Guest Review: Only with You (Only Colorado #1) by J.D. Chambers

“I guess if the worst thing I’m doomed to in life is mediocre sex, my life isn’t too bad.”

Self-starter and business analyst Zach Keller is living his dream life. He spends his days working from home in his favorite Tolkien t-shirts and pajamas while mothering his best friend-slash-roommate. The fact that his sex life is a bust and his love life is nonexistent? Unimportant. After his college boyfriend berated him for his unconventional desires, Zach doesn’t plan on sharing that part of himself ever again, anyway.

“I’m tired of feeling like I missed out on something by not going to college.”

Craig Pela isn’t lonely. He has tons of friends and weekends packed with activity. He hasn’t needed anyone since he left home at eighteen and never looked back. But everyone around him is moving forward in life, while he still works the same retail job at the same video game store, and it’s making him question his life choices. After all, he doesn’t want to be the loser still playing video games at fifty, does he?

As their relationship develops, Zach’s shy nature melts away to reveal an irrepressible geek that charms the pants off Craig. And Craig’s kind patience and ability to match him obscure quote for quote leaves Zach wondering if he’s finally met the man he can be his true self with. After all, how can someone else love you when you keep a part of yourself hidden?

Guest Reviewer - NeRdyWYRM

Hurt-Comfort and Kink

Yummy. Two of my favorite things. I'll be honest. When I started this book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. There were vague references to some kind of unforgivable—according to the MC's inner monologue—kink, and I kept thinking, "What the fuck could possibly be so bad?"

Well, I guess that depends on your perspective. I won't spoil it here since it's such a huge part of the story, but suffice it to say, this book was freaking H-O-T. I'll admit, what Zach gets off on took a minute to wrap my head around and I still struggle to "get" it, BUT ... it made for some really hot reading and believable relationship angst.

Craig was a gem. It takes strength to embrace certain things for love of someone else and he did a fantastic job of it without dragging it out so much that he broke Zach in the process. Zach's need for a little TLC and acceptance from a special someone made so much sense once the cat was out of the bag and I was happy that Zach rolled with it even though it took him a minute to really decide to be supportive. All of it was entirely understandable and, better yet, believable.

Dammit, I'm struggling for words here because I don't want to give too much away, but it's impossible to say much about this book without potentially saying too much.

I will say this: read it. If you like some really hot kink that doesn't travel down the road of "too weird", this is an excellent option. I would have liked to see more of Zach and Craig together in bed outside of their 'special occasion' nights, just because I think the every day dynamic would have enhanced the relationship aspect of the story, but still, I have no complaints. Read it. Love it. I did.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.

An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Guest Review: Pushing Phillip (Common Powers #4) by Lynn Lorenz

Jobless, homeless and alone at Christmas—can his new friends keep him from running?

When the guys decide to spend Christmas together at the ranch, it’s going to be a time for catching up with each couple. Rush and Brian are hosting, Edward and Jack will be there and Mitchell and Sammi are coming in from Houston.

When Brian and Rush take Phillip, a newly outed gay man, under their wings, they discover he’s got a power. But this power is one that makes all of them uncomfortable, along with the young man himself as issues of trust arise.

Phillip finds himself jobless, homeless and alone for the holiday, and he’s run out of options. Just when he’s ready to move on, he finds new friends who are ready to give him a second chance at his dreams. Along with a second chance at love.

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Things That Make You Go ...

Hmm? Crazy? Take your pick. I'm not sure what it was about this book that irked me. Maybe it was a lot of little things that added up to one big ... irk. I dunno. What I do know is that it was a personal failing and not a problem with the book itself.

failure to communicate

I'm not too fond of MCs with really bad self-esteem. Is that shitty? Probably. But it's true. So, strike one. I'm also not fond of 'runners'. Strike two. Strangely enough, I'm pretty non-confrontational myself, but I don't run from my problems, if you know what I mean.

I never got to 'strike three' but otherwise, I just had a hard time with this one I guess. It was sweet, it was heartwarming, the angst was low-key, and I was rooting for Phillip, I really was. It was nice to see some of the previous MCs from the series again and the premise was interesting, too. It just didn't manage to tick off very many of my 'fan-freaking-tastic' boxes.

