Audiobook Review: The Worst Best Man by M.J. O'Shea

It was her special day... but his worst nightmare.

A rekindled romance wasn’t part of the plan.

Despite his American background, August O’Leary is the most sought-after wedding planner in London. Naturally, Libby and Edward come to him for a wedding the city will never forget. But Edward is an international businessman, so the details are left to Libby and her best friend—who happens to be the love of August’s life and the one who broke his heart eight years ago: Christopher Burke.

How’s August supposed to pull off the event of the year with Christopher distracting him and old feelings crashing the party uninvited?

Christopher has let money and status dictate his life, but no more. His failure to stand up to others’ expectations cost him his future with August—one he hoped would include marriage. Now he has to face August’s hurt and anger and prove he’s still the best man to make August happy.

Listening Length: 5 hours and 20 minutes
Narrator: Dorian Bane


Reviewer: R *A Reader Obsessed*

This was my first Dreamspun Desires book, and I have to say on a whole, it was pretty good with just some niggles.

Way back when in college, August and Christopher were fabulously in love. They were inseparable and believed they’d never be apart. However, they were from vastly different worlds, with most likely hundreds of millions of dollars separating them in social status, and ultimately, Christopher was pressured by his parents to break things off with August. Ever since then, Christopher hasn’t forgiven himself and has regretted his decision, never having moved on. So, when happenstance allows him to meet up with August years later, he’s determined to right some wrongs and get his man back. August understandably, is still hurt. He too hasn’t found someone to measure up to what he had with Christopher, but he’s hesitant and wary, not trusting Christopher to carry things through.

Admittedly, there was some initial angst, especially when these two first meet back up again, but the gradual wooing and winning August over was very sweet and enjoyable. I admit, I was hesitant to read this due to the preconceived notion that this was smexy-light but was oh-so pleasantly surprised. Granted, there isn’t act after act after act, but what we got was nice and steamy. Things progress smoothly until that requisite misunderstanding inevitably occurs, a tactic that I feel is overly used and is often tiresome...  

SPOILER: It’s basically one big miscommunication that seemed to me, a bit blown out of proportion, and while forgivable, it dragged out way too long. Then the conflict was rectified so quickly it made me wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.

However, this is O’Shea and she typically writes easy breezy, sweet romance, which this delivered on except that last 15% or so. I think this DSP series definitely has its pros, and I’m not opposed to more!

On a side note, I listened to this story narrated by Dorian Bane. This was my first from this narrator, and I’m not completely sold. His voice is consistently raspy/husky which made it hard at first to differentiate between all the characters, but luckily, the MC’s were distinct - August having a Boston accent, Christopher a British one. I was a bit tickled though, because Christopher sounded exactly like Jude Law to me, so if you like his voice, then you’ll surely enjoy this. Overall, this narration was just “okay”.



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34802040-the-worst-best-man

Re-Release Blitz + Givaway: Screwing the System by Josephine Myles


Celebrate the re-release of Screwing the System by Josephine Myles with the author and Signal Boost Promotions! Check out the kinky boss/employee romance and enter the Josephine Myles back list eBook giveaway!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK 


Length: 228 pages


Cover Design: Harper By Design


Blurb


When Boss meets brat…

Forced to apply for a job he doesn’t want, Cosmo Rawlins has only one aim in mind: fail the interview and get back to making music. But his attempt to shock the sexy, sharp-suited Alasdair Grant has a very different result.

Instead of getting thrown out of the office for flaunting an interest in BDSM, Cosmo finds himself on his knees, apologizing to the most dominant man he’s ever met.

Alasdair has more important things on his mind than training a novice sub, especially a rebellious bad boy like Cosmo. But there’s something beneath the youngster’s bratty attitude that fascinates him.

As Alasdair takes Cosmo in hand—and for a wild ride on his Harley—he becomes obsessed with bending the young rocker to his will, both in and out of bed. But while Cosmo might enjoy the kink, he’s not up for becoming Alasdair’s household slave.

When Alasdair goes one demand too far, Cosmo is gone in a cloud of dust. Forcing Alasdair to admit that earning Cosmo’s loyalty—and love—will involve the toughest challenge he’s ever faced.

Warning: This title contains an overbearing Top with a less than glamorous job, a rebellious brat who refuses to call him sir, and a total lack of high-end BDSM clubs or playrooms. Expect floggings over the kitchen table instead. Written in Jo’s usual exceedingly “English” English.



NB. This book is a re-release.


Excerpt



Cosmo crossed his ankle over his knee and began humming. It wasn’t deliberately to annoy the blonde chick behind the reception desk. No, he’d had this tune buzzing around in his head ever since waking, but what with having to come along to this interview for a piece-of-shit job, he hadn’t had a chance to get it down yet. That was why he couldn’t hold down regular employment, see? It wasn’t laziness or stupidity, no matter what his old teachers might have said. Nah, he was just one of those creative types. He’d told that to Irene—she was his advisor at the Jobcentre. He’d told her he was looking for jobs that would utilize his musical skills. She’d said, “In High Wycombe? Dream on, Cosmo,” and told him he had to put down a wider range of acceptable jobs or she’d bloody well do it for him.

In the end, she had started to arrange interviews for him, which explained why he was sitting here, waiting to be interrogated about his suitability as a “sanitary disposal operative”—in other words, the poor sod who had to go around emptying bins in ladies’ toilets.

Fuck that.

The skinny bloke who’d gone in before him loped out of the shuttered office and hightailed it across the lobby to freedom. Cosmo sighed and popped a stick of gum into his mouth. Fresh breath, see? It looked like he was making an effort so he’d get brownie points, but chewing gum during an interview was guaranteed to piss off pretty much every manager out there. As was asking how many cigarette breaks you got per hour.

