Love a Hurt/Comfort Story? Check Out the New Release Blitz for Pulse of My Heart (The Inferno #2) by Jessi Noelle (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Pulse of My Heart

Series: The Inferno, Book Two

Author: Jessi Noelle

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: November 11, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 18900

Genre: Contemporary, LGBT, PTSD, firefighters, photojournalist, Irishman, gay, coming out, tear-jerker, hurt-comfort

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Synopsis

Vincent Franklin’s last mistake had a body count. Now, he’s back on the fireline with something to prove to his fellow firefighters and most of all to himself. But when a sexy Irishman with talent and a camera captures him in a weak moment, he puts Vince’s heart at risk.

Still, there’s something about Aidan that attracts Vince and stirs up feelings he would have preferred to leave locked up and untouched in a dark corner of his heart. Then, after he, and the world, believe Aidan is killed in a tragic accident, Vince struggles to find the courage to love again. His chief worry: Does a screw-up like him even deserve to love again?

Excerpt

Pulse of My Heart
Jessi Noelle © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Christmas Eve, 2019
Vince was breathing hard. Sweat beaded on his forehead and rolled downward, catching in his eyebrow as he groaned in pleasure and release.

“Holy shit, Mac,” he said as the twitching slowed, and he melted into the body under him. He nuzzled the ear of his partner and tenderly kissed the spot just below, where the neck melded into that beautiful head.

“Mmm,” his partner purred, hips moving languidly around his trapped member and drawing another gasp of pleasure before releasing him. “Merry Christmas, my darling.”

“Are you my night-before-Christmas present?” he asked. “Because I’m afraid that if I stir any creatures—even a mouse—I’ll find this sugarplum is a vision dancing in my head.” After the loss a year ago, and everything he’d been through since, this felt surreal.

Mac gave him a coy look—the one that tugged sexy-feel threads in his chest—then flipped over beneath him and wrapped arms around his neck, lacing fingers through Vince’s short, butterscotch hair. “Sugarplum, huh? Ah, you do know how to flatter the guy below you who is still slightly incoherent from recent…activities.” He pulled Vince down for a kiss, tongue snaking out to lick the sweat off his lips and making Vince groan a little at the image. He cocked his head, raised his eyebrows, and Vince could feel himself stirring again, hardening against the leg resting on him.

Vince looked down at him with wonder. “What did I do to deserve you? You’re so beautiful, and smart, and everything I’m not.”

“Don’t get it twisted, darling,” he drawled as he framed Vince’s face between his hands, “I’m the lucky guy who snagged the hot firefighter who defines straight-up sexy, pardon the hetero pun.” Mac softly placed his lips on Vince’s, starting at his forehead and working his way slowly, so agonizingly slowly, down.

In a flash of searing heat, Vince’s tenderness was replaced with hunger and need. Mac grinned wickedly at Vince’s growl of lust and flipped him over. He hovered above Vince, teasing, letting his breath fall on the sensitive places he’d found and wringing moans of frustration from the beautiful boy beneath him. When his tongue trailed over the bumps of Vince’s abs, the ticklish spot Mac found there caused him to squirm away. And when Mac’s lips engulfed his manhood, Vince lost the ability to form coherent thought.

Everything dissolved into a blur of touch and taste and pressure and pleasure and friction and feeling.

Merry Christmas, indeed.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Jessi Noelle was born in South Mississippi, where she worked as a zookeeper and later as a firefighter. She is transgender with two sons, and currently lives in Nashville, TN.

Through the Inferno is her first novel. She is an alum of the inaugural #DVPit, a twitter event where marginalized authors pitch their books to agents. She is currently working on another book set in the The Inferno universe.

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Join Us for the New Release Book Blitz for Sons of Rome by Karrie Roman (excerpt and giveaway)

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Title: Sons of Rome

Author: Karrie Roman

Publisher: NineStar Press

Release Date: October 28, 2019

Heat Level: 3 – Some Sex

Pairing: Male/Male

Length: 77300

Genre: Historical, LGBT, PTSD, soldiers, military, age gap, disabilities, war, ancient Rome, virgins

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Synopsis

9CE Germania

Battle weary and fearless Centurion Drusus Tuscus has only three more years in the Roman Legions and then he can return home to the mother and young brother he was forced to leave behind seventeen summers ago. Drusus has suffered much during his years in the Legions: defeats, fallen comrades and excruciating wounds, but this time the stakes are so much higher. As he prepares to lead his warriors from the safety of their winter base, across the Rhine into the wilds of Germania, he awaits the arrival of new recruits to bolster his century. With these men he will face the ferocious barbarian tribes, many still chafing under the yoke of Roman subjugation.

When his friend and Optio returns with the new men, two faces in the crowd change everything for Drusus. His brother, long lost to him and now a man, stands before him and he brings with him a friend, a man named Caius. A man who stirs the long dead fires of Drusus’s heart. Two men, neither of whom Drusus is willing to lose to a barbarian blade.

As the campaign begins, whispers of betrayal and rebellion stoke a fear in Drusus, especially as his arrogant commander refuses to take heed of the warnings. As catastrophe stalks their footsteps Drusus must balance his duty to Rome with his love for Caius. He will give everything he has to save his beloved brother, and Caius, the man who has stolen his heart.