I recommend it for fans of the author and/or of the series. It was a good book, it just wasn't for me.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Blog Tour + Giveaway: No Fear (No Shame #3) by Nora Phoenix

Nora Phoenix drops by the clubhouse to promote the No Fear (No Shame #3) blog tour! Don't miss today's info or giveaway! Three people could win an eBook copy of No Fear (No Shame #3)!
No Fear Tour Banner
No Fear
No Shame Series Book 3
Nora Phoenix
Release date: December 27, 2017
no fear ebook
Cover Design: Sloan Johnson/Sloan J Design
Aaron is drowning. After coming out as gay, he lost his parents’ approval, his job, and his sense of identity. He feels like a freak who doesn’t fit in anywhere. His last hope was his brother Josh, but Josh can’t seem to forgive him for how Aaron treated him when they were teens. Not that Aaron can blame him, because he did treat Josh like crap.
All Aaron wants is for someone to accept him, guide him, because he doesn’t have a clue. When sexy jiujitsu teacher Blake takes him in and starts mentoring him, Aaron has hope for the first time, even though he can’t understand what Blake sees in him.
Blake doesn’t do relationships. At all. He’s more than willing to help Aaron find solid ground under his feet, but that’s it. Until insecure, vulnerable, and surprisingly sexy Aaron gets under his skin, triggering all kinds of protective instincts that make Blake long for more. He wants to take care of Aaron, give him what he needs, but how can he convince Aaron of that?
When Josh’s friend-with-benefits Indy’s past finally catches up with him, it endangers them all—and leads to heartbreaking decisions for everyone involved.
No Fear is a steamy M/M romance that ends with a HFN for Aaron and Blake, but has a continuing storyline as well. It’s the third book in the No Shame Series, and is not a stand alone novel, so make sure to read the first book (No Filter) and the second book (No Limits) first. It contains hot sex, a little kink, more hot sex, very mild puppy play, and a beautiful friendship-with-benefits that transcends labels. Also: trigger warning for mentions of sexual abuse.
No Fear Teaser 1

“You can start with plain vanilla sex, work your way up to the kinky stuff,” Blake said with a laugh.

“You make it sound boring,” Aaron complained.

Blake sobered. “No, and I’m sorry for teasing you a bit. You set the pace, Aaron. If you’re not ready for sex, you wait. If you are, you find someone who will respect you enough to take it slow, okay?”

Aaron reached out for his hand and held it tight. “Will you do it?” he asked.

Blake’s heart jumped in his chest. Was Aaron asking what he thought he was? “What do you mean?” He needed to be certain.

“I want you to be my first.”

He looked so cute and pretty and sexy, still in that gorgeous top and the tight jeans. But his words were cute and pretty, too, like a schoolgirl on prom night. Blake needed to manage expectations. “Aaron, I don’t do relationships. I like you, I really do, but don’t read more into this. I don’t date or hold hands or do romantic dinners.”

“That’s okay. I don’t need that. What I need is a safe place to gain some experience. You said it yourself, I need someone who respects me enough to take it slow. I want my first time to be good. I trust you. Please, Blake?”

Blake couldn’t help himself. He pulled Aaron close and brought their mouths together. At first, Aaron kept his mouth closed. Blake increased the pressure, licked his lips and pushed with his tongue until Aaron let him in. He angled his head a bit more, dove in deep. Aaron’s movements were slow, insecure, but he wound his arms around Blake’s neck and held on.

His mouth was sweet, hot. Blake tasted the peppermint Aaron so often suckled on, those white-and-red-striped ones. He teased Aaron’s tongue with his, until it responded, until they were doing a slick dance of push and pull. He was a fast learner, copying Blake’s moves at first, then coming up with a few of his own.

He was everything Blake usually avoided. Inexperienced, vulnerable, insecure. Yet kissing him did something to Blake’s body that he didn’t recognize. It triggered a hunger in him, a fierce need to possess, to own.

His hands lowered till they reached Aaron’s ass. He put one hand on each butt cheek, pulled Aaron close to him and ground his hips into him. The kid was hard again, and he himself had barely been soft since they had gotten into the dressing room. What was Aaron doing to him?

He broke off the kiss, swore softly at the sight of Aaron’s dazed look, his swollen lips. Fuck, Blake didn’t want to stop, not even close. He kissed him once more, the gentlest of kisses. “Not here. Not now.”

