Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Heights by Amy Aislin


Help Amy Aislin celebrate the release of her latest with A Novel Take PR. Learn more about this contemporary romance and be sure to enter in the giveaway for a The Heights prize pack! Good luck!

Thank you for joining me to celebrate the release of my newest m/m contemporary romance, The Heights, and thank you to Boy Meets Boys Reviews for having me!

Today, let’s play Two Truths and A Lie with the main characters from The Heights.

Quinn Carroll
1.            When Quinn was in high school, he was caught kissing a boy and was outed to the entire school. He and the other boy were suspended for three days, and when Quinn came back to class, the other boy pretended not to know him.
2.           Quinn went to a performing arts high school that was extremely competitive, and he won a competition his senior year that granted him a spot in a prestigious dance company. He didn’t stay with the company very long because it was taking away from his studies when he went to college, but he credits it for teaching him teamwork and persistence.
3.           Quinn met his best friend, Ian, on the playground at school on the first day of first grade. An older kid was holding Ian’s backpack over his head. Quinn offered the kid his homemade brownies if only he’d give Ian his backpack back.

Nat Walker
  1.  In sixth grade, for a creative writing assignment, Nat wrote a play about a hard-boiled egg that somehow lost its yolk, only to find it in the belly of a hamster.
  2. Nat lives in a cabin that belongs to his family, which was built by his grandparents before he was born. When Nat first moved in, he renovated everything, built extra rooms, and stored family photos in the attic.
  3. Nat was on his high school’s baseball team. In his senior year, the team travelled to a neighbouring town for a game and the bus got a flat tire. They were stuck on the side of the ride for three hours, and some of the guys on the team, including Nat, played round after round of poker. Nat won every round.
I hope you enjoyed this look into my characters! The Heights is out now and is available for purchase at Amazon, iBooks, B&N, and Kobo.

*answers at the bottom of the post*



The Heights by Amy Aislin

Series: Lakeshore #1

Publisher: self-published

Release Date (Print & Ebook): September 20, 2018

Length (Print & Ebook): approx. 75,000 words, or 320 pages

Subgenre: m/m contemporary romance

Reader warnings: one of the main characters suffers from panic attacks

Cover artist: Stacey Blake @ Champagne Book Design

Order here:
Amazon (this is the universal Amazon link): http://geni.us/TheHeights
iBooks (universal iTunes link): http://geni.us/TheHeightsApple

Book blurb:

Twenty-one years ago, a four-year old child was kidnapped from his front yard. He was never found. Until now.

All Nat Walker wants is to make his late father’s dream of running a father/son woodworking shop come true. And he had the perfect building in mind—until the new guy in town came in and bought the place right out from under him. The fact that the new guy is adorable means nothing. For all Nat cares, he can take his new dance studio and waltz back to New York City.

Professional dancer Quinn Carroll couldn’t be happier that he made the move to the small town of Lakeshore, Oregon. Sure, it’s not New York, but now he’ll be living closer to his adoptive brother. And since his studio will be the only one in the area, he should get enough business to keep him busy. Besides, there’s something about this place that seems familiar...

He doesn’t expect to fall hard for the local, grumpy woodworker who won’t even smile at him.


Or find out that his entire life is a lie.


“One dance,” Nat said, dropping his bag to the floor. Placing his palm in Quinn’s, he pulled Quinn into his arms. Quinn’s breath escaped him in a whoosh.
One dance was more than Quinn thought he’d ever get with Nat. He’d take it.
For a second, Quinn forgot who he was dancing with as his body found the rhythm of the music, hips rolling to the beat. The music flowed over him, transporting him somewhere else, the lyrics causing heat to flow through his veins until he forgot about everything else as the world fell away.
Nat bumped up against him, knees bent, bringing their groins together. It shocked Quinn into opening eyes he hadn’t realized he’d closed. Nat’s hand was at Quinn’s lower back, keeping him close. The grind of their hips made it impossible for Quinn to breathe and impossible for him to hide how hard he was. His skin was heating up, and he was already breathing hard.
Nat held nothing back. His hand strayed to Quinn’s ass. His breath was hot against the skin of Quinn’s neck. His other hand trailed down Quinn’s back, down his ass to squeeze Quinn’s thigh and bring Quinn’s leg up and around his hips.
Fuck yes.
Their hard cocks bumped. Quinn’s head fell back and he whimpered, the sound swallowed by the music. Nat’s eyes were hot on Quinn’s lips. Electricity shot through him everywhere their bodies connected.
Damn, Nat could move. It was sexy as sin. Dancing with him was like dancing with sex itself.
Quinn tightened his leg around Nat’s hips. Nat swallowed hard. Burying one hand in Nat’s thick hair, Quinn stood on his tippy toes and pressed them together, groin to chest. His other hand snaked up Nat’s T-shirt, and he pressed his palm against the sweaty skin of Nat’s back.
They danced like no one was watching. Like the rest of the world didn’t exist. Quinn needed to come so bad he briefly considered rubbing himself against Nat until he came all over himself. He was so hot, so turned on, he was in danger of exploding out of his skin.