“Mr. Rawlins?” the blonde chick called. “Mr. Grant will see you now.”

Cosmo stood and smoothed down his black drainpipe trousers. He even had a well-ironed shirt and tie on. Thing was, he’d discovered that on him, the smart clothes and grade-two haircut made him look less like a good little worker and more like a thug. He’d probably get a job as a bouncer if that was what he was going for—not that he had the intimidating build or anything, but he looked well hard, what with the couple of scars on his chin and the one across his eyebrow from fighting off angry closet cases, plus he could do a mean stare if he felt the need.

But he had other tricks up his sleeve too. Quite literally. Cosmo massaged his sore wrists and headed on into the boss man’s office, giving Blondie a huge grin on the way. She smiled back, all coy-like. Barking up the wrong tree there, love.

Mr. Grant, on the other hand… There was a tree he wouldn’t mind barking up. Or climbing up, more like. He was huge and had to be old enough to be his dad, which wasn’t actually all that old, seeing as how his dad was only fifteen when he got his fourteen-year-old excuse for a mother up the duff. But this wasn’t some fat old geezer with white hair bristling out of his nostrils. Mr. Grant wasn’t big like that. He was built like a bricklayer, all broad chest and shoulders bunched with powerful muscles. It was obvious, even with his body covered up by the fancy suit, he spent time down the gym.

“Cosmo Rawlins,” the boss-man said, holding out a huge hand, which swallowed up Cosmo’s in a warm and firm handshake. What a grip. Cosmo had all kinds of naughty thoughts about where else he’d like to feel a hand like that and wondered whether getting a boner in the interview would be something this Mr. Grant would report back to Irene. Best not take the chance. “I’m Alasdair Grant. Please take a seat.”

Usually these things were done across a desk, but Mr. Grant didn’t seem to need the prop to boost his ego and had a load of comfy chairs arranged around a giant coffee table at one end of his office. The man was clearly doing all right for himself. Cosmo could have fit the entire ground floor of his shared house in there and still had room to swing a cat in. Not that he believed in cruelty to animals or anything.

“Nice place you’ve got here,” Cosmo said as he settled into the chair indicated.

“Thanks. It’s taken me a decade to build this company up, but we’re now the largest sanitary services operation in the South East.”

Cosmo tried not to look too impressed, but it was bloody difficult not to when faced with the sight of Alasdair Grant seated across from him, like a stern George Clooney with that handsome face, cropped salt-and-pepper hair and designer stubble so thick it was bordering on beard territory. He had these sharp grey eyes fixed on Cosmo. It was unnerving, sitting there with the bloke looking at him like that.

Was Boss-man checking him out? Yes, definitely, but Cosmo was buggered if he could tell if it was purely a professional assessment or if there was a more salacious interest lurking in his gaze. Alasdair Grant didn’t have a wedding band, but Cosmo wasn’t going to read too much into that.

“So, Cosmo, has your advisor at the Jobcentre let you know exactly what the job entails?”

“Emptying rag bins in the ladies’ lavs, as I understand it.”

Boss-man gave this pained smile and leaned forward a little. Shit, it felt like he was looming over Cosmo, despite him being the other side of the coffee table. “That’s certainly an element of the work, but it’s a more responsible position than that. We provide a full replenishment service for all disposables, like paper towels and hand soap. We also empty and top-up the vending machines, so there’s a cash-handling element. You’d be in charge of one of our vehicles and acting as a frontline representative of Sanco Solutions at all times.”

Cosmo tuned out the words Boss-man was saying and just enjoyed the sound of his voice. There was this deep bass rumble to it that made him think those lungs must be huge, but that was overlaid with a melodic timbre not all that many speakers had, and there was a smooth, easy rhythm to his speech. Shit, he could listen to him for hours. Cosmo found himself tapping his foot and drumming his fingers along with his words. Gave him ideas for inserting a rap in the middle of the new song. Some UK Garage or Grime stylings, maybe. Would that work? The rest of the band would hate it. Rizzo especially, which made it doubly appealing.

“Mr. Rawlins. Am I boring you?”

That made him snap his head up. “What?”

“You looked like you were lost in music.” Boss-man stared pointedly down at his fingers.

“Oh, that. Sorry, it’s just habit. I’m a musician, see, and I can’t help it. I find inspiration everywhere.” Actually, this was good. Playing the flaky-musician card put off most employers, but he didn’t normally get a chance to until the bit at the end when they asked him if he had any questions.

“A musician? What do you play?”

“Guitar, and I sing too. I’m in a band. ScarDue, we’re called.” How much longer he’d be a member, he didn’t know. They were currently experiencing a bout of creative conflict. In other words, the rest of them were content playing cover versions of alt-metal hits in local pubs, whereas he wanted to experiment with crossing genres, come up with a completely original set and go places.

“Should I have heard of you?” he asked.

“I doubt it. Not unless you make a habit of hanging out down the White Horse on open-mic night.”

“Can’t say I do. The White Horse… Is that still a bikers’ pub?”

“Kind of. More emo and goth kids these days, but there’s a few bikers still hanging around. Freddie’s mates.”

“Freddie Henderson? Is he still the landlord?”

“Yeah, you know him?” Cosmo couldn’t imagine the two of them moving in the same social circles. For a start, Freddie had a shaved head, handlebar moustache, and the rest of his body was pretty much covered in tattoos and black leather. Alasdair Grant, on the other hand, was corporate establishment through and through.

Boss-man got this weird expression on his face. Fond? Yeah, it was that, but there was something more. Something kind of hot, like he was remembering sexy good times.








