Don’t Miss Out on the New Release Blitz for Starting from Scratch (Starting From #2) by Lane Hayes (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Starting From Scratch

Series: Starting From, #2

Author: Lane Hayes

Publisher: Lane Hayes

Release Date: October 17, 2019

Heat Level: 4 – Lots of Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 80k

Genre: Romance, Bisexual, Enemies to lovers, Rock and roll, Hurt-comfort, Opposites attract

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Synopsis

Charlie Rourke is an ultra fabulous human whirlwind on a mission to launch the next biggest band in the world. However, he might have taken on more than he could handle when he signed on to manage Zero. Promoting a rock band and finding gigs shouldn’t be hard. They’re a talented group with a ton of star power. If Charlie can find the right record label, he’s sure he can help them get to the next level. The only problem is the skater boy slash bassist with a quirky sense of humor. He’s annoying and silly, and he’s exactly Charlie’s type. Except he’s straight.

Ky Baldwin isn’t afraid to switch things up. He loves a challenge as much as anyone, but Charlie doesn’t make things easy. Zero’s manager is a force of nature with a razor sharp tongue, a quick wit, and a no-nonsense attitude. Ky can’t stop thinking about him. Winning over Charlie becomes Ky’s pet project. But when the ice between them thaws, neither is prepared for the intensity of going from enemies to lovers. They’ll have to decide if they’re willing to start from scratch and take a chance on the unexpected.

Excerpt

“I know that was random, but it’s not a bad idea if you think about it. Want something to drink?” Charlie asked as he moved toward the kitchen.

I grabbed his wrist before he got anywhere. “Hang on. What are you doing?”

He cocked his head curiously but didn’t pull away. “I’m being practical. If you read any further about Virgos you probably found out we’re known for being sensible. And polite. So, I’m politely asking if you’d like a beverage while sensibly suggesting that I help out with your skating lessons.”

“Okay. First up…I don’t want a fuckin’ snack and second, it’s not a skating lesson. We’re skateboarding,” I said, glowering at him.

“I’ve heard it said both ways. Skating, skateboarding. I looked it up in Urban Dictionary too, so I’m pretty sure I’m right.”

“No. There’s something in your tone that makes it all wrong. Like you’re purposely trying to sabotage this.”

Charlie opened his mouth in a perfect O. “Gasp! I wouldn’t do that!”

“Cut the crap. You’re doing it now. You don’t want to learn, and you don’t want Oliver to either. It’s a control thing. But you can’t control what you don’t fuckin’ get. So take a seat and let me teach him without you freaking out or—why are you looking at me like that?”

“Like what?”

“I don’t know. You’re doing something weird with your eyes, though. You look spaced out.”

“Mmm. I’m trying not to swoon. You look so fierce and you’re holding my hand, Ky. You should feel my heart. It’s beating out of my chest. Seriously.” He fluttered his lashes a few times and bit his bottom lip.

I chuckled softly and stepped closer. “Are you flirting with me, Char?”

“No, it’s the other way around. You’re flirting with me. Big macho displays really get my motor running. Medium-sized ones do too. I love it when…”

Okay, so I lost myself. I tuned out the sound of his voice and concentrated on him. The mischievous glint in his eyes, the proud set of his shoulders, and the way his mouth curled at the corner. He was doing it again. Owning the moment. Taking it over. Charlie looked for weakness in any form, then slyly made adjustments before moving in for the kill. No doubt he thought I’d back down fast and run away. I wasn’t going anywhere.

I fixated on his bottom lip and inched closer. He kept talking…something about dick size or muscles…I wasn’t sure, but I liked the cadence of his voice. The teasing lilt and easy humor. I let go of his wrist, brushing his fingers before setting my hand on his hip. He went perfectly still.

Before he could ask me what the fuck I was doing, I kissed him.

It was more of a press of lips than a grand gesture. And though it might not rank as the kind of kiss that would change the world, I immediately knew it would change mine.

Everything in me went on high alert. I’d never been so in tune with a moment. The flutter of his eyelashes, the brush of his nose, and the soft sweetness of his lips against mine. Fuck, it was amazing. Like mind-blowing amazing. He tasted like cherries and smelled like sunshine mixed with something exotic.

I couldn’t be sure over the roar of my heart attempting to beat its way out of my chest, but I thought he hummed in approval, so I angled my head slightly to deepen the connection and pulled him closer. If he was anyone else, I probably would have stuck my tongue between his lips and let my hands roam all over his body. I wanted to, but I didn’t want to scare either of us. So I stayed where I was until the need for oxygen became an issue.

Then I jumped back two feet and stared at him with my eyes bugged out. “Holy fuck.”

Charlie set his fingers on his bottom lip and blinked like he was coming out of a daze. “You kissed me,” he said softly.

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Meet the Author

Lane Hayes is grateful to finally be doing what she loves best. Writing full-time! It’s no secret Lane loves a good romance novel. An avid reader from an early age, she has always been drawn to well-told love story with beautifully written characters. These days she prefers the leading roles to both be men. Lane discovered the M/M genre a few years ago and was instantly hooked. Her debut novel was a 2013 Rainbow Award finalist and subsequent books have received Honorable Mentions, and won First Prize in the 2016 and 2017 Rainbow Awards. She loves red wine, chocolate and travel (in no particular order). Lane lives in Southern California with her amazing husband in a newly empty nest.

