In Our Book Release Spotlight – Sweet Summer Sweat by Clare London (excerpt and giveaway)

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Sweet Summer Sweat – Clare London

Author: Clare London
 
Release Date: September 20 2016
 
Publisher: Jocular Press
 
Length: 74,000 words
 
Buy Links:  to come
 
Blurb
 
When you find a place where lust and sex rule life, and your every desire can be fulfilled, why would you ever want to leave?
Young runaway Scot and his boyfriend Jerry escape their deadbeat homes and families, hoping to leave prejudice behind them and travel to a new life in Las Vegas. Unprepared and naive, they’re lost almost at once, and shelter at a run-down, deserted motel in the middle of the scorching hot Nevada desert. A place with secrets, run by staff both gorgeous and uninhibited, and driven by a mysterious sexual connection Scotís never even dared to dream.
All but drugged by the lazy heat and the hedonism around him, Scot watches as Jerry is seduced away and realizes their relationship was nothing more than shared lust. Restless, Scot knows he wants true love and real understanding. Could he find it with the mysterious and elusive owner of the motel, Connor Maxwell? Connor seems to think so, every time he appears and pursues Scot for his own. But where does Connor come from? It seems the passion calls him into being at its own whim.
Eventually, what binds Connor and his friends to the motel may be too strong for Scot to break through. Scot has ambitions to travel, to make something of his life ñ but is his only option to embrace life at the motel in his true loverís arms?
Or will that love be strong enough to release them both…
 

Excerpt

Scot had been dreaming, he was sure he had, though he couldn’t recall it clearly. It had been a suffocating, disorientating dream: he could still feel the shudder in his limbs, the throb of his heart. A wet dream?

you were happy. You were laughing

The details were slipping away from him like smoke, even as his mind cleared. But he remembered a tall stranger leaning over him with a hypnotizing smile, and an expression of delight. Someone welcoming, with hands on him, soothing him, caressing him. A comforting, sensual presence beside him, within him, talking to him….

I’ve been waiting for you

Scot shook his head to clear such nonsense. A presenceWhat the hell kind of weird word is that? He and Jerry had been to plenty of movies about vampires, succubi and other monsters, though they’d spent most of the time making out in the darkened back seats of the theater. Was one of those special effect creatures teasing his dreams now? But he hadn’t watched a movie like that for a long time. They didn’t scare him like they were meant to, and besides, he knew all too well the difference between movies and reality.

He stretched, his movements languid. The tangible feeling persisted. It felt soft and thick, flowing like viscous liquid, stroking like feathers, full of warmth and color and a really delicious smell.

talking to you

It wanted him. It slid inside his clothes, between his legs, seeking an entrance to his body.

want you

Startled, Scot sat bolt upright. His heart was beating far more quickly than usual. For the first time, he acknowledged he was in nothing but his boxers, with no memory of undressing. And he had a throbbing erection. It tented the fabric, causing a damp patch at its tip. This was fiercer than his normal waking reaction, and it showed no signs of dying down.

Shit. He’d never had such a strange, erotic dream before, not even about Jerry!

He shifted on the bed, unsettled and horny, the sheet creased beneath him. Had Jerry undressed him? Surely it wouldn’t have been anyone else. The erection nagged at him, persistent and demanding. He toyed with the idea of running his hand a little lower, and giving it what it needed—

Then a door at the back of the room opened, bringing a waft of scented, wet air from what was obviously the bathroom.

“Scot? You’re awake then.” It was Jerry, his voice soft and sleepy too. The hard edge of their last conversation had gone, replaced by the caressing tone Jerry often used when they were making out.

“Where have you been?” Scot grumbled. “Come closer.”

Jerry walked over to the bed, toweling at his hair. He was naked, except for another towel twisted around his slim waist. A fuzzy patch of moonlight bathed his bare chest, highlighting a single, erect nipple.

Scot ached somewhere deep inside, wondering at the emotions that stirred him so strongly. He lusted after Jerry, of course he did, but this ache was something else. Damned dreams. “How late is it? Have you had a shower? I thought the lights were working now.”

