Guest Review: A Dream of Daisies by Lemi Young

A tradition from days past, for when a lonely omega had no other recourse...

Since he was young, Chamomile Greenthroat has dreamed of having a family of his own. Now, growing older and still without a partner, he turns to a nearly-forgotten tradition: a charm of flowers left on his doorstep, a message to the alphas of town that he seeks a child.

The response is overwhelming, but one charm stands above the rest. An alpha who has pined in secret for years has finally broken his silence, hoping for more than just a night or two together. But first, there's the small matter of making a baby...

An Alpha/Beta/Omega mpreg novella, featuring lots of flowers, an age-gap romance, and equal parts sweet and sexy!

Reviewer: Shee Reader

This is a super sweet, age gap romance that didn’t take long to read at all. Perfect for a quick pick me up!

Chamomile is lonely and decides to try a long forgotten tradition of leaving a flower charm by his cottage door, so the Alphas of the village will know the omega wanted a baby. He gets lots of replies, but one stands head and shoulders above the rest. An alpha who seems to want more than a baby making fling.

Lark is a woodworker who had admired Chamomile from afar for YEARS! They are such an adorably cute couple and the baby making takes place in earnest before a marriage vow is taken. It is such an adorable other-worldly story, but with a satisfying relationship that is such the loveliest HEA it left me smiling like a fool.

I adored how the book started my education in the language of flowers, and I’ll certainly look out for more by this author.

Highly recommended.

I was given a free copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Jeremiah (High Rise #1) by Jayce Ellis

Welcome author Jayce Ellis and A Novel Take PR as they promote new contemporary romance, Jeremiah (High Rise #1)! Discover more and enter in the $30 Amazon gift card giveaway! (3 winners)

Jeremiah by Jayce Ellis

Series: High Rise #1

Release Date: January 6, 2020

Subgenre: Contemporary m/m romance

Book Synopsis:
Jeremiah Stewart’s sexuality is no one’s business. Not that he’s hiding it. When—if—he finds the right one, he’ll absolutely introduce him to Mom. But a late-night brush with a sexy stranger in too much lip gloss has him rethinking nearly everything…

To Collin Galloway, direction is a four-letter word. Sure, he hates his job, he hates living with his parents and he really hates watching everyone move on without him. But he doesn’t know what he wants to do, long-term, and he won’t figure it out by thirsting over Jeremiah, the superhot, superintense paramedic who is suddenly everywhere Collin looks.

When Jeremiah’s faced with losing all he’s worked so hard to build, he reluctantly accepts Collin’s help. They’re both determined to stay professional…which works about as well as either would imagine. But Collin only does closets with clothes, and Jeremiah has to decide if he’s finally found the one worth bringing home to Mom.

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“Jeremiah, can I talk to you?”
He didn’t break stride, not even for a beat. I quickened my step to catch up before stopping a few feet away.
“Jeremiah, please.”
He paused, like he was considering it, and took another step. Then he turned, his jaw so tight I could see the muscle twitch, his shoulders squared off, fingers flexing at his side. Not anger. More like tightly held control. And why was I persisting? To prove I wasn’t the scaredy-cat I’d been the first time?
“What is it?” His voice held none of the warmth from last week, none of the kindness he’d given Ryan.
I gulped. “I just—thank you for helping my friend.”
“It’s my job.”
“Tonight, maybe, but not this weekend it wasn’t.”
He lifted his shoulder, like it wasn’t a big deal. Like anyone would have done the same. They wouldn’t, and I knew it. And he knew it.
I took another step. “I’m sorry for blowing you off before.”
That stopped me. The single-word question rolled off his lips so easily. Why. Why was I sorry? Because I’d been immediately attracted to him, or because I thought, for a split second before I screwed it up, that he might reciprocate it, and the idea scared me shitless?
Some of the above? All of the above? Another reason entirely?
He kept talking. “Look, don’t trip. It’s late, your boy’s going to be here for a minute, and I’ve got to go.”
But he didn’t move. So I took another step. He looked up, away from me for the first time, scanning the parking lot before resettling his attention. I closed the gap between us, until we were at the cusp of personal boundaries.
“I want to thank you,” I said. And holy hell, what the fuck was I doing?
Jeremiah’s brow shot up. “What does that mean?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know. Coffee, dinner, or…” I didn’t know how to finish that. The hell you say. You know exactly how to finish that.
Jeremiah took me in, surveyed the lot again before he finally took a step, eviscerating the space between us in one move. “Or what?”
I jutted my chin up and stared him in the eye. “Whatever you want.” Blood pulsed through my veins. Jesus hell, what was I doing?
He smiled, a slow, boxers-dropping smile, and I swallowed a moan that threatened to burst free. “You offering to thank me with sex, baby?”
I gulped. “I mean, if that’s what you want.” My voice sounded breathy, like it belonged to someone else. Someone stronger, someone unashamed to admit what he wanted.
Jeremiah straightened and looked behind him, and I remembered he wasn’t alone. His partner was around here somewhere, but for the life of me I couldn’t see the ambulance. I didn’t know if that would stop me if he wanted me. I didn’t know if anything would stop me if he wanted me.
Jeremiah turned back, then trailed a long finger against my jawline, bringing me imperceptibly closer to him. I leaned into his touch, knowing already that it wouldn’t be enough. Nothing but everything would be enough. Heat radiated from him and I was desperate for more.
“Goddamn, you’re beautiful,” he whispered in my ear, his breath ghosting across my skin. I felt him even after he pulled away.
“Th-thank you.” Still breathy, but with a pounding heart and a painfully hard cock to match.
His lips wisped across my ear. “But maybes and if yous aren’t yeses, and that’s the only sex I get down with. Besides,” he said, pulling away and walking backward to the alley next to the side of the entrance, “I don’t know your name and I’m sure your mans is waiting for you.”
He turned away, and my false bravado collapsed with it. I watched his back, the uncaring way he moved proving what shot I’d had was gone.