Two lives that mean more to Drusus than his own.

Excerpt

Sons of Rome
Karrie Roman © 2019
All Rights Reserved

Prologue
8 BCE

Of the many things he would miss about his life, Drusus could not decide which he would yearn for most—his mother’s sweet smiles or his baby brother’s happy babbling. Of course, he loved the land around his family’s farm and would miss the beasts as well as the hard, honest work he toiled at day after day. But his family? Oh gods, how he would miss them.

Only two years ago, having barely reached his eighteenth summer, Drusus had become head of his family after the death of his father. Little Calpurnius, his brother, was barely two summers into his life then, having come along as a great surprise to his parents after many years of failed attempts at a second child. With his loveable nature and adorable face, Calpurnius had easily become the light of the Tuscus family. The time between Calpurnius’s birth and the death of his father had been a happy time for Drusus’s family.

“Drusus, you take too much time,” his mother called.

Agrippina Tuscus was devastated by the loss of her husband, and now, so soon after, she was losing her eldest son to the Emperor’s legions. Drusus had been conscripted. They’d always known it a possibility—more of a certainty—but, nonetheless, Drusus and his mother felt the blow when they finally came for him.

Drusus was not a coward, and he had little fear of battle. He dreaded leaving his mother and little Calpurnius though. They had slaves to tend the farm, and he knew each of them to be loyal. But there was no man of blood here, no Roman man left behind to defend what was left of his family should the need arise. And his family in danger scared him more than any battle could.

“I am taking the land into memory, Mother, so I will not forget what I am fighting for,” he answered as his mother came to stand beside him. Drusus was an unusually tall man who stood above most but towered over his diminutive mother. She looked so fragile beside him, and yet he’d seen her turn into the lioness when the need arose, especially in the care of her children.

“You fight for Roma, son. For Roma’s glory and honour. For Emperor Augustus.”

“I fight for you and Calpurnius too. I fight to keep you safe. I fight for this.” He spread his arms wide and cast them over the panorama of their land: the rolling green hills heavy with wandering sheep, snow-peaked mountains far in the distance, cypress trees swaying gently in the breeze. The wildflowers were due to bloom soon, bringing with them their honeyed fragrance as well as the chirps of a thousand cicadas.

He’d miss it all. The aroma of Cassia’s bread as it baked on the hearth, and even the dry dirt that needed tilling for seeding—and got everywhere—would be missed. The melodious banter of slaves as they worked at the jobs he should be doing were it not for his conscription, the bleat of the sheep, the low calls of the cattle in the field: he’d miss everything. Wherever he went, he’d experience similar sights and sounds, but they wouldn’t be home.

“I would have you stay, Drusus.”

“I cannot, Mother. It is a citizen’s duty to fight with the legions for Roma.” He pressed a tender kiss into her hair, the scent of olive oil and farm life potent in the strands.

“I know, son. I speak selfishly. I will miss you though. It will be many years before you return. Little Cal will not know his brother.” For twenty years, his life would belong to Roma; he’d be nothing more than another body in the cog keeping the Roman war machine turning.

Drusus saw his mother turn her gaze to where Calpurnius was playing with one of his kittens—exactly as he did—at the mention of his beloved brother. He watched the boy’s cherubic face light up in fits of giggles as the kitten rolled playfully all over him. With Cal’s white curls framing his pinked cheeks, he had the look of a god. All who met Calpurnius fell for his charms.

“Pray the gods I make it home before he is sent to the legions.” Drusus flinched at his thoughtless words, knowing they would cause his mother more pain.

As a true Roman woman, his mother ignored his insensitive words, stoically bearing Drusus’s departure instead. “Be safe, Drusus. And do not fear for those of us left behind.”

His mother wrapped her arms around him and held tight. Drusus mirrored her actions, doing his best not to think this may be the last time he held her—saw her. His sweet, kind mother.

He eventually pulled away and took her face in his hands, his gaze intent on her as he did his best to brand her image into his memory. Her dark curls and gentle eyes, the crinkles at the corner of them from years of laughter, her sun-kissed skin. She was still a beauty, even though youth had passed her. He had hopes she would find a good man to marry her one day soon, but he knew his father held her heart even from the afterlife.

Calpurnius was playing with his kitten when Drusus took leave of his mother and went in search of him for their goodbyes. He wasn’t sure Cal comprehended what was happening. The little boy understood Drusus was going away, but the idea of twenty years meant nothing to a child of four. Drusus wondered how long it might take for Cal to stop thinking every day maybe this would be the one his brother returned. How long before Cal forgot him entirely?

“Dru, kitten scratched my arm.” Calpurnius thrust his arm out to show him the offending wound as he approached. His little lip quivered as he looked at the tiny knots of blood left in the wake of the little cat’s sharp claws.

Drusus kneeled before his brother and scooped him into his arms. He kissed the scratch repeatedly until Calpurnius finally giggled and pushed him away.

“Kitten was only playing, Cal. He did not realise how sharp his claws are or how fragile your skin is.”

“You go now?”

“Yes, Cal. It is time for me to go.” He pressed a kiss into soft curls. “I want you to remember you are a Roman man. Earn your honour through your duty to Roma and your family. Treat others well, Calpurnius, and you will make our father proud.”