“They are.” Jerry’s smile was more relaxed. “But I liked the candlelight in the dining room, so I thought we could have the same in here. It’s only ten p.m. or so. My headache was easing off so I left you sleeping and took a shower. It’s a very small bathroom so we’ll have to take a turn.” His gaze flickered over Scot’s stretched limbs, the shape of his swollen cock under the sheet. “I thought you needed the sleep.”

“Thanks.” Scot sighed and wriggled his hips on the bed. “But now I need something else.”

Jerry laughed and turned to the dresser, lighting a candle in one of the holders there. When he turned back to Scot, the chiaroscuro effect made him look alternately sensual and sinister. The faint smell of sulfur from the match trailed in the still air.

Scot sighed contentedly, and fell back on to the bed. “Didn’t I say to come closer?”

A strange expression flitted over Jerry’s face, but he grinned easily enough and climbed onto the bed beside Scot. “Yes, boss.”

Scot chuckled, then caught his breath. Jerry’s body beside him was so different from his dream. It was real. “It’s just us now, isn’t it?”

“Yes, thank God. This is our new beginning. For us, Scot—together. They won’t chase us any more, there’s no one to keep us apart. To tell us who we can and can’t see.”

It sounded rather melodramatic to Scot, but no less the truth. “To swear and spit at us?”

Jerry nodded. He stretched out a hand and slid it around Scot’s neck. “I know how bad it was—”

“No, you don’t.” Scot tried to keep the pain and anger out of his voice, but sometimes he wondered if he ever would. He’d struggled with life for as long as he could remember, first of all trying to keep beneath the radar of his miserable home situation, then to hide the true nature of his friendship with Jerry. He’d once told Jerry that he lied so much to his family and colleagues, he couldn’t always remember what was the truth and what was his cover story. He’d been forced to do it all because he’d been drawn to a man: they’d wanted each other.

Was that so wrong? He didn’t know which caused him the more pain—the persecution and abuse he’d suffered, or the cowardly way he’d tried to cope with it all.

“Hey, it’s okay. There’ll be no more of that crap,” Jerry whispered. He rolled across the bed, nudging against Scot’s body. “You’re so damned hot.” He winced as he shifted his cock under the towel. “You make me so fucking horny.”

Scot smiled and pressed his mouth to Jerry’s shoulder. His heart was beating fast again, but for a very different reason. “No more sneaking around, doing it in corners. In cars and alleyways.”

Jerry grinned. “Not always so bad, though? Sometimes the danger adds to the excitement.”

Scot hid his shiver. “But we have a choice, now, Jerry. A choice of when and where. Not just snatched half hours at lunch, or after dark, or while my parents are getting wasted at some bar or other.”

Jerry nodded. “Sure, whatever.” His hands ran gently down Scot’s chest, cupping his belly.

Scot’s muscles tightened. So maybe he’d found their secret life much more distressing than Jerry had. And it had been exciting, in its own way. Jerry in particular had seemed to enjoy the risk. Their groping sessions had been desperate and awkward, but Jerry had never hesitated to take any opportunity to fuck. Scot had been carried away with the desire too, but he regretted the fact they’d never had much time together to explore each other’s bodies. Everything had been rushed, the feelings anguished, the lovemaking awkward. Scot felt he had years of frustration and repression still to set free.

“Jerry….”

“Hmm?”

“My choice is now, Jerry. I want you here—and now.”

“Sure.” Jerry smiled at him. He didn’t seem to be listening that carefully, his eyes unfocused and his breathing shallow. Scot could feel Jerry’s cock thickening under the towel. He reached down, jerked the cloth away, and took firm hold of it.

Author Bio


Clare London took her pen name from the city where she lives, loves, and writes. A lone, brave female in a frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home, she juggles her writing with her other day job as an accountant.

She’s written in many genres and across many settings, with award-winning novels and short stories published both online and in print. She says she likes variety in her writing while friends say she’s just fickle, but as long as both theories spawn good fiction, she’s happy. Most of her work features male/male romance and drama with a healthy serving of physical passion, as she enjoys both reading and writing about strong, sympathetic, and sexy characters.

Clare currently has several novels sulking at that tricky chapter three stage and plenty of other projects in mind… she just has to find out where she left them in that frenetic, testosterone-fuelled family home.


