Review: Forbidden Lust (Novocaine #1) by Grayson Knight

Jackson has never felt anything from his mother. All his life she treated him badly and he thought he would never have anything good in his life. That is until Cole came on the scene. Cole was in his early forties, and he was kind, handsome and built from pure muscle. The only problem was he was about to marry Jackson’s mum, but he was all that Jackson could think about.

It was on the night of his eighteenth birthday when the only gift Jackson got was a pendant from Cole that he knew meant that there was something between them. Jackson’s innocence was something that he wanted to offer Cole, but he never knew if that chance would ever appear. For now, he would have to watch from afar and hope that his fantasies would be enough.

Maybe one day he would get a chance at a night with Cole, but a sexual relationship with his step father was surely off limits and taboo. Or was it?


Step-dad and step-son!!!


Jackson's just turned eighteen and his rather neglectful mother is about to get married to a new man, Cole. Yep you guessed it...


So I'll start with some warnings, this does have cheating. As in Cole gets a blow job from his new stepson on the day of his wedding. I don't think we'll have much morality in this series…. which suits me just fine!

This sex was super hot! Unfortunately the build up wasn't as great. I love a good bit of sexual tension and I felt it lacked a bit in this story. Then suddenly they were together (sort of) and then the book just finished. It was all rather rushed. I did bump up my rating a little because this is the beginning of a series, so I'm giving it some leeway in finishing so abruptly.

I'm not sure I'd read this story for more than the sex, but that suits me quite fine. I'll definitely continue on with series.



Release Blitz + Giveaway: Kidnapped By The Pirate by Keira Andrews


Keira Andrews and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of Kidnapped by the Pirate! See our 4.5 ❤ review of the sexy virgin age gap romance HERE, the book info in today's post and enter in the eBook back list giveaway!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 85,000 words

Cover Design: Dar Albert @ Wicked Smart Design

Blurb

Will a virgin captive surrender to this pirate’s sinful touch?

Nathaniel Bainbridge is used to hiding, whether it’s concealing his struggles with reading or his forbidden desire for men. Under the thumb of his controlling father, the governor of Primrose Isle, he’s sailing to the fledging colony, where he’ll surrender to a respectable marriage for his family’s financial gain. Then pirates strike and he’s kidnapped for ransom by the Sea Hawk, a legendary villain of the New World.

Bitter and jaded, Hawk harbors futile dreams of leaving the sea for a quiet life, but men like him don’t deserve peace. He has a score to settle with Nathaniel’s father—the very man whose treachery forced him into piracy—and he’s sure Nathaniel is just as contemptible.

Yet as days pass in close quarters, Nathaniel’s feisty spirit and alluring innocence beguile and bewitch. Although Hawk knows he must keep his distance, the desire to teach Nathaniel the pleasure men can share grows uncontrollable. It’s not as though Hawk would ever feel anything for him besides lust…

Nathaniel realizes the fearsome Sea Hawk’s reputation is largely invented, and he sees the lonely man beneath the myth, willingly surrendering to his captor body and soul. As a pirate’s prisoner, he is finally free to be his true self. The crew has been promised the ransom Nathaniel will bring, yet as danger mounts and the time nears to give him up, Hawk’s biggest battle could be with his own heart.



Excerpt

1710

If pirates were to be the bloody, savage end of Nathaniel Bainbridge, he wished they’d get on with it.

The windswept deck was damp beneath his bare feet, prompting thoughts of the dewy grass of home. What he wouldn’t give for the freedom to run across the fields of Hollington Estate, wind rushing in his ears over the steady thump of his heart, the world falling away in his wake.

Instead he was confined by an endless, restless sea taunting him with its wildness. In England, he’d heard countless tales of villainous pirates and their dastardly deeds. People spoke as if the ocean teemed with the brigands, but the voyage had been mile after mile of…nothing.

Nathaniel shook his head at his foolishness. Not that he actually wanted pirates to attack their ship and massacre them. If only he could move, he would keep boredom at bay.

He gripped the railing, longing for dirt beneath his nails, scratches on his palms from tree bark as he climbed and explored, wonderfully aching muscles from hours in the lake. If he could only run a simple mile. Hardly any distance at all, but trapped on the ship, that much clear land would be a marvel.

He wiped sea spray from his eyes. If only the ability to run and jump and swim was worth anything at all in his world instead of being childish folly he was supposed to have outgrown. Men did not climb trees or swim for hours, and certainly they didn’t run for the sheer pleasure of it the way he had at Hollington.

Of course, the estate wasn’t theirs anymore, sold off to pay debts, so even if he made his way back to Kent one day, he would never return to those rolling hills. Its verdant trees and round, tranquil lake would now be home to another family.

No, for the foreseeable future, home would be Primrose Isle, a new colony his father desperately wanted to see flourish. Walter Bainbridge had found his fortunes in England not the least bit fortunate, and as a governor in the New World had the thing he loved most dearly: power.

Nathaniel’s future bride waited there. Elizabeth Davenport stood to inherit quite a fortune, and for the colony—and Walter—to thrive, alliances had to be made. So Nathaniel would do the only useful thing he could and marry.

He brushed a fresh spray of briny seawater from his face as he stared out at the endless night, keeping a firm hold on the rail. His untucked shirt flapped in the breeze, the lower fastenings on his breeches unbuckled under his knees.

In the dark, there was no one to comment on his state of undress, and he supposed the crew didn’t care a whit anyway. His trimmed hair curled at the ends in the dampness, and he tucked a lock behind his ear. It had been his little act of rebellion to cut it much shorter than most gentlemen. He certainly wouldn’t be wearing dreaded wigs, either, if he could help it.

Clouds conspired to hide the stars and razor-thin crescent of moon. He shivered in the late September night’s chill; he really should have worn his hated shoes and jacket.

At least the wind was no longer the bitter cold of the mid-Atlantic as they neared the West Indies. He shifted back and forth on his feet, lifting them like a racehorse stamping at the starting line.