Aaron blinked. “But you’ll do it?”

“Tomorrow. I want you to have time to think about this, sleep on it. If tomorrow in the cold light of day you decide this is what you want, I’m your man.”

Nora Logo Gold
When she was a little tot, Nora’s mom got a library subscription for her. That, as they say, was that, and a lifelong love for books was born. Nora never stopped reading and doesn’t exaggerate when she says she devours books, rather than plain reads them. She started writing stories as soon as she could hold a pen, and wrote her first full book as a teen (on a typewriter!). It took her waaaay too long to follow her dream to become a romance author.
Nora writes M/M romance, because hello, sexy boys, and likes her men flawed, strong, and a tad broken. She appreciates a little kink, but insists on a happy ever after.

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No Shame Series

Make sure to read the previous two books first, as
No Fear is not a stand alone
Book 1 (No Filter):
Book 2 (No Limits):
Book 4 (No Shame):
Will be released on Jan. 26th


Guest Review: Accept My Surrender by Jane Davitt & Alexa Snow

Moving on after his wife leaves him, middle-aged John explores a side of himself he'd pushed aside since college, and dates men. It's not working out too well when Logan, a local professor looking to rent the apartment over John's garage, enters his life. John doesn't expect Logan--younger, pierced, tattooed--to be anything more than a monthly rent check, but he accidentally overhears Logan's steamy BDSM session with a casual partner and he's turned on like never before. He can't stop thinking about what it would be like to be the one on his knees.

It doesn't take much to persuade Logan to teach John how to be a sub, but the experiment in submission quickly turns into much more than John ever dreamed of. The sex is sizzling but it's the sense of fulfillment John feels when he yields control to Logan that he craves. Despite Logan's struggle to adjust to being in a relationship and John's inexperience, they're moving toward something good when John's faced with a choice. Two paths lie before him, both offering happiness, but only one calls for his surrender, body and heart, to the one he loves.

Reviewer: Annery

So conflicted about this rating. I really, really liked it, but I felt like I should’ve loved it. It’s made up of many of the things that warm my heart: someone discovering their true nature/desires later in life, a Dom/sub-older/younger relationship with the Dom being younger, BDSM without the dungeons, specialized gear, or overly talked about rules, scenes, safe words etc. and yet … sigh.

We meet Logan (I’m seriously on a mission to meet a Logan in real life but they all seem to live in fiction) while he’s playing with one of his subs, Seth, who’s a real pain slut. The kicker is that he’s doing it in a shabby room he rents from a sweet older lady. The room is mostly decorated in pink, as the previous tenant was his landlady’s granddaughter, and he’s improvising with a hairbrush, because sometimes that’s how you have to roll. Logan is a professor/lecturer at a local college and when his landlady decides to relocate to Florida he needs to find new lodgings pronto. Solution: college bulletin board.

John is a thirty-nine year old man who’s been living in a kind of limbo for a year after his wife left him. He’s a waste-averse, pre-planner, list-maker, and heretofore untapped submissive. John has an apartment above his garage and when he sees Logan’s request on the bulletin board he takes it as a sign and decides to rent to Logan.

I loved the details about the characters, like the fact that Logan doesn’t do bottled water because it’s bad for the environment, he’s an unabashed sadist, and a messy housekeeper. John is a good cook who allows his friends to ply him with casseroles so they can assuage their guilt over his wife leaving him. He’s all about research and can kindly be called frugal.

I loved that Logan isn’t an infallible Dom. Most of the things he gets to try or experience with John are first for him too and the ideas come from his reading and imagination. He’s 27 y.o. and his practical experience is limited to his former boyfriend and the subs he plays with, but none of these have gone beyond a few hours in a club or at his home. Here’s an exchange between the MCs:

“You don’t have to wait on me.”
John gave him a direct look. … “Don’t I? Isn’t that part of it too? Not the sex and the pain, but the service?”
“I never had that,” Logan answered honestly. “Quick sessions where nothing mattered but both of us getting off was about it. This is as new to me as it is to you in some ways.”
“New good or new bad?”
“Good,” Logan assured him.