Clare loves to hear from readers, and you can contact her here:


Website: http://www.clarelondon.com 
E-mail: clarelondon11@yahoo.co.uk
Blog: www.clarelondon.com/blog
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/clarelondon
Twitter: https://twitter.com/clare_london
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/clarelondon
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/author/clarelondon/
Google+ : https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ClareLondon/posts

 

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Review: Adapting Instincts (Instincts #4) by S.J. Frost

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Rating: 4.25 stars out of 5

Adapting InstinctsZoologist and primate specialist Carl Anderson’s thoughts are consumed by one man and one kiss whose message remains unclear to Carl.  And it is not just the kiss that has unsettled his life, but  the fact that the man who kissed him was a vampire, one of many who live all around him hidden to most of human society.  This fact was revealed to Carl through events involving his best friend Andreas Nikandros and his vampire lover Titus Antonius Calidus (Loving Instincts).  Those events saw Carl caught between the vampires and the vampire hunters, including another of Carl’s friends, Matthew.  At one point Carl and Andreas were threatened with death and one of Carl’s rescuers was the vampire warrior, Egill Dalgaard.

Egill Dalgaard.  Viking warrior and member of vampire society’s ruling body, the Tribunal, is used to having complete control of his life but one special human has upset his calm and ordered existence.  Egill cannot get Carl Anderson out of his thoughts since he first met the human and helped save his life.  And that one kiss has insured Carl’s place in Egill’s nightly dreams.  There are so many reasons why a continued association with Carl is ill advised and just one reason to do so.  Egill hasn’t felt this way about someone in a very long time, and for that reason alone Egill cannot let this human go.

Carl’s thoughts are still so divided and upset.  There is Matthew, mixed up with the vampire hunters, on one side and Egill Dalgaard, viking vampire on the other.  Carl’s life is now full of fearful glances at the dark, and longing too.  But the vampire hunters are still out there , posing a threat to Carl, Andreas, and the vampires Carl has come to know and respect. Any relationship Carl and Egill might have will be threatened by a variety of forces all around them, including the Tribunal.  Carl has always been afraid of confrontation, but if he wants Egill in his life, then he must decide on which path to take, including one that will take him away from his humanity.

Adapting Instincts is the fourth book in the Instincts series by S.J. Frost, a series that shows continues to deliver wonderful characters and a deepening overall story arch that runs through the entire series to date.  In this latest installation, all of our favorite couples are back and fully involved in this book’s narrative.  We have the original couple of Andreas Nikandros (now a vampire himself) and his eternal partner Titus Antonius Calidus,  Vampire Samurai Ryunosuke Kimura and his vampire lover Daniel Valente (my favorite couple) and now brought into the center are viking vampire Egill Dalgaard and human Carl Anderson, friend and former coworker of Andreas Nikandros.

Adapting Instincts picks up three months after that last events of Loving Instincts (Instincts #3), events that have left reverberations through all the lives of those involved, human and vampire alike.  One of the strengths of S.J. Frost’s writing is her wonderful world building and complex narrative.  While each book normally revolves around one main couple and their romance, multiple plot threads and characters weave themselves throughout the romantic relationship, acting not only as a foundation but as the perpetuator that lends the story momentum and depth. Coexisting with the daily conflicts that arise with being a human, Frost contrasts that with the rigid societal structure of the vampire world.  It makes for a fascinating and absolutely addicting read to see how the two worlds will not only collide but continue to mesh as vampires and humans interact.  The first three books are full of conflict and harrowing events for all the couples involved, so it makes  sense for the fourth book to deal with the aftermath and emotional letdown.  With two exceptions, most of this story concentrates on relationship issues, those between Carl and Egill.  And while that choice simplifies the storyline, it also carries with it a more lightly layered plot as well, lacking the depth and complexity of those books that precedes it.

