Blog Tour: Handle With Care by Cari Z.


Help celebrate the release of Handle With Care with author Cari Z. and Dreamspinner Press. Read an exclusive excerpt and find out more about this road trip romance below!

Be sure to check out our 4 ❤️ review here.



“Let’s go to the arch.”
Aaron blinked and refocused his attention on Tyler. “I’m sorry, what?”
“Let’s go see the arch. You can go up it, you know. They’ve got a tram and everything.”
“At seven in the evening?”
“They’re open until ten,” Tyler wheedled. “We can watch the sunset or something. C’mon. I’m not ready to go back to the apartment and do old-person stuff.”
“Old-person stuff.” Jesus H. Christ. “You mean shower and sleep?”
“Yeah, exactly. I knew we should have brought my games.”
Aaron rolled his eyes. “You can survive a week without your Xbox.” It was kind of early, though. “All right, let’s go.”
“Yes!”
It was a seven-minute Lyft ride from the restaurant to the arch, and it wasn’t until they were standing at the base of it, waiting in line for their turn to ride to the top, that someone started having second thoughts. Surprisingly, it wasn’t Aaron.
“Shit, that’s high.”
Aaron checked the pamphlet. “Six hundred and thirty feet.”
“That would be a hell of a long way to fall.”
He gently hip-checked Tyler. “I’m pretty sure there are precautions in place up there to keep people from falling.”
“Yeah.” Tyler chewed on his bottom lip as they stepped closer to the entrance. “What about mechanical failure, though?”
“They probably do maintenance on this thing all the time, Ty. We’re not going to plunge to our deaths or anything.” Aaron was actually a little surprised by Tyler’s emerging phobia. “You’ve literally jumped out of an airplane before.” And he had, on his twenty-first birthday, a stunt that Aaron had politely refused to get in on. “How is it that you’re even remotely afraid of heights?”
“It’s not the heights, really. It’s the depths that get on my nerves. And jumpin’ out of a plane, man—that’s not even like falling, you’re too high up to have any sense of perspective with the horizon. It’s more like being in a wind tunnel.”
“I’ll have to take your word for it.”
They got their own car on the tram to take them to the top. Aaron sat and Tyler took a spot next to him, but as soon as they were moving, he was on his feet, one hand pressed to the glass of the little window, the other one tapping restlessly against his thigh. “This thing lurches,” he complained after the first thirty seconds. “What the hell kind of engineer designs a train that lurches as you go up? This isn’t a damn amusement park.”
“We’ll be at the top before you know it.”
“Unless we fall to our deaths first,” Tyler muttered. “World’s worst date.”
Aaron chuckled. “Good thing it’s not a date, then.”
“Hell no, it’s not, not if we don’t live through it.”
He reached out and clasped Tyler’s tapping hand. “It’s okay.”
Tyler glanced down. “Yeah? Since when are you the optimist?”
“Since I got a grasp on statistics. We’re going to be fine.”
Tyler didn’t say anything, but he didn’t let go of Aaron’s hand either. By the time they got to the observation deck, he seemed less antsy and tugged Aaron out of their car and over to the larger, western-facing windows. Their timing was perfect—the sun was just disappearing over the horizon. The brilliant blue of the sky was slowly fading to indigo, and the high, quilt-like clouds had turned pink and orange in the fading light. Aaron didn’t think he’d ever been this high up outside of the two airplane rides he’d had in his life, and even then, the view hadn’t been this good.
“’S pretty,” Tyler commented.
“Beautiful.” It felt good, actually—kind of freeing to be so removed from the surface of the earth. Like being a little closer to the sky gave him permission to let his mind wander. Aaron felt tension he hadn’t even realized he was holding in his shoulders suddenly leave, and he relaxed with an almost-orgasmic shudder.
Tyler looked at him and smiled. “Imagine the view from the Empire State Building or the Eiffel Tower.”
“Ha-ha. Don’t tease me.”
“I’m not teasin’ you. You could go there, y’know. You could go anywhere, see what somewhere farther off than St. Louis has to offer.”
Aaron shook his head. “I can’t picture traveling like that by myself.” Those seemed like once-in-a-lifetime trips, and it didn’t make sense to go somewhere like that when the only person he’d be sharing it with was himself.
“Nobody says you have to be alone.”
Yeah, but it wasn’t like he had prospects beating down his door either. “Let’s look out the other side.”


Blurb:

A fragile heart needs extra care.


Burned-out social worker Aaron McCoy is on vacation for the first time in years—boss’s orders. Road-tripping to his brother’s wedding with his best friend, Tyler, seems a fun way to spend the mandatory two-week leave, and they set out for Kansas—and a difficult homecoming.