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A MelanieM Review : Coast To Coast (Arizona Raptors #1) by RJ Scott & V.L. Locey

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

When opposites attract, it’s not just the team that’s in for a shake-up.

When a stipulation in his father’s will throws Mark back into a family that disowned him, he has only two things on his mind; buying his way out of contractual obligations and running in the opposite direction as fast as he can. When neither option pans out, he finds he is now a one third owner of the struggling Arizona Raptors hockey team, and that is just about the worst thing he could have happened to him. Not only does he hate hockey, but the Raptors are a bottom-of-the-league team, rife with jealousies and anger in a locker room that only knows self-pity. How is he supposed to help turn things around when the only way to start fixing things is to form an alliance with the estranged siblings he’d run from fifteen years earlier?

Then there’s Rowen Carmichael, a stubborn, opinionated, irritating man with superiority issues and questionable taste in music. Butting heads with Rowen, who he’d never even wanted to hire in the first place, is one thing, but there is no way in hell that he will allow the growing attraction to the new coach become anything more. Until with everything on the line, he has to make decisions that will change his life forever.

After years of collegiate coaching, Rowen is given an offer that he simply can’t refuse, although perhaps he should. When he’s presented with the chance to take one of the worst teams in the league and mold them into a future cup contender, the challenge is just too alluring to pass up. He leaves his beloved Ontario behind and moves west to the arid city of Tucson where he is faced with a broken team, shoddy management, and players overflowing with resentment and bigotry.

Never in his twenty years of hockey has he ever seen such a raging dumpster fire of an organization. Yet there’s something about this team and this city that compels him to roll up his sleeves and start dismantling. He has his eye on a new associate coach that’s bound to makes waves, and several key players who should be sent packing. Now all he has to do is convince the new owners of the team that his choices are for the best. If only Mark Westman-Reid, one of three siblings who now own the Raptors, wasn’t so damned rock-headed, so damned snooty, and so damned appealing his job might be a bit easier.

The new series by RJ Scott and VL Locey picks up after the graduation of senior Ryker Madsen and his draft into the hated Arizona Raptors (Owatonna U series). You have to have read both the Harrisburg Railers series and the Owatonna U series to know exactly how loathsome this team is in just about every way. That’s the starting point and the road to redemption that Coast to Coast begins on.

It’s a huge thing to make the fans and readers like this team that we have frankly despised for so long and still do with some of the hateful players deeply embedded within the team.  And now Ryker is there, the last place we and him want him to be.  Yikes!

So how to dig the team out of the well of negative emotions the authors have dug for them? As the  blurb says, it starts with a shake-up.  In ownership and management and coaching.  All around.  The death of the team owner and his will reunites an estranged family with the son and brother that left years ago. Mark Westman-Reid’s presence is needed to help run the team, and that means staying in Arizona and leaving his business and life in NYC behind.  The last thing he wants to do.  And he clashes with the man his father hired. Rowen Carmichael,, there to turn the club around and given a certain carte blanche that irritates the sons that inherited the team and that, in his opinion, clearly don’t understand the game.

The strong personalities are set from the beginning. It’s a great opposites attract storyline that has it’s sexy, charismatic men snarling at it each from the beginning.  And that’s so hot. The men push, pull, dance around, until the heat just explodes. The relationship dynamics just work.

Other threads includes the fractured family with revelations of its own.  Some of the issues here were especially deep and involved some very serious elements,  I thought perhaps some of the family secrets were either dealt with too quickly or smoothed over, but perhaps it was the length of the book.  There was so much going on here, not just with Mark’s family but with the hugge elements on the team too.

That would be the defenseman,Aarni, who horrifically injured Ryker’s stepdad, the devil’s own thug on skates that has to be dealt with.   Rowen has a great group of young players we meet while still managing with the sour leftovers of a team at it’s lowest.  Here once more we get the writers best when telegraphing the inner workings of the locker room, skate practice, or the hesitate fumblings of a team trying to come together.

The last part of the story brings it all thundering together in a painful, thoughtful, and complicated ending that points the way to a more hopeful future for the Raptors and this couple. A definite surprise for all the longtime fans.And now I can’t wait for the next in the series.  I would definitely recommend reading the first two series for all that added knowledge of the characters you will be meeting and the situations talked about in the stories.  Plus look at all the great novels you will be reading.  Win win.

Cover art:Cover Design: Meredith Russell

 
Boook Details:

Kindle Edition, 199 pages
Published September 29th 2019 by Love Lane Books Ltd
ASINB07Y6N1B3B
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesArizona Raptors #1

 

A MelanieM Review: Just Like Heaven by T.L. Bradford

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Rating:   3.25 stars out of 5

Noah Sinclair
Noah Sinclair is best described as an egotistical, pompous, anal retentive, asshat. And those are his better qualities. Lately, Noah has lost touch with his playboy character “Jace” on the show Americana and can’t quite put his finger on why. The studio decides it is time to shake up his character by making him an offer he can’t refuse, literally. They will introduce a new love interest for his character “Jace.” Only this time, there’s a twist.