I loved that once John decides to “kneel” for Logan he does so wholeheartedly and without hesitation. There isn’t a lot of hand-wringing over “am I gay now” or “I’m submissive to this guy” or even the age difference. It turns out John had already experimented with a guy in college and also later, after his wife left him, but it’s not really a case of having hidden his gayness but rather that John hadn’t discovered his kink and when he does so with Logan it’s like a homecoming.

Logan smiled. “How’d the gardening go?”
“Unfinished, but there’s still time. I’ll go back to it. Uh, if that’s okay with you.” John wasn’t sure how this worked. Was he a sub 24-7 now? “Is it? May I finish it, Sir?”
“You’re asking for permission outside a scene?” Logan sucked in a breath. “Okay, one, that’s new for me. Two, I’m so fucking turned on right now, I want to say no and tell you to get naked instead, but that’s an abuse of power, and-”
“Tell me.” Blood pounding in his ears, John raised his hands to the top button on the faded plaid shirt he wore but held back on sliding it free. “No, order me. No more scenes. No more hitting pause. You never stop wanting to dominate me, do you? This is new, and I’m clueless about ninety percent of it, but I think of you and I want to go to my knees every single fucking time, so order me. Please Sir. You want me? I’m yours. Take me here. Use me. Tear the clothes off my back if you want me naked. Use them to tie my hands, or gag me, or whip me. Let me be your sub every second of my day because these last few weeks have been the happiest of my life, and if I know that’s what I am, even when you’re not here, I’ll feel owned. Wanted.”

I love that though John is the sub in the relationship his total commitment to their dynamic, in every situation, brings Logan to his knees (if only figuratively). I loved that John’s *issues* weren’t solved by magic cock. I loved that when we finally meet John’s wife, she’s not an awful harpie. I saw where she was coming from and actually liked her.

I love that both Logan and John are works in progress in their respective roles. I liked the un-drama of it all and yet that was also my stumbling block to falling in love with the story.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of purple prose, but I felt like there was a lack of passion on page between the MCs despite the life changer the relationship represents for both of them. It seemed that important stuff happened off page, particularly about John’s *problem*. There were some intense and hot scenes but otherwise their conversations are so level-headed they felt like listening to NPR: calm, well reasoned, and sedate. Perhaps this is how people in real life should behave but it all had a flavor of “good for you”. It was all kind of like eating broccoli; I don’t hate hate but I’m not necessarily looking forward to having it. I have the sads for what could have been. :(

***Recommended if you’re in the mood for some sensible kinky romance***

Review copy was provided.

Guest Review: Elemental Hope (Warlocks #2) by L.M. Somerton

A warlock’s blood gives him life. It can also bring his death.

It’s no wonder Evrain Brookes, newly fledged warlock, is feeling the strain. A coven of power-hungry witches is after his blood. Literally. A psychotic warlock wants him dead. His godfather’s training regime is about as much fun as chewing on nettles and an overweight, scarily perceptive cat has moved into his house.

His boyfriend Dominic yearns for a normal life, or at least a safer one. He accepts his role both as Evrain’s submissive partner and as the conduit through which he channels his gift—but he’s afraid for his lover, and the lengths Evrain’s enemies might go to in order to fulfill their lust for power.

When Evrain falls victim to a plot between the Octis Coven and malevolent warlock Symeon Malus, it’s up to Dominic to rescue him. With the help of the two other North American warlocks, Shadow the cat and an old enemy, Dominic takes steps to get his lover back. There’s a high price to pay and no guarantee that the risks he must take will work out but Evrain is worth going through hell for, even if it costs Dominic his life.

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of violence, kidnap, and torture.

Publisher's Note: This book is best read in sequence, as part of a series

Reviewer: NeRdyWYRM

Just as Fun as the First One

So it was a little predictable and a little fluffy and a little ... I dunno ... simple? For lack of a better word. But! It was just as fun as the first one. I'm still a little clueless as to what exactly these guys are supposed to be doing in the grand scheme of things, but it was a trip watching them navigate their immediate crises.

It was raunchy and irreverent. I liked that about it. I didn't like that there are still some holes in the world-building or that The Big Bad was uber-predictable and the resolution was a little too easy, but that also made it an angst-free read.

angst free

It's a book you can invest some time in without having to invest too much of your self to get through it. I like reads like that as I tend to have an emotionally masochistic streak that means my reading list is often hard as hell to navigate with any kind of mental aplomb.