Amy started writing on a rainy day in fourth grade when her class was forced to stay inside for recess. Tales of adventures with her classmates quickly morphed into tales of adventures with the characters in her head. Based in the suburbs of Toronto, Amy is a marketer/fundraiser at a large environmental non-profit in Toronto by day, and a writer by night. Book enthusiast, animal lover and (very) amateur photographer, her interests are many and varied, including travelling, astronomy, ecology, and baking. She binge watches too much anime, and loves musical theater, Julie Andrews, the Backstreet Boys, and her hometown of Oakville, Ontario.

Connect with Amy Aislin:


Win a fantastic The Heights prize pack: signed paperback, one of a kind art print, and a set of wooden star ornaments.


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Answers
Quinn: #1 is a lie. Quinn was never outed, although how he came to terms with his sexuality is revealed in The Heights.
Nat: #2 is a lie. Nat is much too sentimental (although he tries to hide it) to ever get rid of family photos or completely renovate something that was built by his grandparents.

Release Blitz + Giveaway: Professor Adorkable (Domesticated Inc #1) by Edie Danford


Help author Edie Danford and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Professor Adorkable (Domesticated Inc #1)! Learn more about the romance today and enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!

Title: Professor Adorkable
Series: Domesticated Inc, Book One
Author: Edie Danford
Publisher: Edie Danford
Release Date: September 18, 2018
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 90,000 words
Genre: Romance, Boss, Housekeeper, Best Friends, Nerd

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Synopsis

What happens when a star-gazing professor falls for his hot young housekeeper? One heck of an earthy explosion…

Professor Marek Janos's genius at analyzing stellar explosions doesn't apply to his own disordered world. Forgetting to eat, sleep, and leave his lab has triggered some epic personal disasters. When his family insists he hire live-in help, he discovers home life has awesome benefits. His new housekeeper's smile sparks more energy than a supernova. And the way he moves? It rocks Marek's galaxy.

Pete Schulz took a tough fall from his high-flying life in Hollywood. But how does a guy whose best skill is getting dirty clean up his act? His new gig with Domesticated Inc seems like a great first step. Keeping house for a nerdy young astrophysics professor is exactly the low-key, no-chance-for-trouble job he needs, right?

Living together is surprisingly easy for both men. And fun. And more than a little hot. It's when they're faced with the idea of living apart that the truly messy work begins…

Excerpt

“I made the mess,” I tell my housekeeper. “So I will clean it up.”

“Yeah, I know you can clean it up if given several hours,” Pete responds, his smile crooked. There are no signs of exasperation on his face or in his tone. No signs that he’s upset I’ve woken him up with the sound of breaking glass, and that his once-pristine kitchen floor is now covered with a mess I could have easily avoided if I’d been paying attention. “But it’s my job. Tomorrow morning your job is to go teach a class. You’ll sleep until eight, eat a good breakfast, and then be off.”

I raise my eyebrows. “That is exactly how it will happen?”

“I’ll make sure of it.”

“What if I want to negotiate?”

“Negotiate?”

“Yes. Things can be negotiated in a democratic household, yes?”

“Democratic?”

I smile. “We have no dictators here. Or kings or queens.”

“Well.” He snorts. “There is that matter of your uncle signing my paycheck. But I get what you’re saying, I guess. What were you interested in negotiating?”

“Tonight I feel…antsy? Unable to relax.” I move my shoulders up and down to show him all this tension I’m experiencing. “I’ll go upstairs and sleep, but first I would like company. To hang out with you. For a while.”

His mouth droops as he folds his arms across his bare chest and stares at me. “So you’re saying you’ll let me do my job. But only if I give up my free time for you?”

“Um.” It’s cool in the kitchen, but my face suddenly becomes steam-burn hot.

Damn. I’m incredibly bad at talking to him—or any guy—I find attractive. Doesn’t matter where I am—Prague, Pasadena, Chicago. My language barrier isn’t about Czech versus English. It’s about my head versus my tongue.

What I want with Pete is complicated, not simple. But, as usual, I’ve said words that could be construed as—

God, I don’t even know what.

“You suck at negotiating, Marek.” He says it with a kind note in his voice.

“Yes.” I clear my throat. “I do.”

He sighs and runs his hand over his short hair—hair I want so fucking badly to touch. Is it bristly, soft? Would it sift through my fingers easily, or would it be like my hair and cling to my skin?

“I suppose we could listen to one Harry Potter chapter,” he says, lacking his usual enthusiasm for the idea. “But just one. And if you fall asleep or if I fall asleep or if we both fall asleep, it will be your job to wake up and go back to bed. No sleepovers. That’s a rule that’s not allowed to change.”

I swallow. Ordinarily I would give him shit about the unreasonableness of his request—if we’re asleep, how will we know we’re asleep and thus breaking his rules?

But I keep quiet tonight. I know I’m pushing him. I know he’s beginning to figure out I want more than just his company. So much more.

If this were a work-related matter, I would get my way with a few basic words. Logic applies in my lab. When it comes to my personal life, however, logic rarely applies. Basic words never seem to work.