Josh Hill
Josh Hill is up a creek and sinking fast. He’s got no job, no money, no credit and is about to be kicked out of his apartment. Opportunity comes in the form of a job offer from the show Americana. Everything should be perfect; only there is one hitch. He will be the new love interest for Noah Sinclair’s character on the beloved show.

So, opposites are supposed to attract, right? Not so fast. No one said life was that easy. Both actors find themselves in untested waters. Will they be able to play a same-sex couple with no prior experience authentically? Well, they say practice makes perfect.

Carefree, fun-loving Josh and uptight, overbearing Noah, realize they need to make the best of their bad situation and are forced to find common ground. Over time, their roles in each other’s lives become blurred. Is their attraction fake, or is it real? To top it off, Noah has a dark skeleton in his closet that can prevent them from ever moving forward.

Can they get on the same page and save both of their careers and their relationship?

Or will they end up yesterday’s tabloid fodder?

Like Heaven by T.L. Bradford was an interesting read.  Just as there were elements to like and be entertained by there were also aspects of the story that were disjointed, character issues that took away from the plot, and continuity problems that you couldn’t overlook. Plus it just felt overly long.

The manner and plot is the initial element that drew me to read this story. Loved the idea of a Netflix type serial deciding to take a popular character down a new  “path” in the series storyline to gain new followers and higher ratings.  Sounds legit.  The story is almost narrated by both main characters, Josh and Noah.  Noah being the already popular actor on set, but in fact in danger of losing his job because his on series love interest was reassigned to another storyline.  The other actor?  A hardluck newbie, Josh, down to his last dime, almost ready to return home if something doesn’t happen soon. Both men say they are straight, and now become destined to play gay roles as lovers.

Great.  But this is not a comedy.

Bradford has created Noah with a dark, tormented past that will slowly reveals itself until it crashes out  with a horror towards the end. It’s with Noah’s character and history that I raise many issues.   We are told repeatedly that he was raised on an estate and his real father is rich.  The truth, which is not supposed to contradict that statement,  would actually have no bearing on reality. Fundamentalist whackjob preachers living on estates? Compounds perhaps.  Anyway, just didn’t connect.  As did so many other things about Noah’s upbring, the abuse, the lack of reporting, including his college incidents.  I don’t want to go into particulars because that runs into spoilers but lets just say the things that happended to Noah, the lack of reporting all throughout his life, how if affected him.  And his lack of therapy.  There are huge holes here that are never resolved.

That speaks to changes in the character’s personality.  He is not the most likeable fish in the sea tbh.  While he will be honest about  why is his hurting Josh, being emotionally unavailable etc, , and the author clearly wants you to believe that they have laid down the foundation here  for this couple, instead there was a part of me that thought there was something missing. Possibly because Noah himself seemed so unstable and fluid for someone who is supposed to be so rigid.

Josh on the other hand was adorable.  I enjoyed his character (except for the bit where he was worrying that he was the “woman” in the relationship because it made him less of a man. Really? I found that  demeaning to women, btw.  But the author breezed through that convo in a matter of minutes so all done.

The parents of both Josh and Noah (stepfather) were wonderfully drawn and spending time with them as well as the rest of the cast and families was a joy.  Made the book fly when other parts just dragged.

Continuity is a problem here.  As I talked about years ago in a blog post, readers care about the pets authors give their characters.  A author either needs to commit to  them or leave them out.  Here Bradford does the worst possible.  The author introduces Lola the cat as Noah’s sole companion as a way to show how restricted Noah’s life is  and how routine. And then dumps the animal all together, forgetting the cat until it makes a brief appearance at approximately 86% where Josh makes some comment about Noah returning home to “feed Lola”. Than the cat disappears for good. Smh.  The poor cat could have been a porcelain dolly for all the emotional weight that animal carried or effort the author put into it.  Why not just leave it  out?

There’s also the eye patch (won’t say how or on who that appears). But sometime you are looking at both eyes, sometime just one.  Ugh.  Continuity people.  Wounds also work that way as well here for secondary characters.  The end of the story just gets out of control and my disbelief ran deep.  In about everything.  Especially Noah’s actions.

Well, I just think the promise here was huge in the original storyline.  The two men meeting as actors, learning about their sexuality, coming out and finding a way to happiness.  For me at least, all that stuff with the father, well it almost belonged in another story.  it was like there were two books here and two Noah’s.  I bet you can tell which novel I preferred reading..

 

Cover Artist: Photo by Neospot, design by T.L. Bradford: It’s a half naked guy.  Doesn’t really have anything to do with the storyline.  Meh.

Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 484 pages
Expected publication: September 4th 2019
ASINB07V9F9B4J
Edition Language English

A MelanieM Review:A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister

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Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

 

Blade: As the lead singer of Hard Core, I’ve been taught several key life lessons. Unfortunately, I’ve also ignored many of them in the last twenty minutes alone, which is why I’m now being chased by a hoard of crazed fans.

But my worst misjudgment today? Going outside in public without security or a backup plan. Screaming fans come with the job and the fame is as much of a blessing as it is a curse, but I still couldn’t imagine doing any other line of work.

Music owns me and I am happy to be her bitch.

Nico: I knew who he was as soon as he burst through the front door of my store and I was absolutely starstruck and speechless. Yes, me with my own hardened attitude and jaded outlook on life had lost the ability to talk in the presence of Blade.