Author Bio

English through and through, Josephine Myles is addicted to tea and busy cultivating a reputation for eccentricity. She writes gay erotica and romance, but finds the erotica keeps cuddling up to the romance, and the romance keeps corrupting the erotica. Jo blames her rebellious muse but he never listens to her anyway, no matter how much she threatens him with a big stick. She’s beginning to suspect he enjoys it.

Jo’s novel Stuff won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Bisexual Romance, and her novella Merry Gentlemen won the 2014 Rainbow Award for Best Gay Romantic Comedy. She loves to be busy, and is currently having fun trying to work out how she is going to fit in her love of writing, dressmaking and attending cabaret shows in fabulous clothing around the demands of a preteen with special needs and an incessantly curious toddler.

Website and blog: josephinemyles.com/
Facebook: facebook.com/josephine.myles.author
Twitter: @JosephineMyles
Newsletter: eepurl.com/hrQ4s




Hosted By Signal Boost Promotions





Review: Secrets of You (Sunshine and Happiness #4) by Skylar M. Cates

It’s never easy to find redemption.

Carrying scars and regrets, River Darcourt avoids too much intimate contact. Among his friends, he is known as a quiet loner. Forget about love. It’s not something he will consider… until sweet, young, and tempting Morgan Hayes becomes his housemate. River closed his heart long ago, but the attraction is impossible to deny.

Morgan Hayes needs a change. He is moving out of his critical father’s home and in with his friends, including his secret/not-so-secret crush, River. Having feelings for River is a terrible idea. But what is a guy to do when the annoyingly sexy mechanic is just across the hall?

While Morgan has overcome ugliness and is ready for love, he’s just not sure River ever will be. They have both experienced pain in their lives. So Morgan dares River to take a chance, and love will either break their fractured hearts in more pieces or, just possibly, make them whole again.


This series is a favorite of mine. I like that it is named Sunshine and Happiness because for the majority of the books, it’s quite the opposite but when life is dark, all you want is to bask in the contented light.


My heart hurt for River when we met him in Here for You. When we get more of River and meet Morgan in Lovers, Losers and You, I said…  “I really hope that my dear sweet, yet sexy Morgan realizes who saved him… the man who smells of leather and oranges… the man on the motorcycle who is brooding over Brendan’s death and OMG! They better get a damn book because I need it. It has to be those two, HAS TO BE! And that brings us to the present and me finally getting River’s book – WITH MORGAN -  and waiting with bated breath to see how this all works out.


I won’t lie, I came into this book with high hopes. River has been this brooding and mysterious character who we know is mourning the loss of Brendan and the relationship no one knew even existed. I’ve had this book for some time but I had to be sure my angst whore was ready… My heart a mess before I even opened the book and then, I did.


Wow.


This book did not disappoint at all. It had everything and more than I could have hope for with two men who yeah, have secrets but are looking to lay them all on the table for love.


Goodness. Let’s see if rambling Red can review this with a bit of sense?


Told from the dual POV (thank Jeebus) of River and Morgan we begin the story as Morgan is moving into what I now call the Ocean Vista house of gay love and relationships because really, it’s true and it’s magical. Morgan has had a crush on River since he met him and little does our lithe design studying boy know, River has been crushing right back. But everyone is warning Morgan off his crush, worried that River will hurt Morgan with his dark and brooding ways so Morgan tries to play it cool. Try, being the operative word.


Of course we have everyone from the first three books in this one and the housemates are gearing up to attend Cole and Ian’s wedding on a cruise ship. Their honeymoon is also on the cruise ship and they have invited the boys to come along and celebrate. Marc and Tomas have planned to go and then Owen and Andrew decide last minute as well which leaves… Morgan and River alone, in the house, for a total of 14 days. Yeah, there is no way something could happen between two housemates with off the charts hot chemistry that burned my fingers through my Nook. Nothing. At. All. *grins*
I absolutely adore being in River’s head. It’s just about as angsty, anti-heroic and stupidly swoony as I thought it would be. I loved getting to see Morgan through his eyes and how much he wanted to have a relationship with him but was terrified. I hated seeing how hurt he was by Brendan’s actions with their secret relationship and how he thinks he is cursed to lose everyone he loves. River is troubled by his past and the possibility of it hurting Morgan weighed on my heart. River is such a good man, he truly is and he deserves someone who sees through all his bullshit, over his walls and straight to the heart of the oh so sexy mechanic.  


And then there is Morgan, who I now will call my yoga buddy because I too have put on Prince to get down on my mat for some freaking cosmic centering. We know from the previous books that Morgan has been assaulted and that he was rescued by someone smelling of orange and leather. We know that it’s totally River but Morgan doesn’t have a clue. I loved that he was so open with River and really gave all of himself to the budding romance between them, even when River tried to deny it was happening. These two are such an amazing couple and that first kiss was gorgeous. Ugh. They just about killed me with the UST and turned me into a puddle when they finally gave in.


There is a sort of third wheel in this romance and it comes in the form of a ghost; Brendan. He’s present because he was a housemate, a friend, Owen’s brother and a fuck buddy to River but he is also competition to Morgan, or so he believes. It was heartbreaking to watch Morgan go through the emotions about Brendan and not have the courage or really feel the right to ask River what he needed to know. I am one of those readers who doesn’t mind miscommunication in her romance because it can lead to some big emotional scenes of revelation and let me tell you, this one is goo worthy.


Can I wrap these two up in the biggest hug? I mean, I love them. They are fun when they flirt, they are adorable when they’re being domestic, hot AF when they’re in bed or anywhere else and they are amazing when they both let down their walls to be honest about their feelings.


Getting River’s past was bittersweet. I have been wondering what he was hiding and the angst of his deal with Brendan was only the beginning. He’s not had the best of things but I loved the character growth and maturity we see in him with this book. The first half was so much fun with the boys getting to a comfortable point with one another and the second half was an emotional journey that had me unable to stop reading to see how they would work this out. I will just say both River and Morgan came through with respect and understanding and it was gorgeous to see it all come to fruition.