Aaron’s mother was a drug addict, and his adorable younger brother was quickly adopted, while Aaron spent his childhood in foster care. As Aaron mends fences, Tyler hopes to show him that this time, he won’t be left behind to face his problems alone.


Aaron’s opening up to how right it feels to be with Tyler and to the possibility of taking the leap from friends to lovers. But along with the wedding celebration comes a painful reminder of the past. Aaron’s heart is still breakable. Can he put it in Tyler’s hands?

Buy links:

DSP

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Bio: Cari Z. is a Colorado girl who loves snow and sunshine. She has a wonderful relationship with her husband, a complex relationship with the characters in her head and a sadomasochistic relationship with her exercise routine. She hopes that you enjoy reading what she's put out there as much as she enjoyed writing it in the first place.

Social media:

Twitter: @author_cariz

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Reelase Blitz + Giveaway: Gateway to Love by Sarah Hadley Brook



Celebrate the Dreamspinner Press release of Gateway to Love from the States of Love collection with author Sarah Hadley Brook and Signal boost Promotions. Learn more about the contemporary romance today and enter in the $10 Amazon gift card giveaway today!





Length: 32,793 words

Cover Design: Brooke Albrecht

Publisher: Dreamspinner Press

Blurb

Ten days to finally make the leap from friends to lovers….


Craig and Mitchell have been friends for years, but each of them reached a point where that camaraderie became… more. Mitchell’s kept his feelings close to his chest. So has Craig, but now that they’ve graduated from UMKC, he knows it’s his last chance to show Mitchell they’re meant to be before their careers take them to opposite sides of the country.


He insists they can’t leave Missouri behind without one last adventure. Mitchell agrees to a road trip to visit all the touristy spots and say goodbye to their home state.


As they spend their days and nights together, buried feelings rise to the surface and hope blossoms. When their journey ends with a dance beneath the Branson stars, will they find love and a future together at the end of the road?


Excerpt

THE SOUND of a horn jolted Mitch from a sound sleep, and he blinked his eyes for a moment, staring out the window at the busy highway.


“Sorry. Some idiot guy almost hit us. I had to lay on the horn,” Craig explained.


Mitch straightened himself in his seat and rubbed his eyes. “No worries. Sorry I fell asleep.”


Craig grinned at him. “You should be. I’ve had to listen to your snoring for almost two hours.”


“Hey, I don’t snore. You do, but I don’t,” Mitch said emphatically.


Craig snorted. “Whatever. I can hear you through the wall at night.”


“I don’t snore,” Mitch reiterated, and frowned when Craig chuckled. Then he started feeling bad about sleeping so long. “Want me to take a turn at the wheel?”


“Nah. Maybe when we stop for lunch? Although, we’ll probably be in Hannibal before then. We’ve only got about an hour and forty-five minutes left, give or take.”


Mitch nodded and checked his phone, but he couldn’t help watching his best friend out of the corner of his eye. Even after knowing him for four years, Mitch was still blown away by the reaction he felt whenever he looked at Craig. He’d certainly never forgotten the first day they met. It was imprinted on his brain forever.


That first day at Longview Community College had been brutal. He’d had to spend two hours in the admissions office because when he’d shown up for his first class, the professor didn’t have him listed. By the time his schedule was corrected, he’d missed two classes and was nearly late to his third.


He’d slid into an empty seat near the door just as the teacher turned around from the whiteboard. Someone next to him giggled and he glanced over to see the cutest boy he’d ever laid eyes on. Mitch had felt dumbstruck as his cheeks heated in reaction.


“Close call,” the kid had whispered with a nod toward the teacher. “I heard she doesn’t put up with latecomers.”


Mitch pulled himself together and smiled.


It wasn’t until class was over that they were able to talk.


“I’m Mitchell Moon,” he’d offered, as the guy rose from his desk. “Everyone calls me Mitch, though.”


Craig had beamed at him, his blue eyes sparkling a little as he leaned down until their faces were only inches apart. “Hi, Mitchell,” he said with a wink. “My name’s Craig Pruitt.”


And that was that—they became instant friends, bonding over video games, movies, and their love of Star Trek. It was the kind of friendship only found once in a lifetime. Mitch had come out to Craig within the first week of meeting him and his friend hadn’t even blinked.


There was only one problem with their friendship—Mitch had never been able to shake the attraction he felt for Craig. And over the years, as they earned their associate’s degrees from Longview and moved on to UMKC, their bond grew and his feelings for Craig only strengthened.