The Proud William was fairly large, a merchant ship carrying a cargo of salt fish and forged metal tools to the colonies. But when he’d attempted even a light trot around the main deck, the crew had reacted with consternation at best, hostility at worst.

Running was his very favorite activity and the thing he excelled at most in life—much to his father’s disgust. Swimming in the lake in summertime, cutting through the placid water with sure, even strokes, was a joy as well.

To be surrounded now by endless water but unable to dive in and soothe his cramped muscles was the worst torture. He’d asked the captain if he could at least climb the mast or sail rigging and had been flatly refused.

So he stood by the starboard rail and sometimes paced, careful to stay out of the crew’s way. At least he had been told their progress was swift, and that after a month’s voyage—thirty-one days and some thirteen hours since they left England, to be exact—they would reach the island in a fortnight if the wind held.

He was informed that some ships took several months to reach the colonies. Ships could leave London the same day and arrive weeks or more apart. Such was the way of the sea.

Staring out at the nothingness, he stopped his restless shifting and squinted. The weak sliver of moon had valiantly escaped the clouds for a moment, and Nathaniel thought he spotted a strange kind of movement. The night took on shape before becoming uniform once more.

Perhaps it had been a great ocean creature surfacing—a whale or giant squid, or some kind of mysterious monster.

He chuckled. Earlier that evening, Susanna had read aloud fables from one of the old leather-bound tomes they’d brought from home, and his imagination was clearly running wild.

She’d always been the far more indulgent of his two older sisters, and he knew she’d packed books he’d favor, although she certainly had a taste for adventurous tales rather than the sentimental stories ladies were supposed to read. They’d both enjoyed the diary of a naval captain who’d served on several ships of the line and described life aboard in vivid detail.

Although the cabin Nathaniel and Susanna shared was tiny, at least they had privacy. He really should rejoin her in their cabin to sleep and end another interminable day, but the walls closed in on him, and it felt like a prison. Susanna’s thunderous snores didn’t help matters, but he couldn’t begrudge her anything.

For the hundredth time, he wondered what his life on Primrose Isle would be like. The colony was only a few years old, and there had been whispers of struggles with agriculture and trade, rumors of corruption and settlers packing up already.

He’d be forced to work for his father or at some other respectable job procured for him, like Susanna’s husband, Bart. Handsome Bart was thirty and penniless, but of good breeding and an agreeable disposition. He and Susanna had insisted on each other, waiting several years until both their fathers gave in and agreed to the match.

Bart seemed happy enough to do Father’s bidding, including leaving early for Primrose Isle some months ago, not knowing at the time Susanna was with child. When Walter Bainbridge made a demand, it was met. Sometimes Nathaniel marveled that a man he had rarely seen since childhood could loom so large.

Susanna and Bart had hated to be parted, but she was needed to oversee the packing up of the estate and auction of the more valuable items. Certainly it couldn’t have been left to Nathaniel, who wouldn’t have known where to begin given he’d spent as much time outside away from the ornate house as he could.

Nathaniel had considered refusing when he and Susanna were summoned. But what would he do? Where would he live? His marriage to Elizabeth had been agreed upon by their fathers, and should he fail in his duty, Walter would disown him. He’d have nothing, not even a roof over his head.

Bile rose in his throat. No, that would not do. So onward to Primrose Isle he went, to marry as his father saw fit. All he knew of Elizabeth Davenport was that she’d lived with her wealthy family for some years in Jamaica before her father joined forces with Walter to establish a shipping company on Primrose.

Well, he also knew her writing was unfailingly neat, and from Susanna’s recounting of the letter, that Elizabeth enjoyed needlework and greatly looked forward to sharing her life with him.

He’d received her letter just before leaving England and had burned it in the grate in his room. At least the voyage was a worthy excuse for not responding. And as much as he’d wished to stay in England, he couldn’t allow dear Susanna to sail the perilous Atlantic alone.

Although with how smooth their journey had been, completely lacking in beasts of the deep or even a gale of note, he apparently hadn’t needed to fret. Still, it was done.

He’d accepted years ago that he was feeble-minded, and although he knew he should be grateful for the opportunity to hold a position of at least some stature on the new colony, he dreaded the notion of truly being under his father’s thumb once more.

It had been blissful having his father overseas for years. He supposed he should feel remorse for such churlish thoughts, but there was so much else to consume his stores of guilt.

So much else indeed.

He turned away from the rail, resigning himself to another long night in the swaying hammock. Susanna was of course sleeping in the cot in the only cabin their father could afford now that he’d squandered so much money.

The cry from above pierced the night, and Nathaniel jumped a mile.

“Sails!”

In the flurry of activity and shouts, he pressed himself to the ship’s side as the crew emerged from the hull like ants. Nathaniel squinted into the darkness, turning to and fro and seeing nothing.

Then he spotted it—the hulk of a ship emerging from the night, not a single light flickering upon it, drawn to The Proud William like a moth to flame. With a sickening twist of his stomach, he realized he had indeed spotted a monster, and it was upon them.

He raced down to the cabin, bursting inside. Chestnut curls unpinned and tumbling over her shoulders, Susanna bolted up on the cot, her book thudding to the floor. One hand pressed to her round belly, she cried out, “What is it?”

“I think it’s pirates.” He could hardly believe the words as he uttered them. Had he wished them into existence by grumbling over boredom? Oh, what a fool he was.

The blood drained from Susanna’s sweet, round face. “Pirates?”

“I don’t know what else it could be.” He threw open a trunk and dug for his sheathed dagger, cursing himself for not raising the alarm sooner. His mind raced, thoughts jumbled as he grasped the hilt of the weapon and tossed the leather scabbard aside.

The thunder of the crew’s footsteps shook the ceiling, dust motes shaking loose and shouts filling the air. Susanna looked down at her nightgown, despairing.

“There’s no time for petticoats or any of that nonsense.” She threw her flowing green gown over her head, her voice muffled by it. “My God, it really is pirates, isn’t it? Oh, I think I’m stuck.”