If I tell Pete what I really want—to take him into his room, to put him on his comfortable bed, to kiss his clever mouth over and over and over, to blow him until his sweet hotness spills down my throat, to hold him tightly and use friction to excellent effect (inside or outside our bodies, I don’t care) until we both come—then he would say “no” quickly and firmly, and quietly shut that detestable door in my face. And I’ll be lucky if he’s still around in the morning.

The situation between us is confusing. I hope this is more than just his workplace. We are friends. He’s my best friend, actually. And he’s the one who makes this place a home.

Occasionally, I have a hard time understanding…what had my language tutor called it? Nuance. Nuanced meanings. Pete and I have a lot of nuances happening between us.

“One chapter would be good,” I tell him. “Chapter Twelve. ‘The Tri-wizard Tournament.’ I need to know all about it.”

He nods and tips his head toward the open door to his suite. “I’ll meet you in there.”

My heart bounces around in my chest—more zaps from that ionizer—but my head doesn’t like the take-care-of-business look on Pete’s face. No smile, no teasing, no dancing notes to the way his boots clap against the tile floor. He checks the locks and the deadbolts on the back door and walks toward his room.

He glances at his doorway and then me, his eyebrows rising. He looks as though he’s holding his breath, maybe holding back a sigh.

Maybe it would be better to give him space tonight. Better for me to be apart from what I want so much, but can’t have. I should walk away, go back to my room without bothering Pete.

My damp toes stick to the cold floor. I want to be more than a job for him. I want to be more than some guy he feels sorry for, some guy who can’t even say what he wants.

I walk over to the sink and retrieve a glass from the nearby cabinet. I fill the glass half full at the tap and then drink. I set it down carefully. The water is cold, but my skin feels hot. I can feel Pete watching me, waiting.

My eyes shift to the hallway. But my feet carry me toward Pete.

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Meet the Author

Edie lives in Vermont with her husband, two sons, and random creatures that might or might not be pets. She loves libraries (where she's found play, work, and love since she was a kid), long walks (unless ice is involved), lewd language (in the right context), luscious romance (of any variety), and alliteration.

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | eMail

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Review: The Nerd and the Prince (Small-Town Dreams #1) by B.G. Thomas

Prince Charming is the man next door.

Small-town business owner Jason Brewster has big dreams: world travel, adventure, and most of all, a passionate romance worthy of a fairy tale. But he doesn’t believe fantasies can come true….

Until Adam moves in next door.

He’s handsome, cultured, European, and best of all, interested in Jason. It’s like something out of the stories Jason loves.

But Adam—whose real name is Amadeo Montefalcone—has a secret. He's royalty, prince of the small country of Monterosia. Only he doesn't want to rule, and especially doesn't want the loveless marriage waiting for him at home. So he ran away in search of true love. With a man. And with Jason, he finds it.

But Adam can't run forever. The truth will come out. If Jason can forgive Adam’s deception, they might find their happily ever after.


I am normally a sucker for the international royal in hiding in a small American town who falls for a local who has no idea who they are or even heard of the country where they are royalty. I eat these stories up getting lost in how romantic it is to fall for someone this way; to simply be seen for who you are and not your title yet at the same time, shaking my head at the over the top shenanigans that happen once the royal takes the commoner home… yeah. I love this trope but sadly, this story did not work for me.

I had a hard time with this book. I tried three times to really get into it, even starting over completely with a new mindset hoping I could connect with Jason and Adam on some level but never could. From the beginning, Jason read so…so… off. I can’t quite put my finger on what it was, but it was too much. Too much sugar, too much of wanting everything perfect and too much mythology. I love mythology but this seemed to be placed in the story as filler because it made no sense to include it. This wasn’t a fantasy romance and the referencing of gods doing xyz because of fate added nothing to the romance.

Adam read like either an old man or someone who is from the past. I get he’s from another country and all that comes with being royal but this is 2018 and the vast amount of information he could have at his fingertips makes him read far more vintage than his hat and glasses would make one believe.

I won’t go on with a list of what didn’t work for me, just know this didn’t. I couldn’t connect with either man and never felt them as a couple. The flow of the story felt very stop and start and just… ugh. I don’t know. I’ll stop here and hope the next book works out for me.



An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.



Giveaway + Blog Tour: The Academy by Quinn Anderson


Help Quinn Anderson and Riptide Publishing celebrate the release of The Academy! Find out more about this college romance and be sure to leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway of a $10 Riptide gift card! Good luck!



Hi, everyone. I’m Quinn Anderson, and I’m here to share some behind-the-scenes facts about my latest release, THE ACADEMY. Stay tuned and comment on stops along the way for a chance to win a $10 Riptide gift card.

About The Academy
True love stabs you in the front.
Nick Steele just wants a normal life, cliché or not. He had one once, back in Chicago. Before his father died and he took a year off from college to grieve. Now, he’s starting fresh at a prestigious—but tiny—Catholic university. Adjusting to small-town life will be a challenge, along with making friends and keeping his scholarship. All he wants to do is blend in, get his diploma, and go back home.
But Sebastian Prinsen—campus heartthrob and a notorious player—has other plans. He notices Nick right away and makes a bet with his two best friends: Who can kiss the new kid first? Nick seems immune to Sebastian’s charms, and yet genuine chemistry sparks between them. Even worse, real feelings do too. Sebastian falls more and more every time Nick blows him off, but if he comes clean about the bet, Nick will hate him forever.
The last thing Nick wants is to fall in love while he’s still grieving, but Sebastian feels like home to him. Nick wants that so badly he may ignore the warning signs and risk his fragile heart once more.