When Craig had confided in him that he thought he was bisexual their sophomore year, Mitch’s hopes had been raised, but by that time he was firmly planted in the friend zone. So he did what a best friend should—he supported Craig as he came to terms with things and accepted who he was. He’d admitted that he’d had a crush on a guy in high school, but it ran its course and he never acted on it. As far as Mitch knew, Craig had only dated two guys since then, nothing panning out toward a full-time relationship, though. But he’d had his share of casual hookups with men. Craig had gone a little wild when he’d first come out as bisexual, but had calmed down over the years. In fact, Mitch couldn’t remember him even going on a date during their senior year.


He’d seen the types of men Craig seemed to be attracted to, and they were nothing like Mitch, so he’d tucked his feelings away again and told himself not to go there anymore. It was an ongoing internal battle, but most of the time, he had a handle on it.


This last year of college, they’d found a cheap two-bedroom apartment near campus and moved in that summer. Sharing a small space with the man of his dreams had been hard. Especially when Craig often walked around their place wearing only a pair of boxers.


Mitch was honest enough to admit he’d fantasized about Craig too many times to count and would probably continue to do so long after he’d moved. Maybe that’s how it always was with a first love or major crush.


In his heart, he knew being apart would be good for them. Well, at least it would be for Mitch. Maybe he could finally go out with someone without constantly comparing him to Craig. But in the meantime, he continued to fight the attraction. The desire. The love. Because that’s what it had turned into. Love. Over the years, the longing, the emotional connection he felt with Craig, it had all turned to love. He wasn’t even sure when it had happened, but there was no denying Mitch was in love with his best friend.


And just when he was close to being free, there they were. One last hurrah before moving out of state. One last adventure with Craig.


What was he going to do without him? He turned to stare out the window, his eyes blind to the passing scenery. All he could see was a future without Craig, and it was shrouded in gray. Mitch was so tired of fighting his feelings. He chuckled to himself. He was the stereotypical guy in love with his best friend. He knew it was useless, but if Craig had asked him to go to California with him, Mitch would have dropped everything and followed him out west. He knew how pathetic that sounded, but when it came to Craig, Mitch didn’t care what others might think.


About an hour later, Craig pulled over to a gas station to fuel up and grab some snacks. Mitch used the disgusting bathroom, holding his breath as he did his business, quickly washed up, and made his way into the convenience store.


Craig was at the counter paying and held up a bag of items.


“I’m just going to get a drink,” Mitch told him as he walked past Craig. His friend grabbed his arm, wrapping his fingers around his wrist.


“I already got you your Dr Pepper,” he told Mitch with a smile. “And your Kit Kat.”


Mitch wanted to respond. Wanted to say thank you. But all he could do was revel in the sensation of Craig’s touch. Electricity prickled his skin, skittering through him.


“Mitchell?” Craig’s voice was low. He sounded worried.


“Sorry. Just… forgot what I was going to say,” he lied, knowing he sounded lame. He noticed Craig hadn’t let go of his wrist and raised his eyes to meet his friend’s gaze. Mitch was surprised at the intensity. The large black pupils. The flushed cheeks. “I-I’m… fine. Thanks for grabbing some things for me.”


Craig studied him, looking like he wanted to say something, but finally let Mitch go and they walked back out to the car and settled in.


“Less than an hour left,” Craig announced.


Mitch tried to tamp down his excitement, but it was difficult. He’d always wanted to visit Hannibal. He’d read all of Mark Twain’s stories, and knowing he was from Missouri had encouraged him when he’d dreamed about becoming a writer.


Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in English had put him closer to that dream. Being hired to work on a grassroots website devoted to getting people registered to vote had been exciting and he was looking forward to starting next month. He was less excited about the magazine internship. West Virginia tourism was definitely not something he remotely cared about. He’d only taken it because his sister, Samantha, lived in West Virginia, where the magazine was headquartered, and she had helped him get the interview. Plus he could stay with her until he got a feel for the area. Samantha was also providing him with apartment information, so he would have several to check out when he moved.


The magazine hadn’t been in his original plans. He’d wanted to stay in Kansas City after graduation and work on his writing. His dream was to become a published author. Mitch lived to write, creating fantasy worlds and bringing characters to life. Over the years, he’d managed to put some money away, through his work at the coffee shop. Add what he’d been given as graduation gifts from his mother, his sister, and various relatives, and he was confident he could afford to give the writing thing a try for a while—as long as he had a roommate and a part-time job.


When Craig announced he’d taken a job in California, working for a nonprofit that helped homeless teens, Mitch’s plans took a nosedive. While he’d been proud of Craig, the idea of staying in Kansas City without him was depressing. If he was going to start a new chapter in his life and really get over Craig, staying where he’d be constantly reminded of their times together was out of the question. Writing would have to take a back seat to making a living. Mitch was trying to be an adult and make responsible choices—decisions that would help him move forward.