About the author:

Jayce Ellis has three loves: her husband and her two turtles. Hubby loves her back. The turtles she's not so sure about, but they do love their sports (Bay Area teams FTW!). She still hasn't figured out why she lives in Northern Virginia, where there's weather, instead of California, where she's from, and where it's just...pretty. Jayce spends her days divorcing happily-married couples (or so she's been told), and her nights talking maniacally to herself. Thankfully the recorder catches her rumblings and magically turns them into words on a screen. Painting nails is way easier when you don't actually have to type, and with well over 500 polishes to get through, there's a lot of painting going on.

Notwithstanding her no-good, very bad, horrible day job, Jayce seriously believes that true love conquers all. Even Maleficent said it. Sure, she was having an epic Mean Girls moment at the time, but she still said it. And she's right. The only thing Jayce loves more than writing about true love conquering all, is hearing from readers who feel the same way.

Author links:
Twitter: @thelawyerwrites
Facebook: Jayce Ellis author


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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Jeff, Karma, and Me by Jere’ M. Fishback

Author Jere’ M. Fishback and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Jeff, Karma, and Me! Find out more about this new adult story and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Jeff, Karma, and Me
Author: Jere’ M. Fishback
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 90400
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, contemporary, new adult, gay, bi, absent parent, mental illness, campground, Florida, Indiana, college students, multiple partners, coming out

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Twenty-year-old college student, Jakub Mazur, is a loner consumed by feelings of helplessness due to his mother’s unexplained disappearance many years before. He feels he’s not in charge of his own life, that forces beyond his control will always determine his destiny. But when a summer affair ignites between Jakub and Jeff Brucelli, Jakub tastes both romantic love and self-empowerment.

After returning to school for his third year of college, Jakub suffers another tragic loss; it shakes his faith in his ability to navigate life’s challenges. Is he doomed to suffer at the hand of fate forever?

When Jeff is diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a potentially fatal cancer of the lymphatic system, Jeff’s oncologist says he must endure debilitating chemotherapy cycles, then radiation treatments. Jakub is devastated when he learns of this, but decides, for once, he will take control of his future instead of behaving like a helpless bystander.


Jeff, Karma, and Me
Jere’ M. Fishback © 2020
All Rights Reserved

I was twenty years old when Jeff Brucelli walked into my life and turned it upside down. I had just finished my sophomore year of college and was home for summer break, to live with my dad in the head ranger’s residence in Fort De Soto Park, a county facility fronting Tampa Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Dad oversaw the park’s campground, as well as the picnic areas, boat ramps, piers, and beaches. Our house was a two-bedroom, wood frame structure seated on nine-foot pilings, with a screened porch overlooking a placid bayou. The floors were polished oak, and the wood burning fireplace was built of local limestone. A wooden dock and covered boat slip extended into the bayou, where Dad kept a sixteen-foot Carolina Skiff with a forty-horsepower outboard.

My first morning home, I gobbled a bowlful of cornflakes and chugged OJ from a carton. Then I took a bike ride through the RV section of the campground. The sun had risen two hours before and already the day heated up. Dampness gathered in my armpits while I pedaled along the crushed shell road. Most campsites I passed were waterfront, shaded by live oaks and sabal palms. Native foliage grew between them: sea grape, hibiscus, turkey oaks, and flame of the woods.

Many sites were empty, but at one near the eastern tip of the campground, an RV the size of a city bus hulked. A guy my age sat there at a picnic table, strumming an acoustic guitar. Shirtless and wearing cutoff denim shorts, he was slender and fair-skinned, and his cola-colored eyes narrowed when I approached on my bike.

“Are you staying here?” I asked.

Sunlight reflected in his mop of dark and wavy hair when he nodded and answered in a scratchy tenor. “My folks are serving as campground hosts the next few months. They’re both schoolteachers and have the summer free, so we’ll be here through August.”

I dismounted and lowered my kickstand. Then I pointed my chin at the RV. “That’s a nice ride.”

“It belongs to my mom’s parents. Grandma’s not well these days, and they don’t use it much, so they lent it to us for this trip. We’re from Indiana.”

I extended a hand. “I’m Jakub Mazur.”

Jeff told me his name while we shook. His palm felt warm, his grip firm.

I explained how I was home for the summer from Florida State University and living inside the park.

“I just finished my second year at IU,” Jeff said. “I’m a journalism major.”

Jeff glanced here and there before he spoke again, this time in almost a whisper. “We’ve only been here a few days, but I get the impression most people in the campground are older—retirees and the like.”

I rolled my eyes. “You won’t find many college kids here, but we can hang out if you’d like. Got a bicycle?”

Jeff jerked a thumb toward a ten-speed Schwinn chained to a sabal palm.

“Let’s take a cruise,” I said, “and I’ll show you my house.”

Minutes later we rolled westward, side by side, while our tires ground against the road. We passed beneath limbs of ancient live oaks draped in Spanish moss. Up ahead, at an empty campsite, a great grey heron stood on a seawall, studying a canal in hopes of finding breakfast.

“How long have you lived in the park?” Jeff asked.

“Since I was eight, when my dad was promoted to head ranger. The residence comes with the position.”

“Must be nice.”

I rocked my head from side to side. “The park’s pretty, and fishing here is good, but I never had other kids to do things with. It could get lonely, especially during summer when I wasn’t in school. The days dragged by, if you know what I mean.”

Jeff grimaced. “I spent a summer on my uncle’s dairy farm, when I was thirteen. The nearest kid my age was three miles away, and I thought I’d go crazy from boredom.”

When we reached the house, I pulled two Cokes from the fridge, and we sat on a glider sofa on the screened porch. Above us, a ceiling fan clacked and stirred the air. Out on the bayou’s placid surface, a half dozen brown pelicans floated while an osprey chattered in a nearby long leaf pine.