About Quinn Anderson
Quinn Anderson is an alumna of the University of Dublin in Ireland and has a master’s degree in psychology. She wrote her dissertation on sexuality in popular literature and continues to explore evolving themes in erotica in her professional life.
A nerd extraordinaire, she was raised on an unhealthy diet of video games, anime, pop culture, and comics from infancy. Her girlfriend swears her sense of humor is just one big Buffy reference. She stays true to her nerd roots in writing and in life, and frequently draws inspiration from her many fandoms, which include Yuri on Ice, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Buffy, and more. Growing up, while most of her friends were fighting evil by moonlight, Anderson was kamehameha-ing her way through all the shounen anime she could get her hands on. You will often find her interacting with fellow fans online and offline via conventions and Tumblr, and she is happy to talk about anything from nerd life to writing tips. She has attended conventions on three separate continents and now considers herself a career geek. She advises anyone who attends pop culture events in the UK to watch out for Weeping Angels, as they are everywhere. If you’re at an event, and you see a 6’2” redhead wandering around with a vague look on her face, that’s probably her.
Her favorite authors include J.K. Rowling, Gail Carson Levine, Libba Bray, and Tamora Pierce. When she’s not writing, she enjoys traveling, cooking, spending too much time on the internet, playing fetch with her cat, screwing the rules, watching Markiplier play games she’s too scared to play herself, and catching ’em all.
Connect with Quinn:
      Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorQuinnAnderson/
      Tumblr: quinnandersonwrites
      Twitter: QuinnAndersonXO
      Email: quinnandersonwrites@gmail.com


To celebrate the release of The Academy, Quinn is giving away a $10 Riptide gift card! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on September 22, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Guest Review: Savior (415 Ink #2) by Rhys Ford

A savior lies in the heart of every good man, but sometimes only love can awaken the man inside the savior.

The world’s had it out for San Francisco firefighter Mace Crawford from the moment he was born. Rescued from a horrific home life and dragged through an uncaring foster system, he’s dedicated his life to saving people, including the men he calls his brothers. As second-in-command of their knitted-together clan, Mace guides his younger siblings, helps out at 415 Ink, the family tattoo shop, and most of all, makes sure the brothers don’t discover his darkest secrets.

It’s a lonely life with one big problem—he’s sworn off love, and Rob Claussen, one of 415 Ink’s tattoo artists, has gotten under his skin in the worst way possible.

Mace’s world is too tight, too controlled to let Rob into his life, much less his heart, but the brash Filipino inker is there every time Mace turns around. He can’t let Rob in without shaking the foundations of the life he’s built, but when an evil from his past resurfaces, Mace is forced to choose between protecting his lies and saving the man he’s too scared to love.


Reviewer: Annika

The opening of this book was brutal, horrible and truly heartbreaking. But it also made us connect instantly with Mace. It made us want for his happily ever after. It made the reader invested in the book.

Mace is a martyr of sorts. He never asks for anything for himself. Always giving it to everyone else, no matter how much it hurts him. He is part of the family, but constantly afraid of being rejected. He exists more than live. He truly believes he was not worthy of love of any kind, having had it taken away several times before.
Quote… Trust me, Ivo, the only love I'm ever going to get in my lifetime is from you and the rest of my family. That's just going to have to be enough
He lives a lonely life, never having anything more serious than hook-ups he barely knows the name of. So when the attraction to one of the tattoo artists at 415 Ink refuses do die down, he's not quite sure what to do about it. Add in his worst nightmare from his childhood coming back to haunt him in the worst ways and his life as he knows it starts to crumble at the edges.

There was something that kept me from loving this book, and I can't really put my fingers on why. I really like the characters. My heart broke for Mace so many times. For the boy he was, for the man he thought he'd become, how little he thought he was worth. It got to me it truly did.

I also think that it ended there. After reading this book, I can't really say that I know Rob all that much. We never really got to know him beyond a very superficial level. He was always in the periphery looking in. Oh sure, he was always there for Mace and so on, but the focus was never on him. I still don't really know his wants, fears, flaws, hopes and so on.

Then there was the writing. There was something about it that kept me from fully submerge into the book. After that powerful opening scene it all just kind of faded for me, I wasn't all that invested anymore, there was a distance that I can't fully explain. I've read and loved so many of Ford's novels before, but this series, this book don't have their feel to it. If their name hadn't been in the cover, I'd been hard-pressed to guess the writer. It feels a bit clunky and messy at times to the point where I had a hard time really following what was going on.

These are all my feelings and are highly subjective, so please, If you've read and loved Ford’s books in the past, do pick up this book and form your own opinion and don't take mine for gospel.

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.