Maybe a new start in a new city would help him finally find a man that he could be in a real relationship with.


He just had to survive this trip without telling his best friend the truth he’d hidden for years.


Author Bio


Sarah Hadley Brook lives smack-dab in the middle of the Heartland and is the mother of two wonderful young men, as well as two cats. During the day, she works in the nonprofit world, but reserves evenings for her hobby-turned-passion of writing, letting the characters she conjures in her mind take the lead and show her where the story will go. When not working or writing, she can be found reading, working on dollhouses, trying her hand at new recipes, or watching old movies and musicals. In her ideal world, Christmas would come at least twice a year, Rock Hudson and Doris Day would have costarred in more than three movies, and chocolate would be a daily necessity. She dreams of traveling to Scotland some day and visiting the places her ancestors lived. Sarah believes in “Happily Ever After” and strives to ensure her characters find their own happiness in love and life.


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Tag Team Review: Finn (Endangered Fae #1) by Angel Martinez

Finn’s been asleep for centuries. He’ll need to catch up fast to survive.

Diego’s impulse to rescue a naked bridge jumper starts as just that—talk the man down and get him to social services. But there’s something odd about this homeless person, more than just his delusions of being a pooka, and something so vulnerable that Diego’s determined to help him stabilize rather than see him institutionalized or deported.

Finn went into the Dreaming centuries ago to escape a heartbreak he couldn’t bear. Now that he’s back, he finds the Veil to the Otherworld closed. The fae courts have abandoned him in a poisoned human world where a displaced pooka has little chance of survival. His human rescuer is kind and compassionate—and shockingly familiar. One thing at a time, though. He needs Diego to believe he’s not human first.




Averaged!

Ann - 4 Hearts

Finn charmed me greatly right from the beginning and while I’d heard of a Pooka before, it wasn’t a definition that came readily to mind, so I was super happy to basically be introduced to a new kind of fae. Especially a fae that could shift into any critter imaginable depending on his needs and one of said critters was a dragon! So, yes. I love him.

Diego, our human MC, is a man who has a heart bigger than his brain at times but damn it’s a beautiful heart though. While it’s gotten him into some dangerous (and violent) situations in the past, he can’t stop helping everyone he comes across that needs a hand up. From homeless street kids to homeless adults to homeless animals, Diego can’t abide by seeing someone in need and just passing on by, which is how he meets Finn to begin with. Finn is sickly, naked and standing on the edge of the Brooklyn Bridge when Diego drives by and of course Diego turns around, talks Finn down and takes him home to give him some care he desperately needs. His plan is to take him to a doctor and then get him some mental health treatment.

Welllll, things didn’t go that way, Finn stays with Diego and soon Finn has laid all his Fae cards on the table and Diego is introducing him to the human world. This setup and getting acquainted time was a significant portion of the book and I enjoyed it very much! At this point I wasn’t sure where the story was going to go, I mean it’s a multi book series, some paranormal drama has to be coming down the road soon, and it did, in spades, but this quieter part of the book was great for me. It made me buy into the two of them together in the long run because they did spend a lot of time together well before the proverbial shit hit the fan.

The city isn’t good for Finn, there’s just too much city-ness there and he needs some wide open, unpolluted place to let his Pooka self run free. Diego doesn’t really see himself leaving the city, but when push comes to shove, he can’t see himself without Finn either so he takes his editor up on her offer to stay at her cabin in Canada for a bit.

I’m going to digress a bit about Diego’s editor here. Miriam was an awesome character! She was just the kind of person Diego needed in his life and she was someone I would love to grab cocktails with. Of course we’d have to invite Tia Carmen too. She could be all full of sage wisdom and she’d feed us and it would be amazing.

Anywho, the guys head to Canada and it was beautiful and relaxing and wonderful right up until it wasn’t. Shit got real in Canada. Like, really real. There’s more than trees and squirrels in those woods. There’s a wendigo who’s set his sights on Diego and his lightening. See, Diego has some latent powers that he is just now coming into with Finn’s help and he’s a helluva lot more powerful than even Finn realized. Angel Martinez is really great at writing apocalyptic showdowns and the days long battle between Finn and Diego against the wendigo. I googled wendigo and they are very scary. VERY SCARY. I mean, goddamn. And I loved it.

Finn is a great foray into a unique paranormal world that gave a good balance between action, romance and suspense. I would highly recommend Finn to fans of all those things for something different and very enjoyable.