“This is sweet,” Jeff said while his gaze traveled here and there. “We don’t have such places back home. Indiana’s nothing but prairie.”

Jeff talked about his hometown of Peru.

“We have about ten thousand people. There’s a courthouse and high school, and it’s only a three-hour drive from Bloomington, so I can come home on weekends if I choose to, but I don’t often. There’s not much going on in Peru.”

I asked Jeff about his family.

“My dad’s a middle school shop instructor, and Mom teaches freshman English at Peru High. They come from large families, so I have aunts and uncles all over Miami County, loads of cousins as well.”

I shook my head.

“What is it?” Jeff asked.

“My parents were both only children, so I have no extended family or siblings. It’s just me and my dad.”

“Where’s your mom?”

I kept my gaze fixed on the bayou while my stomach knotted like it always did when I had to explain. “She has…mental health issues. About eleven years ago, she disappeared—just packed up her belongings and left. We haven’t heard from her since.”

“Damn, that had to be rough.”

“My dad nearly lost his mind. Even today, I don’t think he’s fully recovered from the situation.”

We rocked on the glider for a bit without saying anything more until Jeff rose.

“I need to help my folks with servicing restrooms, but after lunch why don’t we do something together, maybe go to the beach and take a swim?”

“Sounds good,” I said while following Jeff out of the front door.

After he climbed aboard his Schwinn, he raked a hand through his hair, and I noticed his slightly oversized nose had a few freckles on it. Then, while he pedaled away, I wondered if I’d found someone I could share my summer with.


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Meet the Author

Jere’ M. Fishback is a former journalist and trial attorney. He lives on a barrier island on Florida’s Gulf coast, where he enjoys watching sunsets with a glass of wine in his hand and a grin on his face.

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Review: The Dishevelled Duke (A Little Bit Cupid #4) by Catherine Curzon and Eleanor Harkstead

Will a photographer be swept off his feet by a duke who’s more dishevelled than dashing?

It’s Valentine’s Day and it’s Billy last shift at The Chelsea Bunn. His photography career never took off, so it’s time to leave London, parcel up the leftover heart-shaped cakes and head back home to Hampshire.

Rumpled Charlie and his two mischievous dogs are Billy’s favourite customers, so when Charlie turns up at closing time with a mysterious wrapped gift and the offer of a whirlwind trip on the London Eye, Billy can’t say no. But Charlie is keeping a secret that could turn Billy’s world happily upside down.

As the snow falls over London and the big wheel grinds to a halt, Billy discovers that wishes aren’t just for Christmas.

This charming little love story knocked my knickers clean off with its cuteness. It’s just the story I want to read for Valentine’s Day, it’s ultra romantic and has loveable characters. Plus, no real angst to speak of! Let’s all hug.

Billy is a photographer giving up his dreams of the London art scene and is heading back home to Hampshire. Of course he’s sad to be leaving his aspirtions behind for now, but another thing that breaks his heart is that he’ll be leaving his favorite customer from the coffee shop where he works behind, without having a chance to say goodbye.

Charlie comes into the coffee shop with his beloved pups on the regular and he and Billy are quite obviously smitten with one another. But, they are both a little shy, and it takes a kick in the booty by Cupid to bring these two together.

Charlie makes the first move and honestly, reading the banter between these two is freakin’ adorable. It’s sooooo sweet, but also balanced with realistic chat so it’s not sickeningly sweet, it’s just . . . just right.

The story makes a turn toward fairytale status via the London Eye when Charlie convinces Billy to go for a spin, literally. As the two share leftover heart shaped treats from the coffee shop, Billy gets a call from the gallery owner where his photos are hanging that will change his life. Once he hangs up, Charlie and Billy get to chatting, confessions are made and it’s like Cupid himself shot all the arrows at them at once because from here on out, the two of them are bombarded with happy accidents and I didn’t care how realistic they may or may not have been, I wanted all the arrows. All of them.

This tale goes on my ‘reread’ holiday shelf.

**a copy of this story is provided for an honest review**

Re-Release Blitz + Giveaway: Chaser (Chaser #1) by Rick R. Reed

Chaser (Chaser #1) is out from NineStar Press! Rediscover this popular romance with author Rick R. Reed and IndiGo Marketing! Enter in the giveaway for your chance to win a $10 NSP credit!

Title: Chaser
Series: Chaser, Book One
Author: Rick R. Reed
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 67500
Genre: Contemporary, LGBTQIA+, Insta-love, family illness, separation, perceived cheating, physical fitness, narcissistic character, betrayal

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Caden DeSarro is what they call a chubby chaser. He likes his guys with a few extra pounds on them. So when he meets Kevin Dodge in a bar bathroom, he can’t help but stare. As far as Caden is concerned, Kevin is physically perfect: a stocky bearded blond. But Caden gets tongue-tied and misses his chance.

When Caden runs into Kevin one night on the el train, he figures it’s fate offering him a second shot. Caden manages to get invited back to Kevin’s place for a one-night stand that turns into the kind of relationship he’s dreamed about.

But the course of true love never runs smoothly—Kevin and Caden’s romance is no exception. When Caden returns from a few weeks away on business, Kevin surprises him with a new and “improved” body—one that fits Caden’s shallow friend Bobby’s ideal, but not Caden’s. Caden doesn’t know what to do, and his hesitation is just the opportunity Bobby was looking for.


Rick R. Reed © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One

“I like fat men.”

“You like big butts?”

“I cannot lie.”

Caden and his therapist laughed together over the song reference, both old enough to remember Sir Mix-A-Lot’s 1992 rap hit “Baby Got Back.” Camille D’Amico reined in her laughter abruptly, pushing her tortoiseshell glasses back up on her nose and fussing with her frizzy halo of brown hair. She adopted a serious expression. “So you’re attracted to heavier men. Is that a problem?”