I like that though this was angsty, but not as much as I originally expected, the author added in moments of humor that fit this couple well. How they tell their housemates and friends they are together made me chuckle and the end was perfect and fitting for Morgan and River.


I am curious about a character that we met while picking out the Charity River would give the insurance money from Brendan’s accident to and whom Marc knows. Will he be a new housemate? Will he get a story? Also, will Logan ever reach out to Ennio because that just about broke my heart as well.


Sigh. Okay. I think I have rambled enough.

Secrets of You is by far my favorite in the series and if you can’t tell, I loved the hell out of it! I liked River so much when I first met him and knew he deserved to find a love that would last a lifetime and I couldn’t be happier that it’s Morgan.




https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34094984-secrets-of-you

Blog Tour + Giveaway: Heir of Locksley (Outlaw's Legacy #1) by N.B. Dixon


Fans of Robin Hood unite! N.B. Dixon and LoveBound Promotions are here to promote Heir of Locksley (Outlaw's Legacy #1)! See our review of the novel HERE

N.B. Dixon interviews the villain of the novel and is giving away 3 copies of Heir of Locksley! Good luck!!

Heir of Locksley by N.B. Dixon (Tour Banner)

Title: Heir of Locksley

Series: Outlaw’s Legacy, Book 1

Author: N.B. Dixon

Publisher: Beaten Track Publishing

Cover Artist: Natasha Snow

Release Date: December 1st, 2016

Genre(s): Historical, M/M

Words: 108,000

View on Goodreads

About the Book


Blurb


HeirOfLocksley

Robin of Locksley is a rebel, more comfortable roaming Sherwood Forest with his longbow and courting the village girls than learning how to run a manor.

An innocent flirtation with a peasant girl soon lands Robin in trouble, and worse, he finds himself inexplicably attracted to Will Scathelock, his best friend since childhood. Robin must decide whether to follow the rules of society or his own conscience.

Meanwhile, his neighbour, Guy of Gisborne, is anxious to get his hands on the Locksley estate and he will do anything to make it happen - even murder.

Buy Links


Amazon US | Amazon UK | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords

Character Interview with Guy of Gisborne


Author N.B. Dixon interviews Guy of Gisborne, the villain of Heir of Locksley and enemy to Robin Hood.

N.B.: So, tell me, how long have you known Robin of Locksley?

Guy: Our fathers own neighbouring estates, and Robin and I are the same age. We grew up together.

N.B.: It must have been nice for you to have a companion of your own age.

Guy (with a contemptuous snort): Robin loves to show off. He was never happier than when he made me look a fool. Nearly everyone worships the ground he walks on, including our tutor, Sir Richard.

N.B.: So you aren’t friends?

Guy: He may have thought so. He believes everyone loves him.

N.B.: It sounds to me as though you’re jealous of Robin.

Guy (hand dropping to where his sword would be): What do I have to be jealous of? The estate I will inherit is lawfully mine, which is more than can be said for him.

N.B.: Really? How so?

Guy: The Locksley lands were once part of the Gisborne estate. They were awarded to the Locksley family in return for their loyal service to the King. They should rightfully be mine.

N.B.: Can’t you be content with what you have?

Guy: I will never be content until the Locksley lands are mine and Robin gets what he deserves.


About N.B. Dixon


Author Bio


N.B. Dixon is an author of historical fiction. Her love for the Robin Hood legend began in a neglected corner of the school library and has continued ever since. She is a self-confessed bookworm and also a musician.

She began work on the *Outlaw's Legacy* Series in 2013, and was accepted by Beaten Track Publishing in 2016. *Outlaw's Legacy* is a historical series based around the Robin Hood legend. The author describes it as Exciting Historical Adventure with GLBT romance.

Connect with N.B.


Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Giveaway


Three lucky winners will receive an e-copy of Heir of Locksley, the first in the Outlaw's Legacy series by N.B. Dixon, a highly original retelling of the Robin Hood legend. To be in with a chance, simply enter via the Rafflecopter below. The contest closes at midnight EST on May 6 and is open to entrants worldwide.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tour Stops


April 24

Exclusive Excerpt at Bloggers from Down Under
Guest Post at Scattered Thoughts and Rogue Words

April 25

Exclusive Excerpt at Books, Dreams, Life
Guest Post at Love Bytes Reviews
Exclusive Excerpt at Shh, I Am Reading

April 26

Book Review by BFD Book Blog
Exclusive Excerpt at Bayou Book Junkie

April 27

Author Interview with Stories that Make You Smile
Character Interview at Drops of Ink

April 28

Exclusive Excerpt at MM Good Book Reviews
Author Interview with MM Book Escape

April 29

Guest Post at Making It Happen
Character Interview at Boy Meets Boy Reviews

April 30

Guest Post at Howling for Books

Tour Hosted by LoveBound Promotions

LoveBoundPromotionsLogo

Guest Review: Linchpin by Jodi Payne

A cleaner for the mob should know better than to make his own mess.

Randall Quinn has been a cleaner for the mob for over ten years, but a particularly violent scene sets him to drinking alone and contemplating his options. At thirty-nine, it’s possible this is just a mid-life crisis so he tries buying himself a flashy car to satisfy the itch, and agrees to take another job to test his conviction. He’s expecting easy money when he arrives at a seedy motel to clean up after what the Boss told him was supposed to have been a simple execution. But what he discovers in that motel room is anything but simple, and from that moment on, every decision he makes for himself makes his life more and more complicated.