Fantasy Living - 3 Hearts


This story started off really strong. The concept was really interesting, and the introduction of the main leads, Finn and Diego went well. The writing style worked and I had no problem following along.

Somewhere around 70% is where this fell down for me. I don’t even know why. I don’t know if it was just me, or whether something in the story bothered me, but I definitely lost interest and it started to drag. It may even be because it changed direction to where I thought it was going. Nevertheless, I really struggled to finish it.

Up until that point I was really enjoying it. I loved the difference between Finn and Diego. I enjoyed their dynamic together when they started out as friends and when it developed into more. Finn was a fun character, and having him in the city, exploring and remarking on the surroundings was very entertaining. Diego was a fairly serious character, but a really good guy, and he put himself out there to help Finn while he recovered.

Once they moved locations to the wilderness, that is when the story took an unusual turn and confused me. It felt like a really wild swing into a new plot line and I just didn’t get it. But I have been having a hard time with reading lately so I completely own my reaction and don’t think it is a good measure on whether this book is good or not.

I would encourage readers of PNR to give it a chance or at least read other reviews to help decide if this is for you. I will definitely try this author’s other work, but will ensure I’m in the right frame of mind to go on an adventure.

A review copy was provided for an honest review


Giveaway + Blog Tour: Building Forever (This Time Forever #1) by Kelly Jensen


Celebrate the release of Building Forever with author Kelly Jensen and Riptide Publishing. Read an exclusive excerpt of this contemporary romance below and be sure to leave a comment to be entered in a giveaway of a $25 Riptide gift card! Good luck!



Building Forever Excerpt
In this excerpt from Building Forever, Charlie is at Philcon chatting with a fan. I love this scene because while Charlie does spend a fair amount of time in his head—he’s a writer, after all—this is the first time he actively considers his sexuality.


“So what do you do for fun?” Aaron asked.
This would be where Charlie mentioned his daughter—and perhaps a fictitious wife. Well, one that hadn’t sadly departed five years ago. The bio in the back of his books was brief. His abbreviated name—C.R. King—and a bit about the awards he’d won for previous books in the series. That was it. No location, no family. If it’d been up to him, he’d have used a picture of Herbert, and a paragraph about how his master had taught him to use the computer so he could tell the story of his people.
Charlie didn’t always mention his daughter and fictitious wife. Sometimes he flirted. Sometimes he went upstairs with the person he flirted with and got six months of sexual frustration out of his system.
Never with a guy, though, and he couldn’t figure out if Why not? or Why now? was the more important question. The answer to the first was easy enough. Fear of the unknown, or maybe even a sort of complacency. He knew he clicked with women. Men he wasn’t as sure about. As for why now? Heh. That answer was easy too. Simon. Meeting Simon had changed something within him. What he wanted and who he wanted it with.
But he was supposed to be thinking about what he did for fun. Two images immediately popped up. Phil’s face was one, Call of Duty frozen on the TV behind him. Simon’s face was the other. Simon in quiet moments, tending the cut under Charlie’s thumb, or poring over the collection of plans for the house.
Charlie cleared his throat. “Ah, Call of Duty?” Why had his voice risen at the end? Fun shouldn’t be a question. “We’re still playing Advanced Warfare. We played with Infinite Warfare for a while and I know everyone’s raving about World War II, but the campaign in AW is so fu—freaking amazing.” Aaand now he was geeking out.
“I totally agree! So many cool mission objectives too. How did you find the WASP drone?”
“Frustrating as hell. And the highway mission. Jumping from truck to truck?”
“God, yeah.”
“Phil and I spent hours on that one.” Mostly because one kept jostling the other right when they were supposed to jump.
“Is Phil your partner?”
“Huh?” No beer, spit, or choking. Just plain old confusion.
Aaron’s eyebrows crooked together. “Sorry, you kept saying ‘we’ and the whole thing with Jory, I made a leap.”
“Phil’s a friend. Um, my best friend.” And brother-in-law. “We started kindergarten together. I’m . . . I’m single.”
“Oh.” Aaron’s body language changed, the shift both subtle and obvious. He leaned forward, sliding the arm he had resting along the bar toward Charlie until their fingertips almost touched. “You know, we could borrow an Xbox from the hotel. They got a bunch in for the con—a couple too many.”
“You want to play Call of Duty?” Even as he asked, Charlie knew the question was stupid—because of course Aaron wanted to play Call of Duty. For five minutes.
What do I do? What do I do!
Swallowing, Charlie pulled his hand back along the bar, the small pink scar at the base of his thumb tingling. “I, um . . .” He glanced up at Aaron, trying to read his expression.
Why hadn’t he hooked up with a guy at one of these cons? He’d looked. He could remember thinking and wondering. Exchanging handshakes with men like Aaron, knowing on some level that he could ask them back to his room. It would have been the perfect situation in which to check his fear. Instead, he’d gone for the girl. Every time.
In the protracted silence, he studied Aaron’s features. Blue eyes, pale skin, red lips. Simon’s face, but not. He remembered again what Simon had looked like the day he’d bandaged Charlie’s hand, and the long moment when they’d stood there, touching, gazing at each other. When Charlie had nearly leaned in and kissed him.
Something inside clicked, and barely formed thoughts tripped from the end of his tongue. “Um, there is sort of someone. We’re not, ah, he . . .”
Okay, words weren’t working for him right now.
Also, he’d given his interest a pronoun.
He’d given voice to his interest.
This time his blush didn’t confine itself to the back of his neck. Was it possible to die of embarrassment with a side of confusion?
Aaron huffed out a soft laugh. “Oh, yeah, there’s someone.” He grinned. “How about if we stick to Call of Duty, then?”
Charlie relaxed. Breathed as though he’d forgotten what air tasted like. “Yes. Yeah, thanks. I’d like that.”
Aaron pushed back from the bar. “Just so you know, you’re still making all my dreams come true.”
Charlie blinked.
“I’m playing Xbox with C.R. King!”
Charlie laughed. “I could be really, really bad at Call of Duty. You could spend your whole evening teaching me how to actually play.”
“Even better. I can brag that I showed you how to get Maximum Overdrive.”
“Wait, you’ve gotten Maximum Overdrive? What are we standing around here for?”