I’m an ex-con. I paid my debt to society, and I have my own brand of scars to show from the time I spent behind bars. My life’s regrets stain my soul as much as the ink of my tattoos color my skin. Solace for me came with ownership of a bookstore. It was a peaceful place to work until a certain rockstar blew in from the street like a Category 5 hurricane.

Hurricane Blade was about to make landfall and I wasn’t sure I’d survive the storm.

A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister is the first in a new series by this author featuring a series of bands that play together and if this novel is any indication, it’s going to be a winner.  Ann Lister has her rock n’ rock cred having run her own video production company and worked within the music industry and it shows in her writing and the world building in this story.  We see not just the “Rock Gods” but their many layers of support from the fleet of eighteen wheelers and busses that carry them from venue to venue to the men and women that provide the setup for the productions and everyday security.  We see them in the recording studios, racing to hotels, interviews, green rooms, and even the parties.  It’s truly the good, the bad, and the ugly here.  Raw, gritty , and the golden…. all energized and hauled out and then folded into a romance.

Told in alternating pov, we start with Blade on the run…a fit thrown during practice and an ill advised flight for fresh air lead to a stampede of fans after him down the streets of New York City, His thoughts are bratty, funny, and actually realistically full of fear as he searches for refuge and coming up short with the screaming women hot on his heels.

From running fear filled star to Nico, that’s the next turn.  Talk about opposites attract trope.  This is it.  Nico is a rough around the edges, bookstore own.  He’s a man who has done time in prison, working to maintain his sobriety, and keep the legacy and his livelihood that is the bookstore his father left him running.  He has restricted his life after his father’s death down to the store and a tight schedule.  And now a rock star has crashed through his front door at closing.

There are many elements at play here in this story.  Most of them focus on Nico and not Blade.  Nico’s questioning of his sexuality (prison has a  lot to do with that), his realistic struggle to maintain sobriety when certain aspects of Blade’s lifestyle screams otherwise and I (honestly I don’t know why) kept expecting these issues to get a maybe less adult treatment or some GFY tag.  But Lister went for honesty here and I admire that.

Nico admitted his doubts and the manner in which he was introduced to sexual acts but also his attraction.  I believed it. And him.  As for the sobriety? Communication, some arguments, asking if he needed to call his sponsors (recognition of AA), all the right measures for someone who is an alcoholic and conscious of their sobriety.  It was a realistic part of the romance, not outside of it, astonishingly adult and wonderful.

If I thought the ending was a little rushed (and I did), well what went before was amazing.  The author was clearly setting up the universe for other stories to come with  some of the other bands and band members.  Hopefully we will also get to check up on Blade and Nico and see where they stand in their relationship as well.

Love opposites attract?  Rockers and their lovers?  Contemporary romance? How about all three?  Then pick up A Rhythm You Feel (The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1) by Ann Lister and get in on the beginning of what looks like a wonderful new series.  I loved it and think you will too.

Cover art:  It’s perfect for Blade.  Hot, sexy, and rocking.  Love it.

Sales Links:  Amazon

Book Details:

Kindle Edition, 347 pages
Published July 29th 2019 by Rock Gods, Inc.
ASINB07VV7YTN8
Edition LanguageEnglish
Series The Rock Gods: East Coast Label #1

A MelanieM Audio Review: Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Max Maldonado loves baseball. He knows playing first base at a private college probably won’t get him to the big leagues, but he doesn’t mind. He loves the game and his teammates. If he has to stay in the closet until he graduates, that’s okay. Baseball comes first. Relationships are complicated anyway. And after his recent messy breakup, Max prefers to keep things simple.

Phoenix Bell is a fabulous theater geek. He’s excited about his recent transfer to a new school with an elite liberal arts program. Life has been on hold for a while, but this opportunity feels like the fresh start he was hoping for when he moved to California. And the chance reunion with the hot closeted jock is an unexpected surprise. The two men have nothing in common and their timing couldn’t be worse. However, when their unconventional alliance blossoms into friendship and perhaps something more, it may be time to make some hard decisions. And perhaps risk it all…out in the field.

I haven’t read all of Lane Hayes Out in College series so found that listening to Out in the Field worked perfectly as a standalone story and such a sweet contemporary romance it was.  Made all the more enjoyable by the lively narration by Michael Pauley who embodied his characters perfectly, I easily connected to Max, his love of baseball and his issues of being closeted.  At home, ata college, and on the field.  Especially after he find out that his “brief meetup” is now on campus and hotter than ever.  And definitely out as can be.

Phoenix Bell is a delight of a character, his energy flies off the page as does his vulnerability.  You definitely fear for his heart.  What you end up  fearing for is Max’s as well.

The characters are all well drawn, the situations realistic and believable.  And the locker room conversations nicely resolved, those I really appreciated.  The development of the relationship was slow but the dynamics works so well, supported by great secondary characters you grow to love just as much as the MCs. Whether it’s Phoenix’s twin sister or Max’s familym bringing them in just adds such a richness to this story and their romance that it made me smile all throughout the story.

As I said before the narration by Michael Pauley just enhanced this already wonderful novel, his ability to key into each character’s personality and bring it to life making this audio’s listening time fly by.

I highly recommend Out in the Field (Out in College #4) by Lane Hayes and Michael Pauley (Narrator) for those of you who love to listen to your contemporary romances.  This is a real gem!