Reviewer: Shee Reader

Our book opens with a clean-up specialist (Quinn) arriving to get rid of the body from a mob hit. It all goes pretty badly when he finds a living, bruised up guy and no corpse. A rather frantic call to his boss reveals surprising advice, ‘finish him off or take him home’. At the sound of sirens, Quinn makes a rash decision. He bundled the bruised and battered not-at-all-dead man into his pride and joy. The shiny new BMW.

Arriving home, he chains up his prisoner in the garage and sets about pretending he doesn’t have a guy with a target on his back in his garage. Waking in the night to find his prisoner trying to escape with his pride and joy, Quinn find himself chasing down the guy in freezing temperatures in just his boxers. Eventually he gets them both back inside, stokes up the fire and tries to find out what exactly meant this guy was on his bosses ‘die list’.

The getting to know you stuff was very funny to read, and I enjoyed the banter between Quinn and Tony. They get on to drinking whisky and the next thing they know it’s morning and they are in Quinn’s bed, together.

The attraction built fast, and I enjoyed the conversational style. There’s quite a twist in the tale which was surprising, and a very enjoyable HEA.

This was a short book, but it was well written and packed a decent punch. There was excitement, intrigue, hot sexy times and decent character development. All in all, recommended!

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


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34574118-linchpin?ac=1&from_search=true

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Thaw (Seasons of Love #2) By Elyse Springer


Elyse Springer is here today promoting Thaw, the second in the Seasons of Love quartet.

Also, don't miss out on entering the Giveaway below!


Hello and welcome to the blog tour for Thaw! This F/F romance is the second in my "Seasons of Love" quartet, but stands alone-- though readers of Whiteout may recognize some familiar faces. Thaw features an asexual librarian from Brooklyn, who meets an ice-cold super model from Canada, and I hope you'll read on to learn more about Abby and Gabrielle's romance.

Of course, don't forget to drop a comment on this post... one lucky winner will get a $10 Amazon gift card!


About Thaw

Abigail is content with her quiet life as a librarian. But when she’s invited to a high-profile charity auction, she finds herself dancing with one of the most beautiful women she’s ever met. Abby’s sure she’ll never see her again, but then Gabrielle calls and asks her on a date. And soon after, another.

Supermodel Gabrielle Levesque has a reputation as the Ice Queen—cold and untouchable—except she warms up whenever she’s with Abby. Only Abby isn’t interested in the heat between them; she’s asexual, and she’s worried that admitting as much to Gabrielle might spell the end of their blooming romance.

They’re two different women from two very different worlds, but Abby knows she can love Gabrielle. Her passion for books, travel, and theater prove there’s more to the Ice Queen than meets the eye.  But they’ll have to overcome Abby’s fears—and Gabrielle’s own threatening secrets—in order to find their way to love.

Available now at Riptide Publishing. http://riptidepublishing.com/titles/thaw


About the Season of Love Universe

New York is the city that never sleeps: where everything can change in the blink of an eye, and where anything is possible—especially romance. In the bitter cold of winter or the impossible humidity of mid-summer, your own happily ever after might be right around the corner.

The people of New York come from all walks of life, and the relationships are just as diverse. So whether you’re a waiter or an aspiring actor, a banker or a model, falling in love can happen quicker than the seasons change.



About Elyse Springer

Elyse is an author and world-traveler, whose unique life experiences have helped to shape the stories that she wants to tell. She writes romances with LGBTQ+ characters and relationships, and believes that every person deserves a Happily Ever After. When she’s not staring futilely at her computer screen, El spends her time adding stamps to her passport, catching up on her terrifying TBR list, and learning to be a better adult.

She’s always happy to chat with other readers, and you can find her online at:




To celebrate the release of Thaw, one lucky winner will receive a $10 Riptide credit! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 29, 2017. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!


Release Day Review: Best New Artist by BA Tortuga

Kasey “Tuff” Tuffman just told Nashville to kiss his you know what. After winning Best New Artist at an award show, he knows it’s time to head back home to Texas. So after a very public meltdown, Tuff makes his way to Austin, where the Red Dirt music lives large.

Jonah Littlejohn once loved KT more than anything in the world. When KT loses it on national TV, Jonah knows he has to reach out and offer his home studio as a place to heal and make music. A bad relationship has left Jonah broken and wary of romance, but he wants to help his old lover out.

Seeing Jonah again proves to Tuff that he’s made the right decision. Now all he has to do is convince Jonah that they’re the most perfect duet there’s ever been.





God bless Texas and the Good Ol' Boy!

Well now, that was a nice, easy breezy little ol' story right there, I tell you what.  Love me some Texas boys, mmhmmm!

KT and Jonah were once lovers until KT got it in his big head that he wanted to be a star.  He lived for the fame and notoriety that a successful career in country music provided.  Jonah... well, not so much.  All Jonah wanted was to spend his days with his buddies, pickin' and singing.  He didn't need or want the glory so he packed his shit and headed home. 

Fast forward ten or so years and KT is up for the award for Best New Artist.  He was flummoxed when he won the award; he's been around for quite a while now, he's not some kid just starting out.  He's earned his licks so winning Best New Artist was like a slap to the face.  He was so angry, he lost his shit during his acceptance speech and not only burned his music career to the ground but took a wrecking ball to the ashes.  All on national television.  So he headed home to Texas with his proverbial tail between his legs.  Taking the hand Jonah held out for him, KT moves to Austin so he can get some seriously needed downtime and maybe start trying to put his life back together.

I had a great time reading this story.  Watching KT and Jonah slowly rekindle their relationship was a delight.  Their interactions with each other are sweet and loving and pretty dang adorable if I do say so myself.  Seeing Jonah, who had some difficult times, to say the least, while they were apart, emerge from his shell and knowing it was KT who got him to do so gave me a case of the happy.  It was adorable.  