“Not really a problem, I guess. It’s just that I wonder why. I mean, look at me.”

Caden stood up, turned around slowly, and sat back down in the comfortable overstuffed chair facing Camille. He knew what he was displaying—a very trim, tight five-foot-eleven frame upon which not even an ounce of fat rested. In the dictionary, if one looked up the word “lean,” there was Caden’s picture, the perfect illustration. He rubbed his hands over his black buzz cut and then brought one hand down to the stubble of his just-coming-in beard. Not only was he very fit, he was a very handsome thirty-year-old man.

“What?” Camille asked. “You think you’re too good for a guy with a few extra pounds on his frame? Think you’re slumming if you take a walk on the fat side?”

Caden shook his head and put up his palms in self-defense. “No, no, that’s not it at all. I don’t think I’m better, not by any stretch. I’m just wondering why, lately especially, I’ve been drawn to heavier men.”

“Is this something new for you?”

“Not really, but it’s only something I’ve been acting on in the past few months. I have this friend, Bobby, who I usually go out with and he’s, well, he can be kind of superficial…” Caden’s voice trailed off as he thought of his gorgeous friend, who looked a lot like the porn star, Dawson, with a trim build, cut abs, closely shorn auburn hair, and luminous gray eyes. The difference between Bobby and Dawson was that Bobby was much choosier than Dawson, although perhaps no less promiscuous—no mean feat when one considered one of Dawson’s films was entitled Dawson’s 50-Load Weekend. Anyway, this session was supposed to be about Caden, not Bobby. “And he always gives me a hard time about wanting to meet, as I said, heavier men.”

“And this Bobby’s opinion is important to you?”

“He’s my best friend.”

“Important enough that you would alter going after what you really want for him?”

Camille’s question stopped him short. He’d never really thought of it that way. Why did it matter what Bobby thought? So what if he didn’t approve of the bearded redhead he met online and invited over last week? And what business was it of Bobby’s if he liked to peruse the profiles at

Obviously, it bothered him enough to bring it up here today with Camille, whom he had been seeing for the past three weeks. His visits to her were his thirtieth birthday present to himself. He hoped to figure out why, at age thirty, he had yet to find a relationship that lasted more than three dates.

He had begun wondering if there was something intrinsically wrong with him. He was a good catch—at least that’s what his mother told him—but on paper, he did look good. No one could argue with that. He was handsome, having inherited his mother’s Sicilian olive complexion, black hair, and eyes that ranged from amber to green. His nose was strong, patrician, some might say (his mom again, anyway). He wasn’t a bodybuilder, but years of running four to six miles four to six days a week, along with summertime lakefront bike rides, had given him a good, solid build.

And it wasn’t just in the looks department where he thought he had a lot to offer. He had a good head on his shoulders. That he got from his late father, who had been a fully tenured professor of English literature at Northwestern University in Evanston before passing away unexpectedly one morning in the bathroom of a heart attack. That same head on his shoulders had given him, if not a stellar job, a solidly respectable and reliable one as a copywriter at a medical association in downtown Chicago. He had been there since graduating from Northwestern nine years ago, starting out as an editorial assistant on one of their trade journals.

So why did he feel the need to try to apply the same standards Bobby applied to his own dates, standards that could be summed up by Bobby with the initials FG, which stood for “fucking gorgeous”? If a man was not FG, so Bobby’s rationale went, he was not worth fucking.

Sometimes Caden wondered why he had Bobby as a best friend. But he could be hilarious at times, and he could be a lot of fun. Caden on his own in a bar was a wallflower, but with Bobby, some of his charm and charisma, the devil-may-care attitude, rubbed off on Caden.

Plus, going out with Bobby usually meant he would hook up with one of Bobby’s FG prospects’ fucking gorgeous friends. Because, as Bobby always said, “The hot ones travel in packs.”

Caden shook his head and looked at the therapist, who was sitting patiently, waiting. “What did you ask me again?”

“I asked you if Bobby’s opinion was more important to you than getting what you want.” Camille cocked her head.

“No, no, of course not.” He answered too quickly.

“You know,” Camille said, “I’m like what’s in your own head. There’s no need in here to try and come up with what you think is the right answer. No need to censor yourself. Do I need to remind you there’s no judgment here?”


“So, I won’t ask you about Bobby’s opinion again, but I do want you to think about your answer.”


“Because you brought up your attraction to heavy men for a reason.” Camille shrugged. “It doesn’t matter so much what the reason is, so much as it matters what you think about it. Look, people are attracted to other people for all sorts of reasons, and there’s no right or wrong way to be attracted. Take my mother—please!” Camille laughed. “Ever since my father passed away a few years ago, she’s been all about younger men. And I am not talking forties and fifties here. I’m talking about much younger, your age, Caden, and even in their twenties. Mom’s sixty, but she’s a knockout.”

“Cougar?” Caden asked.

“Use that word around her and you might get your eyes scratched out. Anyway, my point is that it’s what she likes, and even though I did question it at first, especially when she was having me meet guys who were younger than I was, it wasn’t my call to make. Attraction is subjective—totally.”

“You’re right.”

Camille laughed. “I’m not looking for affirmation. I just want to understand why you chose to bring up this particular attraction with your therapist.”

And Caden realized he’d like to know the reason himself. If he could only get a handle on it, a love handle, if you will. He shook his head, censoring his inner Kathy Griffin.

The therapy session failed to illuminate the rationale for Caden’s attraction, and he left Camille’s office with homework not on why he was attracted to heavy guys, but why he felt that mattered.

It didn’t matter, did it?


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Meet the Author

Real Men. True Love.