Nathaniel helped tug the material down over her swollen belly. She emerged from the folds of soft fabric and peered up at the ceiling, as if she could see through the hull. Footsteps scuffled and thumps reverberated, tense voices shouting commands too distant to make out clearly.

Susanna whispered, “No gunshots. Must be too many. The crew isn’t fighting them. Help me pin this shut.” She had stopped wearing her corset, adopting what was apparently a new French style while she was with child.

After he’d pinned the material enough that the robe-like gown would stay put, drawing a prick of blood from his fingertip in his haste, Nathaniel yanked on his stockings and refastened his breeches below his knees before jamming his feet into his buckled shoes. He wouldn’t face these brigands in a state of undress.

He tucked the dagger into the back of his trousers and whipped on his sleeveless waistcoat, fingers clumsy on the buttons. But there was no time for his cravat or jacket. Raised voices already echoed down the corridor. He spun about, belatedly hoping to find something to bar the door.

Susanna had apparently had the same thought. “The trunks aren’t heavy enough. Besides, it will only anger them. It’s no use.”

“Get behind me.” He urged her to the back of the cabin, which was barely wider than the breadth of one’s outstretched arms.

“Be sure to mind your tongue,” she said. “You know how thoughts can sometimes go right from your head and out your mouth without pausing for assessment.”

He huffed. “What exactly do you think I’m going to say to pirates?”

“Shh!” She slapped his shoulder. They waited, listening.

More pounding footsteps, and shouts that possessed an undeniably feral quality. The hair on Nathaniel’s body stood on end, his mouth going dry. Perhaps the pirates would pass them by. Perhaps they’d plunder the cargo and be done with it. Perhaps—

The door burst open, almost flying off its hinges, and Nathaniel barely held in his yelp. His heart drummed so loudly he was certain the two invaders could hear. One of them brushed matted hair from his eyes. They both wore ripped and stained trousers as baggy as their shirts, and their boots were worn out.

The long-haired man’s beady gaze raked them up and down, and he asked his squat companion, “You ever fuck a bitch with pup?”

Nathaniel’s stomach swooped. How do they know? Susanna was hidden behind him. He lifted his chin, forcing strength to his words. “You shan’t lay so much as one filthy finger on my sister.”

Ignoring him, the squat man leered, baring snaggled, yellow teeth. He answered his friend’s question. “Good and juicy, I tell you.”

Behind him, Susanna dug her fingers into Nathaniel’s shoulder. Heart in his throat, he yanked the dagger from the waist of his breeches, brandishing it toward the pirates. “Stay back!”

The two blinked at Nathaniel, then each other, before bursting into raucous laughter. The long-haired man said, “Oh no, we’re done for, Deeks!”

Heavy footfalls sounded in the corridor, brazen and commanding. Spines snapping straight, the pirates stepped aside as a man filled the doorway, shoulders almost brushing the frame. He was tall enough to duck slightly as he entered, and his sharp gaze swept the cabin, which had never seemed quite so small.

He wore black from head to gold-tipped toes—open-collared shirt, trousers tucked into knee-high boots, and a long leather coat that flared out behind him. A pistol was tucked into his wide belt, and a cutlass winked from his hip. Gold gleamed on the belt buckle, matching the small square earring in his left ear, rings on his fingers, and the tips of those black boots.

The ends of a red sash dangled over his hip, the only splash of color aside from the gold. He had to be twice Nathaniel’s age, his face weather-worn, a scar jagging across his left temple. His dark hair was cut fairly close to his head, a surprise since Nathaniel had expected all pirates to have long, unruly hair like the animals they were.

His trimmed beard shadowed his strong jaw. In the low light, the color of his narrowed eyes was impossible to ascertain, but Nathaniel imagined they must be as black as the pirate’s soul.

He might have been the very devil himself.

Nathaniel’s palm sweated around the handle of the dagger, and he hated the tremors in his outstretched arm. His throat was painfully dry, and he croaked, “We—we don’t have anything of value. No gold or jewels worth your effort.”

Susanna added, “Even my wedding ring is plated.”

Tully, one of the Proud William’s young crew, had entered the cabin. The man—the pirate captain, undoubtedly—glanced to him. Tully nodded. “’Tis true. Only clothin’ and trinkets in their trunks.” He sniffed dismissively, tossing his reddish hair. “Nothin’ hidden anywhere in here we could find since we left London.”

Nathaniel had thought better of the crew, but saw now how na├»ve he’d been. It must have been Tully who had informed the pirates that Susanna was with child. “What a coward you are, Tully.”

He snorted. “As soon as I got a good look at the flag, I knew we were done for. Everyone knows the Sea Hawk will gut you from stem to stern once you’re in his talons. I ain’t dying for cargo I don’t give a fuck about and a captain who treats us like garbage.”

“Your destination is Primrose Isle?” The pirate—this Sea Hawk—demanded, his tone low and calm.

“Yes,” Nathaniel answered. “It’s a new colony.”

Tully nodded. “Her husband’s there. We’re to drop them off with their father. The old man’s the guvnor or some such thing.”

At this, the Sea Hawk seemed to jolt, but a moment later the ripple had vanished and he was still again, fearsome and dispassionate. Nathaniel thought he must have imagined the hiccup.

Yet a gleam entered the captain’s devilish eyes, and dread slithered through Nathaniel. The Sea Hawk loomed nearer and demanded, in the same deliberate but undeniable manner, “Your name, boy.”

Heart hammering, all he could manage was, “Uh…”

“This one’s called Bainbridge,” Tully offered.

“Bainbridge,” the captain repeated, barely a whisper now. “As in Walter Bainbridge?”

Fingers going numb around the dagger, Nathaniel nodded. He’d have bruises where Susanna clung to him, her sharp exhalations ghosting over the nape of his neck. There was no sense denying it. “Our father.”