I loved all of the characters in this book, and there were a lot.  Each one felt genuine and fully fleshed.  My favorite, though, was a little Yorkie with a big attitude.  I need me a Doodle!  That little bit of a dog was so dang cute!

If you're looking for a light, low angst read for your Saturday afternoon, I recommend Best New Artist.  It's a great way to get away from it all and just kick back, relax and let your hair down for a little while.  Plus, it's got Texas boys in it.  Yummy Texas boys.  Everyone needs a little Texas in their life from time to time, right?







https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34727068-best-new-artist



Review: Alpha Delta by R.J. Scott

Officer Finn Hallan has never run from a fight. With Niall’s life and love at stake, he’s not about to start now.

N.B. Originally published with All Romance, this edition features the same story with new cover art

Finn Hallan is a member of the elite Norwegian Emergency Response Unit, code name Delta. When the team is sent to respond to a hostage situation on an Oil Platform, he has to face demons he thought he had buried a long time ago.

Scottish engineer Niall Faulkner’s skills in oil platform decommissioning takes him to the Forseti platform at the worst possible time. When he’s captured by terrorists, his only thought is that he will never get to tell his lover how he really feels.

Can Finn keep Niall alive? Or will they both die at the hands of hijackers in the frigid waters of the Norwegian sea?


This pains me more than anyone could know, and is my first one heart review since I started writing reviews with the unicorns. I like to think I can find at least one good thing about a story and run with it, but this was just a hot mess.

I hope with all my heart that this story has gone through another edit with a decent editor by the time it was released, because there are significant problems with this story that cannot be overlooked as anything but sloppy.


”All Finn did was chuckle, the bastard, then guide Finn back for more kissing while twisting his fingers and tugging on Niall”



Copying Finn’s movements he loosened the tight buttons on Finn’s jeans and finally managed to get his hands inside Niall’s pants.”


I don’t know about anyone else, but I’m confused……..

I had to read the above out loud to my partner to make sure I wasn’t crazy, but the look I was given, provided me with my answer. This is not right.

I don’t like to be picky about grammar or spelling, because I know mistakes can and do happen, even with a million edits. But this is a waste of my time. I know writing is hard, but I think the basics of it should be that you get the characters right. This isn’t an accidental misspelling of a name. To me this is a draft copy, not something to be put on the market as finished work. I would be pissed if I paid money for this.

Feeling bitter about that wasn’t going to get me through the story so I laughed it off and continued…...

But it just got worse. After their first night together we are suddenly months into their relationship and this laziness continued. There was no relationship building, or plot building. I was supposed to swallow this conspiracy without any context, background, or build up. That doesn’t work for me. If a story is light on one thing, it better be descriptive and layered in other areas, and this was light on everything. I was not convinced that these two characters were a solid couple, or even a couple at all, and I certainly wasn’t convinced after the drama was over, and they were making their confessions. I didn’t care about either of them, and what would have made this story better, is if they all died.

Like I said above, this read like a first draft. All the ideas were jotted on the pages, but nothing was refined. I felt like my time was wasted, and the one shining point in all of the words was that it was over quickly. There is no way I would have finished this if it was longer.

I cannot recommend this story in it’s current form, and I’d urge readers to read other reviews before taking a chance, unless this goes through significant rewrites, edits and polishing.




A review copy was provided for an honest opinion



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33785829-alpha-delta?ac=1&from_search=true

Blog Tour + Giveaway: See My Words (Spectrum Nights #2) by Melanie Hansen


Join Melanie Hansen and IndiGo Marketing on the See My Words (Spectrum Nights #2) blog tour! See our review HERE

Today's stop includes an excerpt, mini author interview and a winner's choice NineStar Press eBook giveaway!


Title:  See My Words
Series: Spectrum Nights, book 2
Author: Melanie Hansen
Publisher:  NineStar Press
Release Date: April 24
Heat Level: 3 - Some Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 101300
Genre: Romance, angst, family drama, friends to lovers, hurt/comfort, model (ish), Photographer/photojournalist, reunited, step brothers

Add to Goodreads

Synopsis

Successful underwear model Scott Ashworth is lucky—his attack at the hands of an unknown assailant will leave no visible scars. His professional goals are still within reach, and best of all, his stepbrother Rylan Mahoney is back in his life, their teenage infatuation at last getting the chance to deepen into something more.

Thrown together by the circumstances of Scott's injury, Rylan's long-dormant feelings for him are quickly rekindled, though he's haunted by the memory of Scott's disappearance on the night of his eighteenth birthday and the six missing years that followed. Rylan pushes Scott for the truth, a firm believer in the maxim that secrets lose their power once they're shared—but resurrecting old demons almost always comes with a price.

Before Scott knows it, his life is spiraling out of control, his toxic insecurities welling up to threaten the fragile relationship he's building with Rylan. Learning to let go of the past and believe in himself will be Scott's greatest challenge, or else he risks losing Rylan forever this time.

Excerpt

See My Words
Melanie Hansen © 2017
All Rights Reserved

Scott stared at the image. All three of his half-brothers were sitting at one of the bar’s high tables, Donna standing behind them with her arms around their shoulders. They were clustered close together, leaning on each other, beaming.

“Whoa, they’re so big. And they look really happy.”

“They are.”

“When was this taken?”

“Right before I moved out here. In fact, I stopped in Pace on the way just to see them.”

Scott tore his eyes away from the picture to stare at Rylan. “So you’re still in touch with them? With the boys?”

Rylan nodded. “I am, yeah. We’re friends on Facebook, and we text sometimes. They’re great kids.”

Scott was silent for a moment. “What about the baby? Cara? Is she—”

“Still with Heather? Yes.” Rylan’s voice was soft. “The picture you saw that first day in my apartment? That was the last time I saw them, when I went up to visit Cara before finals.”