There's days it's a wonder I'm not a depressed, half-psychotic mess, I swear. So, for me, there's something to be said for a book that entertains but doesn't drag you into the psychological mire. Gratuitous fun. I like it.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Audiobook Release Blitz + Giveaway: Vows Box Set by Addison Albright

Addison Albright and Signal Boost Promotions celebrate the release of audio Vows Box Set! Learn more about the David Gilmore narrated series today! Enter in the back list eBook Addison Albright giveaway!

Length: 17hrs 26mins

Narrator: David Gilmore


'Til Death Do Us Part: Henry and Sam Miller-Greene are living the dream, but their worlds are shattered when Henry's plane crashes and he's presumed dead. But Henry survives undetected on a remote, small, and insignificant island. Will Sam and Henry's love be able to survive, as well? When Henry and Sam face an accidental estrangement, and Henry is assumed dead, can their love endure the trials of one's fight for survival, and the other's new love interest? When Henry is rescued, will Sam be able to put aside his new love when he reunites with Henry?

From This Day Forward: Henry and Sam are enjoying life after Henry's rescue. With their nightmare separation behind them, Henry and Sam are anxious to renew both the intensity of their former intimacies -- now hampered by having a curious and still apprehensive child sharing their home -- and their commitment to one another. Will they be able to move their love forward now that they are together again?

Okay, Then: Sam and Henry's first date/encounter is mentioned in flashback in 'Til Death Do Us Part,but this short story fleshes it out. Relive the moment they first connect while on a research trip in Honiara in the Solomon Islands.

To Love and To Cherish: Jilted by his fiancĂ© Sam just weeks before their wedding, Nash Marino’s outlook on life in general, and love in particular, is jaded. Will Nash find love again? Of course he will. Will he go about it in the usual way? Now that’s another story entirely. When Nash’s marriage of convenience scheme is muddied by notions of love after a memory reboot, will their plans go awry, or will Nash’s new outlook on life be just what the doctor ordered?

Author Bio

Addison Albright lives in the middle of the USA with two peculiar cats. Her stories are gay (sometimes erotic) romance, and tend to be sweet man-love in contemporary settings. Her education includes a BS in Education with a major in mathematics and a minor in chemistry. Addison loves spending time with her family, reading, popcorn, boating, French fries, “open window weather,” cats, math, and anything chocolate. She loves to read pretty much anything and everything, anytime and anywhere.



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Guest Review: Elemental Love (Warlocks #1) by L.M. Somerton

An untrained warlock is a dangerous man to love.

On his twenty-first birthday, Evrain Brookes discovers he is an elemental warlock. The spell suppressing his talent lifts and he has to get used to a whole new existence. The protection that kept him safe during his childhood is gone, his skills are wild and uncontrolled and there are those that seek to use him for their own gain.

Evrain’s grandmother is a witch, his godfather another warlock. Between them they do their best to keep Evrain on the right path. He learns that in order to gain control of his formidable powers he will need to ‘channel’ through a life partner, a process that only happens with consent and through love. But how will he ever find a man prepared to put up with a Dominant warlock for a boyfriend?

Dominic Castine has no idea that Evrain’s grandmother sees him as a prospective partner for Evrain. He tends her garden and she teaches him about herbs–a trade off they both enjoy. He is drawn to Evrain’s charismatic presence but doesn’t understand why he wants to drop to his knees and submit to him.

When Agatha is murdered, Evrain and Dominic are thrown together as she manipulates them from beyond the grave. Dominic becomes the pawn in a terrifying game between warlocks whose powers he barely comprehends.

In the end, lives will depend on his courage, his willingness to grant Evrain control and the power of love.

Reviewer: NeRdyWRYM

Witchy-Dom Fun

I had a lot of fun with this story. It wasn't exactly what I was expecting and I liked that about it. The paranormal element was nice although I never really got a feel for what the warlocks' collective purpose was, if anything. That part of it was kind of a wash. You'd think that rarity would mean there was something they needed to do, individually or collectively, but I never got a sense of that from the story.

Instead, it was your usual singular villain that needed to be defeated and love triumphs kind of tale. Pretty surface stuff. Add in some insta-love/lust that was cleverly disguised by matching auras, necessity, and fatalism and this could have been one of a hundred other stories, if not for the witchy-dom aspect.