Rick R. Reed draws inspiration from the lives of gay men to craft stories that quicken the heartbeat, engage emotions, and keep the pages turning. Although he dabbles in horror, dark suspense, and comedy, his attention always returns to the power of love. He’s the award-winning and bestselling author of more than fifty works of published fiction and is forever at work on yet another book. Lambda Literary has called him: “A writer that doesn’t disappoint…” You can find him at Rick lives in Palm Springs, CA, with his beloved husband, Bruce, and their fierce Chihuahua/Shiba Inu mix, Kodi.

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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Havesskadi (Dragon Souls #1) by Ava Kelly

Join author Ava Kelly and IndiGo Marketing on today;s release blitz for Havesskadi (Dragon Souls #1)! Find out more about the QUILTBAG paranormal fantasy and enter in the $10 NineStar Press credit giveaway!

Title: Havesskadi
Series: Dragon Souls, Book One
Author: Ava Kelly
Publisher: NineStar Press
Release Date: February 24, 2020
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: No Romance
Length: 52900
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy, LGBTQIA+, fantasy, paranormal, dragons, mythical creatures, magic, shifters, sentient castles, asexual, slow burn, #ownvoices

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The red dragon is hunting her own. Up in the icy peaks of the northern mountains, Orsie Havesskadi spends his days hiding from her, but eventually he is found and his dragon magic stolen. Cursed to wander the lands as a mortal unless he recovers his magic before twenty-four rising crescents have passed, Orsie embarks on an arduous journey. Spurred by the whispers in his mind, his quest takes him to a castle hidden deep in a forest.

Arkeva Flitz, a skilled garrison archer, discovers an abandoned castle in the woods. Trapped there, he spends his days with his two companions, one cruel, the other soothing. One day, a young man arrives at his gates, and soon they are confined by heavy snowfalls and in danger from what slumbers in the shadows of the castle.


Ava Kelly © 2020
All Rights Reserved

Full of rich autumn colors, the market square bustles with life, hooves, and shouts and clatter. In the middle near the fountain, an old man stands on a crate waving his cap at the gathering crowd. Orsie hides his face further behind his long hair, with only half a mind to listen to this unexpected storyteller. His voice is loud over the midmorning racket, though, drawing Orsie’s attention.

“Hear me, hear me! In an age long ago, far beyond the Quiet Lands, there lived a dragon. He wasn’t a mighty dragon—”

Laughter fills the square and covers the voices of the merchants for a while. Orsie frowns, eying the derision that sweeps over many of the onlookers. It’s unpleasant. Orsie remembers from past visits that it’s a rare occurrence for the village to be this animated, but he doesn’t recall its inhabitants being so malcontent. Haumir, sitting at the foot of the Ahrissals’ highest peak, is isolated for most of the year. No trade roads pass through, even though they used to back when the Seaborn were friendlier. Perhaps that’s the reason. Their lives aren’t easy this far up north, but it’s not something Orsie can change. Not really.

“—or a mean dragon—”

Someone hoots and Orsie stifles a grimace. So much for storytelling. He turns his attention back to the row of tables displaying his favorite autumn fruit. Apples, red and yellow and sometimes green, brought north by the caravans that begin their journeys in the hills of Uvalhort. They carry the excess of the plentiful orchards there, sure to be sold quickly in this barren land. Overpriced, too, by the look of it. Orsie only has a few amethyst shards with him, more than enough to pay for his indulgence, but not too polished and not too pure. He wouldn’t want to raise suspicion.

“—but he liked the frost and the cold bite of the highest mountaintops!”

Orsie shrugs as he sniffs at an apple. Some dragons do like the snow. He spares a glance at the storyteller. His hat now sits on the ground before him collecting donations, ineffectively. Orsie sighs. Dragons aren’t very loved in these ages.

“And his name was Havesskadi, the shadow of the icy peaks. He has graced our village from his home above the clouds,” the old man continues, arms raised to point at the mountain standing tall to the north.

“There’s no dragon up there, you old fool,” someone shouts, “or we’d be rich!”

The old man waves a hand, annoyed. “Havesskadi lives, you’ll see. He’ll fly down from his castle and shower us with gems.”

“Dragons don’t care about us,” the other yells back.

“There’s a reason for that,” the old man says. “We hunted them and they hid.”

“Don’t remember no hunting,” someone else says, but Orsie stops listening.

Shaking his head, he slips out of the square. He can shop for apples later, after the ruckus has died down. Instead, he makes his way through the narrow streets, dropping some of the smaller amethyst shards on doorsteps or windowsills. Not enough to make the dwellers rich, but just what they’d need to push through winter. The cold season comes early, here, the icy winds of October around the corner, and Orsie can’t help himself. He’s been observing the villagers for the past few days, lodging at the inn; now he knows just where to plant these lucky finds.

Of course, Orsie could do more. Bring them better gems, shinier, brighter. He could, if he wanted, keep them clothed and fed for lifetimes, but as the past showed, it’s never a good idea. If he gives too much, avarice takes root in people’s hearts, settling deep enough to darken even the kinder souls. Others, both younger and older than himself, have made this mistake before with dire consequences, and Orsie doesn’t need crowds gathering at his gates for undeserving charity.

He’s finishing his meandering and rounding back to the square when he sees the old man from before. The storyteller is sitting at the edge of a narrow street outside the hustle and hurry, surrounded by children.

“A gem,” the old man says, gesturing widely, “carved from the essence of magic, was given to the very first dragon at the beginning of time for safekeeping.”

The children let out an “ah” in unison, and the old man’s smile grows. He’s enjoying his story, it seems, and Orsie leans against a wall, poised to listen.

“After the dragon passed away, the gem divided among his sons and daughters, on and on, until each dragon held a small one right underneath their ribs, tied to them by the force of their heartbeats. Legends grew and spread, and the gems became known as anasketts. Do you know what that means? It’s dragonsoul in the old language of the north.”