“So you talk to—her? Heather, I mean.”

“Sometimes. Not often.” Rylan touched the scar on his cheek almost absently, and his eyes took on a haunted look. “When she and my dad split up, Scott, it was…ugly.”

Scott’s stomach roiled, and the puree he’d just drunk surged back into his throat. He grasped Rylan’s wrist, drawing his startled glance.

“Did Heather give you that scar?” he demanded. “That fucking bitch—”

Rylan gasped. “No!” he exclaimed. “She’s never, ever touched me.”

Scott released him, studying the scar before tracing it lightly with his thumb. It was high on Rylan’s cheekbone, small, but white and jagged.

“You can’t tell me that’s always been there, Ry. I would have noticed it before.” Would have noticed it back when he used to map every inch of Rylan’s face with his lips as they lay entangled together in his narrow bed. “Who did this?”

A pause. “My dad.”

The answer was so unexpected that Scott reared back in disbelief. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he croaked. “Bob—hit you? Bob?” He couldn’t wrap his mind around it. Gentle Bob, who adored his son beyond reason, hit Rylan so hard he’d left a fucking scar? “What the hell happened?”

Rylan wrapped his arms around himself, hunching over. “While my dad was gone on one of his over-the-road jobs, Heather went out with her friends one night, got drunk, and brought home a man. But this time the dude didn’t fuck and run; he stayed for the weekend.”

“Holy shit. And your dad caught them.” Scott’s voice was hushed.

Rylan gave a jerky nod. “He walked in on them, in bed. I could hear them through the wall, and I’ll never forget the anguish in his voice as he demanded to know what exactly it was he was seeing. Heather was pleading with him, and the other guy was trying to tough it out. Lots of yelling, lots of crying—”

Rylan surged to his feet and started to pace. “The other dude finally left, and my dad and Heather kept fighting. I could hear them in the living room. I was gonna stay the fuck out of it until I heard Cara crying. So I went out there.”

Rylan’s chin trembled, but he pressed his lips together, breathing hard through his nose until he regained some control. “Heather was on the couch bawling, and Cara was wrapped around her leg. My dad was losing it, and when he saw me, he got up in my face. ‘Has this happened before, Rylan?’ I had no fucking clue what to say, and I guess my hesitation was his answer, because the next thing I knew, I was on the floor, my cheek on fire.”

He touched the scar, his eyes awash with the tears he was refusing to let fall. Scott ached to take him in his arms, but instead he jammed his hands in the loose pockets of his sweatpants, his fists clenched.

“My dad stood over me and screamed, ‘How many times? Why didn’t you tell me?’ He just kept saying that,” Rylan went on hollowly. “I had a cut on my cheek from a ring he was wearing. Blood was everywhere, dripping from my chin, getting in my mouth—” He licked his lips as if remembering the rusty taste on them. “—and all I could do was say, ‘I’m sorry, Dad.’”

“Jesus.” Scott’s curse was heartfelt.

“He was hurting, Scott, looking for someone to blame, and I was there. I was right there.”

“Why the fuck didn’t he blame the one who deserved to be blamed?” Scott snarled, taking his hands out of his pockets and slamming them down onto the couch cushions.

“He told me later that blaming her was too much like blaming himself, that he didn’t want to think about it being his fault. He wanted it to be someone else’s fault, even mine. After he hit me, he left and drove away. Heather helped me up, washed the blood off my face, and glued the gash shut with this liquid skin stuff she had. She wasn’t crying anymore, and she seemed really calm. It helped me calm down.”

His shoulders were so bunched and tense Scott couldn’t help but get up to put his hand on Rylan’s back, gratified when he seemed to take comfort in the soothing touch.

“What happened then?” he whispered, stroking the nape of Rylan’s neck with his thumb.

A quiver ran through Rylan’s body. “She put Cara to bed, and then we sat out on the porch together the rest of the night. Sometimes quiet, sometimes talking a little.” He heaved a sigh. “I think she really loved my dad, Scott, but for some reason couldn’t keep herself from sabotaging everything. She was devastated, but at the same time seemed almost relieved it was over, as weird as that sounds.”

When you don’t feel you deserve anything nice in your life, it scares you to death when you actually get it. It was a feeling Scott was all too familiar with, and he winced as an unwilling sympathy for Heather churned in his gut. He didn’t want to feel sorry for her, didn’t want to—understand her.

He shoved the thought away, concentrating instead on what Rylan was saying.

“We didn’t see my dad for about a week. Heather seemed okay on the outside, but I could tell she was slowly falling apart on the inside. I recognized the signs.” A shadow flitted over his face, and he clenched his hands into fists. “My own mom, you know? I couldn’t go through that again, and I felt so fucking helpless, so I went to Donna.”

Scott gave a quiet snort. “That woman is a force of nature.”

Rylan quirked his lips. “That she is. She drove over to the trailer, packed up the kids’ stuff, and took all four of them to her house. Told Heather they’d be safe until she got her shit together. She didn’t protest it, didn’t fight. When my dad came for me after a few more days, I left with him. Left her alone.”

“You’d done all you could, Ry. You know that, right?”

“I left without a backward glance,” Rylan said bluntly. “I was so fucking drained. By you, by her…”

Scott flinched, but Rylan went on, “My dad needed me. I walked away so I could save what was left of my strength for him.” His face was expressionless. “And for myself. I’d gotten a full scholarship to the University of Miami, but there was still a third of my senior year to go. I needed to concentrate on my grades and my own future. You were gone, the kids were safe with Donna, and there was nothing else I could do for Heather.”

The sun shimmered off the nearby buildings and bounced in through the windows, hurting Scott’s eyes and making him feel light-headed.