Calpurnius nodded, clearly intuiting this was an important moment but not understanding why. Drusus seared his mind with this image, too, as his little brother watched him with large blue eyes burning with trust and love.

“I will miss you, little one. Always remember somewhere in the world you have a brother who loves you.”

“You come back?” Calpurnius’s tiny hands rested on his cheeks, pushing them and pursing Drusus’s lips as Cal loved to do. Drusus was willing to give anything right then not to have to go. He understood his obligation to Roma, but the ache in his chest was making leaving to complete his duty so difficult. He’d be gone for so long.

“One day, Cal. Give your brother a kiss before I go,” he requested. Calpurnius dutifully delivered a sloppy kiss to each cheek before Drusus leaned forward and blew into the side of his neck, making the noise that so amused the little ones. He set his brother on his feet and patted his bottom. “Off you go now, and find your kitten. Be good to our mother, Cal. Her heart aches today.”

Drusus watched him for a moment before he turned and walked away from everyone and everything he’d ever known without looking back. He feared if he did so his feet would stop carrying him to the road he must now travel. He didn’t know which legion he’d be sent to or what part of the world he’d be shedding blood and tears in. All he knew was the ache in his own chest at leaving was so painful and crippling that surely no wound he might suffer in battle could ever be worse.

Purchase

NineStar Press | Amazon | Smashwords | Barnes & Noble | Kobo

Meet the Author

Karrie lives in Australia’s sunshine state with her husband and two sons, though she hates the sun with a passion. She dreams of one day living in the wettest and coldest habitable place she can find. She has been writing stories in her head for years but has finally managed to pull the words out of her head and share them with others. She spends her days trying to type her stories on the computer without disturbing her beloved cat Lu curled up on the keyboard. She probably reads far too much.

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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

Need a New Contemporary Romance? Check Out the Blog Tour for Just Like Heaven by T.L. Bradford (excerpt and giveaway)

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BLOG TOUR

Book Title: Just Like Heaven

Author: T.L. Bradford

Publisher: T.L. Bradford

Cover Artist: Photo by Neospot, design by T.L. Bradford

Release Date: September 4, 2019

Genre/s: Contemporary M/M Romance

Trope/s: Opposites attract / friends to lovers

Themes: Coming out, PTSD, Revenge

Heat Rating:  4 flames

Length:  181 000 words/ 479 pages

It is a standalone book.

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Buy Links

Amazon US  |  Amazon UK

What do you covet?

Blurb 

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?

Excerpt 

Chapter 1 

It’s been almost 10 minutes. Five to go. Fuck.

I have no clue what this meeting is about, and I am not in the mood to be dealing with Steph and Genie’s crap today. Some random stagehand just came back here to let me know my attendance was required. I try to think back and wonder if I personally offended anybody yet today. Hmm… Nope. Not today, anyway.

Four minutes.

Steph and Genie are the producers for the show I star on called Americana. It’s a newer concept in programming. The show streams daily on Netflix as an evening drama. Small town life under a microscope is the idea. It’s a modern-day spin on a soap opera really, but there is no way on earth I am admitting to working on a soap opera. The show itself is heavily ingrained in social media where the characters have taken on a life all their own. It’s been almost two years now since they cast me, and the show has been live.

Three minutes.

I graduated from college several years ago. After that, I spent a couple of years bar tending and serving. With good parts so scarce, I was lucky to get this opportunity. The show has been a ratings winner, and the entire cast is becoming well known.

What drew me to the part was its unique take on the dissection of America and how different communities have changed over time. Our show takes place in America’s heartland. It focuses on the lives and loves of the residents of Greenfield, Indiana.

My character, Jace, is the town barkeeper. He was a great role to play early on because he had a lot of interaction with the main cast. Lately, though, something has changed, and I’m not feeling in touch with the character as much as I once did. It’s showing in my performance, so I’m sure that’s what this meeting is about.

Two minutes.

I’ll bet it has to do with me flubbing lines lately. I haven’t been able to focus, and it looks like they have noticed. My part is getting reduced to nothing. Maybe this is the kick in the pants I need to move on. Ash, one of my castmates on the show, mentioned that they are having open auditions for a new show on FOX. Who knows, it may work out for a season or two. The only thing is that FOX has a bad reputation for short-term junky shows.

One minute.

Maybe they aren’t going to renew my contract. Oh god. I’m being sacked. I can see it now. Gah, I’m already planning my pity party table for one.

I reluctantly get up from my chair, padding out of the room, trying hard not to make eye contact with anyone. I arrive at the end of the hall and hold my hand on the doorknob. “Okay here it goes,” I say to no one in particular.

I enter the room and see Genie and Steph seated across from each other around a large square glass table. Steph is probably in his early 40s, (never can tell for sure in Hollywood), smallish frame with short sandy brown hair, mischievous eyes and a car salesman smile. He is kicking back with his half-eaten Subway sandwich hanging out of his mouth.

Genie looks up to see me. She has her requisite Starbucks Spiced Vanilla Chai Latte and is eating some salad that looks unhealthier than Steph’s meatball sub. “Noah, right on time, per usual.”

“Hey, guys.” I’m hoping to keep good vibes flowing.

Steph says, “Come on in and take a seat. Shut the door behind you.”