“You’re the son Walter Bainbridge killed his wife to achieve?” The captain’s focus sent chills down Nathaniel’s spine.

He couldn’t hide his wince, and had to nod. His mother had never even held him before the rest of her lifeblood drained away. Susanna had been but six, spying through the keyhole, and she’d confessed it all after Nathaniel’s endless badgering when he was a lad.

Strange how he could experience the aching, hollow absence of a touch he’d never had, even after eighteen years.

The captain’s eyes glinted. Good God, the man was enormous. Nathaniel was tall enough, five feet and seven inches or so, but this monster towered well over six feet. It was all Nathaniel could do to hold his ground and not stagger back against Susanna. The tip of his blade quivered mere inches from the villain’s black heart.

The Sea Hawk gazed down at them as though they were prey he was most eager to consume. “Your father is a liar. Corrupt. An evildoer in silk stockings and a curled wig.”

Nathaniel swallowed hard, hand shaking. Could he lunge and push the dagger into this vile man’s heart? Not that he had much love for his father, but who was a pirate to talk of evildoers?

The Sea Hawk’s eyes glowed with hatred. “Your father cheated me. He was tasked with justice, with fairness. Instead he conspired to steal from me. He branded me a pirate when I was a privateer.”

“Aren’t they the same thing?” Nathaniel blurted. As the Sea Hawk’s nostrils flared, Susanna dug her nails into Nathaniel’s shoulder.

“No, they fucking are not,” the pirate gritted out. “Privateers are licensed. Legal. Privateers follow rules. Laws. Just as your father was supposed to as a judge in the Court of Admiralty in Jamaica. Your father tried to strip me and my men of everything we’d worked and suffered for. We escaped him, but in the years that have followed, he has never paid the price.”

Dread consumed Nathaniel. His father’s greed and avarice would once again bring suffering. If not for Walter’s mounting debts, Nathaniel and Susanna would still be safe at home, waiting until she had her babe before making the journey. Hollington wouldn’t have had to be sold at all, and now they faced God knew what at the mercy of pirates.

Oh Lord. Please spare Susanna and her child!


Bile rose in his throat at the thought of any harm coming to his sister, terror clammy on his skin. Sweat slipped down Nathaniel’s spine. “I…” He racked his brain for something—anything—to say, some means of escape. His dagger shook, and he licked his dry lips. “I’m sorry.” He had to fix this.

A slow, ghastly smile curled the devil’s lips. “You will be.”

Author Bio


After writing for years yet never really finding the right inspiration, Keira discovered her voice in gay romance, which has become a passion. She writes contemporary, historical, fantasy, and paranormal fiction and — although she loves delicious angst along the way — Keira firmly believes in happy endings. 
For as Oscar Wilde once said:

“The good ended happily, and the bad unhappily. That is what fiction means.”

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Blog Tour + Giveaway: (Un)Masked by Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo


In the mood for new adult magic realism? Look no further, Anyta Sunday, Andy Gallo and A Novel Take PR visit on the (Un)Masked blog tour! Learn more about the newly reedited story! Enter in the giveaway where you can win 3 e-copies of any backlist book by either Anyta Sunday or Andy Gallo!


“What made the book for me? One word: Gristle.

Gristle, the straight boy, Jay's best friend, his "bro," is one of the best characters I've had the joy to read this year. His devotion to Jay is breathtaking, his snark so very snappy [...]. Read this book if nothing for the character of Gristle. [...] Spectacular.”
--T.J. Klune, Author of For Real, Bear, Otter, and the Kid, and Lightning-Struck Heart


Title: (Un)Masked


Publisher: Anyta Sunday & Andy Gallo (Self-Published)


Release Date (Print & Ebook): October 30, 2017


Subgenre: MM gay paranormal romance, magical realism, new adult


Book blurb:


Walker has two wishes: to perform the play of his dreams alongside his best friend at Wellington’s Tory Street Theatre, and to meet that special someone. Someone he’d go to the ends of the earth for. Someone who might only exist in fairy tales.


When Jay meets accordion busker Lethe Cross, it’s like living a dream come true. Lethe’s music captivates Jay, and he resolves to meet the man who plays so beautifully. But then he discovers Lethe’s life is more like a nightmare. The phrase “down on his luck” can’t begin to cover it. Determined to help, Jay does some snooping for answers—and winds up on the wrong end of a centuries-old curse. The good news is there’s a way to break it. The bad news is it might cost Jay his life.


This book was previously published by Dreamspinner Press. This updated 2nd edition has some rewritten parts and has been line edited again.




Excerpt
“You want to forget that race?” I asked. Lethe nodded.
His need pressed up against mine and I wished there was something to brace ourselves against so we could stay close like this. Lethe shifted back slightly and took me in hand. I gasped as the first waves of shock somersaulted through me.
Recovering, I returned the favor, gently stroking him, absorbing the heat that coursed through my hand. I’d waited for the chance to be this close with Lethe, and it fueled my hunger for him. Closing the few inches between us, I pressed my lips against his, asking—no demanding—him to let me have my fill. The salt on his lips only added to my lust. It was him. 
This was where we bonded.
We gently stroked each other, while we waged a back-and-forth battle with our tongues neither wanted to win. My control was slipping as our breathing quickened. Waves lapping against our waists muffled the growing moans we evoked from each other.
Kissing him like no one before, I poured my soul into him, accepting his in return. This was right. He was right.
“Jay.”
My attempt to kiss over his word was met with Lethe turning his head. “Lethe?”
“I don’t want our first time—my first time—to be here.”
“I thought you have—”
He brushed his wet, salty fingers against my trembling lips. “I have, but never with someone who cared about me. You’re the first person who doesn’t see the person they most want.”
“Yes, I do.” My whisper carried over the churning water, softening his eyes even more.
“Even more reason I want to feel your body on mine without shivering from cold. Come back with me?”
I pressed my lips against his ear. “I’m going to take my time kissing every inch of you. I’m going to say your name when we come.”