You should have been there, you stupid fuck.

As if reading his mind, Rylan murmured, “You being there wouldn’t have changed a thing, Scott. Heather would have still done what she did. You know that. It was only a matter of time.”

“But if I’d been there, maybe I could have deflected Bob’s anger onto me. Could have taken that blow for you, saved you that heartache at least.”

So much fucking heartache.

Rylan’s face softened. “It is what it is, Scott. Your mantra, remember?”

“Fuck mantras. I should have been there.” He slid his hand down to Rylan’s shoulder. “Were you and your dad okay, after what happened?”

“Yeah. He got us a tiny apartment not far from the school. It took a while, but we got everything sorted out. By the time he—died, we were more than okay.”

Scott relaxed a fraction. “Good,” he whispered hoarsely. “That’s good.”

Rylan patted Scott’s hand once before releasing him. “Ugh, I guess I’d better go take a shower, get ready for the club. There’s a big bachelorette party tonight, and Corey wants lots of pictures.”

“Yeah, okay.” Scott wiped a stray tear away with rough impatience. “If you need to go—”

“Can I take your car, or do you need it? I don’t mind taking the bus.”

Scott started to tell him to take the car, but the thought of the long, lonely night stretching before him made him say impulsively, “If you can wait a few minutes, I’ll drive you. Maybe stay for a drink.”

Rylan lifted an eyebrow. “Really? That’d be great. I know everyone would love to see you. People are always asking me how you’re doing.”

Scott didn’t know how true that was, given how silent his phone had been for the past three weeks, but he didn’t say anything, just headed for the shower. Afterward he pulled on a pair of jeans and an aqua-green silk T-shirt, standing in front of his full-length mirror and looking himself over, suddenly unsure.

“You’re beautiful as ever, Scott.” Rylan’s quiet voice came from the doorway.

“No. I don’t feel like myself at all.” Scott tugged at the loose material of his shirt, a shirt that used to mold itself to his ripped torso like it was painted on. “Maybe this isn’t such a good idea. People don’t need to see—”

Rylan came behind him and put his hand on Scott’s shoulder. “You’ll be the most gorgeous man in the room. Trust me.”

Their eyes met in the mirror, and Scott gave him a shaky smile. “I think you’re biased.”

Rylan chuckled. “I’m a photographer. I can’t be biased.” His voice was gently teasing. “Don’t believe me?”

Scott shrugged, and Rylan reached out and threaded their fingers together. “The camera doesn’t lie, Scott. Let me show you.” He turned to walk out of the room, tugging Scott after him and making a quick stop to snag his camera from the couch before leading him to the balcony.

The sun was low in the sky now, bathing everything around them in a soft, golden glow.

The camera whirred, and Rylan glanced at the screen, making a few quick adjustments before starting to shoot in earnest. Scott lost himself in Rylan’s quiet directions, first leaning back against the railing and then turning to prop his elbows on it while he gazed into the distance.

“Here, come see.” Rylan beckoned to him, and Scott walked over to gaze down at the digital screen in awe. The waning light kissed his face, throwing his cheekbones into sharp relief, the light scruff on his chin emphasizing his full lips. The soft green of his T-shirt reflected the fading radiance of the sun and made his eyes stand out like jewels.

“No filter, Scott. Just you. And you’re fucking gorgeous.”

Scott quirked his lips in a rueful smile. “You probably think I’m the vainest son of a bitch you’ve ever met, don’t you?”

“Never. There’s nothing wrong with needing some reassurance, especially after the trauma you’ve been through.” Rylan held up the camera. “I can tell you you’re beautiful, but sometimes you just have to see the words. See what I see.”

The lump in Scott’s throat threatened to choke him. “Sweet Ry,” he whispered. “Thank you.”

They smiled at each other, and Scott leaned in. Rylan lifted his face for the kiss, his lips parted, but Scott turned his head so his mouth grazed Rylan’s temple instead.

“Let’s go to the club.”

Author Interview


What made you decide to sit down and actually start writing with the intent to publish?

I enjoyed writing fanfic a lot, and I had an idea for a novel, so when November and NaNo rolled around, I decided to see if I could actually write 50K. It surprisingly flowed very well, and I finished NaNo two weeks early! I took about six more months to polish the story, and then I submitted it, just to see what would happen.

Do you have a special time/place to write, or do you write whenever/wherever you can?

My favorite time to write is in the very early morning, usually around 4 a.m. I find that because the house is so quiet, and I’m more or less refreshed from a good night’s sleep, the words flow much better than any other time of day. The rest of the day is pretty chaotic with work, and kids, and life. Any other time is just not as conducive as those early mornings. I live for them, and actually look forward to getting up to write.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I don’t read reviews if I can help it. If I’m tagged in one on social media, I usually have a trusted friend vet it before I decide if I’m going to read it or not. Reviews aren’t for me, they’re for readers. My job is to put the story out there, my absolute best effort, and it is what it is. Some people are going to love it, other people won’t, because reading is so subjective. I feel like I’d drive myself crazy if I worried about every reader reaction, both good and bad. Writing is hard enough without that.


Purchase

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

Meet the Author

Melanie Hansen has spent time in Texas and Florida prisons…for work. She’s been in a room with a 17-year-old mass murderer who was also one of the most soft-spoken and polite teenagers she’s ever met. After a 13-year career as a court reporter, she can tell many stories both hilarious and heartbreaking.

She grew up with an Air Force dad, and ended up marrying a Navy man. After living and working all over the country, she hopes to bring these rich and varied life experiences to her stories about people finding love amidst real-life struggles.

Melanie left the stressful world of the courtroom behind and now enjoys a rewarding career transcribing for a deaf student. She currently lives in Arizona with her husband and two sons.

Website | Twitter | eMail



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