A collective blink follows the reveal, the kids mesmerized.

“But the kings of other creatures hunted them!” the old man adds, causing various degrees of frowning.

“Why?” a little girl asks.

“Because, you see, the anasketts have such magic that they carry inside them the longevity of their dragon owners, their big castles, and all their treasures— unending flows of precious stones harvested through hundreds of centuries from the very core of time.”

“Davbak, what’s longevity?” A boy elbows another while the old man chuckles.

“It means dragons have long, long lives.”

“Like you?”


One of the bickering boys speaks up then, arms crossed. “King Ag never hunted a dragon.”

“No,” Davbak tells him, “but his great-grandfather did. It’s why our lands are left barren. See, many many years ago, King Ag the Fourth stole a dragonsoul. He lived for centuries before Red Mist, the dragon warrior, came and took back what belonged to her kin.”

“The anaskett?”

“Yes, indeed. Red Mist,” Davbak continues, lifting both hands in a semblance of claws, “came and laid waste to the land, cursing it to be forever arid.”

“Would you cut it with that drivel,” a woman scolds Davbak before she grabs two of the kids by their elbows.

She shoos the other children to their homes and leaves with her own, but not without glaring as much as possible at Davbak. Orsie finally moves toward the square, slipping a small piece of onyx in the old man’s pocket as he goes. At least someone is trying to remember the dragons.


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Meet the Author

Ava Kelly is an engineer with a deep passion for stories. Whether reading, watching, or writing them, Ava has always been surrounded by tales of all genres. Their goal is to bring more stories to life, especially those of friendship and compassion, those dedicated to trope subversion, those that give the void a voice, and those that spawn worlds of their own.

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Review: The Moment (A Little Bit Cupid #3) by Pelaam

When Jason takes the chance on a blind date, it’s then that his eyes are finally opened.

Wealthy winery owner Jason is happy to claim that he’s too busy to have a love life or a romance. He has all he needs with his personal secretary taking care of his business life and an old friend looking after the yacht where they live.

When he’s invited to a Valentine’s masked ball, Jason asks his assistant Kris to find him a date for the evening. To Jason’s shock, instead of someone Jason knows and is comfortable with, Kris sets him up with a blind date—one he claims will be a perfect match. Trusting him, Jason agrees.

His date appears dressed as Princess Buttercup, and Jason is surprised at just how comfortable he is with the unknown person. 

But when Buttercup is abused by another party attendee, Jason follows his distraught guest and his eyes are fully opened.

When ‘the moment’ comes, will Jason grab it with both hands?

 Reader advisory: This book contains cross-dressing and references to stalking and unwanted groping.

This was a fun fantasy-level Valentine story. I don’t mean fantasy in that there were fae, dragons and trolls. No, this was a fantasy because Jason is a ridiculously rich winery owner who lives on a yacht and is one of the most personable and generous person you will ever meet, so basically, a myth. I jest. Kind of.

Forget your 9-5 nonsense and frolic with the rich and beautiful in The Moment. The fact that the characters are likable and accessible keeps this story relatable even though I couldn’t really relate to any of it. I did kind of feel like I was on this fantasy vacation while reading it though and that alone is worth the time it takes to read this short story and meet these beautiful people.

Jason is invited to a masked ball at Valentine’s and tasks his amazing assistant Kris with finding him the perfect costume and a date. Well, it’s obvious the two are attracted to one another, but even Jason knows it’s not wise to fish off the company pier. Kris finds Jason the perfect costume and the perfect blind date. Now the perfect date is dressed as a woman, I mean, there’s no question that this is a man, but Jason is intrigued with his lovely and mysterious masked blind date.

It’s obvious to everyone on the planet except for Jason who his mystery date is, but it’s way more fun to play along and read along as the two flirt and mingle their way through the masked ball. There were some unnecessary (in my opinion) abusive shenanigans directed at Jason’s date and while I didn’t like it, it was a vehicle for Jason to be a hero and he came through big time.

After the big reveal and Jason and Kris were able to get real, they got really real in the privacy of Jason’s yacht. It was really very sweet and it was obvious these two were very much in love. They’d worked together for years, knew each other well and Jason was friends with all of his employees, Kris especially.

This story may have been too much if the author hadn’t made the characters so likable. It made it easy to believe that there was an HEA down the road for Kris and Jason. Normally that wouldn’t be realistic with the boss/employee dynamic, but these are perfectly perfect people, so it will work, of that I have no doubt.

Now, I don’t normally dig on perfectly perfect people, but the author made me care about and like these guys quite a bit and this was a great Valentine dream to read.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**

Blog Tour: Caulky (Four Bears Construction #1) K.M. Neuhold

Author K.M. Neuhold and Vibrant Promotions returns with new release tour for Caulky (Four Bears Construction #1)! Discover more about the "steamy" romance today!


Four Bears Construction Series, Book 1
KM Neuhold
M/M Romance
Release Date: 02.07.20

Ren is in desperate need of a rebound fling. Lucky for him the smoking hot contractor he hired has just the tool for the job.
The last thing I want is another relationship, or another broken heart.
All I need are my bees and the occasional hookup to scratch the itch.
Okay, maybe meeting up with my hot contractor weekly is a little more than occasional. And maybe the way I'm starting to feel about the guy I've been anonymously chatting with online should concern me.
But CaulkyAF doesn't want to meet, and Cole doesn't want anything serious, so what's the worst that could happen?
** Caulky is book 1 in the Four Bears Construction Series and can be read as a stand-alone. This is a funny, steamy MM story guaranteed to make you laugh and swoon. Absolutely NO cheating and NO love triangle
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Dan: He lives! So, is the contractor there?
Ren: Yeah, and I DID oversleep. I answered the door practically naked, and you’ll NEVER guess who the contractor was
Dan: Who??
Ren: The bar hookup from last month! There he was all tall and gorgeous just standing on my front porch like he owned the place, and I had clearly just rolled out of bed like an idiot.
He sends the laughing gif again, and I respond with one of someone giving the finger.