(Un)Masked is the story of Jay and Lethe, two guys from Wellington, New Zealand, trying to make their blossoming love work while being haunted by a centuries old curse. A curse that forces Lethe to hide his face, often behind elaborate masks – some of which I want to share with you today.

One of the most famous masked crusaders is Zorro, avenger of the helpless in Los Angeles during the time when the city was part of Mexico. He sports a black Domino style mask that is worn by Lethe when he and Jay are racing to get Jay’s best friend, Gristle, out of a dire situation.


I shuddered, pulling out two Zorro-style masks from my pocket. One red, the other black. “Cover your face with this.” I chucked him the black one and headed for the front door. “I’ll do the same. We’ll bullshit a story about a party we decided to go to.”


As the story progresses and the curse gains more and more hold over our protagonists, Lethe is forced to cover himself even towards Jay – something that Jay finds very hard to accept, and that he wants to overcome by any means necessary. This is his ultimate goal: to unmask Lethe. Lethe would most of the time wear a simple theatre mask.


I went to go to him, but stopped when a tear trailed over his plain cream mask. “I miss you not seeing me too.” He lifted his gaze to mine, his voice soft but his words heavy. “I’m so frightened.”
“I want to see you so badly, it hurts inside.”


Being forced to hide his face, Lethe at least tries to have some fun with his masks – especially when performing his accordion tunes at the Wellington water front. His mask of choice for these times is the Venetian mask. Worn during the fancy Venetian carnival, this mask is intricate, colorful and often covered in sparkling gold and gemstones. Lethe’s favorite Venetian style mask is covered in Paua shells, the gorgeous rainbow shells found on New Zealand’s beaches.


Lethe’s music wafted in from the background and calmed me. The melody skipped and hopped, and with it the two boys grew up.
Lethe entered for the first time, wielding his accordion with skill. His face masked in paua merged him with the blue sea light. This is what Gristle would have wanted. I could feel his smiling presence.


Will Jay manage to unmask Lethe and really see him? Find out in (Un)Masked – out October 30th in an revised 2nd edition!




Author Bios:


Heart-stopping slow burn.

Anyta Sunday is a big, BIG fan of slow-burn romances. She loves to read and write stories with characters who slowly fall in love.

Some of her favorite tropes to read and write are: Enemies to Lovers, Friends to Lovers, Clueless Guys, Bisexual, Pansexual, Demisexual, Oblivious MCs, Everyone (Else) Can See It, Slow Burn, Love Has No Boundaries.

Anyta writes a variety of stories, Contemporary MM Romances with a good dollop of angst, Contemporary lighthearted MM Romances, and even a splash of fantasy. Her books have been translated into German, Italian and French. 

Member of Romance Writers of America.

Connect with Anyta: Website | Twitter | Facebook | To receive a free e-book, sign up for Anyta’s newsletter here!


***


Andy Gallo’s stories capture how he wished he’d spent his formative years, instead of how it really happened. Unfortunately for his characters, they find themselves infused with some of Andy’s less noble qualities.

A hopeless romantic, Andy writes seated next to a hundred year old Smith Brothers typewriter he inherited from his grandfather. He also dreams of superheroes and wizards and sees no reason why two men with superpowers can’t fall in love just like everyone else. Although not all of his stories have a paranormal bent, a touch of the supernatural never derailed a good read in his mind.

Married and living his happy every after, Andy helps others find their happy endings in the pages of his stories. He and his husband of more than twenty years spend their days rubbing elbows with other parents as they raise their daughter. Embracing his status as the gay dad, Andy sometimes has to remind others that one does want a hint of color even when chasing after their child.

Connect with Andy:  Website | Facebook

***


Giveaway: 

3 e-copies of any backlist book by either Anyta Sunday or Andy Gallo:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Review: Who Loves You by Emily Alter

For as long as Ben has been a YouTuber, and no matter how successful, he’s never been able to reveal the truth about his past, which seems to keep haunting him every time he tries to move on. His breakup with fellow YouTuber Owen Danniel, and the drama it ensues, don’t help make it better.

It's because of an appointment with his primary doctor, and an unfortunate encounter, that his luck may start to change. His name is Julian Yates, he loves cheese, mushrooms, and puts anchovies in his sandwiches for reasons Ben can't begin to fathom.

However, Julian has a history too, and things he wished stayed buried and didn't crawl back to haunt him. Revenge porn, and his rather unfortunate response to the huge stir it brought about, don't just go away. It doesn't matter that he's already moved to the other side of the country with his sister, or that his job as a hiking guide gave him the perfect excuse to go unnoticed.

When Julian fails to remember what can happen if he’s on camera for one of Ben’s vlogs, they’ll both have to face their biggest, sometimes most irrational fears. Will Ben be true to his word as a hopeless romantic and put Julian's well-being above that of his channel, or will he give up on a relationship that’s barely started? What about Julian? Will he work on the unresolved issues that make him believe he's only good for one thing, or will he clam up at the first sign of rejection?

(+80000 words. Steamy scenes. HEA.)


I was excited about the idea of a YouTuber as a character because it’s definitely something relevant to today’s celebrity industry. The whole concept intrigues me. I remember when YouTube was first used in the format it currently inhabits and how if you asked me then if it would generate huge income I would have laughed and called you crazy. I rarely venture into it unless I’m watching a trailer for the latest movie to determine if I really want to spend my money, but my children watch it more for the local celebrities and gamers, so I know there is an entire commercial industry attached to it that I wouldn’t even know how to scratch the surface of.

Unfortunately I just couldn’t get into this story. I didn’t like Ben at all. He breaks up with Owen without much of an explanation on why, but heavily references his ‘past’ that we know nothing about, so it comes across as him being contrary and shallow. It was also contradictory. He says he loves Owen and everything is great and then he’s dreading the surprise Owen has, then crying about it because he’s so joyful, then telling Owen it’s over, with some vague reference to the relationship going sour and him feeling things were ‘off’. Just no. It made no sense to me. I honestly didn’t care about how his past contributed to the breakup because it wasn’t explained, probably to draw out the ‘drama’ and I’m guessing the ‘big reveal’ that will come later in the story. In my humble reader's opinion, if I am expected to swallow that, I needed more than I was given.