Building Forever is the first in a series of standalone novels focused on older characters who think love has passed them by. I loved writing these second chance romances, and I hope you enjoy reading about the books—especially this one because Charlie and Simon will forever be the characters who started me on this journey.

About Building Forever
A new town, a new neighbor, and a new chance to build a forever.
Charlie King is doing fine. Sure, he’s a widower raising a teenage daughter who just got her first boyfriend, his book series isn’t writing itself, and he has a crush on his new neighbor — the guy next door. But everything’s just fine.
Simon Lynley is doing better. He moved to Bethlehem to fall out of love and rebuild his career. An affair with his neighbor isn’t part of the plan, but the attraction between them is too hard to ignore.
But when Simon’s ex follows him to Pennsylvania seeking reconciliation, and Charlie’s life starts to feel like a video on repeat, everything comes apart. Charlie worries that he’s failing as a father, and Simon is a distraction he can’t afford. Meanwhile Simon doesn’t know if he could survive being left again, and he hasn’t come all this way to make the same mistakes. But despite their fears, it’s only together that they’ll find the strength to slay old foes and build the forever they’ve been waiting for.
About the This Time Forever Series
Small towns and second chances.
Simon, Frank, and Brian think love has passed them by. Each is facing down his fiftieth birthday—Simon in a few years, Frank next year, and Brian soon enough. Each has loved and lost. But for these men, everything old really is new again, and it’s only when they return to their roots that they’ll find their second chances and the happily ever after they’ve been waiting their whole lives for.
This time it’s forever.
This series includes:
1.    Building Forever — releasing October 15, available now!
2.    Renewing Forever — releasing November 12, available for preorder!
3.    Chasing Forever — releasing December 10, available soon!

About Kelly Jensen

If aliens ever do land on Earth, Kelly will not be prepared, despite having read over a hundred stories about the apocalypse. Still, she will pack her precious books into a box and carry them with her as she strives to survive. It’s what bibliophiles do.
Kelly is the author of a number of novels, novellas, and short stories, including the Chaos Station series, cowritten with Jenn Burke. Some of what she writes is speculative in nature, but mostly it’s just about a guy losing his socks and/or burning dinner. Because life isn’t all conquering aliens and mountain peaks. Sometimes finding a happy ever after is all the adventure we need.
Connect with Kelly:
      Website: kellyjensenwrites.com
      Facebook: www.facebook.com/kellyjensenwrites/
      Twitter: twitter.com/kmkjensen
      Tumblr: kmkjensen.tumblr.com/
      Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kmkjensen/
      Instagram: www.instagram.com/kellyjensenwrites/

To celebrate the release of Building Forever one lucky person will win a $25 Riptide Publishing gift card and a swag pack of stickers, art cards, and bookmarks! Leave a comment with your contact info to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on October 20, 2018. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following along, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

Review: Calculated Magic by S.J.D. Peterson

Never too late for love.

Three-hundred-and-fifty-year-old warlock Tikron must find his true love or forfeit his immortality. But if he hasn’t found his ideal mate in all these centuries, the prospects don’t look too bright.