Release Blitz + Giveaway: Lucky by Garrett Leigh


Don't miss today's Signal Boost Promotions release blitz for new novel, Lucky by Garrett Leigh! Enter in the back list giveaway!

See our review HERE



Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 70,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Blurb

Dominic Ramos is a Premiership football player with a secret. There are no trophies for being gay in his game. Locked into his rep as the meanest defender on the pitch, keeping his secret is soul-crushing, but love has no place in his sport, even if his soft heart craves it.


Lucky Coleman is on his knees when he meets a man with more money than sense. It’s a Grindr hook-up for cash, not a love match, but dreaming of his desperate, kind eyes earns a place amongst his numerous bad habits.


Meeting once was risky, twice pushes Dom’s courage to the limit. Losing Lucky seems inevitable, but his tight grip on his image counts for nothing when Lucky starts to fall.


Catching him could cost Dom everything, but if he can set his heart free, getting Lucky long term might be a risk worth taking.



Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.


Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.


When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.


Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at blackjazzdesign.com, and co-owns the specialist stock site moonstockphotography.com with renowned LGBTQA+ photographer Dan Burgess.


Website: http://www.garrettleigh.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garrettleighauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Garrett_Leigh



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Review: Hiding in Plain Sight (Camp H.O.W.L. #3) by Bru Baker

Happily ever after is right under their noses.

Harris has been keeping a big secret for years—his unrequited mate bond with his best friend, Jackson. He’s convinced himself that having Jackson in his life is enough. That, and his work at Camp H.O.W.L., keeps him going.

Things get complicated when Jackson applies for a high-ranking Tribunal job in New York City—far from Camp H.O.W.L. The position requires he relinquish all Pack bonds… and that’s when his wolf decides to choose a mate. Suddenly Jackson sees his best friend in a sizzling new light.

Their chemistry is through the roof, but they're setting themselves up for broken hearts—and broken bonds—if Jackson can't figure out a way to balance his career and the love that’s just been waiting for him to take notice.



From my review of Under a Blue Moon: “I am really hoping there is another book because there are strong hints throughout with Harris and Jackson that need to be explored long after that flirting at the hospital. I mean, right? There’s more???? Please?”

*fist pump*

I have been waiting for Harris to get his mate and this book did not disappoint. We’ve met both Harris and Jackson from previous books in this series. Harris was Tate’s friend and fellow counselor at Camp Howl in the first book and we meet Jackson in book two as Drew’s stepbrother. What we also learn about Jackson and Harris in book two is there is way more than bro feeling’s between them. Harris acknowledges the crush he has on Jackson and Jackson just doesn’t know Harris is more than his best friend yet. It will take a literally getting some sense knocked into Jackson for him to figure it all out but it’s worth it.
His mate had been hiding in plain sight for all of their adult lives…
I love romances where our couple has known one another and been friends for years. There is a different intimacy of between friends that lends to a romance and Harris and Jackson’s history give this romance a bittersweet feels all while including some angst and serious UST.

As in the previous books, we get dual POV’s with this one and it’s always something I am thankful for. We already know that Harris knows Jackson is his mate and that he will stay in the friend zone forever if it means keeping Jackson around. What was great was to learn this isn’t all one sided and Jackson has been crushing on his best friend for years too, he just hasn’t felt the mating call, or at least he never checked the caller ID for identification. Even in Drew’s book, Harris and Jackson couldn’t stop being affections and flirty with one another…
Besides, someday his stepbrother Jackson was going to get his head out of his ass and realize he had feelings for Harris, […]
Oh, this book. There is a decent amount of angst happening with both Harris and Jackson. I can’t begin to tell you how much I hurt for Harris when we would deny himself everything he wanted as a man and wolf with Jackson. That sort of unrequited love kills me and yet I eat it with a spoon. When Jackson finally gets that Harris is his mate, a whole new level of angst arrives and these two just made me want to lock them in a room until they figure it out. Talk about self-control and denial, these two have it in spades and all that UST they were building was blinding. I was sitting on my hands waiting for them to give in and yet I was scared for both of them being hurt by doing so.

You see, Jackson is on a career path of moving up the ranks from a district enforcer to tribunal enforcer that will lead to him following in his father’s footsteps to be the second of a pack. It’s all he’s ever wanted but the pull of a mate is more than he bargained for and with that mate being Harris, Jackson becomes one hell of a mess. He can’t work, people around him notice his mood swings and it hurt to read how much his wolf was pining and crying for Harris. But, I do get why he hesitated for so long, why he denied what fate had determined with Harris. Following your heart and not your head isn’t always easy but it could leave you to everything you’ve always wanted.
“Everybody knows you two are one smoldering look away from boning. The UST was actually painful while he was here a few weeks ago.”
Harris just about broke my heart at least a dozen times reading this. You can feel how much he wants Jackson as his mate but the self-denial was intense as self-flagellation. When Jackson offers Harris a “deal”…ugh. I know Harris will always take what he can when it comes to Jackson, but I was worried for them both. I am just happy they decided to give it a shot and even though Harris acted hastily before Jackson had a chance to tell him what’s up, it gave us some great scenes with them.