The format of the story was weird. Italics were used to get into Julian’s point of view in random places and just did not work for me. The story didn’t flow well, and I found the content to be repetitive and droll. I don’t know how many times in the eight chapters I read where Ben waffled on about himself and his ‘past’ that we don’t know about yet, or what type of person he is, but it was enough to make me not care about it in the least.

Another thing I found difficult was determining who the author was referring to during conversations between Ben and Julian when using the pronoun he/him. It was overused and I couldn’t keep up with who was saying what. I don’t like to feel confused while reading, and this did that for me.

Weird sentence structure and repetition aside, I actually didn’t get why Ben was a YouTube celebrity. Why did he have 4 million subscribers? What was his content and brand? Who paid him? How did he manage to keep his channel alive over the decade he claimed he had been doing it? I don’t know. Because I wasn’t told. And if I judged him on personality alone, I’d say he might have 10 people watching his videos, who were all his friends and family in real life and that he should have had a day job. Maybe I would have found out more about this channel and his brand if I had stuck it out, but if I didn’t know within the chapters I read, while his character was being built then I honestly don’t care. This should have been the first part of character building, because it was his job, and heavily referenced. Background is essential if you’re building a personality based on an existing celebrity status.

I was hoping to get into how Julian’s past made him so fearful of physical contact, and the camera (I assume the reference to revenge porn in the blurb would be part of it) but I just couldn’t get there. I started skimming this story heavily, and by the time Ben was leaving Julian’s house because Julian had a severe physical reaction to being awoken by a man in his bed, still not giving anything away, I knew I was done.

So this was not a win for me, and I’m not sure I’d be able to get into anything written in this style again. I’d suggest getting a sample to test your tolerance for the writing style before purchasing this book because, what you get in the first 5-10% is how Ben is at 36%. If this doesn’t bother you, then I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.


A review copy was provided for an honest opinion

Review: Jigs and Reels by Leigh M. Lorien

Elijah works in a cubicle, lives with his parents, and never goes on dates. It isn’t an exciting life, but it’s safe and easy and that’s good enough.

Then he meets Peter, a whirlwind of a man who leads a traveling renaissance band. Peter represents everything Eli usually avoids, but his boisterous enthusiasm is infectious… and his band needs a fiddle player.

When Eli agrees to fill in for a weekend, he awakens a part of himself he thought long gone. With Peter’s help, he shakes off the dust that has settled on his soul and remembers how to have fun.

But when the band asks him to join them permanently, is Eli’s newborn sense of adventure -- and insane crush on a man he barely knows -- enough to make him leave the safety of a life he’s clung to for years?


What do you do when you have a chance to have everything you never knew you wanted?

Elijah is a young man who is doing what he should. He went to school to get a degree in Accounting like his parents wanted and is now doing a job they think is accounting but it’s actually data entry and is apathetic about it. The only thing he’s ever had that he could call his own has been his fiddle playing. When his best friend Katie takes him out one evening to meet some new friends and tells him to bring his fiddle, Eli’s life takes a colorful turn.

Meeting the members of the Irish Folk band the Stone Rocks was fun. I am a total music nerd and spent many hours listening to the likes of Dropkick Murphy’s, The Pogues and Flogging Molly to drop a few band names and have a love for Irish/Celtic bands. Knowing that Doug, Hitomi and the oh so charming Peter play the musical styling, I was engaged. But it was really the quick attraction and flirtation that Eli has when he meets Peter that had me reading quickly before my work day ended.

“We’ve only known each other for like four days.”
“Romeo and Juliet killed themselves after three.”
“Romeo and Juliet were idiotic teenagers.”
“You make me feel like an idiotic teenager.”

The story is short and though it has a minor arc with a bit of angst, it’s fairly light on all points of romance. Eli is enamored of Peter in all forms; from the on stage costume he chooses to the charismatic singer of their band to the boy with the electric smile. Peter's ability to work the crowd bubbles over to his ability to loosen Eli up on stage and in bed.

Peter is a free spirit who recognizes the same in Eli and wants to give Eli the chance to live the life he never thought he could.

The music was a pure joy to follow along with and the sets at the Renaissance Faire gave me flashbacks to attending a few in my younger years and wishing I would have seen a band like the Stone Rocks upon entering the grounds. The story ends quickly with a HFN which makes me wonder if the author has plans to continue or just wanted to give the reader a flash into the beginning of a lovely romance.





Release Blitz + Giveaway: Psycho Romeo (Ward Security Series #1) by Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott


Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott, along with IndiGo Marketing, are here to celebrate the release of Psycho Romeo (Ward Security Series #1)! Find out more about the new romantic thriller and enter in the giveaway for a chance to win a $25 Amazon gift card!

Title:  Psycho Romeo
Series: Ward Security Series #1
Author: Jocelynn Drake & Rinda Elliott
Publisher:  Drake and Elliott Publishing, LLC
Release Date: October 27, 2017
Heat Level: 4 - Lots of Sex
Pairing: Male/Male
Length: 81K
Genre: Romance, Thriller/Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Gay Literature, Gay fiction, bodyguards

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Synopsis

Geoffrey Ralse is known for being the life of the party. He loves the club scene, hanging with his friends, and flirting with whomever catches his eye. He certainly isn’t going to stop living his life just because some would-be stalker starts sending him threats.

But it all changes when Geoffrey is drugged and wakes up half naked in his own home with a new message from his stalker.
He needs help and there’s only one person he trusts…

Protective Agent Sven Larsen has been fighting Geoffrey’s flirtatious advances for months, even though he’s impossibly drawn to the man. There’s no way he can be around him twenty-four/seven and not finally crack. But one look at Geoffrey’s haunted eyes, and he knows there’s no way he’s letting Geoffrey walk out of Ward Security without him.