Cover Art is great and perfect for the story.

Sales Links:  Amazon | Audible

Audio Book Details:

Listening Length: 5 hours and 31 minutes.

Audible Audio, 6 pages
Published July 25th 2019 by Lane Hayes
ASINB07VKGJ587
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesOut in College #4

Check Out the Release Blitz for Release (Rent Boys #1) by A E Ryecart (excerpt and giveaway)

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RELEASE BLITZ

Book Title: Release (Rent Boys #1)

Author:  A E Ryecart

Publisher: Indie published

Cover Artist: Tammy Clarke

Release Date: August 9, 2019

Genre/s: contemporary MM romance

Trope/s: opposites attract, sex worker hero, class difference, found family, slow burn

Themes: salvation, redemption, attainment of a better/different/more fulfilled life

Heat Rating:  2 flames

Length: 70 000 approx. words

Add on Goodreads

 

Buy Links – Available on Kindle Unlimited

Universal Amazon Link  |  Amazon US  |  Amazon UK  

 

When life holds them captive, can love be their release?

Blurb

Selling his body since he was a fifteen-year-old runaway, rent boy Sean Farrell has learned the hard lesson that the only way to survive the streets is to act tough and cocky. But an act is all it is, as underneath he’s never felt more adrift as he struggles with crippling self-doubt. Sean’s distilled life into three simple rules: earn enough cash to get by, stick close to the friends who have become his family — and don’t let anyone steal his heart.

Art is Laurie Cassell’s profession and passion. His calm and ordered life is just how he thinks he wants it, but it’s becoming harder to ignore the creeping feeling that calm and ordered has become dull and predictable. Laurie craves more but doesn’t know what, or not until a man with dark hazel eyes and a bad attitude swaggers into his life — and leaves with his heart.

Two men who should never have met, let alone fallen in love. Can Sean and Laurie release the other from lives that are holding them captive?

*** Release is a slow burn, opposites attract MM romance. Found family, good friends who give advice our men don’t want to hear, and the redemptive power of love can all be found between the pages. No cliffhanger, and a guaranteed HEA. ***

 

Excerpt 

“Didn’t you hear what he said? He doesn’t want a drink. Are you fucking deaf as well as stupid?”

The words were out of Sean’s mouth before he could think. This wasn’t his fight, this wasn’t his problem. What am I getting myself into? But Sean knew why he hadn’t walked away. The drunk was a bully, and his hectoring voice had scratched down Sean’s spine like nails over a chalkboard. Sean moved in closer, narrowing the space between him and the drunk to no more than a hand’s width. 

“Piss off. This hasn’t got anything to do with you.” The drunk made a good effort at standing his ground, but his voice had lost its edge. He was no longer so sure of himself, the ground beneath his feet no longer so stable. 

Sean said nothing, offering only a grim smile. He knew what the drunk was seeing. 

Tall and well built, and with his hair cut short and severe, Sean looked like a squaddie, a soldier off-duty for the night. Have you got the uniform? Have you got the fatigues? Words, and others like them, he’d had panted into his ear more than once. Sean watched as the drunk hesitated. Unexpectedly challenged, he deflated like a balloon stabbed with a pin.

The guy shrugged and walked off, banging his shoulder into Sean in a final show of defiance. Sean let him have his second or two of triumph; he was gone, and that was all that mattered.

A soft and cultured voice drifted out of the shadow.

“Thank you. You didn’t have to, but, thanks. I appreciate it. He didn’t seem to want to listen to me.” The added words were accompanied by a nervous, hesitant laugh.

Now that the drunk had gone, Sean focused his full attention on the guy.

Dark, heavy hair fell in a floppy fringe across his brow. Pushing it aside, the guy looked up. 

Under the bar’s muted lights, Sean couldn’t determine the colour of his eyes, other than they were large, dark, and full of gratitude. There was a fine-boned delicacy about his clean-shaven face — no hint of designer stubble — and he was well, if conservatively, dressed. Late twenties, thirty at a push, Sean guessed, just a few years more than his own twenty-four.

“Are you waiting for friends or was that just a way of telling him,” Sean said, jabbing his thumb over his shoulder, “to take a hike?” He stared down at the guy, who looked as awkward and out of place in the overpriced, pretentious bar as he did. 

The guy nodded, fiddling with the mixer stick in his glass, stirring the ice, and pushing down on what looked like a whole load of salad leaves.

“I am. This wasn’t my choice, but, well…” He screwed up his nose as he looked beyond Sean and into the bar. 

Sean glanced behind him, surprised to see how in just a few minutes the crowd had swollen. He turned back to the guy and met his wry smile with one of his own.

“Yeah, well, this place was my choice, but I’ve gotta ask myself why.”

The guy laughed. “Everybody’s allowed one erroneous choice. It’s a friend’s birthday, and he wanted to come here, so I didn’t get a lot of say.”

“So where is he, then?”

“Late, as always, but I’m early. As always.”

 

About the Author 

I love all kinds of MM romance and gay fiction, but I especially like contemporary stories.  Born and raised in London, the city is part of my DNA so I like to set many of my stories in and around present-day London, providing the perfect metropolitan backdrop to all the main action. When I’m not writing at home, in the gym, in cafés – in fact any place I can find a good coffee – I can be found with my feet up thinking of more ways to put my men through the emotional wringer!