I loved getting bits of Tate and Adrian again and of course being set in Camp H.O.W.L and Jackson being brothers with Drew, we get more of Drew and Nick. While Jordan didn’t sit well with me in Drew’s book, he grew on me here and I hope he will finally settle down. Also, the introduction of new supernatural beings to this world was welcomed and I am curious if the author will continue on with that storyline?

I loved every bit of this book. Of course being a hopeless romantic the romance comes first but I loved how Harris and Jackson are friends and lovers. How they can talk about what they want even if they dance around the issue at first and what their first argument was about. I love that these men understand how important career is to both of them but how they can’t deny the mating bond that is happening.
Looking back, it was kind of an odd thing to love about a friend. Maybe he’d known Harris was his mate all along, but his brain hadn’t been ready to process it.
I’m sad that this is the last in the Camp H.O.W.L series but it’s ending on a positive note. I like where the book left Harris and Jackson; what they are both doing with their mate and their careers. The authors note at the end made me excited and I can’t wait for the new series and more shifters!


An ARC was provided in exchange for an honest review.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Love Spell by Mia Kerick


Help author Mia Kerick and IndiGo Marketing celebrate the release of Love Spell! Check out more today about the YA story and enter in the $10 NineStar credit giveaway!


Title: Love Spell
Author: Mia Kerick
Publisher: NineStar Press, LLC
Release Date: September 17, 2018
Heat Level: 1 - No Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 43300
Genre: Contemporary YA, contemporary, YA, non-binary, bullying, homophobia, coming-of-age, humorous

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Synopsis

Chance César is fabulously gay, but his gender identity—or, as he phrases it, “being stuck in the gray area between girl and boy”—remains confusing. Nonetheless, he struts his stuff on the catwalk in black patent leather pumps and a snug-in-all-the-right (wrong)-places orange tuxedo as the winner of this year’s Miss (ter) Harvest Moon Festival. He rules supreme at the local Beans and Greens Farm’s annual fall celebration, serenaded by the enthusiastic catcalls of his BFF, Emily Benson.

Although he refuses to visually fade into the background of his rural New Hampshire town, Chance is socially invisible—except when being tormented by familiar bullies. But sparks fly when Chance, Pumpkin Pageant Queen, meets Jasper (Jazz) Donahue, winner of the Pumpkin Carving King contest. Chance wants to be noticed and admired and romantically embraced by Jazz, in all of his neon-orange-haired glory.

And so at a sleepover, Chance and Emily conduct intense, late-night research, and find an online article: “Ten Scientifically Proven Ways to Make a Man Fall in Love With You.” Along with a bonus love spell thrown in for good measure, it becomes the basis of their strategy to capture Jazz’s heart.

But will this “no-fail” plan work? Can Chance and Jazz fall under the fickle spell of love?

Excerpt

Love Spell
Mia Kerick © 2018
All Rights Reserved

Chapter One
Shine On, Harvest Moon

Just call me brazen.

It occurs to me that brazen—unabashedly bold and without an inkling of shame—is the perfectly appropriate word to describe moi right about now. It is, however, the only perfectly appropriate part of this evening. Which is perfectly appropriate, in my humble opinion. So get over it.

I lift my chin just enough to stop the stiff orange spikes of glitter-gelled hair from flopping forward onto my forehead. Who can blame me? These spikes are razor sharp—best they stay upright on my head where they belong. And gravity can only do so much to that end.

Okaaaayyyy…sidetracked much? Forces rebellious thoughts on business at hand.

Chance César is a brazen B.

I stare ’em down, but only after I pop the collar of the blinding “Orange Crush” tuxedo I’m rockin’ and shrug my shoulders in a sort of what-the-fuck fashion. Rule of thumb in this queen’s life—first things must always come first.

Pop, shrug, and only then is it kosher to stare. I clear my throat.

“Eat your ginger-haired heart out, Ed Sheeran.”

Based on the buzz of scandalized chatter blowing about in the crisp evening breeze, I’m reasonably certain that nobody in the crowd heard me speak. And although several of the girls currently gawking at me may do double backflips over my red-haired counterpart across the pond, they don’t give a rat’s ass about Chance César. In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that they view my atomic tangerine locks as more reminiscent of Bozo the Clown than of the smexy singer-songwriter.

They are, however, completely unaware that this carrot top is going to make Harvest Moon Festival history tonight.

Refusing to succumb to the impulse to duck my head, I take a single shaky step forward onto the stage that’s been set up on the dusty ground beside a vast—by New England standards—cornfield. The stage doesn’t wobble, but my knees sure as shit do. Okay, I’m an honest diva and I tell it like it is. And I’m what you might call a freaking wreck.

Nonetheless, this brazen B takes a deep breath, blows it out in a single gush, and starts to strut. This boy’s werkin’ it.

Smi-zeee!! Yeah, my smile is painted on, just like my trousers.

Chance, you are by far the edgiest Miss Harvest Moon this ramshackle town has ever had the good fortune to gaze upon. I am a major fan of positive self-talk.

Using the feigned British accent I’ve perfected—thanks to long hours of tedious practice in my bathroom—I dish out my next thought aloud. “I wish I’d put in a tad more practice walking in these bloody heels before going public in ’em.” And despite one slight stumble—a close call to be sure—the clicking sound my pumps make is crisp and confident. I saunter out onto the catwalk.