Oh boy, that doesn’t sound good. I move toward the desk, taking a chair next to the window, moving it in close next to Genie. The smell of the eggs on her salad is strong. Steph takes a napkin to his lips to wipe the marinara sauce off and starts talking.

“Noah, you’ve been here for over a year, right?”

“Uh, yeah, almost two years next month.”

“So, you’re up for contract negotiations then, right?”

“Yeah, I haven’t talked with my agent about it yet.”

“Well, that is what Genie and I would like to discuss.”

I swear the smell of the eggs is getting stronger. It is permeating the entire atmosphere.

“You know we get the daily stats on the show’s overall performance and having talked; we decided we are going to have to make some changes.”

It’s coming. I feel it. With the show being purely streaming, it is easy for the showrunners to pull up all types of analytics on the show, like what age group is watching, and income bracket. Annoyingly, they can also track what parts of the show are being watched and skipped over. A favorite character will have higher click averages than a third tier one. With my part being scaled back so much, I’m fairly sure my numbers are in the gutter. For sure I’m getting the boot. I start sweating.

Genie jumps in and says, “Your numbers have been pretty consistent, but not growing at the pace we would like to see.” All I can smell now is the nauseating stench of eggs. I am going to puke. Right here. Right now. Right on their fancy $3000 glass table.

Genie looks at me with concern in her eyes. “Are you okay? You don’t look so hot. Would you like a glass of water?” She jumps up from the table to grab me a glass. Her dark hair is nearly falling out of the messy bun at the back of her head.

“Yeah, that would be great.” She comes back and sets the glass down in front of me. I pick it up and drink slowly. My throat is constricted, and I nearly choke. She is still concerned and looks over to Steph. She pushes her black-framed glasses up on her nose and turns back to me.

Sensing my stress, she quickly says, “We are thinking of taking your character into a new direction.”

“A new direction? Okay, what were you guys thinking about?”

Steph says, “We’ve done some marketing research and have found some niches that we think will work well for our show.” He crams in another mouthful of sub.

Ever the tag team, Genie says, “It’s a direction that may be more challenging, but we think given your range that you would best be able to play the role.”

“What’s the direction you were thinking?”

She looks over to Steph, then back at me. “Your character, Jace Alexander will enter into a relationship with a new character, named Max.”

“Max? Well, what is Maxine’s backstory?” I let out a huge breath. They had me there for a minute.

“It’s just Max, not Maxine. Specifically, Max Shephard,” Steph says.

Slowly my head starts to wrap around what they are saying. “So, wait, Max is a guy?”

“Yep,” they say in unison.

“You made him gay?”

“Look, Noah, I know this is a real shock, but think of it this way. You will have a unique storyline, and it will get people back into your character again,” says Steph. “It’s been what, a year now since Jace broke up with Gracie? The character has just been drifting, and we need to get that viewership back.”

“Are you kidding me? How the hell am I supposed to play gay? This is so far out of my league. I—”

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Steph says, finally having put this sub down. “Genie and I had to go to bat for you to keep you on the show. They were ready to cut you. We pulled this idea out that we had a little while ago and they went for it. So basically, you stay on the show on the condition that you accept this storyline. Otherwise, they are releasing you at the end of your contract.”

I sit back in my chair, dumbstruck. I look between the two of them and see there is no way out. I have no words.

Genie says, “I know you feel blindsided and I don’t blame you for being upset but think about this rationally. This is the opportunity you have been waiting for. A chance to stretch your acting skills.”

“Yeah, but…”

Then she pulls forward in her chair, she grabs my hand and looks me in the eye. “You don’t have to answer right now. Think about it over the weekend, and we can all talk about it again on Monday.”

I don’t say a word, still unmoving and dazed.

“We have an audition video for the actor we have in mind. Why don’t you take this copy and see if you think you can make this work?”

Wordlessly, I take the flash drive and get up to leave. I go back to my dressing room and finally lose the contents of my stomach.

About the Author  

T.L. always hated math, so it was a good thing she had a way with words.  Since she was a shy and quirky kid; words were her best friends. She would imagine entire worlds in her head and talk to herself endlessly.  Her mother wondered if she was speaking with ghosts for a while. 

Her older sister was a voracious reader of trashy romance novels and would pass them down to her after she had finished them.  T.L. was the only 10-year-old kid sitting in class reading “The Stud” by Jackie Collins during reading time. Oddly enough, she never got called out on it.

As she grew older, her tastes evolved, but one thing held fast; her undying attachment to love stories. One day out of the blue, she decided to write the love stories she always wanted to read instead of searching for her story.  Since then, writing has been a dream fulfilled for her and she could not be happier.

She enjoys writing about love, regardless of gender and is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ community.

T.L. calls the Pacific Northwest her home and enjoys the quiet rural life of her little oceanside home with her playful/crazy husband and their giant dog Noah.

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An Alisa Review: Mason’s Run by Mellanie Rourke

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Rating:  4 stars out of 5

 

Mason:

I’ve escaped a past that would have destroyed most men: used, abused and sold for sex from a young age by those who should have protected me, an unexpected moment of compassion from a stranger gives me a chance at a new life.