Dan: Oh my god, that’s too funny. That’s the same dude you kissed months ago, right?! You did say he was incredible in bed, maybe this is like a sign from god or something that you should let him fuck you again.
Ren: Sounds legit
Dan: He’s a contractor; if porn has taught me anything, it’s that if you ask him to check your pipes, you’ll end up getting gang banged by him and like three other hot dudes.
Ren: You’re thinking of plumbers
It’s best to pretend that exact same thought didn’t cross my mind less than five minutes ago.
Ren: Anyway, he looked kind of weirded out, so I’m thinking a repeat is NOT in the cards
Dan: Bummer
Dan: Well, there are plenty more cocks in the sea

I sigh and take a sip of my coffee, enjoying the way it scalds my tongue, bitterness filling my mouth. Henry hated that I took my coffee black. I could never figure out why he gave a shit how I took my coffee. After five years together, there were so many little things I let slide or chalked up to living with another person. But now that he’s gone, I have to admit, my life is a hell of a lot more peaceful.

Ren: Yeah but my dildo is—OH FUCK! I just realized my dildo is in the bathroom!!!!!

All the blood drains from my face. I didn’t just leave it sitting on the counter either, that motherfucker is suction cupped to the wall, right at the perfect height to fuck myself. Which is exactly what I used it for around three in the morning before collapsing into bed and falling asleep, trusting my damned alarm to wake me up in the morning.
Daniel sends that god damned laughing gif again, and I want to reach through the phone and strangle him.

Ren: This really isn’t as funny as you think it is. So much for getting my bathroom done. Between our hookup, my state of undress, and the dildo, there’s no way he’s coming back
Dan: I am literally crying I’m laughing so hard. People on the train are giving me the stink eye, but I don’t even care. I am actually dead right now.
Ren: I hate you
Dan: Ok, I’m sorry. Unless you want to go in there and grab your dildo and make it even more weird, there’s nothing you can do about it at this point. So, finish what you were telling me. You’re looking for someone to bend you over and rail you...
Ren: I don’t think that’s what I said, although…
Dan: *high five*
Ren: After Henry, I can’t see getting serious with someone again. I was so miserable with him, and I never even realized it. I don’t want to go back into that situation
Dan: Stick to casual. Sign up for M4M and get your single on.
Ren: Yeah, I think I might
The heavy clomp of boots has me looking up, my face flaming at the thought of Construction Man (that’s his superhero name, by the way) seeing my dildo.

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Author K.M.Neuhold is a complete romance junkie, a total sap in every way. She started her journey as an author in new adult, MF romance, but after a chance reading of an MM book she was completely hooked on everything about lovely- and sometimes damaged- men finding their Happily Ever After together. She has a strong passion for writing characters with a lot of heart and soul, and a bit of humor as well. And she fully admits that her OCD tendencies of making sure every side character has a full backstory will likely always lead to every book having a spin-off or series. When she's not writing she's a lion tamer, an astronaut, and a superhero...just kidding, she's likely watching Netflix and snuggling with her husky while her amazing husband brings her coffee.
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Audio Tour + Giveaway: Promises: Part 2 (Bounty Hunters, #2) by A.E. Via

Author A.E. Via & Vibrant Promotions are here today on the Promises: Part 2 audio tour. Find out more about the series & enter in the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card! 4 WINNERS!

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Promises: Part 2
Bounty Hunters Series, Book 2
Author A.E. Via
Publisher: Tantor
Narrator Aiden Snow
Listening Length 9 hours 16 minutes
Audio Release: 01.07.20

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Roman "Quick" Webb is one badass bounty hunter on the crime-filled streets of Atlanta. He's fearless when it comes to carrying out his dangerous job alongside his longtime best friend and business partner, Duke. However, there is one thing that has begun to cause Quick concern and it's the dreadful thought of living out the rest of his life alone.
Dr. Cayson Chauncey has been wildly attracted to the big, tattooed hunter for almost a year, ever since he performed the surgery that saved Quick's best friend's life. Cayson must've mistaken Quick's gratitude for something more, because the one time he tried to make his desires known, he was harshly rebuffed and left on the man's doorstep feeling stupid for hitting on an obviously very straight man.
Dr. Chauncey stirred up Quick's suppressed, most carnal desires from a place deep down inside of him. He'd reacted so badly the first time that now his sexy surgeon wanted nothing to do with him. It was going to take a fair amount of patience and a whole lot of wooing involved as Quick sets out to convince Cayson that he's worth another chance and that he is the brave lover who Cayson has been looking for.
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Quick walked over to Cayson and softly closed the door. He wished he had even an ounce of his son’s swagger, but unfortunately, he didn’t. Vaughan must’ve gotten his moves from his mother, because Quick didn’t have a clue. He’d never got a chance to perfect pickup lines to get a date before he became the groom in a shotgun wedding. Then life happened. We all know the story.

Careful not to push, he very gently cupped Cayson’s chin in his palm and lifted until those pretty blue eyes were on him. To his surprise, the doctor didn’t fight him. Damn. Has he always been so handsome? He had to; otherwise, Quick wouldn’t lose his shit every time the doc was around. “You don’t call me Quick. I’m pretty sure you hate that name. You can call me Rome or Roman.”

Cayson stood stock still while Quick touched him. “Why are you doing this, Rome?”

That name sounded much better to him, but the hurt in Cayson’s eyes was more than he could handle. Quick had several inches over the doc, but he loved his height advantage. Couldn’t wait for Cayson to put his chin on his chest and stare up at him. “Will you give me one chance? I’m trying to ask you on a date, but for some reason I keep screwing it up.”