Even if it means breaking his own rules, he will keep Geoffrey

Excerpt

Once again, Geoffrey had surprised him. That jump to his defense had been swift and hard. Sven watched anyone who came near them, but he also watched Geoffrey fume as he walked the wrong direction on Freedom Way. People strolled the sidewalks all around them. In the back of his mind, he stayed aware of the fact that they didn’t know for sure his stalker was a part of his group. It could be anyone.

Over a million followers on one site alone.

He shook his head and stayed close as he took in everything about their surroundings. Skyscrapers of downtown Cincinnati rose up behind them while the Great American Ballpark was on their left. There was the rush of traffic on nearly all sides, but Geoffrey appeared to be heading away from the biggest crowds of people and toward Ohio River rippling in the distance, winding between Ohio and Kentucky.

Sweat gathered on his back, under his arms, and at the back of his neck. Maybe it was time to cut the hair. He’d grown it in a challenge with his brothers—who could stand it the longest. His oldest brother still held out. But Sven could out-stubborn them all.

Mostly because he actually liked it. Low-maintenance hair—just needed a brush or something to keep it off his neck. Digging into his pocket, he found one of the thick hair ties he used and looped his hair into a messy knot at the back of his head. He glanced down to find Geoffrey watching his movements with fascination.

“I don’t know how you stand it. Mine drives me crazy when it gets past my ears.”

He eyed the light blond gelled hair brushed back off Geoffrey’s forehead. “It suits you.”

“Thanks.” Anger returned to his expression, tightening his lips and he stomped off again. He had his hands shoved deep into the pockets of his jeans—probably to keep from throwing them about as he did when his emotions were high. And they were. It was obvious in his quick, hard steps, his tight expression, and the energy radiating from his body. Sven had never met someone with so much liveliness. So much fire. He’d often marveled over it during the classes at Ward, fascinated and drawn to all that brightness and vitality like Geoffrey had hooked him on a short fishing line.

He could hardly ever take his eyes off him.

And now that he’d seen the sexy, trim body under all those clothes, he was having trouble not watching for the flex of muscle underneath the slouchy blue T-shirt Geoffrey wore today. When he shrugged, it slipped off his shoulder and Sven wanted to lift him high, press his back into the nearest wall, and put his mouth on that tantalizing collarbone. Learn the taste and scent of his skin. And he wanted the laughter back. Amusement transformed him, making him all golden sunlight and joy. He’d throw his head back, revealing white teeth and when he let himself go like that, the trace of sadness he seemed to carry at all times disappeared.

Sven had the feeling Geoffrey’s loneliness ran deeper than his own, and he’d felt the ache of it for some time now. He didn’t enjoy bars or nightclubs and although he’d downloaded a hookup app onto his phone, he’d never seen anyone on it worth contacting. But he wasn’t one for anonymous sex, so he mostly went without. Hoping he’d eventually meet someone worth the effort it would take to build a real relationship.

His fierce attraction to Geoffrey made little sense. They couldn’t have been more opposite in personality, size, income bracket…pretty much everything.

Except for the loneliness.

Geoffrey had tons of people around him, yet none of them were true friends. Not any that he’d met today anyway. And every time his gaze had locked with Geoffrey’s, he’d seen something that had ripped the world right from under his feet.

Geoffrey knew. He was completely aware that they used him. For money, for notoriety, for another selfie on their social media accounts.

The absolute…fakeness of it all tightened his chest to the point of pain. Because he could see, in those blue eyes, that Geoffrey Ralse needed so much more.

Purchase

Drake and Elliott Publishing, LLC | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes | Smashwords



Meet the Authors


Rinda Elliott
Rinda loves unusual stories and credits growing up in a family of curious life-lovers who moved all over the country. Books and movies full of fantasy, science fiction and romance kept them amused, especially in some of the stranger places.
For years, she tried to separate her darker side with her humorous and romantic one. She published short fiction, but things really started happening when she gave in and mixed it up. When not lost in fiction, she loves making wine, collecting music, gaming and spending time with her husband and two children.
She is the author of the Beri O’Dell urban fantasy series, the YA Sister of Fate Trilogy with Harlequin Teen, and the paranormal romance Brothers Bernaux Trilogy. She also writes erotic fiction as Dani Worth.
She can be found at RindaElliott.com and her Dani Worth blog . She’s represented by Miriam Kriss at the Irene Goodman Agency.

Jocelynn Drake
Love comes in many varied forms. There is the love of family, love of country, and love of chocolate. But for Jocelynn Drake, one truly treasured love is the love of a good story. This former Kentucky girl spends the majority of her time lost in the strong embrace of a good book.
When she’s not hammering away at her keyboard, frowning at her monitor, or curled up with a book, she can usually be found cuddling with her cat Demona, walking her dog Max, or flinging curses at the TV while playing a video game. Outside of books, cats, and video games, she is completely enamored of Bruce Wayne, Ezio Auditore, travel, tattoos, explosions, fast cars, and Anthony Bourdain (but only when he’s feeling really cranky).
She is the author of the urban fantasy series: The Dark Days series and the Asylum Tales. She also occasionally writes as Joy Douglass when she’s in the mood for a little historical romance. She can be found at JocelynnDrake.com.

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Blog Tour: Familiar Angel (Familiar Lovers, #1) by Amy Lane


Amy Lane is here today to tells a little about her new paranormal novel, Familiar Angel, from Dreamspinner Press & she's brought an excerpt too!