 

Though I’ve started over, my scars run deep; I’m an LGBTQ fantasy graphic novel writer and artist with a huge following, but I’m terrified of the world. When I discover that the stranger who saved me from a life of abuse is the same man who has finally awakened my body to desire, I realize the truth: Can I ever really be free if I’m still afraid of my past and the people who shattered me?

 

Lee:

Serving as a medic in the Middle East, I felt the life of my fiancé slip away under my hands and was powerless to stop it. Discharged with physical and emotional wounds I can’t heal, I go home to my crazy, geeky family and try to learn to live with the damage.

 

Pain and grief lead me to some acts I’m not proud of, including paying strangers for sex. I’m determined to keep it strictly business, no emotions involved, but when I discover that Mason Malone isn’t a high-end escort, but a battered young man forced into a life of pain and degradation, I’m frozen in indecision. Then the man with the raven curls and blue-gold eyes whispers “”Please…”” and the barriers I built around my heart shatter.

 

Years later, fate brings us back together. He has a new name and career, but I could never forget those eyes. Mason, unfortunately, doesn’t recognize me. Every day I find myself more and more drawn to him, but I’m terrified of what will happen when our secrets are discovered.

 

As both of our pasts threaten our future, can we find a path to redemption? Can love and forgiveness overcome soul-shattering pain? Or will the discovery of our shared past create a chasm too wide to bridge?

 

Warning:  PTSD, major anxiety issues, and sexual abuse, including rape, the aftermath of child molestation, and human trafficking.

 

I am not usually good with long stories (and I didn’t know how long this one was going to be) but I didn’t have trouble with this book because it kept my attention the whole time.  There were so many heartbreaking parts in this story but thankfully both of these two would be able to break free of the fear and re-start their lives.

 

Having to read about Mason’s abuse was heartbreaking.  He had to deal with so much as a child and teen, more than many could ever understand.  I was so happy when he thought he finally got away but got thrown right back into heartbreak when Ricky found him.  But he was finally rescued by his Dark Angel though he still lived in fear until Lee really came into his life.

 

Lee has always had the support of his loving family but losing his fiancé and being injured at the time seemed to break him.  Rescuing Mason helped him break free of that and while he no longer lives in that darkness he doesn’t find it in him to move on until Mason inexplicably comes back into his life.

 

I loved that these two just had such a connection that it helps them to move forward.  It hurt so bad when Mason’s past came back at him but I was so happy that he was able to find the courage to take control and finally get the closure he needed.  I was so happy to see them building a life together and then Mason giving Lee the wonderful gift at the end.

 

The cover art by Reese Dante is an absolutely wonderful picture of Mason

 

Sales Link: Amazon

 

Book Details:

ebook, 461 pages

Published: August 1, 2019

Edition Language: English

Series: Twin Peeks Bookstore #1

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Don’t Miss Out On the Blog Tour for Mason’s Run (A Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance) by Mellanie Rourke (excerpt)

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Mason's Run Tour Banner

Mason’s Run

A Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance

Mellanie Rourke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 08.01.19

Mason Run Cover

BLURB

Mason:

I’ve escaped a past that would have destroyed most men: used, abused and sold for sex from a young age by those who should have protected me, an unexpected moment of compassion from a stranger gives me a chance at a new life.

Though I’ve started over, my scars run deep; I’m an LGBTQ fantasy graphic novel writer and artist with a huge following, but I’m terrified of the world. When I discover that the stranger who saved me from a life of abuse is the same man who has finally awakened my body to desire, I realize the truth: Can I ever really be free if I’m still afraid of my past and the people who shattered me?

Lee:

Serving as a medic in the Middle East, I felt the life of my fiancée slip away under my hands and was powerless to stop it. Discharged with physical and emotional wounds I can’t heal, I go home to my crazy, geeky family and try to learn to live with the damage.

Pain and grief lead me to some acts I’m not proud of, including paying strangers for sex. I’m determined to keep it strictly business, no emotions involved, but when I discover that Mason Malone isn’t a high-end escort, but a battered young man forced into a life of pain and degradation, I’m frozen in indecision. Then the man with the raven curls and blue-gold eyes whispers “”Please…”” and the barriers I built around my heart shatter.

Years later, fate brings us back together. He has a new name and career, but I could never forget those eyes. Mason, unfortunately, doesn’t recognize me. Every day I find myself more and more drawn to him, but I’m terrified of what will happen when our secrets are discovered.

As both of our pasts threaten our future, can we find a path to redemption? Can love and forgiveness overcome soul-shattering pain? Or will the discovery of our shared past create a chasm too wide to bridge?

Warning: PTSD, major anxiety issues, and sexual abuse, including rape, the aftermath of child molestation, and human trafficking.

Buy Link: https://books2read.com/MasonsRun

mason

1

EXCERPT

I couldn’t have found a better person to help get Mason out of his own head. He saw her freeze outside the door to the alcove where his signing table was located. As soon as Mason saw Jeri, he smiled. Jeri was very slim, just starting that gangly phase of adolescence that let you begin to glimpse the person they would become in five or ten years.

“Hi!” Mason said, sending a small, shy wave her way.

“…Hey,” she squeaked, her voice breaking, and I could see her hand was shaking where she held a dog-eared copy of Mason’s book.

“I’m Mason,” he said softly.