That is, until he sees mathematician Richard Beaumont. It’s love at first sight and Tikron’s future just go a whole lot brighter.

Except Richard doesn’t believe in love at first sight. He doesn't believe in love at all. He certainly doesn’t believe in magic. His life is ruled by statistics and logic, and they tell him a relationship with Tikron has only a 10 percent chance of success. That’s unacceptable—even if the attraction between them is off the charts.

With his powers waning and the clock ticking down, Tikron’s last hope is showing Richard the true meaning of magic.



What a delightful and yeah, magical story this was. I had so much fun reading this opposites attract story of a centuries old warlock looking to break the curse of an unrequited love placed on him and finding the most extraordinary man of logic to fall for. Soul mates of any kind is a weakness trope for me and this was a pure pleasure to read.
“How is this possible?”
“Magic.”
“Impossible. There is no such thing as magic,”
“Nothing is impossible if you believe.”
Told in the dual POV’s of our fated couple, we meet our Warlock Tikron first as he is looking through old texts and obscure manuscripts to find a way to break the curse Mysdus (the leader of a clan of immortals and an extremely powerful warlock) put on him when Mysdus couldn’t hook up with Tikron’s mother. Tikron has until his 350th birthday which is in 30 days to break the curse or he loses his immortality. When Tikron’s friend with sometime benefits, Ry, decides they need a break from their search and get some food, Tikron’s life gets turned upside down. On their walk to get their grub on, Tikron feels a pull to walk into a bakery and finds himself drawn to a man inside. He can’t explain why he is smitten, yes smitten, by this guy because he is not Tikron’s usual type, but he knows he has to meet him.

Richard Beaumont is Tikron’s exact opposite when we first meet him. He’s steadfast in his routine and being a mathematician, is all about numbers and logic, but Richard is lonely. Richard doesn’t realize that Tikron has been staring at him until Andrea (who works at the bakery) sits down and tells him and Richard goes into what I now call, Richard Mode. The guy is sweet, but so lost in his logic that he dismisses the first attempt Tikron makes at hitting on him. He also blows the second opportunity with Tikron and with this Dreamspun Beyond line, I wasn’t ready for him to be so stubborn and starchy. Yet, when Richard makes a call to his mom to ask about flirting, it all makes sense with the parental responses he gets. Just trust me when I saw Richard’s family are all on the same page.
How could someone not believe in magic? […] One only had to watch a sunset or a baby take its first breath to know that magic happened every second of every day. It was in the wind, the trees, the ground, the very breath taken.
What makes this book fun though is the fact Richard doesn’t believe in magic when magic is exactly what Tikron is. I loved that Tikron didn’t realize who Richard was and what he could represent even though he was searching for the very thing; to find his true love. Watching the slow progress Tikron makes as he begins to basically woo Richard was sweet and when he finally gets to show Richard the magic he can perform, the relationship moves forward. Watching Richard bloom with acceptance of magic was wonderful and seeing him fall for Tikron was beautiful.

Ry, Tikron’s best friend is the ultimate scene stealer and I found myself wanting more and more of him and wouldn’t mind reading his book one day. I wish we could have seen a bit of the dude who placed the curse on Tikron but the end was delightful and wrapped the story up nicely.



An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.




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Release Blitz + Giveaway: Boy Shattered by Eli Easton


Celebrate the release of Boy Shattered with author Eli Easton and Signal Boost Promotions! Enter in the $25 Amazon gift card giveaway!




Buy Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK

Length: 85,000 words approx.

Cover Design: Tiferet Design

Blurb

Brian

You’ll make it out of here, Brian. I swear.

I had everything—school quarterback, popular with girls, and my dad was proud of me. I told myself it didn’t matter no one knew the real me. And then I nearly died. Landon saved my life. He’s the bravest guy I know. He came out a few years ago, proud and fierce, and he ran into gunfire to help others. Me, I’m a mess. Can’t even stand to be in a room with the curtains open. But here’s the thing about losing it all: You get a chance to start over and be someone new. Only how can I move on when the two shooters who attacked our school were never caught? And why do I feel like I’m still in the crosshairs?


Landon

Will you kiss me?

When I came across Brian Marshall,the hottest guy in school, dying on the cafeteria floor, I did what anyone would do. I tried to save him. His request surprised me, but I figured he needed comfort, so I kissed him on the forehead. When he survived and came back to school, he was broken in body and mind. He still needed me, and soon we were unlikely besties. But what I saw at school that day woke me up. I want to demand action on gun control, lead protests, raise my fist. I’ll tear the world down if I have to. And if I can get the man of my dreams and save the world at the same time? I’ll take it. Only I didn’t understand that the horror at Jefferson Waller High wasn’t over.





