institute go that direction. But I’ve been in love with photography ever since I worked on our middle school yearbook. I figured out quickly that taking pictures of events and sports was far more fun than trying to do the sports myself, so I did yearbook all through high school, got a photography scholarship to the art institute in Portland.”

“So you don’t play a sport?” Landon had a hard time believing that. With Bailey’s height and breadth, he totally looked like he lived for weekend games of some type.

“Nope. Hopelessly uncoordinated.” Bailey shot him an endearing smile when Landon handed him the bottle of tea.

“Me too.” Landon clinked bottles with him, then held up the papers. “Found the codes. But can I show you some stuff on the TV screen while you have your drink?”

“Absolutely.” Bailey took a long swig of tea, and Landon had to look away before he got mesmerized by Bailey’s full mouth, how it looked when his tongue chased a stray drop of moisture, how pink it was in contrast to his paler skin and brown beard.

Landon queued up the pre-release trailer Josiah had sent him a link to. Bombastic music filled his small living room as on the screen, and a spaceship pulled in for a landing on a planet filled with ruins of a once-powerful civilization. The narrator had an iconic voice and detailed all the special features of the expansion pack. Landon had already watched this a half-dozen times, and it still gave him happy chills.

“Wow. I can’t wait.” Bailey looked suitably awed. “This is even cooler than when War Elf added the mystic raids.”

“I know, right? Now look at the in-game screen shots.” He brought up another video, body relaxing more and more despite Bailey’s nearness. It was just so awesome to have someone new to share this with. He’d been hyped about this all week, but Pike was distracted by his boyfriend Zack’s deployment, Savannah didn’t game much, and the rest of his regular crew seemed to have other things occupying their attention.

Somehow, as he shared more video clips, he drifted closer to Bailey, so that their knees were almost rubbing. It wasn’t a giant couch, so there wasn’t a ton of room to move back, but even so, Landon wasn’t looking for an escape. He was aware of Bailey, very much so, but not nearly as freaked out as he’d been a few hours ago. Instead, his senses seemed to soak up Bailey’s scent and nearness, and it wasn’t until the fourth or fifth video that he realized that he was aroused.

Clink. Somehow Landon’s left hand, holding his drink, and Bailey’s right hand tangled.

“Oops.” He tried to extricate himself without spilling both beverages. Bending to put his on the floor, he hadn’t realized that Bailey had also leaned down until their heads collided.

“Ow,” they said simultaneously.

“Oh my gosh. I’m so sorry.” Bailey reached out, feeling around on Landon’s head. “Did you see stars? Break the skin?”

“I’m fine.” Landon didn’t pull away. Bailey’s hand felt damn nice. Gentle. Soothing more than just the bump on his head. Their eyes met, and he really needed to move back, break this spell, but he didn’t, instead leaning into to the touch. Bailey’s eyes darkened, and he stroked down Landon’s jaw. God, that felt so good, like an extra blanket on a chilly night, warmth he hadn’t realized he was missing. How long had it been since he’d been touched like this? Hugged, sure. He’d hugged Savannah goodnight, and hugged and wrestled around with his best friend Pike at the last LAN party, but neither of those things was touch like this. Caring. Sweet. Arousing.

Bailey leaned in again, way slower this time, all the time in the world for Landon to stop him. But he didn’t. Bailey’s beard tickled an instant before their lips met, a soft slide of mouths. Not aggressive at all, not the on-a-tight-schedule rush of a hookup, Bailey kissed like they had a sleepy Sunday afternoon to kill, like each reaction of Landon’s mattered, like he was trying to memorize something important and was going to take his time learning the lesson.

Landon was the first one to take things further, mouth opening on a sigh, welcoming Bailey’s agile tongue. He tasted sweet, like tea, and minty like the gum he’d popped after the pizza, familiar yet new at the same time. How had he managed to forget how awesome kissing could be? A laugh bubbled up in his chest, but quickly transformed to a groan of pleasure as Bailey nipped at his lower lip.

Not content to let Bailey be the one exploring, Landon sent his own tongue on a quest, tracing Bailey’s full lower lip, delving inside to rub tongues, retreating playfully to earn another nip. Fuck. This was nice. The video switched over to something random, and he barely registered it. He couldn’t say how long they kissed, just that he didn’t want it to ever end.

Meet the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. The #OutOfUniform series joins her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat and #PerfectHarmony series. To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: http://www.annabethalbert.com or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests.

Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Annabeth loves finding happy endings for a variety of pairings and is a passionate gay rights supporter. In between searching out dark heroes to redeem, she works a rewarding day job and wrangles two active children.

 

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