“Of course, you’re Mason. I mean, you look just like him.” She lifted the graphic novel in her hand, which held a small photo of Mason on the back of it. “Not that you have to look like this, of course, because, who knows how real things are with Photoshop and all, but I did see some pictures in the Comics Guide a few months ago, but I didn’t know when the photos were taken and you could have looked completely different by now. I mean…” she continued, barely pausing for breath. “I change my hair color like, all the time, so why couldn’t you? And I’m really babbling, aren’t I?” She stopped suddenly and clamped her lips together tightly. “I do this. I babble. When I’m nervous. I’m Jeri.”

“Well, you want to know a secret, Jeri?” Mason aske-d, leaning forward on the table. Her eyes were wide, and she nodded jerkily.

“I’m nervous, too.” Her eyes got even wider at the disclosure. “Terrified, actually. I’m not really good around groups of people, so the thought of meeting everyone out there…” Mason gestured at the line of people outside the store. “…makes me kinda sick to my stomach.”

“But…” she looked him up and down, puzzlement in her expression. “But why? They… we… are all here because we like you. Like your work, I mean” she said, her hand jerkily waving at the stacks of books and artwork.

“Good question. I wish I knew the answer to it. I think maybe it’s because I’m afraid I’ll never live up to their idea of me. And the thought of meeting this many people scares me, but…” He glanced over at me as I glared at a couple of agitated and excited teens waiting in line, quelling their exuberant spirits with a look. “…a smart man once told me to take it one step at a time. One person at a time. I figure the only way I’m going to get over being scared of people, is to meet more of them,” Mason replied. “Because once you get to know most people, it’s hard to be scared of them. Take Lee over there…”

He nodded toward me, and Jeri’s eyes flitted over for a moment, her posture relaxing and her lips not quite so tight anymore. We had spent a lot of time working on the store together.

“I was scared to death of him a day ago, but today, I know he’s a pretty nice guy who is obsessed with tiny robots.”

Mason grinned at me and Jeri smiled. She had seen my Transformer collection when I’d moved it from my parents’ house to mine. “Kind of hard to be afraid of a guy who likes tiny robots,” she agreed.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mellanie Rourke lives in Akron, Ohio with her loving (and long-suffering) husband, two snarky children, and furry menagerie.

She has been writing since she was a child but never had the impulse to publish until she was introduced to the world of M/M Romance. Now her husband has to put up with a variety of new ways to describe a penis, and her children aren’t allowed to tell their teachers what she writes.

For more information on Mellanie’s upcoming work, join her Facebook group “Misfits & Malcontents” at https://www.facebook.com/groups/MisfitsandMalcontents/

To stay informed about upcoming releases, special events and fun contests, join her mailing list at: https://lp.constantcontact.com/su/2hWdMxT/MelRourke

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New Release Blitz for Mason’s Run (A Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance) by Mellanie Rourke (excerpt)

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Mason's Run RDB Banner

Mason’s Run

A Twin Peeks Bookstore Romance

Mellanie Rourke

M/M Romance

Release Date: 08.01.19

Mason Run Cover

BLURB

Mason:

I’ve escaped a past that would have destroyed most men: used, abused and sold for sex from a young age by those who should have protected me, an unexpected moment of compassion from a stranger gives me a chance at a new life.

Though I’ve started over, my scars run deep; I’m an LGBTQ fantasy graphic novel writer and artist with a huge following, but I’m terrified of the world. When I discover that the stranger who saved me from a life of abuse is the same man who has finally awakened my body to desire, I realize the truth: Can I ever really be free if I’m still afraid of my past and the people who shattered me?

Lee:

Serving as a medic in the Middle East, I felt the life of my fiancée slip away under my hands and was powerless to stop it. Discharged with physical and emotional wounds I can’t heal, I go home to my crazy, geeky family and try to learn to live with the damage.

Pain and grief lead me to some acts I’m not proud of, including paying strangers for sex. I’m determined to keep it strictly business, no emotions involved, but when I discover that Mason Malone isn’t a high-end escort, but a battered young man forced into a life of pain and degradation, I’m frozen in indecision. Then the man with the raven curls and blue-gold eyes whispers “”Please…”” and the barriers I built around my heart shatter.

Years later, fate brings us back together. He has a new name and career, but I could never forget those eyes. Mason, unfortunately, doesn’t recognize me. Every day I find myself more and more drawn to him, but I’m terrified of what will happen when our secrets are discovered.

As both of our pasts threaten our future, can we find a path to redemption? Can love and forgiveness overcome soul-shattering pain? Or will the discovery of our shared past create a chasm too wide to bridge?

Warning: PTSD, major anxiety issues, and sexual abuse, including rape, the aftermath of child molestation, and human trafficking.

mason

1

EXCERPT

“Well, who knew? All it took was a little murder to get him back,” I said, digging my fingers into my head, trying to get rid of the headache that was growing.

“It wasn’t murder, Lee,” Bishop insisted, his voice brooking no argument. “And you know it. You were saving that him. That’s what you do: defend the helpless, protect the innocent, just like you always swore to do. Like you always did for me.”

I looked up at him and shook my head, even if he wouldn’t acknowledge it, I knew it was different.

“It wasn’t the same, Bish. There was no ‘brotherly’ love involved,” I said wryly. “Just lust. I went there to use him, just like all the other men had.”