Familiar Angel Blogpost 9

Family Matters

By Amy Lane

Of course the “familiar” in this series refers to the witch’s familiar.  Emma Youngblood, a desperate sorceress uses three boys as receptacles for her power so that she can keep some of it “on tap” and remain alive to help her lover adapt to the human world.
The three boys were escaping from a life of abuse and pain, and Emma is the soul of compassion. Whether she’d planned to or not that night, she’d done more than just cast a spell to pull her lover out of hell—she’d forged a family.  A hundred and twenty years later, she added to the family by giving birth to Beltane, and the original three boys—Harry, Edward, and Francis—all had a child to spoil.
And now that Bel is grown, this family’s bonds in immortality are thicker than blood—hell, they’re thicker than the rock in Beltane Youngblood’s head.
And don’t think that wasn’t fun as hell to write. I mean, it has to be—I’m planning to write two more books!

*

“Harry?”
Only Emma’s voice could have made him stir. Harry pulled away from Suriel and found his mother’s arms wrapped securely around him.
“Sorry to worry you,” he said gruffly. He looked over Emma’s shoulder and smiled apologetically at Leonard. “I know how much you hate to travel.”
Leonard rolled his eyes. “It’s more frightening when your mother drives.”
Some of his exhaustion fell away. He straightened and kissed Emma on the cheek. “You didn’t need to come down,” he said doggedly. “Suriel and the boys talked some sense—oolf!”
Beltane appeared out of nowhere and hugged Harry for all he was worth.
“Holy beefsteak, Bel Youngblood! You can let go before you crack my ribs!”
Bel stepped back and grinned, his outsized biceps and broad shoulders dwarfing Harry as he dwarfed Edward and Francis. In Harry’s day, the three of them were moderately tall, standing between Francis’s five feet five and Edward’s five feet eight.
Bel Youngblood passed Edward up during his first growth spurt. He passed his father—who stood over six feet tall—during his last one, at the end of what would have been high school, had he ever attended.
“All I know is that everybody’s mad at you,” Bel said blithely. “I know when everybody is mad at me, a solid hug always makes it better.”
Harry grinned up at him, entranced as everybody else had been over their baby, their perfect child. “When, in your entire life, has anybody been mad at you?” he asked teasingly.
Bel had the grace to look away, and Emma scowled furiously. Even Leonard looked irritated, and he was the family rock.
Harry’s family antennae perked right up. “What?”
“You tell him,” Emma snapped to Bel. “I just—” Her hands flailed expressively, and Harry read her loud and clear.
“Jesus, boy—tell us before she explodes!”
“I’m not going to Oxford,” Bel said shortly, glaring at his mother.
Harry’s mouth fell open. “But Bel—you… you told your mother years ago, you were going to spend five years at Oxford and then come home. There’s a wizard there who can teach you, and peers, on both sides of the divide. Why would you—”
“He can’t bring cats,” Emma muttered. “Of all the stubborn, shortsighted—“
Harry blinked at him and for the first time realized Bel’s handsome, rectangular face and deep hazel eyes could look stubborn and determined, much like his mother’s—or his father’s, for that matter.
“I won’t leave him,” Bel said. He scowled at Harry. “Are you going to try to talk me out of it?”
Harry shook his head and held out his hands. “I’ve had enough of that crap this morning to last me another two lifetimes,” he said, sincerity rocking from the bottom of his toes. “You make the decisions best for you and your heart, Bel. You know I’ll always love you.”
He and the others had listened to Bel making excited vowels as he lay on a play blanket in a sunny room. They’d helped him take his first steps, had played with him—mostly as cats—when he’d been restless or teething, and had helped him learn his letters, and his figures, and chemistry and biology—and magic.
He could remember his delight the first time Bel had changed shape, and Francis’s pique when the shape had turned out to be a big blond dog.
Francis had overcome his disappointment, though, and soon he and Bel had become legendary in their county as the white cat and the yellow dog, and together the two of them had probably had adventures that would age Emma twenty years in a night—if only they told.
“I love you too,” Bel said, giving his mother the side-eye. “And I’m not going to nag you.”
“Well, I’m very grate—”
“I’m just going to tell you that now that I’m grown, I have an abominably long time on the planet, and you are one of the people I count on being there for the entire damned millennia. Do what you have to for that to happen, do you understand? This is bullshit. Mom and I were in the middle of a rip-roaring fight and suddenly we’re tearing ass down the road. We haven’t even stopped for dinner! Or breakfast! Or snack! Or coffee! Or—”
Francis appeared at his elbow with a pink box full of donuts, and Bel shoved one in his mouth.
“Fixth ith,” he ordered direly as Francis pulled him away.
Harry watched as he and Francis helped Linda clean up the last of the breakfast and saw that Edward was getting information from John and Krista.
He sighed and turned to his mother. “Fine,” he said. “I already told Suriel I’d go, but I think you’re all—”
“I love you, Harry, but you’re full of shit. Leonard, give me your hand—the cabin by the house will work, don’t you think?”
Leonard smiled. “It’s already stocked, dearest. Harry?”
“Leonard, I haven’t even had time to say hello to you—”
“I love you, son. Your mother’s right. Your mother’s always right.” Leonard stepped in and hugged him tight. “Love finds a way,” he whispered. “Through years, through death, through magic portals to hell. Believe in it, okay?”

Blurb:

One hundred and forty years ago, Harry, Edward, and Francis met an angel, a demon, and a sorceress while escaping imprisonment and worse! They emerged with a new family—and shapeshifting powers beyond their wildest dreams.

Now Harry and his brothers use their sorcery to rescue those enslaved in human trafficking—but Harry’s not doing so well. Pining for Suriel the angel has driven him to take more and more risks until his family desperately asks Suriel for an intervention.

In order for Suriel to escape the bindings of heaven, he needs to be sure enough of his love to fight to be with Harry. Back when they first met, Harry was feral and angry, and he didn’t know enough about love for Suriel to justify that risk. Can Suriel trust in Harry enough now to break his bonds of service for the boy who has loved his Familiar Angel for nearly a century and a half?


Links



Author Bio
Amy Lane has two kids who are mostly grown, two kids who aren't, three cats, and two Chi-who-whats at large. She lives in a crumbling crapmansion with most of the children and a bemused spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and gay romance--and if you accidentally make eye contact, she'll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together. She'll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.