The classified ad would read:
Dominant Warlock Seeks Submissive Sweetheart

Wanted: Edgy autocrat needs a sexy male sweetheart willing to channel love and magic to defeat evil witches and warlocks and heat up his sheets.
Yep. I had a lot of fun with that. Is the BDSM aspect as hot as some of the selections I've read lately? No, not really. However, the author did a good job of making it believable with the feelings swelling between the two MCs.

Dominic's natural reticence and the high stakes for Evrain made this an insta-love/lust slow burn such as it were. Contradictory, I know, but there you have it. Evrain took his time in an effort not to spook Dominic and it payed off with a depth of feeling I didn't expect from the beginning of this title.

So, although the D/s aspect of this was by turns super hot and kind of trite, the relationship- and character-development portions of the story made up for it. I was a little disappointed by the lack of depth in the plot and would have liked to see a little more world-building, I mean ... if warlocks are such anomalies, you'd think there'd be a singular or specific reason they exist but ...

I guess you can't have it all sometimes. I'd read this again in anticipation of a third book (there is already a second), just to familiarize myself with the details. There's a lot of unexplored area here I wish had been more fleshed out, like scenarios in drawings being played out in real life and an uber-powerful elemental warlock with no specific purpose or ultimate evil to overcome. I want to see more exploration there if anything further comes down the pipe from this author in this series.

There was just so much fun stuff to play with that didn't get much page time. But taking this title as it is and not how I wish it was, I still enjoyed the hell out of it. I liked the characters, main and peripheral, and hope there's more to come besides what's already out there.

More reviews by NeRdyWYRM can be found on Goodreads here.
Images (when present) may be subject to copyright.
An ARC copy of this title was provided for an honest review.

Blog Tour: Sometimes the Best Presents Can't Be Wrapped by B.G. Thomas

B.G. Thomas is here today talking about his holiday romance, Sometimes the Best Presents Can't Be Wrapped & in case you missed it, check out our 4.5 ❤️ review of it HERE.

Boy Meets Dog

What a delight to be here at Boy Meets Boy Reviews. Thank you for having me. May I say just the name of this site makes me smile happily? And feel wonderful for all the young men coming into their identity as gay men today that they can go out and meet a “boy.” It wasn’t so easy for men if my generation when I was in my teens and early twenties. You pretty much had to move to a big city and live in gay “ghettos” if you wanted community or to find love, and to be able to live even semi-openly.

I didn’t do that. I came out for a year or so, then went back into the closet, got into a relationship with a woman, we had a daughter and then finally I learned that being gay wasn’t about what men do in bed, it’s about what we do in our hearts. That did it and I was able to, more or less, amicably end our heterosexual relationship and embrace who I was.

Know that the romantic in me burst worth like rainbows and fireworks. And writing romances is what I love to do!

Which brings me to my holiday romance, Sometimes the Best Presents Can’t Be Wrapped. It’ a horse of a different color story. Or really, a dog of a different color.

Dog? Is that what I said? Yes, dog. And before you think....that could be disturbing....let me ease your mind....! I promise I haven’t written anything icky, okay? Now, let me press on.

I’ll bet that almost any author will say that the question they’re asked most is some variety or paraphrasing of, “Where to do you get your ideas?”

Well, I think that’s real apropos for my new holiday story, because—wow!—there are lots of answers. First, here’s the blurb....

Ned Balding used to be a decent man—until the stress of seemingly countless responsibilities changes him, and he becomes cold and driven—the kind of man who considers firing an employee days before Christmas. The kind of man who kicks a dog..... But Ned’s transgressions haven’t gone unseen. A Salvation Army Santa witnesses his misdeeds and decides Ned needs to be taught a lesson.

When Ned wakes up the next morning, he’s stunned to discover he’s been transformed into a dog.

In the past year, Jake Carrara has lost his mother, a lover.... even his dog. His boss came close to firing him just before the holidays. He isn’t sure he’s ready for another pet when he’s asked to foster a dog, but Jake’s good heart won’t let him refuse. Little does he know, this isn’t just any dog.

Through a twist of fate, two people with little reason to be friends might teach each other to rediscover the good—and the love—in life.