“A date.” Cayson blinked owlishly.

“Yeah, a date.” Quick tried not to sound like he was begging, but if it was good enough for the Temptations, then he could do it. He would do it. “Please, Cays. One more chance.”

“And you’re not fuckin’ with me?” Cayson swallowed hard and Quick’s hand slid down to that bobbing Adam’s apple. He wanted to apply a little pressure but refrained… for now. The sharp intake of breath could hardly be missed and Quick felt a small surge of victory. He definitely still had an effect on the lonely doctor.

Quick’s dick was so hard and confined behind his closed zipper he knew he’d have track marks on his shaft, even through his briefs. He had to be a gentleman. Dry-humping Cayson wouldn’t help anything, or redeem his reputation in the man’s eyes. What term did Vaughan always use… oh, yeah… a classic man. Quick eased back, giving the doctor a little breathing room. His large frame could be intimidating. That’s not what he wanted the doctor to feel. “Is that a yes?” he asked.


A.E. Via has been a best-selling author in the beautiful gay romance genre for six years now, but she’s no stranger to MM. She’s been an avid reader of gay lit for over fifteen years before she picked up her laptop to place her own kiss on this genre. She’s also the founder and owner of Via Star Wings Books, having published a couple great new up and coming MM authors.
A.E. has a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice from Virginia Wesleyan College that she used to start her own paralegal firm after she graduated in 2008. She spent five years preparing and filing bankruptcy petitions for struggling blue collar workers who couldn’t afford to file with a lawyer. It was a rewarding and satisfying career… but another path called to her.
A.E.’s novels embodies everything from hopelessly romantic to adventure, to scandalous. Her stories often include intriguing edges and twists that take readers to new, thought-provoking depths.
She’s recently celebrated her 20th book anniversary, and is kind of known now for her hardcore, play rough and love hard, bad boy, alphas. However, she does like to push herself to step out of her comfort zone, exploring different tropes, but she won’t push herself into a whole other genre. She’s head over heels for gay romance and she has tons of more hot stories to tell.
Be sure to visit Adrienne on her social media pages and subscribe to her newsletter to never miss another release date! Go to A.E. Via’s official website for more detailed information on how to contact her, follow her, or a sneak peek at upcoming work, free reads, VSWB submissions, and where she’ll appear next.
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Review: Valentine's Day Blues (A Little Bit Cupid Collection) by J.P. Bowie

What does it take for Valentine’s-Day-hating Bryan Colby to discover that he really loves it? Meeting Officer Ben Collins, of course.

Bryan Colby doesn’t like Valentine’s Day. Despite being told by his close friends that he’s silly to fester over something that happened five years ago, he just can’t get excited as yet another Valentine’s Day approaches.

Bryan, a rising star at the local real estate office, prefers to work instead, but is assaulted while showing a vacant property. In the ambulance, he meets Officer Ben Collins and Bryan wastes no time in letting Ben know he finds him attractive and would like to get better acquainted with him, in every possible way.

At first wary of Bryan’s flirty, come-hither attitude, Ben eventually warms to Bryan’s charm, and agrees to meet him for a coffee. But circumstances outside their control change that date to a much more sensual meeting.

After all, it is Valentine’s Day week, and romance is most definitely in the air…

Reader advisory: This book contains references to parental abandonment. There are scenes involving mugging/assault, and armed robbery with hostage-taking. This book also includes a practical joke of a sexual nature.

I love holiday stories, I really don’t care which holiday or in what context, for whatever reason they are my weakness and I’ll always pick one up to read when I’m in a rut. I was excited to see that there was a bundle of Valentine’s stories coming out and I snatched all of them, and I’m so glad I did. Valentine’s stories seem to lean toward having men who have been burned in the past and who isn’t a sucker for hard-won-love?

Valentine’s Day Blues is just that and it wasn’t just one half of the future couple who was anti-Valentine’s and anti-romance in general, both Bryan and Ben were NOT looking for love when they met. Their meeting was quite unfortunate really, Bryan is the victim of a crime and Ben is the responding officer. There was definite chemistry and Bryan was the one driving the bus with moving the flirtation forward. While he may have come off as a little much here and there, it was obvious Ben was into him too, so it was more sweet than anything else.

There was much to like about this Valenine’s Day novella, the characters are charming in their own ways, the beginning of their relarionship is unique and they had the kind of connection that is very “meant to be” and “right person, right time”, you know those kind, everything just clicks. So, I rooted for them from the beginning and I liked how Bryan was so supportive for Ben considering his career in law enforcement, etc.

I did struggle with a few bits though. I got a bit of emotional whiplash when the two of them got physical. Ben ran hot and cold and it was pretty off putting. I mean, I get it, he’s a cop, he’s not out at work and he’s getting involved with the victim of a crime. But, my dude, in the span of a few pages they went from making out, to cold shoulder, to arguing to rimming. I need more pages in between those things to digest what the hell just happened. The other problem I had was with the practical joke that was played on Bryan by his sister and friends. It was terrible, it was shitty and it wasn’t funny. I don’t blame Bryan for being bitter and pissed off. I would be and I would be forever. Bryan is obviously a better man than I.

Basically, if some of the extremes were dialled back from 11 to say, a 5 or 6, it would have all worked better for me, especially for a novella length story. There isn’t enough page time to absorb all the emotional swings and resolve them in a satisfactory way, but that is just me and how I process contemporary stories. I can’t help but want my drama and realism to balance with story length, too much drama is just too distracting from the overall story. That doesn’t mean that other readers won’t love the pace and the passion, because Valentine’s Day Blues definitely has that.

The resolution and the epilogue were great, especially that epilogue. I totally bought into an HEA for these guys and their future looks to be much more chill than their beginning. They both deserve it and I was really happy with how their Valentine’s Day evolved for them.

**a copy of this story was provided for an honest review**