#TrueConfessions: Faking foreign accents is a hobby of mine. I can yammer it up in improvised French, German, Mexican, Russian, and plenty more accents, but I don’t mimic Asian languages, as it seems too close to ridicule. My plan for the rest of the night is to continue vocalizing my abundant thoughts in Standard British, with a hint of Cockney thrown in for charm. After all, New Hampshire is the “Live Free or Die” state, and I’ll do what I laaaa-like. Yaaasss!

“Introducing this year’s lovely…or, um, handsome Miss…ter…Harvest Moon. Let’s hear an enthusiastic round of applause for Chance César!” Mrs. Higgins always speaks using a lolling Southern twang, although I’m sure she’s lived her entire life right here in less-than-gentile, way-too-many-dirt-roads, Fiske, New Hampshire. (Like, can you say backwoods Fiske without it sounding too much like backward Fiske?) TBH, I’m thrilled: it seems I’m not the only one with an affinity for a colorful accent. But the applause is disappointingly, but not surprisingly, scattered.

“Woot!” A solitary hoot splits the night—it’s quite impossible to miss— and I recognize an undeniably shrill and nasal quality in the sound. I know without a doubt that the hooter is my best (only) friend, Emily Benson. In my not so humble opinion, Emily’s hooting for my benefit is as liberating a sound as Lady Gaga bellowing “Born This Way” live on the Grammy Awards after emerging from a large egg.

My Emily is everything! Not to be dramatic, but whatevs.

In any case, the single, supportive hoot is followed by mucho expected heckling. “Chances are, Chance César is gonna moon the crowd!” It’s a girl’s voice, for sure. I do not have a lot of female fans here in Fiske.

“Come on, Miss Harvest Moon, bend over and flash us your full moon!” A dude mocks me next. I’m proud to say I’m an equal opportunity victim of harassment.

I don’t blink once in the face of the jeering. This type of inconvenience is par for the course in my life, and thus, I consider it a challenge of stoic endurance. I simply place one fine pointy-toed pump in front of the other, my eyes focused on the mountain in the distance. I’m especially proud that, amidst the chaos, I remember to offer the crowd my best beauty queen wave.

Yeah, this is some beauty pageant realness.

“Thank you, lovelies, for coming here today.” I speak in my most Princess Diaries-esque tone.

“Werk it, girlfriend—werk hard!” Yes, it’s Emily again. And like always, she’s got my spectacular back.

“Aw, shit, we must be havin’ a lunar eclipse or somethin’.” It’s another pubescent male voice, and a deep one at that. “There ain’t no moon to be seen ’round these parts!” The heckler is a douche I know too well from school named Edwin Darling—whom I less than fondly, and very privately, refer to as “Eddie the Appalling.” I watch as he looks away from me to take in the full moon in the dark night sky and shrugs.

The lunar eclipse one-liner is actually fairly humorous. I toss out ten points for creativity in Edwin’s general direction by allowing a restrained smile, but I never remove my eyes from the single treeless spot on Mount Vernier.

Time for a mental detour. Why is this one spot bare-assed of all trees?

That’s when the music starts, and I’m more than glad for the downbeat. It helps me focus, plus it’s much easier to sashay to the sound of a jazzy snare drum than to the unpleasant clamor of heckling. Not that my backside won’t wiggle righteously to any sound at all. Because, rest assured, it will.

“Shine On, Harvest Moon.” Whoever is in charge of the sound system plays the Liza Minnelli version, which may be the silver lining to this farce. For as long as I can remember, it’s been the more traditional, not to mention folksy, Four Aces version for Miss Harvest Moon’s victorious stroll up and down the creaky runway. I will say that tonight is a first for the Liza rendition, and I’m curious as to whether it is coincidental.

But who really cares? Ring them sparkly silver bells for Liza M!

On a side note, I wonder: Is it a good thing or a bad thing that Liza Minnelli’s voice brings out the dramatic streak in me? Okay, okaaaayyyy…so maybe it doesn’t take more than a gentle nudge to get me going in a theatrical direction. But, hey, drama ain’t a crime. My mind is pulled to the back of my bedroom closet (how ironic), where my flapper get-up hangs. Panic sets in… Should I have worn that instead? But it’s a muted peach—not a vivid orange—as seems fitting for a pumpkin festival. And then there’s the whole not-a-single-soul-except-Mom-Dad-and-Emily-has-yet-seen-Chance César-in-full-female-garb thing that held me back from rockin’ the vintage coral dress with its spectacular tiers of flesh-colored fringe.

Tonight is Beans and Green Farm’s Annual Harvest Moon Festival, and for northern New Hampshire, this is a big freaking deal—the whole town shows up for cheesy shit like this. In light of this recognition, I confirm that pumpkin orange attire is mandatorbs. I mean, I went so far as to dye my hair for tonight’s festivities; the least I can do is choose garments that enhance my Halloween-chic style.