 

Author  Links

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Talking RoMMance… with a British accent

(This a shared group. The other UK authors are Jack L Pyke, Louise Mae, and Susan Mac Nicol)

 

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Enter the Rafflecopter Giveaway for a chance to win one of three ebook copies of Release.

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A Barb the Zany Old Lady Audio Review : With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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Rating: 4 stars out of 5

Volume two in a collection of novellas that take place in With a Kick, an innovative ice cream shop where they make ice creams with liquor for an extra “kick.”

The first story is Pluck and Play featuring Curtis, a young man who’s had his ups and downs in life—mostly downs—but works hard to be a Jack-of-all-trades to many. Basically, if you need an odd job done, it’s Curtis you call. Friends with the staff at With a Kick, Curtis stops in when he has time between deliveries and sometimes even to make a delivery there. It’s on one of those visits he notices the handsome cowboy playing a guitar on the street corner.

Riley is making his living as a busker. His cowboy boots, hat, and accent identify him as American. His ability to carry a tune isn’t the best, or is it the shite music he plays? Curtis can’t decide, but he does decide he’s attracted to the man. Through a series of good days and bad, the two get to know one another and start a sexual relationship, until Curtis’s former lover—and abuser—comes calling. He blackmails Curtis into owing him money for a van Curtis bought from him. But what Curtis doesn’t realize is that instead of having no one to turn to, he has a ton of people willing to back him up, and they are led by Riley and by Brian, Phiz’s boyfriend (Slap and Tickle) and including Eddy and Nuri (A Twist and Two Balls).

The story is heartwarming, funny, and very British. Performed by the inimitable voice of Joel Leslie, it couldn’t be more entertaining. Riley even gets an ice cream named after him, one with bourbon and chocolate crunchies and named Pluck and Play.

The second book on the audio is Double Scoop, which features Patrick, the With a Kick shop owner, and Lee, his young assistant. Lee has been in love with Patrick for a long time, but it isn’t until a freak accident occurs that he finally has his chance to spend the night with the older man. Unfortunately, Patrick is so worried about how Lee might feel the next day that he overthinks everything and constantly puts his foot in his mouth. If he’d just say what’s on his mind he and Lee might have a chance.

Most of the story revolves around Patrick and his misunderstandings—both the ones he perceives and the ones he creates. It makes for a great story, even though I really wanted to whack him in the head a few times to knock some sense into him. The gang of friends, including those who show up in the first story, comes to the rescue in this one, too, as everyone chips in to not only settle affairs at the shop but to assist Patrick and Lee and show them how very much they belong together from now into the future.

I love the voices Joel Leslie brings to this audiobook, not only for the MCs but also for the host of secondary characters. He makes it fun and interesting and an audio I definitely didn’t want to have to shut down when real life intruded. I recommend not only this collection but also collection number one in audiobook format for many hours of listening pleasure.

The cover by Lou Harper is in the same theme as that of volume one and features a handsome young man with a sweet treat, obviously created at the With a Kick ice cream shop, in the bottom right corner.

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK  

Audiobook Details:

Audible Audiobook
Listening Length: 8 hours and 58 minutes
Program Type: Audiobook
Version: Unabridged
Publisher: Jocular Press
Audible.com Release Date: April 5, 2019
Whispersync for Voice: Ready
Language: English, English
ASIN: B07QHFNXBW

Love Listening To Your Stories? Check Out the Audio Tour for With a Kick Collection #2 by Clare London and Joel Leslie (Narrator)

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AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR 

Book Title: With A Kick Collection #2

Author: Clare London

Publisher: Jocular Press

Narrator: Joel Leslie

Release Date: April 2, 2019

Genre: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract, friends to lovers

Themes: Diverse romances, May/Dec, finding community

Heat Rating: 4 flames

Length:  8 hours 58 minutes

Includes 2 standalone novellas with a connecting arc

Buy Links

Audible US

Audible UK

Add on Goodreads

Romance, London, and alcoholic ice cream – what’s not to love?

Blurb

This collection includes Clare London’s second two charming London-based novellas of the With A Kick series – Pluck and Play, and Double Scoop.

Read the enthusiastic reviews at the individual book pages!

WITH A KICK: A new and enticing ice cream franchise, with a unique blend of full flavour, mischief and romance. Patrick and Lee are struggling to make a success of their alcoholic ice cream shop in the centre of tourist London. At the same time, their business partnership may take a turn towards the personal – if either of them can find the time and nerve to go for it! Meanwhile, they cater to the wild and wonderful range of customers in the area, many of whom have their own romantic agenda. Will ice cream be the final ingredient they’re all looking for?

Each story is a self-contained romance, but will follow the history of the shop throughout.

PLUCK AND PLAY: Curtis is a cheery young entrepreneur, secretly licking his wounds after being beaten up by his ex-lover. Handsome cowboy Riley is stranded in London without money. His consolation is his music, and his fascination is Curtis. Their music brings them together, Riley’s guitar and Curtis’ poetry. But when Curtis is threatened by his ex-lover, Riley intends to be the man to help.