About Eli

Having been, at various times and under different names, a minister’s daughter, a computer programmer, a game designer, the author of paranormal mysteries, a fan fiction writer, and organic farmer, Eli has been a m/m romance author since 2013. She has over 30 books published.


Eli has loved romance since her teens and she particular admires writers who can combine literary merit, genuine humor, melting hotness, and eye-dabbing sweetness into one story. She promises to strive to achieve most of that most of the time. She currently lives on a farm in Pennsylvania with her husband, bulldogs, cows, a cat, and lots of groundhogs.


In romance, Eli is best known for her Christmas stories because she’s a total Christmas sap. These include “Blame it on the Mistletoe”, “Unwrapping Hank” and “Merry Christmas, Mr. Miggles”. Her “Howl at the Moon” series of paranormal romances featuring the town of Mad Creek and its dog shifters has been popular with readers. And her series of Amish-themed romances, Men of Lancaster County, has won genre awards.


In 2018 Eli hopes to do more of the same, assuming they reschedule the apocalypse.


Her website is www.elieaston.com

You can email her at eli@elieaston.com




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Review: Handle With Care by Cari Z.

A fragile heart needs extra care.

Burned-out social worker Aaron McCoy is on vacation for the first time in years--boss's orders. Road-tripping to his brother's wedding with his best friend, Tyler, seems a fun way to spend the mandatory two-week leave, and they set out for Kansas--and a difficult homecoming.

Aaron's mother was a drug addict, and his adorable younger brother was quickly adopted, while Aaron spent his childhood in foster care. As Aaron mends fences, Tyler hopes to show him that this time, he won't be left behind to face his problems alone.

Aaron's opening up to how right it feels to be with Tyler and to the possibility of taking the leap from friends to lovers. But along with the wedding celebration comes a painful reminder of the past. Aaron's heart is still breakable. Can he put it in Tyler's hands?


There are all sorts of romance stories to tell. Some are full of over the top romantic gestures from start to finish, some are the classic formula of meet cute, date, fall in love to HEA and some begin as friends and quietly grow over years of friendship and unrequited feelings until the big talk/reveal. This book falls in the latter and it was like a warm cup of soothing tea on a blustery day for this reader.

I adored this book. I love who Aaron has become as a man. That he took his dark childhood in the foster care system to become a social worker who cares so much about the kids assigned to him than even his own well-being. Aaron knows what’s it’s like to be in their shoes and he always wants to make sure they don’t fall through the cracks on his watch. Aaron is also a bit of a workaholic and without his best friend Tyler making him take a break every now and again, Aaron might as well live at his office. It’s not unnoticed by his boss how hard he works and when she notices Aaron spending weekends at work to get his paper work in early, she imposes a two week vacation on Aaron to get him some much needed down time.

[…] the intense rush of having exactly what he wanted, exactly as he wanted it. God, it was everything and barely anything, just the start, just the beginning….
That right there sets this story up because when Aaron goes to Tyler’s house to tell him, Tyler reminds Aaron that it’s perfect timing because Aaron’s younger brother is getting married and Aaron was invited. The only thing is; Aaron and his younger brother Zach haven’t seen each other in years since Zach was adopted and Aaron was left to fight alone. Aaron isn’t sure about seeing Zach after all these years nor seeing Zach’s adopted mom Chrissy who at the time, also had Aaron in the house but chose Zach. It’s a tough trip to make but Tyler convinces Aaron it’s one he would regret missing and so we have a road trip to a wedding to take.


I really liked this story. It was bittersweet in a lot of ways learning about how Aaron grew up and how he finally found a family when he was placed with Tyler’s. It makes sense the boys would grow to be friends and stay that way as adults and the attraction as well as the affection between them was obvious from their first time on page together. The only thing you really have to wait for is who would make the first move from friends to more and when it happens, it was slow and sweet just like everything else in this book.

The wedding and everything leading up was interesting. I can’t say that I understand the placement of Owen and his homophobic ass because I think we could have got Zach being okay with Aaron’s sexuality without Owen doing the crap he did at the bachelor party. I don’t regret a drunk Tyler and his speech to Aaron nor the rehearsal and what happens then either, but Owen could have been left out and this story would have survived.

I love stories like this, the friends to lovers and how well they know one another. They know one another as best friends but that learning how to be lovers is something so romantic and in this, pretty freaking hot. I mean, look at the author and you have to know that even in a Dreamspun book, we’re gonna get some hot Cari Z. sex, and it was delivered. I loved being there for their first moments and that epilogue was everything Aaron and Tyler could be. It was definitely perfect for them.


An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.