See, I knew I wanted to get back to when my holiday stories had some magick in them. Not the wizards and elves kind, but impossible and wonderful miracles. Like when George Bailey discovers what the world would be liked without him in It’s a Wonderful Life. Or when the orphan’s little lamb comes back to life in The Little Drummer Boy. Or, of course, when Scrooge remembers and reclaims the Christmas spirit he cherished as a youth in the classic, A Christmas Carol.

And thinking of Scrooge, I thought how I’d like to write a story about someone who used to be a really nice guy but who forgot the holiday spirit. Sometimes our lives can take us so far down a dark path that it takes a miracle to find the way back home. And that was really appealing.

I had an inspiration in a man I work with who has authority over me. A man that’s not very nice, but I have in eyewitness accounts that he used to be a really good guy. So, with Anne Lamott’s words, “If people wanted you to write warmly about them, they should have behaved better,” as my guidance, I used that man as my model when writing Ned Balding before his transformation.

There was also a co-worker I really like as a model as well, who told me all about his days working in a glue factory and his favorite phrase, “Take it eeeeasy, man!”

And finally, at the time, I was doing a lot of thinking about dogs, even considering trying to work for a rescue shelter. One of my close friends was talking about dogs and how we just couldn’t understand how people can be cruel to them when she said something like, “You know, that would be a fitting punishment for someone who mistreats a dog. They get turned into a dog.”

I sat bolt upright and knew what my Christmas story was going to be about. And see? The story didn’t come from one idea, but multiple ideas all woven together!

“But, Ben,” you say, “How is it a romance?”

Well, that would be telling. But, you know, a boy talks to his dog. A boy is at his best with his best friend. And being the object of true unconditional love, a love that has nothing to do with self-gain or sex? Why, it might be just enough to melt the ice around a frozen heart....

I hope you’ll check it out and see! And I hope you have a wonderful New Year, and that all your wishes come true!

B.G. “Ben” Thomas


Dreamspinner Press
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B.G. Thomas lives in Kansas City with his husband of more than a decade and their fabulous dogs Sarah Jane and Oliver. He is blessed to have a lovely daughter as well as many extraordinary friends. He has a great passion for life.

B.G. loves romance, comedies, fantasy, science fiction, and even horror—as far as he is concerned, as long as the stories are character driven and entertaining, it doesn’t matter the genre. He has gone to literature conventions his entire adult life where he’s been lucky enough to meet many of his favorite writers. He has made up stories since he was a child; it is where he finds his joy.

In the nineties, he wrote for gay adult magazines but stopped because the editors wanted all sex without plot. “The sex is never as important as the characters,” he says. “Who cares what they are doing if we don’t care about them?” Excited about the growing male/male romance market, he began writing again. He submitted a novella and was thrilled when it was accepted in four days. Since then the romantic tales have poured out of him. “It’s like I’m somehow making up for a lifetime’s worth of story-telling!”

In 2015 he made an entry every day in his blog “365 Days of Silver,” where he found something every day to be grateful for. You can find it right here:

“Leap, and the net will appear” is his personal philosophy and his message. “It is never too late,” he testifies. “Pursue your dreams. They will come true!”

Review: Relay (Changing Lanes #1) by Layla Reyne

Captain is not a title Alejandro “Alex” Cantu takes lightly. Elected by his teammates to helm the US Men’s Swim Team, he proudly accepts the role, despite juggling endless training, team administrative work, and helping out on the family farm. And despite his ex-lover, Dane Ellis—swimming’s biggest star—also making the Olympic Team.

Dane has been a pawn in his celebrity parents’ empire from crib to pool, flashing his camera-ready smile on demand and staying deeply in the closet. Only once did he drop the act—the summer he fell in love with Alex. Ten years later, Dane longs to cut his parents’ strings, drop his too-bright smile, and beg Alex for another chance.

Alex, though, isn’t ready to forgive and forget, and Dane is a distraction he doesn’t need on his team, until an injury forces Alex to accept Dane as his medley relay anchor. Working together, their passion reignites. When Dane’s parents threaten reprisal and Alex is accused of doping, the two must risk everything to prove Alex’s innocence, to love one another, and to win back their spots on the team, together.


I was so excited for this book and trust me when I say I wanted so badly to love it. There were things that I liked but on the whole it was mostly a miss for me. However, please bear in mind this is coming from a sports fanatic so, grain of salt.