Ebook Link

DOUBLE SCOOP: A sudden disaster strikes the novelty ice cream shop, With A Kick, threatening the livelihood of its owner, Patrick, and also his assistant Lee. The last thing in the world Patrick wants is to hurt Lee, but deeply-held insecurities prevent him from confessing his love. And how long will Lee wait to make his own move? Hopefully the disaster brings a new opportunity for them to make a go of things.

Ebook Link

Collection #1 has also been released, featuring Clare London’s first two novellas, A Twist and Two Balls and Slap and Tickle, and also the two bonus short stories Nice and Snow and Smack Happy.

Buy Links and Listen to a sample here:

Audible US 

Audible UK 

Amazon Universal link (all territories)

Amazon US 

Amazon UK 

Also listen on SoundCloud

About the Author

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 on all her social media.

Join her occasional newsletter.

Author Links

Audible Profile

Blog/Website

Facebook  

Twitter

Amazon

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW TOUR SCHEDULE

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Release Blitz and Giveaway – Gray’s Shadow (Kings of Hell MC #4) by KA Merikan

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Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Length: 150,000 words approx.
 
Cover Design: Nastasha Snow
 
Kings Of Hell MC Series
 
Book #1 – Laurent & The Beast – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 – My Dark Knight – Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 – On Your Knees Prospect – Amazon US | Amazon UK
 
Blurb

 

— There can be no shadow without the man to cast it. —



Gray. Lost his twin. Will never be complete. Works alone.
Shadow. Monster? Human? Exists to be Gray’s one true companion.


After losing his twin brother, Gray has devoted his life to the Kings of Hell MC. He will do anything to protect his family and that means anything.


Even sell his own shadow to the devil.


Following a fire that left him without one arm, Gray feels pushed to the sidelines. In order to prove to his club that he is still capable of completing dangerous tasks, he will have to team up with the strange creature from the Other Side. Tall, inhumanly strong, and menacing despite the handsome exterior, Shadow is just the tool Gray needs.


The moment Shadow lays his eyes on Gray, he wants to crawl under Gray’s skin and make the human his.


Gray on the other hand isn’t willing to get attached to a monster destined to do the devil’s bidding and disappear once his time is up. Rejected, Shadow has to do everything in his power to convince his human that they belong together.


But as the clock ticks away precious minutes of Shadow’s existence, Gray will have to choose between his loyalty to the Kings of Hell MC and responsibility for the creature he brought into this world.

*
 
“Do you feel me running through your veins?”
Gray nodded.
 
*



POSSIBLE SPOILERS:
Themes: motorcycle club, alternative lifestyles, demons, monster, tattoos, secrets, crime, gothic, grief, mourning, enemies to lovers, forced proximity, fish out of water, opposites attract, demisexuality, gentle giant
Genre: Dark, paranormal M/M romance
Erotic content: Scorching hot, emotional, explicit scenes
Length: ~150,000 words (Book 4 in the series)


WARNING: This story contains scenes of violence, offensive language, and morally ambiguous characters.

K.A. Merikan are a team of writers who try not to suck at adulting, with some success. Always eager to explore the murky waters of the weird and wonderful, K.A. Merikan don’t follow fixed formulas and want each of their books to be a surprise for those who choose to hop on for the ride.


K.A. Merikan have a few sweeter M/M romances as well, but they specialize in the dark, dirty, and dangerous side of M/M, full of bikers, bad boys, mafiosi, and scorching hot romance.


FACEBOOK PROFILE
K.A. MERIKAN’S TWITTER (RUN BY KAT)
AGNES MERIKAN’S TWITTER
K.A. MERIKAN ON GOODREADS
PINTEREST
M/F ROMANCE BY MISS MERIKAN

Giveaway

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Scotty Cade on his Character King Slater and new release From a Jack to a King (guest post and excerpt)

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From a Jack to a King by Scotty Cade
Dreamspinner Press
Cover Art: Paul Richmond

Release Date 07/03/2018

Buy Links for “From a Jack to a King”

Dreamspinner Press |  Amazon  |  iTunes  Barnes and Noble  |  Kobo

Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words is happy to have Scotty Cade here today on tour for his new release From a Jack to a King.  Welcome, Scotty.

Happy Summer!

Firstly, I’d like to thank Stella and Melanie at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words for allowing me to stop in today and spend a little time with you. I truly appreciate your support and the support of your readers.

I’m going to spend a little time with you today to bring attention to my latest release “From a Jack to a King.” The blurb and excerpt will pretty much give you an overview of the novel, and coupled with the fact that I’ve done seven blog spots about the book so far with three more to go, I’d thought I’d use Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words to introduce you to King Slater. King is one of the main characters of the novel and although he is a handsome man and one with special talents, like many of us, he’s has his own demons to conquer.

Without giving away any spoilers, King is simply a pleaser. A real people person. That’s obvious by his popularity and fame in the gay porn world. He’s a highly paid porn star but even he makes the bulk of his money by being an even better escort.  Getting paid to have sex on camera or with a guy who’s paying has never been a moral issue for him. He has no shame in his chosen profession nor does he have any grandiose dreams of this lasting forever. He’s well aware his fame will last only as long as his body holds up and his youth stays intact.

But what King does better than anyone is care about his clients. Its not always about sex with his clients and sometimes he simply listens. He can read what a client needs almost instantly and then goes about meeting those needs. He takes pride in that and it keeps his clientele strong.