A MelanieM Review: Ammo and Enchiladas (Border Crossing #2) by B.A. Tortuga

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Rating:: 4 stars out of 5

A Border Crossing Novel

After a night at the movies in Albuquerque, NM, Brantley’s best friend, Matt, is shot right in front him during a robbery. Stunned and devastated, Brant tries to help Matt’s husband, Travis, deal with the funeral details even as he struggles with his own grief and Travis’s blame. When Travis’s best friend arrives, Brant is both annoyed and grateful, because he is so darn tired and can use the help.

Lex Espana is ashamed to admit he hasn’t seen his childhood best friend since Travis’s wedding. He’s even more amazed that he barely remembers Brant from that wedding, because he’s sure interested now. While it’s weird to fall for someone at a funeral, his feelings for Brant are real and make him long for a life he didn’t realize he was missing.

Neither Lex nor Brant knows how to be part of an us, though, and they both have a lot to work through before they can settle in. To become a real couple, Brant and Lex will have to dig deep to get past the roadblocks in their relationship.

Lex Espana, a police officer, played a major part in the first novel in the Border Crossing series. However, he was without a romantic partner and alone, even with friends after the traumatic events of Bombs and Guacamole.  Now in Ammo and Enchiladas, Lex is called back to his hometown when his childhood friend’s husband is killed in a gas station robbery done bad.  Travis is falling apart and needs Lex to handle things.  Also on the scene is Brant, the husband’s best friend. Brant was also with Matt at the time of the robbery and is dealing with not only his own grief at losing his best friend but guilt at surviving when Matt is dead.

What follows is a story of loss, stress, and the men who even under the worst conditions happen to find out they are perfect for each other.

Many things pop up about this story.   BA Tortuga is no stranger to writing about men with issues. Here it’s PTSD, grief, survivor’s guilt, recovery, and stress.  Brant is a vet wounded in service and dealing with the fact that he survived in a situation he was trained to deal with and his best friend didn’t.  Lex is dealing with PTSD from the bombing and the attacks in the hospital.  And now a random robbery and crazy gunman killed a man that shifted their world.    And the author is able to show us that in their actions, conversations and thoughts.

I was also unaware of the high crime reputation of Albuquerque …mostly because the state is on the lower income bracket.  We get a real flavor of what it feels to live their , all the wonderful reasons and not so great, about the ‘Burque.  It gives the story a very authentic flavor and that lends itself towards the characters too.

The romance between Brant and Lex is hesitant, complex, and wonderful.  I enjoyed it and the input from their families as well.  Poor Travis, however deep in mourning and grief doesn’t come off so well.  I would wish better for him.  By the time the story is over, the relationship is solid, they are moving forward  with a joined future, and we are looking at the next story in the series.

All that with a smile on our faces!  Now to see what is next!  I definitely recommend this story and the series if you enjoy contemporary romance, especially with a regional touch and some great food to boot!

Cover Artist: Alexandria Corza.I like these simple covers.  They work to brand the series yet contain elements about the story.

Sales Links:  Dreamspinner Press | Amazon

Book Details:

ebook, 213 pages
Published June 11th 2019 by Dreamspinner Press
Original Title Ammo and Enchiladas
ISBN139781644051375
Edition Language English

Series Border Crossing #2

Border Crossing Series

Bombs and Guacamole

Ammo and Enchiladas

Blog Tour and Giveaway for Keeping Cade (Crave #1) by SE Jakes

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Keeping Cade

Crave Series, Book 1

SE Jakes

Gay Menage Romance

Release Date: 05.27.19

 

 

BLURB

 

Protection has its price, but so do fantasies…

 

Fantasy Week happens twice a year at Crave, and it’s always a big hit—a way to live out your wildest fantasy in a safe, sane, and consensual manner.

 

But when Cade comes in with his Fantasy Week invitation, he’s not happy about it. He’s stoic as hell and his preferences don’t seem to match his fantasy at all…and yet, despite that, he enjoys himself with Tegan and Vic. At least at first.

 

When it becomes glaringly apparent that the fantasy isn’t something Cade’s comfortable with, it’s confusing for the men he’s been paired with, and Tegan and Vic put a stop to the scene immediately.

 

What Cade doesn’t know is that Tegan and Vic are not only co-owners of Crave, but they’re also owners of a mercenary group, Gray Ops, that’s run out of Crave. They’ve also been circling each other for years… but nothing sparks until their session with Cade.

 

What happened in Room 4 is something none of the men can forget…but it’s got nothing to do with a fantasy and everything to do with blackmail. Can Tegan and Vic help Cade keep his secrets, while keeping all of them safe at the same time? Because the threatening to spill out aren’t only Cade’s…

 

*This series is set in the MEN OF HONOR world, in the bar called Crave from Bound By Honor

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excerpt

 

Just when you thought you’d gotten away from this shit, you’re back in.

Oz stopped in front of the door marked Room 4 and handed Cade his card. “Give this to the first man you see inside the room—that’s when your fantasy starts, so now’s the time for any last-minute questions or concerns.”

“I just need to do this.” His heart thudded in his chest. He took a long gulp of water, and Oz put a hand on his arm.