At the end of the catwalk, I indulge the audience by providing them with their deepest desire. I stand there, still as a scarecrow—for ten seconds, give or take—so they can drink in the sight of me, from spiky glittering head to pointy patent leather toes. I allow them this rare opportunity for freeze-frame viewing pleasure. Whether they admire me for having the balls to strut around ultraconservative Fiske wearing a scandalously snug-in-all-the-wrong-(right)-places orange tuxedo and four-inch black pumps—which I will admit is a public first for me—or they wish the shining harvest moon would fall on my house and crush me while I sleep, what they all really want most is a good long moment to study me.

To twerk or not to twerk, that is the question.

When the spectators finally start to squirm, I throw out a few of my best vogue fem moves to the tune of some subtle arm, wrist, and hand action, followed by several full-body poses, avoiding the death drop move as I haven’t yet mastered it in pumps. And when it’s time to once again get this glam show on the road, I pivot on my toes and strut briskly—America’s Next Top Model style—back to the stage where my boss, the owner of Beans and Greens Farm, stands nervously clutching my crown.

Mrs. Higgins is a tall glass of water, in the manner of a large-boned Iowa farm girl, but she’s accustomed to crowning petite high school junior girls, not nearly grown senior boys in four-inch heels. I crouch beside her politely and, I dare say, delicately, and she carefully nestles the crystal-studded crown in my spiky mop of neon-orange hair.

“Be careful, Mrs. H,” I warn beneath my breath. “Those spikes might look harmless, but they’re sharp enough to slice off your little finger.”

She offers me half of a crooked smile, for which I give her credit. I, Mrs. Higgins’ very own “boy with the bad attitude on cash register three,” have broken about every rule Beans and Greens has established for its hordes of Fiske High School summer workers, right down to the “no jewelry at work” clause. But a couple of points go to the lady because she manages to force out a grimace that could be mistaken for a smile…if your standard for smiles is on the low side. Besides, I’m not about to remove my nose ring. It in no way impedes my ability to count, ring up, and bag cucumbers.

This is when I spin on a single heel to face the crowd.

“You don’t happen to have any…very brief…words of wisdom for our audience, do you, Chance?” Mrs. Higgins asks, speaking into an oversized microphone. But despite the laid-back accent, I can tell she’s wary. Like a rat in a corner.

“Yes, as a matter of fact, I do.” My clipped British accent momentarily stuns the woman, and I take the opportunity to snatch the microphone from her less-than-dainty hand. Realizing it’s now in my possession, Mrs. Higgins shudders. “I just want to thank you all, my beloved coworkers at Beans and Greens Farm, for voting me in as this year’s Miss Harvest Moon.” I wipe imaginary tears from my eyes with my wrist, sniff for added effect, and, of course, I employ a most gracious, high-pitched tone of voice. “I am so honored to represent you all here tonight.” I sound like Eliza Doolittle in the stage play, My Fair Lady.

The crowd is silent. Maybe it’s a stunned silence. I sincerely hope so.

I follow dainty sniffling with my best duck-faced lip pout. Mrs. Higgins makes a sudden grab for the microphone, but I’m more agile. I only have to twist my shoulders ever so slightly to the left to block her move. She eyes me with a new respect.

And then I lower my voice so it’s all man—momentarily losing the delightful British inflection—and pose my question to the crowd.

“So you thought voting for me as Miss Harvest Moon would humiliate me—dull my shine or rain on my parade, perhaps?” I wag one well-manicured finger at the crowd while swishing my ass back and forth in matched rhythm. “Well, in your face, my sorry backwoods homies, cuz I’m here and I’m queer and I’m shining on—just like that big ol’ harvest moon!”

Without hesitation, I bend, just enough to grab Mrs. Higgins around the waist, and lift her off her size eleven feet (by my best visual estimate) and swing the lady around, probs ’til she’s seeing more stars than the ones in the dark Harvest Moon sky.

I’d bet my ahhh-mazing ass that no other Miss Harvest Moon has ever given Mrs. Higgins a joyride like that!

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Meet the Author

Mia Kerick is the mother of four exceptional children—one in law school, another at a dance conservatory, a third studying at Mia’s alma mater, Boston College, and her lone son still in high school. She has published more than twenty books of LGBTQ romance when not editing National Honor Society essays, offering opinions on college and law school applications, helping to create dance bios, and reviewing English papers. Her husband of twenty-five years has been told by many that he has the patience of Job, but don’t ask Mia about this, as it is a sensitive subject.

Mia focuses her stories on the emotional growth of troubled young people and their relationships. She has a great affinity for the tortured hero in literature, and as a teen, Mia filled spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes and stuffed them under her mattress for safekeeping. She is thankful to NineStar Press for providing her with an alternate place to stash her stories.

Her books have been featured in Kirkus Reviews magazine, and have won Rainbow Awards for Best Transgender Contemporary Romance and Best YA Lesbian Fiction, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

Mia Kerick is a social liberal and cheers for each and every victory made in the name of human rights. Her only major regret: never having taken typing or computer class in school, destining her to a life consumed with two-fingered pecking and constant prayer to the Gods of Technology. Contact Mia at miakerick@gmail.com or visit at www.miakerickya.com to see what is going on in Mia’s world.

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