Now to touch a little on the demons King face on a daily basis. I don’t want to give anything away but King has been forced to separate his work from his personal life. No sex outside of work is the bottom line. He has things to sort through and although his profession makes things way more complicated, he’s taking things one day at a time.

Okay, so King and I will leave you here and let you read the excerpt. But before we let you go, I’d like to know if you were a paid escort or porn star, do you believe its possible to separate work from play. Is sex simply that? Sex? And after doing it all day in front of a camera would you want to go home and do it all night with a partner? If you post, you’ll automatically be entered into a drawing for an e-book of “From a Jack to a King.”

Thanks for spending the time with me and I wish you and yours a wonderful and relaxed 4th of July weekend.

Now here’s your excerpt and lot of other stuff about where to find me and my books, especially “From a Jack to a King.”

Blurb

New York Times best-selling mystery writer Bay Whitman leads the life of a celebrity—at least on the surface. In public he’s self-assured and in control. Women hang on his every word, while men envy his confidence and swagger. But in reality, Bay is a loner. He’s shy and introverted, and his life consists of sitting in a dimly lit room writing his famous Jack Robbins mystery novels. His one vice—gambling. Winning an escort in a poker game will change Bay’s life in ways he never imagined.

Matthew “King” Slater is one of the hottest tickets in gay porn. He spends his days in front of the camera and his nights as a highly paid escort to the rich and famous. Deep down, he craves romance and a real connection, but his past makes it hard to separate the needs of his body from those of his heart. For now, it’s easier to think of sex as just a job. But while doing a shoot in Vegas, King is hired for a tryst at a famous hotel and casino, and his handsome client might blur the line between work and play.

 

Excerpt

One corner of the man’s mouth curled up into a little smile, and his eyes twinkled with mischief. He took a few steps back and resumed his position leaning against the wall. “Now did you? That’s funny. I didn’t realize I was transferrable.”

“Oh jeez.” Bay realized what he’d just said. “I’m so sorry, I’m talking about you like you’re a piece of meat or something.”

The guy laughed, and his entire face lit up. “Hell, I’m not offended. I’ve been referred to as a piece of meat on more than one occasion.”

Bay suddenly wished he was back in the safety of his New York apartment writing about Jack instead of standing in the hall of a Las Vegas hotel talking to his likeness.

“So with whom do I have the pleasure of spending my next two hours? If I may ask?”

“Oh sorry. I’m Bay.” Bay stuck out his hand.

“Bay?”

Bay nodded.

“Odd, but nice.”

“Thanks. It’s a family name,” Bay said. “Look, you don’t have to stay. The guy thought he had a winning hand, but I raised and he was out of money, so he offered you up to even the pot.”

Instead of accepting Bay’s hand, the guy folded his arms over his chest again, smiled, and looked Bay up and down. “And his loss is definitely my gain.”

Bay smiled weakly and warmth crawled up his face. “Yeah. No… I mean—” He realized the man was flirting with him, as Jack did with so many of his conquests. This is uncanny!

Bay withdrew his hand, and the man took a step toward him. “I’m King Slater.”

He was so close now, Bay could smell his spicy cologne. “Nice to meet you, King.” They locked eyes, and King seemed to be waiting for some sort of recognition. But his name didn’t ring a bell.

King appeared amused by Bay’s nervousness and discomfort. “I’ll show myself in,” he said, still smiling seductively at Bay.

Bay watched in amazement as King walked right past him. He even had Jack’s swagger down to a T.

After quickly looking down the hall in both directions before closing the door, Bay followed King into the living room. King suddenly stopped, and Bay almost ran into his back. When King turned around, still grinning, he looked into Bay’s eyes, cupped the back of Bay’s neck, and pulled him close to press his lips against Bay’s in a slow, tender kiss.

A slew of reactions flooded Bay’s head. Stop him came first. Then before Bay could move, King deepened the kiss. His lips were moist and warm, and Bay’s nether regions tingled. He froze, mentally and physically. What the hell? He had never been kissed by a man. Not that he was against it; it had just never happened. Sex had never been a real part of his life. He’d always figured no one would want him, so why bother? Since his fame had blossomed, the couple of encounters he’d had were with women, and on both occasions they’d slept with Jack Robbins, not Bay Whitman. He imagined that neither he nor his partner could have gotten through that experience.

When the kiss ended and King stepped back, looking quite pleased with himself, Bay was speechless. He instinctively touched his lips and recalled the pressure that had been there.

King smiled again. “Don’t be embarrassed, I have that effect on guys all the time.”

 

Scotty Cade left Corporate America and twenty-five years of Marketing and Public Relations behind to buy an Inn & Restaurant on the island of Martha’s Vineyard with his partner of over twenty years. He started writing stories as soon as he could read, but just eight years ago for publication.  With the Inn and restaurant now sold, you can find him in Greenville South Carolina where he and his husband are restoring a hundred-year-old house or in Charleston South Carolina on their boat simply hanging out.  Being from the south and a lover of commitment and fidelity, all of his characters find their way to long healthy relationships, however long it takes them to get there.  He believes that in the end, the boy should always get the boy.

Here’s where you can find me:

www.scottycade.com

www.facebook.com/scotty.cade

www.twitter.com/ScottyCade

scottycade@gmail.com