“Hey, it’s normal to be nervous, but this is supposed to be fun. Freeing. Nothing happens that you don’t want. Remember, red and yellow, okay?”

Right—fun and freeing. Cade wanted to tell him that this was an obligation for someone he loved, because of someone he hated who, for all he knew, might show up behind this door…but instead, he simply nodded, handed off his glass…and walked inside.

The door closed behind him as he waited for his eyes to adjust to the low lighting in the room. Later, he’d notice the bed in the corner, the bench, and various BDSM tools, but his immediate focus couldn’t help but narrow, with a laserlike intensity, on a man who took up all the space in the room.

That force of nature stood casually, leaning against the wall, his gaze bent on exposing and seducing and Jesus, he was goddamned beautiful in that hot, badass kind of way with short, spiked, almost white-blond hair that made him look fierce. He was taller than Cade and broader, but his body was honed from whatever work he did for a living and not simply gym muscles. Cade could definitely tell the difference. This man was capable.

This man would break him. And he’d have fun doing it.

Cade shifted, not sure what to do next. Finally, he held out the card and said, “Hey, I’m Cade.” Like maybe the guy didn’t know who he was, or why he was here.

The man’s dark-blue eyes caught him, held him in place. “Hey, I’m the one who’s going to make you scream.”

His voice was a deep drawl that ran like warm honey down Cade’s spine. He fought a shudder and lost, and the man graced him with a wicked smile.

Man up. Get it over with. Cade straightened his spine and waited for the order.

It came far too quickly.

“Strip. Now. There’s no reason to keep your clothes on for what you’re here to do.”

SE Jakes writes m/m romance. She believes in happy endings and fighting for what you want in both fiction and real life. She lives in New York with her family and most days, she can be found happily writing (in bed). No really…

 

Facebook page: Facebook.com/SEJakes

Twitter: Twitter.com/authorsejakes

Goodreads Group: Ask SE Jakes

Tumblr:: sejakes.tumblr.com

Instagram: instagram.com/authorsejakes

Newsletter: www.SEJakes.com/Newsletter

 

 

 

 

A Chaos Moondrawn Review: Keeping Cade (Crave Club #1) by S.E. Jakes

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Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Related to the Men Of Honor and Phoenix Inc. series, you can read this without reading the other seven books, as there is plenty of recapping, (over two dozen characters are mentioned in the first few chapters alone), but be prepared for the plot to be connected. I picked this because I remember reading said series a long time ago. This first paragraph is usually where I try and give a little synopsis of the plot, so here goes: Cade, a professional fighter working for the Russian mob, dates the wrong man, a spook named Courier. Courier then blackmails him into doing sexual things or else he will kill one of his best friends, a Delta Force active duty serviceman now in Africa. Of course, the BDSM club named Crave, which he is forced to go to, is run by ex-military men who run a mercenary group named Gray Ops. Is he an unwitting honeypot to get to the owners Tegan and Vic, or is something else happening? I am going to give you a spoiler, so if you don’t want to know, don’t read anymore. It’s also a major trigger, so I’m not even going to feel bad about it. Be prepared for multigenerational child abuse happening here.

At this point, I will say the erotic parts can survive without the plot, but the plot is pure angst and sex–bonding over past trauma and lust. At first, it’s difficult to emotionally engage, because the characters are like caricatures. The men teeter between heavy testosterone “f*ck or fight,” (the author’s words, not mine) hyper-masculinity, to swoony heroes in a bodice ripper. I’ve been reading m/m romance for almost a decade now and I think my expectations of this genre are much higher. Also, fairly or not, it’s difficult not to compare this to other works by this author that are much better, especially since most of her characters are very similar. The depth always seems to come from the characters having been tortured during their military service, or being abused in foster care, and suffering from PTSD. Then you get hit in the gut by all of the child abuse, both current with a character who is a minor, and past with several main characters. That’s not even talking about the paedophile ring and the human trafficking.

This starts out well, if you don’t mind sexy dub-con, but Tegan and Vic go into alpha protective dom mode immediately after one scene with Cade, a complete stranger, and start acting like they are life partners. This is done knowingly, with a nod and wink, as werewolf mates are referenced by an old friend. Cade, a former Ranger and Delta Force member, and professional street fighter, is treated like a helpless kitten. I also never like it when books use former sexual abuse as the reason people like BDSM–because they are damaged and then let people continue to abuse them, but it’s okay because they need it. It’s so busy recapping the past and writing in various new characters and topics that can be revisited in the future, that this plot suffers. This triad is compared to two other triads from the previous series as well, so I guess it’s an “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it” mentality. The rest of the book is finding a way for this threesome to get closer, exploiting all of their past pain, to build up to a rescue that isn’t all that exciting. I had a difficult time rating this because it has so much going on that it doesn’t do any one thing particularly well or believably. I know there are fans who will love this book because they get to see some of their past favorites, but for me having a few walk on roles wasn’t enough.

The cover art design is by Croco Designs. I would guess this is Cade and the red cover is evocative of an emergency or danger, but this really doesn’t give you anything else about the story.

Sales Link: Amazon

Book Details:Kindle Edition, 321 pages
Published May 24th 2019 by Stephanie Tyler LLC
ASINB07S7KDVLX
Edition Language English
Series Crave Club #1