It started off rough. Both Dane and Alex have tempers and tend to become physical when they're angry. Big 'no' for me there but I pushed on and things did approve somewhat after Alex called the truce around 30%. They continue to be pitiful communicators overall but they do make headway on their relationship. What puzzles me about this is how this story can become almost didactic on certain buzz topics yet still deploy violence as a means of showing how "strong" the feelings are between the protags. I, personally, have trouble believing in a relationship when one can so easily resort to violence against someone whom they claim to love, but that's me.

However, a large part of what drew me to this story in the first place was the lovers to enemies to lovers/second chances thing happening in the blurb and minus the violence it was a decent interpretation of the trope. Dane and Alex met at a swim camp when Dane was 16 and they fell in love. Unfortunately, Dane comes from Southern parents that are almost carcaturish in their religious fervor that reads more like villainy and at 16 he was ill-equipped to defy them, thus Alex was left heartbroken. Dane then proceeds to pour all of his energies into swimming to become the face of the sport in all his ginger glory.

As a sports fanatic if I can marry romance and sports I feel like I'm having my cake and eating it too which made this book an instant add. The problem is there's no sports in this sports romance. We start in the pool with Dane slapping the wall just before his teammate and mentor Mo. But after that... essentially bupkis.

I haven't the words for how disappointed I was at this development and, honestly, I don't understand why it happened. Since they are readying for the Olympics there is some training and talk of improved times, but IMO opportunities were missed. No mentions are made of international competition and you can bet money almost all of these guys have an international rival that they keep up with. Injuries, relationship woes, controversy, coaching changes, training changes or anything they could potentially use to their advantage is kind of a benchmark in sports but elevates when one is involved in an individual sport. If you don't believe me check out this vid from the Rio Olympics and watch Phelps squish his tiny little head, figuratively of course. What's more, the whole team is hyper-focused on winning the medley relay but there's no mention one of Team USA's biggest rival, the Australians?

Instead the narrative fragments into a kooky plotline involving the evil parents and an even kookier hacking scheme. For me, the evil parents cruel machinations didn't add up. The father is some big whig evangelical pastor who's known far and wide and the mother is a former beauty queen who supposedly has a successful business all her own, so why is Dane's sponsorship money the "golden goose"? As far as the hacking goes, it seemed like an cockamamie choice for a sports romance. Then again, there was next to no sports in this story. My only other quibbles are the timeline that somehow prevented Dane from competing in the previous Olympics doesn't jive and either we didn't get introduced to everyone on the team or there aren't enough members on this team for an Olympic squad.

On a positive note, what I did like were the team building and Dane and Alex's sexual chemistry. They do a good job of convincing me of their devotion to one another by the end of the narrative. But listen, the bottom line is I already like the mojo happening between Bas and Pup and I am truly looking forward to the next one. I think I see the end game of building towards the Olympics so I'm hopeful there will be more sports going forward and this was just a fluke.

Recommend to contemporary and second chance romance fans.

An ARC was provided by NetGalley.

Giveaway + Blog Tour: Blackbird In The Reeds by Sam Burns

Sam Burns & Signal Boost Promotions are here today celebrating the release of Blackbird In The Reeds. Be sure to enter the giveaway below!

Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 50,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Madeline Farlow @ Clause & Effect

Devon Murphy has never believed that there were fairies at the bottom of the garden, but when he’s in an accident on his way to his grandmother’s house and comes face to face with the biggest, baddest wolf he’s ever seen, he’s forced to reconsider.

When his grandmother asks him to look into a string of suspicious accidents, he finds a much bigger mystery to unravel. From his childhood best friend to the too-attractive Deputy Wade Hunter, everyone in Rowan Harbor seems to have something to hide. Devon has to get to the bottom of it all before the accidents turn deadly.

Author Bio

Sam wrote her first fantasy epic with her best friend when she was ten. Like almost any epic fiction written by a ten year old, it was awful. She likes to think she’s improved since then, if only because she has better handwriting now.

If she’s not writing, she’s almost certainly either reading or lost down a wikipedia rabbit hole while pretending to research for a novel.





Enter to win a ecopy of Straight from the Heart (Wilde Love #1) Giveaway ends January 13th. Good luck!

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