After the emotional events, that is a very realistic way of dealing with the aftermath of the kidnappings and near death experiences of book 3.  I really enjoy the character of Egill, former viking warrior and formidable vampire lord.  Stolid and controlled, it is lovely to watch such a character react to love entering his life after such a long existence.  Frost does a great job with Egill’s personality, making him both realistically regal and yet vulnerable too in his tightly controlled mien.  Carl, on the other hand, felt a little too passive for me to connect with.  True, he has a poor self image and his need to avoid conflict puts himself and others in terrible situations. It is hard to connect with a character that you want to give a shake to most of the time.  Carl’s indecisiveness is just unattractive to me so it helped immensely that Frost gave us Davy, the Black-headed Spider Monkey.  Davy, along with all the other marvelous animal characters in this series, adds a touch of humor and endearment just when the story needs it the most.  By seeing Carl’s relationship with Davy, it helps connect us to a character that lacks some of the vivid personality traits of the others in the series.  I loved Davy and hope that the author will bring him back into the series somewhere down the line just as she did with Dakarai, Andreas’ lion, and all the other animals who a such a delight in the series.  Here is your first introduction to Davy:

Carl stopped outside the habitat for the spider monkeys. He released the cart’s handles to place his hands on his hips, fixing Davy with a disapproving look. “Really? Is that necessary?”

Davy quit banging the bowl on the mesh and stared up at him with intelligent black eyes.

Carl swore the monkey was trying to play innocent. A smile broke over his lips despite trying to stay stern. It was all Davy needed. The monkey scurried up the mesh to be at eye level with him, reaching through with his left hand, the one missing the index finger. Carl held a finger toward him, and Davy wrapped his others around it. The warm, soft leathery feel of Davy’s palm made him grateful he’d been able to save the monkey’s hand. When Davy and the others came to the zoo, starved and sick from the poor care they’d received in a backyard zoo—or deathtrap, as he called it—Davy’s hand was so infected from a baboon biting his finger off, he didn’t know if he’d be able to save it. But he had, and after months of diligent care, Davy and his brothers were healthy and sassy.

The interplay between man and monkey is telling.  It is humorous, affectionate, and clearly a wonderful relationship.  Even when you are fed up with Carl’s dithering about, moments like this will keep the reader invested in his character and his future.

Is this book a stand alone?  No, it must be read as part of the series and in the order they were written, otherwise key elements will be lost or misconstrued.  I love this series and absolutely recommend it.  Start at the beginning and work your way through.  Instincts shows no hint of slowing down, as new characters are introduced here as well as persons left over from the last book such as Matthew.  And the fact that all the other beloved characters will be there as well is just the icing on the cake.  If you are already invested in this series, I guarantee you will enjoy this book too.  Adapting Instincts (Instincts #4) carries the main plot thread forward while satisfying us with another romance completed.  Great job, great story, wonderful series.

Here they are in the order they were written and should be read:

Natural Instincts (Instincts #1)

Enduring Instincts (Instincts #2)

Loving Instincts (Instincts #3)

Adapting Instincts (Instincts #4)

Cover art by Winterheart Designs is evocative in design and tone.  I thought the two landscapes a nice touch.

ebook, 210 pages
Published March 14th 2013 by MLR Press
ISBN 1020130040
edition languageEnglish
urlhttp://www.mlrbooks.com/ShowBook.php?book=SJF_ADIN
seriesI

Review: Life, Over Easy: Fragments Book 1 by K.A. Mitchell

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Rating:  4.25 stars

Life Over Easy coverJohn Andrews life was all planned out, had been since he was young and entered the pool for the first time.  His life revolved around his diving.  He was tutored at home and on the road,  his social circle extended out only as far as his  teammates and diving competitors, even the most normal rites of growing up passed him by, no dances, no television watching or movie going, nothing but diving and diving competition.  Even after winning two Gold Olympic medals, that didn’t change.  John was on target to repeat or perhaps exceed  his goals at the next Olympics until a accident during training changed his life forever.  Now he copes with brain damage, blurry sight, vertigo, and life with a cane as a college freshman, on his own for the first time in his life.  But the place inside of him that used to be filled by diving is empty and John doesn’t know how to fill

One accident six months ago changed Mason’s life forever.  One deer in the middle of the road, one car crash later and everything he loved and thought he would have forever was gone.  Now its Jim Beam and sex that Mason uses to fill the emptiness inside of him, crawling into bed drunk with any number of nameless guys to the consternation and disgust of his roommates and friends.  He needs to concentrate on his school work and project but it seems impossible.

Two men, damaged by life’s accidents.  When John turns up at the wrong house for a party, they meet and while their first encounter isn’t promising, John and Mason are drawn together even as they hide secrets from each other.  John can see auras around peoples heads and he sees two over Mason’s.  And Mason?  He is seeing and hearing his dead lover.   Can both men over come multiple obstacles, including one not of this earth, to find the love both need and deserve?  Life is never easy, but this is ridiculous.

I love K. A. Mitchell.  She is a “go to” author for me and this book demonstrates why I grab up every book she writes.  The characters are unusual to say the least.  John Andrews stands out because he is different on so many levels.  First of all, he is that driven individual who has been pursuing a specific goal since childhood and succeeding at it.  Young athletes are in a category all their own.  They deprive themselves of a normal childhood, delaying or denying all together many hallmarks of growing up in order to pursue their dream, whether it be  that of an Olympic high diver or other sport.  They create a tunnel of efforts, so focused and driven that they seem almost innocent and guileless outside of their sport.  Take that goal, that lifestyle away and you have a person adrift in their own life, no  longer tethered by long term goals.  We see that happen to so many athletes once the Games are over.

K.A. Mitchell takes it one further.  John has had an accident that makes him unable to compete.  From a finely toned athlete, he now copes with a brain damaged during a 2 story fall.  He has vertigo, blurred vision, and  has a condition called Synesthesia, a neurological condition where “one sensory or cognitive pathway leads to automatic, involuntary experiences in a second sensory or cognitive pathway.”  Colors can be associated with sounds or words, or music is combined with sounds or specific sights, etc.   Mitchell’s vivid descriptions gives us a intimate look at how it must feel when even a short walk turns into an overwhelming cavalcade of colors and sights.  John has to deal with the loss of his life’s goal, his new disability, life as a college student, and all the while he feels empty inside because that one feeling of being “airborne”, floating in space as he dives is forever gone.  Mitchell makes us feel that loss as acutely as John does.  And then she brings it crashing up against an equally deep cavern of loss and pain that is Mason’s.

Most of us have not lived John’s life but I would bet that we all know someone like Mason or lived through a similar trauma.  Mason is easily the most identifiable and recognizable of the two men.  We can connect with Mason who is drowning in the loss of the man he thought he would marry and spend the rest of his life with.  Booze and sex are the fillers of choice for Mason, and we get that.  His friends (wonderful characters in their own right) feel helpless to stop the downward spiral, some have given up all together as Mason lashes out at them in his pain.  This is all very authentic in the emotions radiating off the characters and the pages of this story.

But then Mitchell takes it an additional step further, journeying into the paranormal.  John’s condition lets him see people auras, he knows what they are feeling by looking at the pulsating colors above their heads.  And Mason’s dead lover hovers over all the proceedings, alternately angry and amused by being “stuck” to Mason.  I have to admit I wish that this element has been left out of the story.  It was terrific with just the obstacles they were already facing but then you add ghosts and “auras” and we start tipping over the edge.  It is too much for this story to handle, there is just too much to do justice to all the elements involved.  Then at the very end, one final piece is added.  Mitchell throws in BDSM at the last minute into a relationship that had not previously explored this type of sexuality.  It just seems very awkward and out of place.  I could see where she was going with it, and that made sense but it really needed to be introduced much earlier in the book and in their relationship. But as it was I just thought it was a tad strange for them to take it to that level at that time.

So those were my quibbles with this story.  Too many ingredients to give this a 5 star rating.  It was almost there too.  Do I recommend this book? Absolutely, these are wonderful characters and their stories are compelling.  I wish Mitchell would bring out another book in this series because I like where it is going.  Life is never easy, this book reminds of us of that fact.  But there are solutions and answers for everyone, and Life, Over Easy reminds us of that too.  Pick it up and let me know what you think.

Cover by Natalie Winters, interesting but not as interesting as the story within.

Mitchell, K.A.. Life, Over Easy: Fragments, Book 1 . Samhain Publishing, Ltd..